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Comment Re:Think like a soldier in the next war for a mome (Score 1) 274 274

Since when is the enemy my responsibility as well?

How many true enemies did the US have in Iraq? Not everybody who dies because of US military action is an enemy.

Tell you what, you pay US taxes or fucking behave yourself at the very least as nation and I'll either regard you as someone that my country has to actually worry about or we likewise won't have a reason to show up.

You think we like to go to war? Fucking peasants.

I don't think you like going to war, but I do think you overestimate its effectiveness.

What did the Iraq war actually accomplish? Vietnam? Bosnia probably helped, though that combined with the NATO expansion inspired Russian aggression and Georgia and Ukraine are paying the price now.

Much of Afghanistan is better but in total war is incredibly destructive, it's very rare circumstances that it actually helps.

I can't wait until the US starts actually putting out of global affairs. The shocked looks on your stupid faces as you realize the US was actually doing something vital for you the whole time... I'll be giggling at your expense for the rest of my days.

I don't disagree that the US is generally a positive influence but I don't think you really understand how much hostility that aggressive attitude incurs.

Remember Americans aren't the only ones proud of their country or who think they should have influence, imagine you're not an American but you're an Iranian or Russian cheering for your side. You might hate your government, be all about free speech, democracy, and everything else you associate with the US. But when you see the arrogance that the US acts with on the international state you're going to find it very difficult to cheer for the US.

With your patriotism if you weren't an American I'd very much expect you'd hate the US.

Comment Re:Think like a soldier in the next war for a mome (Score 1) 274 274

So the soldier who no longer needs to go into battle is better off.

What about the civilians in the country you just invaded because politicians are no longer worried about getting blamed for dead soldiers?

The US already has a big problem with wars, almost all the costs are externalized.

From the Iraq war slightly less than 10,000 non-Iraqi coalition forces died.

But over 100,000 Iraqis died, perhaps over 500,000 or even 1,000,000 and their country is shattered.

These are costs that are barely registered in the US other than the fact that they create entities such as ISIS, and even they barely warrant notice except when they're threatening Americans.

If you're going to start a war you need some skin in the game, soldiers dying is a horrible tragedy but it that restrains the US from perpetrating far grander tragedies on a whim.

In the alternative universe where you have effective killbots they're now roaming the landscape over Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan. But they're also probably in Libya, Lebanon, Iran, and Gaza (Israel gets them too). It probably saves a few Americans (minor a handful from escalated terrorist attacks), but at the cost of many times that.

Comment Re:Is it possible? (Score 1) 274 274

Like the summary says, nuclear weapons require expensive and hard to obtain raw materials and a significant amount of technology not common in the civilian space. This is the only reason, IMHO, that nuclear proliferation treaties work as well as they do.

On the other hand a single nuke is very powerful and easy to conceal, which is why nuclear proliferation treaties are very tough to enforce.

But no one really cares if you have a dozen autonomous weaponized drones, that's not going to give you a decisive military edge and any more than that you won't be able to conceal.

How does this group expect governments to keep a lid on military tech that relies on ubiquitous technology found throughout the civilian economy?

Make it against international law, people will occasionally violate the law but they'll be only small instances. The real cause for concern is a large scale deployment and arms race which a law can stop.

Comment Re:Same likely holds true... (Score 1) 245 245

I'm guessing the vast majority of ad benefits come from impressions rather than clicks.

I don't think I've ever clicked on a movie ad, but I'm sure a lot of my movie choices come from movie ads.

Same thing for other products, the ads annoy you, but when you go to buy something the one you've seen the ad for suddenly looks a whole lot more credible and familiar.

Comment Re:I don't think it's a ho-hum (Score 2) 246 246

I think the biggest problem is that a two party system completely dumbs down the whole process of government and removes nuance. If you're pro-gun, you pretty much have to be a Republican and if you're pro-gay, you pretty much have to be a Democrat.

Remove the winner-take-all election contents and rather divide districts such that they elect several representatives from each district. This eventually leads to choices that don't exist along party lines and you can find a candidate that more closely represents your views (e.g., pro-gun, pro-gay, anti-abortion, pro-immigration, etc.) that has a reasonable chance at election.

Any changes that make it more difficult for political parties to operate would go a long way towards improving the country. Politicians would have to start voting their own mind, or better yet talking with their electorate, rather than simply falling into line with the party, and there would be less pandering to small, vocal parties that serve as important parts of the political parties' bases.

I think you've got it backwards.

In Canada the parties are far stronger than they are in the US and the individual MPs are almost irrelevant as they're simply expected to vote with their party, yet we seem to have a lot less of this kind of corruption and I don't think it's a coincidence.

Look at the emails, the guy was so compliant partly because he was relying on the MPAA for fund-raising, he's a state level politician dealing with the representative of the US media industry, of course he was playing ball. Just like if he was some individual legislator with a big group threatening to flood his district with money for his opponent, it's really easy for powerful interests to manipulate the government by picking off individual legislators.

If you make the parties stronger then the interests have to deal with the party instead of the legislator, and the parties are strong enough (and often incentivized) to tell the powerful interests to screw off.

Comment Re:Bed Nets (Score 0) 34 34

From the article:

Prof Adrian Hill of the Jenner Institute, Oxford, said he was pleased and encouraged by the EMA's decision but added that the vaccine was not a "magic bullet".

He said: "A bed net is more effective than this vaccine, but nonetheless it is a very significant scientific achievement.

While research into a vaccine is great, why haven't we focused efforts on supplying bed nets for everyone? I'm assuming that they'll cost less than the vaccine per unit and they also have the advantage of being reused.

Why aren't the locals buying bed nets themselves?

Supposedly $5 gets you an insecticide treated bed net that's good for 2 years, I know we're talking about very poor people but that sounds like somewhere where'd I'd expect a local industry to pop up.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 466 466

I don't know how much a full solution would affect cost.

remember what the nuclear people used to say: "electricity too cheap to meter"

now it's "we don't know what it will actually cost"

We don't know how much anything truly costs, we're barely aware of what happens to solar panel waste the moment it's built, much less 10,000 years from now. We're just putting a lot more effort into figuring it out for Nuclear.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 466 466

The electricity prices are still low in France thanks to government regulation, but they are scheduled to rise significantly over the next years. The prices have been artificially held low so that the French nuclear energy sector (EDF etc.) have been bleeding money and raking up debt like there is no tomorrow, while taxpayers have footed the rest of the bill.

So if EDF is losing money that tells me the power might be underpriced, but even rising 30% they'll still be one of the cheaper rates.

So the French nuclear sector are also effectively subsidizing their nuclear power by making French tax payers pay the bill.

Where are the subsidies? The EDF has its own finances. If it goes bankrupt maybe you could say the government subsidized it by losing equity but I'm not sure I'd buy that. Besides, all other power generation including fossil fuel and renewables are heavily subsidized as well.

The move to reduce dependency on nuclear power is made because France is moving away from subsidized prices, so the consumers will pay more in line with what it actually cost to produce the energy directly instead of hiding the costs in higher taxes or forcing the utility companies to sell at too low prices.

You're talking about a pretty intense subsidy to justify that price, and other than the fact that the EDF is in financial trouble I'm not really finding any evidence.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 3, Insightful) 466 466

because they haven't yet paid for the eventual disposal of the waste

It's underway though I don't know how much a full solution would affect cost. And realistically I think we overemphasize Nuclear waste because it's Nuclear, we generate lots of nasty industrial waste that we don't treat with the same paranoia.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 3, Interesting) 466 466

The main reason is cost. Nuclear power can't compete on price with neither fossil fuels nor renewable energy like solar or wind. So basically every french nuclear power station is a hole into which the consumers are shoveling money into.

You simply can't build or operate a nuclear reactor power station anywhere in the world that can compete on market prices.

For France, the ever more connected EU electricity grid means an ever increasing pressure on the energy sector to be able to compete on EU electricity prices. The long term prospects for nuclear energy to ever be able to compete on prices looks bleak, even if fossil fuel prices rises significantly.

In the meantime much more nimble energy technologies like solar and wind continues to make significant progress in cost and efficiency. And unlike nuclear power plants, they can quickly deploy the newest technology in the field.

So it really makes a lot of sense for France to lower its reliance on nuclear power and start to invest more in renewable energy resources.

Then why does France have some of the lowest energy prices in the developed EU and why are they exporting energy to Britain?

I mean it's not proof that France's electricity generation is fundamentally cheaper, or that Nuclear power has anything to do with it, but I can't find any evidence to back up your claims.

Comment Re:Experts know more than non-experts (Score 3, Informative) 112 112

That's missing the point. Identifying 1 or 2 differences in approach between experts and non-experts shows 1 or 2 things you can tell the non-experts to do to greatly improve security overall.

In this case, the take away action would seem to be to make sure you keep all the software updated.

The other take away is to figure out why the non-experts don't use the expert approach already. Are the password managers poorly advertised or otherwise unwieldy? For instance I know a lot of sites have login windows that the Firefox password manager doesn't recognize.

Comment Re:I'm laughing (Score 1) 159 159

Honestly this is a case where I've learned to reason heuristically. I've seen many studies of this nature, I don't know what the specific flaws in the study might be (though I can think of many potential ones) and I would be very shocked if in a few years this led to a clinically validated form of something that's recognizable as acupuncture.

Skepticism involves being skeptical about your own deductive abilities, this study shifts my beliefs slightly, but overall I realize I'm not qualified to accept this study as proper evidence.

Comment Re:I'm laughing (Score 1) 159 159

So, the demand is show proof or go home. Proof shown and people fall all over themselves to ignore it. Still wonder why nobody bothers to look for proof?

This isn't even the first evidence found.

It's not proof.

a) The electric current was critical and is not part of typical or historical acupuncture.

b) They showed one effect related to a point, acupuncture claims many more.

c) 42 rats in 4 groups. Not a huge sample size.

d) Acupuncture is a controversial subject where one might expect dubious research to occasionally be published.

At most this offers very mild evidence that is consistent with acupuncture being effective. Note this study is at odds with studies that find the points don't really matter.

Comment Re:COMAPRISON REQUIRED (Score 1) 64 64

"Critical Outcomes in Nonrobotic vs Robotic-Assisted Cardiac Surgery"
http://www.ctsnet.org/jans/cri...

"Robotic surgery was more expensive ($39,030 vs $36,340) but was associated with a shorter length of stay (5 vs 6 days), lower mortality (1.0% vs 1.9%), and lower overall complication rates (27.2% vs 30.3%)."

When I needed to have a mitral valve repaired, I was told I was a good candidate for robotic surgery because I was relatively young and in good health otherwise. I went in Tuesday morning and left the hospital Friday afternoon, and instead of a twelve-inch scar down the middle of my chest, I have a 3.5-inch scar on my right side surrounded by three puncture wound scars (for the robotic arms). I'm glad I had the option.

That said, I'm concerned that some hospitals, having made a big investment in a surgical robot, might be tempted to get additional use out of it by adding on other procedures where the cost/benefit analysis isn't so clear.

If you were a good candidate because you were young & healthy that suggests there are higher risks associated with the robotic surgery but they were small enough they figured it was worth the convenience in your case. Of the paper you linked all I saw was the summary so it wasn't clear to me it corrected for doctors being potentially more risk-adverse with robotic surgery.

If you have to ask how much it is, you can't afford it.

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