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Comment: The Double Standard keeps growing (Score 1) 234

As you said, this is clearly a double standard. I believe your use of "sued" is incorrect, because there was no stop of a civil trial just criminal. It's not an easy thing to change when corruption is this deep in the legal system, but people need to get out and start protesting and getting people on ballots to oust the cronies.

I wish I could say this was just a training issue, but clearly this goes well beyond a training issue. The DA just let all cops know that if they drive distracted "too bad" even if it costs a completely innocent person their life.

Comment: Re:That's nice, but... (Score 4, Insightful) 393

by s.petry (#47793715) Attached to: Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Dunno, the Russian FSB has actually wrung Windows code reviews out of Microsoft so if they didn't find any back door in that code I'd say there are none to find..

A viable alternative is that they found and use the same back doors available to the NSA. It's speculation either way, because there are no independent reviews of Microsoft's source code and shipped binaries. The released binaries may not even match the source they provided for review.

Comment: Re:Congressional Pharmaceutical Complex (Score 1) 204

by s.petry (#47793711) Attached to: States Allowing Medical Marijuana Have Fewer Painkiller Deaths
I didn't say it was bad to have some statistics, I said it was bad to have this study focus on one statistic. You know as well as I do that if the numbers are off, people against legalization will jump all over the study just to wreak havoc on the legalization. Illegal marijuana was (and in many places still is) a huge revenue source for both the criminal side and the law enforcement side (and yes, we would probably agree that the line between those two elements is crossed very often).

Comment: Re:It probably can. (Score 1) 267

by s.petry (#47792843) Attached to: Hidden Obstacles For Google's Self-Driving Cars

So they just drove over the same "few thousand miles of roadway" again and again and again and again? Until they got to 700,000 miles?

I think you meant this as sarcasm, but that one is mostly correct. These cars are not doing cross country trips, so claiming a few thousand miles of roadway is probably an overestimate. They drive the same roads and areas over and over and over again.

As it should. Because you don't know if that piece of paper is covering a rock or a pothole or whatever.

I have been tempted to carry a bucket of chaff and just see how well a Google car handles it, but then again rain and snow are problems so the experiment is really not needed.

The point here is that a human can notice things that a current auto driving car can not. Not all humans pay attention, but for the percentage that do you can tell when a paper bag is blowing around on the freeway. Human reaction to those things is generally measured and controlled much better than a google car. In time, I am sure it will get better but you need to discuss what is there today, not what we wish it had and are working for.

So they cannot deal with new stop LIGHTS but they can deal with new stop SIGNS. WTF?

I'm not sure how much you drive around California, but if you ever do you will see why this one is an issue. Many traffic lights in Mountain view for example are angled downward, so you have to be at a certain distance to see the color. There is one by Shoreline and Central that you can't see until you are about 40-50 feet away (for those interested, east bound traffic at the fire station).

Compare that issue with scanning for a red octagon pattern, and is should become obvious why stop signs are much easier to do. Traffic lights would be easy if they broadcast a signal, but they don't.

Overall, I'm not against self driving cars as long as we can choose between modes of operation. I think we are a long way off in terms of technology to make them safe in all environments, that does not imply even decades. I am mostly concerned with the health impact of all those radars and sensors broadcasting everywhere, but that's mostly due to my own ignorance (I have not taken any time to study since they are extremely rare).

Comment: Re:Congressional Pharmaceutical Complex (Score 1) 204

by s.petry (#47792695) Attached to: States Allowing Medical Marijuana Have Fewer Painkiller Deaths

I won't argue that the war on drugs is a huge failure, but that's a different argument in my opinion. The primary argument here is whether or not marijuana legalization has reduced deaths from prescriptions.

Given legalization is extremely new, the conclusion of the article and study is grossly premature. Making matters worse in my opinion, is that the study only looks at a single element of drugs, and not the complete impact.

As with my opening paragraph, I'm not pro drug war or anti marijuana. I simply think that these types of studies would be better to include other impacts, because in 3 years the stats may show something completely different. Studies should include things like crime reduction and savings to law enforcement due to crime reduction, local economy impact (Dorito sales!!), overall health of patients receiving and using medical marijuana, etc...

The war on drugs is a failure for many reasons, and single impact studies won't flesh all of those out.

Comment: Agreed (Score 1) 101

Maybe, but I don't think that any real discussion could be had about our megacity future based on this type of video game. Notice there is no food growing anywhere, very little greenery (think pollution), every inch of terrain was flattened, there was no water, etc..

Don't get me wrong, I think SimCity is a cool game. I don't think it's simulation software, and therein lies the big issue.

Comment: Re:More useless statistics... (Score 1) 212

by s.petry (#47781119) Attached to: Canada Tops List of Most Science-Literate Countries

What is more hilarious is your ignorance regarding education required for a job(feigned or otherwise). If you have a mechanical engineering degree, you are not going to go out and be a plumber (at least legally in most places). Plumbing requires trade school and certification, not a mechanical engineering degree. As with college, that requires money and time to achieve.

After you get your apprentice certification, you will work on your Journeyman certification, then you will be working toward master certification. None of this will be applied to a PHD.

The hype about STEM is mostly just hype. Society can not function if everyone is a brain surgeon, ever. You need plumbers, welders, mechanics, farmers, textile industry, etc.. etc... and the education for those types of jobs is very different from that of a nuclear physicist.

Comment: Re: It's OK to attack mythology and superstition.. (Score 1) 259

You forget that aliens are often branded as "science" (minus the fiction of course). Watch a few Discovery and National Graphic TV shows, and remember that those are supposed to be our "educational programming" networks.

Prefixing an argument with "Scientists believe that" is an easy way to dupe people that want to believe they are more intelligent than those other people. That particular appeal to authority is used quite often with good effect.

Comment: Re:It's OK to attack mythology and superstition... (Score 1) 259

The ignorant just keep re-inventing things, convincing themselves that it really works (this time).

You are attacking the wrong target. The intelligent people repackage these and create new rhetoric to convince the ignorant that they work. Normally they can become pretty wealthy before they are told to stop, which only happens after enough of the ignorant petition grievances.

Comment: Re:More useless statistics... (Score 1) 212

by s.petry (#47780657) Attached to: Canada Tops List of Most Science-Literate Countries

I don't judge Canada poorly by people from Windsor, those were the people I referred to as mostly like Americans. IMHO the worst part of Canada is in French Quebec, and not because of guns or violence but because the people there hate anyone that's not a French speaker from Quebec (and have no problem spitting on people and telling them to get the fuck out of Quebec).

My family is mostly blue collar workers from Detroit, and most people in Windsor are similar blue collar types.

Comment: More useless statistics... (Score 1) 212

by s.petry (#47780327) Attached to: Canada Tops List of Most Science-Literate Countries

No offense intended to any Canadians, I spent a good amount of time in Windsor when I lived in Michigan and long time family friends are from Windsor. Better beer than the US, and not much different than folks in the US (minus the "aboot time" and "eh", but we have people in the US with their own quirks).

The study is by the Council of Canadian Academies. An immediate question of bias should pop into your head with that little fact. There was exactly one person on the council not from Canada, who happened to be from London.

Where did Canada really rank #1 (p19)? 93% said they were interested in scientific discoveries and technological developments. Big whoop to that, I know lots of people believe "The Big Bang Theory" is where they should learn science. Interest levels help for sure, but if there is no market for scientists then they will have Big Bang for entertainment and learn jobs that are actually available. This brings us to their other number one.

#1 with tertiary education. Considering that they rank 22nd with the percentage of population working in science and technology, most of that tertiary education is _NOT_ in science or technology.

There are some very questionable measures overall, but we can skip those for now. I think the most telling is that the numbers they are comparing are to other countries from 2005 answers to similar questions. Discussing GMO today compared to 9 years ago is going to provide drastically different results in all countries (one example of a bad statistic). If you are doing a study and claiming you are now smarter than someone, at least test them at their current level too.

Prototype designs always work. -- Don Vonada