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Comment: Re:No clue? (Score 4, Informative) 237

by sFurbo (#48477621) Attached to: Google Should Be Broken Up, Say European MPs
While I haven't been following European politics lately, I would think that this is part of the power struggle between the European Parliament (elected directly by the European voters) and the commission (members are selected by the governments of the member states, though I think the parliament have to approve the final result). Traditionally, the parliament have had very little power, and has been getting more power (primarily at the expense of the commission) a little at a time. This kind of votes are usually held to highlight who has what power in the hopes that it will help them change it (so basically telling the people "See? If we had more power, we would do something about this issue.").

Comment: Re:Link to the study. (Score 1) 422

by sFurbo (#48184665) Attached to: Soda Pop Damages Your Cells' Telomeres
Without having delved into the study, those p-values are awfully close to the cutoff of 0.05 (or, alternatively put, the CI nearly encompasses 0). Given how hard it is to control for external factors in epidemiological studies, I would put this in the "probably nothing" category, especially since the effects of two sugar categories have opposite signs.

Comment: Re:symbols, caps, numbers (Score 1) 549

by sFurbo (#48139675) Attached to: Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct
> but overall sentences yield an extremely random password - moreso than "Correct Horse Battery Staple", it's much shorter, and it's easier to memorize. So you are saying that first remembering the sentence and then remembering how I abbreviated it is easier than only remembering the sentence?

Comment: Re:What 20 years of research on pot has taught us (Score 1) 263

by sFurbo (#48109713) Attached to: Carl Sagan, as "Mr. X," Extolled Benefits of Marijuana

[Cannabis] is hypocritical that some far worse drugs have social acceptance such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol[...]

I will give you alcohol (because of we have to consume to get an effect, and that is really unhealthy) and nicotine (because of the delivery mechanism. Cannabis typically has the same delivery mechanism, but you would typically smoke less material per day, so it is not as bad), but caffeine? Really?

The graph you link to can only be used to asses the risk of immediately dropping dead as a consequence of taking the drug. As this is not the main risk for any of the three drugs you mention, it is, at best, irrelevant.

Comment: Re:I seem to remember... (Score 2) 275

by sFurbo (#47745903) Attached to: Dropbox Caught Between Warring Giants Amazon and Google
The barriers for entry into the online storage market are low to the point of being non-existent. It is much less of a problem in this area than with e.g. OSes or oil production. And we are, presumably, not ending up with one player, but two: Amazon and Google, which should also limit foul play (but not eliminate it).

Comment: Re: Women should earn more than men. (Score 1) 98

The assumption behind sexist things is that women are somehow lesser. This means that a man with attributes (e.g. what you said) which are seen as "traditionally female" is assumed to be a "lesser man" because he's more like a woman. And people don't like helping a lesser man because why bother, right?

You don't need a hierarchy to explain the difference, stereotypes will do. Men are not expected to need help, so we don't help them.

If it was a hierarchy, we would expect either "manly" women (better women) or "womanly" men (lesser men) to be preferred, which is not what we observe: Both genders are expected to conform to the stereotype, and are punished for not doing so.

Comment: Re:That's not what van der Waals is! (Score 1) 74

by sFurbo (#47668949) Attached to: Why Hasn't This Asteroid Disintegrated?
Aren't vdW interactions any non-ionic, non-covalent interactions, including dipole-dipole (though I wouldn't include hydrogen bonding, as they are partly covalent)? With London forces, that falls off with r^-6 being an example of vdW interactions?'

Of course, that still makes the summary wrong, but differently wrong.

Comment: Re:What a silly title ... (Score 1) 115

by sFurbo (#47529003) Attached to: 'Optical Fiber' Made Out of Thin Air

nice straw-man you built there

It's not a straw man, as I did not indicate that you meant that gold was not a metal. It is an analogy, and possibly a bad analogy, like your platypus-duck one.

they should have said something like "optical fiber effect replicated in thin air" ...

If only there was some way to indicate that a phrase wasn't used literally, they could have used that in the title, and then people wouldn't be think they had made air solid and made a fiber out of it.

Comment: Re:Advanced? (Score 1) 95

by sFurbo (#47521213) Attached to: Finding Life In Space By Looking For Extraterrestrial Pollution
"Science" is the collective name for the methods for acquiring knowledge that has, over the last couple of thousand years, been shown to yield self-consistent results that are confirmable by other ways to get the same information. There might be other methods we haven't thought of yet (and realistically, "science" in a thousand years will include more methods than it does today), but for now, the methods collectively known as "science" are the ones we know work.

That is why the assumption that a method outside of science is not helpful in acquiring knowledge is reasonable.

They laughed at Einstein. They laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown. -- Carl Sagan