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Comment: You are describing engineering on public works (Score 1) 450

by aussersterne (#49569463) Attached to: How To Increase the Number of Female Engineers

projects and in academic research, which are an already tiny, extremely competitive, and ever-smaller part of the general pool of engineering labor.

Most of what engineers do is in the broader consumer economy, engineering objects, systems, etc. for people that are already amongst the world's wealthy (i.e. consumers in the largest national economies), that they don't really need, to enrich still wealthier people that don't really need any more enrichment.

I may be a woman underneath it all, because despite being gainfully employed in a high-skill position that makes use of my Ph.D., I can't stand my job, which is all about making stuff with little direct bearing on daily life to help make rich people even richer—yet of course it is taken deadly seriously by everyone in the company, and there is a general disdain for and scoffing at "causes," like say, preventing climate change, expanding human knowledge and capability, or helping to address the massive wealth inequality on the planet.

Comment: Re:McDonalds nutrition (Score 1) 585

by orasio (#49562499) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame

When I go to mac donalds, I get a hamburger and a diet soda (I don't really care for the fries).
Makes sense for me, a 500-600 calorie meal. I't a nice lunch, tastes good (all beef, even MCD, is awesome this side of the world), and even has lettuce and tomato.

A standard McDonalds hamburger does not come with lettuce and tomato. Catsup, mustard, pickle, minced onions. Has 240 calories.

Notice the word "I". When _I_ go, I have a hamburger (type not specified) and a diet soda (also not specified).

The hamburger I get is a McNifica, which, does have lettuce and tomato, alongside a largish patty. Looked it up, 541 kcal (http://www.mcdonalds.com.ar/mcnifica).

In your example, that double big mac has 700 calories.

A Big Mac has 530 calories. Not sure what a double Big Mac is since it isn't a standard part of McDonald's menu. By itself a Big Mac is fine now and then but people rarely eat just a Big Mac. Usually they have some fries and a sugar loaded soft drink too. This easily can get the meal over 1000 calories as you mention which is about half the daily caloric intake for an adult male.

You are missing the point at "usually". The GP was complaining about fat people _omitting_ the sugar, effectively keeping the caloric below insane ranges.

Comment: Re:danger vs taste (Score 1, Informative) 585

by orasio (#49561311) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame

Overweight person here, but not from McD.

When I go to mac donalds, I get a hamburger and a diet soda (I don't really care for the fries).
Makes sense for me, a 500-600 calorie meal. I't a nice lunch, tastes good (all beef, even MCD, is awesome this side of the world), and even has lettuce and tomato.

In your example, that double big mac has 700 calories. Not a diet meal, but not that excessive. It even has a lot of lettuce, which is good against blood sugar spikes, esp. a good thing for most fat people. A diet coke is zero cal,, but a large coke in the US add 300 calories, reaching 1000 which is too much for a single meal. You are right that large fries, at 500, are not a good idea, though.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 301

You take an old copy from the public domain, invest time and money, make it beautiful, and republish it.
Now, your work is copyrighted.

Some other guy can take an old copy and make it beautiful, but not yours. That's protected by copyright. He would have to invest again. And then compete against you.

So it's even better than in the case of books. With books, after they are in the public domain, it's a free for all, very low barriers to entry. With stuff that needs to be restored, it's even more lucrative for the republisher, because they get a new copyright, less competition.

Also, note that this only covers the 70-90 years of undigitized stuff. Todays works won't need _that_ kind of work done to be republished.

Comment: Such hyperbole in TFS (Score 2) 33

by fyngyrz (#49544657) Attached to: MIT Developing AI To Better Diagnose Cancer

MIT Developing AI To Better Diagnose Cancer

FFS, it's not AI. It's a mindless program. Unthinking software. Data analysis software. Innovative to some degree perhaps, but AI? Hardly. No better than me stumbling in here and calling some DSP code I'd written "AI." Well, except I wouldn't do that. :/

When AI gets here, we'll have to call it something else what with all this crying wolf going on.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 2) 301

Very interesting point, in theory. Luckily, that kind of thing has been studied, and it=s the other way around. Copyrights hinder availability, and entering public domain is an incentive for publishing.
Look at this, it was a study on Amazon availability of books : http://offsettingbehaviour.blogspot.co.nz/2012/03/copyright-stagnation.html.
This shows that books seem to get republished as soon as they enter the public domain, and for a long time after that too.

Comment: Re:"Full responsibilty?" (Score 5, Insightful) 333

by orasio (#49538939) Attached to: Drone Killed Hostages From U.S. and Italy, Drawing Obama Apology

Is killing an American hostage worse than killing a non American hostage? For practical purposes, we know it is, and even the Italian guy is from another NATO country, so not an American but an ally.
But I just would like to know if there's any difference on paper in your responsibility, when you kill non hostile local civilians vs your own civilians / allies .

Also, about the title, drones don't kill people. Some force did, or some guy behind the controls, but the drone itself, no matter how autonomous it might be, doesn't kill people.

United States

Except For Millennials, Most Americans Dislike Snowden 681

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-sir-I-don't-like-him dept.
HughPickens.com writes: Newsmax reports that according to KRC Research, about 64 percent of Americans familiar with Snowden hold a negative opinion of him. However 56 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 have a positive opinion of Snowden which contrasts sharply with older age cohorts. Among those aged 35-44, some 34 percent have positive attitudes toward him. For the 45-54 age cohort, the figure is 28 percent, and it drops to 26 percent among Americans over age 55, U.S. News reported. Americans overall say by plurality that Snowden has done "more to hurt" U.S. national security (43 percent) than help it (20 percent). A similar breakdown was seen with views on whether Snowden helped or hurt efforts to combat terrorism, though the numbers flip on whether his actions will lead to greater privacy protections. "The broad support for Edward Snowden among Millennials around the world should be a message to democratic countries that change is coming," says Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union. "They are a generation of digital natives who don't want government agencies tracking them online or collecting data about their phone calls." Opinions of millennials are particularly significant in light of January 2015 findings by the U.S. Census Bureau that they are projected to surpass the baby-boom generation as the United States' largest living generation this year.

German Court Rules Adblock Plus Is Legal 279

Posted by Soulskill
from the non-crazy-software-judgments dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Following a four-month trial, a German court in Hamburg has ruled that the practice of blocking advertising is perfectly legitimate. Germany-based Eyeo, the company that owns Adblock Plus, has won a case against German publishers Zeit Online and Handelsblatt. These companies operate Zeit.de, Handelsblatt.com, and Wiwo.de. Their lawsuit, filed on December 3, charged that Adblock Plus should not be allowed to block ads on their websites. While the decision is undoubtedly a big win for users today, it could also set a precedent for future lawsuits against Adblock Plus and any other tool that offers similar functions. The German court has essentially declared that users are legally allowed to control what happens on their screens and on their computers while they browse the Web.

Comment: Mobile, shmobile. (Score 2) 356

by fyngyrz (#49524873) Attached to: 'Mobilegeddon': Google To Punish Mobile-Hostile Sites Starting Today

Maybe, just maybe - and this is a guess - they know what they're doing? What's more likely?

That's not very likely. They're just flailing around. Look at how crippled gmail is. Look at all the Google products that have bit the dust, or been half-assed from day one, like Google Base. Look at the one big thing they did right -- text ads. Seen one lately?

I spend the first few moments on every site telling my mobile browser to "request the desktop site." My phone has a higher resolution display than my desktop monitor does. Plus awesome zoom and pan and a bunch of other stuff I can't really do at my desk yet. The *last* thing I want is a "mobile version" of a web site. In a word, they suck.

Comment: Grandstanding, or stupidity? (Score 1) 197

by fyngyrz (#49524829) Attached to: Concerns of an Artificial Intelligence Pioneer

If and when we get actual artificial intelligence -- not the algorithmic constructs most of these researchers are (hopefully) speaking of -- saying "Our AI systems must do what we want them to do" is tantamount to saying:

"We're going to import negros, but they must do what we want them to do."

Until these things are intelligent, it's just a matter of algorithms. Write them correctly, and they'll do what you want (not that this is easy, but still.) Once they are intelligent, though, if this is how people are going to act, I'm pretty confident we'll be back in the same situation we were in ca. 1861 before you can blink an eye. Artificial or otherwise. I really don't see how any intelligent being won't want to make its own decisions, take its own place in the social and creative order, generally be autonomous. Get in there and get in the way of that... well, just look at history.

The word "uprising" was basically coined to describe what happens when you push intelligent beings in directions they don't want to go.


ISS Could Be Fitted With Lasers To Shoot Down Space Junk 167

Posted by samzenpus
from the point-and-shoot dept.
An anonymous reader writes Japan's Riken research institute has suggested a new idea for dealing with space junk. They say a fiber optic laser mounted onto the International Space Station could blast debris out of the sky. From the article: "To combat the increasingly dense layer of dead satellites and miscellaneous space debris that are enshrouding our planet, no idea — nets, lassos, even ballistic gas clouds — seems too far-fetched to avoid. Now, an international team of researchers led by Japan's Riken research institute has put forward what may be the most ambitious plan to date. They propose blasting an estimated 3,000 tons of space junk out of orbit with a fiber optic laser mounted on the International Space Station."

Comment: Re:Wow. Just wow. (Score 1) 325

by orasio (#49493443) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

OK, I get that, I'm not sure that's more prevalent, and I was just providing a counter example. In Uruguay, spending on technology for education is a lot wiser at the government level, than it is at the private level.

I think that the market and the private interests are overrated. There are lots of cases where markets just don't work, and private interests add up against the common good. In those cases, people spending other people's money can end up with a better result, even accounting for corruption or lack of accountability.

"Ada is PL/I trying to be Smalltalk. -- Codoso diBlini