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Comment This will be short lived (Score 1) 120

While Democrats and Republicans abuse 501C3 laws to obfuscate political contributions it's patently true that Republicans do to great excess. Evidently it's simply embarrassing to own a coal mine and fund people who deny climate change. One might quibble about degrees here but that's my impression.

Thus the push back on the IRS when they called BS on this and discovered they were going after more repupublican than democratic orgs. A political no no even if pure logic dictates thats the distribution of abuse.

Here the same thing is going to happen. Even the maldovian spam artists discovered there was no profit in fake news about hilary but tonnes of gullible people on the trump side of things willing to click.

money talks. The experiment has been done. Sorry if the results embarrass your politics.

Comment No it means more and less than that (Score 4, Informative) 90

Well not exactly.
The discovery of an antibody that targets a non-variable site is important in several ways. I'm not sure how good a therapeutic drug it will make. Antibodies are huge and hard to make so depending on the dose required it could be prohibitive to inject enough of the stuff in an active form to do any good. Massive proteins often are lousy drugs. THat's not to say that antibodies can't be used as drugs. There's a lot that are on the market now, for example Humira. But that's going after receptors in the host not viruses so it's a different regime.

But what is good about this is three things. You learn where you can bind on the virus, you learn the binding mode of the contact points, and finally you learn that that binding mode is protective across most HIV. It's not uncommon to have something that binds HIV well but fails to be protective. Given this structural knowledge one can now try to design either small molecules or other smaller proteins than an anti-body that bind in a similar manner and target either the same binding site or the same origins of protection.

Comment how does this wrok (Score 3) 52

I've actually seen these devices in action a decade ago (at Darpa Tech) and it's stunning. but I never understood how they worked. Yes I understand the hologram part of this. The two things I don't understand are
1) I would think that the pitch of the spatial light modulator elements has to be much finer than the wavelength of light. Yet the surface on which these operate are enormous which would mean length/pitch would be an insane number of controllable pixels.

2) The ones I saw were black and white. Not black and green or black and red. So how are they getting the "white" part if this. lasers are monochormatic. There are white light holograms but if I recall correctly these usually give up one axis of holographic dispersion to make the other axis multi-color. and even then they usually are haloed with fringing rainbows (like the Visa card Dove).

So how do they pull off these two tricks?

Comment Net Neutrality, monopoly, and trump (Score 1) 117

I'd say it's possible it could go to either way. People enmeshed in any situation often become cynical about it's shortcomings and have positive ideas how they'd reform it if only they had the power to do so. Trump and warren buffet both know, and have said so eliptically, that they get away with a lot on tax returns at the same but wanting to close those rules for everyone inclduding themselves.

As for the AT&T merger this is just one beachhead in a protracted battle of media concentration. What I'm more concerned about it net neutrality. 50 years from now that's most likely the most shaping change we could make right now. Even depressions or wars don't last 50 years, but things like freedom of the press do.

The problem with the merger here is not the size of the corproation but whether it has the power to favor it's content over other creators. Short of that, it's entirely possible for competition to degrade the content arm while innovative technologies (someone will event something akin to wimax over lighting fixtures and powerlines that eclipses the current internet in 20 years) can degrade the delivery system monoploy. But if net neutrality isn't in place there's no battlefield for that competition to occur.

This is the one issue all slashdotters, aside from the ellisons or schmidts, shold be wary about of in a trump admiistration.

The reason to worry is that if you read the Wall street Journal then you know the shifting arguments in the net neutrality case have moved to the idea that it's a bussiness innovation to allow the markets to decide on public commons resource allocations. It's an argument that is easier to make to someone like trump for example. He can easily spot a monoploy forming and be against it but can he really say what ferwer bussiness regulations would do? No he'd be in favor of finding out as that is what has made him rich. opportunities over monopilies. So he'll oppose net neutrality in favor of reduced regulation.

Comment The reasons for the electoral college. (Score 4, Interesting) 1081

if two people get a large number of votes, having a few more or less doesn't change how qualified they are to be president. But if those votes came from more regions of the country, specifically from more states, then the one winning a large fraction of the popular vote and the larger fraction of states is the best choice.

If you disagree with that then you would be better served abolishing the senate than worrying about the electoral college as the Senate is all about regional voting not population representation.

Until the senate is gone, the president has to work with both the house and the senate so we need a president with a mandate in both houses for his/her agendas. The electoral colleges strikes that compromise.

Another rational for it, is that it renornalizes the weight of the state away from turn-out to the actual population. If there's a hurricane or a snowfall in some state then the turn out is depressed. But the actual vote is still a representative sample of that state. Thus renormalizing the weight of that vote to the population of the state not the turn out makes sense. Ergo the Electoral college makes sense.

One could tweak it. I dont' like the winner take all method of most state. I'd prefer a proportionality of delegates by the states vote plus a modest bonus for the overall winner in the state.

We don't need actual living breathing delegates I believe. The states can just submit their results. In the event of a tie we could send state reps on short notice.

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"I say we take off; nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure." - Corporal Hicks, in "Aliens"