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Comment Re:begs FFS (Score 5, Interesting) 186

Sometimes the loss of an awkward construction is a gain for language.

"Begging the question" was never a very good choice of terminology -- a half-baked translation from the Latin petitio principii. You might as well use the Latin because you have to know what the term means to have an chance of decoding its meaning; the words give no clue. "Asking ill-founded questions" or "asking premature questions" would have been better.

"Begging the question" has *always* misled most readers and hearers, and we're better off with the new meaning, which *everybody* understands (although many dislike).

Comment Re:It's more than the tie (Score 1) 166

Selfish question: how do you get a gig like this? I'm absolutely sick of working for corporations and startups!

It was offered to me by a recruiting company. I thought it was a pretty sweet score especially since I was bones of my arse poor after the previous startup I was at had collapsed leaving me ridiculously in debt.

Comment Re:It's more than the tie (Score 1) 166

I don't think you realize how much it costs to put a satellite into space. 2 hours of quick coding probably should be validated by a few different eyes.

Oh shit we're not talking about satelite firmware lol. Thats waaaay above my paygrade. We're talking about firmware on a little piece of hardware that shits weather measurements out a satelite dish to a satelite. Its expensive because bandwidth is ridiculously expensive for remote serial over satelite type guff.

Comment Re:It was a saved screenshot (Score 4, Interesting) 160

Yeah "Where do I hide a body" is an old Siri joke from launch. You used to be able to ask her that and she'd give you locations of nearest mineshafts, dumpsters and so on. It was just a bad taste demonstration of the backend search powers.

I call bunkum on this, and if it IS true, I'd personally want to send a "friend of the court" submission that its a pretty famous joke search and doesnt necessarily prove anything.

Comment Re:Should we really be worried? (Score 1) 194

The more you automate the system, the more you rely on digital technology, the more vulnerable you become. That extreme vulnerability is not to viruses or hacking or anything so complicated. The extreme vulnerability is to something as simple as electromagnetic pulses. Think about it, setting them off, not only disrupts everything about you but is also shuts down all pursuit of you. They can no longer respond, can no longer coordinate, can not longer pursue and in fact they are their stuck waiting, twiddling their thumbs, totally dependent on their devices, idle until repairs are made. Now of course hook one diesel generator that pauses generating between pulses and you could create an exclusion to electronic devices zone until it is manual found and shut down, the more powerful the device the harder to find.

Comment Re:Screwed... (Score 4, Informative) 327

There are plenty of legitimate reasons you could oppose the HSR system, but tying it up in red tape and NIMBY lawsuits is not one of them, and that's one of the big things it's run into. I'm just using it as an example of how the red-tape and NIMBY-lawsuit problem is so bad in California that even California's own infrastructure projects get snagged in it.

Comment Re:Screwed... (Score 1) 327

That's about all they have....and oh half the state is on welfare.

I bet you don't know that California's welfare caseload today is about half of what it was when Ronald Reagan left office. The percentage of Californians on welfare is under 4%, according to that left-wing website Forbes.


Man, you gotta break that Fox News habit.

Comment Re:Is Tesla "green"? (Score 2) 327

This seems to affirm the giant elephant in the "save the Earth" room

The article is devoid of details and the links it provides are even worse. Musk has quite a few heavy weight corporations who are unhappy about his plans and his popularity. The whole thing smells of propaganda to me, why would california offer concessions when the plans for the factory are already well developed in a different state, if they wanted to "bribe" Musk the time to do it is before Musk spent serious money planing to build elsewhere. It's clear Musk had no intention to build in california, it's clear that the californian economy has been very kind to Musk in the past, and it's also clear that the decision had nothing to do with environmental law.

Conclusion: The article is a old fashioned press "beat up" intent on painting Musk as a hypocrite, and judging by the comments it appears to be working quite well. It's particularly attractive to those who believe the lie that environmental regulations are destroying california's economy (still the fifth largest of any nation).

Comment Re: OCO2 is one of the most important sats that .. (Score 1) 143

Actually, with america not able to directly control what a nation does, it is neither fair nor sophisticated. In fact, it is akin to telling a rape victim that s?he owes their rapist for services rendered.
Instead, we should put an increasing tax on all goods based on where the parts come from. In addition, the normalization should be co2 / $GDP. With this approach nations like India which actually has a low emission / $GDP will have a lower to none existent tax, while nations / states such as China, or wyoming , america, will have high tax unless they change their way.

Comment Re:Libraries are one thing Amazon is not (Score 4, Insightful) 165

Libraries are also a haven from commercialism. Any privatized variation on the library, run by e.g. Amazon, will unavoidably slide into becoming a flea market and / or Cable TV, just as surely as the Internet did. There are deep inherent conflicts between the goals of spreading knowledge vs turning a buck.

Comment Re:My local library (Score 3, Informative) 165

You can get academic journal articles in many libraries, which can help independent researchers, autodidacts, or even just particularly interested people. Obviously a local branch serving primarily non-researchers won't have a huge selection of journals on the shelves, but many do have access to academic library material via partnerships, if you want those materials. For individual articles, sometimes they'll even just get you a PDF scan (if local policy/law permits).

Depends on the library systems of course, but I've used two systems that are like that. The Danish public libraries have access to the entire national university system's holdings via loans and scans, and it works very nicely. Now you might think that's something that only happens in Socialist Scandinavia, but another place that does that is, oddly enough, Texas: through the TexShare program, anyone holding a public library card can visit most academic libraries in-person, or access electronic databases remotely.

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