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Comment Hiding it lets it recur under new names. (Score 3, Insightful) 279

Nazi propaganda must be beaten, not hidden. The best way to discredit an idiot is to hand him a microphone and let him speak.

Further, hiding it makes it impossible for later generations to recognize the very seductive ideas when they reappear, later, without the "NAZI" label on them.

It's a classic example of the adage about being doomed to repeat history if you fail to learn from it. How can you learn from it if it's censored away?

Comment I must take issue with you on some of that. (Score 1) 747

The people who are the best in technical fields tend to have well developed social intelligence as well as being technically brilliant. These aren't either-or abilities. The lack of social or emotional skills is a cognitive deficit.

As one who moved to Silicon Valley (which looks to me like one big Aspergers ward B-J ) and socializes with many of the founders of the compter industry, I can tell you that there are a lot of unquestionably "technically brilliant" and wildly successful people who would be textbook examples of Aspergers' "sufferers".

My own opinion is somewhat between yours and that of the previous poster: I suspect Aspergers' people primarily do well with computers because it's a field where the "missing social skills" are not an impediment to success.

The various levels of social-skill blindness, and the resulting stronger focus on the functionality that IS present, may also help more with the programming somewhat (if only by reducing distriction from anthropomorphizing the machines), or it may simply be irrelevant. I suspect it helps some - more than lack of communication with the Pointy Haired Bosses hurts - but that any such effect pales before the "something interesting I can do" effect.

Yes, social skills can help in teamwork, organizing and finding financing for companies, and in finding problems that technology can solve and earn a profit doing so. (Example: Social media.) On the other hand, building technological prosthetics to help replace the missing functionality can also help lead to success. (Example again: Social media.)

Comment Booster doses (Score 1) 747

[reference to graph with post-vaccination bumps in Measles incidences and a recommendation for a second, booster, dose at the start of the third bump.]

Maybe this is just the half-time of the shots, and it's time to refresh? I.e. "2014, third dose recommended"

I suspect the second-dose recommendation was driven by the detection of substantial numbers of Measles cases among those vaccinated a few years previously, indicating that the immunity from one dose wore down after a few years.

I also suspect that we'll get a third-dose recommendation iff a similar number of cases is detected among those who had two dosesk (of non-defectivek vaccine, properly spaced).

The proper signal comes, not from the overall infection rate, but from the infection rate among those already vaccinated.

Comment How's that mass transit working out for you? (Score 1) 747

From an LA Times story:

Earlier this week, fears emerged that thousands of people might have been exposed to measles when a sick UC Berkeley student traveled on the Bay Area Rapid Transit system.

And from the story it referenced:

In yet another sign of the perils and irresponsibility of the anti-vaccination movement, thousands of riders of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system are being warned that they may have been exposed to measles -- a disease that was declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000 but has since returned.The latest threat comes from an unnamed and unvaccinated UC Berkeley student who apparently contracted the disease while traveling in the Philippines during an outbreak there. Public health officials in Contra Costa County say people who rode BART during the morning or evening rush hours from Feb. 4 through Feb. 7 may have been exposed by the carrier, who is unidentified.

That could be hundreds of thousands of people.

(The estimate was later expanded to millions. Also, this "patient zero" infected four of his family members in addition to any he infected on the BART or elsewhere.)

There's more than fuel efficiency to consider when comparing mass transit vs. private automobile transportation.

Comment Consistent moderation? It's funny, laugh! (Score 0) 747

Slashdot moderators have absolutely no intellectual honesty.

Shashdot moderators have no CONSISTENCY. They are randomly selected and only get to moderate a small number of posts each.

Further, they each get to chose which postings they moderate. People with different idea systems and hot buttons will chose different postings.

To expect "intellectual honesty" in the moderators to be visible as some visible, rational, consistency among moderation of diverse items is to expect that the readership of Slashdot to be suffering from such extreme group-think that they all moderate identically (excetpt for their choices of what to moderate).

Comment Because if somebody breaks THOSE ... (Score 1) 143

Why don't we decide on a handful of strong PRNGs, and make every major OS use them exclusively,

Maybe because if somebody then breaks one or more of THOSE they have a zero-day exploit for EVERYTHING.

While we're at it. why don't we standardize on an operating system, and version, and stop all this diversity? After all, if a committee comes up with a pick how can any individual or team invent anything better?

Genetic engineering is getting to the point that we can soon modify our children so they all have the same immune system - the best one we can find in the wild or tweak up. Why don't we do that too? After all, you'd NEVER see a disease mutate so it's fatal to everyone with that flavor of immune system, would you? B-/ (You know, like the corn blight that was fatal to the cytoplasmic male-sterile corn that was virtually all that was grown in the US in the early '70s, and nearly wiped out the crop for a year or two?)

Of course the REAL reason is because it's a FREE MARKET. Companies who's management thinks they have a better design for a random number generator get to deploy their own choice, and the customers get to decide whether they want to trust their data and critical processes to that OS or switch to some alternative (either immediately or after they pick up the pieces from the LAST set of exploits...)

Comment Public statement by the original study author (Score 3, Informative) 747

The best way to handle this is for the original author of the paper that started this anti-vaccination mess, Andrew Wakefield, come out and give a public statement indicating that:

1. Apologize for the fact that his study was flawed, and explain why.

2. That no other study has established any material basis in any respect for a link between autism and vaccines or their components.

3. The original funding for this supposed research was made by lawyers who were attempting to find reason to litigate against vaccine manufacturers.

4. That many people will now die of diseases that were nearly eradicated a mere 15 years ago similar to smallpox a few years before it was eradicated.

Put that as a public service announcement on every major TV and radio channel, and online as well, as widely as possible. Show pictures of what happens when people don't vaccinate, particularly to children, the elderly and immune-compromised individuals (e.g. transplant saved his/her life, now they die). Have him make this appeal over and over again until people get this.

Even if we don't get to 100%, we owe it to everyone around us. The public health costs are staggering, and the stupidity is mind boggling.

Comment Re:Becuz (Score 1) 273

Of course, neither political party is anything like they were when Abe was around. In most issues they have swapped position.

Actually, in most places people have been propagandized to THINK they swapped position. But when you look at how they actually voted on various subjects (civil rights laws and Internet censorship, for two of a host of examples) or how the programs they produced actually worked out (The Great Society for just one in a host of examples), expect to find that the alleged swap is mostly smoke, mirrors, and very effective political propaganda.

Comment For reference, here's one of the current systems (Score 4, Informative) 38

If you're interested in the current state of the art, read this article from the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (April 2013). It describes the hardware and software used by the Pan-STARRS team to detect asteroids automatically in data taken with their 1.8-meter telescope on Hawaii and its 1.4-gigapixel CCD camera.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1302.7281

Comment Re:Startups Aren't Really Job-Creators In Practice (Score 4, Insightful) 303

Aggregating $19B in wealth in the hands of 50 people plus a handful of investors is indeed not the way to create jobs. It slows down the flow of money within the broader economy. I'm sure those $20M homes in Woodside and Los Altos Hills and Seacliff are worth every penny.

These megadeals also have the effect of creating a startup lottery environment where anyone can put together a ten page business plan and the "trend du jour" and try to make out like bandits. This is what led to the first dotcom crash and will also eventually lead to the second crash at some point. Anyone who makes an alternative to this content with having the user watch ads in the background every ten app starts will murder Whatsapp because $0 is cheaper than $1.

I think it's also important to note that Eric Schmidt wholeheartedly approves of this deal because I suspect he thinks it's to the ultimate detriment of Facebook, and a blessing \for Google in some ways. Much like unbridled immigration is to existing workers in this country for his business.

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