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Comment 2006 RAND study recommending fewer fighter pilots (Score 4, Interesting) 270

"Fighter Drawdown Dynamics: Effects on Aircrew Inventories" - a 2009 study from RAND, says "to maintain the health of fighter units, the number of new pilots entering them must be reduced, ultimately to below 200 per year by 2016." Fighter pilots are high-maintenance - they have to fly frequently to stay good. Having too many fighter pilots for the number of available aircraft results in a big pool of mediocre pilots.

The USAF seems to be having trouble balancing their personnel pipeline.

Comment Re:Too much bullshit from Canonical (Score 3, Informative) 267

Could you link to those announcements please?

There are lots of Canonical announcements about machines coming preloaded with Unbuntu. Not many shipments.

There are other tablet and phone Ubuntu announcements, which you can find with Google. Someone is taking "pre-orders" for a Ubuntu tablet for delivery in late 2013.

Despite all their press releases, Canonical seems unable to get any manufacturer to ship a preloaded Ubuntu machine in volume.

Comment Re:Fact. (Score 1) 84

Hm. Abine's DoNotTrackMe doesn't detect Janrain.

I have almost everything blocked, just to see what breaks. Blocking trackers doesn't seem to cause any problems with most sites. Blocking third-party cookies occasionally causes a problem, but not often. Blocking Flash storage of 3rd party data breaks CBS video, but not NBC, ABC, Fox, Youtube, or Hulu. (Until a few months ago, if you blocked all trackers, CBS video skipped the commercials. But they "fixed" that.)

Comment "Controversial" just means ... (Score 4, Insightful) 668

Once again, Barbara, this isn't a "controversial" opinion, it is a murderous one.

"Controversial" just means the media talking heads are talking about it. It's a propaganda tool that lets them discredit anything, sew doubt in the viewers'/listeners' minds, and divide and distract the population.

1) Pick an idea held by many people. (If that's because it's well-researched, produces prosperity and/or political stability, or otherwise sound, it's particularly suitable because it will be strongly held.)
2) Find some ideal held by a few that contradicts it. (If it's some unresearched or refuted-by-research tinfoil-hat idea, an attractive political ideology that leads to strife, etc. that's especially effectivce as well.)
3) Talk about them as if the first is in question and the second is just as well founded.
4) Because you're talking about them, label them both "controversial", thus lowering the credibility of the first and throwing the issue into doubt.
5) Confused viewers tune in to try to figure out which is right. Never tell them, so your raitings stay high.
6) Profit!

If this leads to children suffering from and dying of loathsome diseases, political strife, tyrannies, wars, economic collapse, and so on, laugh all the way to the bank and goto step 5).

People die because of this.

You betcha!

(And then they wonder why people are waking up, turning them off, and getting their news and analysis from the Internet.)

Comment Fact. (Score 3, Insightful) 84

Trying to block out google analytics using various add-ons has been an enlightening experience to say the least. The majority of websites out there have links to third party tracking sites, google analytics figuring highly among them. Trying to exist on the internet without revealing some aspect of one's identity, even for the most mundane thing -- a search for information, is becoming very difficult.

Even here on Slashdot, they've blocked Tor. Amusing -- they let anyone post "anonymously", and unless of course you actually try to post anonymously you might believe it. If a website that caters to those most likely to understand privacy on the internet can't get it right...

Comment Re:Old Testament Law versus federal law (Score 1) 309

... the Old Testament laws lacked a jury. And it overprescribes death. Any system of justice that can't admit it might be wrong isn't a system of justice at all. That's why I'm against the death penalty (and religious fundamentalism): It says "Death to ______ [insert group here]" without considering it might later turn out that those riding high on mob mentality might be mistaken, and now there's a lot of extra corpses.

Comment Re:hard to even parody (Score 2, Insightful) 668

Newspapers should take truth and accurate reporting seriously. They should have a science editor with a scientific background who can check the work of the reporters.

Sure, but who's going to pay for that? It's way cheaper to just print whatever's trending on Twitter. The public has clearly indicated that they don't really care.

Comment Re:Mining expedition... (Score 1) 112

Can you hover on an iPhone? I notice most Android email clients allow you to long-press a url to see the target, but it's not as fluid as it is using a mouse with hover.

iOS is the same, long-press to trigger a menu that also reveals the actual URL. I do it all the time, usually right before I delete some spam.

On iOS that functionality seems to be part of the OS rather than built into specific apps - at least it's worked in every app I've tried it in.

Comment Re:Ethics versus Legality (Score 5, Insightful) 309

The problem with that law is it is meant for people, it depend on people to be honest, not wanting extra money, not being able to be blackmailed or social engineered, not falling into common human bias like the ones shown in the Stanford prison experiment.

If people were honest, not greedy, and incapable of having any vices, and weren't stupid... there'd be no need for laws! The problem isn't the law, it's the people enforcing it. Think about the legal texts of old -- the Magna Carta. The Constitution. Hell, why not even throw in a few holy texts -- the Bible, Koran, etc. My point is a basic code of conduct took one book or less to draw the boundaries for most situations. Now, I don't want to discuss their relative merits, coz that'll take us to nasty flaming troll of doom land, it's just there to illustrate that the legal process doesn't have to be complex to be fairly complete.

This extra complexity is meant to blunt the minds of its critics and enable people to operate under color of authority to do things that many of us consider unethical or immoral. And that is the problem. The judicial process no longer has any feedback mechanism -- no way of saying "good" or "bad". Laws are written, but rarely repealed. They have no expiration date. So the system grows more and more complex, and people's ethics and morality slowly erode. Slow enough, anyway, that it's not obvious to anyone what's happening... at least until most of it has been lost.

Comment Re:Peer review (Score 0) 707

Which pretty much describes his behavior on the vitamin issue - He used dodgy medical trials, shoddy statistics, and anecdotal evidence to build his case. Don't assume that because he was a competent and careful scientist in one area (the one where he he earned the Nobel Prize), that he couldn't or didn't have a bee in his bonnet in another (in which he had no formal training or qualifications).

Well, he did several papers within the medical field that are still largely valid and lacked these problems. Those dodgy medical trials, shoddy statistics, and anecdotal evidence were largely all that was available at the time. So I'm not saying he didn't make mistakes... but I don't think he was a "quack". He was trying to put forward his best effort -- keep in mind though he was in his sixties at the time. Cognitive decline is common at that age. I do firmly believe he was sincere in his efforts; That is not the behavior of a quack. It's the behavior of someone who's old, senile, and sincere -- but mistaken.

That's the whole point of the article - vitamin supplements been pushed for decades (long before Linus Pauling in fact), but rarely if ever studied in detail. It's been assumed by the medical community for most of a century that vitamin supplements are A Good Thing.

I came away with a far different conclusion -- the article was written by people who think science is like math. Once you have an answer, it doesn't change. Science isn't like that. It changes all the time. There is so much we don't know, and our medical science is still in its infancy. We can't even say with any certainty how our own brains work, or the complex interplay of the immune system and endocrine system with each other, let alone the entire body. These aren't assumptions people made -- these are conclusions based on available data. Scant. Available. Data. His investigation into it and publications led to closer inspection of the data, and a decision to invest more resources in getting more data from which to draw conclusions. That's science!

Pot, meet kettle. Your faith in scientists is charming, but badly misplaced here. Your defense of them is ludicrous and sounds more like a cargo cult than science.

I have faith in people who search for the truth. I have less faith in people like you who claim to have found it.

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