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Comment Humans are strange creatures (Score 2) 961

We have this unexplainable, sometimes completely irrational, and certainly short-sighted view of life. About half of all medical spending in the United States is spent in the last weeks of life, often just keeping a warm body alive long after the mind and soul have vacated it. Yet, as long as there is a warm pile of mushy innards there exotherming energy away, there will always by that crying, screaming, irrational family member (usually a woman) insisting that the mind and soul will return some day, if only everyone around would kneel and bow their heads to some fictitious diety.

What is it about human beings that gets them so unnecessarily attached to ugly bags of mostly water that will continue to exotherm away as long as a machine pumps oxygen into them?

I share Scott Adams' frustration with "the system." Really, the only opponents there are to assisted suicide, besides irrational relatives, are nursing homes, assisted living centers, and other charlatans, leeches, and vultures that will prey on your loved one's body until it can no longer convert chemical energy to heat. These are enormously wealthy corporations that steal BILLIONS of dollars from real, living, productive people just to keep bodies warm. They don't want to lose that income stream, and politicians certainly don't want to preside over losing those jobs.

So, we will never, EVER have assisted suicide. Ever. There will never, EVER be a humane and decent way to end one's life with dignity, respect, and calm acceptance. As long as irrational people can vote, and as long as there are billions of dollars to be fleeced from the estates of old people, the prohibition on assisted suicide will continue unabated.

Wikipedia

Have 100GB Free? Host Your Own Copy of Wikipedia, With Images 151

First time accepted submitter gnosygnu writes "Want your own copy of English Wikipedia with images? Got 100 GB of disk space? Then open-source app XOWA may be of interest to you. The project released torrents yesterday for the 2013-11-04 version of English Wikipedia. There's 100 GB of sqlite databases containing 13.9 million pages, and 3.7 million images — readable from any Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X system. Image downloads for other wikis are building, but you can still use XOWA to read the text-only version for other wikis like Wiktionary, Wikisource, Wikiquote and 660 more. Next time you find yourself stranded without the internet, you can pull out your own copy of Wikipedia for use."
Science

Science Museum Declines To Show Climate Change Film 398

sciencehabit writes "A premier science museum in North Carolina has sparked controversy by refusing to show an hour long film about climate change and rising sea levels. The museum may be in a bit of a delicate position. It is part of a state agency, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The state government has been perceived as hostile to action on climate change; last year, the legislature passed a bill forbidding the state coastal commission from defining rates of sea-level rise for regulation before 2016."
Education

Is a Postdoc Worth it? 233

Jim_Austin writes "In a very funny column, Adam Ruben reviews the disadvantages and, well, the disadvantages of doing a postdoc, noting that 'The term "postdoc" refers both to the position and to the person who occupies it. (In this sense, it's much like the term "bar mitzvah.") So you can be a postdoc, but you can also do a postdoc.'"

Comment Re:Is it really scam? (Score 1) 497

I can promise you our government doesn't give two shits about protecting you from being scammed or harassed by overseas call centers.

US-based? Sure, because the government can make money "protecting" you by seizing the scammers' money and domestic assets.

Overseas? Forget about it. The government won't lift a finger because it can't legally just take anyone's money.

Comment 11.6 miles (Score 1) 810

I live 11.6 miles from my company out in rural America. An EV would be great for my commute, except when I look at the $30,000-$50,000 price tag of an EV versus the $2500 price tag of my reasonably middle range carbon fiber road bike, which burns neither gas nor uses electricity, the EV just can't win.

For short commutes, the bicycle solution is orders of magnitude greener than an EV, and far far far cheaper, especially when health benefits and lower cost of medical care are taken into consideration.

Hardware

Elevation Plays a Role In Memory Error Rates 190

alphadogg writes "With memory, as with real estate, location matters. A group of researchers from AMD and the Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory have found that the altitude at which SRAM resides can influence how many random errors the memory produces. In a field study of two high-performance computers, the researchers found that L2 and L3 caches had more transient errors on the supercomputer located at a higher altitude, compared with the one closer to sea level. They attributed the disparity largely to lower air pressure and higher cosmic ray-induced neutron strikes. Strangely, higher elevation even led to more errors within a rack of servers, the researchers found. Their tests showed that memory modules on the top of a server rack had 20 percent more transient errors than those closer to the bottom of the rack. However, it's not clear what causes this smaller-scale effect."

Comment Screw the criminal landscape (Score 2) 203

I wanna get PAID. The implications will be far more profound in the tort law landscape as this technology is extended to be able to pinpoint the identity of someone who gave you any generic disease.

Think big. Think HPV, Hepatitis, Herpes, and the whole range of STDs.

Imagine the payout if you can prove that a wealthy person gave you the HPV that caused your cervical cancer? Imagine the payout your family will get if you die from it.

Trial lawyers are absolutely salivating over this, and I would not be surprised to see lawyers "investing" in this technology.

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