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Comment tech fix is a dubious approach here (Score 1) 432

Changing norms is probably what's needed instead.

The norm now is use the device anywhere: home, office, car, bathroom, supermarket, elevator, hospital, wherever. The world is your telephone booth. We all want to hear (one side of) your conversation. It's OK to force that on us. It's OK to threaten our lives and safety with it (the research shows that it's incompatible with safe driving, period). Go ahead. Do it. Anywhere. Everywhere. It's normal.

We can change that norm. A good place to start would be where it's just plain unsafe: driving while talking on your cell. The new norm: we regard that exactly as we would drunk driving: completely unacceptable. We treat it like that. We make law that treats it like that. Over time, that would save lives and limbs. A good new norm.

How to start changing the norm: stop talking on your cell while driving. You. Right there. You too. All of you. Now. From this day forward. Don't do it. When you see others doing it, be appropriately horrified. Have the same attitude you would towards someone's drunk driving. Not cool. Not acceptable.

We have no tech fix for drunk driving. But we have reduced it dramatically by changing norms.

Tech fix sounds great to techies. Probably not the solution here. If you put in tech fixes and don't change norms, you'll probably just see a lot of evasion of the tech fix.

Comment Re:A word from the Devil's advocate (Score 1) 584

Yep. "Just drinking coffee"? What ever made anyone think the car was a restaurant? No, you don't have a right to drink coffee while driving. You have a responsibility to drive safely. However the research shows that talking on your cell is uniquely distracting and for much longer periods of time while driving.

Comment biology is not destiny (Score 1) 117

We see a lot of confusion on that point. "It's in your genes, there's nothing you can do about it". Oh? Bad eyesight was in my genes. I got eyeglasses.

The plasticity of the brain was already known to be very high. Now we have reason to believe it's even higher than previously known. Genes are great, I love 'em, but a lot happens after conception.

Comment another incorrect use of "content" (Score 1) 322

The content is completely free. If I report that the sun will come up tomorrow (at dawn, say) you are completely free to tell anyone you like. I owe you nothing. It's expression that can be owned.

What is really meant here is news. More specifically news gathering which is done by humans known as reporters, and editing, which is done by humans called editors. They are not "creating content"; they are writing the news.

Now: Google doesn't do any of that. We can have a discussion on whether Google is distributing the results without helping pay for the feet on the street and the fingers on the keys. Seems like a good discussion to have, since there are now fewer feet on the street and fingers on the keys, and hard news reporting is on the decline. Consider a world with all the "content" anyone wants but little real news.

Comment who pays? (Score 1) 67

Probably the costs of data breaches are about the same as they've been for years.

What may be rising is the share of that cost shouldered by the companies that make money by warehousing data about individuals, as compared to the share shouldered by the individuals concerned. If that's true, that would be wonderful. It would create the right incentive for said companies to get real about data security.

Comment unhappy title (Score 3, Insightful) 344

A more accurate title would be "Texas supports teaching science in science classes".

Texas as far as I can see takes no position on what specifically currently is accepted by scientific community as science, leaving that once again as it had always been before, up to publishers of science books. That seems a wise choice.

And Texas likewise makes no limitations on what may be presented in courses on history, literature, comparative religion, anthropology, and so on. That also seems wise. The only problem was teaching religion in a science course. That problem is now solved.

Comment another incorrect use of "content" (Score 1) 115

not only their own content, but illegally uploaded content by other users

It's pretty difficult to have illegal content. You mean "expression" or more specifically, "video". Content is pretty much impossible to own.

So let's rewrite this correctly: "not only video posted by owners, but also video posted illegally by others".

Comment easy enough for my grandmother? (Score 3, Insightful) 296

The gold standard now for personal electronics is, "Is it easy enough for my grandmother to use it?"

My last three consumer electronics purchases (DVR, car audio, component HD radio) all fail that test handily. Not even close.

So 25 years later, there's a lot of room for improvement toward meeting that standard.

Congrats Apple on meeting it earlier and more often than most.

Comment not getting it (Score 1) 82

They're using CNS activity in the humans as their metric? Really? Then they're not getting it. The test is behavior. Internal events may be interesting but they're not part of the test. Otherwise we'd also be using internal events in the machine as part of the test. It really is amazing; it's like Ryle never happened. You imagine the researchers next examining Holmes's words with a magnifying glass to learn more about Doyle.

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"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman