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Comment Regulation (Score 1) 348

And is your electric utility deregulated? If not, they CAN'T raise their own rates, at all, without government approval (who aren't motivated by other people's greed).

It's just a little more indirect. They write up a formal request, bribe the regulators as needed, and the request is approved. This is why rates almost constantly move up. For instance, right now, the US has a huge surplus of natural gas. There's so much they just burn it right off at the oil fields -- right now North Dakota's night skies are outright destroyed because of this practice. Do NG customers get NG delivered at anywhere near its real cost to deliver? No. It's horribly expensive, it's been horribly expensive, and it's going to stay horribly expensive. And all the while, energy company executives receive salaries in the eye-popping range.

What most regulation does, at least in the US, is insert government actors in the roles of middlemen so they can make money off the industry as well. It is a wholly corrupt system.

Comment Now I have to clean my keyboard (Score 1) 348

If the group represented a large enough collection of stockholders, maybe 5% or 10%, they could probably compel Apple to change through the courts to make the cheapest decision rather than a morally-guided decision.

It is the cheapest decision. The bad publicity for a company that isn't green and doesn't support the handicapped is truly a bad deal, financially speaking.

If Apple were in the least interested in taking a morally guided path, they wouldn't leave one in five of their users exposed to hackers; they'd likely consider it an actual obligation to fix the broken OSX (and iOS, for that matter) products they've sold to people instead of leaving them stuck with busted-ware, regardless of version or age -- instead, they blunder forward, ignoring old bugs and leaving customers exposed while spewing out new ones. It is outright nuts to ever assume Apple is on the more moral or ethical path. I can hardly think of a company more hard-nosed, more vicious with regard to customer risk and harm, or more straight-up all about the money.

Yeah, I'm an Apple user. No, it isn't always a viable option to upgrade to the next or latest and greatest OSX. Apple tends to break the living hell out of previously working operations between upgrades, and quite a few users can't just break machines without consequences.

PS -- I'm not attempting to make Apple look any worse than anyone else here, it's just Apple I'm most familiar with in recent years. I still remember Microsoft leaving the bloody file dialog code broken as living hell for many releases and revisions, and I can quote you some very persistent Qt bugs as well. It's just that reading a statement crediting Apple with taking the "morally guided path" made me spit coffee.

Comment Re:isn't it also used by request (Score 2) 326

> this lenient justice system

Now there's a statement. If the US justice system is lenient, can you point me at one that is not ?

The US incarcaration rate is 750/100000, in western europe its 100/100000. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I...

The US jails a larger proportion of its population than sizeable nation ever. In that respect it's the least free country in the course of human history due to its extraordinarily non-lenient justice system.

Comment Army may be downsizing, War Machine not (Score 1) 506

No, lifehacksaur111, this doesn't mean that the military-industrial complex is being dismantled or that the war machine is being downsized. It just means that the military understands that they aren't going to be able to get enough budget to pay for both the important stuff (pork-barrel military-industrial-complex spending) and having lots of soldiers around needing pay, housing, and medical care, so they're prioritizing how they'll spend the money.

And if later they need more soldiers for cannon-fodder in a large war, they'll see about cranking up a draft or something, but for now they don't want to lose the pork barrel.

Comment Re:First blacks, (Score 1) 917

Anyone can sue for anything but having a strong case is another thing. People's religious beliefs can include any random nonsense and no business could operate if it had to pander to whatever people can think of. You make the responsibilities clear at the start then if they take the job they are agreeing to do the work. If a muslim got a a job in a pork processing plant then claimed his religious beliefs prevented him from handling pigs, well.. get another job.

Comment Re:physicality, quantum requirements (Score 1) 254

You fall for a common fallacy here: We do not understand intelligence at all.

No, I don't fall for any such thing. I make that exact point. Read again.

they cannot identify any non-physical phenomenon.

....nor is there any reason -- at all -- to postulate the existence of such a thing until we have ruled out the physical; and since we know the physical is real, and that the brain is physical, and that its workings are, thus far, entirely known to be physical, there is every reason to expect that when we do understand what it does, we'll find the answer the same place humankind has found EVERY other answer ever in our history: in the physical world. Your position is 100% identical with "I don't understand it, so it must be some force I cannot see." Before that answer can be taken seriously, we must reach "We have examined, and completely understand, all physicality and have not found thought or intelligence in any of its workings -- there MUST be something invisible. We're not even close to that point; so the presumption that there is an invisible, unknown force is wholly premature.

But the brain is an analog computer and every quantum effect has an influence on its workings.

Objective data argues otherwise. I can sit in the presence of an enormously strong RF and/or magnetic field that permeates my body, and I can think just fine. Were anything as touchy as quantum effects acting as active mediators in my thought, I would be reduced to a vegetable, or perhaps hallucinate wildly. People work in such environments all day long, every day, and their brains just keep on doing exactly what they usually do. Likewise, physical motion causes all manner of slight stresses to the physical structure of the brain, and yet, it keeps on working. All of this -- and more -- argues for an extremely robust system that is immune to all but the most profound effects. Likewise, the common and eminently predictable effect of a huge range of drugs, injury, surgery upon consciousness and the brain's physicality argues for mundane physicality. Whatever is going on responds in a most typical, physical way. The obvious conclusion -- possibly wrong, but as I said, not the way to bet -- is that it, itself, is physical in the sense that everything else is.

Come on, this is beginners stuff. Do you really claim you do not see that fundamental difference?

Please. Do not mistake my position for an uninformed one. That would be a very large mistake.


Apple Urges Arizona Governor To Veto Anti-Gay Legislation 917

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "According to NBC, Apple has confirmed that it urged Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to veto a bill that would allow business owners with strongly held religious beliefs to deny service to gays and lesbians. Last November Tim Cook announced that Apple was building a sapphire glass plant in Mesa, AZ, that would bring 2,000 new jobs to the state. 'Apple is indisputably one of the world's most innovative companies and I'm thrilled to welcome them to Arizona,' said Gov. Brewer at the time. 'Apple will have an incredibly positive economic impact for Arizona and its decision to locate here speaks volumes about the friendly, pro-business climate we have been creating these past four years.' According to Philip Elmer-DeWitt, it sounds like Tim Cook may be having second thoughts about how 'friendly' and 'pro-business' the climate in Arizona really is."

Comment Re:He IS an emperor. You, not so much. (Score 1) 254

I'm simply aware that competence in one area does not imply competence in others, and when intelligence gets out on the edges of the Gaussian, both social and organic factors come into play to cause people's behaviors and core competencies to settle far outside the norms.

The savant is an extreme, yet clear example of this. If you simply settle down and think about it, you'll see it. Or, you can keep pointing and laughing. Your call.

Comment Re:Disease (Score 1) 254

I said they have already figured out how to reverse aging.

So you did. The statement is so outside of my knowledge base I actually read it wrong. I apologize.

So, do you have a citation for this assertion? Anything? I did some googling, not wanting to look like a complete idiot (satisfied with partial idiocy), but found nothing. Info, please?

Comment physicality, quantum requirements (Score 2) 254

There are serious indications it is not, such as the consistent failure of all research so far to produce true intelligence

Since no one has been able to define what thinking is, I'm reluctant to class attempts to produce it via what amount to moderately sophisticated hand-waving based on guesses as definitive WRT physicality.

And then we have this: Everything we do understand -- bar none -- in this world obeys physics, and produces results as a consequence of well understood causal mechanisms. Postulating that "something else" is at work here seems, at the very least, highly premature, considering that there is no objective evidence for any such thing. Anywhere. Could it be so? Yes. Is that the way to bet? Not at this time, it's not.

Also note that the only valid for of a technological artifact emulating a brain would be a quantum computer as there is lots and lots of quantum effects in synapses

No. Quantum effects are also at work in every transistor; but the transistor operates on large scale currents and voltages, and to model the transistor's performance sufficiently to get done what it does in emulation, you don't need to deal with it at the quantum level, or even consider it. It is fair to say that this is true at most levels: quantum effects are at work when you throw a baseball at almost every step of the operation, but we can still create a baseball-throwing arm that works entirely differently, yet throws the same ball the same way. Or emulation of same. Bottom line, until someone can show that thoughts vary due to quantum effects that are active in the process, as opposed to inherent in the process, there's no reason to think that a quantum computer, or an emulation of one, will be required.

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