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Comment Re:I Can't Believe This (Score 2) 284

I think the case will go to Monsanto

Perhaps. But then why is the Supreme Court hearing the case? All of the lower courts ruled in Monsanto's favor, so there are no conflicting rulings. If SCOTUS wanted the lower court ruling to stand, they could have just refused to hear the appeal. I would not be surprised by a ruling either way.

Comment Re:It's not a matter of heavy metals (Score 1) 223

... the drop in violent crime over the years seems to coincide with the legalization of abortions.

Furthermore, a number of states legalized abortion prior to the 1973 Roe-vs-Wade decision that legalized it throughout the USA, and their crime rates began to drop earlier than the states that legalized it later.

But the lead theory has some strong evidence as well, and is probably a contributing factor. The CDC has found a strong correlation between blood lead levels and poverty, and between lead and low IQ. Low IQ is very strongly correlated with being convicted of a crime, especially violent crime.

Comment Re:Reversed in America? (Score 1) 758

America needs to wake up and understand that there are other election systems out there.

Sure there are. But there is little evidence that those other electoral systems lead to better government. Israel uses proportional voting, and the result is kooky fringe parties that play "king-maker" to have disproportionate influence. Japan and Italy have electoral systems that have led to decades of dysfunctional governments while their economies have stagnated. Parliamentary systems usually result in strong political parties and politicians more beholden to those parties than to their constituents.

So instead of just complaining about America's electoral system, can you point to an alternative system that has actually led to a better governed society?

Comment Re:Google is the new phone book (Score 1) 105

Monitoring is necessary just to ensure that it's being used to lookup counsel and not just to hang out on Facebook.

Why is this "necessary"? There is nothing illegal about "hanging out on facebook." If that is what a detainee wants to do with his time, so what?

When I was in the holding cell, there were no restrictions whatsoever on who I could call, or what I could say. I was there for four hours, but other than that there were no limits on how long I could talk. Most guys were using the phones to call their GFs and apologizing for getting drunk and beating them up. How would it be any different if they did that on Facebook?

Comment Re:Google is the new phone book (Score 4, Interesting) 105

I'm not seeing any particular reason that the time spent searching could not be supervised

I'm not seeing any particular reason it would need to be supervised. The phone calls aren't. The last time I was arrested, I spent about four hours in a holding cell, and there was a row of phones along the wall. There were no restrictions on who we could call, or how long we could talk. There was no indication that the phone calls were being monitored, and it is illegal to record calls without notification.

Comment Re:Economists aren't Exactly Neutral (Score 5, Insightful) 235

Africa is less than a century out of independence from various European powers.

Using colonialism as an explanation for lack of economic progress isn't supported by the evidence. The African country with the longest and most pervasive colonization was South Africa. The country with the least was Ethiopia, which maintained its independence except for a few years of Italian control in the 1930s. Yet South Africa is near the top of the African economic pile, while Ethiopia is near the bottom. There are plenty of other examples. Countries with long periods of colonization, much interaction between the locals and the colonists, and lasting European-style laws and civil institutions, are doing far better than countries where colonialism was less influential.

Comment Re:That backwards African continent... (Score 5, Insightful) 235

It's not a place that would birth historically powerful, flourishing civilizations whose large-scale engineering feats would be regarded among the "wonders of the world" millennia later.

No, it's not. Any example?

The Egyptian pyramids, and the lighthouse of Alexandria were both considered to be Wonders of the World, and both are/were located in Africa.

Comment Re:That's funny.... (Score 4, Informative) 533

The paper doesn't say anything about the population dropping like flies.

It says that 5.4 additional people died. I would like to see the other 0.6 of the last person to die.

I am not sure if their conjectured mechanism is plausible. We have a ban where I live (San Jose, CA) and plastic bags are still allowed for produce, meat, etc. The law in SF is the similar. So the reusable bag doesn't actually touch the food. It only touches the packaging or wrapping.

Comment Re:What about change? (Score 1) 95

Or, keep driving until you can take over

This would require not just an extremely stupid and incompetent programmer, but also a complete lack of any code review, and no system testing whatsoever. It is conceivable that some stupid people are accepted by Oxford, but exceedingly unlikely that they could comprise an entire team of developers. Do you also worry that buildings might collapse because the architect forgot to specify mortar between the bricks, and nobody noticed?

Comment Re:Google has done this already. (Score 3, Interesting) 95

the LIDAR unit on the top is probably dominating the price. The model in question costs around $75,000

How many LIDAR units are sold every year? Maybe a few thousand? 60 million cars are manufactured each year. That kind of volume can lead to huge price decreases.

expected price decrease in the future would be achieved by going camera-only.

Cameras don't deal well with rain, snow, and fog.

Comment Re:What about change? (Score 3, Interesting) 95

the car announces it's confused and you should take over, whilst zipping down the road.

Unless the people developing this are complete morons, there is no way this could happen. The car knows its safe braking distance, and if it cannot map out a route beyond that distance with an acceptable degree of confidence, it would pull over to the side of the road, come to a stop, and then alert the driver.

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