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Comment Before anybody tries UBI I'd like to solve traps (Score 3, Insightful) 510

Before anybody tries UBI, I'd like to see trapless welfare. I don't know how bad this is in Canada, but the USA has a lot of "welfare traps". That's a situation where people remain on public assistance rather than work because their real income falls when they start working. We do so many stupid things such as labeling people "low income" and making them wait a long time for "low income housing". Then their "low income status" actually becomes an asset!

Fix that first, then get back to us.

Comment Re:Huh? What? (Score 2) 223

What if the common factor is that all of these artificial sweeteners stimulate the "sweet taste" centers of the brain but don't supply any energy? So then one part of your system says, "hey sugar coming" but the pancreas says "no dummy, this ain't sugar". They then proceed to duke it out, smashing bottles and breaking chairs all over the circulatory system.

It could be like virtual reality. Driving a car doesn't make you sick because your eyes and your balance system provide congruent information. Now put on a VR system and driving games can give you a headache because they only feed information to your eyes.

It's virtual sugar, only feeding information to your taste buds. It doesn't matter who makes the VR, they're all deficient.

Comment Re:Not exactly a neural lace (Score 1) 63

We may not have a good interface directly into the brain for memory, math, and facial recog; but that seems like a problem would could solve. After all, what are our eyes and a phone but a kind of klunky prosthetic for a deficient brain?

What we really don't understand is how this impacts our state of being. If I have a cybernetic implant that allows me to preserve the memory of my family, I'm still alive, right? Simply having access to knowledge of my life doesn't steal my consciousness. Otherwise, family photo albums would make me legally dead.

What we really don't understand is how all the stuff in our brain and body make us conscious human beings. We'll still die; but what does death look like? Is a machine with all my data still me? Will death just be a slight twinge of existential angst, followed by me no longer being a real human being? Or, is a full upload still conscious? What's going to happen? Real immortality, or just a slow transformation into a fancy animated corpse/memorial?

Comment Re:Reminds me of the Pico Brewer (Score 1) 359

Looking over the PicoBrew, it looks like they took the successful coffee "pod" business model and adapted it to beer. Given that, at least it makes sense since brewing beer is, IMHO, more complicated than making a cup of coffee so if you could make the process consistent you might actually add value for people that don't have any aptitude for such things. OTOH, the juicer thing looks to be just squeezing juice out of a bag when you could have poured it out of a bottle instead.

None of this makes sense to me. I just use a regular coffee machine and it comes out great; but apparently there are a lot of people who like that stuff. I sometimes call them "pod people". This is why I'm sometimes really bad at investing: things that look stupid to me can make an awful lot of money. On the other hand, just because something is stupid is no guarantee it will make money...

Comment Favorites are hard (Score 1) 1222

Favorites are hard, it's kind of a silly question so let's give some love to something that a lot of you may not have seen: Dark Star. Things like this leap to mind for me because I saw them back in the days when all we had was analog broadcast with a few channels. They'd show stuff like this after midnight. That's also how I saw the original Planet of the Apes--with the volume down low, hoping my parents wouldn't wake up and send me to bed.

Comment Re:Still don't get why people liked this show (Score 1) 84

I'm American, so I think it's just a matter of tastes. In the golden age of Dean Martin roasts, I was too young. There was a sweet spot where I understood what SNL was satirizing and loved it. Now I'm middle aged and out of touch with the popular culture in many ways. I *know* I'm watching satire on SNL, but I don't know what they're satirizing so it isn't funny. Likewise, a roast isn't going to be funny if you don't know the people being roasted. Of course it's also possible for these things to be poorly executed or out of touch with the culture as you say. I think a lot of SNL is poorly executed these days... but people have probably been saying that since the show first aired.

Comment Why web apps tend to suck in general (Score 1) 236

When there are so many layers between you and "the metal", it's just a matter of time before one of those layers creates a road block. You can get around these road blocks in at least two ways: 1. install native code and get to the metal, or 2. use less efficient techniques to get around the block.

Taking route 1 means you can't claim "cross platform browser app" any more. Taking route 2 leads to slow code. It looks like MS chose route 2 and decided to use a frame-by-frame animation instead of using the obvious "timer and XOR" that's been used since the dark ages. I'm guessing that timers and/or XOR aren't available in whatever API was exposed by the browser environment.

After that, it becomes less clear why it's so slow. Even though rendering a cursor frame-by-frame is still less efficient, it shouldn't be *that* inefficient. As others have pointed out, you have a dirty rectangle and an update 60 times per second. Maybe the underlying API is re-rendering the entire screen.

And that's how you get to 13% CPU to blink a cursor, and a lot of other things. That's why web apps keep sucking. It's a problem that can, in theory, be solved; but it won't be solved because it's a lot of work across many different organizations, each with different objectives all trying to hit a moving target of changing architectures and standards.

Comment Re:Two glasses of wine per day would wreck me (Score 1) 125

This is why most of these studies say it's OK to have the two drinks; but they also say you shouldn't start drinking if you aren't already.

I think we are just at the brink of finally getting past statistical medicine and in to something much better. Statistical medicine is like Newtonian physics. It serves you well up to a point. To really do advanced things, we need to get beyond it and get to an understanding based on each individual's genetic makeup and environment.

It's only recently that they acknowledged the basics, such as Ambien effecting women differently than men!

Anyway, the mechanisms going on in your body might be such that you can't drink. You might be part of a large, but distinct minority. In a world that's moved beyond statistical medicine, the studies will say things like "Men over 40 with Gen profile signatures X2, N353, and G872 should not drink. Women over 50 with the same signatures should have one per day".

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