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Comment Re:Sexism (Score 0, Flamebait) 211

If 51% of the population is women, and women have an equal rate to become programmers as men, 51% of programmers should be women.

But we all know they're not.

So what is the cause of the lower-than-expected rate of female programmers, and what can we do to fix it? This is the same thinking for any minority group that is under-represented. This isn't "reverse discrimination," it's correcting for an error that has come about due to likely social, cultural, and other roadblocks that shouldn't exist.

If you think that it's not because of any such man-made roadblocks, then you must be saying that women/blacks/hispanics aren't smart enough to be programmers (which makes YOU the sexist or racist) or that they don't want to be programmers (which is wrong, just ask them).

Apply this thinking to the low rates of minorities in various job types/universities/C_O positions, etc., and you might start to see where us "progressives" are coming from.

To say that the cultural and social oppression of a minority group (discrimination) is the same as trying to counter the results of that oppression is just ridiculous.

Comment It's not just romances in ME3 (Score 1) 1069

People keep saying that you can avoid the gay content, but that's not true. In Mass Effect 3, the shuttle pilot (I forget his name) mentions in your first conversation with him that he is gay. If you ask if he has any family, he elaborates how he used to have a husband who was lost when the Reapers attacked or whatnot.

I remember thinking how cool this was when I first started the game. Bioware/EA had made a homosexual character have an important role in the game, as he's the dude who flies Shepard into just about every mission. As part of his storyline, you can help him hold a memorial for his husband and see some touching emotional scenes.

It's definitely different that this is a non-romantic NPC, as you can avoid romantic interludes with dudes if you want, and stick to various females or female-looking aliens. But you can't avoid that the guy talking to Shepard all the time, that Shepard relies on and is friends with, and is in all the numerous shuttle landing scenes loves weiner. It's awesome.

Comment Imagine the applications... (Score 2) 61

Imagine if such proteins could be embedded into human cells. It would be amazing if you could implant cells that would release chemicals to fight cancer, or fight disease. Development of this technology could be the first step to engineering our bodies better than nature has done for us, say by releasing antibiotics automatically when light is shined on certain cells.

Also, imagine if you could embed cells or proteins that give you an orgasm when a red light is flashed on you. It would give a whole new meaning to "red light district."

Comment Only two outcomes from this... (Score 1) 220

If consumption of food and generting power through these biocells is more efficient and cheaper than burning fossil fuels, then clean energy will be here, NOW, and these will become very important in our world. Pollution will then be measured in CO2 from breathing and sulfur, varions carbon molecules, and other products measured in farts per hour.

If not, then fossil fuels will stay big, but these biocells will largely be relegated to convenience uses.

God, I hope it's the former. Imagine a giant farm of rats who we feed industrial waste and harvest their electricity to power our homes. Then when they die we just feed them to more power-generating electro-rats.

Comment Re:Japanese Culture (Score 4, Interesting) 61

Yeah, Japan has extremely low rates of vandalism. Sometimes it makes me hate the culture of the US, which I blame for a lot of things like this - but that's beside the point.

In Japan they have video games that you play by peeing into a urinal, and you compete with other urinators based on urine stream force and whatnot. I can count on one hand the number of seconds a device like this would last in a US bathroom before being utterly destroyed. Yet, in Japan, they're still functional and clean after quite some time.

Comment What? Hell no. (Score 1) 1486

This is stupid. Like, beyond stupid. Science is not faith. The question is posed by conflating different meanings or understandings of the word "faith" to try and argue that it is equal to science. "Faith" is not exactly synonymous with belief, or trust, or understanding. There are several meanings.

To take out the dictionary here: faith (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion, (3) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (4) : complete trust.

Of those FOUR, how many are anything related to science? (I omitted one about loyalty to friends and obligations). One. Complete trust. The others are about belief in religion, and "firm belief in something for which there is no proof," and this is where we have the problem. Science has proof. The whole concept of science is using evidence to prove things. We can argue about whether or not science disproves or can prove or whatever, but the fact of the matter is that there is evidence that is measured and tested and observed and that forms the basis of understanding. It has nothing to do with God and it has proof.

This whole freaking question is just like the bullshit ID one where they say "Well evolution is just a theory." Yes, evolution is a theory. It is not a theory in the way they are using the word. Confusing meanings like this is an obvious attempt to provide value to religion that it doesn't have and take away value and meaning from science. It is argumentation of the ignorant and lazy meant to confuse, because they can't argue it any other way.

This whole thing could have been solved by pulling out the goddamn dictionary. It doesn't matter if you don't know what a Higgs Boson is or how electricity works or even how your own finger moves. Someone does. Someone has tested and refined and figured out a theory. For religion, no one does. Everything is pure speculation, and thus this whole topic is fucking nonsense.

Comment Re:Medicare bigger than DoD, Social Security close (Score 2) 395

Holy crap. I didn't realize the numbers were so bad.

Think about that. Almost 1 in 6 Americans is over 65 or disabled, receiving medicare. 1 in 5 is getting low-income assistance medicaid or disability.

Put those together and put it another way, for every 3 Americans, only 2 of those are working and have non-government healthcare. If those 110 million people don't contribute, 2 people are paying for the healtcare of every 3rd person. Holy crap, that is a lot of money.

I'm a liberal myself and don't mind helping the poor with my taxes, but that's just nuts. How can we expect to sustain ratios like that?

Comment My biggest complaints (Score 1) 401

1) Like everyone else says, the interface is atrocious. When you see something, half the time you can't click on it. There is no excuse in today's GUI-driven world, to have things where you can't click on it to interact with it. You open a menu (by clicking a button), then click the new submenu that appears only when you're near the thing you want to interact with, and then you have some choices. And all of this takes forever.

And then there's the map. Totally useless, doesn't show anything about resources (they're just glowing lights you can see around), no idea how to get back to town or another town or between maps or anything. I started in a forest and it was more like a maze of little tiny rooms than any kind of forest. I felt like I was playing Metroid.

2) For a game which promotes "change your class/job by simply switching weapons/tools" as a feature, it is a freaking pain in the ass to try and figure out how and where to get these weapons/tools. I made a Fighter, and wanted to try out being a gladiator. Could not find a sword to save my life. I had to look up a wiki to find where a merchant was, and then use the map on the website to get there because the game map flat out sucks. I never even tried out crafting because I couldn't find tools for most of them.

And then on top of that, when you do want to switch, the inventory screen is flat-out archaic. You can't grab an inventory item and drag it to a spot, you can't click an item in your inventory and equip it, you have to open the character equipment, click the item, then click the item you want in the inventory list. And that's not to mention, it's an inventory list. Everything gets thrown in this big ass list and God knows what you've got because you might have seven entries for "animal hide," "animal hide +1," "animal hide +2," and on and on.

And if I'm wrong on any of this, I wouldn't even know, because all of this is how I figured out how to do things. There's no manual or information showing you how to do anything.

Comment Re:And the problem? (Score 1) 309

Given that 80+% of all stocks and shareholder wealth are owned by the richest 10% of Americans, it should be a crime to care about the "shareholder's position" over that of the average middle-class American.

Caring about shareholder profits and investor value is inherently favoring the rich over everyone else. They own almost all the stock wealth in this country.

Comment California already has this... (Score 1) 296

... but it's really terribly implemented.

I used to work for the State of California, and in the CSU system they've implemented the Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI). It has, so far, been a huge catastrophe.

The initiative states that all "information technology" systems being used by students or staff must meet accessibility guidelines - which stipulate that anyone, with any type of disability, must be able to use any piece of technology, any computer on campus, any website, any video, any learning materials - without hinderance.

There are numerous problems already. Specifically related to web design (and leaving out all the hardware issues), every site has to be reviewed and there's no one to enforce this. Each CSU DEPARTMENT (not university, but each department at the University) is meant to have their own auditor and compliance person, but there has been no funding allocated for this, so there is no one doing reviews. It is extremely expensive.

Vendors are confused as to what their systems need to do, as there are no clear specifications, yet this is a critical factor in awarding bids. A vendor can have a stellar product at a low price, but if someone takes the time to do a review and finds them a tiny bit out of compliance with the vague regulations, they lose the bid. It's not even remotely fair, so some departments have bypassed this and make purchases irrespective of the rules, and buy products to be modified later - which they never are. Everyone loses.

For on campus entities, you have hundreds of different people making different websites, with no oversight to make sure that like the Athletics department promo videos can be viewed by someone who is blind, deaf, etc. Then you throw in departmental politics and nothing ever gets done. Not everyone knows the rules, and there's no one to check them, and no support for the program.

It has been a clusterfuck, to say the least. The regulations went into effect a year or two ago and still they are probably 5% toward reaching their goal. In theory, I really like it, but I fail to see how the State of California (which is broke) is going to provide the massive funds needed so that a student with no eyes and a student with no limbs can sit down at ANY COMPUTER ON CAMPUS and use it to effectively work with any campus resource, such as online class registration.

The Feds can make any rules they want, but unless they put serious money and effort behind enforcing it, they will not get any farther than California. For how much this will cost the government, they'd be better off just hiring people that you can call or text or whatever that will simply answer questions directly or do these services for the disabled.

Comment Re:OK, too far. (Score 3, Informative) 235

In general terms, the point of most advertising is to either introduce an unknown or new product to the public or to inform the public of benefits of using said product.

Maybe if it was 1880. The idea that "giving consumers information about a product makes them buy more of it" is easily the least effective and most simplistic type of marketing. This is sometimes combined with more advanced forms, but is often left out.

Modern marketing theory has its roots in the 1920s and Edward Bernays. At its core it is about associating a product with a person's desires at a subconscious level. It has long since gone much deeper and more manipulatively past this. Look up "Century of the Self" if you want a good account of what really went into forming modern marketing strategy.

Look at recent Corona ads or Dos Equis ads for examples of where this has gone these days. The ads have almost nothing to do with the beer they are trying to sell, and no information at all about the product. Yet it is still very effective advertising.

Comment I'm a future LEAF owner... (Score 2, Insightful) 354

... and I knew this was going to happen. Going into it, I know that in 3-5 years the battery technology will be much better than the battery in my car, making my car virtually worthless.

Compared to a gas car, however, I'll be saving $150 a month ($1800 a year) on gas, so $5400 in 3 years. That's not bad for a car that, in California, will cost me $20k.

The real reason I'm buying it is to help end our dependence on foreign oil. Without people making a few sacrifices to push this technology (and other green technology) forward, we will never break the stranglehold that the Middle Eastern countries have on us. And that needs to end yesterday. I'm just trying to do my part for a better US for my children.

Comment Re:which is bullshit (Score 1) 347

they gave songs away for free for decades: the radio

they gave shows away for free for decades: broadcast television

They only "gave _____ away" in the sense that advertisers indirectly paid them to make content that people would want to watch and listen to. Someone was paying them - it just wasn't you directly. This content was never "free."

The "free" content world you're describing means that every amateur musician and every TV show or movie of the future would be paid with advertisement. Every mp3 would have a commercial in it. Every movie as well. We already see from movie theaters that actually showing movies doesn't make any money, you have to sell extra crap. That cut that goes to the studios is to pay for the production of that movie. Where is that money going to come from?

Is that the future you want? MORE advertisement? I'll take the world where we find some way to pay artists directly instead.

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