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Comment Re:I would not have a problem with this if... (Score 1) 367

If I read that correctly, you can't install the system itself without consenting to it? That doesn't exactly help. Why not just have opt-out the default with an opt-in "allow telemetry" checkbox at the Terms of Use and Privacy Statement? That's how our software does it - simple. If a small ISV like us can make it an opt-in consent system, so can Microsoft.

Comment Re:What do you expect? (Score 1) 367

It is only valid to collect such info if users actively and knowingly consent to it. A warning dialog should be displayed, with the default being 'opted out' of the program, and a "do you want to opt in to the program" message.

Unfortunately Google came along and made it the norm to try collect every piece of information humanly possible about your users - Microsoft are still better than Google, but this is a sign that they may be trying to follow everyone else in the industry in the "collect info" game - but there is no excuse for it, I think Microsoft should actively market themselves as the software vendor that doesn't constantly spy on you.

Comment Re:China (Score 1) 626

Sorry, adding to side comment, but here's the Idiot Abroad clip of the sort of thing we're talking about. We're well beyond a bit of offal here:


Grasshoppers, rats, scorpions, centipedes, lizards, cockroaches etc.

This is not just some weird cuisine, it's living history, a hand-down of living memories of mass starvation ... it's estimated that 60 to 80 million people may have died from starvation due to the Cultural Revolution. That's more than the entire UK population today.

Comment Re:China (Score 1) 626

If offal is the most poverty-imposed food you can think of, then sorry, but you know nothing about the Chinese eating habits we're talking about here, or poverty of the Cultural Revolution induced kind ... if you want a clue of the kind of eating habits we're talking about, I honestly suggest (for a start) that you watch the episode of "Idiot Abroad" where Karl Pilkington goes to China (season 1 episode 1), it might open your eyes a bit - that type of "cuisine" results when large numbers of people, for sustained periods of time, are truly looking to find absolutely any edible thing they can. Also, you seem to be forgetting that richer people even in the West often do tend to prefer to avoid offal if they can.

Comment China (Score 1) 626

China had the cultural revolution, which drove hundreds of millions to absolute dire poverty .. that's why the previous generation got used to eating instincts, not because it would be preferred in a prosperous society. I suspect you'll find the next (more prosperous) generation starts losing its taste for some of the more disgusting foods.

What's happening in Western society now is a sclerotic degradation, caused by fascism and corporatism, that is driving the average person closer to poverty ... now the rich folk are telling the plebs like you and me to get used to eating insects.

Comment Re:Earth-sized... (Score 2) 132

FWIW, some additional info:

Life possible on extrasolar moons "In their search for habitable worlds, astronomers have started to consider exomoons, or those likely orbiting planets outside the solar system. In a new study, a pair of researchers has found that exomoons are just as likely to support life as exoplanets."

Just keep in mind this field is an interesting area of active research. So take things with a grain of salt. But we have huge amounts of interesting new data coming from a.o. the Kepler observatory, and other projects. E.g.:

At Least One in Six Stars Has an Earth-Sized Planet, Analysis Finds "A new analysis of Kepler data shows that about 17 percent of stars have an Earth-sized planet in an orbit closer than Mercury. Since the Milky Way has about 100 billion stars, there are at least 17 billion Earth-sized worlds out there"

Planets Abound: Astronomers Estimate That at Least 100 Billion Planets Populate the Galaxy "There's at least 100 billion planets in the galaxy -- just our galaxy,"

Fifteen New Planets Hint at 'Traffic Jam' of Moons in Habitable Zone "Added to the 19 similar planets already discovered in habitable zones, where the temperature is neither too hot nor too cold for liquid water, the new finds suggest that there may be a 'traffic jam' of all kinds of strange worlds in regions that could potentially support life."

Comment Re:Earth-sized... (Score 1) 132

It's not a stupid question, my impression is that (basically) we don't know for sure. The 'consensus' seems to be that any kind of 'earth-like' or intelligent life is improbable or impossible, but that other forms of (probably simple, if they do exist) life might exist. The conditions for humans would likely be inhospitable though. Jupiter's core/surface, for example, contains a massive, deep 'ocean' of liquid metallic hydrogen.

I think more interesting though, is if Jupiter is anything to go by, big planets may have lots of moons, and those moons could certainly have conditions favorable for either interesting forms of life, or colonization.

Comment Re:14 LY from earth? (Score 2) 132

Some thoughts for consideration:

- Within 50 years (if not much sooner), we'll almost certainly have cured aging. Once humans regularly live in the many hundreds (or even thousands) of years, a 20, 30, 50, even 100 year trip won't seem as long (plus we'll have great on-board entertainment to keep us busy thanks to advanced robotic girlfriends).

- Once you approach even half the speed of light, local time slows down for you, so e.g. a 50 year trip would be 'only' 30 or 40 years (I haven't done the exact math)

- Accelerating humans to half C won't be easy, but if you consider that aging may be cured in our lifetimes, the goal of sending autonomous robotic explorers to stars (a la Mars Curiosity) just 13ly away may be quite feasible in some of our lifetimes. That alone is exciting. If you live 500 years, and you send a robotic probe at 1/10th C to a star 13 ly away (130 year trip plus 13 years for data to come back), you'll EASILY live to see the results. And beyond that, who knows - the technology of 150 years from now, we may well be sending the first humans to the nearest stars by then.

This is not even 'inane fantasy', it's just what is likely to become possible, and even to become mundane reality.

My suspicion is that we'll never find a way to travel faster than the speed of light. But our discussions seem to be limited by a common inability to imagine that other variables, that we take for granted, may change dramatically - e.g. the typical human lifespan.

Also, perspective: We've been 'human' for approximately 2 million years. We have millions of years ahead of us as a species, and even on cosmic scales, you can do an enormous amount in even just 2 million years.

I'm cautiously optimistic. I think our future in space is practically certain, and that we'll probably ultimately reach hundreds of other stars, and establish colonies on other planets. It's a matter of when and how, not if. The only thing that can stop us if everyone collectively gives up. That isn't going to happen, there will always be humans who want to explore.

Comment Re:Go (Score 1) 62

Humans will be going to space. We'll be travelling to space, we'll be colonizing space, we'll be visiting planets and terraforming them. So way I see it, you can either be part of this future, and be part of something exciting, or you can sit back on earth making "clever" cynical remarks, and get left behind to wallow in the mud of primitivism. I know which one I'll choose.

Comment Re:Black-and-white? (Score 2) 34

You can usually still find the original pictures, but not always easily.

Here is a link to one of those original pictures:


(What, your eyes can't see electromagnetic radiation outside the visible light range?)

(You actually have it completely the wrong way round; it isn't that 'false' color is 'added' - it's that in reality, there are trillions more 'colors' than our very limited human eyes can see.)

Comment Re:You Sure? (Score 1) 151

This. There is a reason 2/3s~ of the human race don't get cancer. Hint, it isn't because they were lucky.

That should be simple to test, by checking if four cups of coffee only lowers oral cancer or other types of cancer too. If it only lowers oral cancer but mysteriously no others, then this lowering effect has nothing to do with your "physical constitution".

Cancer rates are not entirely genetic, that much is already extremely well-established ... there are other major risk factors like smoking and obesity. Given the obesity link, and the fact that coffee also appears to lower your risk of diabetes, I suspect the effect may be coming from elsewhere in the coffee.

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