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Comment Here's the only relevant bit (Score 1) 87

While middle-aged and older Facebook users don't like seeing news in their feeds, those aged 18-29 were much more interested and excited to see even more news articles on Facebook.

This is the segment marketers and advertisers covet the most. The early years of independent adulthood is when habits that will endure for decades are formed. The party a young person votes for in his first two or three elections becomes the party he will vote for for the rest of his life. If he buys ACME brand rocket roller skates, chances are he'll never buy another brand of rocket roller skates.

Comment Re:This reminds me of my visit to the "Fish Man" (Score 1) 129

My client was an ex-special forces commando. He was working a modest-paying state job in the Department of Agriculture (he was an old time farm boy) for "vacation money" but after 9/11 he disappeared for a couple of years. Nobody knew where he was, but when he came back he had full-bird colonel's pension. Even though he now had plenty of "vacation money", he went back to his old Ag job, I think just to feel like he had something productive to do. His real passion, however, was painting wildlife. I wouldn't say his stuff was terribly original, but it was technically impressive. If I handed you one of his bird paintings and told you it was an original Audubon you'd probably believe me unless you were an art expert. This was a down-to-earth guy with a surprisingly sensitive side, and if he wanted to kill you with his bare hands you wouldn't have a prayer.

I know this sounds like BS, but there's really nothing like the Deep South for bizarre and colorful characters. And oddballs have a way of flocking together, which probably means I should worry about knowing so many of them.

Comment Re:Alternate title (Score 1) 203

First thing I thought when I saw this and read the summary was "That's not the style of story Slashdot would normally run".

Reading the "story" itself confirmed it.

Either the new owners don't get Slashdot, they want to turn it into something more profitable or that someone somewhere had a vested interest in running this story.

Honestly not sure which.

Comment This reminds me of my visit to the "Fish Man" (Score 4, Interesting) 129

I once bummed a ride from Tallahassee to Tampa with a client, and he asked me if I minded if he took a detour to see the "Fish Man". I thought he meant a fish-monger, but then he turned his car off the highway an drove it through a gap in the chainlink fence. We went up a dirt track through the scrub pines to a glade with couple of trailers -- one of which had no sides and was outfitted as a living room. There were chicken wire pens scattered around the compound full of empty beer and paint cans.

The "Fish Man" turned out to be fat, shambling, hairy mountain of a man. He was almost naked, and monochromatically red-brown: shoulder-length frizzy red-brown hair, sunburned skin with strawberry-blond fur, and red-brown denim cargo shorts. You almost couldn't tell where the shorts ended and his body began, except that there was no fur on the shorts and when he turned around he showed about ten inches of ass crack. It was about 10:30 in the morning and he was drinking his breakfast from a gallon screw-top bottle. From out in the forest came the sound of trees being cut down.

We were here because the Fish Man was an artist my friend collected. The people cutting down trees were his apprentices. They'd moved thousands of miles from their city homes to live in a squatter's camp and study under him. My friend handed the Fish Man $250 and got a fish sculpture in return, which he later explained to me was a terrrific deal because that sculpture would have fetched $1000 in a gallery, easily.

I'm not an art person, but even I could see the thing was a masterpiece; it was breathtaking. It wasn't exactly representational, you might even have called it a little cartoonish, but somehow he'd captured a sense of movement; it looked alive.

The Fish Man invited watch him turn a curved blank from a hollow cypress into another one, a process that took only about ten minutes because he did it with a goddamn chainsaw.

There's a lesson in this about powerful tools. They can't make you into anything you aren't already. If you're a genius, they allow you to express your genius faster. If you're undisciplined and lazy, they make you unproductive on a grander scale.

Comment Re:Next up O'Google (Score -1) 199

Oh, so this is theft and actual violent removal of private property by the state under the name of 'taxation' is not theft? The actual theft happens when the violent means of a state are used to forcefully take property of a person or his business regardless of what the name is. A rose by any other name... Ireland is the best thing that happened in this insane world.

Comment Re:free choice (Score -1) 296

Yeah, they're perfectly free to go back to dire poverty and hunger if they want.

- correct, the key word in your sentence being *back*. Back is where they would have to go in order to get away from these 'horrible companies' that are giving them something they never had before - a choice of not going back, from where they came.

I guess they are making their own choices every day regardless of what you think they should do.

No one is holding a gun to their heads to force them to feed their kids and have basic shelter.

- precisely, nobody is forcing them to eat and to feed their kids. They are choosing to do so by working for the companies that are offering them these jobs. They can go *back* of-course, back from whence they came.

Comment No...just, no. (Score 5, Interesting) 159

No one actually has to "hack" anything -- just get the thought out there. No matter who wins, stories like this will be cited by the losing side as "proof" the election was "rigged" or "hacked", and that the winner didn't win legitimately. I can think of few things more damaging to the democratic institution.

See also:

A Powerful Russian Weapon: The Spread of False Stories

Comment Re:see what the Union free work place get's you! (Score 5, Interesting) 296

Where independent unions are banned.

Basically when China and Russia gave up on socialism, they created a version of capitalism in the image of what they imagined capitalism to be; not the kind of liberal society you find in advanced Western democracies with their regulated market economies and worker's rights guarantees.

Comment Re:indigenous? (Score 2) 53

Indigenous means "originating where it is found", or "naturally occurring in a particular place". It can be used referring to individuals, groups of people, flora, fauna, minerals -- pretty much anything. It shares many of the same dictionary definitions as "native".

The word usage problem is using "indigenous" for an artificial, mobile invention, which is a bit unusual. You wouldn't say "indigenous airplane" because it's not something naturally found in a place or confined to a place. That would be an unusual usage, but people would understand what you meant -- you'd mean "domestically produced".

Comment Re:Eh, was this necessary? (Score 1) 175

Well, it depends on what your research objectives are. ISS is in some ways a better model, in some ways a worse one. It's better in that it's in space with microgravity, but ISS crew members rotate in and out. Even if individuals spend the equivalent time of a Mars mission on the ISS there will be new faces, a constantly changing research workload, and the ever-changing panorama of the Earth below.

So it's not a very accurate model of the social dynamics of a Mars mission where people are cooped up in a can with the same faces, same scenery, and nothing but busy-work to keep them occupied. Let's say we lick the radiation and microgravity problems; the question then becomes what kind of people can successfully negotiate the trip to Mars, arriving ready to work successfully there?

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