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Comment Overpopulation isn't a real problem (Score 1) 185

There has been a very strong downward trend in population growth worldwide, as you can see by looking at the World Bank data

India in fact is part of that steep decline, as you can see in the per-country breakdown. On average the "Middle East & North Africa" has also seen a moderate reduction over the last 50 years, from 2.7 to 1.8, while the "Arab World" has gone from 2.7 to 2.0. The only region with a generally upward trend over that time is "Sub-Saharan Africa", and even that has started to level off.

The reasons for this are fairly well understood, and are covered in this Kurzgesagt video on Overpopulation.

TLDW: disease, war, and famine are not a result of population growth so much as they are a cause. The more people fear their children won't reach adulthood the more children they have. The more developed the country, the more likely children are to reach adulthood, the less children they have. Every country that has undergone significant economic development experiences a (relatively) brief "bubble" in which the older birth rate exceeds the newer death rate before everyone realizes so many children aren't necessary.

Overall Africa is one of the last areas in the world to undergo this normal economic/technological transformation of population growth so they're at the tail end of this cycle. However current data seems to indicate that they're finally moving into Stage 3. So unless something (more) happens to wreck their economy they should start progressing into Stage 4 within a few decades and pretty much all areas of the world will have declining population growth.

Comment Features have Costs (Score 5, Insightful) 388

When I was a younger programmer, I thought, "Features are great! Always add a feature, if it could help someone!" I overestimated the value of the feature, and didn't think at all about the costs of the feature. "I mean, how long does it take to implement this? 10 minutes? A couple days? What's that matter, vs. the utility that this would provide?"

What I didn't realize at the time was that every feature basically adds an exponential cost, and has an impact on everything else going on in the codebase. Features introduce new possibilities, and new possibilities create new state combinations, and new state combinations create new bugs and new need-to-test circumstances. New features usually have a user interface impact, several new features have a dramatic user interface impact. New features need to be supported by new or future-self programmers, who have to understand and navigate around the code. If the product is ported, the feature needs to be ported as well. New features also require additional documentation, and if the product is localized the new documentation requires new localizations.

I've heard that "the skilled Go player is reluctant to make a move." I think it's similar for the application developer, and for much the same reason.

Comment Re:NES Classic 2 (Score 1) 104

Your other points stand, but comparing Wii U sales numbers to NES Classic sales numbers is really apples and oranges.

The Wii U was out for approximately 52 months before the Switch launched last month. That means sales of 0.26 million per month on average, with the system being easily findable over that period of time.

The NES Classic has been out for five months, mid-November to mid-April, for an average of 0.3 million sales per month.

The WiiU was probably selling higher at the beginning of its 52 month run than the average, but still the NES Classic selling more than the Wii U average even while being out of stock most of the time is a significant achievement.

The NES Classic _probably_ had a lower potential sales total than the Wii U, but there's really no way to know for sure now.

Comment Re: LOLZ Converged! (Score 1, Insightful) 191

I'm not sure if they're (capable of) thinking it through that thoroughly. One of them tried to insult a woman when she mentioned going on birdwatching trip with two male friends by telling her that her husband was a cuck.

...how does saying that to a woman about her partner even work as an insult? It fails on so many levels!

Comment Re:Goodbye Tourism Money (Score 2) 505

I know that skipping the article is in vogue on Slashdot as always, but did you not even read the blurb?

"which could force tourists from Britain and other countries visiting the U.S. to reveal their mobile phone contacts, social media passwords and financial data"

I'm hoping Mr. Anonymous Coward that you are just a troll, because i'd like to believe that the kind of jumping to conclusions triathlon you just completed doesn't actually represent the standard for intellectual rigor among people who might initially be inclined to support this bill. (I'm may be doomed to disappointment, but i can hope, right?)

Comment Goodbye Tourism Money (Score 4, Insightful) 505

Tourism is a $1.5 trillion industry in the US. I don't know what exactly the split is between domestic and foreign but foreign is definitely a significant chunk (one site claimed $21 billion from foreign tourists in April 2016) and if you're worried about trade deficits then that chunk is especially important.

There are already concerns that foreign tourism revenue is starting to dry up after Trump's election and the (attempted) Muslim bans. If it's actually put into effect this "extreme vetting" will only accelerate that process.

Comment Hypothetically speaking... (Score 4, Interesting) 76

I am certainly not advocating that anyone do this, because it would be illegal! But in _theory_ could you use this hack to brick susceptible TVs or in some other way interfere with their normal functionality rather than secretly using it to spy on the owner or add it to a botnet?

And if you (in theory!) did that, would the manufacturer then have to "repair" the suddenly "malfunctioning" TV under the standard warranty since the issue wasn't due to anything the consumer did?

And if this happened (hypothetically!) to enough TVs, between the repair costs and the bad publicity wouldn't the TV manufacturers have to start taking security seriously instead of fobbing the risks of insecure devices off onto the commons as they currently do?

Comment UK vs Great Britain geography (Score 3, Interesting) 667

As long as you're going to tell people to get educated about the differences between the terms, here are some CGP Grey videos about the subject:

The Difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England Explained

The (Secret) City of London, Part 1: History

The (Secret) City of London, Part 2: Government

And here's one about the whole Brexit thing itself, though it's from just after the vote so is now somewhat out of date, though the speculation about what the results might be "if" it goes through are presumably still relevant.

Brexit, Briefly

.

Comment Is the Content actually Deleted? (Score 5, Interesting) 88

There's something bothering me about the article and Facebook's announcement --

It talks as if photographs and content are deleted forever, but it's carefully carved out the language in a way such that they never directly say that:
* "The Instagram community has shown us that it can be fun to share things that disappear after a day, so in the main Facebook app we’re also introducing Facebook Stories, ..."
* "Your friends can view photos or videos your story for 24 hours, and stories won’t appear..."
* ...We’ve also added Direct, an option that’s designed for sharing individual photos and videos with specific friends for a limited time."
* "When you send a photo or video via Direct, your friends will be able to view it once and replay it or write a reply. Once the conversation on the photo or video ends, the content is no longer visible in Direct."

"view ... for 24 hours," "...a limited time," "...view it once..," "...no longer visible..."

OK, but nowhere does it ever actually say DELETED.

Given that there is likely going to be sexual and personally sensitive (black-mail?) content here, isn't this a big deal?

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