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Comment Re:Not to worry (Score 1) 104

Is that how it works? "App has permissions it was explicitly granted" isn't a great headline.

I was sort of hoping someone on /. would explain this. I've read three different puff pieces, and I still have no idea how these permissions were granted. Have people been tapping "Grant all rights to my Google Account", and being surprised by the result?

Comment Re:Galactic North... (Score 0) 268

Actually, it would be a good reason to dust off aether theory. Maybe all these quantum waves really do travel through a medium.

(and before anyone jumps on me, the Michelson-Morley experiment only proved that we can't detect aether using Newtonian models. It never proved aether can't exist)

Comment Re:Uber income (Score 5, Insightful) 323

Really, given the facts on display and a history of the 19th century only a few clicks away, why exactly does Uber still have defenders?

Because the taxi racket has been enjoying its monopoly for too long. Where I am, we have some of the highest taxi prices in Canada while many the taxi drivers are near minimum wage (because the drivers rent the licenses from the people who could actually afford them). An Uber driver told me he makes more money on Uber than he did driving a cab, although I didn't ask if that factored in vehicle wear'n'tear.

Everyone I know had pretty much stopped taking cabs because they were so unreliable. You could end up waiting an hour longer than claimed, or the cab just wouldn't show. Uber has effectively brought taxis back into our lives as a viable option.

From everything I've heard, Uber takes advantage of its workers and uses some pretty shady tactics. I support government regulation to ensure drivers can make a decent wage. But they've disrupted a market that desperately needed disrupting and have noticeably improved my personal standard of living.

So given the choice between Uber and the previous status quo? Yeah, I'm an Uber Defender, if a cautious one.

Comment Re:No, aliens are silent because of time (Score 1) 559

The galactic scale actually helps the pro-alien viewpoint. There are so many billions of planets in the galaxy that we would expect them to spawn life. Many systems in our galaxy are far older than Earth. By the time the Earth was formed, the linked solar system had already had a chance to evolve from accretion disk->Kardashians.

And yet the galactic scale is no impediment to colonization. Assuming a 0.0025*c travel speed, it would take only 50 million years to colonize the galaxy. That's nothing in galactic terms.

So maybe alien life is common, but not a single one of the isolated species decided to expand to the stars. Maybe travel between the stars is somehow impossible, even for machines. Maybe they're extinct or maybe then never existed to begin with. But one thing that doesn't explain the absence of aliens is the vast galactic scale. It's smaller than you think.

Comment Re:The man in the mirror (Score 3, Insightful) 217

I think that's the point of calling you sociopathic. You shouldn't need a reason, because the empathy present in most humans would be enough.

I can't give you a personal reason, but I can give you one that applies to people as a collective: I live the full live I have now because of the sacrifices made by the generations that came before. People who put off their own happiness to improve the world in some way. It's a form of paying it forward, and I have a huge debt. I'll never be able compensate those countless generations who got the world to where it is now, but I can do my part to improve upon their work.

Comment Re:Prime (Score 1) 264

This is a different author. As far as I can tell, K5 was the only host for this story on the entire internet.

(and yeah, I'm signed up for's newsletter. Prime Intellect and Passages in the Void are incredible stories)

Comment Re:Prime (Score 2) 264

True. Some of the best fiction I've read was first published on that site.

There was another one about the corpse of an angel, found floating in space, hooked up to play a perfect allegorical game of Go to solve political and economic puzzles for its masters.

Very few things stick with me for this long, but K5's fiction did.

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