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Comment Re:Mods (Score 1) 626

No. First, let us look at this little tidbit:

Having taken into account other factors such as alcohol or tobacco dependency or other drug use, as well the number of years spent in education...

So there was manipulation of the data to exclude the effect of these "other factors", which completely throws out any correlation that these could/would/should have. It would be akin to testing if teen pregnancy lowered IQ, but they threw out data belonging to private school girls.

This is a very common thing to do in medical studies. It's called correcting for confounding factors. If they hadn't done this then the results would have been less useful, as it could be claimed that the observed effects were the result of something else already known to negativly impact IQ.

they found that those who persistently used cannabis - smoking it at least four times a week year after year through their teens, 20s and, in some cases, their 30s - suffered a decline in their IQ.

This is plain bad science. These people they are studying are CHRONIC users. They are likely using right up to the morning of their "interview". It is like the kid who started smoking cigarettes at 8 years old vs. someone starting at, say 23. The former is most likely to smoke 2+ packs a day. The latter usually smokes less than one pack. Also, nothing has been done to show what happens when they would stop.

First off, why is it "bad science" to test the effect on chronic users? As for what would happen when they stop, from the abstract:

Further, cessation of cannabis use did not fully restore neuropsychological functioning among adolescent-onset cannabis users.

Comment Re:But ... (Score 1) 846

Overall homicide rates follow these patterns, so it's not the case that people will just find other ways to commit murder. Making guns more available and making rapid-fire weapons more available makes murder easier, and therefore more common.

Murder rate per 100,000 in:
California: 5.4
Canada: 1.7
UK: 1.23 (most restrictive gun laws here)
New Hampshire: 0.9 (least restrictive gun laws here)

Maybe correlation != causation?

Comment Re:Goodbye jobs (Score 1) 475

100 years ago 90% of the people in the US were employed on farms. today its 4%. why isn't 90% of the USA unemployed?

new jobs open up and are created

I think there is a fundamental difference here. That was one job that was automated, we are now talking about entire types of work being automated. Of those 90% of people, many were capable of doing jobs that required more thinking than labor, but the bulk just shifted to other manual labor jobs. Still, I'm sure a big portion of the population currently doing manual labor could do more complex thinking jobs. But there is some chunk of the population that just can't.

There is no reason to think that robots won't be able to do any job that is just manual labor. We are going to end up with all manual labor jobs being replaced, and then what? Does the working population simply pay for the nonworking population? I also think near human level AI will be here in 50 years or so. Then we are left with just about every type of job being done by a machine.

At the same time all this will make goods and services cheaper, but if someone has no money cheaper doesn't matter. I think we have to find someway to spread the benefit of automation across humanity as a whole. One way to do this that I've seen proposed would be to encourage shorter work weeks, thus allowing more total people to have some work.

Comment Re:Google What? (Score 2) 286

I downloaded a separate browser 9 (Opera in my case) which I use exclusively for Facebook. That way FB can't track my browsing with like buttons as I do my browsing on Firefox.

Couldn't they just compare the ip that logs in with the ip that requests the like button image on a remote site?

Comment Re:A right way and a wrong way (Score 1) 184

Actually, grand juries are on circumstance where secrecy makes sense. Grand juries don't convict people, they are responsible for deciding if there's sufficient evidence of a crime to go ahead with the prosecution. Keeping such hearing secret means that people are more willing to give information they might not want to give in open court if it is personally embarrassing or if it has a negative aspect to people they don't want to piss off. It also means that a prosecutor can't just use the threat of bringing someone in front of a jury where they'll air all the person's dirty laundry. Overall, the secrecy of grand juries helps the little guy.

This doesn't apply to this case though. Here the person making the disclosure is the witness. He decided after the fact to reveal what he was asked about.

Comment Re:Contempt of Court? (Score 1) 184

My reading of that doesn't seem to include the person actually being questioned.

Item (v) under Rule 6(E)(2)(b): "a person who transcribes recorded testimony".

It sounds like that was exactly what he was doing.

I think that would be a person whose job it is to later transcribe the testimony that was recorded to a tape. He transcribed the testimony directly, not from a recording.

Comment Re:Plaintext passwords again? (Score 1) 233

From the article:

It is still unknown whether the passwords were retrieved in the clear text format or were decrypted by the attackers afterwards.

Its possible they were stored hashed, and simply cracked. That, however, WOULD strongly imply either no salt or a single global salt.

A quick look at the dump shows one of the passwords was: h2Kmn7WGrH4IORsDYbvL

I doubt that was hashed and cracked.

Comment Re:Piracy is the answer (Score 1) 378

Honest question: Is that illegal?
  It could be argued that it is a mechanism of time-shifting, but from my past reading, the mechanism of distribution determines legality so downloading content that even you pay for (e.g. HBO Shows) would be illegal because it is a different distribution mechanism.

Any thoughts? I'd love to download a show that I forgot to Tivo, but I'm under the impression that it is against current law.

Well if you use bit torrent to download it'd be illegal regardless of anything else because you would be uploading while downloading.

Comment Re:they are all evil (Score 1) 378

Having 10 or 20 channels instead of 200 would be an improvement even if we paid the same, just because it's easier to find what I want to watch.

Every tv I've seen in the last decade has the ability to deprogram channels, or set up a list of favorites. Which would allow you to have a limited selection at the same price, with the added benefit of you deciding which channels to keep and not the provider.

Comment Re:What exactly am I suppose to replace it with? (Score 1) 329

Reading over the sunset annoucement, I don't think they realize how people really use it. It's not a mobile service, and it isn't simply a redundant link to stuff, it's a dashboard of what I'm interested in and a portal to all of Google's other services. It's also not just a homepage, it's the page I have open on my desktop all the time.

I'm sure they know exactly how people use it, they just don't care. They know that some people will replace will replace iGoogle with Google+, Chrome + web apps, or Google reader. Other people will move to something not run by Google. They feel that the benefit they get from additional Chrome and Google+ users will out weight the lose of some users.

Comment Re:Maybe (Score 1) 398

The OPEC countries can only cut so much, and then they will start going broke. For many, if not most, of these countries this is their only source of revenue. If they don't sell oil, they have no money. If US could get all of it's supplies here in the US, it really doesn't matter how much they cut their own throats trying to raise prices, instead they will start pumping more and bringing down the prices to try and regain market share. They don't have as big of a stranglehold on the worlds market as they once did, and they have gotten used to getting all of that money and spending it.

With all that money flowing in for decades they could have made revolutionary infrastructure investments. The entire area could be a economic powerhouse by now. Instead, in the next decades as their only source of income dries up they will be in worse shape than ever. But I guess gold Bugattis are cool too.

See also:

Comment Re:Should switch to the gold standard (Score 1) 178

it would be less economically volatile to just give out a brick of gold with the award... or better yet, just make the medal out of gold, it would only weigh about 44 pounds

All medals made before 1980 were struck in 23 carat gold. Since then they have been struck in 18 carat green gold plated with 24 carat gold. The weight of each medal varies with the value of gold, but averages about 175 grams (0.39 lb) for each medal.

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