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Comment Can we just get rid of it? (Score 1) 61

The only bias I see is that for some reason, Facebook seems to think I'm in any way interested in celebrity gossip, because that's about all that ever shows up in the "Trending" section for me.

I'm interested in science and technology, but every "trending" topic I seem to see is something about what Britney Spears ate for breakfast, or whose dress Catelyn Jenner wore to the mall, or some other equally banal and useless piece of "news" about some celebrity that I don't give a crap about.

I'm not even exaggerating. My current "trending" topics include:

  • - What's coming up on Netflix next month (US Netflix, that is. I'm Canadian and watch Canadian Netflix, and we don't get the same new movies the US does, so it's even more useless)
  • - "Go topless day"
  • - Some sort of conspiracy theory about Herman Cain and Epi Pens
  • - Some nonsense about whether or not some pastor endorsed Donald Trump or not
  • - Something about some guy I've never heard of who got roasted by Twitter due to his hairstyle
  • - Five reasons to see some movie I've never heard of
  • - The 77th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz
  • - Something about Britney Spears doing karaoke

As you can see, my "trending" doesn't have a Liberal or Conservative slant -- it just has a inanely stupid slant.

"Trending" is the least useful part of Facebook, and personally I wish they'd just get rid of it altogether.

Yaz

Submission + - British Companies Are Selling Advanced Spy Tech To Authoritarian Regimes (vice.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Since early 2015, over a dozen UK companies have been granted licenses to export powerful telecommunications interception technology to countries around the world, Motherboard has learned. Many of these exports include IMSI-catchers, devices which can monitor large numbers of mobile phones over broad areas. Some of the UK companies were given permission to export their products to authoritarian states such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Egypt; countries with poor human rights records that have been well-documented to abuse surveillance technology. In 2015, the UK's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) started publishing basic data about the exportation of telecommunications interception devices. Through the Freedom of Information Act, Motherboard obtained the names of companies that have applied for exportation licenses, as well as details on the technologies being shipped, including, in some cases, individual product names. The companies include a subsidiary of defense giant BAE Systems, as well as Pro-Solve International, ComsTrac, CellXion, Cobham, and Domo Tactical Communications (DTC). Many of these companies sell IMSI-catchers. IMSI-catchers, sometimes known as “Stingrays” after a particularly popular brand, are fake cell phone towers which force devices in their proximity to connect. In the data obtained by Motherboard, 33 licenses are explicitly marked as being for IMSI-catchers, including for export to Turkey and Indonesia. Other listings heavily suggest the export of IMSI-catchers too: one granted application to export to Iraq is for a “Wideband Passive GSM Monitoring System,” which is a more technical description of what many IMSI-catchers do. In all, Motherboard received entries for 148 export license applications, from February 2015 to April 2016. A small number of the named companies do not provide interception capabilities, but defensive measures, for example to monitor the radio spectrum.

Comment Re:You youngsters and your cloud (Score 1) 346

I am concerned about the lubrication and circuit boards (electrolytic caps, mostly) associated with hard disks over long term storage. I have found a high failure rate on my own old hard drives - old MFM drives were kind of crappily engineered, however, so the fact that an ST-251 drive from 1990 doesn't work today shouldn't necessarily be indicative of the lifespan of say, a WD Black 1TB manufactured in 2010.

Submission + - Trump's shock troops: Who are the 'alt-right'? (bbc.com)

alternative_right writes: Anthony Smith, a journalist for the website Mic, got a tip that the image had appeared on 8chan, an extreme message board with many users who self-identify as members of the alt-right movement.

At first Smith was sceptical that he'd be able to stand the story up. The message board is fast-moving, threads get deleted quickly, and it's difficult to search for and find images. But within an hour, he had his answer.

Comment Re:That's bullshit (Score 0) 294

In my world, we rely on practical tests of functionality *with the actual users* rather than theoretical measures of effectiveness. It seems the CDC agrees with me on this one.

As to one of your other points:

"The bottom line is that a single act of intercourse between a young couple has on average a one in 20 chance of pregnancy – this assumes the opportunity presented itself on a random day, as these things tend do when you are young."

Source

So the answer is based on how often you fuck. The CDC numbers do not map precisely to data of this sort, however.

Last point: "measuring the effectiveness of encouraging people not to fuck" sounds like the craptastic questionnaire-based research I saw at (not to pick on them) the Lehigh psych department in the early 2000s. People lie, and they can't simulate the paths not taken effectively. There would literally be no way to know if someone decided to not have sexual intercourse based on an abstinence campaign.

Besides, my kind of abstinence campaign would be "Blowjobs for Everyone" or "Real lovers wank each other".

Comment That's bullshit (Score -1, Flamebait) 294

Actual effectiveness ratios for birth control:

US CDC document on actual effectiveness

Highlights:

Condoms are about as effective as the withdrawal method, sponges, or the rhythm method. 20% or so failure rates.
Spermicides are worse (!) (28%)
9% annual failure on the pill.

The only truly effective contraception methods are *just* the methods they won't allow young kids to get. I had to get a signoff from my wife at age 29 for a vasectomy. I was told they wouldn't do it if i were single or if I had been married with no children. Reason: ex post facto lawsuits by women aggrieved by the urologist denying them children within their marriage. Similarly, just try walking in and asking for your tubes tied at 16 or an IUD implant.

The bottom line is that the "conservatives" advocating abstinence training are actually right. The only actual way to reduce teen pregnancy is to encourage them to stop fucking so much. The birth control available to them _does not work_. They should all just screw bareback from what I can see.

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