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Comment Homophobia and suicide (Score 1) 153

Awww, did someone call you a faggot? He's a meanie!

There's solid data showing that suicide rate is higher among bi- and homo- sexual youth (teens and young adult) than among their heterosexual peers.
This is believed to be strongly linked to the difficulty of feeling accepted. The more a young individual with an unorthodox sexuality and/or gender identity feels rejected by the surrounding society, the higher the risks of suicide.

Check again the summary, it was not a young internet shouting homophobic slurs at a senior officer, it was the other way around.
By keeping a climate were "being [homophobic slur]" is considered as a bad thing, that senior officer is actively contributing in a small part in the lack of self acceptance and higher suicide rates among non-heterosexual young people.

It's not about being ridiculously excessively nice to people so they feel special snowflake.
It's avoid to keep a general situation were young persons feel so much rejected by the society that suicide seems a better alternative.

Comment Re:Not Science, Medicine (Score 1) 214

No, they focus on correlation because causation is frequently so complex that it can not be deciphered with our current level of knowledge.

Exactly but if they were a scientist then this is when they would stop and go and look at a different problem that they can decipher with our current level of knowledge. That is part of being a good scientist: you have to tackle things which you can ultimately understand because it is that understanding which is the goal of science. In medicine the correlation is enough: if substance X or activity Y cures ailment Z that's good medicine, why and how is of secondary importance.

Comment Aadhaar vs US (Score 1) 33

For those of us who would be happy using less bandwidth stateside,

What part of "also uses India's controversial Aadhaar biometric authentication" did you not understand?

And you, what part of stateside didn't you understand ?
US citizen (and in my case european) aren't very likely to have their biometrics database in an Indian government database.
Users can still log-in using normal Microsoft credentials (as far as I know) and completely ignore that microsoft offers to Indian the possibility to log using biometrics they stored into a database that leaks private informations all over the place.

Comment You appear to be advocating... (Score 1) 105

You appear to be advocating for a technical solution for fascism. The problem is, the fascists have better rubber hoses. Also, if it can't be turned off, then it can be used to grief people; if you can get them to turn it on, whether by owning their account or by tricking them, and they can't turn it off, that's beyond inconvenient.

Comment Re:Left and right (Score 1) 91

I don't see any such change, unless you're counting skepticism on the right about the hard-to-pin-down effect of carbon on weather, even when we observe warming (are we all going to die of thirst, or are we going to drown?)

Yes, that is the effect of CO2 on weather. We are going to die of thirst, or drown. That's why they call it a chaotic system.

Meanwhile the left hates technology just as much as it did in the Seventies, and has even started hacking away against pure research itself, as evidenced by their crusade against astronomy - a discipline whose vested interest is in a totally clean environment - first in Arizona, and more recently in Hawaii.

I can't figure out WTF you're talking about in AZ, in fact it looks like astronomers there are winning victories to fight light pollution. The thing in HI is not left vs. science. To the extent that any of the people involved are lefties (which sure, some of them are) they have been whipped into a froth by right-wing politicians. And the battle ties into a fight for the land which the Hawaiian natives, frankly, have not given up fighting. Remember, it's not like they simply chose to join an empire.

If Trump accomplishes just one thing, let him find a way of locking these little weasels out of the court system so we can get human progress moving again.

Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it, and if Trump makes it harder for people to fight larger entities in the courts, you are not going to enjoy the consequences. No one who will has time to post on Slashdot. They are all off fucking a Russian model or something.

Comment Bogus URLs (Score 1) 56

Yup it's basically that.

With the additional peculiarity that here, "" will spit a valid page with suggestions, no matter what you throw as a name afterward (even if "" isn't in their database, it would still give a list of not necessarily related download links).

So they are not exactly issuing DMCA about links that don't even exist (these URLs do not return 404s), only DMCA about links that are not in google database (random links that elict a random answer from the website).

The claim is borderline bogus because, as mentioned, the website return random non related download suggestions. So the website is not necessarily infringing on the DMCA submitter's IP. On the other hand, as the result page is random, Google can't prove that the submitter didn't get their IP showing by random chance on the result page on the precise occurence when they tested the URLs about which they decided to file the complain.

So currently Google is deciding to accept the submissions. But that could easily get changed in the future.

Comment Re:A lot of negativism is totally gratuitous (Score 1) 91

But the author seems to be a frustrated SJW who couldn't resist a totally irrelevant slam at current US immigration policy, even though nobody has ever accused VASIMR developer Franklin Chang-DÃaz of having sneaked across the border on foot.

If such things make you angry, perhaps you should consider what about them puts you on the defensive.

Comment Re:Shift from offering products to exploiting user (Score 1) 91

Now, it's our job to get vocal, get active, and take our Democracy back,

It has never been a Democracy. It was always an Oligarchy. The rich white men (mostly slaveowners) who were running the country wanted to keep running the country, and wanted to get the Monarchy out of it. But they didn't want every plebe to have a voice, that would be madness!

It's our job to get vocal, get active, and get Democracy. Abolish the electoral college, as well as the practice of denying felons the vote. That only creates more incentive to find those who are politically inconvenient guilty of a felony.

Comment Attention (Score 1) 127

not all humans are capable of staying focused on the ride while not involved in it

Hence some strategies of asking to keep the hands ready on the wheel (and other similar micro-involvements)

(And there is experience, coming from the world of train automation, that suggest that this works (a bit).
e.g.: TGV train operators are required by the system to periodically hold the thrust control wheel)

Also in my personal experience, you still remain involved in the driving :
- even if the adaptive cruise control is taking care of keeping distance with the car in front, you need to periodically adjust target speed depending on the limitations of the local part of the highway. And in a city settings you still need to react to traffic lights, stop signs, yield, etc.
- even if your car has a lane keeping system, you still need to initiate overtakes (even Tesla's Autopilot 's lane change isn't good enough to be done without supervision. The car's sonars have a very short range and might miss a car coming fast from far away in the target line) and over all handle the whole highway entry/exists, and city crossing.

and what is the point of that anyway?

the same as having a friend in the passenger seat also watching the road :
additional checks.

Machine are never distracted : the LIDAR, cams and radar are always on, their input constantly processed. The car's computer will never lose focus.
Computer excel at boring repetitive tasks. The car will always be ready to execute an emergency braking if there's a risk of collision.

So, compared to just a lone diver steering the car, an autopilot ("Level 2" in official parlance) in addition to the human watching is always better (redundancy against possible accident), even better if driver AND passenger watch the road in addition to the AI.

Comment Devil's advocate (Score 1) 125

Playing the devil's advocate

There was a time people believed combustion was "phlogiston" exiting the material;

Which isn't entirely wrong. It's just the same usual equations but with an arbitrary minus sign in front of the oxygen.

(Just as you could mathematically describe orbits with a complex bunch of circles, but using ellipses makes it way much simpler for everyone).

blood was generated and consumed in the body (not circulated);

(medieval dark-age medecine hardly qualifies as a science. more of a superstition.
christian middle-age somewhat focused on a very small subset of the knowledge (mainly Aristotle) available in antiquity that happen to play nicer with their religious believes.)

(Real notion of blood circulation can already be found in many other greek scientist and as far back as egyptian antiquity.
Middle age just settled on Aristotle body humors for an arbitrary reason)

the Sun revolved around the Earth;

and then Einstein came and declared that everything is relative and it's only a matter of referential.
(You can pretty much put whatever you want in "your center", all relativist equation remain valid).

All of these ideas were eventually discarded through a process that was not incremental, but revolutionary.

and which yet still build-up on several other smaller past discoveries to arrive at the big conclusion:

mice could be "created" by leaving some food and rags alone in a bucket in a barn for a few days, while fly maggots were "generated" in meat.

the disproving of which requires both preliminary advances in chemistry (e.g.: Le Chatelier - matter can't just pop up into existence) and general understanding of evolution (e.g.: Darwin - mice must come from other mices or at least ancestrors close to modern mices) and in turn has interesting implication in germ theory (Pasteur - bacteria can't just pop into existence, exactly as mice can't neither) and for medecin (Koch and the identification of agents causing diseases).

Around Maxwell`s days it was believed aether was needed for the propagation of electromagnetic waves

And yet Maxell didn't competely invent electro magnetism out of the blue. (again, e.g.: Volta for a much older contributor) Even the word Electrictiy come from old Greek "electron" =amber, i.e.: the thing that you need to rub with cloth to generate static electricity.
And in turn his models were perfected by Einstein, and then further into quantum physics (Heisenberg and co).

and the age of the Earth was under estimated because the radio active processes preventing a more rapid cooling down were unknown.

yet, some geologists did came to differing conclusion due to plate tectonics.
And you needed the advance by the Curies couple to then be able to advance calculation of the Earth thermal cooling. And isotope dating too.

Yup. Some steps are wider than others, but they still built upon all the knowledge that was accumulated up to this point and start as far back as when the first monkey-man lifted up his nose and started wondering about the stars in the sky instead of just thinking about where to get the next fruit.

Comment Re:Weak/nonexistent punishments for faulty notices (Score 1) 56

All patent applications are signed under penalty of perjury. However, the US Patent and Trademark office disbanded its enforcement department in 1974. So, you can perjure yourself on a patent application with impunity.

Unless it's testimony in a criminal case, or the perjury trap in front of a grand jury, or something they want to prosecute like lying on your tax form, the Federal government is in general lassiez faire about perjury, or even encouraging of it with their reluctance to prosecute, especially perjury committed by a so-called intellectual property holder.

Comment Re:Maybe (Score 1) 179

The short of it, Jupiter moves things around; it's very good at scattering other bodies, even large ones. First it dragged outer populations into the inner solar system, then scattered inner solar system material out, and then on its retreat pulled outer solar system material back in. It's actually a very big deal that it did that, as it brought ice into the inner solar system.

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Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"