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Comment Re:Secure by name (Score 4, Interesting) 98

China does have source code review rights, and are probably pretty concerned about anything that phones home to the USA.

What I'll find really ironic, though, is if they just end up with the China version of Windows 10 stripping out all the privacy invasion and ad related crap. If that's the case, I might just have to see if I can get my hands on a Chinese copy of Win 10 instead.

Comment Always Look on the Bright Side of Global Warming (Score 1) 211

Everyone is always so down on Global Warming. Why doesn't anyone ever look on the bright side of things? After all, once the icecaps and glaciers all melt, think of how much better the world will be: 1) Florida will be completely underwater. Not just Miami, but the "Florida Man" parts too. 2) So will large chunks of the Middle East (though admittedly they'll probably be a bit more worried about the heat than that). 3) Lots of currently undervalued inland property will become valuable beachfront areas. And without having to fire nuclear missiles at the San Andreas a la Superman! 4) Huge swathes of inhospitably cold Canadian land will be sunny, warm, and liveable, which will be good news for those of us fleeing the future American hellscape. 5) Make the Great Lakes Great Again - there will be a new Great Lake, right about where Montreal currently is. (French Canadians underwater? Bonus!) Sure, there will be some downsides. The Netherlands will wind up completely underwater, though I'm sure they can build a wall to keep the North Sea out, since they've been doing it for decades already. I know a guy, he's very big on building Walls (big, classy ones), maybe I can send him over there. Install some tidal power generation, and they can even make the North Sea pay for it, too!

Comment Re:Sounds nice! (Score 1) 127

We've certainly got the resources, at least in the developed world. There are a lot of questions as to what the implications would be, though, such as whether this would extend fertile years or not. If we're talking about living to, let's say 200, does that mean double the years in each traditional age category, or simply another 100 years at (adult/middle aged/60s)? Population growth is negative in pretty much the entire developed world, so this might have a positive impact on countries that are at the leading edge of the bad affects of that (such as Japan), even if it's not a long term fix.
More importantly though, people who are less frail can also work more, so you might see retirement pushed back a ways to compensate (especially if we're living longer as a result).
(Cynical thought: "And you thought age-based discrimination in IT was bad now.")

As for your Cynical thought, hey, why not? It's already a sci-fi book plot, after all: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

Comment Re:20,000 years ago (Score 4, Informative) 211

You're not wrong about the past glacial extent. And no, the glaciers didn't disappear because of humanity, they receded well in advance of the first permanent human settlements (roughly the dawn of civilization, though humans were around well before that). And interestingly enough, global temperatures were in a (slow) cooling trend from about 7000BCE onward.

But that stopped around 1900, and the global temperature average has begun to swing sharply, at a rate that ought to be alarming, because as the graph shows, it is quite literally without precedent, in terms of the speed of the change, and shows no signs of stopping unless we take action to affect it:
https://xkcd.com/1732/

Comment Re:So, it's not only the Russians that hack, huh! (Score 1) 113

No one should be surprised that US Intelligence agencies hack. That's the very core of their job - spying!

What made the Snowden leaks such a big deal was not that the U.S. was spying, but that there was bulk spying going on, grabbing everyone's information, including Americans. What these leaks accuse the CIA of doing is being able to spy on particular, specific targets, which is the way they're supposed to do it.

Now, some people might think that this is bad because the CIA can hack computers we use, but that's an entirely different issue. Put another way, the CIA has guns that can kill me, yet absent any indication that they're going to use them on me/someone like me, or have in the recent past, it's not something I'm going to be worried about. Cops have guns, but I'm not worried about them having guns until/unless I see that my local police department is getting involved in a bunch of unjustified shootings of citizens - and even then, my worry isn't that they have them, but that they're misusing them. (And I'm not seeing evidence of that in these leaks, with these capabilities, yet)

Comment Re:The devil needed an escape route (Score 4, Interesting) 310

I disagree, and here's why.

The Clintons have always responded to public feedback. If anything that's been one of the biggest knocks against them, that they were without principles and could be swayed by opinion polling. Compare her positions in 2008 and 2016 - do you think she really had a change of heart? Or even look at how much she shifted left in response to Sanders' challenge, adopting versions of many of his stances. Lesser/weaker ones to be sure, but it's not like she was unyielding.

Contrast this to Trump. Has he changed on anything of any significance, at all, even when those things have proven unpopular? Even unpopular with his own voters? He won't even do basic things that people are asking of him like releasing his tax returns, or taking actual actions to distance himself from his businesses. Hell, everyone says the Clintons were corrupt, but at least they recognized that there were lines of behavior that they shouldn't be crossing, and had the sense of shame to be embarrassed about it. Trump doesn't give a rat's ass about that - he still owns, and profits fully from, every single thing his businesses are doing, while he's President, meaning that just about anyone (including Foreign Governments) can straight up pay him money (which is grossly in violation of the constitution).

Comment Re:Alternative headline... (Score 2) 266

Eh, you might be surprised. There's a lot of people who feel VERY vocal about the discomforts of flying. After all, the Passenger's Bill of Rights that put a bunch of previous restrictions passed easily. I suspect that issues like this are one of the ones that's nonpartisan enough for it to get lots of support, because congresscritters like doing popular stuff such as this which they can point to at election time (especially when it distracts people from the less visible crap that gets them bigger donations).

Furthermore, not all the airlines have seats that small, and the ones who don't aren't going to care if it hurts their competitors and not them.

Comment Re:P-300 Waves (Score 4, Insightful) 151

It's about deliberate and demonstrable intent. Furthermore, it's about intent that can be proven in a court of law. In this case, the guy not only sent the image to someone known publicly to suffer seizures of this kind, he explicitly stated it was his intent to give the guy a seizure, and thereby do harm to him.

If I post up a flashing image on the FlashingObnoxiousGifs site, that's like my eating a peanut butter sandwich, or shooting my rifle at a firing range. It's not going to hurt anyone, unless they're being really really dumb.

If on the other hand, I deliberately try to serve cookies containing peanuts to you, knowing you're deathly allergic to peanuts, and tell someone that my intention is to do you harm, then yes, that's illegal and I should expect to be charged, much the same as if I'd laced them with a more generally toxic compound.
Likewise, if I turn around on the range and point the rifle at you, and pull the trigger, yelling 'eat lead motherf*cker', then uh, yeah, I'm kinda deliberately trying to harm you.

Comment Re:No. (Score 2) 151

Yes, the intent matters.

If I make a salad that happens to have nuts in it and serve it to you, not knowing you're allergic, that's an unfortunate accident, but innocuous.

If, however, I know you're deathly allergic to peanuts, and grind up peanut dust to put in it, and mention to a friend that I hope you choke on it, that's an entirely different matter.

Comment Re:Only the one awful boss (Score 1) 299

"One trick is to tell 'em stories that don't go anywhere - like the time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe, so, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. Give me five bees for a quarter, you'd say. Now where were we? Oh yeah: the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn't have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones..."

Comment Re:Because most people already assume the worst (Score 5, Interesting) 308

It wasn't so much that we assumed they would be doing stuff like this, it's that this is what we expect they would be, should be doing.

To put it another way, what was shocking about the Snowden revelations wasn't that the NSA spied, it was the bulk and indiscriminate nature thereof. We have no problem when the CIA is hacking the phones or computers of some ISIS or Al Qaeda bad guy or some North Korean/etc general. What bothers us is when they start vacuuming up everyone's calls/emails/etc including ours.

If anything, the reports were actually fairly reassuring, because what it shows is that encryption works. They couldn't break it, and had to instead compromise the end device, because if your system is pwned then nothing you do on that system (phone, computer, etc) is secret from the guy who pwned it.

Comment Re:Automation is NOT the enemy. (Score 2) 392

Yes, because the reasons for this are in part that the average employee isn't seeing the benefit of increased productivity. And while we could place a moral judgment on that, the result really should be obvious when you think about it.

Consider a business where the employees work 40 hours a week. A new widget comes out, that enables them to get twice as much done with the same amount of effort, in a single week. The basic question then is whether you think the business owner is going to tell everyone that they only have to work 20 hours, that he's going to keep them working 40 hours but pay them more, or if he's going to go "woo, more profits for me!" In the absence of any outside pressure to do the latter, why wouldn't a rational person do just that?
(Of course, this example also elides outside markets and assumes unchanging demand for all new production, which could lead to other outcomes such as firing half the workers in order to reduce labor costs, if there isn't sufficient demand for more production, etc)

Comment Re: I don't know the answer (Score 5, Insightful) 392

Exactly. It's human nature to always want more, which is why billionaires don't stop trying to make money. It's also how we define ourselves (especially men) within society, by what we do. Communism failed in large part because it ignored this fundamental fact, and removed the incentive to work harder/better, or to invest anything, be it time, effort, or money.

Look at it this way - if you won a contest that gave you $1,000 a month from now on, tax-free, would you quit your job, or would you think to yourself "I have $1000 more per month to spend on fun stuff!" Now, maybe you'd quit your job to go back to college for a better degree, in order to get an even better job, but is that a bad thing either?

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