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Comment Paying the price (Score 1) 61

The only election that counts has not occurred. That's December 19, 2016, and it's not the foregone conclusion that some of Mr. Trump's supporters claim. For one thing, as Secretary Clinton's popular vote margin continues to rise, there remains the distinct possibility that close states will flip to her slate of electors. For another, eight electors have already announced intent not to vote for their party's nominee.

If you're hoping for that to happen, I hope you also are prepared to pay the price for it.

No one paid much attention to Hillary's rioters because deep down everyone knew that Trump won fair and square. The rules were clear, Hillary had her chance, and didn't make it.

If the electors switch the outcome, about half the country will be up in arms over the results, the half that has most of the arms. Some of the other half will be on our side, some will be apathetic, and only a small slice of the public will be actively against the ensuing revolt.

Expect to see whole cities burning and mass riots at a level that local law enforcement couldn't hope to contain. It'll be like the Rodney King riots, but everywhere. There will literally be lawless areas in some cities - areas where the police are afraid to go.

It would be a demonstration that rules don't matter, that the social contract is a scam.

It could also bring down the government. As many as 25 states at once have sued the federal government over various things during Obama's administration, and it only takes 33 to call a constitutional convention. Many of those were holding off recently, under the hope that Trump would win.

If California and New York try to dictate the election, a *lot* of states would immediately file suit against the union.

This is what you're risking. Just to get an unlikeable "business as usual" politician into office.

It would cause a not-insignificant loss of property and life, and might bring down the government.

That's the price to get Hillary elected.

Comment Apples and oranges (Score 1) 207

You're talking about two entirely different things. One is a dedicated music service where users listen to music exclusively for hours on end. Another is a video service where people might occasionally go listen to a song, amongst the other videos they might watch that do not contain third party copyrighted music content. So comparing the amount per user is a bit like apples and oranges.

This should be straightforward...number of views on licensed content times amount per view, maybe on a sliding scale or something if that's how it was negotiated. Adjustment for percentage of the song they listened to or was used in the video, if desired.

Comment We knew this going in (Score 4, Interesting) 512

It's getting close to the point that the schadenfreude of seeing morons get their due makes up for the fact that we all will be screwed.

So by all means lets call climate change a hoax. When the inevitable calamities fall, I suspect the deplorables and Breitbart readers will be disproportionately affected and not only will I not shed a tear but I will kick dirt in their faces.

Ok, so which is more important: everyone in the country slipping into poverty and terrorist attacks from immigrants next year, or...

Global warming, only [our] part of which can fixed by us, is driven by political corruption, and won't affect us for a couple of decades?

Of these issues, political corruption is the biggest impediment to rational climate change action. Getting rid of that has to come first, and only then can we expect to make progress on the other issues.

Do you think anything would get done under a Clinton administration?

We knew Trump had shortcomings, and still elected him - warts and all. We did it because he promised to fix certain issues that we felt were more important in the near term. Global warming will kill us, but, mass poverty will kill us sooner.

I'm completely happy taking steps to curb global warming, but a) I want to be safe doing it, and b) I want to eat first.

Get some perspective. Not everything Trump is going to do will be bad, and you always have 2024 to look forward to.

Comment Is this art now gone? (Score 1) 196

A question to the readers: I've been trying to view this online comic for awhile now.

The problem is, the comic itself is written in Flash, and I can't think of any way to enable flash without downloading all the Adobe crap, or installing a browser extension that's horribly unsafe to use. My best guess is to do all this in a separate VM specifically tuned to do this one task, and then delete it when done.

Make an entire system specific to reading one website? That seems like a lot of work.

Is there some sort of offline viewer I can use, or convert the files to PDF or something?

Is this work of art now forever lost because the means to display it is gone?

Comment Re:Mandate reporting when antibiotics are prescrib (Score 1) 75

Yes. But we need to be aware that man is not the only source of antibiotics. They naturally occur. We get a good lot of them from plants and bacteria, starting of course with penicilin which we got from mold, and which was already present on salted food and damp environments. What we did was to make antibiotics present in organisms other than their natural sources.

Comment And on that subject (Score 5, Interesting) 113

And... they're off!

Hillary campaign bus involved in deadly crash.

And of course, CNN falsly admits it aired pornography for 30 minutes on thanksgiving.

Synopsis of previous link:
1) A Twitter user in the Boston area reported that CNN was airing hardcore pornography for 30 minutes through local provider RCN.
2) Picked up by The Independent, a leading left-of-center newspaper based in the United Kingdom.
3) Subsequently many other media outlets including Variety magazine, the U.K. Daily Mail, the New York Post, Esquire magazine and Mashable, &c.
4) Eventually, CNN actually confirmed that it did air “inappropriate content” and was seeking an “explanation” from RCN.

Of course, nothing of the sort happened.

Mainstream media has a bit of a credibility problem, yah?

Comment Everything Old is New Again (Score 2) 75

The Andromeda Strain was published in 1969.

The United States has some disease reporting, it started at least 75 years ago before the antibiotic bubble. This CDC Report summarizes the present state of disease reporting, in two pages. We need higher standards of reporting and legal penalties for failure to report.

Comment How to get there (Score 2, Interesting) 526

I'll ask this question, which has come up before: If nobody has a job, then where the [bad language redacted] will they find CUSTOMERS?

It's well known by just about anyone who looks that our current economic system is not tenable going forward. In the extreme limit, we can imagine all human needs produced by automated systems, with no human interaction required.

We're closer to this than you might think. Automated farming is almost available now, automated delivery (self-driving trucks) is almost here, and automated last-mile delivery by drone is almost here. A largely automated solar cell factory could produce more solar cells than it needs to supply its own production - build one of these in Arizona or Nevada or western Utah and let it make and install its own cells and geometrically increase its power generation capacity.

(If you've ever driven Rte 55 across Nevada and Western Utah, you know that there are large swaths of flat, generally sunny desert land that aren't used for anything. All current US electrical needs could be supplied by solar cells filling a square 20 miles on a side. More-or-less, depending on assumptions.)

I don't mean to say that these would be *completely* automated, but if the entire production of the US population can be maintained by 100,000 workers, it's effectively full automation.

The best guess for future economics is that everyone will be given an allowance (a virtual $1000 each month, say) to spend on production, and order the goods and services they need online. During the month the factories will produce the goods, to be delivered automatically by drone.

Also, local automated stores in the manner of Wal-Mart will be built for everyday needs. Walk in and grab a new winter coat whenever you need one.

The geometric progression of the solar-cell factory also translates to other production. With proper management, that $1000 allowance would grow over time as more production comes online, making it possible to purchase more and more goods with the monthly allowance.

This is pretty-much where we need to go in order to maintain our civilization on the planet.

The Universal Basic Income comes up and is discussed periodically, but it's always panned as being too expensive or unworkable. No one anywhere is willing to give up the results of their labour for free, no one is willing to pay workers a decent wage if they can get away with less, and no one is willing to reduce wage hours (holding salary constant) to make enough jobs for people.

It really looks like our economic system will have to crash and burn before we can transition to the new system.

We know what the economic system must be going forward, but no one seems to know how to get there.

Comment Spot on. (Score 2) 369

It doesn't. But there IS stuff on Slashdot that qualifies, although IMHO there's not a lot. But if you browse at -1 as I always do, you'll see it.

Arguably, the moderation system here already takes care of the problem. Users who aren't logged in won't see much if any hate speech; it almost never makes it higher than +3, and if it does then it drops below that threshold pretty quickly. So they actually have to drill down to find it - it's not immediately obvious. Users who ARE logged in are unlikely to see it if they browse at +1 or higher, (again, unless they drill down), because most of it is posted by AC's whose comments start at 0. People who browse at lower than +1 soon know what to expect and can determine if they want to see that stuff or not.

Godwin time: Mein Kampf is still available for anyone to read, but it isn't unexpectedly waved in front of anyone's face - people have to seek it out. Hate speech on Slashdot is similar to that. And this kind of speech SHOULDN'T be banned; we need to maintain an ongoing awareness that those attitudes exist and are actively shaping our world. People should be able to easily avoid most of it if they so desire, but hiding it entirely and driving it totally underground is dangerous.

Spot on, in all respects.

There's sometimes a hate-speech reply at the very front of every article here, you can sometimes see it when you view an article right after it gets posted. When there are very few replies. There haven't been any recently, but there was a time (recently) when every article had one at the very beginning.

It's usually a single-line message "gay faggots" or "gay n*ggers" or about cows. "You are all cows. Cows go moo". That sort of thing.

(There hasn't been any recently, so perhaps it was either a) a paid poster during to the elections, or b) Slashdot has a better filter.

Since it's always always a first post, I suspect it's a bot. Since some of it is complete nonsense (cows? really?), I suspect it's an anchor for forum sliding.

1) The bot ensures that the post is first, and the text ensures that it gets modded down.
2) If something appears in the discussion that the owner wants to suppress, they log in and post a reply to the invisible first post.
3) We see the reply (at +2), but not the first post. The text to be suppressed is now slipped further down the page.

As a corollary to #3 above, the poster might have several accounts and post a fake argument about spelling or grammar. It all seems above-board and legit, but the interesting bits get pushed down the page, hopefully below the fold.

And finally, I read an analysis online (with links and references) that estimated that the *maximum* number of white supremacists in the US is less than 50,000, and most of those are passive. The article (which I can't find right now) notes that only 200 people showed up at a KKK national meet. It estimates that there are less than 1000 people across the US who are the stereotypical "Banshee" style member, who actively perform hate crimes against other races.

Their exploits get amplified by the media, so we see the problem as bigger than it is.

(Am I wrong? Let's have some links.)

I think most of the hate speech comes from teens and young adults looking to rile people up. I don't think there's really a lot of white supremacy activity going on in the US any more.

Note that I did *not* say that there was no predjudice or bias, only that there is no lynching, cross burning, and such. Blacks can be around anywhere in the country without fearing for their life due to the color of their skin.

Submission + - How to View the SpaceX Falcon 9 Return to Flight at Vandenberg Air Force Base (

Bruce Perens writes: Silicon Valley folks should, sometime, take the opportunity to view a launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Lompoc is 4-5 hours from the Bay, 2.5 hours from LA if there's ever no traffic. An upcoming SpaceX launch is notable because it's their return to flight, months after their last attempt blew up on the pad during a pre-launch test. Read how to view the launch.

Comment Re: Less politics (Score 1) 110

Eich resigned because of external pressure on the Mozilla organization. I hear that one of the lobbying activities against him was when the dating site "OK Cupid" started informing Firefox users who accessed the site of Eich's activities and that they should download a browser made by people who don't nominate someone with gender discrimination issues to be their CEO. At the time, 8% of OK Cupid customers were there to arrange same-gender meetings.

They felt he was the public face of the company.

Russ Nelson published a piece on what he theorized was the economic motivation of Blacks to be lazy, and was booted off of the Open Source Initiative board. He wasn't thinking about how it would be perceived. A modified version of the piece is still online, but not the version that got him in trouble. In general, executives are seen as the public faces of their organizations even in the case of Nelson, who was not the chairman of the board, but was simply a member of the executive board. In Nelson's case, it wasn't that he made publicity appearances and press releases, it was that he was one of the people with the power to direct the company (and thus a more real face of the company than soneone who just does PR), and folks did not trust that someone who wrote what he did would behave as they would like in that position.

Comment Re:What's the big deal? (Score 2, Insightful) 250

Playboy departed the nude photo market due to the vast and unending supply of photos and video of all manner of naked people doing sexual things which one can access via the Internet.

However, one can make a case that a good deal of the past content of Playboy was about objectifying women and to some extent the publication still is about that.

It was a dumb decision. Several people just weren't thinking. They're embarrassed now. They learned, and won't do it again.

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"I prefer rogues to imbeciles, because they sometimes take a rest." -- Alexandre Dumas (fils)