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Comment Software Engineers are the Problem (Score 1) 597

In most professional fields the professionals that work in that field are accredited or even licensed. No civil engineer builds a bridge without being licensed and having personal liability for failure. Doctors that practice without a license go to jail. But in software people are revered for being successful hackers, participating in 24-hour hack festivals, and making things happen more individually than within a team. No programmer ever seems to be held accountable for failures. The field of "programming" attempts to convert itself to "software engineering" by defining methodologies and processes. Doesn't Agile just celebrate the fact that programming teams can't engineer solutions to problems, so they have to loop around "trying" until the solution is finally close enough (or the funding runs out)?

Comment You ask "why"? (Score 1) 735

You ask "So why isn't there more of a push for this clean, affordable, safe and inexhaustible source of electricity?"

The answer is, because it still costs a fortune to buy and have installed. That's why. And companies that offer to install them "for free" and want an on-going monthly payment for reducing the cost of your electricity have deals that provide themselves almost all of the benefit and leave the risk to the home owners.

Perhaps the idiots in government that want to spend billions on their union friends should install collectors on roofs and either come up with reasonable terms for repayment from realized savings, or even give them away to play one of their global-warming / carbon credit cards in a way that really helps the people?

For $10 billion in Keynesian spending, they can install 1 million systems (at $10K average each).

Comment Re:More propaganda from the Big Pharma (Score 1) 858

No, that's not what people are doing. For many years science reported time and time again of the link between mercury preservatives and autism. People with disabled children are desperate to understand why their child is affected and the link, from authoritative sources, seems to make sense. Science created this problem with the false reports, published in respected journals, and supported by numerous other studies over the years. Then suddenly the original reports are discredited as the work of a liar and a cheat and all of the people that read those reports over time are supposed to change their minds? No way.

I've discussed this with university educators as recently as four years ago that were fully convinced of the relationship between autism and vaccination and who marked my daughter's reports down when her writing questioned that link.

It's going to take years to undo the harm done by the original and follow up reports. Public perceptions of risks and benefits are not objective. And right now there is little epidemic consequence to not having vaccinations. But when enough people are no longer covered, and kids start dying from polio, whooping cough, and other formerly controlled problems, the fault is all going to rest with those that wrote and published the lies about the relationship.

Comment "Science" Deserves the Blame! (Score 1) 858

The false claims made by scientists and reported by scientific publications are totally to blame for the confusion that has flowed down into the general population and into their representatives about the dangers of vaccines as related to autism. It will take years to eliminate and probably thousands of people (mostly children) will suffer needlessly as a result.

Sadly, scientists are too often caught up in the fun of following trends like this and pitching into issues in which they are not directly involved so that the thing snowballs. Perhaps it's an attempt to look smart or appear involved in these latest trends as some kind of ego thing. I don't know.

But the backlash seen about the lies put forward by scientists regarding vaccinations should be a clarion call to all scientists about making extravagent claims that exceed the bounds of the tests performed.

The risk is that the reputation of science will be further, and deservedly, tarnished. Or more importantly, that society will turn its back on advancements that would otherwise provide some positive benefit.

Comment Re:Ad Hominem (Score 1) 771

"most free market believers also believe in various silly conspiracy theories, therefore they are idiots". That's not ad hominem, it's merely stating facts.

The "conclusion" phrase ("therefore they are idiots") at the end of this sentence is not a fact. It is a conclusion.

Comment Name Calling is Not Science (Score 1) 771

I was pretty shocked to read the low level of response posted in the article "Confirming the Obvious" by Stephan Lewandowsky. He uses very disparaging phrasing and stoops to name calling in his article in an attempt to discredit his detractors. Why has name calling become a standard tool of attack? This may be (sadly) accepted as normal in the field of politics, but is it normal in science?

The purpose of science is to move the body of knowledge forward. It's done with work using a certain tested approach we call the scientific method. I think it's unbecoming for someone who publishes work in science to call critics and skeptics names. The work is either accurate or it is not. The work is either supported by the data or it is not.

Comment Re:It's not iTunes or Apple, it's RIAA (Score 1) 570

The simple solution is to never buy music from iTunes. But in on CD, or buy it from Amazon or Google Play. Then you get MP3 files on your machine in correctly named folders and files and with tag data in place.

It might not legally solve Bruce's problem since I guess the purchases are probably licensed to me rather than to my estate. Not sure what will become of my legal rights to them when all of my assets transfer to my trust when I'm dead. But I somehow doubt my backup copies of all those files are going to vanish.

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