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Comment A kind of Godwin's law. . . (Score 1) 409

Trump is not the Secretary of State

So he automatically gets a free pass and is measured by lower standards? You must do a great job hiring people for your business. . .

Irregardless, saying our voting system is rigged without any credible evidence has invoked a kind of Godwin's law in my mind. . . For anyone who cares about our democracy, the primary goal at this point should be to make sure Trump loses by a large enough margin that any claim of a rigged election would be laughable.

Otherwise, these last couple months will seem like a VACATION compared to what is headed our way. Let's end this once and for all. . .


Tomorrow's Wars Will Be Livestreamed ( 75

Something unique and (in some way) unprecedented happened earlier today. The start of the invasion of Mosul, a city held by ISIS in Iraq, was live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube, and thousands of people around the world watched it. There were several streams that got popular, but one shared by Kurdish outlet Rudaw was getting the most traction -- it was re-posted by major outlets like the Washington Post and Channel 4 in the United Kingdom. Motherboard adds: While some viewers commented on the merits of the offensive, for others, the livestream itself was the most startling thing. As angry cartoon faces and "Wow!" emoticons floated over top of live images of war, viewers noted that it all seemed like a bit too much like a sci-fi fever dream about a war-obsessed culture. For most English-language viewers watching these streams, there was no explanation, no given context, no subtitles or translation -- merely images of a mostly-barren foreign landscape peppered with men and trucks, idling and standing around, sparsely punctuated by violence. But in 2016, decades after Lessons of Darkness was completed and on social media instead of in a darkened arthouse theatre, the void spits out something other than deep, metaphysical understanding about human nature. Instead, in the comments, people ask for money. They talk about porn. They quote Green Day lyrics. They call people "cucks." To be fair, however, not everyone reacted this way. But a lot of people did. "There's journalistic value in the livestream,"

Comment Re:Interesting, Dave Chappelle. (Score 1) 550

So, smokers yes, races no.


In your fallacious example, you attempt to conflate an activity with a state of being. You cannot ban a black person for being black. Likewise, you cannot ban a smoker for being a smoker. However, you can ban the activity of smoking in your venue.

Comment Re:He was never really honored the first time arou (Score 5, Interesting) 90

This is what makes Sundar Pichai's tweet especially puzzling. When Steve Jobs passed away, Google gave over its home page to a memorial, with a link to a page on Apple's Web site. There wasn't even a discussion on whether this was appropriate; it was simply done, because of course it should be done.

A week later, DMR passes, who was arguably a greater contributor than Jobs, yet no memorial appeared on Google's home page. One of the excuses given was that potential destinations for a memorial link wouldn't be able to handle the traffic. Even after being called on it during a company meeting, Google management remained unswayed.

I thought their handling of the affair was rather ad-hoc and sloppy -- not in line with the company's image at all.

Comment Re:Hmm.... (Score 5, Interesting) 275

Tada: it's a micronation... in space!

Of course it's unrealistic armchair-libertarian drivel: the magnetosphere is a harsh mistress, after all.

What's interesting about this development is that it isn't a nearly-entirely American endeavour, which is often the case with such ambitions; Asgardia seems to be Russian and the AIRC supporting it is Viennese. I suspect we'll see a lot more anti-authoritarian behaviour from Europeans in the coming years as a) the EU weakens, b) the Internet transmits political memes that were previously comparatively contained by media limitations like talk radio and poor English literacy, and c) people already exposed to (b) come of age.

The much more feasible version of "let's get off the Earth so we can get away from our countries' laws" is called seasteading, and generally involves a platform in international waters. There's one clear non-Libertarian, non-American example of seasteading (Sealand, UK) which is fairly old and unusually successful by micronation standards. These days, however, the idea is generally associated with these guys, who have been funded by Peter Thiel. They, unquestionably, are primarily concerned with ways to dodge regulation. Without a realistic means of building such a gigantic physical presence, though, they certainly aren't going to be doing much of that; at best they'd end up creating their own passports that no one would accept.

Comment SEO (Score 1) 113

You do realize, of course, that there exists an entire "industry" devoted to manipulating automated search systems to push snake oil and all manner of other bullshit in to your face. Once you remove the human element to identify and remove the obvious garbage, what you're left with is what the armies of trolls are furiously clicking on throughout the night.

Comment Damn (Score 4, Insightful) 251

Heads are going to roll all around after an event like this one.

Somebody will probably end up writing a book on what went on inside, because I imagine that the internal meetings had some serious drama involved.

I hope there's going to be a post-mortem at some point, because it would be very interesting to find out what went wrong in the end. Rogue manufacturer? Bad quality control? Maybe the phone doing something wrong with charging, as somebody suggested on reddit?

The Internet

Yahoo Disables Automatic Email Forwarding Feature, Making It Difficult For Users To Leave ( 205

After it was revealed that Yahoo secretly scanned customer emails for U.S. intelligence agencies, now's as good of time as any to leave Yahoo Mail. However, the company has made it more difficult to leave by disabling the automatic email forwarding feature. Reuters reports: While those who have set up forwarding in the past are unaffected, users who would want to leave following recent hacking and surveillance revelations are struggling to shift to rival services, the AP reported on Monday. The company has been under scrutiny from investors after disclosing last month that at least 500 million user accounts were stolen from its network in 2014. The AP said that several users were leaving or had already left the service because of the negative headlines. The company's website says that the "automatic email forwarding" feature is under development and has been temporarily disabled.

New York To Test Facial Recognition Cameras At 'Crossing Points' ( 96

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Vocativ: In a 35-minute speech detailing a landmark $100 billion investment into state infrastructure, largely focused on New York City and Long Island, Governor Andrew Cuomo made a number of promises that would thrill New Yorkers, like the promise of a renovated Penn Station, called Penn-Farley, a direct train from there to LaGuardia Airport, and the completion of the long-awaited Second Avenue Line. Oh, and facial recognition cameras around the city, he said: "At each crossing, and at structurally sensitive points on bridges and tunnels, advanced cameras and sensors will be installed to read license plates and test emerging facial recognition software and equipment." "We're going to be using this in Penn-Farley and we also want to be testing it in bridges and crossings system," he added. On the matter of facial recognition cameras, Cuomo was shy on details. It's unclear how many cameras will be deployed, which agencies will have access to them, what defines a crossing, how citizens' photos will be stored, and what photo databases will be used to compare against the faces of the millions of people who drive into the city. In his speech, Cuomo referenced the cameras as necessary for New York to adapt to 21st century security threats. "In this age of terrorist activity and lone wolves, if you look at points of vulnerability you'll go to our tunnels and to our bridges. So really they have to be reimagined for a new reality," he said.

Tech Billionaires Are Asking Scientists For Help To Break Humans Out of Computer Simulation ( 1042

Many believe that we live in a computer simulation. But it takes a billionaire and his money to ask scientists to help break us out of the simulation. The New Yorker recently did a profile about Y Combinator's Sam Altman. In the story, Altman discusses his theories about being controlled by technology and delves into the simulation theory. From an article on The New Yorker: Many people in Silicon Valley have become obsessed with the simulation hypothesis, the argument that what we experience as reality is in fact fabricated in a computer; two tech billionaires have gone so far as to secretly engage scientists to work on breaking us out of the simulation. Business Insider adds: The piece doesn't give any clue as to who those two billionaires are -- although it's easy to hazard a few guesses at who they might be, like Musk himself or Altman's friend Peter Thiel -- but it's fascinating to see how seriously people are taking this theory. According to Musk, it's the most popular topic of conversation right now.Earlier this year, at Code Conference, Elon Musk said there's "one in billions" chance we're not living in a computer simulation.

Comment Sensors Detect Bullshit, Captain... (Score 1) 64

I just spent the last ten minutes crawling around AT&T's site looking for a concrete statement concerning available bandwidth, and came up empty. Their "Check Availability" page talks only about download speeds. Further, they are careful to say, "up to 1Gb/sec," which is code for, "You will not actually ever receive 1Gb/sec."

I can't find any page that discusses upload speeds, which are almost certainly crap.

Meanwhile, Google Fiber (if you're lucky enough to get it) starts at 1Gb/sec symmetric.

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If it is a Miracle, any sort of evidence will answer, but if it is a Fact, proof is necessary. -- Samuel Clemens