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Comment Re:Maybe (Score 1) 185

Indeed, on both counts. And in particular I like the word "rogue planet". Again you have an adjective imparting additional information about another object ("Rogue X"), "rogue" can be readily quantified ("Not in a stable orbit around any particular star or cluster of stars"), and it's a very evocative term. And rogue planets are absolutely expected according to our current models. They'll be incredibly difficult to find, but they're out there.

We're also coming to the realization that there's a lot of objects, potentially including large ones, that are only tenuously bound to our solar system. And it's likely that we readily exchange this mass with other nearby stars over cosmologic timescales; parts of our solar system (primarily distant ones) likely formed by other stars, and things that condensed during the formation of our star system are likely now orbiting other stars.

Comment Re:Talk about a subset of a subset (Score 1) 46

Total computer installs M$ is destroyed by Linux. That is installs on TVs, Tablets, Phones, Servers and whole range of appliances. M$ is now just hanging in there on the desktop based upon nothing but lock in via applications and existing data and that is real bad, in new markets in only has the Xbone and the Xbone will come under real threat from more and more powerful smart TVs and smart phones. Keep in mind, with smart phones, with portable custom fitted VR glasses (still to hit the market), you have a big screen in your pocket and that is doom for game consoles.

Business, there are real problems there, no business wants to be spied on and it business practice advantage put up for sale to the highest bidding competitor and that does not even touch medical practices, where M$'s spying is against the law and both the medical practice and M$ come under real legal threat.

M$ is now wildly uncool and that is doom in the consumer market. M$ does not maintain the privacy of business and that is a real problem. The desktop market will shrink to power users and they are a really fussy, demanding market and as far as M$ gross invasion of privacy and demands for control over power users, they have a great big ole 'fuck you' coming.

There were much smarter directions to go in, they were just stupidly arrogant and it is unlikely they will be able to come back from that. Never forget desktop PCs and the consumer market are parting ways, so M$ will lose the bulk of the PC market right there, not to competitors but to smart phones, smart TVs, tablets and cheap simple notebooks running Android (way good enough for what most of them will be doing). So not so much M$ losing the desktop market, just the desktop market pretty much shrinking back to early 2000 levels and M$ is pissing that market right off, so screwed and they deserve it.

Comment Re:Thanks. Mr. Obvious (Score 1) 141

What do you mean "initially".

What I mean is that eventually, when the bugs have been worked out and only automated cars are allowed to use most of the lanes on the interstate and the accident rate stabilizes (hopefully near zero) then the burden will be shifted from the automakers to the customers, who will pay for it along with the rest of their mandatory liability insurance. The insurers aren't going to deal with insuring vehicles individually until the risk is reasonably estimable.

Comment Re:Talk about a subset of a subset (Score 1) 46

Computer power makes backwards compatibility just a matter of an additional layer between old and new and old software being more compact means no appreciable speed loss, with that compatibility layer. Everyone knows the big uppercut is coming, Android and of course the Linux distribution that underpins that. M$ huge failure of phones and desktops is creating a software ecology that will spread to the new desktops, without windows. M$ is rapidly becoming the company people love to hate and that is death for any company, how many billions have they spent on brand advertising, just to blow it all away by being privacy invasion control freak perves that make stupendously arrogant demands upon their customers rights.

Comment Re:Left and right (Score 1) 140

Which definition?

I am opposed to government meddling in what I do in my house, but I am in favor of government meddling in everything that business does. You know, the definition. Conservative, of course, is the opposite. Populists want to control both. Anarchists want to control neither. According to the libertarians I am an upper-left centrist (hey, they have a snazzy test) but I personally think I'm more left than they think I am, and less upwards.

Comment Re:Social media? (Score 5, Insightful) 144

For whatever extent you want to talk about the news itself being the cause of stress (which is fair to do), I think we have to look also look at the setup of the platforms, human nature, and the culture around social media, as likely contributing factors.

Because really, however bad the news was, 20 years ago you'd be waiting for the nightly news to find out about it. Several decades before that, you'd be waiting for the following day's newspaper. Now, we're getting constant updates, and those updates may be causing a device in your pocket to vibrate and make noise every time something new comes out. We know that checking all of those notifications is addictive, and not checking causes stress. However, constantly feeling the need to check also causes stress. (human nature)

Also, we have grown to expect that everyone is constantly online, always checking all of their platforms. Speaking for myself, I get messages via various social networks, and if I don't respond immediately, people freak out and take personal offense. Even when I try to remove those apps from my phone or turn off notifications, I get angry messages from people because I'm ignoring them. (culture)

I think it's also worth pointing out that most of these platforms are not really designed for occasional use. I've thought it would be nice if you could set a time-based digest of a social networking site. For example, instead of looking at Twitter, give me a weekly digest of the tweets that (based on some criteria) I'm going to be most likely to want to read and respond to. Only update Twitter at 9am on Sunday mornings with the 25 most important tweets of the week. But Twitter doesn't work that way. It's basically built on the idea that you're always looking, always paying attention, because if you stop paying attention for a day or two, you're just going to miss things and they'll get buried under a flood of other tweets. (the platforms)

Basically, I don't think we can do much about the human-nature aspect. Realistically, I don't foresee the platforms changing because they're providing the instant-feedback that people want. In my thinking, they key would be to change the culture and expectations around social media, which would change what we want from the platform, which would change the platform.

But then, intentionally changing culture is not so easy either.

Comment Re:Goes both ways (Score 1) 172

Ok, so what's the "other way" that it goes? In the one case, you have "aggressive behavior by an employee goes unchecked because of poor management." What's the other way?

Are you interpreting one of the examples to be "aggressive behavior by management goes unchecked because of poor employee behavior"? Because then it would make sense to say, "It goes both ways." But I feel like, in both cases, it's a problem of bad management.

Comment You appear to be advocating... (Score 1) 131

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) 140

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 Re:A lot of negativism is totally gratuitous (Score 0) 140

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.

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