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Comment False equivalence (Score 1) 324

A few reporters getting duped is NOT the same as intentionally and repeatedly manufacturing fake news. This is actually a strategy of the fake news pushers... try to dress something up well enough to get picked up by the more reputable sources. Then declare them irriputable when one of dozens of false-flag operations gets through. But the point is that this story was (a) discredited by other news sources and (b) will be or already has been retracted by the WP and (c) reporters will lose their jobs or be demoted, not promoted like they would at a fake news operation.

Also, I'm sure that Rolling Stone has been scouring the Washington Post for something poorly sourced like this, since it was the Post that eviscerated Rolling Stone for the expose on gang rape on college campuses, which turned out to be fabricated by the victim (though actually in a very convincing way).

The problem isn't fake news, it's a public who can't pay attention longer than one 24-hour news cycle. The real facts are almost never known within 24 hours. If people drew their conclusions after there had been enough time for consideration and cross-checking, fake news would have no power. Just like superpacs would have no power if people would just not believe a word of what someone paid for them to hear, duh.

Comment Re:It's not that easy (Score 4, Insightful) 179

It's funny to me that they say the Earth's rotation is "determined" by IERS. No, it is *measured*. A subtle implied difference, but a critical one. The problem here is actually with unix time, not UTC. TAI as an alternative to unix time actually makes pretty decent sense. When was the last time you manually converted from seconds since epoch to day/month/year?

I think the point is that since time zones are actually updated more frequently for political purposes than leap seconds occur, it makes sense, for network-connected computers at least, to just stuff the leap seconds in the same distribution channels (already done actually) and abandon trying to hack around the clumsy (non-monotonically increasing) definition of unix time.

Comment Re:Tired of this shit. (Score 3, Insightful) 179

The problem is not so much with UTC but with unix time, as POSIX and NTP have conflicting conventions for handling leap seconds. Well and Google NTP has yet another convention. But the spirit of what you say is correct, we should probably abandon unix time as the fundamental representation on computers in favor of TAI. Software already has to consult a timezone database to convert to local time anyway, why not also require that for conversion to UTC too (to get the leap second offset from TAI).

Comment Re:You're a "fake" newspaper (Score 3, Interesting) 667

So your argument comes down to exactly how "close" the quoted advisor is to a still-forming administration. -- so not fake news. i.e. the quote was not made up, the person does exist, and he is related to the nascent Trump administration in the way stated. I'm also happy to hear that you agree that cutting NASA's climate science budget would be extremely important news if it came from the mouth of someone close enough to the administration -- let's just agree that some more cautious people might worry that we don't actually know who those people are and are not quite yet.

Comment Re:Editorials as News (Score 1) 154

These are usually marked as "Opinion:", so this is really just a processing mistake. This is obvious to anyone who has ever been to google news, so I don't know why you are pretending that google doesn't mark opinion as such. And you shouldn't "trust" google news for anything!!!! It's just a scraping service. If you don't pay attention to the actual source of the link you are part of the problem.

Comment Re:Unless you run your own email server. (Score 1) 534

Just a reminder that the state department email that she should have been using also was not allowed to have classified info in it. The classified information thing is a red herring, the real issue is whether Clinton was evading records laws, but the previous republican administration did that in exactly the same way (private email) but to so much more of a degree that they try to distract you with this classified information red herring. So they'll just do it again. Like Bannon is going to start using a government email address for all his government-related communication. HA!

Comment if everybody... (Score 1) 534

I think if everybody took the approach of Mr. Snowden, everything would be fine. He was very deliberate and circumspect about what was released and how. Not dangerously irresponsible like Manning and wikileaks. Snowden is the kind of whistle-blower that should be respected. The problem is that the government wants to pretend that the things he revealed were actually legal when they were not, and Obama is unfortunately willing to go along with it. If anyone thinks a Trump administration is going to be better, I believe that they are about to be even more surprised than Obama supporters were.

Comment Re:yes they should (Score 1) 1081

If we want the EC to function more as it was originally, electors names should appear on the bollot and NOT the candidate. That's the way it was originally. I think if we stick with the electoral college then, yes, it should go back that way. It would at least make it harder to pretend it is a direct vote.

Comment Re:Could be a grinder presidency (Score 1) 733

BS. This false equivalency is a cop-out. While I don't think Trump is the devil, he is not what you want in a president. He appears basically out of touch with the process of governing the nation and leading on a world stage in some other way than as a bully. Clinton is maybe not the best available moderate progressive, but she clearly understands policy challenges and makes a serious effort to make things work. It is conceivable that Trump would just check out the day he is elected and leave governing to the cadre of ultra-nationalists that have gravitated to him. There are those that seek power to impose their will on others, and there are those that seek power in service of others. I'll let you identify which side is which. And no it is not complicated. The side stirring up doubt in our electoral process "if I lose" is the side seeking to impose its will. The side encouraging voter intimidation is the side seeking to impose its will. The side shouting for the other side to be put in jail is the the side seeking to impose its will. And these are just things from the candidate. To even suggest that it would be okay to break one of our most essential functions of government by refusing to confirm any supreme court nominees by the duly elected president...

Comment Re:No constitutional crisis at all. (Score 1) 733

Your statement doesn't even address his point. As far as we know, staff were not supposed to send her anything classified (um... obviously!!). i.e. if they did they were in error and they would be the subject of prosecution, not her. No special treatment for Clinton is involved. The classified material thing is a strawman created to deceive YOU. The only real issue is the records-keeping, but the republicans violated that so flagrantly and wilfully during the previous administration that that argument actually makes Clinton look good by comparison.

Comment Re:What are we forgetting... (Score 1) 222

Well, to take a cynical view, consider this plan:
1. Establish rocket company that can send stuff to Mars
2. Send 100 or so humans to Mars
3. OMG they're going to die, but we don't have any more money to send them supplies!
4. Profit!!

Though I admit, if you wanted to force the hand of society into creating an interplanetary civilization, you would use basically the same strategy if you had the ability to do step 1. I think this is one of the ideas explored in "The Martian" -- society appears to be much more interested in drama than either science or progress. You may note that the people look a lot like hostages in this scenario, regardless of whether they are willing or not.

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