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Comment Re:Best Care in the World! (Score 1) 247

"You missed the cause of all of this: no nationalized healthcare. A single-buyer can negotiate prices"
Completely wrong, both in your analysis and causal claim.
Reduction in tool failure means human failure will be statistically more common. That does not mean human failure has increased nor does it mean aggregate failure has increased. The "rise" of human failure, all things being equal, is GOOD NEWS. It means tools and methods are far more reliable.
To illustrate: Human failure is far more likely an issue of injury in a vehicle incident now than 40 years ago. Fatality rates are dramatically lower while human cause has increased.
Competition lowers price and increases quality.
It is a system in which success ultimately requires being more productive than your competition.
Monopoly is incentive to do as little as possible while demanding as much as possible.
Competition encourages altruism.
Monopoly encourages extortion.
"Single payer" requires the impossible condition of maximum efficiency and altruism from the most inherently selfish and lazy structure possible.

Comment Read the whole report! (Score 5, Informative) 117

Quite apart from the geoblocking issue - there's a whole tonne of interesting recommendations in the draft report.

For those who aren't familiar, the Productivity Commission is a major Australian Government advisory body/think tank that conducts public inquiries into matters of economic policy. The Government requested a broad report into the economic effectiveness of the intellectual property system.

This report is a draft - the Commission is presently taking public submissions that will be considered for the final report later this year.

Highlights from the findings and recommendations:

  • 70 years after death is far too long a term for copyright - it would be more appropriate to limit copyright to 15-25 years after creation (noting that this has implications for international copyright treaties)
  • Repeal Australia's "parallel import" restrictions on books
  • Replace Australia's present "fair dealing" exemptions with a US-style "fair use" clause which would be much broader in scope
  • Ban software patents and business method patents
  • Reform pharmaceutical patents in various ways
  • Government should adopt an Open Access policy for publicly funded research

All of which seems in line with what I consider sensible policy reform. Of course, whether the Government will consider any of these recommendations at all is a completely different question...


Brown CS Department Hiring Student Diversity, Inclusion Advocates 178

theodp writes: Brown University's Department of Computer Science is seeking to hire student advocates for diversity and inclusion as part of its new action plan to increase diversity. The new hires, who will also serve as members of the CS Diversity Committee, will support students, plan inclusion activities, and educate TAs on issues of diversity. Also on the diversity front, Brown touted last weekend's Hack@Brown, the school's annual student hackathon, as being "unlike any other hackathon" -- welcoming, inclusive, and inviting to students of all experience levels." A cynic might point out that Hack@Brown's tech giant sponsors boast track records that are quite the opposite. By the way, Brown@Hackathon certainly upped the ante on conference Codes of Conduct, warning that those anonymously-charged with making others feel uncomfortable on the basis of "gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion (or lack thereof)" will be "expelled from the event without travel reimbursement at the discretion of the event organizers." Brown explained that travel reimbursements were provided to promote "economic diversity", ensuring that students who couldn't otherwise afford to get to and from Providence could attend the Ivy League event. Hey, what "economically diverse" kid wouldn't want to go to a conference where rubbing someone the wrong way could leave them stranded in Rhode Island!

Comment Re:Not clear if this is really totally open source (Score 1) 117

(Disclosure: IBMer working in Power Systems, opinions my own)

For the BMC, it appears that they're looking to use OpenBMC, a project started by Facebook and now being continued by IBM.

They're also going to use the OpenPOWER firmware stack - Hostboot for system initialisation, Skiboot for runtime firmware/BIOS and the OCC firmware for on-chip thermal and power management. All of this is Apache-licensed.

POWER8 processors do require an external CPU to boot them - either an IBM Flexible Service Processor or a third-party BMC. This is the case with all current Power Architecture server chips, though not with Power embedded (Book 3E) chips. Booting a POWER8 chip is a bit more complex than comparable Intel CPUs in this regard, but as far as I'm aware it's primarily a design choice to put the initialisation complexity in firmware rather than hardware.

Can't comment about the other components of the system - I imagine it'd be fairly challenging to find a hard drive with open source firmware, but I wish them luck... FSF will still certify them as Respects Your Freedom nonetheless, I imagine. I'm still quite excited by this machine, as POWER8 is definitely the best choice for a high-performance libre system.

Comment Re:Dogma is dogma... (Score 1) 510

You've proven my point:

You start with a strawman

You claim evolution has happened (nope, hasn't happened, evolution requires life to spontaneously come into existence from inert substances and complex, multipart structures to appear instantly) - mutation has happened, evolution has not.

You claim theory is fact.

Darwin most certainly DID mention flaws in this theory, including the eye.

The point of my comment about 150 years is that research has shown the PROBABILITY of evolution to be increasingly lessening. Specific shape of the universe, relatively small variability of environment, etc. all combine to lessen chance of random occurrence.

You claim lack of knowledge of a lifeform is proof of evolution.

You're twisting science into realm in which it is inapplicable and misusing the concepts. Too bad for you.

The end of my statement was illustrating the limits of science. The statement was paradox, that's all it was. You didn't recognize that.

Comment Dogma is dogma... (Score 1) 510

OP is quasi-correct.

Science, by definition, is an analytical tool which is based on constant questioning and testing with the goal of disproving proposals (too lazy to reserach the plural of hypothesis...) As with any tool, it has a limited scope of applicability.

It is impossible to ultimately prove or disprove anything without complete, ultimate knowledge of all that was, is, and will ever be. Given that is impossible, science is properly viewed as a constantly fluctuating qualifier component of probability.

The word "science" is frequently misused as a dogmatic bludgeon, most obvious lately by the political left's AGW dogma; "settled science." Science is outside the realm of personal opinion.

It is impossible to definitively prove the existence or non-existence of the ultimate diety unless situations change (return of Christ, for example.) As science developed, many physical relationships of matter were codified, true. As scientific knowledge advances, the perceive probability of life on Earth spontaneously occurring has diminished greatly

The real issue is the human propensity for dogma. People who demand Darwinist macro evolution theory is fact and religious cults are similar. They both selectively choose which "facts" they will accept and which they will disregard. Evolution is not a fact, it is a theory. Just a Piltdown Man was a fraud, so are many of the claims used to promote evolution. In this case, I mean MACRO evolution. Charles Darwin was very clear about this weakness of his theory and gave examples which disqualified the theory. The dogmatic way in which proponents of macro evolution demand this old theory is ultimate truth betray themselves as acting with complete disregard for science. Scientific discovery did not stop 150 years ago. What seemed plausible then, is now rendered nearly impossible with current knowledge.

As an example from the Christian realm, the Bible includes what appear to be mutually exclusive direct instructions from God to both test all things and not to doubt God.

If there is a God, you'll know at some point...or you won't.
If there is not a God, you'll never know.

Comment Re:ADA? (Score 1) 267

I'm a bit sad that Ada is on the way out, though it's not entirely dead - a friend of mine who is currently in his 3rd year of a CS degree was just hired as a part-time developer at a local Ada startup - possibly the only time I've ever seen a job ad for an Ada web developer who also knows JavaScript...

Comment Re:You don't say... (Score 1) 606

OK, I found the video. Yup, pretty hard to see it as anything other than a racist rant.

Googling the lyrics brings up a bunch of stories about it but nothing matched them from more than a day or so ago. I was wondering if there might be more to the chant but didn't find anything.

I did find very blatant lyrics about killing blacks, whites, Asians, pretty much any group there is. Hate is a universal human emotion, unfortunately.

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