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Comment Re:Realistic (Score 1) 93

PDAs like the Newton and Palm were great. They had two very obvious barriers that held them back. The first one was they weren't merged with a smart phone. I was a Newton developer and had conversations with people inside and outside of Apple about the need to merge the Newton with a smartphone. The second was lack of internet connectivity. I worked on some projects that involved using a cellular modem with the Newton. At the time it was very slow and very expensive. Just running our (brief) demo cost about $5 worth of data. In the case of the Newton specifically, I think there were looming security problems that would have been a nightmare if it had moved forward and had internet connectivity widely merged with it. The programming model made it easy to access any data on the device and even the internals of other applications. My main point, though, is that it was pretty obvious the kinds of super cool things you could do with PDAs if they had ubiquitous network access and integration with a phone. It isn't clear what technical limitations are in Smart Watches that prevent them from being significantly more useful. Perhaps the Apple Watch will be more useful if Siri becomes more useful and AirPods ever ship? I don't know. Its not that the watch isn't good, it is just that we haven't figured out what compelling use cases exist yet.

Comment Re:Not permanent (Score 1) 186

I read recently that trees and woody plants evolved a long long time before bacteria evolved that could digest the wood. If the coal and oil deposits were created in an environment without that bacteria, then when we run out of oil, we will have very little oil left and more won't be made even if you waited millions of years. Imagine if a future intelligent species (likely not mammalian species either) examines the fossil record of its time and learns that we lived hundreds of millions of years ago in a time of free oxygen, followed by the vast majority of oil suddenly being missing in the fossil record, followed by a period of only anaerobic life, and then a whole second story of evolution. Those creatures will freak the fuck out if they find evidence that we had a culture in the fossil record. They might even find evidence of human technology that is more advanced than theirs. I wonder if they would wonder why we didn't industrialize with nuclear power? They almost certainly will find evidence of nuclear technologies. They will wonder why we killed ourselves.

Comment Re: good for them (Score 3, Insightful) 186

While I agree that is true and while I agree that life actually put it into the resevoirs you are talking about, *our species* evolved after the coal and oil resevoirs were created. I would mention that life was common on earth prior to the introduction of free oxygen in the atmosphere. The "natural state" does not involve O2 in the atmosphere.

Comment Re:doh! (Score 2, Informative) 528

Obama didn't release his birth certificate for one very good reason, he is very clever and Trump is very stupid.

The fact is that the Republicans will always invent some crazy idiotic 'scandal' that they obsess about and endlessly throw up smoke. The birther conspiracy was mind numbingly ridiculous. It would require someone to go back in time to plant the birth notice in the papers. Or for some group of conspirators to go to an enormous amount of trouble in order to make a particular black kid president.

So rather than release the birth certificate and let the Republicans invent a new scandal, Obama held onto it and let them obsess about a scandal nobody else thought made the slightest sense, knowing that he could knock their house of cards down any time he chose. Which of course he did a week before the Bin Laden raid which was guaranteed to end the story.

George W. Bush opened torture chambers across the world and collected photographs for a sick sexual thrill. Yet nobody ever talks about that. None of the people complaining about Hilary ever complained about GWB refusing to comply with Congressional investigation or the deletion of 5 million emails.

So here is what is going to happen. Trump is going to go down to the biggest defeat since Carter and he is going to drag the rest of his party down with him. And afterwards there is going to be a new civil rights act that prohibits Republican voter suppression tactics and the gerrymandering that give them a 5% advantage in elections. And by the time it is all done the Republican party will have two choices, either boot the racist conspiracy theorists and Trumpists out or face two decades in the wilderness.

Comment Re:Proof? (Score 1) 822

You don't think people would want to watch videos of people having sex? I used to masturbate while looking at underwear catalogs. The problem with the plan is that 'degrading porn' is a red herring. Why don't we ban non-erotic media that are violent or degrading? I have a hunch that many of the anti-porn crusaders just don't like it when people masturbate.

Comment Re:Proof? (Score 1) 822

That is an interesting assumption on your part. On the other hand, from people I know who work at schools, there is an increasing problem of boys who don't seem to realize that girlfriends don't like being treated like porn starts and girls who think it's normal for sex to be all about the man's sexual gratification and not the woman's.

At the very least, we have a problem with porn being the only sexual education some of these kids are getting.

Doesn't that suggest that we should produce ideal porn that sends the messages that we want to send? Perhaps there could be government sponsered healthy porn.

Comment Re:Doing the ecological epidemiology (Score 1) 279

.... usually results in findings like this:

http://tylervigen.com/spurious... [tylervigen.com]

After viewing the link I must say that, while I understand the point you're trying to make, I think that there probably IS more than just a passing correlation between the number of people who drowned after falling out of fishing boats, and the marriage rate in Kentucky.

Comment You can probably afford hardware (Score 3, Insightful) 78

You should buy a something like a SBC (Pi or Arduino) and get a breadboard and some motion control chips and a a stepper motor. All of that together will cost about $60. (Breadboard maybe $10, chips maybe another $10, stepper motor maybe another $10, Raspberry Pi maybe $30). You could at least learn the basics of working with the chips and working with a motor.

Comment Re:Did anyone actually read the articles? (Score 1) 432

Did anyone read this article? [space.com]. "Geoff Marcy ....

Yep. Summary: famous astronomer resigns because a few people accused him of stuff. Like one guy says he saw him rubbing a girls shoulders. Scary stuff.

Or how about this one? [cnn.com] "Results from a recent AAS survey ...

Yep. Summary: Incredibly low number of people in astronomy say that at some point in their lives they've heard a co-worker or superior say something sexist. Actual rates of sexual harassment remain unknown because the survey focused on compiling superficially scary sounding numbers rather than useful information.

Comment Re:-1 Self-Refuting (Score 1) 432

You can't claim that all of this stuff is so unusual that it is newsworthy and then a paragraph afterwards say that it's so common that men everywhere are actively avoiding women. Pick a story and stick to it.

He didn't say it was common, and it doesn't have to be common. Our fear of something is a combination of both the likelihood of occurrence and the extent of possible harm were it to occur. Parents are constantly telling their children not to talk to strangers, and we have a whole system of procedures which kick in when a child goes missing, even though actual kidnappings by strangers are incredibly rare.

Employees know that a harassment complaint can ruin a good working environment, as well as result in the termination of an otherwise promising career. Employers know it can cost them millions of dollars. Everyone is worried about it, even if it's not particularly common. Basically, at this point, having female employees is an unnecessary risk with severe repercussions and no tangible benefits.

Comment Re:Recognize them??? (Score 1) 144

Actually, incorrect. While some awards (e.g. the Bronze Star, Medal of Honor) are given for unusual behavior (e.g. heroism), the military has the worlds' original badge system. There are badges for everything.

This is true as long as you're speaking about the US military. It seems like you guys get 9 medals before even completing basic. The same cannot be said for other countries. Most Commonwealth nations are much more stingy with medals - if you end up with 5 or 6 in your whole career, you've done well.

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