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Comment rms explained why the W3C can't ditch DRM (Score 1) 46

Richard M. Stallman (rms, widely known as the founder of the GNU Project and frequent lecturer speaking for software freedom, the freedom to control one's computers by having the freedom to run, inspect, share, and modify the code they run) explained why the W3C can't get away from DRM ("digital handcuffs") starting around 11m40s into the interview. Around 15m16s rms pointed out why the W3 is structurally incapable of challenging DRM:

He [Tim Berners-Lee] should handle it by saying 'no' but he can't, really, and the reason is he set up an organization by the businesses that want to put in the most money. And that basically tells Hollywood, "Here's your opportunity! Turn us into your tool!". That's what the W3 has become: a tool for the businesses that will pay it the money."

Comment Re:It's true (Score 2) 286

Pixar was unique in Silicon Valley companies in that we had deadlines that could not move. The film had to be in theaters before Christmas, etc. I'd see employees families come to Pixar to have dinner with them. I took the technical director training but decided to stay in studio tools, first because Pixar needed better software more than they needed another TD, and second because of the crazy hours.

Comment Re: The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 307

If you look in the FEMA site, they say that they provide gramts to perform repairs not covered by insurance. And no, they don't do a needs test. Now, the typical rich person does not let their insurance lapse just so that they can get a FEMA grant. Because such a grant is no sure thing. They also point out that SBA loans are the main source of assistance following a disaster. You get a break on interest, but you have to pay them back.

Comment Re:Its pretty important... (Score 1) 307

I'm actually pretty impossible to please in this department. I would like to see yet still more indication that the problem is well understood. Predictions that are precise to 15 digits, and that unlike all other scientific endeavors don't need to be "corrected" post hoc would do most of it for me.

But that's the thing: it is very well understood, and scientists have made many predictions that are panning out. No one's ever going to say "the earth will get x.xxxxxxx% warmer on this date". Predictions are in the form of "we believe the atmosphere will get between x and y% warmer, with a confidence of z". And they've been accurate as stated. Any claims to the contrary are radical restatements of history.

Comment Re: The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 307

I understand your point about view land being desirable even though it's a flood risk. I live a mile or so from the Hayward fault. But I have California's risk pool earthquake insurance. The government wouldn't be paying me except from a fund that I've already paid into. I imagine that the government does pay some rich people in similar situations, but as far as I'm aware disaster funds go to the States from the federal government and should not in general become a form of rich people's welfare. Maybe you can find some direct evidence to show me that would make the situation more clear.

Comment Re:The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 307

What you are observing is economics. As a city or town population grows, the best land becomes unavailable and those who arrive later or have less funds available must settle for less desirable land. Thus many cities have been extended using landfill which liquifies as the San Francisco Marina District did in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, or floods. Risks may not be disclosed by developers, or may be discounted by authorities as the risks of global warming are today.

Efforts to protect people who might otherwise buy such land or to mitigate the risks are often labeled as government over-reach or nanny state.

Comment Re:Its pretty important... (Score 1) 307

Question: what would it take to get you to admit that measurably rising sea levels due to climate change is causing problems? We're losing goddamn Louisiana to it. Literally everyone who studies this stuff for a living agrees with this. No one seriously doubts it. But you'd rather blame some river hacking for literally submerging Louisiana.

What are you going to blame when we lose Florida? Is there a convenient river there to point the finger at? What ungodly amount of river water is flowing through the Solomon Islands that's causing them to disappear7?

Comment Re:Sponsors? (Score 2) 223

How can an artificial sweetener that is not absorbed by the body, like sucralose, have any physical effect, unless the brain hates being tricked and is getting even.

Nailed it. From Wash U med school:

The elevated insulin response could be a good thing, she pointed out, because it shows the person is able to make enough insulin to deal with spiking glucose levels. But it also might be bad because when people routinely secrete more insulin, they can become resistant to its effects, a path that leads to type 2 diabetes.

Basically, the part of your digestive tract that identifies incoming sugar and triggers an insulin release can't tell the difference between sugar and sweeteners. That's not a shocker: if our taste buds can be tricked, it's not crazy to imagine that our sugar-detecting circuits are also fallible. When your body is continually flooded with elevated insulin, it becomes resistant to it. Another term for insulin resistance is type 2 (adult onset) diabetes.

Comment Re:The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 307

Oh, of course they were caused by misguided engineering efforts. Everything from the Army Corps of Engineers to Smoky Bear goes under that heading. The most basic problem is the fact that we locate cities next to resources and transportation, which means water, without realizing where the 400-year flood plane is. Etc. We have learned something since then.

Our problem, today, is fixing these things. Which is blocked by folks who don't believe in anthropogenic climate change, or even cause and effect at all. They don't, for the most part, register Democratic.

Comment The problem with your explanation (Score 5, Insightful) 307

The problem with your explanation is that it's fact-based, and stands on good science. This is the post-truth era. Thus, the counter to your argument will be:

  • Evidence for a human cause of erosion is thin and controversial, and is being pushed by loony liberals.
  • We need those oil and shipping jobs, and jobs building and maintaining levees, not more regulation that stifles them!
  • Cause and effect is not a real thing, except for one cause, God is behind everything.
  • This is part of God's plan for us. The end time is coming, and when the Rapture arrives it will not matter that Louisiana's coast has eroded. Cease your pursuit of unholy science and pray to save your soul!

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