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Comment Re:Awesome, Blame the victim (Score 4, Insightful) 938

Studies Reveal Why People Get Beaten and Mugged The factors involve a persons inability to pick up on and respond to nonverbal cues from muggers.

A better analogy would be, "Studies Reveal Why People Get Beaten and Mugged: The factors involve walking alone through dark alleys in crime-ridden neighborhoods." Identifying and addressing factors that increase risk of being mugged doesn't exonerate the mugger, it just makes you less likely to get mugged. That's all this is. It isn't "blaming the victim" like so many people are shouting. It's simply a matter of identifying factors that increase the risk of becoming a victim and addressing those factors in order to reduce such risks. I only wish this study had been done 40 years ago. I have Asperger's Syndrome (only recently diagnosed) and was bullied a lot as a kid. If my parents had been armed with the information in this study, maybe I would have been bullied less.


Man Sues Neighbor For Not Turning Off His Wi-Fi 428

Scyth3 writes "A man is suing his neighbor for not turning off his cell phone or wireless router. He claims it affects his 'electromagnetic allergies,' and has resorted to being homeless. So, why doesn't he check into a hotel? Because hotels typically have wireless internet for free. I wonder if a tinfoil hat would help his cause?"

Comment Re:Video professor (Score 1) 163

Or FOX News? I see NBC/MSNBC listed.

No, you do not see MSNBC listed, unless you have a very vivid imagination. MSNBC's parent NBC Universal is a hardass about SNL footage (except for Andy Samberg's digital shorts, which they don't own) showing up on YouTube and consistently issues takedowns over such clips. This has nothing to do with MSNBC or your personal political differences with that channel.

Hmmm; guess the anti-fox bias has no basis.

Let me see if I'm following your "logic" correctly.

This EFF web page, which lists a small number (13) of examples of censorship by copyright assertion, includes a single example from NBC (not MSNBC) and no example from Fox News. From that it follows that Fox News does not engage in these tactics, and thence that their reporting is honest, ethical, and responsible.

That kind of argument is worthy of Fox News itself. Keep it up and you might get a job there.

Comment "moving through time" with two time dimension (Score 1) 113

We don't "move through time" at all in our 3+1 spacetime. Our sensation of motion through time is an artifact of a certain property of systems like our brains: at time t0, we have memories of events at times t < t0, and no memories of events at times t > t0.

I don't know whether it's possible for a conscious mind to exist in a spacetime with more than one macroscopic time dimension. If it is possible at all, such a mind certainly would not experience consciousness in the same way we do.

Comment Re:Required reading (Score 1) 628

A common view is that moral consideration is only warranted for moral agents that are capable of engaging in moral reasoning, and thus capable of reciprocating moral consideration.

Is that really a common view?

Dogs, though intelligent and social, do not have any concept of "morality." However, few people maintain that torturing dogs is acceptable behavior.

The intelligence, sociability, and complexity of the behavior of dogs tells us, intuitively, that there is a conscious mind operating in that creature. Unfortunately, the concept of consciousness is so elusive that we cannot even well pose the question "Is X conscious?" let alone have anything approaching a rigorous method for answering it, so we pretty much have to rely on intuition. My intuition tells me that there is a conscious mind operating inside a dog but not inside a lobster. But that's just me.

Comment Re:Required reading (Score 1) 628

Well semantically, the difference between "Experiencing pain" and "Displaying pain behaviours" is so thin as to be non-existent. Might as well assume they're the same thing.

Oh, come on. There are robotic systems that can display pain behaviors. Doesn't mean they're actually sentient.

Comment Hey, neat idea, CNN. Can I do it to? (Score 1) 254

Can I create a bittorrent client with an EULA that allows me to put torrents on your system, hide them from the UI for a certain period of time, and forbid you from looking under the hood to see what's there?

Then if a copyright holder comes after you for sharing their stuff, you can claim that I put it there (they'll have no way of proving whether I did or you did), and there was nothing you could legally do to detect or prevent it. You have now attained carrier status and thus shielded yourself from lawsuits.

As for me, I'll live in Sweden, just in case.

The Internet

The Effects of the Cloud On Business, Education 68

g8orade points out two recent articles in The Economist about the rise of cloud computing. The first discusses how software-as-a-service has come to pervade online interactions. "Irving Wladawsky-Berger, a technology visionary at IBM, compares cloud computing to the Cambrian explosion some 500m years ago when the rate of evolution sped up, in part because the cell had been perfected and standardised, allowing evolution to build more complex organisms." The next article examines how the cloud will force a "trade-off between sovereignty and efficiency." Reader pjones contributes news that the Virtual Computer Lab will be supplementing more traditional computer labs at North Carolina State University, and adds, "NCSU's Virtual Computing Lab and IBM are offering the VCL code as a software 'appliance' for use in schools to link to the program. Downloads are available at ibiblio at UNC-Chapel Hill. The VCL also is partnering with to make the software available and to allow further community participation in future development."

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