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Comment I'll probably keep it (Score 2) 25

We canceled our cable subscription about a year ago, and while I was OK with it my wife hated not having certain live TV channels. We'd tried Sling, but it was hit-and-miss on the stuff we wanted. Some channels, like BTN, aren't available at all on Sling. DirecTV is only a little more and actually covers the live programming we want.

Make no mistake, the launch was rough. I don't think they allocated enough hardware or bandwidth to handle their initial demand, so streaming cut out constantly. It's finally getting to be pretty solid, though, and I'd much rather pay Sling a few bucks than have anything to do with Comcast.

Comment Re:Assange lacks integrity. (Score 1) 560

Great response. Whether Assange turns him self in is up to him, but there is a difference between shortening Manning's sentence vs a pardon that acts as if the conviction never occurred.

Granted, getting out is better than staying in, but Manning's time served is still much longer than senior people who have been found to have leaked classified information.

Comment Re:WHat I said on ars: (Score 3, Informative) 560

There is a difference between a pardon and commutation.

...which doesn't matter, of course, because the Wikipedia specifically said "clemency" (which is explicitly defined as including commutation). There is also a difference between jeans and grapefruit, but that's also irrelevant to the topic at hand.

Comment Re:Not sure what to think.... (Score 1) 797

That's what sex means in a medical context, though: your equipment. Your doctor is on the short list of people who have a need to care about that, because it's one of the rare places where anatomy matters.

I'm fairly far right on a lot of matters (and just spent a few ammo boxes hunting the elusive wild skeet this weekend). I'm socially liberal in the classic sense, though, in that I don't care what people do if it doesn't affect me. Want to smoke pot? Marry your gay partner? Go by a gender different from your biological sex (or even something totally different)? I couldn't care less. That's between you and your loved ones.

Comment Re:Not sure what to think.... (Score 4, Informative) 797

They are not medically or legally different things.

I grew up in a medical family and I've worked in healthcare in various capacities for a couple of decades now. In any organization I've dealt with, "sex" or "biological" sex explicitly refers to your anatomy. That's important because biological males can't get cervical cancer and biological females can't get testicular cancer, for instance. They're the words used on the occasions when anatomy are relevant. Most medical organizations I've been around in the last decade or so distinguish between "sex" and "gender", which is what the patient presents themselves as. Sure, they're most commonly the same value, but they are separate database fields referring to different concepts.

But what you and other extreme liberals

LOL. You presume much, and wrongly. But con/lib aside, I've never encountered a single problem with referring to someone by their gender. The people who care to distinguish between sex and gender appreciate the respect, and understand when medical decisions require healthcare providers to discuss their sex instead. It's easy to be nice to people, so why not do so? It doesn't cost us anything.

Comment Re:Not sure what to think.... (Score 5, Insightful) 797

What special privilege is Chelsea asking for? She wants to be called by her gender (not biological sex; those are medically and legally different things). She's not asking to go to an all-girls high school or otherwise do anything controversial. In what remote sense does her request harm you in any way?

Comment Re:Your move, Assange.... (Score 4, Informative) 797

A definition of "clemency" says:

Leniency or mercy. A power given to a public official, such as a governor or the president, to in some way lower or moderate the harshness of punishment imposed upon a prisoner.

Clemency is considered to be an act of grace. It is based on the policy of fairness, justice, and forgiveness. It is not a right but rather a privilege, and one who is granted clemency does not have the crime forgotten, as in Amnesty, but is forgiven and treated more leniently for the criminal acts. Clemency is similar to pardon inasmuch as it is an act of grace exempting someone from punishment.

Barring contrary definitions, the President granted her clemency. I strongly suspect Assange is far too little to live up to his promise, but this is exactly the situation the Wikileaks tweet described.

Science

Scientists Turn Docile Mice Into Ruthless Hunters (the-scientist.com) 76

BenBoy writes: A couple of years ago, a story surfaced about smarter mice: Scientists Create Super-intelligent Mice, Discover They're Also Very Laid Back. Well, implicit challenge accepted! 2017 brings us a report from Cell, via The Scientist: "Neural circuits in the amygdala are responsible for predatory behavior in mice, according to a study published January 12 in Cell. Using optogenetics, a technique that uses light to turn neural circuits on and off, a group of researchers led by neuroscientist Ivan de Araujo of Yale University was able to turn docile mice into ruthless hunters. Earlier research revealed that the amygdala, an almond-shaped brain structure most commonly linked to fear, was active when rats were hunting and feeding. To see whether this brain region was actually controlling predatory behavior, Araujo and colleagues decided to use optogenetics to selectively activate specific neurons in mice, with light. When the researchers activated the amygdala, docile mice attacked everything from bottle caps to live insects. Even when there was no prey in sight, the mice displayed feeding behavior -- moving their jaws and lifted their paws as if holding a piece of food. Once the light was switched off, the animals went back to peacefully strolling around their cages." Nuclear death-mice are, we assume, right around the corner.

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