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Comment Re:An Artificial Womb Successfully Grew Baby Sheep (Score 1) 116

THIS 'device' is being put forward as a means to extend the viability of really early premature birth infants so they actually have a chance to survive - - - and NOT as an ARTIFICIAL WOMB with the ability to actually grow an infant from sperm-egg inception to birth.

True, but that doesn't mean it won't eventually become an artificial womb. If they're successful at using it to keep babies who are 15 weeks premature alive and healthy through their full development, then clearly the next step is to use it for babies who are 16 weeks premature, etc., etc. As they push back the age of viability new challenges will arise and be solved, and step by step it will get pushed back all the way to starting from an embryo. The development process will take years, maybe decades, but it's all but inevitable once we take this first step.

Comment Re:Cry me a river (Score 2) 100

I share your cynicism about the idea that the true cause was an "aggressive work culture" but the same time this was a human being. You, the person hiding behind the screen and the AC title. Don't be an a-hole. Joseph probably had depression, you have a-hole disease.

Also, although job culture could not really have been the root cause, it definitely could be a contributing factor. Someone prone to depression can easily enter a downward spiral when placed under immense stress, to a degree that they're too depressed to take the obvious actions to get out of the stressful environment. If this guy came from LinkedIn and turned down a job at Apple, he obviously had excellent prospects for getting another job, and that would have been the obvious response to excessive job stress. But depressed people don't think that clearly. A good manager and good co-workers should have recognized the situation and encouraged him to seek help.

Note that I'm assuming here that the wife is right, and that it really was a toxic work environment. It's also possible that the work environment is fine and that it was just severe clinical depression. Given the rest of what we hear about Uber, though, it wouldn't shock me to learn that the work environment contributed a great deal.

Comment Re:Bricked or not? (Score 1) 83

I don't think you can ever permanently "brick" something. In this case they probably reflashed the firmware through the JTAG port or something similar. Bricked to the consumer but not the supplier.

You can permanently brick a device, even without hardware damage. Phones, for example, should have JTAG completely disabled for security (though many OEMs fail to do this), and depending on various bits of low-level config devices can get into a completely unflashable state. If the onboard firmware that accepts flashed images does something like sign the images with a key embedded in the SoC, and the ROM refuses to run unsigned firmware, and you can't flash normally any more, then even removing the flash memory and writing to it directly may not revive the device.

Plus, software can sometimes do hardware damage, which can perma-brick.

But, yeah, in the vast majority of cases where a device is "bricked", it can actually be revived by the manufacturer or their RMA centers. Even if JTAG isn't available and the system is tightly locked down, they typically have some keys they can use to sign messages to disable portions of the security infrastructure, specifically so that they can revive (and resell) bricked devices.

I do low-level Android development and end up bricking a few devices every year. It's pretty rare that they can't be revived by the manufacturer, but it does happen.

Comment Re:Truth (Score 1) 166

Perhaps I am weird but I don't understand why anyone would want to type complete sentences into a search engine. Natural language is bad at being precise and machines aren't exactly good at interpreting it.

Try it. It's what people naturally tend to do, so it's what Google optimizes for. It really does work very well, regardless of what you might expect.

Comment Re:I hope he wins his suit (Score 1) 519

Yes, medical professionals need to be board certified. But don't confuse that with doctors.

No, they don't. Board certification is an additional step that physicians can take, and many better ones do, but it is not required to practice medicine.

Wrong. :-p

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Board_certification
http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2012/06/matter-doctor-board-certified-board-eligible.html
http://www.physicianspractice.com/healthcare-careers/board-certification-overrated
https://www.angieslist.com/articles/are-all-doctors-board-certified.htm
http://www.abpsus.org/physician-board-certified-specialties

I could go on, but that's enough.

Comment Re:Yes but (Score 5, Interesting) 519

Thought experiment. Let's suppose you're a CIVIL engineer -- the type of engineer the regulations are intended to target. You're on vacation in Oregon, and you notice a serious structural fault in a bridge which means that it is in imminent danger of collapse.

Under this interpretation of the term "practice engineering" you wouldn't be able to tell anyone because you're not licensed to practice engineering in Oregon. In fact anyone who found an obvious fault -- say, a crack in the bridge -- would be forbidden to warn people not to use it until it had been looked at.

Which is ridiculous. Having and expressing an opinion, even a professionally informed opinion, isn't "practicing engineering". Practicing engineering means getting paid -- possibly in some form other than money. At the very least it means performing the kind of services for which engineers are normally paid.

A law which prevented people from expressing opinions wouldn't pass constitutional muster unless it was "narrowly tailored to serve a compelling public interest" -- that's the phrase the constitutional lawyers use when talking about laws regulating constitutionally protected activities. In this case the public interest is safety, which would be served by a law which prevented unqualified people from falsely convincing people that a structure was safe. But there is no compelling interest in preventing an engineer from warning the public about something he thinks is dangerous or even improper.

So if the law means what they claim it to mean, it's very likely unconstitutional.

Comment Re:we no longer need to use common sense (Score 1) 173

I'll trust Jimmy's politics over my own common sense.

Common sense is neither common nor sense.

Personally, I'll take substantiated, fact-checked information over my own "common sense", which is really nothing more than the aggregate of my own biases.

WikiTribune might actually be able to write stories that evolve towards correctness through review, source-checking and debate, as Wikipedia does. I'm not sure that will actually help the "news" situation, though, because it takes too long, and by the time the facts have been found and clarified, everyone has moved on.

Comment Re:Truth (Score 2) 166

Google hasn't been a functional search engine in about a decade.

Perhaps by your very narrow definition. But it's vastly better than it was at finding what people are looking for, which is what they always wanted, regardless of terminology.

However, it's *not* as good at "keyword regexp bingo" as it used to be. But if you're still trying to use those old-style queries, you're doing it wrong. Try typing complete natural language questions for what you want to find. I find this works amazingly well, even on obscure technical topics which include lots of "keywords" which are heavily overloaded in other contexts.

Comment Re:Truth (Score 4, Insightful) 166

The underlying problem is Google is supposed to be a *search engine* It's supposed to show you where to find stuff on the internet. At some point in time they decided to complete with Ask Jeeves and become an "answer engine." Good luck with that.

It has always been an answer engine, and that's the reason it became popular.

Back in the day (mid 90s) most everyone was certain that search engines could never be very useful. Lycos, Altavista, etc. weren't terrible, but they also weren't very good, because although they could effectively spider the whole web that just meant that any search matched thousands or millions of pages, and they had no way to determine which of those were the best answers for the query. The "smart money" was betting on Yahoo!'s approach of manually curating enormous lists of links.

Then Larry Page's pagerank algorithm found an excellent (not perfect, but excellent) way to figure out which of all of those answers were likely to be the best ones. That insight launched Google. It took off precisely because it provided better answers, rather than just returning a list of everything that was on the Internet. A list of everything on the Internet is not useful.

Comment Re:Myth: Mayer didn't do well for Yahoo! (Score 3, Insightful) 155

The bottom line is that CEOs are supposed to generate value for shareholders

Reports say that Meyer ordered underlings to not buy the resources to prevent and then not report the security breaches at Yahoo! That cost shareholders more than $1B in valuation on the Verizon deal.

Yep, had she done better there, perhaps Yahoo would be worth $48B instead of $47B. Considering it was worth $19B when she started, shareholders might be inclined to give her that one.

Comment Re:No one makes anyone buy anything. (Score 2) 239

Would you accept a store charging you more for food because their magical sensor at the door (or in your fridge) has detected that your starving, or because they deduced from your clothes that you're more likely to pay more?

Not too many years ago, those were, in fact, standard practices by nearly all merchants. It's only been for the last century or two that stores have gotten in the habit of having fixed, marked prices. Before, prices were negotiated and you can bet that the merchant took into account everything he could see about the customer when deciding what price he could get.

The modern version is a little different, of course, because the online retailer *appears* to have a fixed, marked price, and there isn't an opportunity for interactive negotiation. But it's also different because the customer can easily shop a dozen other stores almost effortlessly. The customer can also do something like "wishlist" an item, which is a signal to the seller that the customer is interested in buying, but not willing to pay the posted price right now... which means there's a good chance that a slightly lower price will generate a sale.

So, I think buyers who are willing to be a little careful can effectively negotiate, and arguably hold the stronger position against online retailers. Buyers who are willing to take the first price offered, on the other hand, will pay in dollars for the time they save.

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