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Comment We seem to be living in a post-factual age (Score 1) 360

... where you can't effectively fight emotive but nonsensical arguments with facts - witness the recent Brexit vote, all the Leave arguments were basically lies - but people still believed them, because they'd been convinced that they were "victims" (always a good populist tactic that). You can have all the facts and business and economic experts you like, all saying "Trump would be a disaster" (and I have no doubt that Trump with his I'm-so-smart egocentricity would be a disaster), but the people who are lured by simplistic nonsense like building walls and excluding Muslims won't listen to "elites". Calling him out as a fraudster (Trump University) or as an aggressively unreliable business partner (look for any number of interview on Youtube with poor guys that won a contract to design or carpet or wire up one of his property ventures and got screwed badly) probably has broader relevance, because there are a lot of small business owners and people who have been ripped off out there that might relate better.

Comment Re:The plutocrats prevailed (Score 2) 122


Murdoch has been seriously wounded in the UK, and cannot now command political power in the way that he previously enjoyed.

So now, despite not actually being Australian any more (he gave up his citizenship to become a US citizen), Australia is pretty much the only place left where he wields significant power, due to News Corp's ownership of the majority of the commercial media in this small market. So now Murdoch has crowned his victory (deposing a decent government whose main flaw was a megalomanical ex-leader after a 3 year smear campaign) by protecting News Corp's cable TV interests as well.

It was always too good to be true - a government program that would really empower people - in an age of neo-liberal so-called free market economics (what we really have is subsidies for corporates and plutocrats - not a "free market"). Once again, the wowsers have won, and Australia can go on with being the backwater dirt factory it has been told it should be.

A pox on Murdoch and the Coalition.

Comment Political denial (Score 5, Interesting) 371

One thing that many who believe that climate change is a "scam" or a "conspiracy" have in common is a political outlook that says that lefties, socialists, hippies, greenies etc. are just plain WRONG about everything, that their entire world view is basically incorrect.

So it really is hard for them to accept that the lefties and the greenies might be RIGHT about something - which seems to lead to ever more bizarre denials.

The corollary of this is that people with this kind of viewpoint tend to believe that climate change is a stalking horse of the left, to de-industrialise the economy, to promote their "business-hating" ideals, etc.

Comment Forget subjective criteria altogether. (Score 1) 397

Sometimes it's obvious that you want or need a change. And sometimes it's not.

So when you can't decide about what to do, it's generally a good idea to ask yourself what it is you could be doing where you could make the biggest contribution, help other people the most, and create the most value for *others*.

Once you remove yourself from the centre of the equation, the answer will probably be much clearer.


China's Influence Widens Nobel Peace Prize Boycott 360

c0lo writes "Not only did China decline to attend the upcoming Nobel peace prize ceremony, but urged diplomats in Oslo to stay away from the event warning of 'consequences' if they go. Possibly as a result of this (or on their own decisions), 18 other countries turned down the invitation: Pakistan, Iran, Sudan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Colombia, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Iraq, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Venezuela, the Philippines, Egypt, Ukraine, Cuba and Morocco. Reuters seems to think the 'consequences' are of an economic nature, pointing out that half of the countries with economies that gained global influence during recent times are boycotting the ceremony (with Brazil and India still attending)."

Corporations Hiring Hooky Hunters 610

No longer satisfied with your crinkled doctor's note, a growing number of corporations are hiring "Hooky Detectives." Private investigator Rick Raymond says he's staked out bowling alleys, pro football games, weddings and even funerals looking for people using sick days. From the article: "Such techniques have become permissible at a time when workers are more likely to play hooky. Kronos, a workforce productivity firm in Chelmsford, Mass., recently found that 57 percent of salaried employees take sick days when they're not sick — almost a 20 percent increase from statistics gathered between 2006 and 2008."
Hardware Hacking

Grad Student Invents Cheap Laser Cutter 137

An anonymous reader writes "Peter Jansen, a PhD student and member of the RepRap community, has constructed a working prototype of an inexpensive table-top laser cutter built out of old CD/DVD drives as an offshoot of his efforts to design an under $200 open-source Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printer. Where traditional laser cutters use powerful, fixed-focus beams, this new technique dynamically adjusts the focal point of the laser using a reciprocating motion similar to a reciprocating saw, allowing a far less powerful and inexpensive laser diode to be used. The technique is currently limited to cutting black materials to a depth of only a few millimeters, but should still be useful and enabling for Makers and other crafters. The end-goal is to create a hybrid inexpensive 3D printer that can be easily reconfigured for 2D laser cutting, providing powerful making tools to the desktop."

Possible Treatment For Ebola 157

RedEaredSlider writes "Researchers at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases have found a class of drugs that could provide treatment for Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fever. The new drugs are called 'antisense' compounds, and they allow the immune system to attack the viruses before they can do enough damage to kill the patient. Travis Warren, research scientist at USAMRIID, said while the work is still preliminary -— the drugs have been tested only on primates — the results are so far promising. In the case of Ebola, five of eight monkeys infected with the virus lived, and with Marburg, all survived. The drugs were developed as part of a program to deal with possible bioterrorist threats, in partnership with AVI Biopharma."

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