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Comment Re:has it come to this (Score 1) 99

The guards see a good looking male or female and force them to unlock the phone just to gain access to their most private moments

To focus on a small part of what you said: if you store it on your phone, it's not one of your private moments. Even if the government wasn't the one looking at your data, it's stored and monetized by, e.g. Google.

Comment Re:Leave it to the scientists.... (Score 1) 69

every one of those apps starts with the disclaimer "Consult your doctor before beginning any exercise or dietary regimen"

Fuck disclaimers. Stand behind your product or don't release it; I don't believe in disclaiming responsibility for harm when someone uses the product as intended.

Comment Re:Paid news is hopeless against the internet (Score 1) 371

There are so many free sources of news, it may be impossible to sell it in the near future.

But how do those news sources get filtered and curated? The problem today is that there is so much news that you can find someone writing absolutely any story you want, regardless of the facts, and regardless of the relevance or importance.

Comment Re:In next weeks news get your nails done at Autoz (Score 1) 39

Wow - this is some pretty cool stuff and I commend Netflix for doing it, but really? Netflix?

It's a tool developed for internal, corporate users, to make Netflix's own operations more secure. They've decided to open source it, probably in hope that others will have good ideas to make it better.

Comment Re:You almost got it (Score 1) 371

Nate Silver and his "group of hacks" made it clear that there were no guarantees. Perhaps if you had read his analyses, you would understand that. He made it clear right up until the election that Trump's chances were far from non-zero, and even went into detail in some of his blog posts to explain some of the problems with polling in some of the states. If you had actually read anything he wrote, rather than just inventing a "Nate Silver is a hack" narrative to beat him with, then you would understand a great deal of how he weighted the polls, and how uncertain he viewed the projections.

Comment Re:No longer all the news that fits (Score 1) 371

But again, op-ed pieces are all about narrative. They're often a series of stories written by the same columnist. Anyone who takes op-ed pieces that seriously obviously doesn't understand how newspapers function. That's not to say that there aren't informative op-ed pieces, far from it, but they are *opinion*, and inevitably that is where newspapers' ideological leanings will show up, and indeed where they should. By and large, the Guardian's actual journalism is often rather good, and they have one of the best investigative journalism reputations in the English-speaking world. Just don't go to "Comment is Free" to see it.

And that's what bothers me about your whole "narrative" line. In one respect, you're absolutely correct that newspapers and other news media spin narratives. That's what the press has been doing for centuries now. Do you think the press as it existed in the lead up to the American War of Independence didn't have plenty of column spent condemning nasty King George and praising the brave colonies for defying his despotic rule?

As I said, where I will criticize modern media is jumbling up opinion and journalism on the same web page, and CNN is actually worse for that than even Fox News or MSNBC. It almost goes out of its way to confuse readers on what stories are actually news and what pieces are opinion, and I will say that I think there is intent there to trick readers and to push a narrative, but if you open the stories they still make it pretty clear what is opinion and what is actual news reporting. Part of that is simply driven by the need to count clicks, to sell advertising, and the opinion section has been the seller of newspapers for a very long time.

Comment Re: Who cares? (Score 1) 297

You're assuming that it is a one time operation. here's the long term problem: At best 5% of a launch mass goes to the payload to reach LEO. At best. If launching a manned mission to Mars, the vast majority of the launch fuel will be to get the vehicle to reach LEO. So the vehicle most likely will have to be re-fueled in orbit. Again 5% of a launch just to refuel a craft.

Certainly it can be done short term for a few flights. However a long term mission to Mars might be better off with moon refueling where gravity is 1/6 that of Earth. Will it be easy to set up a Moon base to serve as a refueling point? No. But in the long run it will be better.

Comment Re:No longer all the news that fits (Score 1) 371

You are aware the Guardian story you reference is a comment piece. Op-ed pieces are fundamentally different than reporting of stories, and in fact, in general, comment pieces are often inflammatory, even absurd, because, guess what, it's often the op-ed section that sells newspapers, and not the news itself.

Comment Re:No longer all the news that fits (Score 2) 371

And there was a point during the election when a landslide Clinton victory seemed likely. But what of it? Papers having been making wrong calls for as long as there have been elections and newspapers. Remember "Dewey defeats Truman"?

The other thing about all of this that bothers me is that people seem to be confused about what constitutes "reporting" and what constitutes "opinion and analysis". Op-ed pieces are renowned for their bias, and in fact that's the whole point. Now it is true that there is a subtler kind of bias elsewhere in a newspaper, but a lot of what people attack and declare "fake news" is often the op-ed and "analysis" pieces, and if I can criticize newspapers for that, it's that I find they often shove some of the op-ed stories on to the main page of their website. I don't think that's an issue of bias so much as it is deliberate click-bait, in that if you punch up your main web page with stories like "Just how big will the Clinton landslide be?" you'll get a lot more hits than more mundane stories reporting the daily grind of a presidential campaign. The latter, even in this last election, can often be pretty fucking boring "Clinton attended a luncheon of the so-and-sos, and had a rally at such and such a place, and the polls shows she's leading by x% in California."

To my mind that's the real problem here, not a bias specifically, at least not political bias, but a constant need to sex everything up. But come on, that's not even new either. Every edition of a newspaper has to have a headline, whether the underlying story deserves it or not. That's the nature of newspapers for over two hundred years now.

Comment Re: Great idea... But there is a problem... (Score 1) 297

aka, for every 10 kg you launch to LEO you get 1kg payload to your destination

That's factually not true. Falcon Heavy Weight (1,420,788 kg), LEO payload (54,400 kg ): 3.83%
Ariane 5 Weight: 777,000kg, LEO payload: 16,000 kg. 2.05%
Atlas V Weight 345,000, LEO payload: 18,810 kg: 5.45%

At best it is 5%. At best. Many orbital launch systems deliver less than 5%.

Just 3000 m/s is a nearly 3:1 ratio.

Someone is forgetting basic physics. F=(1/2)m(v^2). The ratio is not 3:1. The ratio is (10^2)/(3^2) or 11:1.

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