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Comment Russia Leaked Emails to Help TRUMP???? (Score 1) 759

Balderdash. With all the vulnerabilities of Hillary's 'server", and the 99+% probability that it has been routinely penetrated, _ANYBODY_ could have leaked her emails to Wikileaks.

On the other hand, _if_ it was the Russians, it's likely that Vlad Putin is simply trying to tighten the noose around Hillary's neck. I don't think he actually wants to hang her out to dry - she'll be much more useful as a "president on a string" where Putin can control her. The last thing in the world that Putin wants is some unpredictable "loose cannon" as the President of the United States.

Comment NEVER EVER Trust Google (Score 1) 465

Google's motto was once "Don't be evil." It now seems to be "Don't! Be evil!" If you don't have YOUR OWN backups, on servers that YOU control, then everything you do is subject to random, capricious, even malicious, deletion and unavailability. We'll never know if somebody at Google objected to his work, or if some rogue admin accidentally deleted it, or if it was corrupted in some file system problem. But anything that's in Blogger especially is ephemeral and subject to loss.

Amazon has an "unlimited" cloud storage plan that's not particularly expensive; and USB flash drives these days are remarkably affordable.

Backups are good. Multiple backups are better.

Comment Truisms (Score 1) 387

"Has Physics Gotten Something Really Important Really Wrong? " The answer to this question is invariably "Yes". Even if THIS PARTICULAR thing isn't entirely wrong, the fundamental "scientific method" ensures that there will ALWAYS be SOMETHING that's really wrong.

However, I've been pretty sure that most of the "multiverse/string theory" stuff has been fundamentally flawed because there is no actual DATA to support it. Mathematical models are fun and pretty, but they all rely on assumptions and simplifications, and we can never really know in advance that our assumptions and simplifications have any correspondence at all to "reality".

Comment Re: Insurance cover for hostile takeovers (Score 1) 299

"Is it really more convenient to own your own?"

Absolutely. With a car of my own, I can choose at an moment to get up and drive to the doughnut shop (2 miles away) and come home with a tasty treat. (Yes, the Doughnut King in Citrus Heights, CA is open 24/7. GREAT doughnuts, too.) I can leave whenever I want, go where I choose and come come home at any time.

Of course, there's a price to be paid for convenience. It's in that BALANCE between convenience and cost that auto-driving cars and Uber will exist.

Comment Re:Insurance cover for hostile takeovers (Score 1) 299

I think this is right. When self-driving cars merge with Lyft or Uber or Avis, then a lot of people won't need to own cars at all. Open your smartphone app and request a small car to drive you to the supermarket - and 90 minutes later, request a large car to take you and your groceries home. Or schedule a van to take the family across town to Grandma's house or across the country to go to Disneyland. And it would STILL probably be cheaper than buying a car and making payments + insurance + gas + maintenance (plus, in big cities, leasing garage space...).

Perhaps each car service will merge with a different car maker....

Comment Version Changes vs Upgrades? (Score 1) 230

DOS-based programs probably don't have so many of the GUI-security flaws, and I've seen DOS-based programs run rings around their Windoze brethren.

Also, it's likely that the newer versions have substantially different database designs and requirements, and it would probably take months or years in effort to convert the existing data to the new version.

Change for the sake of change isn't always "progress".

Comment Cancer as Final Genetic Screening? Nope! (Score 1) 262

If cancer is designed to clean the gene pool of defects, it's failing, because cancer attacks middle-aged and old people, AFTER their genes have already been passed along. I might accept this for childhood cancers that MIGHT terminate that genetic sequence. But most 40+ year olds have already had children if they were going to.

Comment Re:An easier sollution (Score 1) 1144

"It's not like there aren't countries that have less shootings. It is simple enough to look at what they do and do the same."

Mono-cultural societies often have lower levels of violence; Japan might be the classic example.Japan has no cultural minorities, and has a low level of violence. Multi-culti societies have more. At an extreme, think of Iraq with Sunni, Shia and Kurdish minorities. There's a lot of violence in the transition; for example, England and France are experiencing a lot of violence in importing a Muslim underclass that refuses to assimilate.

Comment Re: Hydogen is just a way to store energy (Score 1) 630

But when the grid goes down - for any reason at all - you lose your power, too, because most solar systems go offline when there's no connection to the grid. It's a basic safety feature; you don't want to be powering otherwise-dead lines while technicians are are trying to repair the outage.

You can get an islander" system that isolates you from the grid, but then you can't sell power back to the utility.

Comment Despots Control Those Countries (Score 4, Informative) 117

Baloney. The 4+ billion people who don't already have internet access are primarily peasant farmers who are struggling to feed themselves, much less add anything to their national (or even local) economies. They don't have the tools or the knowledge nor the willingness to learn anything that would allow them to jump to first-world levels of productivity. In most places, they have neither reliable electrical power nor reliable potable water, and those folks need clean water a WHOLE lot more than they need internet access.

Probably half of those people would never be ALLOWED to connect to the internet, even if it were possible to provide access. Iran, Saudi Arabia, China, many of the impoverished African kleptocracies... which of those governments would ever allow their subjects any information about a better way of life?

Comment Re:May spur automation (Score 1) 940

Bad analogy; it's not that difficult to ship manufacturing overseas and import cars and computers. Hamburgers don't travel well; for some reason, people seem to prefer fresh ones.

So I can certainly believe that a series of sharp jumps in the "minimum wage" will transfer a lot of high school kids' jobs to robots. Kids are unreliable employees; they take vacations and slack off or fail to show up for their shifts at all, and robots don't. Because the true MINIMUM wage is always ZERO.

By 2025, the only human employee at Burger King will be the technician who maintains the hamburger-making robot.

Comment Motion Sickness IRL or in VR (Score 1) 36

Having been "in the bag" for most of the flight on my one-and-only ACM (Air Combat Maneuvering) flight at VT10 in Pensacola, I can say with some certainty that having the visual experience match the physical one is no guarantee of a steady stomach. Nor is standing on the rail of a rolling ship even when you can SEE the ship moving exactly the way you can FEEL the ship moving.

VR for roller coasters sounds like a great idea.

Comment Re: Demand raising as well as supply (Score 1) 310

Also; health care, especially geriatric care, is unlikely to be so thoroughly automated as other professions. Carl Karcher Enterprises, the parent company of Carl's Junior and Hardee's, is said to be working on a restaurant with no employees at all. This is likely unattainable; SOMEBODY will be needed to fix the machinery when it breaks, but I've seen video of the hamburger-cooking robot, and more and more fast food places have self-service order kiosks. It will be a while before a robot can properly change a bedpan or a dressing.

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