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Comment Re:So.... Yik Yakked? (Score 1) 57

It distracted kids in schools and got used for bullying etc. It also got picked up by people who wanted to talk to kids in schools, which is not good either. Yik Yak blocked the app at schools in the U.S....

"As for how the blocks will affect Yik Yak’s user growth, the company isn’t concerned, saying that the app is still doing “very well” at colleges and the publicly cited user numbers have been grossly under-reported."

I would guess the kids who used it and were blocked, graduated as kids who forgot it existed.

Comment Re:Thank goodness (Score 1) 67

One has to admire your bravery and honesty in revealing your true name in this forum, mr Coward; I personally prefer to hide behind a pseudonym, because I am scared that anybody finds out.

So, as you say, your guy seems to have it all his way; of course that also means that later, when his policies turn out to be major disasters, you can't hide behind "Oh, but the senate/house/... opposed us all the way, so of course it didn't work out." And unless he turns out to be a truly astoundingly brilliant leader, he will face growing, popular opposition - starting from 50%, in fact - and popular opposition is not as easily controlled as the senate and the house.

Here is what I think is likely to happen: He'll start out in typical, bumbling style, maybe initially he will have the support of the Republicans, but fairly soon the deep resentment that was all too visible during the primaries, will come to the surface again, and they will start opposing him in growing numbers. The popular opposition will spread from the current 50% to something much higher, because a lot of the people who voted for him don't like him much, and a lot of the angry people who voted for him, did so because they hope against hope that he will make things better - when he fails, as he must, they will turn against him with fury. And then come the midterm elections, where he loses the senate and the house.

Meanwhile, the Democrats will have 4 years in relative peace, where they have the chance to do some serious rethinking of their whole setup, and can work on reconnecting with the voters. They won't be in power anywhere, and will therefore not get their name attached to unpopular policies that come out of government, but they will still be under pressure from their electorate to improve their ways, so it is conceivable that they will actually do so.

So, all in all, it will be worth watching, certainly. Where the whining will come from, though - we'll see, won't we?

Comment Re:Google, Motorola, Intel . . . (Score 1) 225

Every GOP dominated state has severely failing economies. See Kansas as a perfect example.

Define "failing". Red states, by and large, have lower economic growth because they are more rural, and urban centers generate more economic activity. That's a generality, though. If you look at a list of states by GDP per capita, some red states rank very highly.

If you're talking about fiscal responsibility, it's pretty much exactly the opposite of what you say. The states that are on the edge of bankruptcy are nearly all blue states, while those with the healthiest governments are red states.

Kansas, BTW, is firmly middle of the pack on both measures. Kansas is #25 of 50 in terms of GDP per capita, and according to the Mercatus rankings, they're #27. So Kansas isn't a perfect example.

Comment Re:More likely medical practice, not evolution (Score 1) 258

What I considered really interesting was the question: if cesarean became the normal method of delivery for an extended period of time (many generations) could humans end up at a point where natural birth was not possible?

I think it's likely that before too many more generations the normal process will be to grow babies in artificial wombs, and that could eventually make it so that a significant percentage of women become unable to bear children the old-fashioned way. Although we'd lose the evolutionary pressure for wide hips for birthing, it doesn't seem like there are any evolutionary pressures against wide hips, so I don't see why they'd disappear.

Comment Re:People use this? (Score 1) 71

Anyone who defends this convenience-over-privacy should download and print Jihadi-type information, nuke plans, bio-weapons info, etc. through this service and see how long it is before there is a knock on their door.

Sure. Got a link? I have absolutely zero concern about any sort of problem like that.

Comment Re:People use this? (Score 1) 71

I can't believe people willingly send their documents to Google where they will be processed by their systems and stored for however long.

I love it. It's super convenient to be able to print to my printer from any device, anywhere. Even when I'm printing from a computer rather than my phone or tablet, I frequently find that the native print drivers are unreliable and buggy over the network, and especially over Wifi. Not so much that I can't get it to connect and print with a little fiddling but Google Cloud Print just works, every time. As for Google "processing" the documents, (a) I'm fairly certain they don't data mine Cloud Print data and (b) I don't care. Most of what I print I either created in Google Docs or received in Gmail anyway. And even where that's not the case, the only thing Google would do with anything learned from my print jobs is to make better choices about what ads I might find interesting.

However... my printer is an Epson, and it was bootlooping a couple of days ago (I turned it off). I assumed the printer itself was having some problem and was planning to investigate when I have time this weekend. Sounds like I just need to wait for Google to sort this problem out and I'll be good.

Note that I work for Google, though not on Cloud Print. I'm just a (usually) happy user of Cloud Print.

Comment Re:Almost never go... (Score 1) 311

I almost never go to the cinema. It's useful when you're a kid wanting to date as neutral ground (although from what I understand kids don't date anymore- just hook up).

I'd much rather watch in the Living room than the cinema. No overly loud sound. No uncomfortable squished together seats. No popcorn stuck to the floor. The cinema isn't exactly a positive experience.

We must have much better theaters where I live than you do. Here it's all big, comfy stadium seating and they do a great job of keeping the floors clean. We tend to go to early shows (4-5PM usually), so we often have the theater to ourselves. At most there are few dozen others. And even when we do go to a later show where the house is closer to full, I can't remember the last time noise was a problem.

Anyway, my answer to the question is: Absolutely not. My wife and go see a movie pretty much every week. We have a weekly date night and we like movies. There's absolutely no way we'd want to watch those movies at home, because the primary motivation for the date is to go out, to get away from the house, the kids, etc. If the theater were an unpleasant place, we just wouldn't watch movies at all because we'd find something else to do on date night and we don't have a lot of spare time for movie-watching the rest of the week.

That's just me, of course, but judging by the people I see at the theater, I'm far from alone in that. Lots of people like going to the theater. There's a lot more to it than just watching the movie.

Comment Evolved that way (Score 1) 75

Whether this survey actually shows what they think it does, is perhaps not clear, but humans and in fact all animals have evolved to deal with information overload; we don't really take in all the sensory stimuli that hit us all the time - we have found ways to cut down on things and focus on what is important. The challenge with the internet lies in finding the right filtering method, so we get the things that are actually important, rather than the things we would like to see. In all honesty, it is probably something all of us need to work more on all the time; but some seem to choose not to.

Comment Re:Great System (Score 1) 226

As soon as you get into registered lists, issuing stickers or permits, etc. it gets so expensive that you don't want to do it.

Not necessarily - ANPR is a new word I've started seeing on signs in and around London: Automatic Number Plate Recognition. It is used for many things: police cars can identify the owner of a car in front of them and see if they paid road tax, have a valid insurance etc, Transport for London can see who enters the Congestion Charge Zone, and there is this new thing called Average Speed Check - and so on. If it works for these purposes, how hard would it be to use it to check whether people are allowed to use their cars on certain days? Very easy, is the answer, in terms of technology. The hard bit is the legislation and deciding on how to administrate and implement it; because you don't want to cobble a system together and then have to change it over and over, or go through Parliament several times.

Personally, I think we should be quite heavihanded about this - require that a family can only buy a car if they can prove they have a secure, legal place to park it (that would sort a lot of the problems in Beijing, where they tend to park in several layers - illegally - every night). Or require that people can justify a real need to own a car, like being unable to use public transport for serious, medical reasons. And then provide good, public transport and good facilities for bicycles; if you have less than 5 - 10 miles to work, then a bike is perfectly suited, and you shouldn't need a car.

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