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Comment Even Ron Wyden Fell For It (Score 2) 264

Russian propaganda is an excuse and diversion to prevent people from realizing that this is a new effort of the US government to create and disseminate propaganda to the American public, fully backed by the law. The line "2017 intelligence authorization bill calling for new executive branch efforts" sounds a lot to me like "President Trump will have this new propaganda tool at his disposal to hoodwink US residents even further than they already have been by every source already."
It also smacks of a return to the Cold War anti-USSR propaganda spouted by every source. I can't help but feel a "wag the dog" situation is unfolding, with a growing Russian bogeyman to distract us from our growing domestic problems.

Comment Something else (Score 1) 473

The current voting system is a balancing act between multiple interests, with multiple layers of buffering against different potential problems.

The best way to fix American politics is to help 3rd parties to be elected in, and a good way to do that is to eliminate the 'winner take all' system where the winner of a popular vote or greatest portion of districts wins all the electoral votes of that state. Instead, electoral votes would be cast in proportion to a state's popular vote or how many districts voted for a given candidate.

Any system involving districts voting against one another is going to be corrupt, and thus shouldn't be considered, unless gerrymandering is prevented in that region and districting is apolitical.

Having electors in each state means that voting fraud in that state is limited in effect to how that state's electors vote. If a state with 5 million voters has 50 million votes cast for a nationwide popular vote, that gives the fraud a disproportionate effect compared to if it were limited to that state's few electors. Modern paper ballot protocols have made that scale of fraud hypothetical in America; assuming insecure e-voting gets tamped down on, that's arguably not a significant risk. A bigger problem is what to do about the 'evil populist', given that evil/corrupt/incompetent/malicious can be difficult to determine, even for an elector/scholar/expert. If the populace votes in a politician who promises to do things in the plebeians' favor but at the expense of the social class the electors belong to, the electors will have a conflict of interest. Given these problems, electors can't effectively perform this function of filtering out 'bad' politicians. Therefore, I believe electors should be replaced with automatic votes, proportionally.

Comment Statistically I Should Be Immortal (Score 3, Insightful) 193

Sure, those three viruses may currently account for 80% of colds (although I suspect it's regional, and the culprits vary from place to place, like the Flu viruses) but if they're eliminated, people not staying home sick with one of those three will instead be exposed to one of the other hundreds of cold viruses until they get sick. Now a different set of 3 viruses will account for most colds, but there will be just as many colds. Anyone who works with the airline industry is still going to get sick frequently.

Additionally, saying there's an $11 billion+ 'cost' of colds is disingenuous, as that money trades hands. From the point of view of the medical industry, they'd be losing $billions every year if the common cold were to be cured. Salaried positions tend to have X amount of paid sick days, which are redeemed by the employee no matter what, so employers pay that money whether or not the employee actually gets sick; you could say 'lost productivity costs' but if those sick days are taken as de facto vacation, the effect is the same. A large proportion of sick days are actually "my bipolar is kicking in and I'm too depressed to come into work" or "my child is sick" or "I need to do something today and you didn't give me off the day I asked for" etc. and those problems won't go away easily.

Comment Is It An Actual Problem? (Score 3, Interesting) 624

Sure, these fake news stories exist, and are sometimes highly visible, and apparently get enough clicks to make a profit for the bullshitters...
But does anyone actually believe these stories? Could people just be Liking/retweeting them because they're amusing, in a "ha ha, look at this tabloid article about Bigfoot having Prince Harry's baby!" kind of way? Surely a lot of readers WILL realize that what they're reading is bullshit, or do fact-checking on their own.

'Fake' news is ubiquitous and always has been, in any news source. Look at how many peer-reviewed scientific journal articles are later redacted or found faulty, and what portion of published research is later found to be fabricated, or is disproved later on or unreproduceable. Now think about how many news articles are written for laypersons summarizing scientific developments, that are misleading or dead wrong. Now think about how many PR department press releases are copied verbatim into 'news stories' without any critical thinking or fact checking. Ok, maybe your news department was downsized and you don't have an editor anymore, and noone will tell you "you can't put that shit in our publication", but critical thinking doesn't take a dedicated salaried position, any writer can exercise it.

Binkowski gives a free pass to the news industry, going with an 'incompetence/insufficient budget' excuse, completely ignoring intentional malevolence/profit motive reasons.

Comment Push Poll (Score 1) 168

Pollster: "Sir, you own a Tesla car according to our records. You are aware, of course, that the Autopilot feature requires a human to be fully alert and ready to take control of the vehicle at all times, aren't you, sir?"

Consumer: "Umm.... why YES... yes, of course. I knew that. Yeah, that's the ticket..."

Pollster: "Ok, just confirming that." *ticks off 'consumer was properly-informed' checkbox*

Comment Slant by Selective Leaking (Score 1) 361

it would be so much nicer if some disgruntled colleague of Podesta's was providing information to reporters, rather than Vladimir Putin using them as stooges to undermine our democracy.

The American elite has done more to undermine our democracy than Russia ever could. If a colleague of Podesta's dumped the same files onto Wikileaks the effect would be the same. If Podesta's files contained some secret dirt on Trump that he was going to reveal at a later date, I wonder who would be accused of the 'leak' if that were to happen. The leaker withholding such dirt might be considered slant, but that's improbable (and the dirt would be revealed by Podesta eventually anyway.)

Comment What're They Hiding? (Score 2) 35

Rumor has been, as the summary says, that the NX will be a console/handheld hybrid. However, that's not a particularly novel idea, as it's basically what the Nvidia SHIELD is, and I thought up the idea years ago thinking it obvious. Nintendo said they didn't want to reveal what their system was too early, since they didn't want to be copied by competitors.

I don't blame them much, given that Sony and Microsoft jumped on the motion-control bandwagon after the success of the Wii... but being coy doesn't give them any additional lead time. If Sony/Microsoft believe the rumors, and want to do what Nintendo is doing because it'll surely lead to success (not a guarantee given the Wii U), then they could start designing a hybrid device before the official reveal. If they're going to take a wait-and-see approach to see if this Nintendo idea pans out and has any success, then it doesn't matter how early the concept is revealed. Perhaps Nintendo is aping Apple by being secretive and then having a big reveal shortly (5 months) before it's available for purchase, so that all of their marketing momentum is concentrated within a short span of time. Considering Pokemon is traditionally a handheld series, and if this is a handheld/console hybrid, there could plausibly be a mainline Pokemon game on it. There might be a 3ds-like resolution when portable, and you plug it in to a TV for higher resolution. The console has been in the works so long I don't think it'll have much/any support for 4k.

If they say "Surprise! we were working on self-contained portable VR this whole time! and you can plug it in so the chips increase their clock speed for better graphics. At $299!" then I'll be impressed.

Comment Gundam Flashbacks (Score 1) 275

Citizenship is allowed for those who live on Earth? For a 'space nation'? The vast majority of 'citizens' will be those still living on Earth, until that policy is changed (even with space elevators/habitats). Since those on Earth will be the majority, it's unlikely the policy will be changed so that the majority would disenfranchise themselves. This'll lead to a situation where those in space are living under the rule of those on Earth. There'll inevitably be conflict between how those on Earth think the space nation should conduct itself, and how those actually in space want to do things. Of course, they'll have big, heavy things (like a space colony) they can drop on us. I recommend investing in Gundanium.

Comment Re:Says Hillary Propaganda arm Washington Post (Score 1) 113

I saw you linking those articles the other day, and read the Intercept one. The leak doesn't prove that the entire mainstream media is in bed with Hillary, following her every command. It shows that one journalist would reliably write articles on provided topics about Hillary, and not always in a completely favorable light. It also says that Hillary had an off-the-record get-together with various members of the press, before she announced her bid for the presidency. Probably, the journalists wanted to know if she was actually going to run and what her platform was going to be. They weren't necessarily forming a secret society dedicated to conspiring to create blatantly biased propaganda in favor of Hillary's campaign, and the leak provides no evidence that any such thing happened or was intended. The Intercept article I read also pointed out that McCain did the exact same thing during his presidential campaign, inviting journalists to an off-the-record dinner. Notice that there were no Fox News journalists invited; Hillary's campaign manager probably only invited journalists they already thought would be likely to give her favorable press; the bias existed long before this private dinner.

Comment 1nm Gate Size (Score 3, Insightful) 66

1nm is the gate length, not the size of the entire transistor. Typically-quoted transistor sizes are actually the process nodes, which are half of the distance between the same feature in neighboring transistors, so they're not comparable to a measurement of an individual transistor. That said, I seem to recall a story from over 10 years ago, about someone creating a single 1nm transistor. The trick, now as then, is to use lithography to create billions of them connected to one another to form integrated circuits, and the main limitation in size reductions has been lithography tech rather than transistor tech.

Comment Re:Illegal, Un-Constitutional and MSM fail (Score 1) 50

To be fair, it's Reuters, a newswire agency. They send along facts to other news sources who subscribe to their feed, and let them do the editorializing. Not that they never editorialize on their own site, but they have a "stick to the facts" background. If the Constitution is relevant to the story is up to the editors, apparently.

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