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Comment The losing side must automatically pay (Score 1) 112

The solution to frivolous lawsuits is the loser pays system. If you lose a suit, you have to pay the winner's legal expenses (vetted by the judge). Automatically...

And, yes, the rule ought to cover criminal proceedings too with wrongfully accused compensated by the prosecutor's office.

Comment Re:Climate Non-Science (Score 1) 277

Because the real predictions are only going to be proven after it's too late to do a damn thing about it

Will that ever happen? You say, it will. But you have no proof — you are asking me, and the rest of the civilization, to take it on faith.

Something tells me, you'd dismiss as a fool (or worse) anyone telling you to repent before it is too late and you died before absolution. And yet, you are telling me the same thing about climate: believe in it, before it is too late.

Maybe, I'd be willing to listen to the authorities, to which you appeal — if they were authorities. But they aren't scientists either — no meaningful falsifiable statement has been made by them, that has not been falsified in due time... Off, off with you — 21st century shamans...

Comment Re:Internet or hyper-linked documents (a.k.a. Web) (Score 1) 70

If you want to get "technical" the web (aka http/html) was first (1990 vs 1991 for gopher)

I would say, Lee's web was indistinguishable from Gopher back then. Certainly not until Mosaic offered graphical browsing.

email was the killer app, inter-domain mail (via unix mail via rmail/UUCP) was probably the real killer app, not ARPANET

But that too existed already in the 1970-80ies... The actual interconnections remained scarce, but software and protocols for distinct computers to exchange "emails" appeared much earlier than the celebrated 1991.

I'd also add, that Sir Lee's affable personality — and the fact, that he is not an American — contribute to the "cult".

Comment Internet or hyper-linked documents (a.k.a. Web)? (Score 2) 70

The write-up and TFA conflate the Internet and (what became known as web). Maybe, the slines don't know any better, but Slashdot users ought to... The hyperlinked documents weren't the first "killer application" — e-mail was. The first systems weren't even using the Internet, but, according to Wikipedia:

And Sir Lee's was not even the first system for linking documents/files across the networks — Gopher was. And Gopher was not merely proposed in 1991, that's when an actual system became available (though protocol was codified in an RFC only in 1993).

Comment Re:When it stops moving, subsidize it... (Score 1) 442

So you'd like to believe. You'd REALLY like to believe it.

Back at you.

But then we look, and we see that failure rates for those loans were not any higher

This was a good opportunity to offer a citation, but, for some reason, you didn't do it... Maybe, that's because you are just lazy. Maybe, you knew to be posting an untruth and hoped, I would not call your lie. Fail. Here is a 2010 paper citing the following mortgage-failure numbers for 2007-2009: 790 per 10000 loans for Blacks, 769 for Latinos, 452 for Non-Hispanic Whites. The minorities, whom the Democratic demagogues, supposedly, tried to help, suffered the most from the "help". As usual.

It was blatantly stupid too. Racist or not, banks want to make money. Issuing loans is how banks make money. It would take a David Duke-like hard-core racism for a loan officer to lower his own bonus/commissions and reject a qualified loan-application on the basis of race. No one would do it — and none of the allegations of this happening en masse has ever been substantiated.

Now, don't be an asshole, and reply under your own name to undo the cowardly downmoderations...

Comment Re:When it stops moving, subsidize it... (Score 0) 442

The Glass-Steagall Act prevented major banking meltdowns since it was passed

Hobbling a horse will also prevent the rider from hitting anything too hard. Too bad, it also prevents most of the travel...

The affiliation provisions were struck in 1999, and within a decade there was a major banking crisis.

Except the crisis was caused by a completely different problem.

Comment When it stops moving, subsidize it... (Score 1, Interesting) 442

But making one company jump through hoops while another gets to ignore them is?

Except it was not Uber, who created those hoops. The taxis have suffered from the usual Big Government approach to business:

  1. If it moves, tax it;
  2. If it continues to move, regulate it;
  3. When it stops moving, subsidize it.

If we all had smart-phones 100 years ago, today's taxi regulations (and the various boards enforcing them) would not have been created. Which means, it is time for them to be abolished.

Submission + - People favour expressive, communicative robots over efficient and effective ones (robohub.org)

Kassandra Perlongo writes: Researchers from University College London and the University of Bristol experimented with a humanoid assistive robot helping users to make an omelette. The goal was to investigate how a robot may recover a users' trust when it makes a mistake and how it can communicate its erroneous behaviour to somebody who is working with it, either at home or at work. The study suggests a communicative, expressive robot is preferable for the majority of users to a more efficient, less error prone one, despite it taking 50 per cent longer to complete the task.

Submission + - "Man" is no longer a good idea. 2

poofmeisterp writes: In a news story from Fox, "Princeton begins to remove 'man' from official school material" has been released about Princeton University (and as endorsed by the Institutional Equity Planning Group) releasing a memo to staff, entitled Guidelines for Using Gender Inclusive Language (PDF).

For example, it's not okay to refer to our predecessors as "forefathers" anymore. We should call them "ancestors".

A lookup on Dictionary.com indicates that "Mankind" has two definitions:
1. the human race; human beings collectively without reference to sex; humankind.
2. men, as distinguished from women.

Are we supposed to assist all uneducated, sensitive, or those lacking in basic self-worth by changing more forms of word classes than this in the future? The HR PDF from Princeton also includes examples of job posting edits to comply with the new (mandate?).

I do remember a quote from the late George Carlin that sums most of it up: Soft Language "Sometime during my life toilet paper became bathroom tissue. . . . Sneakers became running shoes. False teeth became dental appliances. Medicine became medication. Information became directory assistance. The dump became the landfill. Car crashes became automobile accidents....."

When do we stop and expect that people be educated on the origins and meanings of words and phrases, before being offended or having Universities issue staff notices to be sensitive to everyone's internal feelings? I was told to "grow up" when I was younger, not "I understand your feelings and think it's wrong to speak to you in the manner I am. I should be sensitive to all of your feeling and needs before opening my mouth."

Comment Re:Significant danger threaten it all (Score 1) 282

You did see "flying car" on the list in the write-up, did you not? I did not put it there — we've been dreaming about them for decades. My point is, they would've been "here" earlier, had it not been mandatory to finance the surface-roads too.

As for the actual dangers, well, we've come a long way in the surface car's safety too.

Comment Significant danger threaten it all (Score 0) 282

There is a significant danger threatening all of these advances. Yes, I'm talking about that old Libertarian canard of government regulation and, even more importantly, the temptation to have the government "pick the winner" in each area. This is dangerous not only because it violates basic freedoms, but also because the picking is done based on the current knowledge and "state of the art" — and I am assuming the sincerely best intentions of everyone involved — and suppresses "disruptive" innovation.

For example, when FDR granted AT&T its monopoly to advance the fine-sounding goal of connecting every American to the phone network, the company was happy to run wires to each house — billing the taxpayers for it. Facing no competition, they did not have to consider wireless telephony... No, I'm not talking about mobile phones of today — or even of the nineties. But the "last mile" problem in remote locales could have been solved by stationary cellular phones in houses with the 1940-ies levels of technology (fixed large antennas, no need for batteries).

Similarly, had we not been forced to dump quite so many billions every year into maintaining surface roads and highways, maybe, the personal flying vehicles would've been here already — while, in the mean time, the intercity traffic (of both people and goods) would've been handled by the rail-roads much more than it is today.

Comment Re:And so it starts... (Score 1) 85

I am certain that in such a society, the biological urge to reproduce might have to be genetically eradicated.

Come, come, humanity, probably, already has some such mechanisms built in. For example, many more boys are born during war-time. Also, a better-off society has lower fertility rate, than a poor one — that is, the "need" for new people affects fertility rates.

On the other hand, the planet remains largely unsettled — vast expanses of Siberia, Canada, Alaska, American Midwest, Australian Outback, the deserts (think Sahara) and the entire continent of Antarctica all require relatively minor improvements to become "prime" real estate. Plus the ocean floor — if we are replacing human bodies, we can make some fine improvements...

And then come other planets — there is plenty of room for humanity to grow even with the current fertility rates.

Can't do that, if a person's education takes a comparable amount of time as the period during which it can actually be used productively...

Time dilation?

I don't think, you understood my complaint... Today it takes a person 15-20 years to become reasonably well-educated. He can then use this education for another 30-40 years before retiring due to infirmities. Not only his education, but also his valuable experience all die with him... If we could turn those 30-40 years into even mere 60-80, we'd increase the efficiency of humanity tremendously — thus greatly speeding up the rate of scientific advances and quality-of-life improvements. But, if we could go to infinite, we'd become unstoppable...

Comment Re:And so it starts... (Score 1) 85

The desire to somehow be alive forever is the 21st century version of religion, the electronic version of "the immortal soul"

I sense your vague disapproval... But consider, how "unnatural" it is for humans to live beyond 40 — which the already existing improvements in medicine, diet, work, government are giving us.

Why can't future improvements extend the lifespan further? If one can have a new heart or kidney implanted already, why not the entire body some time in the (near) future? We have a galaxy to populate — and not just one. Can't do that, if a person's education takes a comparable amount of time as the period during which it can actually be used productively...

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