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Comment Re: Children and bathwaters (Score 2) 122

IQ tests are problematic, and are at best general indicators. And seeing as socio-economic conditions can and do influence IQ scores (see the Flynn Effect), trying to use IQ averages in populations to justify claims "whites are smarter thank blacks" makes IQ tests even more problematic.

Probably the best way to up general IQ scores in a population is to assure children get proper nutrition in infancy and childhood. So the real observation here is that IQ scores are probably measuring other phenomenon other than intelligence, making claims that some ethnic or racial groups are smarter than others pretty iffy at best.

Whatever the factuality of the Bell Curve, the Flynn Effect seems to counter it. Intelligence certainly has a genetic component, but it's probable that you won't really determine just how genetics influences intelligence so long as you have large segments of any given population who lack both academic avenues and basic requirements for academic and cognitive performance like decent food.

But hey, I get it, it's the age of the alt-right, where saying "Blacks are dumber than whites" is now apparently some sort of unassailable dogma, and where a previous generation's debunked or at least heavily questioned claims are brought back and again asserted to be absolute truth.

Comment Re:yes and no (Score 2) 104

The first computer I remember using in school was an Apple II, I think it was in fifth grade. I remember playing Lemonade Stand and Oregon Trail. When I got into high school, they had computer labs that were made up of Apple IIs, Apple IIEs and some Apple II clones. Didn't see an PCs until a few years later when I took data processing (basically dBase III) and "office procedures" classes.

My actual first introduction to computers was my uncle, who had a Commodore 64, and between playing with that and in Apple BASIC at school, I pretty much begged and pleaded with anyone would listen to get me a computer.


Australia Wants ISPs To Protect Customers From Viruses ( 60

An anonymous reader quotes Sopho's Naked Security blog: In a column in The West Australian, Dan Tehan, Australia's cybersecurity minister, wrote: "Just as we trust banks to hold our money, just as we trust doctors with our health, in a digital age we need to be able to trust telecommunications companies to protect our information from threats." A companion news article in the same newspaper cited Tehan as arguing that "the onus is on telecommunications companies to develop products to stop their customers being infected with viruses"...

Tehan's government roles include assisting the prime minister on cybersecurity, so folks throughout Australia perked up when he said all this. However, it's not clear if there's an actual plan behind Tehan's observations -- or if there is, whether it will be backed by legal mandates... Back home in Australia, some early reactions to the possibility of any new government interference weren't kind. In iTWire, Sam Varghese said, "Dan Tehan has just provided the country with adequate reasons as to why he should not be allowed anywhere near any post that has anything to do with online security."

The West Australian also reports Australia's prime minister met telecommunications companies this week, "where he delivered the message the Government expected them to do more to shut dodgy sites and scams," saying the government will review current legislation to "remove any roadblocks that may be preventing the private sector and government from delivering such services."

Comment Re:EBooks (Score 1) 152

The way it was explained to me is that printing, particularly in an age of "just in time printing" is not the most significant cost in publishing. Whether you distribute a book in physical form or electronic, the process is much the same, in that you have to take a manuscript, edit it, and put it into a publishable form. Now while an epub file (which is just a glorified bunch of HTML, image and meta files zipped together) doesn't require the kind of typesetting that a print book does, it still has to work off of the final copy produced.

Now that doesn't explain all of an ebook's costs, and I do think there's some gouging going on, but it's not as high as we think.

Comment Re: Children and bathwaters (Score 2) 122

Because public schools are run by morons who are still stuck in 1950s in regards to assessing students. As it is, even with standardized IQ tests, the numbers have been rising in many populations, including African-Americans for decades, suggesting that what IQ measures isn't really raw cognitive capacity at all (ie. the Flynn Effect).

One of the biggest reasons for lower cognitive ability isn't genetic at all, but poor nutrition during the developmental years, and that's one of the reasons that socio-economic status has been viewed as a significant player in general and specific cognitive abilities. There's no doubt there's a genetic component, but like anything, genetics sets general parameters, and it is environment that takes over after conception. Considering that many ethno-racial groups in the Americas have not been equal beneficiaries of over all socio-economic improvements, that would strike me as a good reason for why we see phenomena like the Flynn Effect. But that's a rather dull explanation, and not one that allows some Neo-nazi to declare he's superior to African-Americans.

Comment Re:ebooks are friggin expensive (Score 3, Interesting) 152

I agree there's not really any cost savings, but I read ebooks largely for convenience. As to DRM, the only place it really fucks me up is graphic novels, which I have yet to figure out how to unlock, but for anything I buy off of Google Play, thus far a combination of Adobe Digital Editions 4 and ePUBee seems to do the trick. I appreciate that at some point that won't work any more, and then I may have to reconsider how I consume books (at the moment I buy a book, immediately rip out the DRM and then archive the epub).

Comment Re:EBooks (Score 2) 152

I like them for convenience. I've got an ereader on my tablet that syncs with the one on my phone. When I'm at home I'll read on the tablet, which has a much bigger display, but when I'm out, I can read the book on my phone. I find it convenient, and don't really read any fiction in real book form anymore.

Comment Re:Not going to work (Score 1) 122

Oh fuck off you blithering moron. Advertisers have been pushing around their weight for fucking ever. Jesus fucking Christ, you couldn't even show an interracial kiss on TV in the 1960s without most of a network's southern affiliates refusing to broadcast the fucking episode, because their advertisers would freak out and pull their ads.

It's like people like you have lived in some weird bubble where you know absolutely fuck all about how the actual world fucking works. In an advertiser-supported platform, the advertisers are God, and if they decide that a topic is going to harm their brand, then they, as God, have the power to yank the advertising. Sometimes they do it for evil, such as trying to keep interracial kisses off the air half a century ago, and sometimes for good, as when they don't want their products associated with ISIS beheading videos or Neo-nazi fruitcakes. But they have the absolute authority to it, for better and for worse, and if you don't like it, start up your own video sharing service.

Comment The Surface line is about Apple (Score 1) 133

and transforming into a company like Apple. They've more or less failed at that. 23% is a huge number in the corporate world. Somebody in Microsoft is freaking out over that I'm sure. Another quarter or two like that and their senior management will kill the line. Microsoft doesn't spend billions on branding, which come to think of it is probably why they can't hang with Apple.

Comment Re: Children and bathwaters (Score 2) 122

So we have this measure which is iffy at best, and in most cases hopelessly biased towards certain socioeconomic groups, but hey, it's a great meme "Blacks are dumber than whites, and it's not racist because this groovy Intelligence Quotient test says so!"

In general, psychology and neurological sciences have long past moved away from IQ, simply because it's absurd to imagine that something as complex as human cognition can be fit into one number, considering cognition itself seems to be the product of multiple processing and memory systems in the brain.

So promoting "whites have higher IQs than blacks" *MAY* be true for some kinds of intelligence tests, that kind of testing is so flawed that it's hard to see how proponents of the claim aren't just racists once again using the cloak of pseudoscience to try to bolster their hatred.

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