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Comment Re:Is slashdot trolling us? (Score 1) 68

Why does this obvious scam continue to get headlines from slashdot? Or anyone else for that matter. This is nothing more than some crooked and/or delusional people preying on the credulous. Without the resources of a nation state backing the project there is absolutely no way this could possibly happen. The technology to make it happen does not (yet) exist and the organizations who are capable of developing it (read NASA and peers) aren't involved with any of this. Furthermore any credible mission to Mars will cost tens and more likely hundreds of billions of US$ to even have a prayer of working at all much less in such a ludicrously short time span.

Not entirely true, I think a private organization could go to Mars, but it would have to be a big established organization (like a Boeing, or maybe SpaceX in 10 years) who has a lot of credibility, expertise, and resources to throw behind the project.

I don't think Mars One has a chance because even if they had the capability to pull off a major project like this they don't have anyway to demonstrate that. And if people aren't convinced they're capable they won't attract the big money and expertise they need.

Comment Re:So.... Yik Yakked? (Score 1) 68

I don't understand how they managed to raise $73.5 million fucking dollars for this; apparently I need an introduction some of these venture capital people...

It's impossible to predict who is and isn't going to make it so even losers still sometimes manage to get cash. It's just a wild guess by the VC people that maybe they'll make it. I very vaguely remember back in the internet boom of the 1990s that USA Today profiled a handful of start up companies over a long period. The only company I remember, and I don't remember their name at all, was some company that had this crazy idea of (if I remember correctly) doing something like representing websites by planets on your desktop. So if you clicked on Mars, for example, you might go to They not only got funding for this, even for the times, crazy idea, they got Patrick Stewart, Capt. Picard himself, to act as their paid celebrity spokesperson. Even with a smaller web at the time as an IT professional I remember questioning the need for this kind of thing, but 2 or 3 graduates of some expensive East Coast university's business school got the idea and VC people gave them enough money to get them off the ground and hire employees and pay Patrick Stewart.

As another example of who can predict, look at Twitter. It can't turn a profit and you can make a strong case that not only is it completely useless it's actually harmful to society, yet it somehow remains in operation and people buy the stock for it.

Comment Re:Not as bad as it sounds (Score 1) 412

Looking at the individual cases, I don't think it is as bad as it sounds.

Cancer deaths, the second most common cause, went down.
Hearth diseases went up, which is troubling, but in a lot of cases caused by bad life choices.
Another is unintentional injuries. Which I don't think has much to do with the healthcare system, and probably in part also due to higher average age.
The other causes which took a bigger share are "old age" diseases.

A curious one to me is the increasing infant deaths due to congenital malformations. Any ideas about what is causing this?

None of the differences in causes of infant deaths were statistically significant (except for unintentional injuries) so I wouldn't put too much weight in it.

As for adults, most of those were statistically significant, and there seems to be a pattern.

Causes of death that are primarily health care oriented were either static or decreased (cancer).

Causes of death that are short term lifestyle oriented (injuries, suicide, and probably a lot of the chronic conditions) increased.

So it looks like there were a lot of people not taking as good care of themselves in 2015 and they were more vulnerable to several causes of death as a result.

Comment Re:idiots (Score 2) 412

All you idiots blaming this tiny decrease on the ACA should look at what happened in Russia. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the Russian system went from fully public to private, and life expectancy plummeted from numbers similar to those in most developed countries to 3rd world levels (i.e. as low as 50 years for men)! It was only after your hero Putin RE-SOCIALIZED the Russian medical system in the early 2000's that Russian life expectancy has crept back up into the 70s.

As big a fan I am of public health care I don't think you can attribute the changes in Russian mortality to their health care system.

The fall of the USSR was awful for Russia, they went from global superpower to a country that was literally falling apart. This created some really awful social issues that were probably a major cause for the increase in death rates.

Putin, aside from turning the nation into a kleptocracy, did restore a lot of social stability. That's probably the cause for their falling mortality rates.

Comment Re:Inflation or Rally? (Score 2) 252

But the jobs; the hopes for even more jobs; the defunding of the Saudi religious nuts and the good will (in the US flyover states) may very well hurt the Democrats for quite a while. If labor joins the Republicans because the Democrats have deserted them then ... the balance of power will have been changed.

Organized labor isn't going to join the Republican Party. The Republicans will treat them just like they do the minorities - if your personal political philosophy makes you align with the Republicans then they will welcome your vote, but they're not going to push for anything that most people in those groups want. Republicans are very much anti-union and probably always will be. Organized labor is stuck with the Democrats and the Democrats did not abandon them but do note that a rather large number of Americans are not union members and have a pretty negative view of unions for a large variety of reasons. Many Americans see organized labor as self-serving to the point of borderline insanity.

Comment Re:Terrible decision, regardless of patent feeling (Score 2) 100

So that stood for 140 years (including the 1952 Patent Act, where Congress again said that the damages for infringement were the total profit).

But then here, the Court steps in and says "oh, by total profit, it's just the total profit for any component using the design, not the entire article." So, for example, the design on those carpets may only apply to the top fibers and not the mat into which they're woven, so the profits are... well, no one sells just the top fibers, so no one knows. And the justification for this is based on the fact that you can get a utility patent that covers a component. But that's not really a good justification to overturn 140 years of precedent and completely disregard what Congress has said, twice.

And then if that weren't bad enough, the decision ends with "so how do we determine whether the 'article' for purposes of infringement is the entire device or just a component?

The legal dispute centered on whether the term "article of manufacture," on which design patent damages are calculated in U.S. patent law, should be interpreted as a finished product in its entirety, or merely a component in a complex product.

In court papers, Samsung, Apple and the U.S. government all agreed that the term could mean a component.

So even Apple disagrees with you, it should only be the profits of the component.

And courts aren't computers who will happily execute buggy code. If a law leads to an extreme enough outcome (like turning over hundreds of millions of profits over an ambiguous patent infringement that was responsible for only a tiny portion of that profit) they will find a basis to correct the bug.

That would require us to set out a test for identifying the relevant article... But that's hard, so we're not going to do it."

Which is why they're throwing the decision back to lower courts, who will start proposing specific tests in different rulings and cases. Those cases will be appealed, different districts will develop different standards and those will need be be reconciled, and eventually over many different cases a robust test will emerge.

Asking the SCOTUS to develop a test right off the bat is a recipe for a bad precedent.

Comment Re:Total Coincidence (Score 1) 359

You have a weird model of investigations where someone needs to prove things before actually investigating. It may indeed prove that nothing can be found here. But the only way to know that is to actually examine facts. Declaring that there's nothing to be found without even looking just makes you look biased.

Anyhow, it's not as if we haven't seen pedos in places of power before. Here's a big list:

I'm not going to claim anyone is guilty of anything without proof. However, anyone who starts yelling and screaming for people to stop looking is just going to make themselves look more suspicious. You don't normally get well-connected media types to all jump on a story like this...

Well there ya go. It's gone past slandering and harassing innocent people and now some nut nearly went on a killing rampage because of this "investigation".

Comment Re:Total Coincidence (Score 1) 359

You have a weird model of investigations where someone needs to prove things before actually investigating. It may indeed prove that nothing can be found here. But the only way to know that is to actually examine facts. Declaring that there's nothing to be found without even looking just makes you look biased.

Actually you have it backwards. If you're law enforcement you need evidence before you start looking, otherwise it's a fishing expedition which courts generally disallow.

The reason is fishing expeditions are usually only used against targets law enforcement doesn't like, and as such they don't get fair treatment. Any marginal evidence they do find gets interpreted as proof, and any marginal crimes law enforcement would have ignored otherwise are pursued full-force as a consolation prize (and as a way to break open the original investigation).

That's why the US constitution has so many restrictions on law enforcement and unreasonable searches, because they target unpopular people more than criminals.

Now none of the people investigating "pizzagate" are law enforcement but the same principal applies. The only evidence of a crime is the fact that you're all desperately digging looking for a crime. Yet you're trying to punish the target in the court of public opinion by implying that they're already guilty.

I'm not going to claim anyone is guilty of anything without proof. However, anyone who starts yelling and screaming for people to stop looking is just going to make themselves look more suspicious. You don't normally get well-connected media types to all jump on a story like this...

The problem is by "investigating" you're accusing people of being pedophiles, and you're fully aware that if the media reports on "pizzagate" you're just going to end up with a lot of people thinking that a DNC pedophile ring is a real established thing.

If you're so desperate for the media to cover pizzagate are you equally desperate for the media to cover Trump being sued for raping a 13 year old girl? Because there's much better evidence for that than anything in pizzagate, but the media generally restrained themselves from heavy coverage since they know the evidence wasn't great.

Comment Re:seek medical help, quickly (Score 4, Informative) 359

You claim certainty that Trump is "...ridiculously unprepared and still doesn't really understand what the job entails." but there is a bit of reality you and others like you still have not yet faced:

Barack Obama had never done a productive thing in his life when elected President.

He had a good academic career, many years of experience as a State Legislator, almost 4 years as a US Senator, and was clearly competent and obviously had a strong grasp of policy.

Still he didn't have sufficient Federal experience and paid for it in his first couple years in office.

Everybody has their opinions about whether Trump is good/evil, right/left (Lots of Republicans fear he is too liberal and Democrat-aligned), etc but the simple fact is that the man is far more qualified to be CEO of the US (The President is the top executive job in the US government, the head of the executive branch)

CEO is a very different position than President.

than Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and George Bush COMBINED. Trump has been successfully running a multi-billion dollar international corporation through about 40 years of economic ups and downs and shifting legal sands and even across shifting international lines. He has employed tens of thousands of people around the world and has hired and fired, promoted and overseen and monitored hundreds of managers of his many sub units of his vast holdings and has probably more experience in managing a team that manages a complex, hierarchical, distributed entity than ANY US President since Eisenhower.

He's mostly a franchise at this point, licensing his name to other groups to throw on hotels. When he manages things himself bankruptcies and unpaid bills are a typical outcome.

I suspect he's pretty good at real estate, and he may do a decent job of managing his organization, but his chaotic disorganized campaign was a common story line during the election, the most obvious evidence being the two campaign managers he fired and turfing the entire transition team several days after winning.

His managerial abilities are clearly not universally awesome.

He was also caught out many times simply not understanding fairly basic things about different policy areas, what the POTUS did, or even what the constitution said.

Comment Re:Somebody mod this story down (Score 2) 324

That there are Russian shills on the internet is an undeniable fact. That they are on forums steering the conversation when they can is almost assuredly the case- I've seen such cases myself. But that doesn't mean that every piece of right wing journalism is magically fake news nor Russian spies.

There are paid Russian shills for sure, but no matter how extreme I'm always skeptical that any particular poster is a paid Russian shill. As the saying goes, never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity, and there is no shortage of stupid people on the Internet.

Comment Re:PropOrNot (Score 3, Insightful) 324

To translate what really happened here is:

The Washington Post was duped by a fake article about fake news, and then other publicans were duped by the Washington Post's article about the fake article about fake news.

Not quite a "fake article", but an article based on a report that used a questionable method for identifying "Russian propaganda".

Basically a site was labelled as distributing Russian propaganda if it regularly posted articles that reproduced current Russia propaganda narratives.

That sounds legit, but the problem is that a lot of anti-establishment sites push the same kind of narratives. A story getting pushed by RT as Russia propaganda might also be pushed by an independent site as their own fight against the establishment. And they get labelled as promoting Russia propaganda, which they technically are, but that wasn't their intent.

Journalism is now completely dead, or at least the kind the mainstream media used to produce. Its all now just lazy he-said she-said bullshit where the only filter is the bias of the Journalists and Publications.

You know I actually thought you were being sarcastic when you wrote that first sentence.

The WP article got some secondary reporting, and then it got questioned, typically by those same secondary sources.

Note the first publication in the summary, Rolling Stone, is considered pretty damn progressive. The WP themselves even commented on the matter, though it a much less direct way than I'd like (hopefully their still refining their follow up piece).

Investigative journalism is now only done by independent folk with hidden cameras, and released on youtube. Thats what exposed Clinton's campaign tactics and voter fraud methods, its what exposed and subsequently destroyed ACORN, and so on.

Ahh, so when you say "investigative journalism" you mean actual fake news.

Comment Re:Total Coincidence (Score 1) 359

Those articles barely touch what's been found and "debunk" claims people aren't making.

You can look here for an actual investigation, rather than an NYT or Snopes article that covers one or two items, ignoring the fact that the random images were on the owner's Instagram (now only existing in archives, imagine that).

Now I'm not going to say that he's a pedophile--that hasn't been proven and you won't find many people seriously claiming that. But there's a lot of damned suspicious stuff and people are still investigating.

You left off Wikipedia. Unless it's been edited since then (which is possible) it had barely any mention of it either. Infogalactic has the real info now. And is the Twitter replacement.

I did read it, it's hilarious.

Keep in mind the goal is to claim that all these DNC bigwigs are in some giant pedophile ring.

And the evidence of this is a DNC fundraiser, who owns Comet Ping Pong, was mentioned in an email by a campaign chair (gasp! a campaign chair mentioning a fundraiser!), which apparently means he's at the centre of a pedophile ring.

There's apparently a second restaurant next door, called Besta Pizza, who had as a logo a stylized picture of a pizza slice that apparently had "pedo symbols" in the logo. Because secret pedophile rings advertising it in their friggin logo is apparently more likely than someone unintentionally making something that reminds you of a super-obscure image.

Now here is where your "actual investigation" comes in with the top rated "smoking gun" article going after not people from the DNC, not the Comet Ping Pong that was super-tangentially connected to the DNC, but a restaurant that happened to be next door to Comet Ping Pong and happened to have a logo that reminded someone of some super-obscure "pedo symbols".

So the "investigation" is a massive "X was accused of Y, and X has some sort of relationship with Z, so Z is guilty of Y." And via this investigation technique they manage to implicate... "Besta World Group" which they can't actually connect to "Besta Pizza"... but two brands in completely different industries on different sides of the planet using the word "Besta" in their name? Oh they must be connected!!!

I'm sorry that is not an investigation, that's someone desperately digging for dirt and failing in spectacular fashion.

Comment Re:Total Coincidence (Score 4, Informative) 359

Rumors about Pizzagate hit the internet. Twitter removes people talking about it. Reddit deletes the group talking about it (but leaves actual groups of pedophiles online!). Even 4chan, the internet's cess pit is trying to censor it. The MSM won't touch it. Suddenly there's a big war on "fake" news, simultaneously by the new media, the old media, and now the government.

This much censorship makes it MORE likely there's something to the allegations, not less. Nobody cares when the National Enquirer makes up nonsense about Brangelina or the Weekly World News claims to have found aliens.

Media should ignore fake news when possible. Reporting it, even to debunk it, tends to give the story more credibility and make the target look more suspicious.

Pizzagate is a great example. It's fake news, a particularly ridiculous piece of fake news where people have invented a massive pedophile network all because they didn't understand why a restaurant owner (who was also a fundraiser) was mentioned in an email.

Pizzagate isn't a scandal. It's a trashy detective model where the characters have been given names of real people.

Now were Twitter and Reddit right to censor those discussions? I don't know. Going by the fact I've been spared knowing about this particular piece of stupidity until now I can't say they're wrong.

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