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Comment The Default (Score 3, Insightful) 151

The default position for scientists is "I don't know"
everything else is trying to define and explain
this is why nothing is set as a certainty but always as a theory
a Theory (theory of gravity, theory of climate change etc.) is usually the best most simple hypothesis that explains experimentally verifiable data.
you can create any theory you want from the incredibly convoluted to the overly simplistic (because god made it so strikes me as an overly simplistic theorem).
Usually the simplest (but not most simplistic) theory will be the one that gains the most credence in the scientific community.
the KISS rule applies very much in science too.

Comment Re:Good Idea (Score 1) 262

"Anyone who is still buying a device separate from their phone to listen to music needs to have their head examined."

I have an iPhone and an iPod.

Yes i have some playlists on the phone (rarely used for playback), but the iPod is used for music playback when I don't want the playback to be interrupted by phone calls, like Back Ground Music in between bands, at whatever venue I am working at.
It is handy to be able to carry my whole music collection (close to 90G) in one player, I can't yet do that in a phone.

I chose the iPod because quite simply MP3 is a crappy format, I have had students try to convince me that MP3's ripped at ever higher and higher rates (until they take up nearly as much space as the original file and thus lose the only advantage of being converted) are fine, and yet still the compression and conversion artefacts are noticeable (and on presenting my students with an A/B/C blind test, none could tell the difference between the original CD and the iPod rip, but all of them picked the MP3 nearly every time as the worst sounding).

I mean, we went from Vinyl to CD because of a perceived improvement in quality and longevity (both arguable from different quarters), but then ripping to MP3 is to me like copying a CD on to cassette, you can do it, but it sounds worse, so why would you?

And yes there are other formats out there now, and if i were digitising my CD collection from scratch now, I may choose another format that was not available when I first did it, But it would not be MP3 !

As an aside, I buy all my music on CD and rip to iTunes, but I am rare person these days, yes I have some playlists but often I will listen to whole albums at a time, and it is almost always cheaper to buy a whole CD than to buy the Album on iTunes. and on the rare occasions that I am after 1 track only by an artist, that track will often be on a compilation CD with some other tracks I am interested in , so I buy that, and end up with more music for the same cost as a few downloads, plus of course the free albums I am given by the Artists I work for.

Comment Re:Re-read The Handmaid's Tale (Score 1) 528

Yes there is a largely electronic system, and yet....

How would Garage sales work, kids lunch money, and the million and one other personal transactions every day,
the guy who does the coffee run for the office every day.

Yes, all the business transactions would be easy to do, nearly everyone has a credit/debit card these days, but there are still a number of transactions we do everyday that we do with cash because it would be impractical to do any other way. and by the time you set up "cash cards", or "instant credit", or some other form of personally transferrable small transaction system, all you are doing is creating another vector for counterfeiters, fraudsters and hackers.

and as we all know here at /. , the average person is useless at securing anything electronic, so you would trust the average person with an eftpos machine or equivalent ?

and of course having a digital 'cash' system would rely on having ever-present and reliable digital communications everywhere, and a helluvalot more bandwidth..... and your mobile phone supplier supplies that now, and will in the future, without throttling. If they are anything like my last one it would be a case of, "john, can you get me a cup of coffee while you are at the shops, ill just come half way there with you so i can transfer the cash to your account".......

Cash is counterfeitable, but for the millions of legitimate small and personal Transactions that happen everyday, it is still the better system.

And then there is the aspect of those small transactions you don't want (for one reason or another) anyone else to know about, the teenage boys buying condoms, the teenage girls buying the pill, anyone using the services of an sti clinic, those porno's you hide in the bottom of the wardrobe, those donuts that your doctor says you should not be eating, If you accept electronic transactions, you are accepting that sooner or later, every transaction is going to be available to someone else, even if its just your girl/boy friend looking at your statement when it comes in the mail.

Comment Re:"Rigorous peer review" (Score 0) 284

Another one for Bill Engvall to add ftp his "Heres your sign" routine

"Hey Jimmy boy, come over here
We want you to hide in this fridge while we set off a small nuke over there
and we will come back later when the place has cooled down enough to see if you (and /or the fridge) has survived......"

"Well all right, you better hold my sign though, I don't want to see it get damaged"

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