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Comment Re:Coal is a campaign punchline (Score 2) 388

Only reason why it's an issue at all is because it sounded good on the campaign trail for Trump's supporters.

More specifically, it appealed to people in one of the regional subcultures (Appalachia) who are often a swing vote. They mostly vote Republican these days, but they've never been closely tied to either of the two major parties, and Trump had to lock them down in order to shore up the fact that his support was weak in other traditionally-Republican subcultures (though he was helped by the fact that his opponent's support was weak in important traditionally-Democrat subcultures).

Comment Re:Cry me a river (Score 1) 256

You don't have to be friends with someone to see the behavioral changes that come with serious depression. Though, personally, I do like to make friends at work. I still regularly see people I worked with decades ago, because we built enduring friendships. Actually, that reminds me, it's time to organize another lunch or two...

Comment Re:An Artificial Womb Successfully Grew Baby Sheep (Score 1) 179

THIS 'device' is being put forward as a means to extend the viability of really early premature birth infants so they actually have a chance to survive - - - and NOT as an ARTIFICIAL WOMB with the ability to actually grow an infant from sperm-egg inception to birth.

True, but that doesn't mean it won't eventually become an artificial womb. If they're successful at using it to keep babies who are 15 weeks premature alive and healthy through their full development, then clearly the next step is to use it for babies who are 16 weeks premature, etc., etc. As they push back the age of viability new challenges will arise and be solved, and step by step it will get pushed back all the way to starting from an embryo. The development process will take years, maybe decades, but it's all but inevitable once we take this first step.

Comment Re:Cry me a river (Score 3, Interesting) 256

I share your cynicism about the idea that the true cause was an "aggressive work culture" but the same time this was a human being. You, the person hiding behind the screen and the AC title. Don't be an a-hole. Joseph probably had depression, you have a-hole disease.

Also, although job culture could not really have been the root cause, it definitely could be a contributing factor. Someone prone to depression can easily enter a downward spiral when placed under immense stress, to a degree that they're too depressed to take the obvious actions to get out of the stressful environment. If this guy came from LinkedIn and turned down a job at Apple, he obviously had excellent prospects for getting another job, and that would have been the obvious response to excessive job stress. But depressed people don't think that clearly. A good manager and good co-workers should have recognized the situation and encouraged him to seek help.

Note that I'm assuming here that the wife is right, and that it really was a toxic work environment. It's also possible that the work environment is fine and that it was just severe clinical depression. Given the rest of what we hear about Uber, though, it wouldn't shock me to learn that the work environment contributed a great deal.

Comment Re:Bricked or not? (Score 2) 92

I don't think you can ever permanently "brick" something. In this case they probably reflashed the firmware through the JTAG port or something similar. Bricked to the consumer but not the supplier.

You can permanently brick a device, even without hardware damage. Phones, for example, should have JTAG completely disabled for security (though many OEMs fail to do this), and depending on various bits of low-level config devices can get into a completely unflashable state. If the onboard firmware that accepts flashed images does something like sign the images with a key embedded in the SoC, and the ROM refuses to run unsigned firmware, and you can't flash normally any more, then even removing the flash memory and writing to it directly may not revive the device.

Plus, software can sometimes do hardware damage, which can perma-brick.

But, yeah, in the vast majority of cases where a device is "bricked", it can actually be revived by the manufacturer or their RMA centers. Even if JTAG isn't available and the system is tightly locked down, they typically have some keys they can use to sign messages to disable portions of the security infrastructure, specifically so that they can revive (and resell) bricked devices.

I do low-level Android development and end up bricking a few devices every year. It's pretty rare that they can't be revived by the manufacturer, but it does happen.

Comment Re:Choice (Score 1) 256

"He turned down an offer from Apple to go to Uber"

If he had a job offer from Apple and choose to go work at Uber it also means he was good at what he does and he could have dropped his new job and find a better one, at Apple or some other place.

As a rule of thumb suicidal people don't make rational decisions. In this case since the terror of losing the job was one of the things that put him over the edge.

Don't expect suicidal people to voluntarily walk away from the things troubling them, they may not believe walking away is an option.

Comment Re:It's true (Score 2) 256

Pixar was unique in Silicon Valley companies in that we had deadlines that could not move. The film had to be in theaters before Christmas, etc. I'd see employees families come to Pixar to have dinner with them. I took the technical director training but decided to stay in studio tools, first because Pixar needed better software more than they needed another TD, and second because of the crazy hours.

Comment Re:Truth (Score 1) 172

Perhaps I am weird but I don't understand why anyone would want to type complete sentences into a search engine. Natural language is bad at being precise and machines aren't exactly good at interpreting it.

Try it. It's what people naturally tend to do, so it's what Google optimizes for. It really does work very well, regardless of what you might expect.

Comment Re:I hope he wins his suit (Score 1) 664

Yes, medical professionals need to be board certified. But don't confuse that with doctors.

No, they don't. Board certification is an additional step that physicians can take, and many better ones do, but it is not required to practice medicine.

Wrong. :-p

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Board_certification
http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2012/06/matter-doctor-board-certified-board-eligible.html
http://www.physicianspractice.com/healthcare-careers/board-certification-overrated
https://www.angieslist.com/articles/are-all-doctors-board-certified.htm
http://www.abpsus.org/physician-board-certified-specialties

I could go on, but that's enough.

Comment Re:Fantastic Shift of Responsibility (Score 3, Interesting) 114

Now bias journalism gets checker by bias fact checkers. We'll need fact checkers to fact check the fact checkers and fact checkers to fact check those fact checkers and round and round it goes.

The scientific enterprise has been doing this pretty well for over 100 years.

You're not going to build an algorithm that says X is a true story and Y is false. But as humans we have the ability to build institutions and use our judgment to figure out which ones are reliable. Does the NYTimes have a liberal bias? Sure. But it also has very reliable facts. The HuffPo generally agrees with my bias, but it also spent years peddling medical nonsense and it still hasn't reestablished its credibility for me.

If FB starts using nonsense fact checkers I'll call them on their BS and be a lot more likely to drop them, and I suspect many others would do the same.

I'm sure some conservative groups are trying to build fact checking websites, but I suspect they'll have a lot of trouble due to the extent to which mainstream American conservatism has embraced a lot of nonsense. They're either going to end up taking a lot of shots at their own side and get called liberal, or they'll descend into self-satire like conservapedia.

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