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Comment Re:Coal is a campaign punchline (Score 2) 251

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) 228

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) 160

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) 228

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:Truth (Score 1) 171

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) 634

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:we no longer need to use common sense (Score 1) 178

I'll trust Jimmy's politics over my own common sense.

Common sense is neither common nor sense.

Personally, I'll take substantiated, fact-checked information over my own "common sense", which is really nothing more than the aggregate of my own biases.

WikiTribune might actually be able to write stories that evolve towards correctness through review, source-checking and debate, as Wikipedia does. I'm not sure that will actually help the "news" situation, though, because it takes too long, and by the time the facts have been found and clarified, everyone has moved on.

Comment Re:Truth (Score 2) 171

Google hasn't been a functional search engine in about a decade.

Perhaps by your very narrow definition. But it's vastly better than it was at finding what people are looking for, which is what they always wanted, regardless of terminology.

However, it's *not* as good at "keyword regexp bingo" as it used to be. But if you're still trying to use those old-style queries, you're doing it wrong. Try typing complete natural language questions for what you want to find. I find this works amazingly well, even on obscure technical topics which include lots of "keywords" which are heavily overloaded in other contexts.

Comment Re:Truth (Score 4, Insightful) 171

The underlying problem is Google is supposed to be a *search engine* It's supposed to show you where to find stuff on the internet. At some point in time they decided to complete with Ask Jeeves and become an "answer engine." Good luck with that.

It has always been an answer engine, and that's the reason it became popular.

Back in the day (mid 90s) most everyone was certain that search engines could never be very useful. Lycos, Altavista, etc. weren't terrible, but they also weren't very good, because although they could effectively spider the whole web that just meant that any search matched thousands or millions of pages, and they had no way to determine which of those were the best answers for the query. The "smart money" was betting on Yahoo!'s approach of manually curating enormous lists of links.

Then Larry Page's pagerank algorithm found an excellent (not perfect, but excellent) way to figure out which of all of those answers were likely to be the best ones. That insight launched Google. It took off precisely because it provided better answers, rather than just returning a list of everything that was on the Internet. A list of everything on the Internet is not useful.

Comment Re:Myth: Mayer didn't do well for Yahoo! (Score 3, Insightful) 155

The bottom line is that CEOs are supposed to generate value for shareholders

Reports say that Meyer ordered underlings to not buy the resources to prevent and then not report the security breaches at Yahoo! That cost shareholders more than $1B in valuation on the Verizon deal.

Yep, had she done better there, perhaps Yahoo would be worth $48B instead of $47B. Considering it was worth $19B when she started, shareholders might be inclined to give her that one.

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