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Comment Re:Meh. (Score 1) 115

It takes a lot to actually wipe out a human population. It has happened, but in general, a lack of local resources, while leading to high mortality, also leads to migrations. The fact remains, however, that the developing world has far higher birth rates than the developed world, and that many nations in the developed world are actually in a net population decline, where immigration is discounted. Among the worst are Japan and Spain, but most industrialized nations have birth rates below 2.1.

Comment Re: A model can't confirm any hypothesis (Score 1) 115

A model based upon data and able to predict future observations is, well, by definition a demonstration of the validity of a hypothesis.

It strikes me that you may be committing an etymological fallacy, using a definition of the word "model" that doesn't really fit with how scientists use the word.

Comment Re:Cable TV companies = Cable internet companies (Score 1) 241

That may keep them going for a while, but we're probably little more than a decade away from fiber roll out in many areas (even my small town of around 20,000 people is seeing fiber coming soon). Cable's business model is doomed, and even the networks are likely to put a lot more investment in online streaming offerings as they see cable's ability to deliver their product to large numbers of people fade.

I give cable ten, maybe fifteen years at best.

Comment Re:Meh (Score 1) 115

Or we could, you know, reduce pollutants and emissions, rather than hoping that somehow in a just a few generations an immunity develops (hint, it would take a lot more than a few generations to develop communities to pollutants, and in some cases, like say mercury or carbon monoxide, it's hard to imagine any evolutionary pathway that would lead to immunity).

Comment Re:Meh. (Score 4, Insightful) 115

Bullshit. Rich people tend to have far far better health care. The size of your parents' wallet is not genetically heritable, therefore your claim that somehow Darwinism would solve the problem is utter crap. As with all Social Darwinists, you either twist what Darwin was saying, or you just simply don't understand it.

A few points:

1. Cooperation is as much a result of Darwinian selection as competition. Humans are social animals, not solitary hunters. Even Neanderthals appeared to take care of their infirm, for chrissake.
2. You can legally inherit money, but it confers no genetic advantage. A moron can just as easily have a trust fund as a genius.
2a. There is an at least partial caveat to that, in that poor nutrition during the key developmental years that is often found in the poorest societies can in fact stunt cognitive development. But again, that still doesn't mean rich people are genetically superior, it just means good nutrition and health care allows them to reach a sort of maximum of cognitive development that members of poor societies are often deprived of. The same would happen to a baby born in a rich society if it is deprived of protein and calories necessary for development.
3. There may be a genetic component to earning lots of money; in that either intelligence or risk taking behaviors can likely influence a person's ability to earn money, but high intellect and risk taking can also be associated with some potentially deleterious behaviors as well (i.e. links to depression or, in the case of risk takers, to physically or legally dangerous exploits).
4. The wealthier society, the lower the fertility rate, which generally means it isn't the poor societies who are going to be wiped out, but rather the wealthier ones, which is why they end up having to build big walls which they then are forced to open the gates to because to remain economically viable you need to have some way of generating the required 2.1 children per female to at least maintain a stable population over time.
5. As one can see from poorer societies, women can produce a number of offspring even if their average lifespans are considerably less than your average citizen of an industrialized country, so the idea that "Darwinism" (whatever you mean by that) is just going to leave all the nice rich people in place, and all the poor people will drop dead doesn't even make any bloody sense.
6. Social Darwinism has about as much to do with Darwinism/evolutionary biology as horoscopes have to do with astronomy. It was long ago debunked, but remains oddly popular among Libertarians in wealthy countries who either directly or indirectly benefit greatly from the labour of people in poor societies, and who seem to feel that it somehow justifies that pecking order. If Social Darwinism resembles any kind of evolution, it is the Lamarckian evolution that Darwin set about strongly critiquing in his theory.

Comment But then who audits the auditors? (Score 1) 184

The solution is pretty simple, but often skipped:
1) The reason for every search should be required and logged by the searcher. ...
2) The logs be randomly spot-checked by an auditor(s) who verifies the reasons given by interviewing the person(s) who searched.

But to check it the auditors need detailed access to the records. So who audits THEM?

This kind of question has been asked repeatedly since at least the Roman Empire.

(The U.S. answer to "Who guards the guardians?" , at least for direct abuse of person under color of law, is the Fourth and Fifth amendments and the "fruit of the poisoned tree" doctrine: Fail to follow the law and you don't get a conviction, because misbehaving police are FAR more of a problem for the population than even a lot of violent private-enterprise crooks going back to work. But while it does reduce the incentive, it doesn't block the behavior.)

Comment The invisible hand strikes. (Score 4, Interesting) 124

Not one organization I have ever worked for has seriously cared about IT security.

When it comes to rolling out new products, ignoring security is the norm.

This is because the "window of opportunity" is only "open" for a short time - until the first, second, and maybe third movers go through it and grab most of the potential customers. Companies that spent the time to get the security right arrive at the window after it closes.

This happens anywhere the customers don't test for and reject non-secure versions of the "new shiny" - which means enterprises sometimes hold suppliers' feet to the fire (if the new thing doesn't give them an advantage commensurate with, or perceived as outweighing, the risk) but consumer stuff goes out wide open.

Then, if you're lucky and the supplier is clueful, they retrofit SOME security before the bad guys exploit enough holes to kill them.

I expect this will continue until several big-name tech companies get an effective corporate death penalty in response to the damages their customer base took from their security failings. Then the financial types will start including having a good, and improving with time, security story (no doubt called "best practices") among their check boxes for funding.

Comment Re:Why not coax? (Score 1) 154

And the reason you cannot do this with radio is that the noise from the transmitter is greater than the received signal.

Actually you CAN manage it with radio - very difficultly, with very careful antenna design.

But the combined antenna has to be far from anything that reflects, absorbs, or just phase-shifts any substantial amount of the transmitted signal energy. If not, the discontinuity destroys the careful balance that nulls out the transmitted signal at the receiver. That gets you back to the "transmitter shouts in the receiver's ear much louder than the distant communications partner" case. So it's not very practical in the real world.

Comment Re:Our financial foundation is strong (Score 0) 90

The reality is that they've been overstating cash flow for a while, using asset sales to maintain a positive cash flow. Revenues have been in the dumps for years, and BB has largely been living off the large cash reserves it accumulated during the boom years of its business. They should have shuttered the windows a long time ago and returned the investors the cash, but they had managed to turn BB into some sort of weird stock cult, and had legions of idiots running around declaring "any day now, BB is going to take off again" even as the stock plummeted.

BB has been dead for seven years now, it's just that there was enough cash in the bank to keep the corpse twitching.

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