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Comment Re:GAO is right (Score 1) 166

If Hillary becomes president, then it's pointless.

Not really, even if it's a great idea there's bound to be some negative consequence at some point.

If Obama is the one that did it then that mini-scandal is politically useless.

But if it's delayed till after the election then Hillary has to own the decision, and it becomes a talking point for the next election cycle.

Comment How would they get that exactly? (Score 1) 143

The health data the Watch collects is sent only to the users phone. From there other apps can request access to parts of it, but the user has to explicitly grant permission to allow it - and they would first have to install an app that could even ask...

So tell me again how it's a data collection initiative when there are so few ways to collect the data it collects?

Maybe, just maybe, some of the fitness tracking stuff the Apple watch does is useful enough to people that it encourages healthier living. Maybe, just maybe, being told to stand every hour and stretch has long term benefits.

But no, lets discount all of that and go for the Slashdot Paranoid Delusion #75757, Standard Evil Corporate Overlord wants to know my average run pace.

Comment Better to dream big than not at all (Score 3, Insightful) 487

If you're going to Mars at all anyway messing around with just a few people means certain death for all. With enough people you have redundancy in skill and ability, a lot of pure manual labor on tap if required, and lots more of a drive to make the community continue. In think the timeframe is pretty realistic to be honest and the goal not very out of reach. Think of where we were technologically forty years ago, across many fields of science...

Comment Re:Electronic Voting Systems (Score 0) 107

The development comes on the same day Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told lawmakers that 18 states have asked for help in warding off cyberattacks on their electronic voting systems.

This is one of those phrases that should result in people instantly being fired but, for some reason, never does.

How long ago did the first Diebold issues come out? And this is still a thing?

I'm almost terrified to ask but these "cyber" attacks they're worried... that wouldn't be a reference to internet based attacks, would it? Did some psychopath finally decide that that best way to fix electronic voting machines was to connect them to the internet in any setup that didn't involve an air gap?

Here's what I'd do if I were Russia and I wanted to screw with the election.

Hack the voting machines and state websites for tabulating and reporting results, and have them all go Trump by a few points.

Of course people will realize something is screwy from the exit polls and the voting patterns. They'll audit, figure out what's going on, and the real results will get out, it might take a few hours or a few days but it will get settled and they'll figure out Hillary won.

But do you really expect Trump to just step aside at that point? He'll refuse to concede, insist he won, claim they're cheating and stealing the election from him, and a lot of his supporters will go along for the ride.

It will be like birtherism x10, your already dysfunctional political system will go even further downhill and Russia will have that much more leeway to throw its weight around the neighbourhood.

Comment Re:Whole thing, not "at all" (Score 1) 246

No I'm trying to explain an observed effect, far more thinking than you have ever done in your miserable life.

I don't care really care either way which of the two goober was the slightly less goobery one, I'm approaching this as a strategic issue.

I hope that increases you post count enough you get that bonus from the Hilary campaign! The money came from Wells Fargo bilking customers, but whatever. I'll not respond further since you are an even larger goober than the pair of the candidates combined.

Comment Whole thing, not "at all" (Score 3, Informative) 246

You're going to lose that wager. Early Neilson ratings are showing the debate broke the all-time record for viewers.

Yes, that's people who "tuned in" - that is watched it at all. I agree that was very high.

I'm saying a lot of people "tuned out" after the first half hour or so, I saw a ton of people on social media saying exactly that. They got tired after a while, both voices are irritating. Even if they didn't turn it off, they were not really watching with full attention after that point. The Neilson ratings say anything about that.

Hillary may technically have "won on points" but if you read the link I posted (not from a conservative source either) it shows Trump actually won massively among watchers. So the only way that happened is if people were not paying attention later in the debate.

Comment Trump won according to polls, here's why (Score 4, Insightful) 246

Trump was better earlier, then it evened out and at times Hillary was better.

I would have called it a rough tie. But the important thing to remember is - how many people watched the whole thing? I would wager not a lot. So Trump doing better earlier probably means he won with the general populace...

This is borne out by polls taken immediately after showing that Trump actually won the debate, by a pretty large margin.

The CNN poll being an outlier is just an illustration of how the media is rigged strongly in favor of Hillary. I was going to vote for Johnson but I think an important part of this election is to consider just who the press will actually watch closely and call out anything wrong - they are going to do that constantly with Trump, and very little to not at all with Clinton. A representative democracy needs a functioning press and the unfortunate reality of the times is that the press is so Democratic, you have to have a Republican president if you want issues widely discussed in the news. You heard about war protests all the time under Bush, not at all under Obama despite drone strikes on civilians that would have had the press howling under Bush.

Comment Re:What about the NBA? (Score 1) 459

If we assume that all races of people are equally good at basketball, how can it be explained that 74.4% of basketball players are African American but African Americans only make up 13.2% of the population? The chances that there is no discrimination is way lower than 1 in a billion.

Basketball makes up a bigger part of African American culture, generating an excess amount of talent. This is also why there's so many more elite Canadian hockey players. It also explains why volleyball players are disproportionately white (despite a similar height bias).

And yes, there may also be a difference in athleticism, similar to how East Africans are great distance runners and West Africans great sprinters.

However, you can still have discrimination even when the two populations have different talent distributions. One way is by controlling for the talent of the people of each race. If equally talented black basketball players got favoured over white counterparts that would be evidence of discrimination.

Just like equally talented white applicants were being favoured over their Asian counterparts at Palantir.

Comment Re:What's wrong with this? (Score 2) 199

Crimea was generously "given" to the Ukrainian SSR by Khrushchev - who, oddly enough, was himself from Ukraine - in an impulsive act which was probably illegal under Soviet law.

Lots of things were probably illegal under Soviet law, like forced mass starvation and mass deportations of Tartars from Crimea.

Ukraine proclaimed itself an independent nation in 1991.

And Crimea promptly decided they wanted to be Ukrainian.

Please understand clearly that this was the very first time in the whole of history that a Ukrainian nation had existed. The name "Ukraine", itself, means "borderland" - that is, the borderland of Russia. For many centuries, long before the USA existed, Russians spoke about "Great Russia" (which became modern Russia, based on Moscow), "White Russia" (which is still known as Belarus today), and "Little Russia" (the Eastern part of Ukraine).

I wonder how my ancestors emigrated Ukraine ~120 years ago? Were they time travellers or does the question of what an independent nation is get very confusing once you start going back through history?

After the violent, illegal coup d'etat which overthrew the legally elected Ukrainian government in 2014

If you don't want a forced resignation don't open fire on protesters.

- of which George Friedman, founder and CEO of Stratfor (, said: “It really was the most blatant coup in history"

A coup followed by an open election which the coup leaders lost.

the Kiev regime instigated extreme violence against Russian-speaking Ukrainians.

As exclusively shown on Russia Today (and I mean exclusively).

The population of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to become part of Russia again

"Do you want to join Russia?
a) Yes I want to join Russia.
b) No, I understand you're not really asking.
c) Are you even going to bother counting this or do you already have the results typed up?"

and the Russian government agreed.

How generous of them.

Putin did NOT "annexe" Crimea. He allowed the people of Crimea to become part of Russia again, after a relatively brief period in which they were subjected to a freshly-created foreign power by a series of administrative freak events.

Like Putin sending in Russian troops to take over Crimea, installing a former mobster from a fringe party as a puppet Prime Minister, and then holding a fake vote vote to join Russia.

Comment Re:I'm just guessing they won't study the fraud (Score 1) 660

in scientific research. For example, what is this "hide the decline" all about?

Figuring out how to present data in a way that doesn't mislead readers in sections where the data gives misleading results.

Why would scientists want to hide their data? Why wouldn't the CRU (Climate Research Unit at UEA) release their data sets as required by reputable journals such as "Nature."

Because (if I recall correctly) of a lot of the data was proprietary data they weren't allowed to release.

Why would they deny FOIA requests and conspire to find a way around them?

Because they knew people would go quote-mining for things like "hide the decline". Not perfect behaviour but understandable.

I'm not going to go into the rest because it doesn't matter. You've seen the answers before and you'll see them again, you don't care because those facts don't fit your conclusion to global warming being a fraud.

Comment Re:hal (Score 1) 660

Physicist Hal Lewis; Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara:

There are 1.7 million post-secondary teachers in the US. Certainly a few hundred thousand full professors in the sciences.

The fact that one 87 year old retired professor called it a scam a year before he died is hardly an effective appeal to authority.

(and yes, I read his actual reasoning, it doesn't hold up)

Comment Re:Let me google that for you (Score 1) 199

Cost to get a government appointment

Cushy ambassadorships go to prominent donors (or their kids). Fishy though far from a "price list", and it's also a standard practice for every administration. It's unfortunate but hardly a revelation, especially since I remember this stuff from 2009.

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