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Comment Re:More BS (Score 1) 36

If a human driver, using the same map and their set of eyes, can't get the guy to his front door, what makes him think a car programmed by humans will be any better, especially by humans who have never seen the place you're going to?

When I was in college, and for the first couple of years of grad school, I drove a taxicab. Not a fruity Uber car, but an honest-to-god hack. For part of that time, I drove an actual Checker Marathon, which may have been the finest automobile ever built.

Decades later, I can still find my way around that city (Chicago), to any address and give you the best route. If you dropped me blindfolded anywhere within the Chicago city limits, I could find my way (as long as I was allowed to take the blindfold off after you dropped me). If there are Uber drivers who can't find their ass with both hands, it has nothing to do with maps. Maps? Pshaw. Learn your town and don't rely on the goddamn Google maps for everything. Learn how to navigate by the stars like we did back in my day (only partly kidding).

Comment Re:Followed by: (Score 2) 169

Well, to be honest with you, I don't have much time for either side. I think the Liberals, but more particularly the Left have done a lot of damage to AGW acceptance simply by trying to integrate into their own economic mumbo jumbo, and trying to beat conservative elements over the head with it. They've made one of the supreme challenges of humanity at this point of time and politicizing it for their own ends). The conservatives, on the other hand, are often just people easily manipulated by large commercial interests who want to delay significant responses to AGW long enough to maximize profits. That's why the fossil fuel companies fund crap "think tanks" like the Heartland Institute, because they serve to give conservative and libertarian types a pack of memes to trot out every time the topic of global warming comes up. A pox on both their houses, I say. Both groups are populated by idiots and demagogues.

To my mind, the time has come to simply look at the best way of dealing with the problem. For me, the simplest way and the way that it is the most market oriented is carbon pricing. Start upping the price of fossil fuels, thus allowing market forces to concentrate investment on alternatives. I don't even care if governments pocket the cash. The whole point isn't reinvestment of carbon taxes, but rather to create an artificial scarcity. This solution should be eminently favorable conservatives and libertarians, because it favors their economic approach, but of course, it will cost the likes of the Koch Brothers money, so the game goes on.

Comment Re:But of course (Score 1) 169

Absolutely correct. What people forget is that the Mississippi used to have flood plains all along its path. When there was heavy rain anywhere along its course, the waters would raise and it would overflow its banks depositing rich soil and silt all along the way. Now, we've replaced the flood plains with housing developments and mini-malls.

That's not so much the case in the Baton Rouge area because of the protected Atchafalaya Basin and the big lock between it and the Mississippi. In other parts of the Midwest, though, you're absolutely right. Wetlands are for water, not for strip malls, oil pipelines or fracking sites.

Comment Re:Followed by: (Score 4, Insightful) 169

As with any branch of science that uses statistics, no one can say that any specific event has a specific cause where multiple causes are possible. For instance, you can't tell whether a specific decay event in a lump of plutonium was caused by radioactive decay, or maybe a stray high energy cosmic ray. But what you can do is measure a large number of decay events and come up with the most probable explanation. This is true of all statistics, and it's why we have tools like statistics.

So if anyone points to a specific storm and says "That's AGW", they're not going to get much support even in the climatological community. But if someone states "The number of major floods and the intensity of those floods is increasing, and the most likely agent is AGW", well that's a statement of probability.

Comment Re:Followed by: (Score 1, Insightful) 169

Because scientific theories are just totally about what part of the political spectrum you're from.

You do understand the universe doesn't give a flying fuck whether you're a liberal, a conservative, a libertarian, an anarchist or a socialist, right? It really doesn't. CO2 absorbs and re-emits solar radiation on the liberal and the libertarian equally.

Comment Re:Driving in reverse (Score 0, Troll) 94

But, does that mean that the removal of the physical headphone jack from the iPhone 7 is actually a form of social progress?

The removal of the headphone jack is basically the same as killing whales for oil.

It's bad for the environment, makes people mad but is a profit center for Apple and their "strategic partners".

Fuck Apple and fuck Tim Cook.

Comment Re:Just no (Score 1) 134

Everything you've just said is why it'll blow up in their faces, and Facebook will start the uncomfortable process of announcing year on year losses of users.

They're essentially duplicating Twitter's mistakes, and not recognizing they were mistakes. Some years ago, Twitter decided to keep tweaking their service. @ replies were hidden. Trending Topics was no longer annotated. Then oodles of JS was added to their service, making it clumsy and unreliable.

Then came the real killers, images and previews. We went, overnight, from a service where everyone saw 15-20 tweets on their screens, enough to follow a conversation, to a situation where most can only see 3-5. Remember, we're talking about 140 characters of actual content per tweet here. The 3-5 was because lots of tweets would now include the headline of the article they're linking to (which would typically ALSO be in the tweet message itself), and because tweets would now frequently have images attached and have a honking great big preview there.

The people who liked Twitter suddenly found that the giant conversation part of it no longer existed. They started to bleed off. The people who used Twitter to follow celebrities continued to use it, but had no great incentive to stay.

More recently, we've seen bizarre attempts to implement message threading that were worse than the clumsy hacks we'd seen before, and even randomizing - sorry, algorithmically reorganizing the timelines.

And so Twitter started to suffer serious churn. Because it added features that nobody had asked for, nobody wants, and that harm the service for end users.

Who is asking for autoplaying videos? Who is asking for autoplaying SOUND attached to those videos? Who is asking for messages to be sorted into a semi-random order? Who asked for videos in the first place?

Nobody. People will leave Facebook. Not immediately. But give it two years, and you'll start to see the first signs their membership is over the peak, and beginning the descent to has-been website status.

Comment Re:Wait, what? (Score 1) 311

Of course we use an accounting system. But I've seen very few accounting systems at the lower and medium range price level that really have much in the way of decent forecasting tools. I have seen (though never used) high end accounting systems, often specialized to specific industries, that do these things, but I doubt my organization would want to pay $10,000+ with high annual support agreements just to get that functionality. What even low end accounting systems do offer is the ability to dump balance sheets, cash flow statements, income statements and the like to an Excel spreadsheet, and from their we can build forecasts.

Bookkeeping is only one part of financial management; a damned important part, but only part.

Comment Re:eh (Score 1) 300

The article is about the kernel, not the distros, which vary wildly. (This is also why it's a shame GNU/Linux, as a term, didn't catch on, leaving aside Stallman's feelings. Everyone hears "Linux" and automatically assumes someone is talking about the entire operating system, when it's also the name of the kernel. See also Java, which has similar problems.)

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