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Comment Heartbleed should've been way more of a yawn (Score 4, Interesting) 77

Still a serious bug, but if forward secrecy had been widely deployed, much, much less threat exposure would have occurred.

That's the lesson. Code audits are great, but they still miss stuff and are expensive. Take good practices more seriously, and you get a lot of bang for your investment in time/money/whatever.

Comment It's not built into our moral wetware.. (Score 0) 140

But not taking action has consequences, too. Rather scary ones, in this case, I think one could argue. Maybe the responsible thing to do is to is to take a more deliberative role in how our species is altering the environment, rather than just allowing ourselves to continue to alter it according to maladapted systems and nonconscious collective behavior.

Comment Re:Need Smart Gun Owners (Score 1) 765

To solve this, though, we don't need smart guns, we need smart gun owners.

Good luck with that. While your impractal solution fails to be implemented, the rest of us would prefer to have one in place that saves lives.

We can agree that the problem is people. That doesn't mean that the workable solution involves fixing those people.

Comment A lot of progress needs to be made first (Score 1) 470

Science education at the primary level has long emphasized the products of science, with little regard for the process. Science teachers are a product of this system as much as everyone else. Most of them just aren't equipped to draw a distinction between science and pseudoscience.

Mumbling something about falsifiability isn't going to fly without motivating it and showing evidence, whether or not they have internalized those concepts themselves. Holding them to higher standards won't help, as there aren't enough qualified individuals to go around, unless some sort of mass teaching approach becomes the norm, and it's hard to see that working well with kids.

This is not an educational problem. It's a cultural problem, and it needs a broader approch.

Comment Re:Realistically (Score 1) 402

Nobod's suggesting we send colonists! Well, nobody serious.

We've sent a lot of probes to Mars in the last couple of decades, a number of which soft-landed. A mission to take astronaust to Martian orbit could be done in a few years, with proper funding. A more likely scenario is landing and getting back, that would take a couple of decades to plan and develop, but it isn't really that far fetched.

Comment actually, it was the fleas. (Score 5, Informative) 135

Pneumonic plague being transmitted by air isn't news. It's a form of the disease that gets into your lungs, after all. Also, the primary vector isn't rats at all, but fleas, which often go directly from person to person.

The article's credibility is not helped at all when it mentions the plague virus, when it is actually caused by a bacterium.

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