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Dr. Robert Bakker Answers Your Questions About Science and Religion

Bigjeff5 Re:Maybe Someone Can Help (388 comments)

These days, Arab countries and Muslim culture are anti-science, but for a large part of Christianity's existence, they often had better medicine, mathematics...

There, fixed that for you. ;)

Just because something was good in the past, doesn't mean it's still good now. Except for a few small pockets of enlightenment, the majority of the Muslim world is so anti-science it's shocking just how progressive their cultures used to be.

There are reasons for this (relating to something akin to the Catholic/Protestant divide in Christianity) but yeah, they're pretty much backasswords these days.

about a year ago
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Dr. Robert Bakker Answers Your Questions About Science and Religion

Bigjeff5 Re:Well That Was a Depressing Read (388 comments)

Clear proof that the church wasn't interested in the truth, since the pope was, in fact, a blockhead.

about a year ago
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Manga Girls Beware: Extra Large Eyes Caused Neanderthal's Demise

Bigjeff5 Re:That's not the complete nature of the brain (290 comments)

One recent documentary I watched, can't remember the name, gave a good deal of evidence that Neanderthals were at least as smart as humans, and gave a similar theory for why humans "won", but for an entirely different reason.

Their theory was based on the attachment point for the trachea to the skull. In Neanderthals the shape was such that it would have forced the larynx to be a particular shape or position which would have precluded the level of vocal agility we enjoy, and therefore the complex verbal communication we developed. Thus, cultural adaptations and communal knowledge spread much slower for Neanderthals than humans.

The communication theory makes a lot of sense to me, considering the fact that there is a lot of evidence suggesting Neanderthals were bigger, stronger, and just as smart as modern humans. Less effective communication is just the sort of thing that could really muck things up for the Neanderthals, and allow us to "win".

about a year ago
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Manga Girls Beware: Extra Large Eyes Caused Neanderthal's Demise

Bigjeff5 Re:Brain Size == Simplistic Drivel (290 comments)

You've apparently failed at reading comprehension:

Although the overall size and asymmetrical shape of Einstein’s brain were normal...

The structure of his brain was odd, which may have had something to do with how he thought (or not, there isn't enough evidence to say conclusively), but he certainly didn't have a large brain.

Also, as noted by another poster below, primordial dwarfism seems to shatter the idea that what matters for intelligence is pure brain size.

I don't remember where I heard/read this, but my understanding is that what matters is the ratio of brain size to body size. The larger the relative size of the brain, the smarter the animal. This fits with the idea of primordial dwarfism, where individuals have brains half the size of their peers or smaller but are no less intelligent, on average.

about a year ago
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Ohio Judge Rules Speed Cameras Are a Scam

Bigjeff5 Re:Shorter Yellow Lights (984 comments)

Generally the way it works is if you enter an intersection (crossed the first white lines) on yellow then you must proceed through the intersection, thus you are not running a red light even if the light turned red before you made it all the way through.

The problem happens when you shorten yellow lights, and people are aware the lights are shortened, and are thus aware they no longer have sufficient time to stop at a reasonable pace before the light. When you know you don't have enough time to stop reasonably, you either floor it to try to make a light you would normally stop for, or you slam your brakes to try to stop before edging into the intersection on red and getting a ticket.

As you can imagine, several studies have shown both of these behaviors dramatically increase the number of T-bones and rear end accidents.

about a year ago
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Ohio Judge Rules Speed Cameras Are a Scam

Bigjeff5 Re:Easy solution (984 comments)

Pay them a negotiated fee to operate the cameras that is completely separate from any ticket counts.

Now they have no direct incentive to mis-represent the photo evidence. Of course, no traffic camera company is going to take the deal, so problem solved.

That's basically what happened in Alaska. It was determined by the court (and upheld on appeal) that camera evidence not observed directly by a police officer before a ticket was written constituted hearsay evidence only, and the 70% stake in every ticket made the camera operators unreliable witnesses. Lack of calibration by any independent organization further made the camera evidence itself unreliable. Ergo, unless Alaska makes a deal no traffic camera operator is ever going to agree too (fixed, relatively low fee unrelated to number of tickets) then photo camera evidence does not constitute evidence for a traffic violation. That made cameras pointless, since all you had to do to beat the ticket was show up in court and say "I didn't do it" and you'd win.

about a year ago
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Ohio Judge Rules Speed Cameras Are a Scam

Bigjeff5 Re:Only in America (984 comments)

I don't think Chicago qualifies as a hick town, and it's contracts were for 25% of ticket revenue.

Anchorage Alaska is nowhere near the size of Chicago, but at 300k+ population it isn't exactly hicksville either, and when it had photo enforcement in the 90's ATS got 70% of the revenue from tickets. That only only lasted a few years, though, before photo tickets were made illegal.

about a year ago
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Ohio Judge Rules Speed Cameras Are a Scam

Bigjeff5 Re:Not true. (984 comments)

There are a number of studies that suggest the rates of serious traffic accidents significantly increase after installing traffic cameras.

So the only possible incentive for traffic cameras is revenue. I imagine if all traffic camera revenues were required by law to be sent to non-profit charities (as an Arizona state senator is attempting to do, just in case his outright ban fails) that you wouldn't see a single camera installed.

about a year ago
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Ohio Judge Rules Speed Cameras Are a Scam

Bigjeff5 Re:Not true. (984 comments)

People would abuse that like crazy.

about a year ago
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Ohio Judge Rules Speed Cameras Are a Scam

Bigjeff5 Re:Not true. (984 comments)

Many states and counties have laws requiring drivers keep up with the flow of traffic. This isn't something pulled out of thin air, and it's definitely not a fallacy. Some governments articulate this with minimum as well as maximum speed limits (which creates a whole new set of issues - what if your safe speed for conditions is below the minimum?), while others leave what constitutes an unsafe driving speed to the officer.

about a year ago
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Mobile Sharing: "Bezos Beep" Vs. Smartphone Bump

Bigjeff5 Re:Replace the smartphone bump (180 comments)

I think the reason most people don't do that is because they don't know they can, or because they actually can't (don't have the hardware in their phone).

I can think of a number of occasions where I wanted to share a photo with a friend or grab a photo from a friend's phone or something similar, but didn't because it would be a huge hassle going through online or direct phone to phone means. Hell of a lot easier than it was 10 years ago, but still too much hassle to bother with. If all we had to do was select the photo and bump phones, there's not much reason not to share the photo. It's one of the things I'm looking forward

Lower the barrier far enough and it will become common place, and bumping is about as low as that barrier goes. You may not use it every day, but if everybody were using it you'd probably use it too.

about a year ago
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Mobile Sharing: "Bezos Beep" Vs. Smartphone Bump

Bigjeff5 Re:Aside from patent carping, has anyone tried thi (180 comments)

A previous poster noted that Chirp for Android and Iphone does exactly that - passes a link via little audio chirps. Anybody running Chirp can pickup the link and follow it, like an audio QR code.

Bezos's idea sounds like sort of a combination of Bump and Chirp - using audio chirps to set up an internet connection (via the cloud) between the phones instead of using sensor data from the bumps to set up that same connection.

Neat, but pretty damn obvious (you've already got two companies doing almost the same thing) so I don't see how it's patent worthy.

about a year ago
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Mobile Sharing: "Bezos Beep" Vs. Smartphone Bump

Bigjeff5 Re:Prior art? chrp.io (180 comments)

10 seconds on the Bump website told me how - Bump sends the phone's sensor data to Bump's servers the cloud in order to be processed to determine who the bump was from and what the bump was for, before making a connection between the two.

Chirp just sends a link via audio that the other user(s) can follow. No cloud necessary, and any device close enough to pick up the chirp can follow the link.

Chirp has to be an order of magnitude more efficient in terms of getting its information from one device to another. However, the two apps obviously do very different things. Chirp is only sending links to content - it's like an audio QR code. Bump is using the bump information to identify the two devices and make a secure connection between them over the internet in order to transfer data from one device to the other. It's kinda like bluetooth except that it leverages the cloud instead of transmitting directly and you don't have to pair the devices - or rather pairing the devices is as easy as bumping them.

about a year ago
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Mobile Sharing: "Bezos Beep" Vs. Smartphone Bump

Bigjeff5 Re:Prior art? chrp.io (180 comments)

Maybe you should send that link to the USPTO, it might help.

about a year ago
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EU To Vote On Proposal That Could Ban All Online Pornography

Bigjeff5 Re:What word is translated "Pornography"? (853 comments)

Uh...

That's a totally different kind of "restricted".

Access to the internet was restricted because of who owned it. Commercial use was restricted because it was all owned by the government. Access is still restricted, though much less so since the early 90's, in that you must pay for some kind of connection to the internet.

Content, however, has always been completely unrestricted, even in the fledgling days in the 80's. Granted, in the early early days it was all just experimental stuff, followed by mostly University research and whatnot, but porn has been a part of the internet in the form of usenet and other BBS's almost since the very beginning (early 80's, at the very least).

about a year ago
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IMSLP Taken Down By UK Publishers Group

Bigjeff5 Re:Registrats.... (117 comments)

Incidentally, this wasn't in the US, but the EU's version is based on the US version, so it is effectively the same thing. Some technicalities might be different, but by and large it appears to work the same way as the US version.

And it's still the fault of the US Congress, more than anybody.

about 3 years ago
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IMSLP Taken Down By UK Publishers Group

Bigjeff5 Re:Registrats.... (117 comments)

If Godaddy is a terrible host and registrar if you are afraid of getting a DMCA notice, then why wouldn't you find a different one if you're that worried about it?

Because such a registrar does not exist. All registrars, ISP's, search engines, and anybody who could possibly be remotely considered a distribution channel for potentially copyrighted material, must abide by the DMCA or risk losing their "safe harbor" status. If they lose safe harbor, they are legally responsible for any and all copyrighted material that is distributed using their services. In other words, if they don't comply with the DMCA, they're fucked.

The DMCA procedure is simple and clear: If you receive a DMCA take-down notice, you immediately cease distribution. In the case of a registrar, that means suspending the DNS hosting for that address. If they don't comply immediately, they're fucked. If they contact the infringing website first, they're fucked. The only option they have is to remove the service as soon as they receive the notice, then contact the website owners and notify them that the service has been suspended due to DMCA infringement. If the website owner replies that their use of the material is legal and they contest the claim, then the registrar (or anybody else) is free to resume the service as usual. At that point it is up to the copyright holder to sue the website owner, and the registrar (or anybody else) is in the clear until a judge tells them to stop service again.

That's how the law is written, and there is nothing GoDaddy, an ISP, Google, or anybody can do about it. It is disgusting, but you have your representatives in Congress to thank for the nasty piece of work that is the DMCA, not GoDaddy.

Point the blame where it belongs and quit letting Congress off the hook for this shit.

about 3 years ago
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IMSLP Taken Down By UK Publishers Group

Bigjeff5 Re:Registrats.... (117 comments)

No registrar that wishes to remain legal will refuse a DMCA takedown notice. Ever.

They don't get that right under the law.

This is a problem with the DMCA, not GoDaddy (or any other registrar).

about 3 years ago
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IMSLP Taken Down By UK Publishers Group

Bigjeff5 Re:DMCA to domain registrar? (117 comments)

I thought the content host (owner of the server/network) was supposed to be responsible for copyright notices.

They can go after anyone in the chain, it doesn't have to be the content host.

For example, Google has to abide by DMCA notices regarding their searches.

Anybody in the communications pipeline that is capable of denying access to the material is a potential target for a DMCA notice. It's usually smarter to go after either the website itself, or the ISP of the website, but search engines and registrars are certainly not off limits.

And the DMCA leaves no option for a recipient of the DMCA notice. They must remove the material immediately or risk infringement themselves. It's only when the alleged infringing party contests the claim that the hosting service (or search engine or registrar or whoever) can put the content back up.

That's exactly what happened here - dumbass company sends a DMCA notice to GoDaddy, GoDaddy shuts down IMSLP, IMSLP contests the claim, GoDaddy is now in the clear to re-enable IMSLP's domain name, and they do so.

This is just how it works. It is an incredibly one-sided law, as the original poster has no right to contest before the content is removed, and there are zero ramifications for issuing a fraudulent DMCA notice. It's an obvious tool for shutting down stuff you don't like, even if you have no copyright to it.

about 3 years ago
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IMSLP Taken Down By UK Publishers Group

Bigjeff5 Re:WhoreDaddy. (117 comments)

they can take down your site just like that from a dmca complaint without any possibility of objection from your side, and even before you are notified of the dmca.

That's how the DMCA works. Any entity that wishes to claim safe harbor must immediately remove the material in question. The DMCA notice goes to the party that is directly distributing the content, not the original infringing party, so there is no option to allow the infringing party to contest it before take-down.

It is only after the infringing party notifies the distributing party that they have a right to distribute the material that the distributor can once again put the material back up for distribution.

That is the procedure that was laid down by law, and yes it is disgusting.

I have no idea whether or not GoDaddy is ethical, but in this case it is not their fault at all. It is the DMCA that is unethical, and numerous court cases have established that in order for someone like GoDaddy to maintain a Safe Harbor status under the law, they must remove the alleged infringing content immediately, with no consideration as to weather or not the party issuing the takedown notice has a legal right to issue such a notice.

Personally, I would be fine with this part of the DMCA if it contained ramifications for filing fraudulent or frivolous DMCA take-down notices. As it is though, it is horribly one-sided.

P.S. Would it kill you to capitalize? Not doing so makes you look twelve, despite the fact that you otherwise write reasonably coherently and punctuate reasonably well.

about 3 years ago

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