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Facebook Censoring Images of the Prophet Muhammad In Turkey

J Story Re:what counts as "an image of the prophet?" (226 comments)

That's a very good point. To censor images of scruffy-looking beady-eyed men wearing turbans sounds like a double insult. (It's like the story of two diners at a restaurant: the first says, "the food is terrible", to which the other replies, "yes, and such small portions!") For all we know, Mo might have looked like Sean Connery.


Gmail Reportedly Has Been Blocked In China

J Story Time to divert investment away from China? (145 comments)

What if Apple were to move its manufacturing to India, for example? Do Apple fanatics really need to prop up a dictatorship (oligarchy) so they can have their latest "iWantThat"? The same goes for the other tech toys made in China. Lots of people are willing to fork over money for "fair trade" coffee, but don't think twice about where their latest gadget comes from.

about 1 month ago

Tracking a Bitcoin Thief, Part II: Illustrating the Issue of Trust In Altcoins

J Story Re:I love GOLD!!! (46 comments)

I can't think of a better way of scamming right wing morons than with tales of riches from gold.

What's a better way of scamming left wing morons?

about 2 months ago

EU Sets Goal To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions 40% By 2030

J Story Does it have teeth? (172 comments)

I wonder whether the agreement has any penalty clauses, or whether it's just another political ploy. In either case, if EU member states actually try to achieve these objectives by making it harder to do business, it would be foolish to imagine that other nations would "give them a break". Whatever additional pollution controls are put in place will need to be done with the cooperation of business.

The larger issue, however, remains whether greenhouse emissions controls are good policy from an environmental point of view. The so-called scientists who are waving the banner of man-made global warming have stepped outside their proper role as scientists and into public advocacy. Their climate models have utterly failed to predict future events, indicating that they do not have a grasp of the complexity of the Earth's climate. Why is this important? Well, let's consider our objectives.

Do we want the global climate to remain about the same as it is now, or do we want it to operate as it did when humans had less impact on the environment? If the objective is the second, then we have to recognize that significant climate swings will continue to happen, as they done in the past. This has included ice ages as well as much warmer periods. This is what Earth's climate does without human intervention. If, however, we want the climate to remain about the same, then we have to *meddle* with natural processes, and how many are confident that we know enough to do that? (I refer again to the predictive climate models that fail to predict climate, as an example.) Presumably, if we are going to meddle with climate, to keep it about the same, then we will want to reduce greenhouse gasses at one point, and increase them at some other point in the future. Are we truly 100% confident that reducing greenhouse gasses is the right thing to do at this point? If we knew the Earth was due to enter another Ice Age, would this choice remain the same? It seems to me that we ought to put the science back into "climate science" before we start messing with it. That's like trying to fix a jet engine without a repair manual, while it's in flight.

about 3 months ago

Age Discrimination In the Tech Industry

J Story Re:You are the only one. (370 comments)

Am I the only one who thinks many of the quality control issues and failed projects in the tech industry can be attributed to age discrimination?

Yes, you are.

You'd be one of the younguns, I suppose, and are illustrating his point.

Those fresh out of uni have yet to see the executive suite cut back on (or eliminate) quality assurance because it's "too costly" and it "slows down development". You believe that every problem you see has never occurred before, especially to someone as smart as you, and you know that your solution shows your absolute genius. Management loves you because you believe whatever they tell you.

about 7 months ago

Court: Oracle Entitled To Copyright Protection Over Some Parts of Java

J Story Re:Coder Boycott (303 comments)

I suspect, rather, that Google thought there were no copyright issues. If Google had thought otherwise, it would have done everything from scratch. Given the amount of resources that Google spent in producing everything else, creating the API, relatively speaking, would have been trivial. If copyright law were more clear, Google would never have gone down the Java-ish path.

As for this judgement, I think the judge got carried away with his legalistic brilliance, but has actually introduced greater uncertainty. He reminds me of the story about classifying military officers as stupid/brilliant and lazy/not lazy, with the best officers being both smart and lazy, and the most dangerous being stupid and not lazy. This judge, it seems to me, is the latter.

about 9 months ago

UN Report: Climate Changes Overwhelming

J Story Re:Meanwhile, people are bailing from the IPCC (987 comments)

I think you inadvertently demonstrate my point.

If we look at the US as the touchstone of honest dealing, then the game is already rigged. The US rated 73 in the 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index, placing 19th, and was behind Canada (9th at a CPI of 81) and Denmark (1st at a CPI of 91). It gets worse, however. The median CPI for the 175 countries listed was 38, held by Bukina Faso, Jamaica, Liberia and Zambia, among others. Half of the countries rated even worse, with Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia at the bottom with a CPI of only 8. Here's the thing: how can we expect the UN to be free of corruption when it is populated by countries where corruption is endemic?

It is easy to think that the IPCC is aboveboard because "science", but there are reports that the IPCC deliberately excluded input from climate scientists who did not follow the IPCC's narrative. That is not science, but corrupt practice. In the West, it is commonplace for committee reports, court rulings and the like, to include dissenting views, as a matter of transparency. The IPCC clothes itself in the garments of undeniable truth, but underneath is putrid corruption.

about 10 months ago

UN Report: Climate Changes Overwhelming

J Story Re:Meanwhile, people are bailing from the IPCC (987 comments)

Meanwhile, after you read past the end-of-the-world predictions that were likely lifted directly from one of those churches that makes a living predicting the End Times, here's a more realistic assessment from a real economist who told the IPCC to remove his name from their "summary": http://joannenova.com.au/2014/...

People here tend to forget that the UN is filled to the brim with corruption. That their human rights body is chaired by countries with the worst human rights records -- and worse, that this is allowed to continue -- demonstrates why everything that comes out of the UN should be looked at with the greatest scepticism.

about 10 months ago

Researchers Find Problems With Rules of Bitcoin

J Story Re:Transaction Fees Change (301 comments)

The fee is actually a market-driven value, essentially a distributed real-time auction. Those who perform transactions bid for the services of the miners who generate the blocks to record the transactions. You're free to place any bid you want, but if there are higher bids available the miners will take those instead, so your transaction could fail to ever complete.

I'm not sure I understand this. If "Joe" initiates a transaction with a very low fee, and no miner chooses to incorporate that transaction, is there any way for Joe to void the transaction and re-initiate it with a higher fee? If not, it seems to me that there is a danger that transactions may end up in no-man's land, with the bitcoins being "spent" from the purchaser's point of view, but with nothing showing up at the seller's end. In effect, money is lost. This looks to be a serious problem.

about 10 months ago

Don't Help Your Kids With Their Homework

J Story Probably not (278 comments)

And yet, homeschooled kids tend to outperform their bricks-and-mortar peers. According to the study, homeschoolers do slightly worse when their parents are teachers. My own suspicion is that when parents do their kids' homework, the kids don't bother learning what they don't need to.

about 10 months ago

Federal Student Aid Requirements At For-Profit Colleges Overhauled

J Story Re:There is a goose to that gander (295 comments)

If they are going to do that, then the same standard should applies to our public school system. My federal tax dollars are federal tax dollars and that does not change regardless who gets my federal tax dollars.

I agree. The problem, however, is that it's much harder to connect the dots between, say, an elementary school's teaching performance, and outcomes ten years later. That is not to say that the attempt should not be made.

about 10 months ago

Quebec Language Police Target Store Owner's Facebook Page

J Story Re: And in other news... (506 comments)

Meanwhile, in other parts of Canada, people come here and talk Tagalog (Philippines), Chinese, Korean, Hindi, Farsi, German, Ukranian, Polish, Spanish, Cree, Blackfoot, even English. We try to accommodate people and welcome new people. I personally love Thai, Vietnamese and Mexican food. If a Chinese restaurant wants a big sign in Chinese, I welcome the big Chinese sign. Poor Quebec: Insular, Inbred. Under the impish belief that their culture is superior to all others, they are stupid enough to try and enforce it by law. Others are cosmopolitan. They are insular, unrefined, parochial. Perhaps they don't even realise how stupid they look to the rest of the world.

And to throw Canadian politics into this discussion, Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party and potentially the next Prime Minister of Canada, holds up Quebec values as a beacon to the rest of Canada. Something tells me this will not end well.

about a year ago

L.A. Building's Lights Interfere With Cellular Network, FCC Says

J Story Re:"Must accept harmful interference..." (158 comments)

For the terminally curious, can you tell us how the situation was finally resolved, and how much effort/money it took?

about a year ago

Global-Warming Skepticism Hits 6-Year High

J Story Re:The Numbers Lie. (846 comments)

Long term trends in the Earth History show that we will get really hot and we will get really cold. Ice ages come and go. The climate changes drastically as a normal part of the process.

I don't think this point gets the consideration it deserves. Manmade Global Warming believers, like King Canute, put an unwarranted faith in their ability to effect change. It did not take long for Canute to realize his folly, and the cost was only to his pride. For warmists, however, indulging their vanity costs jobs and lives.

1 year,9 days

How Weather Influences Global Warming Opinions

J Story Re:Science doesn't work on consensus (517 comments)

Well the data we have certainly seems to indicate that climate change is real so I'm not entirely sure what level of proof you are looking for.

So what data would be persuasive in showing that manmade global warming is *not* happening as modelled? If it isn't falsifiable, it isn't science.

Let's say there is 50% chance that climate change is real and that if it is real the consequences of it are that the planet no longer becomes compatible with human life. Is that a risk you are willing to take or do you think we should act on the risk knowing we might be wrong but playing it safe? Basically you are doing an expected value analysis.

This is a dangerous argument. If we don't know how climate works, then how do we know that actions we proactively take will not only do no good, but may do real harm? The fact that predictive models of AGW proponents have failed shows these proponents do not understand how climate works. Following their prescriptions, therefore, makes as much sense as asking a five-year-old for career advice.

1 year,16 days

US Coast Guard Ship To Attempt Rescue of 2 Icebreakers In Antarctica

J Story Re: In the middle of summer (382 comments)

Von Storch concisely summarizes the dilemma of global warming proponents, as well as the frustration of sceptics. In particular: "It [science] is not just writing a computer simulation and then, when the predictions are wrong, tinkering the parameters (adding more "ocean temperature damping" in this case), and hoping that eventually your program will converge on the truth."

1 year,24 days

US Coast Guard Ship To Attempt Rescue of 2 Icebreakers In Antarctica

J Story Re: In the middle of summer (382 comments)

Do you have some other explanation for the observed warming that I haven't heard of?

The point being debated is that this "observed warming" is actually occurring. As for "other explanation", isn't that what models are supposed to provide?

It seems to me that the most persuasive climate models would be those that account for temperature patterns from prehistoric records all the way to today. Anything less can only be based on an incomplete understanding. Unfortunately, the livelihood of manmade global warming scientists depends on manmade global warming actually existing. For a researcher thus employed to admit that the evidence is untenable not only jeopardises his career, but those of thousands of fellow researchers as well. Given *this* reality, if I were a climate change scientist I would never put my name on a study that promoted a contrarian view.

1 year,24 days

Bitcoin Exchange Value Halves After Chinese Ban

J Story Re:me too... (475 comments)

after I picked myself up off the floor and composed myself a bit, I still laughed to myself at how fast the BTC bubble burst

"Burst" does not really describe the phenomenon. Before the run-up in value, some weeks ago, 1 BTC was trading at around $100. Now that the value has "collapsed", it is trading at around $600.

about a year ago

Canada Post Announces the End of Urban Home Delivery

J Story A marketing dud (226 comments)

In marketing, there are well-known positioning areas:

  • "more (goods/services) for more (money)" -- i.e. a premium service
  • "more for the same" and "more for less"
  • "the same for less"
  • "less for (a lot) less

Non-starters are "the same for the same" and "the same for more", because these give customers no added value to their existing service. However, Canada Post has gone even farther by proposing "less for more", which can only work when there are no other options available. By offering less service, and charging more for it, Canada Post is *guaranteeing* that customers will seek other options where they are available. And in the age of the Internet, other options are available.

On the bright side, the Green Party must be pretty pleased. Canada Post's brilliant marketing strategy will save trees by causing snail mail usage not only to continue shrinking, but to plummet.

about a year ago

The Climate of Middle-Earth

J Story Re:Model fails to account for magic and Valar (163 comments)

I bring this point up with my fantasy writing friends. Just because your world *has* miraculous things in it doesn't mean *everything* should be a miracle. People should have common-sense responses to miraculous things.

Today, as far as the layman's understanding goes, we *are* living in a world with magic. I hear "electricity", and have a vague idea of the relationship between electricity and magnetism (another magical force), but my understanding only goes so deep. However, I flip a switch, expecting light, and it magically appears. How is this different from the hero in a fantasy novel who uses his magic wand to light his way? Neither of us is filled with a sense of awe, because it's something we use every day. We just say "electricity" instead of "magic flux".

When I first learned of Clarke's axiom, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.", I was thinking about some far-off future, but I have come to realize that a lot of technology is, for many, advanced enough *today* that it might as well be magic.

about a year ago



Climate scientists force defector to resign from GWPF

J Story J Story writes  |  about 8 months ago

J Story (30227) writes "Professor Lennart Bengtsson, a prominent climate scientist who had recently signalled support for the climate sceptic camp by joining the board of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, has been forced to resign from that board, stating: "It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy. I would never have expecting anything similar in such an original peaceful community as meteorology.""

Poll says Obama voters more ignorant - MSM's fault

J Story J Story writes  |  more than 6 years ago

J Story (30227) writes "Writer/Director John Ziegler commissioned a poll to find out information in three areas: who people voted for; what they knew; and what news sources they use. The poll found that Obama voters tended to be less informed and got their news from MSNBC and CNN. McCain voters, on the other hand, tended to be better informed, watch Fox News, and listen to talk radio.

He posted the results here: http://foxforum.blogs.foxnews.com/2008/12/03/jziegler_obama/"


J Story has no journal entries.

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