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Comments

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Unesco Probing Star Wars Filming In Ireland

PvtVoid Re:Who owns the island? (176 comments)

That person should tell the UN to mind its own business!

The island is owned by the Commissioners of Irish Lights, i.e. the Irish government.

From the UNESCO web page on Sceilg Mhichíl:

When in 1578 Queen Elizabeth I of England dissolved Ballinskelligs following the rebellion of the Earl of Desmond, under whose protection it had been, the island passed from the Augustinian Order to John Butler. However, although the monastery no longer existed, it continued to be a place of pilgrimage. Around 1826 the owner sold the island to the Corporation for Preserving and Improving the Port of Dublin (later to become the Commissioners of Irish Lights), who built two lighthouses on the Atlantic side.

Sorry to burst your little libertarian bubble there, dude. Better luck next time.

2 days ago
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Nuclear Missile Command Drops Grades From Tests To Discourage Cheating

PvtVoid Re:Been there, done that (121 comments)

I was a Missile Launch Officer in an earlier life and it was without a doubt the worst job that I ever had. Boredom with massive micromanagement. Drive 2-3 hours to get to site, sit in an underground control center about the size of an RV for 24 hours, drive back 2-3 hours to base. Seven times a month, then a few days per month for training. Would never recommend that job to anyone that has an once of creativity.

I for one am very glad that you (and all of your colleagues) spent your time bored.

2 days ago
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The Milky Way Is Much Less Massive Than Previous Thought

PvtVoid Re:Why is the Local Group moving closer? (119 comments)

The article says that most of the galaxies are moving apart, but the Local Group is moving closer. Why would the local group be different than the other galaxies? Are there other groups of galaxies that are seeing the same effect, or is the Local Group an anomaly?

The galaxies in the local group are close enough together to be a gravitationally bound system, and are therefore "decoupled" from the expansion. This is true of any cluster of galaxies, and there are many, many examples of such systems in the universe.

It's the same reason your body doesn't get bigger as the universe expands: the binding forces holding it together are stronger than the (tiny) force pulling it apart due to cosmological expansion.

2 days ago
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The Milky Way Is Much Less Massive Than Previous Thought

PvtVoid Re:Dark? (119 comments)

lHow can they possibly tell how much of the matter is "Dark"? I can get the idea of what they're doing - using the relative speeds of each local galaxy to determine the masses contained within each, but how could they possible determine how much mass in each galaxy wouldn't be seen by using light within the bounds of the visible spectrum?

You can see the light. So you do this: 1: Measure the mass of the galaxy. 2: Add up all the mass from the stuff you can see. Subtract (2) from (1).

2 days ago
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Nuclear Missile Command Drops Grades From Tests To Discourage Cheating

PvtVoid Sample Question (121 comments)

Q: What is the launch code for all U.S. Minuteman missiles?

A. 00000000

2 days ago
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Google Looking To Define a Healthy Human

PvtVoid Re:Reality is... (125 comments)

You don't really believe that, do you? There are already tons of reports rolling in of people being denied treatments, being told that the cost of a procedure wouldn't go towards their deductible, and finding out that their $150/mo insurance program has a $25,000 deductible attached to it.

Which, no doubt, you believe utterly uncritically.

about a week ago
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Google Looking To Define a Healthy Human

PvtVoid Re:Reality is... (125 comments)

I'll start a pool and take odds on that utopian conclusion - I'll bet against it myself.

Would you rather life insurance companies base their actuarial decisions on crystal balls or witch doctors? Personally, I wouldn't buy insurance from a company that didn't use the most accurate and complete health statistics available. Such a company would likely fold before I died and my beneficiaries could collect on the policy.

As far as insurance companies trying to find excuses to weasel out of paying claims, it's pretty fucking hard for a life insurance company to do that, no? Once you're insured, it's pretty unequivocal when you have a claim.

about a week ago
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Google Looking To Define a Healthy Human

PvtVoid Re:More on the story... (125 comments)

Just make sure you melt down all the prototypes when you're done, we don't need another Lore incident...

Wrong Noonien Singh, dude.

about a week ago
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Google Looking To Define a Healthy Human

PvtVoid Re:Reality is... (125 comments)

Lol, naivete can be funny.

Sure, they can't outright deny you coverage, but what stops them from making your coverage so expensive you can't afford the deductibles? The answer is, "not a damn thing."

Which is why it's so great that the ACA has rate controls to prevent this kind of thing from happening, and mandates that everybody get insurance, so the many low-risk insured create a pool which makes it possible to cover the high-risk population in an affordable way.

about a week ago
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Google Looking To Define a Healthy Human

PvtVoid Re:Reality is... (125 comments)

Only some types of insurance. I have been denied life insurance because of a pre-existing condition, for example (putting my entire family at risk in the process).

This is entirely reasonable. Most life insurance companies require a physical exam before they'll insure you. They also keep tons of actuarial data on health risks already. Google will just be duplicating this -- and probably doing a better job of it, which will likely make it easier for people with pre-existing conditions to get life insurance, not harder.

about a week ago
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Google Looking To Define a Healthy Human

PvtVoid Re:Reality is... (125 comments)

That Google will sell this information to insurance companies who will use it to deny insurance to even more people than they already do.

Which is one reason why it is so great that it is now illegal under the ACA to deny insurance due to pre-existing conditions.

about a week ago
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How a Solar Storm Two Years Ago Nearly Caused a Catastrophe On Earth

PvtVoid Re:Barely missed? (212 comments)

The sun's rotational period is about 25 days, meaning if it missed pointing at us by a week, then is was shooting into the solar system at a 100 degree angle from us. That doesn't sound to me like a "barely".

Somebody please mod parent "Insightful". TFA is a bunch of FUD.

about a week ago
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Wikipedia Blocks 'Disruptive' Edits From US Congress

PvtVoid Congress? Disruptive? (165 comments)

Now if we could only block all of the other disruptive behavior from Congress.

Fuck, with this bunch of chuckleheads, we can't even get roads and bridges maintained.

about a week ago
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How a Solar Storm Two Years Ago Nearly Caused a Catastrophe On Earth

PvtVoid Re:FUD alert (212 comments)

Water? You mean like from the toilet?

about a week ago
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Lawrence Krauss: Congress Is Trying To Defund Scientists At Energy Department

PvtVoid Re:Price of using scientists as political pawns (309 comments)

For one thing you've got all the "green jobs" "green economy" crap that the democrats pushed and used to justify shutting down existing industry and business... putting big taxes on such businesses... etc... on the theory that it would create a new green economy.

Because the democrats think it is literally impossible to kill the economy.

Or ... just maybe ... you've got all the "green jobs" "green economy" crap because people with foresight realize that there are whole new industries waiting to be built which will provide a sound basis for growth and wealth creation for the next hundred years or so, as opposed to sitting on our asses and screeching about how that won't work, drill, Baby, drill! And, predictably, the Old Guard is howling about being made to actually pay for the full damage they are doing to the world.

Just sayin'.

about a week ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

PvtVoid Re:Pft (962 comments)

Fuck. Accidentally moderated this "funny". Posting to cancel it out.

about two weeks ago
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"Intelligent" Avatars Poised To Manage Airline Check-In

PvtVoid Do not want (102 comments)

Great. This is going to be like trying to talk to one of those software customer service reps on the phone: insanely inefficient. As long as there is nothing unusual about your checkin, existing kiosks work great. If there is something unusual, the fake human won't be able to handle it any better than a standard interface will, and you'll need a real human.

about two weeks ago
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Drone Search and Rescue Operation Wins Fight Against FAA

PvtVoid Re:both? (77 comments)

The FAA had made the current policies to prevent idiots who think they know everything (i.e. people like you) who have more money than brains from getting a UAV and hurting people by dropping it on someones head, though their roof or flying it into another aircraft. [...] As someone who flies UAVs for fun and profit (yes, I fly them illegally) I am in 100% agreement with the FAA at this point. I've been flying RC for almost 30 years and universally, the people who scream the loudest about the FAA regulation and policies are the idiots who get people hurt.

This little rant reminds me very much of the foaming at the mouth that occurred when cheap GMRS radios first came on the market: a hobby that had previously been limited to a small, insular group of uber-geeky hobbyists suddenly became accessible to anybody with a few bucks to spend, and they couldn't fucking stand it. Times change. It takes very little skill to fly a modern quadcopter (and, I might add, so so safely). There will always be dumbasses in the world. But the genie is not going back in the bottle.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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The National Review has had it with nerd chic.

PvtVoid PvtVoid writes  |  2 days ago

PvtVoid (1252388) writes "One part insecure hipsterism, one part unwarranted condescension, the two defining characteristics of self-professed nerds are (a) the belief that one can discover all of the secrets of human experience through differential equations and (b) the unlovely tendency to presume themselves to be smarter than everybody else in the world. Prominent examples include MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, Rachel Maddow, Steve Kornacki, and Chris Hayes; Vox’s Ezra Klein, Dylan Matthews, and Matt Yglesias; the sabermetrician Nate Silver; the economist Paul Krugman; the atheist Richard Dawkins; former vice president Al Gore; celebrity scientist Bill Nye; and, really, anybody who conforms to the Left’s social and moral precepts while wearing glasses and babbling about statistics.

The pose is, of course, little more than a ruse — our professional “nerds” being, like Mrs. Doubtfire, stereotypical facsimiles of the real thing. They have the patois but not the passion; the clothes but not the style; the posture but not the imprimatur. Theirs is the nerd-dom of Star Wars, not Star Trek; of Mario Kart and not World of Warcraft; of the latest X-Men movie rather than the comics themselves."

Link to Original Source
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Gofor: Uber for Drones

PvtVoid PvtVoid writes  |  about two weeks ago

PvtVoid (1252388) writes "Gofor claims to be developing an app that summons a drone on demand using your smartphone or tablet. From the web site: "Drones are summoned much like taxis in other popular service apps. Your desired task is either noted at the outset using presets, or customized using voice commands. Once the drone arrives, your phone's flashlight is used to pair your device with the drone. From there, it depends on the task, the object-based UI is very easy to understand. ""
Link to Original Source
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NSF Researcher Suspended for Mining Bitcoin

PvtVoid PvtVoid writes  |  about 2 months ago

PvtVoid (1252388) writes "In the semiannual report to Congress by the NSF Office of Inspector General, the organization said it received reports of a researcher who was using NSF-funded supercomputers at two universities to mine bitcoin. The computationally intensive mining took up about $150,000 worth of NSF-supported computer use at the two universities to generate bitcoins worth about $8,000 to $10,000, according to the report. It did not name the researcher or the universities."
Link to Original Source
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Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds

PvtVoid PvtVoid writes  |  about 2 months ago

PvtVoid (1252388) writes "Jeopardy champion Arthur Chu pens a heartfelt takedown of misogyny in nerd culture:

What the fuck is wrong with us?

How much longer are we going to be in denial that there’s a thing called “rape culture” and we ought to do something about it?

[...]

To paraphrase the great John Oliver, listen up, fellow self-pitying nerd boys—we are not the victims here. We are not the underdogs. We are not the ones who have our ownership over our bodies and our emotions stepped on constantly by other people’s entitlement. We’re not the ones where one out of six of us will have someone violently attempt to take control of our bodies in our lifetimes.

"
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Julie Ann Horvath Quits GitHub, Citing Harrassment

PvtVoid PvtVoid writes  |  about 5 months ago

PvtVoid (1252388) writes "From TechCrunch: The exit of engineer Julie Ann Horvath from programming network GitHub has sparked yet another conversation concerning women in technology and startups. Her claims that she faced a sexist internal culture at GitHub came as a surprise to some, given her former defense of the startup and her internal work at the company to promote women in technology."
Link to Original Source
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Biologist fits sharks with lasers

PvtVoid PvtVoid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

PvtVoid (1252388) writes "Marine biologist Luke Tipple mounts 50 milliwatt S3 Krypton lasers to lemon sharks to study shark movements in the water. "Tipple said that clipping the laser onto the dorsal fin and flipping on the laser was easy, although the shark didn’t like it when Tipple first attached the clamp. He said a few seconds later 'it returned to normal behavior.'""
Link to Original Source

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