top How Nest and FitBit Might Spy On You For Cash
The article is very misleading. Nest is working with some power companies which offer their customers financial incentives to allow the power company to dial back their AC units during high load times. Pepco in DC offers the same service but you have to pay for their thermostat. This isn't selling user information this is letting the power companies access their customers' thermostats if and only if that customer allows it. Nothing in the article says anything else is happening than this but states it in a very deceptive way. If the article actually had some evidence of something more nefarious it would be fine but as it is just doesn't stand up.
This is a link to the Nest program: https://nest.com/energy-partne...
top Google: Teach Girls Coding, Get $2,500; Teach Boys, Get $0
The comments on this thread are saddening. People seem to have neither read nor understood even the short summary:
Google isn't paying students but paying teachers to encourage female students to use the Khan Academy web class. Discrimination is not, not paying for someone else. Google is doing this as a charity. Should charities that focus on small immigrant communities be forced to spend their resources outside of their mandate?
top Google: Teach Girls Coding, Get $2,500; Teach Boys, Get $0
They are not bribing people to code. They are paying teachers to enlighten girls to resources that are available to them to learn to code. Finally I have a question for you: Is a well paid engineer being bribed to do their job? Paying someone to do something for you or for society is pretty far from a bribe.
top How Engineers Are Building a Power Station At the South Pole
One cannot put a nuclear reactor on Antarctica at this point by international treaty: you can neither store nor dispose of waste there and taking it offsite costs too much.
about a month and a half ago
top Ancient Pompeii Diet Consisted of Giraffe and Other "Exotic'" Delicacies
Sea urchins are very common on the coast of Northern California. It is pretty much only eaten by fishermen and at Japanese restaurants though.
Regardless, I suspect that the point of the article was that sea urchins aren't native to the sea immediately surrounding Pompeii. While it is likely Giraffes were walked from Africa, taking a barrel of sea water and sea urchins even 100 miles in a ox cart would still be considered just as exotic.
top Google: Our Robot Cars Are Better Drivers Than You
If I could buy and used a 150k robot car now I would. I would get my neighbors together and buy 10 for the block. Sell all our other cars and close the road in front of our houses to all traffic aside from the robotic cars. We would save money and have a huge area we could convert to a park for the large number of young kids we have on our block. Or we could wait till someone actually makes a production model for 75k and do it all then.
top Hillary Clinton: "We Need To Talk Sensibly About Spying"
Excellent argument for why one should vote for a third party candidate in their representative or pretty much any local election. Not so much for voting for the US President. The person elected will be from one of the two major parties. That person will have a significant amount of power over the political activities for the next four years. I often find that, while I actively like neither side, I often loath the stated goals of one side. Thus for a US Presidential election it makes no sense to vote for a 3rd party candidate who will not win when my vote could go against the candidate I loath. This is far from ideal and not something I think is good but it is the result of our system. Give me proportional voting or some way to pick who I WANT above who I like marginally more than the candidate I loath and I (and I think you) would be happy.
Scientific American In Blog Removal Controversy
It should also be noted that the blog with the offensive editor is a business partner of Sci-AM so they are not an innocent bystander.
This blog has a screen shot of Sci-AM's "Partner Network" before it was edited. Furthermore, her Sci-AM blog IS her blog. As others have pointed out, Sci-AM is being inconsistent at best in their actions.
top Partner of Guardian's Snowden Reporter Detained Under Terrorism Act
I agree it is just as misleading to use partner to imply ONLY a personal relationship when the facts of the matter indicate that he was both a personal partner and a journalistic partner.
top First California AMBER Alert Shows AT&T's Emergency Alerts Are a Mess
I had the exact experience as yourself in mid June when they turned this feature on. For me it was 5 alerts about flash flooding from the same rain storm all within 30 minutes. This might make sense if I am living in some place where I might fear being washed away or stuck in a canyon without any place to go. However, I live in Washington, DC and their idea of "flash flooding" is "the street has a lot of water on it and you should slow down." Like you I turned off the alert system. Most interestingly I did NOT get such a warning when I was near a touch downed tornado about the same time.
The problem, as I see it, is not with the manufacturers but with those responsible for sending out these alerts and regulating how they are delivered. The blaring, buzzing, craziness should be reserved for impending DANGER. A text message like alert with media that respected silent modes and quite times would serve the community much better for non-dangerous alerts (e.g. AMBER alerts).
top Edward Snowden Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize
I care about correcting the actual problem and by being inaccurate with this discussion it diverts attention from the true problem. Stating it is illegal when it has been made legal by the Patriot Act (through Congress) and FISA (through case law) makes it sound like we can simply go and find the "people" who did the dirty work and put them away and all will be good again. The problem, as I see it, is that our elected officials (and appointed officials by Chief Justice Roberts) have made legal something which the populous clearly thinks should not be. The solution is NOT going on a witch hunt within the NSA but demanding that these laws be revoked, the FISA courts arguments be made public and allow those affected to be represented in any court making decisions affecting them. Removing the head of the NSA (which should also be done) does not solve the underlying problem.
top White House: Use Metric If You Want, We Don't Care
I generally agree with you but Celsius is just as arbitrary as Fahrenheit. Why is water at a specific pressure and humidity a reasonable thing to define a temperature scale on? If there is a "natural" temperature system it would be defined by absolute zero and the Cosmic Microwave Background temp. There is no ambiguity and you can measure it anywhere (but it does change with time but very very long times with respect to humans).
Fahrenheit has some benefits:
* 0-100 is about what temps people live in
* the difference between steps is about the level people can tell the difference
What are the benefits of Celsius? That if I measure the pressure and humidity I can tell when water is going to boil or freeze? That I can cram most of the temps that people deal with regularly between 10-40?
top Supreme Court Rules For Monsanto In Patent Case
I agree with the other posters that THIS case certainly seems like the defendant was trying to avoid paying for a copyrighted good. However, what I don't understand is that a seed differs from most other copyrighted works in a very special way: it is self replicating. It would be as if I made a useful piece of software that sends out copies of itself to random people (aside from its useful part). Then when I found someone who was using one of the copies it sent out I would sue them. This sounds like how the RIAA would upload songs to torrent sites then sue the people who downloaded them. How is this reasonable? Sure Monsanto has a patent on the genes (something I also disagree with) in the seed but it is putting those genes into a product which spews itself out into the world. Shouldn't a patent/copyright holder hold some responsibility for not disseminating their own product?
top The Days of Cheap, Subsidized Phones May Be Numbered
Well if you are on Verizon or AT&T in the US it doesn't make ANY sense to buy an unlocked phone. You get zero benefit. You don't pay less. You don't get a better plan. Nothing. Only now with T-Mobile does one get a small discount on the monthly rate. I would be happy to pay full price for an unlocked phone to use anywhere I choose and pay a reasonable price for service via pay as you go. That is not offered in the US. Until it is I am already going to be paying the phone subsidy price regardless of where I got my phone so it makes sense to get a new phone every time I am eligible and sign up for a new two year contract. I am going to be paying for it anyway. All this keeping in mind that T-mobile doesn't offer great service where I live.
top NASA's Fermi Spacecraft Dodged a Defunct Russian Satellite
No. It wasn't news then for the same reason there are no highly moderated posts on the article now: it isn't news. When this occurred the community (of gamma-ray astronomers) knew it was happening. It was never kept secret.
top Richard Stallman's Solution To 'Too Big To Fail'
This idea has no chance of being implemented and, as the submitter points out, fails dramatically outside of a few specific industries. Those industries, insurance and finance, have their own insurance funds (e.g. FDIC). Why not just make the rate you are required to pay the corresponding insurance fund go up as the firm gets larger. i.e. if your firm makes has 1 % market share the nominal rate is 1% of profit but if you 10% market share the nominal rate would be 25% or something like that were the maximum percentage is like 85% and is imposed when a firm reaches some critical fraction of the marketshare.
top Purported Relativity Paradox Resolved
Glad to see that others are noticing that in Physics we are still willing to entertain questioning of the foundations of modern Physics by those outside the field. Another great thing about our field is that most every paper is openly available on one of the abstract services. The original article noting the apparent paradox can be found
here. While the subsequent discussion can be seen by looking at the papers citing the original, found here. Some of the commentaries have yet to be released from their embargo and are thus not yet available but will likely be so soon.
top Apple CEO Tim Cook On Apple's US Manufacturing Move
This is not certain, furthermore, I see no reason to condemn Foxconn(any manufacturer) more than Apple(any design company using said manufacturer). Apple could demand better adherence to US standards in the Foxconn plants making their products. Foxconn could just buck the local trend and treat their worker better than their rivals. Why does neither Foxconn nor Apple do this? Money. Foxconn can't do it and survive and Apple wants to maintain their 30% profit margin on their products.
However when you move the plant to the US things change. Foxconn MUST meet much more stringent working standards, not only because the US has more stringent regulations but they will not find workers to work in conditions similar to those in China. Finally, almost certainly what will happen is that the majority of the manufacturing work done in the US will be done by robots and only some small points will humans be used.
One thing that hasn't been addressed in the news thus far is how Foxconn might use the robotics expertise they gain from operating in the US in China. This could have a major effect on the Chinese economy and what that effect will be is far from clear (IMHO).
top US Birthrate Plummets To Record Low
You quote Average tax rate not the social security tax which is what matters. Please see
these data. Which show that, in fact, the highest quintile of earns pay a much smaller percentage than the second to highest. As this quintile makes the most money we are effectively taxing the most money less. More precisely you do not pay SS tax on monies earned over a fixed number.
top US Birthrate Plummets To Record Low
I think you are mistaken unless you are not speaking about the US which would be odd. The marginal tax rate has been relatively stable and dramatically decreased on the highest earners over the time period you to which you refer (
see this article). This is in fact generally true of the average tax rate and most other specific taxes (excluding SS which has remained stable) as can be seen in the data here. So why do you believe that we are being taxed currently at historically high rates?
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