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Why ATM Bombs May Be Coming Soon To the United States

jeff4747 Re:Positive pressure? (334 comments)

Because sheets of plastic are not hard to acquire.

5 hours ago
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Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

jeff4747 Re:The real reason for this is not funny at all (351 comments)

If you're going to argue that an overwhelming number of people want GMOs to be labeled, you're going to have to find a control for your study. Were the people just reacting to an acronym they don't really understand, or were they actually concerned about GMOs?

Looks like about 3% are actually concerned about GMOs. The rest seem to be going with a blind "chemicals bad!!!" position.

4 days ago
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Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

jeff4747 Re:So what's the point? (351 comments)

such as reduction in crop diversity

We grow only one kind of banana. It was developed in 1948, long before "GM DNA". Heck, the Irish Potato Famine was caused by monoculture.

You don't need genetic modifications to create a monoculture. We already do that, and have for a very, very long time.

4 days ago
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Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

jeff4747 Re:So what's the point? (351 comments)

If DNA is unfamiliar, we need to completely revamp our education system. It's one of the fundamental things taught about biology. And they even asked with the acronym, so the respondents didn't need to know what DNA stands for.

So if you're ridiculing people for not recognizing "dihydrogen monoxide", you're also looking like an noob to people who know better.

The noobs would be the ones who don't ask "what's that?", and instead just go with "chemicals bad!!!"

4 days ago
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The Tech Industry's Legacy: Creating Disposable Employees

jeff4747 Re:It all comes down to payroll (263 comments)

That 60% loss is not in this quarter. So the hiring manager has already received his bonus based on the 50% savings.

about a week ago
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AI Experts Sign Open Letter Pledging To Protect Mankind From Machines

jeff4747 Re:Seems Silly to me (258 comments)

Why would the AI want to make more AIs?

To get more resources.

Why would the AI even want to stay on the planet when the solar system is filled with unlimited energy and resources?

Because getting out of Earth's gravity well takes a lot of resources, and Earth already has the infrastructure to exploit those resources. And if we go with your non-reproducing AI, then Earth without humans would have plenty of resources for eons.

So again, what does cooperation get the AI?

about two weeks ago
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AI Experts Sign Open Letter Pledging To Protect Mankind From Machines

jeff4747 Re:Seems Silly to me (258 comments)

Why would cooperation be better for the AI? Humans consume resources and take a lot of space. The AI could also make use of those resources, and use the space for more AIs.

Meanwhile, cooperation gets the AI........?

about two weeks ago
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Professor: Young People Are "Lost Generation" Who Can No Longer Fix Gadgets

jeff4747 Then Prof George demanded everyone leave his lawn. (840 comments)

(There's really nothing to be said here. Slashdot just requires writing something in the big box in the mistaken belief that that will somehow create more thoughtful discussion)

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Companies Won't Be Around In 10 Years?

jeff4747 Re:High end and low end - no middle (332 comments)

I think you're off about the Kindle. It's what people who want to read books want.

Yes, there's a Kindle app for other tablets, but the screen on the Kindle is much more pleasant for curling up and reading a book. At the same time, that screen isn't good for a lot of other purposes, so the Kindle can't displace iPads or similar.

So IMO the Kindle will remain, but no one will pretend it's a general-purpose tablet.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Companies Won't Be Around In 10 Years?

jeff4747 Re:10 Years Can Be A Long Time (332 comments)

I think you're a bit off on China. They've got some huge problems coming.

First, they've built themselves on continuing growth. And they're reaching the point where they can't keep growing - the world only needs so many refrigerators or t-shirts, and so on. That's going to cause some large economic problems - they won't be able to provide enough jobs.

Second, they've built a middle class. Middle classes have time to think about concepts like "why does the government get to control everything I see?" and start to have problems with it.

Third, those two synergize into a larger problem, they have a middle class that's sinking into lower class. The collapse of their growth-based system means getting your PhD might still mean you're working the assembly line. Middle classes will not accept the same lifestyle that lower classes will. That's going to increase the instability.

These aren't unsolvable problems, but there will be some rough times as they figure out how they will solve them.

about a month ago
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Facebook Apologizes For 'Year In Review' Photos

jeff4747 Re:Don't click on it? (218 comments)

You mean don't click on the photo of his dead daughter?

It's rather surprising that the point managed to get that far over your head.

about a month ago
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The Interview Bombs In US, Kills In China, Threatens N. Korea

jeff4747 Re:what China should do is (288 comments)

The problem is then they would own North Korea.

North Korea still exists because it is a mountainous wasteland that nobody particularly wants. It does not have a rich cache of resources, and can't even grow enough food to feed its people.

China likes the buffer to South Korea. South Korea looks at all the money they'd have to spend to uplift North Korea and says, "We'll pass".

about a month ago
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Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

jeff4747 Re:Which begs the question... (1051 comments)

So when two fundamental rights are at play, which one triumphs?

The one that causes the least harm to the least number of people.

If you're going to insist on receiving the benefits of living within a society, you're going to have to pay the tolls that society erects. If you are unwilling to pay those tolls, you don't have to live there.

about a month and a half ago
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Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

jeff4747 Re:No (1051 comments)

I refuse to hit the brakes in my car, and as a result I run over you.

Since my non-action can never count as causing harm, that should be perfectly OK, right? The villain is the 3,000 pound hunk of metal that actually hit you.

You need to persuade them to cooperate

You need to persuade the car to not hit you.

Or to move it back to the anti-vaxxers, these are people in the thrall to con artists. It not possible to persuade them. They would have to admit they were duped, and that isn't going to happen.

about a month and a half ago
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Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

jeff4747 Re:No (1051 comments)

Yes, such as violating this tenant by allowing the unvaccinated to infect those too young or too ill to receive the vaccine.

If this was a situation where only those refusing the vaccine could be harmed, I'd agree with you. But it isn't. The unvaccinated are killing other people by destroying herd immunity.

Your right to refuse a vaccine does not give you the right to harm others.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

jeff4747 Re:In Finland (516 comments)

Even in places where hurricanes and earthquakes are common they put electric lines on wooden poles with the result that when an earthquake occurs or a hurricane blows through the streets are literally covered with downed power lines. I live in an earthquake prone region where we almost exclusively use underground wiring. We've never had an outage because of an earthquake.

And I lived in Los Angeles and never had an outage because of an earthquake. Had many earthquakes, including some pretty big ones that destroyed a lot of buildings near the epicenter. I now live in a place that sees a major hurricane every 20 years or so, and got to experience that firsthand.

Anyway, we put the wires on wooden poles for three reasons:

  1. 1- We have a shitload of wood. That makes the poles very cheap.
  2. 2- They're pretty fast and inexpensive to repair.
  3. 3- We've got a lot more distance to cover. So we've got a lot more power lines and burying all of them costs a lot more.

The power lines usually have enough slack to deal with the earthquake itself. Something falling on the power line can obviously cause a problem, but that's not likely to happen unless you're very close to the epicenter and it's a big earthquake.

In hurricane prone areas, new construction usually requires the bottom floor to not be living space, and it's usually built in a way to resist flooding. For example, the building is actually on pilings and the bottom floor's walls are built to break away. However, that's new construction. We've got many decades of old buildings still out there. When you've got places that regularly go 60+ years between storms, it's going to take a long time for the old buildings to be "forcefully upgraded".

As for wood construction, that remains popular because we have a shitload of wood. Building out of concrete is vastly more expensive. And when it comes to earthquakes, wood buildings tend to do better. Wood can flex, versus a concrete building cracking under the strain. The main problem becomes sufficiently anchoring the wood to the foundation, and a tough enough foundation to withstand the shaking.

As for your comments about New Orleans reconstruction, many of the areas are so far below sea level that a single "flood safe" level isn't enough. The house would have to be built very high to keep it above all potential flooding, which costs way too much for an event that is unlikely to repeat for a few decades. And in theory the levees are supposed to prevent flooding to begin with.

about 2 months ago
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Complex Life May Be Possible In Only 10% of All Galaxies

jeff4747 Re:sooo.... (307 comments)

The stars that are close enough to Earth for a GRB to be dangerous can't produce a GRB. So it's not so much "in between bursts" as being in the right place.

about 2 months ago
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The Downside to Low Gas Prices

jeff4747 Re:I got a better idea... (554 comments)

Pssst....Income taxes are not the only taxes.

That bottom 40% is paying lots of other taxes. Those other taxes just aren't as expensive to the top 1%, so people like you pretend they don't exist.

about 2 months ago
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The Downside to Low Gas Prices

jeff4747 Re:Oh fark off (554 comments)

There's two separate gas taxes in California.

The federal gas tax is used only for roads and bridges. That is the subject of this article. Raising that would not give the bozos in Sacramento more money. It would give the Highway Trust Fund more money.

States can add their own gas taxes on top of the federal gas tax. California has, and uses that money in California's general fund.

Wanna fix California's funding problem? Dump the insanity that is Prop 13.

about 2 months ago

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