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Comments

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Facebook and Google's Race To Zero

minstrelmike fbook=aol (53 comments)

I think Facebook now actually _is_ the new AOL. And that portends a significant downfall in future profits.
Grandma loved AOL because it was easy. Then her son created a site on Geocities. Then her grandkid's band had a MySpace site.
Then finally it got easy enough to post baby pictures on the fBook and that site collected a boatload of users--all of whom specifically chose that site consciously and many of whom don't use it anymore. Sure, Zuckerberg can force newbies to use his site pretty much exactly the way AOL did by plastering everybody with installation CDs
The fBook has probably got all the sticking power of popularity that AOL has. It's still around apparently, but it ain't big business and it ain't the internet and it ain't even on anybody's minds anymore.

Facebook used to be the new AOL. Now it is turning into the current AOL. Technology, like life, moves on.

about two weeks ago
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NSA Confirms It Has Been Searching US Citizens' Data Without a Warrant

minstrelmike belief? (274 comments)

That might be what the NSA says, but how could anyone believe them after everything else that has happened?

about three weeks ago
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OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights

minstrelmike Re:Who cares? (1482 comments)

Seriously, who does? Especially here on /. ?

Because without OKCupid, most of the readers here are probably down to a one-handed sex life.

about three weeks ago
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OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights

minstrelmike Re:More reason to keep using Firefox! (1482 comments)

Boycott OKCupid!

Since most users have no idea what browser they are using, or that they are even using a browser, then just boycotting OKCupid period is the safest thang.
That's how stuff can backfire easily.

about three weeks ago
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OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights

minstrelmike Re:I'm all for religious freedom... (1482 comments)

What happened to live and let live?

It died. Moral Libertarianism isn't profitable enough to the folks who fund political campaigns.

about three weeks ago
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Continued Rise In Autism Diagnoses Puzzles Researchers, Galvanizes Advocates

minstrelmike Re:economic incentives rule... (558 comments)

Why autism? There are any number of conditions that would then apply

The conditions that apply means there needs to be a solution AND it needs to be profitable.

You want a different example: cholesterol
That may have always been a medical problem but it was never a popular one until _after_ we developed profitable cholesterol-lowering drugs.

For ADD, Ritalin was used as a DIAGNOSTIC drug. If it solved your issues, then you had ADD. If not, then ADD was not your problem.
That's two examples.

about three weeks ago
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Continued Rise In Autism Diagnoses Puzzles Researchers, Galvanizes Advocates

minstrelmike Re:That's a bit simplistic... (558 comments)

Isn't the incidence of bulimia and anorexia related to class status also?

about three weeks ago
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Continued Rise In Autism Diagnoses Puzzles Researchers, Galvanizes Advocates

minstrelmike Re:really? really. (558 comments)

I think it's rude to look people in the eyes.
I think that was also a norm in Asian and Native American cultures such as Japanese, Sioux and Arapahoe.

In fact, to examine the cultural bias effect, _if_ it is true (my memory may be off) that the Japanese have a bias against looking people in the eyes (considered hostile staring), then it seems you could compare America and Japan against various foods and vaccines and what have you.

Maybe "all" that is happening (I'm a parent and don't intend to diminish the anxiety of having a differently-abled child)
maybe all that is happening is that we are entering an era of more random mutations (for a variety of reasons) and some of the interpretations change between cultures. An added fact for that pov is that autism is not a single thing; the spectrum probably has multiple independent causes.

about three weeks ago
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Continued Rise In Autism Diagnoses Puzzles Researchers, Galvanizes Advocates

minstrelmike Re:really? really. (558 comments)

Being different is not a disease. Pathologizing deviance from the statistical norm is a piss-poor idea.

I agree that being different is not a disease, but I am flummoxed by the reasoning.
What is it we are supposed to determine deviance from if not the norm?

about three weeks ago
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Continued Rise In Autism Diagnoses Puzzles Researchers, Galvanizes Advocates

minstrelmike Re:really? really. (558 comments)

I like the left-handedness analogy.
There are far too many people who seem to assume evolution has a direction or goal instead of being a process of making completely random choices in order to be ready to survive in a completely random future.

It's hard to say if handedness is an advantage or not. Being ambidextrous is correlated with different brain wave patterns but that is correlation, not effect-cause or vice versa. What is caused by being left-handed, or "sinistral" is how society views you.During sword-fighting days when most folks practiced against right-handed fencing opponents a left-handed fighter was called "sinister."

about three weeks ago
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The Inside Story of Gmail On Its Tenth Anniversary

minstrelmike gmail is a gamma now (142 comments)

I can't believe gmail is actually ten years old.
Is it finally out of Beta also?

about three weeks ago
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Book Review: Money: The Unauthorized Biography

minstrelmike Re:Stupid Republicans (91 comments)

The only good thing Reagan did was prove that deficits don't matter.

sarcasm: And apparently that has now been "disproven" by Tea Partiers, fundamentalist Libertarians and Texans (except for when they want their Federal handout).

about three weeks ago
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Book Review: Money: The Unauthorized Biography

minstrelmike Re:What a bunch of hooye, total garbage (91 comments)

The supply of money is completely independent of the economics of trading.
If a cow is worth 4 goats, changing the monetary price of a cow to 3 dollars or 300,000 dollars or 25 bazillion lira changes nothing about the trading situation. A goat is still worth one-fourth of a cow. If cows die off and become scarcer and more valuable, then they might end up being worth 10 goats but notice that is COMPLETELY INDEPENDENT of the "value" of our money.

Money is merely a tracking device. You can track items using pencils or pens or spreadsheets, but the stuff being tracked doesn't change regardless of how you wish to track it.

about three weeks ago
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Book Review: Money: The Unauthorized Biography

minstrelmike Re:Author's and submitter's agenda (91 comments)

Money is not a commodity. That was actually the basis for the first revolt against the new American government of George Washington's.
They implemented a tax on corn liquor but jars of corn liquor were actually trade items--dollar bills if you will--because they didn't go bad
America essentially taxed you on the bills you used to pay. That's complete different than taxing your income or your net worth.

For anyone who thinks monetary policy matters globally or that the gold standard or bitcoin have any sort of control over economics, they haven't actually thought thru econ from basic principles.It is not part of any economics class whatsoever so don't be shocked.

1. First assume the total worth of everything in the world is 5 trillion dollars or be as accurate as you wish.
2. Next, assume the total worth of everything in the world is just 5 dollars.
3. Now explain how the trading situation between different resources is modified simply because we change our idea of what money itself is worth. Eggs aren't worth any different in relation to bacon and gasoline than they were before or after the monetary change.

about three weeks ago
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Book Review: Money: The Unauthorized Biography

minstrelmike Economics is a biological thing (91 comments)

Economics is based on biology. Lots of different organisms trade resources back and forth. In fact, if you don't trade and you can't find resources, you die.
Basic economics and it applies equally to protozoans, elm trees and human global civilization.

As far as money per se, that is an illusion or artifact of civilization. People who think credit or cash or the gold standard drives economics don't actually spend any time thinking about the concepts or limits. Consider--what is the total dollar value of everything in the world? Let's assume it is 500 trillion dollars.
Now assume it is only 5 dollars.
What actually changes about how people trade things or what things are traded for what other things? Nothing changes.
Money itself actually is just interpretation. It's a scorecard; not a driver.

Economics, according to Sowell is the how we value _scarce_ resources. That truly identifies most of the issues we have as a society. When clean air or water is plentiful, then there is no cost/value associated with it. When we pollute the water or air, now it becomes more valuable and as a society, we either say goodbye to clean air or figure out how to value it as an externality and pay for the use of it.

Still go nothing to do with money and everything to do with resource trading which is something all biological communities engage in.

about three weeks ago
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Homeopathic Remedies Recalled For Containing Real Medicine

minstrelmike anti-placebo? (173 comments)

Maybe it was an experiment on an anti-placebo effect. Give people a real drug but tell them it will only work if you really, really believe it will.
Then see if it fails at the same rate as most medicines and remedies do regardless of provenance.

about three weeks ago
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More Than 1 In 4 Car Crashes Involve Cellphone Use

minstrelmike Re:Easy stats to pull (367 comments)

People can be completely oblivious without being on the phone, too.
The phone is not the cause of poor driving.

about three weeks ago
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More Than 1 In 4 Car Crashes Involve Cellphone Use

minstrelmike Re:Easy stats to pull (367 comments)

The majority of accidents are caused by stupidity

Perhaps. Think of a restaurant. They probably have a specific number of glasses broken on average every year.
In very few cases are the glasses broken on purpose. They are all broken by accident.
Provide a plan for zero broken glasses at every restaurant in the U.S.

Once you've fixed that problem, then talk about how easy it is to prevent vehicle ACCIDENTS.
I still trip over my own two feet about once a year and tend to spill some liquid beverage of some kind about twice a year.
Please explain how to live a perfect, error-free life to the rest of us mortals.

about three weeks ago
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More Than 1 In 4 Car Crashes Involve Cellphone Use

minstrelmike Re:Easy stats to pull (367 comments)

Correlation is easier to infer than causation.
imo, it's exactly like drunk driving where the real statistics from actual actuaries are that drunk driving per se is _responsible_ for maybe 1.5-2% of accidents.
Those accidents would not have happened if the driver were not drunk.
Granted, maybe 40% of accidents involve drunk drivers but if 40% of all drivers on the road are drunk, then that's just straight up stats and no causation whatsoever kind of like saying 65% of all drivers have brown eyes and brown-eyed drivers are involved in 65% of all accidents
The old David Janssen commerical saying 55% of rush hour drivers in 1967 were drunk was supposed to get everyone M.A.D.D. and scared. At the time, 70% of accidents involved drunk drivers but most of the accidents were late at night when the rate of drunks was probably about 70%

Want more correlation? Over the years as we have cracked down on drunk driving and decreased the percentage of drunks behind the wheel, we have not actually decreased the number of accidents at all.

If 25% of all people driving are on the phone at any time and 25% of accidents "involve phone use," then that is to be expected. It isn't a problem, neither morally nor actually.

about three weeks ago
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Don't Help Your Kids With Their Homework

minstrelmike Re:Right, and it also depends on the person (278 comments)

It isn't _some_ people who are below average--it is the fact that HALF of the people you meet are below average.
Any scale--weight, height, intelligence ...
If I have to explain why, you're in the bottom half of the intelligence and understanding scale.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Surprisingly Disgusting

minstrelmike minstrelmike writes  |  about three weeks ago

minstrelmike (1602771) writes "Using computer facial recognition, researchers at Ohio State University have identified 21 emotional expressions humans make, tripling the previous number of available expressions for classifying emotional states. They anticipate it will help with treating PTSD which makes people more attuned to anger and fear."
Link to Original Source
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Fantastically true spy story in World of Warcraft

minstrelmike minstrelmike writes  |  about 4 months ago

minstrelmike (1602771) writes "Another Snowden revelation. NSA infiltrated World of Warcraft and Second Life to see if terrorists were trading information and creating plots. (Of course, those games make money so all users are tracked but it seemed like a valid threat apparently to some one).

It is on the NY Times site which is sort of firewalled--10 articles per month."

Link to Original Source
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Japanese Ice Wall to Stop Radio Active Leaks.

minstrelmike minstrelmike writes  |  about 8 months ago

minstrelmike (1602771) writes "Japan is planning to install a 2 mile around the Fukushima nuclear plant. The technology has not been used to that extent nor for more than a couple years. "Plus the frozen wall won't be ready for another two years, which means contaminated water would continue to leak out." But at least they have a $470 million dollar plan ready to present to the Olympic committee choosing Madrid, Istanbul or Tokyo."
Link to Original Source
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What if Manning had leaked to the New York Times?

minstrelmike minstrelmike writes  |  about a year ago

minstrelmike (1602771) writes "Two page editorial in the NYTimes (10 free articles / month then firewalled) about what would have been different legally, morally, and security-wise: "If Manning had delivered his material to The Times, WikiLeaks would not have been able to post the unedited cables, as it ultimately did, heedless of the risk to human rights advocates, dissidents and informants named therein. In fact, you might not have heard of WikiLeaks. The group has had other middling scoops, but Manning put it on the map."

He also discusses what the Times would and would not have done, admitting they probably wouldn't have shared with other news outlets but also admitting they would definitely have not shared everything."

Link to Original Source
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Dept of Defense CyberCity for testing hack attacks

minstrelmike minstrelmike writes  |  about a year ago

minstrelmike (1602771) writes ""Air Force cyber warriors are getting ready to learn how to do battle in cyberspace against hostile actors who would disrupt critical infrastructure by working in a virtual city that has all of the trappings of modern-day, computer-based life, including e-mail, passwords, online social networking and WiFi"

That's how the article starts. It's a similar concept to the mock Iraq towns they built down south. They've performed 7 attacks on the cyber range so far."

Link to Original Source
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Tampa teen bomber spies FBI spies

minstrelmike minstrelmike writes  |  more than 2 years ago

minstrelmike (1602771) writes "The expelled teen planning to blow up his high school knew something was wrong Sunday when he looked for wireless networks:

On Sunday evening, he posted this interesting item on his Facebook status page: "The weirdest thing happened today ... when my homie was trying to connect to a wireless network the connections list came up and one of them was called: FBI_SURVEILLANCE_VAN It was weird...""

Link to Original Source
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Nokia Sues Apple (the computer company)

minstrelmike minstrelmike writes  |  more than 3 years ago

minstrelmike (1602771) writes "From the birds come home to roost section of reality, Nokia is suing Apple for patent infringement tied to technologies "for enhanced speech and data transmission, using positioning data in applications and innovations in antenna configurations that improve performance and save space."

Will Apple do like their logo says and tell Nokia to "bite me?""

Link to Original Source
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Facebook passwords $100

minstrelmike minstrelmike writes  |  more than 4 years ago

minstrelmike writes "Pandalabs, a security vendor, has discovered a site that claims to hack Facebook accounts for $100. It is professionally done but they believe it is a scam. The folks who send the money will probably not report it to the cops."
Link to Original Source

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