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Greenwald Advises Market-Based Solution To Mass Surveillance

timeOday Re:"very telling" indeed (145 comments)

The summary is misleading anyways. Greenwald does dismiss the possibility of true reform from US legislation anytime soon. But he says:

Those limitations are going to come from-are now coming from very different places:

  1. 1. Individuals refusing to use internet services that compromise their privacy.

In that section, it does say: "Instead, these changes are taking place because these companies are petrified that the perception of their collaboration with the NSA will harm their future profits, " from which the entire summary is evidently gleaned.

But he continues with a section on each of the following:

2. Other countries taking action against U.S. hegemony over the internet

3. U.S. court proceedings. A U.S. federal judge already ruled that the NSA's domestic bulk collection program likely violates the 4th Amendment...

4. Greater individual demand for, and use of, encryption

Obviously I left out a lot. But IMHO the summary is a big misrepresentation of the overall article.

I also don't see the article that representative government is a "lost cause," only that as things stand, America is a long, long way from getting meaningful reform out of today's Congress. (Hard to argue otherwise, is it not? Congress now legislates almost not at all. They don't even confirm Federal judges. )

3 days ago
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Customers Creating Fake Amazon Pages To Get Cheap Electronics At Walmart

timeOday Re:Oh, boy! (269 comments)

Alternately, these might be Wal-Mart employees who've figured out how earn more than $15/hr by taking a cut of the fake savings, without appearing overtly guilty. At least, you for one are eager to assume they're too dumb to be guilty, which is probably true of their bosses also.

3 days ago
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Customers Creating Fake Amazon Pages To Get Cheap Electronics At Walmart

timeOday Re:Genius. (269 comments)

This is basically just price-tag switching. In the olden days of stick-on price tags it wasn't considered terribly clever to do this!

3 days ago
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Does Being First Still Matter In America?

timeOday Re:Half the story... (233 comments)

...leaving free fall gravity, finding another, landing on it, and taking off again to come back, all w/ people on board? That is a HECK of a lot harder.

I didn't say it wasn't - exploration is a succession of progressively more challenging objectives, and what the US accomplished in 1969 was certainly more advanced than what the USSR accomplished in 1957.

Picking one point in a never-ending evolution and calling the leader at that point "the winner (of all time)" is inherently rather false. But if you're going to do that, my argument is that putting the first object into orbit (or the first man in orbit - also USSR) compete very well as most significant firsts. At least, simply mentioning only the moon as if it's the only first that really counts strikes me as a bit silly.

3 days ago
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Does Being First Still Matter In America?

timeOday Re:Half the story... (233 comments)

Defining The Race as walking on the moon in the first place is also a construct that conveniently places us in first. The more significant "first" was not a person walking on the moon, but getting into orbit at all - a race, obviously, in which we finished second. The reason I say this is because we rely on satellites every day for many things (communications, GPS, weather forecasting, spying, hubble) whereas humans in space has no real applications for the foreseeable future. So, if we "won the space race," it is only due to anthropocentrism.

3 days ago
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Elite: Dangerous Dumps Offline Single-Player

timeOday Re:To be expected (468 comments)

Minecraft allows people to run their own servers, for free, and is doing awfully well.

Online-membership-only is killing gaming for me. I'm not paying $120/year, forever, to link up my XBox 360s to play with my son sitting across the room. (I scrounge for games that support system link, but there are hardly any.) Nor am I going to watch a bunch of commercials before every game (mobile gaming). The deal is, I pay money for a game, which I can then play as much as I like. Take it or leave it. They're leaving it.

5 days ago
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MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

timeOday Re:The Fix: Buy good Chocolate! (322 comments)

Truffles, saffron, vanilla, good cheeses etc. all of which are very expensive comparatively.

In fact, very few people (globally) have the privilege of eating actual vanilla!

The aggregate global demand for real vanilla is estimated at 2,000 MTs per year, primarily for high-quality vanilla flavoring. Between 1965 and 1989, world consumption grew at an average annual rate of 2 percent. Between 1980 and 1989, demand expanded rapidly particularly in the United States, where it grew at 7 percent a year in volume. In Europe, the rate of consumption was more modest: 2-3 percent. Highest consumption per capita is found in Denmark (4.57 grams), the United States (3.85 grams), France (2.54 grams), and Canada (1.00 grams). Synthetic vanillin accounts for more than 90 percent of the U.S. vanilla flavoring market and about 50 percent of the French market (the lowest national share). One ounce of artificially produced vanillin has roughly the same flavoring power as a gallon of natural vanilla extract. Synthetic vanillin costs one-hundredth the price of the natural product and not only substitutes for vanilla but also supplements adulterated vanilla extracts.

I don't eat many store-bought baked goods because my wife and daughters like to cook and home-made tastes so much better! But you can't help but notice some of the ingredients cost real money. It costs a fortune to buy commercially-made equivalents with real vanilla and real butter and so on, and you never know when they will start cheating on you.

about a week ago
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Cameron Says People Radicalized By Free Speech; UK ISPs Agree To Censor Button

timeOday Re:The UK doesn't have freedom of speech (316 comments)

Taking your time in handing out a highly questionable tax break is pretty far from what blatant censorship actually looks like.

about two weeks ago
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How Baidu Tracked the Largest Seasonal Migration of People On Earth

timeOday Last Train Home (48 comments)

If you haven't seen the documentary Last Train Home about the struggles of being a seasonal worker in China and getting home to visit your family once a year, I highly recommend it. For anybody who thought the overcrowded dystopian future feared in the 1970's failed to occur, China is one place where it already did.

about two weeks ago
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How Baidu Tracked the Largest Seasonal Migration of People On Earth

timeOday Re:"Willing"? (48 comments)

Ha ha, welcome to America, land of the Free, where your actions and movements are never tracked. Laughable.

Just 20 years ago, I honestly believed that if we started to get security cameras everywhere like Great Britain was doing, they would just get shot out all the time. I actually thought that.

about two weeks ago
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U.S. and China Make Landmark Climate Deal

timeOday Re:Ya...Right (285 comments)

Not when it comes to CO2 - we've only just begun to even try. Our per-capita CO2 emissions are sky-high compared to Europe and China. We're still in the "smoke em if you've got em" club along with Canada, Australia, and a bunch of little oil-rich nations. (cite)

about two weeks ago
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What Happens When Nobody Proofreads an Academic Paper

timeOday Re:Have seen this several times as reviwer... (170 comments)

"Peer review is broken" is such a broad statement, it's like claiming "clothes today aren't well-made." Peer-review is as good or bad as the individual journal.

Granted, the average quality of "journals" has probably plummeted in recent decades as there are far more PhDs, papers, and journals than in the past. But by the same token, the quality of the top 100 journals (or any fixed number) has probably increased. I say that because the ease of communications now helps, and because of all the progress and recent focus on repeatability and avoiding statistical pitfalls. (A lot of reporting on this implies it is somehow a new problem, but there is no reason to think that).

about two weeks ago
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Earth's Oxygen History Could Explain "Darwin's Dilemma" In Evolution

timeOday Re:Paywall (78 comments)

Please do not advocate linking to some crappy ad-supported mainstream press summary, or somebody's blog, over Science.

about two weeks ago
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President Obama Backs Regulation of Broadband As a Utility

timeOday Re:Bullshit (704 comments)

If you want to see some of the most corrupt businesses alive today, look no further than utilities. This is nothing more than a front, primarily to stop the debate about Government intrusion but also to squeeze more money from the middle class.

What utilities are you referring to? My sewers, water, electricity, and gas all keep flowing, and at reasonable rates. I certainly would not want them transformed into Comcast-esque money-grubbers. Privatization in the absence of competition is the worst of both worlds, and that's what broadband to my home currently is.

With respect to government intrusion, assuming you buy the line that it's any different from, or even separate from, corporate intrusion (which I don't, since companies simply sell it to the govt) - the US Mail has the strongest legal guarantees of privacy, as far as I can tell, with phone being next. It seems to be in decreasing order of when invented, rather than public/private. At least with a utility there's a possibility of meaningful privacy regulations, if the public ever decides to start wanting them.

about two weeks ago
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25th Anniversary: When the Berlin Wall Fell

timeOday Re:Reminder of who not to credit (151 comments)

Nations don't fall because of (un) diplomatic gestures. They fall because they are conquered, or go bankrupt. The Soviet Union fell because of its bad economy. However, the USSR did not increase military spending in response to the US buildup. There was never any reason to think they did, other that it was a nice story.

The USSR's 9-year Afghanistan misadventure, on the other hand, was extremely costly (look at the above graph from '79 to '89). US support for the Mujahideen surely increased that pain. But the American president who started backing them was, in fact, Jimmy Carter.

about two weeks ago
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25th Anniversary: When the Berlin Wall Fell

timeOday Re:Reminder of who not to credit (151 comments)

Reagan vilifying the Soviet Union is totally irrelevant to Obama and the NSA. People everywhere love smack talk about faraway enemies, it always plays well. A better Reagan analogy would be the Iran-Contra scandal.

Now as to Obama, he did order Gitmo shut down. What happened? Congress rebelled, even Democrats, spinning up fear of Magneto-like supervillians too dastardly to contain in American prisons. Congress passed a law making it illegal to bring Gitmo prisoners to the US even for medical treatment, so now we spend millions flying medical equipment down there to rot.

I suppose a more forceful President might be able to prevail on the Congress more often, Teddy Roosevelt-style, and do something about the NSA, if they had some reason to do so, which they don't. It's hardly ever a voting issue. J. Edgar Hoover's FBI was used by both Democratic and Republican administrations to trample the Constitution for decades and voters never cared, because they were so scared of Communism they supported the purge. Now the roles are filled by a new cast of characters, but little has changed.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Bill Nye "The Science Guy": Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children

timeOday timeOday writes  |  more than 2 years ago

timeOday (582209) writes "BigThink has released a video missive by Bill Nye "The Science Guy" in which he challenges the low level of acceptance of evolution, particularly in the United States. He does not mince words: 'I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world, in your world that's completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that's fine, but don't make your kids do it because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need people that can — we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems.'"
Link to Original Source
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Nintendo Favors Europe Due to Weak US Dollar

timeOday timeOday writes  |  more than 6 years ago

timeOday (582209) writes "The LA Times is reporting that the new Nintendo Wii Fit is hard to find on US shelves, due not only to strong demand but also the United State's declining status in the world economy: "[Nintendo] is also is shrewdly maximizing its profit by sending four times as many units to Europe, reaping the benefits of the strong euro," says Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Morgan Securities. "The shortage demonstrates one consequence of the weak dollar. We're seeing companies ignore their largest market simply because they can make a greater profit elsewhere.""
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timeOday timeOday writes  |  more than 7 years ago

timeOday (582209) writes "Looks like somebody just blew a chance to inaugurate the 200-mile-high club. Lisa Nowak, a mission specialist aboard the space shuttle Discovery in July, was arrested Monday on charges of battery and attempted kidnapping after allegedly trying to subdue a romantic rival with pepper spray and abduct her from a parking lot at Orlando International Airport. It seems both women were chasing astronaut Bill Oefelein, a Navy commander. Police have recommended Nowak be held without bond."
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timeOday timeOday writes  |  more than 8 years ago

timeOday (582209) writes "The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) asks, "Where has the Money Gone? Declining Industrial Support of Academic R&D." Since 1999, inflation-adjusted corporate support for U.S. academic research has plummeted by one third. Prominent members of industry and academia have indicated disagreements over the handling of intellectual property (IP) are partly to blame, driving U.S. corporations overseas in search of more favorable licensing terms. Will this lead to a scientific decline in the U.S., or is reduced industry influence over scientific research a good thing?"

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