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Submission + - Insurance Companies Looking For Fallback Plans To Survive Driverless Cars (

An anonymous reader writes: Driverless cars could mean a huge downsizing of the auto insurance industry, as the frequency of accidents declines and liability shifts from the driver to the vehicle’s software or automaker. This is compounded by the rise of ride-sharing services. Once summoning a vehicle to take you somewhere isn't limited by the number of people available to drive them (and are correspondingly cheaper), car ownership is likely to decline. Many major automakers and tech companies are throwing billions of research dollars into making this happen, and insurance companies are trying to figure out how to survive. For example, a recent patent application shows State Farm is betting on collecting massive amounts of data about you. While they'll no doubt use it to set your insurance rates, they also plan to "send you advice, alerts, coupons or discounts on insurance or other goods and services." Traveler's Insurance is thinking along somewhat similar lines: "a device that offers specific suggestions for managing errands and other travel. Customers would be able to see a map of 'risk zone' data for places they want to go, such as stores, restaurants and roads. They could then plan the day 'with an eye toward how risky such endeavors may be,' according to the patent application."

Submission + - 2016's first batch of anti-science education bills arrive in Oklahoma (

An anonymous reader writes: It's still January and we're already seeing the first anti-science bills of 2016 going through the Oklahoma legislature. The state's lawmakers fight over this every year, and it looks like this year won't be any different. "The Senate version of the bill (PDF) is by State Senator Josh Brecheen, a Republican. It is the fifth year in a row he's introduced a science education bill after announcing he wanted "every publicly funded Oklahoma school to teach the debate of creation vs. evolution." This year's version omits any mention of specific areas of science that could be controversial. Instead, it simply prohibits any educational official from blocking a teacher who wanted to discuss the "strengths and weaknesses" of scientific theories.

The one introduced in the Oklahoma House (PDF) is more traditional. Billed as a "Scientific Education and Academic Freedom Act" (because freedom!), it spells out a whole host of areas of science its author doesn't like: 'The Legislature further finds that the teaching of some scientific concepts including but not limited to premises in the areas of biology, chemistry, meteorology, bioethics, and physics can cause controversy, and that some teachers may be unsure of the expectations concerning how they should present information on some subjects such as, but not limited to, biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.'"

Comment Re:Male-ness is a Secondary Characteristic (Score 1) 166

Redundantly, at the risk of being redundant, there is concern over a lack of men in nursing. Men are especially valued specializations requiring heavy lifting (traditionally, post-op orthopaedic floors, rehab, some medical floors). There isn't nearly as many resources being put to men in nursing as there seems to be women going into "Computer Science." I put quotes on that, since many of the 'civilians' I talk to think Computer Science is one and the same as web and 'app' development.

Comment Re:Funny way of saying "SQLServer Pricing Doubles" (Score 1) 110


Microsoft has pushed in the next-to-be-released version of .NET all of the libraries to support the Microsoft technologies running on Linux or Mac. If this is true, then Microsoft can't really charge for core pricing / cpu pricing on operating systems / database platforms that it doesn't own.

Comment Re:Accepting a story from Florian Meuller? (Score 5, Informative) 110

It's not just .NET. It's the .NET compiler. ASP.NET. ASP.NET MVC. The Entity Framework. .NET Core Runtime libraries. This stuff is the heart of Microsoft development. And it's all open-source. And, they are providing support for cross-platform development on Mac and Linux. The Visual Studio Community edition is free (free as in beer).

People can be skeptical to be skeptical, but, as you eluded to, this is not the Microsoft of old. As some of my friends have said, "Haters gonna hate..." And some things won't change.

Comment Why you shouldn't consider Scientology a religion (Score 1) 700

How is scientology any less of a religion than christianity or islam or mormons or any other belief system? If its ok for christians, it should be ok for scientologists, or it should be not ok for anyone to have tax exempt status.

Why you shouldn't consider Scientology a religion and Christianity, Jews, etc. are religions.

Just look at names of the prophets..

* Jesus Christ - that's a real prophet's name.
* Moses - sounds like a real prophet to me, too.
* Buddha - Definitely a prophet.
* Mohammed - Yep, sounds good to me.
* L. Ron Hubbard - Nope.. No way that's a prophet's name.. Hubbard? Come on..
* Joe Smith - ok, now you're pushing it.. No prophet would ever be named Joe.

That's all you need to do.

Comment Re:It's a self-correcting problem. (Score 1) 245

Sorry - I disagree with your statement that antibiotics cause more harm than good. If you look at what health and medicine was prior to antibiotic usage and after, it's night and day. I think most rational people would take a world with antibiotics (even with the adverse effects and resistance that is going on) than nothing at all. Surgeries are much safer, less amputations are needed with infected limbs, etc.

I say this as someone who's son had a life-threatening illness that was brought about by antibiotics.

Seriously, can you imagine a world without antibiotics??? (slightly off-topic, I think we'll find out eventually, with resistance becoming what it is.

Comment Re:Gerson (Score 1) 698

From the article:

No conclusions about the effectiveness of the Gerson therapy, either as an adjuvant to other cancer therapies or as a cure, can be drawn from any of the studies reported above.

So if you want to link to a study showing how effective this therapy is, the above link is NOT the one to use. Find one with confirmation of the results in a fairly large, repeatable study.

Comment Encouragement... (Score 4, Insightful) 50

We've been asking for years now (decades, even) for Microsoft to become more open. Regardless of their motivation, this kind of behavior should be encouraged, rather than ridiculed. To my knowledge, none of the other platforms they've open sourced has 'taken back' by them, as some conspiracy theorists have anticipated. While I'm under no illusion that Office or Windows will ever be open sourced, I'm very happy that much of their other platforms are becoming more open and hope they continue to do so.

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