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Posted in: 'Flying car' makes Tokyo debut at international tech event See in context

Lots of things to consider. Will there be designated take-off and landing areas? The air displaced to achieve lift will make these noisy and send any dust and debris flying about, making a hazard for any pedestrians nearby. When crossing paths, which vehicle will have right of way? How will these vehicles behave in wind shear and poor flight conditions?

Personally, I think it would be best if flying cars were limited to ambulance at first.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: 'Flying car' makes Tokyo debut at international tech event See in context

Wait! I'm confused. I thought we were supposed to be worried about global warming!?! Flying takes a lot more energy than rolling along on wheels. How are we to reconcile personal flying vehicles with SDGs?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Slovakia's populist prime minister shot multiple times in attempted assassination See in context

Unsurprisingly there's no mention in the article of a certain investigation Mr. Fico had recently announced.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Posted in: On the ball See in context

The ring at the base for stability rather defeats the purpose.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Posted in: Australian PM calls Musk arrogant billionaire; Musk hits back after court orders X to hide church stabbing posts See in context

Serious question: Can Australian's see video of the Kennedy assassination or is that banned too? What about horror movies? Can anyone enlighten me what is different about the Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel stabbing?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Women journalists bear the brunt of cyberbullying See in context

The phrase “online violence” is itself an act of violence against the English language.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: South Korean scientists tout 'beef rice' as source of protein for the future See in context

No thanks. Not interested in GM Frankenfoods. I'll be sticking with protein as nature provides.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: Exporting next-generation fighter jet would serve national interest: Kishida See in context

So according to Kishida, Japan's national interest is synonymous with the military industrial complex's interests.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: Google says its AI image-generator would sometimes 'overcompensate' for diversity See in context

It can't comprehend anything. It just processes data and generates images according to its programming and the training data it's provided.

I suppose it depends on one’s definition of ‘comprehend’. Certainly transformer neural networks, such as Gemini and Sora, have come to develop ‘neurons’ (i.e. a specific node or set of nodes that capture specific information) that recognize such disparate things as sentiment, entities, and fluid dynamics without ever receiving explicit programing in such. If you want to fault TNNs for not 'comprehending' things, then I'd argue that most people do not really 'comprehend' things most of the time so much as 'recognize' them.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Posted in: Meta reviewing use of word 'Zionist' amid Israel-Hamas war See in context

@starpunk - How can Zionism be an *anti*semitic term when modern Arabs in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria are also semites? I think it's more accurate to parse Zionism as a political movement concerned with reestablishing a homeland for the Jewish diaspora in response to European pogroms and later the Holocaust, as distinct from the religious practices of Judaism. Criticizing Zionism then is more akin to criticizing any other ~ism - communism, socialism, fascism, vegetarianism, effective altruism etc.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to pledge ¥15.8 bil for Ukraine's reconstruction See in context

@PTownsend - Are you familiar with Victoria Nuland's March 8th, 2022 appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee? If not I suggest you visit C-SPAN.org and scrub forward to 41 minute mark. When asked if Ukraine has chemical or biological weapons, her careful response was, "Uh, Ukraine has, uh, biological research facilities which, in fact, we quite concerned that Russian troops, Russian forces, may be seeking to, uh, gain control of, so we are working with the Ukrainians on how they can prevent any of those research materials from falling into the hands of, uh, Russian forces should they approach."

Nuland essentially confirmed the existence of bio-labs. Now, whether they are for pharmaceutical research, biological weapons, or dual-use is unknown (to us plebs). But your insistence that it can be safely disregarded as Russian propaganda suggests to me that you have uncritically internalized US propaganda. However, in this instance, the only epistemological honest position is to admit that one doesn't know.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Posted in: Don't spread out See in context

Both the pelvis and femoral neck angle are different in males and females. As a result, the natural resting state for men’s legs is open, not closed. It takes active muscle engagement for men to sit with their legs parallel. Of course, some men take this to an extreme; but, generally speaking, it is due to anatomy rather than a lack of manners that most men sit with with their legs slightly splayed open.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Posted in: Grave peril of digital conspiracy theories: 'What happens when no one believes anything anymore?' See in context

The problem is many conspiracies are real.

Corporations are routinely fined for collusion (Forex Scandal) and/or falsifying data (Hino emissions scandal).

Media giants selectively amplify some information (Kuwaiti Incubator Hoax) while suppressing other (Hunter Biden laptop controversy).

Governments have been caught in false-flag operations (Gulf of Tonkin Incident), experimenting on unwitting citizens (MKUltra), and propagandizing their own populations (Operation Mockingbird).

Of course not all conspiracy theories are credible (flat-earth), but the elites use the label of ‘conspiracy theorist’ to dismiss anyone asking uncomfortable questions (COVID-19 lab leak hypothesis).

However, thanks to social media, the elites are losing narrative control.

But, of course, they’re fighting back with tools such as the Trusted News Initiative and the UK’s Online Safety Act.

If the government and media truly want to regain public trust, they need to increase transparency and accountability, and promote dialogue and debate rather than muzzle it.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan’s Homo Sausage now comes with cheese See in context

This explanation is as much of a surprise to locals as well as foreigners, given that the English word “homogenise”, known as “kinshitsuka” in Japanese, is far from common knowledge. 

I don't know what kind of foreigners the author is referring to but, in North America at least, milk used to be sold in grocery stores as either 2% or homogenized, so even most children would be familiar with this meaning. Furthermore the prefix 'homo' -- from the Greek 'homos' meaning 'one and the same' -- is used by most European languages, so again should be common knowledge for most Europeans as well.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Why are so many robots white? See in context

This reads like Sokal 3.0.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Drugs of the future will be easier and faster to make, thanks to mRNA See in context

Hey there Roy. Thanks for the links to the blog posts. I always enjoy food for thought!

( 1. ) With regards to the frameshift error, the paper that first identified the problem was published December 6th, 2023. I would argue that there simply hasn’t been time to extensively research whether incorrect proteins resulting from frameshift errors are linked to adverse outcomes in those who got the mRNA vaccines or not.

In the blog you linked to the author dismisses such a possibility saying, “we do know what such adverse outcomes would probably look like. It would likely look the same as any other errant immune reaction or autoimmune condition.”

Oddly enough there just happen to have been reports of new-onset autoimmune diseases after vaccination. In the interest of patient safety, this at least warrants further investigation, no?

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10108562/

( 2. ) In the very blog post you post in response to my concern about a lack of cell targeting it acknowledges that Pfizer’s own LNP pharmacokinetic study for PMDA showed, albeit in a rodent model, that only 53% of LNP stayed within the intramuscular injection site. 

More recent studies, performed on newly deceased patients, provide more evidence of widespread biodistribution, including uptake by cells in the myocardium. 

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41541-023-00742-7

Personally, given that the average age of death 'either due' to or 'involving' COVID-19 is roughly 80yo, the risk from LNP + mRNA platform are currently one I’m not willing to take. But don’t let my misgivings influence you. By all means, please go get your bi-annual boosters!  I hope you're right and I'm wrong.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets/singleyearofageandaverageageofdeathofpeoplewhosedeathwasduetoorinvolvedcovid19

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Posted in: Drugs of the future will be easier and faster to make, thanks to mRNA See in context

Until the issues of ( 1. ) biodistribution and ( 2. ) frameshiftings errors (a consequence of the inclusion of pseudouridine) are properly addressed, I'll be sticking with traditional vaccines.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Posted in: Obesity drugs don't make WHO's essential list, but Ebola, MS drugs added See in context

Wearing a wide brimmed hat, as well as long, loose fitting clothing, and retiring periodically under the shade is a far healthier strategy to minimize the risk of sunburn rather than slathering yourself with some chemical sunscreen that can cross the blood brain barrier.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan OKs 1st domestically-made COVID vaccine See in context

All these mRNA vaccines suffer from the same critical design flaw, namely that there is no way to control what cells will take up the LNP and start expressing foreign proteins. If it is simply confined to the muscle tissue of the arm, fine; however various studies have demonstrated wide spread migration away from the injection site. This is of particular concern if the LNP is taken up by heart tissue. Until this problem is addressed I'll be staying well clear of all mRNA vaccines and rely instead on older time-tested inactivated virus formulations.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Posted in: Putin says Russia has sufficient stockpile of cluster bombs See in context

According The New York Times, the Ukrainian army was using cluster bombs in Donetsk, as far back in 2014. I don't think anyone can claim the moral high ground when using these indiscriminate weapons.

https://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/21/world/ukraine-used-cluster-bombs-report-charges.html

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Posted in: Japanese researchers develop robot arms to unlock creativity See in context

Japanese companies used to lead the world with innovative automotive assembly line robotic arms, but they've fallen far behind the likes of Boston Dynamics and Tesla. Impractical devices such as this, Asimov, Pepper, and the animatronic creations of Hiroshi Ishiguro are, frankly, just sad.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan may have entered 9th COVID-19 wave: Omi See in context

The government and media seem strangely unconcerned by the excess deaths that have been recorded recently. It's interesting to compare late the early part of the pandemic (late 2019 to mid 2020) against later stages. For more information see https://exdeaths-japan.org/en/graph/weekly/

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: G7 vows to narrow gender economic gaps See in context

Interesting that many of the posters in this comment section seem to think Japan should be embarrassed about the lone male participant in the photo above. How would a panel of all women be in alignment with the ideals of gender equality?

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Posted in: How AI could take over elections – and undermine democracy See in context

The AI-elected president could… use the mantle of election to pursue Republican or Democratic party policies. But because the party ideas may have had little to do with why people voted the way that they did… the president’s actions would not necessarily reflect the will of the voters. 

In case the authors hadn’t noticed, this has already been the case for decades. Candidates campaign on different policies, but once elected always act in alignment with their corporate donor base.

there is no reason to automatically extend the First Amendment’s protection to the product of these machines

And gere we go! The only thing learned from the Hamilton 68 fiasco, in which hundreds of innocent Americans were falsely identified as Russian bots, is that smears and censorship work! Hello Hamilton 2.0. Anyone who posts opinions or information that run counter to the interests of the military industrial complex will be labeled an AI bot by some nominally independent third-party 3-letter-agency cutout, and have their comments shadow banned or removed from social media.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: After dangerous encounters, U.S. accuses China of military 'aggressiveness' See in context

Some relevant background to this issue: The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC), states that passage is considered innocent as long as “it is not prejudicial to the peace, good order or security of the coastal State.” The LOSC specifies twelve actions that are classified as non-innocent, such as the use or threat of force, military exercises involving weapons, etc. But disagreements remains regarding the interpretation of "innocent passage" concerning warships. Unsurprisingly, the US and the UK interpret it as allowing warships to engage in innocent passage as long as they adhere to the explicitly listed twelve conditions of non-innocence. However, several nations, including China, argue that warships, due to their military nature and the fact that they carry weapons, inherently pose a threat to the security of coastal states. Therefore, they argue, warships are inherently non-innocent.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan to ease airport rules for foreign private jet arrivals See in context

Hmmm... Bit of a mixed message here. On one hand, the government wants to make it easier for the rich jet set to come and go on their private planes while, on the other hand, encouraging the rest of society to adopt personal carbon trackers, stop eating meat, and limit travel within within 15 minute cities.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Posted in: WHO recommends new COVID shots should target only XBB variants See in context

@RKL

Just a recommendation.

The WHO has no legal authority to compel anyone to do anything.

For now, yes. Are you aware of the WHO Pandemic Preparedness Treaty, aka WHO CA+? You can read the Zero Draft of the treaty here https://apps.who.int/gb/inb/pdf_files/inb4/A_INB4_3-en.pdf

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan’s newest vending machine absorbs CO2 from the environment See in context

@1glenn

Unless the article has been edited since your comment, nowhere in the article above does it claim the vending machines takes more CO2 out of the air than is put into the air by its manufacture. However, it clearly says in the second last paragraph that: the annual CO2 absorption per unit is expected to set off "around" 20 percent of the CO2 emissions from the electricity used.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Another ex-member of Johnny's talent agency says he was sexually abused See in context

@La vied douce

That Kitagawa was a predator is not in dispute. And that these men are at last now alerting others to the dangers of the industry is a good thing. My only point is that Okamoto was complicit in his own victimization. After the first instance, he could have told his parents. He could have reported it to the police. He could have quit Johnny & Associates. He should have done all three. Instead, by his own admission, he repeatedly put himself into the same situation — some 20 times! over 4 years between the ages of 15 and 19. Why? I’d suggest the answer is obvious. At the time at least, it was the price he was willing to pay for the promise of money and fame.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Another ex-member of Johnny's talent agency says he was sexually abused See in context

 he was abused by Kitagawa about 15 to 20 times 

Sorry, but if you keep going back to be 'abused' more than twice (since maybe you're not so bright and you believe his professions of remorse), you're not a 'victim' of 'abuse', you're 'trading favors' in hopes of being famous.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

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