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Comment Re:How do they define GM? (Score 1) 202

Wrong, breeding for desired characteristic is an entirely different matter than what Monsanto is doing.

So, how do you feel about selective breeding processes that include drenching the organisms in radiation or mutagenic chemicals in order to dramatically increase the mutation rate? Nearly everything in your grocery store was bred via this method, which has been in use for at least a century, because it works really well. By massively increasing the mutation rate you can get your desired characteristics orders of magnitude faster than relying on natural mutations and cross-breeding.

If you're not okay with that method, then there's not much available for you to eat.

If you are okay with that method, can you explain how insertion of single gene to produce a desired effect is worse that thousands of random mutations, all of which are completely unknown outside of the immediately-observable phenotypic effects?

The fact is that humans have been doing various degrees of genetic engineering on our food crops for millenia, and massively increased it in the last couple of centuries (once Darwin explained how it worked). The methods of the last couple of decades are refinements which, if anything, should be dramatically safer than what came before, since the changes are smaller and better-controlled.

Comment Re:Cool article... (Score 1) 110

The taxi industry is regulated for very good reasons (one being safety)

I hear this all the time, but no one ever elaborates on what the reasons are. You said safety, but didn't say what the regulations are, how they are intended to affect safety and whether or not they really do.

One regulation that does make sense is the requirement that they carry commercial insurance policies. I think Uber has addressed that part (though I know some think Uber's solution inadequate).

As far as I can tell, the rest of the regulations are just an attempt to construct a functional reputation system in a context where little information is available to riders. By making it difficult and expensive for people to become cabbies, and relatively easy for them to lose that privilege, regulations ensure that only people who are serious about making taxi service a long-term business will do it. For exaple, this prevents J. Random Serial Killer from painting his car yellow and using it to pick up victims. Unless J. Random is also very wealthy, in which case he has lots of easier options. That's just one example, but the same line of reasoning applies to many other forms of abuse.

That all makes sense in a context where riders have no way to judge cabs other than by their appearance. But smartphones and the real-time, ubiquitous access to driver reputation databases they make available change the equation. Or so it seems to me.

Can anyone articulate precisely what other problems the regulations solve, and why the "rideshare" model (yes, I know it's not really ride sharing; let's discuss substantive issues, not quibble about naming) doesn't address them as well, or better? I'd like, for once, to have a conversation about this subject that goes beyond "Uber is exploitative and law-breaking!!!" and discusses the actual underlying issues. In what way, precisely, are cab regulations a better/safer/more efficient solution than ridesharing?

Comment Re:EU Privacy (Score 1) 54

Obviously you can't invert md5, but if I hash my list, and you hash your list, and there is significant overlap, you can, to a reasonable but not 100% certainty, figure out which items on my list correspond to items on your list.

Depends on how it's done. For example, the advertiser could generate a bloom filter and provide that, rather than hashes of individual items on the list. Assuming the false positive rate was tuned correctly, you can use this method to arrange to provide very little information, while still generating the matches you want (plus some). Most advertisers wouldn't know how to tune the false positive rate appropriately, of course, but Google could tell them.

That's just off the top of my head, first glance at the problem. I suspect that there are even cleverer techniques that could be used, and while I don't know any details of how this system works, I do know Google engineers, and Google privacy design policies and procedures, and I'd be shocked if there were any obvious way to extract personally-identifiable information, in either direction.

(Disclaimer: I'm a Google engineer, but I'm speaking only for myself.)

Comment Re:Anti-GMO does not equal anti-science. (Score 1) 202

I worked at GE Oil & Gas, and I can assure you that GE is every bit as evil as Monsanto, DuPont and any of the other crooked corporate giants.

No doubt that's true, but they're still trying to sell us something that we need to make the world a better place, and DuPont (along with BP, more of the world's most evil fucks) is trying to stop them.

Comment Re:Cool article... (Score 2) 110

One of the reasons Uber, Lyft and all the other "ride sharing" app companies get so much flack because they are breaking the law.

I'd be more sympathetic if 1) Uber and Lyft were offering the same services as taxis (you can't flag down an Uber; you have to request one), and 2) many jurisdictions hadn't already ruled that you're wrong.

Comment Re:Why don't taxis just provide good service?! (Score 2) 110

In most jurisdictions the taxi companies have been subject to more rigorous (i.e. expensive) standards than Uber has been following.

...because they paid good money to write those laws. Taxi laws are a prime example of regulatory capture. For example, Company A got a sweet deal on credit card readers and they spent 2 years installing them in their cabs. Then, they tell the local regulatory body that credit card readers are a necessary public good and suggest that all taxis should have readers installed in a reasonable time frame - say, within three months. Finally, they laugh as their competitors scramble to shell out inflated prices for emergency rush orders on credit card readers so that they can stay in business.

For another example, three companies get together for group bargaining with an insurance company: "if you give us a good rate, we'll guarantee that all of our cabs will carry your new expanded coverage." Once that deal's in place, they ask for regulations to require all taxis to carry that level of coverage. Of course, all other companies have to pay the un-negotiated rate and now they have a harder time competing.

You don't get to write the laws and then bitch about them. Well, apparently you can, but you shouldn't be able to.

Comment Re:Koch Brothers (Score 1) 110

Nice to meet someone so open-minded that is willing to respectfully consider another's opinion and respond on the issues.

The Kochs are evil fucks who have their finger on the wheel of American politics, and I hope they all go down on the same plane and have to eat one another to survive. That's the reality they're trying to bring to all of us, so it only seems appopriate.

Go ahead and defend them, though. See how much mileage you get out of that.

Comment Re:Koch Brothers (Score 1) 110

I know it is fashionable to hate on them, so what do you think about their stance on licensing? Read the interview

No. First of all, Forbes runs interstitial ads you can't skip without letting them run Javascript. Second, anything the Kochs have to say serves their agenda, so fuck them sideways, I am uninterested in anything those corrupt pieces of shit have to say.

Comment Re:Ugly Americanism (Score 1) 110

In the age of GPS this should be a non-problem.

Yes, it should. Yet people still get taken on bullshit routes, which has no effect other than keeping the meter running. It was always deliberate; now it is even moreso.

English is NOT a universal language or anything close to it and certainly isn't the "international language of the travel industry worldwide".

English is the closest thing we have to a universal language, even though it isn't one. It used to be German, but that fell out of favor for some reason, I can't imagine why.

Comment Re:Anti-GMO does not equal anti-science. (Score 1) 202

They are not the only meaningful player in the industry: For instance, take DuPont's agro side, branded as Pioneer.

Well, DuPont is seriously fucking evil, and always has been. Besides their long and shitty environmental record, they also fought against hemp because hemp plastic threatened their petro plastic, and they are one of the companies behind ButaMax. ButaMax got a patent on effective commercial production of Butanol (a 1:1 replacement for gasoline made by bacteria from any organic matter) even though the process was developed at public universities and with public funds, and is furthermore an obvious development. They're using it to stop Gevo (a GE energy ventures subsidiary) from producing and selling butanol to the public. So if it's primarily Monsanto and DuPont, it's Evil and Evil. Monsanto and DuPont can both DIAF.

Comment Re:Why all the desktop stuff? (Score 1) 133

no matter how much you claim that illumos or I are "pathetic jokes", that is a pretty damn big hardware support list.

Linux farts in the general direction of that list. You're proud that this software runs well on one processor! Let me just golf clap for you now.

Look, if you like it, if you want to play with it, if it amuses you, hell if it solves your business problems, that's great. But contemporary hardware support belongs to Windows and legacy hardware support belongs to Linux. Everyone else trails distantly. For some cases this is largely irrelevant, but it's unfortunate in the real world where flexibility is often the difference between success and failure.

Comment Re:Cabs (Score 1) 202

So now you're saying you don't trust the government and they only cater to people with money and power.

Yes, that's how it works. This is news to you?

Again, if you don't like the philosophy of the government, change it.

I'm waiting for the time when that's possible, which is certainly not while a bunch of stupid fucks are making stupid excuses for evil acts. More of us need to be on the same page before the people have a hope of effecting even bad and wrong change.

I believe there was an honest core of people in the occupy movement that were honestly trying to.

Trying and predictably failing, because what they were doing was a fat fucking waste of time. It raised awareness, but for a lot of people they felt like they were becoming aware of a bunch of fuckoff dirty hippies stinking up public spaces, and there is an element of truth to that. I feel the same way about people who tried to change the world by occupying public spaces as I feel about people who think they're changing the world by going to burning man and "participating" in it. What? You're going to go set shit to a bunch of crap and take drugs in the desert, you're not creating anything other than opportunities for a lot of arrests for victimless crimes — in both situations.

Run for office yourself.

HAHAHAHA. Look, there is less than no chance that I would get elected to anything, anywhere that it would be worth getting elected to anything. And furthermore, I don't even agree that this is the best way to change the world. As long as the world is filled with dumbass jerkoffs willfully avoiding thinking about anything of consequence, you can't change the world for the better because they will keep on claiming that they want change and then voting for the incumbent. You can win the occasional political battle only to lose the next one and accomplish nothing of consequence. I've seen what happens to people who want to change things from inside the political system. They go grey rapidly. Then they get shit upon. If you don't have significant political connections, there's no reason to go into politics.

If you don't have time, then you don't really believe strongly about it and you're just trying to take the easy way out and you are going to end up screwing over everyone.

I'm going to screw people over because I'm not going to waste time in politics jerking off? Draw me a fucking map, son.

If you give corporations the freedom to follow their own laws

I didn't give them anything. They took it. This is a natural consequence of capitalism. When you hand control of the means of production over to the people with the most money, you create a downward spiral. I didn't create this system, and I do my best not to feed it.

Comment Re:Vitality is defined by users, not developers. (Score 1) 133

Now you've got me wondering if I'm actually thinking of twm. It all started so long ago... over half a lifetime ago... *LOL*

Ha! I know exactly what you mean. Anyway, speaking to the point, IIRC mwm had no menu configuration. twm certainly did. I actually recall Motif being Open Source, though. ISTR that when I got Motif for Linux, I actually got sources and the installed compiled them, including mwm. I'm now very hazy on the details, and I think it unlikely that I have preserved the relevant files so many years later. Once Lesstif became a thing, my interest in actually having Motif around waned, and once xv was surpassed as an image viewer there was no more actual need for it anyway.

Wikipedia says that even Open Motif wasn't a "proper" Open Source license, but it clearly provided source code so I don't know what all that nonsense is about.

Comment Re:Kids needed to check with the president first. (Score 1) 350

Even as the kids are dead you still tried to turn it political

You know how to find out if some situation has political ramifications? If it contains any plurality of people, there will be politics.

You know who "turned the situation political" first? Obama. Because he made the first public political statement, right? From a politician?

Or maybe, just maybe, nobody made the situation political, because it was already political.

Maybe someday you'll have an idea worth associating with an identity, and on that day you'll log in and share it with us. Until then, your use of the AC account proves that you know you're talking shit.

Mommy, what happens to your files when you die?