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Comment: Re:Homeland Security (Score 2) 55

by Chris Mattern (#47482073) Attached to: More Forgotten Vials of Deadly Diseases Discovered

What I am wondering is: why do they even care whether the pathogens in the vials are actually what is on the labels?

They care because anybody can write a label saying "smallpox virus" and stick it on a vial. But if the vial actually *does* contain smallpox virus, then there were flawed procedures that let that virus be sent out to East Bumfuck with no records kept. And those flawed procedures might still be in place, in which case it is urgent that they get fixed.

Comment: Re:What good is filtered news? (Score 1) 109

by Chris Mattern (#47431657) Attached to: Google's Experimental Newsroom Avoids Negative Headlines

One must ask, what good is news that filters?

It is impossible for there to be any other kind. The sum total of what happens on the earth is far beyond the ability of anyone or anything to track or follow. Most of it is not relevant to you, of course. Any news you read is, and of necessity, must be, filtered. The only question is how it is filtered.

News is news, be it bad, sad, happy or violent.

Your view that occurances can be easily and definitively defined as "news" or "not news" is incredibly naive.

I remember a time when the news was reported and read.

No, you remember a time when the biases in selecting what would be news and what would not be were better hidden.

Comment: Re:Asimov already covered this... (Score 1) 285

A film based on a title by Isaac Asimov

Not even that. Just a film with a title by Isaac Asimov pasted on it. The screenplay was already written (the name at that point was "Hardwired") when they decided to buy the title. They changed a few of names to match characters in the book and pasted in a nod to the Three Laws of Robotics. Done!

Comment: Re:No human can pass that test (Score 1) 285

Well, no human alive today in any case. All so-called "original" works produced today are derivatives of older works (Shakespeare, folklore, etc)

If you think Shakespeare was original, you are sadly deluded. Just about all of his plots can be traced back to other sources, from which he often lifted them virtually intact. What elevated Shakespeare wasn't the originality of his stories, but the way he told them.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (1) Gee, I wish we hadn't backed down on 'noalias'.