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Comment: Not Wireless (Score 4, Informative) 75

This is not exactly wireless... It is not "hard wired' in that you don't plug in a cable. The technology uses a system of electric strips of alternating polarity and a pattern of contact pickups on the device to connect to the strips. It is cool, and should be much better than wireless in terms of efficiency.

Comment: Re:More hoops before travelling through USA (Score 1) 200

by Cytotoxic (#49680349) Attached to: Judge: Warrantless Airport Seizure of Laptop 'Cannot Be Justified'

Keeping advanced weaponry and/or the components thereof out of the hands of people who are championing our destruction has no bearing whatsoever on your liberty. You're creating a false equivalence. Have fun trying to exercise your liberty when you're dead.

Oh, I'd say it is definitely an infringement on individual liberty. It is just that we have decided that the security of the nation supersedes the freedom to sell arms to enemies of the nation.

You have to admit, there's a certain logic to avoiding selling rope to your lynch mob.....

Comment: Re:More hoops before travelling through USA (Score 1) 200

by Cytotoxic (#49680337) Attached to: Judge: Warrantless Airport Seizure of Laptop 'Cannot Be Justified'

You can adjust your W-2 (is that the right form?) so that you don't have any (Federal) income tax withheld. I don't think you can do that for other deductions, though.

You could, but you have to have within 10% of your final tax bill withheld to avoid penalties.

I suppose you intended to tell him he could adjust his employer's withholding to better match his deductions so that his net tax bill would be close to zero. This is sound advice. Nobody should let the government hold their money for free if they can help it.

Comment: Re:Warmth? (Score 1) 286

I've been there. At nearly 14k feet it is wear-a-coat cold in the middle of summer on the summit, particularly at sunset (and you really don't want to miss sunset if you make the trek). The air is also very thin. You cannot fly an unpressurized aircraft above that height because of the thin air. FAA regulations require supplemental oxygen to fly above 12,500 feet for more than 30 minutes. Just a short jog uphill will leave you winded, even if you are in really good shape. The visitor's center is at about 9k feet and is much more hospitable.

There is also a notable lack of soil. It is mostly just rocks. Lots and lots of rocks. I really doubt very many people would be running about barefoot on the summit.

Comment: Re:Why is this even a debate? (Score 4, Insightful) 355

I know that is the talking point they've decided to go with, but it simply isn't true. I ran the lab for an 8 center trial covering nearly 9,000 cancer patients. We didn't get any personally identifying data - just a number. (unless the nurse of phlebotomist made a mistake and wrote the patient name on the vial). Our couple-million data points were all tied to a number. The number tied back to a list of data about the patient - not including anything personally identifying.

I can't speak for every research situation, but claiming that medical research requires violations of patient confidentiality is specious. It clearly does not in most cases. I suppose if you were studying something rare like breast cancer among post-operative transgendered males you might run into some difficulties with identities being discoverable, but I don't think that's enough to claim the whole thing to be null and void.

Comment: Re:Fluffy the feel good piece (Score 1) 70

by Cytotoxic (#49575379) Attached to: The Next Generation of Medical Tools May Be Home-brewed

The example of the nebulizer was ridiculous. You can buy a full nebulizer for home use for under $25. As others have stated here, the pump is just an aquarium pump. The bit that makes it a nebulizer is the little plastic parts that pump the air through the medicine. The "DIY inventor" didn't replace that bit, he just replaced the air pump.

Comment: Re:The alternative is... What, exactly? (Score 2, Interesting) 216

by Cytotoxic (#49575345) Attached to: How Google Searches Are Promoting Genocide Denial

I'm pretty shocked how quickly people jump to censoring ideas they don't agree with in this society. The irony of so many people on a public forum like Slashdot advocating for complete censorship of speech they find distasteful or wrong is thick. I would say there is a new mood to suppress opposing ideas, but I think history shows that there is nothing really new about it. Still, The Onion covered this sentiment pretty thoroughly the other day.

Trescott University president Kevin Abrams confirmed Monday that the school encourages a lively exchange of one idea. “As an institution of higher learning, we recognize that it’s inevitable that certain contentious topics will come up from time to time, and when they do, we want to create an atmosphere where both students and faculty feel comfortable voicing a single homogeneous opinion,”

Comment: Re: question (Score 1) 286

by Cytotoxic (#49541185) Attached to: German Court Rules Adblock Plus Is Legal

The text is directly from the European Court of Human Rights...not mine, not some summary article, it is directly their very first example of what is not protected speech - because he was advocating that jews are the root of evil in Russia. The thing that makes it hate speech in their eyes is that he was saying it about jews. The fact that he does so in long form is not the salient point.

There is nothing cherry picked about it. It is specifically what they are targeting. They don't mince any words, they are extremely explicit about their intentions.

On their own website they say that even the most heinous speech must be protected..... unless it incites hatred against certain groups in certain regions, or it causes some people to feel threatened, or it offends certain people,

That is the entire point of the objection. They protect offensive and heinous speech.... except if they don't want to. So you can't possibly know what speech is protected until after you are prosecuted and acquitted. Saying something perfectly true about muslims might not be protected. Saying a slanderous lie about atheists might be protected. But you don't know, because there is no standard to let you know in advance.

In other words, the protections on free speech are not really protections at all. This whole thing about hate speech is just a circular argument. All speech is protected except hate speech. Hate speech is the speech that isn't protected.

Comment: Re: question (Score 1) 286

by Cytotoxic (#49533949) Attached to: German Court Rules Adblock Plus Is Legal

In anticipation of the "nuh-uh, no they don't" counter-argument, here is a direct parallel, taken directly from the European Court of Human Rights

Pavel Ivanov v. Russia
20 February 2007 (decision on the admissibility)
The applicant, owner and editor of a newspaper, was convicted of public incitement to
ethnic, racial and religious hatred through the use of mass-media. He authored and
published a series of articles portraying the Jews as the source of evil in Russia

So publishing articles that say "jews are the source of evil" rather than christians, this guy got convicted of hate speech violations and this was upheld by the European Court of Human Rights as not being protected speech. Pretty much word for word the example I gave - not protected speech.

Comment: Re: question (Score 1) 286

by Cytotoxic (#49533911) Attached to: German Court Rules Adblock Plus Is Legal

Replace the word 'Christian' with some other group. Try jews, homosexuals, Palestinians, women, transgendered..... you get the point. Substitute an insulting synonym and you get the point even more directly.

This is exactly the kind of language targeted by hate speech laws. Your knowledge of what "hate speech" laws consist of must be severely limited. The demarcation of hate speech vs protected speech is mostly subjective, and as such is subject to the whims of those doing the prosecuting.

People have been convicted of hate speech violations in France for calling islam "stupid" and "dangerous", or for criticizing ritual slaughter of animals, The runner up for the presidency was fined for this statement:

The day that we have in France not just 5 million but 25 million Muslims, it will be them in charge. The French will hug their walls [in fear], step down from the sidewalks [to the street], and lower their eyes. If they don't, they'll be told, "Why are you looking at me like that, buddy, you searching for a fight?"

In England it is a hate crime to use "abusive or insulting words" in the presence of someone who might be caused "alarm or distress". Really. British hate speech laws have been used to prosecute atheists for displaying drawings that satirize christianity.

The european court of human rights explicitly says: a matter of principle it may be considered necessary in certain democratic societies to sanction or even prevent all forms of expression which spread, incite, promote or justify hatred based on intolerance

i.e. statements like "Christianity is the root of evil".

Comment: Re: question (Score 1) 286

by Cytotoxic (#49533813) Attached to: German Court Rules Adblock Plus Is Legal

Now you are just being intentionally obtuse. My explanation might be brief, and it might not be the most stellar writing in history, but it clearly is not a limit on speech to outlaw fraud or theft or any other aggression against another person that happens to involve conveyance of information. Just because I use the written word to commit identity theft doesn't mean that I'm protected by "absolutely no limits on free speech". The same could be said about the right to keep and bear arms - just because you have a right to a weapon doesn't mean you get to shoot anyone you like. Possessing a weapon and using it to harm someone else are different things.

These are obvious distinctions between words expressing ideas and actions. Pretending that you can't comprehend such distinctions is not a cogent argument.

Comment: Re: question (Score 1) 286

by Cytotoxic (#49528693) Attached to: German Court Rules Adblock Plus Is Legal

So it's cool if I go around telling people you are a pedophile?

Unless you are correct, that would be fraud in the form of slander. Although speech is used to commit slander, it is not the speech that is illegal, it is the fraudulent nature of the information conveyed and the harm caused that are illegal.

Similarly, free speech doesn't allow you to threaten someone in order to coerce them into giving you all the money in the cash register. It is the theft and threats that are illegal, not the speech.

"Christianity is the root of much evil in the world" might be specious (or not), and it might be delivered in a hateful manner, but it isn't in the same category. It is a statement of purely subjective opinion and as such should be protected. Substitute any group you like for 'Christianity' and the answer is the same.

Comment: Re:Like on airplanes! (Score 1) 591

Is nitrogen used because it is cheaper than oxygen?

This is not exactly a joke, at least not directly. It is a reference to a blogger called The Food Babe who has offered up some laughable ideas - in this case opining on the health effects of airline travel. She famously complains that : "The air you are breathing on an airplane is recycled from directly outside of your window. That means you are breathing everything that the airplanes gives off and is flying through it’s mixed with nitrogen, sometimes almost at 50%"

For those who don't get the laugh-out-loud moment, it isn't the bit about how the cabin pressurization works, or even the bit about mixing the air with nitrogen.... yes, those are crazy goofy, but if you still are in the dark, give a quick google for the percentage of nitrogen in the atmosphere around you.

Comment: Re:Execute the fastest way possible (Score 1) 591

The egg industry uses little chipper/shredder machines to grind up the unwanted male chicks in less than a second. Although grotesque, it is so quick that they probably experience no pain from the killing itself.

A giant chipper/shredder for humans would do the job humanely, if horrifically. Perhaps this is the best solution - push for a truly humane death penalty that is spectacularly unpalatable. Putting someone under with valium and dropping them into a giant machine that reduces their body to hamburger in less than a second would certainly be "humane".

It's time to boot, do your boot ROMs know where your disk controllers are?