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Comment: Re:Better to starve I guess? (Score 1) 152

by DavidMZ (#47719507) Attached to: China Pulls Plug On Genetically Modified Rice and Corn
It's funny that you made an almost identical answer a couple of posts above this one. Why don't you just cut-and-paste, like any normal person would do?

11:32 am

It produces a poison in the same sense that chocolate and grapes are poisonous (don't feed those to your dog). The Bt protein has a very specific mode of action in certain insect pests, and does not impact humans. It is not a health concern, and has been used in organic food production for decades before suddenly becoming controversial once genetic engineering got involved. Also, that a plant produces a poison is not an alarming thing. In fact, it is ubiquitous. Chemical defenses are found throughout the plant kingdom, including in crop plants. Things like solanine in potatoes, or glucosinolates in broccoli, or even caffeine in coffee and tea (note that they are produced respectively in the seeds and leaves, two things a plant might want to defend...that humans like them for it is kind of an evolutionary plot twist) all have insecticidal properties. Anti-GMO groups love to be alarmist over the fact that some GMOs produce an additional insecticide (yes, one more, even non-GMO corn is going to have things like maysin in it) but in and of itself is not alarming. It's just preying on the ignorance of those who do now know just how many natural pesticides we consume daily.

10:54 am

It produces Bt, which is toxic to certain orders of insects, not to humans. And before someone comes along and says that it is still toxic, remember that gapes and chocolate are toxic to dogs, and dogs are a lot more closely related to humans than lepidopterans. Oh, and every plant produces insecticides anyway. It's only alarming if you don't know much about plant biochemistry. Give something that can't swat back at the trillions of things out there trying to eat them a few hundred million years to come up with defenses and they develop things chemical defenses, like caffeine (yep, it has insecticidal properties, ever wonder why coffee evolved to have it right in it's seeds?), piperine (a yummy insecticide, turns out black pepper's original plan was to not have things eat its offspring), maysin (found even in your non-GMO corn) solanine (tomatoes and potatoes, don't eat this) and falcarinol (found in carrot a neurotoxin in high enough quantities).

Comment: Size matters but... (Score 1) 151

by DavidMZ (#47675989) Attached to: Can Our Computers Continue To Get Smaller and More Powerful?

Actually, it's not necessarily true that making a device smaller will reduce the current/power consumption. It will indeed reduce the power used for switching the CMOS, but you might have to deal with higher leakage currents. That's why the industry is working with new materials (High-k dielectrics, metal gates, III-V), with new structures (Fully Depleted SOI, FinFETs, Nanowires for logic, VNAND for memory), and with 2.5D/3D integration scheme.

You're right when we say that "basic silicon technology is hitting the limits" but the real question is: will it be economically viable to go beyond the basic silicon technology?

Comment: Re:What? (Score 1) 393

by DavidMZ (#47661653) Attached to: 3 Congressmen Trying To Tie Up SpaceX
You don't have to look hard to find instances where the government is creating wealth: infrastructures, education, defense,... A road creates wealth as it allows better communication and transportation and goods; schools create wealth by educating individuals who will turn to be more productive than their non-educated fellows; soldiers create wealth by defending our territory and defending our interests abroad.

As for the higher efficiency of private enterprise, it is in true only as far as there is a healthy competition, and there are lots of instances (such as this ULA case) where this is questionable

+ - Mysterious hole spotted at the 'end of the world'->

Submitted by DavidMZ
DavidMZ (3411229) writes "The Siberian time published a story about a large crater of unknown that appeared in the Yamai peninsula in northern Siberia.
Russian government has dispatched a group of scientists to investigate the origin of the crater. Although early explanations included meteorites and UFOs, Anna Kurchatova from Siberia’s Sub-Arctic Scientific Research Centre believes that the crater was a result of an explosion when a mixture of water, salt and natural gas exploded underground. The Yamai peninsula is known to hold Russia's biggest natural gas reserve."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Silly season much (Score 1) 131

by DavidMZ (#47447713) Attached to: Chinese Couple Sells Children To Support Online Game Addiction

Doesn't China still have a 1 child law.

Not exactly, it depends on the number of siblings you have:
- if both members of a couple are single children, they are allowed to have two kids.
- if at least one of them is not a single child, they are not allowed to have more than one kid.

There is also the possibility to pay for the "right" to have additional children, and I think that you then also have to pay for their education and medical expenses (whereas those are free for the 1st child).

Actually, if you look at the demographics of China, the success of the one-child policy results in a quick aging of the population which forces them to revise this policy.

Source: My Chinese ex-girlfriend, when we were talking to have kids together....

Comment: Pre-columbian estimates (Score 1) 351

by DavidMZ (#46702729) Attached to: Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them
In the book 1491, Charles Mann tries to summarize the current knowledge on Pre-columbian Americas. Based on demographics and epidemiologic studies, he comes with a mortality rate for american Indians after encounter with European in the 90-95% range, which means that America before Columbus would have been very densely populated. Although there is a high uncertainty in this number due to the scarcity of data, the 80% of this study definitely supports the pre-Columbian values, especially if we consider the differences in access to medicine. And yeah, this is grim stuff.

Heuristics are bug ridden by definition. If they didn't have bugs, then they'd be algorithms.