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Comment Re:Stronger IP protections (Score 2) 254

I'll put it to you like this - with stronger and longer recent IP protections recently, have you noticed a decrease or an increase in creative output?

"Creative output"? No change whatsoever.

Indie authors and musicians are not "sharply on the rise". There's just a new word, "indie", invented to make it seem like it was something that didn't happen until millennials invented "being creative while making hardly any money". And to think that stronger and longer IP protections is the reason behind the rise of indie artists is just dumb. Do you really believe some kid making music with ProTools in his bedroom cares about whether or not his grandchildren are going to share in the profits?

The people who say "stronger and longer IP protections is good for creativity" are almost universally people who have never done anything creative.

Comment Re:In favor (Score 1) 254

While I appreciate patriotism, I personally feel that we should be trying to make life better for humanity in general, rather than greedily holding onto wealth in the USA.

So write a check.

Taking at face value the Wharton study quoted above

A business school thinks what's good for corporations is good for humanity? What a surprise.

Coming back to TPP, it has some leaked aspects that I think are truly terrible, such as the intellectual freedom troubles. Those criticisms I consider reasonable, and I can appreciate why that would cause an informed and intelligent person to oppose the TPP. On the other hand, a kind of knee-jerk hatred to trade agreements in general appears to drive much of the opposition, and I think of those anti-trade arguments as having no moral standing, just like the ones put forth by the sugar lobby.

That's like saying, "I can appreciate people being against cancer, but I just do not understand the opposition to disease in general."

Comment Re:Stronger IP protections (Score 3, Insightful) 254

Stronger IP protections are generally being welcomed by the creative types I know.

"Stronger IP protections" are not for the "creative types you know". They're for the ownership types you know. And for the government types you know. Whistleblower protections would disappear and so would anything like fair use. It's the DMCA on a global scale. You comfortable with global enforcement?

The countries signing the TPP are not ones that generally violate IP protections, anyway.

Comment Re:Queue the misinformation... (Score 1) 36

Well, it wasn't a malaria drug before she did the actual science necessary to prove that a 2000-year-old book wasn't simply full of shit

I'll bet the physicians who used the plant and the people who were cured by the plant 2000 years ago had a little proof themselves.

Hypothesis, experimentation and publishing results were not invented by Roger Bacon. Human beings didn't suddenly become smart in the 13th century.

Comment Re:Worst taxi experiences ever... (Score 0) 130

Yes, that's true, more and more these days awards are given for political purposes.

Las Vegas cabbies are terrific. In 25 years' worth of Vegas trips (some with my wife!) I've never had a negative experience with them.

They're not as cool as New Orleans cabbies, who are among the best in the world, but the Vegas hacks are pretty damn good.

Comment Re:Queue the misinformation... (Score 1) 36

Queue the comments from idiots who think a drug derived from old herbal remedies is the same thing as using old herbal remedies...

"The fact that this researcher won a Nobel for isolating an effective drug from old herbal remedies is proof that old herbal remedies are completely useless!"

The first known medical description of Qinghao lies in a 2000-year-old document called "52 Prescriptions" (168 BCE) that had been unearthed from a Mawangdui Han Dynasty tomb. It details the herb's use for soothing hemorrhoids. Later texts also mention the plant's curative powers. Tu discovered a passage in the Handbook of Prescriptions for Emergencies (340 CE) by Ge Hong that referenced Qinghao's malaria-healing capacity. It said "Take a handful of Qinghao, soak in two liters of water, strain the liquid, and drink." She realized that the standard procedure of boiling and high-temperature extraction could destroy the active ingredient.

With this idea in mind, Tu redesigned the extraction process, performing it at low temperatures with ether as the solvent. She also removed a harmful acidic portion of the extract that did not contribute to antimalarial activity, tracked the material to the leaves rather than other parts of the plant, and figured out when to harvest the herb to maximize yields. These innovations boosted potency and slashed toxicity. At a March 1972 meeting of the Project 523 group's key participants, she reported that the neutral plant extract —number 191—obliterated Plasmodia in the blood of mice and monkeys.

So basically, she found a 2000 year-old book that says the plant heals malaria, extracted the malaria-healing part and got a Nobel for discovering a malaria drug.

Ge Hong is laughing his head off.

Comment Blind as a Bat-Man (Score 1) 175

I wish I could see the difference between a regular display at and 4k one. 8k is just too damn many pixels.

I should have listened to my Ma when she said not to sit so close to the TV screen, but Julie Newmar as Catwoman was too much to resist.

Comment Re:My program whitelists vs. those (Score 1) 336

You seem to have let trying to block advertising define your life a hell of a lot more than dealing with a few ads might have. Frankly, a loony for a loony cause. But hey, I guess if it helps you feel like you're contributing to something important ..

How many surrealists does it take to screw in a lightbulb? One to hold the giraffe and one to fill the bathtub with brightly colored power tools.