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Comment: what should be off the table (Score 2) 134

by bzipitidoo (#47438593) Attached to: New Microsoft CEO Vows To Shake Up Corporate Culture

Nothing is off the table? Does the table include lying, doublespeak, file format lock in, using proxies to sue Linux users, bribing and strongarming standardization committee members, the whole embrace, extend, and exterminate strategy that they tried with Java and IE, Windows Genuine Advantage, staying in bed with the copyright extremists of the entertainment industry, continued support of organizations like the Business Software Alliance? Is any of that off the table?

If MS's new CEO isn't acknowledging that they went too far with that stuff, and that the company will go in a new direction, stop being anti-social, stop being evil, then the new CEO represents no real change, just some minor adjustments.

Comment: Re:Movies (Score 1) 105

I know its a fun conspiracy theory and all but I don't think the double standard is deliberate, even if it does exist.

The only real double standard is that the government is rapidly advancing its UAV technology while keeping private industry from doing so. Notice how Greenpeace floated a blimp over the NSA data center? Good for publicity but not the most efficient way to gather the photos they did.

Amazon shouldn't be calling them drones, though - drones kill Pakistani children, aerobots save puppies.

Comment: Re:Need fast-acting yeast (Score 3, Insightful) 72

by bill_mcgonigle (#47438251) Attached to: Biohackers Are Engineering Yeast To Make THC

They better act fast if they want to skirt the law with yeast, while there's still a law to break.

It's still a good idea if you want pure chemicals - yeast can produce chemicals faster (to both grow and purify) than plants. Companies like the one Gov. Johnson is heading up would probably be very interested as a supply source for their refined products.

The trick is medicinal cannabis has something like 250 active compounds. A few years ago everybody assumed that it was only THC that did anything (marinol, for instance). Now they know that CBD is the most active medicinally and Johnson is now talking about CBG as well. There's still more unknown about the others than there is known, so focusing on just a couple pure chemicals might miss out on benefits. Human bodies do a lot of signalling with various cannabinoids and here's this one plant that happens to also grow most of them. It should be a biotech bonanza, except for the crapitalistic reasons politicians try to keep it off the market.

But, um, yeah, get high on THC beer if you want. It would actually probably be a net-benefit for society since people will be satisfied with being less drunk. As a user of the road monopoly, I'd strongly support THC beer on the market.

Comment: Re:Hard finding any worth it these days (Score 1) 473

They don't need to be high voltage or high current, they just need to have electrolytic caps, like most analog circuitry does. Electrolytic caps don't need to run hot, they just need to be electrolytic and made in China, and they're virtually guaranteed to fail early. Go read about the Capacitor Plague.

Comment: Re: I hate quantum computers. (Score 1) 49

by bill_mcgonigle (#47435963) Attached to: A Peek Inside D-Wave's Quantum Computing Hardware

And supposedly it is no faster than a real computer. What gives?

It's hard to say because it's all "secret sauce" (so everybody just plunks their heels down on some position rather than admit "I don't know") but one thing that's interesting to me is that a handful of blokes out of Canada appear to have built a computer that's about as fast as a Xeon that Intel needed a few billion dollars, thousands of people, and forty years experience to create.

And that was their first commercial version. Maybe somebody will rip one apart and find out it says "Xeon 2650" on the inside, but until that happens I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt because they seem to have at least one fairly remarkable accomplishment under their belts.

If the Google guys buy the upgrade, I'd be willing to bet five bucks that it's real, just very early in the development cycle still.

Comment: Re:Why is the FCC involved? (Score 1) 46

Every bureaucracy tries to expand itself, you know that. Rather than actually get the bandwidth to schools that they need (200Kbps per student or so, ballpark) to support real telelearning, which is hard to do (but arguably within FCC purview), especially given the extensive number of rural schools, they lean towards something easy - buying access points, to hook up to their too-slow Internet link because every agency has to be seen "doing something".

Comment: Re:Technically, it's not a "draft notice" (Score 1) 200

At the time of the Tonkin Gulf Resolution [], 90% of American's supported deeper involvement.

At the time, the American people were being lied into supporting a war, so it's hard to take that number seriously as an indication of truth.

The Maddox fired on ghost ships (RADAR errors) and the Johnson administration explained it as "another attack", insisted the NVA fired first, and sold this as evidence of a pattern of aggressive behavior that had to be dealt with.

50,000 Americans died fighting a boogey man, and killed many more innocents than that. But the MIC profited handsomely, just as Eisenhower had predicted.

The NSA's report was only declassified after the Bush Administration lied Americans into war in 2003, but now we have two documented examples of being lied into war by the USG. It's no wonder that they didn't bother seeking any authorizations for any of the subsequent wars in the Middle East or Africa.

Comment: Re:Wait a minute... (Score 4, Insightful) 155

by Shakrai (#47430023) Attached to: Hair-Raising Technique Detects Drugs, Explosives On Human Body

I don't know about Acetaminophen, but I've heard compelling cases made that if Aspirin were discovered today it would be a prescription drug. Think of the side effects, the modern day "think of the children!" attitude, and pathetic need of the body politic to feel "safe" from any and everything.

A penny saved is a penny to squander. -- Ambrose Bierce