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Comment Re:Toothpaste (Score 1) 223

I agree triclosan in toothpaste is much more disconcerting, but the widespread use all adds to our toxic burden. Triclosan, while not a dioxin, is derived from dioxins, is chemically similar and sometimes breaks down into dioxins under conditions that do occur with our products that contain triclosan. It provides cheap way for the petrochemical industy to rid themselves of a difficult-to-dispose-of hazardous waste. The manufacturers of products like soap and toothpaste can get a longer shelf life with it, but market it as being better for consumers.

Comment Re:Insightful video (Score 1) 243

I have had problems with hard drives weraring out. I have a few hundred Gb of data, about half are my photos. I have tried storing them on a local HD, a file server, and a nas device. When the photos were on a separate drive, that was the only drive that seem affected. I started using Windows Live Photo Gallery and that seemed to be the source of the problem. From when I first started using it, it seemed whatever drive had the photos on it was always working very hard and access performance was terrible. I unstalled Live Photo Gallery; activity went back down to normal. I tried using Google's Picasa and saw the same thing. It was making it impossible to manage my photo collection, and I was replacing hard drives every few months.

I recently uploaded all of my pics to a cloud storage service (that finally got folder syncing) and Live Photo Gallery and Picasa both work quite well now.

Comment Re:Monsanto takes .. (Score 2, Interesting) 419

I don't have references but I saw a documentary film about this. The film makers may have distorted but it seemed plausible and a number of farmers affected went on camera stating clearly what their experience was. The film illustrated how Monsanto was careful not to bring to suit most cases where the evidence was not strong enough, but they harassed and intimidated farmers, coercing settlement money. They made the point that many more farmers were forced to pay money to Monsanto without a suit being filed, than cases filed in court.

Submission + - Mysterious Pluto Switch Found In Iowa (

aez writes: Photos of the mystery computing device appeared on the web in late February. Taken with a smartphone, they were a bit washed out and a little blurry in places, but you could easily read the name printed on the long, thin piece of hardware. “Pluto Switch,” the label said.

The images were posted by two men who said the device had unexpectedly turned up at a branch office in the tiny farmland town of Shelby, Iowa — population: 641 — and they were hoping someone could tell them what it was.

Clearly, these two men were familiar with the ins and outs of computer networking, and clearly, this was a networking switch, a way of shuttling data between machines. But they’d never heard of the Pluto Switch, and it was littered with networking ports they’d never seen before. “Any ideas?” they asked. “The writing on the back is Finnish.”

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There is one way to find out if a man is honest -- ask him. If he says "Yes" you know he is crooked. -- Groucho Marx