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Comment: Re:Fixed it (Score 1) 758

by LongSpleen (#42962737) Attached to: Is "Left" Vs. "Right" Hard-coded Into Your Brain?
What threats and violent actions are you talking about, specifically? What I said was really a restating of the "Don't tread on me" idea (ie the Gasden flag which the Tea Party uses as one of their symbols). The idea is that you have nothing to fear from them as long as you don't attack them. If you have facts that show that they, as a group, don't actually espouse that philosophy then sharing them would actually add something useful to the conversation.

Comment: Speech didn't cause the holocaust (Score 1) 758

by LongSpleen (#42947713) Attached to: Is "Left" Vs. "Right" Hard-coded Into Your Brain?
This kind of statement drives me crazy. Do you really think that the fact that people were allowed to SAY those things caused the holocaust and thus freedom somehow caused the holocaust? The problem, from what I've read, was that the general public in Germany at the time was on board with blaming their problems on the Jews, confiscating their property, placing specific restrictions on them, etc.
A common misconception is that freedom means "I can do whatever I want". That's anarchy, not freedom. Real freedom means being able to do pretty much what you want *as long as you aren't hurting or interfering with anyone else*. That last part is very important. Pre-war germany may have been a very free place for anti-semites but it wasn't a free place for Jews. If they had actually had protections for everyone then it wouldn't have made any difference how much some people spouted off about the Jews. Not that I think that people screaming hatred is a good thing (and you could certainly make the argument that this is a form of harm) but the question that matters is why people didn't reject that crap outright instead of getting on board with it.

Comment: Re:Fixed it (Score 1) 758

by LongSpleen (#42947505) Attached to: Is "Left" Vs. "Right" Hard-coded Into Your Brain?

Tea party activists showing up armed to political rallies, though, threatening others because it's their 'constitutional right'. Yeah, they are extreme.

I think this is a serious and common misunderstanding of the intentions of those who chose to be armed in public. In my experience with far-right types the gun isn't meant as a threat to anyone. It's more of a statement that they will not submit and be victims if their lives are threatened. The only reason to see that as a threat is if you plan on pulling a gun on them. Others are simply following their belief that the only way to keep our rights is to exercise them.

Earth

+ - Russian meteor strike prompts call for asteroid sentries->

Submitted by cylonlover
cylonlover (1921924) writes "On the same day that a meteor exploded over Russia injuring almost a thousand people and an asteroid passed too close to Earth for comfort, the asteroid-mining company Deep Space Industries (DSI) proposes setting up sentry lines in space to track and study rogue asteroids posing a threat to Earth. Using technology originally intended for prospecting for water and minerals on asteroids, the sentry lines of satellites would provide information for deflecting potentially dangerous near-Earth objects."
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XBox (Games)

+ - 'Halo' creator unveils gaming epic 'Destiny' ->

Submitted by
quantr
quantr writes ""Two of the video gaming industry's biggest powerhouses have teamed up to deliver a new sci-fi action opus: Destiny.

Bungie, the creators of the multibillion dollar Halo franchise, inked a 10-year deal with Activision, the world's largest independent video game publisher, responsible for the highly successful Call of Duty and Skylanders franchises, among others.""

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Medicine

+ - Are Plastic-Bag Bans Really Killing People?

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "A paper by Wharton’s Jonathan Klick and Joshua Wright suggested that San Francisco’s eco-friendly ban on plastic bags might actually be killing people. Klick and Wright found that food-borne illnesses in San Francisco increased 46% after the bag ban went into effect in 2007, with no such uptick in neighboring counties. Most likely, the authors concluded, this was due to the fact that people were putting their food into dirty reusable bags and not washing them afterward. But Tomas Aragon, an epidemiologist at UC Berkeley and health officer for the city of San Francisco, begs to differ, arguing that in order to establish a link between the bag ban and illnesses, the authors would have to show that the same people who are using reusable bags are also the ones getting sick. Aragon offers an alternative hypothesis for the recent rise in deaths related to intestinal infections, noting that a large portion of the cases in San Francisco involve C. difficile enterocolitis, a disease that’s often coded as food-borne illness in hospitals which has become more common in lots of places since 2005, all around the U.S., Canada, and Europe (for yet-unexplained reasons). 'The increase in San Francisco,' he suggests, 'probably reflects this international increase.'"
Science

+ - New Whale Species Unearthed in California Highway Dig-> 1

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Thanks to a highway-widening project in California’s Laguna Canyon, scientists have identified several new species of early toothed baleen whales. The new fossils date to 17 to 19 million years ago, or the early-mid Miocene epoch, making them the youngest known toothed whales. Three of the fossils belong to the genus Morawanocetus, which is familiar to paleontologists studying whale fossils from Japan, but hadn’t been seen before in California. These three, along with the fourth new species, which is of a different genus, represent the last known occurrence of aetiocetes, a family of mysticetes that coexisted with early baleen whales. Thus, they aren’t ancestral to any of the living whales, but they could represent transitional steps on the way to today's whales."
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Medicine

+ - Mussel Glue Could Help Repair Birth Defects->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "When it comes to hanging on tight, the lowly mussel has few rivals in nature. Researchers have sought the secrets behind the bivalve's steadfast grip on wet, slippery rock. Now, a researcher says he has used the mollusk’s tricks to develop medical applications. These include a biocompatible glue that could one day seal fetal membranes, allowing prenatal surgeons to repair birth defects without triggering dangerous premature labor."
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Education

+ - Edwin Mellen Press sues University Librarian over his personal blog posts->

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber (1417641) writes "The Chronicle of Higher Education has the news (http://chronicle.com/article/Librarians-Rally-Behind/137329/) that Herbert Richardson, founder of Edwin Mellen Press (http://mellenpress.com/) is suing McMaster University (http://www.mcmaster.ca/) and University Librarian Dale Askey (http://library.mcmaster.ca/contact/askey-dale) for $3 Million over Mr. Askey's posts on a personal blog.

In 2010 Mr. Askey wrote a blog post about Edwin Mellen Press on his personal Web site, Bibliobrary (http://bibliobrary.net/). Mr. Askey referred to the publisher as "dubious" and said its books were often works of "second-class scholarship." For a few months afterward, several people chimed in in the blog's comments section, some agreeing with Mr. Askey, others arguing in support of the publisher.

In a February 11 statement, the McMaster University Faculty Association (MUFA) (http://www.mcmaster.ca/mufa/AskeyStatementFeb11-13.pdf) stated that The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) "and the MUFA Executive agree that this case represents a serious threat to the freedom of academic librarians to voice their professional judgement and to academic freedom more generally."

Academics around the world are tweeting about the case using the hashtag #FreeDaleAskey. Martha J. Reineke, a professor of religion at the University of Northern Iowa, created an online petition (https://www.change.org/petitions/edwin-mellen-press-end-libel-suit-against-dale-askey-and-mcmaster-university) seeking an end to the lawsuit. It has drawn nearly 1,900 signatures since Friday from Britain, Canada, and the United States."

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Government

+ - Once a hacker Kevin Mitnick Now Helps Secure Ecuador Presidential Elections->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "Kevin Mitnick, who was one of the most wanted computer hacker in the US at one time, is now heading a security consultancy firm – Mitnick Security Consulting, and is entrusted with the task of securing Sunday's presidential elections in Ecuador. Sunday may very well see Rafael Correa win the presidential elections provided nothing goes wrong and Mitnick does the job perfectly which has been assigned to him. Mitnick tweeted, "18 years ago I was busted for hacking. I do the same thing today but with full authorization. How cool is that?" Mitnick has been assigned to protect the Net Lock computer system that has been assigned the task of tabulating Ecuador's elections."
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Open Source

+ - Hardware Hacker Ladyada Proposes Patent and Education Reform to President of USA->

Submitted by
ptorrone
ptorrone writes "In a welcome turn of events, President Barack Obama spoke directly to the patent troll problem and the need for more comprehensive patent reform yesterday in a "Fireside Hangout" — a live question and answer session hosted in a Google+ hangout. The President was responding to a question by the prominent electrical engineer and entrepreneur Limor "Ladyada" Fried of Adafruit Industries, who in 2009 won an EFF Pioneer Award for her work with free software and open-source hardware."
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Media

+ - Washington Post fires mobile team-> 1

Submitted by imac.usr
imac.usr (58845) writes "The Huffington Post is reporting that The Washington Post has gone through yet another round of layoffs, but this time instead of cutting editorial positions, they're apparently cutting IT positions, specifically in the mobile applications department. According to Washington, DC media blog FishbowlDC, 54 people, including the General Manager of Mobile and Director of Mobile Products were given the axe on Valentine's Day. A particularly damning quote from the FishbowlDC article: '“[CIO and VP Shaliesh] Prakash thinks these are ‘inefficiencies’ – that is the exact word he uses for human beings who are not useful according to him,” said a source who spoke only on condition of anonymity. “Get rid of experienced people to save money, under the garb of streamlining is the new trend inside the Post.”'

Given that mobile products seem somewhat more likely to succeed than printed newspapers, this seems a strange decision at best."

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Earth

+ - Billionaires Secretly Fund Vast Climate Denial Network 4

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Suzanne Goldenberg reports that conservative billionaires used a secretive funding route to channel nearly $120 million to more than 100 groups casting doubt about the science behind climate change, helping build a vast network of think tanks and activist groups working to redefine climate change from neutral scientific fact to a highly polarizing "wedge issue" for hardcore conservatives. "We exist to help donors promote liberty which we understand to be limited government, personal responsibility, and free enterprise," says Whitney Ball, chief executive of the Donors Trust. Ball's organization assured wealthy donors that their funds would never by diverted to liberal causes with a guarantee of complete anonymity for donors who wished to remain hidden. The money flowed to Washington think tanks embedded in Republican party politics, obscure policy forums in Alaska and Tennessee, contrarian scientists at Harvard and lesser institutions, even to buy up DVDs of a film attacking Al Gore. "The funding of the denial machine is becoming increasingly invisible to public scrutiny. It's also growing. Budgets for all these different groups are growing," says Kert Davies, research director of Greenpeace, which compiled the data on funding of the anti-climate groups using tax records. "These groups are increasingly getting money from sources that are anonymous or untraceable.""

Man must shape his tools lest they shape him. -- Arthur R. Miller

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