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Comment: Re:Wow (Score 4, Insightful) 150

by NoKaOi (#47718071) Attached to: China Pulls Plug On Genetically Modified Rice and Corn

Considering this is the country that put melamine in milk and cadmium in toys, this speaks volumes.

Except in those cases those things were done in violation of the law. The issue was that it wasn't being enforced, not that it was legal. Of course, that doesn't change the fact that I want to know both the "official" and the actual reasons. Oddly, the permits that are being denied are for Bt rice and phytase corn, but they continue to support Bt corn, so environment or food safety doesn't seem like it would be an actual reason, although it could be the "official" reason. A more likely scenario is politics and lobbying (or whatever the Chinese version of lobbying is, they probably just call it bribery).

Comment: Re:Ready in 30 years (Score 3, Insightful) 300

by NoKaOi (#47709149) Attached to: If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

Perhaps if Fusion is the answer, then the question is "What should we be spending money on developing?"

Which makes more sense:
1. Spend a trillion or so dollars (it's been about $400Billion so far, and rising) on the F-35, which won't be viable for a long time but has already been making a few rich people richer. Money comes from taxpayers, and it's the ultra-wealthy who directly benefit from the contracts who get richer. In reality our actual military power is unchanged.

2. Spend that money instead on R&D for fusion (spend a bit of it on battery research too for electric cars/trucks). The US saves $380Billion per year on oil imports. The economy and thus quality of life for everyone improves. The rich still get richer because manufacturing and transportation costs have been reduced. F-16's, F-18's, etc and UAV's continue to give us military superiority.

Comment: Re:What is really funny.... (Score 1) 179

by NoKaOi (#47698871) Attached to: Xiaomi's Next OS Looks Strikingly Similar To iOS

This is about the software. Did FoxxConn develop the OS for the iPhone? And even we were talking about hardware design, did FoxxConn design it, or are they just manufacturing it? I'm pretty sure they're just manufacturing it. Did Apple come up with any innovations to manufacturing processes that FoxxConn is now copying to make other devices with? I doubt it.

Ironically, the article flames a company for copying Apple's UI. Conversely, and the sort of article we usually see here, if Apple were trying to prevent anybody from copying it there would be a /. article flaming Apple and saying anybody should be allowed to copy it.

Comment: Re:in other words (Score 1) 194

by NoKaOi (#47681211) Attached to: The Billion-Dollar Website

it was a giant clusterfuck...also, water is wet

Yep. True of any big undertaking when contractors are involved (whether it's government or a large corporation hiring the contractors for a big project). How about this:
-The defense department undertook the development of F-35 and its related systems without effective planning or oversight practices...
-[The task] was a complex effort with compressed time frames. To be expedient, DoD issued task orders ... when key technical requirements were unknown...
-DoD identified major performance issues ... but took only limited steps to hold Lockheed Martin accountable.
-DoD gave a lot more money to Lockheed due to changes such as new requirements and other enhancements...

The difference between and any other big project is the politicalization of it. On one hand, you have the people who want health insurance so they can get medical care. On the other hand, you have insurance companies that want to keep the old system because they make higher profits. With the F-35 you only have one side...the defense contractors who want to make tons of money.

Comment: Re:Quickly now, tell us about the breach. (Score 2) 19

by NoKaOi (#47675999) Attached to: US Defense Contractors Still Waiting For Breach Notification Rules

One would assume that this would be basic common sense.

Not really, from the defense contractor's point of view. If they do have a breach, it is in their best interest to cover it up. Without any rules in place, they are not violating any rules. If there are rules in place, then covering it up would be a violation of those rules, so in some cases it would be in their best interest not to cover it up (risk/reward).

Comment: Re:Oh now Apple joins the team (Score 4, Insightful) 159

by NoKaOi (#47668607) Attached to: Murder Suspect Asked Siri Where To Hide a Dead Body

The article does not say that Apple contacted law enforcement because he searched on it. The article is sensationalistic click bait. Pretty much every search engine logs what you search on. Whether it's Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc etc etc. Even if it doesn't your browser is probably logging it in the history. Why would you expect Siri to be any different? It's really just a search engine with voice recognition. And, in a murder investigation, it's going to be standard procedure to investigate all of your browsing history and other activity leading up to and after the time of the murder. Nowhere in the article does it say they did any of this without a warrant. When they have lots of probable cause already and the suspect has already been arrested, it's not hard to get warrants to search their whole life to build a case (and if they find exculpatory evidence they are compelled to hand it over to the defense).

Now, if Apple sent law enforcement notification that said, "look, here's a list of people that searched for suspicious things" that would be an entirely different story. And, if law enforcement tried to get Apple to give them the information without a proper warrant (like if they sent them an NSL) then that would be a different story too. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of instances of corporations and law enforcement being scumbags and violating the constitution, but this doesn't appear to be one of those instances.

Comment: Re:And this is the same for copyrights. (Score 1) 239

by NoKaOi (#47658227) Attached to: Patents That Kill

For copyrights, the content creator's remaining natural life plus ten years, or 40 years total, which ever is longer.

Ok, so, since corporations are people too, then if a corporation is the creator (and in the law it really means copyright owner), then as long as that corporation doesn't go out of business the copyright never expires? Doesn't seem so different from how it is now, other than a few remaining old copyrights that were owned by individuals (and now their estates).

I think the copyright term should most certainly be shortened, by a lot, but shouldn't have anything to do with the creator/copyright owner's lifetime. The benefits of copyright are how certain careers get paid. Your family should get to reap the benefits of it for the same term as if you were alive. After all, in other careers where you get paid on delivery, you get to leave all that money to your family, not just a shortened portion of it because you died (okay, estate tax might complicate that a bit, IANAAccountant). The problem is, now the copyright term is soooo long. If it were shortened to something reasonable like 10 years then allowing your family to retain the copyright for the remainder of the 10 years would seem fair. Shortening the copyright term is by far the #1 reform that would seriously improve copyright law.

With patents, which is what the article is about, there's more to it than that. Sure, we can shorten the patent term (which is a helluva lot less than copyright term), but it's not the #1 thing. The #1 problem with patents IMO is obviousness, you're not supposed to be able to patent something that's obvious, but too many patents are obvious. Hint: if a dozen people come up with the same way of doing something without copying your patent, it's FUCKING OBVIOUS. When a new technology comes out (say, putting GPS inside a phone) then it's always a race to patent every use of it anybody can think of. If it's a race to patent something, then that something is obvious. The point of a patent, and the reason it's not supposed to be obvious, isn't that you were the first one to come up with an idea, or the first one to file the patent for it, but it's supposed to be that the idea (for a method or thing) wouldn't have been thought of anytime soon by somebody else.

Comment: Re:What? (Score 1) 393

by NoKaOi (#47657953) Attached to: 3 Congressmen Trying To Tie Up SpaceX

rules are different for them than they would be if NASA themselves built the rockets

And if they were to follow their theory on the F-35, they would not only stop giving Lockheed Martin more money, but would charge Lockheed Martin money for every mission that they missed out on had it been delivered on time.

This breaks the model of every government contract that has ever been. And frankly, SpaceX is doing pretty frickin' well compared to other aerospace contracts.

Comment: Re:25 cm resolution (Score 1) 140

by NoKaOi (#47653765) Attached to: Google's Satellites Could Soon See Your Face From Space

the average human head would occupy less than 1 pixel regardless of which axis it was observed across.

No, that would be low resolution. This is high resolution. Use a shot where the face is at the intersection of 4 pixels. There, I just quadrupled your resolution!

Of course, the headline (which seemingly has nothing to do with the articles or even the summary) says see your face from space, not identify your face from space. If your face is represented in 1-4 pixels, which could potentially be distinguished as a face by those pixels' colors in comparison to neighboring pixels, isn't it technically seeing your face?

Comment: Re:An economic and environmental disaster (Score 5, Insightful) 99

by NoKaOi (#47644493) Attached to: Toxic Algae Threatens Florida's Gulf Coast

The fertilizers used on lawns is blamed for the red tide outbreaks by feeding the organisms, it is believed.

Not to mention that most people (pro landscapers included) dump a lot more phosphorus than is necessary. A mature lawn needs very little phosphorus fertilizer, and in most areas none at all because the soil has enough. Using a phosphorus free fertilizer, which still contains the nutrients the plant needs such as nitrogen and potassium, is sufficient in most areas. And yet, general purpose fertilizer is often used (flowers and fruit needs phosphorus), and even fertilizer marketed for lawns usually unnecessarily contains fertilizer. And that's all about marketing and distribution. The fertilizer companies want to produce stuff they can market everywhere. Additionally, what are most people who don't know anybody going to buy, the fertilizer that says "27-3-10" or the one that says "27-0-10." The former of course, because 3 is better than 0! And lots of "lawn food" products contain plenty just for good measure without even having the N-P-K ratio on the label.

Education in this area would go a loooong way. Educate the public, the professional landscapers, and the fertilizer suppliers. There are even some municipalities where it's illegal to dump phosphorus containing fertilizer on lawns. Yes, it's easy to get away with breaking that ordinance (especially with the pretty labels at Home Depot), but what having the ordnance does in particular is educate the landscapers who will then buy phosphorus free fertilizer, which will in turn educate (to some degree) the public, and make phosphorus free fertilizer more available and the de facto standard.

Comment: Yes, there are tech items that can help (Score 3, Interesting) 123

Can Tech Help Monitor or Mitigate a Mine-Flooded Ecosystem?

Yes. The first tech to start out with is a motorboat, a Van Dorn bottle, and a sediment sampler. Then pick out a lab or two that are capable of testing for the things that might be in the water, particularly nickel, arsenic, lead, copper, TSS, phosphorus, and nitrogen. Take your water samples at several locations and depths using said motorboat with said Van Dorn bottle and sediment sampler.

Okay, okay, I was kinda being a smartass. I get it, you have 5 days to complete your detailed action plan, and in a desperate Hail Mary you're hoping somebody here will reply with, "I was just about to launch my Kickstarter project for my solar powered 3-D printed heavy-metal-cleaning-superdrone running Linux on Raspberry Pi! I'll UPS my prototype to you tomorrow!" But that's not gonna happen. I'm sure you've already hired consultants to write things like, "if levels of A are above B mcg/L then C will be done over D timespan, until levels of A drop below B, at which point E will be done." D and E may have to be investigated if you don't know what they are yet. That's about as good as you're gonna get at this point.

Don't forget that your spill probably didn't just contaminate the lake with the metals you dumped in it, but also normal things (i.e. nutrients) that tons of sediment contain that could have various biological effects such as algal blooms. In addition to supplying them with clean water, I hope your mining company also reimburses the residents of the area for the economic (both short term and long term) impact this incident is having on them. You've been reaping the benefit of the rewards, now it's time to pay the price of the risk.

Comment: Re:Changing nature of 911 (Score 1) 80

by NoKaOi (#47639333) Attached to: FCC Mandates Text-to-911 From All US Wireless Carriers

911 calls are by nature a conversation, a two-way exchange of details from the caller and suggestions from the operator as the situation unfolds. That will (likely) be lost in a text exchange - what parent will keep texting 'she's not breathing, she's turning blue' to 911 when they are standing by their choking child?

There are some situations where it's very difficult to make a call, particularly noisy situations. For example, I had to call 911 for a car accident where one of the car's horn was blaring (presumably the front impact had shorted something out). I couldn't hear the 911 operator and she couldn't hear me. I had to walk far enough away that we could hear each other. It would have been much easier to send a text saying something like "Car accident at intersection of X and Y, one driver with non-life-threatening injury." Of course, in most situations it would be better to call. They're not proposing to replace voice with text for 911, it is in addition to voice.

As far as we know, our computer has never had an undetected error. -- Weisert