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Comment: Re:Wow .... (Score 3) 127

by Rei (#48906547) Attached to: Scientists Determine New Way To Untangle Proteins By Unboiling an Egg

It's a two-step process. The first is a chemical that dissolves the proteins (still in their "cooked" folding), and the second is some sort of centrifuge or similar (they don't go into details on the device in the article) that subjects the proteins to very high sheer strain, effectively mechanically unfolding them so that they can then relax back into their natural state.

Not exactly a spice you can sprinkle onto your steak, but still pretty neat. :)

Comment: Re:A scientific hypothesis is not a guess (Score 1) 131

by Oligonicella (#48906009) Attached to: How Do We Know the Timeline of the Universe?
"Calling theories"... Hypothesis was used in the quote. In fact "theory" doesn't appear at all. So you're arguing against some other statement.

"... the simple fact is that much of the modern world would simply not work if the words "hypothesis" and "guess" were equivalent." Incorrect. Reality doesn't give a crap how words are used. You apparently do and are taking umbrage. Fine, just don't act like what you're writing is fact. It isn't.

"... rather than mysticism and magical thinking." Or hypothesis.

Comment: Re:America is HUGE (Score 2) 222

by Rei (#48904027) Attached to: Verizon, Cable Lobby Oppose Spec-Bump For Broadband Definition

That just raises another issue - why are you services and utilities so unreliable in the US? Here in Iceland we get hurricane-force winds several times a year on average - I've had gusts over Cat 5 on my land. Winter isn't incredibly cold but is super wet (all precipitation forms), windy, and lasts a long time. Up at higher altitudes you get stuff like this (yes, those are guy wires... somewhere in that mass). I lived in the US for a long time and had an average of maybe two power outages a year from downed lines and such - sometimes lasting for long periods of time. I've never once had a power outage here that was anything more than a blown breaker in my place.

It's really amazing what you all put up with - your infrastructure standards are really low.

Comment: Re:What a bunch of A-Holes (Score 4, Interesting) 222

by Rei (#48903903) Attached to: Verizon, Cable Lobby Oppose Spec-Bump For Broadband Definition

Yeah, here in freaking Iceland most people have 50 or 100 Mbps fiber for a lot cheaper than that. And not just in the capitol region, it even runs out to Vestfirðir now where the largest city is under 3k people.

It makes no sense whatsoever that a hunk of rock just under the arctic circle, 3 1/2 hours plane flight to the nearest land mass with any sort of half-decent manufacturing infrastructure, consisting often unstable ground constantly bombarded by intense winds, ice, landslides, avalanches, volcanoes, earthquakes, floods, etc, with the world's 2nd or 3rd lowest population density and heavy taxes on all imported goods, can do this while the US can't. What the heck, America? You've got half of the world's servers sitting right there, why the heck can't you manage to connect people to them?

Comment: Re:Encryption? (Score 1) 172

by LordLimecat (#48903457) Attached to: Google Handed To FBI 3 Wikileaks Staffers' Emails, Digital Data

Good luck "going and getting" something from a server location in Russia or China

1) Google is blocked in china.
2) Thats partly because of the massive police state and strong net censorship they have going on over there-- but I'm sure YOUR data would be safe over there
3) Google is probably the only company formerly doing business in China that wont give your data up to the CPC. As a consequence of that, see #1.

Comment: Re:Encryption? (Score 1) 172

by LordLimecat (#48903439) Attached to: Google Handed To FBI 3 Wikileaks Staffers' Emails, Digital Data

I think I'd be encrypting everything especially if it involved using a Google server.

Why especially? AFAIK Google is the only one of the big 3 webmail providers not currently bending over backwards for the Chinese Government. There was a warrant in this case; even the famed lavabit had to fold when given a warrant.

Its absurd to go after Google for following the terms of a court order; you'd do better to ask whether the order was justified, and if not ask why the courts issued it and who can be held accountable.

Comment: Re:Just for fun (Score 1) 337

by quantaman (#48901795) Attached to: Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

Traditional breeding yields crops with numerous unwanted and unidentified genes while genetic engineering only brings in the targeted genes.
Genetic engineering does however allow for the genes to come from extremely dissimilar sources though the designs prefer to avoid such extreme options when they can. As to viruses, all bets are off since we already know that viruses shuffle genes from all kinds of species whenever they damn well want to because they are viruses and don't give a damn. It's amazing how much horizontal gene transfer they are finding in nature.
By the way, in case you weren't aware, they've found a lot of dna in humans that they believe was put there by viruses.

I was aware but as the old saying goes:
To err is human, but to really foul things up you need a computer.

The same applies to traditional breeding vs GMOs. Genetic modification is a much more powerful tool than the various sources of random mutation. As such we're going to create new classes of risks that we don't understand yet. We don't exactly have the healthiest environment right now and farms aren't sealed labs, before we inject massive numbers of plants with several novel and powerful traits into an ecosystem we need to understand what the effects of those actions are.

Comment: Re:Just for fun (Score 1) 337

by quantaman (#48901761) Attached to: Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

Viruses are natural vectors for genes to cross species. Are you more comfortable with this happening at random in the wild or when it's watched and monitored in a lab?

It's ridiculous to assume that the mechanisms of selective breeding, where the changes originate in random mutations -- often accelerated by the use of mutagens -- plus random viral- and bacterial-vectored transgenic splicing, is somehow safer than deliberately-engineered splicing. It's like expecting that a bridge created by a fallen tree is more trustworthy than a manmade construct.

The tone sounds like you're disagreeing him but it sounds like you're actually agreeing with him and debating my point.

Whatever the source of "natural" evolution (selective breeding, random mutation, horizontal gene transfer) we've been dealing with it for thousands of years and understand the risks. To use your example it's pretty easy to evaluate the safety of a fallen tree bridge. But with manmade bridges it took a while before we learned to avoid things like the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

Comment: Re:Well (Score 1) 199

by LordLimecat (#48900233) Attached to: China Cuts Off Some VPNs

The GFW is many years beyond port-based blocking; they use DPI to identify protocols regardless of the port used. Im glad you have TCP 443 OpenVPN working; I have never been able to get that to work with client/server certs-- only static-key tunnels worked.

At the moment, my experience has been that IPSec/ is the next best contender because its more of a corporatish vpn protocol. Im really surprised that you hear people recommend OpenVPN-- I have NEVER heard anyone recommend that in China because of how heavily it is targetted. Even googling "OpenVPN China GFW" you get stuff like this:
Which VPN Protocols To Use?
  * OpenVPN: Strangely, this is the least reliable protocol/client to use — you’ll find most ports are currently blocked (connection reset). The main cause appears to be spoofed RST packets.
  * L2TP: This is a fast protocol for China and currently it works quite well

And theres no shortage. OpenVPN may work for a bit, but my understanding is that about 20 minutes into the connection the remote server gets probed a bit, and then the connection gets reset. I wouldnt use PPTP because of its known security issues; it wouldnt surprise me if they had that nut cracked.

Comment: Re:Just for fun (Score 4, Interesting) 337

by quantaman (#48900193) Attached to: Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

I googled for "GMO Hazards"


and out of the top 10 sites not one had actual problems that were caused by GMO foods

Lot of might and could be, but no actually. No "Killer corn ate my baby "

So How bout labeling foods that are produced from selective breeding genetically engineered as well ?

I think the labelling thing is nonsense since I don't think health risks are a big concern but I am a bit more cautious about the long term environmental effects as I suspect we're underestimating the probability of black swan events.

I think of selective breeding vs GMOs is a bit like traditional medicine vs modern medicine. Traditional medicine generally ranges from slightly beneficial to mildly harmful, you're not going to do yourself much harm, but you're not going to help much either. By contrast modern medicine is devastatingly effective in good ways and bad.

Right now you'd be a fool to choose traditional medicine over modern medicine, especially if you have a serious health issue, the benefits are too strong and we know how to manage the nasty side effects.

But at the dawn of modern medicine? You're probably better off dealing with the traditional stuff, a lot of people died because modern medicine was an incredibly powerful tool and people didn't know enough about that tool to use it safely.

I worry we're at that stage with GMOs and the environment. We don't really understand what it does to the ecosystem when we introduce new traits at that speed and effectiveness. We really can't know until we've done it a while. I'm sure GMO crops are the answer for the future, but I'm worried our capabilities are outstripping our knowledge.

The herd instinct among economists makes sheep look like independent thinkers.