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Comment: Re:result of the lab/funding system (Score 1) 35

by TapeCutter (#47444913) Attached to: Elite Group of Researchers Rule Scientific Publishing
Yep, and no matter what you think of Edison, the modern research lab was primarily his invention. A modern lab tends to know what it is looking for (eg: practical light bulb) and is all about the finding the steps to get there (trial and error), compared to say Newton who mainly followed his own curiosity. The trick to being a lead researcher is finding a rich problem space for the students to work on that will attract grants.

Comment: result of the lab/funding system (Score 3, Insightful) 35

by Trepidity (#47444813) Attached to: Elite Group of Researchers Rule Scientific Publishing

It's increasingly the job of professors at research universities in the sciences to be more of a "research manager" than a "researcher". They're expected to have a big lab of 5-15 students and postdocs, and to bring in enough grant funding to pay for this lab. The ones who are successful at this lab-head game bring in a bunch of money, have a large lab, and as a result oversee a lot of work that comes out of that lab, most of which has them as a co-author. Individual researchers without a team can't really compete against that.

Comment: hope they win (Score 4, Interesting) 78

On the one hand, it was a dumb purchase on the part of Seattle City Light. But on the other hand, I do think there needs to be some crackdown on bullshit advertising in the SEO/PR sector. Maybe if a few companies get sued for breach of contract, they'll be more careful what services they claim to offer in the future.

Comment: Re:BAN YEAST! (Score 1) 146

by TapeCutter (#47441229) Attached to: Biohackers Are Engineering Yeast To Make THC
George Washington decreed every landowner put aside up to five acres for hemp production to feed the new navy's hunger for rope. The drug ban arose from the fact hemp was standing in the way of profits from the new wonder thread Nylon (NY + LONdon), yet to this day nylon rope is avoided by mariners because of it's brutal effect on waterlogged hands (feels like razor wire).

Comment: Re:I've been calling for this for 20+ years... (Score 1) 146

by TapeCutter (#47441205) Attached to: Biohackers Are Engineering Yeast To Make THC
In the tiny nation of Bhutan weed has "invaded", the stuff is like carpet and is impossible to eradicate, the local buddhists don't often consume it themselves rather they consider it free pig food. Or as their foreign minister once put it; "In our nation, the pigs really do fly".

Comment: Re:Need fast-acting yeast (Score 1) 146

by TapeCutter (#47441159) Attached to: Biohackers Are Engineering Yeast To Make THC
It did not take 150yrs to end the alcohol prohibition experiment and it ended the same way as marijuana prohibition is ending now, the states lead the reversal. The problem for all nations at the federal level is international treaties. Weed was originally demonised by the US for industrial purposes, if the new wonder thread nylon was to succeed economically, hemp production needed to be restrained. People bought the propaganda because it was marketed as a "mexican problem" in the same way Germany marketed the "jewish problem".

Comment: Re:Need fast-acting yeast (Score 1) 146

by Trepidity (#47438379) Attached to: Biohackers Are Engineering Yeast To Make THC

I doubt it will be fully legal by 2018. At the state level, I think it's likely more states will decriminalize or even fully legalize, but not all of them. I'll put a guess at: by 2018, it will be fully legal in 15 states, decriminalized in 15, and still criminal to possess in 20 states.

At the federal level, the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs would complicate legalization efforts, since the Treaty requires signatories to ban marijuana. And the U.S. doesn't want to undermine this treaty, because it uses the treaty to strongarm other countries over things like coca and poppy growing. It's possible the DEA will lower enforcement priority, though, and maybe possible (though imo this is less likely) that Congress will revise the law to reduce sentences from their current levels.

Comment: Re:Uh (Score 3, Informative) 273

Metadata maps the social networks, storage allows you to drill down into the details. The FBI used the same technique with paper dossiers during the civil rights uprising and the misadventure in vietnam. Understanding the metadata is far more informative about a groups strengths and weaknesses than snooping on a specific individual.

User hostile.