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Comment: Re:How is presenting all theories a problem? (Score 1) 665

by bp+m_i_k_e (#46221261) Attached to: South Carolina Education Committee Removes Evolution From Standards

Evolution as an "origin of things" is not not provable either. You canot test it, nor can you confirm it - no more so than Creationism or Intelligent Design.

So please, don't teach it as an "origin of things" either. Fair's fair.

That's ridiculous. Evolution (natural selection) is not taught as an "origin of things." It explains the origin of humans. I guess one could make the (idiotic and scientifically disprovable) assertion that the origin of humans coincides with the "origin of things." But, that gets us right back where we started...

Comment: Re:Put in a seatbelt to police call system (Score 1) 405

And if you unlatch a seatbelt while moving, the car automatically disables itself and the police are called.

My state (PA) already actively enforces the use of seat belts - while at the same time allowing motorcyclists to ride without helmets. I wouldn't be surprised if our irrational representatives would be fully in favor of this absurd idea.

Comment: The American public? (Score 1) 142

"Even the Copyright Office itself faces challenges in meeting the growing needs of its customers - the American public."

Comical.
Since when is the "American public" considered the customers being served by the Copyright Office. Methinks there is a much more narrow description of the customers served by the Copyright Office. But, hey, it reads a lot better when you the widest description possible.

Comment: Re:fucking great? (Score 1) 160

by bp+m_i_k_e (#42918893) Attached to: Australian Federal Court Rules For Patent Over Breast Cancer Gene
The patent appears to covers more than methods. It appears to cover the isolated DNA itself.

Since NIH and University of Utah (a public university) were involved in the discovery of the gene, there should be no way to keep the gene a trade secret.

The first seven claims in the patent are for "an isolated DNA" - the DNA itself, not some method of manipulating DNA or any treatment related to DNA.
Patent claims: http://www.google.com/patents/US5747282?printsec=claims#v=onepage&q&f=false

Comment: Re:if (genom.substr(x) == 'gtca') { throw 'cancer' (Score 1) 160

by bp+m_i_k_e (#42916937) Attached to: Australian Federal Court Rules For Patent Over Breast Cancer Gene
I think the patent is the isolated (from its natural state) gene sequence. This article on the US court case, linked from the one you provided, has more details on the patent and the arguments for/against:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_for_Molecular_Pathology_v._Myriad_Genetics

I can't help but wonder what our world would be like if our current patent system was in place when man discovered things like gravity, fire, magnetism and electricity. I'm sure there are some good arguments for getting a patent on any and all use of those phenomena.

Comment: Hate cloud printing (Score 2) 96

Bought a Chromebook for a family member for a gift - without realizing that the only printing option was "cloud printing." I hate it. I have to replace my barely-used color laser printer or setup a PC in the house to effectively be the print "server." Even so, I really think it bites to send print jobs through the "cloud" when the printer is five feet away.

Comment: Re:Randomized passwords are the best (Score 1) 193

by bp+m_i_k_e (#42641365) Attached to: Bad Grammar Make Bestest Password, Research Say
I use variations of the same passwords, so I have memorized many more passwords than phone numbers. Usually I can even remember some infrequently-used passwords - based on using variations. However, the phone numbers that I have memorized have not changed for years, for the most part. At our company, it's actually pretty rare for people to forget their frequently-used passwords. However, I have no idea how often people forget phone numbers, since it is trivial to just look them up.

If all passwords followed the same rules, without requiring frequent resets, it probably would be relatively easy for people to remember a few passwords. But, keep in mind that 3 of the 10 phone number digits (the area code) is relatively meaningless, in terms of the need to memorize it. So, for the most part, people are only remembering 7 numbers - not exactly a large number of possible values, compared to the possibilities for passwords.

Comment: Re:The wealthy don't matter (Score 4, Informative) 87

by bp+m_i_k_e (#41596511) Attached to: Greenhouse Emissions Drop Less During Economic Downturn Than Expected
It's unfortunate that the "they-pay-nothing" argument is made by so many, including a presidential candidate. This statement is false.

Even the bottom 20% pays an average of 17.4% of their income in taxes. It is absurd for anyone to say that some group "pays nothing." It is grossly absurd for a well-educated, former governor and many supposedly informed supporters, including a member of the House Budget Committee, to say "they don't pay anything."

Here is one summary of the overall tax burden as a % of income in 2011:
17.4% - Lowest 20% (Avg cash income: $13,000)
21.2% - Second 20% ($26,100)
25.2% - Third 20% ($42,000)
28.3% - Fourth 20% ($68,700)
29.5% - Next 10% ($105,000)
20.3% - Next 5% ($147,000)
30.4% - Next 4% ($254,000)
29.0% - Top 1% ($1,371,000)

Source (pdf): http://www.ctj.org/pdf/taxday2012.pdf

Comment: Re:This will mean nothing... (Score 1) 786

by bp+m_i_k_e (#40617569) Attached to: Nature: Global Temperatures Are a Falling Trend
There are so many people who start from the premise that there is no problem. Why does it take anything more than common sense to determine that it is bad for the planet to burn, in a year, many billions of tons of coal and many billions of barrels of oil?

I'd bet that most climate evangelists would be more than happy if people would simply use common sense & agree that there is a problem - with the expectation that agreeing that there is a problem would allow the focus to shift to solving it.

Carbon tax, or whatever, isn't going to make your ice cream melt slower today. Unfortunately, too many people jump from that point to ignoring/denying the problem, then burn some more stuff to make the air around their ice cream colder. Then, their great, great grandchildren can burn even more stuff to keep their ice cream cold.

Programmers do it bit by bit.

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