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Comment: Depends on the label (Score 1) 461

by c0y (#43442661) Attached to: How much I care about GMO food labeling:

Why can't the people who are making non-GMO food voluntarily label theirs as such, giving people who want to avoid GMO the opportunity to pro-actively buy food that is made/grown the way they like? I come to the conclusion that the ultimate aim of forcing labels on GMO foods is to scare uninformed consumers and drive the products from the marketplace altogether.

I've been active on this issue since the early 90s, before the first GMO products came on the market. Over the years my anti-GMO stance has softened considerably. In large part, I became disillusioned when I caught fellow activists lying about GMO. If we can't win on the merits of the case as it really is, then we don't deserve to win. Perhaps lying could avoid a catastrophic outcome. My feeling is that the chance of losing all credibility after being caught in a lie increases the likelihood of a catastrophic outcome.

There aren't any studies showing negative health affects from eating GMO foods and so, while we don't know the long-term outcomes, human health is not the best basis for opposition. I oppose most forms of GMO because they only prop up monocultures that are inherently unsustainable. We can and should transition to agriculture based on perennials and polycultures. GMO is akin to methadone: not a solution to unsustainable agricultural practices, but possibly a bridge to sustainability.

Comment: Prepare now for instability in the US (Score 1) 290

by c0y (#35393778) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Could We Reconnect Eastern Libya?

It's probably too late for a new network in Libya.

Sooner or later the US government will weaken and fall as the economy tanks. I expect hyperinflation brought on by mid-east instability wreaking havoc on oil prices.

I recommend everyone get setup with amateur radio license and gear ASAP.

Solar panels or other off-grid power source will be worth major bonus points.

Comment: Funny timing for this (Score 1) 614

by c0y (#34264688) Attached to: Sciencey Heroes For Young Children?

Earlier today Al Gore led an online Town Hall meeting with students about Math and Science called Connect a Million Minds. He came right out and blamed Britney Spears for the decline in U.S. STEM leadership.

This was a great idea in that he looked to the kids for the actual answers. The Vokel forum technology just didn't hold up well (which seemed to have about 1000 users at peak, and being sponsored by Time-Warner I figured would work better).

P.S. Speaking of crappy forum tech, why is it that Google Chrome just shits itself trying to post here at /.? Annoying enough I'm gonna just stop.

Comment: My experience: they both suck (Score 2, Insightful) 317

by c0y (#34257628) Attached to: Comparing Windows and Ubuntu On Netbooks

I picked up a new Samsung netbook recently and installed the Ubuntu Netbook Edition. I've been less than thrilled with it.

First- Windows 7 Starter sucks too. I'm not going back to it, and am not happy with either of them. My main complaint about Windows 7 Starter is the notion I have to pay Microsoft to use an external monitor or set my desktop background. I expect those to come in the stripped down OS and I'm absolutely unwilling to give MS one more cent. In fact, their policy on Windows 7 means my next game console will be a PS3 instead of an Xbox (and I'm tempted by Kinect, have owned several Xboxes and enjoyed them).

Ubuntu issues in the first two months of use:

* right click just stopped working. I have to click and hold left click to access those functions. I didn't mess with anything related to X, and kept things as default as possible. spent a fair bit of time googling without luck.

* nm-applet network manager just stopped working. all interfaces show "disabled" when I resume after suspending. then nm-applet disappears completely. I'm forced to use my crackberry browser to find a solution since I'm on the road. It was painful.

* update manager locks up all the time.

* Many applications put dialog controls out of sight on this tiny monitor. I can't directly fault Ubuntu for third-party apps, but it still seems like the OS ought to detect this condition and offer me some kind of workaround.

That's not all, but those are the biggest complaints that have me looking for an alternative.

Comment: Re:Here's the creation story (Score 1) 989

by c0y (#33033106) Attached to: Louisiana, Intelligent Design, and Science Classes

It's *a* creation story in the Theravadan tradition. I'd defer back to my statement that there may have been an adoption of local myths in certain places.

It's like saying that something particular to Greek Orthodox Christianity is representative of all Christians. All Christian traditions I know of believe in the Genesis story (at least as allegorical if not literal truth), and so it can be considered canonical.

But I don't think you'd find Mahayana or Zen Buddhists professing the Vasettha story as theirs.

Still, to the OP's point, it would be a good one to include in a book on Creationism, as long as it is not being portrayed as *the* Buddhist creation story.

BTW, the current Dalai Lama is a great supporter of science:


“If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change. In my view, science and Buddhism share a search for the truth and for understanding reality. By learning from science about aspects of reality where its understanding may be more advanced, I believe that Buddhism enriches its own worldview.”

Comment: Re:I'm okay with it. (Score 2, Informative) 989

by c0y (#33030562) Attached to: Louisiana, Intelligent Design, and Science Classes

As long as they also include every other creation story. There should be text from scientology, islam, hinduism, buddhism, and thousands of other creation myths from all over the world, in a separate book called "Creationism".

AFAIK, Buddhism has no creation myth of its own. In some particular cultures it may have adopted the prevailing local myths as metaphors, much like the local gods and goddesses were adopted as representative of aspects of the human psyche.

Theologists debate whether Buddhism can even be considered a religion because there is no belief in god. It slides in when you widen the scope to include a "belief in salvation" which in the case of Buddhists, is enlightenment and nirvana (non-existence).

Comment: Re:pattern? (Score 2, Interesting) 220

by c0y (#32093664) Attached to: Mayan Plumbing Found In Ancient City

Some people believe that toilets don't allow for complete elimination and are the source of a lot of colon cancer.

For my part, I've realized that after a lot of years camping and having to squat over a hole I dig, that at some point my knees simply won't let me do that any more. I've come to believe that maybe people die younger in parts of the world that lack sit down toilets and remember this quote by Charles Bukowski:

Sex is interesting, but it's not totally important. I mean it's not even as important (physically) as excretion. A man can go seventy years without a piece of ass, but he can die in a week without a bowel movement.
- Charles Bukowski

Comment: This happened to us once (Score 1) 167

by c0y (#31232950) Attached to: xkcd, Devotion To Duty

Well, not the hostages part. But we lost a T1 circuit at a client site when burglars attempted to break into the Credit Union next door. Being wholly unclear of the purpose of an alarm circuit, they cut all the copper going into the business park. That didn't work out so great for them, since it cause an alarm that the police responded to.

Comment: Re:Things I look for (Score 1) 456

by c0y (#31231662) Attached to: Things To Look For In a Web Hosting Company?

That happens occasionally. My preferred solution (if they don't have a VPS) is to point their PHP app to forums.foo.com while leaving their .NET at www.foo.com (or vice versa).

So yes, I'd rather maintain two separate logins on two separate servers than install PHP on a windows server.

I'm sure it runs fine, I just don't want to deal with patching third-party apps on Windows. If there's a php vuln, it will be covered in an update with my linux package manager. If there's a .NET vuln, it will be covered (eventually) in a Windows Update.

It's all about scalability and consistency in the big picture.

Comment: Re:Things I look for (Score 1) 456

by c0y (#31225240) Attached to: Things To Look For In a Web Hosting Company?

Do they use Linux only? I only want Linux hosting, and mixed providers are always trying to push you over into Windows hosting because they're being incentivized to do so. I've been around and don't need to hear that pitch again.

Eh, that may be true in some cases. My employer provides hosting on linux and windows because some of our customers (who are also buying our bandwidth at their offices and want a single point of billing/support for all their Internet services) are developing .NET apps and want the native platform.

So, quite often the Windows is there simply to appease the customers who want it. We just as often go the other way. When customers ask us to install PHP on their windows host, we point them to the linux servers instead (as I have a rule about keeping technologies on their native platforms whenever possible).

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