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Comment: Re:BAN YEAST! (Score 1) 131

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) 131

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) 131

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:Uh (Score 3, Informative) 268

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.

Comment: Re:Why is this news? (Score 1) 409

by TapeCutter (#47436341) Attached to: The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One

I step off my bike

I was stopped at some lights one time and there was a guy next to me on a pushbike doing the balance thing where the bike is upright but not moving. He suddenly lost balance and fell on the side of my car, no damage to anything but his dignity. I only wish I had a photo of his face because the mental image of it sliding down the passenger window still makes me laugh.

Comment: Double edge sword. (Score 4, Interesting) 73

by TapeCutter (#47429957) Attached to: Google, Dropbox, and Others Forge Patent "Arms Control Pact"
A patent cartel is a double edged sword that can smite trolls, competitors, or both. All depends of who's holding the blunt end.

Software patents are absurd and a form of double dipping since software is already protected by copyright they should indeed be scrapped. However just because patents are currently too powerful and have spread into areas where they don't belong does not mean the concept is fundamentally flawed.

The fundamental flaw is greed, the fact that 1000 individuals have obtained an income that is more than 3X that of 1,000,000,000 individuals combined is simply too much of a temptation to all but the strongest moral compass. OTOH, if everyone gets the same income who in their right mind would not just sit back and let "somebody else" worry about silly things such as a job?

The sweet spot lays somewhere in between, most economists put the ideal income ratio between richest and poorest at 10:1 and point to Norway's position at the top of almost every economic and social metric known to man as prima-facie evidence. Norway was smart enough to realise the North Sea oil boom would come to an end one day so they taxed the hell out of oil companies during the boom and invested it in both industrial and social infrastructure. Many economists now argue it is the social infrastructure that has seen the highest ROI.

Here in Australia we have done the opposite with our mining boom, there were some good reforms and we built lots of roads and railways that lead to giant holes in the middle of nowhere but mostly we squandered it on tax cuts and corporate welfare. In the meantime China has been buying our coal and iron ore and for quite some time has been building up their infrastructure at a phenomenal rate. Ironically they now have one of the highest inequity ratings of any nation. This is because of the discrepancy between the rural areas and the "economic zones". China is now in the process of building up the infrastructure in these rural areas but the pace has slowed because of the financial mess in the US and EU. They are now officially in deflation meaning production has overshot demand. Consequently our 25yr mining boom has come to a sudden halt and we have two fifths of fuck all to show for it. Sure our economy is still in much better shape than the EU and US, but I'm old enough to remember when life was good in both Norway and Argentina.

Disclaimer: I plead guilty to OT ranting, but I put it to the reader that a spliff and an end of the working week rant is far more humane than kicking the cat.

Comment: Re:Wish I could say I was surprised (Score 1, Insightful) 170

by TapeCutter (#47429443) Attached to: Peer Review Ring Broken - 60 Articles Retracted

we could increase the penalties for those caught cheating

No thanks, keep the lawyers out of it unless a genuine crime has been commited, the last thing we want is politicians regulating peer-review. There is no system that is totally incorruptable, the fact that these frauds were exposed means the system is working in this case. The fact that the scientific and academic communities will ostrasize the fauds for the rest of their lives is natural justice, anything more crosses the line between natural justice and revenge

Comment: Re:So (Score 1) 302

I have no sympathy for idiots who poke the bear and then whine about the obvious consequences. A court of law will sort out if the charges are valid or not. These people deliberately broke the FAA ceiling in full view of a police chopper. They are not oppressed heros, they are wankers who bring the hobby into disrepute and fuck it up for everyone else.

Comment: There's at least one clear takeaway from this... (Score 0) 83

by markana (#47426247) Attached to: Microsoft Settles With No-IP After Malware Takedown

Azure doesn't scale. The load placed on if by redirecting the domains was probably far less than the surge that a suddenly-popular web host might encounter, yet it failed miserably.

Microsoft might not have to pay any monetary damages for the havok they caused, but they might get a hit to their pocketbooks anyway.

People looking to move their operations to the "cloud" would do well to look at this performance, and consider what might happen to *their* traffic...

Weekends were made for programming. - Karl Lehenbauer