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Comment Re:The argument is "leaky" at best too (Score 1) 72 72

Unfortunately even science people are afraid of using the word evolution because some religious whacko might want to shoot them. So other words are used like 'learned'.

In fact the human vaccines to treat the most virulent viruses, the one's that don't kill quickly but rather maim, have worked well. Small pox is eradicated, and Polio has not been seen in Nigeria for a year. Some people get sick from Vaccines, but they likely would have the most susceptible and the carriers anyway.

What is being seen is that vaccines used in livestock for purposes other than immunization is having significant negative side effects.

To be fair we are seeing some drug resistant strains that making people sick, but those are most bacteria, and are due to the routine use of antibacterials, even when there is little evidence that there is a bacterial infection.

Submission + - Michael Chertoff Makes the Case against Back Doors

koan writes: Schneier on Security had an interesting link to a comment made by Michael Chertoff When asked about whether the government should be able to require back doors. He provided this response:

I think that it’s a mistake to require companies that are making hardware and software to build a duplicate key or a back door even if you hedge it with the notion that there’s going to be a court order. And I say that for a number of reasons and I’ve given it quite a bit of thought and I’m working with some companies in this area too.

More at the link. https://www.emptywheel.net/2015/07/26/michael-chertoff-makes-the-case-against-back-doors/

Comment So? (Score 1) 257 257

Sure, they may only promote the responsible use of firearms, but in practice that's not what the legal landscape they support results in.

The historical evidence is overwhelming; large numbers of handguns distributed among a civilian population leads to lots of murders; automatic pistols and/or semi-automatic rifles with large magazines lead to occasional mass shootings. Getting rid of large numbers of guns also has the effect of considerably reducing suicide levels.

If you're prepared to live large numbers of unnecessary, painful, premature deaths as a society, well, that's your choice. But no amount of "but we only support the responsible use of firearms" puffery should disguise the fact that the NRA's lobbying maintains a legislative framework that virtually ensures those premature deaths will continue.

Comment Believe it when I see it (Score 4, Informative) 276 276

I'm very hopeful this works. It's easy to be cynical, so I won't say "meh it's all bullshit!" Still, I won't be convinced until I see it provide thrust in a vacuum, away from Earth's magnetic field. It's still far, far too likely it's pushing off something terrestrial. So I'll give them a healthy "go, team, go!"

That said, quoth the article:

"This is the first time that someone with a well-equipped lab and a strong background in tracking experimental error has been involved, rather than engineers who may be unconsciously influenced by a desire to see it work," notes Wired referring to Tajmar's work.

I don't know about that. He is a real professor at a real university, but he also has filed for a patent on a gravity generator, using a process no one has duplicated. Somebody who thinks they've got a gravity generator, but gosh just can't prove it to everybody else, is definitely somebody who may be "unconsciously influenced by a desire to see it work."

Submission + - German scientists confirm NASA results of propellantless 'impossible' EM drive->

MarkWhittington writes: Hacked Magazine reported that a group of German scientists believe that they have confirmed that the EM Drive, the propulsion device that uses microwaves rather than rocket fuel, provides thrust. The experimental results are being presented at the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics' Propulsion and Energy Forum in Orlando by Martin Tajmar, a professor and chair for Space Systems at the Dresden University of Technology. Tajmar has an interest in exotic propulsion methods, including one concept using “negative matter.”
Link to Original Source

Comment I was thinking of "high end" in terms of (Score 1) 110 110

what consumers had access to by walking into a retail computer dealership (there were many independent white box makers at the time) and saying "give me your best."

You're probably right about me underestimating the graphics, though it's hard to remember back that far. I'm thinking 800x600 was much more common. If you could get 1024x768, it was usually interlaced (i.e. "auto-headache") and rare if I remember correctly to be able to get with 24-bit color—S3's first 16-bit capable chips didn't come out until late-1991, if I remember correctly, though I could be off.

SCSI was possible, but almost unheard of as stock, you either had to buy an add-on card and deal with driver/compatibility questions or one of the ESDISCSI bridge boards or similar. Same thing with ethernet, token, or any other dedicated networking hardware and stack. Most systems shipped with a dial-up "faxmodem" at the time, and users were stuck using Winsock on Windows 3.1. It was nontrivial to get it working. Most of the time, there was no real "networking" or "networking" support in the delivered hardware/software platform; faxmodems were largely used for dumb point-to-point connections using dial-up terminal emulator software.

And in the PC space, the higher-end you went, the less you were able to actually use the hardware for anything typical. Unless you were a corporate buyer, you bought your base platform as a whitebox, then added specialized hardware matched with specialized software in a kind of 1:1 correspondence—if you needed to perform task X, you'd buy hardware Y and software Z, and they'd essentially be useful only for task X, or maybe for task X1, X2, and X3, but certainly not much else—the same is even true for memory itself. Don't forget this is pre-Windows95, when most everyone was using Win16 on DOS. We can discuss OS/2, etc., but that again starts to get into the realm of purpose-specific and exotic computing in the PC space. There were, as I understand, a few verrry exotic 486 multiprocessors produced, but I've never even heard of a manufacturer and make/model for these—only the rumor that it was possible—so I doubt they ever made it into sales channels of any kind. My suspicion (correct me if I'm wrong) was that they were engineered for particular clients and particular roles by just one or two orgnaizations, and delivered in very small quantities; I'm not aware of any PC software in 1992 timeframe that was even multiprocessor-aware, or any standard to which it could have been coded. The Pentium processor wasn't introduced until '93 and the Pentium Pro with GTL+ and SMP capabilities didn't arrive until 1995. Even in 1995, most everything was either Win16 or 8- or 16-bit code backward compatible to the PC/XT or earlier, and would remain that way until around the Win98 era.

The UNIX platforms were standardized around SCSI, ethernet, big memory access, high-resolution graphics, and multiprocessing and presented an integrated environment in which a regular developer with a readily available compiler could take advantage of it all without particularly unusual or exotic (for that space) tactics.

It's great to be smart 'cause then you know stuff.

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