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Comment: At this point? Really? (Score 3, Insightful) 65

by damn_registrars (#49502017) Attached to: DOJ Could Nix Comcast-Time Warner Merger
This seems highly unlikely given the pro-monopoly stance that the administration of Barack Hussein "Lawnchair" Obama has taken up to this point. They didn't stop any of the airline or bank mergers that we have seen since 2009. They didn't reign in the massive control that the insurance industry has over the consumer (indeed they gave the industry more power). They didn't stop telecoms from merging either. Why would they get involved in this?

This looks like window dressing more than anything. The Administration is trying to get some positive PR but eventually they will let it slide through because the free market is teh awesome!

Comment: Not fully junk (Score 5, Insightful) 309

They are still working on better chemical cocktails for cryopreservation. We know we can do this with single-celled organisms and there is some evidence it works on organs as well. It might be questionable science, in that you might pay in and never wake up again, but it isn't really junk science.

Why do people still spend money on this?

It gives them hope. Does it harm you for them to spend their money this way? Sure there are other things they could do that would likely be more beneficial for mankind as a whole, but there are worse things, too.

Comment: I have the WD equivalent (Score 1) 1

by damn_registrars (#49480455) Attached to: Product Review: Seagate Personal Cloud
In fact, I've used both the WD MyBookLive (at work) and the WD MyCloud (both at work and and home). I've been pretty happy with them; they both run Linux of some flavor (Debian I think). It was pretty easy to turn on ssh on them so I could use scp and/or rsync to backup my linux laptop automatically.

I can tell you that the WD MyCloud has one USB connector on the back as well. You are supposed to be able to connect (just about) "any" USB drive to it and it should be able to play with it. I did discover though that the Linux distro these ship with does not support ZFS, which can be a problem if you like to format your large USB drives with it.

One downside of the WD drives though is that the web interface (which you are required to use, at least to get started) has a poorly-worded warning when you go to turn on ssh that implies turning on ssh might - or might not - void your warranty. Oh well.

So far, so good. The MyBookLive at work is a 2TB, it's coming on 2 years old and running well. I have a 3TB MyCloud at home and it passed its first birthday last fall and is doing fine. The MyCloud at work is 4TB and approaching half a year now. They all stay on 24x7.

I do wish the warranty was longer, though. The consumer models only get 1 year warranty.

Comment: Tax exempt? No we don't revoke that (Score 4, Interesting) 698

Has the government - beyond just the white house - been inclined to revoke any tax exempt statuses in memory? I don't recall a single one. Just because Scientology has only a slightly higher public approval rate than ebola doesn't mean the government is likely to take a stand against them.

Besides, even if it was revoked, they would likely just find a really good accountant / lawyer team and end up paying the same amount (or less) in taxes. Last year Prudential insurance paid no corporate income tax and received a $106 million rebate. Time Warner cable paid no taxes on $4.3B in profit, CBS no taxes on $1.8B. Scientology could probably do better on their taxes by registering as a corporation anyways.

Comment: At many schools, nobody is likely to be hired (Score 1) 499

Tenure is rapidly going away, partially as more universities are replacing regular faculty with adjunct faculty and using the availability of the latter as justification for worse treatment of the former. Go look at the closest 4-year school to where you live and see how many tenure-track STEM openings they have. Then look this summer to see how many openings they have for adjuncts.

Comment: Re:What's your remedy? (Score 1) 9

by damn_registrars (#49468899) Attached to: Gun Fail of the week
If a preventable death were to ever hit your world, you would likely think otherwise. Or maybe even think about the issue, period. But go on, keep brushing off the discussion. Those kids wouldn't have voted GOP any time soon so they deserved to die, right? Death saves them from being indoctrinated into the Obama-verse.

Comment: Re:Bad ticker (Score 1) 14

by damn_registrars (#49468871) Attached to: Only one republican can beat Hillary
What are you talking about? Everyone knows that the history books officially report 2001-2008 as the administration of George W Bush, even though Cheney was running the show. That makes him eligible to run for POTUS or VPOTUS again if he so chooses. There is no restriction on the number of terms one can serve as VP, to the best of my knowledge.

Comment: Re:What's your remedy? (Score 1) 9

by damn_registrars (#49461851) Attached to: Gun Fail of the week

What "cure" would you pursue? What amount of words on paper somewhere will be enough to ensure Bad Things Never Happen?

Don't be stupid. You can't eliminate it 100%, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth trying to reduce it. The US has a vastly higher rate of per-capita gun accidents leading to death than any other country, and it is because the gun culture has convinced us that it is OK for innocent children to die randomly in these kinds of accidents.

The way to prevent these from happening is to prevent people from being so stupidly cavalier with their weapons. A few things can be improved right away:

  • Mandatory background checks on every weapon sale, everywhere, period. Nobody needs a gun so quickly that a 24 hour wait for a background check would be that terrible of a burden. The reason why there is so much opposition to this is because the gun companies are afraid they will lose sales from people who go in, start the paperwork, then don't bother coming back to finish the transaction after the background check is complete.
  • Every gun comes with an external trigger lock and every customer is educated on how to use it.
  • Every gun is fully traced for every sale, including between private owners, in a centralized database
  • Every customer should be trained in proper gun safety on a regular basis so they aren't being idiots and leaving loaded weapons within the reach of small children

And finally, negligent gun owners should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, as if their own hand was on the trigger. These events get brushed under the rug on a regular basis, which does nothing to encourage gun safety.

Not to minimize the tragedy. It sucks. What I've yet to see is compelling ideas that are not cures worse than the disease.

You are trivializing the tragedy when you insist that no possible solution could ever exist to lower the probability of innocent children being murdered as a result of a negligent gun owner. In our country on average one innocent child is killed every day as a result of a stupid person such as the one responsible for this killing. When you start off by mocking any attempts to try to prevent 100% preventable deaths, you not only show your hand but you show that you have no interest in discussing the matter.

Comment: Re:These licensing deals (Score 1) 137

by damn_registrars (#49460795) Attached to: UW Scientists, Biotech Firm May Have Cure For Colorblindness

This is publicly funded research

That is actually a pretty big assumption you are making, there. The Neitzes do each have one R01 (research) grant through the NIH (you can look them up here if you'd like) however research on this scale can't be done with only that large of a budget. While each of those grants are six-figure totals, those are multi-year grants and they pay salaries (faculty, postdocs, grad students, and technicians), they buy supplies, and they pay the university to keep the lights on. There was certainly additional funding coming from other sources to get through to human testing.

So indeed, some of it was publicly funded, but we don't know from any of the information in front of us how much of it was publicly funded. Just because they work at a public university doesn't mean they didn't have some non-public money coming in to support their research; this is quite common today with the way research budgets work when dealing with the federal government.

At a minimum, these deals should have a clause requiring the amount of public money spent on such research should get paid back from these corporate proceeds before the schools and companies start collecting.

That isn't a terrible request, provided you are willing to request that happen only if the corporate proceeds actually pan out. There are other faculty at public universities who try to start their own companies and the companies end up going broke without ever turning a profit.

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky