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Comment: Evolution never stops (Score 1) 337

by gwait (#31335672) Attached to: The Role of Human Culture In Natural Selection

Do any actual evolutionary scientists believe that humans stopped evolving at any point?

HIV alone is a direct example - many people world wide have died from this, but a small handful of people have been found to be resistant to it.
A classic (and sad) example of evolution at work.
A similar thing happened to North & South America when Europeans showed up with dozens of new diseases, wiping out a large percentage of the native population. (See "Guns Germs & Steel - an excellent read)

Government

Leak Shows US Lead Opponent of ACTA Transparency 164

Posted by timothy
from the putting-on-an-acta dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Throughout the debate over ACTA transparency, the secret copyright treaty, many countries have taken public positions that they support release of the actual text, but that other countries do not. Since full transparency requires consensus of all the ACTA partners, the text simply can't be released until everyone is in agreement. A new leak from the Netherlands fingers who the chief opponents of transparency are: the United States, South Korea, Singapore, and Denmark lead the way, with Belgium, Germany, and Portugal not far behind as problem countries."

+ - Buzz vs Slashdot 1

Submitted by gwait
gwait (179005) writes "On managing the quality and feeding of forum postings.

I posted these thoughts on a Buzz comment thread today:

I've always thought Slashdot were along a decent path to manage this sort of problem, but then stopped 1/3 of the way — their numeric tagging system has only 6 integer steps, giving a signal to noise ratio of about 16 db, that could easily be made larger.
As a result the difference between "top rated" comments and the middle of the pack is way to small to allow for "really interesting" comments to rise to the top of the pack.

Also, the Slashdot scheme doesn't have enough dimensions — there are only a handful:
Funny, Flamebait, Troll, Interesting etc.
There could be a lot more — their defence is they want to keep the comment moderation simple, but I suspect one could add a lot more dimensions and manage a reasonable interface.

The third problem in Slashdot (relevant to managing Buzz) is that only moderators can flag comments. If Slashdot opened it up to all signed in users, then the tiny 6 level range of moderation levels would become even more overwhelmed. If the moderation levels were a full 32 bit number, then this would not be an issue, (there would be other issues for certain!)

Thoughts?"

Comment: Re:Atheists Unite... as a religion (Score 1) 845

by gwait (#30620148) Attached to: Ireland's Blasphemy Law Goes Into Effect

I think Dawkins' concept of the selfish gene is a more accurate portrayal - an organism's goal is to propagate it's own DNA.
If it is beneficial to kill off the competitors, then that is the nature of the beast. If it is of benefit to have some level of cooperation with the tribe to eventually help propagate ones' own DNA, then the beast has become a little bit more civilized..
It is not a given of evolution that an individual organism looks to benefit the species. It can work out that way, but it's not a rule/law of evolution.

Comment: Does it really trap CO2 in the soil? (Score 1) 467

by gwait (#29943086) Attached to: Plowing Carbon Into the Fields

The article is a little light on details, but makes claims that this method accomplishes carbon sequestering.
I can see how any soot (unburned carbon and friends) would stick to the soil but I'm a little skeptical that C02 itself would be trapped.

Perhaps microscopic plants in the soil manage to capture the C02 before it makes it's way back out to the atmosphere?

Anyone know what is the percentage by volume is C02 versus nitrogen gas?

Interesting.

Comment: Motorola? Ackkk! (Score 1) 239

by gwait (#29772301) Attached to: Cisco, Motorola, and Other Companies Take Aim At Net Neutrality Rules

No surprise Motorola's part of the group that wants to strangle the open internet. In Canada they have a near monopoly on the Cable "DVR" box, and it's the worst bit of crud I've ever had to use.
Motorola should be legally forbidden from ever writing software again. Can't have torrents competing with their crud, can we? (Actually the hardware bites too, standard definition recording looks worse than VHS)..

Bah!

Comment: Re:STOP THE PRESSES! (Score 1) 155

by gwait (#29632037) Attached to: Canadian Minister Lies On Net Surveillance Claims

Harper appointed a creationist as science minister.

http://www.boingboing.net/2009/03/17/canadas-science-mini.html

Harper and gang are moronic G W Bush wannabees.

The Conservatives think it's ok to sue a teenager for $20,000.00 per song for "illegally" torrenting a song that costs 99 cents on itunes,
so that the big media broadcasters can stay rich. Anyone actually vote for that issue? No? Gee, I wonder why the politicians think Canadian parents who voted for them might like this in place?

http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/3025/125/

1 Billion dollars of budget deficit = 1 Gramm-Rudman

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