I'll just give you one example. My parents live out in a farmland area in Basque country in France. Their internet 5 years ago was better than what I had access to living in the middle of Silicon Valley. It was also cheaper. I can't talk much about quality, but their Skype video came over just fine and dandy. Anecdote and all that, but it really drove home how shitty the broadband system was and is in the US. Yes, you can pay for really, really awesome internet connections. But those are affordable only if you have a business that actually generates profit off of the Internet connection. Otherwise, you're completely at the mercy of a local monopoly or duopoly.
Or, it might be that the researchers know that the next command from politicians and the general population will be "Unleash the plastic-eating microbes!", and they're trying to get ahead of the general mess that comes from it.
And by that, I mean both the Tamba Bay and the Slashdot article. There is nothing anywhere about how she got the biodiesel from algae, which at this point is the only interesting thing about the experiment. It mentions photoautotrophic cultivation, which just means that the algae use light to grow, which is a big no-shit-Sherlock. It mentions osmotic sonication, which is a fancy word for using sound waves and osmotic principles to get the detergent into the cell innards. Google searches turn up no indication of how the experiment was set up, what the actual results or anything of interest. The best thing I got was a list of who else won what other categories at the fair.
So we have two utterly known principles being applied to biodiesel generation from algae, and somehow this makes news as a breakthrough. Yawn.
Which leads me to my second rant: the insistence of news organizations to hail science fair winners as geniuses who solved a problem no one else could (I'm specifically looking at the stories about the kid arranging solar cells in a tree shape). It completely oversells the experiment, turns the kid into something they're not, and covers up the actual interesting item: that you can do cool science in your home that goes beyond baking powder volcanoes. It could even be science that is relevant to an existing topic of interest to actual scientists, which should put the kids on a good trajectory to actually solving the problem. But no, instead we are presented with kid geniuses who solve world hunger, and I get to fend off all kinds of dumb questions and comments about science, the state of technology and why we're not listening more to kids.
Now get off my lawn.
Utterly, completely, fantastically, wrong. Exhibit A: Castle Crashers, which is still in the top 5 of the most popular XBLA games ever, and it was released by someone who, until then, had only released a flash game. Exhibit B: Orcs Must Die, whose developer had until then never published an XBOX 360 game. Exhibit C: Limbo, whose single developer had never published any game on any console before. And those are just the games I bought.
I understand that MS is making quite a few mistakes, but it also seems that a lot of the "issues" are lies and misunderstandings repeated in the Internet echo chamber.
The slight problem is that rhinos aren't cows. You can't ranch them in the traditional sense. The only thing you can do is to provide them with the space, the environment and the partners necessary to reproduce, and then hope you don't have to ever get close to them again. That means... wide-open parks that cannot be reasonably policed. Which invites the same poachers.
That said, I'd also like to see responsible horn harvesting. It can only drop demand for illegally obtained horn. The trick is to make sure people can verify it was responsibly harvested.
You are ascribing multi-generational planning to people who are shooting every animal they can find to get at some keratin? Or who shoot gorilla parents so that they can hawk a gorilla baby on the black market? Really? Current data says that you're delusional.
So you're saying that without this law, companies would actually stop the dig and check for what's going on? No, they would do exactly what they were doing even after the law was enacted.
All that this shows is that laws that ask people to self-report and incur significant costs due to the self-reporting are going to fail. There are a couple of solutions to it, whether it is to have the public pay for the cost (not going to happen in Texas), to not grant construction permits in areas with caves or to have an archeologist attached to every construction, but just passing a law that says "you will pay significant money anytime something happens that no one will find out about" is silly. It also shows that self-regulation is a complete boondoggle that works only for the most masochistic corporations, or where there is great publicity attached to every event that is supposed to be self-regulated.
Pardon my ignorance, by why is it repulsive to see attractive people at product promotion booths?
It's not, and as one of the linked articles pointed out, the ban on booth babes at PAX didn't stop some companies having attractive women there to sell stuff -- the difference being that said women were dressed normally, and actually knew all about what they were selling (that is, they were regular salespeople for the company that happened to be women). If you can't see the difference between that and booth babes then you are part of the problem.
I fully expect news to surface that he was into drugs, has been accused of sexual assault, a slacker and general no-good person. We already have the slacker/stupid angle (he didn't graduate high-school!). Maybe they can find somebody who said that he smoked pot at some point, and his girlfriend is probably going to be labeled a stripper, or at least her pole-dancing video is the only thing anyone is ever going to mention.
Surely the very people who needed to use it (those in a locked down corporate environment) are the very same people who can't install it because they're in a locked down corporate environment?
You, and pretty much all the other gun nuts, have this fantasy that you'll be facing the intruders or attackers at the ready, hunkered down behind a bulletproof couch or car, dispensing justice with your True American gun of BadAssery.
Here's how those things actually pan out: intruders quietly get into the house, either through an unlocked door, through an open window or through a broken window. By the time you realize what's going on, they are either pointing a gun at you, took what they came for or decided it wasn't worth it to rob an occupied house. And for every anecdote about a home owner chasing off dangerous criminals with guns, I'll give you a story about a home owner gunned down by intruders while they were looking for their gun. See for example the deaths of the district attorney in Texas.
For muggings and robberies in the street, you're looking at even worse odds, because the attacker by definition pulls the gun on you before you do. Unless, of course, you walk with your gun drawn at all times, and then you're still open for someone to surprise you from behind. And finally, to be the hero in a mass shooting, you actually need to shoot the murderer. I'd like to see you identify the right guy from a crowd of 5-6 people all pointing guns in various directions.
And for a real fun fact, I'll give you a neat robbery scenario. Friends of ours woke up one morning with all the carpets gone in their apartment (persian rugs can fetch nice sums). Turns out the criminals had actually broken into the apartment and gassed it with sleeping gas.
In short, guns are an illusion of safety. Someone who wants to get you will get you, because they always have the benefit of surprise.
And this entire business of stopping a dedicated army with rifles and guns is an even bigger illusion. Syria is nicely illustrating why.
Increasing energy efficiency is STILL a good thing, because it means that the increased use of it comes at a lower cost, raising overall standards ofThe living.
In other words, this is an interesting observation, but completely irrelevant to the question of whether increased efficiencies are something to promote or not. They are only relevant to the question of how "how much energy are we going to need in the future" and to "what kind of policies do we want to pursue if we want to reduce the usage of energy". The answer to the latter is always "use tax".
Unfortunately none of the alternatives I looked at could manage that. From non-working sites, to ghastly user interface design, to one which requires a browser plug-in just to work (seriously wtf?).
On that basis, I'm really hoping that Digg Reader (whenever it arrives) doesn't suck. If it does, then I don't think there are any viable alternatives.
It's annoying that I cannot hide subscriptions in the left hand column. Especially when they have no new stories.
Clicking on a thread causes an eternal spinning "Loading".
At that point I'm afraid I gave up. It's a good start though.
Why on earth would you need a website for what ought to be a simple RSS reader?
Off the top of my head, for locked down corporate computers and the ability to read and sync (the read/unread status of posts) across lots of different desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile devices.