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Comment: Re:Sounds like derp. (Score 4, Informative) 157

by hazem (#46637133) Attached to: Should Patients Have the Option To Not Know Their DNA?

I like to think of it it his way. A soldier wears camoflage in the field to help protect him from being shot. Being able to not be seen against the background terrain is a form of obscurity and it is effective because it helps keep bullets from being aimed directly at the solider. The downside is that it's not particularly effective at stopping a bullet aimed at the soldier.

Body armor is different in that it's particularly useful when bullets are being aimed at the soldier. It can stop a bullet that camoflage clothing will not. While at the same time it, its downside is the limited mobility and extra heat.

Now, an even better measure of security than just either one of them is to use both. One helps keep you from being shot at while the other helps protect you when you are shot at.

Wouldn't you rather have both when you're a soldier in the field with someone trying to shoot at you? If you say yes, then you understand the point of obscurity in the security arena. If you say no, then that's probably a bit daft.

Comment: Re:been using accounts in aurora for a month alrea (Score 1) 256

by hazem (#46541299) Attached to: Firefox 29 Beta Arrives With UI Overhaul And CSS3 Variables

it should be a well layed out mechanism that allows one to sync to a server of choice, allowing one to host it themselves instead of relying on third parties.

It's not completely trivial to set up, but not horribly difficult either:

You set up your own Firefox Sync server on whatever machine you want.

Comment: Re:It does let you read faster... (Score 2) 47

by hazem (#46469967) Attached to: Bringing Speed Reading To the Web

Not suited, then, to casual reading.

It doesn't seem suited to serious reading either. When reading technical material, I need to read more than one word at a time, and when it gets challening, I go over sentences a couple times. I also often find things that mean I have scan back a paragraph or two to see if what I just read fits in with the previous material.

I guess for me, reading is not a linear activity. It's more of an exercise of finding and making connections throughout the text and with other texts. I just don't get that with reading one word followed by the next.

Comment: Re:Tiger nuts? Not meat? (Score 2) 318

by hazem (#45934517) Attached to: Extinct Species of Early Human Survived On Grass Bulbs, Not Meat

Why would you assume they ate only the lean meat? Everything I've read about modern hunter-gatherers and cultures that ate mostly animals (such as the Inuit) is that they focused on the fats and fatty tissues and that the lean meats were often left for their dogs.

In the Western diet, we tend to focus on the lean meats and throw out the fats (the most energy-rich part of the animal) but that doesn't necessarily apply to humans living in the wild.

Comment: Re:Interesting... (Score 4, Insightful) 180

by hazem (#45890187) Attached to: McAfee Brand Name Will Be Replaced By Intel Security

Norton Utilities was amazing at the time. I remember using his disk sector editor to find the sectors of a friend's thesis (only copy of course) and rebuild the FAT for the floppy so she could copy her thesis to another disk. The tools were just so well done.

I also learned the bigger part of x86 assembly from Peter Norton's book. It had fantastic examples - like building a basic disk sector editor. Ah, here it is:

Comment: Re:going after GMO is like banning screwdrivers (Score 1) 510

by hazem (#45873799) Attached to: Anti-GMO Activists Win Victory On Hawaiian Island

And frankly, if you are trying to assert that jellyfish and potatoes do indeed cross-breed naturally, I would like to see some evidence of that before I accept it. Such a claim requires evidence.

Nobody who is a proponent of evolution claims that dogs give birth to cats, so it would be ridiculous and non-germain to ask for evidence of that. If there was evidence like that, it would actually do more to challenge evolution than support it.

Comment: Re:going after GMO is like banning screwdrivers (Score 1) 510

by hazem (#45873715) Attached to: Anti-GMO Activists Win Victory On Hawaiian Island

Because somehow potatoes naturally breed with jellyfish and I just haven't seen it happen personally? You couldn't hit further from the mark.

It's sad that when I say, "We've made mistakes before with assuming things are safe and even beneficial (like Trans-fats), let's do more controlled testing of GMO before replacing our food supply with them" the only reponses are insults (the literary one above was clever, but still an insult - though I do like Dickens).

Is your (collective "you" of pro-GMO) so weak that that's all you have? Weak insults?

We were using artificial trans-fats for decades before they were being heavily pushed by scientists and authorities as a superior food-stuff. It was nearly a century after they were introduced that we have realized that they're actually quite harmful. How much controlled testing has been done on GMO to determine its long-term safety for human health and the environment? Is it so outrageous to want to see long-term testing done by people not in a position to make a fortune based on the results of that testing? And in lieu of that, is it so outrageous to want labeling so people have the choice about whether they will participate in this vast uncontrolled experiment or not?

And if you're going to say, "there's no difference" then please explain why corporations like Monsanto are paying billions of dollars to research and litigate in the domain of GMO. Clearly there is a difference.

I'm just asking for more science rather than blindly accepting what Monsanto et. al., tell me is safe. Do you have anything more than insults? Or is that what you call science?

Comment: Re:going after GMO is like banning screwdrivers (Score 4, Insightful) 510

by hazem (#45872895) Attached to: Anti-GMO Activists Win Victory On Hawaiian Island

Do you really see no difference between the cross-breeding of closely-related plant species that would naturally cross-breed, selecting for positive traits vs. the direct genetic manipulation of the genome of a plant that could only happen in a laboratory, combining genes of organisms that could never otherwise cross-breed?

I'd love to see the natural way that potatoes would breed with jellyfish to get the genes to glow when they need to be watered.

Comment: Re:going after GMO is like banning screwdrivers (Score 5, Insightful) 510

by hazem (#45872861) Attached to: Anti-GMO Activists Win Victory On Hawaiian Island

A better analogy comes from the artificial "trans fat" fiasco. Here's this new kind of fat created by "scientific processes" that is touted by many authorities to be superior to the natural fats that people had been consuming for centuries. In the 1960s, it was pushed heavily as a way to prevent heart disease. A few decades later, it was discovered to actually increase the incidence of heart disease and we're in the process of slowly removing it from our food supplies.

GMO is even less tested than artificial trans fats were (they were around for nearly half a century before being heavily pushed by government and industry). Maybe some of them will turn out to be just fine, and possibly repleat with benefits, but others may be harmful to both the environment as well as the people and animals who consume them. There just hasn't been enough testing to demonstrate that mixing genes from here with genes from over there, as well as creating new sequences out of whole-cloth, has no unintended consequences.

I don't think it's too much to allow people to have labeling to then be able to make informed choices about whether they want to be a part of this huge un-controlled human trial.

Comment: Re:Amazing $200 Linux laptops (Score 1) 321

by hazem (#45815599) Attached to: Chromebooks Have a Lucrative Year; Should WinTel Be Worried?

I have an older Acer Aspire One that came with Windows 7 and it's been a great little computer (especially after putting Linux on it).

I've thought about a Chromebook, but I wonder about how they've replaced the caps-lock with a search button. Does that button act like a caps-lock when the machine doesn't have Chrome installed?

Comment: Re:save us *all* pseudo-science (Score 1) 674

by hazem (#45657213) Attached to: New Documentary Chronicles Road Tripping Scientists Promoting Reason

I guess I'm thinking of scientific theories. You can't prove that the theory of relativity is true, but only fail to disprove it given the existing data.

I'm guessing now...
I think the theory, "there is a Loch Ness Monster" is not a valid scientific theory because as you demonstrated, it's not falsifiable.

To make it a scientific theory, you'd need to invert it and make the theory, "there is no Loch Ness Monster". This is falsifiable, for the same reason you demonstrated.

Going the speed of light is bad for your age.