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Comment: Re:Scientists are generally trusted (Score 1) 250

I think one should distinguish between 'Science journalists' and 'Science reporters'. I like to think that 'journalist' means that a serious effort guided by a minimum of insight has taken place, whereas a 'reporter' is more akin to a simple repeating station, transmitting whatever it receives. There are not many real science journalists in the world, but there are plenty of reporters, who don't understand and don't really care either.

Comment: (Score 1) 147

Can't we muster a popular appeal against posting vapid articles from here? Please? Or at least post them with a mandatory icon warning people that this is heavy on glossy pictures and light on worthwhile information?

Who writes this stuff anyway? Clearly somebody with a strong interest in big photos of impressive looking things; whereas I suspect that most of us would be far more interested in good, solid, factual information, without illustrations, unless strictly needed. Is it 'samzenpus'? Does he/she have a glycerine complex?

Comment: Re:Ahh (Score 1) 310

by jandersen (#49789937) Attached to: Adblock Plus Victorious Again In Court

Why? Since when is it a court's business to protect some business model that doesn't work out?

What you seem to fail to understand is that there is a difference: rich people DESERVE to be rich and therefore DESERVE a better standard of legislation that doesn't interfere unfairly with their right to further enrich themselves. Plebs on the other hand are lazy and probably communists or worse, and should be kept down with any means possible. Surely you can see that?

Comment: Re:Websites are slowly catching on (Score 1) 310

by jandersen (#49789909) Attached to: Adblock Plus Victorious Again In Court

At the moment I am a bit divided over this issue. I understand their desire to collect revenue to fund a site. But I do need to balance that against the opening up of my system to all sorts of tracking. And at the moment my privacy trumps the websites revenue.

Well, look at it this way: This is Capitalism, right? We're told that under Capitalism, the value of any product or service is whatever you can persuade others to pay. If nobody wants to pay, then it is worthless. If I come across websites that refuse to serve their content unless I allow adverts, I just move on; there are plenty of sites to choose from, usually, and often the ones with the best information are the ones with the least pollution.

And then you get sites like Slashdot, which have this wonderful checkbox that says because I am such a good user, that they will disable advertising for me if I want. Which even if I do, I still get ads served up to me - hence another reason for ad blocking software.

Well, that's the thing - how can one enter into any sort of trust-based relationship, when the other party so clearly can't be trusted?

Comment: Re:Stupid (Score 2) 128

by jandersen (#49789517) Attached to: Computer Chips Made of Wood Promise Greener Electronics

Except that this substrate is not being used for Si based semiconductors, but for GaAs instead

Apart from that, there is the whole, emerging, organic and printable semiconductor industry:

These things are not necessarily meant for servers or even consumer electronics as we know it; there is a huge number of things that different industries are interested in using computer technology for, where things like price, flexibility and low power consumption are crucial factors. Just imagine if it were possible to print something like thousands of largely autonomous computers on stickers for, say, $.01 each; I think this may very well be possible quite soon. In that situation, you want electronics that are bio-degradable.

Comment: Doesn't matter (Score 1) 441

by jandersen (#49780551) Attached to: Creationists Manipulating Search Results

Reality is real, whether or not a group of blinkered idiots try to force it not to be so. If these people really had faith, then they wouldn't mind; they would accept that since God had created the world and everything in it, anything you learn about His reality teaches you more about God. The idea that the Bible - a hodgepodge of stories carefully selected to support a religious/political agenda over 1000 years ago - must, aboslutely must, be true to the very comma, is a modern invention, and a particularly pathological one too.

Creationists are liars to themselves, more than anything else. Fundamentalism is equally vile, whether it decorates itself with the name of Christ, Muhammed or any other famous person. The objectves of creationists are of the same evil nature as those of IS or al Qaeda - the methods may vary, but they all want to subdue your freedom to think and choose on you own, by spreading falsehoods. I am not going as far as professor Dawkins and saying that all religion is by nature bad - I have known honest, religious people - but there is line that is very easily crossed.

Comment: Re:Is this actually important to DC? (Score 1) 253

by jandersen (#49773487) Attached to: Leaked Document Shows Europe Would Fight UK Plans To Block Porn

I would suggest that this might be an issue that David Cameron used for the elections and for politics and that it isn't a core issue that he'll defend against such pushback.

I think it is quite important - as a diversion tactic. He doesn't want people to catch on to the fact that the Conservatives are selling off public assets as part of a larger, ideologically motivated strategy. I won't deny that they and the Liberal Democrats have done a reasonable job of handling the crisis, in as much as they have done at least part of what had to be done, but they have moved on from the pragmatic running of the country, to a targeted implementation of ideology, and that will inevitably hurt society. This is not because Conservative ideology is worse than the others, but because ideology tends to ignore reality.

The Conservatives have this romantic notion of 'Big Society', which in their minds means that charities, voluntary work etc should cover for more and more things, and the state should not - something I find rather disturbing; presumably if you fall through the 'Big Society' safety net, you are free to go and sell your body to scientific experiments? Another one that sounds a bit hollow is their being the party for 'Working People' - not 'The Working Class', note - which one suspects may mean they are in favour exclusively of people being in work, so you are not on benefits. Thus, changing the benefit system so people are forced to take shitty jobs far below their abilities, because there simply isn't anything else, will be 'For Working People', right?

Comment: Re:Cyanide is a natural material too... (Score 1) 247

by jandersen (#49773243) Attached to: California Votes To Ban Microbeads

Every time you get the urge to say "it's natural so it is OK" - REMEMBER CYANIDE.
Or Ebola. Or AIDS. Cancer too...

You seem to focus exclusively on the inconvenience caused by things clogging pipes, but that really is the least of the problem. I'm not suffering from the 'natural is good' delusion; all I'm saying is, natural substances have been around for a long time, so nature has had time to adjust to them. Plastics, on the other hand have exploded onto the scene in the last century; no doubt, if given enough time, something will evolve to take advantage of the abundant, new energy source, but it is likely to take something like millions of years - or certainly a lot longer than our lifetimes. Whatever harm plastic may cause, we are not liekly to have a good defence against it; we should have thought about that before we just let it out in the world around us, but we didn't.

Comment: Re:Meh... (Score 1) 247

by jandersen (#49757195) Attached to: California Votes To Ban Microbeads

I can't imagine it is really a big water treatment issue since they have a different density than water and you could separate them with settling tanks and skimmers.

Separating really small objects of almost the same density as water (0.91â"0.96 g/cm3 - they are made from polyethylene) is not easy, and the fact is that they pass through all existing water treatment works. Plastics are in fact a serious environmental issue, 1) since they often leak hormone-like chemicals, and 2) because plastic objects are mostly not broken down into their chemical constituents, but instead break up to form very small plastic splinters and fibres. These are now found everywhere in our food chain; certainly in anything that starts life at sea: fish etc. We still don't quite know what harm they cause - the great worry is that thei will turn out to be as harmful as asbestos. Is it a good idea to allow the industry to pump these largely unnecessary products out, when it seems likely that it will cause massive problems for society down the line? Health problems cost society money, not just in form of hospitals, doctors etc, but also in lost productivity - prevention is better than cure, and it is also better for business in the long run.

And I don't see it matters for industry really because they'll just go back to using what they were using before which is mostly - sand.

You use this stuff as an abrasive and maybe the microbeads are mildly less abrasive? I don't know... anyway, they'll just replace this with very fine sand.

Sand is a natural material, and the environment already knows how to deal with it. I don't know exactly why they prefer to use plastic, but I'll bet it has to do with thei short term profit. Maybe it is a selling point, or was - I remember when it was first introduced and you suddenly heard a lot about how harsh the old kind of toothpaste was to your teeth. In reality it is probably no more than a selling point, like the current craze for putting triclosan in everything - which doesn't actually kill bacteria, but is likely to harm our health in the long run (both directly and by breeding resistent bacteria; when will we bother to learn?)

Comment: The good ol' days (Score 4, Interesting) 387

by jandersen (#49757093) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0

25 years, you say? It feels longer, somehow. Don't worry, I can see everybody's eyes glaze over, so I won't go too far down memory lane, except to say that there was actually a time when when Windows was cool and fun to work with. By gods, it was a load of crap, back then, but fun to code for, for that very reason. I used to spend 90% of my time commenting out code sections until the latest, spectacular error went away; that was how I learned to program properly in C. There is nothing like having to debug Windows running in real mode to bring home the idea that you must always initialise variable and check returned pointers. I sometimes miss the "hardship" in a perverse sort of way.

"The Street finds its own uses for technology." -- William Gibson