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Comment: Re:"Support" != actually sacrifice for (Score 1) 359

by jedidiah (#48942767) Attached to: Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change

A lot of this really just boils down to 60s ideas of environmentalism and reducing pollution. It's just that the modern spin ads an extra level of extreme hysterics to the situation that are likely to alienate people and trigger skepticism.

Although you are probably right. If you ask all of the apathetic types just going along or even the true blue tree huggers to really sacrifice, you will probably get a much different answer.

That's probably why you have this whole subject wrapped in hysteria to begin with. Someone thinks they need to generate a sense of urgency by any means necessary.

Comment: Re:If it ain't broke... (Score 1) 262

by mrchaotica (#48941319) Attached to: VirtualBox Development At a Standstill

What support does it need to add? It should be acting exactly like a generic x86 machine; the new OS should be written to support it as a matter of course.

I mean, sure, the fancy stuff (mouse pointer integration, cut-and-paste between VM and host, etc.) are nice, but it's not as if they're necessary.

Comment: Re:Pollute the air twice. Once to make bio fuel, (Score 1) 199

by mrchaotica (#48940413) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

It's really quite trivial on a mechanical level to convert literally any gasoline vehicle to run on methane. They get less mileage per unit of mass, but the output is of course vastly cleaner, the crankcase lubricant lasts longer, and so on. The fuel can be stored in relatively inexpensive tanks compared to hydrogen, or of course compared to the energy density of batteries. Propane conversions are common in off-roading. Range becomes an issue, but I see a lot of Jeeps with conversions up here in the sticks. Gas will work at any right-side-up angle even when the tank is mostly empty, unlike gasoline.

Or, of course, you can use the fischer-tropsch process to turn the methane into actual gasoline and not have to bother converting the vehicles.

Comment: Re:Patenting genes (Score 1) 463

by mrchaotica (#48940219) Attached to: The Gap Between What The Public Thinks And What Scientists Know

So, does additional patent infringement occur when those children reproduce?

What if instead of humans, they were some other species and a third-party human caused them to reproduce -- would that third party human be liable?

Normally, a legal remedy for claims of patent infringement is for the infringing party to cease infringing. Would that be ethical -- or even possible (if, for example, the modified organisms escaped into the wild) -- in this situation?

+ - Reverse Engineering the Nike+ FuelBand's Communications Protocol->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Security researcher Simone Margaritelli has reverse engineered the Bluetooth low-energy communications protocol for his Nike+ FuelBand SE, a wrist-worn activity tracker. He learned some disturbing fact: "The authentication system is vulnerable, anyone could connect to your device. The protocol supports direct reading and writing of the device memory, up to 65K of contents. The protocol supports commands that are not supposed to be implemented in a production release (bootloader mode, device self test, etc)." His post explains in detail how he managed this, and how Nike put effort into creating an authentication system, but then completely undermined it by using a hard-coded token. Margaritelli even provides a command list for the device, which can do things like grab an event log, upload a bitmap for the screen, and even reset the device."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:More ambiguous cruft (Score 1) 463

by jedidiah (#48939217) Attached to: The Gap Between What The Public Thinks And What Scientists Know

George Carlin had a great routine on this subject. He correctly surmised that we were all guinea pigs. His particular example was birth control pills but this could apply equally to any new chemical or product. We usually really don't know the full implications of something until it's been tested by the end user. There usually isn't sufficient "science" done beforehand to really trust a new drug or product. So we are ultimately all guinea pigs and we have to just see what happens.

Unfortunately by that point it's hard to isolate all the variables.

If cancers and allergies go up, who do you blame? There are so many possible culprits.

Also, science is much harder and much less certain than the talking heads will admit.

Comment: Let's have a War on Corn! (Re:Obama oops...) (Score 3, Interesting) 199

by mi (#48939185) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

President Obama Announces Major Initiative to Spur Biofuels Industry and Enhance America's Energy Security

That's Big Government for you. Instead of various people acting as they see fit — some making mistakes and some not — we have a government, that's big enough to make a mistake for all of us at once...

Competing ideas? To each his own? Personal responsibility? No way, no how — citizen, the Science is Settled[TM] and you are blocking our progress towards the Common Good[TM].

Fat is bad for you — all of you! Until it is not. Except it still is...

Biofuels is about to become the latest example of this. As our benevolent and omniscient overlords in Washington jump from one trend to another, the whole country is supposed to rejig, retool, and reorient itself each time: from "low-fat" to "low-sugar", from growing biofuels to drilling oil. Because they "know" better — and they are 100% confident in that settled "knowledge" of theirs. Until it changes to the exact opposite like some kind of quantum particle — and only the confidence remains.

How about we — the subjects — make our own choices, huh? Leaving only the courts, police and military to you, our beloved government class? Yes, we — some of us — will be making the same mistakes. But, at least, they will be neither coercing nor outright forcing the others to repeat them.

Comment: Re:More ambiguous cruft (Score 0) 463

by jedidiah (#48939143) Attached to: The Gap Between What The Public Thinks And What Scientists Know

There is no health benefit to taking a perfectly useful plant and adding more poisons to it. It doesn't matter if it's what occurs in the planet naturally or some other product that someone wants to sell to your local farmer (Roundup).

We already grow more than enough food. We have been letting food rot in order to prop up commodities prices since before you were born.

+ - Computers are evil in early education-> 2

Submitted by nbauman
nbauman (624611) writes "Middle school students who got computers did worse in school. They wasted their time on games, social media, and entertainment (just like adults), according to Susan Pinker in the New York Times. Computers only help when they're used by good, trained teachers. Infants who interact with parents do better in school. Screen time reduces interaction with parents.

In the early 2000s, economists tracked the academic progress of nearly one million disadvantaged middle-school students against the dates they were given networked computers. They assessed math and reading skills for 5 years.

“Students who gain access to a home computer between the 5th and 8th grades tend to witness a persistent decline in reading and math scores,” they wrote. The Internet was also linked to lower grades in younger children.

Weaker students (boys, African-Americans) were affected more than others. When their computers arrived, their reading scores fell off a cliff.

Technology has a role in education — but only when it’s perfectly suited to the task, and only when it's deployed as a tool by a terrific, highly trained teacher."

Link to Original Source

We can predict everything, except the future.