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Comment: No GM (Score 1) 396

by kurzweilfreak (#47249075) Attached to: "Super Bananas" May Save Millions of Lives In Africa

Monsanto suicide genes

A myth. Show us where you can buy these, please.

BT soyabeans, which causes all manner of illnesses in humans and animals

Myth #2. BT toxic is completely inactive in mammalian guts due to the acidic environment and lack of appropriate receptors to latch onto. Cry proteins are digested like any others.

Maybe next time, have the first clue what you're talking about before you spout oft-repeated bullshit.

Comment: False choice: Electronic != unreliable (Score 1) 765

by kurzweilfreak (#46982553) Attached to: A Look at Smart Gun Technology
Have you priced out autopilot airliners, military hardened equipment, medical implants, or other mission critical has-to-work hardware? That level of certainty usually comes with a price tag far, far beyond the commercially available version. So now only rich people can afford guns.

In the martial arts communities, videos of gun disarm techniques are always taken with a grain of salt and it is usually understood that when trying to grapple a gun away from someone, there's probably still a good 50/50 chance you're going to get shot trying to take someone's gun away from them even for a trained self-defense professional. So I don't think most people have to worry about having their guns grabbed out of their hands and turned against them. This is also a terrible, terrible idea for the 95 lb woman who carries a gun as an equalizer to keep from getting raped by the 200 lb guy who manages to take away the smart gun from her because it wouldn't authenticate in time/improper grip to enable firing/RF interference/etc.

Comment: Re: This is a solution in search of a problem. (Score 1) 765

by kurzweilfreak (#46982279) Attached to: A Look at Smart Gun Technology

Education obviously hasn't worked...

That's probably because gun education has typically been removed from schools. It used to be schools had gun clubs and kids were regularly seen carrying their rifles around campus. These were people that were taught how to properly use and respect a gun. Now, public gun education pretty much amounts to "abstinence only!" sex-ed. How's that working out for us?

Comment: Re:Moo (Score 1) 469

Furthermore, Steinways are inconsistent in quality; since they are made by hand, you can get two Steinways that are not of the same standard, which is frustrating when you are trying to buy one.

This is a feature, not a bug. The quality is always the same, but differences in the wood as it is shaped through the manufacturing process lend each instrument its own character as opposed to the more consistent but cookie-cutter instruments coming out of other factories.

Steinway instruments fresh out of the factory are designed to be only a starting point. The selling feature of the Steinway design is that it is so very customizable to the preferences of the player. A low tension scale design coupled with a unique hammer construction and asymmetrically tapered diaphragmatic soundboard give the voicing of a Steinway a very large potential tonal palette. It is typically up to the dealer selling the instrument to have technicians that will spend a few (or more) hours tweaking the piano to your final preference. Other instruments are more consistent from unit to unit, but sacrifice that flexibility as a result. It's relatively easy to make a Steinway bright and loud like a Yamaha by shaping and lacquering the shit out of the hammers, but it's quite difficult to take a high tension scale Yamaha and make it dark and moody while still having good dynamic control.

I generally agree with the rest of your comments though.

Comment: Re:Moo (Score 1) 469

Yamaha pianos that are comparable in design and construction method to Steinway pianos are significantly more expensive, particularly in the concert grand range.

For someone to say that a Steinway piano which is a low tension scale design is indistinguishable from a less expensive piano such as the Yamaha, a high tension scale design, tells me that someone doesn't play or listen to piano very often. The scale designs make for very different tonalities, volumes, and sustain lengths. The high end piano artists market for Steinway pianos also tells a very different story, considering that Steinway doesn't give their pianos away for free, whereas Yamaha does so regularly purely to gain marketshare, yet the vast majority of touring concert piano players prefer Steinway pianos.

Comment: Re:Moo (Score 1) 469

There are cheaper concert grands, but hardly anyone plays them. Steinway tracks all major concert halls and their performances the world over to see what pianos are being played and how often. Each year the number of major concert hall performances fluctuates between about 95-98% performed on a Steinway, with 2-5% performed on something else.

Comment: "Proved"? Really? (Score 1) 470

by kurzweilfreak (#46685949) Attached to: It's Time To Bring Pseudoscience Into the Science Classroom
As per good ol' Wikipedia: "PEAR employed random event generators (REGs), to explore the ability of test subjects to use telekinesis to influence the random output distribution of these devices to conform to their pre-recorded intentions to produce higher numbers, lower numbers, or nominal baselines.[5] Most of these experiments utilized a microelectronic REG, but experiments were also conducted with a mechanical device which dropped balls down a peg-covered board.[6] PEAR also conducted exercises involving groups of volunteers which, they claimed, produced more pronounced results.[7][8] In all cases, the observed effects were very small (about one tenth of one percent), but over extensive databases they compounded to statistically significant deviations from chance behavior.[9] The baseline for chance behavior used did not vary as statistically appropriate (baseline bind). Two PEAR researchers attributed this baseline bind to the motivation of the operators to achieve a good baseline.[10] It has been noted that a single test subject (presumed to be a member of PEAR’s staff) participated in 15% of PEAR’s trials, and was responsible for half of the total observed effect.[9] PEAR’s results have been criticized for deficient reproducibility. In one instance two German organizations failed to reproduce PEAR’s results, while PEAR similarly failed to reproduce their own results.[10] An attempt by York University’s Stan Jeffers also failed to replicate PEAR’s results.[9] PEAR’s activities have also been criticized for their lack of scientific rigor, poor methodology, and misuse of statistics.[9][11][12]" I'd say that "proved" is a might bit strong and premature here...

"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce