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Comment Re:Private companies don't do exploration of front (Score 1) 315

You have the causal relationship all wrong: Columbus deliberately sought out the support of Fernando and Isabella, without their support he would have no product to sell to his investors; one part of the deal was that he would gain authority over whatever resources he could claim in name of the crown.

And the Internet was developed by State action. To claim it was a private venture before Al Gore took the initiative to bring it to the market is historical revisionism of the highest sort. Anyone claiming that is a libertard indeed.

Comment Re:Private companies don't do exploration of front (Score 1) 315

Columbus could well have found the balance of the funding from other private investors

But he didn't

This reminds me of libertards like roman_mir who continue to insist that without DARPA and the NSF, private parties might have built the Internet. The point is, when the time came, they didn't. Counterfactuals are nice and all, but we only have one history, and that says you're wrong.

Comment Re:That won't last long... (Score 2) 788

My first thought was to wonder how she knew the test worked. For example, if I wrote a C parser I could feed known valid C programs into it for testing. If you make an Ebola test, a 16 year old can't just feed Ebola into it for testing. This article does a good job of explaining how she gets around that. The test doesn't need the whole virus. It just needs a protein that the virus makes. I don't think you can run down to the drugstore and get that either, but at least you could probably order it from somewhere without causing an international incident.

Comment Use standard batteries when possible (Score 1) 491

I understand it's not possible to put our current standard batteries in the latest phone. OTOH, a bulky DSLR has no excuse for a proprietary battery.

Related: make your equipment capable of running on both the lower-voltage rechargeable and alkaline. I'm pretty happy with my NiMH charger and AAs, but I know my lantern could be brighter if it hadn't been designed for alkaline. The only reason I have any alkaline in the house is because of this stupid irrigation timer--I just assumed that all modern stuff would work with a wider range of voltage now, but the timer doesn't. It doesn't draw that much power either--worked all summer and barely drained the alkaline batteries, yet it insists on the higher voltage.

Comment Re:It's the farmers ... (Score 3, Insightful) 93

Neonics have been in popular use since the 90's and increasing every year. If the use of them was hurting yield (it isn't) farmers would have noticed by now. They're using them because it increases yield in a cost effective manner and it's not a simple story.

Neonics are useful because they're deliverable in powder form, you can coat a seed with it, and it'll protect the seed from insects while germinating. After that the plant will take up the chemical to provide some systemic activity for a period of time. This helps the young plants get established. After about 30 days they're gone and not doing anything.

They started being used in the 90's for field farming because you could seed at a lower rate, but seed is, generally, very cheap so it wasn't too common. Pumpkins? Sure. Corn? No way -- too cheap of seed. When GMO corn, soy, cotton, etc came along THEN you saw a big uptick in neonics as it was now beneficial to protect those seeds as the GMO crops were fairly expensive seed.

Apiaries (bee keepers) might be taking a bit of hit but that's just part of dropping your bees off at a farm where a simple mistake can kill most of them. One entymologist I've heard speak on this pointed out a farm that killed a bunch of rented bees with vegetable oil... and yes vegetable oil is an insecticide. Another killed a bunch with RoundUp, an herbicide, but too much will kill a bee. Pretty much anything will kill a bee. The fact that neonics aren't terribly fatal to them is amazing, and public resistance to them confounds me and generally every other guy that's donned a chem suit and went to town on bugs. The alternatives are generally horrible to bees. Push back on neonics is going to result in more pyrethroids, carbamates and organophosphates. Every single one is toxic to bees, horribly so, and carbamates and organophosphates are bad news for humans.

Comment Re:Translation : (Score 1) 93

Nobody has ever thought you could spray any insecticide, with ONE exception perhaps*, and not affect bees. While neonics are supposed to be less hazardous to bees than most everything else if you spray bees with it they'll drop dead instantly. They're not the most effective, but they'll kill 'em right quick. It says so right on the labels. Dinotefuran, imidicloprid, acetamprid, etc... they're all going to say do not use when bees are or will be present.

*: Bt would be the exception.

Comment Re:Scale and Flotsam (Score 2) 174

While I agree that Tauriel was a Romantic Plot Tumor, I can live with that; she adds a few minutes to the movie at worst.

No, the worst offenders were those long, drawn-out set pieces, like the chase scenes such as the one through the Goblin Kingdom in the first movie, or that muddled mess at the end of the third movie. That's just Jackson being self-indulgent, cutting that crap would have brought the movies down to two, and some judicious editing might have brought the whole down to only one movie.

Submission + - Windows 10's privacy invading features aren't gone in Threshold 2 (

Mark Wilson writes: Since the launch of Windows 10, there have been various concerns relating to privacy. Some would dismiss this as little more than paranoia, but a lack of transparency about what was happening in the background broke a lot of people's trust. Many hoped that the release of the Threshold 2 update this month would address this, but in lots of cases it was actually a backward step.

In the RTM release of Windows 10, there was a service running in the background called Diagnostics Tracking Service (also known as DiagTrack), and people concerned about privacy — who were in the know — disabled it. In Threshold 2, this service is gone. A cause for celebration you might think; but think again. The service is still there, just under a different guise.

The trouble with a lot of self-made men is that they worship their creator.