You're not buying anything. You're temporarily renting a license. The whole idea of "buying" any form of media has been bullshit for at least the last 15 years.
First initial, last name, password is either their kid's birthday, or their favorite sports team followed by the number "1". I'm guessing fifty cents each.
The point is that they are using confusing and inconsistent terminology to report on the parameters of a scientific study. Using imprecise language muddies the results and makes them hard to reproduce, or even to draw a conclusion of your own.
Google Docs--er--Drive (don't like the new brand) is convenient. Like, my wife and I can edit and watch the budget (spreadsheet) easily on different devices. I know a lot of people use Mint.com and whatnot, but it is insufficient for our needs (I use both. Mint has its place.). When we were preparing for adoption, it was convenient for editing various documents without having to email stuff around. Dropbox can work, but you can also easily overwrite someone else's changes. Live editing with history makes that less likely.
It's also nice for making Christmas Wish Lists as you can share it with tech-savvy grandparents and they can claim items. As a blended family, we have a lot of people to manage when it comes to Christmas and birthdays.
If you have a lot of young single dude friends or non-planning type families, yeah, what's the point? But, for planning-type people and microbusinesses, it's really useful until you outgrow it. Then there's Google Apps for Business and Quickbooks when you're ready to take the next step.
$0.02USD, YMMV, offer not valid in California, Alaska, or the US Virgin Islands,
Indeed, for most home and SOHO users, Google Docs/Drive/Apps is Good Enough[tm].
When you get to the point where you need Excel, you buy Excel. Oh, it comes with a word processor. How nice. If you're not mail merging, who cares?
And frankly, I like Google's presentation software better than PowerPoint simply due to its simplicity and near universal access.
It's not Open Source. That sucks. But it is free and easy to access and use. Just trade your data and your soul to Google Marketing Group and be done with it.
>it is the few bad eggs you hear about that really do tarnish everyone
I don't think you know what the phrase "a few bad eggs" means. The actual phrase is "One bad apple spoils the bushel". It doesn't mean that if you remove the bad apple, the rest of the apples will be fine. It means corruption, left unchecked, will spread throughout all of the apples until the whole basket has to be discarded.
Prenda is a corrupt organization because the lawyers who make it up learned the behavior from somewhere else, and they in turn learned it from somewhere else. The only way to eliminate it is to remove all of the corruption, not just these bad lawyers. Severely punish those who seek to game the system. Better yet, fix the system that allowed and encouraged gaming to being with.
I think this latest X-51 flight may have been longer than the sum of hypersonic burns on all tests thus far, but I may have overlooked some of the more recent ones.
Suffice it to say, a several-minute burn, with acceleration, is not a trivial accomplishment.
So what's your beef?
Hi, I'm a former computer nerd, now a biologist.
Don't overestimate the role of mutation in short-term evolution. The rate of mutation per site per generation in almost all extant species is very low, and almost all mutations are deleterious. For any de novo allele to persist in a population, it must confer a significant benefit to survival or reproduction. If its selective benefit is only slight, its chance of persistence or fixation in a population is equal to its initial frequency, which is extremely low (except in very small populations, but then you have other problems). Mutation is certainly necessary for evolution, but it works on extremely long time scales.
From a biological standpoint, what Monsanto does is pretty irrelevant. They create populations that, barring mutation, don't reproduce. What they do does not affect the genetic variation of natural populations, except insofar as it restricts the total acreage occupied by non-GMO crops. But it's important to realize that those non-GMO crops are _not_ natural populations, nor are they "natural" plants. Such crops have been as thoroughly modified by man as has any Roundup-Ready plant. That's exactly what selective breeding for greater yield, better taste, etc. are - genetically modifying organisms. Corn, wheat, cabbage, mustard, and a whole host of other plants that are grown "organically" and eaten every day do not occur in nature in the forms we consume. The only difference is that companies like Monsanto target single genes, because they can. There is an argument to be made that, by selectively adding or modifying only beneficial alleles, biochemical engineering is a safer way to shape crop plants to our needs; selective breeding is sloppy, messy, and can't eliminate negative genes that, for example, are in linkage disequilibrium with selectively positive genes. And, if you don't want to grow GM seeds... don't. Agribusiness isn't preventing anyone from growing old crops the old way.
From what I have observed, most people's objections to Monsanto boil down to what one of my non-major humanities professors said: "It just doesn't seem natural." People don't seem to realize that when engineering these plants, what is happening is simply a refinement of a process that's been going on in agriculture since we first figured out planting seeds makes plants grow. It's just a more precise version, and able to avoid a whole host of problems presented by the old way of doing things. But it's happening in a lab, so it's automatically unnatural, and interfering with either God's plan or evolution. Evolution is a tricky subject, and far more complicated than most people realize.
I guess what I'm saying is, don't get a gut feeling about something and just call it good. There is a huge amount of propaganda on both sides of this issue, and the reality of the situation is more nuanced than 99% of people realize. I'm probably going to get attacked for this as a Monsanto shill, but please note that I didn't take a firm position either way. There's a reason for that: despite all the screaming from both sides, there is not enough reliable data available to do real, objective science on the broader effects of widespread GMO agriculture. Unfortunately, this dearth of data just feeds the gut feelings on both sides.
Lecture over. Feel free to flame.
I think you are misinterpreting what I said. The media has a habit of misreporting scientific studies and the scientific community has a habit of falsifying data to get published. Therefore, when I hear a claim of a sudden breakthrough that is unbelievable, I...don't believe it. Or at least maintain a healthy skepticism. While these batteries may very well be exactly what the story claims, the real proof in the pudding will be if this ever makes it off paper, which it surely will if it's as amazing as the story makes it sound.
Virtually all of that magic has been incremental steps, not exponential leaps. Whenever I read a new report of a scientific breakthrough that is suddenly orders of magnitude beyond the level of what we have now, I'm skeptical of it. When there is an actual working product that is actually on the market (and not just promises that it will be there within 5 years), then I'll get excited about it. Until then, this is just another vaporware.
...Magic was discovered today and practical and affordable applications for it are now only 30 years away!