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Comment: Re:The most damning aspect of this affair (Score 2) 259

by spikenerd (#46522955) Attached to: Overuse of Bioengineered Corn Gives Rise To Resistant Pests
If legitimate, this "scientists weren't allowed" statement is indeed alarming. However, it was also given without details, basis, or evidence. I am a scientist, and I don't give a damn about what my industry wants me to study. Who are these pansy agricultural scientists that ask companies for permission about what to study? Was a scientist actually sued? Can anyone document any details of a possible threat, even a subtle or implied one? How did these companies manange to distribute these seeds so widely to farmers while completely preventing all scientists from obtaining a single sample? Come on, evidence please! Until then, I really want to be inflamed by this story. Can anyone with some real details help me out?

Comment: Re:Regulation of currency (Score 1) 240

by spikenerd (#46388049) Attached to: MtGox Sets Up Call Center For Worried Bitcoiners

If you want to gamble with money in an exciting way; I suggest going to Vegas.

The folks in Vegas don't take it well when you try to use your intellect to improve your odds. The market, however, permits it. That is a pretty-big difference. Frankly, I do not find games that come with restrictions about how I can use my brain and electronic extensions to be nearly as exciting.

Comment: A government by the people... (Score 2) 573

by spikenerd (#45870473) Attached to: Counterpoint: Why Edward Snowden May Not Deserve Clemency
...for the people, and of the people has no legitimate reason to indefinitely keep secrets from the people. When temporary secrets are needed, they should be placed in escrow, so the reasonableness of the duration can be evaluated when it comes out, and those keeping the secret can be held accountable. Until the government provides such reasonable checks, surely the people are justified in seizing all of its information by force.

Comment: Re: Hard to believe (Score 0) 804

Why would i care whose "fault" it is?

Perhaps, because you prefer not to indiscriminately hand greedy corporations the power to continue screwing you? Maybe you want to have some say in your own freedom? Okay, those are really my reason--I admit that I don't understand you ...at all.

Comment: Re:Almost heaven (Score 1) 44

by spikenerd (#45567537) Attached to: 270 Million Android Users In China

The only thing keeping Android from being completely open is the amount of blob code needed to access device-specific hardware.

This is no small barrier. To end users, it is the difference between a phone that works, and one that is broken. Reverse-engineering proprietary blobs is a tremendous bother. Who wants to put in all that effort for a phone that will be obsolete in 3 months? Essentially, if there is even one proprietary blob, the whole thing is effectively proprietary. From a practical perspective, is only marginally more open than Windows ever was.

Comment: Re:Hmmm .... (Score 1) 569

by spikenerd (#45264891) Attached to: Why Is Broadband More Expensive In the US Than Elsewhere?

The 'free market' is a lie

The free market is a noun. What were you told the free market would do? Magically ignore natural barriers to entry and resource limitations and spawn competition that will drive down prices to a fair value? Yeah, that would be a lie. Are you implying that we should give our government power to regulate this industry, and it will never use that power for evil? That would be a lie too. If you want the truth, you gotta stop making ridiculous assumptions.

Comment: Re:Yeah but... (Score 1) 152

by spikenerd (#45111947) Attached to: People Trust Tech Companies Over Automakers For Self-Driving Cars

Until we get the privacy laws straight...

I'm just not seeing that happening anytime soon, so what exactly are you saying? Progress must halt indefinitely? Or do you really think we are on the brink of the general public suddenly becoming outraged at the privacy infractions of the entites that "serve" them?

Comment: Re:Fakery (Score 1) 248

by spikenerd (#43397895) Attached to: Fake Academic Journals Are a Very Real Problem

Can such a system be gamed? Certainly, as can -any- system given enough time and effort, but it i s still better than nothing at all.

To be more specific, it is better than the system we have, which is easier to game. With the current system, everyone must trust the well-established venues. With the web of trust, everyone chooses their own trusted pointes to seed their web. This is very difficult to game unless you know your target's seed points in advance.

Comment: Not as black and white as people think (Score 0) 133

by spikenerd (#43317521) Attached to: Is Eccentric Sven Olaf Kamphius To Blame For Spamhaus DDoS?
Everyone hates SPAM, so obviously Spamhaus is good and Cyberbunker is evil...

...except, SPAM exists because SMTP is broken, and we can't fix SMTP because of the network effect, and SMTP is not really awful enough to fix because ...wait for it ...Spamhaus. So, it is not entirely clear to me that this guy who fights for a free and open Internet is really the bad guy. Wouldn't it be better if we actually FIXED THE PROBLEM instead of suppressing anonymity to compensate?

No pancake is so thin that it has only one side.

Comment: Re:Start working on your dissertation (Score 4, Insightful) 228

by spikenerd (#43100139) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Advice For Summer Before Ph.D. Program?

As soon as he's finished it's a never ending grind...

Right. People enjoy what they're good at. He's going for a Ph.D. Those are the kind of people that are good at making an impact. If we were good at "enjoying life", we would have pursued the path of greatest pleasure instead of the path of greatest impact. If he's not happier grinding, he's on the wrong path.

Comment: Re:further reason for a popular vote (Score 2) 642

by spikenerd (#42928361) Attached to: The US Redrawn As 50 Equally Populated States

Popular vote is the only method to accurately capture the desire of the entire population.

Nope. No method exists that accurately captures the desire of the entire population. Plurality voting is especially biased by the choices, whether done with electoral colleges, popularity, or any other system of tallying.

Comment: Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (Score 4, Insightful) 732

by spikenerd (#42701605) Attached to: Credit Card Swipe Fees Begin Sunday In USA

If you don't like the fee, tell the credit card company "no, thank you", they're the ones charging it.

Mod parent up. Visa has a near monopoly in taking a cut of all transactions, and you want us to get upset at all the retailers who don't want to submit cheerfully? Think about what you're trying to do for a second. As long as the Visa tax is hidden, no one can ever try to do it for less. Customers will always choose the bigger more-convenient card that works everywhere.

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