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Comment: I think we all know "how it works" (Score 3, Insightful) 94

There technology behind these intercepts is not particularly complex, so I don't think there is a significant need to explain "how it works". The fact that they are trying to "share" information that is already quite clear to all interested parties, suggests that this is a PR effort for the public, rather than an attempt to modify law enforcement practices in earnest.

+ - Chimpanzees now have (some) human rights->

Submitted by ugen
ugen writes: According to a New York judge, two chimpanzees now have a right that until Monday was reserved for humans. issued the writs on behalf of Hercules and Leo, the Stony Brook chimps. It’s the first time habeas corpus, historically used to free slaves and people wrongly imprisoned, has ever been extended to a species other than Homo sapiens.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re: Did they mention the yummy GMOs (Score 1) 320

by ugen (#49498573) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

Actually it was a pure guess, based on obvious statement. But now that you asked - I can. Here is the relevant quote about a "dr" who started the accusation:

"Miller, whose employer, the Hoover Institution, is often described as a âoeRepublican-leaningâ or âoeconservativeâ think tank, has interests of his own. A molecular biologist by training, Miller spent 15 years at the FDA before his fellowship at Hoover; throughout both jobs, he has been a consistent and ardent promoter of genetically engineered foods (or GMOs â" the âoeOâ standing for âoeorganismâ).

And in his advocacy, Miller is positively prolific. A quick web search reveals dozens upon dozens of articles and opinion columns touting the benefits of GMOs to consumers, developing economies and agribusiness â" and a seemingly equal number attacking those that warn about the possible risks of what are sometimes called âoeFrankenfoods.â

Miller was a leading voice in opposition to Californiaâ(TM)s Prop. 37, the 2012 ballot initiative seeking clear labeling of products containing GMOs, and, in the 1990s, was an equally prominent voice in a tobacco industry-backed campaign to discredit the science linking cigarette use and cancer."

Link: http://america.aljazeera.com/blogs/scrutineer/2015/4/17/doctors-behind-anti-oz-letter-have-own-conflicts-of-interest.html

Comment: Did they mention the yummy GMOs (Score 1, Insightful) 320

by ugen (#49497941) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

Quackery they could tolerate. But how dare he question the nutritious yummy GMOs whose manufacturers are pumping millions of dollars into endowments for those other Columbia University medical faculty. While he's enriching himself, those poor souls may lose out on lucrative $$$. Can't have that.
(That's not to say dr. Oz is not a quack - he certainly is a snake oil salesman, but these guys have an agenda that's as clear as day)

Comment: NSA doesnt' know? (Score 5, Insightful) 296

by ugen (#49291999) Attached to: To Avoid NSA Interception, Cisco Will Ship To Decoy Addresses

Seriously, I would assume that NSA at least has a "mole" in the order processing/accounting/shipping dept. at Cisco. Unless Cisco pays a lot more than market to these rank-and-file employees or gives them benefits unheard of elsewhere, they aren't particularly hard to get to cooperate, I would guess.

+ - United flight costs less due to IT glitch, customer charged more after the fact->

Submitted by ugen
ugen writes: This is a discussion on Flyertalk. Evidently, a United passenger accepted an attractive offer of upgrade when booking a flight on United.com. After flight was complete, United decided that the fare offered was an IT glitch, and charged the customer's credit card additional $1200 without prior notice.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Batteries and wifi (Score 1) 307

by ugen (#49283277) Attached to: Which of these internal computer parts have you had the most problems with?

None on this list.
- Batteries - they get old,don't hold charge and even explode (I had an old macbook battery explode, or, rather - spontaneously "blow up" in size about 3-4 times, although it fortunately didn't leak)
- Wifi cards - reception gets wonky, and there is not much you can do about that (as they are now part of the motherboard and not easily replaceable)

Comment: If it works - they call it something else (Score 0) 447

by ugen (#49246643) Attached to: Homeopathy Turns Out To Be Useless For Treating Medical Conditions

"Homeopathy" is a strange beast - it is a way for other people to put thousands of different compounds under one umbrella. The only thing uniting these compounds is that they have been derived from plants or animal matter (or otherwise from "nature") without significant manufacturing / chemical processes.

As soon as a "homeopathic" compound is proven effective - it becomes traditional medicine, of course (so it is no longer counted to homeopathy credit).
Vitamins, for example, are homeopathic compounds (because they occur in nature), yet their effects are fairly well studied.
Here are a few links at random:
Vitamin D: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/929.html#Effectiveness
Valerian Root: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerian_%28herb%29 (check extensive list of references at the bottom)
Probiotics: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Probiotic (Feel free to follow all links to more descriptions and research articles)
I could go on, but there isn't much point. If it is known to "work" - medical industry considers it standard treatment, and does not credit homeopathy with the use of given compound. Selection bias is even more powerful than placebos :)

Comment: I don't know (Score 4, Interesting) 209

by ugen (#49196221) Attached to: In 10 Years, Every Human Connected To the Internet Will Have a Timeline

For now the big 3 credit reporting agencies can't even make a decent snapshot of what I *am* now, never mind any past history.

I am constantly surprised by incorrect addresses, wrong phones, misspelled names and other such junk (mostly because data entry clerks elsewhere can't be bothered to enter data right, or poorly designed "business systems" don't handle it properly).

My driver license from one state was not properly canceled, when I moved and obtained license in another - so for a while, unknowingly, I had two parallel driver licenses and separate records (even though presumably states share that information).

The only place where information about me seems to resemble anything like reality is my own linkedin profile, and that's because I care to keep it correct.

That's not to say there isn't a ton of information on each and every one of us, and the amount keeps growing. However, most of that information is of poor quality, and not organized - something I wouldn't expect to change anytime soon. The only danger I see is that new generation is conditioned to maintain their own timeline and do the information-cleaning job for the big corporations and government for free. So, let's wait and see, shall we.

Comment: FF is my primary browser (Score 5, Interesting) 300

by ugen (#49196087) Attached to: Mozilla: Following In Sun's Faltering Footsteps?

If you care about privacy, ability to remove tracking, block ads and customize your web experience - Firefox is unbeatable. No other browser has ability to allow extensions to do so much (quite by design, I am sure - as the other 3 major browser makers are driven specifically by desire to mine information and sell your clicks to advertisers). As such, I don't see a viable replacement to Firefox in foreseeable future.

I suspect that the "big 3" would very much like Firefox to become a failure, if only because it would make their click-tracking ad-inserting behavior-recording job so much easier.

Thank you, FF, Ghostery, AdBlock Edge, Cookie Controller, Ref Control, UA Control and, of course, Greasemonkey, (without whom Google would be still tracking my ever click :) )

Too much of everything is just enough. -- Bob Wier