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Comment: Re:What about Oregon and Washington? (Score 1) 368

by whovian (#47657387) Attached to: Comcast Drops Spurious Fees When Customer Reveals Recording

I interpret this the same way. It doesn't say "recorded by us" or "recorded by us exclusively" but merely "may be recorded."

In fact the phrase "may be recorded" is open to interpretation and can mean both "we might record it" and "we give permission to record it."

  Still, I wouldn't put it past some company to try the "you recorded us illegaly" tactic.

I take their "may be recorded" as telling me what the company consents to my doing.

At other times, companies are providing caveats, fineprints, and EULAs. Should phone calls be any different?

Comment: Re:Follow the money - as in, yours (Score 1) 115

by whovian (#46067651) Attached to: Midwestern Fault Zones Are Still Alive

There is a LOT of oil money from the Gulf trying to put a lid on Fracking.

I dunno if that's true across the board. Fracking releases natural gas, which can captured and sold. I've read one mention (perhaps it was an opinion piece?) that the 'oil companies' are hopeful for the Trans Pacific Partnership to create new export markets for natural gas, but the timing needs to happen rather fast before would-be importers get their domestic capabilities going.

Comment: Re:Time to ask the bank for a new debit card and P (Score 1) 213

by whovian (#45804969) Attached to: Encrypted PIN Data Taken In Target Breach

There was some television "news" saying the protections of debit and credits cards today were the same as far as zero liability in the case of fraud goes, but it may take longer to remedy if it was a debit card. Personally, I have no reason to vouch for this as I've only used credit cards in my life.

Comment: Re:Breach of contract, copyright infringement (Score 1) 259

by whovian (#45634949) Attached to: Elsevier Going After Authors Sharing Their Own Papers

Many of these journals require copyright assignment, at which point it's not your own work anymore. Just one more reason the traditional scientific publishing model needs to die a quick death.

The work (i.e., content) should still be the authors'. Technically, it's the format of the content that the journal owns. Requiring camera-ready formatting from the authors is just added insult to an exploitive economic model.

Comment: Re:There's more to the problem than duplicating ge (Score 1) 149

by whovian (#43031357) Attached to: Software Lets Scientists Assemble DNA

The smallest, simplest forms of life are nevertheless far more complex than the most complex device ever constructed by people. It is a form of institutional hubris to suggest or believe that new life can be created by stitching together some DNA. The best we can manage at the present is to modify some tiny function of an existing life form in a hopefully beneficial direction. Anyone who thinks otherwise can volunteer to deal with the next influenza outbreak.

I seem to recall a "minimal genome" project that now seems as though it involved catenating a selection of genes sufficient for life. I'd have to search what came of it, but if you or anyone else could shed some light on it, I'd welcome it.

Comment: There are a few pass-through companies. (Score 1) 592

by whovian (#42419173) Attached to: Facebook Paid 0.3% Taxes On $1.34 Billion Profits

Certain companies, notably those dealing as real estate trusts or energy companies, already do not pay taxes on taxable income if they distribute almost all of it to shareholders within a designated 12-month period. In the case of mREITs, at least 90% has to be paid out, which is done so in the form of monthly or quarterly dividends.

Comment: Re:Evolution (Score 1) 252

by whovian (#40996121) Attached to: Widely Used Antibacterial Chemical May Impair Muscle Function

Yes, but if triclosan is such a miracle product, why aren't our bodies producing it naturally?
Maybe because evolution showed there were some downsides?

Why aren't our bodies producing venom with which we can kill live prey to eat it?
The gene(s) has to be there, and it has to be activated.
Currently not having the gene doesn't necessarily mean we cannot acquire it.

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk