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Comment: Re:I'm still waiting... (Score 1) 160

by wierd_w (#48199941) Attached to: Cell Transplant Allows Paralyzed Man To Walk

Seriously, this is totally a non-issue when you think about it.

The "Oh, I cant make embryos in a dish just to smash them up in a tissue homogenizer! Oh woe is me! I guess I cant get any new cell lines now!" argument is not even wrong-- it's not even right. It's as close to a classic false dichotomy as you can get. (Can't harvest cells specifically for research, so no embryonic cell research!)

Tissue collection happens routinely for diagnostic reasons from perfectly healthy embryos created for IVF.

The easy solution? Non-destructive collection from these IVF embryos, with a consent form to release some of the tissue samples for research from the parents. Collect the sample for testing, then any remaining left over from this collection, (Collected for diagnostic testing, not research purposes) you then provide to ESC researchers with appropriate consent forms.

(For those who are willfully ignorant about this kind of thing, Pre-implantation genetic screening provides a perfect opportunity to collect these cells.)


That solution has been tendered by IVF lab workers for at least 15 years that I know of. Has it gained much traction?


Do people still honestly believe that the only way to get ICM cells from an IVF embryo is to run the thing through a homogenizer?



I'd say it's not a high enough profile solution to such a high profile "Problem." Not enough controversy, and somebody doesn't get forced to eat crow, so the press does not cover it. People remain ignorant that there are non-destructive ways to collect these cells for procedures that are not principally ESC research related, and the media profits from people being ignorant but highly opinionated about "Killing babies".

This has been a solution sitting on that table for quite some time now.

Comment: Re:This is horrible! (Score 4, Interesting) 113

by wierd_w (#48176837) Attached to: Florida Supreme Court: Police Can't Grab Cell Tower Data Without a Warrant

Yes! This is Horrible!

Rulings like this place obstacles in the way of law enforcement doing what they want, which makes it harder for them to do what they want!

They have enacted policies and procedures that rely on being able to do what they want without any interference from the courts, and things like this will CLEARLY allow criminals to escape JUSTICE! You dont want law enforcement to LET CRIMINALS GET AWAY, DO YOU!? THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

That's why the various 3-letter agencies are hard at work trying to get laws drafted that will make it legal for them to do what they want! (Because they need to be able to do what they want to do what they want, so they can use the procedures that they have created that rely on them being able to do what they want!)

*In case you hadn't noticed, I am laying it on thick for a reason. This is basically the argument, boiled down and rarefied to its most basic components, being provided by law enforcement against rulings and findings like this.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 1) 75

by wierd_w (#48174205) Attached to: Kickstarter Cancels Anonabox Funding Campaign

Love the ad hominem. I guess you wouldn't be a slashdot AC without using one. I especially loved how you believe that I dont understand what TOR does (and that the only purpose of other peoples posts are to increase your own, personal knowledge base), or what its limitations are. Next up, you will complain about my spelling and grammar. You neednt bother though; I will spare you the expense, and admit openly that both are poor. I dont care. :P (See how I flagrantly fail to use apostrophes! Oh the humanity! Clearly I dont have a fucking clue because I cant use an apostrophe, even though I clearly do by pointing this out! OH NO!)

However, your scope of use-case is not very broad. You are assuming a person wants an easy tor node to hide all that home traffic (bank account logins, et-al), rather than for other purposes that one would want a tor node for. Say for instance, political speech, anonymizing a server that is black boxed (you can't change the software on), etc. I never said that this box needed to be the gatekeeper to the ISP. It just needs to be the gatekeeper for a TORed subnet.

Granted, there would be some added utility to the tor community at large to have so much benign traffic passing through their obfuscation network, because it would add hay to the haystack (making finding the needles harder) but it would also make the already poorly performing TOR network even more burdened, and it would in general destroy network performance, in addition to exposing lots of people to a very huge Man in the Middle.

Tor can basically be used like a vpn without a specific endpoint. This means it would be useful for people in oppressive regimes that want to send real information, free from the censors. Having a single device to configure in one's kit would be handy; especially something easily transportable, like a portable hotspot, or a router. (Just use it like a bridge instead; openwrt will let you do this. Show up at the hotel/library/Burgerking/$hotspot, use the 'free' wifi, send fully tor'd up political speech all you want.) A PORTABLE tor node that can latch onto public open networks would be quite handy, and I can definitely see a use for it.

The implication that this was for "All the interwebz!" was entirely your own fabrication, and I am hereby officially calling you out on that strawman.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 3, Insightful) 75

by wierd_w (#48173773) Attached to: Kickstarter Cancels Anonabox Funding Campaign

The internet was not designed to prevent eavesdropping either.

Hell, ETHERNET was not designed to prevent it!

If you want a technology to prevent eavesdropping, you need to go ground up quantum crypto over optical fiber or something.

Tor is basically security through obscurity anyway. However, it is still more difficult to intercept and piece together than naked, unfiltered traffic, which is what a normal router offers.

Basically, what I am pointing out is that your argument is absurd. TOR was attacked by governments, not from within the TOR network, but by observing the traffic going into and out of its exit nodes. That is because the traffic going in and out was unencumbered at that point, because it has to talk with the regular internet. Coupled with other forensic techniques, the powers that be were able to deduce a great deal about who sent what packets through TOR.


Instead, the best you can do is make the message meaningless to the one who is eavesdropping. That is encryption. Even better if you use encrypted packets with a randomized route. This means that eavesdroppers will only get a few of the packets, and will not have enough data to attack the message contents.

Encryption that is worth a shit requires a beefy FPU. That's why I pointed out that current COTS routers aren't a good fit exactly-- normal packet routing does not require FPU function. However, as data security on the internet becomes more and more a requirement, and less and less of a simple paranoia thing-- (and as cost of manufacture for SoC systems comes down and economies of scale interject into the market for SoCs) then home routers with real hardfloat will emerge. At that time, it really would be possible to have a consumer device in your house that does the data fiddling for you.

Again, your objection is bullshit. Followed to its conclusion, the internet itself shouldnt be used at all.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 2) 75

by wierd_w (#48173585) Attached to: Kickstarter Cancels Anonabox Funding Campaign

openwrt + debian chroot + tor linux package == wireless router that simply puts everything through tor, transparently.

one could dispense with the debian chroot altogether if they did a well maintained fork of openwrt with well updated packages.

Routers are getting quite powerful these days. while they often lack hardware fpu, that can be somewhat alleviated with softfloat solutions.

keep your traffic under control, and such a box can easily handle the load. (naturally, you need to keep the number of connected devices under control, and keep packet count sane within limits of the weaksauce router's hardware.)

just saying that such an appliance can be made at home right now with old network gear and free software.


Comment: Re:wait, what? (Score 1) 82

by wierd_w (#48146571) Attached to: Companies Genetically Engineer Spider Silk

Short of growing spinnarets on a tissue sheet from cultured spider cells, (which would give the exact organs needed), there is no way to fully replicate the features of a spider's spinnaret at this time.

According to , the processes that transform the spinning dope from an disordered liquid crystal solution to insoluble fibers involves mechanical compression coupled with saline ion removal, and that the rate of draw from the spinning duct has a profound correlation with the tensility of the resulting fibers.

This suggests that a "tapered silicon nanoneedle array" that has been doped to wick away saline ions from the needle's interior through the walls of the shaft, coupled with a controlled rate of draw, and a carefully selected for mechanical pore size, tube length, and taper, could result in a passable approximation of spider silk.

It does not need to absolutely perfect; it just needs to approximate the features of spider silk. Perfect replication is likely not possible with current nano-technology.

Comment: Re:wait, what? (Score 1) 82

by wierd_w (#48144625) Attached to: Companies Genetically Engineer Spider Silk

One solution might be to re-purpose other tech from the bio-tech industry.

Specifically, hollow silicon nanoneedle arrays.

Grown with the correct length, diameter, and taper, they would function as mechanical analogues to spider spinnarettes. Wet one side, then "brush" the other to get the thread started-- then just gently tug on the resulting fibers.

They would be very fragile things though. Would take very specialized equipment to handle, install, and prime them for service. They would also be far more fragile then ones made from insect chitin, so the drawing speed and pitch angle of the pull would have to be very carefully controlled to avoid breaking off the needles.

Maybe pores in a sheet would work better?

Comment: Re:wait, what? (Score 5, Interesting) 82

by wierd_w (#48144493) Attached to: Companies Genetically Engineer Spider Silk

Just read the article myself;

This is still about the protein itself, not the mechanical processing done by the spider to create the unique fibers they produce.

Basically, the spider's silk protein is a bit like a "hook and latch", much like a zipper's teeth. Mass producing the protein produces "Zipper teeth", but that does not result in the unique conformation of a zipped up zipper.

For that, you need the zipper pull.

That's what a spider's spinnarets do. As the liquid crystal solution of spider protein gets pulled into the spinnaret, it gets compressed mechanically in a special fashion, which causes spontaneous self-assembly of these "zipper teeth", into a fully assembled, fully interlocking "zipper" of interlocked protein molecules. It is this fully interlocked assemblage that gives spider silk its unique mechanical properties.

The shape and length of these structures in the spider's abdomen are crucial to correct assembly.

As the linked Nature paper I linked to points out, this process is NOT incorporated in any currently used textile processing system.

Getting bulk, high quality protein is only PART of getting mass produced spider silk. The other part is the mechanical processing.

Silkworms do not have the structures that spiders do for processing their silk. Instead, silkworms produce a kind of salivary secretion through a much larger orifice. This orifice is much larger than a spider's spinnaret, and is not the same shape. This is why silk worms producing spider proteins will not produce silk of the same quality.

Now, we have some pretty kick ass micro-pipette technology these days (and surface morphology control on silicon substrates from PV solar research) that could probably be used to create synthetic spinnarettes--- Just wet one side with the silk solution, then draw silk fibers from the other side.

I just have never heard of any serious research into creating such synthetic spinnaret technologies.

Comment: wait, what? (Score 4, Informative) 82

by wierd_w (#48144183) Attached to: Companies Genetically Engineer Spider Silk

I thought the magic in spider silk was 2-part.

First, is the molecule-- but the second is how it gets "zipped" into a silk filament by the spider's spinnarets.

Just putting the genes into a silkworm WILL NOT PRODUCE SILK LIKE A SPIDERS!

Producing the proteins in goats wont fix the mechanical processing that spiders do.

This is why these things keeps failing. The protein is only part of the package. They need nano-structure spinnaret simulants to spin the solution with as well.

Comment: Re:Hoax (Score 1) 984

Here's all that needs to happen:

Rossi needs to produce approximately 20 test devices, with easily eject-able fuel systems. This separates the fuel system from the catalyzing system.

He needs to provide these loaded devices to independent testing labs, observed by a lawyer to assure that the independent labs dont disassemble the catalyzer, and only examine the fuel canister.

Independent verification, free from the "Rossi was there" objection, can then be performed on the device.

This is because the claims-- "My catalyzer is able to turn this stuff into this stuff, releasing energy!" does NOT require disassembly of the catalyzer. Only analysis of the fuel. Making the two easily separated solves the issue nicely. It is quite easy to falsify that claim if rossi provides such a device and fuel sample for independent testing.

That alone can make or break rossi.

Are you people asking him to compromise this way? No. You are not. Are you thus being sensible in your approach? No, no you are not.

Comment: Re:He tried patenting it... (Score 1) 984

No, that would be Jumping to conclusions.

Not Occam's Razor.

Since it is based on total number of assumptions made, let's count, shall we?

Yours, that this guy and his team are frauds, requires these assumptions:

This guy manipulated all samples himself, so he must have tampered with them to get these results.

The samples before and after the experiment are not the same sample.

His team must be complicit in his fraud

his measurements for his samples are specifically designed to misrepresent a non-working device as a working one.

his device does not work.

That's 5 assumptions.

Now, let's look at mine-- 'the device could be real' scenario.

The device may work

The inventor does not release his secret because he does not have good legal protection from intellectual theft

the research team he used is the same team because it is the only one who will do it for him.

the sample before and after the experiment is the same sample.

That's 4 assumptions.

Nope, 5 is not less than 4. Sorry.

Comment: Re:He tried patenting it... (Score 1) 984

I admit to not reading their paper.

Rather, I was pointing out that the blanket accusations of fraud were not science.

If they indeed did not properly document their test protocol, then their test is indeed useless, and their paper should rightfully be torpedoed into oblivion during peer review.

BUT-- that is again not an accusation of fraud per se-- It is a reprimand for not properly documenting their experimental test protocol for independent verification via the scientific method, which is the actual purpose of the peer review process.

"Hey bitches, your paper sucks balls, because I cant fucking replicate your experiment, let alone your results! If you have that documentation on hand, and just neglected to put it in your paper, then put it in your fucking paper-- If you were too dumb to collect the needed data to replicate your experiment, your experiment is worthless because we cant verify it!"

That is NOT "Bitches be lying." It is "Bitches be incompetent." or "Bitches be negligent." :D

Comment: Re:He tried patenting it... (Score 1) 984

That too is one of the uncontrolled variables I cited that applied--

"Was the sample tampered with?"

AGAIN, catch-able with proper independent experimental replication, which is the prescribed methodology.

The below criticism-- that their methodology is fundamentally flawed due to not actually collecting valid data using wholly faulted practices, and that they did not properly document their experiment, preventing third party replication-- Is a real and valid criticism.

Comment: Re:Since you are using occam's razor (Score 1) 984

Which is exactly what I called for-- It is the ONLY LEGITIMATE WAY to either verify or refute this data.

Either the data is good, or the data is bad. The only way to tell is to conduct the experimental protocol as described in the literature in a fully independent test laboratory setting with completely different researchers.

I did not once say otherwise.

If you want an example of occam's razor giving a seemingly implausible explanation as the most likely-- just look at the double slit experiment data. :D

In this case, I was pointing out that having to resort to wild conjectures like "He totally fudged with the sample, and did shit to it behind people's backs" without any data to this effect, while the researchers published their data for review, places the burden of evidence on the nay-sayers. There are perfectly plausible scenarios where room temperature fusion events can occur, which would perfectly explain the isotope data, and would be necessary to get the energy flux reported.

Currently, you and others are saying "It's more likely that this guy and his so called team just shat out some numbers on a device that does not actually work, after initially being ball busted with their first paper."

What I am saying, is that this may be an actual device, that does actually work, getting a revised experiment published after properly following up with peer review feedback where they refined their experiment.

The only way to be sure, is to fucking run the experiment in an independent setting, and qualify the findings.

Casting aspersions without providing data is not science.

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990