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Comment Questions on genetic engineering (Score 2) 10

Hi! Thanks a lot for this great opportunity. Hope it's not too much to ask several questions at once.

I've recently been involved in a discussion on this subject, so several questions came up:

1. Is genetic engineering on the level of creating catgirls, cabbits and such possible with current technology? I'm guessing that given all the progress and existence of things like glowing fish and GM food, it's probably doable, and the only reason such things don't exist yet is due to ethical and economical reasons. Put in another way, how far could one get into mad scientist territory if ignoring all rules was possible?

2. Are there limits to gene therapy? If one can artificially create something like the above, is it possible to make an existing organism rebuild itself into the same shape? I understand that it's probably not been attempted, but are there any known limits past which something of the sort wouldn't be worth trying?

For instance, as somebody with an interest in photography, I think it'd be very neat to be able to improve my vision and become a tetrachromat, or gain the ability to see IR or UV. Can gene therapy get something like that done?

3. What is your opinion on DIYbio?

Thanks!

Comment Re:chicken little (Score 1) 745

The switch will happen either way of course. But there are different types of changes. When it's clear that change is imminent anyway I'd rather have it happen smoothly.

It seems it is currently the cheapest option.

Money isn't the only thing of value in life. I'd gladly have funded the transition to cars back then, to ensure that I have to spend less years drowning in manure. Life is short and I'd prefer to spend it as pleasantly as possible.

Money is simply a means to an end, not an end in itself.

Comment Re:chicken little (Score 1) 745

I see many problems.

The important thing is not just oil, but cheap oil. This specific article is about exploiting the less available fields, which is expensive, complicated, and more polluting than the easy to access wells.

And of course, as can be seen with BP the industry will do anything they can to weasel out of paying for the damage.

Comment Re:chicken little (Score 1) 745

The lesson is that sometimes* there's a currently unknown technical development that will alleviate the linearly projected future problem.

The good thing is that we have alternatives right now. No need to wait for wait for something to magically happen.

The conference in the listed article had to be aborted since they could not even foresee how the problem would be solved.

Again, we're in a better situation: we have options, so we don't need to sit and wait until a solution happens to be found.

No subsidies or regulations were ever needed.

If you were back then, in a city full of flies, bacteria filled water and stinking of cow manure, would you want to try to push the change a bit faster, or would you be happy to wait a few more years until the transition happened naturally?

Also note that the oil industry gets plenty subsidies. This guy's point is that you shouldn't subsidize cars, you should subsidize this horse farm instead.

Comment Re:Idiot (Score 1) 745

Regardless of all that, oil is still going to run at some point.

Regarding solar panels, sure, production of electronics is going to generate pollution, which is why agree with the article that the industry needs to be cleaned up. Thought that's nowhere near the only way of renewable energy production.

And while "everything pollutes to some point" is true, some things pollute more than others.

Comment Re:chicken little (Score 1) 745

The lesson that I extract from that is that horses were indeed an unsustainable technology and had to be replaced with something better and less polluting.

The same way, applied to the current situation, the point is that oil is unsustainable and needs to be replaced with something better and less polluting.

If back then things were like today, then we'd have lots of people insisting that manure isn't really a problem, after all it's an entirely natural thing, and that cars will spell doom for the economy.

Censorship

Submission + - Microsoft Helped Tunisian Regime Spy On Citizens (zdnet.co.uk) 1

An anonymous reader writes: A document courtesy of the recent Cablegate leak reveals that Microsoft provided training to the Tunisian Ministries of Justice and the Interior in exchange for exemption from the country's open software policy. These Ministries would soon put the training to use by phishing for the social networking credentials of bloggers, reporters, political activists and protesters. Microsoft's assistance resulted in the sale of 12,000 software licenses to the Tunisian government.

Comment Re:Time to shift focus to another kernel? (Score 1) 142

Thousands? They're dirt cheap these days.

Samsung ML-2850 and similar for instance: costs around $130, has a network interface and is compatible with everything, prints double sided out of the box. Box advertises it as Linux compatible even. I'm not sure if it's possible to plug a stick into it though.

Only downside to it I can see so far is chipped cartridges, but there seem to be workarounds for that.

Comment Re:Full Kernel without C* (Score 2) 406

If you're going to replicate an existing project you're always going to be behind it, whether you follow an open or closed development model.

Now, Mono could (and does) add functionality MS doesn't offer, creating exactly the same situation in the opposite direction, assuming the Mono additions become desirable enough that MS would want to keep parity.

Comment Re:Time to shift focus to another kernel? (Score 3, Interesting) 142

In such a case, I do not care for what you make.

Seriously, if Linux won't support it out of the box, I'm not buying it. Got burned before with printers that only work on specific versions of Windows before, not going to have that again.

I only make an exception for 3D drivers and will stop doing that as soon as I can switch to an open driver.

Comment Re:Marketing 123 (Score 1) 374

Thanks, I'll consider it.

Actually I don't particularly care for the app store. I've got a N900 currently, and haven't installed a single paid application on it. What I'm looking for is more or less a Linux laptop in cell phone form.

I'll probably get the N9 if it's any good, but I don't think anything else of that sort is going to come out of Nokia, so I'll have to look at alternatives.

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