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Comment Re:Obvious (Score 2) 238

In politics, if there's a problem with an obvious solution, and it's not already happening, there are barriers to that. Usually someone with a lot of power, and very often a lot of FUD confusing the idiot voters.

The drug war, for example. It's blindingly obvious what SHOULD happen to anyone with half a brain, but that doesn't describe a lot of voters, and there's law enforcement and the prison industry making sure we don't decriminalize drugs, so we don't. Instead we waste a hell of a lot of money and lives.

It's possible to try to overcome that barrier AND think of ways around it though. If we can't get politicians to value the future of the planet more than they value fossil fuel campaign contributions (and obviously we haven't so far), then perhaps we can think of another way to fix the planet.

Comment Re:The US just has to control everything, eh? (Score 2) 238

Humans in general like to LOOK at nature, not be subject to it's whims. Especially after we messed up the usual pattern.

And why not the US? The UN has signaled it is against geoengineering in principle. This makes strategic sense, it would be foolish to allow big carbon emitters to say "Oh, we'll just fix it later" while continuing to burn coal like there's no tomorrow. However, it's clear that some climate change is going to happen, and that it will negatively impact a lot of people. Not researching geoengineering is kind of foolish in that sense. Those countries which are contributing to climate change should probably invest in fixing the problems they largely created. Ideally after doing no further damage, but none of us were born yesterday: we know we're going to be getting our power coal until some climate-change related problem makes enough people in the US realize that nuclear or solar power would have been a better choice.

I'm not sure why they're focusing only on blocking the sun and not iron fertilization or other things.

Comment Re:AC Post (Score 2) 294

I think the same would apply to biomarkers: they might raise awareness but definitely wouldn't bring certainty that violence WILL occur. It's pretty dangerous to make assumptions based on the fact that you "might" become violent.

Definitely, but they know that already. It's genomics 101: a marker is not a 100% sign that a phenotype will develop. They undoubtedly describe their research as being primarily useful in identifying factors that make violence more likely. Their goal wouldn't be "Lock up everyone who has X Y and Z markers." Their goal would be "Identify markers that, in conjunction with other things like abuse as a child, drug problems, etc, could increase the chances that someone is going to become violent, understand how those genes work, and maybe develop drugs to be given in some circumstances."

Put another way, if these researchers were so uninformed as to think that there is a DNA sequence which will tell them with 100% certainty that someone is going to commit violence, then they're not actually scientists and we don't need to worry about them accomplishing anything.

IF they identify markers for violence, THEN we will need to concern ourselves with making sure society doesn't take that as a certainty. Society has decided that sex offenders usually having a high rate of recidivism means that every individual sex offender is going to commit another sex offense, so we should lock them up forever. But that's for people who have already committed a crime. Being sexually assaulted as a child increases the chances of one becoming a child molester, yet we don't victims as ticking time bombs. People with these markers won't have committed a crime already, so perhaps society IS mature enough to handle it.

Comment Re:Bravo EFF (Score 1) 333

The EFF just started taking bitcoins again. I hear governments hate bitcoins. At worst, they'd probably assume you were buying guns and drugs from the EFF and dodging taxes while doing it. THEN when you revealed that you weren't, the government would be so embarassed they'd probably leave you alone.

Comment Re:three strikes (Score 1) 364

I suspect that would only benefit patent trolls, who would sue twice with some IP, then the company would dissolve and miraculously, a new company would start with all the same people, IP assets, secretaries, and stationary. Meanwhile, companies with actual copyright infringements to consider would have to make absolutely sure that whoever they sued was ground into bankruptcy.

Comment Re:Ok? (Score 1) 173

A few weeks ago, the computer in my lab that is connected to two somewhat expensive bits of equipment came down with this. That was more surprising to me. It's connected to the gel imager and is in a common area. People put agarose gels in the imager and then forget to take off their gloves to use the computer. The keyboard is probably covered in ethidium bromide. Why someone would be watching porn on it is beyond me.

I guess on the bright side, semen being on the keyboard isn't a huge concern compared to the EtBr, but the ransomware prevented some people from doing their research. It said we could unlock it and avoid prosecution by paying $300 at the local CVS. I guess that sounds like a good deal to some people, possibly the person who was jerking off with carcinogens.

Comment Re:False Flag (Score 2) 509

But... there already ARE filters on by default. The app store doesn't seem have anything that would rate higher than a PG-13. Safari's default search engine was at least google, maybe they've changed it, but google has safesearch on by default. It's not like you say "Siri, I like dogs" and it goes right to a gallery of people having doggystyle sex.


I guess I'm assuming that religious groups would think about it first. You may be right.

Comment Re:Price Adjustment (Score 1) 330

The media panning I seem to recall was because it wasn't an ipad, not because it was doomed to fail. There's also the issue of the "media" covering consumer electronics is somehow even worse than the rest of the media. It's almost all tabloids for nerds, reporting rumors and regurgitating press releases.

Comment Re:But remember kids (Score 1) 217

There's also designating actual successes as failures and vice versa. The FDA, for instance, blocked approval of thalidomide until more studies were done, limiting the number of victims in the US. When I bring this up, people sometimes try to explain to me how that was a bad thing. I think it boiled down to cyclical reasoning about how it was bad because the market should have been allowed to take care of it, because the market always takes care of these things more efficiently than the FDA.

Comment Re:Avoid google (Score 3, Insightful) 151

Let's assume firefox actually won't comply with the NSA for the moment. Isn't it still a futile symbolic gesture if you actually use the phone on any network, since they all happily give up you data? AT&T has (or at least had) a broom closet that was the special NSA link room. Not to mention selling to advertisers.

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