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Comment Re:Different viewpoints (Score 2) 86

Biologists do not see DNA as merely a storage medium. This might be an issue of semantics, but when biologists say "DNA" , they mean the molecule. Just plain DNA.

For it's 'non-storage-only' functions, DNA needs a bunch of proteins and RNA molecules. This entire functional and dynamic assemblage is referred to as 'chromatin'. This is why a bunch of other terms exist - exon, intron, promoter, enhancer, gene, telomere, tandem repeats, restriction site, nucleosome etc. Clearly, these are made up of DNA, but encode functions that are referred to by different names.

Comment Boxes can be complicated (Score 3, Insightful) 639

Packaging can be weird to understand. Some of the simplest-looking boxes are often hard to manufacture and use to package a product on a assembly line.

Remember that customer experience while unpacking is perhaps the most transient, short-lived event in the life of a product. Other factors such as safety while transport, shelf-appearance and the quality of the product itself is far far more important. And lets not get started about environmental costs of packaging.

It is easy to get all of it if you have a profit margin like Apple does - about 50%. The Nexus has a profit margin of barely 5-7%. So yes, they may cut corners on the box.

But something tells me people who want a Nexus get that the packaging is irrelevant enough as to be worthless within 2 minutes of the customer having finished it. Unboxing is where the function of packaging finishes.

Comment Re:The enemy among us. (Score 5, Insightful) 469

Yes, I do think the US is falling apart. This is of course entirely subjective and based on my feeling of the trajectory of events in the last 20 years in the US. I don't live in the US, though I am 'involved' in the US being in a profession that is very international and am affected by US systems.

From the outside, irrationality seems to dominate US public opinion. US laws and rhetoric seem to drift further and further from ground realities. Especially so when concerning the nature of digital information, environmental issues , issues on religion and so on. And if anything can be considered to be the major sociological topics of our generation, I think the internet, environment and religion are the top three.

I may be - in fact hope to be, completely wrong in my pessimism.

Comment Re:The enemy among us. (Score 3, Informative) 469

" the fact still remains that Kim Dotcom made his fortune by providing a service that was used to circumvent paying for content."

Calling your opinion a fact , does not a fact make.

The fact would be that Kim Dotcom provided a service for file sharing, hosting and distribution. The files the clients of said service chose to share , host and distribute happened to contain content that they were not licensed to do so with. The clients are the criminals, not the provider of the service. This is the the technical and legal fact.

Since they can't prosecute a million people and possibly maintain their political office at the same time, the US (politicians and agencies) chose to go for the easiest and softest target in this case - namely , Kim Dotcom.

Why is he a soft target? He is a single identifiable individual, who is obese and rich from doing something that is borderline legal. The psychological impact of seeing a fat , pompous and rich man , who got that way doing something the common man is repeatedly told is a very very bad thing is rather irritating.

If you think there is even a shred of legality in the behavior of the US you are fooling yourself. Even if Kim Dotcom turned out to have facilitated crimes (which is debatable but may be alleged), the US did not stay within the law either. That just brings it down to a case of Might is Right. This is why this case should be an indicator to the US public that their system is going to the dogs.

"All murderers are punished unless they work in large numbers or to the sound of trumpets" - Voltaire. He said it best.

Comment Oh shut up already. (Score 4, Insightful) 125

Can all these noobish people with their issue with version numbers get over it? Every Slashdot post has these idiots cribbing.

You can disable automatic updates. Why are you whining? You don't like something called 15? Write a Greasemonkey script to display the correct version number however you want.

All version numbers as supposed to say is which distribution came first and which came later. 15 > 14. That is all you need to know from a version number.

Comment Re:It's like this. (Score 1) 878

I also dispute your assertion that the apostrophe could be avoided while retaining meaning. "Knowing youre shit" is nonsensical, as "youre" is not a word. You have to parse it as either "you're" or "your", and the one that you choose dramatically changes the meaning of the sentence, as the pun demonstrates.

The apostrophe is avoided by using the standard "you are" instead of the colloquial "you're". I said "avoided", not "omitted".

Comment Re:It's like this. (Score 1) 878

No. It isn't all three. Here is another way to think about it : punctuation and spelling work on the written word. Tone and pitch apply to the spoken word. Grammar applies to the speech as well as literature because it has deeper connection to language.

Here is another way to think about it: grammar is syntax .

Punctuation exists to make that syntax more readable. Spelling exists to make vocabulary standardized. They are embellishments (in a linguistic sense), and grammar is the essence. The use of the symbols of punctuation and spelling for example , is rather variable in a language family - the Indo-European for example. Grammar, however, is not as variable. The elements of Indo-European grammar are common as far back as Panini.

If the subtleties are still lost on you, it is beyond my capacity to explain. The Wikipedia article provides a bunch of references that may be useful if you are interested.

Comment Re:It's like this. (Score 1) 878

I'll focus on the part of the sentence that is obviously the play on words "knowing your shit, and knowing you're shit?"

The verb knowing , as applied to the noun 'shit' is linked in two different ways in the phrases "knowing your shit" and "knowing you're shit?".
In the first case, it is linked to the noun using a second person possessive pronoun "your". The meaning is therefore indicating who the particular noun under discussion , i.e.'shit', belongs to.
In the second case, it is linked to the noun using a second person nominative pronoun, with the auxillary verb 'are' (to be, present complete tense). The meaning is therefore a description of the condition of this person.

That is grammar.

In the first case, your is spelled as it usually is, while in the second case "you are" is abbreviated to a colloquial "you're". This abbreviation does not change meaning.

That is spelling.

A comma indicates the two phrases. It is superfluous as the conjunction 'and' already exists in the following phrase. A question mark indicates the interrogative form of the sentence. The apostrophe is a convention indicating that an abbreviation is made. Neither of these change the meaning of the specific phrases under discussion, and the comma and apostrophe could have easily been avoided while still retaining meaning.

That is punctuation.

The play on words is only because in a particular dialect of the English called American English, the "your' and "you're" sound almost similar, while "shit" has multiple connotations. Some may even consider it funny.

Comment Re:It's like this. (Score 3, Interesting) 878

Ellipses are punctuation, which is important in prose. Grammar on the other hand is not a mere symbolic identifier. Grammar establishes the rules of the language from which meaning is derived.

Yes, punctuation may also convey meaning , but has a much shallower effect than grammar.

Comment Re:Obviuos isn't the same thing everywhere (Score 1) 165

1. It's spelt 'Kenya'
2. You can't play the global market without paying attention to global standards of obviousness.

You argument about Europeans and Americans is baseless. It is clear to everyone that Apple is simply litigating to prevent competition.

Speaking of Kenya, don't be an ostrich.

Comment ISPs need to pick a side (Score 1) 150

Assuming they want to retain their customers, this should spark a competition between ISPs to demonstrate , ironically, their incompetence at implementing relevant monitoring processes.

The next time a lawyer asks them for a user's data transaction list, they should be saying "Oh sure, here is a list of PING request sent from this users connection since January...."

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