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Comment Re:Summary is Misleading (Score 1) 105

Yup.
Nothing wrong with either of those.

The Chemical council was not the petitioner in this case.
They merely called attention to the fact that a principal researcher was chairing an evaluation of her own work.
They were insisting that the same rules they were required to live by be followed in all cases.
No conspiracy here. Except the one in your mind.

Comment Re:Monsanto takes .. (Score 5, Insightful) 419

I am no fan of Monsanto, but this is a very one-sided statement. These farmers knew full well that they were planting GMO seed, they knew that Monsanto had a patent on it, and they took full advantage of the GMO by

Wait, you didn't read the article did you...

However, farmers are able to buy excess soybeans from local grain elevators, many of which are likely to be Roundup Ready seeds. One of Bowman's trips to such a grain elevator put him in Monsanto’s sights. ...

Monsanto has claimed it maintains patent rights on its genetically modified seeds, even if sold by a third party such as a grain elevator. The company also said this protection extends for generations down, which means it owns seeds that are 'descendants' of original Monsanto seeds.

So one bag of Monsanto derived grain in every grain elevator means (to your way of thinking) that Monsanto hence forth owns all see stock in the entire country? Or the entire planet? Forever?

Genetic modification isn't the only way to make new crops. Cross breeding (the original form of genetic modification) also works. Does this mean the University of Minnesota owns every Honey Crisp apple seed in the world?

I suspect you strongly believe in the first sale doctrine when it comes to books, records, and video games, but some how this is different?
Have you really thought this through?

Comment Re:Public Comments (Score 1) 105

Exactly.

Had the panel been assigned to APPROVE a chemical, and the panel was chaired by the principal investigator who performed all the safety testing for the manufacturer, wouldn't that be considered totally unethical? Wouldn't everybody be screaming about that?

She should not have accepted the position on the panel, much less the chairperson. She should have only been called as a witness.

You should't get to peer review your own work.

Comment Re:Summary is Misleading (Score 5, Insightful) 105

is it just a slow enough news day that someone has to reach back 6 years to find something controversial?

Careful reading of the story shows no obvious reason this is being trotted out now. Perhaps there is another push to oust someone
else going on behind the scenes that we are not aware of.

But the story does hint at a less controversial reason for the removal, in that as a federal official, she was in charge of
essentially propping up her own work, previously done at the state level.

I think one of the comments on TFA said it best:

Also conflicts of interest are not necessarily simply personal. There are also institutional conflicts of interest.

" In Maine, Rice's research had supported a state ban on the chemical."

Now Rice Chairs a similar review at a federal level. For federal researchers, voting on any research protocol regarding a chemical when also having been in a principal investigator position regarding the same protocol regarding that chemical (or supervising those voting on the protocol/supervising the principal investigators on) is an ethics violation.

In short, there is valid reasons for this action to have been taken. Imagine, if you will, that a chemical was being voted for APPROVAL, instead of being banned. Imagine further that a researcher who did all the studies about safety on this chemical sat on and chaired the approval committee. Would we want that to be allowed? Wouldn't people be screaming about that pretty loudly?

The American Chemical Council has no particular dog in this fight. Flame retardant is simply one of thousands of chemicals covered by this organization which has members in hundreds of different companies. I doubt flame retardant is even a blip on their radar. Yet the story makes it out as if this organization exists solely to make sure this flame retardant is not banned.

In actuality, "The EPA itself had raised concerns -- ones so significant that in late 2009 the agency and several chemical companies agreed to phase out its production." Presumably these several chemical companies were already members of the American Chemistry Council.

One could also take the position that a strictly ethical researcher would not have accepted an appointment to a panel investigating the very work that he/she pioneered. And, at the very least, would not have accepted the CHAIR of such a panel. Its sort of like doing your own peer reviews.

In short, I think your assessment of digging for controversy where none exists is spot on.

Comment Re:CEO Switchout (Score 1) 700

You don't have to calculate it. You can see the remaining range indicator in real time, and see in advance that you won't make it and seek a recharge instead of stubbornly pushing on until you run out of power in the middle of nowhere.

What kind of idiot ignores the gas gage in a regular car just because the dealer said you would get er miles per gallon? Apparently the same kind of idiot that starts under charged, adds a detour, and insist on running out of power to prove a point.

Comment Re:CEO Switchout (Score 1) 700

Logs don't mean much in this case, unless they show the journalist purposefully took the car out on half charge and drove around much more than he's describing. These two are quite unlikely to have happened.

I'm betting the logs show every bit of that level of detail and much much more.

Probably a complete GPS track, State of charge no less than every 5 minutes), speed, rate of climb/descent, how much the lights were on, the strip heat, the air conditioner, the fans, everything. Why would you NOT but that level of logging in a smart car that depends on battery power?

So the logs mean everything.

 

Comment Re:CEO Switchout (Score 1) 700

That really really depends on whether it was the cars fault or not, if it was they obviously wouldn't want to, but would that be a statement in and of itself? It typically is, otherwise they can use the logs as weight against Times.

If the logs show the exact route, including the detour, they should publish them in a full page ad in the NYT, then ask the editor once again if they still want to stand by their story that there was no detour. If the editor says yes, sue them for several hundred million. If the Editor say, well, er, no, maybe the route wasn't exactly as we said, send the bill for the advertisement back stamped paid in full.

If Tesla won't publish the entire log, including speed, route, state of charge, how much was used for heat, then that would be your clue that they might not exactly be totally honest in their promotional material.

Comment Re:Seeing how secure Twitter is... (Score 3) 106

Seeing how secure Twitter is, what could possibly go wrong?

Exactly so.
Twitter and security don't even fit in the same sentence. Everything you do or say on twitter is available world wide to anyone that cares to listen. This is the worst possible platform on which to do anything that might cost you money. When you tell the world that you just ordered that toy, at least some of those people will watch your door step for you.

Comment Re:So it's like the internet (Score 1) 102

Mesh networks can carry quite a load.

You are right or course, it needs to be installed and turned on over a significant number of devices. Some think this software should be mandatory.
Even if only for disasters or power failure, it would be worth while.

Theoretically, mesh networks, if done properly can manage bandwidth demands based on the number of working broadband connections. If not, text messages get through and voice becomes hopeless, but people adapt. In disasters, all you need is one working cable modem somewhere.

As for the guy sitting in the middle of nowhere, they are always screwed in a disaster, so no change there.

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