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Comment Re: GMO perfectly is safe (Score 1) 391

The issue here is not whether all genetic modification is safe, it is about the misleading reporting of a scientific article. The scientific community do have ethical concerns about safety, which is why such studies are performed in the first place.

In this particular instance, they were screening for toxins that could be produced in error by a sequence. In the particular gene they were looking at (one commonly used to promote expression of proteins for another inserted gene), they couldn't find any. This doesn't automatically make it safe, but it rules out a set of potential issues.

And remember, such allergens/toxins can be produced in non-modified organisms, which is why we even know about them in the first place.

Comment Re:Chinese (Score 4, Insightful) 514

Many language varieties in China would be seen by linguists as distinct. Compare putonghua or guangzhou hua with holooe. Whether you call these 'dialects' or 'languages' or fangyan depends on how you define the term 'language'.

While it is true that some spoken variants of English are quite difficult for other English speakers to understand (such as Black Country English, or the Glasgow Patter), there's not the linguistic range that you would find between the Chinese languages/dialects. Most English varieties are mutually intelligible, and differ primarily in pronunciation and a few words.

Comment Re:use encryption (Score 1) 325

The aim here is not to shield a single individual from government intercept, but to protect the wider community from wholesale surveillance by the state.

The latter requires simply that strong encryption becomes defacto, as part of email, as part of browsing the web, as part of all communication. The primary difficulties are not around message encryption (for example, many people use Skype, which is encrypted by default), but the decentralization of keys in a way that is usable en masse.

Comment Re:use encryption (Score 1) 325

Assymetric cryptography is used for key exchange in transport layer security. So this protects you from man-in-the-middle attacks, since the private key is never transmitted (and the session keys are encrypted), at least in an ideal world where implementations are perfect.

The real structural issue is the chain of trust; the certificate authorities are rather more centralized than is healthy. But subverting these involves more than just sitting in the middle of the network.

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