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Comment Re:Congratulations America (Score 2) 284

Truly you have achieved the best government that money can buy...

You mean like GM makes the best car money can buy?

The sad thing is we pay top dollar even though we buy substandard value, hardly worth the price. I mean why be the richest guy on the block if you only wanna drive a Cadillac? Talk about low standards. Casting pearls before swine, or putting lipstick on pigs seems to be the extent of benefit we receive as a society from all our surplus wealth .

Whats the point of being the richest nation on earth if it fails to enrich the vast majority of its citizens? What else was the point of this nation's inception? We already had inequality to begin with, and certainly don't require a political process or economy to maintain that disparity.

Comment You get what you pay for.... (Score 3, Insightful) 284

....that still doesn't make it a democracy.

As long as our "representational" government is hijacked to represent the majority of dollars instead of people and of free speech, then we've completely strayed away from any sort of democracy at all. I don't know what you call it, but it ain't democracy.

Clearly our voices no longer equate to a level democratic process. Though we may be born equal, our influence under the law extends with our wealth, regardless of its source or of the massive disparity among the citizens.

Whats the point of voting in an auction that always goes to the highest bidder? Nostalgia or denial? We might as well still have royalty because it sure works like a nobility.

Submission + - Chevron gets 9 years worth of activists' internet metadata

Halo1 writes: A US Federal judge has ruled that Microsoft must provide Chevron with IP usage records and identity information for email accounts owned by more than 100 environmental activists, journalists and attorneys. Chevron ask for this information in an attempt to prove that it fell victim to a conspiracy when it was convicted to pay $18 billion for dumping 18.5 billion gallons of oil waste in the Ecuadorean Amazon. Opponents, such as the EFF and ERI, criticise that this could allow Chevron to determine the countries, states, cities or even buildings where the account-holders were checking their email, so as to 'infer the movements of the users over the relevant period'.

Comment A half a billion dollars spent? .. Or laundered? (Score 1) 92

How is it this half billion dollars is well spent ? Only if the "downside" possibility is worth the money spent. So I wonder how it is that Microsoft and HP and Google and Facebook remain profitable with all of the money they toss around on dead ends. After a while it all looks like good old fashioned money laundering, masquerading as investment....

Comment Re:With multiple stops (LIES) along the way (Score 1) 105

You are right. There is a fundamental dishonesty and up-selling of this story which in every iteration on the wire conveys an impression of continuous flight. In fact, the link on Google's home page led me to detail that seemed that way. So what is it with the media, press, and politics these days that insists on perpetually bending the truth and making false claims?

Little lies are total bullshit.

Submission + - Two mutations triggered an evolutionary leap 500 million years ago (uchospitals.edu)

Taco Cowboy writes: "Changes in just two letters of the genetic code in our deep evolutionary past caused a massive shift in the function of one protein and set in motion the evolution of our present-day hormonal and reproductive systems," said Joe Thornton, PhD, professor of human genetics and ecology & evolution at the University of Chicago

In a feat of "molecular time travel" the researchers resurrected and analyzed the functions of the ancestors of genes that play key roles in modern human reproduction, development, immunity and cancer. By re-creating the same DNA changes that occurred during those genes' ancient history, the team showed that two mutations set the stage for hormones like estrogen, testosterone and cortisol to take on their crucial present-day roles

"If those two mutations had not happened, our bodies today would have to use different mechanisms to regulate pregnancy, libido, the response to stress, kidney function, inflammation, and the development of male and female characteristics at puberty," Thornton said

Understanding how the genetic code of a protein determines its functions would allow biochemists to better design drugs and predict the effects of mutations on disease. Thornton said the discovery shows how evolutionary analysis of proteins' histories can advance this goal, Before the group's work, it was not previously known how the various steroid receptors in modern species distinguish estrogens from other hormones

They found that just two changes in the ancient receptor's gene sequence caused a 70,000-fold shift in preference away from estrogens toward other steroid hormones. The researchers also used biophysical techniques to identify the precise atomic-level mechanisms by which the mutations affected the protein's functions. Although only a few atoms in the protein were changed, this radically rewired the network of interactions between the receptor and the hormone, leading to a massive change in function


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