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Submission + - The Unintended Consequence of Congress's Ban on Designer Babies (technologyreview.com)

schwit1 writes: By tucking two crucial sentences inside a federal spending bill last year, the U.S. Congress effectively banned the human testing of gene-editing techniques that could produce genetically modified babies. But the provision, which is up for renewal this year, has also flustered proponents of a promising technique that could help mothers avoid passing certain devastating genetic disorders to their children.

The language in the bill is a clear reference to the use of techniques like CRISPR to modify the human germline (see “Engineering the Perfect Baby”). Most scientists agree that testing germline editing in humans is irresponsible at this point. But regulators have decided that the description also fits mitochondrial replacement therapy, which entails removing the nucleus from a human egg and transplanting it into one from a different person to prevent the transmission of debilitating or even deadly mitochondrial disorders to children.

Submission + - The court that rules the world (buzzfeed.com) 1

schwit1 writes: Imagine a private, global super court that empowers corporations to bend countries to their will.

Say a nation tries to prosecute a corrupt CEO or ban dangerous pollution. Imagine that a company could turn to this super court and sue the whole country for daring to interfere with its profits, demanding hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars as retribution.

Imagine that this court is so powerful that nations often must heed its rulings as if they came from their own supreme courts, with no meaningful way to appeal. That it operates unconstrained by precedent or any significant public oversight, often keeping its proceedings and sometimes even its decisions secret. That the people who decide its cases are largely elite Western corporate attorneys who have a vested interest in expanding the court’s authority because they profit from it directly, arguing cases one day and then sitting in judgment another. That some of them half-jokingly refer to themselves as “The Club” or “The Mafia.”

And imagine that the penalties this court has imposed have been so crushing — and its decisions so unpredictable — that some nations dare not risk a trial, responding to the mere threat of a lawsuit by offering vast concessions, such as rolling back their own laws or even wiping away the punishments of convicted criminals.

This system is already in place, operating behind closed doors in office buildings and conference rooms in cities around the world. Known as investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS, it is written into a vast network of treaties that govern international trade and investment, including NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Congress must soon decide whether to ratify.

Comment Re:Too secure for insecure? (Score 1) 528

Cherry picking that there might be one or two emails out there that are still missing

It's not, "one or two". Maybe you missed this part of the story:

However, an untold number of official e-mails from President George W. Bush's era will probably never be recovered because it would be extremely costly to do so, lawyers involved in lawsuits brought by the National Security Archive and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said.

Comment Re:Ban drug ad's like most developed nations do! (Score 1) 349

If we're being honest, it doesn't take a lot of training to do an intramuscular injection to the thigh.

Many people with life threatening allergies are carrying pre-loaded syringes now since they can't afford the EpiPen.

The EpiPen came out in the mid-70s. That means the patents are expired.Their monopoly primarily exists now because the FDA has an extreme fear of insignificant differences. Otherwise, it shouldn't actually cost much over $40 by now for two.

Submission + - Is LED, light-emitting diode, making DST, daylight saving time, obsolete?

Max_W writes: More and more countries stop using the DST, daylight saving time. These are India, China, Russia, Brazil, etc. The LED technology significantly reduces energy consumption on lighting. Do we really need this trouble of changing time on our clocks twice a year? Besides, the DST makes the software excessively complicated and prone to "fluid time" bugs.

Comment Re:If you are so sure (Score 1) 271

So the question might be reversed, should everyone with the same job description be paid exactly the same, regardless of work output or experience?

This is a good question. All people inflate their own sense of worth. Workers who claim to work 80 hours a week are often making very different choices about how to manage their time as someone who claims to work 40. It's one half of the Dunning-Kruger effect (the other half being that people of high capability often underestimate the difficulty of what they do).

http://www.apa.org/monitor/feb...

Now I'm not saying that you're exaggerating the amount of work you did in comparison to others (especially those tricksy women, amirite?), but it would be consistent with what we know about human nature and the actual data from the workplace of people who claim to work long hours. Studies have shown that the more hours people claim to work over 55, the more they're exaggerating how many hours they actually work. People who claim to work 75-80 hours a week are usually overestimating by at least 20 hours.

https://www.fastcompany.com/30...

Competence is a complicated thing masquerading as a simple thing. No, people who have the same job title as you shouldn't necessarily make the same amount of money. Your pay is based on performance reviews, training, proven competence and a whole slew of other inputs. The problem is, a lot of those so-called metrics have a built-in bias. And in a salaried workforce, those biases can really run rampant. That's why in countries with healthier, more dynamic economies, you will see pay based on seemingly arbitrary measures like job title and seniority. This was an innovation of the labor movement and led to the most productive workforces in the world.

http://www.epi.org/publication...

I have no doubt that you're a competent, hard-working guy. That's my built-in bias because I like you, Ol Olsoc. A lot of times, we find agreement around here. We have things in common. If I were overseeing a performance review of you, I'd probably be predisposed to rate you highly. I'd certainly be predisposed to rate you more highly than the woman who's been a bitch to me every since I made that joke about the one-eared elephant at Miller's retirement party.

Now, get the picture?

Submission + - New Fantom Ransomware Poses As Windows Update (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: A security researcher for AVG has discovered a new piece of ransomware called Fantom that masquerades as a critical Windows update. Victims who fall for the ruse will see a Windows screen acting like it's installing the update, but what's really happening is that the user's documents and files are being encrypted in the background. Fantom is based on the open-source EDA2 ransomware project, and unfortunately there's no way to decrypt the files without the culprit's help. The scam starts with a pop-up labeled as a critical update from Microsoft. Once a user decides to apply the fake update, it extracts files and executes an embedded program called WindowsUpdate.exe. As with other EDA2 ransomware, Fantom generates a random AES-128 key, encrypts it using RSA, and then uploads it to the culprit. From there, Fantom targets specific file extensions and encrypts those files using AES-128 encryption. Users affected by this are instructed to email the culprit for payment instructions. It's not clear how much it costs to decrypt the files or if the person responsible even follows through once payment is received.

Comment Re:Conflating several issues here (Score 1) 349

Canada isn't some third world mud hole. They have a regulatory process as well. I have every confidence in the drugs sold there. Same for the EU.

The FDA has gone well past the sweet spot and is now killing people rather than saving them. Their desire to have their asses kissed has gotten to the point that they are 're-evaluating' drugs with centuries of proven safety just because they pre-dated their authority. The result is that the prices jump by a factor of 100.(Yes, literally the price is now 100 TIMES what it was before).

Drugs people can't afford might as well not exist. It seems that health care is one of those things where a free market just won't work.

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