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Comment Prohibition doesn't work (Score 5, Insightful) 159

Nature wrote a solid article on the dangers. IMO it's going to lead to some seriously damaged humans before it's closer to perfected. But IMO it will be improved until it's in common use, unless a different technique comes along. In the mean time there's little point to banning it.

Governments that fight markets never win. If Europe and the US ban this technology that just means progress will continue in other places. And there are other reasons than eliminating disease. I could argue the ethics, but that's not the point. Like it or not people are going to do it. We live in the last fully nature-made generation.

Submission + - Your Digital Life Can Be Legally Seized at the Border 3

Toe, The writes: Quincy Larson from freeCodeCamp relates some frightening stories from U.S. citizens entering their own country, and notes that you don't have fourth and fifth amendment rights at the border. People can and have been compelled to give their phone password (or be detained indefinitely) before entering the U.S and other countries. Given what we keep on our phones, he concludes that it is now both easy and legal for customs and border control to access your whole digital life. And he provides some nice insights on how easy it is to access and store the whole thing, how widespread access would be to that data, and how easy it would be for the wrong hands to get on it. His advice: before you travel internationally, wipe your phone or bring/rent/buy a clean one.

Comment Buck fridges (Score 1) 240

Sure we need some new bridges, and there are probably a thousand or so that actually need to be replaced. But our infrastructure is deficient in many more important ways. I just hope money needed for less sexy projects doesn't go to bridges. Her e are some of the things we need more than bridges:

Municipal water supplies. Flint wasn't just a case of local mismanagement, it was just the most visible. Local election reform is needed, but more importantly there are thousands of towns with aging, blocked-up pipes and waterworks. They don't get fixed until someone's house burns down because there wasn't enough mains pressure for the hydrant. Sewage overflows that cost millions to fix, inappropriate water savings programs, and high water taxes for businesses are just three of the symptoms of an aging water supply.

Research on longer-lasting roads. If we spend a billion on this now we'll save a billion per year from now on.

Better isolation and more intelligent routing for the high voltage mesh electrical network. We've spent a good deal on this, but shortcuts have been made. Sagging lines can cascade into regional failure. The most effective and least sexy way to deal with it is building more electrical transit capacity for cities that need it. A few places could definitely use municipal and larger power storage via hydroelectric, batteries, or whatever's clever.

And while we're talking about electricity it's time to reform municipal power to encourage user level solar power. Switch pricing to grid plus/minus usage with an instant rebate for the poor. I know that's not something the federal government regulates, but a study that strongly proves the economics should encourage local adoption of the plan. If it doesn't add in some bullshit grant to encourage it. After it's been working well and obviously saving money for a few dozen cities phase out the grants.

Nuclear power, and use the united house, congress, and prez to tell the NIMBY's to stuff it. Sell it politically by pointing out the fact that coal jobs are never coming back and jobs jobs jobs.

My 2 cents.

Submission + - A massive lake of molten carbon the size of Mexico is discovered under the US (dailymail.co.uk)

schwit1 writes: Situated under western US, 217 miles (350km) beneath the Earth's surface. Scientists used world's largest array of seismic sensors to map area. Melting carbon covers an area of 700,000 sq miles (1.8 million sq km). Upper mantle could contain up to 100 trillion metric tonnes of melted carbon. Its discovery challenges what researchers have assumed about how much carbon is trapped inside the planet.

Submission + - SPAM: Designer Babies on the way! 5

wisebabo writes: Looks like genetically editing human germ line cells is not longer completely verboten (yes the allusion to German Nazi era eugenics by use of the word "verboten" was deliberate). A National Academy of Sciences panel has approved, under narrow (for now) circumstances, genetically modified children. Now with CRISPR-cas9, it has become easier to precisely edit the human genome.

Even if they manage to keep the circumstances "narrow" it seems obvious that other nations will not be so cautious. For example China where they've created genetically modified "super dogs" [spam URL stripped]... and you can even buy genetically modified "micro pigs" that don't grow big! [spam URL stripped].... Of course China is not the only country doing this, New Zealand is pursuing an audacious project to use genetic engineering to WIPE OUT entire species (as I submitted earlier in slashdot).

Anyway, if you're bothered by the "narrow circumstances" clause in the NAS recommendation, go to Vietnam (or another one of many countries) where there are no particular regulations regarding genetic engineering.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - GM Salmonella destroys cancer (sandiegouniontribune.com) 1

schwit1 writes: Using mice and cultures of human cancer cells, a South Korean-led scientific team demonstrated that Salmonella typhimurium engineered to make a foreign protein caused immune cells called macrophages and neutralizes to mobilize against the cancer.

The bacterium came from an attenuated strain that has little infectious potential. Such strains have been tested as vaccines. The protein, called FlaB, is made by a gene in the estuarine bacterium Vibrio vulnificus, a close relative of the cholera bacterium, Vibrio cholerae.

Tumors shrank below detectable levels in 11 out of 20 mice injected with the modified Salmonella, said the study, published in Science Translational Medicine.

Submission + - Civ VI For Linux is here!!

Suchetha writes: On February 6th, 2017 Aspyr Media tweeted that Civilization VI will soon be available for Linux.

As of today (9th February, 2017) the long awaited Linux release of the game is available on Steam

Submission + - Sad news from JAXA's de-orbiting cable system

rickyslashdot writes: The theory of using the earth's electro-magnetic field to provide deceleration to orbital debris failed when JAXA's satellite was unable to extend it's cable. Because of the short period of time available for this test, there wasn't sufficient time for JAXA's ground specialists to resolve the un-spooling failure, and the craft re-entered burn-up without providing any useful information on whether the de-orbiting process was feasible.

https://www.newscientist.com/a...

Although this process of orbital velocity alteration/deceleration appears sound, it lost it's current chance to prove this ability to alter altitude and orbital velocity because of a glitch that prevented the 'long wire' electromotive element from deploying.

Because of the simplicity of this system, it is bound to be tested again — hopefully sooner than later.

If proven successful in later tests, it will mean that de-orbiting 'junk' can be done by attaching a 'long-wire' tether to the junk, and just waiting for physics to take the junk from orbit to atmospheric burn-up.

This process is inherently safer than using rocket engines (to be attached to the junk), and is much less of a 'mass-to-orbit' cost, since it only requires a grappling system, and a spool of wire/cable. The cable does NOT have to be structurally strong, as it is only used to provide an electro-magnet dynamic drag on the attached 'junk'.
Additionally, it effectively de-orbits the complete chunk of 'debris' without the problems involved with kinetic nets that would tend to fragment, or shatter, portions of the junk while reducing it's orbital velocity enough to bring it down. Even the tiniest piece of left-over debris that could be released from the 'capture-net' system could still prove a real problem, since these tiny pieces are realistically impossible to track, and can cause real damage due to their relative velocitiy in respect to orbiting spacecraft.

Hopefully, there will be a follow-up / re-try in the near future for this orbital debris clean-up process.

Submission + - Factcheck on Daily Mail claim about global warming data manipulation

Lasrick writes: In a guest post at Climate Brief, Zeke Hausfather goes point by point through an article from Sunday's Daily Mail, which makes the astonishing claim that 'world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data' and accuses the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of manipulating the data to show more warming in a 2015 study.

Submission + - New FCC chief gets to work cutting back regs (thehill.com)

jriding writes: Ajit Pai vowed to reduce regulatory "barriers" to growth and innovation and prioritize reducing the digital divide.

But Pai, a Republican, who was promoted from commissioner to the agency's top spot by President Trump last week, also said he hadn't made a decision on one of the FCC's signature rules: net neutrality.

Speaking to reporters at the meeting, Pai dodged questions regarding the rule.

âoeI favor a free and open internet, and I oppose Title II," he said. Title II is one of the key elements of net neutrality, reclassifying broadband as a utility and allowing the FCC to enforce the rules. Pai has long been a critic of net neutrality and in December said he wanted to review the rules. Top members of Trump's FCC transition team are critics of the internet rule.

Comment Re:"Labor Shortage" (Score 2) 477

You're not talking about a people shortage, you're talking about a training shortage. When every company hires only the top few percent and expects people on the job market to train themselves whilst unemployed that's what happens. It's just an extension of the low wage problem. If you don't pay enough for people (whether by refusing to train them, offering a low salary, cutting back benefits, or whatever else) you don't get good people. Of all the people on the CS job market a fraction has the drive and income to train themselves while not employed. If you want that top 10% of the labor market you should expect to pay through the nose for it.

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