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Comment They are! (Score 1) 445

Perhaps it's wishful thinking.. but part of me is hoping that the new release schedule forces Mozilla, and the community, to re-think add-on compatibility reporting; flagging add-ons as 'broken' not by default, but after testing.

Mozilla is now doing exactly that for hosted add-ons and working on an Add-On SDK to reduce future breakage.

Comment Singular "they" (Score 1) 94

"They" is inherently plural, just like "we" is inherently plural when using the first-person. You might feel a need to make it bleedin' obvious, but what you point out was implied by my initial post; it is why I was very specific about limiting my comment to the utility of a new, third-person singular pronoun that is gender-neutral. "They" is often understood to have the meaning that you ascribe to it, but adapting a plural term for a certain implied singular usage is a less than elegant solution.

Nothing about any word is inherent. "You" started out plural, was adopted for the formal singular, and long ago displaced "thou" as the informal singular. Now there are even new plural forms, such as "y'all".

English already has a neuter third-person singular pronoun, but for some reason it's considered rude to call a person "it", except in certain constructions.

Perhaps one could also use the word "one" as a substitute for the he/she/they pronouns.

Does one care if one's audience considers one a pedant?

Comment Server Name Indication (Score 2, Insightful) 660

First, keep in mind that name-based virtual hosting with HTTPS is very limited. With few exceptions, you're quite restricted in your ability to host multiple SSL-encrypted sites on a single IP address. Most often, one must instead assign each SSL-encrypted virtualhost to a dedicated IP address. If every website was, today, to switch to HTTPS-only operation, and if the RIRs were to allow it, we would immediately run out of IPv4 addresses.

This is effectively true, but it gives the impression that the problem is inherent to the protocol. The main obstacle to secure name-based virtual hosting is that Microsoft won't implement Server Name Indication for Windows XP.

Comment Schmidt is a hypocrite (Score 1) 527

Anyone who worries about privacy on the Internet shouldn't be on the Internet. I admire Schmidt for his honesty. I worry more about those who talk about keeping privacy while at the same time profit from it.

Schmidt blacklisted CNET for publishing information about him found through Google searches. He wants to keep his own privacy while profiting from diminishing yours.

Comment Brush up on your embryology (Score 1) 207

Who cares about a heart beat when the embryo's circulation is directly linked to that of the mother? On the contrary, the nervous system is formed in humans within three days, before any woman would even notice being pregnant. In fact, the ectodermal cells that are the undifferentiated neurons destined to become the nervous system are in place and begin their morphological formation before implantation into the uterine wall.

Fetal and maternal circulation are independent and separated by the chorion. The ectoderm also gives rise to the epidermis, and nobody thinks that's special. Neurulation begins around day 19 with the formation of the neural plate. It takes months for this to develop into a distinctively human nervous system.

Comment Not a trademark violation (Score 1) 656

Apple's concern is that the Pre shows up in iTunes as an iPod and people have been calling them about problems with the Pre.

There are at least three different ways they could address that without blocking anyone, were that actually their primary concern.

That's both a trademark violation and annoying.

Even if Palm were actually using Apple's trademarks, which they aren't--USB vendor IDs are managed by the USB-IF, not the USPTO--Sega v. Accolade established that trademarks can't be used to block compatibility.

Comment Re:They aren't buying salads (Score 1) 776

They might just have the advantage in the super cheap loss leader, dollar menu item type things, but if you walk in and just order one burger off the dollar menu you're not really going to have an obesity problem.

The double cheeseburger is one of those dollar menu things, and orders aren't limited to one item.

Comment They aren't buying salads (Score 1) 776

I can grill some chicken and make a salad far more cheaply than I could buy anything close to that at McDonalds, and far more quickly than the trip to Mickey D's too.

Your salad may cost less than theirs, but their double cheeseburger costs less than your salad.

Comment Nerds playing lawyer (Score 1) 600

Apple is not a monopoly, merely the dominant vendor.

In both the US and the EU, a market in which the dominant firm has around a 40% share is considered highly concentrated. (The definition used in the US is a Herfindahl-Hirschman index above 1800, which is unavoidable if a single firm controls 42.5% of the market.)

Comment They don't work "perfectly well" (Score 1) 600

If you think it is a good thing for Palm to use iTunes, then why the hell didn't Palm use iTunes, you know like all those other 3rd party players that work perfectly well with iTunes using the proper methods, like blackberry and windows mobile?

Apple offers no "proper" method for bidirectional sync.

Palm designed a broken (defined as broken by the USB spec) device, and purposely designed the Pre so it was impossible for their device to identify itself to the computer as a Pre.

The Pre identifies as an Apple device only when the user selects the iTunes compatibility mode.

Comment "First", by hook or by crook (Score 1) 249

The fact remains President Bush was the first President to ever Federally fund embryonic research.

Human embryonic stem cells were isolated in 1998. The NIH published final guidelines for hESC research in August 2000. Bush blocked their implementation in 2001, delaying funding until 2002.

Far better research is being done with adult stem cells and there are actual cures and treatments in testing or completed.

Adult stem cells have been studied for longer than embryonic stem cells. Clinical therapies aren't "better" than the basic research needed to produce them. Also, if not for hESC research, we would not understand adult stem cells as well as we do.

Comment Responses to a couple of answers (Score 1) 249

I think the answer to this question is that are afraid that juries might be more likely to pass the death penalty if they are aware that there is a potential benefit to other people from the death of the prisoner.

To complete the analogy, the concern is that using embryos for research might lead to the destruction of more embryos.

It doesn't. Embryos left over from IVF are destroyed anyway. The new guidelines allow using cell lines derived from leftover embryos. The Dickey-Wicker Amendment still prohibits federal funding for creating any new hESC line.

For those who think that embryos have a moral value, it is never right to use them as a means to an end. Using them (and destroying them), even for a good purpose, devalues them.

They should be equally concerned with IVF. Some are. Many aren't.

these reprogrammed adult cells seem to have all of the characteristics of embryonic stem cells

Many, not all. These techniques have advantages and disadvantages.

Finally, I have to point out that even though Obama claimed to eliminate the false choice between ethics and science, he still implemented some ethical rules - specifically a ban of reproductive cloning. I happen to agree with this, but I thought it was disingenuous of him to pretend to get rid of ethical barriers that restricted science. All he did was eliminate the barriers that he disagreed with and retain the barriers that he did agree with.

Obama called the Bush hESC rules specifically a "false choice". He never said he was going to ignore ethics.

I think that most American are completely unaware of the advances that I wrote about earlier - for the reprogramming of adult stem cells.

Most laymen who are aware of them seem to think they make perfect substitutes for embryonic stem cells. The ignorance probably balances out.

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