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Comment Re:think of the children! (Score 1) 150

We could also start teaching that there is no body of water or isthmus that makes Europe a "continent".

Good point.... Cartographers should follow this planetary scientist's lead and redraw/rename land masses according to their tectonic plate boundaries. At least geologists should support that.

Comment Re:Flamebait opinion piece, not news. (Score 1) 242

Unfortunately it's still an issue. And it gets a bigger one every day. ..... {standing on soapbox} blah, blah, blah...

Well spoken, but doesn't apply to my original comment that this submission is not news and is an opinion piece that only generates arguments between people, thus it's flamebait. I am not passing judgment on any specific opinion, just that this article should have never made it to Slashdot "news." No useful new information or understanding to how the law/society will handle patents is brought forth; it's just an excuse for the nerds to sling stones from their entrenched positions. The surrounding discussion proves this point.

Comment So, I'm an old-timer who... (Score 3, Funny) 82

...prefers to tap out his messages on a telegraph. There's just no substitute for those clicks and pauses. But let me tell you, the cost to maintain my telegraph service between me and my one friend who uses it is criminally high! If someone doesn't do something to help me out soon I'll have to choose between my telegraph or my diabeetus medicine and that's just not right!

Comment Re:GM versus Gene Drive (Score 1) 112

Genocide should be illegal world-wide!

No one seems to mind genocidal action against the guinea worm/dracunculiasis, which is [thankfully] getting very close to extinction in large part due to efforts by former President Carter, Gates Foundation, and other world health groups ( ). Mosquito-transmitted diseases are mainly spread by the invasive Aedes mosquito, so eradication of that specific species could be justified, and GM tools could target that species while sparing other mosquito species.

Comment Re:GM versus Gene Drive (Score 2) 112

Of all animals... Is there a single really GOOD thing that mosquitoes do in an ecosystem? ...If they were extinct every human being would be better off.

Two good counter-points come to mind...
1) Adult and larvae mosquitoes are a critical food chain base important for many species of freshwater fish, birds, amphibians, bats, and insects and in turn any predators further up the chain, so removal of all mosquitoes from the planet could potentially have detrimental effects to natural food chains, which humans may rely on.
2) Mosquito-related human health problems [and general aggravation] are predominantly related to the Aedes Aegypti mosquito which is perfectly adapted to urban environments and human prey, and has invasively spread through much of the world. Therefore, mosquito control/eradication should focus mainly on the Aedes species, not all mosquitoes on the planet.

Comment Re:Obviously this requires new legislation (Score 2) 102

If anyone is interested in the Flatow v. Iran case and it's aftermath NPR's Planet Money did a great podcast on it: (I swear it's not left or right leaning story)

Apologies... I posted the wrong NPR link. Here's the full Planet Money podcast:

Comment Re:Obviously this requires new legislation (Score 3, Informative) 102

There actually is a precedent allowing American citizens to sue other countries that support terrorism under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976, but I assume the court decided Ethiopia's hacking was not an act of terrorism.
Flatow v. Iran case details:

I only point this out because the degree of legislation or judicial interpretation might be much less than people assume.

If anyone is interested in the Flatow v. Iran case and it's aftermath NPR's Planet Money did a great podcast on it: (I swear it's not left or right leaning story)

Submission + - One Bitcoin Is Now Worth More Than One Ounce of Gold (

An anonymous reader writes: For the first time ever, the price of one bitcoin has surpassed the price of one ounce of gold. While today’s swap can be attributed to a good day for bitcoin (up ~3%) and a bad day for gold (down ~1.3%), the big picture is that bitcoin has more than doubled in the last year (up ~185% from a year ago) while gold is essentially trading exactly at the price it was a year ago. Even though bitcoin and gold are both thought of as alternative assets, they don’t usually trade in correlation. Still, it’s notable that bitcoin has (at least temporally) surpassed the price of gold. Gold is quite literally the “gold standard” of alternative assets, often used by investors to hedge against potential losses in more traditional assets like real estate and the stock market.

Submission + - SPAM: Scientists Have Found a Way to Rapidly Thaw Cryopreserved Tissue Without Damage

schwit1 writes: Researchers have developed a technique that allows them to rapidly thaw cryopreserved human and pig samples without damaging the tissue — a development that could help get rid of organ transplant waiting lists.

Cryopreservation is the ability to preserve tissues at liquid nitrogen temperatures for long periods of time and bring them back without damage, and it's something scientists have been dreaming about achieving with large tissue samples and organs for decades.

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:It's almost identical to Sony Playstation VUE (Score 1) 95

Approximately when did you sign up for PS VUE? Because I was eyeing up VUE for well over a year [debating/preparing to cut the cord], but until very recently the VUE service could only be initiated on a PS3, PS4, or Amazon Fire TV [box, not stick], but once you initiated on one of those devices you could access your VUE account on other devices (Chromecast, Fire stick, Roku, Android/Apple mobile apps, etc.). I bought a new Sony smart TV in the fall and it wasn't until around December that an update added a TV app for VUE. Too late for me though... my wife and I are happy with a digital antenna, TiVo DVR box, and Netflix. Had a VUE TV app been available a couple months earlier, we might have skipped the antenna and TiVo and signed up with VUE.

Submission + - China Showcases Latest Military Technology (

An anonymous reader writes: At the annual "International Defense Exhibition and Conference" in Dubai, China showcased a range of high-tech weaponry. In addition to the mainstay tanks, artillery pieces and jet fighters, on exhibit were a light(50-100 pounds) weaponized robot, a drone with 4,400-mile range & 60 hour flight time capable of carrying a ton of payload, a laser that can purportedly disable a vehicle at a distance over a mile & much more. If this is the technology they are willing to put on public display, one has to wonder what capabilities they're keeping secret. It also raises the question of how China, traditionally one of the largest importers(in addition to being a significant exporter) of weaponry, will figure into the multi-trillion dollar international arms market in the future.

Comment Could be much cheaper if you share streams (Score 1) 95

Is $35 cheaper than cable TV?

Google/YouTube is offering streams on up to 6 devices under one account. If your household doesn't need that many streams you could share with others and split the cost. For example, my wife and I share our Netflix account with our respective parents. My wife's parents share their HBO streaming account with us. Our houses are many miles apart. There's no difference in the service other than being limited to certain TVs/devices in our home. A very small sacrifice. So, with Google's 6 streams, two friendly neighbors could each take 3 streams, share the bill and cut their TV bill to $17.50/month. Three friendly households could take 2 accounts each and cut their TV bills to $11.67/month. That's not nothing.

Comment Re:Switch that around (Score 1) 95

There is far more I am interested in watching on Netflix now than on broadcast networks..[lots of opinions about your personal TV viewing]...

Your opinions make sense to me and my personal viewing is probably similar quite similar to yours; however the larger market shows there is a demand for network content. Whether that makes logical sense or not is irrelevant... it is what it is. Streaming companies will attempt to cater to the real demands of the market.

...So ALL the $35 deal is really about is watching live content i.e. sports. Way too steep for my blood...

I don't care about sports either, so I personally agree with your opinion, but again the larger market overrides our personal opinions. There is very large portion of the market for whom live sports is a major deciding factor. For sports fans streaming options are much more limited or fragmented, so for those people this Google/YouTube service could be attractive.

Comment Re:But you can get much more for less (Score 1) 95

I believe with Comcast I can get local channels for $10/month.

The cable package is more, yes, but I also get a lot more channels too. How many channels would you get with the YouTube thing?

Regardless $35 is way, way too much money for what they are providing (yes even "with DVR service" as people here keep bringing up).

If people are bringing it up the DVR feature that should tell you that comparing a basic [non-DVR] cable package to this YouTube service is not a fair comparison. 10+ years ago people organized their life schedule around the TV show times, but ever since TiVo came out people want to see TV shows when it fits into their life schedule and the market shows they are not willing to sacrifice that convenience.

Netflix is vastly cheaper and offers better content. I would argue that with Netflix alone you get MORE new content in a year than if you had access to all the major broadcast networks!!

I have Netflix and it's great, but it's limited to Netflix content, and lacks a lot of the major broadcast network content, or is dated. Thus, the demand for other streaming options from major broadcast networks.

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