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Comment The Maps API TOS is draconian (Score 4, Interesting) 130

I was doing a project that used their geocoding API at one point. Essentially you're only allowed to use it if you're planning on making a Google Map. You can't use it for any other purpose. You can't cache the results to save on redundant API calls. Luckily, I found an awesome alternative in OpenCage, which is backed by OpenStreetMap data and whose TOS couldn't be less restrictive.

Comment Re:Fuck Your Slippery Slope (Score 4, Insightful) 137

Wow, that's some twisted-ass logic: everyone has a right to be alive. Ergo, the only ethical choice is to NOT provide babies with cures for fatal diseases.

An interesting twist on the gene-editing ethics debate: currently high-risk women get amnios performed on fetuses at 20 weeks to test for genetic defects. If there is a genetic defect, the woman has to decide whether to terminate the pregnancy--that's the ONLY option. But if there were a way to CURE the fetus in the womb using gene editing... In other words, might gene editing lead to fewer abortions?

Comment Fuck Your Slippery Slope (Score 5, Insightful) 137

Nobody* wants us to descend into a Gattaca-style society (or have a bunch of Khans running around), but that doesn't have to be where this ends up. There are plenty of genetic diseases that are unquestionably, undeniably bad. No one is going to stand up and say that they're glad they have Huntington's or that they want to preserve the uniqueness of children born with Tay Sachs. Yes, the line does get fuzzier around schizophrenia and non-fatal chromosomal abnormalities, but the benefits of curing so many horrible diseases easily outweigh the inconvenience of any "hard thinking" we'd have to do about where to draw the line.

Really, this should just be treated the same way we treat plastic surgery. There's the "never under any circumstances" (say, pec implants on a newborn), the "not covered by insurance" (boob jobs for adults) and then there's the procedures that not even the most militantly anti-plastic-surgery person would object to, such as cleft palate repair (which is even covered by insurance!). Of course there's plenty of gray area in between where people can argue about what should be legal to perform and about what insurance should cover. But just because there are moral and ethical issues doesn't mean we ban all plastic surgery.

*Fine. I'm sure some people saw Gattaca and thought, "That's the coolest idea ever! Let's make it happen!"

Comment Treat it like all other medicine (Score 1) 137

The entire pharmaceutical industry is based around market-based solutions. Now, I'm not saying it doesn't have its warts--Big Pharm has waay too much influence, doctors and medical researchers do not understand basic statistics, and the entire industry needs better regulation, and everything needs to be more affordable--but when you consider the drugs and procedures we have today to what was prevalent even thirty years ago, it's hard to deny we've made progress.

So I personally have no problem with "market-based solutions" to gene engineering, as long as the market is well-regulated and backed up by good, hard science.

Comment Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 393

If the intellegency can't do their job just because Anonymous is... flodding Rick Astley video on hashtags, then they are not competent at their job.

Agree 100%. Unless these morons are using effing HootSuite, ANY competently-written social media crawler can filter out this kind of stuff. The ONLY effect that this will have is to make it harder for lower-tech users (such as ISIS recruiters/recruitees) to get their message across on the medium.

Comment Silicon Valley Did It Best (Score 4, Interesting) 371

Watched this with my wife, who, while also in tech, never worked at a workplace that used Scrum. She cracked up and thought it was the funniest thing she'd ever seen. I sat next to her, stone-cold silent. She asked why I wasn't laughing, and I said, "Dude, that's MY LIFE." All that's needed to parody Scrum is... an accurate description of Scrum.

Of course, in that episode was that Scrum actually worked for them (it probably helped that all the devs worked in the same office)

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