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Comment Re:I use them all the time (Score 1) 304

>learn a song from Youtube

This is one of the better functions of Youtube. Learning a chord progression by repeatedly playing a CD or looping part of a music file isn't as easy as actually /watching/ it.

Some artists deliberately put videos out there for people to learn to play, like Dr. John.

Another value of Youtube, musically, is that there is a ton of historically significant music on it. Betty Boop cartoons with Cab Calloway music, anybody?


Comment Re:You're either with us or you're a Russian! (Score 1) 199

The Clinton campaign /is/ criticizing Trump on the racism thing.

There are a few problems with that:

1. The people who are voting for him don't care. "He's racist? Yes? And? I'm racist too. Why *wouldn't* I want to vote for him?"

2. People with memories longer than a gnat's remember the whole "superpredators" bullshit. Calling Trump a racist is a bit kettle/pot.

3. The Clintons haven't been exactly minority friendly except when it's politically expedient. LGBTQI rights? Only in the past few years.

"You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding" TMBG "Your Racist Friend"

The only one really qualified to call out Trump on racism and "othering" was given the finger by the DNC.

Trump is a bigot. He wears it on his sleeve. Hillary's bigotry is more covert. Hillary is only marginally better, and that's not saying much.


Comment "an unmanned exploration mission by 2018" (Score 3, Insightful) 134

"an unmanned exploration mission by 2018"

It's too bad no one thought of that 40 years ago. We could have had an unmanned exploration mission on Mars back in 1976 or so.

Oh. Wait. Viking landed on Mars in 1976, didn't it.

40 F'ing years ago. Are we maybe kind of done with the exploratory crap, and ready to send people yet?

Let's see... we went from the first autogyro to landing on the moon in 40 years. Now it looks like we've moved from an unmanned landing on Mars ... to Yet Another Unmanned Landing On Mars(tm) over the last 40 years.

Good job, dudes.

Comment Mobile Data and WiFI (Score 1) 222

Verizon and the rest assume that nobody needs that much data because the phone companies make you pay out the ass for any kind of reasonable mobile data. So I never use it unless in an emergency or trying to get a bus schedule (trackthet.com works quite well) in Boston. I'm halfway into my data plan and I've used 249MB for the month. I'll use WiFi or go without.

It doesn't matter what service - vzn, t-mobile, sprint, whatever. I'll only use their mobile data under duress.

4G is useless.


Comment Re:They don't answer the only question we care abo (Score 4, Informative) 176

When a cell divides, the methyl groups are only on the original strand; the new complimentary strand doesn't have any. The methylation signal has to be actively transcribed from one strand to another; an enzyme runs up the DNA feeling for methylated cytosine residues. When it finds some, it starts methylating any cytosine residues that might be nearby on the opposite strand, to make sure the troublesome regions all stay commented out. That's why it's heritable.

The methylation inactivation is heritable. The issue, in this case, was erroneous activation or switching of cells to modify protein production.

I suspect that the mechanism involved (they don't say) in the repair of the genes which end up going back to normal is related to the production of O6-methyl-transferase via the MGMT complex sites on the long arm of c21 -- the same thing that results in chemo-resistance to cancers, such as pancreatic cancer or glioblastoma, when combined with the appropriate mutation of the p53 gene on c17.

I think as long as it doesn't involve a long term mutation of a cancer related gene, such that it effect the germ cells, it's not a problem. Since you tend to come pre-packed with all the germ cells you are ever going to have in your lifetime, then the issue will be smoking by pregnant women, and all other damage that results in disease will only be self-inflicted diseases, rather than heritable.

Which still means they've failed to answer the question of whether or not it's heritable, because they've failed to discuss whether or not it impacts germ cells (arguably unlikely, but it'd be nice to have an answer, particularly when making decisions on how and when to regulate smoking, or minimally, smoking in public).

Comment Re:They don't answer the only question we care abo (Score 2) 176

"pollute the human genome" Nice one, Hitler!

We already prohibit general use of a number of medical interventions based on transplanting porcine cells into humans.

For example, it's possible to exploit the immune privilege of the brain in order to transplant fetal pig brain cells into humans to treat conditions such as Parkinson's, Huntington's and islet cells into the pancreas of people with Type I diabetes.

The big risk is Porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV -- yes, it's actually called that), being transmitted, and becoming part of the human genome. Thus, people who have received these xenografts are prohibited from sexual reproduction post-graft (although it's possible to save germ cells prior, to permit in vitro fertilization techniques).

See also:

Porcine xenografts in Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease patients: preliminary results.

So yes, numb-nuts: "pollute the human genome".

It's not Hitlerian, or in any way related to eugenics to prevent introduction of DNA errors or endogenous viruses into the general genome in a heritable way.

Comment They don't answer the only question we care about. (Score 4, Insightful) 176

They don't answer the only question we care about.


If it doesn't damage your kids genes ...and by extension, pollute the human genome ...then I don't care if you are dumb enough to damage your own health.

Unless you are a close relative, or smoke around me, it's no skin off my nose, if you want to commit suicide by cigarette or a Kevorkian death machine.

Comment Re:What's our take away on this supposed to be? (Score 2) 86

It's not that they suck at their jobs. Due to "fairness, transparency and accountability" requirements any testing methodology they come up with has to be fully documented and given to the manufacturers ahead of time. Manufacturers being the scum-sucking bastards that they are will, of course, run all these tests in their own labs ahead of time and tweak the crap out of things so they come out on top.

Sorry, but the tests are supposed to be "representative of normal usage".

Even if they document the tests, if they can be gamed in a test representative of "normal usage", then the same gaming will kick in on actual "normal usage", and so the test will not have been gamed.

You can have them be shitty at designing tests, or you can have them being shitty at determining what constitutes "normal usage", but it's not possible to game something that doesn't have a variance between expected use and actual use.

The manufacturers are exploiting a variance that should not be there in a correctly designed testing scenario, because the variance would not be there in actual usage.

Comment What's our take away on this supposed to be? (Score 3, Informative) 86

What's our take away on this supposed to be?

(A) These evil scoundrels are cheating on the government tests

(B) The people who are designing the government tests epically suck at their jobs, should be fired, and have competent people hired in their places

I'm going to have to vote "B" here, folks.

Comment Re:Perhaps they could consider them for humans nex (Score 1) 68


My argument boils down to "legislating morality (rather than ethics) is about as useful as trying to legislate Pi to be 3 to make the math easier".

If you could make a law against murder that actually *precluded* murder, you might have something. The best you can do otherwise is make it so that people fear the punishment for violating the law (as opposed to fearing the actual law -- which they don't).

You are merely disincentivizing the behaviour, not eliminating it. The point being is that it'a impossible to effectively hold someone else to your own moral standards.

You're free to call this either "moral relativism" or you could be more honest, and admit that you can't control someone else's thoughts.

Comment Re:Perhaps they could consider them for humans nex (Score 1) 68

Uhm.. Law is a codification of common morals. Why do you think murder is illegal but self defense an exception?
Legislation of morality have worked extremely well. It's the laws that doesn't have to do with morality that doesn't work.

I hadn't realized the teen pregnancy problem had been resolved to everyone's satisfaction. Thank you for enlightening me on the effectiveness of those laws; I was under the mistaken impression that underage sex acts still occurred!

Comment Re:Today vs Yesterday (Score 5, Insightful) 401

>Manning isn't disappeared

Just because we know where he is doesn't mean he's not disappeared. When you are put into solitary confinement with no contact with the outside world with no day-night cycle (they keep the lights on all the time) you have been thrown in a hole to be forgotten about.

BTW, long term solitary confinement is torture. Not all torture is physical.

And no, he's not in "protective custody" to prevent other inmates harming him. You can request and get out of protective custody (which is a form of solitary confinement) and people often do to take their chances in general population because pc is so awful.

>Snowden can't be pardoned because he hasn't been convicted.

You don't need to be convicted to get a pardon. Ford pardoned Nixon before any conviction happened. Your argument is invalid.

>The US doesn't want Assange evidenced by the fact that Greenwald is free

Greenwald is an old-school journalist and thus protected in the court of public opinion as well as by precedent. Assange isn't. Assange has been bad-mouthed enough that the general public doesn't give a shit about him and probably thinks he "deserves whatever happens to him." Going after Greenwald is a non-starter. Going after Assange will get someone promoted.

>Contrary to popular belief the US Foreign Intelligence services are not required to work within the Constitution or Bill of Rights

US foreign intelligence isn't supposed to spy on US citizens. That's a violation of my rights as a citizen. Fuck you for defending this.

How do those boots taste?


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