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Comment Re:Indiscriminate antibiotic use in farm animals.. (Score 1) 289

Prove it. Farmers today are college educated and they are taught how to manage illness in herds. Overuse of antibiotics is a known problem. Meat inspectors will look for sick animals and not allow them into the food supply. Too many sick animals, antibiotics in meat or milk, and a farmer risks losing their license to sell product.

Did you even know you need a license to sell milk? There are inspectors that know about the problem of "superbugs" and they look for bad practices that can breed them. One thing inspectors look for is how antibiotics are used.

Again, show me how antibiotics are abused. I admit that my knowledge of how a farm is run could be out of date. Dad was one of the last of his kind, he ran a farm without even a high school education. Today farmers are college educated, they tend to study animal science like Gov. Rick Perry did. Among those classes they'll take is "meat safety" which Perry famously got a "D" grade in. People laugh at how Perry got a poor grade in a class on "meat" but this is serious stuff. It's these college educated farmers that make the tasty tasty bacon I love. I'm not going to second guess their use of antibiotics, just like they aren't likely to second guess my choice of compilers. We each have our specializations, I'm staying in mine and perhaps you need to stay in yours.

Comment Re:Indiscriminate antibiotic use in farm animals.. (Score 1) 289

I think you may have misunderstood the argument. The concern isn't that humans are getting antibiotics into their system from meat or dairy, the concern is that the animals themselves provide an environment in which antibiotic-resistant bacteria can grow.

Do you have any evidence of this? If the pigs didn't get their shot on coming into the confinement building then a lot of them would get sick, we know this. Sick pigs cost money. Dead pigs cost even more money.

Farmers get it from all sides, if they give the pigs antibiotics then they are breeding "superbugs", if they don't then they are abusing the animals by not keeping them healthy. Which is it? Antibiotics or a bunch of dead pigs from a common lung infection?

Raw meat with resistant bacteria can spread it around a kitchen (using antibacterial soap will only make the problem worse--killing off the competition), and then accidentally cutting yourself while preparing food can lead to life threatening illness.

Cook your meat, be careful with a knife, and generally take care with your food.

You think that modern farmers don't know about the risks of a "superbug"? Of course they do. They also know that without this stuff we'd see a lot more sick people. There is a lot of care in making sure our food it safe to eat. This is often taken to extremes, costing farmers a lot of money for a minor risk.

The need to keep the antibiotics out of the meat and milk is precisely the kind of precautions taken to keep "superbugs" out of the food supply.

Comment Re:Indiscriminate antibiotic use in farm animals.. (Score 4, Interesting) 289

I have to wonder what people think happens on a farm. I grew up on a farm where we had pigs and dairy cattle. We gave the animals antibiotics, but it was rare.

For the pigs we'd give them a shot of antibiotics when we'd get a batch of new pigs in. A pig's life is short, less than a year, and they'd typically get one shot of antibiotics in their life. Pigs cost money, so do antibiotics, so the job of a pig farmer is to balance those costs. Penicillin is cheap but not free. If a pig got sick then it might get another shot. If it got real sick then it got a different kind of shot, as in from a rifle. The carcass of a pig like that could not be sold for meat but the leather was valuable, for a while at least. At some point the rendering truck stopped picking up the dead pigs for free and started to charge for the service, that's when Dad started to just bury them. Any pigs sold for meat are tested for antibiotics. I'm not sure what happened if they tested positive but Dad would make sure that any pig given a shot would not go to market until enough time has passed for the antibiotics to get out of their system.

The dairy cattle would also typically get one shot of antibiotics in their life, when they'd get dehorned. This was because they were at risk of infection at this point until the wound healed over. Any cattle given antibiotics recently were not able to be sold for meat, and they are also tested like the pigs. Any cow given antibiotics while milking had the milk discarded until the antibiotics were out of their system. Milk was also regularly tested for antibiotics. If antibiotics were found in the milk this would mean the milk was discarded. Since the milk of an entire herd was put in the same tank a single cow testing positive would contaminate thousands of gallons of milk. I remember having to do this before, Dad was pissed since that meant not getting money for that milk.

Here's the thing, antibiotics are necessary. I thought it funny too on how much farmers rely on antibiotics if it upset so many people. I saw the value in the Army. When going through in processing I got an antibiotic shot, as did everyone else in the company. It turns out that when you put a lot of living and breathing beings in an enclosed space, be they recruits in a barracks or pigs in a shed, they tend to get sick. I still ended up getting a pretty nasty lung infection while in the Army, they gave me a potent antibiotic that made me sensitive to the sun. I got the worst sunburn in my life then.

Just say no to antibiotic treated animals.

If you don't like it then go ahead and buy your "organic" meat or go vegan. I know what farmers do to get animals to market and if these animals weren't treated for infections then meat gets real expensive due to losses. Quality would go down too because healthy animals make tasty meat. Since so many people in this world seem able to eat this meat and live well I'm trying to figure out what the problem is exactly.

Comment Re:Nice Job HTC (Score 1) 205

People find a way to make stuff useful despite manufacturers trying to cripple it.

You think that perhaps Apple, et al., anticipated this?

I've heard all kinds of conspiracy theories about removing the headphone jack all with nefarious intent. What if a phone manufacturer wanted to make a cheap(er) and small(er) phone for the masses while those that didn't mind a larger phone with a headphone jack could just buy the case with them in it? It saves them engineering, marketing, logistics, etc. on making another phone model and every market is still served.

Perhaps the phone makers want to keep people happy as best they can so they keep coming back for more. Isn't that how a free society works?

Comment Re:SD and battery (Score 1) 205

I know of several places that offer battery replacement services for phones. If a phone is old enough it needs this then it can be done, the phone would have to be worth it though. This service costs money and phones are cheap, so it would have to be a really nice phone to bother.

For those not wanting to go to the expense of a battery replacement there are battery extender cases for most popular phones. Again the phone must be valuable enough to bother.

What I find to be the best reason for not offering replaceable batteries is that the batteries are much better now. I've had several phones and similar portable devices and never did I feel a desire to get a new battery even in devices where it could be replaced easily. By the time the battery no longer held enough of a charge for me I felt the device was old enough to toss to recyclers and buy a new replacement.

Laptops though have been different for me. I replaced batteries in three laptops now and for one of them I feel I may need to replace the replacement. With charging ports on laptops getting standardized like they have been on cell phones the need to replace the internal battery may be unnecessary as well, I can likely get a "piggyback" battery to get an old laptop to limp along for long enough that I would not feel bad to replace it.

Comment Re:No headphone jack ... (Score 1) 205

I fully expect someone to introduce "end to end" DRM within a year or two which will require an authenticated and encrypted connection from the source (file or stream) through the mobile processor, to the headphones.

I'm not sure how this helps, it's not like people can't or won't strip the wires from a pair of headphones and wire them to the wires stripped from a microphone. A simpler solution that doesn't destroy the headphones and with only a minimal loss in quality is putting microphones in the ears of a foam head to wear the headphones.

They can't plug the analog hole.

Don't be surprised when Apple shows more "courage" and removes the analog audio connectors from their next lineup of desktops and laptops (if they haven't already). The desktop / laptop market will swiftly follow once people accept it on mobile.

If Apple does get rid of the analog audio ports I expect them to be replaced with the Lightning port or whatever they come up to replace it. This gets back to the stripped wires and/or foam head solutions I mentioned before for copying music. This also addresses some of the complaints of the loss of the headphone port on iDevices, now the same accessories work on all Apple devices again.

I've been looking off and on for years for a headset that has stereo, microphone, and plugs into the headphone/mic port common on Apple devices (desktop, laptop, and iOS) for years. People would sell mono devices and obviously I can get stereo headphones without a mic. There are USB headsets like this which supposedly work on iDevices with the "camera" adapter, but this is an unsupported feature that might stop working at any time with an iOS update. I can also find a number of other adapters to make a number of headsets work. I guess I'm not part of a big enough market for someone to bother making a product to fit. I don't know if this shift to digital ports will make finding a headset to fit all my requirements easier or not but I doubt it will hurt.

Comment Re:No headphone jack ... (Score 1) 205

I have a lot of broken and worn headphone jacks that say different.

Having USB-C ports on portable devices is relatively new so time will tell. Given that the USB-C port is an evolution of the mini and micro USB port I suspect that the people behind this have it figured out. If not then expect USB-D ports or something else to replace them. Sure it sucks having to buy all new accessories when getting a new phone but I'm old enough to remember the days before USB became the charging standard. There were a lot of sucky, proprietary, expensive, and fragile connectors then.

It's not like headphone jacks were always the norm. I remember all kinds of crazy ports on portable devices to get people to buy accessories from the device maker. At least now we have people following standards like USB-C, Bluetooth, and WiFi. Even the Lighting port is a blessing since we can be reasonably assured it's going to stick around for a while and third parties are making cables, adapters, and accessories with that connector.

Comment Re:Unfortunate. (Score 4, Interesting) 205

Because the engineering mantra of designing something that's the minimum needed to do the job properly has been supplanted with a long-term strategic goal to attempt to sell more things to consumers by selling them devices that don't do everything they need out of the box.

Is this feature reduction or future proofing? I have a laptop with a SD slot and HDMI port that I've never used, except to only prove to myself that they worked, and not likely to use in the future. It also has USB-3 and DisplayPort outputs which with inexpensive adapters I can use to attach an SD card reader or HDMI cable. If given the option now I'd much rather buy a replacement that lacks a SD reader and HDMI port so that I can have a laptop that is just that much smaller, lighter, and cheaper.

I've had an iPod Touch for years that has seen daily use, and is now going into semi-retirement with my acquisition of an iPhone. That iPod had it's headphone jack damaged about a year ago but after an initial transition period I didn't miss it. I could still dock it with my truck stereo for music. When at home I could stream my music to an AirPort Expess, put in in a dock by my stereo, or just listen to it through the internal speaker. This is how I intend to use my iPhone now. What allowed me to keep that iPod working for me for so long was the ability to get audio and video from the dock port. I didn't need all kinds of ports and plugs on the iPod itself, I just bought the cables as I needed them. These cables and adapters included a composite A/V cable, component A/V cable, USB "card reader" adapter, and the car stereo adapter I mentioned earlier. An iPod with all of those ports on the device itself would have been huge.

This is a bit different with a laptop due to the inherent proportions of the format. I do remember many many people essentially laughing at Apple for not putting an optical drive in their laptop. Now we have people laughing at them for not having a SD slot. In the past I hated having to need adapters because they were exceedingly large and expensive, or so I perceived them to be, and it seemed I could never find the one I needed when I needed it. What has changed is the technology, adapters are smaller and cheaper now, and with the growth in the internet I have access to many competing suppliers trying to get me what I want when I want it.

Another change, perhaps just as important, is my perception. I have come to realize that no matter what two devices I have before me that I wish to connect I will need an adapter. We might not perceive this as an adapter but as a cable but every cable is effectively an adapter. Instead of thinking of this as having to buy another damned adapter I think of it as having to get a cable I would have had to get anyway but now I don't have to have a dozen ports on a computer where I'll only use half of them.

A joke among my friends was that USB stood for "useless serial bus" since when it was introduced there was nothing to plug into it. Now it's replaced nearly everything and I'm liking it. I don't need a laptop with a serial port, Ethernet port, flash card reader, modem port, Firewire port, parallel port, and DVI port like my old one did. When I pack my laptop I also pack the cables I need with the USB adapters attached. I treat the USB adapter and cable as a single unit, if it isn't a single physical unit already. While USB isn't quite "universal" it's close enough that I only need a couple other kinds of ports to plug into everything I need to get my work done.

Another thing that has changed with time is the weight bearing ability of my knees. Having all those ports on the laptop means weight that I must carry even if I just want to have a laptop with me to do a bit of work at a deli while eating. I'll still pack my bag with my laptop but all those adapters can be left behind.

So, yes, they do intend for people to come back for the cable they need. Any more I find complaints that a device doesn't have the precise port you require is like complaining your pants didn't come with a belt. Not everyone is going to agree on what kind of belt goes with those pants just like not everyone is going to agree on what kind of port goes on the computer. If the pants didn't come with belt loops then that is something else, since it prevents the use of any belt. So long as the computer or smart phone has a port to get the right cable I find it real hard to complain any more.

Comment I've seen this before (Score 0) 74

This sounds a lot like a bunch of talks I attended while in college. When in college I was taking a power class required of all electrical engineering students and some company sponsored a handful of students to go to some big energy conference. What was big news then was the then new federal regulation that utilities had to charge other utilities the sames fees they charge themselves to carry power. What the government wanted to see was utilities stopping to abuse their monopoly on wires to prop up unprofitable electricity generation. Or, at least that is how it was explained to me.

This seemed to be viewed as generally favorable. No one at this conference seemed to consider this a bad thing. Effectively the government enforced a separation between energy generation and energy transmission. Where this equates to this AT&T deal, at least IMHO, is that this is enforcing a separation between content ownership and delivery. The "monopoly" isn't as obvious since most areas of the USA are serviced by more than one cell phone company but it's not like people can switch cell phone providers on a whim, or get the same great deal on data from more than one content owner at the same time.

I generally oppose the government getting in the way of business because it is so easy for rules intended to protect the average consumer to evolve into rules that protect a business. I'm not a DirectTV subscriber but I do get AT&T cell service. One thing I considered in choosing my cell service provider was that AT&T did not charge data usage for DirectTV and I thought that in the near future I may want that service. I could have stayed with Verizon as the price and data limit differences were small. I will say that it is nice that I get cell service while at work but that could be the new phone and not the new provider.

Comment Re:But where's the chain of custody? (Score 5, Interesting) 389

I was taking an information security certification course from an interesting character. He was a USMC sniper, police officer on a narc team, then a lecturer offering courses in Microsoft and security certifications, and running a part time data forensics job with one of his old friends. He says he gets a call from the local PD about data recovery on a computer that they say has child porn on it. My instructor tells his partner not to touch the computer. Then tells him that as mere possession of child porn is a felony the only way they could legally touch this is with some kind of immunity or being deputized. The partner seemed to really want the job since it could mean good money and putting a bad guy away. My instructor, a retired police officer, knew that being in possession of child porn regardless of the source is going to be problematic.

He talked a bit more on this and he seemed to imply that child porn cases can fetch good money for the technicians because so few people are willing to do it. There is an obvious "ick" factor that so many healthy people have. There are legal problems to deal with, as in all your ducks in a row or by doing exactly as the PD requests can still end up with getting charged with a crime.

So, you have a presumably high dollar and experienced technician with considerable knowledge on how files can be hidden as well as a beat cop level of legal knowledge on this, and he won't touch it for what I can assume is much more than the $500 that these "geeks" could get. Do these Geek Squad people even know what they are doing? Can they be trusted? Would they be willing to be a witness in court? Would the prosecutor even want the typical Geek Squad member testifying in court?

I can see no good coming from these Geek Squad types looking for incriminating evidence.

Comment Re:The earth is (Score 1) 435

With 85% population gone because of harsh climate, who will maintain them?

This is one reason I cannot support reliance on wind and solar power. PV cells require a very high tech infrastructure. Wind power might be something that can be reduced to pretty low tech stuff but at the cost of efficiency. With wind being so unreliable and dilute it's real easy for a small loss in efficiency to make the technology nearly worthless.

I recall someone pointing out how giving poor communities solar power to "save" them from their poverty was backwards. It didn't "save" them because with solar power this community would now be reliant on an outside source of energy for a very long time. If shown how to dig up locally sourced coal, build boilers, and so forth these communities can become self reliant fairly quickly. It might still mean years or decades to true independence but this is much better than a scale of centuries like solar power would require.

I wish I could remember who pointed this out so I could give him proper credit, he called this "spanner and hammer technology". The idea is that by giving poor community things like diesel tractors, coal fired boilers, and such centuries old technology they can learn to maintain this stuff on their own. Within a short amount of time they'll be building new stuff and making improvements. This kind of technology doesn't even require electricity to build an industry, just like we've used gas lighting before in the Western nations they can use it too in these developing nations until they build out how to draw copper into wires and build their own motors and generators.

When it comes down to it nuclear power is actually a better choice that wind and solar. Nuclear power can be spanner and hammer technology and still be safe. Some of the monitoring equipment might have to be shipped in for an added level of personal safety for the workers but the society at large would still benefit even if many individuals died in radiation accidents. Much like how coal mining is deadly for many but the energy produced saves many more from freezing or starving to death.

This goes for the threats of CAGW or some other mass extinction event. The number of places that can create PV panels are relatively few. The places that can build a nuclear reactor are actually quite large, we just don't use them for that for political reasons. The technology to mine and refine uranium and thorium is not all that different than mining most any other element.

If you want to see a way to prevent humanity from being knocked back to the stone age and staying there for thousands of years then we need people trained in nuclear power, and a wide spread infrastructure in nuclear technology.

Nuclear power doesn't have to produce electricity to be useful. Once we can get it to boil water then we can do things like we did a century ago and use that steam to pump water, produce "town gas" (synthetic gaseous fuels) for heating and lights, and drive factories. It's that kind of spanner and hammer technology that allowed humanity to thrive in the past. We lost much of our ability to do that again by digging up all the easy to get fossil fuels. The difference with nuclear power is that we're never going to run out of uranium and thorium like we could with coal. We were given a gift with nuclear power, it would be a shame to lose that technology out of irrational fear.

Comment Re:The inherent failure of capitalism. (Score 1) 435

That's what it should remind you of. Greedy land developers (and the banks giving them loans) have been driving the development of flood-prone areas, and buying off politicians so as to not get in the way with (shudder) regulation. Capitalism ensures that these kind of "mistakes" will happen, all the time, in every industry it touches.

Wait, rich people buying up politicians is "capitalism"? Capitalism is when the government stays out of business and allows a business to succeed or fail on it's own. Capitalism would actually prevent what you describe. What you describe is not capitalism but cronyism, kleptocracy, socialism, or communism, depending on the details.

If companies propping up government bothers you then stop the government from propping up companies.

Any kind of subsidy has this problem, like those solar panel subsidies that ended in a bunch of rich guys walking away with their golden parachutes and the government is left with a pile of caustic trash to clean up. Or wind energy companies putting up a bunch of windmills that produce expensive energy when no one is there to buy it and they walk away, leaving the expensive job of cleaning up the rusting towers and concrete anchors for the government to deal with.

You are correct that government backed flood insurance is a problem. The government getting into being an insurer of last resort for floods meant that insurance companies simply got out of that business, leaving everyone to rely on government insurance. If left to the market to decide pricing the cost of the insurance would mean the banks could not afford to offer loans in flood prone areas.

But people don't like the idea of getting rid of government backed flood insurance, because that would mean they could not afford their beach front property any more. It would also mean a lot of poor people could be left with nothing if their shack got flooded. So, here we have it, a law meant to keep the poor from becoming homeless used to make the rich get richer. That seems to be a trend in a lot of laws.

Comment Re:Where are the Nuclear power fans now? (Score 1) 173

You say you are free because you are armed but do you have the courage to stand up to oil and coal interests?

Why should I stand up to them? I like those guys. They sell me natural gas so I can heat my home this winter cheaply and safely. I opted for a gas water heater since it will work even if the power is out. A combination of gravity fed municipal water, natural gas, and some battery powered lanterns and I can get a warm shower even when the electricity is out. I'll just have to sleep in front of the natural gas fire place for the night. As the snow falls the city and utilities will send out bunch of men in diesel trucks to clear the snow and repair the downed lines. So, I'm good.

They don't respect the power of the elements that are in reactors and therefore they make excuses for the stupid things the nuclear industry does. Is that who you are?

I have respect for nuclear power, just like I have respect for natural gas. We put fire in the containment vessel made of brick and steel called a fireplace, it keeps us safe. Fissile material is likewise "burned" in a kind of vessel also made of brick and steel to keep us safe. In both cases if people do something stupid then people get burned. We have people to manage this and they do a very good job. The people outside the USA may need more training than us but they don't have the experience we do. There's no excuses necessary, we do the best we can. When the best is not enough then we fix it. People can and always will die with nuclear power. We know this. What we also know is that even though people are put at risk it's worth it because we get so much energy. Choosing anything but nuclear power means more people die.

Do you think you can figure this stuff out and treat the nuclear industry as a serious concern or will you just continue with the shallow trite bullshit that every other nuke fanboi comes out with?

I do treat it seriously, but I also treat it honestly. People getting all worked up about the capability for a failed nuclear reactor being able to leave large areas of land a radioactive desert are liars with an agenda, and/or ignorant fools. We've seen what a catastrophic failure can do. It sucks for a while, years in fact. People die. Money is lost. Yet after it all humanity is still better off. Once we rid ourselves of these old and safe reactors (and I did call them safe) we can build new even safer reactors. We need new reactors to retire the old. If we are going to keep up with demand for energy, growth in the population, growth in wealth, we need two new nuclear reactors every month in the USA. That also means two new nuclear reactors every week somewhere in the world. It's going to take this much capacity to destroy the caches of spent fuel from old reactors, create the fuel for the next generation of reactors, produce energy, and create the medical isotopes needed to diagnose and treat illness.

You are correct that if treated improperly radiation can injure and kill, but treated with care it can save and cure.

Honestly, it seems to me you are all upset but I'm not sure about what. You go all over the place that it's hard to nail down just what your arguments are. Calm down and educate yourself. Go search the internet for videos and articles from (in no particular order) Mr. Kirk Sorensen, Dr. David LeBlanc, Dr. Leslie Dewan, Mr, Gordon McDowell, Dr. Stephen Boyd, Mr. James C. Kennedy, Mr. John Kutsch, and I know I missed someone. These people work for places like (again, no order) Terrestrial Energy, Flibe Energy, TransAtomic, The Thorium Alliance, and several prominent universities around the world. They've largely solved the problems you give, but the devil is in the details. These people need the freedom to develop their technologies but it seems that people like you hold them up. The know where most of the gremlins lie, and for the ones they don't they have precautions to deal with them too.

Comment Re:Makes me think... (Score 1) 175

Yes, that does happen. This is a training issue for police, not cause to disarm the public. Are you saying that the reason the government should or does ban guns is because the police are too lazy, ignorant, or mentally handicapped to determine who is a threat and who is a friendly?

I remember hearing of a friendly fire incident in New York City. The police saw two armed men running down an alley, one chasing the other. The shot the pursuer believing him to be the threat. When they got to him and began to give first aid they found the man was wearing a police academy t-shirt under his buttoned shirt, then they realized the man they shot was a plainclothes detective and they let a felony suspect get away.

So, how do you propose we address this? Should we ban plainclothes police? I say we train police to think before they shoot.

Also, do the clothes make the man? Is it inconceivable that someone in uniform might be a threat? I'm not saying that the person in the uniform is always an officer, someone could be wearing a false uniform. The police, and the public, should consider that as well.

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