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Comment Re:Why not malware authors then? (Score 5, Insightful) 500

If Sergey Brin is lamenting Apple's restrictive iOS platform as a threat to internet freedom, then why not get to the root cause of that restrictiveness, which is malware?

Believing that malware is the reason why Apple chose a walled-garden model for its app store requires the same degree of naivete needed to believe that child pornography is the reason why governments want to control your communications.

Comment Sorry, but that's impossible. (Score 1) 571

Confirming the safety of GM crops is simply infeasible. It is certainly possible to carry extensive studies in a limited number of GMOs and conclude that they are reasonably safe, but the very nature of genetic modification - and its value, therefore - is that its potential is by all means boundless. One can modify a crop to produce substances that are poisonous to humans just as easily as they modify a crop to produce substances that are toxic to weeds or insects, thus rendering it more "resistant".

The very nature of the concerns about GMOs is that it is very difficult to identify and measure the metabolic side effects that originate from modifying a single gene or group of genes. It's crucial to keep in mind that scientists are *constantly* identifying previously unknown compounds present in even the most common of the vegetable species. It is nonsense to think that it would be possible to measure all the metabolic alterations arising from modifying, adding or deleting a gene.

On top of that, there is an intrinsic issue of conflict of interest. The entities who are most qualified to understand the holistic effects of a genetic alteration, namely the companies who developed the GMO, have no incentive to invest in extensive analysis that may result in findings that render their new product worthless. Pharmaceutical companies are forced to do just that for new drugs, but the food industry is not nearly as regulated and probably never will be.

Given the enormous potential for unknown (and unnoticeable in the short term) side effects of consuming GMOs, I personally refrain from getting close to them at least until I have any trust that proper procedures are in place to thoroughly evaluate them.

Comment Wise decision (Score 1) 646

I commend the CRA for tackling the issue so directly. It's widely known that the side-effects associated to high fructose corn syrup are nothing but a placebo effect triggered by (1) a gibberish chemical sounding name and (2) the bad reputation the product has gotten through the years.

Changing its name is a reliable way to improve consumers' health.

Comment Re:Because David Gerard Removed It (with reason) (Score 1) 244

Why don't they just edit it with "spoiler alert"

Originally it had this classification but it was edited out by David Gerard. And I believe has not been added back since. If you don't know who David Gerard is, he has been very active in Wikipedia since early 2004 and blogs frequently about it.

The referred "minor" edit was justified as: "Removing redundant per Wikipedia:Spoiler - using AWB". It was originally placed under the "Ending" section of the article and I must say I fully agree with its characterization as redundant.

Comment What a deceitful framing of the issue. (Score 2, Insightful) 299

How do we empower top scientists working in industry to lead science-minded positive change within their organizations? ... How do companies who seek genuine dialogue with this community engage?

It's rather simple: open your blog network to scientists who work in industry, which you already do.

It's rather dishonest to claim that the backlash from your sell-out of the site has the effect of preventing industry scientists to engage in "genuine dialogue" with the broad scientific community. If anything prevents this engagement, it's the draconian IP protection rules companies impose to their R&D staff. If a company is genuinely interested in a dialogue and not disguised propaganda, they can simply allow their researchers to have blogs in which they can discuss their work or issues they encounter in their environment.

Comment Re:"Salon" impresses me (Score 1) 347

Whether Manning committed a crime or not is not the main issue. Most whistle-blowers are either committing a crime or breaking a contract. That's why they must be protected from prosecution.

The main issue is that we, as citizens, should always strive to get more information about our government's and corporations' actions and Lamo's self-serving betrayal will likely have a negative effect on that goal.

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