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Comment Lesser of two evils (Score 1) 381

I would much rather have Google in charge of what is available on the internet than Hollywood and the MPAA. If the content mafia had their way, I'm sure the entire internet would be shut down by now. These are the same people who wanted to make VCRs illegal after all. The claim that Google is "anti-copyright" is ridiculous. Remember, Google owns YouTube, the site that gave all these content companies a back door to delete content at will. And what did the content companies do with this power? They blatantly abused it and deleted anything related to their copyrights regardless of whether it was fair use or not (even NASA videos). Now the content companies want that same power over the entire internet. No thanks.

Comment War is not a video game (Score 2) 159

"Development of ethical robotic systems seems like it would take some of the fun out of things"

What kind of twisted fantasy world are you guys living in? War means killing people. It isn't fun. It isn't a video game. And in response to Kell's comment above, we aren't the "Forces of Good" battling the "Forces of Evil". We are a nation state with imperfect leaders and selfish short-sighted goals just like every other nation state on the planet. The difference between having real armies and having robot armies is that robots don't suffer any decline in morale from massacring large numbers of civilians. Think about the implications of that for a minute.

Comment Re:Talk wasn't about 'harm reduction' (Score 1) 562

Apparently the talk also included discussion of the use of date rape drugs. That seems like another relevant fact that was not mentioned. I understand that the summary writer may not have agreed with the removal of the talk, but they at least explain why the hell the talk was actually objected to.

Comment metric vs. imperial (Score 0) 290

How much you want to bet it's yet another imperial vs. metric error? This has been a recurring problem with NASA due to the fact that many of it's suppliers are based in the US, and the US, inexplicably, insists on being the only country on the planet stuck in the pre-metric dark ages. An ounce of prevention is worth 1.7086 kg of cure.

Comment Not an isolated indecent (Score 1) 1127

As you can see on the following page, this is not an isolated indecent:

Sadly, this type of behavior is often considered "normal" in geek communities. Other than just talking about the problem, what can people do about it? For starters, make sure that your event has an anti-harassment policy ( and make sure you actually enforce it. I've seen several female friends and colleagues harassed at conferences and events only to be told, "Oh that's normal, just ignore him" or otherwise dismissed. And then we wonder why there are few women attending these events!


Submission + - Termites explode to defend their colonies (

ananyo writes: A species of termite found in the rainforests of French Guiana takes altruism seriously: aged workers grow sacks of toxic blue liquid that they explode onto their enemies in an act of suicidal self-sacrifice to help their colonies.
The “explosive backpacks” of Neocapritermes taracua grow throughout the lifetimes of the worker termites, filling with blue crystals secreted by a pair of glands on the insects' abdomens. Older workers carry the largest and most toxic backpacks. Those individuals also, not coincidentally, are the least able to forage and tend for the colony: their mandibles become dull and worn as the termites age, because they cannot be sharpened by moulting (abstract).

Comment Re:The government does this all the time (Score 3, Informative) 160

It looks like at least one of the people they interviewed is more sensible:

Ted Center, an entomologist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Invasive Plant Research Laboratory in Fort Lauderdale, Florida agrees. Globalization has ratcheted up the chances of importing pests and diseases from everywhere. Furthermore, he says, there are now more direct flights between Los Angeles and Australia than ever before, and pests entering the cargo holds of passenger planes need only survive fourteen or fifteen hours in order to reach California. Other destinations where eucalyptus occurs receive fewer flights or are less directly accessible, requiring connections. “In my opinion, the [Journal of Economic Entomology] paper is far too speculative,” he says.

Comment The government does this all the time (Score 2) 160

So when the U.S. government introduces an invasive species to control another invasive species, it's called progress, but if it happens accidentally, it's called bioterrorism?? Invasive insects are introduced to the U.S. through shipping on a daily basis, thanks to NAFTA and other free-trade treaties gutting the import inspection requirements. But no one complains about that for some reason. Probably because too many people are making obscene amounts of money thanks to the relaxed regulations, and conveniently you can blame 'ecoterrorists' for the introduced bugs, so why worry?

Comment Yeah right! (Score 1) 254

The FBI believes in the First Amendment about as much as Wilt Chamberlain believed in safe sex.

This is the same FBI that:
* Claimed Wikipedia couldn't host a copy of the FBI seal
* Once took a dozen news websites off the internet because one of them published a photograph of an undercover police office, in Italy!
* Tried to smear Martin Luther King as a Communist because he opposed the Vietnam War
* Tried to smear Judi Bari as a terrorist because she opposed clear-cutting California's redwood forests

Give me a break!

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