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Comment Re:TANSTAAFL (Score 1) 164

The only thing that would be legal is the copying for personal use (hence: no reselling)

Reselling or not, if I can download it for free watching at home, I am unlikely to pay to watch anywhere else.

Besides, what argument is there to make it freely available to individuals, that would not also apply verbatim to owners of venues like bars, for example?

people want to see a movie in a cinema

Some people still do, but there many fewer of them.

own a blu ray disk, instead of downloading it to a harddisk

Sorting through plastic disks is a nuisance — hard-drives are much more convenient. Indeed, the survival of disc-based media is very much in doubt.

Movies are already increasingly sponsored by product-placement — as people continue to steal content in larger numbers, the practice is going to increase.

Now, maybe, most of the entertainment is overpriced crap, but to consume it anyway — without paying the creators whatever they want — is hypocrisy.

Comment Re:CRISPR for the masses (Score 1) 161

if you *don't* "kill off the degenerates", then they will continually breed with your so-called "improved stock"

Not if the genomes of the new embryos are edited with the same vigor and propaganda cover as vaccinations are done today...

Even more conservatively, instead of editing, Heinlein's book describes the method, whereby the child conceived by two parents will not be a hitherto impossible "superhuman" — he'll just be the best possible child these two parents can conceive. Human stock then improves from the most optimal variant always winning what was until then a chance-game...

Comment Re:CRISPR for the masses (Score 1) 161

it's just a story

It still provides a lot more details — and answers a lot more questions — than a Slashdot post can be expected to. If it is Ok to outline one's vision of solution in the latter, it is certainly Ok to refer people to the former. As I did...

Sure, it is "just a story", but until such things are implemented for real, all discussions will have to deal with the hypotheticals.

Comment CRISPR for the masses (Score 4, Informative) 161

Why? It's a waste of money and resources that could be focused on actually contributing to society.

The technique they are using — CRISPR — is what we just discussed as applicable to humans. If splicing mammoth into elephant yields a viable organism, some day it may be possible to splice useful features of Neanderthals and other extinct human species, or even apes into humans — yielding strength, resistance to diseases, or adaptability to uncomfortable conditions (think Antarctica or even Mars).

Eugenics became a dirty word because of Nazis, who would improve humanity by killing off the "degenerates". But there is nothing wrong with improving the human stock per se... For example, Heinlein in "Beyond This Horizon" describes a society, where this was done successfully — while also explaining, how it can be done (very) wrong as well.

Comment Dissent is all the rage! (Score 1) 110

it may also be used to track who is going to a political rally or protest, or who is visiting a dissident.

This would've been a valid concern, if being a "dissident" were in any way dangerous in our country. And it is not.

Certainly not lately — on the contrary, supporting the elected President or the majority-holding Party is what can get you beaten up or reported to your employer (and subsequently fired).

Dissidents in the US denounce the sitting President to the ovations from audiences, fearing not one bit neither for personal safety nor for job-prospects.

So, no, any concern over police identifying "dissidents" in a free country is invalid. But helping the officers separate known rioters from peaceful — even if excited — protesters is a useful thing.

Comment Re:Proof of Throttling? (Score 1) 62

Is that enough proof.It is not proof at all. If tinkering with the device made it go away, you weren't throttled. Period.

Maybe, just maybe, the sinister "guy with a clue" quietly — without telling you — fixed something else with your account, while lying to you, that you need to reset/reboot. Seems unlikely though...

Comment Re:Proof of Throttling? (Score 1) 62

"You are definitely nowhere near over your limit."

That's good, but is no proof, you are being throttled.

It causes the phone to reboot and then the data speed was restored to 'normal' speeds.

This means, something was wrong with your phone or, possibly, its settings. If a reset/reboot of the device fixed the problem, than it is most unlikely, that AT&T was deliberately throttling you. Had they really been doing that, no amount of tinkering with the phone itself would've helped.

The average ATT store employee has NO CLUE.

Yes, we all love to bash the front-line clerks. But that's irrelevant to the strong-worded claim you made. What you believe is "proof" is not — you owe AT&T an apology...

Comment Re:Not for Ethicists to decide (Score 1) 159

Maybe the child lives in constant pain? Has missing limbs? Three eyes?

These are questions for Biology in general and Genetics in particular. Not for Ethics. And that's my point.

Will it be available to everyone? Or just the 0.1%?

These might be questions for Ethics, but we already have the answer: there is nothing unethical about richer people having better things. FYI, in the 19th century, flush toilet was only for the 0.1%...

Certainly lots to consider


Ethics is only one small part of it.

No, Ethics has no part in it.

Comment Not for Ethicists to decide (Score 2) 159

It is mostly hand waving blather

Worse. The objections are justified by ethics. As if it were unethical to want your children to be smarter, stronger, and better-looking.

Maybe, the changes are "dangerous" from the point of view of Biology and population health. But dragging Ethics into it is utter nonsense.

Comment Re:So and independent source ... (Score 1) 240

Independent of what

"Independent" as in "free of conflict of interest". Trump was elected promising to "drain the swamp". The alligators are now all busy protesting their own importance. Maybe the bridges really are crumbling — but the people, who'd most benefit from our attention to the problem can not be trusted to justify it.

Even if the evil RethugliKKKunt$ have limited the benevolent Democrats' attempts to fix these 55000 bridges for eight years (including when the Democrats controlled the entire Congress and the White House), there was enough money to fix the 10000 most in need...

Remember the wonderful term "shovel ready"?

or is this just a hurr durr gubbermint post?

Well, if the government is to be trusted on this one, the government is failing to maintain the bridges properly...

Submission + - Shocked at What I Hear on HF - Amateur Radio

Ugmug writes: It seems that social media isn't the only place where societal mores have fallen on hard times. There was a time when a FCC licensed Amateur radio operator couldn't utter any vulgar language or engage in any socially unredeeming conversation or else their amateur radio license would be more! Conversations today on the amateur radio bands are equivalent to the filth filled scribblings spewing out of any smartphone.

Submission + - At the End, Obama Administration Gave NSA Broad New Powers ( 1

Tulsa_Time writes: This story, from the Jan. 12, 2017, edition of the New York Times, was little-remarked upon at the time, but suddenly has taken on far greater significance in light of current events:

In its final days, the Obama administration has expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections.

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