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Comment If it were available today I'd get it in a second. (Score 1) 605

I have an accident on my record plus 3 speeding violations from two years ago when I was in college. Now I've "chilled out" but am locked-in paying $150.00/mo. for insurance for another year, despite the fact that I have changed my driving habits, no longer speed and drive conservatively. As I am still entry-level and insurance accounts for a good portion of my income, it would be well worth it for me to sacrifice my privacy for some months in order to obtain lower premiums.


Submission + - Microsoft Pushes for Gay Marriage in Washington St (

plsenjy writes: "An article in the Atlantic outlines how Microsoft Corp. has submitted its support for a Washington State provision allowing gay couples to marry. Citing their inability to compete for top talent in the face of discrimination, Microsoft joins other firms such as Nike, Vulcan, and others to effectively change moral policy from the top-down."

Comment Not Monsanto's only large GMO problem (Score 5, Interesting) 368

A couple months ago I drove Dr. Don Huber of Purdue from the airport to a field day (ag industry for product demo) being put on by my family's non-GMO seed firm in the Upper Midwest. He of course had already been hearing of this problem for a while (the plant pathology/development community is pretty small, and when something new crops up everyone is in the loop) but was (and still is) much more concerned with a different pathogen that's been cropping up slowly for the past few years at higher and higher rates. Personally, I am not a seedsman and can't explain it very well, besides saying that it's a bacteria that he has been linking to Roundup Ready plants (Roundup Ready is a gene that Monsanto inserts in all sorts of plants in order to make them resistant to a pungent herbicide, Roundup) that causes infertility in everything it touches and we're unsure of how to deal with it. This website explains the problem pretty well (ignore the activism associated with it, it should just be used as a teaching point)

What's really chilling is that our non-GMO firm does very well outside the US. This is because most country's will not allow GMO's to be planted in their country due to their lack of long-term testing of effects on humans. I can't remember the exact regulation but in the EU they only allow something like 10-15% of their foodstock to be GMO. In Japan they're not allowed to be planted at all. My dad (the non-GMO seedsman) always likes to tell this anecdote - that when asked why they won't plant any GMO corn, the Japanese grainsman says, "We are conservative with our food. We want to see what it does to your children's children before we'll even consider it."

Comment Another fine article from Discovery (Score 5, Insightful) 309

This is a good example of the infotainment Discovery and all of its subsidiaries have used to replace what was once great, informative programming. Remember the long, droll documentaries you used to watch on the History Channel that were fascinating, somewhat layered, and informative? That all changed the day David M. Zaslav (former head of NBC, took the helm in 2007. Since then the organization has worked tooth and nail to dissolve its reputation as a place to learn something by replacing any programming focused on science, history, or biology with Big Log Muckers, UFO specials, End-of-the-World simulations, When Animals Attack and anything that can go out on a limb to find scientific proof for Biblical anecdotes. It follows the logic that those who are watching television are uneducated and then offers the lowest common demoninator in order to lull larger audiences. What a blight that man's leadership is.

Comment Re:Not doing enough? (Score 1) 130

Meanwhile, the largest countries had adopted strategies that offer little for the developing world.

On the contrary. Many of the world's largest countries send massive amounts of aid to the developing world, which is then promptly stolen by corrupt governments of those countries. Zimbabwe used to be a net exporter of food and now they've got almost impossibly-high inflation rates. Maybe we should work on that before air-dropping laptops into these places?

Though I don't disagree that this isn't what these countries need, Zimbabwe is a horrible example to use in this case. In 2006 Robert Mugabe's government implemented a policy of "fast track land reform" that gave most of the country's hereditary, white-owned farmland over to new, inexperienced black owners. Though land ownership in Zimbabwe was indeed a relic of racial-class structure from British Colonial rule, when you make such a sweeping, heavy-handed move as Mugabe did it is no surprise that they have suffered such a massive drop in food production. Here is the Human Rights Watch report on the issue:

Comment Detroit OPOC (Score 4, Informative) 290

More prominent than Pinnacle is the first company mentioned in TFA, Ecomotors. In the past 6 months they have begun test builds on on-highway trucks for one of America's largest truck manufacturers, Navistar. ( Considering America's position as #1 fuel consumer, hacking into the amount of fuel used by the most fuel-intensive industry is much more significant than increasing efficiency on mopeds in India.

From TFA:

"“I don’t know what it’s going to take to get somebody in the U.S. excited” about fundamental improvements to the venerable internal combustion engine, Cleeves [CEO of Pinnacle] says"

Are you kidding me??!

Trucks here are doing everything they can to improve fuel efficiency, from installing flaps underneath their trailers to controlling and monitoring the speed of trucks. If the OPOC engine does prove to be a large increase in efficiency on these large, constantly running trucks, while at the same time eliminating components, you better believe the trucking industry will hop on board with a second.

Come on, practice a little vetting for once, or maybe try googling for more than one source on an article here!

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In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle