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Companies Genetically Engineer Spider Silk

Atmchicago Silksteel alloys (82 comments)

Until quite recently, spider silk had the highest tensile strength of any substance known to man, and the name silksteel pays homage to the arachnid for good reason.

-- Comissioner Pravin Lal ,"U.N. Scientific Survey"

about a week ago

New Details About NSA's Exhaustive Search of Edward Snowden's Emails

Atmchicago Snowden probably took copies with him (200 comments)

If Snowden was able to download so many documents that weren't his, you can bet that he was able to make a backup of his own e-mail. Will this be the same pattern where the NSA coughs up a lie and then finds themselves soundly contradicted a few months later?

about a month ago

The Cost of Caring For Elderly Nuclear Plants Expected To Rise

Atmchicago Both a supply crunch and falling prices? (249 comments)

How is there simultaneously a supply crunch and drop in prices? If there is a crunch, then prices will be raised until demand drops to an appropriate level, or more capacity will be built... unless major market distortions are in play which disrupt this relationship. I don't get it.

about 2 months ago

Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

Atmchicago Maybe... (322 comments)

Good: Plug phone into dock, phone interface disappears, desktop interface comes up. Unplug phone, and it reverts. You carry all your files with you. You go to a dumb monitor + keyboard + mouse anywhere and *poof* you have your desktop with you, and it's online because your phone has data. Yeah, it'll be a bit slow - so don't do heavy number crunching and you're fine. And they'll need to make it impossible to run phone apps in desktop mode or vice versa. Some things must be disallowed (although crafty software could intelligently flip between the two).

Bad: phone has desktop interface; or desktop has phone interface.

Which will it be?

about 3 months ago

Bing Implements Right To Be Forgotten

Atmchicago Who controls the past controls the future... (64 comments)

This is a big step towards re-writing history. It begins with ignoring it, or by actively hiding it. I give it 1 year before we hear of attempts by politicians to cover embarrasing stories that are relevant information to the public, or before corporations hide unpleasant past events such as oil spills (corporations are people too, these days). True, search engines aren't the sole gateways to information, but nowadays people assume that if something isn't found on the first search results page it's probably not important.

about 3 months ago

Privacy Oversight Board Gives NSA Surveillance a Pass

Atmchicago Circular reasoning (170 comments)

"Because of the manner in which the NSA conducts upstream collection"

That's the whole point! You can't say that troublesome methodology is OK because it's the methodology they chose... Circular reasoning at its best.

about 4 months ago

Russia Bans US Use of Its Rocket Engines For Military Launches

Atmchicago Exports for a struggling economy (522 comments)

This might really hurt Russia. The Soviet Union struggled to stay apace with technology, and Russia has too since the collapse of the USSR. Space technology was one area where Russia could make money and truly claim to be among the best. If they're not careful this might kill off one of their few chances for profitable exports in the world economy.

about 5 months ago

F.C.C., In Net Neutrality Turnaround, Plans To Allow Fast Lane

Atmchicago Even better... (410 comments)

I've mostly given up mass media. If we can find something else to entertain ourselves without funneling money into the pockets of Greed then maybe something will change.

about 6 months ago

I expect to retire ...

Atmchicago Re:Too poor (341 comments)

That's exactly why we have Social Security - it forces people to put aside money so that, no matter what, they have something by retirement.

about 6 months ago

Snowden A Hero? Gates Says No, Woz Says Yes

Atmchicago Re:Neutrality (335 comments)

Point taken. However, if he was less self-centered and money-grubbing then yes he could. Bill Gates just took a big hit to his reputation (in my book), and if it weren't for his support of anti-malarial and other research he wouldn't have much to show for.

about 7 months ago

VA Tech Experiment: Polar Vortex May Decimate D.C. Stinkbugs In 2014

Atmchicago mate=kill (112 comments)

As in, check-mate.

about 7 months ago

Counterpoint: Why Edward Snowden May Not Deserve Clemency

Atmchicago Not stealing (573 comments)

He copied the documents but did not deprive the NSA of them. He only copied them and did not steal them. This is the same distinction that must be made when discussing copyright violations. It seems like a small point, but the thievery elicits much stronger emotional responses than copying does, and some are making deliberate efforts to paint Snowden in as bad a light as possible. Please, let's use the correct term.

about 10 months ago

Oregon Signs Up Just 44 People For Obamacare Despite Spending $300 Million

Atmchicago Freeloading (586 comments)

Which then leaves us with 2 options: either he gets no treatment for his leukemia, or everyone else foots the bill. At least by signing up for insurance he's got some skin in the game.

about 10 months ago

Nobel Winner Schekman Boycotts Journals For 'Branding Tyranny'

Atmchicago Publish or perish must go (106 comments)

The way it should be is that the metrics for performance are the aggregate quality and impact of the work, not the number of publications or the impact factors of the journals they go into. Why doesn't this work? Because administrators generally don't understand the science that they are "administering." A possible solution would be to make sure that the people running the show behind the scenes are knowledgeable and competent, but we all know that's never going to happen...

about 10 months ago

The Brains of Men and Women Are 'Wired Differently'

Atmchicago Design (509 comments)

"whereas female brains are designed..." Hold it right there, cowboy! Brains weren't designed, they evolved.

about a year ago

Why Competing For Tenure Is Like Trying To Become a Drug Lord

Atmchicago Re:The economics of academia (168 comments)

One solution to the issue of the faculty who have "retired in place" is to implement a system where faculty older than 65 are subject to 5-year performance reviews and effectively lose tenure, but not necessarily their jobs. This gives the benefit of academic freedom to younger faculty with no strings attached without the pointlessly harsh mandatory retirements that are common in Europe and Asia, but implements a system to get rid of unproductive old timers who are taking up jobs that newer people could have.

about a year ago

Where Does America's Fear Come From?

Atmchicago Re: Control... (926 comments)

"In the USA our education system is so bad most can not speak the native English very well."
You probably mean "cannot," not "can not." The latter implies the ability to be unable to do something, while the former implies the inability to do something.

about a year ago

87-Year-Old World War II Veteran Takes On the TSA

Atmchicago mentality (218 comments)

This is the mentality which is being perpetrated by these idiotic checkpoints:

  • Compromise
  • Conformity
  • Assimilation
  • Submission

Now all we need is to promote ignorance, hypocrisy, brutality, and the elite. Oh wait, we're already there...

about a year ago


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