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Comments

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My cumulative GPA, thus far:

Guido del Confuso Re:OB CN (441 comments)

It's a perfectly cromulent captcha.

about a year and a half ago
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NY Attorney General Subpoenas Craigslist For Post-Sandy Price Gougers

Guido del Confuso Re:Morons. (458 comments)

You don't understand economics, do you?

If the gas was cheap, many would buy it. So they would have gas.

If the supply is low and the demand is high, as it is in an emergency, the price increases as demand outstrips supply. If you make the gas artificially cheap, the demand will increase to a level where it can't be met, so most people won't have gas.

about 2 years ago
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UK Man Arrested For Offensive Joke Posted On Facebook

Guido del Confuso Re:Oh dear ? (606 comments)

You have freedom of speech, we have freedom from harassment.

You mean restriction against harassment. A freedom "from" something is not really a liberty. Recasting a restriction as a "freedom" is just statist doublespeak.

about 2 years ago
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California Wants Genetically Modified Foods To Be Labelled

Guido del Confuso Re:Land of the Free (559 comments)

You certainly raise a good point that it's a relatively new technology and so the long term effects are somewhat unknown. However, there's currently no particular reason to think that it's not safe, even in theory. There is always the potential for some unknown and unforeseen factor to lie lurking in wait, but that's true for any new technology. The resistance to GM technology seems to mostly be based on fear of the unknown, combined with a lack of understanding of—and perhaps even a willful refusal to understand—the scientific principles behind the process.

about 2 years ago
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California Wants Genetically Modified Foods To Be Labelled

Guido del Confuso Re:Cheerleading for Kraft (559 comments)

In other words, your attempts to create a sort of Newspeak that redefines your terms to suit your argument having been exposed, you now attempt to redefine my terms to suit your argument.

Unless you want to argue that e. coli can crossbreed with wheat, there are genes that are introduced in GMO food that cannot come from cross-breeding.

You sound like the religious fanatics who claim that evolution couldn't possibly be true, because you can't explain how certain traits came up in some organisms and not others. Well, not only can I explain how it happened, I can generally explain why it happened. And knowing the why and the how, I can attempt to provide the same selection pressure on other organisms to produce the same result. Do you believe that it's impossible for traits that show up in one organism to ever show up in another? I assume you don't. Do you believe it's impossible to coerce a genetic trait into existence via selective cultivation and environmental pressure? Again, if you know anything about how bacteria evolve immunity to antibiotics, you know that's not true. Do you think it's impossible to transfer a desirable trait into a genetic line solely via selective cultivation and cross-breeding? If you know anything about botany, you know that you can indeed do so. So what makes you think you can't coerce a trait that exists in one organism into showing up in another via strictly non GM means? You obviously can do so, but it might take a very long time or a lot of luck. Genetic modifications just takes the random chance out of it, and allows you to skip the laborious and time-consuming process of doing things the traditional way. There's nothing magical about it.

about 2 years ago
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California Wants Genetically Modified Foods To Be Labelled

Guido del Confuso Re:Land of the Free (559 comments)

My point is that, from a strict scientific perspective, there isn't really any difference between genetic modification and selective cultivation. Genetic modification is simply a way of speeding up a process that historically took centuries or even millennia to accomplish with less advanced technology.

Anyway, I've been around this site long enough to know that unpopular points of view are regularly modded down as “trolls”. Most people here, ultimately, aren't really qualified to moderate because they can't tell an actual troll from somebody who simply has a differing viewpoint. Luckily, in the fifteen years or so that I've been here I've racked up enough karma that I don't really give a damn about moderators with an agenda to push. :)

about 2 years ago
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California Wants Genetically Modified Foods To Be Labelled

Guido del Confuso Re:Cheerleading for Kraft (559 comments)

The problem is that everyone who talks about the magic of the free market is talking about a perfect market.

Now who's arguing semantics? Sorry, but you can't just move the goalposts by redefining terms as you see fit. I know of nobody who believes that the term “free market” means anything other than a market free from government regulation.

Yes, GMO at its most benign is nothing but cutting short a few generations of selective breeding. However, just like I don't need the exact breakdown of every atom in the food I buy, so I don't need a breakdown of every gene in the food I buy. It's sufficient to list out the genes that were artificially inserted and that make up the patent for the food (I'm sure you know that one of the drivers behind GMO food is because it allows for patenting food, right?).

Is your argument about health concerns or patent concerns? Because it again seems like you're trying to shift the goalposts here. Your original concern seemed to be about wanting to know if the banana was a special “glow-in-the-dark” kind, with no mention of patents. If your concern is really about the patent issues, then fine, that's your prerogative. But while you've admitted that genetic modification is nothing more than a shortcut to cross-breeding, you still haven't said what's so special about genes added using this technique that makes them somehow more relevant than other kinds of genes.

You might want to also look into "false dichotomy", "relevance in decision making" and "silence is golden."

If you had a point here, I'm not sure what it is. Either you can claim some legitimate scientific reason why genes inserted via genetic modification are different from genes inserted by cross-breeding (which you can't, because they aren't actually any different), or you have no point whatsoever.

about 2 years ago
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California Wants Genetically Modified Foods To Be Labelled

Guido del Confuso Re:Cheerleading for Kraft (559 comments)

Yes, he does. A perfect market, by definition, must be a free market, and free markets operate more efficiently with better information. You cannot logically separate the concepts into two different things... so it is YOU who are making the straw-man argument.

The claim was that perfect access to information was a cornerstone requirement of a free market. It is not. A perfect market may be a form of free market that requires perfect access to information, but that doesn't mean that a free market requires it. Logic 101 here. If every A is a kind of B, and every A has C, does every B have C? Not necessarily. If every perfect market is a free market, and every perfect market requires perfect information, does every free market require perfect information? Not necessarily. See how that works?

Again, it is YOU who do not know what you are talking about. There are EASILY identifiable differences in many GMO foods. No amount of cross-breeding on earth will insert genes from already-highly modified E. Coli into crops ("roundup-ready" corn) or otherwise cross plants and animals in such a manner. Or dissimilar animals, like jellyfish with mammals.

You are mistaken. Genes are genes. They neither know nor care which organism a specific genetic sequence arose in. Essentially any genetic sequence can be achieved in any organism given enough generations for it to arise and careful cross-breeding to isolate it. The fact that a specific mutation has arisen in one type of organism through luck of the draw shouldn't preclude us from reaping the benefits of it in others. There's no scientific rationale for the position that it should, except that it “sounds scary” to people who don't understand as much about how the science of genetics works as they think they do.

about 2 years ago
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California Wants Genetically Modified Foods To Be Labelled

Guido del Confuso Re:Land of the Free (559 comments)

Yes, it can. First you just have to wait around a few thousand generations for the same gene to surface in the host plant. There's no reason why it couldn't or wouldn't, if you believe in the theory of evolution. Then you isolate that gene in the host plant by selective cross-breeding. It's a very slow, labor intensive process that can take many years to be successful, but there's no reason why it couldn't work. It's precisely what we've been doing for millennia. Genetic modification simply allows to reap the benefits of that labor at a much accelerated pace.

about 2 years ago
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California Wants Genetically Modified Foods To Be Labelled

Guido del Confuso Re:Cheerleading for Kraft (559 comments)

I find it interesting that one of the cornerstone requirements for a working free market - perfect access to full information - is being opposed by entities praising the free market at every turn.

You don't know what you're talking about. Perfect access to information is a condition of a perfect market, not a free market. The only condition for a free market is a lack of government regulations. Free markets do not require perfect access to anything, either as a condition to exist or in order to function properly. Your entire argument is a strawman.

It's that when I buy a banana, I want to know that this isn't a regular Chiquita banana, but the glow-in-the-dark version that is designed to keep nocturnal monkeys from eating it. In other words, I want to know what the product is that I'm buying. This bill would help me with that.

You're under the mistaken impression that there's some identifiable difference between GMO and non-GMO foods, that couldn't be achieved through natural cross-breeding techniques that have been used for thousands of years. Genetic modification just speeds up the process. Do you expect the entire genome of any fruit you buy to be mapped out for you before you decide whether or not to purchase it? If not, then your position is invalid, because just knowing that a food is “genetically modified” tells you absolutely nothing about what's actually in that food.

about 2 years ago
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California Wants Genetically Modified Foods To Be Labelled

Guido del Confuso Re:Land of the Free (559 comments)

That's silly. So-called “genetic modification” is no different from cross-breeding that has been going on since the dawn of agriculture. Would you require a label for food that's grown using a tractor, or a computer controlled irrigation system, or some other technology that didn't exist a couple hundred years ago? What's special about this, other than that ignorant technophobes are freaked out by this particular thing for no good reason?

about 2 years ago
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German Parliament Backs Nuclear Exit By 2022

Guido del Confuso Re:Moving on (364 comments)

Read this and weep. NOBODY has the ability to just move off of nuclear power. Or any other power source for that matter. There is no such thing as "alternative energy". Global power demand is constantly increasing, even faster than population growth (in fact, as energy use increases, population tends to grow more slowly or even decline). We're going to need every watt of power we can get in the not too distant future, from nuclear sources or otherwise. This is a very foolish act on the part of Germany, that will only end up screwing them down the line as energy costs increase dramatically within 50 years, and their economy struggles to keep up. But by then, it will be too late. If Germany started building nuclear plants NOW, and continued building them at a rate that is practically impossible to manage, there's a CHANCE their economy might not end up collapsing completely within half a century.

Mark my words. People will look back on this as the beginning of the end for Germany.

more than 3 years ago
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AOL Spends $1M On Solid State Memory SAN

Guido del Confuso Re:interface? (158 comments)

The Slashdot post is incorrect, according to the article. The actual throughput is about 4GB/s.

more than 3 years ago
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Apple Patents Directional Flash Tech For Cameras

Guido del Confuso Re:not to mention prior art (145 comments)

At least in the 35mm film days, a point and shoot could equal an SLR using the same film stock

Not exactly. The primary reason people would pay big bucks for the SLR camera is because of the difference in lens selection and quality. Other than artistic skill, there's no single component that is going to make a bigger difference to the look of the photograph. All other things being roughly equal, a $1,000 lens on an SLR camera is going to be capable of producing a better photograph than a $99 point and shoot, from a technical perspective at least. There are some photographs that you can get with an SLR that you'll never be able to get with a point and shoot. High speed action, or extremely low/high depth of field shots, for example.

an artist using a point and shoot could take a better picture than some dumb rich guy with a thousand bucks of SLR

This is absolutely true. Still is, even with digital.

Sadly there doesn't seem to be a huge market for small, high quality compacts.

Sure there is. In fact, that's probably the largest market segment for digital cameras. Quality is getting better all the time, even as camera sizes are shrinking. Heck, they're starting to stick cameras in phones that rival the high end consumer digital cameras of only a few years ago.

more than 3 years ago
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My Camera ...

Guido del Confuso Re:First photo (342 comments)

My perception of time is ... well. Both infinite and instant. I interact in real time; I experience the world with an infinite span of contemplation (i.e. short moments are processed as if they're thousands of years); and I pass time as if all is of the triviality of a blink of an eye (Monday? It's already Friday... the week just started... month's over already? I'm still in 2009...).

C'mon, that's just your excuse for being lousy in bed.

more than 3 years ago
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Sorting Algorithm Breaks Giga-Sort Barrier, With GPUs

Guido del Confuso Re:Um... (187 comments)

O( n / log(P) ) not so much.

That algorithm does particularly poorly on just one processor. In fact, if it ran successfully the universe would implode.

more than 3 years ago
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The iPad As a Shape-Recognition System

Guido del Confuso Re:It's simple... (100 comments)

I think it could be done with no more than two. The technology behind the iPod touchscreen is capable of recognizing the shape and size of a touch point. So you should be able to determine the type of piece with a single point, and you'd just need another point for orientation. I think only oval shapes can be recognized, but if asymmetrical shapes are possible (or if you had pieces that were symmetrical and limited the forward direction to a 180 degree arc), you could do it with only one.

But if you had access to the low level touchscreen interface, it may not even be a problem. I believe the iPod filters out points below a certain size threshold as random noise. But if you know that you're looking for certain patterns, you could separate these from the noise yourself and there would theoretically be no limit to the number of recognizable shapes.

about 4 years ago
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Icons on my (computer) desktop:

Guido del Confuso Re:None (384 comments)

It's actually more significant than you might think. Drawing the desktop requires a graphics operation as well as a disk operation, and these are two of the slowest operations the computer can perform. If you have a ton of icons in your desktop folder (which I usually do, since I use it as a generic holding space for temporary files, and only bother to clean it out relatively infrequently), it can take a significant amount of time to draw all of them. Maybe not a whole lot, but when you consider that it's constantly there, it can add up.

Also, disabling the desktop prevents the system from preparing for a cross application drag if you just drag across the desktop while trying to drag from one window to another within the same application. Some poorly designed programs (I'm lookin' at you, Final Cut Pro) will freeze up for several seconds while they enumerate something or other based on the premise that since you crossed over the desktop, you might conceivably want to drop things on it. Disabling the desktop prevents that (but you still have to be careful not to accidentally drag over any stray Finder windows!)

about 4 years ago
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Icons on my (computer) desktop:

Guido del Confuso Re:None (384 comments)

With Tinkertool, you can turn off the desktop entirely so that no icons show whatsoever. Doing so provides a bit of a performance boost since it never has to redraw the desktop window, and it provides the added benefit that a clumsy click on the desktop won't switch you out of the current application.

about 4 years ago
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A Conference For Malware Writers

Guido del Confuso This is genius (112 comments)

Also, they're having a conference for criminals down at the local police station. Real big conference, trust me. I bet there'll be booth babes.

about 4 years ago

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