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China Pulls Plug On Genetically Modified Rice and Corn

NoKaOi Re:Wow (144 comments)

Considering this is the country that put melamine in milk and cadmium in toys, this speaks volumes.

Except in those cases those things were done in violation of the law. The issue was that it wasn't being enforced, not that it was legal. Of course, that doesn't change the fact that I want to know both the "official" and the actual reasons. Oddly, the permits that are being denied are for Bt rice and phytase corn, but they continue to support Bt corn, so environment or food safety doesn't seem like it would be an actual reason, although it could be the "official" reason. A more likely scenario is politics and lobbying (or whatever the Chinese version of lobbying is, they probably just call it bribery).

yesterday
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If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

NoKaOi Re:Ready in 30 years (295 comments)

Perhaps if Fusion is the answer, then the question is "What should we be spending money on developing?"

Which makes more sense:
1. Spend a trillion or so dollars (it's been about $400Billion so far, and rising) on the F-35, which won't be viable for a long time but has already been making a few rich people richer. Money comes from taxpayers, and it's the ultra-wealthy who directly benefit from the contracts who get richer. In reality our actual military power is unchanged.

2. Spend that money instead on R&D for fusion (spend a bit of it on battery research too for electric cars/trucks). The US saves $380Billion per year on oil imports. The economy and thus quality of life for everyone improves. The rich still get richer because manufacturing and transportation costs have been reduced. F-16's, F-18's, etc and UAV's continue to give us military superiority.

2 days ago
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Xiaomi's Next OS Looks Strikingly Similar To iOS

NoKaOi Re:What is really funny.... (179 comments)

This is about the software. Did FoxxConn develop the OS for the iPhone? And even we were talking about hardware design, did FoxxConn design it, or are they just manufacturing it? I'm pretty sure they're just manufacturing it. Did Apple come up with any innovations to manufacturing processes that FoxxConn is now copying to make other devices with? I doubt it.

Ironically, the article flames a company for copying Apple's UI. Conversely, and the sort of article we usually see here, if Apple were trying to prevent anybody from copying it there would be a /. article flaming Apple and saying anybody should be allowed to copy it.

3 days ago
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The Billion-Dollar Website

NoKaOi Re:in other words (194 comments)

it was a giant clusterfuck...also, water is wet

Yep. True of any big undertaking when contractors are involved (whether it's government or a large corporation hiring the contractors for a big project). How about this:
-The defense department undertook the development of F-35 and its related systems without effective planning or oversight practices...
-[The task] was a complex effort with compressed time frames. To be expedient, DoD issued task orders ... when key technical requirements were unknown...
-DoD identified major performance issues ... but took only limited steps to hold Lockheed Martin accountable.
-DoD gave a lot more money to Lockheed due to changes such as new requirements and other enhancements...

The difference between healthcare.gov and any other big project is the politicalization of it. On one hand, you have the people who want health insurance so they can get medical care. On the other hand, you have insurance companies that want to keep the old system because they make higher profits. With the F-35 you only have one side...the defense contractors who want to make tons of money.

about a week ago
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US Defense Contractors Still Waiting For Breach Notification Rules

NoKaOi Re:Quickly now, tell us about the breach. (19 comments)

One would assume that this would be basic common sense.

Not really, from the defense contractor's point of view. If they do have a breach, it is in their best interest to cover it up. Without any rules in place, they are not violating any rules. If there are rules in place, then covering it up would be a violation of those rules, so in some cases it would be in their best interest not to cover it up (risk/reward).

about a week ago
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Murder Suspect Asked Siri Where To Hide a Dead Body

NoKaOi Re:Oh now Apple joins the team (159 comments)

The article does not say that Apple contacted law enforcement because he searched on it. The article is sensationalistic click bait. Pretty much every search engine logs what you search on. Whether it's Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc etc etc. Even if it doesn't your browser is probably logging it in the history. Why would you expect Siri to be any different? It's really just a search engine with voice recognition. And, in a murder investigation, it's going to be standard procedure to investigate all of your browsing history and other activity leading up to and after the time of the murder. Nowhere in the article does it say they did any of this without a warrant. When they have lots of probable cause already and the suspect has already been arrested, it's not hard to get warrants to search their whole life to build a case (and if they find exculpatory evidence they are compelled to hand it over to the defense).

Now, if Apple sent law enforcement notification that said, "look, here's a list of people that searched for suspicious things" that would be an entirely different story. And, if law enforcement tried to get Apple to give them the information without a proper warrant (like if they sent them an NSL) then that would be a different story too. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of instances of corporations and law enforcement being scumbags and violating the constitution, but this doesn't appear to be one of those instances.

about a week ago
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Murder Suspect Asked Siri Where To Hide a Dead Body

NoKaOi Re:Gators (159 comments)

Scary how shit like that is tracked in the phone. I use my flashlight daily, wonder if that makes me a suspect for something?

Dunno about the built-in flashlight that's in iOS7 (with Control Center), but the 3rd party flashlight apps tend to have ads. If it has ads, then it's being logged somewhere.

about a week ago
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Patents That Kill

NoKaOi Re:And this is the same for copyrights. (239 comments)

For copyrights, the content creator's remaining natural life plus ten years, or 40 years total, which ever is longer.

Ok, so, since corporations are people too, then if a corporation is the creator (and in the law it really means copyright owner), then as long as that corporation doesn't go out of business the copyright never expires? Doesn't seem so different from how it is now, other than a few remaining old copyrights that were owned by individuals (and now their estates).

I think the copyright term should most certainly be shortened, by a lot, but shouldn't have anything to do with the creator/copyright owner's lifetime. The benefits of copyright are how certain careers get paid. Your family should get to reap the benefits of it for the same term as if you were alive. After all, in other careers where you get paid on delivery, you get to leave all that money to your family, not just a shortened portion of it because you died (okay, estate tax might complicate that a bit, IANAAccountant). The problem is, now the copyright term is soooo long. If it were shortened to something reasonable like 10 years then allowing your family to retain the copyright for the remainder of the 10 years would seem fair. Shortening the copyright term is by far the #1 reform that would seriously improve copyright law.

With patents, which is what the article is about, there's more to it than that. Sure, we can shorten the patent term (which is a helluva lot less than copyright term), but it's not the #1 thing. The #1 problem with patents IMO is obviousness, you're not supposed to be able to patent something that's obvious, but too many patents are obvious. Hint: if a dozen people come up with the same way of doing something without copying your patent, it's FUCKING OBVIOUS. When a new technology comes out (say, putting GPS inside a phone) then it's always a race to patent every use of it anybody can think of. If it's a race to patent something, then that something is obvious. The point of a patent, and the reason it's not supposed to be obvious, isn't that you were the first one to come up with an idea, or the first one to file the patent for it, but it's supposed to be that the idea (for a method or thing) wouldn't have been thought of anytime soon by somebody else.

about two weeks ago
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3 Congressmen Trying To Tie Up SpaceX

NoKaOi Re:What? (393 comments)

rules are different for them than they would be if NASA themselves built the rockets

And if they were to follow their theory on the F-35, they would not only stop giving Lockheed Martin more money, but would charge Lockheed Martin money for every mission that they missed out on had it been delivered on time.

This breaks the model of every government contract that has ever been. And frankly, SpaceX is doing pretty frickin' well compared to other aerospace contracts.

about two weeks ago
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Google's Satellites Could Soon See Your Face From Space

NoKaOi Re:25 cm resolution (140 comments)

the average human head would occupy less than 1 pixel regardless of which axis it was observed across.

No, that would be low resolution. This is high resolution. Use a shot where the face is at the intersection of 4 pixels. There, I just quadrupled your resolution!

Of course, the headline (which seemingly has nothing to do with the articles or even the summary) says see your face from space, not identify your face from space. If your face is represented in 1-4 pixels, which could potentially be distinguished as a face by those pixels' colors in comparison to neighboring pixels, isn't it technically seeing your face?

about two weeks ago
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Toxic Algae Threatens Florida's Gulf Coast

NoKaOi Re:An economic and environmental disaster (99 comments)

The fertilizers used on lawns is blamed for the red tide outbreaks by feeding the organisms, it is believed.

Not to mention that most people (pro landscapers included) dump a lot more phosphorus than is necessary. A mature lawn needs very little phosphorus fertilizer, and in most areas none at all because the soil has enough. Using a phosphorus free fertilizer, which still contains the nutrients the plant needs such as nitrogen and potassium, is sufficient in most areas. And yet, general purpose fertilizer is often used (flowers and fruit needs phosphorus), and even fertilizer marketed for lawns usually unnecessarily contains fertilizer. And that's all about marketing and distribution. The fertilizer companies want to produce stuff they can market everywhere. Additionally, what are most people who don't know anybody going to buy, the fertilizer that says "27-3-10" or the one that says "27-0-10." The former of course, because 3 is better than 0! And lots of "lawn food" products contain plenty just for good measure without even having the N-P-K ratio on the label.

Education in this area would go a loooong way. Educate the public, the professional landscapers, and the fertilizer suppliers. There are even some municipalities where it's illegal to dump phosphorus containing fertilizer on lawns. Yes, it's easy to get away with breaking that ordinance (especially with the pretty labels at Home Depot), but what having the ordnance does in particular is educate the landscapers who will then buy phosphorus free fertilizer, which will in turn educate (to some degree) the public, and make phosphorus free fertilizer more available and the de facto standard.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can Tech Help Monitor or Mitigate a Mine-Flooded Ecosystem?

NoKaOi Yes, there are tech items that can help (123 comments)

Can Tech Help Monitor or Mitigate a Mine-Flooded Ecosystem?

Yes. The first tech to start out with is a motorboat, a Van Dorn bottle, and a sediment sampler. Then pick out a lab or two that are capable of testing for the things that might be in the water, particularly nickel, arsenic, lead, copper, TSS, phosphorus, and nitrogen. Take your water samples at several locations and depths using said motorboat with said Van Dorn bottle and sediment sampler.

Okay, okay, I was kinda being a smartass. I get it, you have 5 days to complete your detailed action plan, and in a desperate Hail Mary you're hoping somebody here will reply with, "I was just about to launch my Kickstarter project for my solar powered 3-D printed heavy-metal-cleaning-superdrone running Linux on Raspberry Pi! I'll UPS my prototype to you tomorrow!" But that's not gonna happen. I'm sure you've already hired consultants to write things like, "if levels of A are above B mcg/L then C will be done over D timespan, until levels of A drop below B, at which point E will be done." D and E may have to be investigated if you don't know what they are yet. That's about as good as you're gonna get at this point.

Don't forget that your spill probably didn't just contaminate the lake with the metals you dumped in it, but also normal things (i.e. nutrients) that tons of sediment contain that could have various biological effects such as algal blooms. In addition to supplying them with clean water, I hope your mining company also reimburses the residents of the area for the economic (both short term and long term) impact this incident is having on them. You've been reaping the benefit of the rewards, now it's time to pay the price of the risk.

about two weeks ago
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FCC Mandates Text-to-911 From All US Wireless Carriers

NoKaOi Re:Changing nature of 911 (80 comments)

911 calls are by nature a conversation, a two-way exchange of details from the caller and suggestions from the operator as the situation unfolds. That will (likely) be lost in a text exchange - what parent will keep texting 'she's not breathing, she's turning blue' to 911 when they are standing by their choking child?

There are some situations where it's very difficult to make a call, particularly noisy situations. For example, I had to call 911 for a car accident where one of the car's horn was blaring (presumably the front impact had shorted something out). I couldn't hear the 911 operator and she couldn't hear me. I had to walk far enough away that we could hear each other. It would have been much easier to send a text saying something like "Car accident at intersection of X and Y, one driver with non-life-threatening injury." Of course, in most situations it would be better to call. They're not proposing to replace voice with text for 911, it is in addition to voice.

about two weeks ago
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Edward Snowden Is Not Alone: US Gov't Seeks Another Leaker

NoKaOi Re:Snowden and Assange... (204 comments)

If you think about it, that's *precisely* what the NSA should be doing: precision strikes, rather than carpet bombing, so to speak.

You do mean with probable cause and a legal search warrant, right?

about two weeks ago
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Planes Can Be Hacked Via Inflight Wi-fi, Says Researcher

NoKaOi Re:So, which is it? (151 comments)

"Planes Can Be Hacked" really means "Planes' Satellite Communication System Can be Hacked." That's a huge distinction. A malicious hacker still can't control the plane or it's radio communications, which are the important things. There are good reasons why the FAA is strict rules about airplanes not relying on satellites.

To give you an idea of the technical prowess of the article: "he discovered the vulnerabilities by "reverse engineering" - or decoding - highly specialized software known as firmware." But it seems the "researcher" is trying to sensationalize things:
"In theory, a hacker could use a plane's onboard WiFi signal or inflight entertainment system to hack into its avionics equipment, potentially disrupting or modifying satellite communications, which could interfere with the aircraft's navigation and safety systems, Santamarta said."
Now let's read between the lines. Avionics is any kind of electronics, even the entertainment system, so really no big deal, they can't hack anything important. For the "navigation" systems, he's not talking about GPS (even if he were it wouldn't be a big deal, airplanes can navigate just fine without GPS), but the communication system does send the GPS location, altitude, and speed back home. If that goes down, not a big deal because that's not what air traffic control relies on.

The worst that could happen is causing a panic by putting porn up on a flight to Disneyland and reporting back an altitude and speed of zero, which I'm sure would prompt a quick call to someone with air traffic control info who would say everything is fine. It would also prompt a lawsuit from the parents of small children for subjecting them to porn, but that would be made up for by ticket sales from college students wanting to fly that airline for their spring break vacation.

about two weeks ago
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Google Spots Explicit Images of a Child In Man's Email, Tips Off Police

NoKaOi Re:This is chilling (790 comments)

Hmm, I don't know. This is the first time I've heard of something like this from Google, so it could have been just an inquiry into a random technical problem, a Google employee suspicious of their neighbor, a Google employee who got a tip-off from his best friend, or anything, really.

All of those scenarios just go to show that, contrary to what Google has claimed in the past, their employees can and do view emails even without a court order.

about three weeks ago
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The High-Tech Warfare Behind the Israel - Hamas Conflict

NoKaOi Re:Sources? (402 comments)

The sole source of information for the article is "Aviad Dadon of Israeli cyber-security firm AdoreGroup." Is that an independent source?

Of course. As we have seen here in the US, heads of intelligence organizations never lie. Even more so, heads of a corporation with a financial interest in conflict. Nope, they would never lie in a case like that to justify to a country's citizens a government giving it tons of money. Nope, it's totally 100% reliable.

about three weeks ago
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Sprint/T-Mobile Plan To Buy Spectrum Together May Be Blocked By FCC

NoKaOi Re:Common sense (28 comments)

A good common sense opinion from Mr. Wheeler and the FCC. So where's that common sense when it comes to net neutrality?

Wrong companies. You'll notice his pet companies Verizon, Comcast and Time Werner aren't helped by this. It's more complicated than pushing things in favor of big business, it's pushing things in favor of the biggest businesses. Sprint and T-mobile combined have less market share than either Verizon or AT&T individually, and I'm sure Verizon and AT&T want to keep it that way.

So, what will happen is a smaller company or combined small companies will buy the spectrum, and then get bought out by Verizon or AT&T.

about three weeks ago
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Lionsgate Sues Limetorrents, Played.to, and Others Over Expendables 3 Leak

NoKaOi Re:The DHS Is On The Case (207 comments)

So, the US government has pretty much taken the worst parts of the original idea of Fascism as described in the original Fascist Manifesto (corporatism) along with the worst parts of what Italian Fascism actually tried to be (totalitarianism, rule by elites).

about three weeks ago

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