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Plant Breeders Release 'Open Source Seeds'

Shimbo Re:Missing a rather large point (136 comments)

What if you all agreed that nobody could restrict the future use of these seeds.

Then the seed companies would lobby for laws to make sharing seeds illegal. If you think that is being paranoid: it's already happened. http://permaculturenews.org/20... (it didn't pass - that time).

2 days ago

Scientists/Actress Say They Were 'Tricked' Into Geocentric Universe Movie

Shimbo Re:But it is! (641 comments)

Except, I don't think that is what the general theory of relativity says. Maybe you're thinking of the special theory of relativity, which says that in inertial systems one frame of reference is just as valid as another. However, I don't think the sun and the earth represent an inertial system, so I'm not sure why that would apply.

Er, no. The special theory deals with inertial frames, you need the general theory for non-inertial frames. According to the general theory, you can't tell the difference between gravity and acceleration. So, you can claim that you were stationary on a roundabout and the rest of the universe swirling about you caused space to warp in such a way as to cause you to fall off. That's a perfectly valid interpretation according to general relativity, if a somewhat egocentric one.

about two weeks ago

EU Should Switch To ODF Standard, Says MEP

Shimbo Re:Ooh look! (111 comments)

What's with all the Euro-hate, anyway?

I don't think a random MP or MEP saying something particularly intelligent or unintelligent counts as news. MPs or MEPs will be found talking to almost every lobby group you can imagine at some point. And, because they are elected by proportional representation across a variety of languages and cultures, MEPs in particular will have a very diverse range of views.

To be honest, I would be happier if /. didn't run any such stories, because on average politicians say a lot more stupid things than sensible ones. Actual policies would be different.

about two weeks ago

UK Government Pays Microsoft £5.5M For Extended Support of Windows XP

Shimbo Re:UK Taxpayers (341 comments)

What I would like to know is how much would it have cost to upgrade to Linux? As a UK Taxpayer, I would prefer my money to be invested in Linux systems instead of Microsoft.

Much more than that, obviously. You don't replace the operating system, reinstall and develop specialist applications for £5 a PC. Of course, paying for extended support doesn't move you forward, so you have to some sort of migration next year.

And really, as a taxpayer (IMHO), you (and I) should be wondering how the NHS managed to piss £10 billion away on a failed IT project, and how we can avoid them doing it again. £5 million across the whole of government is fairly small beer to keep existing systems going, compared to the amount you could blow on a load of migration projects.

  It sucks that some departments are going to miss the deadline but the questions I'd like to know the answer to are 'what are their migration projects for next year?' and 'are they on track to be completed before the extended support runs out?'. Have they got a credible plan, and it's just slipped a little, or is it a total fuck up? That, to me, is the big money question.

about two weeks ago

London Council Dumping Windows For Chromebooks To Save £400,000

Shimbo Re:Translation (193 comments)

It doesn't sound like they're using web apps, at least not yet

No, but they were (apparently) using mostly Citrix apart from the power users. A Chromebook seems a good fit as a remote desktop client; you don't have any more issues with requiring an always on network than you started with. For once, a fairly sensible strategy it seems.

about three weeks ago

XWayland Aiming For Glamor Support, Merge Next X.Org Release

Shimbo Re:Is XWayland... (83 comments)

XWayland is the X server for Wayland, so that you can run traditional X applications on Wayland (as opposed to Qt etc. applications, which will talk directly to Wayland). http://wayland.freedesktop.org...

about three weeks ago

IRS: Bitcoin Is Property, Not Currency

Shimbo Re:If BITC are property.. (273 comments)

The government can't force me to use currency if I don't want to.

How many chickens would you like to bet on that?

about a month ago

BPAS Appeals £200,000 Fine Over Hacked Website

Shimbo Re:Rewards the hacker (104 comments)

What I find incredibly offensive is that the charity's CEO didn't even apologise to the 10,000 innocent victims whose data was lost as a result of his organisation's failings. Instead he is trying to shift the attention onto the ICO and try to portray themselves as victims.

In all probablility burning tens of thousands pounds more of the charity's money in the process. If they do actually go to appeal, rather than just saying it in the heat of the moment. It's a she, by the way.

To be fair, they are victims in the sense that if they didn't get hacked, they might have got away with their negligence but that is often true. It's rather like blaming the guy that pulled out in front of you when you were drunk driving.

about a month and a half ago

BPAS Appeals £200,000 Fine Over Hacked Website

Shimbo Re:hmmm (104 comments)

Doing things right" is an incredibly nebulous statement that nearly no judge should be in a position to determine.

The principles are in Schedule 1 of the DPA

about a month and a half ago

BPAS Appeals £200,000 Fine Over Hacked Website

Shimbo Re:so they got an anti-abortion judge (104 comments)

Why is it a "heavy-handed" fine? It seems to me that when an organization endangers members of the public via negligence, they should receive a penalty that is sufficient to motivate them to change their practices.

It's less that 1% of their annual turnover, and could easily come out of their senior management's pay. Think that will happen? Me neither.

about a month and a half ago

New Review Slams Fusion Project's Management

Shimbo Re:Cold Fusion and Polywell Fusion are (109 comments)

We've been building tunnel diodes since the late 1950s. That's for electrons though... I don't see how tunneling can help protons.

Some enzymes use it; bioscience is frighteningly subtle at times. Not for fusion though.

about 2 months ago

High Court Rules Detention of David Miranda Was Lawful

Shimbo Re:Of course it's "lawful" (169 comments)

What do you mean it didn't happen?

He was arrested and held for 6 months then allowed to go free by the UK government.

GP argued that the courts always sided with the elite. However, Pinochet lost the case, although some of the charges were dismissed. The government later decided to let him go on medical grounds.

about 2 months ago

High Court Rules Detention of David Miranda Was Lawful

Shimbo Re:Of course it's "lawful" (169 comments)

Surprise? UK courts follow elite interests and have always done so. Take their refusal to extradite Augusto Pinochet to Spain a decade ago

I'm very surprised at that, since it didn't happen.

about 2 months ago

High Court Rules Detention of David Miranda Was Lawful

Shimbo Re:Of course it's "lawful" (169 comments)

To paraphrase, when the government does it, it's not illegal. It would be absurd to expect any other outcome.

Not at all, the executive frequently acts unreasonably and gets slapped down by the courts. However, when parliament grants very broad powers (as in the case of a lot of anti-terrorism legislation) they are more likely to get away with it.

A fairly standard (but nonetheless shameful) case this morning: http://www.theguardian.com/uk-...

about 2 months ago

High Court Rules Detention of David Miranda Was Lawful

Shimbo Re:"Lord Justice Laws" (169 comments)

No, all senior judges have the title "Lord Justice" and it just so happens this one used to be called Mr Laws.

However, Lord Chief Justice Judge has retired.

about 2 months ago

CERN Wants a New Particle Collider Three Times Larger Than the LHC

Shimbo Re:Should be a dual purpose particle accelerator (238 comments)

Everything you can accelerate to the speed of light has no mass so that doesn't help. The momentum of a massless particle traveling the speed of light is zero.

p = E/c

about 2 months ago

Peanut Allergy Treatment Trial In UK "A Success"

Shimbo Re:Standard practice... (192 comments)

It's not a particularly surprising result but it's one thing saying that after the fact, and another to do a good quality trial. 90-99% of science (well, to be honest, pretty much of everything worth doing) takes skill and patience rather than a moment of brilliance.

about 3 months ago

Is the West Building Its Own Iron Curtain?

Shimbo Re:Iron curtain? (337 comments)

Because the vast majority Muslims who either enter or leave "the land of milk and honey" are not enemy combatants or terrorists or intending to fight any kind of war.

Yes, but that's not the point is it? We're not talking about the vast majority of Muslims, we're talking about the ones that have just returned form a war zone.

about 3 months ago

VC Likens Google Bus Backlash To Nazi Rampage

Shimbo Re:That's not what Godwin's Law is about (683 comments)

It doesn't mean you automatically lose a debate

Not as originally stated, although that is often assumed to follow. For example, the Jargon file has:

“As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.” There is a tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, that thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress.

about 3 months ago


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