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Tooth Cavities May Protect Against Cancer

jonnat X-rays (149 comments)

Or, people with better dental hygiene and less cavities go with much more frequency to dentists, who nowadays won't touch you, even for simple cleaning, without taking X-rays.

about a year ago

SSD Prices Fall Dramatically In 2012 But Increase In Q4

jonnat Re:Prediction (77 comments)

You don't seem to know what price fixing is. Prices dropping steeply as more competitors enter a market are indicative of a price war, effectively the opposite of price fixing.

But don't let this minor detail interfere with your rant about the government.

about 2 years ago

Sergey Brin Says Facebook, Apple and Gov't Biggest Threats To Internet Freedom

jonnat Re:Why not malware authors then? (500 comments)

If Sergey Brin is lamenting Apple's restrictive iOS platform as a threat to internet freedom, then why not get to the root cause of that restrictiveness, which is malware?

Believing that malware is the reason why Apple chose a walled-garden model for its app store requires the same degree of naivete needed to believe that child pornography is the reason why governments want to control your communications.

more than 2 years ago

Perl Data Language 2.4.10 released

jonnat Re:Quiz (94 comments)

That's a very Perl-like quiz as many different and apparently completely unrelated statements would fit the answer, possibly all conceivable statements, in fact.

more than 2 years ago

Maine Senator Wants Independent Study of TSA's Body Scanners

jonnat Very good points indeed. (335 comments)

Being the technocracy that we are, I think we should wait for a the public to elect a Senator with a PhD in Physiology and, then, demand that he/she write a sensible proposal to address these health concerns.

about 3 years ago

New Study Confirms Safety of GM Crops

jonnat Sorry, but that's impossible. (571 comments)

Confirming the safety of GM crops is simply infeasible. It is certainly possible to carry extensive studies in a limited number of GMOs and conclude that they are reasonably safe, but the very nature of genetic modification - and its value, therefore - is that its potential is by all means boundless. One can modify a crop to produce substances that are poisonous to humans just as easily as they modify a crop to produce substances that are toxic to weeds or insects, thus rendering it more "resistant".

The very nature of the concerns about GMOs is that it is very difficult to identify and measure the metabolic side effects that originate from modifying a single gene or group of genes. It's crucial to keep in mind that scientists are *constantly* identifying previously unknown compounds present in even the most common of the vegetable species. It is nonsense to think that it would be possible to measure all the metabolic alterations arising from modifying, adding or deleting a gene.

On top of that, there is an intrinsic issue of conflict of interest. The entities who are most qualified to understand the holistic effects of a genetic alteration, namely the companies who developed the GMO, have no incentive to invest in extensive analysis that may result in findings that render their new product worthless. Pharmaceutical companies are forced to do just that for new drugs, but the food industry is not nearly as regulated and probably never will be.

Given the enormous potential for unknown (and unnoticeable in the short term) side effects of consuming GMOs, I personally refrain from getting close to them at least until I have any trust that proper procedures are in place to thoroughly evaluate them.

more than 3 years ago

High Fructose Corn Syrup To Get a Makeover

jonnat Wise decision (646 comments)

I commend the CRA for tackling the issue so directly. It's widely known that the side-effects associated to high fructose corn syrup are nothing but a placebo effect triggered by (1) a gibberish chemical sounding name and (2) the bad reputation the product has gotten through the years.

Changing its name is a reliable way to improve consumers' health.

more than 4 years ago

Dual-Core CPU Opens Door To 1080p On Smartphones

jonnat Re:Apple? (314 comments)

these aren't just phones anymore, they're pocket PCs

You are living in Apple's fantasy land. Unless you are able to install whatever app you want and to run your own code in your phone, it's not a computer what you have in your pocket.

more than 4 years ago

Wikipedia Reveals Secret of 'The Mousetrap'

jonnat Re:Because David Gerard Removed It (with reason) (244 comments)

Why don't they just edit it with "spoiler alert"

Originally it had this classification but it was edited out by David Gerard. And I believe has not been added back since. If you don't know who David Gerard is, he has been very active in Wikipedia since early 2004 and blogs frequently about it.

The referred "minor" edit was justified as: "Removing redundant per Wikipedia:Spoiler - using AWB". It was originally placed under the "Ending" section of the article and I must say I fully agree with its characterization as redundant.

more than 4 years ago

Getting Around Web Censors With Flickr

jonnat Thank you from a visual learner (81 comments)

The diagram was essential for my understanding of the story. But, much better than that, you taught me a fantastic euphemism for my Internet inflicted AADD.

more than 4 years ago

ScienceBlogs.com Deals With Community Backlash Over PepsiCo Column

jonnat What a deceitful framing of the issue. (299 comments)

How do we empower top scientists working in industry to lead science-minded positive change within their organizations? ... How do companies who seek genuine dialogue with this community engage?

It's rather simple: open your blog network to scientists who work in industry, which you already do.

It's rather dishonest to claim that the backlash from your sell-out of the site has the effect of preventing industry scientists to engage in "genuine dialogue" with the broad scientific community. If anything prevents this engagement, it's the draconian IP protection rules companies impose to their R&D staff. If a company is genuinely interested in a dialogue and not disguised propaganda, they can simply allow their researchers to have blogs in which they can discuss their work or issues they encounter in their environment.

more than 4 years ago

Avoiding GM Foods? Monsanto Says You're Overly Fussy

jonnat Healthy suspicion (835 comments)

You have to be at least a bit suspicious when people ask Monsanto for more studies on the safety of their GM crops and, instead, they get a massive PR campaign.

more than 4 years ago

NY Governor Wants To Expand DNA Database

jonnat Re:NYC Governor? (169 comments)

As a New Yorker, I've never quite understood why Albany is the capital and not NYC.

Or Washington, DC, for that matter.

more than 4 years ago

Wikileaks Source Outed To Stroke Hacker's Own Ego

jonnat Re:"Salon" impresses me (347 comments)

Whether Manning committed a crime or not is not the main issue. Most whistle-blowers are either committing a crime or breaking a contract. That's why they must be protected from prosecution.

The main issue is that we, as citizens, should always strive to get more information about our government's and corporations' actions and Lamo's self-serving betrayal will likely have a negative effect on that goal.

more than 4 years ago

Wikileaks Source Outed To Stroke Hacker's Own Ego

jonnat Re:So.... (347 comments)

If only we could get Lamo to draw a picture of Muhammad...

more than 4 years ago

HP and Yahoo To Spam Your Printer

jonnat Re:Reason #9839 not to buy HP printers... (397 comments)

It is in no way different from how GMail or HotMail operate.

It is quite different. These services do not charge you for their use. If, on the other hand, the HP ads would come with an offer of free ink in exchange for your attention, then your comparison would be reasonable.

more than 4 years ago

Patents On Synthetic Life "Extremely Damaging"

jonnat Re:This ain't a patent troll (171 comments)

Venter Institute have been working on this for 15 years. Allowing them to get a temporary monopoly to use or licence elements of the fruit of their R&D so they can get a return on their investment is exactly what the patent system was intended for.

"Their investment" originated mostly from taxpayers, in the form of DoE and NIH grants.

more than 4 years ago

Wikipedia Is Not Amused By Entry For xkcd-Coined Word

jonnat Wikipedia is not a dictionary (553 comments)

Without getting into the argument about the notability of the term (I think it's quite notable, but I'm biased), "Malamanteau" should not have a Wikipedia entry because Wikipedia is not a dictionary, as Wikipedia will gladly point out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:NOTDICT

more than 4 years ago

Possible Breakthrough In Hydrogen Energy

jonnat Re:What happens at night? (326 comments)

The energy density of hydrogen as compared to liquid hydrocarbons is pathetic. The best use of hydrogen would be to to synthesize hydrocarbons, of course at that point you'd wonder why you bothered with hydrogen at all instead of just making biodiesel from algae.

First time I hear of a molecular property being described as pathetic.

Nonetheless, you are wrong. Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_content_of_biofuel) is kind enough to show us that the specific energy density of hydrogen (120-140 MJ/kg) is much higher than that of hydrocarbons (55 MJ/kg, Methane). The low density of hydrogen makes it less energetic only in volumetric terms

Furthermore, the crucial advantage of hydrogen is the lack of carbon atoms, its combustion (or catalyzed oxidation, as in a fuel cell) resulting only in water.

more than 4 years ago


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