Tuesday, January 18th, 2005


http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/01/14/2254236&tid=191&tid=123

Friar_MJK writes “Now even traditionally non-tech-savvy farmers are getting the rap for piracy. This isn’t your grandma’s p2p filesharing, but rather replanting bio-engineered seeds.  Somehow the powers-that-be got the idea that replanting seeds grown from your own soil is a crime. A company called Monsanto sells those specially engineered seeds, and according to their license agreements, they make it illegal to replant the seeds harvested from a previous crop. To enforce this, they have brought many hard-working farmers to court and even thrown some in jail. According to the story, the company has not lost a case yet.”

This totally reeks. JoeBuck writes: “…There’s a problem with this. He was doing what plant breeders have been doing for ten thousand years: noticing which plants have a desirable property and saving the seeds from those. Monsanto is basically arguing for the end of agriculture as it was traditionally carried out, and certainly the end of subsistence agriculture (as their seeds, if they have a property that lets them out-compete other seeds, will spread everywhere).  You’ll either pay Monsanto or you won’t eat.”

Do people out there really not see how the corporations are attempting to close in on and control most aspects of our lives? Capitalism is our own worst enemy when allowed to grow unchecked. Although I am somewhat of a Libertarian, this is exactly why government must indeed stay somewhat involved in things — to protect its citizenry.

Of course, you could argue that government involvement is what created this: We never should have allowed lifeforms to be patented. I was against this from Biological Patent Day 1. Hate to say I told you so…

Welcome to the New World Order, where all food and water is privatized.  Only the rich eat. 

I thought it was funny to run into “The Linux Incompatibility List” (http://www.leenooks.com/). It lists hardware not compatible with Linux.

I am sure it is by no means a complete list, but let’s check it out and see if I have ever used anything that is not compatible with Linux…

Soundcards: Guillemot Maxi Studio

(i had to get this when it came out because it was the first
consumer card I was aware of that had RCA *inputs* for excellent audio capture quality when doing video capture)

Webcam: Creative Webcam Go (fortunately, it is a piece of crap
anyway, but we still used this one for years… under windows)

Webcam: VEO Stingray. (This is our current webcam brand, dunno if the model is the same.)

Video cards: ATI Radeon 9550, 9800, 9800 Pro, 9800SE, and 9800XT on x86_64: ATI’s Radeon driver doesn’t work at all with 64 bit Linux Kernels.

OUCH! I consider an ATI card (with s-video tv-out) to be the
foundation of a good system. TV-OUT on other brand cards does NOT live up to ATI quality. I have used an ATI AIW, ATI AIW Pro, ATI Radeon, Radeon 8500, Radeon 9700, and Radeon X600. Their drivers for windows suck which explains why their drivers for Linux suck even more.

Video cards: ATI Radeon All-In-Wonder: No TV Tuner. (Good thing I used my VCR–and windows–for tv tuning!)

So, it looks like I have been using at least 1 piece of incompatible hardware in at least 1 computer since 1995 (when I got my first ATI All-In-Wonder).

Not to mention that Redhat 6.2 doens’t support Soundblaster for Quake3.

Let’s face it boys… Linux isn’t ready for the power user who wants to do all things yet.

Computers are supposed to be Swiss Army Knives that can adopt, adapt, and improve with the situation. Linux is anything but. They adopt new hardware slower than unix which means if you want to stay on the cutting edge of hardware capability you have no choice but to use Windows!  I was using TV-out in 1995.  In 2006, most people still don’t have this.  Bleeding edge can be fun.

That being said, I vastly prefer any webserver or email server to be running Unix. (Though, mine run under Win2K.)  Unix has at least gone far enough to do text processing!

Slackware? Waste of time. Redhat? Waste of time. Ubuntu? Looked promising, but didn’t support a 5+ year old network card.

Ain’t it interesting that the announcement that we are giving up in the search for WMDs came out just this week?

They couldn’t possibly come out BEFORE the election, no.

We’ve been searching for what, two-ish years now? And we could have kept on searching for years more.

But no, we choose to stop at this exact time: Right after one election, but as far as possible from the Senate election of 2006……..

Do you really think that is a coincidence?

I think it’s incredibly naive to think so.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/01/18/scotus.drinking.tests.ap/index.html

It’s so nice to know we are not in control of our own bodily fluids.

Cop wants your blood?
You’re gonna bleed, baby. Whether you like it or not.

I love how zealous everyone is over prosecuting drunk drivers. If every american had their blood forcibly extracted from them, we’d see some major backlash, but since this is for drunk drivers, everyone will complacently look the other way. The thing is, in America, you are innocent until proven guilty, and you are supposed to need a warrant for searches!

And how this doesn’t violate the spirit of the 4th Amendment amazes me. My blood can testify against me far better than my mouth!  But because my blood doesn’t literally put its hand on a bible and swear itself in at court, it’s not really considered testimony, so it’s not really considered forced self-testimony. Now our blood is “evidence”.  What will be evidence next, our brains and hearts? Will they forcibly extract our lungs to see if we’ve been smoking crack? After all, crack-laced lungs would be valid evidence.  Don’t tell me I’m making a fallacious slippery slope argument.  Incrementalism IS a slippery slope.  The idea of a urine test was reviled decades ago in the same way in which I revile this.

I’m all for punishing drunk drivers who abuse their position as a driver. Unfortunately though, specific quantitative measures like BAC do not uniformly apply across the board. There are people who drive better drunk than certain people drive sober. I’ve chosen a drunk driver over a sober driver in situations where I know the drunk driver is still going to perform better. (A drunk-but-sane driver is generally safer than a sober-insane-asshole-driver.)

I’m not defending them here, but the idea is that police need to test your blood THAT VERY SECOND, before the measured BAC level goes down.

Now, either a crime was comitted or it was not.  If no real crime was comitted, they can give them a DUI, but only if it measures over the threshold.

This attempt to bypass warrants and get results sooner is an attempt to make everyone’s measurements higher (due to eliminating the delay). It is actually a de-facto way of lowering the legal BAC level without actually passing a law.

Those crazy “activist legislators”…

Always willing to take away OUR freedoms if it helps THEIR numbers.