"Just wait until you get some genetic modification done. When you have a kid, and that trait is carried forward [...]"
That's not how it works. Genetic modification to a living person (gene therapy) only affects somatic cells, not the germ line. This means that the egg or sperm cells retain the original, unmodified genome sequence, so it is not passed on to future generations. Most geneticists regard modification of the germ cell lines to be as ethically abhorrent as human cloning.
But you bring up a valid point regarding gene dispersal. I have heard cases of farmers being prosecuted for 'gene piracy', when their crops have become inadvertently contaminated with Monsanto genes.
That's a good thing, because molecular biology overwhelming uses only a few methods for isolating genes. If anyone held a patent on that, they could hold the entire industry to ransom.
I'm all for naturally occuring genes to be declared unpatentable (as is the case with rocks, trees, rivers, and other naturally occuring things) - but why shouldn't modified genes be patentable? They're a new creation.
Just like the arranging of materials into a functional device can be patented (ie; an invention), surely the arranging of DNA into a functional (and novel) gene could also?
Although I must admit I did increase her hits a tad, because after reading this article I just had to read multiple pages. Even if I had to paste the URL in myself, seeing as links from Techdirt land on a 403 page.
In other news today, I need something far more productive to spend my time doing.
This also goes a long way to explain why the powers that be are in such a rush to implement policies to curtail the potentially disruptive powers of instant, mass organisation afforded by the internet. Examples such as net neutrality, censorship and IP enforcement spring to mind.
Those attempts will ultimately fail. Cue analogies to hydras, starfish and such, and throw in a quote about the internet perceiving censorship as damage and routing around it, and let's call it a day.
All the more power to the Wikileaks and the Bit Torrents of the world. The establishment is running scared. I approve.
That's right, I don't see how this is even an issue.
Personal twitter accounts, clearly designated as such, should belong to the person who created them, whereas company accounts belong to the company. What is the world coming to when a sentence like that needs to even exist? Common sense, anyone?
A murky area can appear when people use personal accounts to post company tweets, simple solution is: don't.
Isn't that what happened when TPB copped that unfavourable court ruling? I recall someone downloaded the entire site and made a meta-torrent out of all the torrents, thus negating any chance of shutting the site down.
I see a few comments here along the lines of "waste of resources", but don't be so quick to discount facebook as an information gathering tool.
One look through a person's photo albums (including photos they're tagged in) and friends list will immediately provide a high quality list of the people they they associate most often with.
It would take months, if not years of surveillance to gather the kind of information that a facebook profile presents. Facebook Places also ups the ante, by providing a chronological list of location data. Priceless.
Additionally, the cost to the observing agency is minimal.
Of course, if anyone is stupid enough to use facebook for criminal deeds then they deserve what they're gonna get.
Basic rules of internetting, people, if you're gonna use these services learn how to protect your privacy. Locking down your profile from outside views and denying friend requests from strangers should be a given.
Get used to this, echoes of this story can be heard across an increasing number of Western nations (Australia and the US are two other examples, but expect a lot more in very near future).
While this can be looked at as a kickback for big content, that is essentially a side effect, as there are bigger issues at play. Stemming the free flow of information is vital for the oligarchy to maintain their positions. A coordinated, informed electorate is exactly the opposite of what the current crop of world leaders want.
I'm not sure this feature should be entirely eliminated, as it serves some purposes (as other commenters have pointed out, in SEO and intra-site searching), but there are times when I do personally want to enter a site on a 'clean slate', and when I do it's simply a matter of copying and pasting the url into the address box. Not the most convenient way to access a site, but it works.
Although I wasn't really aware of Google doing this until I first dug around Analytics, I'd still place it towards the lower end of the scale of privacy concerns.
Who would use this as an example of GPS systems being bad for you?
Surely the take home message here is 'stupidity is bad for you'. If you follow a little electronic device's direction into a reservoir/up a mountain/into a minefield (it'll happen sooner or later), then it's gotta be a case of PEBSWAS (Problem Exists Between Steering Wheel And Seat).