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Bad news is no news
January 13th 2001, 18:20 CET by Andy

Don't you just hate selective reporting?

Back in October last year, the unashamedly pro-technology Slashdot <a href="http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=00/10/08/1913235&mode=thread">reported</a> that an Asian Gaur, an ox-like creature native to India and Burma, was due to be born the next month.

The story was big news because the Asian Gaur is an endangered species, and the birth was an experiment in cloning by US biotech company Advanced Cell Technology. The baby gaur, which had already been named Noah, would be borne by Bessie, an ordinary Angus cow.

The author of the Slashdot story, clearly pro-cloning but not so keen on spell-checking, confidently declared: "The new guar (sic) is due to be born next month -- in other words, the project is a success."

Slashdot <a href="http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=01/01/09/1256208&mode=thread">followed-up</a> on the story last Tuesday. Two months later than expected, Noah's birth was reportedly just one week away.

"If the birth is a success," wrote the story's author, "it clears the way for endangered (or even extinct) animals with closely-related, extant cousins, to be re-created. Perhaps 'species banks' can become a reality eventually."

Now, I'll ask you to use your imagination for a moment...

Fast-forward a week, and try to imagine the Slashdot story heralding Noah's birth. Would you expect it to be a warning about the dangers and uncertainties of cloning? How about an objective, balanced critique examing the issue from both sides? Maybe they'll put the news into perspective and point out that Noah is the only one of six cloning attempts to survive gestation?

Or do you think Slashdot will declare the project a success and start singing the praises of the almighty US biotech industry?

Whatever your guess, you're wrong.

See, Noah was actually born last Monday. Two days later, he died.

For some reason, this news hasn't made it to Slashdot.



And in related news... There's nothing like a good bit of scaremongering, is there? <a href="http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=01/01/10/0313212&mode=thread">One of today's stories</a> on Slashdot reports that a Sony DVD/CD player doesn't support the CD-R format used by home CD burners. And this, say the powers-that-be at Slashdot, is "censorship".
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#1 by "1"
2001-01-13 18:29:47
primer55@g33k.net
FIRST!
#2 by "SteveBauman"
2001-01-13 18:35:54
steve@manic-pop-thrills.com
Um, so what? I didn't realize Slashdot was an editorial site; I thought it was a message board like PlanetCrap, where you yourself said, "this is a grass-roots site and I wanted to write in the way that I would talk to people. No apologies if that doesn't fit a particular journalistic standard." Isn't the same true of Slashdot?

If anything they do less reporting than this site. They link to other's reports and in the main message usually offer some pithy comment about how it applies to Linux (I'm sure they talked about "Open Source Cloning" in the original thread.)
#3 by "1"
2001-01-13 18:36:09
primer55@g33k.net
Not representing both sides of the story, ehhh...

Coming from Andy, I'd almost call this a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

It's not like PC gives you complete balance every time an article is published. As far the the 'censorship' comment, I'm wondering if it came from the same author as the cloning stories? If so, then yes that'd be a legitimate gripe on your part. If, however, it is a case of two different authors expressing their opinions, then you've got nothing to stand on.

Just because one guy injects his opinion into a newspost, that doesn't mean every other newsposter agrees with it, so why should their views have to coincide with others.

I'm not saying /. is perfect. I have my gripes with them, but I think this is one of those "mountain out of a mole-hill" episodes that smacks of an author scrambling for content to keep people coming back to the site.

_1!
#4 by "SteveBauman"
2001-01-13 18:40:44
steve@manic-pop-thrills.com
Oh, and I saw that story about the CD-R, and the messages that followed were really funny. About 70% of them pointed out the technological reason (which was really clear and obvious), while the rest were the paranoia ones... man, those guys really love to act all high-and-mighty about personal rights even when they may be at odds with someone, but when a corporation does the same, watch out...
#5 by "BinaryC"
2001-01-13 18:59:00
binaryc@teamreaction.com
sounds to be like someone is trying to get slashdotted...
#6 by "Frain"
2001-01-13 19:01:13
frain@bigfoot.com
<b>BinaryC</b> wrote in #5:
<quote>sounds to be like someone is trying to get slashdotted...</quote>
Slashdot is probably being 'crapped as we speak...

;)

Frain<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#7 by "orbz0r"
2001-01-13 19:24:20
orbital@speakeasy.net
next topic please..
#8 by "fingo"
2001-01-13 19:56:24
fingo@graffiti.net
Um Andy was this by any chance written by Jon Katz? (too lazy to check) if so, nuff said.<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#9 by "fingo"
2001-01-13 20:05:12
fingo@graffiti.net
Never mind I checked.  So what Slashdot is only good for tech stuff the ideology discussions there are about as good as pc.<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#10 by "Dtoo7"
2001-01-13 20:52:09
dtoews@accesswave.ca
I just thought that I would add something to the story. I heard about this yesterday on Discovery, and they said that Gaur died because of an "unrelated" disease after birth. This has nothing to do with the genetic process they went though to produce the Gaur, and they say that it is still possible to save extinct species, and, I assume, that the experiment was a "success".

--DT
#11 by "Lucky"
2001-01-13 20:55:34
lucky@planetduke.com
Three words: Mean Machines Sega.
#12 by "WarrenMarshall"
2001-01-13 21:10:37
warren@epicgames.com
1 (#3):
It's not like PC gives you complete balance every time an article is published. As far the the 'censorship' comment, I'm wondering if it came from the same author as the cloning stories? If so, then yes that'd be a legitimate gripe on your part. If, however, it is a case of two different authors expressing their opinions, then you've got nothing to stand on.

You know, it's not like when Andy posts a story here he's getting up on some high horse and trying to show the world that he's perfect and how the denizens of netland have fucked up again.  He's just presenting something for discussion purposes ...

orbz0r (#7):
next topic please..

Write one.  Put up or shut up ...

---

Warren Marshall
Level Designer/Programmer/Corporate Shill
Epic Games (www.epicgames.com)<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#13 by "japakazol"
2001-01-13 21:42:19
arthuraldeguer@hotmail.com
Man this cloning deal is cool.  Imagine going to a theme park to see Dinosaurs!  Wouldnt that be cool ?  Then we could take a tram ride and watch the Dinos in their natural habitat.  Isnt it neat how Science fact follows science fiction?  I would personally love to have a pet VELociraptor to sick on anybody riding IT.  As far as the Gaur dying from a disease that is unrelated I think that is utter Daikatana,  seriously with all the scientists and technology put into making the damn thing don't you think they would have foreseen such a thing?  or at least kept it alive longer?  Me thinks that something went wrong and the thing came out all screwed up so it just croaked.                                                   -Japakazol
  "The majestic ruins of the SFD-1 rise to do battle one last time.....  

                             "Is the main gun operational?"  
                                       "Yes that is if our power supply holds out..

btw.  I bought a cd boxed set called RECORD OF LODOSS WAR. its basically a Japanese version of DND.. its probably the best ANIME i have ever seen.

www.tfw2005.com         <--website for Transformers Car Robots  some transformers cartoon in Japan.. its really cool TF fans will like it.. much better then the Daikatana known as BEAST WARS
#14 by "BinaryC"
2001-01-13 23:11:23
binaryc@teamreaction.com
why are they trying to revive an (almost) extinct species anyway?  if the thing were worth a damn it wouldn't have gone extinct in the first place
#15 by "Foogla"
2001-01-13 23:32:48
Foogla@Somethingawful.com
Warren defending Andy, now that is something you don't see everyday.
#16 by "the_reformed_pianist"
2001-01-13 23:35:39
pianist@canada.com
16th!!!!!!!
#17 by "CharlieWiederhold"
2001-01-13 23:49:01
charliew@3drealms.com
You know, it's not like when Andy posts a story here he's getting up on some high horse and trying to show the world that he's perfect and how the denizens of netland have fucked up again.


Oh... so THAT'S what the slashdot guys were doing when they wrote those articles. Now... I... get... it?

Charlie Wiederhold
#18 by "WarrenMarshall"
2001-01-14 00:02:13
warren@epicgames.com
CharlieWiederhold (#17):
Oh... so THAT'S what the slashdot guys were doing when they wrote those articles. Now... I... get... it?

Did I say that?  No.

---

Warren Marshall
Level Designer/Programmer/Corporate Shill
Epic Games (www.epicgames.com)<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#19 by "Hambone"
2001-01-14 00:18:48
Cosmando@homestead.com
On a (somewhat) related note, we here in Oregon have just cloned a rhesus monkey whose DNA was modified using a retrovirus. The monkey received a fluorescent gene from a jellyfish. It is the first time anyone has succeeded in this type of procedure with a primate. This raises some interesting questions about designer babies, cloning and people with tails.
Here is yahoo's take on the story:
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/abc/20010111/ts/scientists_splice_fluorescent_gene_into_monkey_1.html
#20 by "None1a"
2001-01-14 01:16:37
none1a@home.com
<b>Hambone</b> (#19):
<quote>On a (somewhat) related note, we here in Oregon have just cloned a rhesus monkey whose DNA was modified using a retrovirus. The monkey received a fluorescent gene from a jellyfish. It is the first time anyone has succeeded in this type of procedure with a primate. This raises some interesting questions about designer babies, cloning and people with tails. </quote>

Funny but this other success has yet to glow (the only thing that would tell them that it did work). And dang you I was going to post that link :)

Any one know exactly why the Asian Gaur is endangered in the first place? Was this a case over over killing or some thing natural. Lets assume the disease that killed it after borth is a natural thing for these animals. Would that mean we're playing with the natural order that would make these animals extinct because of a falure to protect themselves from this disease at birth? <i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#21 by "CharlieWiederhold"
2001-01-14 01:37:45
charliew@3drealms.com
Did 1 say that? No.

Charlie Wiederhold
#22 by "WarrenMarshall"
2001-01-14 01:56:12
warren@epicgames.com
CharlieWiederhold (#21):
Did 1 say that? No.

Read again.  Slowly.

---

Warren Marshall
Level Designer/Programmer/Corporate Shill
Epic Games (www.epicgames.com)<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#23 by "CharlieWiederhold"
2001-01-14 09:23:54
charliew@3drealms.com
Maybe I'm missing some sarcasm?

Charlie Wiederhold
#24 by "deadlock"
2001-01-14 14:30:03
deadlock@eircom.net
none1a:

you mean along the lines of the Panda or something ? That kind of shit bothers me. The main reason that the Panda is facing extinction is it's extreme laziness. The creature is too lazy to mate and too lazy to catch live animals - bamboo shoots are not it's natural food source. They have to eat several times their own body weight every day in order to survive.

I remember reading a few years ago about these New Zealanders that were going to Norway to stand on the cliffs of fjords with pillow to try to prevent lemmings from committing suicide. That shit just fucking pisses me off. Interfering bastards.

deadlock
#25 by "deadlock"
2001-01-14 14:32:47
deadlock@eircom.net
re: pandas - that's not to say that humans aren't partially to blame. Man's erosion of the bamboo fields has left pandas with less and less food to survive. But you could argue that if they'd get off their fat arses and hunt they'd be alright. Also, they'd be able to spend more time sleeping and less time eating.

deadlock
#26 by "Andy"
2001-01-14 15:29:48
andy@meejahor.com
<b>CharlieWiederhold</b> (#23):
<quote>
Maybe I'm missing some sarcasm?
</quote>
Well I would assume #12 was sarcastic.
#27 by "dsmart"
2001-01-14 18:18:09
dsmart@3000ad.com
<quote>Don't you just hate selective reporting?</quote>

Yeah, especially when you're the one doing it, bitch

<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#28 by "WarrenMarshall"
2001-01-14 22:13:33
warren@epicgames.com
Andy (#26):
Well I would assume #12 was sarcastic.

No ... dammit.  :)  Last time I try and defend you!!  ;)

---

Warren Marshall
Level Designer/Programmer/Corporate Shill
Epic Games (www.epicgames.com)<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#29 by "Andy"
2001-01-14 22:21:53
andy@meejahor.com
<b>WarrenMarshall</b> (#28):
<quote>
No ... dammit. :) Last time I try and defend you!! ;)
</quote>
:-)
#30 by "the_reformed_pianist"
2001-01-14 23:43:14
pianist@canada.com
This is my counter to dsmart: http://www.3000ad.com/pics/bcm/photo137.jpg
#31 by "CharlieWiederhold"
2001-01-15 00:47:27
charliew@3drealms.com
I give up. Everything is going over my head at this point. Color me confused. Maybe I'm just out of practice.

Charlie Wiederhold
#32 by "spackbace"
2001-02-03 18:15:09
brian@cc.gatech.edu
last post!!!
#33 by "toadwarrior"
2001-02-04 02:52:15
toadw@uplink.net
no this is the last one<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#34 by "Narcopolo"
2001-02-05 20:50:39
ncalton@yahoo.com
I thought I told you guys...

Now you've started a war.

"I don't know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but I do know that World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." -Albert Einstein<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
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