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Comment: Re:I also measure distance (Score 3, Interesting) 110

Even though they measure the same thing, the Becquerel is a very, very small unit. If somebody was talking about the risk of a dam breaking, and used the cubic centimeter for measuring the volume of water behind that dam, perhaps with a note that a single cc of water can killl a person if they choke on it just right as a justification, wouldn't you still prefer a unit such as gallons, or cubic feet or cubic meters, Wouldn't that be better in helping asses the real consequences of a dam failure even though we are measuring the same thing? Or wouldn't it be better to give information on just how many acres downstream would be flooded and how many people live on that floodplain, even though that's all a very different kind of measurement? There are plenty of cases where either a similar measurement that uses units more in keeping with the situation or a measurement of something different may either or both be better.
          Using SI units is a good thing overall, but what if those units are many orders of magnitude outside of the thing they were designed to measure and there's a non-SI unit that isn't? Or, what's the point in preferring Km./liters over miles/gallon if we are talking about how much fuel it took to send Voyager 1 outside the heliopause? Neither one is very useful when we are not exactly sure just where the edge of the solar system is, or how to measure it, and Voyager will keep on coasting many light years farther in the end, if its trajectory even has an end in the lifetime of the universe.
            I see using becquerels in this case as similar to someone being opposed to a government project, so they give how much it costs in the currency of some nation currently undergoing hyperinflation, so the project costs a bajillion, bajillion, Saganillion Elbonian Smerdlaps, That's not the same thing as writing about the US economy for a European audience and converting to Euros, or writing about the European economy for Japan and converting to Yen. Even though we know a conversion rate for the uints, and it's fixed as of a given date,,using some units for currency could still be an attempt to make the numbers sound so large they prejudice the average reader more than they inform. You should look at what level of information the average person reading an article from that particular source will have in deciding whether a difference of units is simply a difference or if there's some intent to mislead - and since you asked it as in what way X is :bad?", hopefully we can agree attempts to mislead are bad.

Comment: Re:Bigger Colliders (Score 1) 215

by Artifakt (#47516069) Attached to: China Plans Particle Colliders That Would Dwarf CERN's LHC

Inside a typical accellerator, the vacuum is typically about one-millionth of an atmosphere. At an alltitude of roughly 100 km., the air density is about 1/2,200,000 the density at the surface. That's obviously good enough,, but at that altitude drag still brings orbiting objects down to earth quite quickly. The quick rule of thumb is to have something up there long enough to be useful, minimum orbital altitude is about 300 Km. So yeah, vacuum is the least of your obstacles - you'll have more than you'll ever need.

Comment: Re:From TFA (Score 2) 112

by Artifakt (#47498473) Attached to: Domain Registry of America Suspended By ICANN

It's not needless to say, unfortunately:

(Start of facts) Right now, there's a dispute developing in New York state, over whether McDonalds should have their contracts with franchisees set up so if those franchisees are caught violating state labor laws McDonalds will terminate their franchise rights. Some of the violations at issue include what are definitely felonies (i.e. extortion, threats of death or physical injury). Others are sometimes just misdemeanors (theft of wages, if under a certain amount), but are still criminal. This is an example where a very large employer isn't treating certain areas of criminality as criminal at all. McDonalds has their contracts written to address those crimes they want to include, and these sections are not on the parent corp's lists.

  That much is fact (i'm expecting somebody to try to pick that section apart, before I even offer the my opinion section, so I'm trying to make that line very clear). As opinion, things such as that need to be in contracts because we let corporations form under limited liability rules, and if they are willing to keep doing business with known criminal franchisees who are also incorporated, those multiple corporate veils make it fantastically more difficult to fix. I don't think limited liability ought to extend to cases where somebody hired a hit man to kill a union organizer, and that's proved, but we can't look into whether anybody in particular knew, or passed money about or did other favors to make the hit happen. In the non-corporate world, if you're continuing to associate with a bunch of people you know are felons, and the courts have proved are felons, exchanging money with them and contracting with them is plenty of grounds for an investigation, but this looks like it comes with a clause saying 'unless that trail passes into another corporation'. To fix this, just one of the steps is we evidently do need to get corporations to say explicitly that all relevant criminal conduct will not be tolerated, or at least the New York state prosecutor's office is of that opinion.

Comment: Re:Not Quite the Same (Score 1) 63

by Artifakt (#47487803) Attached to: The New Science of Evolutionary Forecasting

I'm thinking this is also about what we consider "alike" or "the same" Just a few days ago, I came across a report of a new (to me) member of the Burgess shale fossils, a relative of Anomalocaris. Basically, Anomalocaris was a two meter long killer shrimp with spiky grabbers and rasping plate teeth. It was the biggest thing in the ocean, the equivalent of a whale compared to the typial creatures of the time. This particular relative was a very large sized ( for the era) filter feeder, believed to be evolved from the Anomalocaris parent line about 25 million years later. If we agree that a 2 meter long swimmer that was fifty times the mass of just about everything else was the rough equivalent of a whale, it looks like that 'whale' eventually gave rise to several varieties of both predatory and filter feeding descendants. The question is, "What does "same" mean in this context?" - Anomalocaris must have been a living nightmare, like a T-Rex or a Great White, to the creatures of its era, but it would be a prey species in the modern seas. Hell, typical tuna would probably take them down routinely, let alone modern sharks. So does it make sense to say we now know of two cases where predatory whale-likes evolved into more varieties of whale-likes and some of those became filter feeders? Can we predict that large predators in the seas will give rise to large filter feeders in general? Is there, in fact. a lesson to be drawn in such cases? Or are humans, so good at seeing patterns we often see them where they don't exist, doing that thing we do sometimes?

Comment: Re:There's another treatment that stops most T2 (Score 2) 253

by Artifakt (#47480547) Attached to: New Treatment Stops Type II Diabetes

Thank you. I stopped just saying "Fuck you" to the idiots who want to bash diabetics, because it seems to turn the few who aren't just looking to boost their own egos off to learning, and I want to reach every one that can be reached, but I'm in fundamental agreement. I didn't start having symptoms until my early forties, and am nearly 60 now, but I think I understand (see my post above if you want).
          You see something from someone on the internet who doesn't have the genes for Type 2, and it turns out does less than a quarter of the physical workout you do in their day to day life, (if that), gets away in the short run with eating what you simply, just, can't, has no clue that what he's doing will kill him with a stroke at 48 (because some genetic conditions don't give as many warning shots as others), and is, at 35, already seeing the negative effect on his love life but also has no clue it started with that little bit of weight he thinks he is getting by with, because he obviously isn't as lazy as you, since he doesn't have Type 2 diabetes. And that someone lectures people like you about how lazy you are and if you'd just do like him, you could beat this "disease" (which he puts in quotes, like that). And they won't let you shove him through a wood chipper! It's not fair at all.
          But we (and I mean specific, real, You and Me, not some generalized group) need to get as many of those idiots as possible to wake up, learn this is a real disease, and support finding a real cure. I know they deserve the "Fuck You" ,but we, and plenty of people, who are threatened with dying an average of a decade early, with such conditions as gangrene after limb amputations, or extreme hypertension, deserve that effort to find a cure more. Please save the 'fuck you's' for the idiots who can't learn or have no money.

Comment: Re:There's another treatment that stops most T2 (Score 4, Interesting) 253

by Artifakt (#47480437) Attached to: New Treatment Stops Type II Diabetes

Probably not. Both me and my ex are Type 2. I can't afford to get even 20 lbs. over weight (I'm 6'1", For me, I should weigh at least 180 - that's show off the six pack range, but even with measured bodyfat at less than, say, 14%, I still have to use some oral meds if I get only 20 lbs. over what looks to be about ideal). For her, at only 5' 6", she could probably get above 220 before she would need to use insulin or see progress in retinopathy - she has some initial traces, but the progression has been totally stalled for nearly 10 years now. However, she has to stay below 180 lbs. or she has peripheral neuropathy symptoms (that's in the feet, where it usually starts. Under 165, she stops having those symptoms, plus even needing Metformin, and so she's trying to stay there. She has about the usual cushion for Type 2, I have almost none at all. For typical Type 2's, managing the disease well enough to beat neuropathy is also plenty to beat retinopathy. For atypical ones such as myself, who knows, but what AbRASION wrote is generally good advice.
            However, it's generally tougher than what he (?) wrote - more like 30 minutes + of just plain running 3x a week, PLUS some weights and wierd stuff like climbing walls, standing jumps for elevation and such, so the gym sessions usually go to a full hour, and weekend hiking, swimming, cross-training if either of us gains even five pounds, and often if not. We both run in 10 K's not just 5's,,and have managed a half marathon in the last 2 years. She leg presses 550 lbs to my 440, I'm benching 265 to her 110. If that's light exercise to someone, their dad's name was Jor El.
          Quadrupliing your complex carbs? Well double them at least, and cut the simpler starches nearly as much as the sugars. "Vastly reduce your sugar intake" is also accurate, as in NO HFCS, NO sweetened soft drinks, Stevia is a lifesaver, a cookie? - is it my birthday? We had to memorize, and check for changes frequently, which peanut butters or canned soups have how much added sugar - there's added sugar or HFCS in a whole lot of products that people don't usually expect. Who would think that some brands of Smoked Ham lunchmeat have more added sugar than the same brand's Honey Ham version? Working out as we do, we can manage twice a week soft drinks made from fruit juice and soda water, no added sweeteners, and a small dessert at sunday family dinners (a third of the pie slice or cake slice everyone else cuts), but I, at least, have to know which fruits are high in Fructose and which have more of the other sugars mixed in to even do that, and I skip that dessert completely more often than not.
          We've been on this sort of regimen for over 8 years for her and 11 for me. I'm not going to jump at a potential cure, because I'm managing, and I doubt she will want to volunteer for early tests either, but if this leads to a real cure, we can stick to what we do, and in another five years, most of you will be welcoming me and her as your new overlords. I'm expeding effort like what I used to do in my 30's to score 380 on the Army's extended scale APFT, just to stay in pretty good shape for a guy in his 50's. Take away this disease and that effort will again make me a veritable titan, and all Slashdot will tremble at my name. Bwaa-ha-ha-ha! Excuse me, I meant to say I find this prosepective cure moderately interesting.

Comment: Re:Final Objective? (Score 1) 76

by Artifakt (#47477465) Attached to: The Hacking of NASDAQ

If they found it was some nation-state where a corrupt bureaucrat did it to line his pockets and those of the supreme leader, the consequences might be less trust in the market (if that's possible), and similar, limited economic effects. If the nation-state in question wanted to destabilize our whole economy, that's part of WAR. (you know, that thing where lots of people die very rapidly and it wasn't one of the other horsemen?). Those are very, very different consequences and levels.
            YOU picked two possible options from what may well be more. YOU didn't notice that even if your limited answer is the whole truth, it implies two incredibly different possible 'final objectives'. YOU chose to regard destabilizing our economy as a 'final objective', when it simply isn't, and never historically has been, in a single case. It's always been an intermediate objective, and the 'final' one, in every historic example, has always been winning a war. YOU then criticised the chairman for having noticed what YOU didn't. Fail reading 101 much? I can think of an enormous number of things Mike Rogers has said that make me question his judgment (and sometimes whether all the many-tentacled pre-cambian era cyanogen breathing epifauna really died off), but not this quote - it's accurate, non-inflammatory, and rational.

Comment: Re:Fukushima (Score 1) 151

by Artifakt (#47467057) Attached to: Mt. Fuji Volcano In 'Critical State' After Quakes

Obviously, Pu oxide is a common result of reaction with either atmospheric O2 or splitting H20 used to try and cool the burning plutonium. But where does the Chlorine potentially come from, salt in sea water? It sounds like you're describing a risk where at least part of it is specific to plants that might be either inundated by the sea or catch fire and have sea water pumped in to put it out, but I'm far from sure if that's actually what you mean. Is the point here that we are equally screwed whether a plant is on/near a seacoast or not, or that inland plants might be somewhat safer?

Comment: Re:Hmmm, (Score 1) 112

That's a good argument for using obscurity as just one method in a much larger package, never by itself. If you don't mind me starting from your examples, I'd like to add that even in those examples it will only accomplish much, if anything at all, if the obscurity part is carried out consistently enough to add some value to the other methods. I'd say programming this tool up in VB is itself inconsistent with obscurity. People who find out it was written in VB can make a pretty informed guess as to what sort of hardware is inside the voting machine, just as they could from visible PS2 Ports and USB connectors on the machine exterior, and they can make a really good guess about the OS. So, we know in this case the obscurity part wasn't used very consistently. We can hope the Australians took some other precautions, such as only loading the actual code for a specific election a few days, at most, before the election, not weeks out, or having access ports behind a locked panel, or many similar tricks, but if they didn't get all that right, writing the program in VB has potential to make just about any of those things worse.
          If a potential intruder knows the code is VB, and can make a good guess as to the motherboard manufacturer and type by the layout, numbers, and perhaps even color coding of the ports, that's a great start. Maybe someone can even guess the form factor by that and the overall size the case allows. They can definitely assume it's all running on Windows from the VB, and with a few more assumptions about the establishment trusting genuine Intel, what version of Windows was most commonly in use when that board came out, plus knowing whether that board will boot from a USB divice and so that's a possible easy attack vector, they'd be pretty far along towards developing an exploit. Just imagine what you could safely assume about the OS if you know that system RAM is 256 Mb or less, and the code was originally developed in 2003-5. Hint - XP service pack 1 had support for Java Virtual Machine. Service Pack 1A took that out, and still needed more RAM to run - just knowing the MB RAM limit could conceivably tell you you can take a reasonable shot at an unupgradable version of JVM being available on that machine. Now that's an exploit hole a mile wide - I still wouldn't mention it, except that's been around so long anybody relying on obscurity to protect them from that would leave the keys in their Lamborgini and park it next to a crack den at 2 AM with the engine running. Contrast this with being told the code is in C++ and not having any external cues to the hardware.

Comment: Re:n/t (Score 4, Insightful) 278

by Artifakt (#47463079) Attached to: The debate over climate change is..

That depends - are we talking about the basic claims (the climate is changing rapidly, it's going to have many negative consequences, and humans are creating the things that make that happen)?
Or are we talking about the exaggerated versions of these claims (Hollywood's the Day after Tomorrow. Extinction of everything above the bacterial range. That sort of thing).
I regard it as scientifically proven that humans are releasing tremendous amounts of Carbon Dioxide, and the climate is changing rapidly because of that. I think we are very close to saying that the increased average temperatures will definitely make weather more violent, but those theories need a bit more work. I think specific senarios are mostly speculation - for example, if AGW has an effect on hurricanes, it might mean storms starting before the usual season or continuing after it, or it might mean bigger storms on average, or more total storms on average, or various mixtures of any of the above. There's some pretty good science for the idea that higher temperatures will have some specific effects on hurricanes, but much less on just what.
I think we are looking at significant sea level rise that will totally swamp several island nations, but if we don't at least do more to separate out data from areas where the land seems to be locally sinking (i.e. Norfolk VA,), we don't have a truly solid scientific prediction just yet.
Predictions that existing warming will trigger mass release of other sequestered gasses such as Ocean Subfloor Clathrate Contained Methane? Not much of either real evidence, or solid conclusions from what little we have, as yet. it's not totally rediculous, but it's not compelling either.
Mutant Mesons from the film 2012, or a stopping of the planetary core (from "The Core" of course)? Not science at all, but those films both made references to Global Warming, Climate Change, and similar, and some people on the pro AGW side have gotten that sort of claptrap mixed up with their scientific arguments, just like some people on the Anti-AGW side are all mixed up about whether Mars or Venus are warming or not.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"