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Comment: Re:diminished placebo effect (Score 1) 408

by BergZ (#46710929) Attached to: Australia Declares Homeopathy Nonsense, Urges Doctors to Inform Patients
It totally makes sense that the placebo effect would work on people that don't know what "inter substance" means... but that doesn't seem to be the case here.
The following is a quote from the study leader:
"Not only did we make it absolutely clear that these pills had no active ingredient and were made from inert substances, but we actually had 'placebo' printed on the bottle," said Kaptchuk. "We told the patients that they didn't have to even believe in the placebo effect. Just take the pills."

Comment: Re:diminished placebo effect (Score 3, Informative) 408

by BergZ (#46704453) Attached to: Australia Declares Homeopathy Nonsense, Urges Doctors to Inform Patients

But won't telling the patient "the facts" diminish the placebo effect?

"Placebo effect works even if patients know they're getting a sham drug
Study suggests patients benefit from the placebo effect even when told explicitly that they're taking an 'inert substance'"

+ - Elite Violinists Fail to Distinguish Legendary Violins From Modern Fiddles->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "If you know only one thing about violins, it is probably this: A 300-year-old Stradivarius supposedly possesses mysterious tonal qualities unmatched by modern instruments. However, even elite violinists cannot tell a Stradivarius from a top-quality modern violin, a new double-blind study suggests. Like the sound of coughing during the delicate second movement of Beethoven's violin concerto, the finding seems sure to annoy some people, especially dealers who broker the million-dollar sales of rare old Italian fiddles. But it may come as a relief to the many violinists who cannot afford such prices."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:We are the geeks, we are not tools for non-geek (Score 2) 465

by BergZ (#46643447) Attached to: Indie Game Jam Show Collapses Due To Interference From "Pepsi Consultant"
By asking "Which is it?" you make it sound like those two beliefs are contradictory and I don't believe that they are.
So long as feminists acknowledge that men are also capable of "bringing unique abilities and perspectives to the table" then it is not hypocritical.

Comment: Re:"LONG extinct"? Hah. (Score 1) 187

by BergZ (#46484365) Attached to: 43,000-Year-Old Woolly Mammoth Remains Offer Strong Chance of Cloning
To be quite blunt: I'm just a layman and I'm really not interested in ever seeing revived mammoths released in to the wild.
I'm more interested in seeing mammoths used as safe scientific test subjects for experimenting with the technology to revive extinct species.

Once the process of reviving extinct species is understood well enough that it can be done safely: Species that I would like to see revived (and released into the wild) are ones that were recently driven to extinction by human activity (by over hunting & habitat destruction)... but I think that is a long way off.

Comment: Re:"LONG extinct"? Hah. (Score 4, Interesting) 187

by BergZ (#46483065) Attached to: 43,000-Year-Old Woolly Mammoth Remains Offer Strong Chance of Cloning
I was going to make a very similar comment to yours, but the more I thought about it the more the mammoth seems like a good test case.

It seems to me that we're just starting the testing & experimentation phase of resurrection technology. To be cautious I think we should start testing this new technology on extinct species that meet both of the following conditions:
(1) Are unlikely to escape captivity (ideally test species should be unable to survive outside specially designed enclosures).
(2) Are big, lumbering, and slow breeding. Even if such a species somehow escapes captivity (and manages to survive in the wild) we can still hunt them down and eliminate them.

So far as I know mammoths meet both of these conditions making them good test subjects for resurrection technology.
"... bringing [the mammoth] into an environment that it was not evolved to handle" - That's a feature, not a bug!

+ - Exxon Mobile CEO Sues to Stop Fracking Near His Texas Ranch

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Exxon Mobile's CEO Rex Tillerson's day job is to do all he can to protect and nurture the process of hydraulic fracturing—aka ‘fracking’—so that his company can continue to rake in billions via the production and sale of natural gas. “This type of dysfunctional regulation is holding back the American economic recovery, growth, and global competitiveness," said Tillerson in 2012 of attempts to increase oversight of drilling operations. But now Rick Unger reports at Forbes that Tillerson has joined a lawsuit seeking to shut down a fracking project near his Texas ranch. Why? Because the 160 foot water tower being built next to Tillerson’s house that will supply the water to the near-by fracking site, means the arrival of loud trucks, an ugly tower next door, and the general unpleasantness that will interfere with the quality of his life and the real estate value of his sizeable ranch. The water tower is being built by Cross Timbers Water Supply Corp., a nonprofit utility that has supplied water to the region for half a century. Cross Timbers says that it is required by state law to build enough capacity to serve growing demand. In 2011, Bartonville denied Cross Timbers a permit to build the water tower, saying the location was reserved for residences. The water company sued, arguing that it is exempt from municipal zoning because of its status as a public utility. In May 2012, a state district court judge agreed with Cross Timbers and compelled the town to issue a permit. The utility resumed construction as the town appealed the decision. Later that year, the Tillersons and their co-plaintiffs sued Cross Timbers, saying that the company had promised them it wouldn't build a tower near their properties. An Exxon spokesman said Tillerson declined to comment. The company “has no involvement in the legal matter” and its directors weren’t told of Mr. Tillerson’s participation, the spokesman said."

Comment: Caveat emptor is not good for training & educa (Score 1) 374

by BergZ (#46121391) Attached to: California Regulator Seeks To Shut Down 'Learn To Code' Bootcamps
The problem with caveat emptor, especially when it comes to education, is that the people who want to take a computer programming bootcamp are mostly the people who know the least about computer programming and are thus the least qualified to tell the difference between a scam and a legitimate computer programming syllabus.

Comment: Re:Actually he is debating Steyn in court (Score 1) 393

by BergZ (#46078291) Attached to: Michael Mann Defamation Suit Against National Review Writer to Proceed
If you think THAT's bad, you should see what happened to a journal "skeptical" of climate science last week:
The nepotism and scientific malpractice became so rampant that the publisher of Pattern Recognition in Physics actually had to shut the whole thing down (it was becoming an embarrassment)! There's your fraud.

Never trust an operating system.