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Comment: What's more obvious to me ... (Score 5, Interesting) 292

by Egg Sniper (#49761069) Attached to: Study: Science Still Seen As a Male Profession
I just got back from a scientific conference with thousands of attendees from around the world. There were plenty of women around (still less than half, of course), but virtually no black people, and not too many Hispanics either. Lots of white people and Europeans and Asians. Just an observation - I'm not trying to emphasize any particular issue or value anything over anything else.

Comment: How about No Language (Score 3, Interesting) 648

by Egg Sniper (#48856495) Attached to: Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

I knew a Professor (of biomedical engineering) who suggested it would be best to teach introductory programming outside of any language. Teach the concepts in their most general, basic form before allowing an individual language to force understanding into an arbitrary syntax.

I first learned in C++, then later relearned and made extensive use of Visual Basic, then switched to Matlab, and now I'm just starting to learn Python. I personally had a very difficult time with C++ and found Visual Basic to be much easier to grasp. That is likely the result of many things, only one of which is the specific languages I experienced.

In my opinion what's more important than the first language you learn is that you learn a few languages early on, all at once - the more varied the better. Seems to work for learning statistical analyses.

Comment: Re:Preferable to Rarer, Larger Quakes (Score 1) 65

by Egg Sniper (#48350323) Attached to: Nevada Earthquake Swarm Increases Chance of Larger Quake

This is usually the response I get from folks who have been through big storms (and sometimes zero earthquakes). At least with earthquakes, it's been my experience that people who've been through one are much less anxious about them than those who haven't. I suspect the same can be said for big storms. The main difference that comes up between earthquakes and storms is the predictability or prior warning. While it is certainly true that you can see a storm coming, I would guess that earthquake prone areas have a much smaller damage cost average over time compared to storm prone areas (both in lives and dollars).

Given that lots of people live in earthquake and storm prone areas, I suspect the differences in impact between these types of disasters are largely psychological. Perhaps people from parts of the world where fatalities to such things are more common would have a different sense of which was 'worse'. In the developed world, preparation and building codes have relegated potential disaster choice to a largely financial decision.

+ - Robots and computers threatening 10 million UK jobs->

Submitted by Qedward
Qedward writes: More than a third of UK jobs — around 10 million people — will be replaced by robots and computers in the next 20 years causing a major shift in the labour market, a Deloitte report has claimed.

Advances in digital technologies, robotics and automation will continue to disrupt a variety of industries, affecting 35% of existing roles from a UK workforce of 30.76 million. The percentage affected in London is slightly lower at 30%.

The research, carried out by Deloitte with Carl Benedikt Frey, of the Oxford Martin School, and Michael A Osborne, of the Department of Engineering Science, at the University of Oxford, shows that lower paid workers are the most at risk.

For example, jobs paying less than £30,000 a year are nearly five times more likely to be replaced by automation than those paying over £100,000.

Link to Original Source

Comment: Preferable to Rarer, Larger Quakes (Score 2) 65

by Egg Sniper (#48348937) Attached to: Nevada Earthquake Swarm Increases Chance of Larger Quake

I was in Reno for the small swarm mentioned in the article; only a couple were even perceptible. I've also lived through a couple large earthquakes. I'd prefer little tremors all year round over the more damaging one-offs.

Of course, I'm also the type of person who would rather be in (another) earthquake than a tornado or hurricane (neither of which I've experienced). The devil you know, I suppose.

+ - Scientists Discover a Virus That Changes the Brain to 'Makes Humans More Stupid'-> 1

Submitted by concertina226
concertina226 writes: Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Medical School and the University of Nebraska have discovered an algae virus that makes us more stupid by infecting our brains.

The researchers were conducting a completely unrelated study into throat microbes when they realised that DNA in the throats of healthy people matched the DNA of a chlorovirus virus known as ATCV-1.

ATCV-1 is a virus that infects the green algae found in freshwater lakes and ponds. It had previously been thought to be non-infectious to humans, but the scientists found that it actually affects cognitive functions in the brain by shortening attention span and causing a decrease in spatial awareness.

For the first time ever, the researchers proved that microorganisms have the ability to trigger delicate physiological changes to the human body, without launching a full-blown attack on the human immune system.

Link to Original Source

+ - Eben Upton Explains The Raspberry Pi Model A+'s Redesign

Submitted by M-Saunders
M-Saunders writes: It's cheaper, it's smaller, and it's curvier: the new Raspberry Pi Model A+ is quite a change from its predecessor. But with Model Bs selling more in a month than Model As have done in the lifetime of the Pi, what's the point in releasing a new model? Eben Upton, a founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, explains all. “It gives people a really low-cost way to come and play with Linux and it gives people a low-cost way to get a Raspberry Pi. We still think most people are still going to buy B+s, but it gives people a way to come and join in for the cost of 4 Starbucks coffees.”

+ - Isle of Man Plans to Roll Out World's First 5G Network

Submitted by rofkool
rofkool writes: The Isle of Man is hoping to be the first place in the world to introduce 5G technology, following a partnership with HP and Huawei.

The as yet undefined classification for the next generation of mobile networking technology could be tested on the island as early as 2016.

"The Isle of Man as a whole was used as a test bed for 3G by 02 and hence became the second nation in the world to go live with this technology," Kurt Roosen, co-founder of the Manx Educational Foundation, told IBTimes UK.

"With the 40 acre site, a body of innovative students looking at the potential of mobile, fairly open spectrum that the local regulator would actively encourage to be used for testing, and the involvement of Huawei, we do hope that we can create something of the Perfect Storm."

+ - Rich Geldreich is Worried About Some Aspects of Linux Gaming

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa writes: Former Valve engineer Rich Geldreich has written up a blog post about the state of Linux Gaming. It's an interesting read, that's for sure. When talking about recent bigger game ports, his take is that the developers doing these ports just aren't doing their best to optimize these releases for Linux and/or OpenGL. He points out how it took significant resources from Valve to properly optimize Source engine for Linux, but that other game studios are not walking the last mile. About drivers, he asks "Valve is still paying LunarG to find and fix silly perf bugs in Intel's slow open source driver. Surely this can't be a sustainable way of developing a working driver?" He ends his post by agreeing with a Slashdot comment where someone is basically saying that SteamOS is done, and that we will never get our hands on the Steam Controller.

+ - Peter Sunde Is a Free Man Again

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa writes: Former Pirate Bay spokesperson Peter Sunde was released from prison this morning. Peter is expected to take some time off to spend with family and loved ones before returning to normal grind. He was arrested in late May this year. Despite being accused of non-violent crimes, Peter was transferred to a high-security unit. His time in prison is described being tough. There was no concern for high values such as vegan diet or even proper treatment of depression. Peter also lost 15 kg of weight. After the experience he tweeted "My body just got re-united with my soul and mind, the parts of me that matters and that never can be held hostage."

+ - A Woman will lead CERN from 2016

Submitted by hcs_$reboot
hcs_$reboot writes: From 2016 a woman, Fabiola Gianotti, will lead CERN, the largest particle accelerator currently in activity, near the French and Swiss border, in Europe. This is the first time a woman is appointed to such a prestigious role at CERN,

Fabiola Gianotti attracted worldwide attention in 2012 for her leading role in CERN’s discovery of the Higgs boson particle, and will take up the post in January 2016 as scientists aim to make further discoveries about the origin and makeup of the universe.

+ - Nevada Earthquake Swarm Increases Chance Of Larger Quake

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Hundreds of small earthquakes have been gaining in strength in northwestern Nevada. The Nevada region bordering California and Oregon was hit by 18 quakes in less than 24 hours, with magnitudes measuring from 2.7 to 4.5. According to CNN: "This does not necessarily mean a big one will come, state seismologists said, but they added that it's good to be prepared, just in case. Seismologists refer to such quake groupings as swarms, and the U.S. Geological Survey has detected them regularly. They can produce thousands of small tremors."

Comment: Completely Missed the Point (Score 5, Informative) 116

Perhaps intentionally, the blurb above completely ignores that Prof. Biznel's entire point is that we should be going after the asteroids that already pass close by. He wants us to play with these things, he just thinks it's a waste of money to send a probe far away to grab one when we could much more cheaply grab one that's already passing through. In order to have a decent chance of planning such a mission, we need to have a more complete survey of the asteroids that do pass close by which, he mentions, is already mandated by law (and we're not going to reach that goal at current spending levels).

Comment: More Accurately, A Non-Neural Retina Transplant (Score 4, Informative) 56

by Egg Sniper (#48220259) Attached to: Stem Cells Grown From Patient's Arm Used To Replace Retina

As outlined here, it is the retinal pigmented epithelial (RPE) cells and/or photo-receptors that are being grown and transplanted here. The RPE cells are the supply source for the photo-receptors and comprise the far rear layer of the retina (the neurons of the retina are supplied by blood vessels at the front which you're looking through right now). The photo-receptors, while technically sensory neurons, don't project very far, so replacing them could conceivably restore sensitivity without disrupting the neural connections of the retina. Growing them with the proper alignment to the optics of the eye might be a challenge, though.

Replacing the whole retina is not yet feasible. The ganglion cells project through the optic nerve all the way to the middle of the brain - you can't just swap these out. The other neurons (amacrine, bipolar, horizontal, etc.) of the retina form very specific types of connections during development, and simply replacing these with new cells won't restore such connections. The RPE cells and photo-receptors are about the only thing that might be replaced to restore some lost sensitivity, and are also the easiest to reach surgically, being near the back.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie