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Comment: Social Contract and Emergent Behavior (Score 1) 1081

by Guppy (#49261297) Attached to: How To Execute People In the 21st Century

Here's an alternative interpretation of what the "social contract" is -- civilized society is an example of Emergent Behavior.

It's not a legal rule, where paradoxes of consent or capacity are questions that must be answered. It is simply the rule-set from which the emergent behavior of human society arises, like some cellular automata system. What behavior comes out of the system -- be it a civil society or Lord of the Flies -- is a judgement-free result that depends on the proportion of adherents, versus dysfunctional units and cheaters.

Comment: Car Analogy (Score 1) 77

by Guppy (#49151313) Attached to: Banned Weight-loss Drug Could Combat Liver Disease, Diabetes

DNP is an ATP inhibitor, which means it prevents cell mitochondria from synthesising ATP from simple sugars.

I think I understand what you're trying to say, but let me make it a bit more clear using a car analogy. Yes, you get less ATP out at the end, but that's not really the point of the drug.

DNP is an oxidative phosphorylation decoupler. What this means, it that it does the equivalent of popping your clutch into neutral, and then stomping on the gas. Your mitochondria will rev-up furiously, but no ATP is produced as you have just decoupled the connection between the engine and the wheels. In the meantime, you burn a lot of gas.

Comment: Happened to my grandmother (Score 2) 98

by Guppy (#49145707) Attached to: Fighting Scams Targeting the Elderly With Old-School Tech

Yeah, these scammers tried hitting my grandmother before, fortunately she's still pretty sharp and recognized it immediately.

That being said, with social media, these kinds of scams have the capability to become a lot worse. The scammer that called my grandmother did a generic "grandmom it's me", which didn't work because my Chinese is pretty accented as an American-born speaker -- instant giveaway from the first word out of his mouth.

But with a little research they could have loaded it up with a lot more detail.

Comment: Re:Operating at 20W gives zero improvement. (Score 1) 114

by Guppy (#49124327) Attached to: AMD Unveils Carrizo APU With Excavator Core Architecture

It's knocking out a whole chip, it could bring the price of the whole PC down to less than a couple hundred.

The low end has been sitting at a couple hundred for a while now -- and during that time, the quality of the CPU and GPU you can get have just gotten better and better, to the point that even net-top CPUs can get the job done. I'm amazed at how good even low-end netbook processors are these days.

Comment: Noob Intern Replying (Score 1) 136

by Guppy (#48852891) Attached to: Drug Company CEO Blames Drug Industry For Increased Drug Resistance

It is even more interesting to me knowing the first CRE (Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae [cdc.gov]) clearly arose in India.

Funny thing was the response of Indian politicians was that naming of the NDM-1 resistance factor was "malicious slander". The acronym of course standing for New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase. I happen to agree that geographic and ethnic names should no longer be used for disease entities, but nationalistic outrage is not a useful response to a problem.

but the reasons weren't clear to me and I just naively assumed it was a random mutation. India, also according to to that same paper has quite a problem with antibiotic resistance which one wouldn't expect as there isn't so much of a problem with antibiotic overuse as there seems to be in the West.

Don't be so sure of that, when antibiotics are (or maybe were until recently) common non-prescription OTC products in India and other parts of south and south-east Asia, and often much cheaper than in the West.

Comment: Re:Holy Carp! (Score 5, Interesting) 136

by Guppy (#48852795) Attached to: Drug Company CEO Blames Drug Industry For Increased Drug Resistance

So it's the water coming out of the plant that (sometimes) reaches that level. The actual river has orders of magnitude more flow than that.

So he may have a valid point, but this is obvious FUD.

So in other words, the river itself might have a few tenths or hundredths of a percent of a concentration below the therapeutic MIC (potentially of multiple different antibiotics, depending on what factories happen to be located on that river).

Your interpretation of this is doesn't-matter, therefore FUD. My interpretation of this is enough to exert influence on relative competitiveness within a microbial community, and exert selection for antibiotic resistance.

Long before you reach lethal anti-microbial concentrations, you get subtle changes in growth rate and microbial gene expression. In agriculture, farms routinely use antibiotics at just a few percent of therapeutic dosing, and that is already enough to cause massive changes in the microbial community (with the side-effect of improving the growth rate of the host animal). You don't need to directly kill the microbes themselves, you just need enough to skew the balance of power between the various micro-organisms that are busy competing with each other.

The concentrations in the river may be a fraction below even that, but even slight pressures are enough to alter the course of evolution, when administered over a long enough time period. And "long enough" in this situation is in the context of an organism with 20-minute generation times.

Comment: Gray-market Nintendo smuggling (Score 3, Insightful) 111

by Guppy (#48786379) Attached to: Nintendo Puts Business In Brazil On Hiatus

In a statement e-mailed to Polygon, Nintendo of America said that the company's distributor for Latin America would no longer send products to Brazil, but it would continue to distribute Nintendo goods to other parts of South America.

So in other words, Nintendo's legitimate subsidiary cannot compete with gray-market smugglers who evade the tariff to bring in consoles and games from the neighboring countries.

So they're just going to pull out and let the smugglers be their de-facto distribution channel.

Comment: Re:fixing modern gadget (Score 1) 840

Oh sure - if a tiny grain capacitor without marking is failing - I bet the author can't even de-solder it
find the same part and solder it back on

same with BGA chip - ever try desolder a 400 balls BGA chip in your gadget and try to find that chip in your radio shack?

There are little repair places in China and Hong Kong that will do exactly that. I've heard it's amazing the kind of repairs and mods you can get done in little hole-in-the-wall shops over there.

Comment: Setting up your own VPN? (Score 1) 121

by Guppy (#48732477) Attached to: Netflix Begins Blocking Users Who Bypass Region Locks

So how do I go about setting up a home router with a VPN exit point, for my own personal use while traveling? I've seen some of the various *WRT and other router firmware packages with VPN servers, but I have never managed to get one to work. Couldn't tell if I was messing something up on the router, or on my laptop / mobile phone client, or it was some firewall I was hitting at my hotel or hotspot I was connected to (although my university's VPN usually would usually function properly, so I don't think that was it).

Any cookbook instructions out there that will let me get something working?

Comment: Re:who cares? (Score 4, Insightful) 168

by Guppy (#48589729) Attached to: Airbus Attacked By French Lawmaker For Talking To SpaceX

an idiotic remark that is inconsequential to anything.

Is it? I'm really surprised that Airbus had the chutzpah (or political naivete).

You see, Airbus gets quite a bit of help from the governments of Europe -- subsidies, contracts; I wouldn't be surprised if they had a major hand in the mergers that formed the company in the first place. Most likely, the lawmaker is thinking of Airbus as being little different from some wayward administrative division in his own bureaucracy, now in need of a rebuke for not supporting the government's agenda.

Comment: Re:Diversity is good, especially in SciFi (Score 1) 368

by Guppy (#48543773) Attached to: Overly Familiar Sci-Fi

Hey, you know what else won't be the same? Language!

The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi would be a good example of a story that pushes that boundary (within the constraints of being able to still communicate with the reader). Not just choosing to invent silly terms for familiar things, but creating a culture-shock effect, where new slang is invented to reflect a new culture.

The time spent on any item of the agenda [of a finance committee] will be in inverse proportion to the sum involved. -- C.N. Parkinson

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