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Comment Re:Judging by the story so far... (Score 2) 367

Not all the AM users were cheating spouses. There were also quite a lot of non-cheating spouses checking on who was listed, non-married or divorced people, and users who never got to the meeting-up stage. I'm sure there were a bunch of students genuinely doing research from the profiles' info, too. And they're all affected the same way.

Comment Re:The Sad Puppies won. (Score 3, Insightful) 1030

But the S.F. readers get bored of it much faster... Only the people who think they have a religious duty to "correct" reality have the patience, energy and engagement to stick around when everything goes eye-rollingly consternating.

I had not heard of this whole mess before today, and I find it already tedious just searching for basic factual information about WTF happened and who has been an arsehole and who stuffed whose ballots. I was just hoping to learn of exciting new authors, and now it feels like I'm somehow reading a Twitter argument between some random MRA and my transgender SJW sister.

Comment And another 'heretic' theory... (Score 3, Interesting) 110

... is that hybridization might play a very big role in the appearance of new species, in several different ways:
- apomixis, producing some (most often aneuploid) news organism (which then clones itself indefinitely by fragmentation, budding or parthenogeny, becoming a distinct species all by itself)
- polyploidization, where the different DNA sets just add up and coexist side by side (like in pretty much every angiosperm on the planet, and many other plants, as well as many fish, reptile and salamander species - like Ambystoma platineum)
- symbiotic association, as seen in lichens and also in how mitochondria fused with bacteria into eukaryotes
- recombinational stabilization (a.k.a allohomoploid nothospeciation), where the slightly mismatched chromosomes from different DNA sets of compatible but different species pair up into complex heteroduplexes that end up fragmenting or fusing chromosome segments when the first generation of hybrids starts mating - which very well might be how two chimpanzee's chromosomes fused into our own bigger Chromosome 2.

In the cases mentioned of TFA some of the 'exotic' genes may be explained more simply as introgressions from a past hybridization event with a different species followed by backcrossing.

Comment It goes further still (Score 1) 118

There's more to it still: you can actually exploit the incertitude on the measurements you're using to categorize your subjects into subgroups, in a way to ensure your drug WILL report positive effects even if it has zero real effect. It's very well explained in this short article by Tom Naughton, complete with a numerical demonstration.

To put it shortly: you can design the subgroups' criterion in a way that overrepresents false positives and underrepresents the false-negatives that would otherwise counterbalance them.

Submission + - WalkCar Is A Portable Ride Just The Size Of A Laptop->

An anonymous reader writes: We don’t need Lexus Hoverboard teasers anymore, because we will have something similar to that soon enough. More like a mechanical skateboard, WalkCar is equally effective like a Hoverboard that you can step on to travel from one block to another. It’s about the size of a thick laptop, like the old IBMs but still, it’s portable enough to be carried around in a backpack or a briefcase.

Manufactured by an inventor in Japan, WalkCar looks like a more practical portable ride. It’s made of aluminum and works on lithium batteries.

Kuniako Saito, the developer of this device has done masters in electric car motor controls engineering. His motivation behind WalkCar was a device portable enough to be carried around in our bags.

The device is powerful enough to carry a person on a steep hill. It also has a tendency to navigate through tight courses. Apart from a lot of practice that you require to balance on a tiny surface, its only other drawback is the loud sound while working.

WalkCar is priced at $800 dollars, which is something really cheaper than a $10000 Hoverboard. It’s going to be available for the public in 2016. The developer is also going to start Kickstarter funding soon.

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Small little feller (Score 1) 153

And I'm not surprised, considering how full of holes and lapses taxonomy is. It's pretty much a pseudoscience as it stands so far. We've been trying to put every critter into a single, discrete box called "species" and arranging those in ways that simply won't fit with the facts. Which order do protoctists really belong to ? Are euglenids plant or animal ? Are myxomycetes fungus or protoctists ? What about racoon dogs, cynogales, etc. ?

Phylogenetic "trees" should really be loose hypergraphs with lots and lots of cycles and a wide circumference.

Comment impractical app, pointless controversy (Score 1) 312

I can't think of any practical use for such a Genetic Access Control method nor of a reason to feel outrage and clamor "racism". For a start, this app only works for users who are also 23andme clients anyway, who also agree to have the app access their data (à la Twitter), and I'd say those people pretty much already explicitly waived their genetic privacy.

Also, I can attest to how widely inaccurate some of the results you get through the API can be, especially the ethnic origin results. In my case it's ~16% inaccurate. It's known to overstate european origins and downplay or entirely lack quite a few less common origins, as the comparison database misses data from entire ethnical groups (Sinté, Romani...) or has only a handful (or single) individual DNAs for many potential origins (Romania, Azerbaijan, etc.). And the haplogroups tree that the API reports from is outdated (and, again as in my case, very lacking of resolution in several branches).

Comment Re:Poorly described (Score 1) 120

The important thing is not the cost of propellant, nor the absolute mass of the launcher, but rather how reusable we can make the launcher parts. Reentering the atmosphere at orbital velocities means that a very lightweight, fragile launch stage will NOT survive to be reused. But if we can afford making that stage bulkier and sturdier, by sarificing part of a much higher fraction payload, it may.

Comment Re:Poorly described (Score 1) 120

A similar technique was tested successfully by japanese researchers in 2010, except their rocket model used ambient air directly, instead of H2 in a tank.

I wonder what kind of performance it would get from using maser-powered water vaporization for propulsion ? Water vapor holds twice as much heat as air, translating into twice the ISP. It would be very steampunk, too... I now envision aerospike-like rocket engine gloriously steaming into the stratosphere on top of a microwaved plume of vapor.

Comment Re:Parents' superpower (Score 1) 173

Did you pause and wonder what causes the very existence of "girl colours" and "boy colours" in the first place, while you were thinking about this pink&blue flip-over as an example that somehow could undermine the subtext of my (tongue-in-cheek) comment ?

Yeah, I guessed not :D

Comment Parents' superpower (Score 4, Insightful) 173

Google deflected criticism for its lack of women techies in the past by blaming parents' unconscious biases for not steering their girls to study computer science, suggesting an intervention was needed. "Outreach programs," advised Google, "should include a parent education component, so that parents learn how to actively encourage their daughters."

Ah, parents. The supposedly superpowerful entities that can somehow control their children's career path over decades without even trying, yet keep failing to stop them from having underage sex or trying drugs no matter how hard they actively attempt to.

Fear is the greatest salesman. -- Robert Klein