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Comment: Re:Bamba (Score 2) 240

by Sun (#49125253) Attached to: Study: Peanut Consumption In Infancy Helps Prevent Peanut Allergy

Not only does it affect the peanut allergies in Israel (less than 1%), this snack was, in fact, the tirgger that started this particular research.

The story according to the local papers is that the researcher was in a conference in Israel, and, as usual, asked who here has a child that is allergic to peanuts. Unusually, however, hardly anyone raised their hands. That triggered discovery of Bamba.

In fact, during the research, Bamba is what they fed the non-control group children.


Comment: Not used in concentration camps (Score 2) 224

by Sun (#49117867) Attached to: 100 Years of Chemical Weapons

Excuse my nit picking, but the Nazis hardly used gas chambers in concentration camps. Mostly, they built special camps dedicated for murdering (mostly Jews, but it depends on the camp), and gas chambers was mostly used in those. These are, generally, refered to as "Extermination camps".

There were gas chambers in some of the concentration camps as well, but their use there was relatively marginal. Most people who died in concentration camps died from the cold, starvation and diseases, as well as direct murders (i.e. - getting shot).


Comment: Re: Nothing is possible. (Score 2) 249

by Sun (#49072671) Attached to: Game Theory Calls Cooperation Into Question

What game theory has to say about that is to point out that these systems only work so long as the number of participants is small enough. Once the number of participants gets too large, it is impossible to effectively punish the leachers, and the entire system falls apart.

I guess we need to add to GP's original question the criteria of "works on a large scale"


Comment: Re:It's a vast field.... (Score 1) 809

by Sun (#49054475) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Portion of Developers Are Bad At What They Do?

When I interview, I start by asking the applicant about their general background. What projects they have worked on.

I then try to pick something from that specific knowledge domain and ask about that. I typically ask them to describe, in detail, a project they have been involved in, or ask a question about it.

My personal experience: most know nothing about the specific domain in which they have participated.

Some of the answers I've received were embarresing. People volunteering knowledge in C++ STL and BOOST, working with smart pointers, who have no idea how shared_ptr works or what its drawbacks are. People saying they used multiple inheritence and virtual inheritence (I would never bring it up on my own as I know many people consider it a niche) who don't understand how virtual inheritence actually work. People who built communication platforms for VOIP who cannot answer why/whether/when UDP is better than TCP.

So, no, programmers suck even when you ask them about their own knowledge domain. I usually end up recommending someone without experience but with the right spark in their eyes, figuring my time is better spent growing a bright newbie than fighting with bad habits by a someone with good-for-nothing "experience".



Comment: Re:Science... Yah! (Score 1) 958

by Sun (#49053795) Attached to: Science's Biggest Failure: Everything About Diet and Fitness

Siddesu called it "the easiest way to lose weight".

If it's so easy, how come 95% fail it?

I have a regime that would allow you to live to 100, but it is so difficult to keep that it's not possible for you to stick to it. Is it your fault, or the regime's? Of course it is the regime's.

The human endurance is part of the equation. Ignoring it is precisely the failure of science this article complains about.


Comment: Re:Not roughly, exactly (Score 2) 244

by CannonballHead (#48982763) Attached to: Over the past 10 years, my TV-watching has..

Online playing = greater social skills, that I don't know about.

But there was a pretty convincing TED talk recently about FPS games and some visual perception/processing ability improvements. Significant ones, actually. Not anecdotal, and not simply survey-type statistics, but repeatable lab experiments with measurable effects that lasted beyond the game playing. It was done by a Swiss scientist, but I forget her name and don't recall the name of the TED talk.

She was not, by the way, saying that (1) you should play games all day, nor that (2) it's a better way than other ways (say, for example, sports, which I'm sure must help visual perception as well), etc.

But it wasn't useuless outside of holding a controller, it wasn't only muscle memory, etc.

This coming, by th eway, from someone who pretty mucn never plays FPSes. I much prefer strategy or RPGs (it's all about the story!). And fun, social-ish games to play with other people that are just fun, like the Lego series.

Comment: Re:Science... Yah! (Score 1) 958

by Sun (#48977881) Attached to: Science's Biggest Failure: Everything About Diet and Fitness

You keep trying to seperate the habits (human behavior) from the results.

Of course 95% revert to their old habits. Why is that a reason to discard them from your working set? If you have a regime that would save lives if it people would stick to it, but 95% fail to do so, why not see it as part of the problem?

Scott Adams talks about it. Fats are bad, but if you eat certain fats you are less likely to eat other stuff, which, as an aggregate, is even worse. This means that fats are actually not that bad.

Good science needs to factor the human aspect of things into the equation. Simply ignoring it just guarantees failure.


Comment: Re:HPV (Score 1) 740

Yes. Ugly policy decisions is exactly what I was going for, in fact. It's not as simple as "ugh, stupid anti-vaxxers, we need to mandate vaccines" as some seem to think it is. There are some of us who are cool with vaccines ... the ones that make sense. And leery about spending the money (government) and risk (yes, the rather small but real, especially with new-ish and thus much less understood vaccines, it seems) for the ones that don't.

And of course, there's the question of the efficacy of the different types (e.g., acellular pertussis) and the different schedules and whether it's good to throw them into kids all at once or spread them out and .... etc. Doctors don't seem to agree completely (not with vaccination in general, but when, how many, which ones, etc.), countries don't agree, studies don't agree, yet we expect the government to mandate something... that seems iffy to me.

Whoever chooses wields an awful lot of power. Including monetarily. I'm sure the vaccine makers would have input on which ones and how often. :) Good thing we don't let corporations influence political decisions.

Comment: Re:Choice but with consequences (Score 1) 740

So at what point does the liability stop? If I allow my kids to play on sleds or go skiing and they get hurt or killed or maimed ... should I go to jail for child endangerment for allowing them to be in such danger?

I am NOT arguing that all vaccines are junk and we should all not vaccinate. I AM arguing that we need to think through the ramifications of this pretty seriously. It's not exactly a slippery *slope* argument as much as .... an ice rink argument. I am not saying that "if we mandate vaccines, we're going to mandate carrots and spinach next" as though one is worse than the other... I'm saying that it doesn't make sense to mandate vaccines in because of child endangerment if we don't also start curbing all these other dangerous behaviors that kid's do. Like playing in the dirt, riding horses, riding bikes, taking walks where there may be drunk drivers without putting them in helmets ... or whatever.

Furthermore, WHAT vaccines? And how often? I got one MMR vaccine I believe, but it's since been raised to two. Ought I to be mandated to get another one? What about the flu vaccine? What about STDs which I highly doubt my 8 month old will be contracting anytime soon?

Things like MMR and Polio make sense (though I am still unsure about mandating), but I don't know about some of the others... so I am leery about having random people in D.C. choosing these things for me based on who knows what.

I'm trying to be good and avoid the vaccine manufacturer profit arguments.

Comment: Re:Choice but with consequences (Score 1) 740

Because we thought it was a good idea to protect vaccine makers from lawsuits and replace those lawsuits with a government program.

I'm not sure that was really a good idea. I'm not saying it doesn't help, but protecting for-profit (and very profitable) companies from lawsuits seems ... well, a bit odd, shall we say.

Comment: Re:HPV (Score 1) 740

Ok... so if it's an STD and I am one of those monogamous types, could you explain the benefit to me or others for me getting it?

I'm not anti-vaccine, though I am anti-vaccine-if-the-risk-of-the-vaccine-is-greater-than-the-benefit. And no, I don't think autism comes from vaccines, etc.

Comment: Re:No Kidding (Score 1) 220

by CannonballHead (#48928305) Attached to: Anonymous No More: Your Coding Style Can Give You Away

So, you don't indent code? Or if you do, at what point is the indent meaningless (how many spaces/tabs) ... ? No spaces after semicolons? Or before/after braces? Or ...

Readability should count as meaningful. It helps. And the compiler strips it out anyways, right, so ultimately it doesn't matter, just like comments, except in helping understand the code.

I may be misunderstanding something completely in what you said... but I don't get why you would say it should be removed. Maybe in javascript for network performance reasons or something, but you should just minify or something in that case, because of variable and function name length and all that...

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