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Comment: Improvement (Score 1) 502

I have one desktop (ASUS P5K-e/WiFi) with integrated audio (ADI® AD1988B) throught a pair of logitech 2.1 speakers. I also have a PCMCIA Audigy 2 which I used with my laptop. Playing music through the ASUS integrated card was acceptable, but I remembered it clearer, so I bought a PCI to PCMCIA adapter and connected the Audigy 2. The difference was very pleasing. The music came out clearer. It may be just because of the codec, IDK, but there was a huge difference.

The laptop for which I had bought the Audigy was a HTPC and it was hooked up to an analogic Logitech 5.1 set. I made a new HTPC with an Asrock Z68M-ITX/HT (7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC892 Audio Codec)) and there was no way it would sound like the laptop used to. Even though it included a demo for a THX enhancer from Creative. I found an cheap Audigy FX and again the change was huge. My wife, who does not care too much about it told me it was like when I showed her the difference between a cheap set of Sony headphones and my Koss PortaPro (which is a rather inexpensive switch).

I don't consider myself by no means an audiophile, but I enjoy music a lot.

Comment: As a neurologist. (Score 5, Informative) 86

by MPAB (#46441771) Attached to: New Blood Test Offers Early Warning for Alzheimer's Onset

The main symptom that brings people to the neurologist is forgetfulness. Most of the time it's subjective (ie. I know someone with Alzheimer's and I begin to notice and worry about the times I meet people and the names won't come to my head). We look for signs of cognitive impairment, with tests that include memory and other mind processes. Of course, YMMV depending on your previous performance, career, educational level, etc.
Once we get proof of MCI, we can make some tests because Alzheimer's isn't the only thing that can cause it. The usual stuff ranges from depression or unfelt strokes to syphillis. The CAT scan/MRI only tells us if the brain is intact, somewhat like trying to work out if a car works by just opening the hood.
Alzheimer's itself can only be diagnosed under the microscope right now. Not a thing we'd agree to to do a live brain.
Other than this blood test, there are radioactive tracer tests and CSF tests. In all of them the result is a chance or ratio telling the possibility of the MCI to be a sign of Alzheimer's against something else.
So, it's a disease for which there is no prevention nor a cure and the current tests just tell us "yes your worries about that time you left the keys on the toilet are related to a 75% propability of having Alzheimer's". We should get into positive and negative predictive values here.
As I tell my patients: "No: there is no sign of cognitive impairment right now. If I knew you were to develop a demence, I'd suggest you settle your pending issues right away, but I don't see a reason not to do that, anyway, You don't know what awaits you at the turn of the corner."

Comment: Venezuela (Score 2) 347

by MPAB (#46333571) Attached to: NSA and GHCQ Employing Shills To Poison Web Forum Discourse

Right now the social networks are flooded with alleged "discoveries of fraud", according to which the opposition is spreading pictures from protests elsewhere as being from Venezuela right now. It's interesting that the original photos are very easy to find in the internet, but the ones supposedly shared by the venezuelan opposition are nowhere.
Either the venezuelan opposition is dumb enough to get pictures that are widely available and spread them as their own or there's some seeding taking place in hopes that the opposition will get framed by spreading a false pic that was given to them by someone else.

Comment: Incompatibility (Score 2) 944

by MPAB (#45783983) Attached to: 60% of Americans Unaware of Looming Incandescent Bulb Phase Out

At home the light switches have a dim blue light to be visible in the dark. It seems to be rigged in series with the circuit, so it lights up only when a lightbulb is in the socket. If fluorescent bulbs are installed, they (the bulbs!) will flicker all night long. Also the fluorescent bulbs installed in the bathroom die out very early from the moist. LEDs may be a good solution, but I've yet to find ones that give out enough red tones.

Comment: PC at its best (Score 5, Insightful) 452

by MPAB (#44784737) Attached to: Could Technology Create Modern-Day 'Leper Colonies'?

I once asked in several forums about the neighborhoods of a city I was going to move into with my family. I didn't want to fall into bohemian neighborhoods (want rest at night, not party) or ghettos just because I didn't know the place. The answers were all about racism, how beautiful and diverse those places were, how much of a lousy father I was for denying my children such enriching experiences, etc.
I resorted to look around for external signs, such as crowded balconies, abandoned cars, how people dressed, etc.

I think I have the same right to be informed when I look for somewhere to live than when shopping around for stuff that suits my needs as precisely as possible.

Comment: Modern luddites (Score 5, Insightful) 198

by MPAB (#42889381) Attached to: Computers Shown To Be Better Than Docs At Diagnosing, Prescribing Treatment

An expected outcome. First machines become good and cheap at performing manual labor, then it's lowly qualified jobs such as sorting stuff or basic accounting.
In a few years, liberal professions will fall. Our salaries (I'm a doctor) have been diving as more and more people around the world can afford a career and achieve a good enough level to perform as a doctor or an engineer.
Creative and risk-taking careers will resist for a longer time.
We can hope for a future of working machines and humans enjoying themselves. The other option will be cheap-ass humans with no way of earning a living whatsoever.

Comment: PDF killed the ebook (Score 1) 465

by MPAB (#42493585) Attached to: Death of Printed Books May Have Been Exaggerated

The ebook lacks the short battery life and sun glare of computer screens, it also is weightless. It was meant to let us carry all of our texts along, but...
While casual fiction readers tend to be tech unsavy, those of us that are want to carry around complex texts to study from. Sadly there's no right way to get a simple web page into most ebooks without formatting issues. And PDF is the final insult, where words are split without any rules, paragraphs get slaughtered and images disappear into the void.
Tablets are much better at displaying anything that's not just plain text, but they're cumbersome, more fragile and seldom last for more than a few hours on a charge.

Ebooks should've come in more than paperback size (I know there are bigger ones, but they cost as much as a midrange tablet) and with enough horsepower to overcome the slow screen when zooming and panning, not to add even more wait time to it.

Comment: Re:Conversion diseases are so frustrating... (Score 2) 146

by MPAB (#40576677) Attached to: WHO Says Afghan School "Poison Attacks" Probably Mass Hysteria

I myself have migraines. Lots of people do and everyone's migraine is different and has different triggers. As an anecdote: I had daily migraines for a few months while at med school. I even blamed the anatomy teacher, because they would begin during said class. Then someone fixed the vending machine, which had been giving away Fanta at 1/10th the price and I quit drinking it before class. The migraines remitted to their usual frequency of once or twice a month and I could unleash one by drinking a Fanta (not a Coke or Sprite). I've known of no other person with such a trigger.
As for your question, most of the time CD diagnosis is straighforward but tests are made to ensure it is not a rare manifestation of a life-threatening illness. Sometimes, it's not as simple as it seems. I've seen deep focal epilepsies which go undetected by EEG after EEG but cause bizarre symptoms. Or paraneoplasic syndromes that show up as dementia in which the tumor isn't detected until after a year or so.
In your case, migraines are in fact very sensitive to sleep disorders, still I'm very surprised a doctor would keep you in for 5 whole nights just because your sleep disorder was not diagnosed in the first full-night polysomnography. We usually draw the line there.

Comment: Re:Conversion diseases are so frustrating... (Score 2) 146

by MPAB (#40576339) Attached to: WHO Says Afghan School "Poison Attacks" Probably Mass Hysteria

It's a side effect I've heard from many people. I don't know why it happens, but I believe them. I don't even know if the sensation is produced in the peripheral nerves or in the brain. Like when you hit your elbow and feel an electric shock in your outermost fingers: the hit stimulates the ulnar nerve and that signal is interpreted in your brain as a weird feeling in the area the aforementioned nerve controls. No imaging method nor an EMG/ENG/EEG will show anything because it's a tiny chemical malfunction that happens somewhere, like a miscalibration. Most withdrawal symptoms (even from alcohol) come from such miscalibrations because the brain adapts to the new chemical balance induced by the drug.

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