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Comment: Re:It's all about the dosage (Score 1) 395

by Prune (#49561851) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame
I forgot to mention an important consideration: one also has to take into account the tradeoff compared to using lots of sugar/glucose/HFCS/etc. While, optimally, intake from both groups should be restricted, I know that's not realistic for many people. I'm lucky in that my metabolism and insulin sensitivity allow me to handle large quantities of the high glycaemic index foods I love, but if you also have a sweet tooth -- depending on your genetics -- the artificial sweeteners may be the lesser evil.

Comment: It's all about the dosage (Score 1) 395

by Prune (#49561759) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame
Aspartame and a few of the other artificial sweeteners are excitotoxic (they overexcite some neurons to the point of death). For example, see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pu... and other research like it. The main counterargument is that studies showing excitotoxic effects in vivo have always been done with doses significantly higher than would be ingested using regular consumption of foodstuffs in which artificial sweeteners are used (indeed, a benefit of advanced artificial sweeteners is that they reach the threshold of sweetness when very dilute). While even a good deal of overconsumption of artificially sweetened soda drinks may not reach the amounts having been shown detrimental. However, I've found no safety evidence either way regarding very long term exposure at lower intensity, over decades. For me, that's cause for caution and limiting consumption (though even I don't totally avoid it, and that's from someone that doesn't particularly like the taste of soda drinks).

Comment: Mod parent down (Score 4, Insightful) 161

by Prune (#49557497) Attached to: Google Executive Dan Fredinburg Among Victims of Everest Avalanche
I climb mountains as a hobby, and know many climbers, a large proportion of whom are geeks who are disinterested in team sports. It's a hobby like any other physical hobby. It brings risk, but also enormous enjoyment from the combination of experiencing the raw beauty of nature where there are very few others with the challenge and thrill of reaching a summit. We climb a peak not to show off; we climb it because it is there. A tiny fraction of mountaineers are interested in bragging rights (except, perhaps, amongst themselves in a good-spirited manner), so your slight against us is rude and ignorant. Fuck you!

Comment: Re:Been there, done that. (Score 1) 51

by Prune (#49514411) Attached to: Colors Help Set Body's Internal Clock
Your experiment fails to account for the influence of another well-known effect, which is that perceived color temperature is affected by absolute light intensity. Indoor lighting is almost always orders of magnitude weaker than sunlight, and this is why using lighting matched to actual noon color temperature will look far too blue. This is why advanced light bulbs as used in museums and so on that specifically approximate a sun+sky spectrum (to result in proper color reproduction) are available centered at different color temperatures.

Comment: Re:*Grabs a bowl of popcorn* (Score 4, Insightful) 385

by Prune (#49502253) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?

The converse side of this coin is that such great expectations can become a burden on the children (or the one "target" child), even if the parent tries to avoid being pushy about it -- a lot gets across that is never said directly, and even through the mere implication of a future look of disappointment on one's face.

Comment: Re:Energy use (Score 2) 332

by Prune (#49458733) Attached to: California Looks To the Sea For a Drink of Water

The Ivanpah plant kills lots of birds, with endangered species among them, by literally cooking them while in flight. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... Nuclear doesn't have this problem. Also, note that nuclear also causes the least number of human deaths per terrawatt-hour generated of any power plant technology: http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/...

Comment: Question (Score 1) 30

by Prune (#49370805) Attached to: Future Firefighters May Be Guided By "Robots On Reins"
Wouldn't the resources expended in this "research" have been far better used in creating sensors for the firefighters themselves (say, a high resolution combination sonar and infrared visor) than building an awkward haptic extension with the clumsiness and poor maneuverability of current state of the art robotics? I know robots are becoming trendy, especially in the tech media, to the point of fetishism, but I sure hope no tax-backed grants supported this project, one that is ultimately a substitution of Goldbergian complexity and impracticality for a blind man's cane.

Comment: Why no Passfault in TFA? (Score 1) 159

by Prune (#49348921) Attached to: Many Password Strength Meters Are Downright Weak, Researchers Say
I'm surprised that Passfault was not mentioned in the paper TFA references, since it specifically checks for dictionary attacks in multiple languages, and for substitutions, reversals, keyboard shifts, and other transforms that an advanced cracking program might check. It's open source, too. Yet no one else even mentioned it in this discussion, when Slashdot is how I know about it in the first place.

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must be first overcome. -- Dr. Johnson

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