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Comment Re:Somebody had to write it (Score 1) 312 312

I think the author, using the "offensive-computing" nick, knew very well that this would trigger a discussion and that's probably the reason this project was created in the first place.

Yes, mod this up as the most insightful contribution to the thread so far. Although the author is careful to use other example in the readme, the code and example application are (provocatively) written to discriminate against everyone except the usual racist definition of 'white Europeans'. The 'European' group of reference populations defined by 23andme would normally include Ashkenazi Jews:


but this group is explicitly excluded by offensive-computing:


Comment Re:Google is becoming irrelevant (Score 4, Insightful) 165 165

Google won't think for you.

Unfortunately, Google tries to think for you all the time, and usually make a bad job of it. You can't possibly be searching for [thing you typed], you must mean [thing with a similar name that's much more popular on social media this week]. You don't want established information about [thing you typed], you want 3 search pages of the same [parroted news story vaguely related to thing from this morning]. You don't want [famous torrent site], you want [misleadingly named malware domain because we've nuked the actual site for some mysterious reason of our own]. Once upon a time, Google was used by people who were happy to think for themselves. Now it targets the mass market, and has algorithms designed to second guess poorly constructed searches at the expense of dumbing down the experience for the minority of users who can put together a precise set of search terms. It feels like a blunt instrument now - finding anything obscure always seems to need multiple quoted strings (like AltaVista back in the day) and Verbatim mode.

Comment Re:NIH? (Score 1) 97 97

The 1980's attempt was like an anemic version of an Apple II or Commodore Amiga.

The BBC Micro was 1/4 of the price of the Apple II and pre-dated the Amiga by several years, so that's hardly a fair comparison.

The current [proposed] system is so watered down that any student will be bored within 1-2 years.

You really don't think that something that can engage a school kid for a year or two isn't worthwhile?

Given that the BBC is part of the UK gov't, perhaps they rejected the Pi because they couldn't convince the foundation that adding the anti-terrorist/surveillance tech [that Cameron has been yakking about] was a good idea. Or, that the Pi was "too powerful" for school children and could be used by terrorists ... Just sayin' ...

I heard it was because the Pi generates a signal that blocks the Reptilian mind control devices implanted in every Freeview tuner...

Comment Re:Centered tags? (Score 4, Insightful) 843 843

Seriously slashdot? What is this crap?
They are slowly fucking up the front page design, one annoying step after another.

Inspired by the stealth design of the F-35 ('Operation Boiled Frog'), the Lockheed-Dice production team are hoping to fly under the radar by sneakily changing the front page one element at a time, so that in 6 months time the site will look exactly like Beta. However, as in the case of the F-35, the final product will be superficially flashy, but less functional than the previous design.

Comment Re:Actually a good encyclical (Score 1) 305 305

I'm an atheist, but I agree with the pope about what's in there. No need to dismiss his opinions because he doesn't talk about contraceptives or whatever, this is not what it is all about.

Lawrence Krauss isn't just an atheist, but a self-described 'anti-theist' who can't resist taking a crack at the Pope even when (or perhaps especially when) he's doing something positive like this. Which is rather a shame, as this is something people of good will ought to make common cause about.

Comment Mobile base and suction cup? (Score 1) 108 108

Their winning design combined a WAM arm (complete with a suction cup for lifting objects) and an XR4000 mobile base into a single unit

The chief designer, a Dr Davros of Skaro, CA, welcomed his 'supreme victory' in the competition, but questioned Amazon's decision not to proceed with the immediate replacement of their entire human workforce with his creation: 'Do you believe that I would let a lifetime's work be ended by the will of spineless fools like you? You have won nothing. I allowed this charade to be played out for one reason only. To find those men who were truly loyal to me and to discover those who would betray me! WE... I WILL GO ON!' Amazon officials, earlier invited to a demonstration of the improved 'Mark III Travel Machine', could not be reached for comment.

Comment Re:Waiting for 'derms (Score 1) 43 43

I'm waiting for Mona Lisa-style 'derms.

I was thinking of this bit from Neuromancer:

"He stepped out of the way to let a dark-suited sarariman by, spotting the Mitsubishi-Genentech logo tattooed across the back of the man's right hand. Was it authentic? If that's for real, he thought, he's in for trouble. If it wasn't, served him right. M-G employees above a certain level were implanted with advanced microprocessors that monitored mutagen levels in the bloodstream. Gear like that would get you rolled in Night City, rolled straight into a black clinic."

Comment Re:Because I did not read the original article... (Score 1) 260 260

So if this is the case, my initial question stands; What was he trying to show? That scientific journals will publish bad science (IMHO it's not their job to check the results and conclusion of studies, that is up to the scientific community)?

Any reputable journal will use a peer review process that will at least provide some level of filtering for this sort of thing, effectively the first step in assessment by the community. Junk journals hardly even bother pretending to do this, and are fair game for sting operations. However, I think that issuing press releases to the mainstream media is more questionable. How many of these newspapers will even bother printing followup articles explaining the sting? A fair proportion of their readers will probably never find out that the claims had no real basis, and will add the chocolate nonsense to their mental store of other dubious 'facts' that get reported in these papers (especially in the 'nutrition' section!).

Comment Re: Will Technology Disrupt the Song? (Score 3, Interesting) 158 158

I don't think it's an arbitrary cut (at least not until you get to, say, Wagner, where selections really do tend to look like 'bleeding chunks'). In earlier operas, there's usually a pretty clear distinction between recitative and aria, not that much different to the songs in a musical today (or even the singles from a 'concept album'). Of course you can argue that composers with a bit of business sense had an eye on the technology of the time - popular arias were sold individually as sheet music, and later as records - I've seen the 78 described (in the LP era) as 'still the ideal medium for a Puccini-length aria'. Puccini died in 1924, and many of his arias were the early hits of the gramophone. Short-form music has always been popular, though. How many popular folk songs go on for more than 5 minutes? In church music, the choir may tackle longer form works, but the hymns the congregation sings generally aren't much longer than a pop single.

Real programmers don't bring brown-bag lunches. If the vending machine doesn't sell it, they don't eat it. Vending machines don't sell quiche.