Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Misleading Heading (Score 1) 157

by Scotland Tom (#35476170) Attached to: 41% of Facebook Users Willing To Divulge Personal Info
The heading, and a main talking point of TFA, suggest that, when asked, 41% of Facebook users will simply hand over personal information. But really what's shown is that about 44% of Facebook users will happily accept a random friend invitation and of those users more than 80% of them ALREADY HAD personal information posted on their profile. What does that tell us really?

It tells us that nearly all of the idiots on Facebook who are stupid enough to accept a friend invitation from a total stranger are ALSO stupid enough to post personal information in their profiles. Wow! 80+ percent of all Facebook idiots are really HUGE idiots! Amazing!

Comment: Re:You gotta compete on the global marketplace! (Score 1) 797

by Scotland Tom (#33551776) Attached to: GE Closes Last US Light Bulb Factory
I think you're confusing 'forcing' with 'enforcing'; as in, enforcing the law.

What's wrong with government telling us how to 'better manage' our energy resources? When government passes into law bills that essentially force one of this country's major employers to shut down some of their sizable manufacturing operations here in the U.S. and open new factories in China, thus robbing American citizens of jobs in the process, then I'd say the government screwed up; wouldn't you? That's not to mention that environmental standards for industry in China are severely lacking compared to the U.S. meaning that little to no environmental benefit has been attained. But oh... that's right... our government did it all with our 'best interests' in mind which makes it OK.

Comment: Risk Shmisk (Score 1) 177

by Scotland Tom (#29934989) Attached to: Disease May Prevent Manned Journey To Mars
Because humankind should never embark on a long journey when the threat of sickness (or hunger, or environmental dangers, or giant monsters) looms. Come on. If, as a species, we didn't take risks we'd either still be stuck in caves or dead.

NASA needs to get their heads out of their rear ends and stop dinking around with robots and probes and experiments that might possibly be useful sometime in the future when there's a plan. They need to set big, definitive goals to get mankind back on the moon and out to Mars and work towards those ends. Otherwise they might as well rename themselves the NAA and stop squandering taxpayer dollars on space all together.

Comment: Re:Obligatory Futurama Reference (Score 1) 97

by Scotland Tom (#29217339) Attached to: Drug Vending Machines
I had a feeling someone would beat me to this. Though the quote is, "Come on, man! Don't hold out on me like this!" And I'm not sure it's $1000 because in a later episode when everyone gets their $200 tax refunds the same guy says "No cheap crack houses for me no more!" and walks up to a crack mansion.

Me? A Futurama geek? Noooo...

Comment: Re:Violent Games vs. Marketing... (Score 1) 315

by Scotland Tom (#27564269) Attached to: When Politicians Tax Violent Video Games

Putting aside your obviously strong beliefs against any kind of violence for a moment...

Actually it looks like geekmux held up games like Full Spectrum Warrior as examples of games that portray combat in a semi-realistic manner as well as demonstrate situations of justifiable violence. He also pointed to the American Revolution as a war instrumental in creating the most successful and prosperous nation in history and World War II as a war that was necessary to bring about an end to the barbarism of Hitler and concentration camps such as those at Auschwitz.

It seems to me that geekmux was effectively utilizing the subtle art of sarcasm to illustrate his points that many games are respectful of violent conflicts, the reasons behind them, and that sometimes wartime violence is an unfortunate, yet necessary path to travel to put an end to things like tyranny, torture and mass murder.

Medicine

Believing In Medical Treatments That Don't Work 467

Posted by Soulskill
from the take-two-placebos-and-call-me-in-the-morning dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "David H. Newman, M.D. has an interesting article in the NY Times where he discusses common medical treatments that aren't supported by the best available evidence. For example, doctors have administered 'beta-blockers' for decades to heart attack victims, although studies show that the early administration of beta-blockers does not save lives; patients with ear infections are more likely to be harmed by antibiotics than helped — the infections typically recede within days regardless of treatment and the same is true for bronchitis, sinusitis, and sore throats; no cough remedies have ever been proven better than a placebo. Back surgeries to relieve pain are, in the majority of cases, no better than nonsurgical treatment, and knee surgery is no better than sham knee surgery where surgeons 'pretend' to do surgery while the patient is under light anesthesia. Newman says that treatment based on ideology is alluring, 'but the uncomfortable truth is that many expensive, invasive interventions are of little or no benefit and cause potentially uncomfortable, costly, and dangerous side effects and complications.' The Obama administration's plan for reform includes identifying health care measures that work and those that don't, and there are signs of hope for evidence-based medicine: earlier this year hospital administrators were informed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that beta-blocker treatment will be retired as a government indicator of quality care, beginning April 1, 2009. 'After years of advocacy that cemented immediate beta-blockers in the treatment protocols of virtually every hospital in the country,' writes Newman, 'the agency has demonstrated that minds can be changed.'"
Technology

LED Lighting As Cheap As CFLs Invented 553

Posted by Soulskill
from the bright-ideas dept.
mcgrew writes "New Scientist reports that a British team has overcome the obstacles to cheap LED lighting, and that LED lamps as cheap as CFLs will be on the market in five years. Quoting: 'Gallium nitride cannot be grown on silicon like other solid-state electronic components because it shrinks at twice the rate of silicon as it cools. Crystals of GaN must be grown at 1000C, so by the time a new LED made on silicon has cooled, it has already cracked, rendering the devices unusable. One solution is to grow the LEDs on sapphire, which shrinks and cools at much the same rate as GaN. But the expense is too great to be commercially competitive. Now Colin Humphreys's team at the University of Cambridge has discovered a simple solution to the shrinkage problem. They included layers of aluminium gallium nitride in their LED design... These LEDs can be grown on silicon as so many other electronics components are. ... A 15-centimetre silicon wafer costs just $15 and can accommodate 150,000 LEDs making the cost per unit tiny.'"

Comment: Absurd and Outrageous (Score 1) 931

by Scotland Tom (#26586263) Attached to: A Teacher Asking Students To Destroy Notes?
Absolutely absurd. I would've ripped my bag out of her hands and walked out of the class before I let her take anything of mine. If your instructor did in fact take and keep your binder - your propery - I would contact the department head (in a level-headed and calm manner), describe the situation and (if necessary) threaten to get the police involved. If that fails... go over the department head's... head... and get the police involved.

No instructor has the right to take and destroy any materials they didn't provide you with in the first place. You did the work, you wrote down the notes. Anything and everything that you created to assist your learning is your property.

Attempting to control the flow of information coming from that course in such a totalitarian manner is a fallacy anyway. Any instructor operating under the delusion that she can prevent her students from passing on information learned in her class lacks a grasp on reality.
Games

Dead Space Highlights Disparity Between Plot and Gameplay 87

Posted by Soulskill
from the this-is-bob-see-bob-kill-aliens dept.
Gamasutra is running an opinion piece praising recent horror-action game Dead Space for its pacing and gameplay while simultaneously criticizing the plot and the attempts to scare the player. Quoting: "What Dead Space is, is carefully and stylishly unoriginal. You'll love playing it, but when you aren't playing it, it's hard to say what's so great about it. It has some really great set pieces, some sweet effects, solid gameplay, an amazing interface and that's all. Anything and everything having to do with dialogue and story comes off as rote. ... You get the feeling the developer are trying very hard, though. When I see a dark shape in the distance, which turns and disappears, I don't get scared. I know he'll pop out of a vent later! Likewise, when I find a scientist who promptly slits her throat because of the horror, I just check for an item drop. None of the survivors ever surprise you and go hostile (which I think would have been a brilliant scare), so you never have to worry."
Earth

Machine Condenses Drinking Water Out of Thin Air 438

Posted by timothy
from the LED-bulbs-or-klieg-light-specials? dept.
longacre writes "A new $1,200 machine that uses the same amount of power as three light bulbs promises to condense drinkable water out of the air. On display at Wired Magazine's annual tech showcase, the WaterMill 'looks like a giant golf ball that has been chopped in half: it is about 3ft in diameter, made of white plastic, and is attached to the wall. It works by drawing air through filters to remove dust and particles, then cooling it to just below the temperature at which dew forms. The condensed water is passed through a self-sterilising chamber that uses microbe-busting UV light to eradicate any possibility of Legionnaires' disease or other infections. Finally, it is filtered and passed through a pipe to the owner's fridge or kitchen tap.'"

"Now here's something you're really going to like!" -- Rocket J. Squirrel

Working...