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Comment: Text file (Score 5, Interesting) 170

by Strange Attractor (#46801301) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Professional Journaling/Notes Software?

You are right.

I use simple text files. I like them more than paper notebooks because:
1. I can edit them from anywhere that I can use ssh
2. They are easy to search
3. They are easy to back up

The comments (including the parent) that suggest simple text files and editors have all been modded down to 0. I don't understand why.

Comment: Short lived greenhouse gases help persuade (Score 1) 102

If people let enough methane escape to change the climate, it would be a short term disaster and teaching opportunity. It seems better than releasing enough CO2 to get the same change in temperature, because with CO2 the the effect would last so much longer.

Comment: Re:Wide Dissemination vs LockBox (Score 1) 259

by Strange Attractor (#45624115) Attached to: Elsevier Going After Authors Sharing Their Own Papers

That would be good.

I don't understand why the faculty of universities haven't already done it. University faculty provide the labor to produce and publish the papers (printing is irrelevant now), then publishers sell/rent those papers to university libraries. Professional societies live off of that income, and the likes of Elsevier extort higher prices for less good. The expense is crippling the libraries.

Just writing about it gets me angry.

It is like politics, blaming Cruz or Elsevier misses the point. The blame lies with the voters and university faculty; their choices create the market incentives that rational agents serve.

Comment: Did DEC ever pay a dividend? (Score 1) 258

by Strange Attractor (#45252301) Attached to: Why Amazon Is Profitless Only By Choice

I used DEC computers from 1975 through the 1980's till I switched to SUNs. It was a great company that made great machines. While I used their machines, they had never paid a dividend because they believed they should use profits to grow the business. I don't know if they ever paid dividends. I wonder how DEC's IPO price compared to what COMPAQ paid for the company at the end.

Comment: Half MeV Beam (Score 1) 140

by Strange Attractor (#45090979) Attached to: Two-Laser Boron Fusion Lights the Way To Radiation-Free Energy

See the nice wikipedia article at

  Protons with a kinetic energy of about 500,000 electron volts have a good chance of producing 3 alpha particles with about 17 times as much energy when they hit a boron-11 nucleus. Unfortunately, a .5 MeV proton beam penetrating solid boron loses energy to electrons at about 100 times the rate that it produces energy via the induced fission. Thus you must move the electrons aside before you can start making money.

+ - FISA Court Will Release More Opinions Because Of Snowden->

Submitted by cold fjord
cold fjord (826450) writes "Looks like more evidence against being a rubber stamp. The Washington Post reports, "Citing the former NSA contractor, a federal judge has ordered the government to declassify more reports from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. In an opinion from the FISC itself, Judge F. Dennis Saylor on Friday told the White House to declassify all the legal opinions relating to Section 215 of the Patriot Act written after May 2011 that aren't already the subject of FOIA litigation. The court ruled (.pdf) that the White House must identify the opinions in question by Oct. 4. "The unauthorized disclosure of in June 2013 of a Section 215 order, and government statements in response to that disclosure, have engendered considerable public interest and debate about Section 215," wrote Saylor. "Publication of FISC opinions relating to this opinion would contribute to an informed debate." The ruling comes in response to a petition by the American Civil Liberties Union seeking greater government transparency. But because the ACLU already has a similar FOIA case pending in another court, Saylor wrote that the new FISC order can only cover documents that don't relate to that case.""
Link to Original Source

+ - Tooth Cavities May Protect Against Cancer

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "John Gever reports at MedPage Today that according to a new study conducted by researchers from the University of Buffalo, people with more cavities in their teeth are 32 percent less likely to suffer from head and neck cancers. "To our knowledge, the present study suggests, for the first time, an independent association between dental caries and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma." The researchers proposed a mechanism for the apparent protective effect: that cariogenic, lactic acid-producing bacteria prompt cell-mediated Th1 immune responses that suppress tumor formation. The team examined records of patients older than 21 seen in the university's dental and maxillofacial prosthetics department from 1999 to 2007, identifying 399 who were newly diagnosed with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Assuming that the association between caries and reduced cancer risk is real, the team suggests that one could regard the cariogenic bacteria as beneficial overall, with caries "a form of collateral damage." Therefore an appropriate strategy could be to target that effect specifically without aggressively targeting the bacteria. "Antimicrobial treatment, vaccination, or gene therapy against cariogenic bacteria may lead to more harm than good in the long run.""

One of the most overlooked advantages to computers is... If they do foul up, there's no law against whacking them around a little. -- Joe Martin