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Comment: Re:OR-gan-leg-gers OR-gan-leg-gers... (Score 2) 209

by Theovon (#49146829) Attached to: Surgeon: First Human Head Transplant May Be Just Two Years Away

What if you don't like your head? Ugly people could have their brains transplanted into pretty people. Think of the potential for sex changes too! Then just as there's a market for stealing kidneys, there will arise a market for stealing whole bodies. You don't have to steal a rich person's digital identity. You can steal their WHOLE LIFE. Mind you, you'd have to study up really hard on every detail of their life and even learn to imitate their accent and speach patterns exactly, so their friends don't catch on. And then, with everyone knowing about the potential for this kind of identity theft, imagine someone undergoes a personality change due to illness -- everyone will assume their brain was replaced by an imposter, because most people are fucking clueless about mental illness.

Comment: Need nanobots first (Score 2) 209

by Theovon (#49146789) Attached to: Surgeon: First Human Head Transplant May Be Just Two Years Away

Your comment is probably the most insightful here.

Even with extreme optimism about neurplasticity and nerve cells sliced in the middle (not separated at the synapses but chopped like a stalk of celery) deciding to attach to other sliced neurons, the idea of taking one spinal cord and gluing it to another spinal cord and having ANYTHING line up right seems absurd to me. Talk about a registration problem! I suspect the only way to do it would be to be to perform microscopic surgery where tiny machines connect neurons one-by-one. Of course, even if we had that technology, there's a whole other problem of knowing which ones to connect to which, which probably doesn't have a real solution as you pointed out.

Comment: The allergy may not be to the peanuts themselves (Score 0) 240

by Theovon (#49122893) Attached to: Study: Peanut Consumption In Infancy Helps Prevent Peanut Allergy

There is something peculiar about peanuts in the US that seems to make them more allergenic. Peanut allergies occur less in other parts of the world. (Or so some people tell us anyhow.)

One hypothesis is that we just don't have enough parasites here. IgE immune response primarily targets parasites. Without them, it has nothing to do and starts attacking harmless things like food proteins and environmental allergens like pollen. Elsewhere in the world, those who would otherwise be allergic to peanuts are instead having their immune systems busy with the parasites.

Another hypothesis is that there's something growing on the peanuts here that people are actually reacting to, like a mold or fungus. In fact, that is a commonly offered explanation for corn allergies as well.

I don't know the status on GMO and peanuts, but some people seem to think that genetic modifications are correlated with higher rates of allergies. That's probably just noise in the data, assuming there IS any data.

Comment: Re:amazing (Score 2) 279

by Theovon (#49118203) Attached to: Intel Moving Forward With 10nm, Will Switch Away From Silicon For 7nm

I don't know if this'll apply to InGaAs, but for silicon, I did a projection based on ITRS numbers. As transistors shrink, they get faster. But at the same time, process variation gets worse, and that uncertainty requires wider safety margins. At what point does the increase in performance equal the increase in safety margin? 5nm.

It's unlikely that InGaAs will suffer less in terms of random dopant fluctuation and lithographic abberations, unless it's less damaged by UV, in which case at least the lithographic problems can be reduced a bit.

Comment: Redundancy is important in any language (Score 1) 411

by Theovon (#49033791) Attached to: Your Java Code Is Mostly Fluff, New Research Finds

In human language, redundancy is important for separating the signal form the noise. Esperanto, which has less redundancy than organic languages, is harder to understand in a noisy environment.

With programming languages, a lot of the redundancy is for things like meaningful identifier names and type safety. Hey, I've developed compact programming languages before. They're impossible to read and debug.

Comment: This is why I quit web programming (Score 4, Interesting) 83

A company as big as BMW should be able to hire some security experts, so this should be a bit embarrassing for them.

But the truth of the matter is, doing security is not easy. Take web programming, for instance. Back when I first learned PHP, I found over and over that whatever design or coding approach seemed most straightforward and intuitive was inherently unsecure. All sorts of escaping and manual insertion of encryption functions are required, and that clutters up the code to the point of making it hard to maintain. I did manage to implement most of it in a common PHP file that I reused over and over again, but there was a huge learning curve, and it was a pain. Since then, people tell me that it's gotten a LITTLE better. For instance, database wrappers generate the SQL queries for you and automatically escape strings. But for the most part, it still sucks.

If there were a single best book to read on cyber security, then perhaps we'd have fewer problems like what BMW had. But in reality, to get good at it, you have to have a vast familiarity with the literature and tools. You do that much reading, you might as well get a PhD. And my friends with PhDs focusing on security are in academia, not industry, so we get more security papers but not more secure devices.

Comment: Lego does not need our help with their trademarks! (Score 1) 93

by Theovon (#48997355) Attached to: LEGO Contraption Allows Scientists To Safely Handle Insects

My wife and I build things out of legos together all the time. Also, we let the kids participate. If anything is interfering with sex, it's the kids, not the legos.

And yes, I did say "legos" and not "LEGO bricks." I'm going to be contrarian on this point, because we don't need a bunch of pedantic slashdotters helping LEGO preserve their trademark. They can do that very well on their own, thanks. The rest of us have genericized it. Duplo blocks are legos. Megablocks are legos. Interlocking bricks that people make houses out of are legos. Sorry if for some reason you're a shill for the corporations and therefore don't like this.

Big corporations are not altruistic. They are sociopathic money-making machines. This includes Lego. And Apple. They don't need our love or support. If you like their products, buy them, but buyer always beware. These companies are not your friends.

Comment: Re:People just don't trust doctors; MDs don't list (Score 1) 297

by Theovon (#48997171) Attached to: Mississippi - the Nation's Leader In Vaccination Rates

In a lot of cases, SSRI's aren't going to work. Celiac disease, for instance, tends to be associated with leaky gut, where the mucosal lining is eroded, and the gut is more permiable. The mucosal lining is a major location where serotonin is stored. If your serotonin storage bank is nonfunctional, then there's not enough serotonin to selectively reuptake. Therefore, such people need to supplement it more or less directly by taking something like 5HTP. This converts to serotonin (and also permiates the blood-brain barrier better than tryptophan).

In case you find this informative, and you also need to supplement norepinephrine, consider tyrosine and dessicated bovine adrenal gland. Tyrosine is precursor to several neurotransmitters.

Comment: People just don't trust doctors; MDs don't listen (Score 3, Insightful) 297

by Theovon (#48989285) Attached to: Mississippi - the Nation's Leader In Vaccination Rates

I've found very few MDs who have any kind of listening skills. I've known some brilliant ones. But many of them are shills for the drug companies, pushing unnecessary drugs and just all-around being ineffective. We're told to revere doctors, but the reality is that MDs are not scientists -- they're technicians, and often not terribly skilled ones. These facts are not lost on their patents. People just don't trust doctors. Vaccines are just one more dubious thing that MDs push on us.

This distrust of the medical profession totally understandable, and you shouldn't call people morons for feeling this way. Most people are not scientists who can do their own research. Their only source of information is these doctors they don't like. If we want to fix the vaccination problem, we have to fix the doctors and get them to stop doing stupid things like prescribing antidepressants for autoimmune diseases. [*]

The science of vaccines is solid. As with anything, it's not entirely risk-free, but the risks are worth the benefits for protection against some serious diseases. It's also irresponsible to put other people at risk. IF (huge IF) there is any correlation with autism, that correlation is miniscule compared to the effects of the other shit we put in our bodies (horrible American diet, pollution, etc.). But people are much more willing to skip a vaccination appointment than not eat that Big Mac.

Incidentally, I heard recently something interesting about flu shots. If those who decide which viruses are being innoculated against predict them correctly, then flu shots work great. If, on the other hand, their predictions are too far off the mark, the flu shot may actually make you MORE vulnerable to viruses that they missed. Of course, you should verify this claim before deciding not to get a flu shot. This isn't a matter of effectiveness of vaccines but rather an issue of getting the right ones.

[*] In medical school doctors are expliclty taught that if someone comes in with a constellation of symptoms, especially if they have them written down, then that person is a hypochondriac. The thing is, auto-immune diseases are not exactly a 1-in-a-million phenomenon. Hashimoto's and Lupus are quite well understood. They come with constellations of symptoms, and they also come with brain fog, which basically forces people to write down their symptoms. My wife had to perform her own differential diagnosis based on the symptoms to determine (abductively) that Hashimoto's is the clear best explanation, but nevertheless, she had to fight with one of the few endocrinologists in the area just to get tested. Of course she tested positive, but even in the face of the evidence, this doctor still doesn't want to engage in any kind of treatment plan. Why? Because endocrinologists make all their money from pushing drugs on diabetics and have no interest in anything else.

Have you reconsidered a computer career?