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Comment: Re:take care of yourself and you will look good (Score 4, Informative) 154 154

stay away from milk, sugar and gluten.

You were doing pretty well right up until you mentioned gluten. This near fanaticism with avoiding gluten is approaching the same level of thinking organic foods are more nutritious.

Gluten comes from certain grains. Despite this fact, I have seen products, including fruit itself, labeled as "gluten free" which do not use grain in their production. This article spells it out very nicely:

The researchers noted that many symptoms attributed to gluten may actually be caused by sensitivity to other components of wheat flour or other ingredients found in wheat-based foods like bread, pasta, and breakfast cereals.

Symptoms that have been attributed to gluten sensitivity include diarrhea, abdominal cramping, bloating, headaches, fatigue, and even those associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Di Sabatino and Corazza write that some people may experience these symptoms when they eat foods containing gluten simply because they believe these foods will make them sick.

They conclude that common sense must prevail to "prevent a gluten preoccupation from evolving into the conviction that gluten is toxic for most of the population."

Comment: Fun, But Useless (Score 3, Funny) 113 113

This is a fun device that can show you what can be done with 3D printed plastic. That said, it's useless. It would be really cool if I could apply 1 pound of force to the crank, turn it a Million times, and have it apply a Million pounds of rotational force at the other end. But it's made of plastic, so it won't do that. Indeed, the fast-rotating parts would wear out before the slow-rotating part made a single turn. So it's not even good as a kind of clock.

All that said, it's a good conversation piece, and probably worth the price for that.

Comment: Re:Therac 25 (Score 5, Insightful) 216 216

What happened is that people who used the system very day, day in and day out, became so fast at entering the machine settings the rate of UI events exceeded the ability of the custom monitor software written for the machine to respond correctly to them.

Which is still to some extent a UI issue.

But the literal "killer" is what happened next:
  1) The machine detected that it had screwed up.
  2) But the UI reported this by a cryptic error message: "MALFUNCTION nn" - where the 1 = nn = 64 error codes not only weren't explanatory, but weren't even included in the manual.
  3) And if the operator hit "P" (for "proceed") the machine would GO AHEAD AND OPERATE in the known-to-be-broken mode, giving the patient a fatal (high-power, not-swept-around) electrons rather than a 100x weaker flood of x-rays, with NO FURTHER INDICATION that something is still wrong (unless you count the patient sometimes screaming and running out of the room.)

If 2) and 3) aren't user interface problems, what is?

Comment: Re:Therac 25 (Score 2) 216 216

According to wikipedia, that had software problems that ended up killing people What's that got to do with UI changes and user experience?

The original post was about bad user interfaces causing harm to people. Changes breaking the user experience was only one of the issues.

In Therac's case the bug WAS primarily in the user interface:
  - Due to a race condition, if a button happened to be pressed at the wrong moment and the menu filled out in a particular order, the device would configure the electron beam for x-ray generation rather than electron beam generation (high electron beam current, no scanning) but not position the target, flattening filter, collimator, or ion-chamber x-ray sensor in the beamway, resulting in a configuration that irradiated the patient with beta radiation, rather than x-rays, at 100x a normal dose.)
  - The machine DID detect that there was a problem. But it reported it as "MALFUNCTION nn" - where nn was a number from 1 to 64 and not explained in the manual. If the operator entered "P" (proceed), it would then go ahead and operate in the improper mode anyhow.

Both the second part and most of the first part sound like user interface problem to me.

Comment: Re:Does this mean we don't need dark matter anymor (Score 2) 78 78

As far as I can tell, dark matter is just the modern equivalent of the cosmological constant - "I dunno, but if we fudge-factor in n it all works!"

Nope. Dark energy is that: we have a large-scale measurement we can't explain, but we have to call it something, and since it might not actually be constant, they didn't want to call it "cosmological constant".

Dark matter explains galactic rotation rates and lensing, and also predicted the CMBR data with some precision: the predictions of dark/familiar matter made from galactic rotation matched the observed ratio in the early universe measured by the CMBR probes.

Lots of black holes were among the MACHOs theories for dark matter, but the CMBR data confirmed the WIMPs theories had it right. We may not no much about these particles, but black holes, brown dwarfs, and so on are right out.

Comment: Projects on github should "git fetch" NOW! (Score 1) 94 94

Someone started uploading all the HackingTeam source code to GitHub ... There are also some signing keys for kernel drivers in here.


Anyone with a project hosted on git hub should pull a backup copy NOW!

Hosting this leak on git hub could lead to moves by authorities to contain it - which could have the side effect of making GitHub and/or some projects on it unavailable - temporarily or permanently.

Better safe than sorry.

Comment: Also driver and closed-device rooting projects? (Score 1) 94 94

... will this help bona fide security researchers with their work on fighting exploits on all platforms ... ?

I wonder if this will also help people trying to write open software for closed devices? Signing keys, driver sources with spyware installed, ... Not only does it expose the malware bypassing the user's security, it may also expose the internal details of how the devices are driven and/or how to compromise the malware's and devices' anti-user "security".

(I have often wondered how many of the closed-driver devices have the code closed just for business reasons and how many are closed because that's where the spyware has been installed and they can't let the source out - even sanitized - because that would lead to the spyware's exposure.)

Comment: Re:Hidden Blackholes (Score 1) 78 78

There's no difference between "area where time moves slower" and "gravity well" in general relativity, which shows great robustness as theories go. "Time moves faster" (or a large anti-gravity well) wouldn't cause the lensing we see.

Anyhow, dark matter explains the CMBR data and galaxy rotation rates and lensing, which is pretty good. Any alternative proposal would need to explain all three.

Comment: Re:Your biggest screw up (Score 0) 405 405

Hypocrite much? Or was I whooshed?

It's impossible to tell the difference between the most crazy hyperbole and sincere SJWs these days. That's what makes the Reddit game "Stormfront or SJW" so much fun! We're beyond Poe's law now to some surreal place through the looking glass.

Comment: Also to try to head off "the common man". (Score 1) 385 385

The goal is to intimidate the makers of such designs. Arrest first and ask questions later, when such designs get out.

It's also to make it harder for "the common man" to arm himself - in case a Schelling Point is reached and a LOT of people suddenly decide that they need to arm themselves against the government or its puppeteers. By slowing them down, and reducing the number and quality of designs available, the powers that be have more time to react and try to divide and reconquer.

Of course intimidating designers is a big part of that.

Comment: Which is why OpenBSD is hosted in Canada (Score 1) 385 385

This is not the first time they did this. In fact it has quite an interesting history in cryptography that was classified as a munition for just this reason.

Which is why OpenBSD is hosted from outside the US. (It's NOT just that Theo happens to live in Canada.)

Comment: Re:Links to the actual study? (Score 1) 290 290

You jest, but the real truth has shown what really decided the HD format wars - money. And lots of it. The better part of a billion dollars paid out by Sony to the studio.

You shouldn't forget that Toshiba was paying (or trying to pay) studios to switch to HD DVD. The Warner defection effectively ended the format war because Toshiba thought it had a deal where they would pay $100 million to Warner and $120 to Fox and they would both switch to HD-DVD exclusively. That deal would probably have fatally wounded Blu-Ray. However, you should know that after a slow start (plague by higher prices and hardware and software defects), by late 2007, Blu-Ray disks were outselling HD-DVD disks 2 to 1 overall. So it was Toshiba who needed to pull off a major victory and that's why they were offering money to both Fox and Warner to go exclusively HD-DVD.

To understand why things shook out as they did you have to understand that Warner probably didn't care which format won as long as one of them did. They were losing money because DVD sales were dropping but most customers were waiting to see which HD format would win. Warner, as the studio with the largest library of titles, figured it was losing the most money from the format war. I think when they evaluated the choices, they could see that going to HD-DVD wasn't going to end the format war, it was going to prolong it. That why they specified that Toshiba had to convince another major studio to defect. Warner wanted an immediate decisive victory. So, when the Fox deal fell through, Warner made their decision. So while they certainly took the money from Sony, they it wasn't the money from Sony that made them choose. And it's reasonably to believe them because 400 million is not that much compared to their estimated yearly profits (billions instead of millions) from their back library sales once the format war was over.

So, your narrative isn't entirely correct, the deal ended the format war decisively because Blu Ray was already winning, this back-room deal ended it in the direction it was already heading. That's not say that Sony wasn't desperate to win, but both sides were throwing money around and Sony was already winning.

Comment: Re:BS (Score 1) 382 382

Greece can even service the current debts if they are allowed to borrow at lower rates. That's essentially what the 'bailout' was - the ability to borrow at lower costs to re-finance the debts. Even simply extending the bailout program without imposing new austerity would have been enough to let Greece recover.

And if we continue an analogy with a household, right now Greece has a steady job with enough income to cover the expenses for a fairly well-off lifestyle. However, it has also a crippling underwater mortgage. For a household the simplest way out of this would be a bankruptcy and a new start.

But OK, suppose that we put the interests of the Holy German Empire on the front. The problem is, austerity actually HURTS the creditors by undermining Greek economy. There's really no reasons for austerity except for sadism of Merkel.

There is very little future in being right when your boss is wrong.