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Comment Re:Surprised it could be done (Score 2) 34 34

The vast majority of deaths are caused by one species, though, Plasmodium falciparum . Infections from other species can cause serious illness but are rarely fatal.

However vaccines for any kind of parasite are difficult and only recently has real progress been made. As of this 1998 review there were no effective vaccines against any human parasite.

Comment Re:End of Mankind? (Score 1) 312 312

The Scandinavians are all very similar, but the Finns are historically distinct, more closely related to other eastern groups like the Karelians (nowadays in Russia) and Estonians. But a substantial portion of modern Finns are descended from other groups, mainly Swedes.

Comment Re:End of Mankind? (Score 2) 312 312

The sociological races can't be determined all that accurately with a few DNA sequences. It's more of a game of probabilities: certain sequences correlate highly with certain sociological races. Quite a few errors, though, in part because not everyone's self-identified race is actually the ethnic descent they think it is. For example, some people who believe themselves to be "ethnic Swedes" are actually of Finnish origin, and vice versa, but don't know their family history long enough back to know that. Also, many "white" people have some proportion of non-white heritage.

Comment Re:Old people are more susceptible to scams (Score 4, Insightful) 176 176

I'd also hypothesize just lack of familiarity with some of the common scams, due to not being involved in a community or social setting where you'd run across them and learn about them. I recognize typical internet scams because I grew up on the internet and spend a lot of time there. At a glance I can recognize a lot of scams and even tell you which ones they are (many have names). My parents have more difficulty detecting obvious internet scams, and when they do it usually takes them more effort. They have to actually think through what might be going on, what the motivations would be, etc., whereas I recognize them by pattern-matching.

Comment Re:leftie vs.rightie pitching (Score 1) 280 280

It's the other way around, all else being equal, right-handed pitching is generally better in baseball. Whereas left-handed batting is better. The reason is that batters tend to do better against a pitcher of the opposite handedness, since they have a better angle on the ball. And most players are right-handed, so it's generally better to pitch right and bat left. Left-handed pitchers do have some advantages, such as easier pick-off throws to first base, but the disadvantage of pitching mostly against opposite-handed batters.

Comment Re:Another .... (Score 1) 305 305

The original version of the "temporary worker program" was passed in 1952, and it's been continually revised over the years, in the direction of expanding it mostly. Some history here. The current version of the program dates to 1990, in legislation that was passed by a Democratic congress and signed by a Republican president.

But history aside, is there a meaningful partisan divide on this issue? My impression is that when it comes to actual legislative action, both parties have been mostly in favor of the program. There is opposition in both parties as well, in the Republicans mainly from the anti-immigration faction, and in the Democrats mainly from the union faction. But not enough opposition to do much about it.

Comment Re:even stopping it won't stop it. (Score 1) 305 305

Yeah, and the various tech companies wouldn't be spending so much effort on beating the drums about "tech worker shortage" either. If they could solve their problems by just moving to Romania or India they'd do so, rather than spending all this time trying to get bigger H1B quotas and more subsidies for STEM education.

Comment Re:Orbiting the moon (Score 1) 65 65

Yes, the first artificial satellite to be put into lunar orbit was the Soviet Luna 10 in 1966. There have since been a number of others, such as Japan's Selene, which orbited from 2007-2009 to do mapping and various such things. There are some oddities to low lunar orbits, though.

Comment Re:Unlikely (Score 5, Interesting) 270 270

I think a wholesale rewrite is unlikely, but I would guess that they are going to eventually do something about the GNU code they use. Apple doesn't like the GPLv3's patent clauses, so they have frozen all their imported GNU utilities at the latest GPLv2 version. Some of these are now getting quite old and not maintained upstream, so Apple has to handle even routine maintenance. They managed to transition off one big one by moving from gcc to clang/LLVM, but there is still a bunch of old GNU code shipped in the base system that I don't see them keeping forever. Now whether they rewrite it in Swift seems more questionable.

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