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Comment: Re:Only complaint about decaf (Score 1) 228

by Verdatum (#47866681) Attached to: DNA sequencing of coffee's best use:
They mention this on an episode of How It's Made (or possibly a similar show, I can't recall). When caffeine is extracted from coffee, the solvents are boiled away and the remaining caffeine citrate is sold to soda companies and caffeine pill manufacturers. Decaffeinating coffee is the primary source of pure caffeine these days.

back when I worked as a pharmacy tech, they had a rather large opened jar of pure caffeine citrate powder in the back. Apparently it was used to make a compound of some sort. I was frequently tempted to see what would happen if I just dumped a spoonful of it into my coffee. My sense of responsibility and common sense kept me from trying, and that's probably a good thing.

Comment: Re:Gamers are the Victims Here (Score 1) 1134

by Verdatum (#47838465) Attached to: Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture
People getting death and rape threats are victims. People having their home address posted publicly with encouragement to harass them are victims. That's what Zoe has had to deal with, and no matter what she's done, short of genocide, no one deserves this kind of treatment.

It is absolutely true that the game reviewing industry is a complete mess. But having to search a little harder for honest reviews for games does not compare.

Comment: Re:"Death to Gamers and Long Live Videogames" (Score 1) 1134

by Verdatum (#47838409) Attached to: Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture
The Reddit censoring was because people kept posting links with her home address. That's all that was to it. Admins have to delete that stuff. It is Reddit's #1 rule, and just makes good sense for legal reasons. If people are constantly making new accounts and throwing up links faster than they can delete them, then the only solution is lock the thread (all new comments get auto-deleted) or delete the entire post. Not understanding this, people took it to be evidence of some great conspiracy.

Comment: Re:Slashdot enjoying the clickbait... (Score 1) 1134

by Verdatum (#47838371) Attached to: Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture
The reddit deletions were happening because they locked the thread, but people continued posting to it as a joke to see how high the number would go. In reddit, when you lock a thread, all it really does is sets an automoderator to immediately delete all new comments. The admins locked the thread because too many people were posting links containing Zoe's address, which is in violation of Reddit's #1 rule.

Comment: Re:Zoe Quinn, wait what? (Score 1) 1134

by Verdatum (#47838343) Attached to: Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture
The people demonizing her are doing so by contacting her directly, and noting that they are going to rape her or kill her. Or posting her home address. Or posting her nude photographs in violation of copyright, or demonizing her in the comments of these articles, or on discussion boards. I've read lots of really vicious comments about what people think of her. And anyone who tries to defend her gets ridiculed as being a loser white knight, probably only defending her in hopes of hooking up with her.

Comment: Re:Zoe Quinn vs. Internet (Score 1) 1134

by Verdatum (#47838311) Attached to: Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture
All the deleting I saw was due to people spamming links that included Zoe's personal information, such as her home address. It wasn't a vast conspiracy, it was just attempts to protect privacy.

And the articles themselves might not have attacked her because she's a woman, but lots and lots of assholes were indeed attacking her in a misogynist manner; e.g. rape-threats.

Comment: Re:Loitering (Score 1) 197

by Verdatum (#46996243) Attached to: 7.1 Billion People, 7.1 Billion Mobile Phone Accounts Activated
I've never read a ToS carefully enough to know if it is in violation or not. Plus, ToS can vary by both provider and the laws in that country. Traditionally, these people are just dealing in cash. Though I suppose these days nothing particularly prevents someone from using a modern card reader, besides the fact that people in these areas are less likely to have a line or credit or a bank account. The street corner is usually public property, so permission is not exactly needed. And if a storefront or land owner hassles the person, they can always just move to the next corner. Doing business on public property might be illegal in that area, but, I guess bribes or keeping an eye out for law enforcement might be involved.

Comment: Re:The return of pay phones (Score 1) 197

by Verdatum (#46994401) Attached to: 7.1 Billion People, 7.1 Billion Mobile Phone Accounts Activated
Nothing in particular would prevent such a thing, but it would require specialty equipment that tends to be difficult to acquire unless you're a phone company, and even then, it requires a partnership with whoever owns the property you put it on. This doesn't require anything special, just a phone.

Comment: Re:They can go to 110% and beyond (Score 3, Informative) 197

by Verdatum (#46990515) Attached to: 7.1 Billion People, 7.1 Billion Mobile Phone Accounts Activated
I worked developing mobile telecom equipment for a company that mostly sells to undeveloped countries. This is sort of true in that undeveloped nations often don't have a land-line network in place, and it is far easier to set up a wireless network. So people are more likely to have a mobile phone than a stationary phone. However, impoverished people still don't have phones. It ends up being interesting because the standard Western usage models for phones don't work out at all. We can't calculate the number of available channels needed per subscriber the same way. Many mobile phones in these areas will be involved in active calls nearly 24 hours a day. The reason why is that people will buy a phone and account, and then hire people in shifts to stand on the street corner shouting out that they've got a phone. They then let people make calls for a markup.

Comment: Re:Retrieving memories causes decay? (Score 1) 426

I mean, if you'd like to switch to a completely argument, regarding peer reviewed articles on the concept of near-death experiences as evidence of the supernatural (and I'm not sure you are. Your wording confuses me some) Near death experiences exist, and there is nothing wrong with discussing them in peer reviewed publications. They don't provide evidence for supernatural phenomena though. Show me one of those "I was floating above the room" stories where they do something like win a game of win lose or draw while the patient is blindfolded in a double blind scenario, and I'll change my tune.

But this is just the off-topic discussion of the nature of skepticism. If the only "evidence" is a leap that can only be made sense of by the reader accepting an implicit intervention by supernatural forces, then you've not written a good paper. Or at least, as TFA's intro hints at, not one that is appropriate for the realm of science.

Comment: Re:Retrieving memories causes decay? (Score 1) 426

I completely see where you're coming from. But I'm afraid I pulled the analogies out of my nebulous ass. It's very likely that I heard the ant one elsewhere, and the cache one is just sorta obvious. If I did hear it, it was probably on one of those horrible overdigested shows that often fails to make a distinction between well reviewed science and psuedoscience statistical fallacy bullshit (e.g. Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman).

I constantly marvel at how much we can't verifiably prove we know about the nature of the brain. I'm optimistic we're going to learn things steadily, but compared to so many other things, good lord, we've got a long way to go.

Comment: Re:Retrieving memories causes decay? (Score 1) 426

A turing machine is computable, and it can always be predicted, it merely requires all of the exact same input that it receives. In other words, to mimic a "true" random number generator, you just need a copy of its entropy. It's computable because the turing machine computed it. This is what computable means, it's a very formal term in the theory of Computer Science.

The world is not octal despite DEC.