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Comment: Tested in mice only! (Score 5, Informative) 121

This is a neat idea, but not yet remotely ready to try in people. There were quite significant local infammatory reactions (big lumps!) in some of the mice tested.
There's probably ten years of work, and well north of $150 million dollars before the first human tests.
Good luck!

Comment: Re:Gentoo is the way (Score 1) 573

by astaines (#43265113) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: New To Linux; Which Distro?

Gentoo is good, but only if
1) you can follow instructions with religious fervour until you know what you are doing (i.e. go line by lein throught the install guide!)
2) First download and burn a rescue CD (gentoo itself will do) and make sure that it boots your hardware.
3) You don't mind spending about half an hour a week updating stuff - this is half an hour of your time, the PC will take several hours a week updating stuff.

Gentoo is much easier to use than it was five years ago, and you will learn a lot, but you have to want to. If you don't then try Debian or Ubuntu - which are also very fine distributions, but will not require you to learn a lot of stuff. Gentoo will.

Comment: Reverse causation or confounding (Score 1) 287

by astaines (#34187188) Attached to: Sex Drugs and Texting

This was a cross-sectional survey of schoolchildren. It tells you nothing about the direction of causation. Maybe using Facebook and texting a lot does indeed cause early sex, drug use and drinking. Maybe kids who use drugs, drink and have sex, use Facebook more to tell others about it,and text a lot to arrange their busy social lives. Most likely, kids who have sex, drink and drugs, have significant major issues in their lives already, and may be using texting and Facebook as alternative (or additional) coping strategies.

Nothing to see here, pass along please.

Comment: Reverse causation (Score 1) 287

by astaines (#34186982) Attached to: Sex Drugs and Texting

Kids who text all the time and live (sort of) on Facebook or Bebo may well be kids who already have problems. This study is a survey of schoolkids at point in time, and does not provide any data on whether early sex and drugs cause Facebook, Facebook causes early sex and drugs, or, most likely, both reflect existing issues facing the kids. Indeed texting and Facebook are likely better coping strategies than sex and drugs, though perhpas les immediately enjoyable.

Pass along please, nothing to see here.
 

Comment: Not perfect, but a start (Score 4, Interesting) 2044

by astaines (#31535258) Attached to: Health Care Reform

From our perspective (I'm a health policy person based in Europe), US health care is staggeringly expensive, very variable, and very unfair. It's the single biggest cause of personal bankruptcy in the States.

Your health is poor, overall, especially you have poor child health, and relatively poor maternal and infant health.

A large part of your population have no access to good quality health care, and this imposes large costs on your society.

Your major companies find high health care costs for staff a major burden, and this sharply reduces the competitiveness of good US employers.

You have the highest administrative costs for heath care that I know of, now running over 30%, and at current rates of increase, in thirty years you will be spending 100% of your GDP on health services.
At the top end, there is no better health care anywhere for acute illnesses, but very few people can access this.

The proposed changes are a start, and only a start. With no public option, there is a real risk that the insurance companies will continue to combine together to rip you off. However, the current proposals will save a lot of money over the next decade, which is why the insurance companies are spending millions buying ads, and influencing politicians to stop the change.

I hope it passes!

Databases

+ - Vectorised open-source database engine flies-> 1

Submitted by
astaines
astaines writes "E-week report that OS database outfit Ingres are working with the Netherlands based research institute CWI on a vectorised database engine, which will be released next year in an open source product. They have rewritten the database engine to operate on vector of data, and to carry out all computation on the CPU-Cache. For them, RAM is just a fast disk. They use compression techniques to keep the CPU core supplied with data over the limited bandwidth on modern motherboards!

To quote "studies that compare common computing tasks such as scientific calculation, multi-media authoring, games and databases have consistently shown that typical database engines do not benefit from new processor performance features such as SSE, out of order execution, chip multithreading and increasingly larger L2/L3 caches due to their large, complex legacy code structure."

They report a single crude benchmark, which Ingres 9 completes in 16 seconds, handwritten C++ completes in 0.04 seconds, and their engine completes in 0.2 seconds."

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