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Comment: Re:X-Files vs. Bab-5 - ouch! (Score 1) 220

by Kjella (#48898523) Attached to: Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

ST:TNG worked better specifically because it was not serialized for the most part, and individual episodes were not building toward some specific thing that had to be modified and rewritten and adjusted every time the network messed with the show or cancelled it. It was also generally possible to enjoy episodes after having missed several, as for the most part there wasn't a lot of long-term backstory to need to be acquainted with just to follow the plot.

Yeah, Babylon 5 just didn't give a shit about casual viewers - there was only a very few episodes that had a recap of past event. The first time I was tipped about the series I saw an episode in the middle of the series and was just wondering who, what, why since there was absolutely no way to get into the series. It really wouldn't have hurt them to have a 30 second "Previously on Babylon 5" to give you the essentials.

Comment: Re:you can't boil this down to one variable (Score 1) 141

by Kjella (#48898075) Attached to: Doomsday Clock Moved Two Minutes Forward, To 23:57

Why? There's a hundred ways I could die in the next year, but there's no problem aggregating it so I don't see why the clock can't represent total risk. Besides, it's probably going to cascade anyway. If Russia pulls the trigger in Eastern Europe then NATO will get involved, China probably don't want NATO forces on their borders and at least somewhat back Russia and might decide the time is right to take back Taiwan and those Japanese islands and it all goes down hill from there. IS has openly stated their goal is to wage war on everyone until it's one caliphate. If shit hits the fan in the Middle East you know the US will back Israel which will drag NATO into it and the oil would bring everyone else. Same with North Korea, it could easily become a proxy war between China and the US that turns into a true war. I'm not exactly sure how an India-Pakistan war would escalate but an all-out war there already has 1.5 billion people involved. And that's just where it sparks, if you could guess that the rise of Hitler would lead to the attack on Pearl Harbor your crystal ball is good.

Remember, the world is a lot more connected than it used to be, with floods in Thailand the price of hard drives worldwide doubled. No matter where war breaks out it's going to have a lot of impact on US companies and US markets and there will be a lot more incentive to protect US economic interests around the globe than there used to be in the 1940s. Even when it's not cold war power plays it's going to be a lot harder to dismiss as not our problem.

Comment: Re:It also doesn't really matter (Score 1) 127

by Kjella (#48897631) Attached to: NVIDIA Responds To GTX 970 Memory Bug

Whether the GTX 970 has 3.5 or 4 GB effective it's still more than a standard GTX 780 Ti with 3 GB, so I'm guessing you have to run some rather extreme resolutions and AA modes to see a practical difference. In fact the latter will generally beat a 970 whether single vs single or SLI vs SLI at UHD (3840x2160) resolutions.

What I do know is that my 2x970 totally trashes a single GTX 980 at a 20% price premium as they do have 2x13/16 = 26/16 the shaders, both cards shut down the fans at idle so it's extremely quiet and even at full tilt both cards together pull just 2x145W = 290W. I'm kinda surprised nobody's done a single card version yet since it's still under the 300W ATX limit.

It runs games at 3840x2160 on a Samsung UD590 beautifully, even though it's a 1ms TN panel it's not for twitch gaming as it's 60 Hz on DisplayPort with no fancy sync options and 25ms input lag but it looks extremely good. And at monitor distances you can definitively see the upgrade over 1080p while the TV benefits are more dubious. There are better setups, but for being such a high-end system the price/performance was extremely good.

Comment: Re:Internet Explorer (Score 1) 93

by Kjella (#48896123) Attached to: In Addition To Project Spartan, Windows 10 Will Include Internet Explorer

Having been dredged into that market by no choice of my own, I can tell you this.: Picking a solution that works well in every browser is damn hard, even if you try. IE6 was the worst, but it did't look right in Safari either. I'm pretty sure Firefox and Opera was correct, but it doesn't really matter to th end user. You use an obscure client, it's your problem. It's only quite recently it's become their problem.

Comment: Re:Nope (Score 1) 273

by Kjella (#48896011) Attached to: UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

I have a 28" UHD monitor - the U28D590D if you want to be specific - and yes, you can tell the difference. That said, it was underwhelming to my eyes, I don't have the eyes to take full advantage of 4K. I think I could pick the 4K image in an A/B test, but not the 8K image. We're getting closer though, but I'm not sure it's meaningfully relevant. That is, would it matter if you got infinite resolution, infinite fps, infinite FPS? Or would it just be another failed atttempt.

Comment: Re:Other than the obligatory security theatre... (Score 1) 100

by Kjella (#48895913) Attached to: Bomb Threats Via Twitter Partly Shut Down Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport

If there's any indication that the craft is no longer under pilot control, then yes. Sorry if they might have reacted previously before 9/11, but at this point you'd better scramble and overpower the hijackers or be collateral. The dead people aren't exactly likely to give any testimony to the contrary, so the government's story that it was necessary will largely go unopposed. Except a few family members who "weren't there" and can't make a rational decision, of course.

Comment: OO is not a property of the language. (Score 1) 138

by TapeCutter (#48895439) Attached to: Bjarne Stroustrup Awarded 2015 Dahl-Nygaard Prize

C++ rewards good design but brutally punishes poor designs.

You hit the nail on the head, somewhere in the early 90's, language vendors stopped claiming "Our language supports OO concepts" and started claiming "Our language is OO".

The first C++ compiler I used professionally was Wacom's (circa 1991). Back then the Watcom C++ extensions were not part of the language, they were implemented with a bunch of C macros pulled in with include files, the macros themselves were riddled with goto (another macro) statements. I still have nightmares....

The fact is any general purpose language can be used to implement an OO design because OO is not about language features, it's a design methodology, or at least that's what I was taught when studying for my CS degree in the late 80's. As my smalltalk lecturer pointed out at the time, most of the examples in K&R's "The C language" are also great examples of OO design that were written long before the term OO was invented.

Disclaimer: These days I spend much more time tying spaghetti balls with different flavoured source together than I do trying to untangle the individual gordian knots.

Comment: (Score 2) 273

by Kjella (#48894277) Attached to: UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

Just because Intel releases a 100 MHz faster CPU you don't have to buy it, you know. And TVs get incremental upgrades, but honestly how many generations of mainstream media has there been? VHS (1973), DVD (1995), BluRay (2006) and this will be the fourth. Does it really kill you that something better comes along once a decade? Sure, marketers will always tell you that you need something new, that's not just in their job description that is their job description. I like the state of the art moving forward, what's so great about being a luddite? Yes, a lot of modern media suck but when you look at the parts of old media that didn't survive the test of time there was a lot of crap in the past too.

Comment: There's more to it than that (Score 3, Informative) 273

by Kjella (#48894133) Attached to: UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

The new spec also brings HFR (up to 60 fps, probably), wider colors (Rec. 2020), more accurate colors (10-bit seems to go mainstream) as well as double resolution. But hey yes, a BluRay looks pretty sweet already. In any case, it doesn't hurt unlike 3D that some - me included - just doesn't like. I just checked my local version of pricewatch and of 646 TV models for sale 102 now feature UHD. They even sell 40" UHD TVs for $500 now, which makes no sense at all and all this with Netflix being just about the only source of non-upscale UHD content. So I think it's beyond a doubt that mainstream TVs will go there eventually.

Besides, the trend is only bigger TVs. When I grew up we had a 20-something inch TV, now I have a 60" TV. When prices go down, sizes go up. It won't be quick and it's not urgent at all, but just like FullHD settled in - there were a lot of naysayers then too - UHD will too. It's not like SACD and DVD Audio where people listen on the go and want playlists, watching movies/series is still primarily a living room couch activity where you sit down to watch one for 40 mins - 3 hours.

Comment: Re:Linux (Score 1) 120

by Kjella (#48893879) Attached to: Linus Fixes Kernel Regression Breaking Witcher 2

It's worth mentioning, he also wouldn't flame someone for breaking the kernel like this. The time he did flame someone for a similar bug, it was because the developer not only broke userland, but also began to argue that he was correct to do so. That is when he got flamed.

This. Linus is quite clear that breaking userspace is a bug and they've already added a patch that would restore the functionality, while still blocking possible exploits - which was why they broke it in the first place otherwise they'd revert. It's tough love though, if you make a bad API - and we know that happens - you're stuck with it practically forever.

Comment: Re:Why would anyone buy something from those catal (Score 1) 63

by Kjella (#48892603) Attached to: Smartphones, Tablets and EBay Send SkyMall To Chapter 11

Why is there airport shopping, despite usually being more expensive than anywhere else except for tax-free? Because you have a trapped audience and once you got them wandering their store and find something they like many people will buy it right there. They won't make a note of it that they should check into buying one of those later. The time in the airport and the airplane seat is already a "sunk cost", spending my time shopping when I'm back on the ground is not. It's not cost efficient, but many have more money than time.

I used to travel a bit on an air plane due to work, the in-flight magazine was usually read cover-to-cover because well, there wasn't much else to do after finishing the newspaper. I don't think I'd read a mail order catalog like this seems to be though, but the "infomercial" travel stories, fashion/art items and such I think hit their target pretty well. I mean, it's not every day I read three pages about what's to see in Stockholm/Düsseldorf/Valencia but I know I have done so on the plane. And I'm not the one for buying overpriced crap, but it got me looking and a few times tempted because it was actually stylish.

These days, I'm on the phone. Went flying twice on Friday for a one-day meeting, didn't even consider looking in the seat pocket. Bring your own entertainment and for longer flights the in-flight entertainment system is actually getting pretty good. At least good enough to fill the dead time, which is exactly what companies like Skymall depended on. Which is why I'd love an autonomous car and don't understand the naysayers, spent 2+ hours today watching traffic. I honestly got better things to do, but since I'm driving I don't have a choice.

Comment: Re:Where is the line on other health aspects thoug (Score 1) 629

by Paul Fernhout (#48885947) Attached to: Should Disney Require Its Employees To Be Vaccinated?

I'd agree that reporter overgeneralizes at the end, and perhaps lazy of me to point to that summary vs. the original journal study. But that does not affect the validity of the Japanese study on vitamin D and the flu and kids.

Also, if studies show that vitamin D helps with "N. meningitis", then even if you take *only* conventional treatments, perhaps you should stay home too? :-) It is not either or in many cases.

This is a more realistic statement about that issue (notice use of the word "adjuvant" and "possibility"):
"Invasive pneumococcal disease, meningococcal disease, and group A streptococcal disease are more common when vitamin D levels are lowest (winter) [79-81] and all three bacteria are sensitive to AMP, [82-84] raising the possibility that pharmacological doses of vitamin D would be an effective adjuvant treatment. In fact, the dramatically increased production of AMPs by vitamin D and the broad spectrum of action of AMP make it reasonable to hypothesize that pharmacological doses of vitamin D are effective adjuvants in treating a large number of infections."

Comment: Re:Where is the line on other health aspects thoug (Score 0) 629

by Paul Fernhout (#48885667) Attached to: Should Disney Require Its Employees To Be Vaccinated?

Human health is a complex topic with many interwoven factors that interact with each other. In general, many people who catch many "diseases" don't show significant symptoms because their immune system deals with it and limits the scope of the spread. I was not easily able to find that information about measles from a few minutes of trying though. It seems a bit controversial... Maybe you know if off-hand?
"Risk Analysis for Measles Reintroduction After Global Certification of Eradication"
"Convention holds that asymptomatic measles infections are rare, but there is a significant body of published evidence of acute measles infection among people who are exposed to measles virus but who do not develop classic symptoms [3-5]."

When you boost your immune system, you make it more likely the spread will be contained. Even for measles, the degree of symptoms you show and how long they last is in general probably going to reflect your health state (and also genetics though), as suggested in a link a bit further below to a study from CDC researchers. Humans are exposed to all sorts of potentially problematical viruses and bacteria every day -- doctors especially. A healthy immune system shrugs most of them off (with some dangerous exceptions, especially like Ebola).

A study specific to measles and nutrition, from India:
"Interaction between nutrition and measles"
"Much has been written about the synergestic interaction and infection in turn adversely affects the nutritional status. Although this relationship is well documented with respect to bacterial infections, it is not clear whether nutrition can influence the incidence or course of viral diseases. Measles is one of the most common viral infections that occur during childhood. The interactions between measles and nutritional status acquire considerable importance in situations where as a result of inadequate food intake, chronic malnutrition is widespread among children."

"Undernutrition as an underlying cause of child deaths associated with diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria, and measles"
"Results: The RR of mortality because of low weight-for-age was elevated for each cause of death and for all-cause mortality. Overall, 52.5% of all deaths in young children were attributable to undernutrition, varying from 44.8% for deaths because of measles to 60.7% for deaths because of diarrhea.
Conclusion: A significant proportion of deaths in young children worldwide is attributable to low weight-for-age, and efforts to reduce malnutrition should be a policy priority."

So if 50% of the death rate is from obvious malnutrition, could at least some of the rest be from more subtle dietary issues?

In the USA from 2010, just to show how the USA is in theory increasingly at risk of an epidemic from malnutrition among children:
"According to a new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 17.4 million American families - almost 15 percent of U.S. households - are now "food insecure," an almost 30 percent increase since 2006. This means that, during any given month, they will be out of money, out of food, and forced to miss meals or seek assistance to feed themselves. Even those who get three meals a day may be malnourished. Americans increasingly eat cheap, sugary foods whose production is underwritten by government subsidies for the corn and dairy industries. As the New York Times reported this month, the USDA loudly promotes better eating habits while quietly working with Domino's to develop a new line of pizzas with 40 percent more cheese. [There are healthy fats though, including from cheese though! my note]"

Call "eating right" and getting good sleep and so on "hippy" stuff if you will , but this has been known for a long time, and it used to be a bigger focus of medicine more than a century ago. It's just not very profitable for mainstream medicine today to focus on such advice. But if we are going to ostracize up people who are not vaccinated, then the question I raised on drawing the line is, should we not also also ostracize anyone who eats the Standard American Diet and so on?

Consider the scale of the measles problem in the USA before vaccination:
"Measles Elimination in the United States" (from US CDC researchers)
"By the late 1950s, even before the introduction of measles vaccine, measles-related deaths and case fatality rates in the United States had decreased markedly, presumably as a result of improvement in health care and nutrition. From 1956 to 1960, an average of 450 measles-related deaths were reported each year (~1 death/ 1000 reported cases), compared with an average of 5300 measles-related deaths during 1912-1916 (26 deaths/ 1000 reported cases) [2]. Nevertheless, in the late 1950s, serious complications due to measles remained frequent and costly. As a result of measles virus infections, an average of 150,000 patients had respiratory complications and 4000 patients had encephalitis each year; the latter was associated with a high risk of neurological sequelae and death. These complications and others resulted in an estimated 48,000 persons with measles being hospitalized every year [3]."

So, by the CDC researcher's own admission, it is not true that "nothing else is" effective against measles. Those "hippy" :-) CDC researchers clearly said:, "[measles] fatality rates in the United States had decreased markedly, presumably as a result of improvement in health care and nutrition". One may question how much further that trend could go on its own, but it clearly suggests a relationship between better nutrition and less measles fatalities.

I'm not disputing the potential deadly consequences of measles in some small number of tragic instances -- especially when kids are in bad health to begin with including from eating the Standard American Diet and lots of sugar and refined grains and such, and especially when crowded together in stressful living condition and schools. And no doubt some perfectly well-nourished kids may till dies from measles for whatever reasons related to genetics or other factors.

However, even for measles, there may be evolutionary reasons why we have certain diseases, based on other benefits (even at some tragic costs) -- same as why sickle cell anemia exists as a side effect of resisting malaria. Here are a couple speculations in that direction -- building on medical research results.

Measles, for example, has recently been used to reverse cancer in one woman.
"Measles Virus Puts Woman's Cancer Into Remission"

Cancer used to be a much rarer disease... Connection? Probably weak, but still something to think about...

Or see the below for a study that might help explain why allergies are on the rise in the West if measles has been eradicated. This shows that the issue is a more complex one, with various tradeoffs. Have we perhaps traded hundreds of measles deaths a year among the least healthy kids (or maybe less, given our modern medical system and supportive care and anti-virals) as well as thousands of non-fatal hospitalizations instead for hundreds of food allergy deaths and *millions* of allergy cases across all US kids annually?

On the scale of allergies in the USA and food allergy deaths:
"Estimates say that in the United States, thousands of people visit the emergency room annually because of allergic reactions to food. Somewhere around 150 to 200 people die in the U.S. each year because of food allergies. It's estimated that around 50 percent to 62 percent of those fatal cases of anaphylaxis were caused by peanut allergies."

The study (which I'm speculating on a bit further, granted):
* Background
Epidemiological studies have led to speculation that infections in early childhood may prevent allergic sensitisation but evidence to support this hypothesis is lacking. We investigated whether measles infection protects against the development of atopy in children of Guinea-Bissau, West Africa.
* Methods
We conducted a historical cohort study in Bandim, a semi-rural district of Bissau, the capital of Guinea-Bissau. 395 young adults, first surveyed in 1978-80 aged 0-6 years, were followed up in 1994. Our analyses were restricted to 262 individuals still living in Bandim for whom a measles history, documented in childhood, was judged to be reliable. We defined atopy as skin-prick test positivity (â¥3 mm weal) to one or more of seven allergens.
* Findings
17 (12.8%) of 133 participants who had had measles infection were atopic compared with 33 (25.6%) of 129 of those who had been vaccinated and not had measles (odds ratio, adjusted for potential confounding variables 0.36 [95% Cl 0.17-0.78], p=0.01). Participants who had been breastfed for more than a year were less likely to have a positive skin test to housedust mite. After adjustment for breastfeeding and other variables, measles infection was associated with a large reduction in the risk of skin-prick test positivity to housedust mite (odds ratio for Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus 0.20 [0.05-0.81], p=0.02; D farinae 0.20 [0.06-0.71], p=0.01).

BTW, the Flexner report is when a big shift occurred in US medicine 100 years ago, for both good in some ways (more science-based advice to eliminate some really bad quackery) and ill in others (less doctors, less time with patients, less emphasis on centuries of indigenous folk wisdom about health including lifestyle, sunshine, herbs, sleep, local foods, etc.):
"The Flexner Report[1] is a book-length study of medical education in the United States and Canada, written by Abraham Flexner and published in 1910 under the aegis of the Carnegie Foundation. Many aspects of the present-day American medical profession stem from the Flexner Report and its aftermath. The Report (also called Carnegie Foundation Bulletin Number Four) called on American medical schools to enact higher admission and graduation standards, and to adhere strictly to the protocols of mainstream science in their teaching and research. Many American medical schools fell short of the standard advocated in the Flexner Report, and subsequent to its publication, nearly half of such schools merged or were closed outright. Colleges in electrotherapy were closed. The Report also concluded that there were too many medical schools in the USA, and that too many doctors were being trained. A repercussion of the Flexner Report, resulting from the closure or consolidation of university training, was reversion of American universities to male-only admittance programs to accommodate a smaller admission pool. ... The closure of these schools and the fact that black students were not admitted to many medical schools in the USA for 50 years after Flexner has contributed to the low numbers of American born physicians of color and the ramifications are still felt more than a 100 years later.[11]"

One other big thing that was lost was a focus on food and healing:
"Nutrition education in U.S. medical schools: latest update of a national survey."
"Respondents from 109 (86%) of the targeted medical schools completed some part of the survey. Most schools (103/109) required some form of nutrition education. Of the 105 schools answering questions about courses and contact hours, only 26 (25%) required a dedicated nutrition course; in 2004, 32 (30%) of 106 schools did. Overall, medical students received 19.6 contact hours of nutrition instruction during their medical school careers (range: 0-70 hours); the average in 2004 was 22.3 hours. Only 28 (27%) of the 105 schools met the minimum 25 required hours set by the National Academy of Sciences; in 2004, 40 (38%) of 104 schools did so."

The CDC researchers suggest above that nutrition and such cut back on measles deaths by more than a factor of 10. But nutrition remains unemphasized in US medical schools. Twenty-two hours average out of thousands? Next to nothing... And unlike a vaccine targeted at one specific disease, nutrition can help prevent and recover from a huge number of diseases. But, alas, there is little profit or prestige in just telling people to eat right -- and it puts people up against powerful financial interests. See for example:
"The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has posted an easy-to-understand visual on its site that shows which foods U.S. tax dollars go to support under the nation's farm bill. It's titled "Why Does a Salad Cost More Than a Big Mac?" and depicts two pyramids -- subsidized foods and the old recommended food pyramid. It's interesting to note that the two are almost inversely proportional to each other."

You want "safe and effective" for kids? Change those political and educational priorities... But sadly, that is not something one doctor trapped on a treadmill of seeing patients for ten minutes each can do on his or her own. So, the prescription pad and syringe is the only easy-seeming (and profitable) answer, the ones they have been trained to emphasize, and doctors turn to them and similar things. I'm not saying such things can't be useful -- just that there is a bigger picture people are only starting to reawaken to since Flexner went too far the other way.

However, no doubt alternatives have their own conflicts of interest:
"Passionate about health and wellness? Integrative Nutrition empowers you to launch an exciting new career and build a life you love. Discover over 100 different dietary theories and learn from the world's top nutrition experts. The one-year course is 100% online, giving you the flexibility to study from your computer, smartphone, or tablet when it's convenient for you. ... Learn how to launch a fulfilling new career as a Health Coach and make money doing work you love. We give you all the tools and step-by-step training you need to build your business and start seeing clients while you're still in school. ... We're not just a school; we're a movement! Our community is working to reverse the health crisis. Join over 50,000 students and grads in 122 countries around the world who are creating a health revolution."

So, we are seeing an end run around the century-old Flexner-report establishment...No doubt with its own issues...

"Being against torture ought to be sort of a bipartisan thing." -- Karl Lehenbauer