Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Poor Choice of Metric in Summary (Score 1) 224

by careysub (#49116671) Attached to: 100 Years of Chemical Weapons

It greatly underrates the significance of poison gas in WWI so summarize is as "Even though poison gas didn't end up becoming an efficient killing weapon on WWI battlefields...".

The most effective agents available in WWI were an extremely efficient in causing casualties, that is, putting men out of action, with crippling injuries in many cases.

Just one chemical agent, mustard gas, caused 14% of all British battle casualties, despite being introduced late in the war, and not being available on the scale that the German's wished to use it. One a shell-for-shell basis it was 6 times as effective as high explosives in putting men out of action.

Comment: Re:Vitamin Testing (Score 1) 958

by careysub (#49076507) Attached to: Science's Biggest Failure: Everything About Diet and Fitness

You omit that adding vitamins to flour is routine in modern countries - this was how nutrient deficiencies in rural areas were wiped out. The modern diet has even more vitamins than traditional ones, due to routine supplementation, which contributes to the fact that except possibly for vitamin D nearly everyone gets adequate vitamin intake.

Comment: Re:Mod parent up. (Score 1) 958

by careysub (#49076403) Attached to: Science's Biggest Failure: Everything About Diet and Fitness

actually they aren't "vegan-friendly"

They're made with refined sugar, which is processed with charcoal made from animal bones (bone char... google it)

**disclaimer... not vegan due to dietary requirements and genetic syndromes. But Buddhist and an active animal rights supporter**

Then by all means you should avoid sugar made 75 years ago, when "bone char" was commonly used. Modern activated carbon, used in modern sugar plants, would be exceedingly unlikely to use that as a carbon source: plant wastes and petroleum residues are the rule today, and the most modern sugar plants use ion exchange resins for purification and no carbon filtering at all.

Comment: Re: "Energy Balance" an overly simplistic view (Score 1) 958

by careysub (#49075753) Attached to: Science's Biggest Failure: Everything About Diet and Fitness

Nutrition labels include fiber as carbohydrate when doing the calorie calculation. Check some labels for yourself (kCal per gram for carbohydrates and proteins is 4, fats are 9). In actuality the average effective calorie content for a gram of fiber is more like 1.5, so you are getting a little bit of a dieting bonus when going by the label when eating high fiber food. But not many Americans eat more than 20 g of fiber a day, so the daily difference is rarely larger than 50 kCal.

Comment: Re:uh... (Score 4, Interesting) 215

by careysub (#49013969) Attached to: Silk Road Drug Dealer Pleads Guilty After Federal Sting

Right, because legalizing something instantly removes the criminal aspect. Look at Colorado. Legalized marijuana and the Mexican gangs are moving in to supply cheaper product.

Citation please? I did some Googling to confirm this claim, but found nothing supporting it. The claim itself is odd, how is there more money to be made in a legal regulated market?

I did find this however. The story asserts that Mexican gangs are getting involved in the Colorado pot business for money laundering since it is a cash only business. In other words, they aren't really selling pot, only pretending to do so to legalize money from other sources.

And why is Colorado pot a cash only business? Because Federal pressure prevents them from using the same payment processing and banking systems other legal businesses use. Banks and payment processors won't take their money or the Feds will drop the hammer on them. In other words, the Federal government is creating this business opportunity by prohibiting normal business practice. If you prohibited any other business from using banks, forcing them to be cash only, the same thing would happen.

Comment: Re:that's a theory. Tx technology before shale (Score 4, Insightful) 484

by careysub (#48819841) Attached to: IEEE: New H-1B Bill Will "Help Destroy" US Tech Workforce

That article expresses one theory. Of course it doesn't mention the fact that the economy in Texas has been besting the national average since long before the shale boom. Since right about time we started electing Republican governors, of turns out.

But saying it doesn't make it so. You cite no metric, or evidence, or source to support - or even clearly define - your claim.

Lets take a look to see if this is real, or good old Texas bragging.

Since the current Republican hold on the governorship began with Bush in 1995, lets look at an actual chart of Texas relative performance. What we see is that the ratio of the Texas per capital GDP to that of the overall U.S. sank after 1997 (it did worse than the rest of the nation) and did not recover to its same relative economic performance until 2010, with the recovery occurring after 2006 --- or just at the time oil shale arrested Texas's declining oil production.

So no, your claim is a fantasy.

I charted the data and like looked anxiously to see which party had better economic growth. It turned out that both parties had years of high growth and low, all over the place. The chart made one thing very obvious, though. Economic growth had ALWAYS improved under every Republican administration, and always got worse under every Democrat administration's budgets. No exceptions.

My, my, my. What a nice little story. Full of angst, with a surprise, and to you, heart-warming ending.

It is a shame we have only your word that you didn't just, you know, make this all up. You cite no specific figures for any administration, or overall figures, that could be easily checked to see if you did any of the math correctly. I guess you figured that everyone would have to perform (I won't say "replicate") the whole analysis to check to see if you aren't just blowing smoke.

Problem is, lots of other people have done this exact same analysis, and consistently come to the opposite conclusion. Just try Googling it. Look for example at the Conservative British economics journal The Economist. Their analysis is interesting because they find it embarrassing to admit and look for ways to turn a silk purse into a pig's ear.

Comment: Re:Does it really matter now? (Score 1) 187

Well, Pythagorean theorem was discovered* in Greece by the Greek... Pythagora! (* provided the first recorded proof, so...)

Except for the fact that there is no recorded proof by Pythagoras, and indeed no evidence at all that he had one. What we have is simply a statement of the relationship - which was known to the Egyptians and Babylonians a millenia or two before.

As Manjul Bhargava observes (you did read TFA, didn't you?) if surviving recorded proof is the standard then the theorem is Chinese.

In no standard of evidence does Pythagoras get priority.

Comment: Re:What exactly do you mean by "Fraud"? (Score 1) 786

by careysub (#48787213) Attached to: Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science

It isn't corroborated by reality since global average temperatures have not followed the predictions of that model.

Mann wasn't working on "a model". He was analyzing historical data of what has actually happened , and that work has been amply corroborated, and a lot of additional supporting data has since been uncovered by research.

Thanks for showing that you have no idea what you are talking about.

Comment: Ancient India DID Discover the Pythagorean Theorem (Score 1) 381

Seriously - this is not in dispute in any way. A statement of the theorem and proofs appear in both the Baudhayana Sulba Sutra and the Apastamba Sulba Sutra, and this has been known in the West for a couple of centuries at least.

Whether Indians discovered it before Pythagoras is a different question, and the answer seems to be "most likely". The dating of the authorship of the aforementioned sutras is uncertain - the latest dates offered are after Pythagoras, but earlier dates (which seem stronger) push it one to three centuries before Pythagoras.

I am surprised to see this being held up to ridicule here.

Comment: Re:Quebec Language Police (Score 1) 578

by careysub (#48732001) Attached to: What Language Will the World Speak In 2115?

Icelandic is a North Germanic language. English is a West Germanic language (whose root is confusingingly called "North Sea Germanic")) with significant influence from Old Norman and a lot of minor influences). Both of their main roots, however, are Proto-Germanic.

I think it's pretty obvious that the French aren't re-coining the imported technical terms based on roots in a manner that just happens to sound essentially identical to the English. They're just simply taking the English terms and making minor spelling adjustments.


Although English is a Germanic language something like 3/4 of its vocabulary is Romance in origin, either borrowed from French or coined from Latin (in the case of many modern scientific terms).

The word "telephone" was coined in French, and English borrowed it. You are painting with far too broad a brush.

Comment: Re:something new. (Score 1) 578

by careysub (#48731929) Attached to: What Language Will the World Speak In 2115?


Keep in mind that English accents in actual Britain are already more diverse then several language groups. In fact one of them has been promoted a language. When my grandmother grew up in Arbroath in the 20s and 30s everyone in the County spoke English with a pronounced Scots accent. Now they speak the Scots language.

"Already"? Methinks you are reversing the history of English in Britain.

The diversity of dialects in Britain are of ancient origin. 1200 years ago, when they were still speaking Old English (a different language from Modern English for certain) there were major regional variations - particularly between southern England and the north (Northumbria and lowland Scotland).

When Old English evolved into Middle English, a new language, the Middle English spoken in the north was quite different from that spoken in the south, and as Modern English developed was well on its way to splitting off into a separate language. The Act of Union with England in 1707 put a stop to that, and from that time on (actually the process started earlier, aided by the printing press) the divergence between Scots English, and the English of southern England became steadily less divergent.

You are observing ancient linguistic divisions that are in the process of vanishing, not new divisions that are emerging.

If the Scots dialect has replaced Standard English (as it is known) in Arbroath in recent years it is the conscious revival of a dying dialect, not the development of "new language".

Also about the claim that dialects (not accents) in England are more diverse that several language groups... well, [citation needed].

Comment: Re:Notorious? (Score 1) 104

Canopus belongs to the Carina constellation, notorious for two things

I do not think that means what you think it means.
Definition 2: publicly or generally known, as for a particular trait

I think it does mean what the summary writer thought it meant. (I know correct summaries are a surprise here.)

Comment: Re:wtf (Score 2) 104

I submit that Triangulum, the triangle, does indeed look exactly like a triangle. So that makes at least two. The image of Orion, the hunter, is also very easy to visualize.

I do not know what you are talking about regarding the "name change" of the constellation Scorpius, it has been called that for all of the modern era. Are you confusing it with the astrological sign Scorpio?

I found it odd that the writer asserted that the only thing she missed from the Northern sky was the Big Dipper. She is also missing one of the most spectacular sights in the sky, M31 (the Andromeda galaxy), and also M33 (the Triangulum galaxy) - not as spectacular, but still the third largest galaxy in the Local Group to which we belong.

Comment: False Summary - Haigh Agrees with Knuth's Thesis (Score 5, Informative) 149

Which is: there are no good technical histories of computer science.

Read TFA - he spends the majority of the article explaining in detail why Knuth is right - that there are indeed no good technical histories of computer science, and little prospect of any.

Where Haigh takes issue with Knuth is in arguing that the histories of computers and software, which are not technical histories, are nonetheless valuable in their own right, and thus Knuth's dismay at their publication is misplaced. But he otherwise agrees with Knuth has to say.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (10) Sorry, but that's too useful.