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Comment: Re: finds little... (Score 1) 268

by Samantha Wright (#47894289) Attached to: Massive Study Searching For Genes Behind Intelligence Finds Little

The genes they identified were all proteins.

I'm not that much of an expert on microarrays, but I'm pretty sure most or all of the arrays they used predate the Encode project's results that made people re-evaluate the question of how much of the genome is really important. Here is a list of the arrays they used:

Illumina: HumanHap550, 318K, 350K, 610K, 660W Quad, HumanOmniExpressExome-8 v1.0, Human610 Quadv1, 370, 317, HumanOmniExpress-12v1 A

Affymetrix: GeneChip 6.0, 250K

This study was the keystone project of a consortium founded in early 2011. I think, given the size, it simply took this long to get the results. That, too, was a time before Encode publications had really started impacting the world. Whatever RNA genes they would have had at the time would be pathetic and paltry by comparison to what we consider worth studying now.

Comment: Re: finds little... (Score 1) 268

by Samantha Wright (#47882365) Attached to: Massive Study Searching For Genes Behind Intelligence Finds Little
We know that the most important distinctions between humans and other animals are in RNA genes, that most of the genome is transcribed as RNA genes and that the brain modifies itself using them and that malfunctions in them cause disease. This study ignored RNA genes entirely, AFAICT. Its mindset is about ten years out of date and simply reaffirms what everyone already assumed: proteins aren't everything. Intelligence probably still has a significant genetic component, this study just looks in the wrong place. (Psst: SNP studies are snake oil in almost all unsolved diseases.)

Comment: Re: Unfamiliar (Score 2) 366

by csirac (#47881169) Attached to: The State of ZFS On Linux
For the same reasons your package manager bothers with shasums on the software you install even though the several network layers reaponsible for delivering it already faithfully checksummed each little packet as it flew past: the filesystem is the earliest and only point which knows exactly what files are supposed to actually look like in their entirety. That ZFS/BTRFS scrubs turn up errors on large pools with otherwise perfectly fine hardware means those block/packet level validations are at too low a level to make assurances for the higher level data structures using them.

Comment: Re: First (Score 1) 211

by Samantha Wright (#47872999) Attached to: Information Theory Places New Limits On Origin of Life
And then he created the arXiv, to guarantee that crackpots and armchair-surfing physicists would have a safe bunker from which to lob garbage at other scientific disciplines without ever having to step out from under the shade of their brethren. Until it's peer-reviewed, it's not newsworthy. For shame, Medium.

Comment: Re:No one cares enough to build a competitor. (Score 1) 47

by csirac (#47844451) Attached to: Should Docker Move To a Non-Profit Foundation?

Docker's transparent caching of RUN/ADD/etc Dockerfile steps has nothing to do with reusable containers. That "it takes less than a second [to] create a handful of [new] containers" is just as true for docker as it is for plain old LXC.

There are two sentences here but I'm not sure how they relate to each other, or the docker feature I'm discussing.

Comment: Re:No one cares enough to build a competitor. (Score 3, Interesting) 47

by csirac (#47843677) Attached to: Should Docker Move To a Non-Profit Foundation?

Before docker, as a (not necessarily web) developer I used vagrant to create reproducible environments and build artefacts from a very small set of files. The goal being: I should be able to git clone a very tiny repo tracking a few KiB of scripts and declartiive stuff/config, which - when run - pulls down dependencies, reproduces a build toolchain/environment, performs the build, and delivers substantially identical artefacts regardless of which machine I run it from. I should be able look at an artefact in 2-3 years time, look it up in our version history and reproduce it easily.

Achieving this isn't so easy. Even if I had been using LXC all along I still wouldn't have had the main thing from Dockerfiles that I enjoy: cached build steps. I've been cornered due to time pressures in the past where I can't afford to tweak everything nicely so I've had to release build artefacts from a process which isn't captured in the automation (i.e. I manually babysat the build to meet a requirement on time). This is because hour-long builds make for maybe 3-4 iterations per day, so you have one thread of work where you're hacking interactively while you wait to see if the automation was able to deliver the result you were up to an hour or two ago. I still have this to an extent with Docker (adjust build step and re-run, or step in interactively to explore what's needed) but because Dockerfile steps are cached these iterations are massively accelerated and there's only a handful of occasions where I had to bypass this process now.

I can't speak for using Docker to actually containerize running applications (that's not how I use it), but just this narrow usage of Docker has helped my productivity enormously.

Comment: Re:Could have fooled me (Score 3, Interesting) 221

by Samantha Wright (#47782351) Attached to: Canada Tops List of Most Science-Literate Countries

More fun statistics, from Wikipedia:

  • - Canada has 67% Christians and the United States has 73%
  • - 24% of Canadians and 20% of Americans declare no religious affiliation.
  • - Only 7% of Canadians are Evangelicals compared to the US's 30-35%.

...I was going somewhere with the Evangelicals stat, since they're generally the most fervent, but then I realised that there are plenty of insufferably stolid palaeoconservative Anglicans in the UK and it wasn't really a point worth making.

It really comes down to the fundamental collectivist-vs-individualist difference between the Canadian and American cultures, I think; despite Stephen Harper's best efforts to destroy the country, our charter of rights and freedoms was still a missive about how we were free from harassment by peers (thus sending the message "we are all siblings"), as contrasted with the American declaration of independence's emphasis on being free from harassment by authority (thus sending the message "you are free to do as you please"). Interestingly, a hundred years ago you would not really find this; Canada was just as much of a racist hellhole as the US at the time, although as there were practically no black people we could only complain about other European ethnicities. It was only as our population and economy fell behind, and we started accepting in huge numbers of immigrants following World War II, that this really started to take shape.

I'm sure the relatively weak levels of religious conviction help too (only 25% of Christians attend church regularly in Canada; above the rates of Northern Europe but far below the rate in the US) and that is doubtlessly a function of what flavour (can we call them 'distros' yet?) of Christianity is in question, too, since many Anglican ministers now preach actual biblical scholarship (my favourite quote, heavily paraphrased, is "Hell (as a threat) was invented in the Middle Ages") rather than what most think of as the typical naive system of "swallow-and-enjoy-your-life-textbook-with-no-critical-thinking" morality. Whatever the exact impact of each component is, it doesn't really jive with the idea of excluding us poor little minority atheists.

...except maybe in profoundly Catholic areas. I bet they care more in Newfoundland and Quebec. British Columbia is barely half Christian (54.9%) so you can bet they sure don't.

Comment: Re:I like... (Score 2) 643

by Samantha Wright (#47767495) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras
Everyone likes accountability when they have control over it. The cops would have control over the tapes, right? So they get to choose which parts to show and which parts to "inconveniently lose." Every other time this topic has come up on Slashdot, there's been quite a cynical kerfuffle about precisely this.

Comment: Re:My opinion on the matter. (Score 1) 826

by csirac (#47753003) Attached to: Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

There is *still* no alternative to keyscript in crypttab. Upgrading to systemd trashes a system that relies on smartcards or other hardware to obtain key material for mounting encrypted disks. I wouldn't be this upset, normally - you can imagine that this is just a normal teething problem - except I read through this thread where Lennart seems to doubt the very validity of the entire use-case... I had briefly contemplated seeing if I could contribute to this bug, but the insistence that we should all write C programs (unless you want your initrd to carry python or perl interpreters and all that baggage), for every possible permutation of every key delivery system devisable by admin-kind, made me give up and revert to sysvinit instead.

APL hackers do it in the quad.