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Comment: Re:39/100 is the new passing grade. (Score 1) 170

Sounds an awful lot like that other "soft science", Economics. Some researchers are finally getting away from the 'revealed wisdom' of Friedman and company, and hopefully Chicago School Economics will soon end up in the dust bin of history with phrenology and vital humors.

Comment: Re:Erosion? (Score 1) 64

by cusco (#49589735) Attached to: If Earth Never Had Life, Continents Would Be Smaller

Your thought process still puzzles me. Erosion is an amazingly powerful force. It may be slow, but once the Appalachians were taller than the Himalayas, and there used to be a tall range of mountains in the middle of Africa where today there is only veld. Soft matter such as rotting roots erodes much faster than rocks, just ask any farmer. At the time scale of continent building the dinosaurs were around the day before yesterday.

Comment: Re:Pigments block light. News at 11! (Score 1) 393

by cusco (#49588377) Attached to: Tattoos Found To Interfere With Apple Watch Sensors

Optical sensors on most other smart watches don't have any problem, since they actually did some research and learned from other manufacturers that green LEDs are blocked. Some other colors seem fine, but a different sensor probably would have cost Apple an extra $0.45 per watch so they just ignored that inconvenient fact and assumed that the fanbois would buy it anyway. They're probably right.

Comment: Re:How about other watches/fitness trackers? (Score 1) 393

by cusco (#49588309) Attached to: Tattoos Found To Interfere With Apple Watch Sensors

It's the color of LED that they use in the sensors. This has been a known issue since the FitBit hit the market with green LEDs a couple of years ago. Other smart watch vendors, like Samsung, learned the lesson and used other colors so have no problem. Apple, being Apple, seems to have decided that they were somehow "pioneers" in this market and didn't bother to do any actual research on what works for existing devices.

Comment: Re:What is the obsession with tattoos... (Score 1) 393

by cusco (#49588259) Attached to: Tattoos Found To Interfere With Apple Watch Sensors

Was at a party one time where a skinhead was showing off his new eagle tat on his shaved head. When asked why he chose there he rather smugly said, "When I want to have kids and get a better job I can just grow my hair and no one will know." An acquaintance nearby started laughing hysterically, and when she calmed down enough to talk she said, "You idiot, both your grandfathers are bald and started losing their hair in their thirties. It's hereditary."

Comment: Re:Straitlaced Engineers (Score 1) 393

by cusco (#49587979) Attached to: Tattoos Found To Interfere With Apple Watch Sensors

Melanin is generally transparent to the frequencies used in these devices, so skin color doesn't make a difference. It's essentially the same technology as the little finger clamp they put on you in the hospital to measure pulse and blood oxygenation, and they work fine on people of all colors.

Comment: Re:I know what will happen... (Score 1) 55

by cusco (#49573125) Attached to: Researchers Mount Cyberattacks Against Surgery Robot

It depends on the cost of these things. If each robot is a gazillion dollars then yes, you're right, they'll only be used in the first world. If the price is intermediate then they may well be mounted in military helicopters and mobile facilities to do battlefield surgery beyond the capability of the corpsmen. If they are cheap (comparatively) then they will be widely deployed, never mind the network and security issues, in the Third World. In Peru, which I am most familiar with, the top surgeons tend to prefer to live in Lima or Arequipa, and if you need their services you need to travel there. Most other Third World countries are much the same. If I lived in Machu Picchu and needed heart surgery I would need to travel to Cusco, and then to Lima, three days of travel before I could even be examined. If I can go to Cusco and be examined and treated I would dramatically reduce the travel and expense necessary while still receiving decent care. Even more likely is that advanced medical students will be called in to perform large numbers of basic medical services, like dental treatment and cataract removal, in the smaller towns while still under the supervision of their instructors.

The greatest productive force is human selfishness. -- Robert Heinlein

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