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Comment: Re:Of course they have no concerns, they don't tes (Score 2) 132

by ihop0 (#47185081) Attached to: Mad Cow Disease Blamed For Patient's Death In Texas
Does the US only slaughter 40,000 cows a year?

From your link:

'Additional concerns

In The Lancet (June 2006), a University College London team suggested that it may take more than 50 years for vCJD to develop, from their studies of kuru, a similar disease in Papua New Guinea.[59] The reasoning behind the claim is that kuru was possibly transmitted through cannibalism in Papua New Guinea when family members would eat the body of a dead relative as a sign of mourning. In the 1950s, cannibalism was banned in Papua New Guinea.[60]

In the late 20th century, however, kuru reached epidemic proportions in certain Papua New Guinean communities, therefore suggesting that vCJD may also have a similar incubation period of 20 to 50 years.'

Comment: Of course they have no concerns, they don't test. (Score 2) 132

by ihop0 (#47185015) Attached to: Mad Cow Disease Blamed For Patient's Death In Texas
'The Texas Department of State Health Services says there are no state public health concerns or threats associated with the case. State and federal health officials continue to investigate and are trying to track the source of the infection.'

It's easy to say there's no concerns when it can take 30yrs to manifest, is eerily similar to Alzheimer's, and can't be diagnosed without a brain biopsy, which is rarely done.

It'd raise the price of beef 1 cent per pound to test every cow slaughtered, but they obviously lobby tooth & nail against doing so.

Comment: Just buy the older dirtier plants (Score 1) 712

You know, if they did targeted purchases of older, dirtier plants and got them shut down, it'd probably have a decent effect for the given investment.

There are a bunch of dirty holdout plants that aren't upgrading, it seems like they'd be easy targets.

Comment: Burden of proof of safety should be on mfgers (Score 1) 794

by ihop0 (#46372503) Attached to: Whole Foods: America's Temple of Pseudoscience
Ignoring the homeopathy nonsense, "whole foods" as they're generally referred to have the benefit of proving themselves through selection over tens of thousands of years. They are the baseline that we're working from, and in general the burden of proof should be put on deviations from that baseline.

Yes, there's been selective breeding, etc. But with the scale & pace of change in food "science" in the last 50 years moving at an exponential pace, there's little in the way of evidence that extremely processed foods are anywhere near as nutritious as "whole" foods.

Instead, there's a ton of anecdotal evidence to the contrary. That food "scientists" don't have anywhere near as robust an understanding of what it healthy & nourishing, and that when they try to break foods down to their constituent chemical parts and build something else from scratch, you get Frankenstein foods that are at their core unhealthy and detrimental to those consuming them.

To call the machinations behind modern food processing a "science" is woefully misleading. There are enormous gaps in knowledge, and if natural foods have proven themselves over a larger order of magnitude of historical time, we should be applying much more rigorous standards to deviations from animal-food relationships that have evolved naturally or at a much slower pace.

And you get people saying, "why should we require GMO food to be labeled? Prove that it's harmful" you have to look at the unhealthy relationship between big agribusiness money and studies saying GMOs are safe. We thought Lead in paint & gasoline were safe, we thought asbestos was safe, we thought dioxins were safe to be used as pesticides & herbicides, we thought tobacco products were safe. Until people started developing horrendous diseases & birth defects, and we learned they weren't. And even then, the manufacturers of those products continued to fund studies & propaganda campaigns to the contrary.

Comment: It probably wouldn't save money (Score 1) 943

by ihop0 (#42148285) Attached to: Is It Time For the US To Ditch the Dollar Bill?
Planet Money did an analysis of the issue awhile back, and discovered that the habit of people to let coins collect in jars & drawers, while it would benefit the government, would alter the math and not end up saving us if we made the switch.



Comment: TurnItIn profits of others' Intellectual Property (Score 1) 306

by ihop0 (#37365388) Attached to: Turnitin's Different Messages To Students, Teachers
Teachers submit students' papers to turnitin, those papers are checked against their database of essays then added to the cache of essays to check future papers against. Given that they make people pay to increase their stockpile of documents to check against, I'm not surprised they're playing both sides. It's a pretty simple way to make easy money off other people's work.

Comment: Re:People use traffic congestion maps (Score 1) 422

by ihop0 (#35967384) Attached to: GPS Maker TomTom Submits Your Speed Data To Police
In bigger cities/metro areas, they'll use those cameras to keep tabs on traffic from a command center, but oftentimes the speed data is collected by antennas near the cameras that track the times that people with EZ-PASS/EZ-TAG/RFID toll passes go by each point.

Anonymized RFID data is analyzed to see how long it takes for a vehicle to move from one sampling point to the next, giving avg speed for each segment, and this data is aggregated to give average traffic speeds.

Comment: People use traffic congestion maps (Score 1) 422

by ihop0 (#35966184) Attached to: GPS Maker TomTom Submits Your Speed Data To Police
Where do they think the information on real time traffic speeds for various commuter routes comes from? People also complain about governments not addressing congestion issues at certain locations, this sort of data, along with average speeds is how municipalities make determinations on what sort of road construction to do "The sat-navs in TomTom's Live range all feature built-in 3G data cards, which feed location and route information back to a central server, which allows TomTom to create a map of congestion hotspots. It's now emerged that this data, however, along with a user's speed, is being made available to local governments and authorities."

Offline Book "Lending" Costs US Publishers Nearly $1 Trillion 494

Posted by Soulskill
from the oh-the-humanity dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from a tongue-in-cheek blog post which puts publisher worries about ebook piracy into perspective: "Hot on the heels of the story in Publisher's Weekly that 'publishers could be losing out on as much $3 billion to online book piracy' comes a sudden realization of a much larger threat to the viability of the book industry. Apparently, over 2 billion books were 'loaned' last year by a cabal of organizations found in nearly every American city and town. Using the same advanced projective mathematics used in the study cited by Publishers Weekly, Go To Hellman has computed that publishers could be losing sales opportunities totaling over $100 billion per year, losses which extend back to at least the year 2000. ... From what we've been able to piece together, the book 'lending' takes place in 'libraries.' On entering one of these dens, patrons may view a dazzling array of books, periodicals, even CDs and DVDs, all available to anyone willing to disclose valuable personal information in exchange for a 'card.' But there is an ominous silence pervading these ersatz sanctuaries, enforced by the stern demeanor of staff and the glares of other patrons. Although there's no admission charge and it doesn't cost anything to borrow a book, there's always the threat of an onerous overdue bill for the hapless borrower who forgets to continue the cycle of not paying for copyrighted material."

Big Dipper "Star" Actually a Sextuplet System 88

Posted by kdawson
from the toil-and-trouble dept.
Theosis sends word that an astronomer at the University of Rochester and his colleagues have made the surprise discovery that Alcor, one of the brightest stars in the Big Dipper, is actually two stars; and it is apparently gravitationally bound to the four-star Mizar system, making the whole group a sextuplet. This would make the Mizar-Alcor sextuplet the second-nearest such system known. The discovery is especially surprising because Alcor is one of the most studied stars in the sky. The Mizar-Alcor system has been involved in many "firsts" in the history of astronomy: "Benedetto Castelli, Galileo's protege and collaborator, first observed with a telescope that Mizar was not a single star in 1617, and Galileo observed it a week after hearing about this from Castelli, and noted it in his notebooks... Those two stars, called Mizar A and Mizar B, together with Alcor, in 1857 became the first binary stars ever photographed through a telescope. In 1890, Mizar A was discovered to itself be a binary, being the first binary to be discovered using spectroscopy. In 1908, spectroscopy revealed that Mizar B was also a pair of stars, making the group the first-known quintuple star system."

"Bureaucracy is the enemy of innovation." -- Mark Shepherd, former President and CEO of Texas Instruments