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Comment: Snake oil? Perhaps not quite (Score 1) 104

Harvard scientists have invented a new artificial spleen that is able to clear toxins, fungi and deadly pathogens such as Ebola from human blood

The what? I would have expected that to be all over the news, if it was actually something as momentuous as it is presented. Looking at the fact that this has been accepted in Nature after peer review would suggest that it isn't complete nonsense, however, and the abstract makes sense in a way. I suspect this is about coating very small, magnetic particles with antibodies; these will likely be specific to the pathogen, but the strategy is to let the antibodies bind to pathogens and then use magnets to ectract them. Sounds like something that could work.

Comment: Re:Sounds challenging. (Score 1) 35

by jandersen (#47915411) Attached to: European Space Agency Picks Site For First Comet Landing In November

But classical gravity varies with the inverse square of the separation, and half of a sphere will be more separated than the other half - hence the tidal force experienced by an orbiting satelite. This effect will only vanish if the two bodies are moving on a straight line through the two centres of gravity of each.

Comment: Re:Sounds challenging. (Score 2) 35

by jandersen (#47909385) Attached to: European Space Agency Picks Site For First Comet Landing In November

It would be very strange indeed to find an object in space that doesn't rotate at all - any external influence on an irregularly shaped object is likely to result in a change in rotation. In fact, it holds true even for a spherical object in a gravitational field, since that field will vary over the diameter of the object.

Comment: Re:It's not your phone (Score 5, Insightful) 595

There may all sorts of good reasons for why it has happened and why it isn't an evil conspiracy to pollute the minds of young people, but it misses the point, really.

Happily, I don't own a smartphone, but I think I would have been rather annoyed too. It's like being spammed or getting a huge wad of unwanted advertising in garish colours through the door - it's something you never asked for and wouldn't have wanted if you had been asked, it's simply inflicted on you and you now have to do something to get rid of the useless crap. At the root of this lies the feeling that you're not being given a choice, because your opinion doesn't matter, and whoever makes the decisions thinks you are just a mindless automaton who will go out and spend money on whatever the loudest advert tells you.

In the end, it's about respect: you show respect to earn respect. But if producers of eg. music don't respect their potential customers, why should people respect them back? Particularly, why respect the copyright they claim ownership of? I don't condone piracy, but I do understand where it comes from.

Comment: Re: (Score 1) 530

by jandersen (#47906523) Attached to: Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

Full blown communism requires tyrants

Full blown anything requires tyrants.

Communism isn't the same thing as "whatever some regime calls Communism"; just like Christianity or Islam or Capitalism isn't defined by what they are being used for. Just look back at the horrifying atrocities committed in the name of Christ throughout history; or look at what is called Capitalism in the US today. Is Capitalism really about huge corporations monopolizing the marketplace, buying political influence and bullying anybody who tries to threaten them? Of course not - capitalism at its best is a force for good, because it gives people an incentive to improve their lives, and in the process improving society. In the same way, communism seeks to improve society by sharing resources and caring for everybody. Both principles are necesary, and no society is good if there isn't a good balance between the two.

Comment: Re:define "customer" (Score 1) 287

by jandersen (#47888411) Attached to: German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

here, there's no payment involved, therefore there is no contract of sale.

Not true - what happens is a 'payment in kind': the customers pay with their use of Google, and by allowing Google to use their data (emails etc), which is why Google is a business, not a charity. Read about it on Wikipedia:

Another tip: you can improve the legibility of your postings by using upper case at the beginning of sentences.

Comment: Re:Easy solution (Score 1) 347

by jandersen (#47878461) Attached to: When Scientists Give Up

I wouldn't be surprised to see countries such as BRIC members, EU members, or other countries start trying to woo the best and brightest for economic gains.

You mean like in the European Commission's research projects into things like graphene and the human brain? Europe are investing massively in research, and so are China, who are on a wild shopping spree for hi-tech companies, not least in UK. If they haven't already, they will pass the US so fast, you won't even know it.

Comment: Re:abattoir == slaughterhouse (Score 2) 28

by jandersen (#47878435) Attached to: Hidden Archeology of Stonehenge Revealed In New Geophysical Map

Britain is full of savages, who also happen to be Muslims, only they don't call them that, they call them "Asian militants".

It takes two to tango, matey. While I in no way condone extremism, whether they hide behind 'Islam' or 'Christianity' (or your variant of 'morality', whatever that is), there's always at least two sides to a conflict. Comments like yours only serve to stoke the fires and making it more difficult to find a solution. If we want to solve the problems, we need to find common ground with those Muslims who are just as sick and tired as us of the continued problems - how can we do that, if we constantly isult each other over petty differences?

Comment: Re:Wrong Title (Score 1) 499

..."have you ever belonged to an organization dedicated to the violent overthrow of the US government"...

Let me guess - she was young and American during the sixties, seventies or eighties? It would be surprising in those circumstances to be talented and NOT dedicated to the overthrow of the US government. Have you never been young? I would have thought nowadays, with what we know, that parent would be worried if their teenagers did not go through a phase of wanting to overthrow the establishment. It is part of growing up and something that most of us mature away from.

The best possible excuse is that she's just pathologically oblivious, not that the OPM has trumped up charges out of nowhere.

Or perhaps she chose to tell a white lie in a moment of weakness, knowing that there are hostile individuals with a narrow tunnel-vision like yourself everywhere? We all lie when it doesn't seem to matter too much and we think we can get away with it, or if it would feel too embarrassing to admit the truth - or in a million of other circumstances. So we all need to be met with a little bit of tolerance - even you.

Comment: Re:Hypocrits (Score 1) 199

by jandersen (#47869569) Attached to: China's Island Factory

A brief history of Tibet:

Without having gone into much detail, it looks to me like Tibet hasn't been much of an independent nation for the last 800 years or so. They were part of the last empire of China (Qing dynasty), then left to itself from 1912 to 1950, when the modern China re-asserted its power. Until then, Tibet was a feudal society with a ruling elite and large numbers of serfs - to my mind that is the real evil in the case of Tibet and the reason why Dalai Lama can't return to power. China is not the evil party in this - they did what any civilised nation should have done.

Comment: Re:Correct! (Score 1) 280

by jandersen (#47860033) Attached to: Is It Time To Split Linux Distros In Two?

The guy making said claim is an idiot, and I'll offer evidence to prove it.

I think you are being needlessly hostile; let me offer another view of what he says.

I don't think the OP is right in its analysis, but I think where it goes wrong is in proposing just two, rather crude categories. As you say, there is no clear way of distinguishing workstations from servers; on the other hand, the idea is not without merits - there is a smallish number of typical use-categories that most computers would fit into, and which could be a good starting point for an installaion; eg. workstation, game-station, database server, etc.

It would probably not make a lot of sense to make such a large number of specialised distributions, but it isn't impossible, or even difficult, to implement the concept. Take my favourite distro, Debian: you install a minimal system, and then you use an installer to download new packages and their dependencies according to your needs and preferences. Some of these packages are 'meta-packages' - like KDE, which is not a real package in itself, but has been defined to depend on a large number of application-packages that are typical for the KDE desktop; so, by selecting the kde package, you select all the aplications that are useful in the KDE environment, in effect. It would be very easy to create other meta-packages that define other typical sets of functionality - one could even call them things like 'work station', 'server', etc if one likes.

I think what would make this process better would be if users could easily define these meta-packages before installation and then select them from the installation menu. This would address both the concerns of the OP as well as the points you raise.

Comment: Re:What's suprising (Score 3, Insightful) 362

by jandersen (#47859983) Attached to: BBC: ISPs Should Assume VPN Users Are Pirates

What's surprising, based on this article, is the minimal checks that the BBC's geolocation blocking uses

Perhaps it isn't really too surprising - BBC being a public service organisation are probably not intrinsically in favour of blocking out viewers, and they have only introduced DRM because they are under constant pressure to do so, especially from commercial channels. This is just one example of how the influence of large, private corporations are hurting the interests of ordinary people; another example would be the way even BBC have felt they have to pander to the lowest common denominator by running repetitive crap like Eastenders and "talent" shows every bloody day. The BBC used to produce high quality, cutting edge television and pioneering concepts that might not always appeal to a broad audience, but now it's mostly soap operas and "reality" shows.

Comment: Re:A change in diet - from what? (Score 1) 588

by jandersen (#47807153) Attached to: Low-Carb Diet Trumps Low-Fat Diet In Major New Study

I just don't put much weight in claims like "just cutting out sweet drinks does the trick".

I didn't really make any such claim - I just wanted to share the personal observation that after stopping to consume so much sugar, I actually stopped liking it. I think a very large part of learning to eat better is learning to like better food. Along the same lines, I used to think that I couln't feel satisfied without eating a large portion of meat every day; now I don't eat meat very often - it just doesn't taste as good any more. It started with me exploring things like bean curries (thus making a strong contribution to global warming) because I felt bored with the usual stuff, and I sort of got hooked.

I think the main take away from this is that we can learn to genuinely like new foods - all kinds of new foods. And as we do so, we can unlearn our preference for things that are bad for our health. I don't think I am particularly healthy - I certainly don't feel like I am trying to be healthy - however, I am convinced I can steadily improve my habits, not by restricting myself, but by enjoying new things. Eating moderately doesn't enter into it either, but I think, when I want to exercise, it just doesn't work if I eat large meals, so I have got used to less, I suppose.

PS: You asked for an age reference - I'm 56.

Comment: A change in diet - from what? (Score 4, Interesting) 588

by jandersen (#47805789) Attached to: Low-Carb Diet Trumps Low-Fat Diet In Major New Study

What kind of diet did they start from? If the participants were typical Americans, it was probably something that was very heavy in sugar and other refined carbohydrates; more so that in fat, if I'm not mistaken, so cutting down on carbohydrates is no doubt the most important improvement to the diet one could make. Cutting back on fat would probably be the next, big step.

It is sometimes hard to remember just how extreme the typical Western diet is; it is perhaps particularly visible to me, because I have completely stopped drinking sweet drinks (including fruit juices and artificially sweetened drinks). Now I find I can't get through a whole glass of Coke - it's just too much, but only a few years ago I could drink whole liters of the crap.

As others have remarked, there is no need to follow any special diet, just stop eating and drinking crap. Of course, with the selection available, that in itself is actually not easy.

1 + 1 = 3, for large values of 1.