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Medicine

New Sampling Device Promises To Make Blood Tests Needle-Free 33

Posted by timothy
from the dracula's-little-friend dept.
Zothecula writes: Though the pain they cause is minor and fleeting, a lot of people still find something pretty unsettling about needles. When it comes to conducting a routine blood test, US-based company Tasso Inc. believes that these unpleasant pricks can be removed from the equation completely. Its ping pong ball-sized HemoLink blood sampler can be operated by the patient at home, and needs only to be placed against the skin of the arm or abdomen for two minutes to do its job.

Comment: Re:Adblockers (Score 1) 358

by nmb3000 (#49438903) Attached to: Google To Offer Ad-Free YouTube - At a Price

"Aw yeah, finally, they are adding a non-intrusive way to view Youtube! Now I can disable my adblocker and pay for it instead of seeing stupid ads all the time!"

Said nobody ever.

That's funny, since that's exactly what I did for Pandora. AdBlock Plus makes Pandora pretty much ad-free, but when I started using it more I decided that I wanted to support companies which offer a way to pay for their service aside from advertising (which I find completely unacceptable and have no compunctions blocking). Pandora isn't the only company whose service I pay for, but it's surprisingly hard to find companies who offer a reasonably priced subscription model. Many expect you to shell out 50x as much money as they'd make off you via advertising, and even more completely ignore that for an ad-blocking user, their gain via conversion to a subscriber is 100%.

You adblocker fucks are hypocrites. You DO want a free lunch.

Ad blockers are simply a form a civil disobedience against the corporate marketing and advertising asshats who are trying to redefine and take over the Internet. It isn't illegal and isn't immoral. The fact that it improves the online experience (your "free lunch") is just a nice side effect.

Comment: The ultimate "man made earthquake" (Score 3, Interesting) 166

by daveschroeder (#49418797) Attached to: The Arrival of Man-Made Earthquakes

Russian analyst urges nuclear attack on Yellowstone National Park and San Andreas fault line

A Russian geopolitical analyst says the best way to attack the United States is to detonate nuclear weapons to trigger a supervolcano at Yellowstone National Park or along the San Andreas fault line on California's coast.

The president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems based in Moscow, Konstantin Sivkov said in an article for a Russian trade newspaper on Wednesday, VPK News, that Russia needed to increase its military weapons and strategies against the "West" which was "moving to the borders or Russia".

He has a conspiracy theory that NATO - a political and military alliance which counts the US, UK, Canada and many countries in western Europe as members - was amassing strength against Russia and the only way to combat that problem was to attack America's vulnerabilities to ensure a "complete destruction of the enemy".

"Geologists believe that the Yellowstone supervolcano could explode at any moment. There are signs of growing activity there. Therefore it suffices to push the relatively small, for example the impact of the munition megaton class to initiate an eruption. The consequences will be catastrophic for the United States - a country just disappears," he said.

"Another vulnerable area of the United States from the geophysical point of view, is the San Andreas fault - 1300 kilometers between the Pacific and North American plates ... a detonation of a nuclear weapon there can trigger catastrophic events like a coast-scale tsunami which can completely destroy the infrastructure of the United States."

Full story

Comment: Re:Why doesn't Moz acknowledge the market share is (Score 4, Insightful) 156

by nmb3000 (#49382237) Attached to: Firefox 37 Released

Why aren't trends like these scaring the living hell out of Mozilla, as an organization?

I think they probably do. At least, that's the reason I've always felt explained the Chromification of Firefox. That dumbing-down and relative takeover of the project direction by "UX designers" and "social media engineers" was allowed because the powers at the top felt that it was the only way they could try and recover some of the userbase lost to Chrome.

What they don't realize is that Firefox was created to "take back the web" from the stagnating Internet Explorer 6. It was never about replacing IE as some overbearing dominant beast.

And Firefox succeeded! Development on IE was revitalized by Microsoft, Google released Chrome, and work was renewed on web standards (a whole 'nuther can of worms there, but a separate topic). How did Firefox accomplish this? By being fast, lean, developer-friendly, power-user friendly, absurdly extensible, and with simple and clear design goals.

If Mozilla had simply stuck to these principles, Firefox user share would still have gone down -- it was a certainty due to the additional options for reasonable browsers, mobile usage, Google bundling Chrome with everything they can get their hands on, etc. However, I think it would have gone down less, and maybe even a lot less if they'd remained the browser they were rather than turning into the little puppy following Chrome around.

People who left Firefox for Chrome because they liked Chrome's design better would still have left. But with ChromiFox, people who don't like Chrome are leaving too, because if you're stuck with either Chrome or Chrome Light, you may as well go for the real deal. Sure, there are projects like Ice Weasel and LucidFox which attempt to bring some of that back, but they're relatively niche and don't have the visibility or word-of-mouth needed to take off.

In short: Mozilla abandoned their primary design goals and principles, the same ones that made Firefox great, and the result is user loss, stagnation and, probably, eventual obscurity. As someone who used Firebird, this make me very sad.

Comment: And why not? (Score 4, Insightful) 227

Considering that nuclear power is the safest form of power the world has ever known, I'd say it's worthy of recognition for offsetting carbon more than anything else. To borrow a phrase, "It's the energy density, stupid."

There's a reason why China has 30 nuclear plants under construction, while the US just approved its first new plant in 30 years.

Comment: Re:Encrypt client side (Score 1) 122

by nmb3000 (#49355061) Attached to: Amazon Announces Unlimited Cloud Storage Plans

Based on their API reference [amazon.com] 3rd-party apps that do whatever you want on the client side certainly look doable enough.

The downside is that it doesn't appear to support block-level file changes -- you can only create or overwrite an entire file at once. This means that storing something like a 50GB TrueCrypt volume isn't really feasible and you'd have to encrypt all your files individually. This is more difficult and more prone to mistakes.

Hopefully they expand the API at some point to allow binary delta updates of some kind, but their omission could have been a conscious decision to try and discourage people from storing huge files and big encrypted containers.

Comment: Re:Symmetric mouse (Score 2) 199

by nmb3000 (#49347673) Attached to: What Makes the Perfect Gaming Mouse?

What is DPS?

Damage Per Second. It's a unit of measure in games such as WoW that's primarily used to show how much better you are than other players. Typical use of the term would be, "hey, does anyone have dps meter for that last pull?" Feigning insecurity and disinterest are important, and the requester must absolutely not reveal that they're running 2 or 3 meter addons themselves.

A new mouse, preferably one with at least 12 programmable buttons, variable weights, and at least two bright blue LEDs, is sure to increase your DPS by at least 20%.

Comment: Re:what will be more interesting (Score 3, Informative) 662

by nmb3000 (#49346743) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

Are people really going to miss yet another totally fake show pretending to be reality? Is it just because this one combined cars and Daily Mail-style politics?

It's worth understanding that Top Gear hasn't pretended to be reality for quite some time. They deadpan a lot, but it's all pretty clearly acknowledged to be a live-action cartoon. I read a very good article that talked some about this recently, 'Top Gear' broke my heart (and it wasn't Jeremy Clarkson's fault):

As an auto journalist, I'm used to Clarkson's antics. He's a classic buffoon, and the genius of "Top Gear" is that Clarkson and his co-hosts, James May and Richard Hammond, realized long ago that transforming themselves into cartoon characters would be both incredibly lucrative and lavishly entertaining. The show has been on forever, and while it's always presenting new cars and ever-more-outlandish spectacles to its legions of avid viewers, the basic shtick has become reliably changeless: three weird looking English dudes doing goofy things with rides both exotic and mundane.

He also talks about some of Top Gear's strengths and weaknesses -- definitely worth the read if you're a fan of the show, or just want to know a bit more about why so many people seem to love a show about cars.

Sorry, but I have no sympathy for a primadonna for whom curses at an employee for 20 minutes and then physically assaults him up for half a minute

There's no excuse for this, but as others have said there's a bit more to it. Clarkson may or may not be a primadonna (vs just being a knob, as May referred to him several times), but given the stress he was under and the alcohol, him blowing his top over something small isn't a huge surprise. He certainly deserved to be disciplined, but I'm not sure sacking him outright was the best decision. One thing I am certain of is that the BBC will come to regret it.

Programming

No, It's Not Always Quicker To Do Things In Memory 486

Posted by Soulskill
from the performance-that-fails-to-perform dept.
itwbennett writes: It's a commonly held belief among software developers that avoiding disk access in favor of doing as much work as possible in-memory will results in shorter runtimes. To test this assumption, researchers from the University of Calgary and the University of British Columbia compared the efficiency of alternative ways to create a 1MB string and write it to disk. The results consistently found that doing most of the work in-memory to minimize disk access was significantly slower than just writing out to disk repeatedly (PDF).
Censorship

Feds Attempt To Censor Parts of a New Book About the Hydrogen Bomb 341

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-can't-do-that-on-bookovision dept.
HughPickens.com writes: The atom bomb — leveler of Hiroshima and instant killer of some 80,000 people — is just a pale cousin compared to the hydrogen bomb, which easily packs the punch of a thousand Hiroshimas. That is why Washington has for decades done everything in its power to keep the details of its design out of the public domain. Now William J. Broad reports in the NY Times that Kenneth W. Ford has defied a federal order to cut material from his new book that the government says teems with thermonuclear secrets. Ford says he included the disputed material because it had already been disclosed elsewhere and helped him paint a fuller picture of an important chapter of American history. But after he volunteered the manuscript for a security review, federal officials told him to remove about 10 percent of the text, or roughly 5,000 words. "They wanted to eviscerate the book," says Ford. "My first thought was, 'This is so ridiculous I won't even respond.'" For instance, the federal agency wanted him to strike a reference to the size of the first hydrogen test device — its base was seven feet wide and 20 feet high. Dr. Ford responded that public photographs of the device, with men, jeeps and a forklift nearby, gave a scale of comparison that clearly revealed its overall dimensions.

Though difficult to make, hydrogen bombs are attractive to nations and militaries because their fuel is relatively cheap. Inside a thick metal casing, the weapon relies on a small atom bomb that works like a match to ignite the hydrogen fuel. Today, Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States are the only declared members of the thermonuclear club, each possessing hundreds or thousands of hydrogen bombs. Military experts suspect that Israel has dozens of hydrogen bombs. India, Pakistan and North Korea are seen as interested in acquiring the potent weapon. The big secret the book discusses is thermal equilibrium, the discovery that the temperature of the hydrogen fuel and the radiation could match each other during the explosion (PDF). World Scientific, a publisher in Singapore, recently made Dr. Ford's book public in electronic form, with print versions to follow. Ford remains convinced the book "contains nothing whatsoever whose dissemination could, by any stretch of the imagination, damage the United States or help a country that is trying to build a hydrogen bomb." "Were I to follow all — or even most — of your suggestions," says Ford, "it would destroy the book."
Portables (Apple)

Apple Doubles MacBook Pro R/W Performance 204

Posted by samzenpus
from the greased-lightning dept.
Lucas123 writes Benchmark tests performed on the 2015 MacBook Pro revealed it does have twice the read/write performance as the mid-2014 model. Tests performed with the Blackmagic benchmark tool revealed read/write speeds of more than 1,300MBps/1,400MBps, respectively. So what's changed? The new MacBook Pro does have a faster Intel dual-core i7 2.9GHz processor and 1866MHz LPDDR3) RAM, but the real performance gain is in the latest PCIe M.2 flash module. The 2014 model used a PCIe 2.0 x2 card and the 2015 model uses a PCIe 3.0 x4 (four I/O lanes) card. Twice the lanes, twice the speed. While Apple uses a proprietary flash card made by Samsung, Intel, Micron and SanDisk are all working on similar technology, so it's likely to soon wind up in high-end PCs.

Comment: Re:I miss Google Search (Score 2) 150

by nmb3000 (#49201337) Attached to: The Abandoned Google Project Memorial Page

They used to have a great search engine, but then they replaced it with something that keeps second-guessing my search terms.

Probably the most annoying part of this for me is the blazingly stupid way they'll just drop words from your query. There have been times when I submit a phrase with 4 or 5 search terms, and most of the first page is filled with results that have 3 or 4 of the words crossed out. The results were useless garbage and I'd rather have been told there were no pages found. Along with this is the absolutely horrible decision to remove the functionality of the (+) symbol to mean "required". I don't know what social media asshats at Google made this call, but I curse them every time I have to put double quotes around a bunch of individual words just so the aforementioned query "optimizer" doesn't screw with it.

I'm pretty sure that bad design on Google's part combined with the constant abuse of the system by "SEO specialists" has turned Google Search into something inferior to what we had 10 years ago. Oh, and don't forget the malicious adwords results serving up malware for popular software titles. That's always a winner.

Comment: Re:Why uTorrent? (Score 1) 275

by nmb3000 (#49199477) Attached to: uTorrent Quietly Installs Cryptocurrency Miner

Why are you using any version above 2.2.1?

Came here to say exactly this.

After seeing what version 3 looked like on a friend's computer (code isn't the only thing that got bloated with crap) and reading about the hassle people were having with advertising, user-hostile admins, and finally seeing uTorrent get bought out, I'm glad I never bothered to update past 2.2.1. Some private trackers even block 3.x.

I've also heard good things about Deluge, so if I'm ever forced into updating I'll probably give that a try.

Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm. -- Publius Syrus

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