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Comment i think it shows trends in GitHub's demographic (Score 5, Insightful) 132

> it still paints a fairly accurate picture of programming trends over recent years

i don't think it does (at least not very much). i think it tells us about shifts in GitHub's demographic.

java usage has increased at GitHub, but this more likely reflects greater adoption of GitHub by the business community.

ruby has declined, but this probably just reflects that the ruby community really embraced GitHub at the beginning.

Comment JASP! (Score 1) 143

i'd take a look at JASP.

- it has an attractive UI like SAS and SPSS, and you're not stuck writing code for an analysis that should be quite straight forward.
- the analyses are themselves implemented in R, and python is to be supported.
- an API is in the works for implementing arbitrary analyses

Comment Re:Genetic or Developed? (Score 1) 195

it appears that taxi drivers learning a city experience increases in size of certain brain structures implicated in memory: (couldn't find the journal article sorry)

but that old chestnut keeps coming up:

"What is not clear is whether those trainees who became fully-fledged taxi drivers had some biological advantage over those who failed. Could it be, for example, that they have a genetic predisposition towards having a more adaptable, 'plastic' brain?" Maguire said. "In other words, the perennial question of 'nature versus nurture' is still open."

Comment Re:"Life's not fair" (Score 1) 195

And yet people will still say that your fate depends on how hard you try, rather than who your mother and father were.

your genes only explain so much, and trying hard seems like a plausible contributor to success. i'm comfortable with the idea that applying yourself can make you more successful. genes certainly contribute (you only need to look at the heritability of IQ), but other factors come into it, otherwise we wouldn't need to bother with education, etc.


Submission + - Lab-on-a-chip counts and sorts sperm (

cylonlover writes: While just about everyone is familiar with home pregnancy testing kits, what many of us may not realize is that a (sort of) equivalent product exists for men — home sperm count kits. These kits, however, will simply tell users if their sperm count is above or below a standard value. While a yes or no answer like that might suffice for the pregnancy kits, a little more information would definitely help a man who suspects he might be infertile. Loes Segerink, a PhD student from The Netherlands' University of Twente, hopes to change that with this prototype lab-on-a-chip device. Segerink's chip counts exactly how many sperm are present in a sample of ejaculate, and can even differentiate between the good swimmers and the duds.

You've been Berkeley'ed!