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Comment: yoga study a few days ago (Score 1) 55

by lkcl (#48634733) Attached to: Scientists Discover That Exercise Changes Your DNA

... haaaa, veery interesting: wasn't there an article on slashdot very recently that said that yoga apparently is a better cardiovascular work-out than aerobic exercise? and wouldn't it be fascinating if yoga activated DNA in different [much more beneficial] ways from aerobic exercise. meditation [deep breathing included] is *also* a form of exercise. wouldn't it be fascinating to find that there are actual *real* physiological benefits - at the cellular level - to all this so-called "mumbo jumbo" spiritual guru "nonsense", and that it all had *real* measureable benefits that *really did* prolong your life?


Ask Slashdot: What Can I Really Do With a Smart Watch? 224

Posted by timothy
from the you-can-measure-the-battery-drain dept.
kwelch007 writes I commonly work in a clean-room (CR.) As such, I commonly need access to my smart-phone for various reasons while inside the CR...but, I commonly keep it in my front pocket INSIDE my clean-suit. Therefore, to get my phone out of my pocket, I have to leave the room, get my phone out of my pocket, and because I have a one track mind, commonly leave it sitting on a table or something in the CR, so I then have to either have someone bring it to me, or suit back up and go get it myself...a real pain. I have been looking in to getting a 'Smart Watch' (I'm preferential to Android, but I know Apple has similar smart-watches.) I would use a smart-watch as a convenient, easy to transport and access method to access basic communications (email alerts, text, weather maps, etc.) The problem I'm finding while researching these devices is, I'm not finding many apps. Sure, they can look like a nice digital watch, but I can spend $10 for that...not the several hundred or whatever to buy a smart-watch. What are some apps I can get? (don't care about platform, don't care if they're free) I just want to know what's the best out there, and what it can do? I couldn't care less about it being a watch...we have these things called clocks all over the place. I need various sorts of data access. I don't care if it has to pair with my smart-phone using Bluetooth or whatever, and it won't have to be a 100% solution...it would be more of a convenience that is worth the several hundred dollars to me. My phone will never be more than 5 feet away, it's just inconvenient to physically access it. Further, I am also a developer...what is the best platform to develop for these wearable devices on, and why? Maybe I could make my own apps? Is it worth waiting for the next generation of smart-watches?

Comment: it's not illegal (Score 1) 263

by lkcl (#48593905) Attached to: Judge Rules Drug Maker Cannot Halt Sales of Alzheimer's Medicine

" Drug companies cannot illegally prioritize profits over patients"

actually, it's not illegal, and in fact what the judge is doing is directly against the Articles of Incorporation of the Company. if this is something you're not familiar with, watch the first few minutes of the Documentary called "The Corporation" or read professor Yunus's book "Creating a World Without Poverty". basically it is a LEGAL REQUIREMENT that the Directors of Corporations enact - pathologically and absolutely - the Articles of Incorporation of a Company, otherwise they may either be faced with a vote by their shareholders to resign, or they may face jail time. ... and the Articles of Incorporation typically state that profit MUST be maximised to the absolute, total, complete, without fail absolute 100% top absolute top priority above all else WITHOUT fail.

so under the Articles of Incorporation of this Drug Company, saving lives is not a priority: making MONEY - the absolute maximum amount possible - is the absolute top priority.

so this judge's decision, therefore, was quite literally the only way by which those lives could be prioritised over and above the profits of the Corporation. you really should watch "The Documentary". its premise is that if a Corporation was a real person instead of a fictitous one, they give 10 reasons why that "person" would be locked up forever as pathologically and criminally insane. i no longer call Corporations "Corporations, i call them "Cancerations" because they pathologically consume all resources to further themselves with blatant disregard.

simple, really.

Comment: opie / familiar (Score 4, Interesting) 110

by lkcl (#48590413) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Software To Revive PocketPCs With Windows Mobile 5-6?

i had 9 of those smartphone / pocket-pc style devices back at the time: the absolute best one was the HTC Universal, as it was more like a hand-held clamshell laptop with built-in 3G. you _used_ to be able to get information about them on handhelds.org but we coordinated through #htc-linux (since taken over by android dummies) and used wiki.xda-developers.com (since taken over by android wannabe modders). [note to xda-developer forum users: i may be being slightly unfair though about the android dummies and wannabes: i apologise in advance to any of you that aren't so stupid as to be able to find and pay attention long enough to read slashdot :) ]

so you're going to have to dig... and you'll almost certainly need to begin with the 2.6 era linux kernel tree, which should give you a very very big hint about what you face, here. to give you an example: the fastest i've ever been able to reverse-engineer linux onto a device was 3 weeks and that was because it already had a [GPL-violating] linux kernel on it, where they had left some clues around and it was possible to poke around in /proc.

beyond that, the fastest i managed - and i could not get PM/wakeup to work because i could not locate the correct RAM/device re-initialisation parameters - was six to eight weeks on the HTC/Compaq Ipaq, i believe it was called the hw6915.

beyond _that_, the _longest_ i ever heard someone taking (and this was because it was worth it) to get full driver functionality was THREE YEARS, and that was for the HTC Universal (aka O2 "XDA III").

please please DO NOT underestimate how much work it takes to do reverse-engineering. these handhelds are actually far more complex pieces of kit, in engineering and in software terms, than any laptop or desktop PC you've ever encountered. the HTC Universal had SEVEN audio output paths for example, and over four audio input paths. there were over 110 GPIO pins on its Intel PXA ARM processor, but these were nowhere near enough, so they had to use an external GPIO IC (we called it ASIC3). but... they actually ran out of GPIO pins on that *as well*, so they ended up utilising the 16 pins of GPIO on the Ericsson 3G GSM modem (only contactable over USB!) in order to control some of the functions such as camera light.

so in many ways you are actually better off designing (and paying to have made) your own device. that is not a joke, in the slightest bit. it will take you less time and will cost you less in lost earnings from having to work full-time on the reverse-engineering. and before you splutter in disbelief, there are people who have done exactly that: Dr Schaeller did the GTA04 fairly recently (fits into a Neo FreeRunner case), and in that way he at least got to pick a) a modern-ish processor b) the best components that were available c) he got CONTROL OVER THE DEVICE DRIVERs, and he didn't have to _guess_ what the GPIO maps and memory maps are.

basically, what i'm trying to say is that if you cannot find a pre-existing project (you didn't mention what devices you actually have) that has done the reverse-engineering, unless you are actually thinking of learning reverse-engineering as a useful specialist marketable skill, either throw those devices into landfill, give them to someone who doesn't mind winceouch, or break them down for parts and sell the components on ebay. check beforehand to make sure that they're desirable parts of course.

of course... i say "throw them into landfill", which is directly and vehemently against our social responsibility, but unfortunately when actually buying these devices we make selfish decisions, not socially responsible ones, not least because they *aren't any alternatives*. now http://phonebloks.com/ is looking to change that in the smartphone space, and i'm looking to change that in the everything-else-device arena (starting here https://www.crowdsupply.com/eo...)

Comment: is this a trick question? (Score 1) 641

by lkcl (#48555901) Attached to: How Relevant is C in 2014?

i feel that the answer lies in the sentence "the internet is driven by c". if you want direct performance, executable compactness as well as operational efficiency (that is also massive step up from assembly language), you have *one* option available to you: c. that means that apache, wine, postgresql, openldap, cups, samba, libc6, the python interpreter itself, the linux kernel, the windows NT kernel and many more OSes: they're written in c.

only when some of those constraints - performance, compactness and operational efficiency - may be relaxed in favour of, for example, a higher bang-per-buck ratio in the expressive power behind the lines of code written (python dict), or where code-resuse is critical without too much inconvenience (templates and objects of c++), *then* you begin to choose alternative programming languages.

but as a general rule, if ever you see the word "system" or "service" in a sentence (operating "system", web "service"), automatically that implies "high performance" which automatically implies "high efficiency needed" and that means "c".

so i feel it is therefore much more interesting to note the situations in businesses where c is *not* used despite there being circumstances where performance is critical. when people choose java for web services, for example.

Comment: Re:Keeping it Readable (Score 1) 368

by lkcl (#48543371) Attached to: Overly Familiar Sci-Fi

Yes, I also have griped about SF that shoehorns the distant future into the mold of today, or of the past. I have special disdain for those who want to recreate the wild west, or the age of piracy, or empires of the past with space opera trappings. If you love the old west, write westerns, man!

in the turkey lexicon written by bruce sterling to help new sci-fi writers, there's a special phrase to describe the type of book where "laser pistol" replaces the word "six shooter" and "steed" replaces "six-legged mounted alien beast". it's called "The Western"!


there are many more: you are not alone in encountering badly-written sci-fi by novelists who quotes want to get in on the sci-fi genre act quote. but one that really really surprised me: a book in the "Eve Online" universe. it begins *literally* with the "White Room Syndrome" and i was like "OH NOOO! the white room syndrome!!" - that's where the main character wakes up in a white room, with only one (white) door, and no furniture, with no memory of past events, and it symbolises the author's own total lack of imagination at being able to begin the story even from page one - but i kept reading and found that, actually, there was a heck of a lot of good in it. it was the author's first and only book, and he was extremely brave to attempt it, and, apart from being semi-starwars-esque in places and "film-drama-queen-esque" in others, the story worked really _really_ well, kept my attention and made really good use of advanced biotech, cloning, machine consciousness, wormhole technology and much more to actually *tell a story*.

Comment: bruce sterling's guide to sci-fi (Score 5, Interesting) 368

by lkcl (#48542161) Attached to: Overly Familiar Sci-Fi

bruce sterling wrote an extremely funny and valuable guide to sci-fi writers which i've mentioned here before on slashdot, and it has been expanded ever since. ah yeah here we go: http://www.sfwa.org/2009/06/tu... it's well-worth reading just for amusement value. the ironical thing is that this well-known sci-fi author, charles stross, is telling us that many sci-fi authors today are falling into some of the traps outlined by that lexicon and valuable guide.

whilist it seems flippant therefore to be telling them "write better sci-fi!" it has to be said that sci-fi writers have set themselves a much harder task than any other writing genre. first and foremost: they need to be good story tellers! and almost secondary to that, they need to be extremely knowledgeable about technology... *because their readers are*. whenever i read a new sci-fi novel by an author that i've never heard of before - and i do not do that often because it is a risk - i often find myself critiquing the author's style. anything where they assume i am an idiot (by doing things like explaining cloud computing to me), that's when the magic of the story is lost, and i know i just read a story by someone who is not going to ever be a successful sci-fi writer. it's a fine line to walk.

Comment: Re:Objectively Guage Your Happiness (Score 2, Interesting) 312

by lkcl (#48532611) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Electronics-Induced Inattentiveness?

" The kind of phone that only freakin' astronauts had in 1994." .... and only grandmothers and the *really* discerning geeks who have seen exactly the effects that the OP describes, and have decided to do something about it.

my advice on an old phone: get a nokia 6310i. that one is still amazing, and they sell out within an hour at market stalls. on a new phone: get a cheap PAYG nokia. they're still made, they now have a 30-day (30 DAY!!) standby, they still run the same OS as the 6310i (just upgraded to colour), and they're actually lighter. my partner has one, whilst i have a 3310.

i've taken up tennis in a big way: nearly every day now for over 20 months i do at least... something. i practice on a wall on days i don't have a regular partner, and when i remember i do the TM asanas routine (use google image search to find it) to counteract the intensity of the exercise i do. and drink a huge amount of water: i get through about a litre an hour. this is *important* because otherwise i find i really really suffer the next day (which shows in my inability to do the yoga, which is precisely why i do it, to check that my body's not full of toxins. as far as yoga's concerned: spirituality be buggered, i want to know if my body's ok!!)

but the reason why i took up tennis is not because it's physical exercise, it's because it's *complex* physical exercise, and, when played properly, also requires strategic thinking. i am training both left-handed and right-handed in order to make it more challenging, and also so as to be

then also i am eating marmite (high in B vitamins) without which i swear i become much more tired and unable to remeber things day-to-day. i'm also taking green-lipped mussel extract - the lower-priced stuff when i am low on funds and the really *really* good stuff (like this - http://teamfrezzor.com/truewis...) when i can afford it. without it, within days my knuckles start to ache and the arthritis in my right hip starts to be painful again.

the only other piece of advice i can give is that habits typically take between 30-40 days to break. for example smoking is *not* addictive in the ways that people think. nicotine only takes 36 hours to become addictive,.. and 36 hours to completely clear your system. the *psychological* addiction however - the craving to visit the same restaurants, bars and haunts [where others also happen to smoke].... *that's* what keeps people hooked.

Comment: Prof. Yunus "Creating a World Without Poverty" (Score 4, Informative) 92

by lkcl (#48443465) Attached to: How "Big Ideas" Are Actually Hurting International Development

this is really really important: anyone wishing to make a difference in the world really REALLY needs to read the book written by Professor Yunus, the joint winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Price, "Creating a World Without Poverty".

in his book, Professor Yunus describes how he naively studied Economics because he believed that he would be able to change his country's financial situation through studying first world economies. after graduation he set out just after one of the worst natural disasters his country had experienced and realised how completely pointless his studies had been. however he did not give up, and set out to work out what the problem actually was.

he learned that the poor are first and foremost incredibly resourceful... mostly because they have to. he also learned that many of them are, because there are no enforceable usury laws, permanently kept in debt to money-lenders. this shocked him so badly that once he freed an entire village from debt just from the small change in his wallet: something like $USD 15 was all it took to pay off a decade of usury.

what he discovered is that the gratitude of these people when freed from their former situation is immeasurable. the Grameen Bank doesn't have lawyers or debt collectors. the people that they lend money to are so GRATEFUL that they work non-stop to turn their lives around and pay off their loan. in fact, the repayment success rate is around NINETY EIGHT percent. it's so high that the *GRAMEEN BANK* considers it to be THEIR FAULT if one of their customers is ever in default. by contrast in the western world the default rate is 88%. i'll repeat that again in case it's not clear: only TWELVE PERCENT of creditors in the western world pay their debts on time, every time, and in full.

but the main reason why anyone wishing to help the emerging markets and the third world should read his book is because he patiently, with all the knowledge from his economics background, outlines why NGOs, Charity and the "Corporate Social Responsibility" clauses of standard profit-maximising Capitalist Corporations are all worse than doomed but are guaranteed to be ineffective at best and invariably seriously damaging and counter-productive.

right at the start of his book he outlines a surprising offer by Danone to work with him (follow his advice) to actually be effective. it was Professor Yunus's first experience of having been "under the microscope" of people with both big resources and heart. in other words the team at Danone were huge fans of what Yunus was trying to achieve: when he explained to them the financial structure that was needed, they listened, and they did it. they did not go in with a charity, or with donations: they set up a "non-loss, non-dividend" business, selling *locally-produced* yoghurt that happened to have the nutritients that the local population happened (by a not-coincidence) to be chronically deficient in.

the yohurt was sold not at a loss but at an affordable financially sustainable price because the focus was on remaining *stable*, not on exploitation through maximisation of profits: the focus was on allowing people to feel proud of what they achieved, and to take responsibility for their own wealth. they were EMPOWERED through the enormous generous resources of Danone's, but it was a successful venture because they LISTENED to what Professor Yunus had to say.

Comment: Re:So, does water cost more? (Score 3, Interesting) 377

by lkcl (#48377091) Attached to: How 4H Is Helping Big Ag Take Over Africa

What are the possible choices for farmers?

1. grow crappy crops with free seeds and lots of expensive water,
2. grow good groups with seeds that you need to pay for but use less water?

#2 will make you more money, so the cost of the seeds is a non-factor. #1 will make you poor, because when it doesn't rain your crops die.

So, what exactly is the issue?

this is a completely wrong analysis. if (2) was true those people would have been dead centuries or millenia ago. the fact that they are still alive tells you that they get by, and that, honestly, is good enough.

there was an attempt a few decades ago to do exactly what DuPont is doing [again]. i do not understand why 1st world countries do not leave the 3rd world alone to grow their own food. 1st world conditions are NOT THE SAME as 3rd world conditions.

the study that i heard about was exactly the same situation. a 3rd world country which had extremely poor yields was interfered with by a 1st world country providing donations of high-yield maize. for three to four years the success of the trials resulted in bumper crops and the surrounding farmers clambered onto the 1st world genetic variety maize.

then there was a drought.

the high-yield 1st world maize died, and the entire area went into famine. next year, because nothing had grown, nobody had any food the year after, either.

basically it turned out that the low-yield maize had a MASSIVE genetic diversity. some variants thrived in good conditions, some grew successfully *EVEN IN DROUGHT CONDITIONS*. no matter what happened, those people always got some food. not necessarily a lot, but enough so that they didn't die.

now the problem was with this stupid, stupid interference by a 1st world country was that because everyone in the area had converted over to this wonderful high-yield maize, NOBODY HAD ANY OF THE OLD GENETIC VARIETY LEFT.

it was a decade before the country properly recovered, and that was just from one drought.

so the conclusion is, unescapably, that DuPont is intent on killing people just to make a profit, as this isn't the first time that providing 1st world maize to 3rd world countries has gone very very wrong.

just leave them alone. we *DON'T* know better.

Comment: what's the threat? (Score 1) 109

by lkcl (#48316301) Attached to: Computer Scientists Say Meme Research Doesn't Threaten Free Speech

this is pure speculation here, but my guess is that the people (politicians) protesting this research are quite likely to be the ones in charge of classified funding efforts for military, espionage and CIA equivalent research... and deployment of those same tools. if you've ever read Neal Stephenson's book "Cobweb" you'll know exactly what is most likely to be going on.

so, in essence, those people (politicians) know damn well that the espionage, domestic and political manipulation tools that they funded are quite likely to show up as anomalous activity should there ever be any tools (such as Truthy) provided to the general public, or any kind of research done to ascertain which "memes" *should* spread and which should not. for if there is anything that is detected which is *different* from normal expectations (a meme spread when it shouldn't have, and oh incidentally what was the source of that disruptive influence again?) it's really not going to go down too well with the people who *already* manipulate us from the shadows.

so i think you'll find that the people (politicians) protesting most loudly are the ones who are using media manipulation tools, and they're afraid that this research will be used to identify them, basically.

Comment: landfill sites (Score 2) 62

by lkcl (#48304075) Attached to: Interviews: Ask CMI Director Alex King About Rare Earth Mineral Supplies

yes, i definitely have a question. i heard the statistic that the concentration of heavy and rare earth metals is now *higher* in landfill sites than it is in the original mines that they came from, which, if true, is a global disgrace for which all of us are responsible. firstly, is this actually true, and secondly, is anyone doing anything about the extraction of rare earth metals from the electronics in which they were originally embedded?

+ - Pope Francis Declares Evolution And Big Bang Theory Are Right 4

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "The Independent reports that Pope Francis, speaking at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, has declared that the theories of evolution and the Big Bang are real. “When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,” said Francis. “He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfillment." Francis explained that both scientific theories were not incompatible with the existence of a creator – arguing instead that they “require it”. “The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it. Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.” Experts say the Pope's comments put an end to the “pseudo theories” of creationism and intelligent design that some argue were encouraged by his predecessor, Benedict XVI who spoke out against taking Darwin too far."

+ - Open Educational Robot for under $50

Submitted by lkcl
lkcl (517947) writes "Straight from the crowd-funding page comes news of Hack-E-Bot, described as a "low price and open source robot that hopes to encourage children to learn about engineering, electronics, and programming". Part of the reason for achieving such a low price appears to be down to the use of a tiny $7 off-the-shelf Arduino-compatible board called Trinket from Adafruit. The Trinket (ATTiny328 PIC) press-fits neatly into a supplied breadboard: all connections and any educational experiments can be done entirely without soldering. It's cute, it's under $50, you can pay extra for one to be given free to a child if you want, and there's a lower-cost kit version available if you prefer to use your own embedded board and are prepared to write your own software. I absolutely love the whole idea, and they've already reached the incredibly low $7,000 funding target, so it's going ahead."

Hold on to the root.