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Comment: Re:Overly broad? (Score 1) 317

by ozmanjusri (#48184183) Attached to: Soda Pop Damages Your Cells' Telomeres

It's far more likely it's the caffeine, but they aren't being specific enough. If it was just sugar, then pretty much everything would be doing it and I wouldn't see how they could possibly have a control group.

Not so likely, given caffeine is widely available in other beverages that don't have the same affect.

Most likely is the phosphoric/carbolic acid content.

The most popular cola available is highly acidic with a pH of about 2.5 (which is why it needs so much sugar to taste good). Healthy digestive systems can buffer the acid so that blood acidosis doesn't occur, but they mobilize calcium phosphate from bones and teeth to do so. Several studies have already shown links between telomere shortening and blood calcium levels, so while there's no smoking gun, there's a known mechanism for the result.

Comment: Re:Obama Admin! (Score 5, Insightful) 280

by ozmanjusri (#48165989) Attached to: FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

Why not "Obama Admin Continues Its Campaign Against Encryption"?

Because they really don't care about the type of encryption Apple and Google are providing. They can get your (meta)data in so many other ways it's irrelevant.

This faux outrage from the FBI stooge has nothing to do with any perceived difficulty in spying on citizens, it's about harm-management for the corporations that've been negatively affected by spying revelations. Nothing but smoke, mirrors, red herrings and misdirection all the way down.

Don't believe a word of it, they've shown repeatedly they're self-serving and untrustworthy. Question everything they say and do, and ALWAYS look for the money trail.

Comment: Re:Obligatoriness Extraordinaire (Score 2) 235

by ozmanjusri (#48146075) Attached to: Can the Sun Realistically Power Datacenters?

Storing solar power is an issue in niche applications, and it is an issue in a future fantasy world where 100% of our power is solar.

Very true, and not even a real issue in a 100% renewable scenario. The entire state of South Australia ran on 100% renewable power for a full working day for the first time last week. The bulk of that was wind generation, with rooftop solar adding a significant contribution.

There have been several instances in recent months when wind energy has accounted for all, or nearly all, electricity demand in South Australia. Last Tuesday, however, set a new benchmark – the combination of wind energy and rooftop solar provided more than 100 per cent of the state’s electricity needs, for a whole working day between 9.30am and 6pm. There were several periods in South Australia from Saturday September 27, and over the following days, when wind generation was greater than total state NEM demand.

In reality, renewables contributed well over 100 per cent because they were generating and consuming their own electricity from rooftop solar – the state has 550MW of rooftop solar, with nearly one in four houses with rooftop modules.

That meant that “true” demand by consumers on that day, i.e. the amount of electricity being used by consumers, including rooftop solar, was in fact considerably higher than NEM demand — up to 20 per cent according to the Australian Photovoltaic Institute — because of the contribution of rooftop PV to total electricity supply.

Comment: Re:And yet IBM soldiers on... (Score 1) 156

by ozmanjusri (#48053329) Attached to: End of an Era: After a 30 Year Run, IBM Drops Support For Lotus 1-2-3

Yet that makes what happened even more strange. A long touted advantage of RISC was that because of its simplicity it could be clocked so much faster than CISC that doing less per instruction would still be faster net throughput. Yet what happened was that CISC (in the hands of Intel) could and did do and even outdo all the optimizations of RISC, including clock speed.

As you say, the key advantage of RISC is simplicity and speed, but the tradeoff is software needs to be more complex to work around the simplified instruction set. Intel recognised the risk of RISC to their business early, particularly noting that there would be once-off cost to develop the microcode that would enable the switch to RISC, after which their x86 advantage would be lost.

Cleverly, instead of trying to fight the RISC upstarts, Intel chose to develop the microcode themselves and enable it in hardware. They first implemented the decoder in their P6 architecture, which had the raw x86 instruction set on the surface (lots of complex instructions), but under the hood, it's all RISC with the decoder replacing those complex instructions with series of simpler instructions.

So a x86 CPU works by having a quick and heavy-duty decoder in the frontend, which takes x86 instructions and converts them to an optimized internal format for the backend to process.

What Intel has done is to settle on a fixed, stable CISC instruction format for the frontend, and a decoupled RISC backend they can tweak and modify to their heart's content without fear of losing compatibility. It's not quite the perfect solution, but with today's huge, complex CPU's, the decoder is a relatively small part of the silicon.

Comment: Re:Australia voted... for a kick in the nuts. (Score 4, Interesting) 212

by ozmanjusri (#47991277) Attached to: Australian Senate Introduces Laws To Allow Total Internet Surveillance
This is part of a long term global effort by deranged moguls like Rupert Murdoch. Take the quote below:

The Murdoch tabloids’ trademark sensationalist coverage of crime, and accompanying campaigns for draconian law-and-order politics such as harsher sentences and more police powers, has always been in the framework of self-righteous claims to be the voice of victims.

Another trademark of the Murdoch media globally is Islamophobia. From Fox news’ hysterical reaction to President Barack Obama’s Arabic middle name, to the Sydney Daily Telegraph’s current anti-Burka campaign, the Murdoch media has consistently vilified Muslims in the name of protecting Western society from terrorism.

In Australia, not only has Murdoch used his media to campaign for anti-terror laws but, in several cases after such laws have been introduced, authorities used the Murdoch media during prosecutions to spread allegations against defendants in terrorism trials. Such allegations cannot be refuted in open court, or spoken about by the accused, because of secrecy provisions in the anti-terror laws.

It reads like it was written yesterday, but in fact it's a story from 2011, during a previous successful push to whittle away more civil liberties, not just in Australia, but worldwide.

Until us ordinary people can recognise the war being waged against us by the Murdochs of the world, and discover the courage and weapons to fight them, we will continue to lose those few liberties we have remaining.

Comment: Re:Please make this thing useful for development (Score 4, Interesting) 101

by ozmanjusri (#47952737) Attached to: Android Apps Now Unofficially Able To Run On Any Major Desktop OS

It is not designed for mouse so the result is a complete user frustration.

1. I've used Android apps with an external mouse on my Asus transformer, and found the experience reasonably sensible.
2. Don't forget the "nearly every platform" comment from TFA. Apps aren't currently designed for use with a mouse, but it doesn't have to stay that way. The Android app format is coming close to being the fabled "universal binary", finally giving developers the long-promised write once, run anywhere ability.
3. In light of 2. above, it isn't too hard to imagine a future UI toolkit that can sensibly switch between touch and pointer modes.

Comment: Re:Dial up can still access gmail (Score 3, Informative) 334

Does Chrome OS even support dial-up?

It could, with an ethernet dial-up modem.

Having said that, I think the best solution would be Debian with Eldy installed, and a few scripts for parent-specific needs (like a revert-to-default/familiar setting) linked to big, clear buttons.

Comment: Re:KIlling off the Microsoft Store Name Too (Score 2) 352

by ozmanjusri (#47886091) Attached to: Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

I don't doubt you,

I doubt everyone, so I checked.

OP and the other posters are wrong. The stone is not granite, it's sandstone, and was chosen for it's color and consistency, not it's wear capabilities.

Now it’s revealed that the process of creating the stone floor tiles and large wall slabs falls to the Il Casone quarry, formed in 1962 by four stonemason families with generations of experience in creating subtle beauty from rough rock. The company’s quarry is north of Florence in the small town of Firenzuola, in the heart of a geologic region of sandstone called Pietra Serena. The blue-gray color of the stone, its texture and tone all contribute to the overall look of the finished Apple store.

Comment: Re:Please retire... (Score 4, Insightful) 266

by ozmanjusri (#47859593) Attached to: John Romero On Reinventing the Shooter

Please retire

Hell no!

Romero is right. Good quality entertaining FPS have been thin on the ground lately.

It's become a stagnant genre, and it's time we had an Doom/Duke Nukem/Unreal/Half-Life successor. Daikatana was a failure in a large part because the AI for both enemies and the NPC sidekick characters was crap and messed up the rest of the gameplay. The bad guys, Barney and Alyx etc in HL2 showed that's a solved problem now.

In the words of the Duke, I say "Bring it on!".

Comment: Re:Things (Score 4, Insightful) 191

by ozmanjusri (#47745179) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Prepared Are You For an Earthquake?

It's all about degrees of disaster. If there's a real disaster, I wouldn't give a rodent's behind about my electronics and I too would be happy with my emergency stash of food and water.

You think so now, but you need recovery plans as much as immediate survival materials and equipment. Getting back to normal life is the real goal after a disaster.

I've been involved in several disaster recovery efforts, including earthquakes, floods, fires, and tsunamis. Each of those events had their own challenges, but there were some clear and consistent ways you can prepare to improve the eventual outcome.

1. Don't be there.
Seriously, this is the best option if there's ANY warning at all, or even post-disaster if you're mobile. Have and share a plan with pre-established criteria for getting out. Know what you're going to pack, what you'll protect in place (eg, plastic wrapped tools etc), and where you're going to go well before any threat is on its way. Stick to the plan.

2. Communications.
In every scenario so far, the most robust means of communicating and getting help has been SMS.If you can keep your phone charged for the duration, your chances of getting help (initially from first responders, then from community and family) is vastly improved. SIM cards are surprisingly robust, but have more than one phone available (eg, an old handset in sealed in plastic). Most importantly, have a car charger or two for your phone. Even wrecked cars can top up a phone battery.

3. Social Networking.
Stay in touch with friends and neighbors. If you're absent minded or mostly antisocial, have a list/schedule of people (in robust storage, and preferably hardcopy) to touch base with every month or two.

4. Entertainment.
Don't underestimate the importance of this. Boredom and depression can be devastating, so plan on ways to keep yourselves informed and relatively cheerful.

5. Documents.
Surprisingly, this has mattered less than I expected as recovery efforts generally take document loss into account. Having said that, things like insurance records etc are worth having copies located in several places (eg, with family or left at work).

Disasters are inherently somewhat unpredictable, but human needs are not. You can make life a lot easier for yourself if you choose to.

"The only way for a reporter to look at a politician is down." -- H.L. Mencken