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Comment: Re:Is there a point to this story? (Score 3, Insightful) 264

by radtea (#47955473) Attached to: Why You Can't Manufacture Like Apple

It's cute to see how much money they blow on their designs, but really, is this news, or stuff that matters?

You would be amazed how unselfaware many startups are. In the late 90's, early 2000's time period I frequently had to remind people in companies with 2 - 200 employees selling niche products that "But Microsoft does it that way!" was an argument against doing it that way for us, because we were anything like Microsoft in terms of resources, product or market.

You'd think that no one would ever have to be told that, but the reality is that most people look at something as incredibly difficult to build as Windows (in software) or an iPhone (in hardware) and think, "Yeah, I could knock that out over a weekend and ship a few million units a year, no problem!"

Comment: Re:Why I wired Ethernet in most rooms (and no WiFi (Score 1) 276

by fyngyrz (#47955245) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

2- Safety concerns: with baby and/or young children I felt I would rather not add RF generator inside my home. I know we are immersed in RF from everywhere, making some a few meters away is another level. I didn't want to add that. Just in case.

Ham radio operators -- of which I am one -- spend their lives immersed in more RF at various frequencies from kHz to GHz than you can possibly compare to unless you work at a broadcast radio or television station. And hams are one of the oldest demographics in the USA. So many 80 and 90 year olds, it's really kind of amusing. RF is not your enemy at wifi router and cellphone levels. Not even close.

I've been pretty much bathed in RF for the last forty years. I'm very healthy other than a few allergies I've had since I was a kid. Of course, I'm active, too -- but if RF at these levels was a problem, I'd *have* a problem by now.

Comment: Re:Reporting bias? (Score 1) 437

by radtea (#47948199) Attached to: Science Has a Sexual Assault Problem

I've never been able to find any reliable under-reporting data for men, so this would be extremely interesting to see.

A priori I find it fairly implausible that men failing to report sexual assault is a lot more common than women, but would love to see the data. One informal observation is that in the multi-thousand-comment threads that are spawned after every accusation leveled at a public figure like Michael Shermer, there seem to be a lot of women self-identifying as victims of sexual assault but no men. Given that rates of sexual assault on adult men are reported at 10% of women's rate, and that male children are at least as vulnerable as female children (as the data here suggest) it is more than a little odd that no man seems willing to self-identify as a survivor.

At the very least this speaks to the way in which we silence men's voices in these debates, which in my view should be understood not in terms of women vs men but citizens vs predators (most predators are men, but most men are not predators.)

Comment: Re:Not answered in review (Score 1) 211

by fyngyrz (#47947485) Attached to: iOS 8 Review

Under IOS, apps aren't kept in an ordered system collection the way they are in Android. If they're on the device at all, they're somewhere on a page or within a folder, either where you put them, or where the system put them (always on a page) if you have not interfered. And finding them, if you don't know where they are, is a matter of typing the name into the search.

But -- just like Android -- you can have a lot of pages, a lot of folders, and you may or may not remember where a particular app or shortcut is located in your own personal folder/page setup. But then there is IOS search, which can find anything.

Under either OS, if you can't remember where they are, and you can't remember the name, it's down to looking around until you find them.

One of the arguments for folder organization is that if you even know the type of app it is -- for instance, if it is a photography app -- then if you're consistent at install time, you can look just in there, and it will be there, leaving you a lot fewer apps to check through until you find it.

But IOS has low limits on how many apps can be in a folder, and it doesn't allow subfolders, which seriously impacts how well you can really use them for that kind of organization. In my case, IOS's folder paradigm is insufficient to my needs. Android isn't significantly better, either.

Comment: The Titanic is UNSINKABLE. (Score 5, Insightful) 336

Ah, hubris! One of my favorite old-timey sins.

You are of course correct. The signal must become analog at some point to make it into your head, and we have had the capability to capture analog signals since the dawn of the television age. You can crack open LCD panels and intercept signals for a more modern high tech version of this concept, of course.

But you are forgetting the other side of the equation. When when someone makes that statement - "THIS CANNOT EVER BE PIRATED" - you are throwing down the gauntlet. And invariably some bored teenager will say "oh really is that so?" and make them eat their words. Usually by the following Saturday. Yes you can do an analog capture but by the time you warm up your soldering gun some kid in the Netherlands will have already got the torrent up.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go watch a Blu-Ray movie on my Linux box.

Comment: Re:No surprise (Score 4, Interesting) 215

by radtea (#47943001) Attached to: Study: Chimpanzees Have Evolved To Kill Each Other

War as practised by humans and chimps is fundementally different, it is a coordinated social activity most animals simply don't comprehend let alone practice.

Two words: "kin selection".

Humans and chimps are social primates. We live in groups that are relatively close to us, genetically, although humans practice exogamy (mating outside their immediate kin group) a lot more aggressively than any of our cousins.

So to say "fighting for mates is always one vs one" is to say "kin selection does not exist", which it manifestly does.

War is mate competition carried out by other means. There is no other rational for it (war is always economically irrational, although this is not generally understood because it "just makes sense" to so many people that war is somehow a good idea.)

No individual of any species ever under any circumstances kills another member of the same species for any reason other than mate competition, either for themselves or for close kin (this is not quite true, but it should be the starting point of any analysis of deadly interpersonal violence.) Killing has zero to do with hunting behaviour--both male and female bonobos hunt, and don't kill each other. Elk are vegetarian, and do kill each other. Only when reproduction is on the line does the risk of being killed in a potentially deadly fight make evolutionary sense, in humans as well as in other species.

In humans, war creates all kinds of mating opportunities beyond the simple-minded "conquer the enemy and rape their women" scenario. In particular, it creates opportunities on the home front of all kinds, and that is a very fundamental part of its completely irrational appeal.

Comment: Re:Huh? (Score 1) 55

by radtea (#47941309) Attached to: Mystery Signal Could Be Dark Matter Hint In ISS Detector

Sooooo when did dark matter become anti-matter? Or am I missing something?

Probably pretty much everything.

Matter and anti-matter are--up to a flip in charge and parity--the same thing. That is, if you take an electron (a matter particle), flip its charge and look at in a mirror you'll see a positron (an anti-matter particle).

So it is actually perfectly consistent, logically if not linguistically, for dark matter to be entirely anti-matter.

Exotic dark matter can also produce anti-matter when its particles collide with each other, which is what this report seems to be about. The significant thing is that the energy spectrum of the positrons that the AMS detector sees appear to have about the right energy spectrum for one particular type of exotic dark matter (which I personally have a pretty low prior for).

There are a whole bunch of follow-on papers from other people doing what scientists do, which is check for consistency between the exotic dark matter interpretation of this result and reality, in the sense that if this signal really is due to exotic dark matter there should be a number of different consequences (including the anti-proton signal the article mentions): http://arxiv.org/find/all/1/al...

Comment: Re:Details (Score 1) 290

by ceoyoyo (#47938307) Attached to: Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance

Both.

To study the effect of NAS in humans, we examined the relationship between long-term NAS consumption (based on a validated food frequency questionnaire, see Methods) and various clinical parameters in data collected from 381 non-diabetic individuals (44% males and 56% females; age 43.3 ± 13.2) in an ongoing clinical nutritional study. We found significant positive correlations between NAS consumption and several metabolic-syndrome-related clinical parameters

Finally, as an initial assessment of whether the relationship between human NAS consumption and blood glucose control is causative, we followed seven healthy volunteers (5 males and 2 females, aged 28–36) who do not normally consume NAS or NAS-containing foods for 1 week. During this week, participants consumed on days 2–7 the FDA’s maximal acceptable daily intake (ADI) of commercial saccharin

An observational study that people who consume artificial sweeteners tend to be heavier, have lower waist to hip ratios, higher blood glucose, etc. doesn't tell you whether eating artificial sweeteners does that or vice versa. An experiment where you take people and put them on artificial sweeteners does. So they took their observational correlation and did a (preliminary) experiment to find out what direction the causation is.

Comment: Re:Study evaluated sacharin vs glucose (Score 1) 290

by ceoyoyo (#47938187) Attached to: Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance

Saccharin, sucralose, aspartame, sucrose and glucose were the primary groups tested. Decreases in glucose tolerance were observed between the artificial sweetener groups and the sugar groups.

As a secondary experiment, they used the saccharin group to investigate the mechanisms because it showed the strongest effect. It's possible that saccharin works by a different mechanism than the others, and I suspect they'll investigate that possibility in the future, but the primary finding applies to all the sweeteners tested.

Comment: Re:What about Pro-Biotics, though? (Score 1) 290

by ceoyoyo (#47937059) Attached to: Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance

According to the article, the effect was transferable to other mice via a fecal transplant. So even if your probiotic yogurt happens to contain the right strains (it probably doesn't) then the existing bacteria are likely to just convert the new ones. Of course, if your yogurt is artificially sweetened (many are) then the bacteria are stewing in the artificial sweeteners while on the shelf, which they also showed caused them to change.

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