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Comment: Could you use this for body building? (Score 1) 38

by tjstork (#47504989) Attached to: Method Rapidly Reconstructs Animal's Development Cell By Cell

I know it sounds vain but it does also have practical applications for people with muscular deficiencies owing to immobility. From what I've gathered, no one really knows what happens, precisely, to cause muscles to "grow". Sure, there's a hundred different theories tossed around on body building forums, but a lot of sounds more like pseudo-biological nonsense rather than real science. There's precious little experiment in the field and my lay understanding is that it is because the only method of looking at muscles is biopsy.

Comment: Look into adequate vitamin D for joint pain (Score 1) 514

And also eating more vegetables and fruits (such as Dr. Joel Fuhrman's work or Dr. Andrew Weil's work) to reduce inflammation. You might also be sensitive to some compounds in food, such as in the nightshade family (like tomatoes) or possibly other things (food additives, etc.)

If you want true alternatives. gold and guns/ammo won't help. All that can be confiscated.

I collected some better solutions at this link and elsewhere on my site:
http://pdfernhout.net/beyond-a...
"This article explores the issue of a "Jobless Recovery" mainly from a heterodox economic perspective. It emphasizes the implications of ideas by Marshall Brain and others that improvements in robotics, automation, design, and voluntary social networks are fundamentally changing the structure of the economic landscape. It outlines towards the end four major alternatives to mainstream economic practice (a basic income, a gift economy, stronger local subsistence economies, and resource-based planning). These alternatives could be used in combination to address what, even as far back as 1964, has been described as a breaking "income-through-jobs link". This link between jobs and income is breaking because of the declining value of most paid human labor relative to capital investments in automation and better design. Or, as is now the case, the value of paid human labor like at some newspapers or universities is also declining relative to the output of voluntary social networks such as for digital content production (like represented by this document). It is suggested that we will need to fundamentally reevaluate our economic theories and practices to adjust to these new realities emerging from exponential trends in technology and society."

Learning more about health creation for yourself falls in part under subsistence production... And also the gift economy,,,

Comment: The End of Diabetes by Joel Fuhrman, M.D (Score 1) 253

by Paul Fernhout (#47487407) Attached to: New Treatment Stops Type II Diabetes

Glad to here about your success story! If you want to take your success to the next level, you may find this of interest:
http://www.drfuhrman.com/shop/...
http://www.amazon.com/The-End-...
"This New York Times best seller offers a scientifically proven, practical program to prevent and reverse diabetesâ"without drugs. Diabetes does not have to shorten your life span or result in high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney failure, blindness or other life-threatening ailments. In fact, most type 2 diabetics can get off medication and become 100 percent healthy in just a few simple steps. This book offers no compromises, it is the most aggressive and effective approach to reverse obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease; which typically accompany type 2 diabetes. The information about Type 1 diabetes is simply life saving. It is a must read for every diabetic, as well as any nutritionally-aware person wanting to understand the failure of conventional medical care for diabetic treatments and the "no-brainer" of using nutritional excellence, not drugs."

And see:
http://www.drfuhrman.com/disea...

The grand parent poster said quadrupling *vegetables* (many of which are leafy greens like Kale) not "complex carbs"... And there are much healthier things to eat than cancer-implicated processed lunchmeat if you want to eat meat...

Also, exercise does not help much with weight loss because it stimulates the appetite, even though exercise in general is good for health...

Also, for yet another different perspective (on how the recommendations decades ago to avoid fat on the theory it made people fat have instead led to an epidemic of obesity and heart disease by leading people to eat too much sugar):
http://healthimpactnews.com/20...

Good luck staying with what is working for you and maybe even going further which might then free up energy for your titanic plans! :-)

Comment: WordPress powers ~20% of web with 257 employees (Score 1) 271

by Paul Fernhout (#47487181) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

See the chart here: http://automattic.com/work-wit...

Granted there are many people who contribute to the WordPress ecosystem who don't formally work for Automattic given the FOSS nature of WordPress and related plugins. It's just a very different 21st century way of doing business compared to the 20th century Microsoft model, and is doing a better job of bridging the exchange and gift economies (like I talk about on my site).

Automattic, which shepherds the core of WordPress, sounds like a great place to work for people like me who are comfortable working from home. The future for WordPress looks pretty amazing, especially given ever better JSON/AJAX RESTful support for JavaScript-powered frontend apps. See also:
http://inside.envato.com/the-f...
"For those willing to ignore the prevailing opinions in the programming community, Tom Willmot says that WordPress presents developers with incredible opportunities, and a wonderful sense of community: ..."

I've been looking at shifting my own "Pointrel" and "Twirlip" projects, my wife's "Rakontu" and "NarraCat" projects and other similar work (stuff related to participative narrative inquiry, civic sensemaking, public intelligence, social semantic desktop tools, educational simulations, and more) to have JavaScript frontends that use WordPress as an application server backend (rather than have them run stand-alone). That would make it easy for millions of WordPress users who might want such tools to install them as a WordPress plugin with a couple clicks. As Alan Kay said about Squeak, getting people to install anything to try it is hard. Other benefits would include easy authentication support. I expect more and more projects by other people will be moving in that direction. I'm tempted to apply to work at Automattic myself at some point given their FOSS focus. They are also hiring as they got a bunch of venture financing recently. But I would want to make at least a demo of that integration first. I plan on putting such a demo here when it works: http://twirlip.com/

Of course, JavaScript has problems (globals by default), PHP has problems (such a long list..), and WordPress has problems (no doubt), with many problems coming from their historical roots and a need for backward-compatibility. But I can't deny all three won some battle for mindshare for whatever reasons (especially ease of initial use), and when you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right? :-) Like Manuel De Landa wrote in "Meshworks, Hierarchies, and Interfaces", a uniformity on one level can often in turn support a diversity on a level above it.

See also on the value of having a diversity of programmers of a variety of experience levels in an organization:
http://slashdot.org/comments.p...

What I especially envision is that all those millions of WordPress sites could start talking to each other in interesting ways... See also Theodore Sturgeon's 1950s short story "The Skills of Xanadu" for where it all might lead...
http://slashdot.org/comments.p...
https://archive.org/details/pr...

Or as I reprise here:
http://lists.alioth.debian.org...
"Gold Leader: Pardon me for asking, sir, but what good are semantic wikis and desktops going to be against [that]?
General Dodonna: Well, the Empire doesn't consider a small cgi script on a shared server or desktop to be any threat, or they'd have a tighter defense."

Comment: Re:Derp (Score 2, Informative) 163

by rgbatduke (#47482593) Attached to: New Mayhem Malware Targets Linux and UNIX-Like Servers

Surely you must be joking. There have been Explorer bugs that went unpatched for six months. No operating system is immune and security flaws arising from bugs in code are an inevitable accompaniment to having code in the first place, especially complex code with lots of moving parts (some of them infrequently tested/visited), but Microsoft has historically been Macrosquishy when it comes to security and patches. LOTS of holes, and many of them (in the historical past) have taken a truly absurd amount of time to be patched, resulting in truly monumental penetration of trojans and viruses via superrating wounds like Outlook. I still get an average of one email message a day that makes it through my filters purporting to be from a correctly named friend or a relative and encouraging me to click on a misspelled link. You think those messages are arising from successful data-scraping via Linux malware or Apple malware or FreeBSD malware?

Perhaps, driven by the need to actually compete with Apple and Linux (including Android) instead of resting on their monopolistic laurels, they have cleaned up their act somewhat over the last few releases of Windows, but on average over the last 10 or 15 years, certainly since the widespread adoption of apt and yum to auto-maintain Linux, the mean lifetime of a security hole in a Linux based system all the way out to user desktops has been around 24 hours -- a few hours to patch it and push it to the master distro servers, mirror it, and pull it with the next update. Microsoft hasn't even been able to acknowledge that a bug exists on that kind of time frame, let alone find the problem in the code, fix it, test it, and push it.

If they are doing better now, good for them! However, look at the relative penetration of malware even today. Linux malware has a very hard time getting any sort of traction. Apple malware has a very hard time getting any sort of traction. Windows? It's all too easy to whine that it gets penetrated all the time because it is so popular and ubiquitous, except that nowadays it is neither.

rgb

Comment: Cheaper to robo-bulldoze house and reprint it? BI? (Score 1) 504

by Paul Fernhout (#47473469) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

http://slashdot.org/story/07/0...

While I agree with the validity of your points for the next 10 to 20 years, in the longer term, better design and better tools will make it cheaper to completely rebuild houses so they are lower maintenance, more energy efficient, and easier to clean and maintain by robotics or by modular snap in replacements like the grandparent poster suggested. The only reason not to bulldoze older housing in a world of cheap energy and cheap robotics would be for historical preservation reasons or perhaps sentimentality (although Virtual Reality could address some of the sentimentality aspect).

This is similar to how people are now generally getting rid of old computer equipment (especially cellphones) when a capacitor or battery goes bad rather and replacing it with something new rather than trying to take it apart and repair the component like 50 years ago. "Computers" used to cost millions of dollars and take up rooms, now you can put a few in your pocket. I don't know what the equivalent shift for housing is, but we will no doubt find out. Some speculations are VR and pods like the Matrix or like in Marshall Brain's "Manna", or even just complete simulation of uploaded humans "living" in silicon RAM instead of air-filled wooden houses?

See also Marshall Brain's "Manna" for a suggestion of how computer-given instructions delivered by wearables could turn almost every profession, even plumbing, into a micromanaged low-wage nightmare before general robotics arrive:
http://marshallbrain.com/manna...
"Depending on how you want to think about it, it was funny or inevitable or symbolic that the robotic takeover did not start at MIT, NASA, Microsoft or Ford. It started at a Burger-G restaurant in Cary, NC on May 17. It seemed like such a simple thing at the time, but May 17 marked a pivotal moment in human history. ... Manna told employees what to do simply by talking to them. Employees each put on a headset when they punched in. Manna had a voice synthesizer, and with its synthesized voice Manna told everyone exactly what to do through their headsets. Constantly. Manna micro-managed minimum wage employees to create perfect performance. The software would speak to the employees individually and tell each one exactly what to do. For example, "Bob, we need to load more patties. Please walk toward the freezer." Or, "Jane, when you are through with this customer, please close your register. Then we will clean the women's restroom." And so on. ... And Manna was starting to move in on some of the white collar work force. The basic idea was to break every job down into a series of steps that Manna could manage. No one had ever realized it before, but just about every job had parts that could be subdivided out.HMOs and hospitals, for example, were starting to put headsets on the doctors and surgeons. It helped lower malpractice problems by making sure that the surgeon followed every step in a surgical procedure. The hospitals could also hyper-specialize the surgeons. For example, one surgeon might do nothing but open the chest for heart surgery. Another would do the arterial grafts. Another would come in to inspect the work and close the patient back up. What this then meant, over time, was that the HMO could train technicians to do the opening and closing procedures at much lower cost. Eventually, every part of the subdivided surgery could be performed by a super-specialized technician. Manna kept every procedure on an exact track that virtually eliminated errors. Manna would schedule 5 or 10 routine surgeries at a time. Technicians would do everything, with one actual surgeon overseeing things and handling any emergencies. They all wore headsets, and Manna controlled every minute of their working lives.That same hyper-specialization approach could apply to lots of white collar jobs. Lawyers, for example. You could take any routine legal problem and subdivide it -- uncontested divorces, real estate transactions, most standard contracts, and so on. It was surprising where you started to see headsets popping up, and whenever you saw them you knew that the people were locked in, that they were working every minute of every day and that wages were falling. ..."

I hope we get a basic income (BI) and/or other broad economic changes before then. Something I put together on that a few years ago:
http://www.pdfernhout.net/beyo...
"This article explores the issue of a "Jobless Recovery" mainly from a heterodox economic perspective. It emphasizes the implications of ideas by Marshall Brain and others that improvements in robotics, automation, design, and voluntary social networks are fundamentally changing the structure of the economic landscape. It outlines towards the end four major alternatives to mainstream economic practice (a basic income, a gift economy, stronger local subsistence economies, and resource-based planning). These alternatives could be used in combination to address what, even as far back as 1964, has been described as a breaking "income-through-jobs link". This link between jobs and income is breaking because of the declining value of most paid human labor relative to capital investments in automation and better design. Or, as is now the case, the value of paid human labor like at some newspapers or universities is also declining relative to the output of voluntary social networks such as for digital content production (like represented by this document). It is suggested that we will need to fundamentally reevaluate our economic theories and practices to adjust to these new realities emerging from exponential trends in technology and society."

Comment: Few alternatives? (Score 1) 89

by rgbatduke (#47465855) Attached to: Harvesting Energy From Humidity

While that may seem slow, people in remote areas may have few alternatives.

Other than:

Solar power, at roughly $1/watt (and then "free" for 10-20 years), price falling on a nearly Moore's Law trajectory.
Wind power -- expensive, unreliable but simple technology and humidity isn't reliable either.
The entire panoply of standard sources -- coal, oil, gasoline, nuclear, hydroelectric, alcohol, diesel, methane... which we can deliver a variety of ways including simply delivering a small generator and fuel.

I would truly be amazed if a new, patented technology of this sort was within an order of magnitude -- or even two -- of the cost of a solar source superior in nearly every way, and there are very few places where the humidity is high, temperatures are reasonable, and the sun does not produce enough light to make this work. This is truly an edge technology unless they make it astoundingly cheap.

rgb

Comment: Re:Bad programming (Score 1) 113

"Probably the best solution would be for the company to split up. The people who make the Xbox are probably weighed down by the rest of the company's ineptitude. I'd like to see those guys go their own way"

XBOX is running a version of Windows, which, is in many ways better than Linux. What's up for debate is its openness or lack thereof, but featureswise, Windows has lead Unix in a lot of ways.

Even Windows 3.1 had a better device independent rendering model than did the X terminals it competed against. And, ever since Windows NT, Windows has always had better APIs for threading while all many Unix's had (except for Solaris), was fork. DirectX is generally better than OpenGL. COM has its faults but in the long run proved to be the only binary object model that ever got used, and even the Windows desktop and shell has vastly better basic things like file dialogs than does Linux.

Visual Studio is still arguably the best IDE around and has been ever since Microsoft bought the Delphi guy over to write C#, and speaking of which, C# is a way better language than Java. Microsoft Office is still better than Open Office.

It's not that Microsoft has really sucked at the desktop, ever. They've just won so completely at it that they don't know how to do anything else right, although, I do think my Windows 8.1 phone is better than my iPhone 5s in some ways.

Comment: See also Dr. David Goodstein's 1990s predictions (Score 1) 178

by Paul Fernhout (#47430183) Attached to: Peer Review Ring Broken - 60 Articles Retracted

You make good points. See also: http://www.its.caltech.edu/~dg...
"The public and the scientific community have both been shocked in recent years by an increasing number of cases of fraud committed by scientists. There is little doubt that the perpetrators in these cases felt themselves under intense pressure to compete for scarce resources, even by cheating if necessary. As the pressure increases, this kind of dishonesty is almost sure to become more common.
    Other kinds of dishonesty will also become more common. For example, peer review, one of the crucial pillars of the whole edifice, is in critical danger. Peer review is used by scientific journals to decide what papers to publish, and by granting agencies such as the National Science Foundation to decide what research to support. Journals in most cases, and agencies in some cases operate by sending manuscripts or research proposals to referees who are recognized experts on the scientific issues in question, and whose identity will not be revealed to the authors of the papers or proposals. Obviously, good decisions on what research should be supported and what results should be published are crucial to the proper functioning of science.
    Peer review is usually quite a good way to identify valid science. Of course, a referee will occasionally fail to appreciate a truly visionary or revolutionary idea, but by and large, peer review works pretty well so long as scientific validity is the only issue at stake. However, it is not at all suited to arbitrate an intense competition for research funds or for editorial space in prestigious journals. There are many reasons for this, not the least being the fact that the referees have an obvious conflict of interest, since they are themselves competitors for the same resources. This point seems to be another one of those relativistic anomalies, obvious to any outside observer, but invisible to those of us who are falling into the black hole. It would take impossibly high ethical standards for referees to avoid taking advantage of their privileged anonymity to advance their own interests, but as time goes on, more and more referees have their ethical standards eroded as a consequence of having themselves been victimized by unfair reviews when they were authors. Peer review is thus one among many examples of practices that were well suited to the time of exponential expansion, but will become increasingly dysfunctional in the difficult future we face.
    We must find a radically different social structure to organize research and education in science after The Big Crunch. That is not meant to be an exhortation. It is meant simply to be a statement of a fact known to be true with mathematical certainty, if science is to survive at all. The new structure will come about by evolution rather than design, because, for one thing, neither I nor anyone else has the faintest idea of what it will turn out to be, and for another, even if we did know where we are going to end up, we scientists have never been very good at guiding our own destiny. Only this much is sure: the era of exponential expansion will be replaced by an era of constraint. Because it will be unplanned, the transition is likely to be messy and painful for the participants. In fact, as we have seen, it already is. Ignoring the pain for the moment, however, I would like to look ahead and speculate on some conditions that must be met if science is to have a future as well as a past."

I think a "basic income" for all could be part of the solution, because a BI would make it possible for anyone to live like a graduate student and do independent research if they wanted.

Comment: Re:What is life? What is a virus? (Score 5, Insightful) 158

by radtea (#47428331) Attached to: Hints of Life's Start Found In a Giant Virus

Then, in that case, what separates pithovius from the prokaryotes?

Structure, from the sound of it, although mostly this is people committing various fallacies of reification and making false claims of "natural kinds".

Everything is a continuum. Humans divide the continuum up using acts of selective attention. The only infinitely sharp edge is the edge of our attention (because we scale the edge to match the scale we are attending to, so whatever scale we are attending to seems to have a sharp division between the things we are selecting out.)

"Species" do not have particularly crisp boundaries in the general case: they fade into each other, and we draw edges around them in more-or-less arbitrary ways. When we find new varieties we can either create new categories (by drawing new edges) or lump them into old categories (by moving old edges). Which move is to be preferred depends on the purposes of the knowing subject.

Beware of Programmers who carry screwdrivers. -- Leonard Brandwein

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