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Comment: Re:Other than the obligatory security theatre... (Score 1) 100

by quenda (#48897389) Attached to: Bomb Threats Via Twitter Partly Shut Down Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport

Remember 9/11? You damn well better believe the fighters would shoot the plane down if it strayed.

Are you subscribing to the conspiracy theory that the 4th plane was shot down?
And the authorities cannot distinguish between a bomb-threat and a hijacking?

Comment: Re:Hold your horses (Score 4, Informative) 199

by quenda (#48891283) Attached to: At Oxford, a Battery That's Lasted 175 Years -- So Far

FTA, it takes around 1 nanoampere to ring the bell once. It rings around around 2 Hz. Thus it takes 2 nanoampere a second, which works out to 7200 nanoampere-hours.

Ouch! Your bad maths is making my head hurt. Amp is a measure of current, not energy or charge.
  A nA is one nano-couloumb per second. WTF does "nanoampere a second" even mean? Current acceleration?
  One nano-Amp for an hour is precisely one nano-Amp hour, duh!
Better known as 3.6 microcoulombs. At 2kV, it is 7.2 milli-joules of energy.
For that idiocy you get a +5? Mods need to stay in school.

The better AAs produce 3 amp-hour of power. That is 3000000000 nanoamperes.

FFS! First you equate amp-hours with power, and then you equate it with amps. Where did the time unit go?
Your 3AHr battery at one nano-Amp will last 3 x 10 to the 9 hours, or 342,000 years. (neglecting internal leakage :-)
Of course you will need a few of them in series to equal the 2kV of the Oxford Bell.
What has happened to /.?

(disclaimer: After that rant, I'm almost certain to have made an error myself.)

Comment: Re:Again, why? (Score 4, Informative) 161

by quenda (#48890685) Attached to: Google Just Made It Easier To Run Linux On Your Chromebook

If you have a Chromebook, Google has already made ChromeOS support anything that the Chromebook will have to do.

Oh, no they have not.

A macbook can install 3rd party apps out of the box. It is not locked down.
But if you want Skype, Minecraft, or Steam for example, on a Chromebook, you need to unlock it (developer mode, unsupported) and install a full Linux environment first.

But yes, no need to replace ChromeOS, just supplement it.

Comment: Re:But is that what people are actually doing? (Score 2) 161

by quenda (#48890535) Attached to: Google Just Made It Easier To Run Linux On Your Chromebook

I thought they were wiping the Chromebook's internal drive, then reinstalling with their preferred Linux variant.

Why do that? Chromebook is already running Linux, and you can easily install a full Ubuntu (or whatever) environment under ChromeOS, running them side-by-side, using Crouton scripts.
No need to reboot. A bit like a using a virtual machine, but its all native.

The biggest problem is having to wipe all your data when switching to developer mode, and Google considers this a feature. Couldn't they just encrypt the private data instead? I cannot see the point. If a bad buy gets hold of your Chrome-book and switches to developer mode, he can just install a login screen that grabs your password, and gets all your private data from the cloud.

Comment: Re:Yes. (Score 1) 631

by quenda (#48890209) Attached to: Should Disney Require Its Employees To Be Vaccinated?

Freedom unfortunately also includes the ability to use one's power to infringe the freedom of weaker people.

No, thats not at all what we mean by a free country. It started 800 years ago with the Magna Carta (the great granddad of the US constitution) which (attempted to) limit the power of the Monarch.
Freedom means freedom of the individual, (and of local authority, originally the Lords).

What you describe is called "anarchy". (Or, in the US, "libertarianism")

Comment: Re: Censorship? (Score 1) 413

The study that claimed this is probably a hoax. That doesn't mean that people who watch fox news aren't dumb. It sure seems like they should be. But it's pretty hard to do a rigorous scientific study about something like this, especially one that attempts to prove a causal link. The amount of effort it would take would probably be better spent on trying to cure cancer or something.

To prove a causal link between Watching Fox and intelligence, you'd have to have a huge random sample of people (not just normal fox news watchers), and force half of them them to watch fox news.

Then you'd try to see if there was any significant difference in IQ based on watching a TV show. Now keep in mind this group of people would also contain doctors and engineers, and people who were already dumb to begin with, etc. I don;t think you'd be able to see any difference.

I think it's just that dumb people watch dumb things, and while it may actually make some people dumber, it probably also makes some people a little smarter (e.g. like if a smart person were forced to watch it like Jon Stewart). But in the vast majority of people it probably doesn't have any effect on their IQ (i.e. smart people stay smart, and dumb people stay dumb). To prove any kind of a significant result would be pretty amazing and still a giant waste of time.

It took 50 years to prove a causal link between smoking and lung cancer.

Comment: Re:He's Sort of a Basketcase ... (Score 1) 109

by anagama (#48886615) Attached to: Barrett Brown, Formerly of Anonymous, Sentenced To 63 Months

Get off it -- that search warrant was based on a reporter posting a link to data. The underlying issue is that he is being punished for engaging in 1st Amendment activity, the ultimate basis for his punishment doesn't matter to the Feds.

Think of it this way: say you decided to install Chrome on your computer, so you download it from the official location and install it. Then a warrant is issued so the cops can examine your laptop to figure out if you installed Chrome. You're thinking "WTF?" that's not a crime and so you give them some lip. Now you're fucked. They hated you because of some random reason, but now they get to punish you -- that it is for some random reason doesn't matter. That's what happened here -- the Feds were out to get him and they got him.

Comment: Re:Where is the line on other health aspects thoug (Score 1) 631

by Paul Fernhout (#48885947) Attached to: Should Disney Require Its Employees To Be Vaccinated?

I'd agree that reporter overgeneralizes at the end, and perhaps lazy of me to point to that summary vs. the original journal study. But that does not affect the validity of the Japanese study on vitamin D and the flu and kids.

Also, if studies show that vitamin D helps with "N. meningitis", then even if you take *only* conventional treatments, perhaps you should stay home too? :-) It is not either or in many cases.

This is a more realistic statement about that issue (notice use of the word "adjuvant" and "possibility"):
"Invasive pneumococcal disease, meningococcal disease, and group A streptococcal disease are more common when vitamin D levels are lowest (winter) [79-81] and all three bacteria are sensitive to AMP, [82-84] raising the possibility that pharmacological doses of vitamin D would be an effective adjuvant treatment. In fact, the dramatically increased production of AMPs by vitamin D and the broad spectrum of action of AMP make it reasonable to hypothesize that pharmacological doses of vitamin D are effective adjuvants in treating a large number of infections."

Comment: Re:Censorship? (Score 1) 413

Well the "buried" service line actually has to come out of the ground to go into your house. When I changed internet service providers (from DSL to cable), I saw the service guy locate 2 wires coming out of the ground running up the side of my house to an unlocked box. He opened the box and disconnected one of the wires and connected the other.

It occurred to me that I had seen these "buried" wires and boxes on the side of every house I ever lived in, and it never occurred to me to find out what they were. Once I saw someone else tinkering in there, I now know how to sever anyone's internet lines.

I think anyone who witnessed internet being installed (even dumb people) would probably have to make the connection that everyone else's house probably works the same way, as long as they were not literally retarded.

This does bring up an interesting memory for me. I actually had my internet go out one day, and I checked the box and found that a cable had broken, and I just re-stripped the wires and reconnected them. It wasn't "severed", it was just broken probably due to metal fatigue. So I can say that "it just broke" is certainly a possibility from 1st hand experience.

Comment: Re:Where is the line on other health aspects thoug (Score 0) 631

by Paul Fernhout (#48885667) Attached to: Should Disney Require Its Employees To Be Vaccinated?

Human health is a complex topic with many interwoven factors that interact with each other. In general, many people who catch many "diseases" don't show significant symptoms because their immune system deals with it and limits the scope of the spread. I was not easily able to find that information about measles from a few minutes of trying though. It seems a bit controversial... Maybe you know if off-hand?
"Risk Analysis for Measles Reintroduction After Global Certification of Eradication"
"Convention holds that asymptomatic measles infections are rare, but there is a significant body of published evidence of acute measles infection among people who are exposed to measles virus but who do not develop classic symptoms [3-5]."

When you boost your immune system, you make it more likely the spread will be contained. Even for measles, the degree of symptoms you show and how long they last is in general probably going to reflect your health state (and also genetics though), as suggested in a link a bit further below to a study from CDC researchers. Humans are exposed to all sorts of potentially problematical viruses and bacteria every day -- doctors especially. A healthy immune system shrugs most of them off (with some dangerous exceptions, especially like Ebola).

A study specific to measles and nutrition, from India:
"Interaction between nutrition and measles"
"Much has been written about the synergestic interaction and infection in turn adversely affects the nutritional status. Although this relationship is well documented with respect to bacterial infections, it is not clear whether nutrition can influence the incidence or course of viral diseases. Measles is one of the most common viral infections that occur during childhood. The interactions between measles and nutritional status acquire considerable importance in situations where as a result of inadequate food intake, chronic malnutrition is widespread among children."

"Undernutrition as an underlying cause of child deaths associated with diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria, and measles"
"Results: The RR of mortality because of low weight-for-age was elevated for each cause of death and for all-cause mortality. Overall, 52.5% of all deaths in young children were attributable to undernutrition, varying from 44.8% for deaths because of measles to 60.7% for deaths because of diarrhea.
Conclusion: A significant proportion of deaths in young children worldwide is attributable to low weight-for-age, and efforts to reduce malnutrition should be a policy priority."

So if 50% of the death rate is from obvious malnutrition, could at least some of the rest be from more subtle dietary issues?

In the USA from 2010, just to show how the USA is in theory increasingly at risk of an epidemic from malnutrition among children:
"According to a new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 17.4 million American families - almost 15 percent of U.S. households - are now "food insecure," an almost 30 percent increase since 2006. This means that, during any given month, they will be out of money, out of food, and forced to miss meals or seek assistance to feed themselves. Even those who get three meals a day may be malnourished. Americans increasingly eat cheap, sugary foods whose production is underwritten by government subsidies for the corn and dairy industries. As the New York Times reported this month, the USDA loudly promotes better eating habits while quietly working with Domino's to develop a new line of pizzas with 40 percent more cheese. [There are healthy fats though, including from cheese though! my note]"

Call "eating right" and getting good sleep and so on "hippy" stuff if you will , but this has been known for a long time, and it used to be a bigger focus of medicine more than a century ago. It's just not very profitable for mainstream medicine today to focus on such advice. But if we are going to ostracize up people who are not vaccinated, then the question I raised on drawing the line is, should we not also also ostracize anyone who eats the Standard American Diet and so on?

Consider the scale of the measles problem in the USA before vaccination:
"Measles Elimination in the United States" (from US CDC researchers)
"By the late 1950s, even before the introduction of measles vaccine, measles-related deaths and case fatality rates in the United States had decreased markedly, presumably as a result of improvement in health care and nutrition. From 1956 to 1960, an average of 450 measles-related deaths were reported each year (~1 death/ 1000 reported cases), compared with an average of 5300 measles-related deaths during 1912-1916 (26 deaths/ 1000 reported cases) [2]. Nevertheless, in the late 1950s, serious complications due to measles remained frequent and costly. As a result of measles virus infections, an average of 150,000 patients had respiratory complications and 4000 patients had encephalitis each year; the latter was associated with a high risk of neurological sequelae and death. These complications and others resulted in an estimated 48,000 persons with measles being hospitalized every year [3]."

So, by the CDC researcher's own admission, it is not true that "nothing else is" effective against measles. Those "hippy" :-) CDC researchers clearly said:, "[measles] fatality rates in the United States had decreased markedly, presumably as a result of improvement in health care and nutrition". One may question how much further that trend could go on its own, but it clearly suggests a relationship between better nutrition and less measles fatalities.

I'm not disputing the potential deadly consequences of measles in some small number of tragic instances -- especially when kids are in bad health to begin with including from eating the Standard American Diet and lots of sugar and refined grains and such, and especially when crowded together in stressful living condition and schools. And no doubt some perfectly well-nourished kids may till dies from measles for whatever reasons related to genetics or other factors.

However, even for measles, there may be evolutionary reasons why we have certain diseases, based on other benefits (even at some tragic costs) -- same as why sickle cell anemia exists as a side effect of resisting malaria. Here are a couple speculations in that direction -- building on medical research results.

Measles, for example, has recently been used to reverse cancer in one woman.
"Measles Virus Puts Woman's Cancer Into Remission"

Cancer used to be a much rarer disease... Connection? Probably weak, but still something to think about...

Or see the below for a study that might help explain why allergies are on the rise in the West if measles has been eradicated. This shows that the issue is a more complex one, with various tradeoffs. Have we perhaps traded hundreds of measles deaths a year among the least healthy kids (or maybe less, given our modern medical system and supportive care and anti-virals) as well as thousands of non-fatal hospitalizations instead for hundreds of food allergy deaths and *millions* of allergy cases across all US kids annually?

On the scale of allergies in the USA and food allergy deaths:
"Estimates say that in the United States, thousands of people visit the emergency room annually because of allergic reactions to food. Somewhere around 150 to 200 people die in the U.S. each year because of food allergies. It's estimated that around 50 percent to 62 percent of those fatal cases of anaphylaxis were caused by peanut allergies."

The study (which I'm speculating on a bit further, granted):
* Background
Epidemiological studies have led to speculation that infections in early childhood may prevent allergic sensitisation but evidence to support this hypothesis is lacking. We investigated whether measles infection protects against the development of atopy in children of Guinea-Bissau, West Africa.
* Methods
We conducted a historical cohort study in Bandim, a semi-rural district of Bissau, the capital of Guinea-Bissau. 395 young adults, first surveyed in 1978-80 aged 0-6 years, were followed up in 1994. Our analyses were restricted to 262 individuals still living in Bandim for whom a measles history, documented in childhood, was judged to be reliable. We defined atopy as skin-prick test positivity (â¥3 mm weal) to one or more of seven allergens.
* Findings
17 (12.8%) of 133 participants who had had measles infection were atopic compared with 33 (25.6%) of 129 of those who had been vaccinated and not had measles (odds ratio, adjusted for potential confounding variables 0.36 [95% Cl 0.17-0.78], p=0.01). Participants who had been breastfed for more than a year were less likely to have a positive skin test to housedust mite. After adjustment for breastfeeding and other variables, measles infection was associated with a large reduction in the risk of skin-prick test positivity to housedust mite (odds ratio for Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus 0.20 [0.05-0.81], p=0.02; D farinae 0.20 [0.06-0.71], p=0.01).

BTW, the Flexner report is when a big shift occurred in US medicine 100 years ago, for both good in some ways (more science-based advice to eliminate some really bad quackery) and ill in others (less doctors, less time with patients, less emphasis on centuries of indigenous folk wisdom about health including lifestyle, sunshine, herbs, sleep, local foods, etc.):
"The Flexner Report[1] is a book-length study of medical education in the United States and Canada, written by Abraham Flexner and published in 1910 under the aegis of the Carnegie Foundation. Many aspects of the present-day American medical profession stem from the Flexner Report and its aftermath. The Report (also called Carnegie Foundation Bulletin Number Four) called on American medical schools to enact higher admission and graduation standards, and to adhere strictly to the protocols of mainstream science in their teaching and research. Many American medical schools fell short of the standard advocated in the Flexner Report, and subsequent to its publication, nearly half of such schools merged or were closed outright. Colleges in electrotherapy were closed. The Report also concluded that there were too many medical schools in the USA, and that too many doctors were being trained. A repercussion of the Flexner Report, resulting from the closure or consolidation of university training, was reversion of American universities to male-only admittance programs to accommodate a smaller admission pool. ... The closure of these schools and the fact that black students were not admitted to many medical schools in the USA for 50 years after Flexner has contributed to the low numbers of American born physicians of color and the ramifications are still felt more than a 100 years later.[11]"

One other big thing that was lost was a focus on food and healing:
"Nutrition education in U.S. medical schools: latest update of a national survey."
"Respondents from 109 (86%) of the targeted medical schools completed some part of the survey. Most schools (103/109) required some form of nutrition education. Of the 105 schools answering questions about courses and contact hours, only 26 (25%) required a dedicated nutrition course; in 2004, 32 (30%) of 106 schools did. Overall, medical students received 19.6 contact hours of nutrition instruction during their medical school careers (range: 0-70 hours); the average in 2004 was 22.3 hours. Only 28 (27%) of the 105 schools met the minimum 25 required hours set by the National Academy of Sciences; in 2004, 40 (38%) of 104 schools did so."

The CDC researchers suggest above that nutrition and such cut back on measles deaths by more than a factor of 10. But nutrition remains unemphasized in US medical schools. Twenty-two hours average out of thousands? Next to nothing... And unlike a vaccine targeted at one specific disease, nutrition can help prevent and recover from a huge number of diseases. But, alas, there is little profit or prestige in just telling people to eat right -- and it puts people up against powerful financial interests. See for example:
"The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has posted an easy-to-understand visual on its site that shows which foods U.S. tax dollars go to support under the nation's farm bill. It's titled "Why Does a Salad Cost More Than a Big Mac?" and depicts two pyramids -- subsidized foods and the old recommended food pyramid. It's interesting to note that the two are almost inversely proportional to each other."

You want "safe and effective" for kids? Change those political and educational priorities... But sadly, that is not something one doctor trapped on a treadmill of seeing patients for ten minutes each can do on his or her own. So, the prescription pad and syringe is the only easy-seeming (and profitable) answer, the ones they have been trained to emphasize, and doctors turn to them and similar things. I'm not saying such things can't be useful -- just that there is a bigger picture people are only starting to reawaken to since Flexner went too far the other way.

However, no doubt alternatives have their own conflicts of interest:
"Passionate about health and wellness? Integrative Nutrition empowers you to launch an exciting new career and build a life you love. Discover over 100 different dietary theories and learn from the world's top nutrition experts. The one-year course is 100% online, giving you the flexibility to study from your computer, smartphone, or tablet when it's convenient for you. ... Learn how to launch a fulfilling new career as a Health Coach and make money doing work you love. We give you all the tools and step-by-step training you need to build your business and start seeing clients while you're still in school. ... We're not just a school; we're a movement! Our community is working to reverse the health crisis. Join over 50,000 students and grads in 122 countries around the world who are creating a health revolution."

So, we are seeing an end run around the century-old Flexner-report establishment...No doubt with its own issues...

Comment: Re:Where is the line on other health aspects thoug (Score 3, Insightful) 631

by quenda (#48884701) Attached to: Should Disney Require Its Employees To Be Vaccinated?

All that "hippy stuff" may well have some relevance to flu, but vitamins won't do anything to stop you catching measles if you are exposed and not immune.
There are good arguments against flu vaccine, but measles should be a no-brainer. It is safe and effective. Nothing else is.

3500 Calories = 1 Food Pound