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Comment: Re:Correlation != Causation (Score 1) 104

by robbyjo (#46365229) Attached to: Blood Test of 4 Biomarkers Predicts Death Within 5 Years

Oh the classical correlation != causation meme! Read the f***ing paper first and understand the arguments!

You should understand WHICH 4 biomarkers they are testing: VLDL, Albumin, Citrate, and Alpha-1 acid glycoprotein. If these four are high, chances are the metabolism behind these four indicators has been wrong for DECADES and is hardly reversible. It makes sense, therefore, to predict 5-y mortality rate with these 4 biomarkers. Sure the prediction isn't perfect, but boy are they good indicators of someone health just as fasting blood glucose, blood pressures, cholesterols and other measurements!

So, just quit this kneejerk correlation != causation reaction already and understand the science behind it!

Comment: Re:Correlations (Score 5, Informative) 256

by robbyjo (#43688191) Attached to: Spoiler Alert: Smart Kids Become Successful Adults

> Open articles. Ctrl-F "Controling" No results. Close tab. Nothing of value.

It does. It is abbreviated as "RGSC" on the article. Look at Figure 2 to see the model graphically and you see that RGSC is featured prominently on the top. Also, if you look at Table 2, the authors acknowledge the link between SES of origin AND math / reading abilities. But this paper shows that the math & reading abilities at 7 years old do predict mid-life SES above AND beyond the SES of origin.

Security

+ - Video shows Chinese military hacker launching successful attack->

Submitted by colinneagle
colinneagle (2544914) writes "Thanks to cybersecurity firm Mandiant, we now have a video of a hacker believed to be linked to the Chinese military infiltrating and stealing files from unidentified English language targets.

The video comes as part of Mandiant's 60-page report, first reported by the New York Times, that claims China's military is responsible for cyberattacks on more than 140 foreign businesses, many of which are in the United States. In the video, a hacker is seen registering a Gmail account with a U.S. IP number, then verifying it with a phone number located in Shanghai. From the email account, the narrator says it is clear the attacker has used it for spearphishing, particularly "focused on military exercises in the Philippines." He then installs command-and-control servers, tests them, and, after an hour of failed attempts to issue commands to a victim backdoor (which the video omits), uses stolen credentials to log into an email account. Once there, he uses several tools to launch spearphishing campaigns and steal files."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Major challenge: Retrieval and storage (Score 3, Interesting) 136

by robbyjo (#42673887) Attached to: Researchers Achieve Storage Density of 2.2 Petabytes Per Gram of DNA

Okay, storing is "solved". How about retrieval? Especially random access retrieval that are simple and fast (relatively speaking) that allow such storage medium to be practical? Certainly not DNA sequencing that can take weeks to complete?

The second problem: DNA denature and fragment at room temperature. Certainly a -80C lab freezer for storage wouldn't be practical.

Third problem: DNA secondary and tertiary structure. The coding scheme must also solves the problem of DNA tendency to make secondary structure (like hairpin) or tertiary structure (like super-coil) that can hamper reading / access to the information. I think this is the reason why the storage uses short sequences. But short DNA sequences like the one proposed (~100 bp, from the figure) could still make such structures.

Comment: What constitutes a "real" name? (Score 2) 283

by robbyjo (#37056490) Attached to: Fake Names On Social Networks, a Fake Problem

What constitutes a "real" name? Take a look at Sun Yat-Sen, for example. Which one do you think is THE real name? The original name? Baby name? Genealogy name? Courtesy name? School name? Eventually, Sun Yat-Sen was famed in China because of the pseudoname he used in Japan. And Yat-Sen itself is a school name.

Comment: GUIMiner is most likely optimized for AMD cards (Score 1) 403

by robbyjo (#36756034) Attached to: Bitcoin Mining Tests On 16 NVIDIA and AMD GPUs

The performance of GPU-based codes is highly dependent on the video cards. I highly doubt the dismal performance of NVIDIA cards. I think the authors most likely optimized the kernel code to AMD cards. This is evident when you look at the CL kernel code and you see that there are so many hardwired constants and fixed arrays (aligned to 128 ints or longs). Moreover, the authors GUIMiner don't seem to take advantage of NVIDIA's more local workthreads (compared to AMD's).

I'd say that declaring AMD a victor is premature.

Idle

+ - Best Buy geeked off by NewEGG's "GEEK ON"->

Submitted by GuruBuckaroo
GuruBuckaroo (833982) writes "Best Buy apparently didn't take well to NewEgg.com's new TV commercial with its dead-on depiction of what it decided was a "slovenly and uninformed" Geek Squad employee, prompting a cease-and-desist letter targeting both the ad and NewEgg's new "GEEK ON" branding. Predictably, NewEgg does not concur."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Not going to happen (Score 1) 104

by robbyjo (#35979610) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Encourage Better Research Software?

Does "agile" software development allow scrapping 100% of the code and radically change the spec (and thereby everything else) every about 6 months just because of new scientific publication? It may sound extreme, but this often happen in research. If we take time to "structure" our code, before we know it, we have to redo it all over again. We do use libraries like GSL, BLAS, ATLAS, etc. to make our lives easier. These won't change, but whatever we build on top of these often get scrapped at regular basis. So, we really don't have incentives to "beautify" the code.

Comment: Not going to happen (Score 5, Insightful) 104

by robbyjo (#35978292) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Encourage Better Research Software?

Not only that most researchers are not proficient in programming language, they shape their codes more like prototypes so that they can modify the codes easily as the science progress. Conventional programmers will be frustrated with this approach since they want every single spec set in stone, which will never happen in research setting since research progresses very rapidly and specs can change dramatically in most cases. If you can set the spec in stone, it is usually a sign that the field has matured and is getting transitioned to engineering-type problems. Once the transition happens, it's no longer research, it's engineering. Then you can "make the code better".

The Internet

+ - FTP is 40 years old->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "FTP celebrates its 40th birthday tomorrow. Originally launched as the RFC 114 specification, which was published on 16 April 1971, FTP is arguably even more important today than when it was born. Frank Kenney, vice president of global strategy for US managed file transfer company Ipswitch, said that the protocol we know as FTP today is ‘a far cry from when Abhay Bushan, a student at MIT, wrote the original specifications for FTP.’

According to Kenney, the standard has grown from ‘a simple protocol to copy files over a TCP-based network [to] a sophisticated, integrated model that provides control, visibility, compliance and security in a variety of environments, including the cloud.’"

Link to Original Source
Government

+ - National Broadband Map Shows Digital Divide

Submitted by Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes (1984118) writes "PC Magazine reports that the Commerce Department has unveiled a national broadband inventory map, which will allow the public to see where high-speed Internet is available throughout the country. Users can search by address, view data on a map, or use other interactive tools to compare broadband across various geographies, such as states, counties or congressional districts. Commerce officials say the information can help businesses decide if they want to move to a certain location, based on broadband availability. The map costing about $200 million and financed through the 2009 Recovery Act shows that 5-10 percent of Americans lack broadband access at speeds that support a basic set of applications. Another 36 percent lack access to wireless service. Community anchor institutions like schools and libraries are also "largely underserved," the data finds and two-thirds of surveyed schools subscribe to speeds lower than 25 Mbps and only 4 percent of libraries subsribe to speeds greater than 25 Mbps. "The National Broadband Map shows there are still too many people and community institutions lacking the level of broadband service needed to fully participate in the Internet economy," says Larry Strickling, assistant secretary of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). "We are pleased to see the increase in broadband adoption last year, particularly in light of the difficult economic environment, but a digital divide remains.""
Software

+ - Survey: IT pros cheating more, tattling more-> 1

Submitted by Julie188
Julie188 (991243) writes "Incidents of cheating on IT certifications are on the rise, a trend that experts say is an outward sign of the desperation felt by out-of-work and under-employed IT professionals. In a survey of 200 IT professionals on IT Ethics conducted by Network World, 58% said they felt that using "braindump" training materials was unethical yet 72% of respondents think that IT professionals use braindump materials on a regular-to-frequent basis. And 12% have directly witnessed someone cheating on a certification exam. Also interestingly: the survey reports that cheating on software licenses is equally rampant. But whistleblowing by IT pros on their company's license abuses is also on the rise. IT pros are getting fed up with being forced to violate licenses (and their own ethics) by business managers."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Exams in other cultures (Score 2) 210

by robbyjo (#34858236) Attached to: Catching Exam Cheats With a Spectrum Analyzer

In Ancient China, imperial exam was literally game-changing. The stake is high; it was virtually the only way peasants could become noblemen. Therefore, people did whatever it took to be successful. This system was copied and adapted to some degree in ancient Japan, Korea, or Vietnam. Hence similar attitude also pervades in these countries.

Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly. - Henry Spencer, University of Toronto Unix hack

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