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Comment: From a 2010 Cell paper (Score 5, Informative) 146

by sat1308 (#45624223) Attached to: After FDA Objections, 23andMe Won't Offer Health Information
One company, for example, offers 166 tests in one of its testing packages where approximately 60% of the tests (99) are categorized as âpreliminary researchâ(TM) because the genetic-association data have not yet been replicated (www.23andme.com/health/all/). These tests are given 1, 2, or 3 stars based on the size of the study that supports the genetic association for which they test. Information for each of these tests cites references for the original ïnding of the genetic association, including the journal where it was published and the study size. It also provides the number of attempted replications and the number of contrary studies that have been published. Although transparent, examination of the scientiïc evidence provided for many of the genetic associations in this category raises the question of whether these tests should even be included in a genetic-testing package. Two of the ïve genetic tests with 1-star status (those for âavoidance of errorâ(TM) and âobsessive compulsive disorderâ(TM)) are based on single studies with fewer than 100 participants (https://www.23andme.com/you/health/). In both cases the variants map to the D2 dopamine receptor, a gene that has repeatedly been associated with human behavioral traits and attracted newspaper headlines, only to have the associations refuted in later studies [8]. Eight of the 37 (22%) available 2-star-rated genetic associations (originating from a single study with less than 750 participants) have a âcontrary studyâ(TM) indicated. Two different 3-star tests, one for Lou Gehrigâ(TM)s Disease (ALS) and another for obesity, utilize variants that have been positively associated with disease in one or two studies, respectively. However, both these variants have failed replication in four additional studies (https://www.23andme.com/you/health/). Although, the company boasts of its 'systematic vetting processâ(TM) used to determine which research ïndings to include in its genetic-testing package, a number of highly questionable tests continue to be offered to consumers.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20828856

Comment: The other side... (Score 1) 257

by sat1308 (#41490193) Attached to: Microsoft Calls For $5B Investment In U.S. Education
I have a BS and MS in CS from one of the top 10 colleges in the US. For my BS, I had a scholarship from the University and I RA-ed throughout grad school which paid for the MS (incl. living expenses).

As one of the much derided supposedly wage suppressing immigrants, allow me to point out a few things:

1. Not once was I made an offer below market wage or below what American citizens were being offered. If anything, I was made higher offers, as were many of my other international friends. In fact, I was almost always made an offer first and immigration status usually never came into the picture until I had indicated that I would accept. And I make way above what the average American makes - so I'm not the one suppressing your wages.

2. I have never been passed over for promotions or opportunities because of my immigration status, nor have any of my immigrant friends. Most people in the organizations I've worked in are simply unaware that I'm not a citizen.

3. MS is offering to pay for GREEN CARDS for their employees. If the argument here was wage suppression, why the hell would you get your employees Green Cards? Once you get a green card, you can work anywhere, thus undercutting the indentured labor argument that people often make (including normally astute people here on /.). Multiple companies have offered to get green cards for me and my friends from overseas. In fact, in some cases even if my friends didn't want to apply for whatever reason, the companies (MS and Google to be specific) kept pushing them to apply. Again, they would NOT do this if they wanted to underpay us. In fact, pretty much everywhere I've worked, they would have been happy to pay extra to expedite a Green Card for me if that were possible (it isn't because there are strict quotas).

4. If there are even 20 Sergey Brins, Vinod Dhams and Vinod Khoslas in every year's crop of immigrants, the US will come out ahead in terms of jobs created vs. jobs lost to immigrants. I suspect the number has traditionally been higher but might be lower now on account of the increasing prevalence of body-shoppers.

5. People claim that fewer Americans are studying STEM subjects and CS because of immigrants and wage suppression. This is simply utter crap. Go look at salary surveys and you'll find that engineering jobs consistently pay more than most non-STEM jobs, and even if you wanted to work on Wall Street, you are more likely to get hired if you were an engineer because you have domain knowledge which is in high demand on Wall Street and in business these days. CS graduates from my school were routinely offered over $100K after MS degrees (with a BS, it was usually somewhere between $80-100K, typically on the higher end of that range). Some CS majors were making more than McKinsey consultants or Goldman bankers straight out of college (the latter is only true if you look at the hourly wage).

The flaw in my argument that I'll readily admit: my sample is biased because most of the immigrants I know are the cream of the crop, and so my experience is likely not representative of the majority of immigrants, particularly in IT and those from India (I say this as an Indian).

All that said, there is undoubtedly wage suppression that happens but you might want to retrain your guns from the Microsoft to the Indian IT companies and the smaller IT consulting shops.

The bigger problem in IT and CS jobs is *age*. That's the elephant in the room. People don't lose their job because of immigrants, they lose it because IT companies don't like older employees.

Comment: Light on details (Score 3, Insightful) 227

by sat1308 (#34986294) Attached to: How Facebook Responded To Tunisian Hacks

The article is a little light on details, but am I right in thinking that people's session cookies were being sidejacked? AFAIK, despite FB not sending everything over https, the password is sent over https. So I don't see how a keylogger like approach would work to intercept the pw, unless the Tunisian government was smart enough to run something like Moxie Marlinspike's sslstrip where they did a MITM attack and sent unencrypted http traffic to the user and then stole their password. I doubt this was the case because a) they don't seem smart enough and b) no security measure would circumvent this unless people knew not to log in over http.

So now we just wait until the government uses sslstrip...

P.S. - It's unbelievable that in this day and age FB doesn't encrypt the whole session given how trivial session-jacking is.

Security

TSA Pats Down 3-Year-Old 1135

Posted by samzenpus
from the security-theater dept.
3-year-old Mandy Simon started crying when her teddy bear had to go through the X-ray machine at airport security in Chattanooga, Tenn. She was so upset that she refused to go calmly through the metal detector, setting it off twice. Agents then informed her parents that she "must be hand-searched." The subsequent TSA employee pat down of the screaming child was captured by her father, who happens to be a reporter, on his cell phone. The video have left some questioning why better procedures for children aren't in place. I, for one, feel much safer knowing the TSA is protecting us from impressionable minds warped by too much Dora the Explorer.
Crime

Thief Returns Stolen Laptop Contents On USB Stick 352

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-been-a-pleasure-being-your-victim dept.
While it's true that Sweden is responsible for unleashing IKEA and ABBA on humanity, not everything they produce is terrible. Their thieves are some of the most considerate in the world. An unnamed professor at Umeå University received a USB stick with all his data after his laptop was stolen. From the article: "The professor, who teaches at Umeå University in northern Sweden, was devastated when ten years of work stored on his laptop was stolen. But to his surprise, a week after the theft, the entire contents of his laptop were posted to him on a USB stick. 'I am very happy,' the unnamed professor told the local Västerbottens-Kuriren newspaper. 'This story makes me feel hope for humanity.'"
Image

Today's Children Are Officially Potty Mouths 449

Posted by samzenpus
from the kids-say-the-#@^*est-things dept.
tetrahedrassface writes "When the Sociolinguistics Symposium met earlier this month swearing scholar Timothy Jay revealed that an increase in child swearing is directly related to an increase in adult swearing. It seems that vulgarity is increasing as pop culture continues to popularize vulgarities. The blame lies with media, public figures, politicians, but mostly ourselves. From the article: 'Children as young as two are now dropping f-bombs, with researchers reporting that more kids are using profanity — and at earlier ages — than has been recorded in at least three decades.'"
Mars

New Mars Rover Rolls For the First Time 100

Posted by Soulskill
from the keep-them-doggies-rollin dept.
wooferhound writes "Like proud parents savoring their baby's very first steps, mission team members gathered in a gallery above a clean room at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to watch the Mars Curiosity rover roll for the first time. Engineers and technicians wore bunny suits while guiding Curiosity through its first steps, or more precisely, its first roll on the clean room floor. The rover moved forward and backward about 1 meter (3.3 feet). Mars Science Laboratory (aka Curiosity) is scheduled to launch in fall 2011 and land on the Red Planet in August 2012. Curiosity is the largest rover ever sent to Mars. It will carry 10 instruments that will help search an intriguing region of the Red Planet for two things: environments where life might have existed, and the capacity of those environments to preserve evidence of past life."
Image

Southwest Adds 'Mechanical Difficulties' To Act Of God List 223

Posted by samzenpus
from the blameless-travel dept.
War, earthquakes, and broken washers are all unavoidable events for which a carrier should not be liable if travel is delayed according to Southwest Airlines. Southwest quietly updated their act of God list a few weeks ago to include mechanical problems with the other horrors of an angry travel god. From the article: "Robert Mann, an airline industry analyst based in Port Washington, NY, called it 'surprising' that Southwest, which has a reputation for stellar customer service, would make a change that puts passengers at a legal disadvantage if an aircraft breakdown delays their travel. Keeping a fleet mechanically sound 'is certainly within the control of any airline,' Mann said. 'Putting mechanical issues in the same category as an act of God — I don't think that's what God intended.'"
Earth

Nuclear Power Could See a Revival 415

Posted by kdawson
from the comforting-bremsstrahlung-glow dept.
shmG writes "As the US moves to reduce dependence on oil, the nuclear industry is looking to expand, with new designs making their way through the regulatory process. No less than three new configurations for nuclear power are being considered for licensing by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The first of them could be generating power in Georgia by 2016."
The Internet

Over a Third of the Internet Is Pornographic 247

Posted by samzenpus
from the filthy-web dept.
Th'Inquisitor writes "Pornography makes up 37% of the total number of web pages online, according to a new study published by Optenet, a SaaS provider. According to the report, which looked at a representative sample of around four million extracted URLs, adult content on the Internet increased by 17% in the first quarter of 2010, as compared to the same period in 2009."
Books

Grigory Perelman and the Poincare Conjecture 241

Posted by kdawson
from the another-tortured-genius dept.
EagleHasLanded writes "Russian mathematician Grigory Perelman doesn't talk to journalists. Actually, he doesn't talk to anyone anymore. So we'll have to settle for insights via his biographer, Masha Gessen, who, strangely enough, has never talked to him either. But she has spoken with just about everyone who has ever had any significant interaction with Perelman, and the result is the book Perfect Rigor, which more than adequately explains why Perelman has gone into self-imposed exile, and why he probably won't collect the million dollars he won by solving the Poincare Conjecture."
Movies

Biden Promises 'Right Person' As Copyright Czar 492

Posted by samzenpus
from the film-appreciation dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Vice President Joe Biden lauded Hollywood at a gala dinner in Washington, assailed movie piracy, and promised film executives that the Obama administration would pick 'the right person' as its copyright czar. Biden warned of the harms of piracy at the private event organized by the Motion Picture Association of America in the sumptuous, newly renovated Great Hall of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. 'It's pure theft, stolen from the artists and quite frankly from the American people as consequence of loss of jobs and as a consequence of loss of income,' Biden said, according to a White House pool report. Biden addressed President Obama's forthcoming decision about who will be named the intellectual-property enforcement coordinator, better known as the copyright czar. Under a law approved by the US Congress last October, Obama is required to appoint someone to coordinate the administration's IP enforcement efforts and prepare annual reports. Copyright industry lobbyists sent a letter to the president asking him to pick someone sympathetic to their concerns, while groups that would curb copyright law sent their own letter (PDF) urging the opposite approach. We 'will find the right person for intellectual property czar,' Biden said."

Comment: Some choice quotes since none of you RTFA (Score 1) 124

by sat1308 (#27042271) Attached to: Facebook Nearly Added Twitter To Friends List
Emphasis mine.

"At that point, Facebook offered Twitter around $100 million in cash, with the rest of the deal in stock. Facebook said it would come up with the $100 million by selling more of its stock to outside investors. Twitter agreed on one condition: that the Facebook stock it received be valued at the price company shares garnered on the open market. Facebook blinked and the deal talks ended. "They wanted to buy us but there was not much conviction," the person says."

"Analytics Web site Compete shows Twitter has 6 million unique users, up from around 800,000 last year. Yet Twitter doesn't generate any revenue, despite its surge in popularity."

And finally the best quote of all from Portfolio's interview with Twitter's CEO:

I can't imagine how many times you've been asked, "But how will you make money?"
We will make money, and I can't say exactly how, because we can't predict exactly what's going to work.

Comment: Target Market? (Score 2, Interesting) 194

by sat1308 (#23132428) Attached to: InPhase Technologies Promises Holographic Drive in May
From TFA:
Which gets us to InPhase's target market: archiving. That's why they were showing at NAB.

I don't get it. No matter how valuable your content, why would you pay $18,000 for a burner and $180 for for a 300GB disc? Just for the price of the media, you can mirror your data across three different brand-new hard disks. Surely the odds of 3 hard disks failing at the same time are lower than that of an untested, brand-new technology with no redundancy?

Maybe I'm too thick, but why would anyone buy this at this price? (Other than the coolness/my dick is bigger than yours factor, of course.)

What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away.

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