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Comment: Re:Science... Yah! (Score 1) 958

by sl3xd (#48970539) Attached to: Science's Biggest Failure: Everything About Diet and Fitness

One big problem is that the "nutritional" industry, which amount to well-spoken charlatans. They make outlandish, unprovable claims, and people swallow it (literally) by the billions.

They masquerade marketing as science in order feign legitimacy, and the fact is they aren't providing anything with a provable benefit.

The only regulatory bar they have to cross is that it's not obviously harmful. There's no requirement that the 'supplement' be beneficial.

It's bad enough to claim that some herb or vitamin supplement provides health benefits that are nonexistent. It's another thing entirely to sell a product that doesn't even have what is on the label. This morning, ABC news had a story about a number of nutritional companies were forced to pull their 'supplements' after testing proved they didn't contain anything they claimed to have.

I wish I could say I'm surprised, but after working for such a company, I have few doubts: the entire industry is rotten to the core, and is only interested in fooling their customers into buying snake oil. It's not like it's an insular thing; you're have to be aware of what the competition is doing, and I saw the same BS everywhere.

Comment: Re:Greece's problem is lack of ecumenic freedom (Score 2) 328

by sl3xd (#48918879) Attached to: Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

Japan can also print its own money, which gives it the ability (at least in theory) to wipe out all public debt with the stroke of a pen. There are consequences to that action, but when your debt is counted in your own currency, you can largely ignore the public debt, as long as inflation is kept in check. Most non-eurozone countries (including the US) do the same thing. In fact, inflation has long been used by most nations to decrease the impact of public debt, as the fixed-dollar debt can be reduced to a smaller %age of the GDP. It's how Great Britian and the US 'paid' for World War II, for example. As another example, recall the talk about a "trillion dollar platinum coin" during the most recent US government shutdown, which would have paid off a trillion dollars of debt as well as instantly and drastically inflated the dollar (among other things).

Greece doesn't have a national currency. Their debt is in Euros, and must be repaid in Euros. Greece can't unilaterally inflate the Euro to reduce their debt load. The situation is closer to the economy of California, which is also heavily in debt. California doesn't get to print its own money, and it doesn't have the option of creating inflation to reduce its debt load.

Greece and California have two choices: Make their payments, and hope inflation happens on its own, or default and accept they won't be able to borrow money for a substantial amount of time. Growing their economies makes both options more palatable, but doesn't solve the problem by itself.

Comment: Re:Communicating probabilities (Score 1) 397

by sl3xd (#48918261) Attached to: "Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

+ This

Anybody who lives around snow knows it comes in pretty much every density and consistency water can possibly have: from "wet" heavy snow and huge flakes that stick to everything and entombs cars and houses, to "dry" powder that doesn't stick to anything, and blows around like a dune in a sandstorm.

Sometimes you get both kinds within an hour.

Comment: News at 11!!! (Score 4, Informative) 172

by sl3xd (#48557913) Attached to: Just-Announced X.Org Security Flaws Affect Code Dating Back To 1987

Anybody who's really looked at security around X11 has known for decades that it isn't that great.

I even remember that as recently as a year ago, ATI's drivers specifically tell you to use "xhost +" to enable GPU compute jobs using ATI devices, which resulted in a lot of "LOL NOPE" in the HPC industry. (It's trivial to root a machine that has had "xhost +" executed inside an X11 session.)

X11 having critical security holes should surprise no one. There's a reason internet-facing servers don't have X11, and it's not just because you don't need a GUI sucking up resources.

On the other hand, I'm thoroughly grateful that somebody decided to do something about it.

Comment: Re:Can't be true (Score 3, Insightful) 136

by sl3xd (#48388007) Attached to: 81% of Tor Users Can Be De-anonymized By Analysing Router Information

Citation, please? Where are you getting the idea that exit nodes have huge bandwidth bills?

For example: run a mac mini colo as an exit node, with unmetered bandwidth. $55/month, with 100 Mb of bandwidth, 24x7.

Or some guy in Korea with 3-5 gigabits of bandwidth at their home for ~$40 USD/month?

Or a university club running an exit point using approved university resources? (I know my alma matter does)

Tor exit nodes are often just people hosting them on their own nickel, often at home. You can throttle the tor server to 56 Kib/s, and leave the rest for your own usage.

Comment: Re:Until we upgrade the dumb bunnies (Score 1) 384

by sl3xd (#48200181) Attached to: Ebola Does Not Require an "Ebola Czar," Nor Calling Up the National Guard

In fairness, some people do feel better when they see something being done by some sort of authority figure. Even a scrawny 19-year old rent-a-cop armed with a radio can make a substantial difference to people's feeling of well being (in one way or the other...)

Comment: Re:Politics (Score 5, Informative) 384

by sl3xd (#48200149) Attached to: Ebola Does Not Require an "Ebola Czar," Nor Calling Up the National Guard

If they had just stated the truth, that Ebola is hard to spread with proper controls, and can be contained...

For the public, notions of safety went out the window after the clusterfsck in Texas.

- A patient went to the ER with symptoms, and was sent home
- People in government-mandated quarantine didn't honor the quarantine, and went to public places. It took armed guards to enforce the quarantine.
- Two nurses, wearing the recommended protective equipment became infected, and are being treated now.
- One of the nurses went on an airline flight after treating the Ebola patient, in violation of a number of CDC policies
- Personnel treating the first ebola patient were in constant contact with hundreds of others, including other hospital patients

Restated facts (or "truth") about how difficult it is to transmit can no longer combat the fear that has brewed up.

A pattern of mistake after mistake has emerged - things that should have never happened did. People who knew better didn't do the right thing, over and over.

It's a PR disaster, pure and simple. Any goodwill or trust the public had was burned up in Texas.

Comment: Re:Some things are beyond the pale (Score 3) 993

by sl3xd (#48078841) Attached to: Lennart Poettering: Open Source Community "Quite a Sick Place To Be In"


Pottering comes off as an arrogant jerk, but the guy's trying to make Linux better.

Sure, many disagree with his vision, and he definitely could have been less of an ass in a number of documented situations... But he hasn't done anything to warrant the sort of things he's describing.

Some people carry on like he's demanding primae noctis.

Comment: Re:The Internet of Things, aka (Score 2) 50

by sl3xd (#48042085) Attached to: Factory IoT Saves Intel $9 Million

It's just a toilet seat that reports when somebody's on it. Everybody poops! There's nothing to worry about!

Until you realize that it's able to find usage patterns, and your insurance rates go up because they think you may be getting colon cancer.

Everything's connected, and I don't want every facet of my life being reported to some corporate overlord.

An egghead is one who stands firmly on both feet, in mid-air, on both sides of an issue. -- Homer Ferguson