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Comment: all thinkers are confused (Score 1) 114

by swell (#46413277) Attached to: Mathematicians Are Chronically Lost and Confused

Never trust the one who has the answers. The politician. The Preacher. The grammar school teacher. Seek those who have questions.

I'm a writer and inventor, I hope to come to understand things with my writing. I may draw a concept in an attempt to understand it better. I have written programs to unravel mysteries (you've seen the 'game of life'?) I try to reserve judgement when presented with an obvious 'truth' on Slashdot (as most of you do !).

Here's my email sig, feel free to share it:
"Your life is not going to be easy, and it should not be easy. It ought to be hard. It ought to be radical, it ought to be restless, it ought to lead you to places you'd rather not go." - Henri Nouwen

Comment: Atkins never promoted protein (Score 2) 459

by swell (#46405085) Attached to: Low-Protein Diet May Extend Lifespan

"opposite of what's urged by many human diet plans, including the popular Atkins Diet"

Even Atkins followers seem to forget that it's not protein but FAT that is important in their diet. He clearly advised that excess protein will cause glucose to be created in your body and counteract the purpose of the diet.

Comment: long arm of the law... (Score 1) 506

by swell (#46359939) Attached to: Quebec Language Police Target Store Owner's Facebook Page

Quebec's irrational ide'e fixe reaches to Southern California and Mexico as well.

Many products in local stores have packaging printed in two languages- French & English. In my American city we have roughly 10,000 Spanish speakers for every French speaker. In Tijuana the imbalance is more extreme.

The language police have a long reach.

Comment: what is it ? (Score 1) 79

by swell (#45972971) Attached to: Media Player Nightingale Reaches 1.12.1; First Release Since Songbird

I followed link after link at their site - forum, wiki, blog, etc. Lots of technical stuff for developers & fans. Not a word about what it is, what it does, why I might want to have it. No contact/feedback link. It is any wonder that open software lives in a dark corner of civilization?

Comment: please skip this story (Score 3, Interesting) 70

by swell (#45764911) Attached to: Spacesuit Problems Delay ISS Repair Spacewalk

Slashdotters are clever and generally well informed, but this is way out of your league.

I'm trying to moderate today but the fact is that none of you know anything about space suits.
Consider yourselves modded down one point.

For many years, many well trained people have devoted time, energy and tons of money to devise a better space suit. It's hard to imagine even a very clever reader here having anything worth contributing to the issue. Please move on to a story where your comments will be competent.

Comment: Re:Important details missing (Score 1) 554

Not just missing details, but overwhelming evidence: what about the hundreds of thousands of studies that say nutritional supplements are beneficial?

These 3 studies (that we are not allowed to read) are a poor counter to existing data. Thanks also to PapayaSF for pointing out the distinction between RDA amounts that protect against immediate death, and "optimum level of supplementation".

Finally, while I believe that there is something odd about the LEF founder, I believe that his organization is at the leading edge of research and formulation of useful nutrients.

Comment: Re:2003 called, they want their article back (Score 1) 281

by swell (#45711421) Attached to: DRM Has Always Been a Horrible Idea

yeah well I'm pissed

I come here for news and I get *this*? The 'proof' is two lame examples in a lame article with no pretense of any scientific or statistical basis. This subject has been rehashed here and elsewhere for decades and it is brought out to present us with this useless article. Yeah, I RTFA and I'm pissed. Someone owes me 7 minutes of my life back.

Comment: Re:A shot at other OS, computer *and* device maker (Score 4, Insightful) 471

by swell (#45209219) Attached to: Apple Announces iPad Air

> R&D

It's simple. Were it not for Apple and a very few other companies that do research, who take chances, who bet their lives that you want to move ahead, we would be using DOS.

R&D costs money. Dell and HP won't invest there; their money goes for marketing. Apple does real R&D and I am happy to support that.

Additionally, some foreign companies are investing increasingly in R&D. Apple (and Qualcomm, a few others) may be the only viable American company that remains.

Give your money to those who innovate, not to mass junk producers.

Comment: economics (Score 2) 78

by swell (#44753605) Attached to: Sizing Up the Viral Threat

"A complete viral inventory would also carry a hefty price tag: about $6.3 billion"

Who wants to pay for that? Government? Private industry? The Gates Foundation? It's a major gamble for an uncertain reward. When you do the numbers it just doesn't make sense.

Economics aside, the human factor says it should be done. Assuming that ever larger numbers of humans on our planet is desirable. Is this what we want? I, for one, am willing to sacrifice your existence if it leads to a better world.

Comment: documentation is for people (Score 1) 211

by swell (#44753445) Attached to: Writing Documentation: Teach, Don't Tell

Documentation is for people, not programmers.

Many here seem to think that programmers write software for other programmers. Some do, but look at the 'Dummies' books- they are for people. People who have to do accounting, who have to write with Word, who want to know how to assemble an Ikea coffee table.

As an Apple ][ user and then a Mac user, I've never needed a manual to run ordinary programs. Autodesk CAD software and Mathematica require some instruction but most stuff just happens as you expect it to. If a Mac program requires documentation, it's probably defective as programmed.

OTOH, dBase was written for DOS programmers. It was complicated enough to discourage ordinary users and provide a market for middleman scammers who would create simple databases for small business persons and make them dependent upon them forever after. Those end users using the Apple or Mac in the early days could easily create their own hierarchical or relational databases without a 'consultant' because the software was user friendly.

I am a senior member of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) and it is my business to communicate obscure information from programmers, scientists, engineers and other snobs so that regular people can understand it. If that information was properly organized by people with common sense, I would be out of work.

Comment: belief vs reason (Score 1) 622

by swell (#44692885) Attached to: Measles Outbreak Tied To Texas Megachurch

Certain people have a tendency to believe. Many can be found in churches, temples, mosques, etc, where of course they believe the local dogma. But these same people believe many other things; 'Everyone knows that Ms Jones down the street is practicing witchcraft!'. Even small things: Aunt Emma said that when a dog licks your wound, it will heal faster. A dog's mouth is the cleanest thing in the universe!

These people cannot be reasoned with. The fact that a study of 50,000 people indicated that there was only a 8% chance of XXXX, has no meaning to them if they know or heard of someone who was the exception. Explain all you want- their ears are deaf to you. Any 'fact' spouted by a celebrity carries infinitely more weight than a scientist's observation. No matter the facts, these people will judge the President by offhand comments whose source is forgotten but gospel truth anyway.

It's frightening for me to think that people like this have access to the button that fires a nuclear missile. That they work in our military and police forces and the halls of Congress. That they drive on the same roads that I do.

Comment: Re:Blackberry Q10 (Score 1) 238

by swell (#44468405) Attached to: How Did My Stratosphere Ever Get Shipped?

"addicted to the Stratosphere's slide-out keyboard, which enables me to type much faster than a touchscreen"

Perhaps it is better when your typing speed isn't greater than your mental speed. Slow down your fingers and speed up your brain- you'll see that you need to make some changes. The phone is the least important.

Luck, that's when preparation and opportunity meet. -- P.E. Trudeau