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Comment Re:I'm not sure I like the idea... (Score 5, Insightful) 204

More generally, if the information gets stolen, you can never change it. Locks, passwords, and challenge-response seeds can all be replaced. No other authentication method has this glaring weakness. The burden of manual authentication is here to stay, I think, until we get password manager brain implants.

Comment Re:Misleading summary as usual (Score 5, Informative) 119

As you may know, net neutrality is a set of rules which say Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T, and Verizon, cannot block, throttle or prioritize certain content on the Internet. Knowing this, do you support or oppose net neutrality?

  • Strongly support: 24%
  • Somewhat support: 37%
  • Somewhat oppose: 13%
  • Strongly oppose: 5%
  • Don't Know / No Opinion: 21%

So that's 61% in favour of net neutrality rather than the abstract jargon-laden questions of 88% of people disagreeing with "the government should have the ability to set the specific prices, terms and conditions for Internet access," the 43% people who believe the internet would "get worse" if "government were to regulate Internet access as a utility" (ignoring the fact that it arguably already does, and things clearly are not getting progressively worse already), and the 51% who said "Internet access should not be considered a public utility regulated by the federal government" when it was compared to everything but telecommunications.

Two points arise from this: the 5% of people who 'strongly oppose' net neutrality may very well believe they're supporting censorship of terrorist propaganda, and if there is a major overlap between the population segment that wants an open internet and the one that wants minimal government interference in ISPs, they're probably free-market idealists who want the ISPs to have the good taste to maintain net neutrality without government oversight, much like the software industry created the ESRB to avoid government regulation of video game ratings.

It is, I think, absurd to conclude that any majority of the population is in favour of Comcast absorbing a bunch of media companies and manipulating rules so it can steal Netflix's income with XFINITY TV—no matter how many layers of bullshit they bury it under.

Comment Re:Actual summary of the article (Score 1) 259

It doesn't, as I said; all of the positives that he cites would be obtainable if Windows Update were hookable by others. Presumably he feels that the success of a Store-limited version of Windows is the only marketplace-feasible way to accomplish this, as developers would be pressured into using it in order to reach an audience, but that's really more of a reason why Windows 10 S won't succeed in any real sense, beyond filling Microsoft's traditional need to inure an impressionable sub-population (in this case, the next generation of children) to Windows.

Comment Re:accented characters (Score 1) 128

Traditionally I think it was not ASCII, but CP-1252 that worked on Slashdot.

CP-1252: äåé®üúíóöáßðøæ©ñ瀼½¾‘’ (okay, so not all of it. Mostly vowels.)

Unicode Greek: ; (the entire alphabet reduced to one erotimatiko, which I expect really is just a semicolon.)

Comment Actual summary of the article (Score 4, Informative) 259

The summary provided isn't terribly sharp; it takes out any of the justification provided in the Ars piece and relates mostly the author's opinions. Mr. Bright's actual argument is that the Windows 10 Store fills the hole of a single, consistent package manager, promising that applications will be cleanly installed, updated, and uninstalled without the diversity of mechanisms abundant currently. He doesn't offer any defense of Windows 10 S beyond that, nor of the essential problem of a locked-down ecosystem and all of the censorship-related complications, which are waved off in the first three paragraphs (along with a screenshot of the Popcorn Time installer failing to run.) I don't believe he even defends the ostensible cleanliness benefits of closed ecosystems. All of the positives that he cites would be obtainable if it were simply possible to hook into Windows Update, a notion he mentions.

Comment Re:Gut flora and artificial sweeteners (Score 1) 5

This is probably the most recent, well-cited article on the topic. The authors looked at the effects of saccharin in mice, and were able to determine that there was a significant elevation in blood-glucose level for the mice that were fed saccharin instead of actual glucose over the course of nine weeks. This suggests a mechanism for previous findings that suggest artificial sweeteners cause insulin insensitivity, weight gain, type II diabetes, et cetera. The difference between the two diets went away when both groups were raised with antibiotics, strongly suggesting the underlying cause was gut microbiota. They also found evidence that the saccharin diet led to changes in gut microbiome composition:

In agreement with the experiments with antibiotics, next generation sequencing of the microbiome indicated that mice drinking saccharin had distinct compositions from controls. This distinct microbiome was characterized by enrichment of taxa belonging to the Bacteroides genus or the Clostridiales order, with under-representation of Lactobacilli and other members of the Clostridiales. Several of the bacterial taxa that changed following saccharin consumption were previously associated with type 2 diabetes in humans.

Keep in mind that everyone has different gut flora, so in general these impacts will vary from person to person, which is why the effect is inconsistent, as with obesity and type II diabetes in general. I can't say for certain that these results would directly transfer into humans, but since the bacteria are the same, it's unreasonable to assume they wouldn't. Less clear is whether this effect transfers to other sweeteners; the paper includes a table showing a number of studies pertaining to a diversity of chemicals, some of which found an effect, and some of which didn't.

Non-professionally, my advice would be to avoid artificial sweeteners, and ideally all liquid candy. Some people find that drinking normal, sugary soda produces a state of lethargy, and I'm pretty sure this is a result of the long-term exposure to sucralose. It's sort of a trap!

Comment Re:Which type of graft is best? (Score 1) 5

That's fairly straightforward; as this summary article explains, a synthetic allograph (or xenograph; the terms overlap) that maintains bone mineral density is ideal, as it means no harvesting from elsewhere on your body (eek), no risk of rejection, and good bone density. I'd say start a conversation with your dentist about hydrogel-hydroxyapatite composites and mention you're concerned about sustaining bone density long-term.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Biology Help Desk: Volume 3^3 5

As requested by the world's greatest masked mystery person, Anonymous Coward, it may or may not be time for yet another biology help desk thread, after a surprisingly long hiatus of about four years. Feel free to contribute both questions and answers.

Comment Re: In Other News (Score 1) 478

It was a quaint archaism over a century ago. British English used it in the 18th century, and it arrived in India alongside the British. Many quirks of Indian English have similarly ancient roots, although some are innovations and most are the product of people learning the language (e.g. Hindi speakers conflate "softly" and "slowly" as Sanskrit had only one word for both.)

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