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Comment Re:That's just Western prejudice (Score 1) 403

Agreed that this test is seriously flawed although I can't say how. Perhaps being based on studying elderly, one foot in the grave men, whose brains are most likely toasted after years of ... wait for it ... alcohol consumption?
Another flaw may be in that all ginkgo supplement brands are not equal. Some better formulated than others
Another possibility they don't list is that maybe the men were stupid to begin with and that nothing would help them in the first place, not even Rx amphetamines?

I know from personal experience that ginkgo definitely does work as a mental function stimulant.
I began using it when I was in my 30s and taking college night classes after a full day's work .. day job. Long story short, It made maintaining a 4.0 gpa through Algebra, Trig & Calculus possible for me.

Today, I'm in my early 50s and still take it daily. I certainly can tell the difference than days I don't. Actually it takes about a week without it for the fog to set in.

The only documented bad side-effect being reduced hemostasis.
However I find some of the many documented and proven benefits of taking ginkgo daily:
1. My tinnitus is greatly reduced
2. And most importantly for me, I have a genetic anomaly with my heart. Ginkgo's PAF & vasodilation properties are attributable to why I am still healthy and physically active, contrary to the opinions of some quack doctors that recently told me that I am a walking dead man and need to be on proprietary, and very expensive, beta blockers to treat what they diagnosed me as having cardio myopia.

I see this study as just another attack on an effective and useful supplement by the pharmaceutical industry that is trying to make patients out of healthy people and addicting healthy people on toxic excrement.

Ginkgo is a potent inhibitor of PAF function, same thing as the proprietary pharmaceutical Plavix. Who needs Plavix when you can get Ginkgo for a fraction of the cost? Along with the numerous other benefits Ginkgo provides.

Comment Next up: The Objectivizer (Score 1) 134

What we need next is a news story motivation analyzer program.

It reads gazillions of news stories, has general models of human motivations
and human loyalty groupings etc, has a model of situation logic
which models the likely or perceived gains and losses that different
people or groups would experience depending on how situations evolve,
match that with what is being reported about the situation, and...

Annotate the news stories or statements within them with credibility
colour markings (with supporting notes.)

(So don't try to patent that by the way. It's now public domain.)

Comment Re:So (Score 2, Interesting) 284

I've ranted about this plenty of times on slashdot. There is no such program in the US. You can buy a "pay as you go" phone but the cost/minute is generally higher than the contract plans. Bringing your own phone to the deal only grants you the freedom to not sign a contract for a *normal* monthly plan. There is no discount whatsoever.

Comment Re:Still valid? (Score 2, Informative) 414

I do the non-physical work on about 500 users and computers, and 15 or so servers not quite by myself (a couple union guys do any physical work). I spend most of my day browsing slashdot with little to do, other than maintaining those servers, or when something goes seriously wrong on a machine. That's because the vast majority of the user's machines are locked down pretty hard (many don't even get icons on their desktop), and they only run a couple programs, which means there is almost nothing for them to screw up. The engineers tend to get themselves into more trouble, since their machines aren't locked down, but there are only a handful of them so it's no big deal (and they are smart, so they often fix their own problems).

It pretty much all depends on your environment. I could envision a case where 200 users, 50 computers, and 2-3 servers per head is ideal, but in most well-run environments that would be extreme over-kill. Bump it up to about 500 computers and 10-20 servers per head and I think you're in the average ballpark for a decent IT group, and you could raise that a bit more if everyone is in the same building. These days it's rare to have more than one user per computer.

Comment Re:White people suck in space (Score 1) 870

The oxidising agent need not be in the air. Combustible material in a heated condition could release such an oxidising agent, which oxidises a strong reducing agent from the air. Somewhat reverse of what typically happens on earth: heat wood/gasoline/ => release hydrocarbon etc. gases => oxidised by oxygen in air.

In fact, both oxidising and reducing agent gases can get released from heating the same combustible substance, also resulting in similar fires.

If I were to guess, then the atmospheric composition of Pandora is 50% N2, 30% O2 and 19% CO2, and 1% other stuff. I might be wrong about the ratio of nitrogen to oxygen, since I believe the higher CO2 content leads to higher oxygen requirements to support combustion.

Major components of atmosphere are not necessarily elemental molecules. They could be compounds too. I suspect your guess is too much tainted by presumption of similarity with earth's, and a lack of imagination. Not that I have any evidence to the contrary :)

Comment Eh, we had the older skywalker (Score 2, Insightful) 629

He was a whiny teen. Luke Skywalker just accepts his fate. In an ACTION movie, that is important. Leave the shallow soul searching for MTV. The problem with the movie is that Darth Vader it truly and wholy evil. The "saving" at the end of Return of the Jedi was already bad enough (in the books and expanded universe it is made clear that he can't cross over nearly as easy, hence the reason to burn the corpse where Yoda and Obi-wan just faded away) but it still doesn't sit well with the hero ending of the bad guy being blown away, but is excused because it is different enough to be seen as original.

But he AIN'T a hero character. And in the first three movies you are supposed to care about this guy who really is not going to end up saving the day. It would be like making a movie about Adolf Hitler's youth and expecting people to root for him. Sorry, no. And there was a remote possibility that we could have cared, if we had seen him fighting the dark side only to be tricked fatally in the end in a way nobody could forsee. But the entire 3 movies are like a Punch and Judy show, with the audience screaming "look out behind you" and punch looking the wrong way and saying "where". Hilarious when 4 year olds see it done in a good puppet show, but the political antics were beyond young kids and below adults. Where were those supersmart jedi, were was the mastermind of the emperor. No action hero to save the day, no intense manipulation by unseen puppeteer masters who turn wheels within wheels. Just... well just the 3 prequels which told a story that could have been told in a simple expanded universe book in a way that would not have focussed on the villain but on a new hero whose path crosses that of the villain.

There is a reason this guy takes 70 minutes to tear the movie down, because the prequels are really that fucking bad. Not the kinda bad that you get when a producer gets his hand on something he doesn't understand (Uwe Boll) or the producer just can't direct (Plan 9 from outer space) but the kinda bad that arrives when a lot of very talented people forget just what the fuck they are good at doing.

The simplest example of this is the CGI battle on the grassy plane. What did CGI do well in those days? Tech scenes, hard corners, steel and concrete. So what did they render, lush grass land. It looks fake! They managed to get a green lawn which you can shoot for real on any golfcourse looks horribly fake.

And if you think 20 minutes is 1/3 of the movie, then your brain must have carefully restructured itself to shut out the most damaging memories, memories that if they were to surface would turn you into a bliddering murderous psycho.

Proof, you think the movie could be fixed. Amazing healing capacities the brain has. I can remember it all, but I am sane! Ain't I Mr. Fibble?

Comment Do one thing and do it well (Score 1, Interesting) 164

Call me old fashion, but I am a firm believer of do on thing and to it well. Your list of requests have a very broad scope and it wasn't clear if you expected one software package to do all of it. There are many great open source software packages for use with business.

GnuCash is an excellent accounting system to help you keep your financial accounts organized. I'm not really sure what is entailed with 'issuing a W-2' other than handing your employee a form. I have seen various companies use a combination wiki, dms and cms, all of which have many open source choices, to organize corporate data, and serve it in an clean and clear fashion to interested parties.

As far as tax filing software, it looks like this is not a foreign question to slashdot:


One of the products offered in the above link is: http://opentaxsolver.sourceforge.net/ Open Tax Solver

I am unclear what you mean by legal template. If you mean pre-formated document, OpenOffice.org has a large collection of templates you can browse through. If you mean canned agreements and contracts, they are around on the web, if you search for them. I must add IANAL so be careful using any generalized contract.

Comment Re:Scripting not programming±±? (Score 1) 752

Fair enough, and I agree with your prior statement, which was that C is not hard to learn. I'm old enough to have worked extensively in C because we didn't have the more modern alternatives. Even C++ was new, dinosaurs were still leaving tracks in the mud, and Kernighan was still dating.

I have not recently encountered many problems where I needed to take on C or C++ to create a sufficiently efficient solution. I have nothing against C, indeed I loved working in it back in the day. I never worked with C++ to become comfortable with the libraries, so I just steer clear of it. Java/Scala have worked well enough for anything that was intensive, and Python is just easier for everything else. It's a rare problem in my world where developer efficiency isn't a primary goal, and that hardware can't be used to solve the rest of the need for speed (assuming a reasonably efficient implementation). I know there are many cases where that isn't true, they're just rare in my work.

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Ya'll hear about the geometer who went to the beach to catch some rays and became a tangent ?