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Comment Re:It's not contamination (Score 3, Insightful) 62

I've read TFA, and thanks for adding some clarity, but I still have to wonder when they'll sequence the DNA.

Apparently you neither read the TFA nor the reply to your original false assertion that they didn't sequence the DNA.

Nor does your claim "if it's just an already known species then it's just contamination" make any sense.

I was on a remote island recently. I picked up an odd feather on the beach. I brought it back home and used it to identify the bird it came from. It was a known species.

There is absolutely no basis in that observation to support the claim that my backpack had somehow become contaminated by feathers from that species, and DNA is no different from feathers in this regard, when subject to ordinary standards of careful handling for such samples, which were obviously applied in this case (that is: the people doing the research are not and should not be presumed to be complete idiots.)

So you're completely wrong about all that, but have a nice day anyway!

Comment Re:Not that I would try it (Score 5, Interesting) 59

Well... You eat your own cells all the time, and in practice you probably get a serving of other peoples' sloughed-off cells with every meal you have. I guess it's really more a matter of intent: If you're not getting the stuff from a human body (or arrange for the human to become "body" in the first place) then you may well decide this is not really cannibalism no matter what DNA the cells happen to contain. It comes from a mouse, so it's basically a mouse liver.

Why you'd want to eat mouse livers is another question of course, though chicken liver is delicious, so why not?

Comment Re:Not Gaussian (Score 2) 375

I was not saying to do away with the mean altogether. What I'm saying is that the median is a much more informative statistic than the mean for non-Gaussian distributions. You're trying to get at the "typical" value for a population, but for strongly non-Gaussian distributions the mean is not actually very typical.

A good example would be salaries for a whole economy, or yearly income for musicians. The mean will be skewed by a small population of individuals with a very high income, giving you a misleadingly high mean when the typical worker or musician actually makes quite a bit less.

Giving both the mean and the median would be the best option; that would give you a sense of skewness of the distribution as well.

Comment Not Gaussian (Score 2) 375

I'm pretty sure* the distribution is not Gaussian, so the mean is a misleading statistic. At least add the median as well.

Also, as others have pointed out, there seems to be some rather problematic methodological issues with the way age is defined and used in the data set.

* This is Slashdot; you didn't think I would go and actually check, do you?

Comment Re:Sadly, no ... (Score 2) 326

I really think the Firefox people think of it like hiding an option to make your feet a valid target on a hypothetical "smart" shotgun. It's an intentional user interface failure because they actually don't want you to shoot yourself in the foot. Of course, if you're a professional who "knows what you're doing", then you can easily change a text file or install No Script.

Comment Re:Could it work as a runtime on other phones? (Score 1) 127

You already can install and use Firefox OS apps anywhere "real" Firefox is availalbe (ie. the crippleware version in IOS is excepted). That's actually a pretty compelling point in favour: Write your app, and have it run anywhere Firefox can run. And I bet that depending on the requirements of your app you can convert it to a regular hosted web app as well, and have it accessible to the Apple faithful and other browser users too.

Comment Re:Technology Reporting (Score 3, Insightful) 125

>"Potentially" makes them smaller and more power efficient. Or rather "does" but the reporter isn't knowledgeable enough to know one way or another.

No. The reporter is spot on. While in the past doing a simple shrink without redesign or significant relayout would always give power and area savings, the same is no longer true, since energy density and leakage may go up faster than dynamic power goes down. So you may need to re-layout to dilute the heat concentrations and you may find yourself consuming more power.

These days, adding advanced power features to chips is a necessary step to yield the full power and area benefits of denser transistors. Witness the power and area improvements in Haswell over Ivy Bridge, while the process (22nm) stayed fairly constant.

Comment Re:Some of us prefer having a house and a yard (Score 1) 395

That was me complaining about the restaurants.

I only visit for business (I live in Oregon so day trips are easy) and the place seems beset with chain restaurants and non chain restaurants that want to be chain restaurants. I don't deny that there might be good restaurants, but they seem inaccessible in the eating times available to me. With better knowlege or research I might be able to find better places, but I've got other things to be getting on with. SF, Portland, Seattle, San Diego and other west coast cities are not like that. I can't comment on LA because I never have a reason to go there.

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