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Comment Re: Psychiatry is not medicine (Score 1) 185

Psychiatry IS medicine. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor, must have an M.D. first, then specialize in psychiatry. Some (many?) so-called mental health conditions are caused by lifestyles vastly different than those under which we evolved, granted. Let's exclude them.

Chronic depression is terrible. I was less than 40 years old when my husband, my father, and my little baby died. I cried every day, for two years, no end in sight. I didn't remember to eat, comb my hair, brush my teeth, change clothes. I'd wander around my neighborhood in my nightgown, giving what little money I had to anyone who was homeless, because it was the only thing, their smiles, that relieved the sorrow for a tiny moment. Finally, I went to a psychiatrist. Treatment wasn't tranquilizers (Valium), anti-psychotics or stimulants. The very first anti-depressant the doctor prescribed started to help after about three weeks. No side effects, just that I had to take it at the same time each day, else I got a headache. We titrated the dose to the minimum level necessary to be effective. No brain biopsies or blood tests were necessary. Then I asked for the generic version, as it is a lot cheaper.

I still cry a lot, but I remember to eat and sleep. I got a used Toshiba Satellite laptop for $50, learned CSS and some Web 2.0 stuff, re-learned SAS, SPSS and some Fortran. I got a job (only part-time was available) working from home, which paid more than enough to cover rent and food for me and my mother. It was contract work, so I'm looking again, but I think I can find something. I doubt any of this would be possible without the psychiatrist and anti-depressant medication.

There are plenty of whiny, self-indulgent malingerer's in this world. Lots of attention-seekers too. One could certainly argue that they have problems! But they are not of the sort that require medication, or care of a psychiatrist. I will be happy when I don't need medication or care either.

Submission + - Bat's tongue could inspire miniature surgical robot design (

Damien1972 writes: Nectar-feeding bats shift the shape of their tongue to slurp up sugar from flowers upon which they feed, finds a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Using histological techniques, high-speed videography, and anatomical studies, biologist Cally Harper found that the bat Glossophaga soricina relies on hair-like structures known as papillae on its tongue to extract nectar from flowers. The structures, which become erect when muscle contraction fills them with blood, increase the surface area and width of its tongue tip to create a hydraulic process that causes nectar to flow along the tongue into the bat's mouth. The mechanism is "surprisingly clever" and could inspire medical device design, according to the researchers.

Comment Re:I can't wait (Score 1) 95

... [on Slashdot] we love technology and advances EXCEPT WHEN IT COMES TO BIOLOGY. Then it's nothing but "whatcouldpossiblygowrong" ... Yes, technology has downsides and dangers. All technology does. Always. Yes, you need to be aware of it...

It annoys me too, the fear reaction to some technology but not others. I don't know anything about biotechnology, but I worked as a statistician for a public health department, focusing on infectious AND non-infectious diseases. Yes, I realize that there are risks if one is sloppy. I also know that in biotech there are decent controls in place, which are observed by researchers to protect themselves as much as others.

Only a guess: More Slashdot readers are familiar with computing and engineering (of the non-biotech variety) than biology. Computing and consumer tech products are fun and friendly. Even after excluding network or personal computing security, there are big issues to fear from technology (not biotech). Privacy concerns, data mining and aggregation (think of CISPA or whatever the latest legislation acronym is), subtle societal effects that are difficult to anticipate, even physical harm due to non-ionizing radiation that we aren't aware of. Some of that is plausible, now, though a lot isn't. But everybody is excited, happy about Google Glass, Pebble and wearable electronics... at first.

Submission + - BitTorrent Sees Sync Users Share Over 1PB of Data

An anonymous reader writes: BitTorrent on Monday announced an impressive milestone for its file synchronization tool Sync: users have synced over 1PB of data. The company says over 70 terabytes are synced via the tool every day. BitTorrent first announced its Sync software back in January and released a private alpha. Between then and April 23, when the company release a public alpha, users synced over 200TB worth of data. In other words, over the past 13 days users have synced over 800TB of data. At this rate, the service will pass 10PB before even hitting a stable release.

Comment Re:why not ban capitalism? (Score 3, Insightful) 353

Since someone else already responded to the second sentence, decisively, I'll do the first sentence:

In a world where people aren't encouraged from a young age to compete, but instead to cooperate, you'll have neither the warmongers who encourage relaliatory action, nor the sort of petty dictators who staff the TSA.

I'm not a libertarian, nor GOP, nor male. I can tell you this, though: It is contrary to human nature not to be competitive. Some competition, starting from a young age, is good! It increases self-esteem, pride in family, school and country. Yes, cooperation is necessary too, e.g. a group of people aligned to achieve a common goal, which (usually) can be accomplished only through competition with those whose goals are different. Regarding "warmongers who encourage relaliatory [retaliatory?] action": Retaliatory action doesn't mean you are a warmonger. There are many ways to retaliate such as tariffs, embargoes, intermarriage. The latter is even a form of cooperation!

The TSA is a pathological bureaucracy. We had security and screening prior to boarding flights at airports for 20 (30?) years before 9/11. Those people didn't behave like the TSA. They searched and screened, but not in the TSA's rude, distasteful manner. They weren't privatized, and they didn't cost $8 billion per year to fund.

Submission + - Bruce Schneier: Why Collecting More Data Doesn't Increase Safety ( 1

Jeremiah Cornelius writes: Bruce Schneier, security expert (and rational voice in the wilderness), explains in an editorial on CNN, why "Connecting the Dots" is a "Hindsight Bias". In heeding calls to increase the amount of surveillance data gathered and shared, agencies like the FBI have impaired their ability to discover actual threats, while guaranteeing erosion of personal and civil freedom. "Piling more data onto the mix makes it harder, not easier. The best way to think of it is a needle-in-a-haystack problem; the last thing you want to do is increase the amount of hay you have to search through. The television show 'Person of Interest' is fiction, not fact."

Submission + - Publishing giant Elsevier acquires Mendeley, an open science platform (

Ellie K writes: Yesterday, science and medicine publisher Elsevier B.V. confirmed its purchase of Mendeley for an undisclosed sum. The deal will help Elsevier to expand its presence in open science. There has been

concern expressed that the product [Mendeley] would become too proprietary or commercial.

Victor Henning, CEO and co-founder of Mendeley said that remaining independent would have caused much more pressure to push revenue generation . Mendeley posted a detailed Q&A for users , providing details of the transition.

Mendeley, a London/New York based start-up founded in 2008, offers an open API, and has established a solid reputation for supporting open access initiatives, especially useful for research collaboration. All Mendeley employees will be hired by Elsevier.

Submission + - Bruce Schneier: IT for Oppression ( 2

jrepin writes: Whether it's Syria using Facebook to help identify and arrest dissidents or China using its "Great Firewall" to limit access to international news throughout the country, repressive regimes all over the world are using the Internet to more efficiently implement surveillance, censorship, propaganda, and control. They're getting really good at it, and the IT industry is helping. We're helping by creating business applications — categories of applications, really — that are being repurposed by oppressive governments for their own use.

Submission + - Facebook paid no taxes despite record profits ( 2

Frosty Piss writes: Despite earning more than $1 billion in profits last year, social media juggernaut Facebook paid zilch when it came to federal and state taxes in 2012. In fact, the website will actually be getting a refund totaling $429 million thanks to a tax reduction for executive stock options. In the coming years, Facebook will continue to get monster tax breaks, totaling about $3 billion. 'The employees cash in stock options, and at that point there is tax deduction for the company,' Robert McIntyre, of watchdog group Citizens for Tax Justice, said. 'Because even though it doesn't cost Facebook a nickel, the government treats it as wages and they get a deduction for it. And usually it doesn't wipe out companies whole tax bill, although many companies get big breaks from it.'

Submission + - Nationwide Test of the Emergency Broadcast System (

PattonPending writes: Mark your calendars! On November 9th national communications will be disrupted for around 3 minutes during the first nationwide test of the emergency broadcast system.

From the article:
On November 9, at 2 PM EST, FEMA will transmit the EAS code for national level emergencies to Primary Entry Point (PEP) stations in the national level of the EAS. The PEP stations will then rebroadcast the alert to the general public in their broadcast vicinity, as well as to the next level of EAS Participants monitoring them. This should continue through all levels of the system, until the national alert has been distributed throughout the entire country.

Submission + - The Vatican lauds hackers (

angry tapir writes: "Internet hackers have acquired a dubious reputation for piracy, sabotage and the spilling of sensitive secrets, but an authoritative Vatican publication appears to rehabilitate them and traces parallels between hacker philosophy and the teachings of Christianity. The charitable view of hackers was expressed by the Jesuit priest Father Antonio Spadaro in an article for the fortnightly magazine Civilta Cattolica, the text of which is vetted by the Vatican Secretariat of State prior to publication. Hackers should not be confused with crackers, Spadaro wrote, citing a definition penned by technology writer Eric S. Raymond: "Hackers build things, crackers break them.""

Submission + - Nuclear power is safest way to make electricity (

schwit1 writes: Compared with nuclear power, coal is responsible for five times as many worker deaths from accidents, 470 times as many deaths due to air pollution among members of the public, and more than 1,000 times as many cases of serious illness, according to a study of the health effects of electricity generation in Europe.
The Internet

Submission + - Vatican Warns that Internet Promotes Satanism 3

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The Telegraph reports that the Roman Catholic Church has warned that the internet has fueled a surge in Satanism that has led to a sharp rise in the demand for exorcists. "The internet makes it much easier than in the past to find information about Satanism. In just a few minutes you can contact Satanist groups and research occultism," says Carlo Climati, a member of the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University in Rome who specializes in the dangers posed to young people by Satanism. "There is a particular risk for young people who are in difficulties or who are emotionally fragile." Organizers of a six-day conference that has brought together more than 60 Catholic clergy as well as doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, teachers and youth workers, co-sponsored by the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments and the Congregation for Clergy say the rise of Satanism has been dangerously underestimated in recent years. "There's been a revival," says Father Gabriele Nanni, a former exorcist. "We must be on guard because occult and Satanist practices are spreading a great deal, in part with the help of the internet and new technologies that make it easier to access these rituals.""

Submission + - Android Passes BlackBerry In US Market Share

An anonymous reader writes: 69.5 million people in the US owned smartphones during the three months ending in February 2011, up 13 percent from the preceding three-month period. For the first time, more Americans are using phones running Google's Android operating system than Research In Motion's BlackBerry, according to comScore. Having passed the iPhone in the preceding three-month period, this now means that Android has been crowned king in the US.

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