Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment Re:"Even though they had 200 rats" (Score 1) 341

mosb1000 answered most of this, but I wanted to address this bit:

And, lastly, they tested a longer time. That means any effect will be noted in a smaller group.

...assuming that the population characteristics of 2 year old rats are similar to those of 3 month old rats.
Which is not necessarily the case.

And if you actually read the graphs in the paper, you might notice a couple things:
1: There's no indication of a dose-dependent response.
If you have control and three treatments given increasing quantities of a toxin, the effects of the toxin should increase with dose.
If the effects just fluctuate, you didn't have enough numbers.

2. There's something missing on the graphs: error bars.

Comment Re:seems a bit strange (Score 1) 341

Likewise, would you be in favor of retracting any that reached a very shaky conclusion?

Except that the conclusion was not shaky. The number and type of rats was what was complained about, not the actual experiment or the results.

Number and type of experimental subjects is a part of an experiment.
And a conclusion is "shaky" if it is not adequately supported by the experiment. Any factors that reduce the statistical confidence in the results should be considered when evaluating whether it's adequately supported by the results.

If you read the paper, you'll see that there are sizeable differences between doses that do not fit the response patterns of toxicity; if a treatment is toxic, higher doses are more toxic.
So they didn't have enough numbers to check it.
While Seralini et al. used the same number as would have been used in conventional tests, their experiment ran about 4-8 times longer (they finished at 2 years with many rats dying before then; standard experiments are 3 months or less). And a much older population is likely to not have the same consistency as a younger population.

Now, whether a paper should be/have been retracted for shaky conclusions is a different question. And I can see arguments both ways.

And a third question is how we can actually fund an adequate and unbiased test.
Make the USDA or FDA do it?
They're swamped, and aren't likely to have the funding.
Have them charge a fee?
Now you just moved the bias into the bureaucracy.
Hand it over to existing nonprofits?
No, because they get funding from somewhere and usually have a position one way or the other.
It might be possible to have something that comes out unbiased if you can get both sides to fund it.
Maybe a 3-way RR/conventional/organic test could be funded by Monsanto and the folks who like organics.

Comment Re:Non-starter for me. (Score 2) 95

x86 has more OSs available.
The vendor supports DOS, Linux, and purportedly WIndows. From what I understand, "Windows" would be "XP or older", since a Vortex86EX appears to be 586-level or so.
Coincidentally, that's the same ISA as Galileo.

It's an option if you have some 16-bit code that you need to keep going...which is especially likely on any sort of continuation of an older hardware project.

The other aspect is that you can compile on your PC without setting up a cross-compiling environment. On the one hand, that's easier. On the other hand, you don't learn to cross-compile. And on the gripping hand, these processors are the sort where you don't want to compile natively.

Comment Re:vi (Score 1) 204

50% right.
The one true editor is vi (including alternate implementations such as nvi, vim, and busybox vi).
But bbcode? WRONG.
Troff is the right solution for multiformat documents. Including ones that need to be readable in word processors.

Half joking, half serious. I wrote my papers for Philosophy and Intro to UnixÂin troff. For Philosophy I converted them to RTF before submitting-which worked fairly well.
For Intro to Unix, I used -thtml and -tps. Again, it worked pretty well.

I can use Markdown, and have written a couple manpages.
(My favorite is for "segfault", a quick hack I threw together because someone was asking about example programs for a debugging presentation.)

By now you're probably thinking "Neckbeard!"...nope, I majored in agriculture; and those papers were for GE courses in the last couple years.
I used Ted for editing my longer papers, and found it to be generally satisfactory. Files are guaranteed to be readable on just about any computer, being RTF written properly. And the document actually ends up displaying the same in Word.
Ted runs quite happily on an 800-MHz processor, like the old PIII I used for a month or two after losing my laptop.

Submission + - Scientific American censors blog post for not being scientific enough 2

rogue-girl writes: The popular science magazine 'Scientific American' is getting hard time after it removed a blog post by contributor DNLee, blogging at Urban Scientist. DNLee's post discussed integrity in science and misconduct from science communicators. DNLee has been approached by BiologyOnline staff Ofek who invited her to contribute. When DNLee asked for compensation details and learned she'd be writing for free, she kindly turned down the offer. In response, Ofek called her a "whore". DNLee wrote a post on her Scientific American blog, but the post was removed. It also appears that Biology Online is SciAm's partner, but SciAm's editor in chief Mariette di Christina claimed the partnership has nothing to do with the removal, but pulling it down is due to insufficient scientific content. DNLee's original post has been reposted here, and a Storify with (outraged) reactions is also available.

Submission + - JavaScript-Based OpenRISC Emulator Can Run Linux, GCC, Wayland (phoronix.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The jor1k is an interesting open-source toy emulator project to emulate a 32-bit OpenRISC OR1000 processor, 63MB of RAM, ocfb frame-buffer, and ATA-hard drive.... All in JavaScript. Though JavaScript based, there's asm.js optimizations and the performance seems to be quite decent in modern web-browsers. The jor1k OpenRISC emulator can do a lot even handle running the Linux kernel, GCC compiler, ScummVM Monkey Island, and the Wayland/Weston Compositor all from within the web-browser

Submission + - Malala meets Barack Obama and asks him to end Drone Strikes (rtoz.org)

rtoz writes: Education Activist Malala Yousafzai met U.S President Barack Obama at White House.
The Obamas welcomed Malala Yousafzai to the Oval Office “to thank her for her inspiring and passionate work on behalf of girls education in Pakistan,” according to a statement issued by the White House.

Malala said she was honored to meet Obama and that she raised concerns with him about the administration’s use of drones, saying they are “fueling terrorism.”

See here the photo of Malala with Obama Family

Comment Re:Dubious Market? (Score 1) 108

Wrong. None of the projects on opencores have something that's anywhere near this far along and feature-complete.
There are LCD controllers, text mode VGA designs, and one or two framebuffer-level VGA adapters. And framebuffer is essentially garbage.

Slashdot Top Deals

A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems. -- P. Erdos

Working...