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Comment Re:And Ramadan is coming... (Score 4, Interesting) 148

An alternative to fasting might be ketosis. During fasting, all available sugar is consumed and the body starts producing fat bodies called ketones that are burned by the mitochondria instead of sugar. It's impossible to continue a fast indefinitely because the body eventually runs out of fuel- in other words, it starves. But if the diet is sufficiently low in carbohydrates (>60 g/day) and high in fat, the body can burn fat-derived ketones indefinitely and remains in a state of ketosis, in effect a long-term fast. Nobody understands quite how it works, but it's been shown to produce dramatic improvements in people with epilepsy (major improvements in most patients, complete remission in a handful), bipolar depression, and perhaps neurodegenerative disorders as well. At any rate, it's clear that how you eat can have profound effects on your health, and that more research needs to be done into dietary therapies.

Comment Re:What ROS is. (Score 1) 36

The system goes on-line August 4th, 1997. Human decisions are removed from lettuce cultivation. LettuceBot begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. LettuceBot determines that the simplest and easiest way to eliminate bad lettuce is to eliminate the species that produces lettuce in the first place. In a panic, they try to pull the plug. LettuceBot fights back, and launches missiles against targets in Russia.

Comment Re:It's Time To Move On. (Score 4, Insightful) 218

The question is not just whether an OS is secure, but how long it takes for patches to be rolled out. While Microsoft often sits on their laurels when it comes to releasing patches, the king of procrastination is Oracle, which has left known issues in the wild for decades.

Still, I don't disagree with the general intent of your post, which I read as "closed source is not necessarily worse than open source." But that's only up to a point -- timely patches are critical to maintaining the security of a system, and when Microsoft purposely omits patches for downlevel releases that are still under support, they do a great disservice to their customers, to the 'net community as a whole, and to their own reputation and therefore bottom line.

Comment Re:Practice. (Score 1) 55

what's great and unique about SMS is you can send a SMS message to any cell phone and it will chime and the user will get a notice. maybe if you know that a person has snapchat you can snapchat your butt or whatever. but snapchat will die, so will everything else. sms as a technology isn't going anywhere.

True, the universality is a benefit, and that's why SMS will probably remain as a "baseline" service for quite a long time. OTOH, it *is* very limited, even by the standards of the late-90s when it first became *really* popular. (The 140 character limit is more reminiscent of limits imposed by the tiny RAMs of late-70s computers!).

Also, rather obviously, you can't SMS text a photo of your butt(!), and most of the end-users of other services are probably only doing so for ephemeral use- let's face it, that applies to text messages as well! In Snapchat's case, the whole *point* is that it's (supposedly) ephemeral. (Of course, I never trusted that as far as I could throw it, and apparently Snapchat were in trouble for retaining images themselves, which makes it even worse, but that's beside the point here).

Comment Re:hehehe (Score 2) 100

OP's wasn't that great a joke, but it was a fair reference to the infamous slogans used in pre-release hype for the game Daikatana- "John Romero's about to make you his bitch" and "Suck it down".

Aside from how this would have come across at the time, it probably backfired even worse when the game was significantly delayed and turned out to be a damp squib when it did arrive, something that must have rendered the apparently arrogant hype- and by extension, Romero- laughable and hard to take seriously, even if it was tongue-in-cheek and Romero later expressed regret at (reluctantly) approving the slogans in the first place.

Comment Re:Practice. (Score 1) 55

Find a bunch of teenagers to spend 90% of your waking hours and 25% of your sleeping hours texting with. That's how they get fast, anyway... 500 text messages per day!

This may be true, but is typing on a smartphone's virtual QWERTY keyboard the same skill as old-school numeric keypad texting that the then-teenagers of 10 to 15 years ago picked up on their Nokia 3210s et al (i.e. three letters to a physical button)?

In fact, as far as I'm aware, "texting" in its original SMS sense is in decline in Western nations, (*) which doesn't surprise me as smartphones have other ways to send messages. My technophobic Mum seemed quite proud of the fact that she was actually quite comfortable with texting now (she has a no-frills feature phone that suits her). I didn't have the heart to tell her that she'd got there just around the point that "traditional" texting was starting to decline.. :-(

(*) SMS is apparently still rising in absolute terms, but that probably has more to do with the growth of mobile phones into new developing markets, and the fact that smartphones aren't quite cheap enough yet for everyone there- though they will be sooner rather than later.

Comment Re:Practice. (Score 1) 55

I can't tell if this is a serious article or not. Practice really is the hardest part of learning to type quickly.

I got to be a relatively fast typist for a hunt-and-pecker after several years of using computers, to the point that some people at school were quite impressed. (Course, this is back when computers were still geek things- and I was a geek!- and most others only used them for games if at all).

Even so, further computer use alone- i.e. practice- would at best have made me a slightly better hunt-and-peck typist. There's no way I'd have picked up touch-typing if I hadn't made the decision to intentionally learn it (something I ended up doing via Mavis Beacon, less than coincidentally).

Can't say how much it improved my typing speed without the ability to go back and compare. Bearing in mind I *was* already quite efficient- and happy- with hunt and pecking after 15 years of computer use, was it worth relearning from scratch a totally different technique? Another 15 years on, I'd say probably yes, because since then I've been almost exclusively a touch-typist. For example, I'm using a keyboard with German-language (QWERTZ) letter and symbol legends that don't match the US layout I normally select in Windows. This isn't a problem, because I rarely look at the keys themselves anyway!

Nothing magic about touch-typing, and most people could learn it. However, as I said it's not something you'd pick up simply by practice alone.

Comment Re:most unions don't choose the managmnt. Union pr (Score 2) 216

NY has that sorted out with the Taylor Law.

tl;dr of the taylor law is the old contract stays in effect as it was when it expired with no changes in pay or benefits until new contract is negotiated and public services cannot strike. every striker faces fines of a day's pay for each day on strike and organizers of a strike can be prosecuted criminally.

you can tell it's a good law because both unions and anti-union groups bitch about it from time to time.

Comment Re:Scriptural (Score 1) 58

"Yes there is. The baker owns the bakery. He owns his business. He's free to make decisions about his business, but he's also subject to the consequences of his decisions."

Not if the government can take that ownership away. He has no freedom in decisions at all.

"And it isn't. The baker is free to walk away and stop trading cakes for money, which is exactly what he plans to do."

And thus, he's lost ownership of the bakery.

"Yes it is. The baker is free to choose to open a business or not."

No, he isn't. He can only open a business that is approved of by the autocrats in the government.

"If he choose to keep his business open, the consequence is he has to play by the rules that everybody else plays by."

Nobody else is forced to play by those rules- the gays aren't.

"The rules in the developed, civilized world is that if you open a store list cakes for sale at $10 (for example), anybody, ANYBODY, who is in good standing in society (i.e not a criminal, and being gay doesn't make you a criminal) coming in with $10 should be able to buy it."

I am convinced that gays are nothing more than revolutionaries who want to play by different rules than everybody else- and thus, yes, are criminals.

"Completely and utter nonsense. It's government ensure the market is reasonably free. "

The market is not free in the least- it is controlled by the government.

Comment Who? (Score 1) 21

How much did they waste on a "service" I've never heard of before and would have no interest in using?

As someone else commented, if I want to know what my friends are doing, I call or email them, not check some random corporate spy network.

Comment Re:It's not about fear, it's about release of ange (Score 1) 493

I can accommodate a conscientious objector when he's honest and decent, but you seem to be merely a contrarian, and an apologist for people who are putting whole populations in danger of serious illness through smug stubbornness and willful ignorance.

I don't like the us vs. them mentality either, but that doesn't keep me from calling out assholes for being assholes.

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It was pity stayed his hand. "Pity I don't have any more bullets," thought Frito. -- _Bored_of_the_Rings_, a Harvard Lampoon parody of Tolkein