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Comment Re:Windows 7 compatibility mode (Score 2) 313

Oftentimes, in industrial settings, a certain instrument has certain certifications. In order to make products that comply with various laws (like medical or automotive components), the materials have to meet certain standards. Legally, they only meed those standards if you can demonstrate that you are making measurements with certified instruments. Frequently it is the case that the instruments are only supported by a proprietary codebase, and the manufacturers do not have a functional app that runs on any modern OS.

In other words, it may cost tens of millions of dollars to "upgrade the app," because you have to re-build parts of your manufacturing process. Sometimes getting a new instrument certified can take years.

This is also the reason why hiring an intern is often not an option. Sure, the intern may be able to hack some code together (of course, then you might have violated reverse engineering statutes or patents on communication protocols or algorithms that process the data from the instruments, so be prepared for tens of millions of dollars to settle out-of-court or buy licensing), but you still have to get everything re-certified---if it's even legal to do so, since you're not using the manufacturer's applications---and re-certifying an old instrument that is using a third-party app may not even be possible, since frequently the manufacturer has to certify that an instrument is working properly and will refuse to work with third-party apps under the premise that they might disclose trade secrets by doing so.

This may sound preposterous, but it does happen. One place I worked finally got rid of their VAXstation 3100 running VMS4 just a few years ago when they upgraded to a new instrument (which costs millions and took years, but they had to do it to run different tests in order to make some different/new products that met certain standards).

Submission + - Manning's Gender Identity raised in Wikileaks case (

orangesquid writes: "This news is a few weeks old, but I don't think it has been mentioned on slashdot yet. The Washington Post is reporting on Bradley Manning's various psychological issues, including hir gender identity (classified by the DSM under "gender identity disorder," a controversial designation since items like sexual orientation are no longer considered disorders). CNN also has a similar story. The Washington Post article describes Manning as a 'a gifted intelligence analyst', an interesting topic considering that some ongoing research has suggested a correlation between transsexualism and increased IQ. Some opinions suggest transsexualism to be correlated with a greater capacity for creativity, an often invaluable part of deeper insight. Various studies on gender and empathy sometimes suggest a link, perhaps substantiating the notion that Manning's desire to leak classified information was driven by hir own internal sense of ethics. Any thoughts, slashdotters? Given the particular sensitivities of this topic, I hope that flaming/trolling will be kept to a minimum, but intelligent/insightful discourse and humor done in good taste will surely be appreciated!"

Comment Re:Want! (Score 1) 292

If he has a small.. problem, maybe he can blame it on Playmobil -- though perhaps it's chicken-and-egg if it's that the Fairy Tale Pavilion caused BPA exposure versus if the BPA led to Fairy Tale Pavilion exposure. It's interesting that bisphenol A is compared to diethylstilbestrol in its wikipedia entry (the same age group affected directly by BPA might also be interested in third-generation DES [NSFW] gonadotropic effects).

Comment Re:Duh (Score 1) 472

Yes, it's definitely far more than a mere substitution of appearance.

For an interesting report of the effects of transition on a bright male-to-female writer (and anecdotes on how various world cultures handle someone straddling the boundary of gender presentation), Conundrum is an interesting read (at least so far---I'm about 2/3 of the way through the book: the writing style is a bit old-fashioned, and not all of the topics interest me; so, I haven't been reading it very quickly). I don't think the writer lost any of her brilliance or ability through transition, but her interests shifted, along with the ways she perceived her environment. Transition won't rob someone of their abilities, but for some professions (e.g. writing, public speaking, adjudication, and other fields where communication is critical), there will likely be an effect due to changes in perspective and interests. Professions that revolve around competitiveness or cooperation would likely be affected, as well. I'm not going to say the effects are positive or negative in terms of overall performance, because I don't think a clear-cut case can be made either way---just that things often become a little different. A common remark among friends of those transitioning is, "After I adjusted to it, I realized I was talking to the same person as before," which would tend to imply there is no universal rule-of-thumb saying that someone transitioning becomes drastically different.

I'm not offering an argument or a refutation of one, just presenting what I know, from my own* research. This sort of topic appears in threads on slashdot from time to time, and it is always interesting to me to see what posters have to say.

* (arprffvgngrq, naq yvxryl gb arire raq)

Comment Re:Once Again... (Score 4, Informative) 815

You *can* say it is incorrect, in most cases.
In fact, water overconsumption can easily lead to hyponatremia. It would be more correct to say "Steady, adequate freshwater intake throughout the course of the day curbs the likelihood of hypernatremia, a form of dehydration. Note that in a balanced diet, a significant portion of the body's water and sodium requirements come from food. Note that fruit juices, or a combination of fresh fruit and freshwater, meets the body's needs for water and sodium near-optimally. Note that isotonia, the excessive loss of body fluid, such as through diarrhea or vomiting, is a type of dehydration best treated by electrolyte solutions like Gatorade or Pedialyte, or parenterally via a 0.9% saline drip in severe cases. Note that hypovolemia, the excessive loss of body fluid typically through excessive bleeding, should be treated with medical care. Also note that rapid intake of freshwater over a short period of time is not as effective as a sustained intake throughout the day, as sudden rises in body water content are simply filtered by the kidneys in healthy individuals. Repeating this rapid intake behavior excessively can lead to hyponatremia, a form of dehydration, or, in more serious cases, hypovolemia, a condition related to dehydration that requires medical attention. In individuals with compromised excretory function, rapid water intake may lead to severe hyponatremia, a form of dehydration that requires medical attention, or a more severe condition of hypervolemia characterized by a swelling of the limbs known as peripheral edema or more severe and life-threatening complications, particularly in individuals in poor health or with poor diets or diets lacking in protein. Greatly excessive and sustained intake of freshwater combined with excessive perspiration may continue past hyponatremia to the point of water intoxication, a medical crisis that may cause brain damage or death."

But, I guess that doesn't have quite the same ring to it, eh? ;) "brain damage or death" is probably one of the potential side effects that bottled-water manufacturers want to list on their products... heh.

Note, IANAMP (==medical professional); I just study medicine (and mostly neuropathy and neurosurgery, at that) as a hobby, so please feel free to correct the above.

Comment Re:Hmm.. (Score 1) 249

1) " finds in difficult to wake up " I think you meant " finds it difficult to not wake up "|

2) I can sleep through just about anything, too. Luckily, now I'm on armodafinil, so it's not as serious of a stumbling block for working. ;)

3) " but that wouldn't go over too well with her" -- well, off the bat, probably not. However, if you set up an agreement with her (she's required to wake you up, and 50% of your on-call time when you get called gets put into a fund that she can use to save up for nicer things that she can't buy on you guys' everyday budget), she'll be getting her money's worth. She might want to try melatonin to help her fall back asleep without making her groggy in the morning, too (results vary significantly from person to person.. so you'll find it in the supplement aisle, obviously)

Comment Re:So what if your standing IN FRONT of the wall? (Score 1) 163


Actually, microwaves are made from unicorns and enchanted hobbits, so technically they are, in a sense, made of magic.

They cook oils only on the surface because the resonant frequency is a good match. This is the cause of much of the food spattering in a microwave oven. The heat will pass gradually into the oil from the surface by convection, but the surface gets a LOT of heat by absorption. Much food has a high water content... and microwaves will heat water, but are not nearly so good of a resonant match. Thus, a depth of about half an inch to an inch will absorb a lot of the microwaves, and pass the heat by convection deeper into the food. If you thaw something frozen in a microwave or try to cook a casserole in a pan and not a casserole dish, this becomes obvious. Some of the "inside out" apparent effect is due to microwave hot spots;.... so now we have turntables so that the standing wave issue is less significant.

It's not too hard to learn to understand, but that "inside out" myth still exists.

For a human, the skin and blood vessels near the surface manage to absorb and spread a lot out environmental heating from the sun---as evolution would suggest is simply logical. Unfortunately, strong microwaves will have more penetration than that, causing tissue damage below the skin. Still no inside-out cooking of people, though. :D

Comment Re:Easy (Score 3, Funny) 904

Life insurance will be more expensive, pay raises will be lower, doctors will own more yachts when they die, retirement age will be 116, there will be more conservatives and less social change, food and other resources will become scarce, there will be more population and everything that comes with it, more people will go to grad school, families will be bigger, family reunions will need more seating, more senators will be balding, viagra sales will skyrocket, and the year will be greater than or equal to 2036.

Next question!

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"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman