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Comment Re:Good! It's not a religion (Score 1) 321

"Good! Now maybe people will begin to see the others as stupid too!"

The odds are stacked against you - about 47% of the human population lacks a paracingulate sulcus, the brain structure most responsible for differentiating reality from imagined reality (as a consequence of memory processing). Somewhere over 90% of schizophrenics lack this structure, which lends credence to the theory of an evolution of consciousness and a natural origin of religions.

There appears to be a moderate evolutionary advantage to having the sulcus - we'd expect the presence of one to be lower in antiquity, but if we figure a halving in 10,000 years, you're going to be waiting a long time until it's a tiny minority.

Comment Re:A.k.a shell scripts (Score 1) 268

You scoundrel! You can do pipes in Perl! Tsk, tsk, tsk!

it's not too bad if you don't care about getting the result back. I recently implemented an actual pipe-based system in perl where the results did need to be bidirectional, with open3, and ... well, it ain't pretty.

It's a real shame perl doesn't have the capability integrated into the core language with nice syntactic sugar.

Submission + - Barbarians at the Gateways (acm.org) 1

CowboyRobot writes: Former high-frequency trader Jacob Loveless gives an in-depth description of the math and technology involved in HFT. FTA: "The first step in HFT is to place the systems where the exchanges are. Light passing through fiber takes 49 microseconds to travel 10,000 meters, and that's all the time available in many cases. In New York, there are at least six data centers you need to collocate in to be competitive in equities. In other assets (foreign exchange, for example), you need only one or two in New York, but you also need one in London and probably one in Chicago. The problem of collocation seems straightforward: 1. Contact data center. 2. Negotiate contract. 3. Profit. The details, however, are where the first systems problem arises. The real estate is extremely expensive, and the cost of power is an ever-crushing force on the bottom line. A 17.3-kilowatt cabinet will run $14,000 per month. Assuming a modest HFT draw of 750 watts per server, 17 kilowatts can be taken by 23 servers. It's also important to ensure you get the right collocation. In many markets, the length of the cable within the same building is a competitive advantage. Some facilities such as the Mahwah, New Jersey, NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) data center have rolls of fiber so that every cage has exactly the same length of fiber running to the exchange cages."

Submission + - Drones! Learn how you too can be shut down by the federal government (networkworld.com)

alphadogg writes: The many impacts of the federal government shutdown have been well chewed over in recent weeks, but here’s one you probably didn’t think about: It could delay use of drones by news organizations to do reporting. Matt Waite, a professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and founder of its Drone Journalism Lab, told attendees gathered around his drone display and demo station at the Online News Association conference in Atlanta this week that the shutdown could be yet another obstacle along the path toward legalizing use of unmanned aerial vehicles for non-military purposes. Congress has been working to get the Federal Aviation Administration to rewrite rules allowing commercial use of drones by the fall of 2015. In the meantime, news organizations have experimented with camera-equipped drone usage under hazy airspace rules. Waite himself waived around a recently-received cease and desist letter from the government related to his efforts and stood in front of a whiteboard featuring the message “Drones! Learn how you too can be shut down by the federal government.”
Biotech

Give Your Child the Gift of an Alzheimer's Diagnosis 198

theodp writes "'There's a lot you can do for your child with 99 dollars,' explains Fast Company's Elizabeth Murphy, who opted to get her adopted 5-year-old daughter's genes tested by 23andMe, a startup founded by Anne Wojcicki that's been funded to the tune of $126 million by Google, Sergey Brin (Wojcicki's now-separated spouse), Yuri Milner, and others. So, how'd that work out? 'My daughter,' writes Murphy, 'who is learning to read and tie her shoes, has two copies of the APOE-4 variant, the strongest genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's. According to her 23andMe results, she has a 55% chance of contracting the disease between the ages of 65 and 79.' So, what is 23andMe's advice for the worried Mom? 'You have this potential now to engage her in all kinds of activities,' said Wojcicki. 'Do you get her focused on her exercise and what she's eating, and doing brain games and more math?' Duke associate professor of public policy Don Taylor had more comforting advice for Murphy. 'It's possible the best thing you can do is burn that damn report and never think of it again,' he said. 'I'm just talking now as a parent. Do not wreck yourself about your 5-year-old getting Alzheimer's. Worry more about the fact that when she's a teenager she might be driving around in cars with drunk boys.'"

Submission + - The Hardest Things Programmers Have To Do (itworld.com) 6

itwbennett writes: Software development isn't a cakewalk of a job, but to hear programmers tell it (or at least those willing to grouse about their jobs on Quora and Ubuntu Forums), what makes programming hard has little to do with writing code. In fact, if the list compiled by ITworld's Phil Johnson has it right, the #1 hardest thing developers do is name things. Are you a software developer? What's the hardest part of your job?

Submission + - The Hardest Things Programmers Have To Do (itworld.com) 6

itwbennett writes: Software development isn't a cakewalk of a job, but to hear programmers tell it (or at least those willing to grouse about their jobs on Quora and Ubuntu Forums), what makes programming hard has little to do with writing code. In fact, if the list compiled by ITworld's Phil Johnson has it right, the #1 hardest thing developers do is name things. Are you a software developer? What's the hardest part of your job?

Comment Re:My spider sense in tingling.... (Score 1) 634

Actually there is a free market success in the medical field. Laser eye surgery started out expensive and not covered by insurance. Now it's cheap enough to pay for out-of-pocket. I saw an ad just the other day for Lasik eye surgery for just $299.00 per eye. Not bad at all - cheaper than buying glasses in the long run.

The free market works when you let it.

Laser Eye surgery is a luxury, try applying free market models to treatment for a flu epidemic.

With something like a Flu epidemic if treatment is not free then loads of people will try and make do without. That means the epidemic goes untreated amongst large parts of the population and spreads much more easily and damages productivity as more people call in sick.

The reason we in Britain came up with an NHS was not solely out of some do gooder nature, it was to make sure people were able to get their arse to work in factories and produce stuff without infecting all their co-workers with a disease that made even more people sick the next day.

Submission + - Aeromobil Flying Car Prototype Gets Off the Ground for the First Time (gizmag.com)

Zothecula writes: There is a saying in flying: “If it looks good, it will fly well.” Stefan Klein, a designer from the Slovak Republic, has announced the first flight of his Aeromobil Version 2.5, a flying car prototype he has been developing over the last 20 years. This vehicle is a strikingly beautiful design with folding wings and a propeller in the tail. But will its flight capabilities match its looks?

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