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Comment Re:The cold is already cured (Score 1) 193


From a study dated 2015 Feb 25:

"Zinc acetate lozenges shortened the duration of nasal discharge by 34% (95% CI: 17% to 51%), nasal congestion by 37% (15% to 58%), sneezing by 22% (1% to 45%), scratchy throat by 33% (8% to 59%), sore throat by 18% (10% to 46%), hoarseness by 43% (3% to 83%), and cough by 46% (28% to 64%). Zinc lozenges shortened the duration of muscle ache by 54% (18% to 89%), but there was no difference in the duration of headache and fever."

"Given that the adverse effects of zinc in the three trials were minor, zinc acetate lozenges releasing zinc ions at doses of about 80mg/day may be a useful treatment for the common cold, started within 24hours, for a time period of less than two weeks."

Comment Re:The cold is already cured (Score 1) 193

From the most recent study from that Wikipedia page, dated 2015 Feb 25:

"Zinc acetate lozenges shortened the duration of nasal discharge by 34% (95% CI: 17% to 51%), nasal congestion by 37% (15% to 58%), sneezing by 22% (1% to 45%), scratchy throat by 33% (8% to 59%), sore throat by 18% (10% to 46%), hoarseness by 43% (3% to 83%), and cough by 46% (28% to 64%). Zinc lozenges shortened the duration of muscle ache by 54% (18% to 89%), but there was no difference in the duration of headache and fever."

"Given that the adverse effects of zinc in the three trials were minor, zinc acetate lozenges releasing zinc ions at doses of about 80mg/day may be a useful treatment for the common cold, started within 24hours, for a time period of less than two weeks."

The Wikipedia summary of this study is horribly worded and one could easily read it as the zinc lozenge having no effect, which is exactly the opposite of the study's conclusion (that zinc does has a positive effect on cold symptoms). The study's purpose was to determine if zinc lozenges only affect/improve symptoms in the pharyngeal region (the throat) since a lozenge is dissolved in the mouth and throat, or if the zinc has an improvement effect in the nasal region as well where it is not directly dissolved. The study showed that zinc *does* improve symptoms in the nasal region. The conclusion that the Wikipedia article is summarizing was that there was no difference in the effect of the zinc treatment depending on anatomical region - the zinc lozenge improved symptoms in both the throat and the nasal region.


'Radioactive Boy Scout' Reportedly Passes Away At Age 39 ( 182

A funeral notice quietly appeared on recently, announcing the death of David Charles Hahn. Though no cause of death was provided, when he was 17 Hahn "achieved some notoriety as a teenage Boy Scout with his attempt to build a nuclear reactor in his garden shed," remembers Slashdot reader braindrainbahrain: His "reactor" ended when the EPA declared his backyard as a Superfund cleanup site due to hazardous levels of radiation. His story was captured in a Harper's magazine article, and later the book "The Radioactive Boy Scout" by Ken Silverstein. It was also a Slashdot topic...
Hahn had used materials from household products like lithium batteries, smoke detectors, and old radium clocks, according to Wikipedia, which adds that shortly after Hahn's lab was dismantled, he became an Eagle Scout.

Facebook Says Humans Won't Write Its Trending Topic Descriptions Anymore ( 76

Following a former Facebook journalist's report that the company's workers routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers from the social network's Trending Topics section, the company has been in damage control mode. First, the company announced it would tweak its Trending Topics section and revamp how editors find trending stories. Specifically, they will train the human editors who work on Facebook's trending section and abandon several automated tools it used to find and categorize trending news in the past. Most recently, Facebook added political scenarios to its orientation training following the concerns. Now, it appears that Facebook will "end its practice of writing editorial descriptions for topics, replacing them with snippets of text pulled from news stories." Kurt Wagner, writing for Recode: It's been more than three months since Gizmodo first published a story claiming Facebook's human editors were suppressing conservative news content on the site's Trending Topics section. Facebook vehemently denied the report, but has been dealing with the story's aftermath ever since. On Friday, Facebook announced another small but notable change to Trending Topics: Human editors will no longer write the short story descriptions that accompany a trending topic on the site. Instead, Facebook is going to use algorithms to "pull excerpts directly from stories." It is not, however, cutting out humans entirely. In fact, Facebook employees will still select which stories ultimately make it into the trending section. An algorithm will surface popular stories, but Facebook editors will weed out the inappropriate or fake ones. "There are still people involved in this process to ensure that the topics that appear in Trending remain high-quality," the company's blog reads.

Comment Re:This isn't a big deal, it's fucking huge. (Score 3, Interesting) 86

Have you seen what AMD is putting into its next server processors? http://amd-dev.wpengine.netdna... Tldr: It encrypts a guest's memory with a key that the hypervisor does not have. In theory, it should make a guest VM inaccessible to the hypervisor.

Comment Re:Fuck him (Score 1, Interesting) 182

I hate this argument. When terrorism happens, why is the Slashdot response to *immediately* declare that this is simply the brakes and we have to live with it?

There are obviously costs for any kind of safety. For example, products with more safety regulations cost more. But someone decided it was worth it for that product.

Of *course* you can't regulate things to be a "bubble wrap society" and you just have to live with a low percentage of problems. But many people on Slashdot see literally any story about terrorism and immediately throw up their hands and say "There's nothing that can be done, it's a low percentage, we have to just live with it.". I completely disagree. I think heinous, deliberate acts of evil are much worse than accidental deaths caused by cars for example, precisely because they are deliberately committed by a human. They are in a different category, and they *should* be fixable. I agree that trying to police bad actors pre-emptively is probably impossible and will lead to all sorts of surveillance, which is bad. But let's talk about fixing the bad ideology that leads people to commit terrorist acts. It's probably a more difficult problem, but I hate people throwing up their arms. It's bullshit.

Comment 16GB storage (Score 2, Interesting) 158

32GB is the sweet spot for phones right now, and because they can, Apple refuses to produce a 32GB model to force you to pay an extra $100 to get a reasonable amount of internal storage. $499 for the 64GB model is certainly cheaper than the current top-of-the-line iPhones, but a cheap Android with 32GB of storage can be had for well under $399 for truly budget-conscious buyers. If you're locked into Apple's ecosystem and are truly budget-conscious...well, tough luck.

Comment PS4/XB1 are mid-range 2013 devices (Score 2) 90

PS4/XB1's GPUs were already were considered fairly mid-range when they were released in 2013. With a few process node shrinks and 4 years of development, and given the increasing power budgets (and turbo/throttling that comes with that) afforded to mobile devices, I'm not surprised a mobile GPU from 2017 can match or exceed a mid-range GPU from 2013. So what's the point of announcing this? That consoles are going to die and be replaced by VR headsets running Android?

Comment SMT = Simultaneous MultiThreading, not Symmetrical (Score 4) 135

SMP = Symmetric Multi Processing. "Symmetric" refers to the fact that all of the CPUs are considered "equal" by the OS and each has full access to DRAM, IO devices, etc.

SMT = Simultaneous MultiThreading. "Simultaneous" refers to the fact that a single CPU core can process multiple execution threads at the same time.

Someone from AMD's marketing department needs to take CPU architecture 201.

Submission + - City of Austin Locked in Regulations Battle With Uber, Lyft

AcidPenguin9873 writes: This past fall, the Austin City Council drafted regulations for ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft requiring drivers to submit to fingerprint-based background checks, similar to other taxi services in Austin. Uber and Lyft threatened to leave the Austin market if the fingerprint-based background checks were passed. After lots of heated public comments and debate from both sides, the fingerprint requirements were passed by the council in December. Shortly thereafter, a PAC called Ridesharing Works for Austin was formed, and, with financial backing from Uber and Lyft, delivered a petition with over 25,000 valid signatures to the City that seeks to remove the fingerprint requirement. According to Austin city code, since the petition had enough valid signatures, the City Council was required to either adopt the language in the petition and remove the fingerprint requirement, or hold a referendum election on the issue. This past Thursday, the council declined to adopt the petition, so Austin voters will go to the polls in May to decide how Uber and Lyft should be regulated.

This case is quite interesting and has a lot of questions. Uber and Lyft have said that their electronic tracking makes them safer than traditional taxi services, and so they shouldn't be subject to the same regulations. However, some citizens and council members don't like corporations strong-arming local government and effectively writing their own regulations. On the other, one of the council members who introduced the fingerprinting requirement had received campaign donations from at least one local taxi company, leading some to question her motives for introducing the stricter regulations for Uber and Lyft, and even going so far as to start a separate petition campaign to recall that council member. What does Slashdot think Austin should do?

Comment Re:Specialization (Score 1) 237

I agree with your general sentiment, but I would say that some amount of knowledge of levels just above and just below your own level is helpful or often necessary to do a job at a particular level.

Using my own example of a computer system:

  • App developers generally need to know something about how the app framework or OS works.
  • Framework developers generally need to know how apps interact with their framework/services, and how to interact with the OS.
  • OS developers have to be very aware of the API and ABI they expose to frameworks/apps, and often many details about the hardware (CPU, GPU, whatever random network card or other device they are working with).
  • Hardware designers generally need to know how low-level software will interact with them, as well as about the physical design features and limitations (how fast do the transistors and wires run, rules about area and congestion in the integrated circuits, etc.) that the hardware is being built upon.
  • Physical designers need to know about the general organization of the logic they are implementing (how many ports on this structure, what other blocks of logic does this piece of logic talk to), as well as some about the transistors, wires, capacitance, EM noise, etc. that make up the design.
  • Process engineers need to know how physical designers are using their transistors and wires, as well as a bunch of stuff about basic physics, chemistry, etc.

So yes, specialization, but some cross-discipline knowledge too.

Comment Re:Pinocchio as example of Disney's hypocrisy (Score 1) 207

You picked Pinocchio on purpose because it's probably the closest one you can find. Many other Disney movies are based on material whose copyrights either never existed, or have definitely expired even under current law. The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, Mulan, Hercules, Rapunzel, Frozen - all either multi-generational folklore with no actual copyright on the characters or story, or fairy tales published in the 18th and 19th centuries whose copyrights have long since expired.

I'm not disagreeing with your point that their copyright lobbying is hypocritical, but it's pretty much a separate point from the discussion about how much Disney "steals" when they make a derivative work. If it were so easy to take 19th century folk tales and turn them into billion dollar franchises (I mean, you're starting from an existing, known character and story, right? According to Slashdot, that's pretty much the whole thing), I would expect Slashdot to be teeming with billionaire producers and directors fresh off their latest hit.

Comment Re:This is nothing new (Score 1) 207

This is what Disney has been doing all along... from Snow White to The LIttle Mermaid, pretty much everything Disney has ever had success with has been bought, borrowed or stolen. The last original character that Disney created was Mickey Mouse.

I'm really, really sick of hearing this ridiculous argument about Disney films. Did Disney steal all those Little Mermaid songs from the original fairy tale from 150 years ago? Or the animations? Or the voice actors?

No, none of that existed before Disney. The only thing that existed was the short story by Hans Christian Anderson, published in 1837. Guess what? Many films are made based on previously-published stores. 150 years later, Disney comes along and turns it into an animated musical feature film.

If you think the value in The Little Mermaid film was completely from the Hans Christian Anderson short story, by all means, set up shop as a traveling bard retelling HCA fairy tales and see if you can get people to give as much money as they've given Disney for Little Mermaid stuff. If you're right, you can laugh in my face all the way to the bank. But I wouldn't quit my day job if I were you.

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