Copper Nikus writes: It was only a matter of time. First asbestos is found to cause cancer. Then smoking is found to cause cancer, followed by alcoholic beverages. Now, even sitting in a chair is believed to cause cancer. WTF?
According to a recent TED 2013 speech by Nilofer Merchant, sitting in a chair is at least as dangerous as smoking. Not only does spending an average of 9.3 hours a day sitting in a chair gives you a sore butt, it also is claimed to contribute 10 percent of the risk of breast and colon cancer, 6 percent of the risk of heart disease, and 7 percent of the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Ms. Merchant wants to encourage office workers to "walk and talk". Apparently well known celebrities such as Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and Jack Dorsey are/were big fans of the walk and talk concept.
Ironically, most of the spectators at TED 2013 were sitting down while she was giving her speech. Nevertheless many were enthusiastic about having a new excuse for standing around the water cooler "talking business".
Ms. Merchant is a corporate director and former Autodesk executive.
Copper Nikus writes: In yet another fascinating example of insects being smarter than we give them credit for, this arstechnica article describes how fruit flies are able to fight back against deadly wasps by using alcohol. From the article:
A study in today's issue of Science suggests fruit flies are capable of medicating not only themselves but their offspring as well. And their medication of choice? Alcohol.
The threat for these flies is any of a number of small, parasitic wasps. These wasps lay eggs on the larva or pupa of the flies, and their offspring feed on the animal internally, often killing them in the process. (Flies have larval stages, during which we call them maggots, and pupate just as butterflies do before emerging in their adult form.) Once infected, there isn't much one of the larva can do to get rid of the parasite.
Its one option: booze. Fruit flies, as their name implies, like to dine on fruit, especially during the larval stages. In many cases, that involves ingesting the alcohol that's produced by natural fermentation of rotting fruit (this can approach 20 percent alcohol content). Some species of flies have developed the ability to tolerate this alcohol as they chew through the fruit as maggots. But for most of the wasp species, even moderate levels of alcohol are toxic.
Copper Nikus writes: An article at the BBC makes a shocking claim about mosquitoes. It appears some individual insects in the wild have developed the ability to ignore the very popular DEET repelent after a first exposure. Imagine what misery this will bring to the human race if this trait spreads to the general mosquito population through the process of evolution through natural selection (or through divine intervention if you happen to be a creationist).
According to the article, in the USA 3.5% of cancer deaths are caused by alcohol, and worldwide it is 4%. In women the situation is particularly troublesome because for them breast cancer it the top cause of cancer death and 15% of breast cancer deaths were linked to alcohol.
The article claims that even though moderate alcohol use might reduce heart disease, overall alcohol kills many more people than it saves. When it comes to cancer, there seems to be no safe amount to use.
It is troublesome to me that I had never heard of this before. Could there be a conspiracy by the alcohol industry (which buys plenty of advertisement in the media) to keep this out of public's eye?
Copper Nikus writes: John Alleman visited the Heart Attack Grill so often, the restaurant designed an entire line of clothing featuring a cartoon of its beloved "Patient Joe," and placed his face front and center on their menu. Now the restaurant reports via its Facebook page that its most loyal patron has passed away at age 52, from a heart attack.
According to the Las Vegas Sun, Alleman suffered a heart attack while waiting for a bus in front of the restaurant, which boasts highly caloric menu items such as the 9,982 calorie Quadruple Bypass Burger, Butterfat Milkshakes and Coronary Dogs.
Copper Nikus writes: An article at iSource describes what happened when an iPhone5 user tried a Galaxy Note II for a couple of weeks. Words such as "puny", "child's toy", "disappointed", "difficult", "frustration", "incorrect", "awkward" and "go back" are used in the article. Can you guess which phone model those provocative words apply to? No? Well then go read TFA to find out!
Copper Nikus writes: An article in alarabiya describes the controversy around a Saudi cleric's fatwa calling for all female babies to wear burkas. The motivation for this fatwa is allegations of sexual molestation of female babies in the kindgon. Wearing the veil is supposed to protect the baby girls from horny Saudi men. There has been wide condemnation of the fatwa from fellow Saudis on Twitter. The ultra conservative Saudi government is also calling for people to ignore the fatwa on grounds that it hasn't been approved by official channels.
Copper Nikus writes: An article at businessinsider claims Apple has slashed its tax bill by paying less than 2 percent on its overseas profits. This was done by legal accounting trickery well beyond my understanding. It is estimated Apple has sheltered up to $94bn from the IRS so far. Now imagine how many cops and teachers could have been hired, how many bridges could have been fixed, and how many pork barrel projects could have been paid for with the normal corporate IRS taxes on that huge amount of money. Is Apple really forced to take advantage of every little legal tax loophole there is, or could they have choosen to do their patriotic duty of paying higher taxes? I think Apple could learn some civic lessons from Starbucks, who has pledged to pay £20m corporate tax in the UK even if it makes no profit.
Copper Nikus writes: The nytimes has an interesting story about the current job market in China. It appears the chinese have stolen too many factory jobs from the USA and are now suffering the consequences. There is a great shortage of factory workers along with a large oversupply of college graduate yougsters that absolutely hate factory work and manual labor in general. Many of the college educated slackers are willing to take scarce non-factory jobs even if they pay only a fraction of what factories pay. When it comes to fresh computer science graduates in particular, the wage at top companies has dropped from $725 a month to $550 a month over the last decade due to oversupply. That is less than what many low skill factory jobs pay. As you might have suspected, a big part of the problem are parents and grandparents willing to subsidize the lazy college educated yougsters. There is also interesting data about cost of living over there, such as internet service for $8 a month, etc.
Copper Nikus writes: An article in tomshardware brings the most wonderful news for Linux fans: Linux now ships twice as many copies as Windows. It was about time. Yes, those statistics are taking into account mobile hardware, but we all know the desktop is dead and burried, don't we?
Copper Nikus writes: The price of Android Mini PCs have recently dropped to the point they are starting to make the Raspberry Pi look overpriced. This article compares the Raspberry Pi model B against the similarly priced MK802 II single core Android mini PC. IMO it can be argued that the mini PC wins that fight. It's worth noting that several new quad core chinese ARM SoCs have been recently released to the world, and it can be expected to see Android Mini PCs start using them in the very near future. This should translate into even lower prices for the now "obsolete" generations of single and dual core Andoid mini PCs out there.