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Comment Re:Gut flora and artificial sweeteners (Score 1) 5

This is probably the most recent, well-cited article on the topic. The authors looked at the effects of saccharin in mice, and were able to determine that there was a significant elevation in blood-glucose level for the mice that were fed saccharin instead of actual glucose over the course of nine weeks. This suggests a mechanism for previous findings that suggest artificial sweeteners cause insulin insensitivity, weight gain, type II diabetes, et cetera. The difference between the two diets went away when both groups were raised with antibiotics, strongly suggesting the underlying cause was gut microbiota. They also found evidence that the saccharin diet led to changes in gut microbiome composition:

In agreement with the experiments with antibiotics, next generation sequencing of the microbiome indicated that mice drinking saccharin had distinct compositions from controls. This distinct microbiome was characterized by enrichment of taxa belonging to the Bacteroides genus or the Clostridiales order, with under-representation of Lactobacilli and other members of the Clostridiales. Several of the bacterial taxa that changed following saccharin consumption were previously associated with type 2 diabetes in humans.

Keep in mind that everyone has different gut flora, so in general these impacts will vary from person to person, which is why the effect is inconsistent, as with obesity and type II diabetes in general. I can't say for certain that these results would directly transfer into humans, but since the bacteria are the same, it's unreasonable to assume they wouldn't. Less clear is whether this effect transfers to other sweeteners; the paper includes a table showing a number of studies pertaining to a diversity of chemicals, some of which found an effect, and some of which didn't.

Non-professionally, my advice would be to avoid artificial sweeteners, and ideally all liquid candy. Some people find that drinking normal, sugary soda produces a state of lethargy, and I'm pretty sure this is a result of the long-term exposure to sucralose. It's sort of a trap!

Comment blantant-predator moral honeypot (Score 1) 160

A public act by an organization ignoring robots.txt will only lead to the justification of other organizations ignoring robots.txt.

So what? When DoubleClick argues that they ought to have the same advantages as Archive.org, they'll only manage to look like douchebags reaching their filthy hands into a cookie jar.

It's not always a bad thing to set up douchebag-honeypot moral exemption, even if it does depend on the mass audience (mostly) managing to find two sticks to rub together.

The real solution here is to make the directives in robots.txt more explicit concerning the predatory/non-predatory use cases.

Comment Re: The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 305

If you look in the FEMA site, they say that they provide gramts to perform repairs not covered by insurance. And no, they don't do a needs test. Now, the typical rich person does not let their insurance lapse just so that they can get a FEMA grant. Because such a grant is no sure thing. They also point out that SBA loans are the main source of assistance following a disaster. You get a break on interest, but you have to pay them back.

Comment Re: The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 305

I understand your point about view land being desirable even though it's a flood risk. I live a mile or so from the Hayward fault. But I have California's risk pool earthquake insurance. The government wouldn't be paying me except from a fund that I've already paid into. I imagine that the government does pay some rich people in similar situations, but as far as I'm aware disaster funds go to the States from the federal government and should not in general become a form of rich people's welfare. Maybe you can find some direct evidence to show me that would make the situation more clear.

Comment Re:The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 305

What you are observing is economics. As a city or town population grows, the best land becomes unavailable and those who arrive later or have less funds available must settle for less desirable land. Thus many cities have been extended using landfill which liquifies as the San Francisco Marina District did in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, or floods. Risks may not be disclosed by developers, or may be discounted by authorities as the risks of global warming are today.

Efforts to protect people who might otherwise buy such land or to mitigate the risks are often labeled as government over-reach or nanny state.

Comment Re:The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 305

Oh, of course they were caused by misguided engineering efforts. Everything from the Army Corps of Engineers to Smoky Bear goes under that heading. The most basic problem is the fact that we locate cities next to resources and transportation, which means water, without realizing where the 400-year flood plane is. Etc. We have learned something since then.

Our problem, today, is fixing these things. Which is blocked by folks who don't believe in anthropogenic climate change, or even cause and effect at all. They don't, for the most part, register Democratic.

Comment The problem with your explanation (Score 5, Insightful) 305

The problem with your explanation is that it's fact-based, and stands on good science. This is the post-truth era. Thus, the counter to your argument will be:

  • Evidence for a human cause of erosion is thin and controversial, and is being pushed by loony liberals.
  • We need those oil and shipping jobs, and jobs building and maintaining levees, not more regulation that stifles them!
  • Cause and effect is not a real thing, except for one cause, God is behind everything.
  • This is part of God's plan for us. The end time is coming, and when the Rapture arrives it will not matter that Louisiana's coast has eroded. Cease your pursuit of unholy science and pray to save your soul!

Comment Re:Which type of graft is best? (Score 1) 5

That's fairly straightforward; as this summary article explains, a synthetic allograph (or xenograph; the terms overlap) that maintains bone mineral density is ideal, as it means no harvesting from elsewhere on your body (eek), no risk of rejection, and good bone density. I'd say start a conversation with your dentist about hydrogel-hydroxyapatite composites and mention you're concerned about sustaining bone density long-term.

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 330

so far hasn't done anything irreversible.

I think the first victims have been farmers who can't bring in their crops. Just the people who voted for him in California's central valley and wherever else we depend on guest workers. I don't see citizens lining up to pick those crops. The small family farmers, what's left of them, will feel this worse, the large corporate ones have the lawyers necessary to help them break the rules and truck people in from South of the border.

The second group of victims will be the ones who need health care that doesn't come from a big company. It's a lot more difficult to start a small business when there is no affordable way to get health care. And that is the case for my own small business - I'd be in bad shape if my wife left the University. I think that's the real goal - to keep people from leaving employment in larger companies and going off on their own.

Comment thou shalt not deviate (Score 1) 70

I once read a book by Linda Hill that I personally found amazingly valuable, but only because I was careful not to light any matches, because her presentation was dry, dry, dry.

Because of the Indian incompetence story here on Slashdot this morning, I went to paste a link into my files, and chanced upon a past entry concerning HCL Technologies, a topic that Linda Hill has addressed in video, and soon I found myself watching a clip of hers on YouTube I hadn't seen before.

Linda Hill on empowering young sparks at HCL — July 2016

The problem in India with the educational system is that the system dictates and student repeats. ... We all had to unlearn how we were educated. And the leaders had to unlearn what they thought leadership was about. Because if you grow up in that kind of system, when you're a leader what you think your role is, is that you're supposed to set direction and make sure nobody deviates from it. That's fundamentally how they saw their role.

And here we have this Wikipedia article, where the unstated premise seems to be "Surprise! Derf-derf-derf, Wikipedia doesn't actually practice zero-deviation culture, despite their publicly assigned role as the plastic–pocket-protector paragon of geek dysfunction.

No, instead what we have is this: if a source is broadly flagged as tainted, it becomes open season to replace this source with a better citation wherever and whenever, without expecting significant blow back.

Isn't that leadership enough?

Is the underlying zero-deviation fixation that motivates this story just a tired strawman? Or is this derf-derf strawman meme playing to a real audience?

Well, I personally would run, run, run if I found myself in that audience, because anyone who doesn't is doomed to be soon be looking up at India as the management enlightenment movement that just passed you by with a big whoosh.

Comment Re: My experience... (Score 2) 436

I don't see a problem with this. You want specific levels of error handling? Put it in the spec.


#include "no_abe_normal.h"

If you're not familiar with this convention (it appears you haven't been in this business long enough to hear the pathetic whimpers of Forma L. val d'Ation sequestered away from public shame in an attic antechamber), the "h" stands for "head".

Comment Re:So... (Score 4, Interesting) 330

Donald Trump, unfortunately, satisfies a common desire among the populance to right things by means that won't actually right them. It's a desire to rid Washington of inaction by cleaning it out of the current folks who don't seem to get anything done: and then you find that the things they were working on are harder than you understood. It's the feeling that you can get things going right by having a manager who lights a fire under the responsible people: just the way that bank managers pressured employees to increase revenue or be fired until those employees started opening accounts fraudulently for customers who hadn't asked for them.

What I am having a hard time with is how our country gets back out of this. I fear Humpty has had such a great fall that there is no peaceful recovery.

Comment can you do the job? (Score 3, Insightful) 330

Republicans only care about money. Can you do the job? Good. Get to work.

Cutting red tape to ribbons is an intrinsically easier job than building up effective layers of regulation that prevent the public interest being bent over a barrel, while the longest of all possible rubber gloves rummages around for the better part of a trillion dollars.

Evidently, no money was harmed in the operation.

The job, as I see it, is a little harder to accomplish, once you concede that there is such a thing as effective regulation, though it's yet far from a science; science also being a discipline where time after time ones best efforts fall short, and yet one perseveres.

In the best case scenario, even after regulation becomes more of science, it will still be double hard: hard to do and hard on the ego.

Kind of makes a guy want to double down on only caring about money, setting oneself up on a lavish private beach, and watching the glorious Egos soar.

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