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Comment Gaming = Representative of all Apps? (Score 1) 429

Other people have already begun pointing out the problems of comparing iOS games like Air Hockey with full blown, more "traditional" games like WoW. Here's my question though: How the hell does this translate over to other apps, ie: the ones people normally use. The articles only real mention of productive apps is photoshop, which he says "Sure, Photoshop might still be expensive. But how many under-$5 photo editing programs are their for the iPad? Answer: too many to count." But hey, there's GIMP for Mac OS too, and as far as I can tell Photoshop for Mac has been pretty successful despite the fact that GIMP is free. Office for Mac and other office suites? Neooffice is free, and so is Google Docs, MS Office Online, Zotero, etc. In the end, I highly doubt I bunch of apps meant for smartphones and iPads are going to compete with the traditional stalwarts.

Comment Re:Economics vs Health (Score 1) 332

Fair enough, but it's my understanding that even in cases that aren't extremely time sensitive and where MRIs imaging capabilities are appropriate, CTs are often used for cost purposes. I like the pun, but I'm curious if more patients refuse to get into the MRI machine or refuse to drink the contrast. The contrast used at hospitals near me is downright nasty, and I've seen a few cases where the patient refused to finish the contrast.

Comment Re:Economics vs Health (Score 1) 332

You talk about penny pinching, which is great, but who is going to pay for the increased costs? I'm all for great health care, but the truth is health care does not exist in a vacuum, and having money to spend on laptops, mp3 players, etc, is great. If you believe that health is priceless, that's fine, but just know that health care costs would shoot through the roof is money was not an issue. For a great example, just look at MRIs and CAT scans. MRIs are pretty much universally better and a lot safer (no radiation), but CAT scans are still used a lot. Why? MRI's cost a shitload of money. Plus, even if you do want to increase spending on health care, are hospitals or doctors even the best way to do it? I've taken a couple of health policy classes, and one thing that seems well agreed upon is that preventative measures are the best, which at its most basic level is about having a population eat health and get enough exercise. This has more to do with making sure everyone has access to fresh fruits and veggies, safe and convenient places to work out, health education, etc.

Comment Re:Develop a test (Score 5, Interesting) 332

Part of the problem with this is that any video game (or other) test that is reasonably quick is going to be reaction based. Surgery is not about quick reactions. I've watched open heart surgery, and it took a good 4-5 hours to complete. Surgery is about slow, slow precision, and by the time you could test for that, the patient is probably already screwed. Think of it this way: go to a hospital, and ask who are there best surgeons. You'll find out a lot of them are at least in their 40s, if not 50s and 60s. When was the last time you found ANY 40, 50, or 60 year old who was a legit gamer?

Comment Tap that Talent, but more Talent to Tap? (Score 2) 140

I'm sure having problem solving competitions accelerates the process of solving a particular problem, if for no other reason than drawing more attention and prestige to that problem. However, I'm curious if competitions really have an effect on the number of people who pursue careers in math, physics, etc. I mean does anyone really go "man, I'm going to become a mathematician and get rich through these competitions." I know people often go into the sciences for love rather than money, but I don't see how these competitions would make people love science and math more.

Comment Discrepancy in era definition? (Score 1) 449

I agree with people that PCs aren't going to disappear in 18 months (and you can pry my keyboard from my cold, dead hands), but from a business perspective the PC era does seem to be over. After all, as another person pointed out, business isn't just about raw numbers, it's also about growth. At this point, it does seem like the PC market is relatively saturated, and I doubt many new competitors want to come in and try and push HP and Dell out. Thus, form a growth perspective, yeah, the current market for firms to enter is the smartphone and tablet market, so in that sense the PC era is (temporarily) over.

Comment Re:Return on Investment (Score 1) 405

Changing the start time definitely has academic benefits, but it is far from free. I went to a top public high school (in America), and they looked at switching our high school start times but didn't do it because it was too expensive. The problem is bus routes. Typically, school districts don't have separate bus fleets for their high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools. Instead, they stagger the start times so that it's just one bus fleet for the three sets of schools. Thus, one school will start at the optimal time, but the other 2 won't. The cost of expanding a bus fleet is pretty big too, since besides getting new buses, you might need to buy new land if you don't have enough space in your current garages, higher more workers, etc.

Comment More Patent System Abuse (Score 1) 1

Not sure how reliable digitimes is, but ZDnet has also picked up the story ( and according to wikipedia CNN and CNET have both cited digitimes before. In any case, if this is true, it's certainly disconcerting, although I have to think that this will end with either Google ponying up some money or opening up their own patent war chest to try and force some kind of patent sharing deal. I wonder if all of these absuses of the patent system will eventually cause corporations to eventually make a strong push for patent reform. After all, these tech companies are huge and should have a good deal of political pull.

Submission + - "Michael Jackson" monkey discovered in Myanmar (

blumerina writes: Hunters' reports have led scientists to discover a new species of monkey in the northern forests of Myanmar. Discovered by biologists from the Myanmar Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association with support from primatologists with Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and the People Resources and Biodiversity Foundation, the strange looking primate is a member of the snub-nosed monkey family, adding a fifth member to this unmistakably odd-looking group of Asian primates. However, the species survives in only a small single population, threatened by Chinese logging and hunting.

Comment Consistency is not synonymous with good (Score 1) 514

Look, I'm all for smooth upgrades, consistency, and I understand why needless change is bad, but I think some people are equating change form something they are familiar with to needless change. Consistency is only a good thing when you either already possess a far superior UI to begin with (Apple in most people's opinions), or are mainly concerned with carrying over an old user base rather than expanding (Microsoft). As much as I love my gnome set up (elegant gnome + my own wallpaper + gnome do), I have to say the default gnome set up doesn't really blow anyone away, and it's hot keys, tricks, and menus aren't necessarily intuitive to a first time user. Basically, it doesn't really give anyone a reason to switch to Ubuntu on first glance. But you know what? The first time I showed my friends (mac and pc users) Unity and Gnome-Do, their first reactions were "wow, that's really cool" and "interesting (in a positive/excited way)" And when it comes down to it, Ubuntu is as much about attracting more users to Linux as it is about giving current Linux users a smoother experience. If Ubuntu doesn't have its own space carved out, what's to interest people, much less convince them to switch over? Plus, I would consider Gnome Shell a much bigger departure from the current gnome interface than Unity in terms of how you use it. Not saying Gnome Shell is worse or better than Unity, but I personally find I work faster on Unity and that Unity is a little more responsive to me.

Comment Re:So is this happening now? (Score 1) 182

Someone else pointed out that waste water isn't evenly distributed throughout the waters so it could still be a localized problem, but another problem is that Fluoxetine isn't the only drug that increases serotonin. See . If the problem is serotonin level increases, then it's not unreasonable to assume that many of the other drugs listed also would cause problems for shrimpkind. A more general point too is that we don't really understand the effects of the stuff we dump into the ecosystem, which is an issue b/c you don't necessarily need to take down X number of species to seriously hurt an ecosystem. Disrupting a few key bottom of the food chain animals could cause huge shake ups all the way up on the chain.

Comment Grad school + a few other pieces of advice (Score 1) 441

A lot of these suggestions are great (although some are a bit cruel), but why isn't grad school mentioned? You might have saved a decent chunk of money going to a small rural school, and it's understandable, but there's a reason why other people pay more to go to bigger name schools. Why not try and go to a masters program in a bigger name school that has job fairs if you can't find internships/jobs? Plus you can still build a portfolio working on open source software while getting your masters. Sure it'll cost you a good chunk of money, but if you actually are a talented computer scientist, it'll pay off in the long run. Also, besides summer of code I'm pretty sure there are other programming/computer science competitions that you can participate in. And finally, make sure you ask your professors and deans for advice. Seems obvious, but a lot of people I know don't do either or don't go to their professors. Some of them probably won't be of any use, but it only takes one good connection to get you that first job.

Comment Re:Doesn't matter (Score 1) 344

Although I am pro nuclear, I think there is a misconception about the anti-nuclear group. A lot of ppl think that they are simply ignorant/retarded, and that if they simply took a few science courses or knew what we knew they would also be pro nuclear. However, there were two studies I read about that were pretty interesting. The first was quiz they gave to experts and ordinary college educated citizens deaths due to nuclear power for both normal operations and potential catastrophes. What they found out was that for deaths due to normal operations, radiation exposure, etc, ordinary citizens were actually MORE optimistic than the experts, and although the ordinary citizens predicted much more drastic fallout from a nuclear disaster, even after they were informed of the right answer, they still didn't change their opinions. The second study was one where they took college educated citizens, got their opinions on nuclear power and gave them a quiz to test for knowledge on nuclear power, and then gave them a few weeks of classes about nuclear power. Even though at the end of the courses the citizens scored very well on a similar quiz about nuclear power, their opinions on nuclear power essentially hadn't changed. Basically, it's not that these people are necessarily ignorant of the facts or stupid, it's that they have a different idea of acceptable risk.

Comment Re:This is a good start (Score 1) 344

Sort of. The world population will continue to grow and developing countries are going to continue to use more energy to modernize, and that's a good thing. However, European nations (the rich ones anyway) use on average about 1/2 the energy per capita America uses, so clearly there is room for improvement. Also, if you look at energy per capita curves (, they actually can go down in modernized nations due to energy efficiency, less large construction projects, etc.

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