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Comment Am I wrong, or is Await/Async still missing? (Score 1) 165

I was very much looking forward to await/async as a more mature way to natively provide clean synchronous wrappers for async code within synchronous code (and get around the nested hell of when/then). Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it only seems to be a future reserved word.

Right now, it appears I am still awaiting.

Comment 1980 called, they have your desktop program ready (Score 1) 36

From the article:
          "We are looking at how we can virtualize the desktop so you can gain access to your resources from any device, anyplace, anywhere," Gardner said.
So VNC, NXMachine, or X11 forwarding through a highly compressed pipe. It will be hard to beat that software as it's been improved by decades of work (and started when the pipes were even smaller). I'm guessing they would get more bang out of just finding out how to increase the bandwidth (such as twisting signals, etc.)

Comment 6 to 100, smells like bad statistics to me (Score 1) 264

One linear model purports 6 incidents of cancer, though no standard deviation on the maximum likelihood is given. Another model suggests 100 incidents of cancer, again without a stddev. The wild difference in the maximum likelihoods of the different models, combined with the fact that the 1st model's lower bound is at zero incidents suggests that the two models don't agree.

So, will this cause more cancer, yes. Do they have any idea how much, not really. Does the media do an accurate job of reporting statistics, almost never. Should we draw hard legislative conclusions from the numbers in this study, probably not (unless we want to do so in ignorance of science and statistics).

Comment I would like to tell that judge (Score 2) 173

That I completely agree and that ripping a DVD onto my hard drive constitutes creating that is not the same as the original movie. The actual information contained in the frames of video is completely irrelevant as it is isolated from the optical media at that point. I should be able to patent/copyright DVD rips, then distribute them according to my license,

Comment Re:Non-ionizing (Score 1) 212

Yeah the jump discontinuity is caused by atoms having protons, neutrons, and electrons in integer amounts (rather than continuous amounts such as 0.3 protons).

I should note, that non-ionizing radiation (such as green light) can also be devastating, depending upon it's energy density. I've come across articles where titanium sapphire laser light (green non-ionizing) was sufficiently compressed through pulse shaping that it was capable of producing soft x-rays when passed through air. Remember light is a eletromagnetic wave, and the amplitude and frequency of the pulse shape was sufficiently high to rip off electrons.

Comment Re:Non-ionizing (Score 5, Interesting) 212

Actually, the fact that they are non-ionizing doesn't prevent them from harming DNA. Ionization loosely means that the power is sufficient to destroy a base pair in a DNA chain (via striping of an electron), if the full energy of the wave packet is absorbed. Ionizing radiation is guaranteed to hurt you if it is absorbed by your body (e.g., it will ionize something whether that is protein or DNA). My perception of why "non-ionizing" doesn't mean it is safe comes from a (tangential) education in terahertz radiation (e.g., microwaves). Simply put, just because the radiation may be low in power when averaged over time and space, the instantaneous energy density of the radiation might make it unsafe. DNA can be harmed through lots of different ways other than ionization (strand separation, mutagens, denaturing, etc.)

For an ocean analogy, just because the ocean has an RMS wave height of 5 feet doesn't mean that *all* the waves will be 5 ft tall. Instantaneous peaks (in space and time) will discharge sufficient energy (albeit non-ionizing) into DNA to cause the strands to separate (and be subject to other effects accordingly). For a gadget example, take the microwave. It isn't ionizing. It doesn't directly cause cancer, but if an organism is subjected to sufficient microwaves of power to denature proteins, the process will cause upticks in cellular metabolism to repair those proteins. I for one do believe that the uptick in metabolism does in fact lead to a higher incidence of cancer (though metabolic studies vs cancer rates are really not well documented in my book and mostly involve healthy people starving themselves).

I think the best take on cell phone radiation, for which sadly cannot attribute, was from a UK doc several years ago who was worried that the digitization of cell phone signals (vs analogue), while it would lead to a much lower RMS would also lead to bursts of *very* high instantaneous energy. This might denature proteins over time, like cooking an egg millimeter by random millimeter.

Forget studies on people with cell phones for the next decade or so. People are complicated and are difficult to pin down w.r.t. a cause of a disease. I think we probably need to spend more money on actual fundamental (microbial) research on non-ionizing radiations effect on cellular growth (such as As for myself, right now I have no idea if they are safe, but I for one know that just being "non-ionizing" isn't enough.

Comment How is this news (Score 3, Interesting) 499

I'm not sure why this is news (google "short term loans federal bailout" for stuff back in march/april). The Fed Reserve admitted to as much months back, though it had to be coerced out of them. The loans (overseas and domestic) were done in an overnight or sub-week fashion in order to provide liquidity in the open market. Where I draw issue is that most of these banks had capital, but were unwilling to lend it. Instead, they were able to get essentially free (~0% interest) money with which they could purchase short-term positions with guaranteed returns (e.g., US Treasuries) and make considerable money. Almost *none* of this money was lent to small businesses (as that would've required a long-term loan from the Fed, which this was not).

During that interval I really wished I would've qualified as a bank so I could (1) get huge sums of zero-interest short term money from the Fed and (2) just stash it somewhere to get returns in gov't bills.

Also, the metric reported (16 trillion) is a bit skewed. If you imagine that this was done over 14 months and the loans were of a 2.5 day average, that means any given day only 95 billion dollars was actually wrapped up in loans ( e.g., the RMS loan value is $9.5e10= $16e12/(14 months*30days/month)*2.5days). However, taking that back-of-the-envelope number and calculating interest, that let (with 3% compound interest at 14 months), the collective of banks make ~3.6 billion in returns. So, given the loss to the community (e.g., free money of 3.6 billion to rich banks), versus the potential fallout if they hadn't made these loans (e.g., bank collapse??), I say that this was a *very* cost effective means of stabilizing the economy. This is in contrast to other "bailouts" and shovel-ready plans which essentially just funneled cash into poorly managed state slush funds and pet projects.


Comment Perfect job for industrial robots. (Score 2) 102

A repetitive dangerous task and, while I could say the obligatory "what could go wrong", often the robotic type of setup does better than people (simply because one doesn't have to worry about risk to self). I've seen this kind of thing before. They use them in commercial large scale breweries to clean the brew tanks (which is another dangerous and repetitive job for people).

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