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Comment Re:Add THIS to the map (Score 1) 36

There is definitely relativity to noise. Once I lived half a block from the interstate, just outside of downtown Chicago. Despite the constant hum, I almost never noticed it, other than the very occasional semi hitting the engine brakes hard, and even that was just kind of a pronounced note out of the background mishmash.

Now I live outside a town of 20,000, in a tiny subdivision, and ten times a day I'm thinking to myself, "What are those crazy neighbors up to?" when they do anything at all, because it's generally so quiet *any* noise is disruptive.

Then again, I've got young kids and a territorial dog now, whereas I was a blithely oblivious 20-something back then. Life circumstances may have something to do with my sensitivity to the noise as well.

Comment Broken cleanup mechanism? (Score 2) 124

For me, the following was one of the more interesting pieces:

Senescent cells carry the type of DNA damage that should spur a protective protein, called p53, to put them down. Instead, the researchers found that a different protein, FOXO4, latches onto p53 and prevents it from doing its duty. To counteract this effect, De Keizer and colleagues designed a molecule, known as a peptide, that carries a shortened version of the segment of FOXO4 that attaches to p53.

Does this mean we have an internal cleanup mechanism, but somehow it's gotten subverted over the years? Our ancestors may have had the benefit of p53, until something changed and we started developing FOXO4 when we hadn't before? Or somewhere along the line the amount of FOXO4 in our bodies increased? That seems fascinating to me.

My first reaction was also to think, "That doesn't seem like a very useful mutation/bit of evolution" but of course most of the age-related stuff won't be important until you're beyond the age of reproduction, so it's probably relatively easier for that kind of problem to sneak in than something that affects the young. I also wonder if it's *just* a mutation, or if the FOXO4 is doing something else more useful for us when we're young, that the tradeoff is worth it?

Comment Re:Neuromancer (Score 1) 542

That's the problem with all the Neal Stephenson I've read. He goes in-depth into interesting topics, but it's more like sitting in a college classroom than something you could put on screen. I guess you could handwave through it the way a lot of sci-fi movies do and maybe get away with it.

Comment Re:Leave the original (Score 2) 542

Instead of a reboot, I'd like to see John Steakley's 'Armor', which basically borrows the premise of Starship Troopers the book (a bug war on an alien planet) but is primarily action focused. When I saw the first preview for the ST movie, I actually thought it *was* Armor before they showed the title. Also, it's just a really good book.

Comment Re:The Pi Symbol is Nonsense (Score 1) 133

PacMan might be a good choice, as it indicates radii and circumferences, and also looks like a pie with a wedge cut out. A pain to draw, though.

As an aside, as a college student, I enjoyed learning new uses for most of the Greek letters, and liked to keep track of which ones didn't have an assigned special meaning yet.

Comment Re:Focus on a few key things (Score 1) 347

Hadn't heard of Project Euler before, but it seems nifty. I've been meaning to practice in a new language, and was looking for a source of mini-projects to work on. That seems like it may be a good source of ideas.

Glancing through the first page of the archives, all the ones I saw seemed pretty approachable. Just out of curiosity I jumped into the 400's, and I'll admit I couldn't even tell what the question was asking me to do. Presumably if done in order they'd make sense (acquired vocabulary, notation) but there does seem to be a learning curve.

Comment Re:lol amazon prime (Score 1) 244

Just curious, is that for electronic or print versions?

That kind of pricing model might make sense for new books or indie authors: cheap for older books, or to entice the curious, and then more expensive for the newer books and/or once readers are hooked.

I wouldn't expect that for something that old, though.

Comment Re:The robots themselves? (Score 1) 125

It's growth. It's just worded strangely. Slashdot has a long-established tradition that everything must be expressed in terms of how much smaller it will be. I.e., "robot growth is expected to be an inverse one-fifteenth times smaller shrinkage in quantity in four years".

"X times larger"? What kinda cockamamie phrasing is that?

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