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Comment Re:Good use for taxes (Score 1) 160

this study was funded by Singapore's Ministry of Health partly to see if that was true... unfortunately it turns out not to be (for a 'large' majority of people, at least).

The stupid new item didn't even link to the journal article - the summary and findings are available at

Comment Re:A little? (Score 1) 59

this is misreported, as it was back in June when the policy was first announced. They are planning on having a separate network for desktops that can connect to sensitive databases (eg think of citizenship/passport etc functions), and those desktops won't have internet access. I guess those civil servants in such a position will have 2 computers on their desktop.

This is not "all civil servants are now banned from facebook/google at work".

Comment Re:Where did the money come from? (Score 1) 160

in this case, 1MDB transferred some money to an account owned by a company with a very similar name to another investment company, and claimed it was for investment purposes. (The 'fake' company was controlled by insiders, and was named to looked like it was a Saudi-owned investment fund.) The money from the shell account was transferred through multiple other shell accounts through multiple jurisdictions, to try to hide the paper trail.

Comment Re:"unfettered access" (Score 1) 71

Is it really that easy to block? I would like to hear more about successes in circumvention, and prevention of future obstructions.

When I was in China for several months, most popular Western websites were blocked - social networking sites because people can organise/talk freely, and news websites for obvious reasons.

However different ISPs (or different regional divisions of the same large national ISP) would block different sites at different times, so it's not like all of China's traffic goes through 1 single firewalling router :). Presumably they have independent implementations of a vague set of rules. Many sites are blocked via DNS spoofing (using a public DNS server instead of the ISP's server was good enough for most of these but some sites had the DNS requests intercepted even when doing this), some pages get blocked due to the content (if not encrypted). Presumably they have more rules for content written in Chinese than in English.

I often browsed by proxying everything via SSH to my machine in my home country. Sometimes my SSH connections would time out and I couldn't use my proxy. After getting back home I discovered several thousand automated brute force password attempts on SSH, coming from a range of IP addresses assigned to the same city in China where I was staying.

Comment Re:Teh (Score 1) 372

Not being able to type it in Word is just not knowing how to use Word. The Autocorrect options are very adjustable. Add the word to the dictionary and be done with it.

Now as for every other piece of damn software out there such as Windows 10's built in autocorrect which affects all apps, that's not so easy.

I also work with someone whose family name is "Teh". The problem isn't him typing his own name into the computer, it's the entire rest of the world typing his name in. Eg I've seen conference proceedings and meeting minutes with his name spelled as "The".

Comment Re:For the non-americans: (Score 1) 26

A W2 tax from shows the amount of taxes withheld from your paycheck. It's used to file your taxes.

I presume the article refers to this data. Does anyone have any idea what the scammers can do with this?

presumably they can file and claim your tax refund when they have enough information to impersonate you? Especially if they file before you get around to doing it yourself...

Comment Re:Other resident viruses? (Score 5, Insightful) 107

I haven't even RTFA yet, but I was wondering if this could have applications with other viruses that become long-term residents of the body. I'm thinking of things in the herpes family like... herpes, or chickenpox / shingles. The trick with most of these is long-term, mostly-dormant viruses hiding in the cells. If you can wake them up, the immune system can clear them, but they are effectively hidden inside the cells while quiescent.

HIV is a "retrovirus", which means the the virus's DNA integrates into the host's DNA. Some other viruses do this, but I think most don't. Some are more interesting, eg EBV is a virus from the herpes family which infects several different tissue types, and we know it can integrate into human DNA inside white blood cells, but I don't think there's proof that it can integrate inside liver or stomach cells.

As a retrovirus, the HIV sequence successfully breaks into a cell, then breaks into the cell's nucleus, then into one of the nucleus' chromosomes. (This is obviously harder to detect than viruses that stay inside the cell's cytoplasm, or that enter the nucleus but stay apart as their own episome [mini-chromosome].) That's what the article is referring to when they say their method recognises a 34-base pair long sequence - it is recognising that piece of the viral sequence in our own chromosome, and then uses something to snip out enough of the viral sequence that it can no longer make new copies of itself.

Obviously you want to be careful with any therapy that involves cutting up bits of human chromosomes... :)

Comment Re:Why Chemistry? (Score 1) 20

Why not Biology? Sure these are chemical processes, but unless someone demonstrates they are active in nature outside biological systems... this seems like an award in the wrong category.

there is no Nobel prize for biology, since it wasn't a big field when the prizes were set up.

The closest categories are the Medicine prize and the Biology prize. A lot of inorganic chemists complain that the chemistry Nobel almost always goes to molecular biology discoveries :) The prize for Blue LEDs are a recent exception to that trend.

Comment Re:Initiators vs promoters (Score 1) 180

The headline is shocking when one consider the steep rise of cancer since 1945. If it was luck, then how it could change over time?

we need to be careful that we are comparing apples with apples when comparing cancer rates between different countries or time periods. We have higher rates of people reaching their 70s and 80s now. And in addition to increased longevity, we also (in developed countries at least) have a higher proportion of our populations being older.

This is why we use an "age standardised cancer incidence" rate, to account for differences in the population makeup.

I'm not sure if the age-adjusted rate is much difference between now and the 40s, but if it is then I would expect it to be largely based on the dramatic rates of tobacco use in the couple of decades after WW2.

Comment Re:So perhaps /. will finally fix its shit (Score 2) 396

Really Why? what content on Slashdot justify's the need for encrypted content? I really don't get this huge push for SSL everywhere. give me SSL when I need it, I don't want SSL for accessing a forum or a news site or just generally browsing the web.

since you have a slashdot account, I'm sure you don't mind your ISP, their transit provider, and slashdot's CDN seeing your password going over their network in cleartext when you log in.

Even if you use a throwaway password for sites like this (and I hope you do), don't you think it would be better to make a small change that has no effect on how end users interact with the site but somewhat increases their security?

Comment increased risk of cancer? (Score 2) 175

given that tumour cells (for solid tumours) normally have defects in extra-cellular matrix related genes (eg genes in the collagen family are sometimes mutated in advanced gastric cancer) that help the tumour invade and spread through tissues, I wonder if using such a treatment increases the chances of either tumours forming, or tumours becoming higher grade/more serious more quickly...

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