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Comment Sounds great (Score 1) 160

I'm all for this product. We need to replace our roof anyway. If the cost of the solar panel roofing is comparable to the cost of an asphalt roof, then its great. The only extra cost would probably be the battery and connections to the electric panel. hopefully those wouldn't be too high and would be offset by some sort of tax break.

Comment Re:How durable? (Score 5, Informative) 160

Maybe you could rake it with a wide broom or plastic snow rake. Our neighbor has solar panels on his roof and most of the time the snow slides off after the first sun starts to hit it. Unless its overcast for a few days after a snow, it always seemed to melt off quickly. He did use a broom a few times with new snow, but the sun and melting seem to go hand in hand anyway. And there's no need to clear the snow if there's no sun for the solar cells to use.

So, maybe in the case of a 2ft snowfall you could clear it, but that glass does a good job clearing itself anyway.

Comment Re:The Last Part is Important (Score 1) 95

There are two parts to this:

1) The raw data may or may not be saved. But it costs money to save the data. Once the research study is finished, the money is gone too, so there may be no way to pay for storage to save the data. Some researchers may hold on to it, some delete it. Until very very recently, there was no universal funded repository for neuroimaging data either. Now the NIH mandates, and pays for, the long term archiving of all NIMH funded imaging studies, including genetics.

2) The other problem is that even if you wanted to save your data long term, and had funds to do that, your IRB may not allow it. IRBs have often required investigators to erase and shred all records some number of years after the completion of the study. This language was written in the IRB consent and the research subject signed it. Going forward is now not a problem, as most IRBs add language that your data will be shared in perpetuity unless you opt-out of that the sharing. Historical data is a whole other ball of wax. To be completely legal, if you still had old data, you would need to contact every subject and ask if their data can be shared.

Replication of research studies using human subject data is tricky.

Comment Re:Issue is likely overstated (Score 1) 95

We've also been looking this over. It doesn't exactly invalidate previous studies that used high clustering threshold of p0.05, it just indicates that they are not as robust as once thought. The paper itself could change what reviewers accept though. Maybe some reviewers will say that based on this paper, only analyses using a FLAME1 or permutations method should be accepted. Much like registering EPIs directly to the standard template is frowned upon. It depends on the reviewer and the justification for your analysis methods.

It's funny that Tom Nichols, one of the authors, works with the FSL group, whose methods were compared in the paper. He's not invalidating them, just suggesting that the methods of permutations like in PALM and even BROCCOLI are better suited for fMRI stats. In person, Tom is just as nerdy as any statistician should be. But a very smart guy.

Comment Re:This worries me (Score 1) 175

I completely agree. I have a 9 year old girl, a 5 year old boy and a 3 year old girl. Although I was working in fast food at 16, I didn't get a cellular phone until I was 24. Payphones or the house phone were the only way to communicate. It's very different than when we were growing up. I think that creates the fear: that a social norm in our generation can be fundamentally different in our children's generation. Our grandparents would say "wow, back in my day we had a party-line if we had a phone at all" and there's a lot truth to how upsetting seeing the world change completely in span of a decade can be, especially when you consider how that change impacts your understanding of your children. Our grandparent's generation saw change to the quality of life and removal of hardship: things they considered necessary to being a stronger person. How can someone become strong and independent if technology makes everything easier?

For our generation its basically the social relationships that are affected. We've removed the threat of crippling diseases, and most hunger. There are lot of benefits to having a constant connection to the outside world, but... there's a lot of downsides. Never really being alone, but also never really getting close to someone. Stretches of isolation or boredom are gone, replaced with constant insignificant communication via text message. You aren't ever really alone, so some people don't feel the need to communicate anymore than superficially. Being stuck with someone: waiting in line, working on a team, not being in a cubicle... things to which you can't bring a newspaper, but could easily bring a cell phone. That forced conversation, which often turns out pretty beneficial, is gone. Deep conversations are less frequent, the thoughtfulness required to write a meaningful letter, replaced by 140 character text messages. Conversation is abbreviated and less meaningful. I'm not sure that's a good thing for the kids to be doing, much like removal of all hardship wasn't necessarily a good thing for our previous generations.

This whole thing makes me think of a Star Trek NG episode, in which Q brings Piccard to his home. All of the Q's live forever and can control anything, so they've already experienced everything possible and have no challenges to overcome. They're sitting there in silence. That's basically what happens when you take away all hardship and preempt all communication with tweets. It gets really really boring. Nothing to overcome and nothing to talk about.

Comment Nothing compared to my basement remodel (Score 1) 351

California's rail project, the Hinkley plant, the great wall of China... They've got nothing compared to my basement remodel. I budgeted 2 weekends and $500, turned into 2 years and way more than $500. All because I'm terrible at accurately estimating projects.

What's the worst that can happen when you over-budget? You'll either be right, or pleasantly surprised when its under-budget.

Comment Re:Meh.... (Score 1) 153

That is very true. The majority of business applications, spreadsheets, word processing, etc, can all run pretty well on an average smartphone. All you need is a desktop size screen, a USB and network port and the "CPU" can be embedded in the screen.

What I would like to see someday is a smartphone dock, where you can plug the smartphone into a monitor/mouse/keyboard and use the smartphone like a desktop PC.

Comment Re:Not To Worry (Score 1) 209

The FDA exists for a reason. In the past, you could create anything and market it to sick people and offer a cure or treatment. The FDA approves drugs and devices that are proven through clinical trials to a) work as advertised b) have limited or documented side-effects.

If these consumer electronics companies are creating devices to treat hearing loss, or as an aide to treat hearing loss, then they need to be sure a) they actually work b) they don't do any harm (cranking up the volume too much to cause further hearing loss)

It's great if these companies can reduce the cost of the devices significantly. But part of the cost of many of the FDA approved devices is the FDA approval process.

In the case of hearing, the patients should seek medical advice... there could be any number of things wrong that would cause hearing loss. Using an amplifier might mask a serious problem such an acoustic neuroma.

Comment Pay tax where business is done (Score 1) 263

Companies should pay tax in all locations in which they operate. If they gross some amount across 2 countries, and they're earnings are split 60/40 between countries A and B, then they should be taxed on 60% of their earnings at country A's tax rates and 40% at country B's tax rate. If any money is shifted between country A and B within the company, then it should be taxed leaving country A at their tax rate, and entering country B at their tax rate. This might reduce the advantage for countries with lower tax rates.

but... I'm thinking this is how the tax system already works and no matter how it's setup, the rich will find a way around it.

Comment Open source Picasa (Score 5, Insightful) 86

How about if Google open-sourced the Picasa desktop program? Then it could continue rather than being discarded completely. I understand why they would ditch and forever bury a cloud service and all of its code, but the desktop program can continue to be stand alone, separate from any of the proprietary google services. It's great at what it does. It's very intuitive to organize photos and very fast.

Comment Distance question (Score 1) 65

So, why are we able to see 13.4 billion light years away, but not able to see that last 0.4 billion? Is it just by chance that our telescopes are almost powerful enough to see the edge, or is there some other thing at the edge that's preventing us from seeing all the way through?

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