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Comment 3rd party code (Score 3, Interesting) 26

One common reason is 3rd party code, which they may have licensed and do not control or own.

Alternately, the code may still be seen internally as useful, which it is with Opera Mini. It is still used to generate revenue, and may contain what Opera considers to be trade secrets that give them an advantage over a competitor (i.e. Amazon Silk).

Comment Opera Mini is Webcore, not Presto (Score 3, Insightful) 26

If you set the "data savings" option down from extreme to high in the settings menu, the scanner at ssllabs.com will report Webkit, not Presto. The Webkit version will be whatever is included on your device (Webcore). If you are running KitKat or Jellybean, you will see lots and lots of security problems with your Webcore, since they date from the end of the XP era, and haven't been updated since.

I believe that Presto would be installed at Opera's corporate systems, and it would feed a compressed stream to the Webkit used by Opera Mini.

Opera Mini could not be so small and include both a complete rendering engine and links to Webcore. They essentially cheated.

Comment Re:IT is amazing (Score 2) 65

Most folks drink stale coffee. Try roasting your own (I use Sweet Maria's for supplies) or going somewhere with a roaster on site who is honest enough to tell you the roast date. It should be from 2 to 10 days ago. Flavor development in coffee is a rancidification process. Like cheese, you want to catch it when it is a little, but not too, rancid.

Comment Re:...Or Just Take Aspirin. (Score 2) 65

Let's not forget the effect of helicobacter pylori bacteria on ulcers, they are in general held to be the main cause these days.

I have another theory about the beneficial effect of aspirin, caffine, etc. We evolved with them. Our diet was rich in salycilates and chemicals similar to theobromine or caffine. They came from the plants we ate, some of which were mildly toxic and which we evolved to process to the point that we became dependent on some of their effects. There are a lot of things in the primitive diet that modern people don't eat much at all, like acorns which had to be soaked to remove alkalai and tannin.

If this is the case, taking aspirin and drinking coffee or tea replace substances found in a more primitive diet.

Comment Re:This story sponsored by (Score 1) 65

Actually evidence from the 1950s was mixed -- as it still is -- but in fact most of it stands up pretty well. What's a problem is the interpretation of that evidence and its limited nature (e.g. not knowing about different types of cholesterol).

For example it was established in the 50s that high blood cholesterol was a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. This is still believed as true, but what they didn't know at the time is what factors affected blood cholesterol. It was (plausibly although not conclusively) suspected by many that fat consumption would increase it; nobody suspected sugar... why should they?

In complex systems like the body there is usually conflicting evidence early on, which is resolved by further study.

Comment Re:Potential military applications are really scar (Score 4, Interesting) 60

I'd think from a military standpoint what you want is soldiers who make better battlefield decisions, not ones that engage in a stereotypical behavior regardless of circumstance.

The human brain is both massively adaptable and subject to modification by information inputs. Which means you can indoctrinate men into becoming mindless killing machines. The problem is that historically that approach doesn't seem to be effective either tactically or strategically. US Marines faced waves of suicide attackers in the Pacific theater of WW2, which must have been terrifying, but in the end worked to the US advantage.

On the other hand George Washington's great talent as a general was retreating. He could attack a much larger and better equipped army and then make his army disappear before they could react. That was terrifying in its own way, and much more miltarily effective.

Given a fight between men fighting to kill and men fighting to survive, all other things being equal I'd put my money on the men trying to survive.

Comment Re:This story sponsored by (Score 5, Informative) 65

You know, this kind of shallow cynicism actually makes you easier to dupe, because it's not evidence-based; it's what-sounds-truthy-based.

This article was published in Nature, which requires a complete disclosure of institutional affiliations and financial conflicts. That doesn't mean the system is perfect, but it's about as good as it gets, especially given that Nature is one of the most prestigious scientific journals in the world. Nature Medicine has an eye-popping 30.357 impact factor, making it the fourth most highly cited medical journal in the world after the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, and Journal of the American Medical Association.

Does it mean you should immediately believe anything that's published in Nature Medicine? No. You should wait until it is cited in a literature review article in one of those top journals before making any health decisions based on it. However as individual papers go, this is as credible as they get.

Researchers have been trying to take caffeine down for decades. Nobody can quite believe that something so enjoyable as coffee isn't bad for you. In fact doctors used to routinely warn their patients off coffee because of all the bad things it would do to them, but in fact when researchers tried to confirm all the things doctors knew about why coffee was bad for you, none of them turned out to be true, with narrow exceptions for certain populations (e.g., coffee doesn't cause ulcers as we used to be told, but if you have an ulcer coffee will make the symptoms worse).

What researchers found were surprising benefits, including what appears to be evidence of reduction in risks for multiple forms of cancer and even a reduction in suicide risk.

Coffee is well on its way to becoming the first evidence-backed superfood.

Comment Re:The answer is to stop thinking all or nothing (Score 1) 376

Problem is the energy trap. Here's what happens when oil actually becomes hard to find, if a renewable transition has not ALREADY HAPPENED (and why "the market will solve it when it gets rare" is a stupid argument:
It costs energy to build renewable infrastructure, when energy is getting scarce and expensive- investing in that infrastructure means a bunch of people who are struggling, has to struggle a lot more.
No government wants to do that. It could easily take as long to transition with manageable investments as the remaining oil lasts - and at each step for the first several years it means having less energy than you otherwise would have. By the time you start seeing returns on the investment you're in the next election cycle - so making the investment is always better left to somebody else... until there is no oil left, and then you CANNOT transition because there is no energy to transition with.

The best way to avoid the energy trap - is to transition while oil is still providing plentiful, cheap energy. It's a basic economic lesson so old that it is recorded in a book that is at least 4000 years old. How did Joseph manage the seven dry years ? By storing food during the 7 good ones.
How did India avoid famines for thousands of years ? By storing food all the time it was plentiful so when the monsoon hit it's occasional long-drought cycle they had enough stored up to survive (until Britain dismantled that system - and they had 3 major famines leading to over 30 million deaths).

Invest in the sustainable option while the unsustainable supply is still plentiful, because when it isn't - you will not be able to convince suffering people to suffer more in order to fix the problem. Whether that's a decade away or a thousand years away doesn't matter. Invest in security now, because even if renewables seem more expensive (they aren't) that's a fallacious way of thinking. Human societies that survived in the long haul are the ones with the foresight to invest in alternative resources when the ones they rely on are still plentiful and it doesn't look like a justifiable expense ot make that investment.

The US is not a good example - 300 years is no time at all. If you want to be one of those societies that make it to a thousand or more, learn what the ones that did, did right.

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