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China's Engineering Mega-Projects Dwarf the Great Wall

BayaWeaver Re:Very admirable (206 comments)

High speed trains are awesome, and they're great for prestige and getting customers to buy that technology. Yet they're out of price range for the majority of customers.

Maybe not? This from a recent World Bank report:
"As of October 1, 2014, over 2.9 billion passengers are estimated to have taken a trip in a China Rail - High Speed train (called CRH services), with traffic growing from 128 million in 2008 to 672 million in 2013, or about 39 percent growth per annum since 2008. In 2013, 530 million of those CRH trips took place on passenger dedicated HSR lines. In 2013, China HSR lines carried slightly more HSR passenger-km (214 billion) than the rest of the world combined. This represented about 2.5 times the HSR passenger-km of Japan, the second largest country in terms of HSR traffic. These are substantial numbers for a system that is still in its early days."

Also, a personal informed opinion here

about two weeks ago

Apple Swaps "Get" Button For "Free" To Avoid Confusion Over In-App Purchases

BayaWeaver Re:why not do the right thing ? (103 comments)

It's time for having 3 categories. Paid, in-app-purchases, free.

I would add a fourth. Thus the list would be Paid, in-app-purchases, free with ads, FREE. FREE would be really free. Not even ads.

about 2 months ago

Global Christianity and the Rise of the Cellphone

BayaWeaver Re:New technology, old mindsets (559 comments)

But what about the Fourth Crusade when the Byzantines themselves were attacked and Constantinople - the richest city in Christendom - was sacked, looted and raped by the western Crusaders? It was so awful, shameful and painful that 800 years later Pope John Paul II thought it necessary to apologize for it. There was nothing "good" about that one.

more than 2 years ago

Apple To Release List of Companies That Build Its Products Around the World

BayaWeaver Re:Then what? (164 comments)

I'm aware of their use of Foxconn from past articles, but how come I don't see Foxconn on the list linked in this article?

Yes, it is. See Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. (Foxconn)

about 3 years ago

Amazon To Launch Kindle Tablet?

BayaWeaver How about a Google + Amazon merger? (140 comments)

That will create the ultimate anti-Apple. Amazon's store is the only one right now that can compete with Apple's App store and if that becomes the de facto Google Android store, that will mean the first real competitor to the iDevice/App Store ecosystem. And Google's cloud + Amazon's cloud will be mother of all clouds too.

more than 3 years ago

Australian Aboriginal DNA Suggests 70,000-Year History

BayaWeaver Where can I get the PDF of the original paper? (228 comments)

I don't have a Science subscription. Nature gives open access to human genome papers but unfortunately Science does not.

more than 3 years ago

Bing To Use Wolfram Alpha Results

BayaWeaver Winston Churchill's Father - Google vs Bing (179 comments)

Simple query of a well-known statesman. Google gets it right with its very first response. Bing doesn't seem to know what I want. Alpha doesn't have a clue.

Google 1 - Bing 0

Bing and Alpha have a lot of catching up to do. And Google doesn't blink even when I get the spelling wrong as in "Winston Chrchill's Father"

more than 5 years ago

Plagiarism-Detection Software Confirms Shakespeare Play

BayaWeaver Christopher Marlowe write it! (185 comments)

Shakespeare was the conduit through which Marlowe published his works after he (Marlowe) had to "disappear" through a faked death. Marlowe was a wanted man because of his outspokenness and involvement in the plots and intrigues of the Elizabethan age. The facts about Shakespeare's life that can be determined with absolute certainty make it unlikely that he could be the writer of the great plays, sonnets, and poems that are ascribed to him.

more than 5 years ago

Intellectual Ventures' Patent Protection Racket

BayaWeaver Re:Myhrvold, sigh (152 comments)

I can't understand why he is doing this. Surely he is rich enough to afford to have noble principles and values and doesn't have to resort to such distasteful methods to enrich himself. And he is also a very smart person. Surely his time and money can be better spent actually implementing useful ideas. Or maybe this is his way of showing how absurd and unfair the current patent system is to goad people into taking action to reform it?

more than 5 years ago

Study Catches Birds Splitting Into Separate Species

BayaWeaver And you can get the original paper here .. (153 comments)

The first author's website has the PDF of the original paper: http://jauy.syr.edu/PUBS/Publications.html
It's the first paper on the list: Difference in plumage color used in species recognition between incipient species is linked to a single amino acid substitution in the melanocortin-1 receptor
And here's the abstract if you don't want to read/download the whole paper:

"Many studies demonstrate that differences in mating signals are used by incipient species in recognizing potential mates or sexual competitors (i.e., species recognition). Little is known, however, about the genetic changes responsible for these differences in mating signals. Populations of the Monarcha castaneiventris flycatcher vary in plumage color across the Solomon Islands, with a subspecies on Makira Island having chestnut bellies and blue-black upper parts (Monarcha castaneiventris megarhynchus) and a subspecies on neighboring satellite islands being entirely blue-black (melanic; Monarcha castaneiventris ugiensis). Here we show that a single nonsynonymous point mutation in the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) gene is present in all melanic birds from one island (Santa Ana) but absent in all chestnut-bellied birds from Makira Island, implicating this mutation in causing melanism. Birds from a second satellite island (Ugi) do not show the same perfect association between this MC1R variant and plumage color, suggesting an alternative mechanism for melanism on this island. Finally, taxidermic mount presentation experiments in Makira (chestnut) and Santa Ana (melanic) suggest that the plumage difference mediates species recognition. Assuming that the signals used in species recognition are also used in mutual mate choice, our results indicate that a single amino acid substitution contributes to speciation."

more than 5 years ago

Judge In Pirate Bay Trial Biased

BayaWeaver Re:Like a judge belonging to an antiabortion group (415 comments)

Yes, we would NEVER let a Catholic decide abortion cases... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_G._Roberts

Add Alito, Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas - they are also Catholic and somewhere between very and fairly conservative.

OMG! There goes Roe vs Wade! But seriously, what I meant was right-to-life groups that exist to specifically oppose abortion. Not all Catholics are antiabortion.
I have to admit though that it is a little alarming that the SCOTUS lacks religious diversity.

more than 5 years ago

Ubuntu 9.04 Released

BayaWeaver Netbook Remix 4 EeePC 900? (620 comments)

Can it boot persistently from the SD of my Eee PC 900 and will the wifi just work out of the box? Have never been able to get any of the earlier releases to do these two things.

more than 5 years ago

Obama Proposes High-Speed Rail System For the US

BayaWeaver Long overdue (1385 comments)

But better late than never. The Europeans and East Asians are way ahead in high speed rail and it's just such a shame that there hasn't been a single serious attempt at this in the USA. Even as we speak the 819 km Beijing-Shanghai (top speed 220 mph/360 km/h) is being constructed. Wouldn't it be great to have something like that in the USA? It will cost many, many billions but it will be something useful that the nation can be proud of. Unlike wasteful overseas adventures that have caused only pain and shame.
My one concern is that instead of borrowing from the considerable experience of the Europeans and Japanese, time and money will be wasted to reinvent the wheel. High speed rail is a mature technology and it will be best to do what the Chinese have done: bring in and adapt what the Europeans or Japanese already have.

more than 5 years ago

Rackable Buying SGI Assets For $25M?

BayaWeaver Re:Surprised? (159 comments)

Kind of ironic, isn't it? Linux has long been touted as a Window killer but has instead been a killer of Unix vendors.

more than 5 years ago

Obama Admin Fights Missing White House Email Lawsuit

BayaWeaver Re:The fact is... (345 comments)

And who might that viable third person or party be? Ralph Nader? Ross Perot? And how is he or she going raise the hundreds of millions necessary to get elected without the backing of the RNC and DNC? You are in wishful thinking territory over here. Obama (even if don't like him) was the lesser of two evils in the last election.

more than 5 years ago

The Deceptive Perfection of Auto-Tune

BayaWeaver Re:Authentic is the wrong word (437 comments)

You mean like the way Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman and friends pretended to play at the Inauguration? Or how Pavarotti lip-synced at the Turin Winter Olympics? Or the way the Sydney Symphony Orchestra pretended to play at the Sydney 2000 Olympics? Where parts of the music that the Sydney Symphony pretended to play was actually prerecorded by the Melbourne Symphony!

more than 5 years ago

Atheros Releases Free Linux Driver For Its 802.11n Devices

BayaWeaver Which laptops with Broadcom chips? (155 comments)

So which are the laptops with Broadcom chips? I know my Presario V3000 has but I didn't know that when I bought it. I'll be looking more closely for my next laptop purchase. Is there is up-to-date somewhere that I can check?

more than 6 years ago



Good Cholesterol (HDL) is not all that it's cracked up to be

BayaWeaver BayaWeaver writes  |  more than 2 years ago

BayaWeaver (1048744) writes "We have been told for a long time that there's good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL) and good cholesterol lowers the rate of heart disease. However, the New York Times reports that a just published article in The Lancet has shown that people genetically endowed with higher levels of good cholesterol (HDL) do not have decreased heart attack risk. Also, tests of HDL-boosting drugs by Roche and Pfizer have failed to lower heart attack risk. So it looks like we should ignore 'good' cholesterol and just concentrate on lowering bad cholesterol with diet, exercise and statins if we want to reduce the risk of heart attacks."

New species of human from China?

BayaWeaver BayaWeaver writes  |  more than 2 years ago

BayaWeaver (1048744) writes "These are exciting times in anthropology.
Recent analysis of fossils first discovered in China in 1979 indicate that a human-like species may have co-existed with modern humans as late as 11,500 years ago. This presumably new species has been nicknamed Red Deer Cave people because of their apparent taste for the extinct giant red deer. Compare this finding with the "hobbits" discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003 which are also thought to have been around until 12,000 years ago. Similarly, the Denisovans discovered in 2010 were co-existing with modern humans in Siberia about 30,000 years ago. It is also interesting that the sensational, high-impact is published in open access PLoS and not the traditional pay-walled journals like Nature and Science."

F-22 Raptor Cancelled

BayaWeaver BayaWeaver writes  |  more than 5 years ago

BayaWeaver (1048744) writes "Slate reports that the F-22 Raptor has been cancelled by the Senate. At an estimated price tag of $339 million per aircraft, even the powerful military-industrial-congressional complex couldn't keep this Cold War program alive in these hard times. They look very cool though and have appeared in movies like Hulk and Transformers. But not to worry too much about the future of the military-industrial-congressional complex: the F-35 Lightning II begins production next year! As a side note, in 2007 a squadron of Raptors became deaf, dumb and blind when they flew over the International Date Line."

Is Nerve Growth Factor the secret of eternal life?

BayaWeaver BayaWeaver writes  |  more than 5 years ago

BayaWeaver (1048744) writes "The Independent reports: Most centenarians attribute their great age to some magic elixir or other. The longevity of the Italian scientist Rita Levi-Montalcini, who this week became the first Nobel Prize-winner to reach the age of 100, might be the result of a potion that is a little out of the ordinary: Professor Levi-Montalcini, it is said, puts her undiminished mental vigo down to regular doses of nerve growth factor (NGF) — the discovery that made her famous ... During numerous celebrations this week, she claimed that her brain was more vigorous today than it was four decades ago."

BayaWeaver BayaWeaver writes  |  more than 7 years ago

BayaWeaver (1048744) writes "These days I try wherever possible to eat organic foods: bread, olive oil, tofu, veges but then there's this article in the LA Times USDA may relax standards for organic foods.
This looks like an attempt to water down the meaning of organic. Here's a quote from the article: "This proposal is blatant catering to powerful industry players who want the benefits of labeling their products 'USDA organic' without doing the work to source organic materials"
So I may not be free of pesticides and preservatives after all. If we can't trust the USDA to enforce accurate labelling of foods, who else can we turn to? Are there independent organizations that can be trusted?"

BayaWeaver BayaWeaver writes  |  more than 7 years ago

BayaWeaver writes "He of The Andromeda Strain and Jurassic Park fame has made a strong case against gene patents in an op-ed in the NYT today. It is hard to understand how anyone reading this could fail to be convinced that gene patents are repugnant and shouldn't be allowed. Unless, of course, he or she has a financial interest in maintaining the status quo
Here are some excerpts to get you all riled up.

"Gene patents are now used to halt research, prevent medical testing and keep vital information from you and your doctor. Gene patents slow the pace of medical advance on deadly diseases. And they raise costs exorbitantly: a test for breast cancer that could be done for $1,000 now costs $3,000.
When SARS was spreading across the globe, medical researchers hesitated to study it — because of patent concerns. There is no clearer indication that gene patents block innovation, inhibit research and put us all at risk.
Canavan disease is an inherited disorder that affects children starting at 3 months; they cannot crawl or walk, they suffer seizures and eventually become paralyzed and die by adolescence. Formerly there was no test to tell parents if they were at risk. Families enduring the heartbreak of caring for these children engaged a researcher to identify the gene and produce a test. Canavan families around the world donated tissue and money to help this cause.
When the gene was identified in 1993, the families got the commitment of a New York hospital to offer a free test to anyone who wanted it. But the researcher's employer, Miami Children's Hospital Research Institute, patented the gene and refused to allow any health care provider to offer the test without paying a royalty."

For your good deed today, please click on the link even if you don't intend to read TFA , so that it gets into the NYT Most Popular list and more people read the article. And then maybe, maybe, things will change after enough people are outraged by the idea of gene patents to demand the change."

BayaWeaver BayaWeaver writes  |  about 8 years ago

BayaWeaver (1048744) writes "Is there a moral to this tragic story? Boy goes to Caltech at the age of 12, gets his Ph.D from Cornell in string theory (under Brian Greene, a boy genius himself), and then things seem to have gone downhill after that. He is treated in a hospital for depression at 25, dies at age 30 and his family won't say why. Here is the story from the New Straits Times in Malaysia.
"Boy genius Chiang Ti Ming, who died on Saturday, was buried yesterday at the Jalan Sikamat Christian Cemetery. The cause of his death is unknown and family members were tight-lipped at the funeral. Chiang made the headlines in 1989 when, as a 12-year-old, he was accepted into the prestigious California Institute of Technology (Caltech) to study physics. He went on to pursue a doctorate in the field of Super String Theory in 1992 at Cornell University, an Ivy League institution.Not much was known about Chiang after his initial "fame", though in 1993, he suffered a personal tragedy when his four-year-old sister Eei Wern drowned at the swimming pool of the Seremban International Golf Club. In 2002, it was reported that he was admitted to a hospital in Kuala Lumpur after suffering from depression."
If there a lesson to be learnt here, what would that be? Don't go to Caltech when you are 12yo? Don't waste the best years of your life doing string theory? Was the poor kid pushed too far too fast? One can only imagine the overwhelming pressure the boy must have felt to perform. Perhaps he should have been left alone to find his way and not be pushed to what is very possibly a dead end"


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