DavidHumus (725117) writes "There's a report in the Wall Street Journal recently on two studies showing an association between low-protein, high-carbohydrate diets and longevity. The TL;DR is "eating a lot of meat (and other animal-derived protein like cheese) in middle-age lowers longevity but the same things help longevity after the age of 65."
These studies are not too surprising if you follow this sort of thing. What is perhaps more interesting is the strong reaction against this article and articles like it. The comments on the article range from the merely dismissive — "...this study means nothing in the real world" — to the abusive — "what the food nazi's approve....grass, cardboard, tofu, yogurt" and "just more commie propaganda to get americans to eat grass and tree bark like our North Korean comrades".
What's interesting is that you don't get this sort of thing only from WSJ readers — many/. responders parrot the same sort of irrelevant nonsense upon encountering a scientific study pointing to conclusions they don't like: the study "is biased", "fails to account for X", "was based on mice so doesn't apply", and so on with no evidence the responder has looked at (or even understood) at the actual research, of course.
What's also interesting, perhaps not surprisingly, is the corresponding prevalent confusion between information based on empirical evidence and notions from popular culture: many commenting on the article seem to think that there was scientific support for some of the recent high-protein diet fads — that scientists "keep changing their minds"." Link to Original Source top
In a new study that tracked a large sample of adults for nearly two decades, researchers have found that eating a diet rich in animal proteins during middle age makes you four times more likely to die of cancer than someone with a low-protein diet—a mortality risk factor comparable to smoking.
DavidHumus (725117) writes "From the NY Times article (http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/02/18/outrage-over-wall-st-pay-but-shrugs-for-silicon-valley/):
Big paydays on Wall Street often come under laserlike scrutiny, while Silicon Valley gets a pass on its own compensation excesses. Why the double standard?
The typical director at a Standard & Poor’s 500 company was paid $251,000 in 2012, according to Bloomberg News. Mr. Schmidt [Google's CEO] is above that range by over $100 million....
The latest was the criticism of Jamie Dimon’s pay for 2013, given the many regulatory travails of his bank, JPMorgan Chase. The bank’s board awarded Mr. Dimon $20 million in pay for 2013, $18.5 million of which was in restricted stock that vests over three years....
For one, the outsize pay for Mr. Schmidt doesn’t square with Google’s performance. Putting aside the fact that he is not even the chief executive, Google had net income of $12.9 billion last year. JPMorgan was higher at $17.9 billion....
On pure economics, Mr. Schmidt appears to be receiving an inordinate amount. By every measure, JPMorgan is bigger, with more profits. And yet Google awards $100 million to its chairman and there is nary a peep.
Maybe the bigger question is why is CEO pay so entirely disconnected from company performance?"
DavidHumus (725117) writes "Some of the longer-term effects of the anti-vaccination movement of past decades is now evident in a dramatic increase in measles. From the article: A measles outbreak infected 1,219 people in southwest Wales between November 2012 and early July, compared with 105 cases in all of Wales in 2011.
There continues to be no credible evidence that vaccination causes autism but the a significant minority believes this anyway." Link to Original Source top
Top Exec: I don't know what CDO stands for even though we traded them
DavidHumus (725117) writes "A recent study indicates that consuming vegetables from the Solanaceae family, which includes tomatoes and peppers (as well as tobacco), decreases the risk of contracting Parkinson's disease. Earlier studies had shown that smoking tobacco seems to provide protection against the disease and the newer one seems to confirm that the key ingredient is nicotine, which is present in some vegetables like peppers." Link to Original Source top
DavidHumus (725117) writes "The much-publicized international rankings of student test scores — PISA — rank the US lower than it ought to be for two reasons: a sampling bias that includes a higher proportion of lower socio-economic classes from the US than are in the general population and a higher proportion of of US students than non-US who are in the lower socio-economic classes.
If one were to rank comparable classes between the US and the rest of the world, US scores would rise to 4th from 14th in reading and to 10th from 25th in math." Link to Original Source top
DavidHumus (725117) writes "The Congressional Research Service has withdrawn an economic report that found no correlation between top tax rates and economic growth, a central tenet of conservative economic theory, after Senate Republicans raised concerns about the paper’s findings and wording."
There may be legitimate problems with the report's findings, however, the default response seems to be not to engage in reasoned discussion but to avoid raising questions about conservative orthodoxy." Link to Original Source top
Scientist threatened with arrest for finding leaky drain source of "holy water"
DavidHumus (725117) writes "A scientist in India investigated claims of "holy water" dripping from the feet of a statue of Jesus in a Catholic church. He traced it to leakage from a blocked drain coming through the wall and statue by capillary action. For his trouble, he has been threatened with arrest under a law against "deliberately hurting religious feelings and attempting malicious acts intended to outrage the religious sentiments of any class or community"." Link to Original Source top
DavidHumus writes "Ask Slashdot: Can people actually detect wireless signals? I've encountered two people who claim to be sensitive to wireless emissions — they find them bothersome. One of these people is blind.
The bottom line: flaming someone decreases chances of a successful negotiation (OK — duh!) but flaming the negotiation context (e.g. "this link is too slow") increases chance of resolution. Moreover, in both cases flaming seems to increase the chance of the resolution favoring the the flame-receiver at the expense of the flame-thrower." top
DavidHumus writes "Amish people suffer higher rates of genetic disease than the general population because of in-breeding. Many of these diseases are treatable but the treatment, and other medical needs, can be expensive. However, since the Amish also refuse to participate in insurance, they can run up huge medical bills that bring their traditional ways of life into conflict with modern ways." Link to Original Source top
DavidHumus writes "The race to the bottom continues! According to this BBC story, software firms in India are finding it too expensive to operate there and are considering moves to cheaper countries.
Where will it all end? When will it get so expensive everywhere that developers will be forced to compete on something other than price? Or will employers finally start to measure effectiveness of development rather than just cost?" top
DavidHumus writes "From an article "How to Tap IT's Hidden Potential" in the Wall St. Journal http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120467900166211989.html by Amit Basu and Chip Jarnagin: "...top executives at most companies fail to recognize the value of IT....there is still a tendency to think of IT as a basic utility, like plumbing or telephone service."
The article goes on to list five primary reasons for "the wall" between IT and business: "...mind-set differences between management staff and IT staff, language differences, social influences, flaws in IT governance (defined as the specification and control of IT decision rights), and the difficulty of managing rapidly changing technology."
Does this fully explain the extreme lack of understanding of IT at high executive levels? The article is even-handed in apportioning blame but touches on a few good points. In particular, how "[m]ost top executives fail to recognize the value of information technology. They think of IT as a basic utility, or as an expensive headache that they'd rather not deal with."" top
DavidHumus writes "An article in the NY times, titled "Economists Say Movie Violence Might Temper the Real Thing", presents an argument in favor of violent movies as a benefit to society. Essentially, a movie theatre is a better place for people attracted to violence than other places — like bars — because it keeps them from acting on this attraction. Article at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/07/business/media/07violence.htm — registration, yada yada." top
This technique appears to be geared to unearthing people's true prejudices, better allowing candidates to exploit them. Shades of Nixon's Southern strategy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_strategy. This gives a new meaning to the phrase "collective unconscious"." top
DavidHumus writes "Recently, at a computer conference, I heard two separate people say the same thing during the same day: computer science students are usually very poor programmers. Both these people were college professors in areas that do a lot of computing — mathematics and biology (population genetics) — and have dealt with a lot of students who have had to write programs for their courses.
The specific complaint of both professors was that CS students seem to have very superfical knowledge, that they don't understand things like the limitations of floating point arithmetic and verifying their output. One professor recounted the story of a student who wanted a good grade on a program because it ran to completion — never mind that the answers it gave were off by many orders of magnitude.
Do slashdotters agree or disagree with this? If it is true, why? Shouldn't computer science students be good programmers?" top
DavidHumus writes "Recently, there was a query about whether 80-column displays are sufficient in the modern world. This standard apparently dates back to the 1920s, based on IBM punchcards designed to be the size of the then-current US dollar bill. Another standard that is perhaps even more archaic is the convention of displaying black text on a white background — this dates back to Gutenberg and before.
However, is this optimal for modern displays? When I customize my editor or programming environment, I choose light-colored text on a very dark background as I find this easier on my eyes. Am I alone in this preference? Are there studies on which is better — dark on light or light on dark for text on a monitor?
I know that when I worked in a fast-paced trading environment where traders had to monitor many screens — on a system where it was easy to customize and retain the color settings — they tended to use light text on dark backgrounds. Also, it seems that an emitting display like a monitor is fundamentally different from a reflective one like a piece of paper: for one thing, the way colors combine is reversed — one is subtractive, the other is additive.
What are the opinions of Slashdotters? Does anyone know of any serious studies on this?" top
It goes on to note the inevitable rebuttals provoked by a criticism of a multibillion-dollar
business and compares the tactics of the film industry to those of the tobacco companies.
To put the evidence in perspective, the editorial quotes meta-analysis showing "that the
statistical correlation between exposure to media violence and aggression is not quite as
strong as that linking smoking to an increased risk of lung cancer. It is, however, double the
strength of the correlation between passive smoking and lung cancer, twice as strong as the link
between condom use and reduction in the risk of catching HIV, about three times the strength
of the idea that calcium increases bone strength, and more than three times as strong as the
correlation between time spent doing homework and academic achievement."