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Comments

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For $1.5M, DeepFlight Dragon Is an "Aircraft for the Water"

Jesrad Not so much personal (73 comments)

The idea of a "personal submarine", IMHO, should be more along the lines of this kind of thing. Just build it yourself !

3 days ago
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The Evolution of Diet

Jesrad Re:There's something to it (281 comments)

the animals themselves were lean animals

Do you mean lean like wild american buffalos, camels, et al. who pretty much all have a huge slab of fat on the back ? Or lean like salmons and whales and seals, with fat packed under the skin ? Also, they always ate the brain and bone marrow, which are almost pure fat too.

about a week ago
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The Evolution of Diet

Jesrad Re:"Paleolithic diets" now vs then (281 comments)

Also, people during that age were not especially healthy. They probably died in their 40s.

Wrong. Half of them died young (typically before the age of 5) and the rest lived to their 60s and 70s, sometimes even older. Reconstructed modal age for primitive hunter-gatherers is 62 to 64 years of age.

There is a marked reduction in average size, and sudden appearance of generalized tooth decay, traces from infectious diseases and formerly absent bone deformities in our record of skeletons from the paleolithic to neolithic transition. Granted, the infectious disease became more widespread because of the growing densities of populations at the time, but the rest has been determined to come from the evolution of the diet. There is also a reduction of serious injuries observed, because less hunting decreased the exposition to dangerous predators and hunting accidents.

As for life expectancy, it decreased slightly with the agricultural revolution until circa 2000 BC, at which point advances in hygiene, sanitation, productivity and trade compensated for the difference. And we only now have caught up the loss in average height. There has been evidence of an adaptation to agricultural diets over time, but its effect is still small in terms of life expectancy.

about a week ago
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Scientists Confirm Life Under Antarctic Ice

Jesrad Re:Wind and sunlight? (46 comments)

I wonder if similar critters could survive in the liquid methane lakes and rivers of Titan ?

about two weeks ago
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New Research Suggests Cancer May Be an Intrinsic Property of Cells

Jesrad Re:"new" research (185 comments)

Economists say it is impossible.

Citation needed.

about two weeks ago
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FarmBot: an Open Source Automated Farming Machine

Jesrad Re:CONSIDER THE ETHICS (133 comments)

Maybe instead of automating the grunt work, we need now to automate the automating itself, so that the high-tech tools become just as cheap and prevalent, affordable to every small-scale farm, as the food grown with those tools.

about two weeks ago
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Where are the Flying Cars? (Video; Part One of Two)

Jesrad Wait, we do have flying cars (107 comments)

They're called ultralights. Same price range (well, sorta, you may have to double or triple the tag), same kind of performance and mileage.

about three weeks ago
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The Benefits of Inequality

Jesrad Re:Gini coefficient (254 comments)

Thanks for the reference, this is all interesting. It seems to confirm that equality has a lot to do with the level of dissemination of information (and other forms of capital). The 'heavy handed" approaches concentrate it, and thus reinforce hierarchies, whereas the "light handed" approaches disseminate it around which dissolves hierarchies.

about three weeks ago
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The Benefits of Inequality

Jesrad Misleading summary (254 comments)

I went and examined the paper, and damn right the /. summary is misleading.

First one, the researchers don't use the vague term "social inequality". Second, they are merely reporting on the results of a computer model, and not on some new archeological findings. From the abstract:

We model the coevolution of individual preferences for hierarchy alongside the degree of despotism of leaders, and the dispersal preferences of followers. We show that voluntary leadership without coercion can evolve in small groups, when leaders help to solve coordination problems related to resource production.

They did a computer simulation of the classic Coase argument about transaction costs affecting market structure (and its consequences on asymetry of information which equate to inequalities of human capital), applying it to individuals undergoing the agricultural revolution (food surpluses but with delayed returns and higher need for coordination). Well, yeah, a hierarchy emerges in this situation, because the rapid change in productivity is not uniformly distributed and depends on information that is costly to disseminate. That idea's been around at least since Hayek's works on spontaneous order. It's kinda nice to see it verified in a computer model, but it doesn't teach us anything new.

about three weeks ago
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I'd most like to (personally) explore:

Jesrad The sky ! (246 comments)

As long as we're talking about places on Earth, and not space or other planets / moons, I might as well be exploring its sky. There's no joy like flying free !

about three weeks ago
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Study: Dinosaurs "Shrank" Regularly To Become Birds

Jesrad Re:ORLY? (138 comments)

That's domestication for you... You can be pretty sure that guinea fowls, which have kept more of their hunting instinct, would have made short work of the mouse.

That said, from the point of view of the mouse that whole scene must have played much like something out of Jurassic Park 2 or 3.

about a month ago
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Google Spots Explicit Images of a Child In Man's Email, Tips Off Police

Jesrad Re:the ARTICLE states (790 comments)

Thank you for having actually RTFA and ephasized the really significant part of it (to the current debate).

about a month ago
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Putin Government Moves To Take Control of Russia's largest space company Energia

Jesrad Somebody mod this up (252 comments)

Administrative takeover of corporations by autoritative central state, with intimidation through abuse of executive power, is textbook fascism. Mussolini would be proud.

about a month ago
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Passport Database Outage Leaves Thousands Stranded

Jesrad Re:Change management fail (162 comments)

Sounds like your IT has been outsourced to India

Not necessarily. I've seen this exact kind of madness happen just as easily with locals, here in France. Like that time the local, on-site support team from our vendor rebooted the production server instead of the test platform, because woops wrong terminal window in the foreground.

Or when they covertly rolled out a "shame-bug fix" remotely on the production platform during a week-end night, again instead of targetting the test platform, then noticed their mistake, and wiped-out months of production data by reverting to a long-expired backup.

Or when the local datacenter people managed to botch our fully-automatized install+deploy+configure solution by messing up on the one thing they had to do right - that is, upload it and launch it on the correct machine of the cluster.

Don't think hiring local people for more money protects you from such cringe-worthy nonsense. The moment you outsource anything, and I do mean *anything*, no matter how far and how expensive and what nationality: if you base your expectations on anything but an actual track-record of reliability and dependability, you're exposing yourself to long hours of hair-pulling and yelling into phones.

about 1 month ago
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Airbnb Partners With Cities For Disaster Preparedness

Jesrad Decentralizing FEMA one step at a time (55 comments)

This is awesome on many levels for anyone with a keen understanding of transaction costs, and the effect of the internet on these costs.

Will they partner with Uber and set up special-case emergency pickup and relocation of disaster victims too ? It would be amazing I could take a complementary insurance to cover for that.

about a month ago
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Finding Life In Space By Looking For Extraterrestrial Pollution

Jesrad Re:Great... (95 comments)

And we still wonder why they are keeping quiet ?

Earth must be labelled as "that planet is full of crazies, steer well clear !" throughout the entire galaxy...

about a month ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

Jesrad Re:Classic game theory ? (619 comments)

Indeed capitalism does, globally. Such a shame western countries have been abandoning its core principles of rule of law, individual property rights and laissez-faire, for cronyism, forever-debt and militarism.

about a month ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

Jesrad Classic game theory ? (619 comments)

I don't think there is much to see here.

Soviet communism, and marxist communism in general, operate (wrongly) under assumptions of the economy being a zero-sum game, so it's not really a surprise it has an effect on the ethics of its 'players'. Quoting straight from the Dictionary of Revolutionary Marxism:

whatever the capitalists take from the workers in the form of open or concealed profits, the workers lose completely. And this is the very definition of a zero-sum situation.

In a zero-sum game people tend to resort to unethical strategies more often, as in the classic Prisoner's dilemma.

about a month ago
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New Treatment Stops Type II Diabetes

Jesrad Re:There's another treatment that stops most T2 (253 comments)

Careful here, a low cholesterol level is associated with high CHD risk. The ~15% of people with the lowest total cholesterol (165 mg / L IIRC) account for ~40% of the heart attack deaths, that's quite an over-representation.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Privately-funded study to test coconut oil as treatment for Alzheimer's

Jesrad Jesrad writes  |  about a month ago

Jesrad (716567) writes "Following the growing viral popularity of Dr Mary Newport's reported success in treating her Alzheimer's Disease-stricken husband with coconut oil, and some positive results of in-vitro tests, come news of a clinical trial of coconut oil as a potential treatment for halting and reversing symptoms of the neuron-destroying disease."
Link to Original Source
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Going from traditional DVD distribution to direct Internet sales and streaming

Jesrad Jesrad writes  |  about 5 months ago

Jesrad (716567) writes "Independant documentary producer Tom Naughton recounts how going with a traditional DVD worldwide distribution of his movie 'Fat head' almost bankrupted him, and how he turned the situation around by going with direct Internet sales from his blog and with Hulu/Netflix distribution instead. The account shows just how badly middle-men of the movie industry and Hollywood accounting can burden up independant film-makers, and how short-cutting them using the Internet can let them finally get a dime from their own work. Jump to below the photos for the edifying read."
Link to Original Source
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Leaked document details ADA's plan for internet nutrition censorship

Jesrad Jesrad writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Jesrad (716567) writes "Using two leaked internal documents, Forbes' Micheal Ellsberg offers a deep look into the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly American Dietetics Association) plans to stifle competition in the diet counsel and nutritional advice market, up to and including severe internet censorship, in a manner reminiscent of how they had previously treated Steve Cooksey of diabetes-warrior.net.

The documents outline a detailed policy of surveilling and frequent reporting of citizens who provide nutrition advice publicly, providing continued justification for licensure laws through 'continual incidents to investigate'. The wording makes it extra clear that the goal of their lobbying for restrictive licensing laws is not concern for the public's health or safety, but rather 'adding member value' in order to further and strengthen their practice's scope."

Link to Original Source
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Jesrad Jesrad writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Jesrad (716567) writes "While looking for away to heat up and destroy cancerous cells using radiowaves, Sanibel Island resident John Kanzius was surprised to see his saltwater sample ignite and produce a big flame instead of just heating up. It seems the apparatus radiolyses water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen, which can immediately recombine and burn. It's not known yet how energy-efficient the process is, but it could make hydrogen production cheap and fast."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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EULAs and the risk of corporate law-making.

Jesrad Jesrad writes  |  more than 10 years ago

The more I think of EULAs (End User License Agreements), the more I think they are a tool designed to take away law-making from law-makers, into the hands of copyright holders everywhere.

They make it possible for copyright holders to force insane clauses on unsuspecting customers, after all.

Are EULAs enforceable ? In countries such as Holland and Norway, they are not. They have no legal value whatsoever. In the USA, the DMCA makes it possible, provided you incorporate some "copyright protection" (ROT13 could qualify), you can enforce whatever EULA you bundle with your copyrighted work. In many other countries, the issue is not clear, and EULAs stand in a state of legal limbo. Some companies take advantage of this fuzzy situation, like Oracle, who uses EULAs to frighten their customers into not reverse-engineering their software _even though the Law explicitly grants them this right_. Would a judge be convinced ? I don't think so.

Some corporations have been abusing these EULAs to extort money from other organizations (i.e. Microsoft with schools, enforcing its nefarious "audit" right they granted to themselves in the EULA). This means it is URGENT to have law-makers everywhere clear this issue once and for all.

The two solutions (Holland/Norway solution of stating EULAs are void of any legality, and the US solution of enforcing terms of the EULA through "copyright protection devices") have their own advantages and inconvenients.

The US solution gives copyright holders the possibility to make their own laws for enforcing their EULAs' terms. The Holland/Norway one gives customers back their fair use rights and protects them from abuse and some forms of extortion.

The US solution is, IMHO, a very bad one. But the Holland/Norway solution has one major issue: the voiding of EULAs means that software editors are liable for their products. This threatens the very existence of the software industry, by making them pay for bugs and security breaches. It could sink Microsoft, it could sink Red Hat, it could sink Apple, it could send Linus Torvalds or RMS in jail or financial oblivion.

Of course I have a solution to this problem... Pass a law that makes EULAs explicitly void of any legal enforceability (like Norway Law does), and that mandates a minimal guarantee on software that consists of a full refund and/or access to the source code.

What ? Me biased in favor of Open Source ?
--
Disclaimer: IANAL, but I studied national and international Intellectual Property Right with lawyers in College. If you have legal precedents concerning these issues to give me, you are Very Welcome to post them here.

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