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Comments

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Why a Cure For Cancer Is So Elusive

Press2ToContinue We're so glad you're here. (366 comments)

We really hope you'll contribute a lot more in the distant future.

about 9 months ago
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Why a Cure For Cancer Is So Elusive

Press2ToContinue Cancer Is Cured By High Immunity (366 comments)

A strong immune system keeps cancer at bay - this is a duh.
But our lifestyles are increasingly focused on pathogen and stressor avoidance instead of encountering and overcoming them. Most people look at me as if I'm crazy when I say I like going out in the cold because it's good for me, and as many think I'm a kook when I ask them if they have ever drank water from a stream. Activities in the outside world boost our immunity, and we perform them less and less, and de-germ our environments more and more. I, for one, think there is a correlation.

about 10 months ago
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The Math of Gamification

Press2ToContinue Vision be damned... (36 comments)

let's let math drive the specification process! Because human opinion and behavior is so predictable there must be a wave function for our target market segment. Wait, I have it! BeN+d = oVEr

about 10 months ago
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Intel's Knights Landing — 72 Cores, 3 Teraflops

Press2ToContinue Apparently ... (208 comments)

you aren't doing much on your computer. Try doing special effects graphics, or stock market analysis. Or even just start up an Android emulator - it's excruciatingly slow.

about 10 months ago
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Intel's Knights Landing — 72 Cores, 3 Teraflops

Press2ToContinue Yay more cores that I won't be using much of! (208 comments)

Because you can never have too many cores that you aren't using most of the time.

How about more speed? Or is that too hard?

about 10 months ago
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US Customs Destroys Virtuoso's Flutes Because They Were "Agricultural Items"

Press2ToContinue All the news that matters (894 comments)

and some that doesn't.

about 10 months ago
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Supreme Court To Review Software Patents

Press2ToContinue A+B=C is always obvious ... to a mathemetician (115 comments)

I didn't understand the obviousness test and now I do, thanks.

And therefore it is the name of test itself that is one of the horrific failures in this debacle.

What you described is not at all an obviousness test, it's a prior-patent test. It simply asks, has this been patented before in other ways? So it has nothing to do with whether it is obvious to someone skilled in the art. It's a red herring to think that this is testing obviosity. (ahem, new word.)

And hence when you say " maybe it's not obvious, even if in hindsight it looks simple. Maybe the solution is brilliant in its elegance and simplicity."
Right, and the answer to your Big Maybe is - unmeasurable, unreproducible, and based utterly on opinion. And therefore is a farce and incites argument from the get-go, no matter what the USPTO calls it, to try to test for it that way.

But thanks for helping me to understand why the software obviousness test has failed so badly - because it doesn't test obviousness and therefore hasn't failed. It only tests to see if it is already patented in a different form. But that makes me wonder if the test itself can be challenged, because it doesn't test at all what it implies that it tests. And if the intent is truly that obvious things should not be patentable, then the definition of the test can be proved faulty - it's obvious to me that it can ;)

about 10 months ago
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Supreme Court To Review Software Patents

Press2ToContinue IMNTBHO it's protecting the right thing (115 comments)

" Copyright is next to useless for smaller programmers, because it's protecting the wrong thing. Basically, copyright protects the exact work,

In my never-to-be-humble-opinion, it's the exact work that should be protected, not the idea that lead to it. Because there's only two things in my job - the idea I'm trying to implement, and the code that implements it. If I'm not protecting the code, then I'm protecting the idea. So software patents are idea patents, because they are all ideas with "on a computer" appended to them.

about 10 months ago
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Why Reactive Programming For Databases Is Awesome

Press2ToContinue Arg NOOOOOOO (165 comments)

Event-driven programming is HELL, except for interfaces. Every once in a while a DB trigger is justified, but event-driven languages have failed time and time again because... it's impossible to predict what will happen when and avalanche of eventual complexity causes the system to implode under its own weight.

For a programming language to make the cut, it must be utterly predictable down to the last side-effect.
 

about a year ago
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Supreme Court To Review Software Patents

Press2ToContinue Obviousness is not obvious (115 comments)

I would love to agree with you, because to me they are all obvious. But the problem lies in the test itself - it is not at all measurable. It is based entirely on opinion, and thus it varies based on the particular "expert" testimony. And what is obvious this year may not have been obvious last year, and that makes it un-pin-downable to me. To me it is a losing battle to try to strike down patent by patent on obviousness. They can go either way, and so it is a never-ending battle, and the lawyers get richer. The only realistic way to approach obviousness is to argue its fallibility, bias-proneness, and slippery-slopedness in general, and strike it down as an untennable test, which must be either replaced with an unbiased, independently-reproducible test, or the system must be revoked as a whole as unfair.

And since you are obliviously experience and open-minded about this, what do you think of that approach?

about a year ago
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Jury Finds Newegg Infringed Patent, Owes $2.3 Million

Press2ToContinue Thanks you've really helped - I had the wrong term (324 comments)

It seems I meant "undue hardship" - I didn't know that was different from "undue burden," because I'm not a lawyer, but it sound like you are - that's great. :) And this makes more sense because it seemed weird that it was a constitutional test.

So if undue hardship is "Special or specified circumstances that partially or fully exempt a person from performance of a legal obligation so as to avoid an unreasonable or disproportionate burden or obstacle." then how could that be applied? Do you think it could it be used as a defense in an infringement case?

about a year ago
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Jury Finds Newegg Infringed Patent, Owes $2.3 Million

Press2ToContinue Good idea, but a dead end so far. (324 comments)

From what I could find, it seems patent litigation is implicitly excluded from normal E&O insurance, and on new policies for tech firms is explicitly excluded, due to the high cost of patent litigation and the scale of the potential damages. Also, it is excluded from commercial general liability (CGL) insurance, and this has been upheld by the courts.

Interestingly, you -can- specifically get patent infringement insurance, but it is "generally considered too expensive to be worth the cost." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_infringement#Patent_infringement_insurance)

And insurance seems like such a reasonable idea and a great solution. I wish it were practical. But hell. if the insurance companies won't even insure us for it at reasonable rates, then that is the "we ain't touchin' this cause it will make us broke" stamp that provides the undeniable proof that this system is an impractical nightmare.

about a year ago
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Jury Finds Newegg Infringed Patent, Owes $2.3 Million

Press2ToContinue The competing interests are ... (324 comments)

1) the interest to create and sell a software product of my own choosing, and derive my livelihood from it.
2) the interest of the government to foster innovation and progress

If I can't create -anything of significance- without impinging on a patent (and I believe that to be true), then the system prevents me from creating anything of significance and both of these interests are destroyed.

 

about a year ago
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Jury Finds Newegg Infringed Patent, Owes $2.3 Million

Press2ToContinue Yes it seems the standard of ordinary skill is... (324 comments)

far too low. Most of what is patented, in my opinion is obvious. Even the MP3 encoding algorithm to me is obvious. I can barely imagine something software-related that is not obvious.

Does that make the system wrong, or does that make me someone with extra-ordinary skill, or does that make me delusional? Along with a million other coders?

And is the bar for ordinary skill static in the software industry? No, it changes every year. So if a patent is contested on this basis, how is it verifiable years later? These things seem obvious to me, but I guess I have above-average skill, just like almost everyone else.

about a year ago

Submissions

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The next natural step - night vision capable smartphones.

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about a year ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "If Steve Jobs were here, this might have already happened — it's just one of those upgrades that seems blindingly obvious in hindsight. But thanks to Psy Corporation, maybe our tech can achieve at least one capability that the I-Everything visionary might have envisioned — night-vision-capable smartphones.

Launching a crowdsource funding campaign starting tomorrow on HWTrek.com, Psy Corporation is aiming to raise $60,000 to help bring the Snooperscope to fruition. Read on..."

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Four-winged robot flies like a jellyfish

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about a year ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "A four-winged design causes this bot to float in the air like a jellyfish does in water, has no electronics, and is more stable in the air than insect-like machines.

The prototype consists of a carbon-fibre frame surrounded by two pairs of thin plastic wings that open and close when driven by a motor. Its shape allows it to fly upright with little effort, without requiring sensors or intelligence to adjust its wings like those used by insects."

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Google's Tour of Middle Earth: LOTR From a Great Eagle's POV

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about a year ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "Middle Earth is an amazing fictional world, but if you want to really get to know it, you've got to read a lot of words. So if you're in the mood for a little Tolkien fantasy without hunkering down for a serious reading session, Google's brand new tour of Middle Earth is a beautiful (and effortless) way to get your fix."
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Extinct Species That Could Be Brought Back

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "Diversity is a good thing, right? If so, then what if we could bring back extinct species at will? According to a current article in National Geographic, we just may be at that point now, and the list of species ranges from wooly mammoth, Tasmanian tiger and the woolly rhinoceros to the passenger pigeon and the dodo.

It seems inevitable: it's not a question of "should we," but "when will we?" So the question really seems to be, "who gets to decide?" And if done, can it be undone?

Oh, and one more question.... "where's the goat??" (Jurassic Park, 1993)"

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Canon's Mixed Reality headset aims to change the way consumers shop

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about a year ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "With products like Google’s Glass, the Oculus Rift, and even certain features found on the Nintendo 3DS, augmented, mixed, and virtual reality are starting to make some headway in the consumer space. Canon, best known for its cameras, is looking to break into the mixed reality scene with its new head-mounted display.

The core of the setup is the Canon HMD (head-mounted display) which works in conjunction with various sensors — optical and magnetic, as well as visual markers — to help create the mixed reality environment. The HMD employs two cameras located in front of each eye that captures video and shoots it off to an off-board, tethered computer. The computer then combines the real-world visuals with computer-generated visuals, and beams that back to two monitors placed in front of the eyes within the HMD. The unit combines with a development platform, dubbed the MR Platform, which allows companies to create mixed reality images to display on the HMD."

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Step 1: Amazon MP3 Web App. Step 2: Amazon Profit. Step 3, Apple?

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about 2 years ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "Amazon has found a simple way around Apple's tight-fisted iTunes... give users a web app to buy MP3s that runs in Safari. No need to pay 30%-per-tune to Apple.

Freedom of choice of vendor in Apple-only territory? A big breach of Apples walled garden? How much you wanna bet that Apple is going to have a Step Thee to say about this?"

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Curiosity Set for its First Drill on Martian Surface

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about 2 years ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "NASA's Mars rover Curiosity is ready to drill the Martian surface for the first time as it journeys through a rockbed with pale veins that could hold some clues about the history of water on the Red planet.

The Mars rover will test its drilling for the first time, and this is the most complex task ever done since the landing on the Martian crater.

"Drilling into a rock to collect a sample will be this mission's most challenging activity since the landing," Mars Science Laboratory project manager Richard Cook said, according to The Los Angeles Times. "It has never been done on Mars. The drill hardware interacts energetically with Martian material we don't control. We won't be surprised if some steps in the process don't go exactly as planned the first time through.""

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Is "The Care Effect" Real?

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about 2 years ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "Patients with irritable bowel syndrome were told they’d be participating in a study of the benefits of acupuncture and one group, which received the treatment from a warm, friendly researcher who asked detailed questions about their lives, did report a marked reduction in symptoms, equivalent to what might result from any drug on the market. Unbeknownst to them, the researchers used trick needles that didn’t pierce the skin.

Now here’s the interesting part: The same sham treatment was given to another group of subjects but performed brusquely, without conversation. The benefits largely disappeared. It was the empathetic exchange between practitioner and patient, Kaptchuk concluded, that made the difference.

What Kaptchuk demonstrated is what some medical thinkers have begun to call the "care effect" — the idea that the opportunity for patients to feel heard and cared for can improve their health. Scientific or no, alternative practitioners tend to express empathy, to allow for unhurried silences, and to ask what meaning patients make of their pain. Kaptchuk’s study was a breakthrough: It showed that randomized, controlled trials could measure the effect of caring.

http://harvardmagazine.com/2013/01/the-placebo-phenomenon
http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/12044130/reload=0;jsessionid=2iFEBiTN3TVLZzQC5xF8.0"

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Reull Vallis: A River Ran Through It

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about 2 years ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "ESA’s Mars Express imaged the striking upper part of the Reull Vallis region of Mars with its high-resolution stereo camera last year.

Reull Vallis, the river-like structure in these images, is believed to have formed when running water flowed in the distant martian past, cutting a steep-sided channel through the Promethei Terra Highlands before running on towards the floor of the vast Hellas basin.

This sinuous structure, which stretches for almost 1500 km across the martian landscape, is flanked by numerous tributaries, one of which can be clearly seen cutting in to the main valley towards the upper (north) side."

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What are the Unwritten Rules of Deleting Code?

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about 2 years ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "I came across this page that asks the question, "what are the unwritten rules of deleting code?"

It made me realize that I have seen no references to generally-accepted best-practice documents regarding code modification, deletion, or rewrites. I would imagine /.'s have come across them if they exist. The answers may be somewhat language-dependent, but what best practices do /.'s use when they modify production code?"

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Instant Facial Recognition Coupons. What could possibly go wrong?

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about 2 years ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes ""Facial recognition cameras are installed at local businesses. These cameras recognize your face when you pass by, then check you in at the location. Simultaneously, your smartphone notifies you of a customized deal based on your Like history."

From Facebook, whose track record for privacy problems is legendary.

What could possibly go wrong?"

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Explosive Study Links Autism with Fetal Exposure to Antidepressants

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about 2 years ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes ""Idiopathic autism, caused by genetic susceptibility interacting with unknown environmental triggers, has increased dramatically in the past 25 years. Identifying environmental triggers has been difficult due to poorly understood pathophysiology and subjective definitions of autism. The use of antidepressants by pregnant women has been associated with autism. These and other unmetabolized psychoactive pharmaceuticals (UPPs) have also been found in drinking water from surface sources, providing another possible exposure route and raising questions about human health consequences.

Our findings suggest a new potential trigger for idiopathic autism in genetically susceptible individuals involving an overlooked source of environmental contamination."


More easily digestible rephrasings of the report are found here: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21882-antidepressants-in-water-trigger-autism-genes-in-fish.html

http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/07/04/antidepressant.pregnancy.autism.risk/index.html"

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Don't Shoot The SSRI Messenger

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about 2 years ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "In 1989, Joseph Wesbecker shot dead eight people and injured 12 others before killing himself at his place of work in Kentucky. Wesbecker had been taking the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant fluoxetine for four weeks before these homicides, and this led to a legal action against the makers of fluoxetine, Eli Lilly [1]. The case was tried and settled in 1994, and as part of the settlement a number of pharmaceutical company documents about drug-induced activation were released into the public domain. Subsequent legal cases, some of which are outlined below, have further raised the possibility of a link between antidepressant use and violence.
...in healthy volunteer studies, hostile events occurred in three of 271 (1.1%) volunteers taking paroxetine, compared with zero in 138 taking placebo [5]. Although not statistically significant, this finding is striking because hostile events are unusual in healthy volunteer trials, and this figure was higher than the rate reported in clinical populations above. GlaxoSmithKline ascribed these episodes to the fact that the volunteers were confined, although this applied to both paroxetine and placebo volunteers. One other healthy volunteer study has reported aggressive behaviour in one volunteer taking sertraline [8].
Nine illustrative cases in which we have between us acted as expert witnesses are summarised in Table 3. In eight of them the person who was taking an antidepressant was the defendant; in one (DS; see Annex), the patient killed three members of his family and then himself, and his son-in-law sued SmithKline Beecham. We have chosen the cases to demonstrate the diversity of the issues they raise. They are described in the Annex.
Many linked emotional storms and thoughts and acts of violence or self-harm to paroxetine, both to starting drug treatment and to dosage change. These were not simple anecdotal reports, in that the analysis clearly pointed to a linkage with dosage.
PLOS study here: http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030372?imageURI=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030372.t001 Anecdotal Evidence here: http://www.ssristories.com/index.php Many other studies corroborate this hypothesis: http://www.breggin.com/31-49.pdf http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167876003002174 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165032700003530"

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NASA Prepares Probes for Suicide Mission

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about 2 years ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes ""Twin lunar-orbiting NASA spacecraft that have allowed scientists to learn more about the internal structure and composition of the moon are being prepared for their controlled descent and impact on a mountain near the moon's north pole at about 2:28 p.m. PST (5:28 p.m. EST) Monday, Dec. 17.

Ebb and Flow, the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission probes, are being sent purposely into the lunar surface because their low orbit and low fuel levels preclude further scientific operations. The duo's successful prime and extended science missions generated the highest resolution gravity field map of any celestial body. The map will provide a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed and evolved.

Both spacecraft will hit the surface at 3,760 mph (1.7 kilometers per second). No imagery of the impact is expected because the region will be in shadow at the time."


Observing the impacts could provide valuable feedback. For example, a spectrographic analysis of the impact dust cloud could reveal additional density and compositional element information for the lunar pole surfaces, so it is particularly Interesting that the probes will impact where they can't be observed from earth. This leads I, for one, to wonder if there is more to this than meets the press."

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Canadian Invisibility Cloak Gets Pentagon Backing

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about 2 years ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "We've seen many variations of invisibility cloaks recently, visible light and otherwise. However, this one is most like the Harry-Potter version, and is of enough interest to the Pentagon to receive their funding.

"Maple Ridge, B.C.-based Hyperstealth Biotechnology has developed "Quantum Stealth," a type of camouflage that bends light around the wearer or an object to create the illusion of invisibility.

President and CEO Guy Cramer likened the new technology to Harry Potter's invisibility cloak during a recent CNN appearance, and described its ability to easily and effectively hide a soldier in different environments."


Hokey slideshow here (the pictures are reported to be non-photoshopped): http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/12/11/quantum-stealth-invisibility-hyperstealth_n_2277394.html#slide=1868711

Obligatory cliche CNN coverage here: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2012/12/04/tsr-lawrence-invisble-camo-technology.cnn"

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Mcafee Asks Viewers to Read 6 Blog Posts, holds live q&a at 9pm eastern

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about 2 years ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "Mcaffee, sounding completely lucid and erudite, cammed live for only five minutes on ustream.com tonight at 8pm. Describing the Belize government as corrupt, and citing references including a government-sponsored execution without trial, he asked viewers to go to http://www.whoismcafee.com/ and read File Posts 1 through 6. In less than one hour, at 9pm eastern, he will take questions live on ustream at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/urecommendmedia

This is a new turn for the story, and shows the Internet being used in a new way to help bring one person's story to the public, unfiltered by news media and seemingly outside of coercion government control.

Fascinating. We will learn much about the power of the Internet media today."

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Brain cells made from urine

Press2ToContinue Press2ToContinue writes  |  about 2 years ago

Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "Scientists have found a relatively straightforward way to persuade the cells discarded in human urine to turn into valuable neurons.

The technique, described online in a study in Nature Methods this week1, does not involve embryonic stem cells. These come with serious drawbacks when transplanted, such as the risk of developing tumours. Instead, the method uses ordinary cells present in urine, and transforms them into neural progenitor cells — the precursors of brain cells.

Researchers routinely reprogram cultured skin and blood cells2 into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, which can go on to form any cell in the body. But urine is a much more accessible source."

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