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Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS Trusty Tahr Released

RDW Re:*Yawn* I'll Wait for the Mint Edition (168 comments)

In light of some of the changes that have caused some huge controversies (having the window buttons on the right vs left is straight out of Gulliver's), maybe you mean "ignoring the very vocal minority who reject innovation, either from a need to feel elite or fear of change".

Moving the window buttons to the left is 'innovation'?

yesterday
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This 1981 BYTE Magazine Cover Explains Why We're So Bad At Tech Predictions

RDW Re:Surely ironic (275 comments)

"It's just complete nonsense, anyone working with smartphones at the time was completely unfazed by the iPhone - the first edition wasn't entirely dissimilar (and was notable underfeatured compared to) offerings from companies like Nokia, and HP with their iPaq phones.

Though 'nobody expected anything remotely like the epoch shifting device' is over the top, the main point is hardly complete nonsense. Most of the speculation was indeed heavily influenced by the iPod and older style smartphones:

http://www.businessinsider.com...

Apple was seriously considering a clickwheel-based design 15 months before the iPhone was unveiled:

http://www.idownloadblog.com/2...

3 days ago
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Stem-Cell Research Funding Institute Is Shuttered

RDW Re:So Obama canceled stem cell research? (86 comments)

"James Anderson, director of the NIHâ(TM)s Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives, which administered the CRM, counters that only one application - that made by Kapil Bharti of the National Eye Institute in Bethesda and his colleagues - received a high enough score from an external review board to justify continued funding."

You can take this at face value, or assume academic politics, but it doesn't seem like party politics.

about two weeks ago
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Online Skim Reading Is Taking Over the Human Brain

RDW Re:The world is changing. (224 comments)

"I took a speed reading course where you run your finger down the middle of the page and was able to read 'War and Peace' in twenty minutes. It's about Russia."

about two weeks ago
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"Nearly Unbreakable" Encryption Scheme Inspired By Human Biology

RDW Re:Lancaster (179 comments)

6) Did you notice the :-) ?

about two weeks ago
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"Nearly Unbreakable" Encryption Scheme Inspired By Human Biology

RDW Re:Lancaster (179 comments)

You're only as good as your last RAE :-)

http://physicsworld.com/cws/ar...

"An unofficial Physics World ranking that lists departments according to their average research score shows Lancaster on top and Cambridge close behind. Both departments also received the maximum 5* rating in the last RAE in 2001, but the other 5* departments - Oxford, Southampton and Imperial College London - fell outside the top 10 this time round. "

about two weeks ago
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Should Patients Have the Option To Not Know Their DNA?

RDW Re:Op Out Knowledge? (157 comments)

People (and genetic risks) are different. One person's 'making the most of my time left' is another's 'spending decades with the constant threat of a terrible disease blighting my life'. In Jim Watson's case, he was already at an age where presumably he'd made adequate provision for his loved ones (the link is with late, rather than early onset dementia). Knowing that he might be at increased (but very far from absolute) risk of losing his mental faculties late in life wasn't useful information to him, but might have led him to worry about something he could do nothing about. It's not hard to think of other scenarios where an individual may make the (perfectly valid) choice to not know everything about his genome.

about two weeks ago
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Should Patients Have the Option To Not Know Their DNA?

RDW Re:Op Out Knowledge? (157 comments)

I doubt anyone is going to force you to know your faulty DNA, but opting out of knowing if given the choice is just stupid, and potentially very expensive - because you will change your mind on having that treatment once the symptoms appear, which might very well be too late.

What if there is no effective treatment? James Watson, co-discoverer of the DNA structure and one of the first people to have his entire genome sequenced, chose not to know the sequence of his APOE gene, some variants of which have been linked to an increased risk of late onset Alzheimer's disease.

about two weeks ago
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Should Patients Have the Option To Not Know Their DNA?

RDW Re:Other similar situations (157 comments)

wasn't there a discovery that determined if you were likely to commit a crime? Or be serial killer or something like that?

How did that work out / what ever happened with it?

90% of murderers, and 99% of convicted rapists, have a copy of the SRY gene, which is much higher than its frequency in the general population (about 50%). SRY has been linked with aggressive behaviour, autism, and a preference for large, fast cars.

about two weeks ago
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Operation Wants To Mine 10% of All New Bitcoins

RDW Re:Is this how we're funding science now? (275 comments)

This "academic bioinformatics institute" is an LCC, not an actual academic institution :) Its a scam.

They claim to be a "non-for-profit research and development organization". They have a respectable list of publications, all the way up to co-authorship in a Nature paper, so doesn't look like a scam!:

http://bioinfo.pl/papers.html

about three weeks ago
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Operation Wants To Mine 10% of All New Bitcoins

RDW Is this how we're funding science now? (275 comments)

Interesting that the main investor in this operation (and apparently the chip design) seems to be an academic bioinformatics institute in Poland: http://bioinfo.pl/

I guess it beats applying for research grants...

about three weeks ago
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Scientist Live-Blogs His Lab's Attempts To Generate New Type of Stem Cells

RDW Re:Disproved? (20 comments)

No, the results are not disproven and certainly not shown to be fabricated, though you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise after the feeding frenzy about this paper on the internet. There are certainly grounds for scepticism, though. We'll have to wait until this has been thoroughly tested using the more detailed protocols that have now been made available before we can call it one way or the other.

about three weeks ago
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Algorithm Composes Music By Text Analyzing the World's Best Novels

RDW Horrorshow (31 comments)

They've done A Clockwork Orange. Sorry, I'd prefer a bit of the old Ludwig Van.

about a month ago
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Neovim: Rebuilding Vim For the 21st Century

RDW Vim's Bram Moolenaar on 'Neovim' (248 comments)

https://groups.google.com/foru...

"It's going to be an awful lot of work, with the result that not all systems will be supported, new bugs introduced and what's the gain for the end user exactly?

Total refactoring is not a solution. It's much better to improve what we have. Perhaps with some small refactorings specifically aimed at making Vim work better for users."

about a month ago
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Interviews: Ask J. Michael Straczynski What You Will

RDW Re:Already been asked. (276 comments)

Now even the interviews are dupes?

Well, my Associates will be pleased that they have their answer, but we still need a reply to the Vorlon question!

about a month ago
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Interviews: Ask J. Michael Straczynski What You Will

RDW The Questions (276 comments)

Who are you?
What do you want?

about a month ago

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