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Blade Runner 2 Script Done, Harrison Ford Says "the Best Ever"

Samantha Wright Re: Why does this need a sequel? (299 comments)

...Not having any particular stake in this argument, are we quite sure that's Tyrell's intended meaning, something so mundane? I think Tyrell is more taking about stuff like this:

I have seen things you people wouldn't believe Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like [small cough] tears in rain. Time to die

...i.e., Roy's greatness and accomplishment as a person. At that point, Tyrell wants to sooth Roy and make him accept his place by calling him amazing. Simply saying "well, that's the cost of bein' so darn strong" conflicts with his next line: "And you have burned so very, very brightly, Roy."

about a week ago
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Physicists Resurrect an Old, Strange Dark Matter Theory

Samantha Wright Re:um no (138 comments)

Hey, um... what if dark matter is just heaps of rogue planets and left-over dust and gasses from nebulae? Given that we've only recently gotten a handle on how many rogue planets there are out there, wouldn't they've been left out of our previous calculations?

about a month and a half ago
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The One App You Need On Your Resume If You Want a Job At Google

Samantha Wright Re:Sexy job (205 comments)

Oh, but it is. You just need to know how to refer to it properly.

about 2 months ago
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Massive Study Searching For Genes Behind Intelligence Finds Little

Samantha Wright Re: finds little... (269 comments)

The genes they identified were all proteins.

I'm not that much of an expert on microarrays, but I'm pretty sure most or all of the arrays they used predate the Encode project's results that made people re-evaluate the question of how much of the genome is really important. Here is a list of the arrays they used:

Illumina: HumanHap550, 318K, 350K, 610K, 660W Quad, HumanOmniExpressExome-8 v1.0, Human610 Quadv1, 370, 317, HumanOmniExpress-12v1 A

Affymetrix: GeneChip 6.0, 250K

This study was the keystone project of a consortium founded in early 2011. I think, given the size, it simply took this long to get the results. That, too, was a time before Encode publications had really started impacting the world. Whatever RNA genes they would have had at the time would be pathetic and paltry by comparison to what we consider worth studying now.

about 3 months ago
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Massive Study Searching For Genes Behind Intelligence Finds Little

Samantha Wright Re: finds little... (269 comments)

We know that the most important distinctions between humans and other animals are in RNA genes, that most of the genome is transcribed as RNA genes and that the brain modifies itself using them and that malfunctions in them cause disease. This study ignored RNA genes entirely, AFAICT. Its mindset is about ten years out of date and simply reaffirms what everyone already assumed: proteins aren't everything. Intelligence probably still has a significant genetic component, this study just looks in the wrong place. (Psst: SNP studies are snake oil in almost all unsolved diseases.)

about 3 months ago
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Microsoft Agrees To Contempt Order So It Can Appeal Email Privacy Case

Samantha Wright Re: About Time (123 comments)

But this is typical for Microsoft; they never cooperate with the government if they don't have to; cf. the antitrust case. I do like the idea of "embrace, extend, extinguish" applied to the NSA, though...

about 3 months ago
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Information Theory Places New Limits On Origin of Life

Samantha Wright Re: Unusual in a huge system ... (211 comments)

Only slightly less unpopular than "On Not Writing Unwell."

about 3 months ago
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Information Theory Places New Limits On Origin of Life

Samantha Wright Re: First (211 comments)

And then he created the arXiv, to guarantee that crackpots and armchair-surfing physicists would have a safe bunker from which to lob garbage at other scientific disciplines without ever having to step out from under the shade of their brethren. Until it's peer-reviewed, it's not newsworthy. For shame, Medium.

about 3 months ago
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Ontario Government Wants To Regulate the Internet

Samantha Wright Re:And all movies MUST be subtitled in French (184 comments)

That's really more of a federal government thing than an Ontario one.

Ontario would just require subtitles.

It's okay, though; as a Torontonian, I forgive you for not being able to make the distinction. It is the centre of the universe, after all.

about 3 months ago
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Could Tech Have Stopped ISIS From Using Our Own Heavy Weapons Against Us?

Samantha Wright Re:Just use a relay... (448 comments)

Aww, jeez, thanks for the spoiler alert! They just started talking about that cruiser. :(

about 4 months ago
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Canada Tops List of Most Science-Literate Countries

Samantha Wright Re:Could have fooled me (221 comments)

More fun statistics, from Wikipedia:

  • - Canada has 67% Christians and the United States has 73%
  • - 24% of Canadians and 20% of Americans declare no religious affiliation.
  • - Only 7% of Canadians are Evangelicals compared to the US's 30-35%.

...I was going somewhere with the Evangelicals stat, since they're generally the most fervent, but then I realised that there are plenty of insufferably stolid palaeoconservative Anglicans in the UK and it wasn't really a point worth making.

It really comes down to the fundamental collectivist-vs-individualist difference between the Canadian and American cultures, I think; despite Stephen Harper's best efforts to destroy the country, our charter of rights and freedoms was still a missive about how we were free from harassment by peers (thus sending the message "we are all siblings"), as contrasted with the American declaration of independence's emphasis on being free from harassment by authority (thus sending the message "you are free to do as you please"). Interestingly, a hundred years ago you would not really find this; Canada was just as much of a racist hellhole as the US at the time, although as there were practically no black people we could only complain about other European ethnicities. It was only as our population and economy fell behind, and we started accepting in huge numbers of immigrants following World War II, that this really started to take shape.

I'm sure the relatively weak levels of religious conviction help too (only 25% of Christians attend church regularly in Canada; above the rates of Northern Europe but far below the rate in the US) and that is doubtlessly a function of what flavour (can we call them 'distros' yet?) of Christianity is in question, too, since many Anglican ministers now preach actual biblical scholarship (my favourite quote, heavily paraphrased, is "Hell (as a threat) was invented in the Middle Ages") rather than what most think of as the typical naive system of "swallow-and-enjoy-your-life-textbook-with-no-critical-thinking" morality. Whatever the exact impact of each component is, it doesn't really jive with the idea of excluding us poor little minority atheists.

...except maybe in profoundly Catholic areas. I bet they care more in Newfoundland and Quebec. British Columbia is barely half Christian (54.9%) so you can bet they sure don't.

about 4 months ago
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U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

Samantha Wright Re:I like... (643 comments)

I was purely playing devil's advocate; honestly, I agree, it seems that there are plenty of safeguards against this sort of thing. Usually the topic comes up in the context of entire corrupt departments, IIRC.

about 4 months ago
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U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

Samantha Wright Re:I like... (643 comments)

Everyone likes accountability when they have control over it. The cops would have control over the tapes, right? So they get to choose which parts to show and which parts to "inconveniently lose." Every other time this topic has come up on Slashdot, there's been quite a cynical kerfuffle about precisely this.

about 4 months ago
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Climate Scientist Pioneer Talks About the Furture of Geoengineering

Samantha Wright Re:Furture? (140 comments)

Not to be confused with the furniture, which has far more shrubberies in it.

about 4 months ago
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How to Maintain Lab Safety While Making Viruses Deadlier

Samantha Wright Redundancy or illiterate attempt at intensifiers? (218 comments)

in 2009, a group of Chinese scientists created a viral strain of flu virus

a viral strain of flu virus

Well, at least it wasn't a... eukaryotic strain of flu virus?

about 4 months ago
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Gmail Recognizes Addresses Containing Non-Latin Characters

Samantha Wright Re: Next wave of phishing? (149 comments)

Belarusian uses a Latin-style "i" in place of the typical Cyrillic short i... So you can still phish admirably with "paypaI" and never leave Cyrillic. e, x, c, y, i, o, p, a: how many words can you make?

about 5 months ago
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Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

Samantha Wright Re:Scala (315 comments)

Scala lacks the webby web-web street cred that this list is laden with. Haskell is mentioned briefly in the article, but not considered worthy of Knowing. Meanwhile, Erlang is popular in certain buzzword compliance requirements considered key to trends in web development as of a year or two ago.

about 5 months ago
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IEEE Spectrum Ranks the Top Programming Languages

Samantha Wright Re:Not a ranking of what is the best language (197 comments)

...is that really a property of Javascript, though, or just your computer? Do the ECMA standards prescribe memory or reference size limits?

about 6 months ago

Submissions

Samantha Wright hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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Biology Help Desk: Volume 2^3

Samantha Wright Samantha Wright writes  |  about a year ago

The drill! You may know it from my last journals. Ask questions and I'll be happy to help. Feel free to answer any questions you have ideas about yourself, too.

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Biology Help Desk: Volume Seven

Samantha Wright Samantha Wright writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Hey, remember these? I do. Vaguely. But vaguely isn't good enough, so here's another one. Since I've discovered that the secret to understanding machine learning problems well enough to implement them is mostly a matter of strategically procrastinating, it seems only fair that I should run one of these. So before cross-entropy actually starts making sense to me, what would you like to know?

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Biology Help Desk: Volume 6

Samantha Wright Samantha Wright writes  |  more than 2 years ago

It's probably a bad idea to run one of these while I'm slogging through the project bulge of my last semester of undergrad, but let's take a stab at it anyway. Have at it! Clever trolls welcome!

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Biology Help Desk: Volume 2n+1, n=2

Samantha Wright Samantha Wright writes  |  more than 2 years ago

I've gotten a couple of requests now for another one of these, so here one is. Please, bring to me your curiosities and questions about the strange and mysterious biological sciences. I can probably answer (or research answers to) most questions. (Also, if you keep missing these, I've decided I'm going to vaguely hint at them in mysterious ways on Twitter (@rhet0rica) from now on. I guess even Twitter has to have some utility.)

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Biology Help Desk: Volume 4

Samantha Wright Samantha Wright writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Bring me your curiosity! As before, if this expires and you want to ask a question, just slip me a comment (or an e-mail) and I'll put up another one of these. No question is too trivial; no thinly-veiled troll too transparent! (I'm going to regret saying that, I'm sure.)

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Biology Help Desk: Volume 3

Samantha Wright Samantha Wright writes  |  about 3 years ago

I've received another request for one of these, so I figured that I would put it up. Since they only last about two weeks, please feel free to track me down and ask for a new one if you ever have a question!

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Biology Help Desk Again

Samantha Wright Samantha Wright writes  |  more than 3 years ago

I'm really not sure how long these last as comment-on-able, so here's another one. I'll try to be a little more vigilant in making sure there's always a journal open for asking questions.

A little more elucidation: I'm in the fourth year of a combined bioinformatics/medical informatics degree. Most of my semester is from the CS curriculum, but I have gotten through biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, physiology, and organic chemistry courses. (Mostly in the presence of pre-med students.) I've also taken genomics-specific courses and worked in a molecular biology lab studying C. elegans, and a medical lab studying Autism.

So ask away!

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Biology Help Desk

Samantha Wright Samantha Wright writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Thanks to the power of my silly sig, I've been getting a lot of biology questions lately. Most of these are fun to answer, but occasionally they pop up in totally inappropriate threads just out of the blue. Since Slashdot supports commenting on journal posts, it seemed like the best thing to do would be to make one and encourage people to ask here instead. So do that!

And I really will phrase things as car and computer analogies when possible. Although computer analogies are way more common.

For clarification, I've taken physiology and genetics courses, and can answer most geeky things about the human body and fundamental biology. I don't know much about pharmacology or ecology (because it is very, very, dry), and I am not a doctor. But I'll try to answer those questions, too.

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