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Researchers Develop DNA GPS Tool To Accurately Trace Geographical Ancestry

SkOink How broad the results must be (69 comments)

Assuming an average child-bearing age of 20, 1000 years back would span 50 generations. 50 generations of parentage is well over 1 billion people. How could anybody in the modern world's lineage possibly be traced back to one (or even 4) location?

about 4 months ago
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Facebook Buying Oculus VR For $2 Billion

SkOink Wow. (535 comments)

That's an awful lot of money to pay for a company which has no finished products and has never shipped anything.

about 5 months ago
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Cops With Google Glass: Horrible Idea, Or Good One?

SkOink Only under the right circumstances (192 comments)

I would completely support Google Glass on police if (and only if) there are penalties to the participating police departments for 'accidentally' losing the footage or having a 'malfunction'. These two things both sem to happen at a shocking rate whenever a policeman is accused of misconduct.

about 6 months ago
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Goodbye, California? Tim Draper Proposes a 6-Way Split

SkOink Jefferson (489 comments)

No comment on whether or not the state of Jefferson would ever be able to support itself without the rest of California, but Tim Draper didn't pull that particular state out of the ether. I have some parents that used to live up in North State, and the hill folk there love the idea of Jefferson.

They even have a website: http://www.jeffersonstate.com/

about 7 months ago
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NASA Will Send Seeds to the Moon In 2015

SkOink Water (92 comments)

The moon is pretty dry. If if this is supposed to be some proof-of-concept for growing food in a lunar base/colony, don't they need to address the larger issue of where such a garden would get its water?

If we have to transport the water to the moon as well as all of the raw materials (dirt, plant nutrients), what possible savings could there be against just stocking a base with MREs?

about 9 months ago
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GNU Make 4.0 Released

SkOink re: I'm ready to replace Make (179 comments)

I'm not sure what to use to replace Make though. I'm a Python guy so I would probably want Scons or something like that, but Ruby fans probably want Rake, Java fans probably want Ant, and in general I don't think there is any consensus on what might be the best replacement for Make

I went back and forth on different Pythonic build tools for awhile. Scons is pretty great if you're doing 'standard' sorts of builds, but I found it a little heavy for my tastes and really hard to customize to my tool flow (in FPGA land, there are all kinds of nonstandard vendor tools that all need to play together).

I've been using doit more and more over the past few months, and I'm continually impressed by the tool (aside from the goofy name). It works amazingly well for automating tricky/exotic build processes.

Check it out! http://pydoit.org/index.html/

about 10 months ago
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Nasdaq Fined $10M Over Facebook IPO Failures

SkOink Only some of the story (91 comments)

Why is it that whenever people talk about how this-or-that stock market action has "cost investors millions"? It's not like the money was lit on fire. It either never existed in the first place, or somebody won big off of somebody else's poor decisions. Isn't stock trading a zero-sum game by definition?

about a year ago
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New Study Links Caffeinated Coffee To Vision Loss

SkOink But I drink a ton of coffee! (203 comments)

Not sure what those researchers wrote - I don't see any problem here!

about 2 years ago
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Would You Pay an Internet Broadband Tax?

SkOink What would I get for it? (601 comments)

I'm not fundamentally opposed to paying a broadband tax, but what would I get for it? I would happily pay a 5% tax if it meant that my broadband received government-imposed price controls, minimum bandwidth guarantees, and net neutrality.

about 2 years ago
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California City May Tax Sugary Drinks Like Cigarettes

SkOink Re:People should pay for their choices (842 comments)

There are definitely biological factors in weight loss, but it's absolutely 100% true that weight loss is controlled by the food that you eat.

Consider it this way:
1) Moving and thinking require calories.
2) Calories are obtained from food and drink.
3) If you consume less calories than you use, you will lose weight.

If there are any biological differences at work at all, the only one would be "you're better at digesting food than other people". It's funny how we consider a "worse" metabolism to be the one that is better at extracting chemical energy from food.

Calories on a label are not the same thing as calories digested and used/stored. So keep in mind you might be extracting more chemical energy than somebody else from the same 150-calorie soda.

With all that said, however, it's still true that lowering your food intake to a point where you burn more calories than you absorb is the only way you'll ever lose weight. It takes several hours of jogging to burn off the calories of a single extra-"value" meal. When you put it into the context of three hours of daily jogging to make up for one bad meal per day, you can appreciate that diet matters much, much more than exercise.

more than 2 years ago
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In America, 46% of People Hold a Creationist View of Human Origins

SkOink Re:Really? (1359 comments)

It's bad enough that these businesses in the US exist to collect donations which go to pay for their land, buildings and the ridiculously high salaries of priests, preachers, pastors or whatever they want to me called and do it all tax-free because it's "religion." But they go on to insult the whole educational process in every way possible by asserting things without evidence or experiment or verification of any kind. Some people even get real PhD's in this crap.

Although I'm philosophically inclined to agree with you, you're misrepresenting some facts.

1) Most of the ministers and pastors I've ever met are paid about on-par with school teachers in the same area, which is to say "not much". There's the occasional mega-pastor of a mega-church who rakes in the dollars, but that's nowhere near the reality of most clergy members.

2) It's true that some clergy get a masters or even a PhD in theology, divinity, biblical studies, or something similar. However, I don't know that it's any more or less valuable than getting a PhD in something like History, English, Art, or any other kind of humanity. Even if you consider bible scholars to be a studying a fictional book, it doesn't make them any different than any other PhD that studies something fictional or mythological.

3) There are lots of Protestant ministers out there who don't believe in creationism. Many intellectuals in the religious community treat the bible as a collection of books written by people, some of which are more truthful than others. I've never met a well-educated pastor that believed every word in the bible came directly from God.

more than 2 years ago
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Why Desktop Linux Hasn't Taken Off

SkOink Re:Common Execution Runtime (1264 comments)

"I'm from the government, and I'm here to help."

Elsewise known as the scariest 9 words in the english language.

more than 2 years ago
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Oracle and Google Spar Over Whether Programming Languages Can Be Copyrighted

SkOink Interesting question for the judge to ask (316 comments)

I have to admit, I'm impressed with the judge's question. I'd agree that this is really what's at the heart of the matter, and I'm glad that the judge is asking it. It certainly seems like he's taken the time to do his homework into programming languages and computing.

more than 2 years ago
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Expect a Flood of Competitions As US Tries To Spur Public Inventions

SkOink Doubt it (75 comments)

Expect innovation to dwindle until such time as a garage-shop inventor doesn't need to worry about getting sued for patent infringement.

more than 2 years ago
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How To Crash the US Justice System: Demand a Trial

SkOink Re:Uh, no (897 comments)

I can't speak for every state out there, but in the state of California 0.08 is the limit over which you are drunk, not the limit under which you aren't drunk.

You can get charged and convicted of a DUI with a BAC under .08, it's just that other evidence needs to be provided (field sobriety test, testimony given to police, etc). A BAC of .08 just means you're guilty without question or any need for other evidence.

more than 2 years ago
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MINIX 3.2 Released With Some Major Changes

SkOink Question for the MINIX team (120 comments)

Since I'm assuming somebody on the MINIX team posted this article:

Are there any plans to add real-time extensions to MINIX? I know that ARM support is in the works - with that and hard (or even soft) real-time extensions, it could sweep the embedded world in a big way.

more than 2 years ago
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White House Responds To SOPA, PIPA, and OPEN

SkOink Re:Fuck The Whole Damn Lot (517 comments)

When it comes to Wikileaks, the freedom of the internet and the cancerous copyright law we now have, there is no such thing as a voice of sanity in the government. The only reason I'm voting for Obama again is because I know that whatever loonie the Republicans rally behind will put up the exact same platform (with the added bonus of fucking social services and civil rights).

This is depressing.

That mentality is what let our country get to the state it's in right now. As a nation, we need to stop playing "lesser of two evils", and start voting for third party candidates. Any third-party candidates. It doesn't even matter which ones.

In a nation where (D) and (R) are both (F)'ing us in the (A), continuing to vote for whichever one will screw us _less_ is a sort of tragedy-of-the-commons kind of scenario. It makes sense as an individual choice, but when the entire country thinks like this we get the mess we're in now.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Like To Read?

SkOink The Design of Everyday Things (647 comments)

I guess Donald Normand's "The Design of Everyday Things" is on the border of "technical", but I'd say it's on the "non-technical" side of the border. It's a fascinating book that goes into detain on how we perceive information, store things in our memory, and interact with the world. I'm enjoying it a lot.

more than 2 years ago
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25% of Car Accidents Linked to Gadget Use

SkOink Summary is wrong (317 comments)

The actual study says that 25% of accidents are caused by distracted driving, not by gadgets per-se. Their list of distractions include (among other things):

1) Vehicle controls/displays.
2) Food.
3) Scenery / roadside features.
4) Daydreaming.

more than 3 years ago

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