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Brain Patterns Give Clues To Why Some People Just Keep Gambling

Taco Cowboy It *can* go further than _that_ (57 comments)

When are things like this going to start being used for good and bad ways? i.e. Your honor, my client is susceptible to gambling, so this should/should not be taking into account during sentencing. That is, if he is susceptible, he shouldn't be anywhere near a gambling table etc. This is the problem I see with comprehensive data. Correlations happen by coincidence all the time and humans are downright lousy at statistics, intuition and perception

As one who runs several businesses while investing in many others I can tell you that the "gambling mentality" can very much be applied to business as well

Many of the Silicon Valley upstarts do not even deserve one single penny of investments for their founders' strategy are so wrong, so narrow, and so stupid, but yet, they regularly got million-dollar injection because someone take a chance

You may think that many of the "angel investors" are seasoned investors, that whenever they "take a chance" they knew what they were doing. The reality however, is that many of those investments are based on nothing more than what TFA has pointed out, a "response to pleasure-triggering behavior"

Yes, I have had my own moments and I have invested my good money into rotten useless duds


Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

Taco Cowboy Capitalism is not the culprit (826 comments)

Come and see the violence inherent in the system!

I have read the comments and most of them are the typical of "capitalism is to be blamed" kind of argument

The one inherent inequality that truly exists in the system is INITIATIVE --- in which, persons who are more prone to take proactive actions are more prone to become successful and/or to have higher possibilities in surviving any given crisis

Those who argue that capitalism is the one thing that has caused the discrepancies of wealth distribution never care about the reality - that is, if one is lazy and never takes any initiative, how can that person become wealthy in the first place?

4 days ago

Will Apple Lose Siri's Core Tech To Samsung?

Taco Cowboy Tech Companies have become warring fiefdoms (161 comments)

I have been in the tech scene for decades, and having have my "tech baptism" we always have that "community" feel to what we do

That was decades ago

Now, everything changed. Tech companies today are like warring fiefdoms. Instead of focus on innovation they wasted all their resources on making their competitors suffer

Take this SIRI/Nuance -- Apple/Samsung saga for example ---

Instead of innovate - Innovate - INNOVATE what we have here are "strategizing - scheming - blocking"

Instead of innovation the tech companies are more interested in dog fights, and the one thing that I need to know is this ---

Why are they doing all these?

Is it because they no longer have the urge to innovate?

Or is it because the corporate culture (the ROI mentality) that has taken over (in almost all the big tech companies that I know) and it is killing the tech field as we know it?

This is a very unhealthy trend, very very unhealthy, and if we let them corporate guys taking over our tech industry sooner or later we will be facing the sad cold reality that one day, somebody else, maybe India or China or Russia, will become much more technologically advance than the West

Please pay a visit to India or Russia or China, if you have the chance. Over there they still have a lot of people devoting their lives on innovation, because to them, it is the right thing to do

about two weeks ago

How Tech Is Transforming Teaching In a South African Township

Taco Cowboy The Hawthorne Effect (26 comments)

While there's no doubt that technology does play a part in the success of that school, MHO is that it is wrong to attribute all the success on technology alone

The fact is that school got so much attention from so many people, so much so that the inventor of the 3D printed limb, Richard van As was present at that school

Or, in other words, it was Hawthorne Effect ( ) that has contributed to the dramatic improvement on the performances of the students of that school

about three weeks ago

Robotic Taster Will Judge 'Real Thai Food'

Taco Cowboy Re:I measure taste like a food critic (103 comments)

So are these foreign thai places actually "bland" or is "real" thai food simply overly spiced?

While I do not know how you would define that "overly" in the "overly spiced" description of yours, real Thai food (and yes, I have been to Thailand many times on business trips) are certainly much more tasty than what you get from those "Thai Restaurants" on your main street in Europe or America

I have great doubt that the robot could do a decent job identifying a real tasty Thai food from a bad one

Sure, the bot can judge the level of spiciness / sourness / sweetness by measuring the level of glucose / acid / capsaicinoids, but that still doesn't mean it can ascertain how tasty the food is

about three weeks ago

Google To Require As Many As 20 of Its Apps Preinstalled On Android Devices

Taco Cowboy Sarcasm not needed (427 comments)

... when it becomes the reality

about three weeks ago

New Research Casts Doubt On the "10,000 Hour Rule" of Expertise

Taco Cowboy Not all are in the same boat (192 comments)

I find discussion in this thread a little bit wanting as not everyone is the same

Some had an "early start" while others may be "late starter" because not everyone had their insights straight from the start

Those who had early insights can hone their mastery very early because they already had a "road path" drawn up for them (as long as they do not give up, that is), and all they need to do is to gain enough knowledge to put their insights into words, or in scientific terminology

Others may be late starters because their "insights" took quite some time to "gel"

I happened to know people from both camps. Neither camp can claim to be more smart than the other

about three weeks ago

Man Walks Past Security Screening Staring At iPad, Causing Airport Evacuation

Taco Cowboy Missing out (217 comments)

... Too bad the iPad patron missed out ...

Indeed it is an all around too bad for the millions of _screen lookers_ everywhere --- by focusing on that little lighted panel all the time they never know how much they have been missing out

about three weeks ago

Kano Ships 18,000 Learn-To-Code Computer Kits

Taco Cowboy Man, you guys were ***LUCKY*** ! (53 comments)

Computers Shmomputers, when I was a kid this is what we used to learn programming

I actually received one of those as a Christmas present back in 1966! It actually was a good learning experience and fun for a nerdy kid

You guys were sure lucky !

I was from China, and back in the mid 1960's China was in really fucked up social turmoil, we could never ever imagine having _anything_ even approaching to what you guys got to enjoy !

The first time I encountered a computer (and I mean electronic one) I was already in my late teen, and I had to learn everything, from bit to byte, flip from flop, register, all the computer languages, everything, from scratch

That makes me wonder, though ... while you guys in the West have so many years of wonderfully crafted learning aids ahead of people like me, how come today the level of computer/technological comprehension in the West isn't that much difference from those in the other parts of the world?

You guys ought to have outpaced the rest of the world by leaps and bounds , man, given that you guys were/are blessed with so many wonderful stuffs, for so many years!

about three weeks ago

Exxon and Russian Operation Discovers Oil Field Larger Than the Gulf of Mexico

Taco Cowboy Not only from petroleum / fossil fuel (201 comments)

Propylene Glycol is an organic chemical product that can also be derived from Palm Oil

about three weeks ago

Mystery Gamer Makes Millions Moving Markets In Japan

Taco Cowboy Re:See mom? (113 comments)

... then he's more than a kid with ADD ...

Of course that guy is much more than that

Here are the quotes which I copied from TFA:

Buy stocks that are being bought, and sell stocks that are being sold>

Forget the fundamentals - TUNE OUT THE NOISE

Get out of the hive mindset and bet against the crowd

And I might like to add that the techniques that the guy applied in his stock trading can be used in other fields as well --- such as, finding a niche, or starting your business, or getting yourself promoted

When the hive goes West and you are one of those going the same direction, you ain't gonna get much out of it

about three weeks ago

The Odd Effects of Being Struck By Lightning

Taco Cowboy Whole House Surge Protector is not enough (191 comments)

Many thinks erroneously that after they installed a Whole House Surge Protector everything else would be fine

That Whole House Surge Protector might be able to clamp a sudden surge from the outside, but the respond time often isn't fast enough to save the delicate electronic devices connected to the wall sockets

What you really need is a layered approach --- getting a Whole House Surge Protector to clamp a _lengthy_ surge from the outside, while still attach your delicate electronic devices to surge protectors with fast response (something like in the nano-second range) that plug into the wall sockets

Three links that might be able to assist you:

about three weeks ago

Utilities Should Worry; Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit

Taco Cowboy It is time to stop the protectionism practices ! (517 comments)

Because of protectionism cheap solar panels have been taxed until they become so much more expensive by the time they got to the consumers

A calculation I read somewhere - sorry, I lost the link - that if there was none of those stupid taxes the solar panels could have been gotten for almost _half_ of the current prices

Can you imagine the impact of consumers getting _twice_ as many solar panels installed on their roofs?

Can you imagine how much more clean power that gonna generate ... and how many more gigatons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses that didn't have to be spewed into the atmosphere because of the clean power generated by those extra solar panels?

If we truly want to save the planet earth, we must insist that all the stupid protectionism practices be stopped !!

about three weeks ago

Physicists Find Clue as To Why the DNA Double Helix Twists To the Right

Taco Cowboy Does that apply to the entire universe ? (120 comments)

Because there is a right way

TFA mentioned several possible scenario - spin-polarized electrons, circularly polarized light that is produced by the scattering of light in the atmosphere and in neutron stars, and so on - which should have been taking place in similar fashion all throughout the universe

Would this mean that if there are lifeforms elsewhere in the universe, would their physiology (whether or not they have DNA) be similarly affected by the polarized action of electron and/or photon around them?

about three weeks ago

Irish Girls Win Google Science Fair With Astonishing Crop Yield Breakthrough

Taco Cowboy How about the "bio-fuels" ? (308 comments)

... every food calorie requiring 10 calories of fossil fuel input ...

Does the above formula apply to the "bio-fuels" ?

If it does, then the whole "ethanol-fuel" and the "bio-diesel" thing are nothing but filthy lies ??

about a month ago

Mangalyaan Successfully Put Into Mars Orbit

Taco Cowboy With a budget of 74M ,,, (173 comments)

... I wonder what NASA can do with a budget of $74 million ...
... hmm .....

about a month ago

CDC: Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million In 4 Months

Taco Cowboy At least tap water is chlorinated (280 comments)

At least tap water --- if properly supplied --- has gone through the chlorination process

And according to WHO, chlorination kills the ebola virus

But in Africa, and in many other third world countries, especially the rural area,they take the water from the well and streams, and use it

Of course many of them do boil water before they drink it. But my point being, the water that they take from the streams / well might have been contaminated by the ebola virus, and that might become a vector for spreading the disease

about a month ago

Mangalyaan Successfully Put Into Mars Orbit

Taco Cowboy Need to point this out (173 comments)

I have nothing but admiration to ISRO for what they have achieved

My only problem is what you wrote:

If anything, the brain drain consists of India's best and brightest relocating to the US after having studied in the near-free subsidized taxpayer funded colleges and universities in India. They typically go to the US to do their masters and PhD and then some of them join NASA

I do have business dealing with India, and I do regularly meet my business acquaintances in India, and I know, for a fact --- that so-called brain drain has actually benefited India

How, you might ask?

Those who emigrated abroad and working in America / Europe do accumulate knowledge / experience in whatever they do there, and, --- this is very important --- when they go back home, for visit (many of them still have families back home), most of them do pay courtesy calls to their own friends working inside India, and when that happened, technology transfers happen, and that event happens very very frequently in India

Many of the "tricks of the trade" that have been picked up by the Indian industry (including ISRO) came from the courtesy call from their friends / former classmate who work abroad

Of course, what I have described above isn't limited only to India, the same thing happens in Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and even in Russia and China as well

The "brain drain" in a way, do offer a "reverse channel" that enables knowledge to flow back to home countries

about a month ago



Copulation happened in Scotland, 385 million years ago!

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  yesterday

Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Boffins are claiming that they have found the evidence of animals equipped with "copulation tools" as far back as 385 million years ago

An international team of researchers says a fish called Microbrachius dicki is the first-known animal to stop reproducing by spawning and instead mate by having sex. The primitive bony fish, which was about 8cm long, lived in ancient lakes about 385 million years ago in what is now Scotland

Lead author Prof John Long, from Flinders University in Australia, said: "We have defined the very point in evolution where the origin of internal fertilisation in all animals began"

Prof Long added that the discovery was made as he was looking through a box of ancient fish fossils. He noticed that one of the M. dicki specimens had an odd L-shaped appendage

Further investigation revealed that this was the male fish's genitals. "The male has large bony claspers. These are the grooves that they use to transfer sperm into the female" explained Prof Long. Microbrachius dicki fossils are common — but nobody noticed the sexual organs until now. The female fish, on the other hand, had a small bony structure at their rear that locked the male organ into place

Constrained by their anatomy, the fish probably had to mate side by side."They couldn't have done it in a 'missionary position'" said Prof Long. "The very first act of copulation was done sideways, square-dance style ""

Link to Original Source

Cellphones, Ebola, and Big Data

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  4 days ago

Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "The ebola crisis in West Africa has killed more than 4,500 people, and the number keeps on rising

Medical researchers are frantically trying to find way to slow down the spread of ebola and so far the medical route seems to be not able to stop ebola in its tracks

On the other hand, researchers from IT backgrounds think they might be able to track the movement of people by means of cellphone data and that there is a possibility that by analyzing the big data generated by the cellphone companies they could better predict the spread of ebola and hence offer advises to relevant authorities to take actions before the deadly contagious disease becomes out of control

Links to the efforts are available at and and"

Link to Original Source

Scientific explanation of why men wasted together

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about three weeks ago

Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Men seem to like getting drunk together more than women do and now a group of boffins think they know why

Smiles are contagious in a group of men sitting around drinking alcohol, according to a study announced Tuesday in the journal Clinical Psychological Science. This suggests that booze serves as a social lubricant for men, making them more sensitive to social behaviors, like smiling, and freeing them to connect with one another in a way that a soda can’t

Lest that strike you as laughably obvious, consider this: the effect does not hold if there are any women in the group, according to the study authors

A site note of the research points to the fact that genuine smiles are perfectly contagious among sober women, just not sober men

The authors don’t posit a guess as to why the presence of a woman keeps drunk men from catching smiles from one another, except to say that booze seems to disrupt "processes that would normally prevent them from responding to another person’s smile""

Link to Original Source

People willing to give up first born child for free Wifi

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about three weeks ago

Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "A new report shows that people in London are willing to give up their first-born child or most beloved pet just to get access to a free Wi-Fi network, highlighting the huge security risks associated with their open networks

The experiment was conducted on the streets of London and claims that "consumers carelessly use public Wi-Fi without regard for their personal privacy." Researchers set up a number of public hotspots in locations around London, including Canary Wharf and Westminster, to see who would log onto the network and what information they were freely making available to those in control. In a 30 minute period, 250 devices connected to the hotspot, most of them probably automatically without their owner realizing it

For a short period during the experiment, a Terms & Conditions document was introduced which had to be agreed to in order to get access to the network. This included a so-called Herod Clause obligating the user " to give up their firstborn child or most beloved pet " in exchange for free access to the Wi-Fi network. In total, the researchers saw six people agreeing to the terms and conditions before the page was disabled

Of those who connected, 33 people actively sent internet traffic by carrying out web searches and sending data and email. The researchers captured 32MB of traffic and as part of their findings, the researchers found that the text of emails sent over a POP3 network could be read, as could the addresses of the sender and recipient, and even the password of the sender"

Link to Original Source

Aus government spending on R&D has reached 30-year low

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about three weeks ago

Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "The Australian government's investment in research and development has dropped to its lowest level in 30 years, an analysis of government figures shows. Science and innovation spending has fallen to 2.2 per cent of total budget expenditure this year, the lowest share since 1984-5

R&D investment has grown at less than half the rate of total budget expenditure over the past two decades. At an average annual rate of 2 per cent, real growth in science spending lags far behind transport (23.5 per cent), public safety (8.8 per cent) housing (6.6 per cent) and health (5.5 per cent). Total budget expenditure has increased 4.4 per cent in real terms since the mid-1990s. Budget figures also show science and innovation spending has fallen to its lowest share of GDP in 25 years. This year's expenditure of 0.56 per cent of GDP is the lowest since 1989-90

Australia ranked 18th out of 20 advanced economies — ahead of only Greece and the Slovak Republic — for government R&D spending as a share of GDP in 2013. In 2012, Australia ranked 24th out of 28 countries, according to OECD data"

Link to Original Source

Apple earns $84 more for selling iPhone 6 Plus

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about a month ago

Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "The main difference in between the regular iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus is the screen size, with iPhone 6 Plus offering an additional 0.8 inch of screen space. For that, consumers who opted to purchase iPhone 6 Plus must pay $100 more

On the other hand, the difference in between the BoM (Bill of Material) for Apple for iPhone 6 and for iPhone 6 Plus is only a paltry $15.50, according to the Teardown Mobile Handsets Intelligence Service at IHS Technology

This BoM for the regular iPhone 6, including the production / assembling cost, $200.10, while for iPhone 6 Plus, it is $215.60

All these translate to Apple making an additional profit of over $84.00 per iPhone 6 Plus it sells"

Link to Original Source

US strikes ISIL targets in Syria

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about a month ago

Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "The United States of America has launched an airstrike, along with some of its Arab partners such as Jordan, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar, against ISIL targets in Syria

Before the airstrike was officially announced to the press, a Syrian man living in Raqqa, Syria, has tweeted about the bombings and the sounds of air drones all over Raqqa

Tomahawk missiles were launched from USS Arleigh Burke in the Red Sea, as well as stealth fighters such as F-22, were involved in the strike"

Link to Original Source

LivingBox 'mini-farm' could help third world feeds itself

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about a month ago

Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "A “mini-farm” that can grow vegetables anywhere with a self-sustaining “closed loop” of energy and nutrition and help feed a billion needy people has won a prize as the most promising project to help developing countries improve their economies

Data gathered by humanitarian organization, World Food Programme, indicates that every year over 847 million people worldwide, suffer from malnutrition and about 3.1 million children under the age of five, die from starvation. While eradicating world hunger is a top priority for both scientists and philanthropists, given the increasing global population and dwindling natural resources, it is not easy. But thanks to new innovations like the recently introduced 'LivingBox', there may be some hope

The brainchild of Israeli entrepreneurs and scientists, Nitzan Solan and Moti Cohen, LivingBox is an environmentally friendly urban-ecosystem made from modular boxes that connect to form a hydroponics mini-farm. This means that the vegetables are grown in nutrient-infused water, instead of soil

Project co-creator Nitzan Solan says the Livingbox “is the perfect system, because it lets anyone anywhere grow vegetables without the need for fertile soil, or running water and electricity, and with minimal farming skills. It could help feed people in the developing world, providing them with access to fresh, nutritious food, while helping them maintain a clean environment.” Once it’s set up, the system is self-sustaining

Livingbox is based on hydroponics — the science of growing vegetables in water. Vegetables can take root in water when the right nutrients are added. Livingbox’s system delivers those nutrients into a five square meter hydroponic growing bed, using organic waste from fish, leftover food, or even animal feces

The technology used by Livingbox isn’t new, what is new is its deployment as a method of supplying food for families in developing countries, bringing together the diverse technologies and growing methods to develop a system that requires nothing more than household waste

The system is called “Livingbox” because it comes to users as a modular set of boxes that, when unpacked, are attached in an array. Users fill up the growing bed with fresh water and place their seeds or seedlings inside. Then they attach one (or all) of the three growing mechanisms the system uses. The users can grow vegetables using three types of organic waste — from fish waste, with leftover organic waste like rotten vegetables or peels, and even using (animal) waste. All three systems generate the nitrogen plants need to thrive

The “fish method,” in which water where fish swim is filtered and recycled, is well known among fish farmers. The recycling process removes the nitrogen from the water, transferring it the growing bed. The fish get back clean, fresh water, while the plants get the nutrition they need. The fish are fed from leftover food added to their box

While professional farmers have been doing that for years, LivingBox is the first system built to extract nutrients from common household refuse: fish waste, leftover food, or even animal dung. Better yet, it can run without electricity and requires no farming skills to maintain. This means that urban shanty dwellers who may otherwise have no access to healthy produce, can use LivingBox to grow fresh vegetables

The setup is easy — All aspiring farmers have to do, is unpack the modular boxes, fill them with fresh water and add the required seeds. As soon as they they add one or all three types of organic waste, the system will self-generate the nitrogen needed for the plants to take root"

Link to Original Source

New paradigm on computing could offer 100X in speed increase

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about a month ago

Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Current model of silicon based computing, with memory operation and logic-processing operation taking place in separate compartments, is facing a speed bottleneck. This bottleneck could be overcome by a new computing paradigm whereby logic-processing operations being performed in non-volatile memory cells using particular combinations of ultra-short voltage pulse using PCM (phase-change materials) based deviced

Researchers from the University of Cambridge, the Singapore A*STAR Data-Storage Institute and the Singapore University of Technology and Design designed a type of PCM based on a chalcogenide glass, which can be melted and recrystallized in as little as half a nanosecond (billionth of a second) using appropriate voltage pulses. The new device, logic operations and memory are co-located, rather than separated, as they are in silicon-based computers. These materials could eventually enable processing speeds between 500 and 1,000 times faster than the current average laptop computer, while using less energy. The results are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

First developed in the 1960s, PCMs were originally used in optical-memory devices, such as re-writable DVDs. Now, they are starting to be used for electronic-memory applications and are beginning to replace silicon-based flash memory in some makes of smartphones

The PCM devices recently demonstrated to perform in-memory logic do have shortcomings: currently, they do not perform calculations at the same speeds as silicon, and they exhibit a lack of stability in the starting amorphous phase. However, the Cambridge and Singapore researchers found that, by performing the logic-operation process in reverse — starting from the crystalline phase and then melting the PCMs in the cells to perform the logic operations — the materials are both much more stable and capable of performing operations much faster

The intrinsic switching, or crystallization, speed of existing PCMs is about ten nanoseconds, making them suitable for replacing flash memory. By increasing speeds even further, to less than one nanosecond (as demonstrated by the Cambridge and Singapore researchers in 2012), they could one day replace computer dynamic random-access memory (DRAM), which needs to be continually refreshed, by a non-volatile PCM replacement.

In a silicon-based system, information is shuffled around, costing both time and energy. "Ideally, we'd like information to be both generated and stored in the same place," said Dr Desmond Loke of the Singapore University of Technology and Design, the paper's lead author. "Silicon is transient: the information is generated, passes through and has to be stored somewhere else. But using PCM logic devices, the information stays in the place where it is generated." "Eventually, what we really want to do is to replace both DRAM and logic processors in computers by new PCM-based non-volatile devices," said Professor Elliott. "But for that, we need switching speeds approaching one nanosecond. Currently, refreshing of DRAM leaks a huge amount of energy globally, which is costly, both financially and environmentally. Faster PCM switching times would greatly reduce this, resulting in computers which are not just faster, but also much 'greener'.""

Link to Original Source

Massive galaxies snacking on their tiny counterparts

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about a month ago

Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Massive galaxies in the universe have stopped making their own stars. Astronomers looked at more than 22,000 galaxies and found that while smaller galaxies are very efficient at creating stars from gas, the most massive galaxies are much less efficient at star formation, producing hardly any new stars themselves, and instead grow by 'eating' other galaxies

Dr Aaron Robotham, who is based at the University of Western Australia node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), said smaller 'dwarf' galaxies were being eaten by their larger counterparts

Dr Robotham, who led the research, said our own Milky Way is at a tipping point and is expected to now grow mainly by eating smaller galaxies, rather than by collecting gas. "The Milky Way hasn't merged with another large galaxy for a long time but you can still see remnants of all the old galaxies we've cannibalised," he said. "We're also going to eat two nearby dwarf galaxies, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, in about four billion years"

But Dr Robotham said the Milky Way is eventually going to get its comeuppance when it merges with the nearby Andromeda Galaxy in about five billion years. "Technically, Andromeda will eat us because it's the more massive one," he said

Almost all of the data for the research was collected with the Anglo-Australian Telescope in New South Wales as part of the Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA) survey, which is led by Professor Simon Driver at ICRAR. The GAMA survey involves more than 90 scientists and took seven years to complete. This study is one of over 60 publications to have come from the work, with another 180 currently in progress. Dr Robotham said as galaxies grow they have more gravity and can therefore more easily pull in their neighbours."

Link to Original Source

Europeans came from three ancestry groupings

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about a month ago

Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "A recent study by researchers at Harvard Medical School and the University of Tübingen in Germany has found that present day Europeans are descendants of three different groups of people — A near east farmer group, an indigenous hunter gatherer group, and an ncient North Eurasian group from Siberia

"Nearly all Europeans have ancestry from all three ancestral groups," said Iosif Lazaridis, a research fellow in genetics in Reich's lab and first author of the paper. "Differences between them are due to the relative proportions of ancestry. Northern Europeans have more hunter-gatherer ancestry — up to about 50 percent in Lithuanians — and Southern Europeans have more farmer ancestry."

The most surprising part of the project, however, was the discovery of the Basal Eurasians

Before Australian Aborigines and New Guineans and South Indians and Native Americans and other indigenous hunter-gatherers split, they split from Basal Eurasians

The study also found that Mediterranean groups such as the Maltese, as well as Ashkenazi Jews, had more Near East ancestry than anticipated, while far northeastern Europeans such as Finns and the Saami, as well as some northern Russians, had more East Asian ancestry in the mix"

Link to Original Source

Novel antibiotic from vaginal microbes

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about a month ago

Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Good news for the Sushi-Lovers!

A study have found that bacteria living in vagina secretes a newly discovered antibiotic Lactocillin

Michael Fischbach, a microbiologist and chemist at the University of California, San Francisco, led a team into researching the huge diverse potential of the microbiome for producing antimicrobial molecules

The researchers built a machine-learning algorithm, training a computer program to recognize genes that are already known to make small molecules that could act as drugs. Then they asked the program to hunt for similar genes in the human microbiome. The search yielded thousands of these drug-making genes within microbes living on and in the body. Some are similar to drugs being tested in clinical trials, such as a class of antibiotics called thiopeptides

“We used to think that drugs were discovered by drug companies and prescribed by a physician and then they get to you,” Fischbach says. “What we’ve found here is that bacteria that live on and inside of humans are doing an end-run around that process; they make drugs right on your body”

Fischbach’s team then purified one of these: a thiopeptide made by a bacterium that normally lives in the human vagina. The researchers found that the drug could kill the same types of bacteria as other thiopeptides — for instance, Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause skin infections. The scientists did not actually show that the human vaginal bacteria make the drug on the body, but they did show that when they grew the bacteria, it made the antibiotic

Link to Original Source

Android One's price/performance ratio proves to be inferior!

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about a month ago

Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Slashdot carried the news about the launch of 3 Android One cellphones in India

The truth is, the price / performance ratio of any of the three phones listed was actually ***INFERIOR*** to the entry level smartphones that are on sale in China

For example, in China, consumers are now able to buy a smartphone equipped with a 5-inch display, a 13-megapixel camera and a MediaTek 8-core CPU for US$100. Compare that to the Dream UNO Mi-498, the Android One smartphone from Spice, India, which has a 4.5-inch display, MediaTek 1.3GHz quad-core CPU, 5-megapixel camera, with a price tag of INR7,000, or US$115

If the Chinese smartphone makers can outdo Google in the game, what is the point of Google continuing pushing its Android One phones?


Link to Original Source

Business competition, Korean Style

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about a month ago

Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "A spat has developed between 2 of the biggest Korean chaebols , Samsung & LG

Samsung is accusing LG's employees, one of which was a high-ranking executive, of damaging Samsung's branded washing machine in Germany

LG has retaliate with a charge that this episode is nothing but an attempt by Samsung to damage its (LG's) reputation

Prosecutors in Korea and Police in Germany are getting involved

Stay tuned ..."

Link to Original Source

Foxconn workers come down with leukemia

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about a month ago

Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Chances are the electronic device you use, whether it be smartphones, tablets, servers, or whatever, came from a factory somewhere in China

Foxxconn (or Hon Hai) is one of the biggest electronic factory that churns out millions and millions of electronic device every single day

A recent report came out that 13 young employees of Hon Hai had developed leukemia and 5 of them died of it. Instead of helping its employees, Foxconn denied everything and has adopted heavy-handed approach by demanding news outlets to retract their report (about Hon Hai's employees came down with leukemia) or Foxconn threatening them with lawsuits

As part of their "denial campaign" the "union" representing Hon Hai's workers came out with company approved propaganda, denying the link of benzene to those employees who were infected with leukemia

All in all, the picture is not pretty. Hon Hai is doing everything to cover up the truth, while its workers are still exposed to health-damaging chemicals in their workplace"

Link to Original Source

More than 75% of Mobile Apps will Fail Basic Security

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about a month ago

Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "According to the Gartner 2014 Magic Quadrant for Application Security Testing Report "Through 2015, more than 75% of mobile applications will fail basic security tests"

Mobility is a critical tool for businesses. Don't let weak mobile apps allow a critical strike against your business

According to the Gartner report “Global-scale scandals around critical applications' breaches have highlighted the need for effective detection of exploitable application security vulnerabilities. Application security testing is the solution for Web, cloud and mobile applications.” The report also states that: “through 2015, more than 75% of mobile applications will fail basic security tests”"

Link to Original Source

China eyes first space station around 2022

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about a month ago

Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "According to the Voice of America, China is planning to get its first space station off the ground by around 2022

China's leaders have set a priority on advancing its space program, with President Xi Jinping calling for the country to establish itself as a space power

China is taking it by the step-by-step approach:

Yang Liwei, deputy head of China's Manned Space Agency and also the country's first man in space, said the follow-up Tiangong 2 was likely to be launched in about 2016

Then, in around 2018, the core of the space station would be launched with completion set for four years later, the official Xinhua news agency cited Yang as saying

The country insists that its space program is for peaceful purposes

Despite considerable advances, China's space program still lags behind those of the United States and Russia

As the Voice of America being the official propaganda mouthpiece of the government of the United States of America, it is thus no surprising to read the following paragraph from VoA's report:

" The U.S. Defense Department has highlighted China's increasing space capabilities, however, saying China was pursuing activities aimed at preventing its adversaries from using space-based assets during a crisis ""

Link to Original Source

House which doesn't take up real estates

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about a month ago

Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "In the future over-congested planet of ours fresh land may be hard to come by for building new houses. An Australian design firm has come out with a novel idea — The Cliff House

The Cliff House, as its name implies, hangs on a cliff, like barnacles hang off a ship’s hull. The house offers a gorgeous view of the sea and the sky, and there is always plenty of drafts to keep the air circulating

Looking out over the ocean, the five-story home has three bedrooms, a living area, kitchen, and gigantic floor-to-ceiling windows that display a breathtaking (or vertigo-inducing) view of the horizon"

Link to Original Source

Starfish are dying in drove on the West Coast

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about a month ago

Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Places that were normally teamed with starfish on the West Coast of America are now almost devoid of any starfish

Divers report piles of white goo and pieces of starfish arms on the ocean floor, where thousands used to live

Temporary known as "Starfish Wasting Syndrome", starfish infected by the yet to be identified disease suddenly developed an unnatural, twisted appearance, followed by their arms falling off, and their bodies dissolved quickly into a jellied mass

Starfish wasting syndrome is being tracked by the Pacific Rocky Intertidal Monitoring group at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Their interactive map shows that the syndrome reaches from Baja California to the Alaska panhandle

According to the Vancouver Aquarium, dead and dying starfish were first observed on the B.C. coast in early September 2013, at locations such as Bamfield and Ucluelet on the west coast of Vancouver Island

For a few winter months the disease died down, but then the outbreak restarted as the water warmed up. It reached the wildlife-rich waters around the San Juans and the southern Gulf Islands, and progressed northwards up the coast

At first it was the many-legged sunflower stars and sun stars that were most affected, but now a majority of starfish species have fallen prey to the disease, including the common purple ochre stars that live in rocky beaches all around the Salish Sea

Even aquaria are not immune, as they use ocean waters in their tanks

There are hundreds of intertidal species found along local beaches, yet none is more familiar than the colourful starfish, recognized from childhood and epitomizing the ocean shore. For such a common and well-known species to suddenly disappear is more than disconcerting: it is truly shocking. The speed with which it left the shores is mystifying. Yet the great die-off has not attracted that much media coverage, beyond the initial reports"

Link to Original Source

Gamergate may impact the 4th quarter sales of consoles

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about a month and a half ago

Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Slashdot had a report on the Gamergate — — but that report is a political correct and sanitized version of what has been going on

The truth is much messier than what has been portrayed

Gamers are getting very angry of being accused by the industry, the feminists, the bloggers and the politically correct media of being sexist, racist, misogynistic and the way they have been treated by many online sites, including a blatant and heavy handed silencing pogrom by reddit

The politically correct media, including BBC, has widely circulated the story of a female blogger threatened but conveniently omitting stories of others who have been similarly threatened — just because they were not of the female gender — in their exercise to portray the gamers as misogynistic, bas backfired

The 4th quarter sales of game consoles is traditionally the most important quarter as most parents would make the purchase for their children — but as this outrage goes on, and sparks fly, parents may opt to buy tablets for their kids instead"

Link to Original Source



The Danger of Over-Reliance on the Net

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about 2 months ago Since its inception the Net has taken over much of human civilization's attention and it has become the main viaduct for much of the communication and information flow, so much so that the act of letter-writing has become an ancient (and almost extinct) art

In other words, an over-reliance on the Internet has developed, and the problem is getting more and more serious

Internet will not last forever, and if that happen, what will human societies become?

History is filled with stories of collapsed of civilization, one of which we can learn lesson from is the Late Broze Age Collapse

Before the arrival of late bronze age collapse, nation states around the Mediterranean Sea and the Anatolia region had trading ties with each others. Along with the trade ties, cultural exchanges ensured that new ideas, new stories, new designs continually replendish and revive the otherwise isolated cultural groupings dotting along the coast line of the Mediterranean

However, with the collapses of the Hittite empire and the New Kingdom of Egypt, trade between the nation states dwindled and cultural centers all around the Mediterranean Sea suffered a domino-effect cultural crash

While people might argue that the Internet will not fail, that it will go on forever, but what if it fails and ceases to exist ? What will happen next ?

Our over-reliance on the Net is a worrying trend, and we should ponder the possible consequence before it happen


When are you going to tackle the spam problem, Slashdot ?

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about 2 months ago

The thread has been seriously spammed, and that troll that does the spamming always spam threads that are related to "NSA"

So what are you going to do with the spam problem, Slashdot ?

If you can not stop that bot from spamming you, at the very least offer us an 'un-friend' feature so that we can make a tick on the box next to that fucker, and forever and ever we won't need to see any more of his spam

Will you do that, Slashdot ?


Is it a taboo to use the full name of Obama ?

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about 9 months ago

In the comment I was commenting that the Nobel Peace Prize committee should take back the prize that they have wrongly awarded to Obama.

In the comment I used the full name of Obama, which is Barack Hussein Obama, which in fact, is the LEGAL NAME of the current POTUS.

For whatever reason, a fella "Stargoat" flamed me for using the full name of Obama and specifically accuse me of using the name of "Hussein" !

I was totally floored by the way that knee jerk threw his temper tantrum. I mean, The word "Hussein" isn't my invention, I wasn't the one who "gave" Obama that name.

It was Obama's dad who gave him that "Hussein". Not me.

Is it a taboo to use the full name of Obama ?

If it has become illegal to use Obama's full name, why don't they make an official law from now on, making it a federal offense for any "peon" to call the Emperor/ President / Dictator of the United States of America by his/her full name ?


Comparing Barack Hussein Obama to Edward Snowden

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about 9 months ago Mr. Barack Hussein Obama is the President of the United States. He currently lives in the White House, and enjoys all the privileges of the presidency, including 24/7 security protection (including that of the protection from food poisoning).

Mr. Edward Snowden currently lives in an undisclosed location somewhere in Russia. He currently is under 24/7 threat from the United States of America for allegation of "treason".

One is currently the "President" and the other is currently labeled as a "fugitive".

For the past several months, revelations from the so-called "fugitive" has deeply troubled that "President", so much so that, few hours ago, that "President" had to come out to admit that the United States of America has spied on millions of people for no reason whatsoever.

It took MONTHS for that so-called "President" to admit his own wrongdoing, but even when that "President" has confessed to his own sin, Mr. Snowden, the "fugitive", is still under constant threat.

This is year 2014. The 14th years into the 21st century, and yet, our society still treats people with integrity, such as Mr. Edward Snowden, as a "fugitive". Meanwhile a man with no integrity whatsoever still gets to live inside the White House.

Is this the United States of America the founding fathers had envisioned ?

Or has the United States of America turned into the very DICTATORIAL MONSTER the founding fathers was fighting against ?


The Smartphone Kill Switch

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about 10 months ago

A chill ran up my spine after I read

Right now, as it is, NSA can listen to your telephone communication, can read your sms/email, can know where you are, who you regularly communicate with, can profile your behavior (when you will do what at where), but they still can't shut you off (unless they send in a "cleaner").

With the Kill Switch, they can do that.

Yes, the law as it is, is for people who report to the police that their smartphones were stolen, so that the authority can issue a "kill order" to brick that lost smartphone.

And we also know what NSA is all about - no law on the land can touch them - and with the availability of the "Kill Switch", NSA can effectively KILL THE PHONES of those who they do not like, cutting them off the communication grid, and leaving them out in the cold.

I can foresee the consequential abuses that will accompany this new "Kill Switch" law. It'll only make NSA (and all the other BIG BROTHERS) that much stronger.


When *GENOCIDE* becomes a non-issue

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about 10 months ago Hussein Barack Obama, when he was a Senator, spoke eloquently about the issue of GENOCIDE.

Senator Hussein Barack Obama spoke about the GENOCIDE in Sudan, and also the GENOCIDE of the Armenian people by the Turks.

That was, of course, before Senator Obama became President Obama.

Once Obama moved into the White House, he stopped talking about GENOCIDE altogether. This page:

will show you the complete 180-degree change of direction Obama has taken on the Genocide in Sudan.

These pages

will guide you to the shameful decision by the Obama White House in refusing to display an 88-year-old rug, despite having promised so earlier, for a Smithsonian Institute project.

I, as an American Citizen, is very shameful to have Obama as my president. Although I never cast my vote for him, millions of my fellow Americans were stupid enough to elect this two-faced liar into the White house, not once, but twice.

If issues such as GENOCIDE can become a total non-issue, what kind of message the United States of America is going to give to the world, that America is a non-principled, rogue country ?


China building its 3rd space tracking station in Argentina

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about 10 months ago Based on the following reports, all in Mandarin:

One dated 2009:

In which it outlined the need to build a network consist of three (3) deep space tracking stations, to prepare China's up and coming space missions, including Chang-e 5, and beyond. Two (2) of the stations have been built, they are inside China. The third one will be build in Argentina, at the cost of $80 Million, and will be completed by 2016. This page, from a state-owned construction company in China, Second Engineering Company Limited of CCC Fourth Highway Engineering Company Limited, gave the location of the 3rd Chinese deep space tracking station:

This page, dated 25th October 2013, stated that the building of the 3rd Chinese deep space tracking station has begun. The deep space tracking station will be build on a high plateau in between 800 meter to 900 meter above the sea level.


10 year anniversary to an official absurdity

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about 10 months ago Back in 2003, the city of Los Angeles demanded that manufacturers, suppliers and contractors stopped using the terms "master" and "slave" on computer equipment, saying such terms were unacceptable and offensive.

From 2003 to 2013, many more such absurdities came into being, from Obama's wish to revamp NASA into an organization to please the Muslims

to Obamacare website fiasco originated from the a no-bid $93 Million contract to Mitchelle Obama's ex classmate.

When I signed on to become an American I never imagine that my new country would become the buttjoke of the world, but unfortunately, it is.

Sigh !!


Google has become a stranger to me

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about a year ago

I was one of the early investors in google, naturally, when others were still using altavista or yahoo I put my homepage as

Google has always have that "I'm Feeling Lucky" button, and will send visitors to random sites (from a pre-chosen, pre-approved bunch, of course, don't want to send children to porn sites) ...

That was the google I knew

Nowadays, everything change

No matter if you start with or or plain, and click on that "I'm Feeling Lucky" button you will end up in the "doodle" page

What kind of fucking crap is that ?


The U.S. Space Program

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about a year ago

" I don't know if your listeners or people living in the U.S. understand these changes, but as I observe them from the outside, I feel that America is gradually contracting and closing itself off. It's a very strange thing." "

The person who said the above is Mr. Wu Ji, the director of China's National Space Science Center ( ), English version @ .

As an American, the above quote left a very bitter taste in my mouth.

What the fuck has gone wrong with my country ?


Do you still trust the United States of America ?

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about a year ago

First, it was revealed that America cracked the email of the Brazilian President.

Then, it was Mexico's turn, closely followed by revelation of NSA tapping on France' telecommunication network

Now, it's Germany's chancellor which got the unwelcome tap.

Would you still trust the United States of America as your ally ?


TOR is not safe

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  1 year,27 days

If you think TOR (The Onion Router) is safe, if you think that you can get away from the prying eyes of the BIG BROTHER you could not be more wrong.

TOR originated from a research project of the U.S. Naval Research Lab, and currently still receive funding from the states department of the US government, the Swedish government, and others.

And there already have been several cases of the fed successfully cracking the myriad layers of TOR and some people have already been apprehended.

This link outlined how FBI has successfully cracked TOR

The following link outlined the background of TOR


A statement from Edward Snowden

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about a year ago

Monday July 1, 21:40 UTC

One week ago I left Hong Kong after it became clear that my freedom and safety were under threat for revealing the truth. My continued liberty has been owed to the efforts of friends new and old, family, and others who I have never met and probably never will. I trusted them with my life and they returned that trust with a faith in me for which I will always be thankful.

On Thursday, President Obama declared before the world that he would not permit any diplomatic "wheeling and dealing" over my case. Yet now it is being reported that after promising not to do so, the President ordered his Vice President to pressure the leaders of nations from which I have requested protection to deny my asylum petitions.

This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile. These are the old, bad tools of political aggression. Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me.

For decades the United States of America has been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum. Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the U.S. in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is now being rejected by the current government of my country. The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon. Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum.

In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised â" and it should be.

I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many.

Edward Joseph Snowden Monday 1st July 2013


Idealist Geeks ?

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about a year ago

Just heard the term "Idealist Geeks" over the BBC worldservice

The guy was talking about folks like Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden - digital age kids (geeks really) who are really good at the technology that spy agencies (like NSA) just can't do without

Of all the people in the world, why we Geeks have to take all the responsibilities all by ourselves ?


Is Slashdot afraid of the truth ??

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about a year and a half ago

The Boston bombers are MUSLIMS

Those who slammed airplanes into the World Trade Center in New York were MUSLIMS

Same with the people who bombed the Madrid train station --- MUSLIMS, --- the those who bombed the London subway --- MUSLIMS

It's the MUSLIMS who have created all these havoc onto us, but yet, if anyone dare to tell the TRUTH in Slashdot, they will be modded down ...

Why is Slashdot so afraid of the truth ?

The truth is very simple --- ISLAM IS VIOLENT

Time and time again THEY have attacked our society, from the World Trade Center to London tube to Madrid train station to Boston Marathon

I am an American, and I am VERY SICK AND TIRED of the ISLAMIC VIOLENCE

If them MUSLIMS want to live in America, they better live peacefully.

If they can't, or do not want to live peacefully with the others in America, they should move out !

We can no longer tolerate people who want to bring their RELIGIOUS VIOLENCE into our society --- if they want to kill, they can go killing their own kind in Iran, or Iraq or Saudi Arabia, or Yemen or Egypt or Turkey

Stop making troubles in America !!!


Persistent problems for open-sourced program

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about 2 years ago

The idea of open-sourcing is great - that everyone gets to see the source code of the program, or even start experimenting with it, implementing ideas / features that were not yet in there.

But there are problems too ...

Case in point ---,-a-revisit-td31307325.html

I was like typing "pivot table" on a search engine and click away ... and before I know it I ended up on the two above links

The program is Gnumerics - an GNU implementation of spreadsheet

The wanted feature is "pivot table"

The problem is two fold --

1. No one cares enough to code

2. No one wants to include that feature in the official release of Gnumeric

And judging from the date stated, that "pivot table" had already been requested for the past few years.

Hmm ....


100 dams to be built in Africa

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about 2 years ago There have been a lot of reports on land grabbing by Chinese in Africa, and the latest report is from the famed Oxford University of United Kingdom - a paper just published ( @ ) is claiming that the Chinese are planning to build 100 hydroelectric dams in the African continent !

That will surely be a grand scale ecology disaster in the making.


Coding Android in Assemblies

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  about 2 years ago

Link @

I just came across it, don't have time to try it out yet.


Very troubling news about what happened to Christopher Stevens before he died !!

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  more than 2 years ago

There is a report from Middle East claiming that ambassador Christopher Stevens, the American ambassador to Libya, was raped before he was killed by a bunch of Libyan gunmen.

Additional information disclosed that it was the Libyan security team which revealed the location of Mr. Christopher Stevens to the attackers

From -

"Wanis al-Sharef, a Libyan Interior Ministry official in Benghazi, said the four Americans were killed when the angry mob, which gathered to protest a U.S.-made film that ridicules Islam's Prophet Muhammad, fired guns and burned down the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

He said Stevens, 52, and other officials were moved to a second building - deemed safer - after the initial wave of protests at the consulate compound. According to al-Sharef, members of the Libyan security team seem to have indicated to the protesters the building to which the American officials had been relocated, and that building then came under attack"

More information at


Very weird display

Taco Cowboy Taco Cowboy writes  |  more than 2 years ago

If I log in my own account, I can't find my own comment - as well as the replies to my comment

But if I log out and access slashdot as an AC, I can see my comment

Case in point -- TFA

I have a comment -

It's just that when I am log in, as Taco Cowboy, comment and all the replies beneath it are gone

But when I log out, all of them re-appear

Why is that??

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