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How Tech Is Transforming Teaching In a South African Township

codeButcher Beware (26 comments)

the school's running costs are already half the cost of a traditional government school, and the quality of education is much, much better.

The government will never stand for this sort of nonsense. It requires people to be as dumb as possible (to continue voting them into power), while having a fraction of the population being able to be nominally employed (taxes, to pay government officials' lavish salaries and benefits), while enough remain unemployable ("long live the struggle!").

On a less sarcastic (not less serious) note: I believe that the population growth rate in SA outstrips the rate at which new schools are being built. Hence some investment firms see education (private schools and even homeschooling systems) as a viable niche market.

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

codeButcher Re:So many practice doing it wrong (188 comments)

This is a database administrator and developer who didn't understand that there is a difference between the number zero, the empty string, and null.

Maybe he started as a C coder and from there on it was all just computers....

2 days ago
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Scientists Seen As Competent But Not Trusted By Americans

codeButcher Re:Americans are smart. (452 comments)

I'd rather trust an elected government than corporate leaders I can do nothing about. Politicians are far from perfect, but they are one step up from capitalists, and unlike capitalists, the people have the power to kick them out every four or so years.

You assume that the politicians are under control of the electorate ("the people"), and not under control of the capitalists.

2 days ago
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BT and Coke To Offer Free Rural Wi-Fi In South Africa Through Vending Machines

codeButcher Re:Kaffers (71 comments)

That terminology is not exactly politically correct in ZA. I believe the correct term is "Wifi internet access point".

about a week ago
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Small Restaurant Out-Maneuvers Yelp In Reviews War

codeButcher Re:Only cost them 25 percent of customer bills? (249 comments)

Is that "right to be forgotten" law applicable to Yelp or only Google?

Presumably it would apply to both, but only in EU.

Well, it says "One small Italian trattoria" right there in the summary. Last I checked, Italy was still part of the European Union ;-)

about two weeks ago
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Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance

codeButcher Re:Does HFCS count? (294 comments)

Glucose is also stored in the liver as glycogen.

Right. Glycogen --> stored in liver and some in muscles (first line buffer, but limited in capacity). Lipids (fat) --> stored in fat storage cells (much less limited).

about two weeks ago
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Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance

codeButcher Re:You Kids Get Off My Lawn (294 comments)

Don't put anything that could be found in a vending machine in your body. Good dietary tip right there.

I've read some dietary advice the other day (paraphrased): Read the label for hidden sugars. Better yet, don't eat anything that has a label.

about two weeks ago
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Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance

codeButcher Re:Does HFCS count? (294 comments)

sugar: 50% fructose, 50% glucose HFCS: 55% fructose, 45% glucose

zomg, clearly hfcs is the reason people are getting so much fatter.

Most of the glucose one ingests goes directly to "blood sugar", where insulin (if you still have sufficient of the latter **) mops up any unused glucose, converts it to a storable molecule, and stores it in muscle or fatty tissues until needed. Fructose, on the other hand, mostly gets converted to fats in the liver, which are then stored until needed.

OK, "needed" does not only refer to exercise ONLY, but also to metabolic processes (e.g. breaking up more complex sugars/starches for digestion), thinking, etc. - it's a general cell fuel. So glucose is more readily available in the blood and thus gets used more and stored less. Fructose in the presence of glucose gets stored more than fructose alone.

Sorry, no citations, as I was hard pressed to find sufficient details (in layman's terms) on the internet to confirm this when I read it in an article. I had to track down a dietitian to confirm it - apparently it's common knowledge in that field.

** = Diabetics usually do not produce sufficient insulin, as you may know. The excess glucose in the blood damages proteins in a process called Glycosylation (layman's description, it's not that simple in reality) - including a lot of important tissues like coronary veins. HbA1c is glycosylated hemoglobin which can be easily tested via blood tests - a blood percentage HbA1c against "normal" hemoglobin above about 6.4% represents a sudden increase in risk of cardiovascular disease.

about two weeks ago
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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

codeButcher Re:Thinly veiled campaigning (494 comments)

Call me fazed by politics, but in the moods I get when my vitamin D levels drop too low, I imagine that WHATEVER side wins, it will be carefully calculated to be the outcome that gives the maximum financial gain to those who already hold the majority of financial power. The whole Yes/No hullabaloo is just to keep the production units (euphemistically called "voters") complacent in the notion that they actually had enough power to bring about the change simply by drawing a little cross mark.

Talking of changes. I caught some wind of the promises made by some British politicians about greater self-determination for Scotland if the No vote wins. Isn't that a bit belated though? Like the boss who counter-offers when you want to resign to take up alternative employment - if your work is worth that, why didn't he raise your salary before?

But in the end, it's just some musings about first world problems...

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

codeButcher Answer (232 comments)

Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

Is there any other kind?

about two weeks ago
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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

codeButcher Thinly veiled campaigning (494 comments)

Ahhh, so the one-sided emotional campaigning ("Think of the ch... checkbook!") has made it to /. too.

about two weeks ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

codeButcher Re:Why has no one noticed (540 comments)

Why has no one notices the submitter's username yet?

Perhaps because nobody thought that someone calling "them"self "L Torvalds 2" is any more significant than someone calling "them"self "King Adolf Godwin the Sixth"?

about three weeks ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

codeButcher Re:I don't get it (540 comments)

The righteous communists have a need to trade with the capitalist imperialists? Won't the ghost of Stalin provide for all?

Only once the whole world is communist. In the mean time...

about three weeks ago
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Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

codeButcher Everybody else but me (364 comments)

No, it's all the other people who make accidents when driving and using the mobile. Not me. I can handle it. I can also handle my alcohol, won't get addicted, know when to stop, and all that. But I need the nanny state to keep all those other lesser humans in line, so I can be free to be an induhvidual and chase my american dream.

about three weeks ago
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Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

codeButcher Re:The reason (364 comments)

The U.S. will always be at war now, until the government is bankrupt. Should have listened to Eisenhower.

No, you don't seem to understand. The US needs wars to keep its industries from bankruptcy. But yes, "will always be at war now" seems to be true.

about three weeks ago
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Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

codeButcher Re:difference between driver and passenger? (364 comments)

... when you text and drive, you have a funny way of using the device - because you're constantly switching between texting, putting down the device and driving, picking it back up after 10 seconds, and doing that over and over, as opposed to a human that's fully committed to the task of inputting text.

The people I have observed in traffic, seem to fall into the latter (fully committed) category. It's the driving task that gets put on hold for 10 seconds and then picked up again.

about three weeks ago
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Scientists Found the Origin of the Ebola Outbreak

codeButcher Re:You're assuming.... (86 comments)

despite recieving constant aid and assistance, have been unable to develop any sort of technical economy.

Perhaps that should read: "because receiving constant aid and assistance, have been unable to develop any sort of technical economy."

about a month ago
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iRobot CEO: Humanoid Robots Too Expensive To Be the Norm

codeButcher Turing Test (122 comments)

A lot of comments mention that it would make sense to make a robot along the same pattern as a human: Can use same tools, access same spaces, etc. etc. My question is: if your {AI | robot} can't be distinguished from a real human, why can't you just use a (cheap, ubiquitous) human? Answer: we invent machines precisely to augment our abilities, to do what we aren't so good at: computing faster and less error-prone, be stronger, access spaces we can't, don't get bored, tired, damaged by some harsh environments, etc. etc.

I'm with Angle: see what job (or collection of jobs) your machine needs to perform, then build the best possible machine given the contraints, for that job/s. (Not that they have achieved it with the floor suckers, but hey...)

about 7 months ago
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NASA Wants To Go To Europa

codeButcher Re:This could be a big problem for Republicans (216 comments)

One particular example is the Religion vs Science angle

One could well ask why it would be advantageous to eliminate both vigorous religion and rigorous science in the general population? My guess is that a dumbed-down populace that also does not have any hope for something better are easily controllable consumers and tax payers.

about 7 months ago
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NASA Wants To Go To Europa

codeButcher Re:This could be a big problem for Republicans (216 comments)

Everything is either black or white. How did it end up like this?

I'm no philosopher myself, but you might want to read up a bit on Hegel's dialectic for a possible answer (Out of the clash between Thesis and Antithesis arise Synthesis.)

One of the corollaries of this theory is that if you manage to build up some of these opposing poles with sufficient skill, you can control the "synthesis" (midpoint) being arrived at as well as neutralize the two extreme poles in the process.

You could look around at the world for 2 opposing poles being somewhat artificially being built up, mostly through "media" working the sheeple into a frenzy. One particular example is the Religion vs Science angle, and our beloved /. does it's own sweet part in the polarization. (And I must confess that with both a strong religious conviction as well as a scientific training, I do not find the subjects conflicting, to the contrary... It is simply the agendas that some elements in both camps push that are causing conflict.)

It's a bit of a guess what Marxist Philosophy in real life officially means, but one view is that the Marxist Dialectic (based on Hegelianism) is that it is not the synthesis that is the ultimate goal that needs to be arrived at, but the struggle between the two is the end. So should a stable state be arrived at with some synthesis, a new opposing pole to that synthesis is to be found so that a new struggle may ensue.

Perhaps highly academic, but once one learns about the existence of such ideas, one starts to see patterns fitting those ideas all over the place. I see the previous paragraph in practice practically every day in the politics of the country where I live.

about 7 months ago

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