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The Evolution of Diet

excelsior_gr Re:"Paleolithic diets" now vs then (281 comments)

People in the Minoan civilization (which is still more modern than paleolithic) had a life expectancy of only 30 years. However, you have to factor in that they were completely vulnerable to disease and even trivial accidents could be fatal. I would therefore not call them unhealthy, as those individuals died probably at infancy.

Back then food was hard to come by and demanded a great deal of physical activity. So I would go on a limp and say that, having survived your childhood, you would be rather healthy. Until you cut your hand trying to skin that rabbit.

about three weeks ago

How California's Carbon Market Actually Works

excelsior_gr Re:Seems like it would've worked (97 comments)

Correct. Now the question is, where does the energy in those countries comes from? Sadly, much of it comes from coal, but e.g. in Norway a huge amount comes from hydroelectric plants. That is why oil refining and metalworking is a large industry in Norway.

about a month ago

The Flight of Gifted Engineers From NASA

excelsior_gr Re:speaking as a senior engineer (160 comments)

Fluent is now ANSYS.
Probably you know this already, but I just wanted to get this out of my system: Letting ANSYS buy Fluent Inc. (they had to go through a competition committee or something of the sort) was a huge blow for the industry. Now ANSYS owns *two* of the most powerful simulation tools in the chemical engineering industry (CFX and Fluent) and has virtually no competition. The only way to bitch and whine about their high prices is to threaten them that you will switch to OpenFOAM, to which they will reply with a "ya, right...".

Anyway, I just wanted to get this out. Thanks for listening.

about a month ago

World's Fastest Camera Captures 4.4 Trillion Frames Per Second

excelsior_gr finally! (94 comments)

Finally something that can show us your mom falling on her ass in slow motion!

about a month ago

Oracle Hasn't Killed Java -- But There's Still Time

excelsior_gr Re:Shenanigans! (371 comments)

As if people follow the links to the actual articles. You should be an old enough user to know that Slashdot is not the kind of news aggregator where you go to follow the links, it's the site where you go to listen to what other people have to say. It's more like: here's the topic; discuss.

User snydeq is a paid shill? Absolutely!
The status of java is an interesting topic for the community? Yes it is!

Disclaimer: I always enjoy a good argument.
BTW: The above is the reason why if the Slashdot comment mechanism ever breaks (Beta, I'm looking at you), it will mean the doom of this community.

about a month ago

Oracle Hasn't Killed Java -- But There's Still Time

excelsior_gr Re:Nobody kills Java (371 comments)

Their laurels? Come on...

Java was made what it is by Sun. Oracle just bought them and expected everything they touch to turn to gold. That is a hell of a rotten bed of laurels they are resting on...

about a month ago

WHO Declares Ebola Outbreak An International Emergency

excelsior_gr Dr. Who? (183 comments)

Why are you calling him a WHO? I thought he was just "the doctor".

about a month ago

Algorithm Predicts US Supreme Court Decisions 70% of Time

excelsior_gr Re:biased algorith (177 comments)

I beg to differ. While constructing a model there are often unknown relationships and parameters between variables for which you have to make assumptions. Like, for example, you suspect that two variables are related, but instead of digging in deeper and deeper in order to exactly resolve the relation you assume an e.g. linear relation, you fit the parameters to some data and move on. As long as you clearly present your methodology, I don't think there is anything wrong with this. The next guy can look closer and walk the extra mile, figure out a more rigorous relationship between the variables and improve your model. This methodology is not only common, it's also necessary: often the relationships between variables is so complex that being more rigorous does not improve the model because you add physical parameters/constants that you know little of and cannot measure with enough accuracy (or at all), so you're better off fitting them anyway (inverse problem). As to the usefulness, scientists "tamper" with the models all the time: Kepler tampered with the model of Copernicus, and Newton tampered with the model of Kepler. "Tampering" Newton's law for improving the result accuracy led to general relativity.

Your comparison to the Turk is just wrong. That was a straight-out hoax. An algorithm "trained" to represent some data still has value in representing these data, no matter how simple/non-rigorous it is. If the model is good, then it might even have some value in predicting the behavior of the system (in our case, the supreme court) even under different conditions (the "future"). In the model there are certainly correlations that the maker figured out by examining some data. Thus, the model can only be as good as the data that it is based upon. There is nothing wrong with improving the model as more data become available. Stubbornly sticking to the initial (wrong) estimates would be like saying that we should have dumped Newton's law of gravitation at birth because we didn't have a good value for G, instead of measuring G with higher accuracy.

about a month and a half ago

Interviews: Ask James Cameron About The Deepsea Challenge 3D Movie

excelsior_gr Camera tech (45 comments)

Was there any innovation in the camera equipment involved in the filming? Are there any special considerations that one has to make for filming at such depths?

about a month and a half ago

Spain's Link Tax Taxes Journalist's Patience

excelsior_gr Re:Newspapers are one of the most annoying blocker (113 comments)

So, publishers/news sites/magazines spoiled the development of true micro transaction, micropayment systems.

I beg your pardon, but from your very comment I draw the conclusion that the credit card companies spoiled the development of true micro-transactions by demanding a very large amount for each transaction. If they had realized the size of the economies of scale we're talking about here they would have settled for much less than a cent per transaction, but I think that their short-sightedness and greed got in the way.

about a month and a half ago

Spain's Link Tax Taxes Journalist's Patience

excelsior_gr Re:They do mind. (113 comments)

He probably wasn't speaking for himself, but (sadly) for the majority of the public. For those of us that like the print, magazines are specialized enough to at least offer a higher density of interesting material.

about a month and a half ago

Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

excelsior_gr Re:Web = Garbage (315 comments)

Plus some Fortran[year] for numerical applications.

about 1 month ago

Public To Vote On Names For Exoplanets

excelsior_gr Re:Connotations (127 comments)

Mars is a chocolate bar, Pluto is Mickey Mouse's dog. On Jupiter, Wikipedia has a lengthy disambiguation list. Take your pic.

about 2 months ago

Sand-Based Anode Triples Lithium-Ion Battery Performance

excelsior_gr Re:Launch date (60 comments)

On top of these points I would like to add scale-up. Being able to produce an improved button-sized battery won't cut it. You'll need tons and tons of the new material, which means a stable and efficient production line is needed. And, of course, you'll need to develop and build said production line, which is something that the lab-rats often just wave their hands over, dismissing it as engineering "details".

about 2 months ago

Two Earth-Like Exoplanets Don't Actually Exist

excelsior_gr Re:Get it right (102 comments)

You might want to check out Stanislaw Lem's "His master's voice". He writes about the futile attempts of humanity in decoding an alien signal sent to earth, not only because of the difficulty of the encoding itself, but also due to the chasm between the two civilizations, mindsets etc. It is very dark and pessimistic, but definitely a good read.

about 2 months ago

When Beliefs and Facts Collide

excelsior_gr Re:Not surprising. (725 comments)

You'll have to acknowledge though that in the rest of the "western" world religion and science are kept nice and separate. For example, debates on whether kids at school should learn about the genesis or evolution are very, very seldom. They are both taught at school, one at religion class and the other at biology class. People do go to church, pray etc. but they also know that this has nothing to do with science.

about 2 months ago

Secret of the Banjo's Unique Sound Discovered By Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist

excelsior_gr Ig Noble (101 comments)

I think he's just going for the Ig Noble prize.

about 3 months ago

Germany's Glut of Electricity Causing Prices To Plummet

excelsior_gr Prices ridiculously low (365 comments)

Chemical engineer here. The industry prices for electricity have become so low that it doesn't even make sense to heat up the reactors using turbine-generated steam any more. It's ridiculous. It's cheaper to buy the electricity to generate the steam!

about 3 months ago


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