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Comments

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Proposed Mercury Ban Threatens Vaccines

friedo Re:Mercury (383 comments)

Would he have gone nuts anyway because it was a party? Did he go nuts because he has been conditioned (even unconsciously) by adults that candy == go nuts? Did you control by giving artificially sweetened candy to other children at the party? (Even better would be a third group with no candy.)

I think you have failed to eliminate a vast array of confounding factors in your experiment. Not worthy of publication. :)

more than 2 years ago
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Proposed Mercury Ban Threatens Vaccines

friedo Re:Nothing to see here.... (383 comments)

It is not "hard to find" mercury-free vaccines. Thimerosal has not been used in vaccines in Western nations in decades (with one or two rare exceptions) because better preservatives have been found. It is used in vaccines bought by developing and impoverished nations, because it's cheaper. And it has been proven repeatedly to be safe.

more than 2 years ago
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Shadow Scholar Details Student Cheating

friedo Re:No engineering? (542 comments)

Similarly, I had a Calc professor who gave all the answers on the test, but you had to show all the work on how to get there.

more than 3 years ago
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University Offers Class In Zombie Studies

friedo Re:Advertising (118 comments)

Lighten up, Francis.

One of my favorite classes in college was called Sci-Phi; it was all about philosophical and ethical issues in science fiction. We watched a few movies and some good Star Trek episodes, and also did a lot of reading (both science fiction and philosophers.) There was a lot of work (several essays plus a term paper) so it was not a Mickey-mouse course by any means. Courses like that, which are generally developed for fun by profs who really like their subjects, can be a lot more engaging and interesting than the same old generic "let's analyze The Merchant of Venice to death" courses that fill the majority of one's time as a student.

more than 3 years ago
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Chess Ratings — Move Over Elo

friedo Re:how are victory margins relevant to chess? (133 comments)

If some metric X is a statistically reliable method of predicting future success, then X can be defined as a margin of victory. Whether X is a function of the "values" of remaining pieces, or their positions on the board, or the number of moves, or whatever, is immaterial.

about 4 years ago
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Long-Term Storage of Moderately Large Datasets?

friedo Amazon S3 (411 comments)

It can get a little pricey for huge datasets, but Amazon S3 now has an option where you can ship your data on a big set of disks directly to them, they will import everything into S3, and it will live there forever. The nice thing about S3 is unlike physical disks, it can grow essentially forever, and comes with retention and redundancy guarantees. And once your stuff is in S3, you can recycle the same disks to mail them more data.

more than 4 years ago
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Scaling Algorithm Bug In Gimp, Photoshop, Others

friedo Gamma (368 comments)

As a programmer who knows nothing about graphics algorithms, can somebody explain to me exactly what gamma is? I've been told I should by worrying about it for at least a couple decades, but thus far my lack of knowledge has not caused by any bodily injury. Use small words.

more than 4 years ago
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NHS Should Stop Funding Homeopathy, Says Parliamentary Committee

friedo Re:Heomeopathy = Placebo (507 comments)

Well if you were using Emacs you could have just done a M-x fight-infection and your thumb would have been better yesterday.

more than 4 years ago
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US To Build Nuclear Power Plants

friedo Re:What about Yucca Mountain? (622 comments)

I don't think you quite fully understand how a mountain works.

more than 4 years ago
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US To Build Nuclear Power Plants

friedo Re:Good! Burning Oil is an ECOcrime... (622 comments)

The amount of electricity that the US gets from burning oil is so small it might as well be zero. More nuclear power at least takes some burden off coal, which is the real environmental problem with power production in the US.

more than 4 years ago
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Monty Wants To Save MySQL

friedo Re:There is already a perfectly good free DBMS (371 comments)

mysql> create table blurb (foo datetime);
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

mysql> insert into blurb (foo) values ("hello world");
ERROR 1292 (22007): Incorrect datetime value: 'hello world' for column 'foo' at row 1

No problems with invalid data types if you bother to RTFM and setup the config properly. (It's not hard. Just turn strict mode on.)

more than 4 years ago
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G-WAN, Another Free Web Server

friedo Re:Help me out here (217 comments)

Perl doesn't have a case statement, you syntactically insensitive clod.

Perl 5.10 does have given/when, though. Smartmatch FTW.

more than 4 years ago
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Go, Google's New Open Source Programming Language

friedo Re:Build-in function library (831 comments)

Actually there is a procedure for taking over CPAN modules for which the original maintainer won't respond (or is dead, etc.) And if the original maintainer is responsive, but just no longer interested or too busy, they can add you as co-maintainer or transfer the distribution to you directly.

more than 4 years ago
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How To Enter Equations Quickly In Class?

friedo Re:LyX (823 comments)

It took me lightyears to explain that to someone.

more than 4 years ago
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The Risks and Rewards of Warmer Data Centers

friedo Re:UNITS? (170 comments)

Fahrenheit backwards? That shit was metric before the Metric System even existed.

To wit:

0F is about as cold as it gets, and 100F is about as hot as it gets.

See? Metric.

more than 4 years ago
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High-Temp Superconductors To Connect Power Grids

friedo Re:What is the motivation for power companies? (332 comments)

There are individual bilateral HVDC links between each pair of grids. But this will be the first time all three will be tied together in a single system.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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James Madison's Space Guns

friedo friedo writes  |  more than 6 years ago

friedo writes "The BBC has an interesting article about a pair of early nineteenth century pistols which were given to U.S. President James Madison by Argentina's General Ignacio Alvarez. The guns were said to have been constructed from the ore of a fallen meteorite, but a recent analysis at the ISIS Neutron Source in Oxfordshire reveals their origins are more mundane."
Link to Original Source
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How Ancient Mechanics Thought About Machines

friedo friedo writes  |  more than 6 years ago

friedo writes "The NY Times has an interesting piece about Prof. Mark Schiefsky, a Harvard classicist with an interest in the history of science. Schiefsky pores over ancient texts in Greek, Latin and Arabic to decipher the origin of knowledge that's been taken for granted for millennia. For example, a Greek treatise published long before Archimedes' proofs of the lever laws explains why, if you were a boat slave, you'd want to work the oars near the center of the ship instead of the ends."
Link to Original Source
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friedo friedo writes  |  more than 7 years ago

friedo writes "Slashdot has been covering the bizarre story of Colony Collapse Disorder — the mysterious disappearance of agricultural beehives all over North America. Now the Straight Dope has weighed in with the unsurprising conclusion that much of the panic is no more than simple media hype. "[T]there's no reason at this point to think European honey bees are going to be wiped out, now or ever. The die-offs so far appear to affect some beekeepers more than others, sometimes in the same area. That's one reason scientists are so puzzled, but it strongly suggests the losses may have something to do with how individual beekeepers are managing their bees. The "significant percentage" of failing hives is still a drop in the bucket when viewed against the global population of honey bees, and there are lots of beekeepers (even in the U.S., which appears hardest hit) who have not had, and may never have, significant losses of colonies. Plenty of honey bees remain to replace the ones that have died."
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friedo friedo writes  |  more than 7 years ago

friedo writes "After launching about a year ago and growing primarily through word-of-mouth, the web-based lending site Prosper.com has caught the eye of the mainstream media. So far, Prosper has originated more than $36 million in loans, with interest payments (and risk) going directly to users who bid as little as $50 on individual loans in a reverse Dutch-auction for the lowest interest rate. Any US resident can be a lender, and bid based on the borrowers' Experian credit history and personal story."
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friedo friedo writes  |  more than 7 years ago

friedo writes "Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski has expunged the criminal record of Perl author and guru Randal "merlyn" Schwartz. Schwartz was fired from his job and convicted of three felonies after cracking some passwords while working for Intel."
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friedo friedo writes  |  more than 7 years ago

friedo writes "US Navy Capt. Lisa Nowak, a NASA astronaut who has served on the space shuttle and ISS, was charged with attempted kidnapping, battery and destruction of evidence over an apparent romantic dispute with another woman. Nowak drove 900 miles wearing diapers to confront Colleen Shipman. And then it gets weird."

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