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When Scientists Give Up

inflamed Re:The obvious solution (348 comments)

There's a wealth of useful equipment on eBay and other places, big expensive equipment is not out of the reach of the dedicated researcher. Ben Krasnow has three (I think) electron microscopes. I personally own a UV/VIS spectrophotometer. a microgram scale, and a Weston cell.

The idea that "research can only be done at the behest of government" or "is only associated with university" is a modern fiction. Government would *like* you to believe that everything depends on their whim and largesse, but it's not the only, nor even the best way.

Build a lab and start tinkering, or join a hackerspace. Lots of people do it. Lots of good science is done this way.

Electron microscopes are pricey. UV/VIS specs, mmg balances, and weston cells, not so much. High field NMR spectrometers and x-ray crystallography setups? You're dreaming. Thanks for playing!

about two weeks ago

Scientists Successfully Grow Full Head of Hair On Bald Man

inflamed Re:Estrogen? (109 comments)

The chemical layout of Tofacitinib looks fairly similar to estrogen. We've known for ages that giving MPB-afflicted men estrogen will result in hair regrowth. Unfortunately, it also makes them grow breasts, but that's besides the point.

Throwing my moderations in this disccusion to reply to this - there ought to be a "Wrong" mod option ;) Nope, it's nothing like estrogen. One might as well conclude the structures are related to LSD: I am an organic chemist currently working in drug design and would conclude these compounds are, from a molecular standpoint, extremely disparate.

about 3 months ago

Emotional Contagion Spread Through Facebook

inflamed Re:Published in "PNAS"? (127 comments)

...Really? They decided to use that acronym?

It's not an acronym.

about 3 months ago

Whom Must You Trust?

inflamed Re:Trust networks can fix this (120 comments)

God this sounds familiar..... and that's because I wrote a PhD thesis about building a system to do something a lot like this. It involved a fairly mediocre web interface wrapping a database of trust relationships specified by end users. A trusts B for 0.7 and B trusts C for 0.6 then you can put together a trust level between A and C by multiplying those together with some user-tweakable distance dropoff. Those trust levels were then measured against the levels required for access to shared data. Maybe you would allow anyone with a 0.7 or higher to read a given document and a 0.9 or higher to contribute to it. It was an interesting idea, but man did I get tired of it by the end. If for some bizarre reason anyone wants to read bits of it google books has some indexed and I probably have a pdf laying around somewhere....

I figured it could be quite useful, but I was so fed up with the work in mid-2007 that I never looked back at it.

Thanks for laboring through a thesis on the topic, it's an occasional daydream of mine and I would love a copy. :-)

about 3 months ago

Whom Must You Trust?

inflamed Re:Trust networks can fix this (120 comments)

Which would work well if you could trust people to consistently submit "trust statements" truthfully and accurately. Sometimes people lie when they tell you who they trust and who they don't.

People lie but no so much when their lies are detremental to them. Such a web of trust could only be conned by 'fake' nodes which would have a very hard time developing any links to 'real' nodes.

about 3 months ago

Study: Stop Being So Cynical, You Could Give Yourself Dementia

inflamed Dementia is a default disease of old age (153 comments)

People tend to get demetia as a result of brain age in cases where their bodies don't check out first. My hypothesis is that cynicism correlates with good physical health and a long life terminated only by the action of entrophy on the CNS.

about 4 months ago

$7 USB Stick Aims To Bring Thousands of Poor People Online

inflamed Re:How is Burying Africa Under PCs Going to Help? (201 comments)

Right. Most people in Africa have no electricity. Gotcha. And those without electricity are the ones paying for used PCs, $15k per container, to dump them to save Americans recycling dollars. Gotcha. The urban electrification rate in Africa is 59%. Nigeria had 6.9 million households with televisions in 2006. You are more likely to be hit by a Mercedes than to die from a machete or burning computer. This e-waste hoax never stops giving.

I don't know what your intent is in that statement but you forgot to mention that the distribution of Africa's population is 2:3 urban:rural, so the overall electrification rate is 24%. If your intent was to highlight that Africa has far bigger needs (and needs coverage of more pressing issues than) live USB thumb drives, you should have mentioned that.

about 4 months ago

Why Scientists Are Still Using FORTRAN in 2014

inflamed Re: We're Not (634 comments)

In your own domain -- Molecular Dynamics -- you might wish to send your initial configuration (position and velocities) to a colleague/reviewer who is using a different compiler. He could, in principle, reproduce your trajectory exactly. (Otherwise, there is a compiler error.)

You might not wish to routinely run with IEEE arithmetic, because it is slower. But for those folks who need it, it is right there at their fingertips and totally and completely (ANSI/ISO) standard.

The position and velocities or seed value will allow for reproduction of trajectories up to a certain point. Accumulation-derived errors take quite some time to develop and are acceptable. This is why relatively lossy GPU hybrid single-precision / double precision accumulation codes for CUDA are acceptable (and a game changer). Over an extended time the simulation will sample the same phase space. If the same phase space isn't sampled the simulation isn't run long enough or the model is bunk :-)

about 4 months ago

Fedora 21 Linux Will Be Nameless

inflamed Good! (128 comments)

The use of both naming and version numbers to differentiate distribution versions makes searching for bug workarounds harder.

about 8 months ago

Doctors Say Food Stamp Cuts Could Cause Higher Healthcare Costs

inflamed Re:Math, do it. (1043 comments)

They said (and I think it was unintentional) they'd take up the position of not understanding if presented with specific examples.

about 8 months ago

Building a Better Bike Helmet Out of Paper

inflamed Re:Bike helmet? (317 comments)

When Imperial Oil (Exxon Mobil) sells a piece of property in downtown Calgary for $70M... and you know they don't need the money...

about 8 months ago

Tech's Gender and Race Gap Starts In High School

inflamed Re:female tech ceos are failures (489 comments)

The stock market reflects the prevalent views of entitled stockholders. Even when it reflects their sexism, it never fails. Circular reasoning?

about 8 months ago

Tech's Gender and Race Gap Starts In High School

inflamed Re:It starts in the DNA (489 comments)

Genders, races, and social classes have different genetic makeups and hence different abilities.

It's taboo to say this. You should ask yourself why.

It's widely accepted that there are fewer genetic similiarities between individuals of the same 'race' as there are between individuals from different 'races.' There is tremendous overlap in most behavioural characteristics and physical abilities between male and female genders - most distributions appear bi-modal but in many cases 40+ % of the population falls on the side of the distribution attributed to the 'other' gender. You you refer to as taboo is taboo because it's wrong.

about 8 months ago

Tech's Gender and Race Gap Starts In High School

inflamed Re:So what? (489 comments)

WTF, it's "fucking great to be a white male" because you're "more likely to be born to rich parents"...even if you weren't? Your think like a racist.

Being born to rich parents is advantageous. Looking like someone who's more likely to be born to rich parents is also a benefit.

about 8 months ago

Tech's Gender and Race Gap Starts In High School

inflamed Re:Actually it starts at conception (489 comments)

I see your point but really, drop the "womyn-born-womyn" thing, it's...weird to read. I assume you must be transgendered? (which is totally fine by me, it's not like you got a choice) . In that case I get why you say it, but really, women since birth are still the norm, it's off to make the distinction in this context.

Making the distinction is a way of drawing attention to the norm of describing trans-gendered people as trans-gendered rather than as the gender they choose to identify with. Maybe a bit passive agressive, but hardly unwarranted.

about 8 months ago

Weapons Systems That Kill According To Algorithms Are Coming. What To Do?

inflamed Re:On the bright side (514 comments)

On the bright side, algorithm-driven machines are unlikely to pull their guns just because they have an attitude problem like some cops do.

No, an algorithm won't have an attitute problem. It might be selected by a human with a so-called algorithm problem, though. Feel safer?

about 8 months ago

Could We "Wikify" Scholarly Canons?

inflamed Re:Inaccessible to whom? (63 comments)

Having dwelved in same field (a few years of academic research), I have to point out that there is an infuriating reliance on black-box methodology in computational chemistry and molecular modeling. Conversely, I've read synthetic methodology chem papers with obvious errors (at least in the supporting information documents); e.g. describing preparing a solution with a final volume of 2.5 mL in a vessel of smaller capacity (1.5 mL or 2 mL). If a writer provides too little information, there is an implicit assumuption that the writer has the wisdom to determine what's relevant. An alternative is that meaningless yet observed (once) correlations, when observed, lead to publications. There's no such thing as too much information, but researchers become frustrated and cut corners if obligated to fill in what they perceive as the smallest details, such as the size of a microcentrifuge tube in which a solution was prepared. I think a more dynamic and accessible peer review system is warranted. A web of trust model, perhaps.

about 10 months ago

CryptoSeal Shuts Down Consumer VPN Service To Avoid Fighting NSA

inflamed Re: DoS? (361 comments)

The effect will hopefully be for users to make their own damn vpn (really, it's not hard) and stop trusting third parties for things that should be confidential.

Setting up your own VPN isn't going to fix a thing. Whether you establish your credentials in plaintext or encrypted, there is a MiTM vector for capturing those credentials - unless you're moving data by sneakernet.

about a year ago

The Ridiculous Tech Fees You're Still Paying

inflamed Re:Maybe, but risks offending high paying customer (318 comments)

The only one that's ripping me off right now is AT&T, and that's only because Comcast would screw me harder. All I'm buying from them is DSL and I'm paying $47 a month. Meanwhile on my phone I not only get unlimited internet* (with email from my 10 year old address, YouTube, Google), but a phone with long distance, voicemail, 411, roaming, all unlimited and included in the $42 I pay them. I'm not going to name them but they're not the only ones and some may even be better. I've been with them for 5 years with no problems except their website is an ugly clusterfuck, but most are these days.

Hell, even my credit card company doesn't screw me over, and I'll bet most of you the people you guys deal with don't screw you, either. But you're nerds, and we're not normal (at least I'm not). I use a small local bank, and they're damned near free. Wasting your money is stupid.

But most people? Hell, I'll tell people what I'm paying for my phone when they're paying three times that for less stuff, and they go on using the expensive carrier they're with. And switching carriers is easy; maybe expensive if you're on a contract but easy.

Why in the hell am I paying seven dollars more for internet alone than a phone WITH internet?? I guess because there's competition in the cell phone business. I wish my phone company sold internet.

* I listen to KSHE on it all day long at work, that's eight hours a day using its radio, plus when I ask it the temperature or read a novel or newspaper

Yikes. My "cell phone" company offers just LTE internet as a service. If I used my device as a phone only (say, 2000-3000 minutes and as many text messages) I'd pay $12/month. Voice and text data is small data.

about a year ago



Canada Seeking Cyberspace Security Input

inflamed inflamed writes  |  more than 3 years ago

inflamed writes "The Canadian government has abruptly announced a consultation concerning its secretive plans to "integrate" the US-Canada border systems. Last on the list of topics for consultation, but foremost in importance, is the issue of cybersecurity. With the deadline looming (June 3), it is important that informed individuals take note of this consultation and give their opinions."
Link to Original Source

Ticketmaster Sued for Scalping

inflamed inflamed writes  |  more than 5 years ago

inflamed writes "After years of charging excessive service fees on tickets, Ticketmaster has finally crossed a line and is now facing a potential class-action lawsuit after a Toronto man sued Ticketmaster for $410M US. The lawsuit alleges that Ticketmaster sells tickets at a higher price through a subsite called TicketsNow, offering sold-out tickets at inflated prices in a practice entirely reminiscent of scalping. It comes as no suprise considering TicketMaster's apparent complicity in selling other scalpers large blocks of tickets. Why it took them so long to get into the scalping game themselves, anyways?"


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