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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

jafac Re:Not a problem... (224 comments)

meanwhile, existing towns are running out of water.

Oh well, I guess these people can just move.

5 hours ago

Link Between Salt and High Blood Pressure 'Overstated'

jafac Re:They ran with a hypothesis (291 comments)

I'll tell you what.

I was warned by my doctor about borderline hypertension. She recommended exercise and weight loss. I lost 40 lbs, and started exercising regularly. Guess what? With daily BP monitoring, my BP did not go down. Then she put me on an alpha blocker called terazosin, and there was no change in BP. I read about the DASH diet, and while I didn't formally adopt a strict regimen, I made myself aware of the salt-content of things I generally ate, and eliminated added salt, and tried to keep my amount under 1500 mg per day. Guess what? My BP went down to a normal range. (otherwise unmedicated).

I'm not sure how relevant that is in the face of statistical evidence from groups of people, but the results were pretty clear in my individual case.

The problem I have with this, is that I never got tested before/after or on an ongoing basis, to report what my sodium levels actually were. That would probably have been more convincing.

about a week ago

Link Between Salt and High Blood Pressure 'Overstated'

jafac Re:Stress? (291 comments)

The problem with this whole "stress" hypothesis, is that I've heard many medical professionals pronounce that I, or some other person's underlying medical condition was caused by "stress". Unfortunately, exactly ZERO of these pronouncements were driven by hard data: (blood test reporting levels of "stress" hormones, or whatever other indicator you'd like to use).

"Getting stress under control" is such an abstract pronouncement for MOST people, it is not only useless, but probably does more harm than good, because then the Doctor gets to charge you his exorbitant fee for doing doctorly-things, while pretty much invoking this "stress" voodoo, with absolutely no scientific basis. Absolutely NOBODY, can control the quantity of cortisol and adrenaline squirting from their glands. Are there things that a person can do, which have a good chance of reducing these hormones in their body? Sure. Does that work as a cure for stress? Who knows? Lets see data and cause-and-effect, and for that matter, let's see actual test-results that can tell me whether I'm really under stress, or if my doctor just thinks so.

I don't doubt that stress plays a role in some of these illnesses and conditions. I am just not prepared to accept it at some doctor's word, that their irrational belief in the "stress fairy" is enough to be valid medical advice in all cases.

about a week ago

Massive Study Searching For Genes Behind Intelligence Finds Little

jafac Re:Looking in the wrong place (269 comments)

. . . according to Man vs. Wild, "simple surviving" pretty much means a willingness to eat bugs and drink your own urine.

about a week ago

Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

jafac Samsun Galaxy Gear 2 review (471 comments)

I received my GG2 as a gift, and otherwise would not have spent more than say, $100 on such a device.

It worked well for about 4 months, then my IP67 certified device got wet, and water got inside. After taking it apart and drying it out, the only thing that doesn't work now, is the touch-screen. So yeah: IP67 is bullshit. The degree of immersion was; momentary immersion under maybe 6" of water.

As for the other uses:
Battery life was good, about 3 days.
Charging was awkward, with a little clip-on connector that goes to USB. (Qi charging seems like a no-brainer for a device like this!)
Integration with my Samsung Galaxy S5 was JUST OKAY.

I liked having the time on my wrist (duh).
It was convenient to get my notifications, but I STILL had to dig my phone out of my pocket to send a reply text.
The bluetooth/phone conversation feature, I thought was kind of neat. I never could get used to conversing on a bluetooth earpiece, but being able to have the watch in front of me with a visual indicator that I was in an active phone conversation, really helped. It was kind of geeky, kind of neat, and worked pretty well in most situations, unless it was a private conversation you didn't want on-speaker, or there was too much ambient noise.

Samsung's TIZEN OS is very limiting, with regard to apps.

Contrary to the documentation, I was able to use Google Hangouts as my default messenger app on the phone, and still get notifications. (documentation really wanted me to use the Samsung messenger app - which sucks ass, by the way).

Of all the watch-face selections available, there was one that had the time AND weather on it - which I found very handy, but it was MADDENING that there was not a watch face that could devote a couple dozen square mm to "notifications".
The audio notification, and vibration, were weak enough that they were OFTEN missed in outdoors/noisy situations - (like driving with the windows down, or at outdoor events, etc). This is why you need to at least have some kind of on-screen notification indicator.

The thing has a camera, and video camera. Just plain unnecessary. Why no LED for handy flashlight? The camera was difficult to use due to it's positioning, and not really good enough to take worthwhile shots. Also, it had a very loud "shutter-click" sound, that could not be disabled. I found it annoying. But I guess that someone trying to take "creeper-shots" would probably not be able to get away with it because of that sound.

In my opinion it was stylish enough. Not oversized. So I wasn't embarrassed wearing it at all. (these companies designing "round" smartwatches, are just barking up the wrong tree, I think).

Fitness: Has all the nice GPS/Pedometer/heartrate sensors. They integrate okay with Samsung's SHealth. Not great, and not without problems. Unfortunately, heartrate data does not show up on the graph. You can get max rate, and avg rate; and there's even a line for it on the graph. But the data field is "--". Boggles my mind why Samsung won't integrate this on their own fucking device.

The use-case for this seems like a great idea, but not well-executed. I really look forward to the time where these wearable sensors can not only get your heart rate, but also detect arrythmias, and blood-oxygen levels. (theoretically - this sensor can do that. But Samsung's firmware isn't smart enough yet).

I thought it was also pretty stupid that the watch couldn't track a walk or hike unless the phone was in bluetooth range. So I had to carry the phone with me anyway. The ONLY advantage the watch gave, was continuous heartrate monitoring; and as I said: the continuous data gets discarded and you only get the avg and max. STUPID STUPID STUPID.

Sometimes, on runs or hikes, the watch would just freeze, and I'd lose all the data from that hike.

If I went in and "started" a run or hike on the watch, I would go into the phone and "start" that too. So I would have a backup of the data if the watch froze. SHealth would then record that I took TWO separate hikes at the same time. Yes; sometimes the numbers didn't agree (distance, speed, steps, etc) - but they were always reasonably close to each other.

I think that most of these kinds of problems just trace back to Samsung's Tizen idiocy. I *do* like the fact that it had a 3-day battery life. But if running Android instead, meant that it had a 1-day life, but that the fitness app functionality actually worked, then I would much rather have that option.

Now that it's dead - I *do* miss it. It is still in-warranty, but the warranty explicitly "does not cover water damage" - (yes: even though it is IP67 certified!). I decided to send it back to Korea, see what they do - will they repair it? (they need to replace the digitizer, and that's not trivial, because it's pretty much glued-in to the top half of the case). If they charge me for the repair, it's going to be less than $100, or I'll just tell them to shove it up their asses.

OH - but this article was about Apple's new device!
Okay -so, I am generally a big fan of Mac computers. Not really a fan of iPad, or iPhones. (tried both).
Given a comparison of the GG2 to this Apple device, I can say: whole lotta "meh". I think it's nice that they didn't try to cram a camera into the Apple watch - but it's still $350, innit? Too damn much. The only redeeming feature is the Qi charging. And I suppose it's attractive enough. But 1 day battery life? And requires an iPhone? Forget it.

about a week ago

Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

jafac Re:In Theory (385 comments)

Yeah, but on the other hand, I don't know of many Rexx ninjas who are still out there. Back in the 1990's, Rexx was THE shit for banks. Now it's basically evaporated.

about two weeks ago

Fedora To Get a New Partition Manager

jafac Re:Damn the GUI! (170 comments)

lol-ing at your comment, and your .sig :D

about two weeks ago

NASA Panel Finds Fault WIth Curiosity Rover Project's Focus

jafac Re:Focus (51 comments)

MOOOOOOM!!! The curiosity team won't share their awesome rover with me!!!!

about two weeks ago

Stallman Does Slides -- and Brevity -- For TEDx

jafac Re:not communism (326 comments)

Does he endorse the workers owning the means of production? If not, then he is not a communist. End of discussion.

about two weeks ago

New US Airstrikes In Iraq Intended to Protect Important Dam

jafac Re:Eurasia vs. oceania (215 comments)

Whatever Sunni state emerges there, I think that the descendents of that state don't want to have their entire ideological history tainted by ISIS and ISIS's barbarity. It will be a difficult legacy to live-down, and it will be hard for such a state to grow into a modern nation and world-citizen.

about two weeks ago

New US Airstrikes In Iraq Intended to Protect Important Dam

jafac Re:US policy: first arm them then bomb (215 comments)

The Iraqi government lost control over those arms, because they were never a legitimate government in the first place. The US propped up the best puppet they could find (Maliki); and in fact, they originally tried to install Chalabi - who was so obviously corrupt that it failed; but they could at least get enough support for Maliki to get him elected - but the fact is, the entire government, and army apparatus that was erected to support it, was simply a way to channel bribes to the most-connected people.

When you have a government and administration that's composed of incompetent, but well-connected people, it falls over as soon as it is tested. They were only interested in their cushy positions, and covering their own asses. They didn't give a flying fuck about "Iraq".

about two weeks ago

New US Airstrikes In Iraq Intended to Protect Important Dam

jafac Re:Get used to it (215 comments)

A power vacuum can only be filled by anything, when there is power left sitting around. In the case of these "latent extremists" - the question is: who armed and empowered them in the first place? It's not a case of latent extremists filling a power vacuum. It is a proxy-war, and war-profiteering.

about two weeks ago

Hitachi Developing Reactor That Burns Nuclear Waste

jafac Re:Already commented on this elsewhere (200 comments)

soil and bedrock composition is probably different in California, but their Diablo Canyon plant is safe from Tsunamis, set up on a 30 meter bluff. It also has a gravity-fed emergency cooling pond, and is internally reinforced against earthquakes. The bean counters didn't win that one.

about two weeks ago

The Argument For a Hypersonic Missile Testing Ban

jafac Re:Good timing for this suggestion NOT! (322 comments)

Russia has already threatened Ukraine with nuclear force. No, I don't think the US will step in.

about two weeks ago

The Argument For a Hypersonic Missile Testing Ban

jafac Re:They will just cheat anyway (322 comments)

Jesus: Russia signed a treaty to not invade Ukraine, in exchange for Ukraine's nuclear disarmament. Ukraine disarmed. First nation to do so in the history of nuclear weapons. Then Russia invaded. You want to trust them with another treaty? Suckers!

about two weeks ago

Study: Antarctic Sea-Level Rising Faster Than Global Rate

jafac Re:unfair policy (302 comments)

. . . the invisible hand has a thumb up his butt.

about two weeks ago

Astronomers Find What May Be the Closest Exoplanet So Far

jafac Re:OK Another one (89 comments)

Okay, but for example:
I am pretty overweight, but I'm in pretty good physical condition. I currently weigh 180 lbs. On this planet, I would weigh 315 lbs. That's like carrying 135 lbs of extra weight. If I'm backpacking, I carry anywhere from 25-35 lbs total, and I can "go" all day like that. I get pretty wiped out, but it's something I can adjust to, over time. I've hiked at 70 lbs, carrying equipment for other "less capable" people. That's really about my limit. This seriously cuts my hike range from about 15 miles in a day (max, really humping hard) to about 5-7. After a day like that, I'm fucking beat. And that is where I can take this pack off, and set up camp, cook, eat, sleep. I could pack 135 lbs, but I wouldn't get far, and I'd probably hurt myself trying.

When I train, I train with a pack that starts at about 10 lbs, and I ramp up over a few weeks to 40 lbs. And that is gradual enough, to avoid injuries, while building-up strength. And this increases my capacity and performance, but this takes weeks. (and as I get older, it gets much harder).

I see absolutely no way in hell I'm going to deal with an extra 135 lbs of weight, 24-hours a day. I'm not going to "build-skeletal tissue" or strengthen my body's structure. What will happen, physiologically, is I'll "survive" (minimally) maybe a day. My joints will get beat all to hell. I will be too sore to move for another few days of immobility. If I stayed on the surface, it's pretty likely I'd not recover.

I think that a "1.25 g" planet might be survivable for short periods. And this level MIGHT be enough for "physical toughness" to develop (over time), given a proper training/rest regimen, proper nutrition, and medical assistance with things like testosterone, HGH, and whatever other "black-magic" stuff that the pro athletes are taking.

I'd also tip my hat to probably the top-10% of the genetic bell-curve; those individuals who have rare, natural gifts of athletic ability, and while they are in their prime years of life, to MAYBE be able to adjust long-term to 1.5 g.

about three weeks ago

Brian Stevens Resigns As Red Hat CTO

jafac Re:Who to believe? (39 comments)

Indeed, impressive!

about three weeks ago

Mozilla Rolls Out Sponsored Tiles To Firefox Nightly's New Tab Page

jafac Re:Turn tiles off... but for how long? (171 comments)

right after they figure out that those sponsored tiles are all listed in my /etc/hosts as . . .

about three weeks ago



Natalie Portman: Not Petrified (of Science)

jafac jafac writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jafac (1449) writes "Turns out, that Natalie Portman, much abused by slasdot geeks, was, herself, a Science geek, in High School, and studied Neuroscience at Harvard. Who knew?

Okay, don't answer that. I don't care."

Link to Original Source

jafac jafac writes  |  more than 7 years ago

jafac (1449) writes "As discussed in this SpaceDaily article, the video footage from the launch, earlier this week (available at, of the Falcon 1 vehicle, seems to show a problem with the stage separation. I noticed this when I watched the video last night — it appears that the top of the first stage bumps the engine nozzle.

The upper stage guidance does a good job of setting the craft straight after this bump, but some odd things happen after that, including some kind of ring flying off the engine, and a wobble that gets progressively worse until the vehicle goes completely out of control. I've been fascinated by the availability of these kinds of videos more and more; but this is the first one I've seen that documents a failed launch — (Elon Musk's denials notwithstanding), and because of that, it's probably the coolest video I've seen all year."


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