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Low-Carb Diet Trumps Low-Fat Diet In Major New Study

jandersen Re:A change in diet - from what? (382 comments)

I just don't put much weight in claims like "just cutting out sweet drinks does the trick".

I didn't really make any such claim - I just wanted to share the personal observation that after stopping to consume so much sugar, I actually stopped liking it. I think a very large part of learning to eat better is learning to like better food. Along the same lines, I used to think that I couln't feel satisfied without eating a large portion of meat every day; now I don't eat meat very often - it just doesn't taste as good any more. It started with me exploring things like bean curries (thus making a strong contribution to global warming) because I felt bored with the usual stuff, and I sort of got hooked.

I think the main take away from this is that we can learn to genuinely like new foods - all kinds of new foods. And as we do so, we can unlearn our preference for things that are bad for our health. I don't think I am particularly healthy - I certainly don't feel like I am trying to be healthy - however, I am convinced I can steadily improve my habits, not by restricting myself, but by enjoying new things. Eating moderately doesn't enter into it either, but I think, when I want to exercise, it just doesn't work if I eat large meals, so I have got used to less, I suppose.

PS: You asked for an age reference - I'm 56.

6 hours ago
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Low-Carb Diet Trumps Low-Fat Diet In Major New Study

jandersen A change in diet - from what? (382 comments)

What kind of diet did they start from? If the participants were typical Americans, it was probably something that was very heavy in sugar and other refined carbohydrates; more so that in fat, if I'm not mistaken, so cutting down on carbohydrates is no doubt the most important improvement to the diet one could make. Cutting back on fat would probably be the next, big step.

It is sometimes hard to remember just how extreme the typical Western diet is; it is perhaps particularly visible to me, because I have completely stopped drinking sweet drinks (including fruit juices and artificially sweetened drinks). Now I find I can't get through a whole glass of Coke - it's just too much, but only a few years ago I could drink whole liters of the crap.

As others have remarked, there is no need to follow any special diet, just stop eating and drinking crap. Of course, with the selection available, that in itself is actually not easy.

9 hours ago
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New Nigerian ID Card Includes Prepay MasterCard Wallet

jandersen Re:419 (61 comments)

The prevalance of the informal (untaxed) economy is a symptom, not a cause. Cracking down on it misses the point and makes things worse.

Just like the financial crisis was not caused by corrupt bankers being given far too much freedom, but instead by 'too-much-regulation', as the mantra goes? I really would have hoped that the banking crisis at least would have put an end to the anti-regulation ideology.

It really is quite simple: the sort of freedom that means nothing more than 'anti-regulation', favours the strong, ruthless and un-conscientious at the cost of everybody else, particularly the most vulnerable. This is not just speculation - we have seen it over and over throughout history in all societies; it leads to massively corrupt gangster-rule. Much like what you have seen in, eg. Nigeria. Things like freedom and democracy only work if everybody involved is willing to live by the agreed rules, and voluntarily restrict their own freedom to some extent.

Even the vikings - those hariy, brutish barbarians - knew this; to quote from Codex Holmiensis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Holmiensis):

With law shall land [nation] be built. [...] And if all men would keep [be content with] what is theirs, and let others enjoy the same rights, there would be no need of [a] law. [...] If the land had no law, then he would have the most who could grab [by force] the most

13 hours ago
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Feynman Lectures Released Free Online

jandersen Re:Skeptic (70 comments)

Feynman was a Skeptic.

I'm not sure what your point it, but as far as I know ALL scientists are skeptics; that's why they keep probing the edges of their chosen discipline all the time, in order to improve their theories.

What real scientists are not is closed-minded deniers of any and all facts they don't like, like in 'climate-skeptic' or 'evolution-skeptic', and I suspect you are trying to imply that Feynman is a 'skeptic' like that. Knowing his work, I doubt it.

2 days ago
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XKCD Author's Unpublished Book Remains a Best-Seller For 5 Months

jandersen Randall Munroe (167 comments)

I looked him upo in Wikipedia and ironically, he is in fact quite thin and has a big, round head...

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

jandersen Old tech I still use (615 comments)

I can think of three technologies I still can't let go of:

1. Fire. It's easy and convenient, it warms me and it helps me cook food etc. Cooking helps us dramatically increase the amount of things we can actually eat, which would otherwise be inedible to us.

2. The hammer. Not just the stick with a lump of iron on; in the form of a stone to open nuts with, it works like a replaceable, external 'tooth' that can be applied with great force, and which allows you to look at the object you work on, unlike the teeth in your jaw. When your hammer stone breaks, it may become a knife, which gives you a whole new class of powers.

3. Writing. Leaving marks on a surface was probably the first, external storage technology. Some of those early communications are still available some 3030 - 40 kyears later.

3 days ago
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Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

jandersen Re:Theology is bad too (523 comments)

A very reasonable sentiment. Although I'm not a believer myself, it seems to me that if you truly believe in God, then you are not afraid of what science can teach you, since God created all of reality. Being a Bible (or other scripture) fundamentatlist is simply an expression of lack of faith.

5 days ago
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Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

jandersen Re:Beyond what humans can do (537 comments)

How your comment got modded Insightful is a mystery. You don't give any arguments, you just postulate.

Humans can't even make it rain or change the weather locally

Really? Just one example: the notorious London smog. Most major cities used to be covered in the filthy stuff until burning coal in cities was largely banned; does that not qualify as weather? It certainly changed the atmosphere in large, local areas.

Anyone who thinks they can affect the whole world this much is a moron or shill for some environmental group

Hmm, right. Another example: man-made plastic pollution is now found everywhere - with the possible exception of Antarctica. You find it everywhere, even in the middle of the Pacific, and it does in fact affect wildlife. Or how about the fact that manmade chemicals can now be measured in just about every sample of water you can come about? The truth is that mankind does in fact influence every environment on the planet; the good news is that this also means that we can choose to use our influence to make things better.

But it's certainly not manmade

You know that, do you? How? Evidence, please.

correlation does not equal causation

However, it does equal correlation - and correlation means there is some sort of connection. Climatologists have come up with some very likely explanations, unlike you.

How else do you explain the many periods of warming and cooling in the past long before humans even existed?

That one is brought forth all the time, but it is a nonsense argument. The only thing it proves is that climate change can be caused by other things than human activity; nobody has ever denied that, and in fact, for many years the preferred theory was that we didn't affect climate, but we have had to abandon that idea, because the observable facts speak against it.

I rest my case before the nuts here censor my message

As you already knew, nobody was going to 'censor' your opinions. In fact, you have been modded up - strange as it seems. But you just had to try to milk the 'freedom of speech' card for what it was worth, didn't you? You should be ashamed.

about a week ago
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The Evolution of Diet

jandersen Paleo diet? Nonsense (281 comments)

I don't remember how many times I have come across the idea that evolution has somehow stopped dead in its tracks for humanity; and here we see it again. It is perhaps an easy mistake to make - after all, we haven't seen much, obvious change in our species with our own eyes, and we also like to think of ourselves at the epitome of evolution, so how could we possibly become better?

The truth of the matter is that our species changes all the time, and we are very complex creatures. One part of what a human is, has only really been recognised recently: the community of micro-organisms that live in our bodies, which interacts with and even modifies us, affecting our moods and influencing our metabolisms etc. This community of micro-organisms changes very rapidly with diet, and it has a huge influence on what is the optimal diet, which is lucky, because it helps us deal with new kinds of food. We might not be able to live on the kind of crap we eat in the West if not for that.

So, the more intelligent question to ask ourselves is, what kind microbes would it be best to encourage to live in our guts, and what kind of food should we eat to do that?

about a week ago
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Why Do Humans Grow Up So Slowly? Blame the Brain

jandersen Re:not so fast (128 comments)

You'll never be able to convince people that toasters don't cause suicidal tendencies in teenagers.

Depends on the toaster, wouldn't you agree? I have had toasters that made me want to kill whoever sold it to me.

I think, if we take away the hype and the misunderstandins on the part of the article, that what we have here is an interesting observation that does support the theory that brain-growth may be one of the factors determining when we become adults. I don't think it is true, though; it seems to me that the biggest evolutionary advantage we have is, in fact, the prolonged period of brain development and plasticity and the evolution of the family unit that supports a long childhood; this, incidentally, includes the fact that we, as the only species I know of, also live long after reproduction. Having grand-parents who can pass their experience on to the youngest, seems like a huge advantage to me.

about a week ago
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A New Homegrown OS For China Could Arrive By October

jandersen Re:Piracy will kill it (but not in the way you thi (93 comments)

You're all flaming enthusiasm, aren't you? You mention compatibility problems as the main reason why we should expect this to fail - but, as someone who has worked with cross platform development, I know that this is only a small problem. It is perfectly possible - easy, even - to write portable code, certainly on the back-end of an application; I have done so across all UNIXes, Linuxes, Windows, and even z/OS, VMS and MPE/iX. The only problems arise at the front-end, but with proper engineering, it is not even all that hard - just look at things like application servers and cloud: they mostly run Linux at the back-end, but you, the user, couldn't care less.

The only reason why we haven't seen companies make their applications in versions for both Windows, Linux and OSX is that somebody has put a lot of effort into stopping it from happening; I won't mention names. However, with Windows becoming obsolete (even Microsoft themselves seem to have lost the spirit), it is not unreasonable to expect that this may change, and China are well positioned to be the main driver of this, so I wouldn't write this new OS just like that.

about a week ago
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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

jandersen Re:Here's the interesting paragraph (375 comments)

So, what they are saying, really, is that even after a referendum they will have to use common sense and work out a deal with the Scottish government. Stranger things happen at sea.

about two weeks ago
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The First Particle Physics Evidence of Physics Beyond the Standard Model?

jandersen Re:Another 'Hello' magazine style article (97 comments)

Today? I'm ALWAYS grumpy grampy!

No, I just want to see scientific fact presented as if it is scientific fact. Telling about science doesn't need to be pepped up - the subject is already exciting, as opposed to the disturbed love lives of Big Brother contestants, and people on /. are interested in "News for Nerds", or so I've heard. There was once, when a nature program on telly or a scienticif article would be exactly that: exciting facts about nature; compare David Attenborough standing waist deep in a swamp to todays programs with repeated slow motion replays of lions downing a baby gnu and an idiotic soundtrack. Now, if you tell me you prefer the latter, you might as well seek treatment at Dignitas in Switzerland.

about two weeks ago
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The First Particle Physics Evidence of Physics Beyond the Standard Model?

jandersen Another 'Hello' magazine style article (97 comments)

Could we flag this kind of articles with a warning, please? I'm getting tired of glossy gossip that's more suited for a write-up about soap-stars and Big Brother. Give us a hex-dump or a wall of equations to look at, not chatty nonsense trying to invoke a sense of "Woooh, mysterious!!!!"

about two weeks ago
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China Pulls Plug On Genetically Modified Rice and Corn

jandersen Re:Wow (152 comments)

Considering this is the country that put melamine in milk and cadmium in toys, this speaks volumes.

I would like to know their official justification.

China - the country as a whole or its government - can not be held responsible for crimes committed by private companies or individuals. In fact, these things happened because there was not enough governmental oversight - IOW too much freedom, rather than too little. This is what used to happen in the West, when companies were similarly unrestrained by legislation; things like adding chalk to bread and water to milk. Regulation is not all bad.

As for their official justification, they don't owe us any, but it seems likely that they are worried about the behaviour of the GM companies. Although GM holds huge potential in terms of nutrition, there are many things that give cause for concern: patented genes that spread to neighboring fields, genes that provide restitence to weed-killers spreading to wild species, modifications that hinder the production of viable seeds, so the farmers have to buy new GM seed from the producers rather than growing part of their harvest on next year, etc etc. I'm sure GM would be welcome in most countries if it was not for the companies producing them.

Another thing is that the Chinese are fully capable of developing or buying the technology themselves - so why should they allow in American companies that are only intent on siphoning off as much profit as possible to their share holders?

about two weeks ago
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Operating Systems Still Matter In a Containerized World

jandersen Re:Docker needs an OS to run, duh! (129 comments)

Remember Matthew 7:26: A foolish man built his house on sand.

- and what is silicon made from? ;-)

about two weeks ago
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Posting Soccer Goals On Vine Is Illegal, Say England's Premier League

jandersen As I understand it... (226 comments)

A football match is a commercial entertainment show - somebody has invested money (lots of it, in the case of football) in producing the show, and therefore has at least a legitimate claim to the content. I don't necessarily agree with the whole copyright thinking, but if it illegal to film in cinemas, theatres and at concerts, then the same holds for a sports match; why would it be different? It is not something that happens in the public space - these venues are privately owned.

Personally, I think it is a petty attitude to get up in arms over small clips; I don't think people sharing these things online translates into lost revenue - on the contrary, it is likely to make more people want to go to the next match, whereas making a fuss like this puts people off.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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10 TB cloud storage for free

jandersen jandersen writes  |  about 9 months ago

jandersen (462034) writes "Chinese Tencent are going to launch a free, 10TB cloud storage service:

http://pandodaily.com/2013/11/18/tencent-to-launch-international-version-of-free-10tb-storage-service-new-photo-sharing-app-coming-soon-to-us/

10TB is some 5000 times more than Dropbox, and 666 times more than what you get with Google (Yes, I know, that number keeps cropping up, doesn't it?)

What will no doubt worry people is that it is a Chinese company, although they are planning to store the data outside of China. I guess, with the NSA scandal unfolding, it is just a question of choosing your poison."
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Arctic thaw may be first in cascade of tipping points

jandersen jandersen writes  |  about a year and a half ago

jandersen writes "Here's an article from New Scientist that's guaranteed to arouse yet another controversy (from http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21729064.500-arctic-thaw-may-be-first-in-cascade-of-tipping-points.html):

ONE climate domino has fallen, and it may start toppling others. A recent study outlined an interconnected web of climate tipping points, some of which make the next ones more likely. Now, an analysis of data from the last 23 years suggests we passed the first of these tipping points in 2007, when Arctic sea ice flipped into a new, less stable state. That may speed the world towards the next tipping point – the thaw of a vast expanse of Siberian permafrost.

New Scientist is sometimes criticised for being sensationalist, but this article seems sober to me: it is well referenced, and they try to include opposing viewpoints to balance it. If what they say is true, we may be in for a series of increasingly dramatic changes, and sooner rather than later."
Link to Original Source

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EU to spend 1 billion euro on graphene and brain research

jandersen jandersen writes  |  about a year and a half ago

jandersen (462034) writes "The EU is going to spend 100 million per year over the next 10 years to boost research and interdisciplinary cooperation by launching two flagship projects in March:

- The Human Brain Project: Aims "to develop a large-scale ICT infrastructure for the specific purpose of understanding the brain and its diseases, and of translating this knowledge into new computing technology." Basically, they want to build a working computer model of a human brain. (http://www.humanbrainproject.eu/in_brief.html)

- The Graphene Flagship: Aims "to take graphene and related layered materials from academic laboratories to society, revolutionize multiple industries and create economic growth and new jobs in Europe." (http://www.graphene-flagship.eu/GF/index.php)

How cool is that? For more info, see http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/ict/programme/fet/flagship/home_en.html — but be warned: this is EU, and understanding the whole setup is fiendishly complicated."
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Ask Slashdot: Server room toolbox?

jandersen jandersen writes  |  about 2 years ago

jandersen writes "I am the system manager in charge of a smallish server room (~50 servers, most in racks), and I am going to buy a set of tools; but first I want to hear what other people think would be a good idea.

Certainly a range of good quality screwdrivers — slotted, Phillips, Pozidriv, Torx (here for the whole range of strange screwdriver standards: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_screw_drives). But what else? Tape measure? Spirit level (for aligning the racks)? Any meters or cable testers? A wood lathe? I can probably get away with a budget of a few hundred GBP, but there ought to be some mileage in that."
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The revolution is coming

jandersen jandersen writes  |  about 2 years ago

jandersen writes "According to Peter Turchin, University of Connecticut, we may be heading towards serious, social unrest within a decade (article on New Scientist — registration (free) required: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21528781.800-calculated-violence-numbers-that-predict-revolutions.html?full=true):

The mathematics underpinning the rise and fall of empires suggest that the US faces imminent and bloody unrest. How worried should we be?

Is he on to something? Note, this is not a head-in-the-clouds-prophet speaking, but a real scientist, who proposes a real theory: a falsifiable hypothesis; and as he says ""It is easier to predict timing than the height of the peak. My feeling is that it's going to be worse than we expect. Hopefully I'm wrong — I have to live through this."."
Link to Original Source

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A sad tale: US gov online visa app

jandersen jandersen writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jandersen (462034) writes "It was recently my fortune to have to assist in applying for a US visa for a Chinese citizen living in London. This turned out to be a very painful journey, not least because of the online application form — give it a whirl yourselves:

https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/

- and here is the video that introduces it:

http://www.youtube.com/user/USEmbassyLondon#p/u/1/LSd6gYr-aSs

Don't worry, it isn't dangerous, and the effects can mostly be fixed with counselling, eventually.

On top of the horrors of this supremely inept piece of code, you get to be treated with a mixture of hostility and indifference at the embassy plus constant demands for further documents about trivial nonsense — like "You state that you went to primary school x until such and such date, but didn't enter secondary school until 6 months later; what did you do in that time?"; presumably they have words like "training camp" rolling around the vast empty spaces in their heads (makes you wonder what they would think of an American teenager who has been to "boot camp" — now there's damning evidence if ever there was)

And what do they expect to hear when they ask "Are you coming over to commit terrorist offences?" — "Oh dear, it's a fair cop, they've caught me now, right enough. And there was I, wondering if terrorism would require a work permit.""
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What Open Source Forum SW is best

jandersen jandersen writes  |  more than 5 years ago

jandersen writes "I want to do something about improving morale and team-spirit in the company where I am the UNIX manager; and I thought it might be good to run some sort of social forum where people can engage in intellectual discussions on a high level, just like on Slashdot. People will, of course, waste time there — at least if you ask management — but I don't think of it as wasted. After all, people tend to "waste time" talking about sport and solving the great problems of the world any way, so why not put it on a server? And the thing is — this is a global company, and we don't really know our colleagues in India, China, Europe and so on. But which software should I choose? There seems to be a lot of for forum/BSS software around; what I want is something similar to /. — I like the concept of users being able to mod each others up and down — and it has to be open source, rather not Java, and run on Linux. Other than that, I am open to suggestions. What does the people think?"
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Non-violent, cooperative games?

jandersen jandersen writes  |  more than 5 years ago

jandersen writes "While I generally don't really play computer games, I do occasionally play games like Crossfire or The Mana World, because they have more of a story line and allow you to go at your own pace; they require a little bit more intellect and less testosterone, perhaps. What I don't care much about, though, is that they are still basically about killing monsters and amassing wealth, and it gets very tedious after a while.

Are there really no games where the goal isn't so much about increasing your own power and defeating others, but where you instead grow by doing things that benefit others, where enemies shouldn't be killed out of hand, but befriended, where learning, teaching, research and social skills are more important than killing and conquering? Would people be interested in a game of that nature?"

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