Researchers Accidentally Discover How To Turn Off Skin Aging Gene
On the one hand, this could be huge. On the other hand, let's see the peer reviewed articles. Remember "resveratrol"? After seeing resveratrol covered by CBS 60 Minutes, etc, I bought some tablets, based on the similar mouse aging claims. Interesting history in Quackwatch.com describes how the mouse aging study led to $720M investment by GlaxoSmithKline. Once the money started rushing in, it went quacky...
"In 2012, the University of Connecticut announced that it had concluded that Dipak K. Das, Ph.D., a professor in its Department of Surgery and director of the Cardiovascular Research Center, was guilty of 145 counts of fabrication and falsification of data and that the university had notified eleven journals about this problem . In recent years, Das had gained attention for his reports on allegedly beneficial properties of resveratrol. As of March 2014, journals had retracted 20 of his papers, many of which were repeatedly cited by others . Das died in 2013."
Some interesting research is still going on, tangentially from the resveratrol research. But the way anti-aging anything gets marketed, suspicion always seems warranted.
Webcast Funerals Growing More Popular
How are we to know whether the funeral we are watching is genuine? Could it be counterfeit, rebroadcast, or pirated?
Forbes Blasts Latests Windows 7 Patch as Malware
Yep, my history shows the Auto update installed the suggested fix 12/13/2014, before this article was posted here. I had noticed problems with Nvidia, so I'm glad they fixed it. Razr mouse may also have been affected. So the jury still says, let Windows auto-update.
Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand
Ah, yes.... I rather vaguely remember a series of experiments I attended a couple of decades ago. My colleagues and I participated in several hours-long, herb-fueled, analysis sessions comparing cassette tape, CDs, and vinyl, with and without equalizers. We listened in sessions controlling for acoustic, heavy metal, synthesizer, etc.. I'm pretty sure the committee's conclusion was "put the money into the speakers". But I think we forgot to write it down anywhere.
How High-Tech Temporary Tattoos Will Hack Your Skin
The gadget doesn't look like it should be limited to passing as a tattoo. We should see this as an opportunity to accessorize! But the models in TFA aren't into it. Catwalks! Sell it, baby!
Pizza Hut Tests New "Subconscious Menu" That Reads Your Mind
You will be banked into facial recognition database and find Peperoni ads on your Facebook ads page. This is about facial recognition software, it's going into store cameras everywhere, and they are starting to package it as a "consumer advantage". Physical browsing is now, today, being tracked the same as web browsing. Minority Report has your pizza ready.
Is Chernobyl Still Dangerous? Was 60 Minutes Pushing Propaganda?
Eyeballs are attracted to bad news. Good news does not sell papers or attract viewers. This has been documented for a century, and modern psychology actually studies the "fear", "bad news", and "schadenfreude" centers in the brain. Perceived risks that you avoid releases dopamine. Talk radio manufactures doomsday stories every hour, on the hour.
The saddest thing is when CBS 60 Minutes gets it completely wrong - and wins a journalism Award. Ask CBS 60 Minutes anchor, Scott Pelley, about the state of journalism. http://www.mediabistro.com/tvn...
"Our house is on fire. Never before in human history has more information been available to more people. But at the same time never before in human history has more bad information been available to more people.” - Scott Pelley
He should know. Pelley's won an journalism award for misreporting the "trail" of "e-waste" in 2008. But reporting that a past story was exaggerated doesn't sell many ads.
Is a "Wikipedia For News" Feasible?
Obama Offers Funding For 50,000 Police Body Cameras
There are issues to resolve, but they aren't that difficult to resolve. There are 9 exemptions police departments can claim, including #6 below. http://www.foiadvocates.com/ex...
6. Documents which are "personnel and medical and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy." 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(6).
Also exempt is anything mentioned by statute, so Washington could just pass a law liminting FOIA access to the police cams. And #7 probably works as well. :
"7 Documents which are "records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes," but only if one or more of six specified types of harm would result. 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(7)."
Or if you are on the police cam, you can start to reveal secrets related to oil well data, or banking. Big Oil and Banking have their own exemtions, 8 and 9.
Game Theory Analysis Shows How Evolution Favors Cooperation's Collapse
If no one pays taxes, I live in a lousy infrastructure.
If everyone pays taxes, I live in a nice infrastructure, but had to pay taxes.
If I admit not paying taxes, no one else wants to pay taxes either.
If I make everyone believe in paying taxes, while I secretly do not pay taxes, I benefit from the infrastructure for free.
Dang. Didn't realize this was a Ph.D thesis material!
Supreme Court To Decide Whether Rap Lyric Threats Are Free Speech
That's all this is, it's balancing the laws protecting citizens against credible threats vs. the free speech rights of the person making the threat. Whether it rhymes, is set to music, or is in iambic pentameter is irrelevant. Threatening speech is like pornography, judges have to know it when they hear it.
The Driverless Future: Buses, Not Taxis
Could we robotize the baggage handling system first? Driverless luggage carriers and robots won't need background checks, won't pilfer, and don't interact with third parties out in the tarmac (less likely to encounter ambulance chasing lawyers out to sue Google for fender bending).
Swiss Scientists Discover DNA Remains Active After Space Journey and Re-entry
Surviving the estimated 1000 degree centigrade reentry temperature is impressive. The rest of the test - a suborbital flight of 780 seconds - is less so. But I would have expected the seconds of heat to be more deadly to the DNA than light years of cold, so it's still interesting.
Volcanic Eruption In Japan Disrupts Flights
There's actually a fairly cool and intelligent discussion that could be had about volcanic activity's role in the history of world climate, and how forecasting of volcanic activity can play a role in climate modelling. Too bad I can't anticipate actually having that discussion without an eruption of troll commentary. Merely discussing it amounts to flamebait due to the polarizing of opinions on the issue. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V...
Mathematicians Study Effects of Gerrymandering On 2012 Election
Besides the effect on lawmaking (or failure to pass laws under gridlock), gerrymandering gives people on both sides of issues a sense of majority. "I won in a landslide, I must be right", combined with polarized news programming, has been demonstrated to make people dumber. Harvard Business Review has an interesting article this week on opinion reinforcement and groupthink this week [ https://hbr.org/2014/11/making... ], which compares focus groups from liberal Boulder CO USA and conservative Colorado Springs USA. The researchers documented the negative effects of grouping like-minded people in political discussions. I think gerrymandering has the same effect on political intelligence. Their own conservatism or liberalism appears validated by landslide elections in their districts.
Google Told To Expand Right To Be Forgotten
This is the big thing. Not just NSA, but retailer cameras selling stuff you literally "browse" by foot in the aisle. According to this article, Google and Facebook have the biggest "face banks" for the facial recognition software. Can they be told to forget that, too? If not, you aren't really "forgotten" just because you don't appear in a search engine. I don't think Europe could pass a law making Google delete the information.
Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?
It isn't "crazy" to suppose, as de Tocqueville does, that the free market (like the fisherman of 'rude attainments') may have thought of something we didn't think of. Of course you are right about buildings being several stories tall and not expandable are made of stone. Therefore... the free market makes city buildings out of stone, even in the ignorant USA. Big city buildings are stone, big ocean ships are metal, small homes in countrysides are wood, and small small boats are still made of wood, even in the USA. The broader point is that someone as intelligent as Alexis dT could be surprised, for all his education, that the free market had made a rational decision. The original post is the equivalent of saying that small fishing boats should be made of metal. The argument is whether building codes and other social engineering will outperform the free market. The question is especially dangerous when the code developer has a quasi-religious approach, a moral certitude. It would be an environmental waste to make small boats out of metal boats. They'd be sturdier, but the amount of carbon and fossil fuels wasted by mining and refining ores to make heavy, slow, small metal boats would be a waste (though probably supported by the metal mining industry). USA has other problems with its wooden structure model, such as "urban sprawl"... I don't think the free market is perfect, but "command and control" scares me, especially when it's promoted by factoids and math that dazzle non-engineers, and are used to support a pompous argument over homebuilding material. Your math of finite resources is exactly on point... But you are using the math on finite resources to promote the theory that European command and control will protect those resources better than the free market. That's the argument central to TFA... Was the free market stupid, or would "solving" it just as likely lead to stone buildings in the countryside and small metal boats?
Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?
Valid points. But generally, the cost of entrenching is a bet against innovation. Maybe you're right and it's a good bet to bury several billion dollars of copper. I wasn't thinking the innovation would eliminate cable, the analogy to DSL in the home walls was that I'd paid to entrench what turned out to be the wrong kind of cable.
Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?
As an American married to a European, I've often been asked by puzzled Europeans as to why Americans build houses from wood. Alexis de Tocqueville probably said it best (Democracy in America Vol II, Chapter VIII):
"I accost an American sailor, and I inquire why the ships of his country are built so as to last but for a short time; he answers without hesitation that the art of navigation is every day making such rapid progress, that the finest vessel would become almost useless if it lasted beyond a certain number of years. In these words, which fell accidentally and on a particular subject from a man of rude attainments, I recognize the general and systematic idea upon which a great people directs all its concerns."
Americans regularly get second mortgages and put additions and improvements to their homes, expanding and adapting them. The less this is true (inner cities) the less likely the home is made of wood. And that may turn out to be true of many high-line wires. I'm not sure about power lines, but would assume we'd pay for telephone cables to be buried at the same time, and that seems incredibly wasteful. If the USA paid to put all the telephone cables underground, how will it pay off if everyone goes wireless, as has happened in most rapidly emerging market cities? When I had my home rewired in 1998, I thought it would be wise to pay for double phone lines, put in for DSL cable. I wish I could get that money back and put it into a savings bond.
Blame America For Everything You Hate About "Internet Culture"
Who can worry about Kitty Cat Memes, with all the Evil Clown crime? http://www.theatlantic.com/int...
My friends in Denmark and Norway tell me that the word "Friend" in the north is much more reserved, and it has held Facebook back. But like Halloween, differences in culture have a way of being only a generation deep. My mother in law, in southern France, is no slouch with the LOLs.
Free Manoi-Go in Vermont
Vermont environmentalists were torn when Agency of Natural Resources began a crackdown on "e-waste" reuse, recycling, and repair company in Middlebury. Japanese robot Manio-Go was seized and impounded as hazardous waste, under actual new Vermont laws classifying electronic devices with less than 80% battery levels as "hazardous". A petition was released to get Governor Peter Schumlin to commute the sentence of recycling-by-shredder, to Free Manio-Go. This is partly April Fools, but sadly not April Fools enough http://tinyurl.com/saveManoi
To Our Recycling Friends In Egypt
Ten years ago this week, I was inspired to attempt to establish "fair trade recycling" exports of the much maligned "e-waste" (which is one of the most misleading and misunderstood terms ever coined). It was based on my experience in Africa, watching entrepreneurs and small businesspeople who "tinkered" and repaired goods, which I recognized was the way Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and Signapore emerged. The opposite of the "resource curse", repair and refubishment is so vital to economic development that one could even argue that it was worth the price of "waste"... but I also believe that proper recycling, the best recycling, is done with hand-disassembly.
[Read more about my fair trade recycling philosophy, and how it guides my own company, at www.retroworks.blogspot.com ]
Like Fair Trade Coffee (which emerged in response to a horrible "coffee boycott" idea to help coffee farmers), the result of fairly traded used electronics can result in proper recycling infrastructures within the developing world, which has its own "ewaste" to manage. More importantly, it can result in Egyptian revolutions... the 3 billion people in the world who earn about $3 thousand per year have gotten online at ten times the rate of growth of the developed world, and they are not doing it with brand new PCs. http://retroworks.blogspot.com/2011/01/to-our-recycling-friends-in-egypt.html
Camouflage v. Cloaking
A program which submits random browser data can effectively complicate investigative work by 3rd party data collectors. It would take a lot of camouflage users to pollute Google or NSA's historic record base, but only take a few pieces of bad data to "poison the well" of information (e.g. he visited a gay website) used in court. I would like an option which is not completely random, which does not submit false terrorist or pedofile site data for example.
This would not be very effective against cookies (except when presence of cookies was to be used as evidence in a courtroom) but would effectively cloud any suspicions with doubt at the level of a large database such as a search engine.