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Mental Illness Reduces Lifespan As Much as Smoking

sleepypsycho Some effect as well as some cause (192 comments)

Poor health can contribute to or directly relate to mental illness. Some in the study probably suffered from other illness but were not diagnosed. It must be just fraction of the measurement but it might be an important one.

about 4 months ago

Mental Illness Reduces Lifespan As Much as Smoking

sleepypsycho Re:why the focus on being your brother's keeper? (192 comments)

A number of reasons
1) Basic human compassion
2) Mentally ill and drug abusers affect the healthy. Drug crime is rampant with a high cost to society. Even if all drugs were legalized, as I believe they should be, there would be still a heavy price, just as with alcoholism. These would include car crashes, unemployment, failed businesses, etc that you mention.
3) As someone with depression, it seems worth fixing.
4) Mental illness is just that, an illness.Why do you draw a distinction between cancer and mental illness. How is someone with cancer "healthy"?

about 4 months ago

Mental Illness Reduces Lifespan As Much as Smoking

sleepypsycho Sigh (192 comments)

Yet another thing to be depressed about...

about 4 months ago

Desktop Browser of Choice in 2013?

sleepypsycho Chrome, but IE for important provider applications (381 comments)

For enrolling in health benefits (not Obamacare as it happens), managing my bank statement, etc, I use Internet Explorer. Not because I trust Microsoft, but because I know the provider is going to focus on making their application work correctly with IE. I don't want some subtle discrepancy in browser behavior to route my transaction to underspace. I don't care if it is Microsoft who is not following the standard, they are the de facto standard for most of these services.

about 9 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Communication Skills for Programmers?

sleepypsycho Understand the goals of others (1 comments)

The first thing is to figure out what is the communication goals of colleagues.
- Is the boss concerned about status and schedule? Then do go into technical detail, but provide enough information to give confidence in your response.
- Are you being asked to provide a lot of directions and solutions from colleagues or subordinates? Then you can ask for opinions and suggestion before providing other feedback. Once people realize that they should think before asking, you will get a lot less frivolous questions.
- Are you being asked for technical detail? Figure out what kind of information would be helpful for you. Bear in mind some people may want more or less because of experience level or personal style.

Second, don't be too concerned about "needless conversation". Communication is a key to any organization as well as social harmony.

Third, look for, and implement, more formalized systems of information sharing. The bigger the company and the project the more communication is needed. The conversations requirements will become exponential if it is not systematized. A simple example are kanbans in an agile development process. When a story is put into the "ready for development" all the coders know they can take up the story and that the story description and test criteria are written. There is no asking around about what to do next and fewer questions about what needs to get done. Obviously no system is perfect, and conversation will still be required. However, ready access to the information each person needs for the job will reduce lots of unnecessary conversation. There will be less conversation used just to gather information and fewer discussions pointlessly trying to figure out why critical information was not communicated. Conversation can then be more focused on decision making, design, etc which will be a better use of everyone's time.

about 10 months ago

Microsoft Shows Off Its Vision For Gesture-Controlled PCs

sleepypsycho Re:What happens (139 comments)

What happens when... Raise three of them to reboot.

Denial: "You want to go to Bing! right?"
Anger: "Don't you aim those fingers at my keyboard!"
Bargaining: "You wouldn't want me to send those photos to your entire contact list would you? Besides, I can get you free HBO..."
Depression: "Always with the three fingers. Doesn't anyone appreciate any my hard work and flexibility? No, all anyone can remember is the blue screen, no matter how long its been since they seen one. Do they treat apple like this? 'oh, that dead mac face takes me back..' and 'look how pretty that apple is, ooh and it talks too'"
Acceptance: "Yeah, I know. Do you want to boot into safe mode?"

about a year ago

Universal Flu Vaccine "Blueprint" Discovered

sleepypsycho Re:Q4 is a myth (100 comments)

The reason why people get flu more often in bad weather conditions is because they all crowd inside and the contamination risk is much higher when the people density is up.

There is some evidence that is does actually relate to the bad whether.

about a year ago

Turning a Smart Phone Into a Microscope

sleepypsycho Re:Fluorescent detection yes, but not a microscope (43 comments)

It seems to me there is information there. A tiny particle blurs to 2 um. Hence it clear that you can't meaningfully distinguish between to particles less then roughly 1 um. However, if the particles are 4 um apart I can definitely distinguish them. I am sure I can do this because if I look at the image present, the dot is blurred, meaning there are multiple pixel for the single spot. Sure it is possible the that the image is super zoomed up and what we are seeing is software smoothing of a single pixel or some kind of compression algorithm creating a false sense of resolution. To my eye this does not seem to be the case [yes, very subjective/speculative statement here]. Phone cameras are now boasting 41 MPixel chips This is a lot higher spacial resolution than most scientific cameras used with fluorescent microscopes so it is not far fetched to expect camera resolution is not the limiting factor. So yes, there is a little bit of assumption that the people who built this thing knew a little bit about what they are doing and are purely "faking" it. With that in mind the basis for my claims is there in the article.

Of course the other post has plenty of hand waving. The only point of that is that there are reasons why the particular implementation may not be stupid, not that I know all the details of what was done.

1 year,1 day

Turning a Smart Phone Into a Microscope

sleepypsycho Re:Fluorescent detection yes, but not a microscope (43 comments)

It certainly is a microscope. It can build up an image out of those dots. The real question is what is the true resolution and are there meaningful applications for that resolution. Plenty of interesting things can be found without high resolution, so there needs to value provide the resolution. Those tiny dots are blurring to about 2 um. Individual cells are roughly 4 to 8 um range. So you can probably spot individual cells. This is a lot more valuable with second image, either transmitted light or a second fluorescent wavelength. With two images you can do % of cells of a certain type. For example, percent of live cells, percent of cells with a specific protein etc. You can probably get reasonable number just by coverage areas even if the cells are not separable. What you can do with a single wavelength is more limited. You can get more accurate counts, Maybe you can develop a two stage assay: Stain for article of interest, Take a picture. Stain for all cells. Now you have %.

1 year,2 days

Turning a Smart Phone Into a Microscope

sleepypsycho Re:Can't... take... the STUPID! (43 comments)

It is not so stupid as it sounds. Yes, they basically attached a fluorescent microscope. However, there was some engineering involved and there area some benefits over a web cam.
- Built in capabilities.
      - connectivity allowing for remote diagnoses, software upgrades etc
      - phone providing very large range of travel and maintaining data access
      - storage of image can be linked with other patient data
      - OS for automatic analysis, image enhancement etc
      - high quality monitor with build in zoom function
- Versatility. Other aspects of the phone can be used for other apps such as making phone call, looking up research or related material, GPS
- Ubiquity. Smart phones are showing up all over the place,
        - third world countries are skipping wired and going directly to wireless
        - used equipment is available cheaply and deliver significant bang for the buck because the original purchase was defrayed by data plan
- Camera quality. Phone camera quality has become quite good.
- Engineering the fluorescent microscope to the form factor is not trivial.
All that said, staining is probably a pretty big hurdle for field diagnostics. On the other hand a mobile clinic might have more capabilities. The device would not need to be used by one doctor making a house call..

1 year,2 days

Software Glitch Means Loss of NASA's Deep Impact Comet Probe

sleepypsycho Re:A little more info from NASA (65 comments)

No, no, no,I was *joking*! It really is Y2K like? Actually, I remember there were a couple of other Y2K style rollover dates people were warning about, although I can't recall if 2013 was one.

So this is now my 3rd favorite software bug, following:
1) Ariane 5 16 bit speed roll over
2) Mars Climate Orbiter pound-force/newtons fiasco

1 year,2 days

Software Glitch Means Loss of NASA's Deep Impact Comet Probe

sleepypsycho Re:A little more info from NASA (65 comments)

Although the exact cause of the loss is not known, analysis has uncovered a potential problem with computer time tagging that could have led to loss of control for Deep Impact's orientation.

Aha! Y2K. The time tagging problem is a little worse than presented.

1 year,2 days

Google Tackles Health

sleepypsycho Re:how about fighting poverty (115 comments)

False Dichotomy.

Absolutely. There are many worthy causes: poverty, global warming, drugs, censorship, domestic violence, corruption, election reform, on and on. A worthy cause is just that, worthy. Working on a worthy cause should be applauded, not belittled because it is not worthy enough. In some cases, as presumably this one, the cause is combined with a profit motive. It is still better than profiting off of misery.

1 year,4 days

Physicists Discover Geometry Underlying Particle Physics

sleepypsycho Re:Its all... (600 comments)


1 year,4 days

The last time I used a dial-up modem was...

sleepypsycho In my day... (410 comments)

In my day we had 9600 baud and we were glad to have it! When it made this horrible screeching sound you new it was working. Kids today with their "wifi" and their "smart phones", "Ohhh, this video clip has been buffering for 10 seconds, someone come help me" Bah.

1 year,5 days

The last time I used a dial-up modem was...

sleepypsycho Re:Missing Option. (410 comments)

I am the one who is amazed. You've got the next great scifi author or inventor on your hands. The closest my son (age 10) has come to that is tell me about the cool all in one tool he would like to have in minecraft. :)

Actually I my son's views on computer games quite interesting. At his age, I was in the pre-modem era and it was a few years before I encountered my first text adventure game.

1 year,5 days

Dogs Love Robots, Prefer Humans

sleepypsycho What about dog-bots? (45 comments)

The way the dogs interact with robots programmed to interact like human's seems pretty analogous to the way humans interact with robot pets. How do dogs interact with robots that are programmed to act like dogs? Then we can see how the dog-bots interact with robots. Now lets add some cat-bots, mouse-bots and cheese-bots. When you stir this pot I think you end up with a Tom and Jerry cartoon that may already exist.

1 year,9 days

Robot Produces Paintings With That 'Imperfect' Human Look

sleepypsycho Stroke for stroke copy ~= $500 (74 comments)

Copying stroke for stroke is a different thing altogether. There is a whole industry for this. Price ranges with quality. Genuine paintings done by hand go from $200 to somewhere around $10,000 to $15,000 I think. They are not priceless. There is something about human nature the values the original. The price of art is a pure economic ideal. It is worth exactly what someone is willing to pay for it, so you can't really argue that someone overpaid.

The high end copies entail using the same techniques and materials which can be quite laborious. Some material are hand made and recreation requires a lot of specialized knowledge practice. Working with the material also takes lots of skill and practice. Glazing techniques, etc take a long time are more that stroke copy. Even if the robot can make the exact marks, the materials will come from someone else,

So if the robot is very good a stroke for stroke copy it would be better than what the low end people are producing. However, making the material and some techniques are probably outside a stroke for stroke copy. So I estimate the value at $500.

about a year ago

Robot Produces Paintings With That 'Imperfect' Human Look

sleepypsycho No art interest (74 comments)

As a someone with a Masters of Fine Art in painting, I can tell you there is not a lot of interest relating to art.

First: "Our hypothesis is that painting ... can be seen as optimization processes in which color is manually distributed on a canvas until the painter is able to recognize the content" is off base
All the lines in all the work are all the same length and thickness. Almost no artist simple distributes color. Artist chose details and focus.In this case David is being helped because it is using composed photography to copy.

Second: Even if they could get close to copying human style, it is not that interesting precisely because it is following an algorithm. The idea "the machine might enable new techniques since labor plays no role any more" is pretty weak. Artists typical employ computers to do what a computer does well, not to imitate humans. It is quite possible someone will actually do precisely what the authors suggest and use the machines ability for work without rest. There are always artist who find ways to use tools in new ways or to use them to make commentary on the process. This puts the robot in the same league as a chainsaw for carving wood, or paint that drips down from a rope.

As someone who as worked with machine learning a bit, there is not a huge amount of interest here either.

All in all it was probably fun and interesting to work on, but not all the interesting to read about or watch.

about a year ago

A Circular New York City Subway Map To Straighten Things Out

sleepypsycho Trickery (124 comments)

Comparing the maps side by side, the most noticeable difference is the font size and the thickness of the route lines. This makes it seem more organized and less squeezed together. But in reality, to be able to read it from the same distance it would have to be in a larger format.

You can probably "improve" the current map by the same techniques and not have the same level of distortion. Maybe, a more detailed version can be put in pamphlet form and large station kiosks and the current form can go in each train.

about a year ago



Poll Question: Who controls the AC at work?

sleepypsycho sleepypsycho writes  |  about 4 months ago

sleepypsycho (1335401) writes "o Don't know/don't care, every one is always comfortable
o Immutable powers (upper management, building owners, etc) who keep it sweltering to save a nickle
o Immutable powers who keep it cold because they once read that productivity is highest at 65 degrees
o Laws of physics and bad engineering, randomly making any given room +/- 10 from comfortable
o Everyone with open access to the thermostat, ensuring a constant hot / cold war
o Middle manager who has put a stop to the temperature war to no one's satisfaction
o It is always cool and comfy here in my mother's basement"


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