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Netropolitan Is a Facebook For the Affluent, and It's Only $9000 To Join

theVarangian Re:Blatant slashvertisement (178 comments)

Nope. But you can start your own version of Slashdot, and ask $9000 to join.

He did that already, the only member so far is Larry Ellison.

about a month ago
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Europeans Came From Three Ancestry Groupings

theVarangian Re:Fair and darker skin (85 comments)

Did you read the original article rather than just skim over it? One of the surprises is that there is a third component in European ancestry. Another surprise is that the blue eyes apparently came with dark skin and the lighter skin colour came with brown eyes.

The third interesting thing is that two of our lineages are very old, but a third contribution came in around 7000 years ago, just at the same time as agriculture. It makes sense, IMO - agriculture meant that this particular group became dominant and thus contributed disproportionately more to the gene pool in a relatively short time.

I did and it is interesting, especially the part where it says that Northern Europeans are more strongly related to the original European hunter gatherers who presumably were the population that absorbed the original eurasian Neandertahl and Densiovian populations. It's gotten me even more interested in getting my DNA analyzed for archaic human ancestry. It would be ever so cool to find out I'm in the high range with 4-5% or more Neanderthal DNA or perhaps even coolest of all, Neandertahl mtDNA.

about a month ago
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DNA Reveals History of Vanished "Paleo-Eskimos"

theVarangian Re:Today's (57 comments)

Because scientists require more than a good story, they require evidence that a good story might be waiting in the wings, and then when they get enough of this evidence together, they start to reconstruct the story.

The reason the ideas above aren't taught has little to do with ego, scientists have huge egos in the sense of wanting to strike virgin ground in the realm of knowledge. If they had access to the evidence, they'd be climbing over each other to be the first to publish. The reason it hasn't happened isn't due to personality, it's due to lack of evidence.

Also, keep in mind that any evidence isn't good evidence. It has to be evidence that differentiates one theory from another, as outstanding claims require outstanding evidence. Likewise, lack of evidence doesn't imply it didn't happen, it's just not something to be considered as we have nothing to back up our statements. Without the proof to back up statements, there would be little difference between science and some forms of science fiction.

They're not 'ideas', there is now actual DNA evidence for the presence of a Native Americans in Europe before Columbus. The same goes for Polynesians visiting America there is enough evidence to warrant further investigation. Polynesians found tiny little islands but missed two ginormous continents? Really? I'm no scientist but I do know enough about navigation to know that this suggestion is just plain stupid. It's a bit of a catch 22, if you are unwilling to investigate anything without evidence than you never find any evidence because you never investigate anything. People like you is the reason we need nutty scientists who go out on a limb. Sometimes they actually discover something that runs contrary to everything their more conservative colleagues held to be unchallengeable truths and often these colleagues are people who dominate a field, i.e. the 'great egos'. My favorite example of this is probably the supposed impossibility of there being Neanderthal DNA in modern humans. There were a number of great scientific egos who dominated the field of paleontology who ended up with egg all over their faces over that one, especially Ian Tattersall. Tattersall never went looking because there was no evidence, Svante Pääbo went and did something that was supposed to be impossible and then he actually went looking for something despite having no evidence and lo and behold he found found it.

about 2 months ago
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Grand Ayatollah Says High Speed Internet Is "Against Moral Standards"

theVarangian Re:If the Grand Ayatollah's against it.... (542 comments)

In general, there are 4 stages to Islamic conquest.

1) When they are a tiny minority they only want to live, and worship, in peace.

2) Once they are a bigger minority, they start demanding special laws to respect their religion and culture. This is happening in many European nations right now. These special laws may directly oppose fundamental rights in western countries.

3) Once they are a sizable minority: they drop the mask, and the gloves come off. Time to violently overthrow the existing religion and culture. This has been going on throughout Islamic history. This is going on in Thailand right now.

4) Once Muslims are in charge, it is no different than any other mid-east nation.

Even getting to stage 2 is too much for many Americans. Lots of Americans do not want to give up stuff like freedom of speech, or freedom of press, freedom of religion.

You just described the rise of Christianity in the Roman empire.

about 2 months ago
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Grand Ayatollah Says High Speed Internet Is "Against Moral Standards"

theVarangian Re:If the Grand Ayatollah's against it.... (542 comments)

When has "fact" had anything to do with religious outrage?

Religious outrage, racist outrage, nationalist outrage. They are all equally stupid. I have had a long series of strange discussions with people of all these denominations about the building of a Mosque in my town. The argumentation goes that: "Do you know how many Churches there are in Saudi Arabia? Have you seen what they are doing to Christians in Iraq!?! We must ban mosques immediately to prevent this from happening here before the Moslems rise up and impose Sharia law on all of us!!!". Really? Says I, for one thing our moslems are a small and moderate minority; how are they supposed to impose Sharia law on us (Answer: Uhhhhhhhhmmmmm.... Uhhhh.... I just fear that they just will!). Secondly I find it interesting that you are implying that one can use the stupidity and cruelty of people in other countries to justify doing stupid and cruel things to innocent people in your own country? In that case did you notice what the Serbs did to Moslems in Bosnia? Did you notice what the white patriotic christian knights of the Ku Klux Klan did to African Americans, Latinos and other minorities in the USA? We must ban Christianity immediately!!! Remarkably enough they considered equating all moslems with ISIS and banning Islam to be a reasonable and natural thing to do (even though the local moslem community is just about the most peaceful and law abiding group of people in our country) but they went absolutely apeshit when I applied their own logic to Christianity. It got even funnier when I pointed out that both the Serbs and the Ku Klux Klan are white and perhaps we should ban white people since most of the people involved in this discussion including my self were white. I just find it endlessly fascinating how the minds of these people work. They keep citing the Constitution when it supports their point of view but then they want to ban Moslems from practicing their religion, ban immigration of non-whites or put gay people in jail for offending christian fanatics everywhere by existing the Constitution can apparently be ignored.

about 2 months ago
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Eruption Of Iceland's Bardarbunga Raises Travel Alert to Red

theVarangian YouTube (38 comments)

Why is it that when a thing like this happens (supposedly), we're directed to the misguided BBC, and to cowardous CNN? Doesn't Iceland have some kind of geologic society or meteorlogic society that issues reports based on adequate, current, hot-off-the-volcano scientific data?

The icelandic met office has a site that tracks seismic activity (read: earthquakes), they have an english website: http://en.vedur.is/#tab=skjalf... The University of Iceland's institute of earth sciences has a news page in english: http://earthice.hi.is/bardarbu... They have also set up a number of webcams: http://www.livefromiceland.is/... (Vaðalda, north of Vatnajökull, towards Bárðabunga) http://vedur2.mogt.is/grimsfja... (Grímsfjall) http://vedur2.mogt.is/kverkfjo... (Kverkfjöll) Not very spectacular sites but the content is a bit better than most of the bullshit you are likely to get from the corporate media.

There is now also a YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

about a month ago
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Eruption Of Iceland's Bardarbunga Raises Travel Alert to Red

theVarangian Re:How is it (38 comments)

Why is it that when a thing like this happens (supposedly), we're directed to the misguided BBC, and to cowardous CNN? Doesn't Iceland have some kind of geologic society or meteorlogic society that issues reports based on adequate, current, hot-off-the-volcano scientific data?

The icelandic met office has a site that tracks seismic activity (read: earthquakes), they have an english website: http://en.vedur.is/#tab=skjalf...

The University of Iceland's institute of earth sciences has a news page in english: http://earthice.hi.is/bardarbu...

They have also set up a number of webcams:
http://www.livefromiceland.is/... (Vaðalda, north of Vatnajökull, towards Bárðabunga)
http://vedur2.mogt.is/grimsfja... (Grímsfjall)
http://vedur2.mogt.is/kverkfjo... (Kverkfjöll)

Not very spectacular sites but the content is a bit better than most of the bullshit you are likely to get from the corporate media.

about a month ago
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Iceland's Seismic Activity: A Repeat Show for Atmospheric Ash?

theVarangian Re:At least you can pronounce Bardarbunga (69 comments)

At least you can pronounce Bardarbunga.

It is a composite word: Bárður - A man's name. Bunga - In this context it means mountain or peak. So in English: "Bárður's Peak"

about 2 months ago
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Mt. Fuji Volcano In 'Critical State' After Quakes

theVarangian Re:Great (151 comments)

Oh, you want to be pedantic? Let's be pedantic, then!

Scandinavian languages don't have "umlauts". "Umlaut" is a concept from German, where vowels are modified into different forms and marked with an umlaut mark. Other languages, however, just borrow these typographical forms to represent vowels with similar sounds. However, while German considers the vowels a and ä to be variations on the same letter, Scandinavian languages consider these to be separate letters entirely, and place them differently in alphabetical orderings.

Thus, there is no "umlaut" in Eyjafjallajökull, there is merely an "ö" rather than an "o".

In Icelandic 'o' and 'ö' are fairly subtle variations on the same sound, the difference betwee 'o' and 'ö' is only a matter of moving your tongue about 4-5mm forward. Icelandic is near near-isomorphic with with Ancient Norse to the point where some Icelanders can actually stumble their way through inscriptions transcribed into modern alphabet from rune stones over a thousand years old and many can read 12-13th century manuscripts similarly transcribed to modern alphabet pretty clearly, in fact teenagers in Iceland are sometimes required to read portions of sagas in the original medieval Icelandic in secondary school. You can consider Icelandic as something akin to a modern dialect of Ancient Norse whereas the modern Scandinavian languages on the other hand have evolved very far from the original Ancient Norse. The difference is about the same as between modern English and the language spoken in the UK in the 10-13 century. Come to think of it an Icelander would probably have much better luck reading early medieval English than a modern English person. Try getting a Norwegian, Swede or Dane to read a 13th century Icelandic saga manuscript and you'd not have much luck either.

about 3 months ago
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Mt. Fuji Volcano In 'Critical State' After Quakes

theVarangian Re:Great (151 comments)

I'm leaving for Tokyo later this month. At least is easier to pronounce than Eyjafjallajokull.

Eyjafjallajökull let's not forget the umlaut...

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Postgres On Par With Oracle?

theVarangian Re:The sorts of things you get (372 comments)

Oracle's complexity and vendor lock-in is a minus to the extent that if there is *any* other way to solve the problem, including using MS-SQL, Sybase, or even DB2, use the alternative.

My employer has been using AIX for stability reasons for a long time (since the very early 90s). At the moment neither MySQL nor Postgres guarantee AIX ODBC driver support. Only DB2 (obviously), Oracle and Sybase (IIRC) do that so there you are, another reason on to keep dealing with these companies. Whether you use MS-SQL, Sybase, or even DB2 is really irrelevant, they all force a degree of vendor locking, they are expensive and come to think of it, if you want support, MySQL is merely somewhat less expensive than the rest. I will agree that Oracle's pricing is armed robbery but they are not alone. I had a one third party driver vendor ask more money for a MySQL ODBC driver license for AIX (that allowed us to connect to one MySQL instance) than it cost to get a MySQL enterprise license. It was cheaper to migrate to DB2.

about a year ago
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Edward Snowden Leaves Hong Kong

theVarangian Re:BBC and NYT confirm this news (536 comments)

Others speculate that he's only going to Moscow in transit to Iceland (which has offered him asylum) or some other place.

AFAIK Iceland has not offered him asylum. The Icelanders just changed to a fiercely right wing government which has already refused to consider asylum unless Snowden actually lands in Reykjavik and hands in an asylum request in person. That does not exactly indicate much enthusiasm for pissing off Obama and the US Republicans. I'd say Snowden is unlikely to receive much sympathy with the current Icelandic Govt. unless the Icelandic population gets together and to forces them to reconsider by protesting or gathering enough names on a petition. Given the size of the country and the close knit nature of Icelandic society it is actually surprisingly easy to get up to 25-30% of the electorate to sign such a petition if you can stir up enough support.

about a year ago
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How often do friends/family call you for tech support?

theVarangian Re:Never (255 comments)

I totally agree. My father decided to get a iMac. I thought great then I have to keep explaining, finding software and the NAS never worked correctly ! Personally I'm grateful after 7 long years to get him back on Windows 7.

Sounds like the issue may have been with the support person rather than OS X. I've seen a number of Windows people who just never manage to get past the fact that OS X simply doesn't behave like Windows.

When I switched from Windows to Mac - back in 2003 - I initially ran into a number of minor but irritating problems. Eventually a Mac-using friend advised me "Stop thinking about how something would work in Windows, or where you'd find some function in Windows. Think about how it should work, and look there - 90% of the time that will be the correct location."

He was right.

Ditto, a lot of the complaints I get about OS X boil down to it not working like Windows, Gnome, KDE, (name your poison).... The same goes for Gnome 3 haters, Gnome 3 is different, if you want Gnome 2 back get one of the numerous forks and move on. Just stop bothering the rest of us with long rants about how Gnome 3 isn't like Gnome 2.

about a year and a half ago
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How often do friends/family call you for tech support?

theVarangian Re:Never (255 comments)

Moving the family to OSX however did. That was 3 years ago and there has not been a single tech support issue since then.

The question is whether this is because they have no problems, or because they're reluctant to call the person who inflicted OSX on them.

It's OS X not OSX, if you are going to troll this place with juvenile flaimbait, at least try to get your ancronyms right.

about a year and a half ago
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BlackBerry CEO: Tablet Market Is Dying

theVarangian Re:I agree (564 comments)

Eh, I'm the complete opposite. My Nexus 7 has almost completely replaced my laptop and phone (Galaxy Nexus) in my home for "general" usage (web browsing, emailing, e-reading, and watching videos). Hell, I only use a laptop at home for gaming and programming now.

I mostly use my iPad for note taking at work, e-mail, games, movies and several hundred e-books and a pile of photos. A tablet won't replace my laptop any time soon. The virtual keyboards are no good for typing, there are no really good office suites, no proper image processing apps, and try coding on a tablet... yeah right...

about a year and a half ago
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Icelandic Pirate Party Wins 3 seats In Parliament

theVarangian Re:EU looses. Iceland wins. (92 comments)

The WWI Western front is the point of Europe? That's what you said just then.

Yes, WWI and the Sequel WWII are some of the prime motivators behind the European Union. It has grown far beyond that but the people who originated the EU were partially motivated by the idea of preventing future wars by increasing economic integration to the point where war had become a sport that was to expensive to indulge in. and for what little it seems to be worth to conservative anti EU tossers these days, hundreds of thousands of those reasons that are buried in Flanders, and whom the GP spoke of, are British.

Where's Iceland fit into this?

Iceland exports in excess of 70% of it's manufactured goods to the EU. Iceland has enacted about 75-80% of the laws needed to join the EU and Icelandic politicians have proven them selves to be a bunch of incompetent nepotistic tosspots who cant keep the inflation graphs from looking like a set of sharks teeth. If you want to have a laugh compare the inflation graph for Iceland to that of Germany:

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/iceland/inflation-cpi
http://www.tradingeconomics.com/germany/inflation-cpi

Notice how the German figure hovers between 0 and 5%, now compare it to the Icelandic graph. You would laugh even harder if you could see data from before 1989. Inflation in Iceland since 1944 fluctuated between ~3% to as high as 25-30% and occasionally topped 100%. In 1979, these wankers that make up the Icelandic political class, finally had to index-link loans to inflation to motivate capital owners to start loaning money. What that means is that if your loan carries 6% interest and there is 8% inflation you are effectively paying 14% interests. Now try to imagine what happens when inflation hits 20% and you will understand why Icelanders are so angry they are spitting acid. Joining the EU would force their brainless politicos to... well... behave. And additionally when you export 70% of your manufactured goods to the EU it's kind of dumb to want to have no say in how the EU's inner market evolves which makes me wonder why the British, who depend on the EU for 50% or so of their exports want to leave the EU. It's kind of like robbing yourself of the ability to influence how your country is begin governed by voluntarily relinquishing your right to vote.

about a year and a half ago
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Israel Airport Security Allowed To Read Tourists' Email

theVarangian Re:Article has Anti-Semitic Purpose (438 comments)

To generate some sense of outrage against Israel and Jews for doing something that every other country on the planet does

Citation needed. What other counties demand access to tourists' e-mail?

North Korea?

about a year and a half ago
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Fedora 19 Alpha Released

theVarangian Re:Probabilistic distro (83 comments)

That was awesome. But not until I read it.

Right, until then it sucked and was awesome simultaneously.

about a year and a half ago
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Fedora 19 Alpha Released

theVarangian Re:Probabilistic distro (83 comments)

You will not know if it will erase your disk until you try to boot it.

It's more like:

If the display on your Fedora19 box is in sleep mode and you know that the Fedora 19 kernel panics once a day because of a poorly written kernel module you cannot know whether it OS has panicked until you wake the display. Until then all you can do is calculate the probability that the kernel has panicked as the sleep time of the display approaches 24 hours. Thus your Fedora 19 box is both in a state of kernel panic and running normally at the same time until you wake the display and 'fix its state'. The interesting thing is what happens if you try to cheat by pinging your Fedora 19 box from your laptop. Assuming you have a perfect network connection you can only tell whether the system is up or not, you cannot tell whether it's lack of response is due to a kernel panic or a segfault in the network daemon. You can only calculate the probability of the lack of response being due to a panic since, on your badly broken Fedora 19 box, panics happen more frequently than segfaults in inetd do. So you get closer to inferring the state of your Fedora 19 box but you cannot be entirely sure by simply pinging it, you need more information but not so much that you fix the state.

about a year and a half ago

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