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Comments

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Soda Pop Damages Your Cells' Telomeres

v1x Re:Overly broad? (422 comments)

And here is the author's disclosure from the article, available on PubMedCentral: "Author disclosures: J. M. Rippe, consulting fees from ConAgra Foods, PepsiCo International, Kraft Foods, the Corn Refiners Association, and Weight Watchers International." Still think the study is credible?

about two weeks ago
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Lawsuit: Oracle Called $50K 'Good Money For an Indian'

v1x EEOC (409 comments)

According to http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/fs-nator.cfm it seems like prohibition from workplace discrimination based on national origin extends to hiring. Unfortunately, the most likely outcome of a lawsuit like this one would be a fat settlement for this indivisual, after which, it will be business as usual at Oracle and at other companies with similar hiring practices.

about 9 months ago
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Indian Prime Minister Formally Announces Mars Mission

v1x Timing of the announcement (212 comments)

Well, the Indian economy has slowed down considerably, investor confidence is down, and years later, many of the problems noted in the posts above still remain to be solved. While this mission had been previously reported in other sources, the linked article was published on August 15--Indian Independence day--so the official announcement by the PM sounds more like the kind of feel-good pitch that one can expect in any 'address to the nation,' in most places in the world. The Chandrayaan mission was similarly announced 9 years ago during an independence day speech by a former PM, and completed 5 years later, although the costs ($90 million) were substantially higher than initially announced. Given that track record, it seems highly unlikely that this project can be pulled off in $100 million, although I suppose like any government initiative, the project probably has a better chance of getting funded if the scientists asked for that amount than what it might actually take (say, 10 times as much?), and then ask for more later! :-) At the end of the day, any kind of government investing in science is a good thing, and the recent Mars Curiosity landing is more evidence that a space mission captures people's imaginations like nothing else. Hopefully, this mission will have that kind of effect on the next generation of students in India.

more than 2 years ago
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Immigrants Crucial To Innovation

v1x Legal immigration for skilled immigrants (463 comments)

There has been at least one bill in recent years--HR 3012--which would have made legal immigration easier for highly skilled workers, and which was passed with an overwhelming majority in the House (389/15), only to be placed on hold indefinitely by Sen. Chuck Grassley in the Senate. The way I see it, 389 votes in favor of such reform suggests that the majority of Americans support such a move, but there seem to be many (largely) political hurdles to overcome before anything concrete actually gets done about it.

more than 2 years ago
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Dark Days Ahead For Facebook and Google?

v1x Google's mobile Ad revenue (215 comments)

According to this article, Google is estimated to bring in $4 billion in mobile Ad revenue in 2012. Even if these estimates were off by (a generous) 25%, that still sounds like a lot of money. What exactly am I missing here that led the Forbes author to predict Google's demise? I must admit I don't know much about where Facebook stands in this regard.

more than 2 years ago
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Don't Worry About Global Warming, Say 16 Scientists in the WSJ

v1x This sounds awfully familiar (1367 comments)

I recall reading about these sort of opinions before with regard to both climate change and evolution, and the common thread seems to be the amount of attention given by the American news media. Differences of opinion, although common in every field, don't quite seem to get that kind of attention unless someone conveniently benefits from giving them press. Would be interesting to find out years later, if this latest opinion-piece was somehow published in response to the recent interest by the NCSE to start educating people about climate change, also explained further here.

more than 2 years ago
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Google+ Opens To Businesses With 'Pages'

v1x Naming policy (159 comments)

Apparently, their naming policy is still very much geared toward individual users. Upon trying to create a page for my non-profit, we were first required to update our profile, and then warned that our name was not consistent with their naming policy, so I had to update it. After doing so, it allowed me to create a page, but the profile has a warning saying that it has been disabled because our name was flagged as being inconsistent with their policy. I understand that this is in an alpha stage, but the process needs to be significantly simpler, without imposing unnecessary restrictions on names and such.

more than 2 years ago
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Intel To Offer CPU Upgrades Via Software

v1x Re:Wow (499 comments)

The software download itself is free, although upon running the tool, it brings up the following message on one of the dialog screens, "During the upgrade process, you will enter the PIN number from the upgrade card you purchased," which suggests that they are charging for it. Sadly, my computer is not upgradeable by this method.

more than 3 years ago
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Why Published Research Findings Are Often False

v1x Grant writing cycle (453 comments)

In my field, I have noticed that the grant writing cycle often drives researchers to propose doing things that are inherently difficult to do outside a particular setting (e.g. an academic medical center), but which is helpful in getting funding for research. One of the undesirable consequences of such research then is that it is either difficult to reproduce the exact setting (and consequently the results) elsewhere, and it can lead to findings that have limited external validity.

more than 3 years ago
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Dell Says 90% of Recorded Business Data Is Never Read

v1x Data warehousing (224 comments)

I have serious doubts about how they came up with that number. Data captured once can be stored in a data warehouse and analyzed and reused in many different ways for analytics and reporting, so I am not sure how they estimate that 90% of data is never used again (unless, of course they meant that it is not pulled up again on the frontend application side, which would still make no sense at all).

At our hospital, they have replaced the inpatient electronic medical records system at least 3 times in the last 20 years, and our data warehouse, which has been around for more than 15 years, contains a large percentage of that clinical data from the different (current & historical) systems. A lot of this data is still used pretty actively for retrospective research, recruitment of patients for clinical trials, operational and financial resource planning, forecasting, cost-accounting, etc. In other words, at our institution, most of our data is used all the time, but for different purposes.

more than 4 years ago
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Google Builds a Native PDF Reader Into Chrome

v1x A look inside chrome://plugins/ reveals: (285 comments)

Google's PDF plugin:
C:\Users\#########\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\6.0.437.3\pdf.dll (MIME type: application/pdf)

Adobe's PDF plugin:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Acrobat 9.0\Acrobat\Browser\nppdf32.dll (MIME types: application/pdf, application/vnd.adobe.pdfxml, application/vnd.adobe.x-mars, application/vnd.fdf, application/vnd.adobe.xfdf, application/vnd.adobe.xdp+xml, application/vnd.adobe.xfd+xml)

The files themselves appear to be quite different, and handle different MIME types, so hopefully this is not simply Adobe's stuff packaged within Chrome.

more than 4 years ago
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US District Judge Rules Gene Patents Invalid

v1x Patents Vs Incentives for Research (263 comments)

The question of what might happen to research in the absence of patents or without the prospect of commercialization is an interesting one by itself, and many slashdot readers have noted the pros and cons of patents in the posts above. As is evident from the publications describing the evidence for these genes--and arguably also the publications that preceded these specific discoveries--a large body of this research was supported by pubic funding.
Therefore if there were any serious argument in favor of the patentability of genes, then I would argue that the taxpayers that bore the burden of supporting such research are also entitled to a stake in the returns from the patents. In the very least, they could start by paying the NIH and other sponsors of their research in the same way that they pay the Universities where the research is typically conducted, so that these funding agencies may then invest in other researchers.

more than 4 years ago
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A Skeptical Comparison of HTML5 Video Playback To Flash

v1x How about running the tests on commodity hardware? (391 comments)

FTA, the author conducted his 'tests' on a Mac Pro with a two Quad-Core Intel Xeon, 3 GHz processors (8 cores), with 12 MB L2 Cache, 8GB RAM. Needless to say, this is not the average user's computer, and any differences in performance between flash on Windows on Mac will become less obvious due to the sheer computational power available. The tests would be more convincing if they were run on lesser hardware such as a Mac mini, where the differences in performance are far more noticeable (typing this on a Mac mini), so I dispute one of the main conclusions in the article: 'From these tests, Flash content does not perform consistently worse on Mac than on Windows.'

more than 4 years ago
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Armed Robot Drones To Join UK Police Force

v1x Inaccurate summary (311 comments)

FTA:

Surveillance is only the start, however. Military drones quickly moved from reconnaissance to strike, and if the British police follow suit, their drones could be armed -- but with non-lethal weapons rather than Hellfire missiles.

The article suggests that they could potentially go the same way as the military, although the title/summary makes it appear as if it were a certainty.

more than 4 years ago
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Data Mining Competition To Improve Drug Safety

v1x Re:HIPAA anyone? (36 comments)

If the data-set has been completely de-identified (with the actual dates of all events truncated/obfuscated), or otherwise meets the criteria defined under the HIPAA Safe Harbor de-identification method, then it is not considered to be a HIPAA violation.

more than 4 years ago
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Critics Call For NASA TV To "Liven Up"

v1x Budget, etc. (305 comments)

The network's budget -- $1.5 million a year -- is a pittance even compared with certain programs on National Public Radio, he said, and NASA TV's full-time staff of 18 people, based in Washington, D.C., cannot hope to create the sort of polished productions that grace "Nova" and the Discovery Channel.

That about explains it all for me. Given their budget, does it really surprise anyone that their programming isn't as 'lively' as some of the other networks? In addition, there are people like myself who simply prefer getting the facts, and find more recent programming from networks like Discovery to be somewhat sensational and lightweight in content.

more than 4 years ago
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The US's Reverse Brain Drain

v1x Re:Sounds good to me (757 comments)

It's more cool to be a half-drunk celebrity reality show subject than a top Engineer.

That is not always true, and I know this from watching TV. ;)

about 5 years ago
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IBM Uses Call-Detail Records To Identify "Friends"

v1x Re:How the mighty have fallen (116 comments)

I guess it was a matter of time before "IBM India Research Lab" produced something like this. They certainly haven't been producing any real business machines or providing decent customer service to IBM Global Services customers.

I fail to understand the rationale (if there is one) behind how the geographic location of a research project might make a difference, but even so, it would appear that the corresponding author in the manuscript is from 'University of Maryland, Baltimore County.' Apart from the above statement, I also do not understand the wisdom behind expecting 'customer service' from a 'Research Lab,' simply because it is located in India--apparently IBM has research labs in many other parts of the world, but there isn't an unspoken expectation of 'customer service' from research labs anywhere else in the world.

more than 5 years ago
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Do Any Companies Power Down at Night?

v1x A few questions... (646 comments)

"My Health Sciences Campus has about 8,000 desktop computers, and on any given night about half of them are left on."
Since you mention that this is a health sciences campus, one of my question is whether the network is shared by the hospital and it's departments, because if that is the case, then it might not be that simple. If the hospital is 'wired' enough in terms of electronic medical records, etc., then having various workstations powered off may not make too much sense. The cost of having clinicians wait for a workstation to become 'available' may in fact be greater than that of leaving these on. Hospitals (at least academic medical centers) are not your typical 'companies' in the sense that things never stop happening there on nights and weekends. So some of the suggestions regarding shutting down network switches, or enforcing workstation policies may not be applicable at all.

more than 6 years ago

Submissions

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Do foreign IT Pros. drive down wages in the US?

v1x v1x writes  |  more than 4 years ago

v1x (528604) writes "There has been a lot of debate on slashdot over this topic and recently, findings published in Management Science Vol. 56, No. 5, May 2010, pp. 745-765 concludes, "The salary premiums for non-U.S. citizens and for those on work visas fluctuate in response to supply shocks created by the annual caps on new H-1B visas. Setting lower and fully utilized annual caps results in higher salary premiums for non-U.S. citizens and those with work visas." Also covered in The Register"
Link to Original Source
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Things to look for in a web hosting company

v1x v1x writes  |  more than 4 years ago

v1x (528604) writes "I have had an account with my current web hosting company for a few years, with 3 domains being hosted there (using: linux/php/MySQL). Recently, all three of these websites stopped functioning, and upon checking the site, all my directory structures were intact, whereas all of the files were gone. Upon contacting their technical support, I was given the run-around, and later informed by one of their administrators that none of the files could be restored. Needless to say that I am looking for a different web hosting company at this point, but I would like to make a more informed choice than I did with the current company. Do slashdotters have recommendations on what to look for when choosing a web hosting company? I have read a similar slashdot article on the topic, but the questions posed there were slightly different, and that article was posted at least 5 years ago. Thank you."

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