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Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

xepel The problem is the solution! (366 comments)

Ah, but then we can also just select for embryos that will be apathetic about the ethical issues surrounding this procedure. In a few generations... problem solved!

about 3 months ago

Microsoft Announces Windows 10

xepel Everything makes sense now! (644 comments)

I used to think that Microsoft's problems were due to leadership issues and completely ignoring their userbase's wants and needs...

But no! Really, the problem is that they've been coding everything in base 9!

about 4 months ago

Apple Sells More Than 10 Million New iPhones In First 3 Days

xepel Re:Misattributed to P.T. Barnum (206 comments)

Your abuse of significant digits is making statisticians cry. :(

about 4 months ago

California City Considers Restarting Desalination Plant To Fight Drought

xepel Re:And with that yoiu get POWER! (420 comments)

This doesn't make any sense physically.

Lets say you go moderately deep, and have a pressure differential of 10 atmospheres (say 11 atm on the outside, and 1 on the inside). The pressure differential causes water to be pumped into the container until there is no pressure difference and the water flow stops. To restore the pressure differential you need to pump the water out - so you'd need the pump to provide 10 atm of pressure to evacuate the chamber.

At that point, why not just have a pump here on the surface to provide the 10 atm of pressure and not deal with the hassle of pumping it up from under the ocean needlessly? You negate the energy gained from the ocean depths by bringing that water back up the surface.

This is magical thinking where you coast your bike down a 10 foot ramp and expect to go 20 feet up on the other side.

about 9 months ago

Geologists Warned of Washington State Mudslides For Decades

xepel Re:Muh freedoms! (230 comments)

"But you ARE gonna insure me!"

about 10 months ago

Multivitamin Researchers Say 'Case Is Closed' As Studies Find No Health Benefits

xepel Science-Based Medicine (554 comments)

I know people have been hating on this article because it only addresses a few specific conditions, but it is one in a long line of studies that have shown vitamin supplements to have no positive (and occasionally negative!) effects, unless you are actually deficient in that vitamin.

People are so taken by advertisements and anecdotes about vitamins that they neglect the reality. If you hear a commercial that says "You might be deficient in X!" you suddenly need to take that vitamin/mineral "just in case." Rinse and repeat for every single vitamin, mineral, or "energy/immune/etc booster," and suddenly you're taking 100+ supplements and spending an excessive amount on useless pills.

The takeaway is this:

Unless you actually have a condition that requires you to supplement a specific nutrient, you do not need to take vitamins, to say nothing of multivitamins.

If you are concerned that you are actually deficient, go get a blood test from your doctor. Saving yourself the cost of supplementation over the next 20 years when you find out that you don't actually need them will more than pay for the appointment.

about a year ago

A Live Map of Ongoing DDoS Attacks

xepel The DARE of DDoS (46 comments)

I certainly hope this isn't like DARE, or else it'll encourage an entire generation of kids to experiment with DDoS...

about a year ago

The Man Who Convinced Us We Needed Vitamin Supplements

xepel Re:Peer review (707 comments)

According to your very own definition of a quack ("someone who doesn't use the right process, who avoids peer review, who insists they can't be wrong"), Pauling *was* a quack.

Yes, he had two nobel prizes in a completely unrelated field. Just because he was an expert in that field does not mean that he is an expert in all fields, nor does it mean that he even felt he should use the scientific method in other fields. (Obligatory SMBC.)

There had already been studies showing Vitamin C didn't cure colds before Pauling made his claim. His (completely anecdotal) claim made other people do *more* studies which also showed no link between Vit. C and curing anything. From the article: "Although study after study showed that he was wrong, Pauling refused to believe it, continuing to promote vitamin C in speeches, popular articles, and books."

Yes, he was a smart guy and brilliant in some ways. But in medicine, he was a quack, by your own definition.

about a year and a half ago

EA Responds To Its Appearance In the 'Worst Company In America' Poll

xepel Re:Nothing will change (208 comments)

I went to the GDC talk by SimCity's lead designer. He said that city type is equivalent to a retirement community, and is a legitimate city design. I of course think it's just a rationalization, but...

about 2 years ago

Man Who Downloaded Bomb Recipes Jailed For 2 Years

xepel Re:This isn't as bad as it looks (741 comments)

It is still a thought-crime, however. He bought no weapons, built no bombs, created no toxins. He did nothing but possess knowledge and harbor some crazy fantasies. If he had started to enact those fantasies, I would totally agree that he would have to be arrested. Until that point, however, he had committed no physical crime.

It's interesting that you can get over two years of prison time just for *thinking* about doing something bad, but if you are in the right position, you can murder 24 civilians and get away with it.

more than 2 years ago

The New Transparency of War and Lethality of Hatred

xepel Differing Standards (591 comments)

I never quite understood why it is so abhorrent (by comparison) to do things to dead bodies (which cannot feel or be affected by such acts) while the actual act of killing those people (which obviously affects those people quite a bit...) doesn't get much mention. We don't care that these men were killed, we care that they were peed on afterward. Why the differing standards?

about 3 years ago

Nanocoating Waterproofs Any Gadget

xepel Re:Boats... (314 comments)

I think the idea behind coating electronics is that you can coat them both inside *and* outside. When you are applying such a thin layer of (what is apparently) plastic, you have to worry about friction wearing off the coating on the outside. When it's also applied to the inside electronics, which are not exposed to wear and tear, those parts can stay waterproof over a long time, keeping the device safe.

A boat is different, however. Instead of applying this waterproofing to inside, non-worn parts, you'd be applying it to the outside of the hull. Those are the parts which would receive the most friction, and would likely cause the coating to wear off very quickly. Unless you plan on coating your boat before every ride, I have doubts that this would be terribly (long-term) useful.

about 3 years ago

Face-Scanning Vending Machine Denies Children Access To Pudding

xepel Re:Alcoholic puddings? (215 comments)

Read the article. They aren't restricting who can buy their products. They are only restricting who can get *free samples.* No shopkeep or store will refuse to sell these pudding cakes to children, but the company can certainly refuse to give *free samples* to children (who are not their target market).

more than 3 years ago

The Internet's New Alternate Reality

xepel Re:this summary oozes political bias (869 comments)

What makes you think that Obama should've immediately posted his long-form birth certificate long ago?

It's only a "red flag" to people who are already overly suspicious. No other president or presidential candidate has ever had to prove their place of birth, why should Obama simply because some people are trolling around for a reason to disqualify him as a legitimate president? I won't even get in to the racial overtones.

What's next? Demand all his college transcripts! If he doesn't release them *immediately* then it is clearly a "red flag" that he didn't actually go to college and that the CIA must be mocking up documents right now. Demand his driver's license! It may be a "red flag" that he actually doesn't know how to drive a car. Demand his vaccination records! If he doesn't it's a "red flag" that he's actually an anti-vaxxer.

It's not OK to demand unreasonable things and then say that since he didn't immediately comply with your demands, it's a "red flag" that your conspiracy theories are true. Additionally, once he *does* comply with your first demand, what's to stop you from making more and more demands until you get the "red flag" that you want?

more than 3 years ago

Variety, Social Aspects More Important To Game Success Than Graphics, Plot

xepel In practice, theory and practice are different... (236 comments)

I feel like in an ideal world, this could certainly be correct. Everyone likes a fun, social game, right?

Except this isn't always the case.

As seen in another recent posting, you tend to get pushed to the 'indie' section of gaming if you don't have the visuals that people want. People like looking at pretty screen-candy, and game makers know to indulge people in this. You can certainly have good games without amazing visuals, but they won't ever be mainstream.

Most people love their graphics, even if they'll then claim 'gameplay' is important on some survey.

more than 5 years ago

The Future of Indie MMOGs

xepel Graphics Cost Money - But Gameplay Doesn't Have To (69 comments)

I think the problem with most 'indie' games is that they don't have boatloads of cash behind them which seems necessary to have 'supercool bleeding-edge graphics.' So you automatically lose all the people who won't play anything that isn't 'pretty enough.' Fact is, it takes a bit of time and effort to explore the game and see how gameplay is. It's a ton easier to simply see the graphics and make a judgment on that. I have been playing an 'indie' MMORPG - Clanlord (www.clanlord.com) - for a good 10 years now. The population is small, and the graphics still look 10 years old, but I think it's a really fun game. It won't bring in those people who need the supreme graphics, but you get to know everyone, people are mature, and you get to play things in a different way than many other MORPG. Hey, it even has no monthly fee now, which is almost necessary when competing against all the other options. CL will be an Indie MMOG for years to come, even if it doesn't have the largest playerbase. And that's where I expect most indie games to be - niche games that do well in their niche, but that's about it.

more than 5 years ago

How Much Money Do Free-To-Play MMOs Make?

xepel Re:Dear free MMO companies (157 comments)

ClanLord (www.clanlord.com) is a 'free' game for Macintosh. You pay ~$15 for the account, but there are no monthly charges past then (which is fairly new, it used to be pay by month). It's been around for 10 years (and looks it), but I love it, personally.

more than 5 years ago


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