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Comment: Re:Recognize the crisis in US Big Pharma... (Score 1) 50

by the gnat (#48467849) Attached to: Canada's Ebola Vaccine Nets Millions For Tiny US Biotech Firm

Free market indeed, it's funny when the market is far freer in a politically communist nation

China has a huge number of trade barriers, including price caps on pharmaceuticals. The other half of the "free(er) market" you're describing is a failure to enforce IP rights (or, possibly, failure by companies to file the relevant patent applications in China, but that seems unlikely), so that pharma companies are having to compete with generic products that would be illegal in the US. You can applaud this if you like, but it's not generally considered a good environment for inventing new drugs.

Comment: Re:50 MILLION DOLLARS! (Score 1) 50

by the gnat (#48467789) Attached to: Canada's Ebola Vaccine Nets Millions For Tiny US Biotech Firm

Of course an experimental ebola vaccine wasn't worth that much in 2010 since the Africans needing it then didn't have lots of cash to pay for it.

Also: it's experimental, which by definition means that someone has to invest a lot of time and money figuring out if it actually works. Drug companies license experimental therapies like this all the time. Nine times out of ten (probably more), they're buying something that turns out to be worthless. When they actually get hold of something that really works, of course it looks like a steal in retrospect, but there's no way to predict that in advance. (Although I do sometimes wonder why academic IP holders don't push for profit-sharing agreements more often.)

Comment: Re:What about long-term data integrity? (Score 1) 392

by nine-times (#48465947) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

but it allows you to recover the data in the event of a hard drive failure (and the loss of data on that drive).

Well, it allows you to recover data in the event of a hardware failure specifically on one of the hard drives, nowhere else, in such a way that doesn't cause data corruption first. In much the same way that if you have a redundant power supply, it will protect you against the specific event of hardware failure where one of your power supplies fails without there being a problem with your power source or damage to any of the other internal components.

That is to say, it's hardware redundancy. Nothing more. Of the events that lead to data loss or power failure, hardware redundancy does protect you against the case where the problem is limited to hardware failure of one of the redundant parts, and everything else works properly. A "backup" however should be a more generalized strategy for protecting against a total loss of the service, i.e. power goes out or data is lost.

Comment: Re:What about long-term data integrity? (Score 1) 392

by nine-times (#48465887) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

And tapes can be lost or corrupted, or someone can burn the building down.

This is an old argument, and every time it gets revisited RAID starts to look better.

This isn't a competition. I'm not saying, "Screw RAID! It's a terrible backup." It's just not a backup. I'm not going to fight with you over this. Go ahead and use RAID as a backup. Maybe you'll be lucky and you'll never need to learn your lesson.

Comment: Not zero cost. (digression on my sig line) (Score 1) 28

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48465363) Attached to: NASA To Deploy Four Spacecraft To Study Magnetic Reconnection

Make a basic income available to everyone (funded by the Fed, not the taxpayer, at zero cost).

The point is that it's not zero cost. Every penny of money "funded by the Fed" comes from your and my pockets - sometimes with a big multiplier - by paths that are not as obvious, but just as costly, as a tax bill.

The biggest one is inflation: If the Fed just prints money, it dilutes the rest of the money. Your wages go down (though the numbers don't change.) Got retirement savings? They go down, too. Your investments go down - but the numbers make it look like they wen't up, and the government taxes the fake "gain". Everything you buy gets more expensive.

Comment: Re:AI researcher here (Score 1) 436

by jd (#48465071) Attached to: Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

As I've said, that's the field known as Genetic Algorithms. It's a fun area and highly promising in some fields of work, but the contexts are too simple and the algorithms are too naive. A good example of a naive Genetic Algorithm is the one used by stock brokers to game the system. It "works", but only if the system is well-behaved. But, by working en-masse, it causes the system to not be well-behaved. Because it's naive, it's incapable of evolving to deal with this.

Comment: Re:AI researcher here (Score 1) 436

by jd (#48465057) Attached to: Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

No I don't. I do not subscribe to Professor Penrose's Chinese Room argument. You do not understand my argument and that's perfectly obvious. The more you shout, the deafer you show yourself to be.

No, it's not "completely false". It's standard AI thought. Your examples show nothing because you do not comprehend the thought. You'd probably do better to ASK once in a while than to argue with someone older and wiser. Now get off my lawn!

Comment: Re:What about long-term data integrity? (Score 1) 392

by nine-times (#48464439) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

Sorry, no, in IT terms that's not a backup. It's a backup when it's an independent system with a history. Calling a RAID1 a backup to protect against data loss is similar to calling a redundant power supply a backup to protect against power failure. It's kind-of-almost-right in a limited sense, but it misunderstands the problem. It's just hardware redundancy, not a backup.

Comment: Re:Fuck That Shit (Score 1) 57

by grcumb (#48464235) Attached to: The People Who Are Branding Vulnerabilities

You don't get points for media mentions.

You're right. You don't get points. You get funding and awareness which is far more important.

Not necessarily. If the vulnerability du jour is catching media attention the way Ebola did, then you're probably not doing work you should be doing because you've got a CEO who just publicly pronounced that not one of your customers ever is going to get $EBOLA because of you. And suddenly your entire development cycle is in ruins, every manager everywhere has to explain in voluminous detail why his business unit will not be the cause of the next $EBOLA crisis, consultants will be hired to waste your time confirming that you really never were going to contribute to the global $EBOLA scare anyway....

... and meanwhile, your maintenance cycle is fucked, you have no budget left to do the upgrades that you need to avoid good old-fashioned data loss due to hardware failure, your children have forgotten who you are, and your wife just accidentally emailed her entire carpool pictures of her naughty bits (instead of her little piece on side, as she intended).

And your dog ran away.

NOW how does all that funding and awareness feel, eh kid?

Comment: Re:Price not yet announced (Score 1) 392

by Khyber (#48462787) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

"Like as if you'd want to use Windows own search. It's poor compared to third party search programs."

Windows key and type in what I'm looking for. Oh shit, it finds EVERYTHING.

Windows search only sucks for the tools that don't have a goddamned clue how to organize their filesystem.

Comment: Re:What about long-term data integrity? (Score 3, Insightful) 392

by nine-times (#48462701) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

You're both right. RAID can decrease the chances of data loss due to some kinds of problems, but ultimately it shouldn't be considered a reliable protection against data loss. A RAID can be lost or corrupted, or someone can overwrite or delete a file. If you want to assess the risk to your data and talk about the set of data that is protected against loss, you should only consider your backed up data to be "protected". The protection that RAID offers is too weak to be considered to be significant protection.

Therefore, the fundamental purpose of a RAID is to prevent the downtime due to failure of an individual hard drive. If you did not have RAID, then your data volume would stop running, and you'd have to be offline while you repair the device and restore from backups, so that's what you're successfully preventing. All the data that has been backed up (assuming your backup is good) should be safe, and any data that has not backed up is not safe, regardless of whether you have a RAID.

RAID is redundancy, not backup.

Comment: Re:Sure, but speed... (Score 1) 392

by grcumb (#48462663) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

So you would pay $1200 for a hard drive "without hesitation"?

Don't scoff. There are a number of scenarios where even several thousand bucks can go over the board without a second thought as long as there's some demonstrable benefit. In photography or video editing, your billing rate can be such that a couple of hours saved waiting on disk I/O can be sufficient to justify some serious spending on storage.

I've got 10 TB on my desk at home, and photography is not my primary work. It was nothing to me to drop over a thousand bucks on a decent hardware RAID controller and disk array. I'd seriously consider moving to SSDs as my primary storage medium if the price got down to 2-2.5 times the cost of a traditional disk.

Lo! Men have become the tool of their tools. -- Henry David Thoreau

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