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Comment Re:Shop elsewhere if you need this drug (Score 5, Insightful) 372

There are no generic manufacturers for Daraprim because of the low volumes sold. This startup bought the exclusive right to sell the drug in the USA, which is why they can jack up the price.

Other countries still sell it for low prices. The cost of the drug in Canada, or the UK, or Mexico (if you trust their pharmacies) make a trip out of the country worthwhile.

Comment Shop elsewhere if you need this drug (Score 5, Informative) 372

Daraprim (generic name Pyrimethamine) is also used a alternative treatment for maleria where quinine cannot be used, although resistance is now prevalent worldwide. The manufacturing cost is roughly $1 per 25 mg tablet, so even the old price of $13.50 per tablet is a very substantial markup. A typical course of treatment requires around 90 to 120 tablets.

Anyone in the USA needing this drug should fly to the UK where it is still manufactured by GKN and sold for the equivalent of $70 for 90 tablets. Those same 90 tablets would cost $67,500 at the new price in the USA, so the saving would be substantial even allowing for air fare, hotel, etc.

Some enterprising company willing to spend the money to get approval to import the drug from the UK would put this startup out of business. Hopefully.

Comment Re:What is UNUSUAL (Score 3, Informative) 275

The two women are identified "Miss A" and "Miss W" in Sweden to protect their identities.

On 11 August 2010, Assange arrived in Sweden to speak at a seminar partly arranged by "Miss A". He had met her before but he stayed at her apartment. They had sex on 14 August 2010.

At the seminar, Assange met "Miss W" and they had sex on 17 August 2010.

On 19 August 2010 the two women (who are friends) discovered that both of them had had sex with Assange. Up to this point neither had suggested that the sex was anything other than consensual, but that day they decided to contact a journalist and complain about their sexual encounters with Assange. The journalist insisted they contact the police and the two women went to the police together. They both say that what started as consensual sex became non-consensual, which is rape in Swedish law. The two women were interviewed together by police and this allowed contamination of their evidence.

On 20 August 2010 a warrant was issued for Assange's arrest. On 21 August it was withdrawn by Stockholm's Chief Prosecutor. On 30 August, Assange was interviewed by police.

On 1 September 2010 a different prosecutor announced that she was reopening the investigation. This is not a normal procedure in Sweden. Furthermore, the prosecutor identified Assange to the press, which is against Swedish law. On 2 September she re-interviewed the complainants, but she did did not interview Assange, which is required within a week - she said this was not done because of a police officer being sick.

On 5 September 2010 a journalist reported that the two women did not want to proceed.

On 27 September 2010 Assange left Sweden with the agreement of the authorities.

On 18 November 2010 a court approved a request to detain Assange for questioning. On 20 November an international arrest warrant was issued. It was possible to interview Assange in the UK, as there is a mutual legal assistance agreement, but the prosecutor went for the arrest warrant instead.

That's where we stand at present. Assange has not been charged with a crime as yet.

Frankly it looks like a case where two women discovered that they were both having sex with Assange and decided (together) to come up with a way to get back at him - there's no way to prove that sex becomes non-consenual while it is in progress. It's a classic "he said, she said" situation. It's strange that both women claimed the same thing happened, but not until they had discovered they were sharing his favors.

It appears that the prosector has an agenda, but I have no idea why.

Comment Re:What is UNUSUAL (Score 4, Insightful) 275

Both the women in question are adults and both have said that they do not wish Assange to be prosecuted. After the original complaint was filed, Assange was told he could leave Sweden, and so he went to the UK.

Then a Swedish prosecutor decided to reopen the case (exactly why has never been fully explained) and she wants him back in Sweden. For some reason it wasn't sufficient to interview him by phone or Skype, or by traveling to the UK. The prosecutor wants him in Sweden, to the point of issuing a European arrest warrant - not because he's been charged with anything, just because she wants to talk to him.

The whole thing seems quite strange. Sweden and the UK seem to be treating this as a major incident, even though the complainants have no interest in pursuing the case. In fact, the UK is complaining about the very high cost of watching the Ecuadorean embassy, which they reckon is over 15 million pounds so far.

Comment Yes, unprovoked (Score 5, Insightful) 207

You do realize that the only reason Clarkson was not fed is because he went drinking at a local pub after shooting was completed for the day. He arrived at his hotel after the restaurant was closed (but some people were still there chatting) and then blew up because there was no hot food for him.

Clarkson went on a 40 minute rant blaming a producer named Oisin Tymon. Clarkson called the producer lazy, told him he would make certain he lost his job, and used a racial slur describing him as a "lazy Irish cunt". All this in public in front of many people. Eventually he punched the producer, who was taken to the local hospital for treatment of facial injuries.

Clarkson's show also claimed a Tesla ran out of electric power after 55 miles when the claimed range was 200 miles. Tesla sued for libel but the lawsuit was dismissed because "rectification of inaccuracies is not a function of the courts"! However, the BBC admitted in court that the scene where the car ran out of power was faked. I hope Clarkson and friends don't have the same leeway with the truth under Amazon.

Comment Re:Be pro-active (Score 1) 213

I ran my credit reports and there's nothing adverse on file at any of the three CRAs. The credit card company says it reports FICO scores from Experian. I contacted Experian and they said there's nothing that can be done as there's no adverse information on file that can be challenged. It's a mystery.

Perhaps the FTC site is out of date, or perhaps Experian is using different criteria than the FTC expects. I have no idea.

Comment Re:password recovery to defeat reverse identity th (Score 5, Insightful) 213

My policy is to never respond to emails that I receive if they are intended for other people. Here's why.

Back in 1998 I received an email intended for an attorney at a personal injury law firm. The firm's domain name is very similar to mine, the only difference was that they have a hyphen in their domain name and I don't. Being a good guy, I replied to the sender saying he had the wrong email address. That was a serious mistake.

I was accused by their office manager of hacking their emails. I told her that I don't control who sends email to my domain. She said I shouldn't open email not addressed to me, and the firm reported me to the US Attorney for their location for violating attorney/client privacy. Back then, the name, address and phone number of domain owners were always public so it was easy to discover my details.

The US Attorney passed the information to the FBI and I received a visit from two agents who were polite but computer clueless and somewhat concerned about what had happened. As I said, this was 1998 and the whole concept of malware and hacking was somewhat new and esoteric. I explained to the agents in detail what had happened, showed them my email setup and explained how email works. They thanked me and left saying they would be in touch. I haven't heard a word from either of them or anyone else about the complaint since.

However, this experience did change my attitude to incorrectly addressed email. I've received several emails for this law firm since then and I ignored them. These days a complaint of this nature would be ignored but why take the chance.

Comment Re:Be pro-active (Score 4, Interesting) 213

Just something to beware of with security freezes. A few months ago I did freeze my accounts at the credit reporting agencies because my tax preparer recommended it as a proactive move to prevent identity theft.

I have a credit card that reports my current FICO score monthly. The month after I froze my accounts my FICO score dropped by 57 points. Looking back over the last year, my rating had moved up 11 points before this unexpected drop, so I think it's likely that the change was caused by initiating the credit freeze.

It doesn't matter as my credit history is frozen, but if I do need to give someone access to my credit ratings for any reason (buying a new car, getting a new job, whatever) then I presume the much lower score will be shown.

Comment Re:Go Solar, it can make good financial sense. (Score 1) 259

Then you didn't do a good site survey before installing your panels. You should have considered that before installing panels.

At my request, 32 of my 48 panels face south west. On a per panel basis they produce about 91% of the 16 panels facing south, but they peek about 4pm during the summer. I know this because I have monitoring on my system that records energy production and panel diagnostic data every 5 minutes, and 10+ years of data sitting in PostgreSQL database.

Comment Re:those numbers? (Score 2) 259

You happen to be lucky by living in a cheap electricity area. Here in northern California the cheapest rate is 16.3 cents/kWh. That's for baseline usage of 7 kWh/day (depending on where you live) and anything above that costs more in tiers that go up to 33.5 cents/kWh. If you have air conditioning, you are certain to end up paying far more than the baseline cost in non-winter months.

Supposedly, there's a 0.5% drop in solar cell output per year, but I'm not seeing that at all. Last year my installation generated more than the first year - of course, climate change affects that figure.

My roof is metal tile - don't you think I factored that into my purchase decision?

Maintenance costs have been zero so far. There are three components - the panels, the wiring and the inverters. The inverters are likely to fail first, and the cost of replacement is drastically lower than when my system was first installed.

Comment Re:Go Solar, it can make good financial sense. (Score 1) 259

There have been zero maintenance costs. Except that I do hose down the panels once a year, so there's the cost of the water and an hour of my time. It's likely that the inverters that convert the DC from the panels to AC for the house will be the first components to fail. Fortunately the cost of these items has dropped significantly in the 12 years since they current ones were installed, and I would only need one today compared to the three I have installed now. This change alone would drop the installation cost by over $10,000.

I have a metal tile roof that should last the lifetime of the house. If you have a shingle or composite roof that will be a limiting factor. On the other hand, installing on a metal tile roof is more expensive because the metal tiles have to be drilled to fasten the rails that hold the solar panels to the rafters, and flashing has to be installed around each hole to prevent water getting in. That was four days work for a specialist roofing company which bumped the cost by $9,000.

Comment Go Solar, it can make good financial sense. (Score 5, Informative) 259

I installed 48 panels on my roof back in 2003 which generate up to 8.8 kW DC (7.5 kW AC). The installation generates 10,500 to 12,000 kWh per year depending on the weather. The total cost was $65,000 which after subsidies and tax breaks dropped to $31,000 - which is roughly the same as my installation would cost today before any subsidies. Since installation I've had to cover the meter rental (currently 16.3 cents per day) but I've had no other utility costs and no maintenance costs.

In the year before I installed solar, electricity cost me a tad under $3,000. Utility costs have increased considerably since then, so I've more than covered the cost of the installation. And I should have another 20 years of life in the panels. Perhaps more.

If you plan to stay in your house for 10 years or more, it may make good financial sense to consider solar. Based on my experience, it's certainly worth considering.

I'm always looking for a new idea that will be more productive than its cost. -- David Rockefeller