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Comment Re:Precision (Score 2) 64

> You could argue that this technology would let you make 1 super-pill tailored to the individual

All the drugs a person needs. Maybe a custom morning pill, and evening pill.

Next advance: custom print the pills at home using a device you pick up at your pharmacy. Your doctor remotely updates your prescription.

Next advance: hackers remotely update your prescription.

Comment Re:Change the dosage without changing looks... (Score 1) 64

Yeah, I was coming here to say something very similar.

From TFA . . .

If patients needs to increase or decrease their dosage, the hospital can do so without changing the appearance of the pills, which could help those with memory impairments.

I can think of other applications for changing someone's dose without them being aware of it. In fact, you could slip them a custom printed pill that looks just like the rest of the pills in their bottle.

Extra Credit: consider the implications of custom 3D printing Drug A in Drug B's clothing. (Pill for Drug A looks like it is a pill for Drug B.)

We won't even talk about illegal pills that look like they are legal pills. Officer, that is just a bottle of tylenol.

Someone could also take placebos that look just like the real thing.

But don't stop there. Maybe you print a pill so that it looks like a piece of candy.

Comment An observation about using the GPL for Libraries (Score 1) 250

This is NOT a complaint about the GPL, or any other license. An author of a work is free to choose whatever license they want to offer their work under, including a closed source license. Merely an observation.

IMO . . . when someone offers a Library, that is, a black box of code with well defined API that offers some useful capability, and offers it under the GPL, the author is deliberately trying to RESTRICT what the users of that library can do with their own code. The author is effectively saying that I only want authors of other GPL applications to use my library. If the library author were only trying to protect the freedom of his library and nothing more, then he would have used the LGPL. The LGPL protects the freedom of the library, as well as protects the freedom of the user of a closed source application to be able to re-link the application against a newer version of the library without access to the source code of the application.

I'm not saying this is right, or wrong, or anything else. It is merely an observation.

A library author that offers a library under GPL license has an ulterior motive. Usually a commercial motive to ensure they can make money from users of applications that are not under the GPL. This seems to be exactly the opposite of what the GPL was intended to do in spirit. A library offered under the GPL typically offers a "Commercial License" for applications that are not under the GPL.

Comment Do you understand what Insurance actually is? (Score 3, Interesting) 204

It spreads the risk. That's all. My house probably is not going to burn down this year. But SOMEBODY's house DEFINITELY will. Insurance spreads the risk among policy holders.

How many rocket launch policy holders are there to spread the risk among?

I suppose an insurance underwriter could spread the rocket launch risk (and cost) among their auto and home policy holders. That will make them uncompetitive in the auto and home insurance market. So they'll have to keep the risk amongst similar policy holders for rocket launches.

Ultimately, just like houses burning down, some rocket launches WILL fail.

If NASA is forced (maybe by ignorant Congress who must "do something!") to buy insurance, then the cost of failure is still passed to the policy holders (eg, mostly taxpayers). Plus now you've got another industry (insurance) getting their fingers in the pie and making a profit. If Congress or NASA forces SpaceX to get insurance, then SpaceX will pass the cost of insurance on to NASA and ultimately taxpayers in the form of higher launch prices.

No matter how you slice it, the customers of rocket launches WILL bear the costs of inevitable failure. There's not that many customers to spread the costs amongst like there are for homeowners.

Comment Re:Insurance? (Score 5, Insightful) 204

This will cost the taxpayers no matter how you slice it. Either the taxpayer eats it, like now. Or NASA gets insurance, which costs the taxpayer. The insurer WILL make a profit and will pass the cost of failure to the policy holder through increased premiums. So NASA could make SpaceX get the insurance. All that does is mean that SpaceX will increase its prices to NASA to account for the cost of insurance (eg, the cost of inevitable failures).

By making either NASA or SpaceX get insurance, you add in another greedy industry (insurance) that get their fingers in the pie and make a profit. Great way to save the taxpayer money.

Comment Re:Insurance? (Score 1) 204

Yes, that is what I came to say. Not only does SpaceX pass the cost of insurance on to the taxpayers, but the insurance company passes the cost of failure through to SpaceX as high premiums. So ultimately the shipper (NASA, therefore taxpayer) pays for failed launches.

But making SpaceX get insurance means you're "doing something". (eg, Creating more paperwork, and adding the inefficiency of the insurance industry getting its fingers in the pie. Insurers also make a profit.) Ultimately this hurts the taxpayer, not helps.

Comment NASA cannot compete (Score 1) 141

NASA was a great, even fantastic thing back when there was no commercial motivation to do research on space and powerful rockets. Back when there was little to no commercial launch market.

Now NASA is full of pork.. You cannot kill it because . . . pork. In every congressional district.

NASA is not and never has been efficient. At one time that was irrelevant because of the nature of what they did. Now is is more about letting bureaucrats CYA when something blows up. And to make sure money flows freely to as many congressional districts as possible. The traditional contractors are not designed to be efficient either, except at maximizing how much they can suck from the government teat.

One way NASA might end is that with lower and lower budgets NASA simply cannot do anything. Alternately, they might end because they get budgets big enough to actually do something, making the real inefficiency clear for all to see.

NASA must be held to the same safety standards that commercial providers are held to. Otherwise, a culture of evading or ignoring those safety standards will creep in.

The only role that NASA might have left is projects that require large investment to overcome a lack of commercial motives. For example, going to Mars. Maybe for operating a space station. Probably not for mining asteroids.

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