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Canada

Cheap Cancer Drug Finally Tested In Humans 363

Posted by timothy
from the good-enough-for-the-likes-of-you dept.
John Bayko writes "Mentioned on Slashdot a couple of years ago, the drug dichloroacetate (DCA) has finally finished its first clinical trial against brain tumors in humans. Drug companies weren't willing to test a drug they could not patent, so money was raised in the community through donations, auctions, and finally government support, but the study was still limited to five patients. It showed extremely positive results in four of them. This episode raises the question of what happens to all the money donated to Canadian and other cancer societies, and especially the billions spent buying merchandise with little pink ribbons on it, if not to actual cancer research like this."

Comment: Re:Heomeopathy = Placebo (Score 1) 507

by Duckie01 (#31257998) Attached to: NHS Should Stop Funding Homeopathy, Says Parliamentary Committee

> Unless, of course, you count the vast array of herbs used through the ages that pharmaceuticals are now based on.

This is not a good comparison if you'd want to make a pro-homeopathy argument. Homeopathy and herbalism are quite different.

I agree with you that medicine can be found in plants. Some plant extracts will cure infections, some will help wounds heal, some will calm you, some act as a painkiller and so on. I've seen it and felt it. I actually wouldn't know how many, but I'd guess a lot of pharmaceuticals are based on the molecules found in these plants. Nature provides in a lot of good stuff including antibiotics.

If I take some herbals or pills, I actually put molecules into my body which could have a certain effect on the biochemistry going on. You gotta take the right mix and right amount to get the right effect. If you use only a fraction of that amount it simply won't work, and an overdose or wrong mix can harm you badly. That's not so hard to believe or proof.

Homeopathy, however, works like this: I shake my water with molecules in a specific way, and now my water itself becomes the medicine. That's right, my water has a memory, it will remember the medicine solved in it, and it will change state and become a medicine all by itself! And because of my shaking and this water memory, I can now dilute my water with molecules by adding more water, shake it again, and it can even be a *stronger* medicine! I can dilute it, shake it, dilute it and shake it until the actual bottle *you* buy does not even contain the original medicinal molecules anymore!

This committee of British members of parliament now says: Shake it!

And rightfully so!

The shaking is a ritual. There's no scientific base for it. No logic reasoning will explain why homeopathics shake the way they shake. Gotta shake it violently! Imagine someone on the market shaking their medicine violently and diluting it with water again and again. Would you buy from them or shake your head, call it quackery and walk away?

Yes, water molecules can "change state" (form ordered networks) but that won't make it a medicine by itself and even if it did, it loses the ordered networks within fifty millionths of a nanosecond.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_memory
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v434/n7030/full/nature03383.html

Comment: Re:O RLY? (Score 2, Informative) 602

by Duckie01 (#30719762) Attached to: Futuristic Sex Robots Now Just "Sex Robots"

Here's a hint...

girl in TRAINING...
transgender...

so to you, "girlintraining", this gender stuff might all be very important and so on... I really woudn't know if that's your myspace btw... just making a point to everyone else...

... the rest of us simply DON'T GIVE A SHIT... it's "News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters"... and we DON'T GIVE A SHIT about your gender and your issues about it. There's different forums for that kinda shit...

... other than that... you're more than welcome to discuss any of the topics at hand... just like anyone else... regardless of your gender... post about online privacy... about your latest BSD hack... about whatever the fuck it is that is appropriate for slashdot...

... but don't expect people to go whoooosh about your gender or your pride about it on SLASHDOT, of all sites...

... People won't give a shit... nor respect your gender... they *might* respect a brilliant post... or a funny one... and so on... like you've made a couple before... but start demanding respect for whatever that's just irrelevant to slashdot... and people will make fun of you at best...

... but *most* likely... you'll just attract some anonymous troll who'll like to provoke exactly these kind of reactions from you... because they know you'll bite... bite more and they'll follow you around... they'll bookmark your userpage... there's probably better things to do with your time... because this is a total waste... you'll just get a chuckle out of a troll...

** holds up a worn out sign reading, "--==>> Please do NOT feed the trolls! <<==-- " **

** sighs **

Oh, hint, if you feel personally attacked, and want to defend yourself personally on slashdot... you're probably feeding a troll... because there's nobody here to know you... nobody *can* attack you or disrespect you and so on and so on... you're that "someone on the world"... why would you ever feel attacked? Why would you give a troll what they want?

You're just making an easy target.
Not because of your (trans)gender.
But because you bite.
Bite more, and you'll become an easier target.
Bite more, and slashdot will suck more.

Comment: Re:Yeah sure (Score 1) 200

by Duckie01 (#28634833) Attached to: DARPA Wants a 19" Super-Efficient Supercomputer
Yeah I knew all that, i still call it bullshit though. Nice you mention arpanet, because well it's nifty and all... but it didn't require science that wouldn't be available for at least the next decade.

According to wikipedia they took a Honeywell DDP-516 and turned it into a router.  It had 24kb of memory... nice for the time and all but not exactly mind blowing science.  They got existing hardware to do what they wanted.

It was all about ideas... creating protocols and implementing them.  Twelve companies submitted bids and BBN won the contract in 1968.  WITHIN A YEAR, arpanet was created, consisting of 4 IMPs!  Funny, isn't it!?

A very nice accomplishment.  And look how it's growing!  It looks like everybody is using the internet nowadays.  But that won't mean I'll grant DARPA a hero status and believe they can wave their funds like a magic wand and defeat Moore's law like that.

I call it bullshit, vapor, publicity stunt, or a joke at best.

Comment: EVE *wants* it this way! (Score 0) 81

by Duckie01 (#28263607) Attached to: A Case Study of RMTs In <em>EVE Online</em>
Why would CCP ever facilitate this guy's rmt wet dream?

Why would the EVE developers want you to be able get real dollars for your ISK?

They're not running a business to make *you* money.   They rather have the real dollars going into their own pockets selling GTCs, and happily let the abandoned accounts with billions of ISK rot away in the bit bucket.

DUH!

Comment: Re:have your own domain-get universal forwarding (Score 1) 251

by Duckie01 (#27549227) Attached to: Spam Replacing Postal Junk Mail?

Yeah... it really helps if you keep things under control ;-) I've been running my own mailserver for over a decade. I don't even have my own domain, I've been using dyndns.org like forever, it works and is good enough for my home server.

I've used sendmail's (postfix has it too) LUSER_RELAY for a while, and set it to "local:<username>". This sends email for unknown users to <username>, so I didn't have to keep the alias file up... basically it turns every non-existing username into an alias! I could still use /etc/aliases as blacklist by aliasing to /dev/null.

I used this for a while to trap usenet related spam, every post would get a unique FROM address ;-) I hardly post to usenet anymore so now I'm just using /etc/aliases. Every time I sign up somewhere I also create a new alias for it. If one plays dirty and I receive spam, I kill the alias.

Only friends and family get a "real" alias. This and keeping my email addresses away from the web has kept my inbox clean... without using a spam filter.

Comment: Re:Think Different! (Score 1) 696

by Duckie01 (#26163275) Attached to: 2009, Year of the Linux Delusion

I'm a Linux fan.

Just to avoid labeling myself as a fan, I'll just say I use linux on my desktop, notebook, and my small home server, have done so for over a decade, and I like it a lot :-)

The main reason why "the year of Linux" never happens is that the press (and analysts) keep comparing Linux to what they know: a Windows desktop.

I think "the year of Linux" will not happen either, but for different reasons. Because it's all about evolution, not revolution. Who thought these netbooks would turn an entire new market into Linux users simply looked at a single population at a given time and drew conclusions from it, underestimating Microsoft's ability to catch up quickly.

I'd say that the simple fact that Linux *was* there first is quite nice by itself. Furthermore they're *still* selling 10% of these netbooks with linux while there's now also a Windows option available... which is still a progress in the larger process, these people are now using linux while otherwise they wouldn't. Also, it helped gain Linux more attention, both in media and in personal contacts. People sometimes go like, oh nice small notebook... interesting... what's it running... and so on. That's a "possible linux-user" virus being spread through the population ;-)

Sometimes it's also trivial things why people switch. A girl I know studies to become a dentist, and she bought an asus eee netbook with linux. It runs Xandros, based on Debian 4.0, with fluxbox as window manager I think. It looked to be designed to give easy access to commonly used programs and configuration, while hiding everything else under a nice shiny hood. I had to search the web to find out how to get a terminal emulator running on the thing (control-alt-t)

Asking her how she liked the linux environment, she was pretty enthusiastic, it ran solid, responded fast, worked great for her and did everything she wanted to... except that she couldnt access the wifi network at school, the helpdesk didn't support Linux at all, and someone was going to install windows XP on it the next day just so she could get connected at school.

That hurt...

Someone put up a pdf with instructions how to access their school's network with linux, using either the gnome network manager (she had a network manager... but wasn't sure if it was the right one) or shell commands, but she couldn't figure out how to get a shell. She's an intelligent girl, just not so computer/linux savvy, and working with her I got the idea that the fact that wpasupplicant on xandros is called xandros-wpasupplicant might have been just enough to prevent her from succeeding.

Needless to say I installed the certificate and got the stuff going... I hope it worked out, I just had one shot, without the wifi network to test it... if it didn't work the next day at school she'd install xp... :-/ This was past weekend, I haven't heard about the results yet. Even if she replaced linux with xp tho, I don't think this whole experience would really wreck linux' reputation with her, her overall impression of Linux as operating system for her netbook was so good that this one problem would not keep her from trying linux again in the future.

If we keep copying whatever Microsoft implemented 3 years ago, we'll never pass them. What we need are real killer applications in completely new spaces. For instance, look at web applications: that's hurting Microsoft 10 times more than any 3D effect in KDE ever will. The Web made a lot of Microsoft software irrelevant. Linux needs to do the same, by doing something *different*.

Linux *is* about doing things different, whether or not some or all UI elements are "copied" from Windows. There's just so many ways you can present a solitaire game, you know? The file manager has an icon representing an actual file cabinet on many operating systems including phones... Did they all copy that from Microsoft? I don't think so.

All these illusions and delusions put aside... as far as I can see Linux is still infecting the world at a nice evolutionary pace ;-) The more infections... the bigger the chance will be that the next new thing *will* be running on linux first.

Comment: Re:Too many notices! (Score 1) 50

by Duckie01 (#26161967) Attached to: Data Breach Notices Show Tip of the Iceberg

Probably because those victims were offered a year of "credit monitoring" and those victims took them up on it.

Hmm... credit monitoring (monitoring your credit reports for changes) would increase the chance of detection tho, not decrease the chance of fraud. If the detection rate increases and the chance of fraud is the same, the fraud rate found for the breached data would increase since logically there's only detected fraud in the numbers, not undetected.

It made them more paranoid than they had been before, so they watched their financial data more carefully,

That would have the same effect as the credit monitoring I guess.

and were perhaps more cautious when using their credit cards. (Of course that doesn't reduce the number of attacks, just the number that are successful, but the data posted is a "fraud rate", and doesn't denote "successful vs. unsuccessful.")

Well being more careful might decrease the chance of their cards being abused somewhat indeed...

Or maybe many of them closed out a bunch of unused credit accounts to minimize their footprints, which actually did spare them from further breaches.

... guess that's more likely tho :-) Well if you change "unused" to "unwanted" or something... Unused accounts probably wouldn't have their data stolen in the first place ;-) So people were notified of the breach and closed down accounts... and now these closed accounts are polluting the attackers data... while the "overall fraud rate" only includes working accounts.

I also found the written testimony of ID Analytics these numbers originate from.

It makes an interesting read... there's just so many things affecting the fraud rate. For example, the report estimates it'd take a single person about 10 years to use a million breached accounts. Perhaps this one data set was stolen by a smaller group of attackers. Or just one, and a lazy one at that... ;-)

There's something wrong with the math in the report tho... they estimate: 5 minutes per application, 6.5 hours a day, 5 days a week, 50 days a year. That's 12 applications per hour * 6.5 * 5 * 50 = 19500 applications per year, or roughly 51 years for a single person, not the 10 they write about.

The report then goes on saying that you'd have to hire 51 workers to complete all that in one year -- which actually triggered my curiosity about these numbers because it matches my 51 years but not their 10 ;-) -- which would cost over $830,000 at $10 an hour... quite the operation ;-)

My conclusion is that we can't compare the results of this one study to the overall fraud rate at all. I do agree with jambarama's comment tho that these companies selling credit monitoring services and "fraud protection" try very hard to hype the fraud fear.

Comment: Re:Too many notices! (Score 1) 50

by Duckie01 (#26142193) Attached to: Data Breach Notices Show Tip of the Iceberg

They found the fraud rate was 1 in 1020, practically identical to the ambient fraud rate of non-breached data (which was 1 in 1010).
[...]
Fraud rate 3 years later of those people was 1 in 1244 - slightly better than average.

So what you're saying is that I should give my data to these thugs and *decrease* the chance of fraud? How's that logical? I'd guess the stolen accounts should have at least the same chance of fraud as any other... why does this not add up?

Comment: Re:Picture's showing right hand ;) (Score 1) 423

by Duckie01 (#25856795) Attached to: Unix Dict/grep Solves Left-Side-of-Keyboard Puzzle

HUH?!?!

It was *seriously* showing a right hand on the right hand side of the keyboard... I didn't believe they'd make a mistake like that and checked it, hold my hand up etc... :P It's the same picture but reversed... The arm also was on the left side of the picture while it's on the right side now... I guess someone saw it and told them...

Look at the picture, there's a long key on the side you're looking at... that's the enter key on the *right* side of a keyboard!

Also look at the shade between the keys, a few keys from the side of the keyboard. It is caused by some extra space between the keys. If you look at the distance from that shade to the side of the keyboard, you'll see it's all the same for the top row (supposedly the function keys), the second and third row... Further down, the finger makes it hard to see more. Anyways, for as far as we can see, the shade runs down in a straight line.

Now look at the left side of your (any!) keyboard, and at the right side of your keyboard, and decide where you could see straight lines like those...

It could have been a keyboard like this The left side of such a keyboard will always resemble something like this... but with all the thousands of photos of keyboards you can find on that side... you won't find *one* matching the one in the picture currently at newsvine, unless you reverse it ;)

Sooo funny :P

Spam

Spam Flood Unabated After Bust 188

Posted by kdawson
from the removing-a-cup-of-water-from-the-sea dept.
AcidAUS writes "Last week's bust of the largest spam operation in the world has had no measurable impact on global spam volumes. The spam gang, known by authorities and security experts as HerbalKing, was responsible for one-third of all spam, the non-profit antispam research group Spamhaus said." The article speculates that the operators of HerbalKing simply passed on to associates the keys to the automated, 35,000-strong botnet, and the spam flow didn't miss a beat.
Security

TSA Employee Caught With $200K Worth of Stolen Property 655

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-at-first-you-succeed,-try,-try-again-until-you-don't dept.
The plane moves me or I move the plane? writes "After years of people complaining about their luggage locks being broken in the name of the Transportation Security Administration, and after countless properly-stowed utilities and tools had been scrutinized from a paranoid point of view, an employee of the TSA (which is part of the Department of Homeland Security) has been captured with evidence of over $200,000 worth of stolen property he was selling on eBay. With the help of local police and the USPS, a search of his house found a great deal of property pilfered from the un-witnessed searches that occurred after luggage had been checked, where the rightful owner was not allowed. 'Among the items seized were 66 cameras, 31 laptop computers, 20 cell phones, 17 sets of electronic games, 13 pieces of jewelry, 12 GPS devices, 11 MP3 players, eight camera lenses, six video cameras and two DVD players, the affidavit said.'"

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