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Comment: Re:Hypocrisy (Score 1) 136

by ESD (#48859817) Attached to: Drug Company CEO Blames Drug Industry For Increased Drug Resistance

No, the only examination was looking at ears, throat and listening to the chest. The only time we didn't get a prescription was when I indicated that we had a very strong suspicion that our kid got a viral infection from another baby (that did get thoroughly tested and spent a couple of days in hospital for that infection a bit earlier and the symptoms matched.)

Of course the doctor was right for requiring an antibiotic treatment to be done completely. The problem is that the antibiotics were prescribed at all, even without explicitly saying they were antibiotics. Even though being a parent (with the associated lack of sleep) makes everything look much worse than it is, this really wasn't something that got us into a panic, we just wanted to have someone with more experience look at it to be sure that we didn't overlook anything (again, we knew we weren't getting enough sleep.)

Comment: Re:Hypocrisy (Score 1) 136

by ESD (#48859609) Attached to: Drug Company CEO Blames Drug Industry For Increased Drug Resistance

That's okay, I know I was actually commenting on a side point of your post and I am quite aware that the reason doctors prescribe like that is exactly because patients aren't satisfied unless they have something tangible as a result from their visit. That's a hard problem to fix because all of society has grown accustomed to it.

(This is about Belgium, BTW, not the US.)

Comment: Re:Hypocrisy (Score 3, Interesting) 136

by ESD (#48852075) Attached to: Drug Company CEO Blames Drug Industry For Increased Drug Resistance

Demanding? I couldn't get the doctor to stop prescribing antibiotics for my kid for every minor throat infection. I just wanted to know whether it was serious or not (usually because we were going on vacation or visiting other families with very young babies and some anti-vaxxers.)

I think I threw away four or five prescriptions immediately when we got home. Didn't even check what they were for, the remark 'Take this and come back in two weeks if it persists. Oh, you must use the prescription in its entirety' was enough to know that it wasn't serious and they were prescribing antibiotics anyway.

Eventually we just started going to another doctor, but we haven't had a suspicious cough yet since we changed.

Comment: Re:Spoiled much? (Score 1) 291

by ESD (#48211653) Attached to: Will Fiber-To-the-Home Create a New Digital Divide?

Bandwidth isn't expensive, but getting it to some location where you actually want to use it, is.

Of course, high-bandwidth connections are cheap at an IX, but the cost of sufficient real estate inside that IX to live comfortably close to your cheap bandwidth won't make your total cost of living look pretty.

On a side note: you may have a nice fiber with 100Gbps capability. What do you think the hardware costs that can actually handle that link?

Comment: Re:Human Machine Interaction Science (Score 1) 155

by ESD (#48118753) Attached to: Liking Analog Meters Doesn't Make You a Luddite (Video)

More numbers are also not necessarily more accurate either... In our measuring course at university, we got that explained very thoroughly: we got shown a pretty nice (digital) handheld Fluke and a huge, antique analog AVO meter. Both meters were regularly checked and calibrated in-house. Of course everyone was convinced the Fluke would be much more accurate because it was easily 20 years younger.

Then we had to do the actual calculations, based on the accuracy given on the case of the meters. Surprise: the analog meter was still more than twice as accurate as the digital one (if you can read it correctly, of course.) When actually checking the information, it turned out that the last digit on the digital meter was pretty useless because the measurement error was a very significant fraction of that digit.

These were devices used in Electrical Engineering, where it's actually important to know how valid the information is that you read off your meters. ... and an anecdote about digital-analog meters in cars: a couple of years ago I got into a strange situation where the gauges system of my dash didn't boot. Everything worked: indicator lights, odometer, engine was running, but all analog meters remained at zero. I could run the car by the engine sound until I could pull over and restart, but it still felt weird every time I glanced at the dash.

Comment: Re:Imagine the punishment it it killed millions (Score 2) 209

by ESD (#48061729) Attached to: GlaxoSmithKline Released 45 Liters of Live Polio Virus

all the proof you have is a note in a book - mistake happen ).

Not anymore, at least not in Belgium. The doctor peels the label off the exact shot you got and puts it into the book. After the fourth shot (around 14 months), they fill out a form that you then have to return to the municipality to prove that your kid had their basic Polio vaccinations (there's one more around 6 yrs), which ones and when, so there are at least three separate registrations.

Polio is the only mandatory vaccination in Belgium and they take it fairly seriously. Personally, we take all vaccinations seriously, especially for our kids, but that's mostly because we sometimes hang out with alternative types (Waldorf education tends to also be pretty anti-vax; they are actually the biggest risk of non-vaccination here) and reformed Christians, so we are not counting on herd immunity there...

I will keep an eye on this, though...

Comment: Re:So... (Score 1) 243

by ESD (#47737081) Attached to: It's Dumb To Tell Kids They're Smart

No, you tell them that you appreciate the effort they took to look good, you don't tell them they're beautiful or handsome. This is by the exact same reasoning: should they get badly hurt in an accident, you'll also have given them psychological issues because they'll have lost a part of themselves (and some people don't have many other parts of themselves to fall back on, while everyone can work hard to improve.)

You don't praise your kids for things that are part of who they are, you praise them for the efforts they make.

Comment: Re: Different colors (Score 1) 267

by ESD (#47633247) Attached to: My degree of colorblindness:

Same here. As far as I've always assumed, that issue seems to be because your eyes 'white-balance' separately. If you close one eye in sunlight, your closed eye will be blue-shifted after a while because while your eyelid is closed, it sees only red light which your brain tries to compensate to the same color your other eye is seeing. When I was young, I sometimes sat with both eyes closed outside, in full sunlight; if I went inside the house immediately after I opened my eyes, the entire interior of the house would be blue for a while.

If my head is turned to one side in bed, I tend to have my lowermost eye closed more than my uppermost eye, leading to the same effect.

Comment: Re:Skip the angle grinder (Score 1) 416

by ESD (#42129457) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Server Room Toolbox?

For the multimeter: if you'll have anything to do with power, it's useful if you can check the load on a rack or phase without having to call the electricians (if some part of your power infrastructure is overloaded and your fuses keep tripping, you can quickly rebalance the load until an electrician can have a detailed look.)

Comment: Re:What do they have against old fashioned fucking (Score 1) 367

by ESD (#41992369) Attached to: Artificial Wombs In the Near Future?

That's not entirely true. The bonding happens for a big part through skin-on-skin contact, which releases hormones. Even though you can still do that if you aren't the natural mother, it's much harder than when you get that endorphin/oxytocin/prolactin boost during pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. Most modern advice even explicitly encourages the father to hold the baby for a couple of hours, skin-on-skin, some time after birth while the mother is being cleaned up and/or asleep. With a C-section the mother isn't available to hold the baby at all during the first hours; the advice then is to get the father half naked and get him to hold the baby during that time.

Of course I agree with you that fathers and adopting parents do bond with their children through anticipation, preparation and shared experiences, but this is definitely not the main process that normally takes place and I don't think it should be the only one if it can be avoided.

Comment: Re:What do they have against old fashioned fucking (Score 1) 367

by ESD (#41989397) Attached to: Artificial Wombs In the Near Future?

As someone married to a mother, let me give an alternative view : Yes, definitely. Ever witnessed a birth, even with an epidural ? Or just stood in the same building of the hospital maternity ward ? Every 10 babies or so you will hear the screams. While many young women, and most men have this romanticized notion of birth (for obvious reasons), but you'll find a much different view among women who've already given birth.

I'd like to chip in with my view as a fairly recent daddy too, as we probably don't live too far apart (your username puts you in Flanders or southern Netherlands, but giving birth in hospital is very uncommon in NL nowadays, so my guess is Belgium.)

Judging from many stories (that everyone suddenly has when you are expecting a baby), Flemish hospitals, even the good ones, are not to be considered the gold standard for giving birth. In most places the doctor and hospital staff decide what's going to happen, preferring to force their way for convenience (theirs) or just because Procedures Must Be Followed rather than actual care for what's happening. We did extensive research, even before conception, on where we wanted our baby to be born and quickly chose a hospital well over an hour away because they are the maternity specialists of the province (every province has one) -- there are hospitals closer by, but just looking at their maternity ward websites was enough to reject them outright (the gynecologist decides this, this is the schedule of the maternity ward, we decide that...)

Eventually we didn't even make it there because everything just happened too fast, our baby was born at home with the help of independent midwives (don't go without professional help, there are still some risks), and I was surprised at how easy it went (of course, it's still a bit messy, it's still painful, there's still some screaming, but afterwards our midwives also told us that home birthings are always much easier, cleaner and less painful than in a hospital. ) No epidural, no inducing, no vacuum extraction, no episiotomy (because no tearing); I'm not saying that these techniques should never be used, but they are definitely overused in Flemish hospitals, sometimes to the point of normal operating procedure for _all_ births. I'm also not advocating home birthing for everyone: some parts are easier, but especially the fact that you are immediately thrown back onto yourselves after birth was very hard for us (we had household help and of course the midwives come to check up regularly for a couple of weeks, but they also have to tend to other expectant mothers, mothers and babies in a fairly large region, so you don't have someone at your bedside five minutes after you push a button, it's just the two of you.. if there are two of you, which isn't as standard as it used to be.) I just wanted to make clear that Flemish hospitals are not really the desirable solution when it comes to giving birth.

As for the original issue: I indeed see serious issues with artificial wombs. When a baby is growing, is causes a lot of violent hormonal changes within its mother. Of course this causes a lot of issues and inconveniences, but it also creates a very strong hormonal bond between mother and child. It's not just something you ordered on a website somewhere with the prime advantage of being able to watch the production process. A baby actually grows inside of you, you feel it as it starts moving around, it takes much effort to 'produce' a baby long before you see the results, which is getting less and less acceptable in modern societies. This experience of long-term effort is important for the future of the baby, because it's something that won't stop for quite some years.

Another issue my wife just pointed out to me: the number of kids from an artificial womb diagnosed with autism will probably also be much higher than average. A baby doesn't start living the moment it's born, it's already experiencing and learning a lot from the outside world long before (street noises, music, arguments, stepping around, lying still, ...) It will not have those experiences in an artificial womb, so it will be less prepared for what will happen when it's born.

The Internet

+ - How Alcatel-Lucent can make the Internet 5 times faster->

Submitted by dancinfrandsen
dancinfrandsen (1985362) writes "Alcatel-Lucent announced Tuesday that it has developed the "7950 XRS," a core Internet router that is capable of speeds up to five times faster than those of its nearest competitor. Just one 7950 XRS router can deliver 16 terabits of data per second. That's about 2.5 million HD video streams every tick of the second hand."
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