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Comment A few bad reactions got some press. (Score 1) 81 81

You can become violently allergic to practically ANYTHING. (The immune system, in each individual, creates a large number of clones of cells making different antibodies by pseudo-randomly editing the genome making the antibody, kills off the ones that recognize the infant body, and amplifies the clones recognizing new stuff that appeared at the same time the body experiences damage.)

A few bad reactions to a few particular foods got a lot of attention - and overreaction. Which ones got the attention was mostly a matter of chance. So now the clueless bureaucrats are taking extreme measures against the handful of allergens that got the press, and the rest are completely off their radar.

They have zero tolerance for peanuts.
  - Do they have zero tolerance for shellfish? (Restaurants in Silicon Valley were very careful about allergies when I first moved here - because one had been informed that a customer had a shellfish allergy, fed her something containing shrimp, and she died.)
  - Do they have zero tolerance for milk? (Some milk reactions are an enzyme deficiency, but some are an allergy, which can be deadly. Also: a protein in cow's milk increases the risk of Multiple Sclerosis).
  - Do they have zero tolerance for tree nuts?
  - Do they have zero tolerance for wheat?
  - Do they have zero tolerance for honey?
  - Do they have zero tolerance for corn? (It would be convenient for ME if they did - my corn allergy isn't QUITE to full-blown anaphylactic shock level, yet, but it IS to the "projectile vomiting" and "three days of flu-like symptoms" level. But I won't try to stop others from enjoying corn.)
  - Do they have zero tolerance for eggs?
  - Do they have zero tolerance for fish?
And that's just the COMMON food allergies.

If they had zero tolerance for every food allergen that had caused anaphyliaxis, they'd have zero tolerance for FOOD.

Comment How do you stop it? (Score 2) 426 426

What if you just don't connect it to any network, ever?

How do you stop it from connecting? These days most laptops, at least, have WiFi, Bluetooth, BLE (really distinct from classic buetooth), and maybe other radio-networking capabilities (GSM, LTE, ZigBee, 6LoWPAN, 6LoWPAN-over-Bluettoth-4.2) built-in. Also infrared and ultrasonic-capable audio interfaces with microphones and speakers. Even with the ones that DO have a switch to turn the radios off the switch normally just tells the software not to talk on the radio - which the software is free to ignore.

(Not to mention that the remote-administration hardware/firmware built into the chips by the major manufacturers can, and does, listen on the radios these days for remote-administration commands, comes in UNDER the OS, and can't be disabled.)

Then there's the question of what good the computer is to you if it's NOT connected to a network?

Comment Re:"We have a profound opportunity to distort." (Score 1) 64 64

It will also vary depending on the performance of the vehicles immediately ahead of, oncoming-and-passing, or crossing ahead of the street view vehicle. Especially the first: The sensor will be running in the exhaust plumes of the vehicles ahead of the street view car, so the map will be a very non-random sampling.

On the other hand, the partculate and "volatile organic compounds" sensors will produce some very interesting data. The latter is what the federal standards call "unburned hydrocarbons" when emitted from an engine, and the output of modern engines is vanishingly small. But many species of evergreen trees emit them in enormous quantity, as part of their ongoing chemical warfare against insects that eat trees. That's what the blue haze around pine-forested mountains (such as "the Smoky Mountains") is about. You can literally destroy (by extreme and long-term contamination) an automotive conformance test cell (the room where they test the car's emissions), requiring it to be torn out and rebuilt, by placing a Christmas tree in it overnight.

I expect some towns in remote, forested, mountain areas, where people move "for their health" and "for the clean, fresh, air", to get a rude awakening. B-)

But I doubt it will affect the extremely tight standards for automobile engines - except maybe to cause a flap that tightens them further. These days many engines are so clean that running then can IMPROVE the air quality in some places (such as portions of Los Angeles, with topography that created such a thermal inversion that a single settler's campfire could leave the whole valley filled with smoke for a day or more) by inhaling and burning far more hydrocarbon and particulate pollutants than they create.

Comment Lots of room for methodology issues. (Score 2) 294 294

The lack of accidents and crime are more likely related to a general trend in crime going down from before they started turning off the lights. ... Give me at least one full year worth of data so I can compare it to the prior year, and have half of the country keep their lights on so It can be compared to the same time frame as well.

Hear, hear!

There's lots of room for methodology errors. Here's another:

Comparing murder rates between Great Britain and the US is complicated by differences in reporting. The US bumps the murder stat when there is a body and evidence of foul play. G.B. bumps it when they have a conviction.

Do they do that with other crime? If so, stable stats in the absence of street lighting might mean that any rise in crime is compensated for by a fall in identifying, apprehending, and convicting the criminals responsible. (Indeed, turning off the lights might easily result in LOWERED crime statistics at the same time it was causing a drastic increase in actual crime.)

Comment What hospital is that? (Score 1) 54 54

I'm an anesthesiologist. I put people to sleep for cardiac surgery. My hospital does around 400-500 hearts a year... and we don't kill any dogs.

What hospital is that? I'll want to avoid it if I ever need heart surgery.

Seriously: How does your cardiac unit's mortality and morbidity rate stack up against those of hospitals where practice surgery on live animal, models, at least where the surgeon is new to the procedure, is more common?

Comment Re:Animals (Score 1) 54 54

I'm an anesthesiologist. I put people to sleep for cardiac surgery. My hospital does around 400-500 hearts a year... and we don't kill any dogs.

So maybe I'm not up to date, or things are/were different in research hospitals.

My personal info was based on stories told by my mother, in about the '60s, when she was a special duty RN at the University of Michigan hospital, often handling cardiac recovery.

My favorite was the one where the UofMich hospital cafeteria, which had been purely open seating, established separate rooms for the staff to eat after an incident where patients' families overheard, and were traumatized by, a cardiac surgeon's response to a question. Asked how his operations the previous day had gone (referring to his experimental and/or practice surgery on a collie and another dog), he said "The blonde lived but the old bitch died."

The kids and adopted dogs story was from my wife. The surgeon in question was Dr. Albert Starr in (at least) the '60s through '80s. He was at St. Vincent's and also flew, with his team, to operate at a number of other west coast hospitals, university and otherwise.

Comment Animals (Score -1) 54 54

A possible solution would be better simulations so that a student can learn by doing. I think it is a very different than working on a cadaver or simulated patient using conventional methods.

You obviously aren't familiar with surgical departments or you wouldn't have missed practice surgeries on live animals.

For instance: a typical cardiac surgeon, shortly before EACH operation on a human patient, does a practice operation of the same procedure on a live dog.

One pediatric cardiac surgeon was much beloved by his patents and their families, because (with parental permission) he would let the kid adopt the practice dog, rather than sending it to be destroyed. The kid would wake up from surgery with the new puppy beside him, with the same bandages, etc. (and a day or so farther along in recovery). The dog having been through the same procedure and having helped save the kid's life even before they met made for very strong owner/pet bonds. (There's always a live, healthy, practice dog. If the dog dies (or is severely damaged) the assumption is that the procedure failed. You DON'T do a procedure on a human if it just killed a dog. You analyze, adjust the procedure, and repeat until success.)

Getting skills up does NOT require, or usually involve, a lot of practice on JUST advanced simulations, cadavers or, live patients. The live patients are just the last step, when the skills are already finely honed, and the animal models provide immediate feedback, real situations, and automatically correct modelling of mammalian life processes.

Comment Re:I don't get it (Score 1) 380 380

Why don't publishers put the ads in a section of the page that can allow the rest of the page to load and render before the ad loads and renders?

Because you could stop the loading once the content you wanted was rendered, thus skipping the ad.

So the pages are set up so the ad loads and renders first.

Comment Re:How much is an AG these days? (Score 1) 256 256

But corporations are not people.

See my post, above, pointing out that corporations are groups of people, with all the rights guaranteed to people, who don't lose those rights just because they're acting together for a common purpose.

The legal system DOES, in some situations, treat corporations as pseudo-people. But that's just a convenient way to interact with the corporation's members/stockholders/what-have-you when they're acting together to advance the common purpose that the corporation was chartered to handle.

Comment Re:How much is an AG these days? (Score 2) 256 256

fuck off you right-wing scum.

In the immortal words of Red Skelton and Mel Blank: "He don't know me very well, do he?"

corporations aren't people.

Au contraire: Though they DO exhibit most of the characteristics of independent lifeforms, corporations are GROUPS of people, working together for a defined purpose. This is true whether they're businesses, schools, labor unions, churches, political parties, special-interest group, or whatever.

I assume we're agreed that people working together as a corporation shouldn't have any extra rights beyond the pooled rights of the individual members. But should these people LOSE any of their rights, just because they're working together?

Should spokesmen for a corporation with ten thousand stockholders, when speaking on issues related to the corporation's purpose, interaction with laws, and its stockholders' interests, have any less access to the ear of a legislator than the ten thousand stockholders themselves? A corporate lobbyist is just a representative of those ten thousand people when they're acting on this particular common interest.

The legal system treats corporations as pseudo-people because it's a convenient way to interact with the people making up the corporation when they're acting as a group.

Comment Chicago written large. (Score -1, Offtopic) 256 256

I wish I could be shocked at this behavior but this is standard operating procedure in America. The government has long been owned by the corporations, stuff like this just removes all doubt.

In the executive branch this has also changed - and not for the better - recently.

One of the biggest political machines in the US is that of Chicago. Chicago is utterly corrupt. But it's also the "City that Works" (according to one of its slogans), because ANYBODY can bribe the relevant officials, for sums that are within reach. The result is not pretty (and never has been). But it is thoroughly entrenched. How it operates is well known throughout the region.

Obama is a typical Chicago machine politician, as are his associates. Those of us familiar with Chicago's politics warned that, should he be elected, the likely result would be the Federal Government's executive branch would be run like Chicago's political machine.

And that's exactly what has happened. The Congress, with its slow turnover, is still largely in the pocket of the same corporate interests as before - but the Executive Branch changes more rapidly and is currently being run on Chicago's political-machine model, top to bottom. (It's usually largely in the hands of organized crime, and has been since the Nixon-Kennedy election - which was substantially a battle between two Mafia "families".)

If you wonder at the odd foreign policies (or lack thereof) of the current regime and their blatant extra-legal use of government agencies to suppress political enemies and promote the interests of arbitrary groups with no obvious ideological connection between them, try thinking of it as a corrupt big-city political machine and see if it makes more sense.

Comment Re:How much is an AG these days? (Score 5, Insightful) 256 256

Passing laws which make lobbying a criminal offence would seem to be a good start ...

It would also be unconstitutional.

The Right to Petition IS the right of lobbying, and is constitutionally protected. (That's why anti-lobbying laws keep getting struck down when challenged.)

In the US it's part of the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law ... abridging ... the right of the people ... to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." You'll also find it in Article 44 of the EU's Charter of Human Rights, Germany's 1949 Fundamental Law, England's Bill of Rights of 1689, Petition of Right of 1628, and Magna Carta (1215).

It's a fundamental part of Western Law: ANYBODY gets to ask their legislature to adjust the law to make it better for them (if they can get the legislators' attention) and not be penalized for doing so.

It's also a REALLY BAD IDEA to try to interfere with this fundamental right (and also with the fundamental right to support the political candidates of one's choice). The big money / big power people can always find ways to influence and finance the politicians of their choice. The only thing such laws do is make it harder on the "big mass of little guys". So they institutionalize elite-class favoritism and corruption, rather than retard it.

If you want to attack corruption the place to do it is the selection of the officials: Elections, and exposure of malfeasance to the electorate.

Comment In particular - at LEAST as much more ... (Score 2) 132 132

My attitude on the whole H1B visa thing is that you need to require that they pay them... lets say 20 percent more than the going rate for domestic labor of the same kind.

In particular, employers of H1Bs are not required to contribute to SOME of the social programs they aren't eleigble for. Part of any H1B reform should be a requirement that they pay them at LEAST as much more as the difference in government fees saves them. Otherwise there is a strong financial incentive to use H1Bs in preference to citizens.

(An additional complication is that the employers often put the H1Bs to work on things above their official job title and its resulting pay scale.)

Comment Re:Effective cataract eye drops are already availa (Score 4, Informative) 70 70

N-acetyl carnosine drops have been used with good success for a while. Bought them for my grandmother in law. Over the course of a couple of years it halted and mostly reversed her developing cataracts. Can get them from multiple sources.

Good information - especially while we're waiting for this stuff to become available.

I note, though, that:
  - This newly-identified material substantially clears cataracts in six days while N-acetyl carnosine takes four months for significant improvement to show.
  - This newly-identintified material appears to be what the eye normally uses in a specific mechanism to prevent/repair cataracts, while N-acetyl carnosine appears to have more generic antioxidant and chelation properties. (It's a modification of carnosine to a form which can penetrate the tissues of the eye and is converted back to carnosine within them. Carnosine is great for retarding several ageing mechanisms but it looks more like a generic helper than a specific repair-mechanism component or trigger for cataracts.)
  - The discovery of this new stuff occurred by identifying what was missing in people with a genetic early-cataract problem. If this is necessary for cataract prevention/repair and its production declines (but doesn't fully stop) with age, N-acetyl carnosine might not work for people who don't make it at all.

So though N-acetyl carnosine looks good, this looks great and specific. (And I don't see any reason to stop the former even if taking the latter. Unless some specific interaction issue shows up I'd expect them to work well together.)

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