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Comment: Good Luck With That (Score 3, Interesting) 36

by the eric conspiracy (#47913697) Attached to: Funding Tech For Government, Instead of Tech For Industry

The government-it industrial complex is controlled by the same sort of corrupt relationships that the military-industrial complex. Come in to that situation with new ideas and you will get slapped down by entrenched interests intent on making use of networks of people moving back and forth between government and industry in order to create personal wealth. New ideas and new technologies only rock the boat.

The classic example is the PPACA web site. Hundreds of millions spent on something that would be a 5-10 million dollar project in a sane world.

Comment: Much better article in _Nature_ (Score 5, Informative) 88

Key points:

* The coating on the nanobeads binds to many different things, so it's useful even if you don't know in advance what is making the patient sick.

The device uses a modified version of mannose-binding lectin (MBL), a protein found in humans that binds to sugar molecules on the surfaces of more than 90 different bacteria, viruses and fungi, as well as to the toxins released by dead bacteria that trigger the immune overreaction in sepsis.

* The device can process about 1 litre of blood per hour; compare with about 5 litre blood volume for a typical human, thus this should be able to completely process a person's blood about once every 5 hours. If a faster rate is needed, multiple devices could be used in parallel.

* This has been successfully tested on rats. They infected rats with bacteria and 89% of the rats treated with the "artificial spleen" survived, while only 14% of the control group survived.

* This could move to human clinical trials relatively soon.

Nigel Klein, an infection and immunity expert at University College London, says that the biospleen could also allow diagnosticians to collect samples of a pathogen from the blood and then culture it to identify it and determine what drugs will best treat it. As blood transfusion and filtration are already common practices, he expects that the biospleen could move into human clinical trials within a couple of years.

Read the whole article. It's not long and all of it is interesting.

Comment: (Score 1) 527

by phayes (#47908585) Attached to: Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

Riiiight, because the "oppression" you experience in the west is globally equivalent to Communism's crimes against humanity like the collectivization of the Ukraine & forced migrations which killed millions. For you, Japanese-American internment act & more recently, the Patriot act, Guantanamo & Mass metadata collection is just as bad if not worse as killing millions.

You're incapable of normal rational thought like I said earlier.

Comment: Re:Only Apple can't make sapphire work. (Score 1) 195

The problem with sapphire is that it's BRITTLE. Drop it and it will break. It's why steel is better than cast iron.

You aren't likely to drop a checkout scanner. Iphones though are regularly dropped.

The hardness is is great if you are worried ONLY about scratches.

Comment: Re:Atheism offers no values - you have to add them (Score 4, Informative) 852

by the eric conspiracy (#47899069) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

That's incorrect. Rational philosophies and even evolution provide non-theistic justifications for altruism.

It in fact looks now that altruism is a survival trait that is hard wired in the human brain through natural selection.

Comment: Re:Predators (Score 1) 85

by phayes (#47898937) Attached to: Giant Dinosaur Unearthed In Argentina

Lions that could survive the drought were those that adapted to hunt elephants

No. I never said that. IIRC while the pride that was learned & went on to prefer attack elephants prospered, other prides in the area suffered through the drought, but survived.

if you wipe out all your prey in your area

Lions weren't the only reason or even the most important one in the extinction of elephants in the pride's area. Humans reduced the elephant population to the point that they could be locally exterminated.

Pack animals predating much larger prey isn't a freak event. It has happened throughout time & all over the earth whenever a prey species has evolved to be much larger than the available predators. There may be a window in which the prey species is invulnerable but eventually pack animals will adapt to the available resource.

  If 29 meter (terrestrial) carnivores ever existed, we would have seen some sign of them by now

Comment: Re:Well now. (Score 1) 101

The argument about committing crime being outlawed would be more convincing if basic copyright infringement were treated as a crime and was actually investigated and punished in some proportionate way by the authorities when it occurs. The reality is that copyright is in most cases a civil matter, which means that while the cumulative damage to a genuine victim can be significant, they are essentially responsible for their own protection, without any police or public prosecutors to help them the way a victim of say theft or fraud would have. And the costs of bringing an action to recover losses are disproportionate in most cases, because copyright infringement kills with a thousand cuts.

Also, we're talking about the EU. Everything your wrote about fair use doesn't apply here. We tend to have more specific exemptions to copyright in our national laws in Europe, often including certain special privileges for libraries because of their unique public service role, and that is the matter at hand.

Comment: Re:As a private citizen (Score 4, Insightful) 211

by phayes (#47894179) Attached to: Congress Can't Make Asteroid Mining Legal (But It's Trying, Anyway)

The Space treaty may make it illegal but no sanctions are specified. If the USG depenalizes space homesteading and allows people to sell ressources brought back from space, the treaty will be dead. Prior examples: The treaties the USG signed & then ignored with Indian tribes during the 19th century.

"Marriage is like a cage; one sees the birds outside desperate to get in, and those inside desperate to get out." -- Montaigne