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Comment Re:As if... (Score 1) 366

As if the co-pilot couldn't have made the exact same mistake with a calculator or even paper.

The error could have happened regardless of the calculation tool as long as a human is entering the data. Inadequate verification of the information used seems to be at the heart of allowing the error to go unnoticed.

Submission + - Affordable Care Act Exchanges Fail to Detect Obvious Counterfeit Documentation (

Tulsa_Time writes: As part of its review, GAO tested application and enrollment controls on the federal exchange and two state exchanges (California and Kentucky). Ten fictitious applicants were created to test whether verification steps including validating an applicant’s Social Security number, verifying citizenship, and verifying household income were completed properly.

In order to test these controls, GAO’s test applications provided fraudulent documentation:

“For each of the 10 undercover applications where we obtained qualified health-plan coverage, the respective marketplace directed that our applicants submit supplementary documentation we provided counterfeit follow-up documentation, such as fictitious Social Security cards with impossible Social Security numbers, for all 10 undercover applications.”

Comment Re:Green Movement opposition to Nuclear (Score 1) 173

What does technology choice matter when we (in the US) propose to only cut CO2 to 2005 levels by 2030? And we can't even agree on that. We will have to get very aggressive with every technology and efficiency improvement available, and many countries won't have the resources to help much.

Submission + - Marijuana Use, Disorders Doubled Since 2001 ( 1

Mr D from 63 writes: Not sure if medical science qualifies as tech, but this is an interesting study. It basically says that 3 of 10 marijuana users develop what they call 'usage disorders'. That is a bit surprising to me.

Should this impact our path down the legalization for recreational use road?

Comment Re:screening (Score 1) 130

Yes, they found more cancers than they expected on the first screening pass. But the tumor sizes in those cases generally showed that they must have started before the accident, and the frequency within the population did not correlate at all with the exposure profile. So it was quite clear that something else is the cause of these initial high numbers.

They are careful, as they should be, to not draw any conclusions as to how many cancers may eventually arise due to Fukushima radiation or any other cause. That will come with more screening data over the long term. It is interesting to note that there were relatively few additional cancers found on subsequent screening passes.

Its refreshing when you get an article that has a clear professional explanation, and only speaks to the data at hand.

Comment Re:Too soon (Score 1) 130

I made a mistake in the numbers above. My apologies, here is corrected information, please ignore above.

The first study shows expected additional cases due to radiation, the second shows total cases. The first study also includes a higher population in addition to the workers.

Here is a corrected comparison just using the worker population

Harvard study: Worker Population: Predicted cases of Leukemia up to 2005= 80
UNSCEAR study: Worker Population: Number of cases of Leukemia up to 2012 attributable to radiation = 16

Comment Re:Too soon (Score 1) 130

The term 'enough exposure' is meaningless in this context. At low doses of the amount the workers have been exposed, the increase in risk is so small that we don't expect to statistically be able to see it. That does not mean there will be zero cancers, and nobody is claiming that. But there certainly will not be many additional cancers.

As for this particular study, they know the tumors found in the first screenings are not due to Fukushima because they know the size and growth rate of tumors, and can use that established medical knowledge to understand that they had to have started forming before the accident. That is pretty straightforward, and it certainly doesn't deny that eventually a cancer may be caused by irradiation from Fukushima. Nobody ever claimed that.

Comment Re:Too soon (Score 1) 130

The problem remains that while we assume there can be low dose impacts, it is very hard to study because the increase in risk is so low, and there is are so many variables that make it hard to have a big enough study and control group that eliminate other factors. People that get CT scans are already in a different group than the normal population, as they already have some health problem. It is very hard to reconcile these factors.

I am OK with the LNT model as long as it is used properly. It is conservative and we should certainly be conservative when it comes to radiation exposure. But when using it for predictions, the uncertainties need to be considered.

"The most important thing in a man is not what he knows, but what he is." -- Narciso Yepes