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Comment Re:Of course not (Score 1) 345

The pharmaceutical companies aren't interested in developing inexpensive drugs you take a few times and then are done with. They want to develop something you have to take for the rest of your life to treat a chronic condition and charge as much as they can get away with.

Bzzt. This is a very common misconception about the motives behind pharmaceutical companies not going into antibiotic or vaccine research without government funding. It doesn't hold up to scrutiny.

Any competent pharmaceutical company is constantly looking for cures to both acute and chronic conditions. Why? Because not only would it be a very expensive drug that you take a few times while the patent is active, but when one company discovers the cure, all of the other companies are left holding their dicks in the wind. No company wants to be in that position, so they all want to be the first to a cure even if they technically would make more money with a non-curative treatment in the long run. It's the Prisoner's Dilemma writ large.

Funding for antibiotics isn't low because Big Pharma doesn't want to cure people. It's low because there's a lot more money in a cure for type II diabetes than there is in a cure for carbapenem-resistant enterobacteria.


Comment Re:Shop elsewhere if you need this drug (Score 4, Insightful) 372

Incorrect. If brand-name manufacturers had this sort of power over generic drug approval, then there would be no generic drugs. The people who are saying that they can withhold consent to having their drugs used in bioequivalency trials are doing so based on a court case that never went to trial, about a company (mis)using REMS (a restriction placed by the FDA on certain dangerous drugs) to keep other companies from having their product. Daraprim is not a REMS drug AFAICT.

The real reason why there are no generic versions of Daraprim is because creating one and getting one approved costs a lot of money. When Glaxo was still selling the drug at a relatively low price, there was no incentive to make a generic because said generic couldn't be competitive. Now that Turing has marked the price up, a generic is far more feasible, but it will still take a considerable amount of time before one gets on the market. And even then, it might not be worth the risk that Turing will just lower the price and undercut any would-be competitors.


Comment Bad summary of good article (Score 1) 119

The article does not at all say that there aren't gamers who are fans of specific genres. What it says is that the giant categories of people who play video games (which should be differentiated from "gamer" in the same way that "people who watch movies" is differentiated from "movie buff") that small developers tend to go after in order to do well in the marketplace, like "MOBA gamers," "core gamers," or "female gamers," aren't cohesive blocs that all buy and play a variety of games within their interests. Indeed, the vast majority of people who play video games tend to stick to a handful of games for various reasons. The point of the article is that while genre gamers and hardcore gamers who will buy your game even if it isn't mainstream exist, there are a lot fewer of them than indie developers tend to assume that there are, and those developers should keep their sales expectations appropriately low.


Comment Re:Why are people posting this nonsense? (Score 1, Funny) 480

it appears to violate conventional physics and the law of conservation of momentum;
No, it does not, otherwise it would not work.

A theoretical physicist, an applied physicist, and an engineer walk into a bar.
The engineer says, "Thanks barkeep, may I have another?"
The bartender bets the three that he can serve them beer at FTL speeds.
The theoretical physicist says, "Preposterous! That would violate all sorts of fundamental laws including causality!"
The applied physicist says, "If it works, it doesn't matter what your theory says!"

Comment I dunno Who asked for this (Score 1) 46

My wife has a desktop with Debian 6 installed and it's nothing but trouble, crashes, dropped Internet connection, etc. What really sucks about it is that she likes to stay up late playing Tux Racer and whenever something goes wrong she wakes me up out of a good rest to fix it!



tl; dr: Momma's got a Squeeze box, Daddy never sleeps at night

Comment Re:Film Industry (Score 3, Interesting) 272

A better comparison is not with the Hollywood model of today, but with the model that existed in the early days of cinema--studios "owned" actors, directors, etc. under contract so that they could only make pictures for that studio. This made a lot of money for the studios but everyone else got peanuts and had their creativity stifled, a natural oligopoly arose, and mediocrity ruled the day. The system eventually was broken up by the Supreme Court under antitrust law and the studios felt extreme competitive pressure from television, leading to the freelance system we have now where studios compete to get the best stars by sharing profit, granting creative ownership, and so forth. We wouldn't necessarily need another Supreme Court ruling or another entertainment medium to fix the video-game industry, but doing so would probably still require some sort of collective action (e.g. a general strike by top game designers and writers).


Comment Re:An open system (Score 5, Insightful) 271

No, the very nature of the PC ecosystem keeps you from reselling what you paid for. Bootlegging PC games has been trivial for well over a decade even if you're only looking at optical-disc-based games. There's also the fact that you could never trust any used game with both a multiplayer component and a CD key (because how do you know the original owner isn't still using the key?) Those trust issues (not to mention the ease of piracy) made the PC used-game market essentially nonviable for years before Steam came out, and would continue to do so if Steam didn't exist. Especially since the publishers that are currently using Steam to lock down their games would continue to do so through similar methods.


Comment Re: The Romans found out about lead (Score 1) 780

Hell, the medical community puts mercury into injections, and expect you to inject it directly into your blood steam.

You couldn't have shown less of an understanding of basic chemistry even if you had instead posted that the copious amounts of hydrogen we ingest every day puts us all in danger of spontaneously combusting.


If you're not careful, you're going to catch something.