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Comment: Re:There is a better drug in my opinion. (Score 1) 102

by RDW (#48185713) Attached to: Canada Will Ship 800 Doses of Experimental Ebola Drug to WHO

Although I did not mention it in my original post, I am extremely skeptical of the evidence for polio vaccines' effectiveness.

Then I'm afraid it's pretty unlikely we can have a useful discussion. There is still no fully effective cure for entrenched belief in anti-vaccine conspiracy theories (or HIV 'scepticism', if you also subscribe to that).

Comment: Re:There is a better drug in my opinion. (Score 1) 102

by RDW (#48182775) Attached to: Canada Will Ship 800 Doses of Experimental Ebola Drug to WHO

Unfortunately, history (AZT giving people AIDS, Polio vaccine giving people Polio) suggests we should expect much worse when this kind of rushed drug testing occurs.

Those aren't great examples! AZT has never given anyone AIDS (outside the minds of conspiracy theorists) and remains in use as part of standard anti-retrovial combination therapy. Live polio vaccine can (extremely rarely) revert to a harmful form, but this has to be balanced against its enormously beneficial overall impact. I'm sure the researchers would be delighted if any of the anti-EBOV drugs currently being tested were as effective as AZT is against HIV, or if either of the new recombinant ebola vaccines now in trials (GSK also has one) were as protective as oral polio vaccine is against polio.

Comment: Re:There is a better drug in my opinion. (Score 5, Informative) 102

by RDW (#48179599) Attached to: Canada Will Ship 800 Doses of Experimental Ebola Drug to WHO

There are three very different agents here:

ZMapp - engineered antibodies to EBOV.

Favipiravir - small molecule, presumably made by standard organic synthesis techniques, active against the RNA polymerases (key replication enzymes) of quite a broad range of RNA viruses (including influenza virus).

VSV-EBOV - (what the Canadians are shipping). A vaccine rather than a treatment, made by using molecular cloning to insert specific EBOV proteins into an unrelated, harmless virus. It will be propagated in mammalian cells rather than the tobacco-plant based method used for ZMapp production.

Comment: Re:Optional extras with the Oculus Rift version (Score 1) 57

by RDW (#48110323) Attached to: Simple Hack Enables VR Mode For Oculus Rift In Alien: Isolation

Adult diapers.
Strong tranquilizers
Sixteen pairs of clean underwear.


Already felt a bit of motion sickness playing it with a standard monitor, though there's a hack for that too (which does seem to help):

Comment: Re:This is not government policy (Score 2) 942

by RDW (#48034613) Attached to: David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

Yes, this. Cameron has plenty of obnoxious policies he can be criticised for, but he's not about to abolish the metric system. This was just an off the cuff response to a question about his personal outlook, not the manifesto for the next election:

In the UK, a few Imperial measures are pretty entrenched (miles for distance, stones for body weight, feet for height, pints for milk and beer) but younger people tend to think in grams rather than pounds and ounces. The metric system has been taught to everyone since Cameron was in primary school, so he'll be perfectly familiar with it, though many of his supporters are from an older age group and the UKIP supporters he's trying to win back are, on average, older again (and probably think of grams as some sort of foreign plot imposed by the EU). But making an occasional gesture like this in an interview is not the same thing as seriously considering a policy change.

Comment: Phase Three (Score 1) 242

by RDW (#48015873) Attached to: At CIA Starbucks, Even the Baristas Are Covert

Is this connected with the transition from Phase Two to Phase Three? Presumably it must have helped with recruitment:

"Though the coffee chain's specific plans are not known, existing Starbucks franchises across the nation have been locked down with titanium shutters across all windows. In each coffee shop's door hangs the familiar Starbucks logo, slightly altered to present the familiar mermaid figure as a cyclopean mermaid whose all-seeing eye forms the apex of a world-spanning pyramid...Remaining Starbucks employees earmarked for re-training are being taught revised corporate procedures alongside 15,500 new hires recently recruited from such non-traditional sources as the CIA retirement program, Internet bulletin boards frequented by former Eagle Scouts, and the employment section in the back of Soldier Of Fortune magazine."

Comment: Why not write them down? (Score 3, Informative) 191

by RDW (#47991547) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Keep Students' Passwords Secure?

However when asked about the kids remembering all the user names and passwords the school said they are going to have the kids write them down in a notebook. This seemed like a very bad practice for a classroom and to/from home situation.

Bruce Schneier says:

"Microsoft's Jesper Johansson urged people to write down their passwords.

This is good advice, and I've been saying it for years.

Simply, people can no longer remember passwords good enough to reliably defend against dictionary attacks, and are much more secure if they choose a password too complicated to remember and then write it down. We're all good at securing small pieces of paper. I recommend that people write their passwords down on a small piece of paper, and keep it with their other valuable small pieces of paper: in their wallet."

Comment: Re:at least the nuclear weapons will be gone (Score 4, Funny) 494

by RDW (#47927385) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

I was presuming that the nukes in Scotland would be moved south, as the Scots have made it clear they don't want them.

Yes, but have you seen the recently leaked list of key military and economic assets to be targeted by Trident in the event of Scottish independence?:

(1) Alex Salmond's secret command bunker, 'The Salmon's Lair'.

(2) MIRV attack on all Speyside distilleries, centred on Glenlivet.

(3) The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Global Headquarters, Glasgow.

(4) The Gilded Balloon theatre, to neutralise the threat from Edinburgh Fringe elements, once and for all.

(5) Submarine detonation at Loch Ness, in an attempt to create a rampaging Godzilla-style radioactive monster.

Comment: Re:Now I just have to ... (Score 2) 441

by RDW (#47807515) Attached to: In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

I want to read that novel.

Check out the Amazon extract ('But amid all the despair and hopelessness, people were working indefatigably to stabilise the nation and alleviate the prevalent tumult; and on 28 August 2298, the sedulousness of these committed inidividual was recompensed.') and you might change your mind. Still, if the original article is accurate there's no justification for his treatment, and the implications are deeply disturbing. Have we been told the full story?

There is no distinction between any AI program and some existent game.