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Comment: Re:Harmless? (Score 1) 371

by VAXcat (#44111679) Attached to: FCC Considering Proposal For Encrypted Ham Radio
It goes back to the origins of radio. Originally, it was all amateurs messing arouind. Then, as it became more useful and of interest to companies and governments, amateur radio types were quick to restrict themselves as harmless and non-competitive to these interests, in order to keep from being squashed as nuisances. I think it ought to be more like licensing of pilots - those licensed at the lowest skill levels can't charge for flying and can only fly for personal gain under strict rules. As pilots progress in skill levels, they can perform a wider range of flying for hire. Something similar could be done for radio operations. As it is, it took decades to get legal permission to use a radio link to order a pizza.

Comment: Re:The inability to research? (Score 4, Interesting) 230

by VAXcat (#43913829) Attached to: New Drugs Trail Many Old Ones In Effectiveness Against Disease
Not exactly true. Thalidomide does indeed have two mirror image isomers,. and there is some research to indicate that indeed only one of these isomers causes damage. BUT - thalidomide undergoes racemization in the human blood stream - that is, even if you start only with "good" thalidomide in your drug, it will be metabolized into a mix of good and bad in the bloodstream - so, even if you only ingest the "good twin", you wind up with the damage causing "bad twin" in your body anyway.

Comment: Re:I'm sorry (Score 1) 558

by VAXcat (#43864507) Attached to: 'Smart Gun' Firm Wants You To Fund Its Prototype
I'd like a smart rifle, like the one in Vernor Vinge's Bobble series, that lets you designate several targets in the scope, and then, when given the command to fire via trigger pull, actually fires when the barrel is properly aligned to hit the designated target or targets - you mark the targets, then pull the trigger and wave the weapon in their general direction.

Every nonzero finite dimensional inner product space has an orthonormal basis. It makes sense, when you don't think about it.