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Comment: Re:How many $billions for Penicillin (Score 1) 243

by aberglas (#49134327) Attached to: The Peculiar Economics of Developing New Antibiotics

Not So.

Flemming made the initial observation about the mold, which suggested that it might possibly work. But Florey followed it up, figured out how to extract the key ingredient, test it on mice and later men. "Moldy Mary" and others then refined the mold growing process.

Also there were Sulfa drugs before Penicillin. Wikipedia is your friend.

Comment: Unavailable Content (Score 1) 78

by aberglas (#49098617) Attached to: Australian ISPs To Introduce '3-Strike' Style Anti-piracy Scheme

Australia is a second class citizen for content. Movies, Netflix, books, you name it. Publishers withhold content or charge much more for it because they can, just bloody minded tradition. That drives most of the "piracy".

The idea that our government is pushing to help people restrict content that is not available here anyway is appalling. If it is not available under free and equitable terms , it does not deserve copyright. But then the industry whispers in the ears of ministers and we do not have a voice.

Comment: Re:A big surprise (Score 4, Insightful) 192

by aberglas (#49091559) Attached to: How NSA Spies Stole the Keys To the Encryption Castle

Actually it is surprising. Many if not most large government IT projects are appallingly run. Vast amounts of money wasted on useless consultants that end up producing very little if anything at all.

As the NSA's budget grows and grows, I suspect this will happen to them. Lots of MBAs that can only organize their own careers, while the crypto-nerds are pushed into the background.

Comment: Email is *so* 20th century. Enter a garden (Score 2) 296

by aberglas (#49008241) Attached to: Firefox Succeeded In Its Goal -- But What's Next?

Email is not just the way of the future. My kids use imessage to communicate with their trendy friends with Apple gear. Indeed we needed to buy them an ipad touch just so they could keep up. My wife uses Facebook to communicate. Less fashionable people communicate with Kick, and a few neanderthals even use Skype.

The idea that somebody on GMail or Outlook or even Thunderbird cam communicate with an iPhone is an accident of history. Why would anybody want to support technology that can help others steal the customers that they own? Blogs and RSS are already dead, long live Facebook! Email will follow.

Comment: Re:how stupid (Score 2) 227

by aberglas (#48984507) Attached to: Canada, Japan Cave On Copyright Term Extension In TPP

No, the US founding fathers got it right. 14 years from creation of the work, irrespective of the life of the author. Nobody produces content based on expected income in 15 years time.

But this is nothing to do with promoting creative endeavors. It is about protecting libraries held by corporates.

Comment: Re:It's all about the incentive (Score 1) 227

by aberglas (#48984487) Attached to: Canada, Japan Cave On Copyright Term Extension In TPP

You are assuming that these negotiations are rational.

In practice a bunch of very ordinary bureaucrats have cosy chats behind closed doors. Someone says that they need to stop people stealing copyright. Everybody knows that stealing is bad. So they mindlessly agree and then move on to issues that concern them like agricultural subsidies.

Comment: Re:Monomania (Score 1) 425

by aberglas (#48974083) Attached to: One Man's Quest To Rid Wikipedia of Exactly One Grammatical Mistake

+1. The reason that we have terrible spelling is *because* of teachers. They focus on the concept of right vs wrong, and make people petty minded about spelling. That in turn locks in the current horrible system. And requires more teachers to teach it ...

I doubt if they went to far, wherever that might be. Maybe they went too far...

Comment: Biggest difference is timing. (Score 4, Interesting) 33

Certainly biological neurons are much more complex than artificial neural net neurons. The simplest "Integrate and Fire" (IF) model of a biological neuron perform a leaky integration over *time*, and if the voltage ever reaches the trigger value the fire. So the timing of stimulations is critical, whereas most Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) does all its calculations (logically) at the same time. The ANN is both simpler and cleaner to work with. Biological synapses are very complex, but much of that complexity just reflects the wet technology that they are made from.

If you want to understand how the brain works, study biological neurons. If you want to understand how to build an intelligent machine, engineer ANNs.

"Who alone has reason to *lie himself out* of actuality? He who *suffers* from it." -- Friedrich Nietzsche