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Comment: Re:I should add that it is improving (Score 1) 713

by ajdecon (#26177709) Attached to: Trick or Treatment

So maybe a few homeopathic solutions or healing herbs would come in handy to the doctor who wants return business, but doesn't want to prescribe unneeded antibiotics. And who knows, the patient might get well faster because he feels better: the doctor clearly cares about his welfare, he's been given "medicine", all should be well. People aren't machines; they don't respond well to being treated as though they were. Whatever happened to the art of medicine?

It went away with modern medical ethics. A doctor is ethically required to prescribe medicine which he or she honestly believes will address the problem, and tell the patient why that is. It's about informed consent. If a medical doctor prescribed a homeopathic remedy, how do you imagine the conversation going?

"Well, the remedy I'm giving you has no active ingredient--it's actually diluted so far down that it's just water! Nevertheless, I think it will reduce your pain/swelling/etc because of the placebo effect. Which requires that you think this is a real medicine--oops."

This is the same reason that doctors are now taught that sugar pills and other placebos are ethical only in medical trials, in which the priority is the testing of a treatment rather than the actual treatment. Using placebos in place of tested treatments in actual practice is equivalent to lying to the patient.

Comment: Re:We already knew this (Score 1) 713

by ajdecon (#26177439) Attached to: Trick or Treatment

I'm glad acupuncture helps you feel better. However: do you know why your back is hurting? Have you had a doctor actually look at your back to make sure the symptom isn't a symptom of a real, serious condition? Or do you just trust your "personal experience" which says that acupuncture makes pain go away?

The real danger of alternative medicine isn't that it doesn't work, but that it makes people less likely to look deeper into their problems. In your case and most others, it probably doesn't matter, but from time to time you really do need that "proven" treatment.

Amiga

+ - The History of the Amiga->

Submitted by
wyldeone
wyldeone writes "Ars Technica has published the first part of their history of the Amiga, and of the mis-management at Commodore that led to its demise. From the article:

The Amiga computer was a dream given form — an inexpensive, fast, flexible multimedia computer that could do virtually anything. It handled graphics, sound, and video as easily as other computers of its time manipulated plain text. It was easily ten years ahead of its time. It was everything its designers imagined it could be, except for one crucial problem: the world was essentially unaware of its existence.
"

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Sci-Fi

+ - Mayor of San Diego Hates Comicon Attendees->

Submitted by
Lisa Fary
Lisa Fary writes "As we all know, 2007's Comicon International in San Diego ended this past weekend. Comicon is probably San Diego's largest, 4-day revenue generator, but that didn't stop the Mayor of San Diego, Jerry Sanders, from stating "We've put up the superheroes and now we're on to the people with actual talent." on the Cantore in the Morning show on 91X, the Monday morning AFTER the convention ended (presumably, when he thought that any of those pesky comics and sci-fi geeks were safely out of earshot). It's actually a pretty crappy thing to say about any group that brings such large amounts of hotel, restaurant, parking, transportation and retail revenue in to the city Can you imagine if something similar were said regarding almost any other group?"
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The Internet

+ - China's Open Document Format->

Submitted by
eldavojohn
eldavojohn writes "While there's been a lot of talk of the open document formats in the states, we have to realize that China's facing the same dilemma. And that's nothing to ignore with the largest population of the world under it's governance. The blog starts by pointing out they will most likely merge their current standard with either OOXML or ODF. The bulk of this blog points out why OOXML shouldn't be ISO certified and the biggest problem for Microsoft's standard: "Another Standard, Microsoft does not support, is the specification RFC 3987, which defines UTF-8 capable Internet addresses. Consequently, OOXML does not support, to use Chinese characters within a Web address." This would be problematic for many languages, not just Chinese."
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Operating Systems

+ - Linux Vs OS X for the Common Man->

Submitted by
eldavojohn
eldavojohn writes "So, like a lot of people have noticed, the Vista price tag is a little steep. Failing Windows for whatever reason, what is better: Linux or OS X? Now, I'm sure there are flaws in the presentations here and they are lengthy but I think this article does a good job of expressing to an average user these alternatives to Windows. The conclusion on Linux: "Linux gives you freedom on many levels: the freedom to tinker, the freedom to work without arbitrary constraints on your system setup, and the freedom to make decisions about nearly every aspect of your system. That freedom does come at a cost, though — the cost of a certain degree of effort. I haven't yet dealt with a single Linux install that didn't require me to edit some configuration file somewhere. That said, the amount of effort required to get the Linux system you want (or need) has gone down enormously with time." The conclusion on Mac: "If you believe that open source is a moral choice — and many people do — then buying Apple is making a deal with the devil. Apple is arguably the most proprietary hardware / software company in the industry, despite Mac OS X's origins in BSD Unix, and the products' compliance with many industry standards. But if you're willing to live with lock-in, Apple is a great choice for computing. Installation isn't a problem — Apple does it for you. Networking is easy. Productivity is a dream. The Mac offers a broad variety of entertainment options. It's a secure platform. It interoperates well with Windows. It's highly stable, and offers solid backup choices for the data losses that are inevitable on any computing platform.""
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PC Games (Games)

+ - 37th and final Independent game review panel->

Submitted by
cyrus_zuo
cyrus_zuo writes " Game Tunnel 's monthly Indie game review panel is no more. This month's panel, posted July 31st, will be the final panel reviewing what's new in Independent games. The monthly review panel has run just over 3 years with the July panel marking the 37th panel. Having reviewed 468 games over its life, the panel has had a variety of writers giving a plethora of opinions about what has been great and what hasn't been so great in the world of Indie games. The final panel features Derek Yu from TIGSource (and IGF winner Aquaria fame), Greg Costikyan from Manifesto Games, John Bardinelli from Joystiq, and Caspian Prince from Puppygames."
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Space

+ - Jupiter moon pukes into space: probe movie

Submitted by Tablizer
Tablizer (95088) writes "The New Horizons probe caught the moon Io in the act of barfing into space. "This five-frame sequence of New Horizons images captures the giant plume from Io's Tvashtar volcano. Snapped by the probe's Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) as the spacecraft flew past Jupiter earlier this year, this first-ever "movie" of an Io plume clearly shows motion in the cloud of volcanic debris, which extends 330 kilometers (200 miles) above the moon's surface...The appearance and motion of the plume is remarkably similar to an ornamental fountain on Earth, replicated on a gigantic scale.""
Moon

+ - Suggestions for Linux-friendly digital camcorder?

Submitted by stoomart
stoomart (1092733) writes "I've never had a camcorder before but now that my wife and I have a new baby girl, I want to start capturing her life in digital videos along with the mass of digital pictures we already have.

Here are the only criteria I'm looking for.

- Able to directly connect via USB or Firewire (preferably USB but not required)
- Use non-optical storage (flash or hard drive)
- Be compatible with Linux/OSS
- I would like to stay around or under $300

For everything else, I'm up for suggestions.

Thanks, Stoo"
Books

+ - Best Open Ebook Format / Store?

Submitted by
cuteseal
cuteseal writes "Having been a Palm Reader user from back in the day when a Palm was still called a Pilot, I have built up a sizable collection of ebooks, that can only be read by their proprietary Ereader software. I love reading ebooks on my handheld, but I am frustrated that my technology choices have inevitably been limited based on the criteria — does it support the Palm Ereader software? Blackberry — not supported, Psion — nada, Sony Reader — nope, until recently, Windows Smartphones were off the list as well.

Ebook users out there — what ebook formats do you use, and what reader software gives you the most platform flexibility? There are many alternatives out there (Mobipocket, Microsoft Reader, Adobe PDF) but the ultimate, IMHO, would be to buy ebooks in an open, ubiquitous format that every reader and platform could support, and still have the variety, range and currency of carrying recent titles. An added bonus would be to have DRM-free formats, such as text files (wishful thinking?) or even Aportis DOC. Do you know of any ebook stores that do so, and if so, which ones are your favourite and why?"
Google

+ - Google Custom Site Search may be hiding results->

Submitted by
crystalattice
crystalattice writes "Google's Custom Site Search appears to be less than useful for established sites. According to J de Silva's GIDBlog post, not all the pages related to a search query are being returned. From the article: "If I search Google for [site:gidforums.com auto add slashes], i.e. restricting the search to only my web site, GIDForums, I expect it to return this page, but according to Googles Custom Search Engine, that page doesnt even exist! Notice that its not listed at all; not filtered, and not even stuck inside their infamous supplemental results. But its an old page! In fact the page is very old over 4 years old, actually and Google indexed this page very soon after it was written, and even referred people to the page for at least a couple of years, or more. So why did they remove it? What happened?""
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It seems that more and more mathematicians are using a new, high level language named "research student".

Working...