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Comment: Re:There is a better drug in my opinion. (Score 1) 87

by sumdumass (#48183793) Attached to: Canada Will Ship 800 Doses of Experimental Ebola Drug to WHO

Lol. They did not just throw darts at a stack of papers and decide to try whatever it landed on. These drugs were already being worked on with knowlege of its Ebola interaction already being worked on.

I'm not saying we know evrrything but we certainly do have a better understanding of it than the health benefits of cat purrs.

Comment: Re:So what qualifies? (Score 1) 334

by sumdumass (#48183723) Attached to: In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

Ok I'll bite.

So what is subjective about me saying your commrnt sucks, i hope you choke on a pretzel because everyone on the internet is more stupid now that you postef your opinion? Is that legitimate or malicious in its nature? Is it even trolling or just ill concieved criticism?

And what is with the name Dutch Gun. Is that like a dutch oven but from a distance? What with the ovens over there anyways- do they all smell or something? Was that trolling ir a bad attemp at humor? Was it malicious since it was meant to poke fun at your name or will thejudge laugh and ignore it?

Comment: Re:There is a better drug in my opinion. (Score 1) 87

by sumdumass (#48182281) Attached to: Canada Will Ship 800 Doses of Experimental Ebola Drug to WHO

Sorry, first that should obviously read "incredulous". Second, the idea that experimental drugs have a reasonable chance of being useful, thus providing hope, is just wrong. It is very rare for this to be true. It is essentially performing random activities, something at the level of rain dances. We may as well give the patients a cat to purr on their lap, and tell them the frequencies of the purrs may help the healing process.

Of course this is only true if the virus was not understood and the drugs were not being developed with eventual intent or treating the virus and similar ones. In this case, they did provide hope.

The best we can hope is the side effects are limited and they just waste money. 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.

While I agree with this in principle, the first case of doing this with this disease turned out well so they did it again. Now they are pushing more drugs that have shown promise on paper but not necessarily on patients. We may still see bad side effects with these drugs but the alternative in many cases is death so the level of severity is somewhat subjective.

Comment: Re:Too bad... (Score 1) 607

by sumdumass (#48182233) Attached to: Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

Kick the gearbox! This part wasn't about power, it's about consumer markets in general. Do you claim we just can't make enough TVs to satisfy demand? Car lots are empty because they can't get them in as fast as they sell? When is the last time you heard of anyone going to Best Buy and they were told "can't help you, our shelves are empty"? More than one consumer products manufacturer has been caught channel stuffing because production capability well outstripped demand.

My bad, I didn't know you were moving the goal posts. I thought we were still talking about the power generation markets.

As for bailouts, the whole world was screwed by the bubble bursting. Socialist or capitalist hardly mattered. However, by doubling down on the socialism (nationalizing the banks) and a fairly modest bailout loan, Iceland has recovered fairly quickly (more quickly than the U.S.). They also actually prosecuted fraudsters in their banking system. It is well understood that easing back on bank regulation in the early 2000's was a key factor that permitted the crisis.

lol.. All hail socialism then. Am I mocking you? You tell me. One country that actually went bankrupt turned out better than the riots in the streets over the austerity measures in the others. They prosecuted fraudsters in the banking systems in the US too. Of course it was the low level fraudsters who were pushing subprime loans knowing they could package the risk into a swap that would later default but sell it before it did.

Meanwhile, the U.S. proclaimed the crisis over by fiat, but it only ended for Wall Street. It continues to drag on (though with signs of improvement) for the rest of us.Our debt is rising. Iceland's is falling.

ha.. finally something we both completely agree on. Well assuming you believe what you wrote.

Comment: Re:drug patents harm the world (Score 1) 87

by sumdumass (#48181917) Attached to: Canada Will Ship 800 Doses of Experimental Ebola Drug to WHO

I forget which treaty is it, but there are exceptions in which a government can claim a state of emergency and manufacture any drug or violate any patent to address that emergency without violating any international law or foreign law.

It was all over the news back when the Anthrax scares were happening. Canada cited the provisions when it appeared there would be a shortage of Cipro and decided one of their companies would manufacture it for Canadian stockpiles. I think they later reversed on that when Bayer said they could produce the amounts needed.

I would be inclined to think this is one of those times. But these drugs are not tested and have little to no working background that could be used to get generics up and running like you could with other drugs.

Comment: Re:There is a better drug in my opinion. (Score 1) 87

by sumdumass (#48181849) Attached to: Canada Will Ship 800 Doses of Experimental Ebola Drug to WHO

The problem you are seeing is that these drugs are nowhere near tested as far as any other drug approved for use would be. These are being used as a last ditch efforts to save someone who would already be dead.

The normal treatment for Ebola is more or less strengthening your body and letting it handle the virus. Blood plasma transfusions from surviving patients seem to help a bit but are sporadic. The ZMapp drug was used- if we are to believe the story- when the patient was within hours of death and no other options existed. Because these are the closest drugs- although completely untested- that seem to help, they are being put to use before any real testing has been done.

People need to get a lot more credulous when it comes to biomed research.

For the reasons stated above, this would be true with these drugs had the situation not been as dire or wide spread. But make no mistake, even the manufacturer claimed the drugs were nowhere near tested for human use or even close to human testing before their first use. It sort of sucks that people are given the choice of death or becoming a guinea pig for a new untested drug, but there simply is nothing else that can offer hope outside of the body's natural defenses which seem to be not doing so well.

Comment: Re: Conflict of interest is just what they do (Score 1) 78

by sumdumass (#48181481) Attached to: NSA CTO Patrick Dowd Moonlighting For Private Security Firm

In a lot of areas, the rent a cops are mandated by law under certain circumstances. In others, general security guards can be more efficient. We put on a benefit for a friend who wrecked his motorcycle trying to avoid a young kid chasing a dog into the street. We had to estimate the number of people that would be there and hire one rent a cop for every 50 people. We could have security and bouncers outside the rent a cop but needed 1 rent a cop for every 50 people because of the location and that we were permitted to serve alcohol.

Anyways, when you do contract out rent a cops, you generally strike a contract with the law enforcement agency rather than with the cop himself. You actually pay the law enforcement agency and they pay the cop for you. At least that is how it works around here. In our case, it was explained that what we wanted to do was going to require an extra police presence so we had to pay for it. In hind sight, we should have skipped the beer because I think it was what added most of the costs. Only about 40% of the take in was able to be applied to the benefit fund.

Comment: Re:Too bad... (Score 1) 607

by sumdumass (#48181437) Attached to: Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

You're the one who said the regulation was legitimately about preserving power capacity. Either it can be handled through competition with adequate regulation to assure the power is up to specs and isn't sold at a loss to kill competition or it cannot be and we should admit that there isn't a market solution in that situation.

Only in your mind is it an "either or" or binary decision. There are many levels of in between that are in place and do work quite well.

The thing with wind power is that once the start-up costs are sunk, there are very few cases where it makes sense to cease operations.

Except when it isn't profitable to maintain them or control the distribution of the power to them. You do not exactly put a wind turbine in the ground and forget about it. The blades need to feather with the strength of the wind and in some cases locked altogether, power needs switched from wind sources to others when there isn't enough and power needs to be constantly monitored and directed to where it is needed because of the changing nature of wind generated electricity.

So either they cannot let market forces do what they do and we need to admit that the market isn't going to work there or we need to boot out the corrupt regulators who are distorting the market to benefit their cronies. It is notable that Texas (being Texas) has also not connected to either the Eastern or the Western grid.

Why are you pretending that this system was just thought of last night? Its been in place and working the way the government and regulators want it to work for almost a century. All we have to admit is that you do not understand it and do not like it for reasons probably sunk into your misunderstandings.

Many highly successful countries with high standards of living selectively socialize where it makes the most sense.

Yes, there are some countries who mix just enough capitalism with socialism that they have a high standard of living and don't end up like those hellholes I linked to previously. Some of these countries are Spain, Greece, Ireland, and Iceland, which just needed major bailouts by other European countries in order to avoid bankruptcy with one actually going bankrupt.

The point you are missing WRT to value pricing is that where there is adequate competition there can BE no value pricing. Competition will force the price to approach the marginal cost of production.

This is only true if there is an unlimited or virtually unlimited supply. The problem is that rarely exists in the real world.

Market forces should force the price down to the price of the cheapest model and then force all features to be enabled at that price (since clearly they CAN afford to do so profitably).

No- not really. You see, as long as demand outstrips supply, the price goes up. Only when you can keep supply higher then demand does it constantly go down. This is what happens when you jack the price of 90% of electricity generated up in the hopes that a new model will be developed. It just increases costs, the wind energy comes on line and lowers the demand by increasing the supply, and therefore decreasing the costs until one of the 90% decides to shutter the plant and demand jumps again. Meanwhile, these windmills who aren't artificially inflated continue to sell market price and simply bank the extra until more supply comes along.

A market that doesn't do that in short order is an unhealthy market

That is probably why I keep telling you that it isn't a free market and it isn't pure capitalism. Electricity generation is not an "anyone can enter" market, it is not a you can go from 1MW to 1gW over night market. Everything is heavily regulated.

Comment: Re: Conflict of interest is just what they do (Score 1, Insightful) 78

by sumdumass (#48175773) Attached to: NSA CTO Patrick Dowd Moonlighting For Private Security Firm

What would or should be illegal about it though? I mean as long as they are not using government resources for private gain and do not use the threat of government action to entise these contracts there should be nothing illegal about working more than one job. I guess not allowing conflicts of interest crop up might be troublesome but government employees do this stuff quite often whether it is side money, campaign work, or charities.

Comment: Re:The language in the old west (Score 1) 381

by sumdumass (#48165699) Attached to: Torvalds: I Made Community-Building Mistakes With Linux

Maybe it would make them think twice before resorting to violence for anything except self-defense?

Probably not.

I don't like violence either. I even used to bounce at a redneck bar only to stop fights that seemed to pop up about every 3 or 4 beers. I did this mainly to stop innocent bystanders from being hurt because of their idiocy. But I have no sympathy for the guy or girl who runs their mouth to the point someone else shuts it for them. Sure the one who went to violence is weak, but the one who pushed them is weaker and stupid to boot. I don't really care if they want to trade punches, mouth off at each other, or fuck- just do it away from others trying to enjoy themselves and only harm each other.

Comment: Re:Too bad... (Score 1) 607

by sumdumass (#48165463) Attached to: Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

So if it can't be capitalism and have reliable power, perhaps it's time to admit it and socialize power production.

Lol.. Just because it is not does not mean it cannot be. But do you really want to end up like these hellholes? I mean seriously, it's like you fell in love with the word socialism and have no clue about how horrid it is in practice.

Of course, if they have assured power production now, then more players bringing more capacity isn't going to reduce the reliability, now is it?

It can but doesn't have to. You see, when you flood a market with good, prices drop until players go bankrupt or decide to move on before that happens. In a purposefully manipulated market that artificially increases the costs of one but not all players, you will see the drop outs quicker. This will raise the costs but it might not allow enough capacity to remain. That reduced liability which is likely why it is manipulated on ways you don't like to begin with.

A recurring theme I see is market after market that somehow fails to be healthy. If you see 'value pricing', then the market is unhealthy, for example. It's hard to find a healthy market anywhere.

There are plenty of healthy markets out there. Most commodities are traded on them and do a decent job of representing demand. The problem you seem to be having is that value pricing is not market pricing. It's an arbitrary price set by a manufacturer bases partly on perceived value and largely on profit potential. But that is not a market. If you built and sold competitor Ipad like computers, you would not be in a market in the same ways as energy is. Now market is sort of generic encompassing several types of markets you wouldn't be putting your UPad up for bid and having resellers place bids then resell the product. You would use value pricing and hope to generate sales using any number of techniques like price competition, specialized features, advertising and so on.But it is not the same market type as energy.

Comment: Re:The cost of a stamp (Score 1) 232

The post office has a variety of problems. Commercial mail discounts are not the most significant among them and in fact an increasing amount of their business comes from junk mail overall. On an operational basis the USPS is profitable. The biggest problem they face is that mail volume has fallen by 20% in the last 10 years and is showing little sign of stopping. People simply don't send as many letters as they once did thanks to email and other new technologies. The USPS is a shrinking business but since they in actuality are a government agency they aren't truly given the freedom to behave like one. They are forced to serve unprofitable locations, they cannot close unnecessary post offices, they are limited in their ability to reduce their workforce, etc.

What? they are a government agency but not given the freedom to act like one? And yes, they have closed or are closing unnecessary post offices.

The bulk mail and so on is insignificant other than if they are not making money, they simply need to increase the rates a bit. But they lower the rates for businesses sending spam and up the private postage fee which is declining. Now, you really do not need to be the headmaster at the University of Austin (* the best accounting school last I checked) to see a disconnect here. Let me spell it out, Business rates are too low and private rates are too high. If they did something about that, they would have both business and private customers again.

It's not that government "can be part of the answer". Government HAS to be part of the answer. I agree that except on very small scales, government owned ISPs are probably not the best idea. But large ISPs without any government oversight is probably an even worse idea. There are certain industries (postal services, utilities, infrastructure, communications services) that simply will not work effectively on a large scale without a significant amount of government involvement and oversight.

I disagree on the industries that do not work well without government but that is neither here nor there. Government does not have to be part of the answer, if they weren't involved in the first place, they wouldn't need to be involved in the answer either. Companies like Comcast, Time Warner, ATT/SBC got their big jump in being large ISPs because they had the government give them monopolies in other areas in which they now piggyback their internet service offering onto. With very little effort, existing government regulation can be used to solve problems like net neutrality and so on. We already have consumer protection laws on the books about not receiving what you are being charged for. We already have these large telecoms receiving benefits for broadband roll outs and if they block or limit any services, their access doesn't meet broadband definitions. What is needed is strict enforcement of existing regulation and perhaps a little consolidations or inter-agency abilities with existing government agencies.

That said if the citizens of my local town wanted to have municipal gigabit ethernet controlled by the local government and collectively voted to indicate they were fine with the cost of doing this, I cannot think of a logical reason to prohibit it either. If the local telecom/cable monopolies aren't providing what people want they should be able to utilize their government to make it happen.

Governments who can tax people not wanting the service in order to fund it should never be in competition with private entities. The correct way for the town to get gigabit Ethernet is to bid out access to right of ways provided a certain coverage area on specific types of lines. Treat it like a cable company or the telephone company in which a company does the roll out and then leases the lines at cost to competitors or provides the service together. There is absolutely no reason why your local telecom/cable monopolies need to stay monopolies or that another (lets call it an internet coop) cannot start up. Well, that is unless there are existing contracts the local government was stupid enough to make which prohibits it. Municipal broadband is a bad idea. Granting access to private citizens working in a coop is an excellent idea. The local government can even bid on service to help initially fund it.

Comment: Re:Why not? When you have kids.. (Score 3, Insightful) 319

by sumdumass (#48164645) Attached to: Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

There is a principle in most states that place limits and in some cases indemnify parents from some acts committed by children due to the fact that children are thinking creature capable of acting on their own will. It's sort of like school, you can teach them all day long but will they learn and will they put what they learned to use or will they attempt something they have not even learned yet.

In some cases, your kid may be the only one liable for the broken window.

But this case isn't exactly like that. It was a defamation case over a fake facebook profile and it wasn't the fact that it existed that made the parents liable. It was that it remained up for 11 months and viewable after the parents were contacted and the two students behind it was suspended from school as well as disciplined by their own parents.

This is more sort of more like if your kid kept swinging balls into the neighbors window for 11 months after being told he broke it the first time.

Any given program, when running, is obsolete.