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Comment: Re:Unfair comparison (Score 1) 447

by devilspgd (#49248333) Attached to: Homeopathy Turns Out To Be Useless For Treating Medical Conditions

The other interesting thing with placebos is that they're typically only effective for a limited period of time, whereas real medication typically can reach a point of stability.

I saw a study that attempted to counteract this by putting both the control and experiment groups on a placebo, and telling the experiment group that they were on a placebo, the known-placebo was still more effective than an untreated patient, but the effect wasn't as strong and didn't last as long. What I'd like to see studied is the reverse, put both groups on a known-effective treatment, but tell the experiment group that they are on a placebo and see what happens.

Good times.

Comment: Re:Placebos are NOT the "gold standard" (Score 1) 447

by devilspgd (#49248317) Attached to: Homeopathy Turns Out To Be Useless For Treating Medical Conditions

Sure, you can't use a "true" placebo here, but you can compare against currently accepted treatments and get useful results, as long as you lie and tell your control group that they're getting something new (while in reality, maintain the existing treatment baseline)

This isn't substantially different than using a placebo, although in some cases it may prevent a true double-blind study since the treatment protocols for the new drug may be different or obvious to the user.

Comment: Re: Unfair comparison (Score 1) 447

by devilspgd (#49248283) Attached to: Homeopathy Turns Out To Be Useless For Treating Medical Conditions

With the advantage that, if successful, the device can be turned on at a later date. Whether this is feasible or not, is anyone's guess, but it could be built into the study such that at 50% of the way into the study, the switch is flipped (with the intention of learning whether people who's devices previously worked, and now stop, still receive ongoing benefit from their overall improved health, or whether only the online use of the device is effective)

Comment: Re:Insurance (Score 1) 329

by devilspgd (#43626441) Attached to: Is Buying an Extended Warranty Ever a Good Idea?

So is AppleCare (no +) a warranty or insurance? It's provided by the manufacturer...

AppleCare+ is more like insurance since it covers accidental damage as well, with a deductible.

Personally I've done very well with AppleCare. Since I live in an area where Apple has no local store, a warranty swap without AppleCare runs me $30-$40 for advanced exchange, or I go 2-6 weeks without my phone, which isn't acceptable. Paying $69 for AppleCare the first time I need it is a no-brainer (since I waive the $35 advanced-exchange fee, that means it only runs me $34. I generally swap my devices once a year, and I've found I do get better resale value too since I'm selling a device with 10-14 months of warranty on it).

Now that Apple won't sell straight AppleCare for the iPhone and I have to get AppleCare+, I'm more apprehensive, but since I also plan on keeping this one for a little over 2 years instead of my usual 12-14 months, I figure it'll work out. I currently have a dead-standby-button iPhone 5 on my desk waiting for UPS pickup on Monday, so I'm $35 of savings into the $99 investment.

However, this takes into account the fact that I've had to warranty all but one iPod Touch / iPhone that I've owned, with a couple DOAs along the way (one DOA was, itself, a warranty replacement). Usually it's the Standby or Home button that goes over time -- If it were just me, I'd say I'm rough on them. Since it's a known defect, I have no problem making Apple replace 'em -- The more they spend on replacing bad buttons, the more likely they are to re-engineer, like they finally did for the iPhone 5.

For me the $69-$99 warranty cost is worth it since replacement cost on the device is ~$700.

(And before anyone throws a tantrum about my prices being "wrong", remember that there is more than one country in the world)

Comment: Re:Their 5 day guarantee seems dubious (Score 1) 329

by devilspgd (#43626391) Attached to: Is Buying an Extended Warranty Ever a Good Idea?

Do they just refund the warranty price and call it a day? Or is that a bonus you get for waiting more than 5 days, but you still get whatever you're entitled to without the refunded warranty?

(Never used the service, but I can't see why they'd have a business if their model allowed them to never pay out anything, ever, except to refund what they were paid)

Comment: Re:fname.lname.incrementer (Score 1) 383

Sure, just make sure that you assign the CEO, whatever VP is in charge of IT and similar roles with firstname.lastname3@example.com and see how quickly the policy gets changed.

From a job security point of view, you should probably send out "proposed new addresses" as opposed to actually assigning such things in the real world.

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