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Comment I see this article as validation of Slashdot (Score 1) 132

Particularly Slashdot's continuing effort to rebrand itself as something (anything) different from "News for nerds, stuff that matters."

Because really. Google redid their marketing? GASP.

I'm facepalming and eyerolling here, Slashdot. Well done.

I wonder what Reddit says about all of this.

Comment Re:Would prefer to know before the transplant. (Score 4, Informative) 21

That's exactly the point of this, isn't it? The article says (bold added): "The new sensor can predict, before transplantation, which donated lungs will malfunction."

According to the article, the previous tests took too long, so by the time test results came back, the lung would no longer be viable to transplant. This one can get results faster, so surgeons can wait around 30 minutes before deciding whether to go ahead with the transplant or not.

Comment Re:long history indeed (Score 2) 725

What speech laws did Weimar Germany have? In practice, at least, virtually anything was permitted, from the revolutionary far-left to the revolutionary far-right, and everything in between. Hitler was never arrested for his speech; the only time he was arrested (1923), was because he led an armed paramilitary group to attempt a coup.

Comment Re:Does not match TFA (Score 1) 46

The answer is for anything on the Internet to be protected, and if it can't be protected it should not be on the Internet.

That's fine and good in principle. The public health equivalent would be that "anything in public is vaccinated, and if it's not vaccinated it should not be out in public."

Until you get the anti-vaxx blowback, the hysterical screaming, authorities caving in.. and then the next sweeping pandemic.

The internet is becoming the next public forum, and inevitably public hygiene debates will begin to apply to it.

Frankly, I miss the old internet the way that ranchers missed the unfenced range back in the mid-late 19th Century, before the coming of all the farmers and farm towns. The lack of "civilization" wasn't so bad when it was so sparse, and everyone had to know what they were doing to just get by. And yet, we still had the occasional pandemic.

Comment Re:Open source isn't the exception, it's the norm (Score 1) 10

It seems to me that fewer people may want to contribute to the effort if they think their freely-contributed work could be subsumed by a patent fence that (e.g.) GlaxoSmithKline might decide to slap around a derivative discovery.

In practice, you are almost certainly incorrect. Scientists working in basic research - the ones I've met, anyway - are almost universally thrilled if their research leads to improvements in human health, regardless of whether or not they or someone else profits from it. (In fact, I was unhappy working as a developer on an academic project that was partly funded by charging companies for access to our software - I thought we should just give it away, because I wanted as many people as possible to use my work.) I have no fondness for GSK or any other big pharma company - quite frankly, they're a pain in the ass to deal with - but the extent to which they leech off public discoveries is vastly overstated, and they perform a huge amount of very expensive and very boring work to bring drugs to market. This combination of publicly-funded basic research and privately-funded development is one of the primary justifications for the existence of the NIH and on the whole it works relatively smoothly, although the perverse incentives of the Bayh-Dole act are problematic.

Whom computers would destroy, they must first drive mad.