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Comment: Re:Stop blaming the Soviets (Score 1) 115

by DNS-and-BIND (#48040503) Attached to: Aral Sea Basin Almost Completely Dry
Nobody needs to parody environmentalist positions. They parody themselves. Have you read their websites recently? They want to turn all of North America dark because evidently we're bad people who deserve to be punished. Seriously, you haven't read their opinions? That's awfully ignorant for such an educated person.

Comment: Re:Like SAS etc (Score 1) 144

by ShanghaiBill (#48040325) Attached to: Back To Faxes: Doctors Can't Exchange Digital Medical Records

A lot of these vendors are locked into their own technologies.

But nobody is locked in to faxes. To get info from one digital format to another, a read-type-print-fax-print-read-type cycle is never preferable to email. As a last resort, you can scan a document and email the scan. Fax machines need to die. Other than doctors, lawyers, and bureaucrats, they are already dead. They are still used in those three areas because all three can push the cost of the inefficiency onto someone else (patients, clients, and taxpayers).

Comment: Re:More Efficient (Score 1) 418

by ShanghaiBill (#48039469) Attached to: Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

On the other hand, you could simply have a receiver on Mars, a transmitter on Earth and beam over whatever individual genome you want....

That doesn't work if Earth's civilization is exterminated, by a comet, nuclear war, super Ebola, or whatever. A major reason for colonizing Mars is so humanity's eggs (and sperm) are not all in one basket.

Comment: Re:It's time to fine. (Score 1) 144

by plover (#48039155) Attached to: Back To Faxes: Doctors Can't Exchange Digital Medical Records

No, the reason it's hard has nothing to do with "cloud", and everything to do with "no adherence to a common data schema". If the data was forced to follow a standardized schema, and if standardized service interfaces were required for participating in the government health plan, transferring it would be dead easy. But because different systems have evolved differently over time, the schemas are different, and so transfers remain painful. And because the government funded EPIC without demanding the creation or implementation of industry standards, we crapped away all that money strictly to make one company very, very rich.

The lesson here, kids? If you've got a shot at an upcoming government contract, your best investment dollar is spent on a Congressman. Donate lots of money to his campaign, and you could easily see a 1000 X return on investment. You won't get odds like that gambling on Wall Street.

Comment: Re:Like SAS etc (Score 1) 144

by plover (#48039055) Attached to: Back To Faxes: Doctors Can't Exchange Digital Medical Records

Ooo, thanks for that! I long ago realized that the only actual value SAS provides is forcing companies to get a bunch of people together to agree on a common data schema, because the rest of their software is dirt simple, and even much of that is of shitty quality. But I didn't recognize the analogy to Stone Soup, and that's perfect!

Comment: Re:Drug charges (Score 1) 209

by drinkypoo (#48038967) Attached to: Which Cars Get the Most Traffic Tickets?

We restrict access to certain drugs for (mostly) very good reasons.

All the evidence shows that this is nonsense, that you always cause more problems than you solve because you drive addiction underground and people wind up taking drugs of varying quality because of their illegal nature.

If you can explain to me the upside to society of someone having a cocaine or heroin addiction then I'll concede the point.

If prohibition prevented use, you would have a point.

Comment: Re:I pick marketing (Score 1) 168

by plover (#48038819) Attached to: Why did Microsoft skip Windows 9?

We all recognize the "every other release of Windows sucks" pattern, but their official naming schemes have only used sequential numbers with 2, 3, 7, and 8. (95 and 98 were clearly year identifiers, and don't fit their pattern.) 3 and 7 were good, and they were odd numbers. Not sure why they went with an even number this time.

I was recently lunching with a 'softie who called this their "Oh-god-we-are-soooo-sorry-about-the-whole-Windows-8-thing-and-we-promise-never-to-do-it-again release." To me that suggests that distance from Windows 8 is their primary goal. And frankly, they need it.

Comment: Re:More Efficient (Score 1) 418

by ShanghaiBill (#48038059) Attached to: Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

so we could use 80 females and a diverse sperm bank.

You don't even need that. Even with existing technology, DNA can be spliced and patched. So you just take a flash drive with with the genome of a few million people.

Let's do the math: The human genome has about 3 billion base pairs, each of which has two bits of information. That is six billion bits, or about 750MB. But most humans share 99.9% of their genome, so you would only need 750kB to store the "diffs" for each individual. But even that way overstates the storage required, since most people that differ from the "base" do so in the same sequence "chunks". You should need less than 100kB per individual. So a one TB drive, should, with proper compression, be able to store the genomes of ten million people.

You would, of course, need more drives for the microbiome.

Your mode of life will be changed to EBCDIC.

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