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Comment: Re:Obvious (Score 1) 350

That's because mobile makers have the FM capability switched off. The National Association of Broadcasters has been asking mobile makers to change this. But the mobile industry, which profits from selling data to smartphone users, says that with the consumer's move toward mobile streaming apps, the demand for radio simply isn't there."

It's not the mobile makers (excepting Apple) that don't want FM turned on, it's the carriers who want you to upgrade to a plan with more data.

Comment: Re:Everyone loves taxes (Score 1) 173

Washington would still get the lion's share of Microsoft-based taxes since the lion's share of employees live there, and are well-paid.

In other news:

Back in 2010, Smith, Steve Ballmer, and Microsoft Corporation joined forces to defeat Proposition I-1098, apparently deciding there were better ways to address the state's needs than a progressive income tax.

Comment: Re: Energy storage in the grid is 100% efficient! (Score 1) 281

by pepty (#49452831) Attached to: The Myth of Going Off the Power Grid

Grid transmission has losses of about 7% from the power station to you, but will likely be higher if it is peer-to-peer.

I'm not following. Why would peer to peer, with all of the electricity produced and consumed within the same area (short trip at low voltage), be less efficient than electricity from the power station (long trip at high voltage plus short trip at low voltage). Conversion losses at the grid tie?

Comment: Re: mode of death (Score 4, Informative) 97

by pepty (#49452723) Attached to: Being Overweight Reduces Dementia Risk

but I bet it isn't that bad on the inside.

Except that for many people they are very aware of what's happening and what they are losing. They are intensely angry and frustrated when they lose the ability to verbalize all (or part) of what they are thinking and then it gets worse when they can no longer hold onto the complete thought. Plus as they lose executive function it is harder to control that anger and frustration. Sure, some folks have a stroke and seem to enter a second childhood, but for many it's a living hell of isolation from everyone you know - including yourself.

Comment: Re:Easy explanation (Score 4, Informative) 97

by pepty (#49452693) Attached to: Being Overweight Reduces Dementia Risk

Our cohort of 1958191 people from UK general practices had a median age at baseline of 55 years (IQR 45–66) and a median follow-up of 91 years (IQR 63–126). Dementia occurred in 45507 people, at a rate of 24 cases per 1000 person-years. Compared with people of a healthy weight, underweight people (BMI 40 kg/m2) having a 29% lower (95% CI 22–36) dementia risk than people of a healthy weight. These patterns persisted throughout two decades of follow-up, after adjustment for potential confounders and allowance for the J-shape association of BMI with mortality.

Comment: Re:The important bits (Score 1) 81

by pepty (#49365263) Attached to: Citizen Scientists Develop Eye Drops That Provide Night Vision

If you use your own team members as test subjects you can easily bypass regulatory agencies in the early parts of the research phase.

So long as you don't actually tell anyone outside of your research group about those experiments, and then lie to your insurance companies about what happened if there is an accident.

the research is the easy part, getting it through the regulatory agencies is the hard (and expensive) part.

For most of the $, it's hard to separate the two. Yes the FDA requires successful phase III and sometimes phase IV trials, Aren't those research? The actual paperwork for the FDA submission costs millions to prepare, but that's chump change compared to the rest of the costs.

Comment: Re:The important bits (Score 1) 81

by pepty (#49365221) Attached to: Citizen Scientists Develop Eye Drops That Provide Night Vision

But if this was describing actual drug instead of a blogpost about a hobby, QC/QA protocols would be followed to ensure that only the intended active pharmaceutical ingredients and excipients are in the dose, and that the method of administration doesn't introduce any contaminants.

Anyway, if you want to hear something even scarier: you can treat Alzheimers in mice by repeatedly permeabilizing the blood brain barrier for a few hours. How's that for potential of letting nasty stuff into the wrong place?


Comment: Re:The important bits (Score 1) 81

by pepty (#49365183) Attached to: Citizen Scientists Develop Eye Drops That Provide Night Vision
OK, consider me cued up.

This is exactly the sort of thing you'd expect to see in a stagnant market dominated by large monolithic entities. It's usually a small upstart company that's more agile than the big conglomerate, but it works the same in research as it does everywhere else.

For a games-theory argument, consider that the regulatory agencies are free to require any safety requirements at no cost to themselves, but if something goes wrong they are held responsible. As a result we have a system where it costs 2.5 billion dollars [google.com] to bring a drug to market, so that it's economically infeasable to implement existing cures for rare diseases. It's also impossible for individuals to manage their own risk with informed consent.

A few things to consider:

1. Over a third of new drug approvals are for rare and orphan diseases (37% in the US last year). It is definitely economically feasible to create treatments for rare diseases.

2. This paper doesn't describe anything that wasn't described in a patent from 2012. (Methods to enhance night vision and treatment of night blindness US 20120157377 A1)

3. They aren't doing research to advance a treatment for a medical condition

Comment: Re:finger pointing (Score 2) 407

by pepty (#49352057) Attached to: Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground In US

We really have not seen much innovation in the past 10 years. If you think about it, what is really new and improved from this time in 2005?

You have a really narrow view of STEM.

1. DNA sequencing is several orders of magnitude faster and cheaper, as are ways of making use of the data for diagnostics and theragnostics. Moore's law might be better applied to bioinformatics than to transistors these days.

2. Cancer therapeutics that use the immune system to selectively attack cancer cells instead of stuff that is just somewhat more toxic to cancer cells than the rest of your body.

3. Just announced this week: Some of the first promising candidate drugs for Alzheimers ... How much more fuckin awesome can innovation get?

4. Viable electric cars and self driving cars on their way.

5. I can use my cell phone to get a ride from a stranger in a hybrid car cheaper and faster than I can get a cab.

Comment: Re:And the almond trees die. (Score 1) 417

by pepty (#49313717) Attached to: How 'Virtual Water' Can Help Ease California's Drought
The war will be with Nevada and Arizona over splitting up the Colorado river. As the law stands right now, Las Vegas goes dry and Arizona loses half of its supply before SoCal would lose a drop. CA's senators are Democrats as are most of CA's congress critters, the rest of the basin is pretty much Republican, and the fight will happen when both the senate and the house are dominated by republicans. Should get painful pretty fast.

Comment: Re:And the almond trees die. (Score 4, Insightful) 417

by pepty (#49313591) Attached to: How 'Virtual Water' Can Help Ease California's Drought
Right now the population consumes a relatively small proportion of the water that is being used. Of course, living in CA would get very interesting if we had to fallow the farms. Whole congressional districts with unemployment over 50% (before they depopulated), food prices skyrocketing as CA became a net importer of food and ag products ...

The only problem with being a man of leisure is that you can never stop and take a rest.