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Comment: This is appalling (Score 1) 425

Everyone's making fun of this, but this really is appalling. Apple has had nothing but trouble since Steve Jobs died. Just as people predicted. It shows that modern OS's are so bloated that it is impossible to remove all bugs. OS X and Windows 8 probably contain other similar bugs, but we just haven't found them. I would like to believe that bug-free code is possible. Perhaps Apple need to change their programming paradigms. If you want true security you need to greatly minimize your operating system and compartmentalise its tasks, so that it can be exhaustively bug-checked. Adding "features" to an operating system simply creates new security holes. We laugh at the Space Shuttle for running on 386's, and there's a bank here that still runs its terminals on OS/2, but there are applications for which code reliability is absolutely paramount. Think of space probes, nuclear weapons, pacemakers... Richard

Comment: Re:Function creep...? (Score 5, Informative) 216

Cardiologists commonly communicate electronically with the pacemaker after its insertion to adjust numerous parameters of its function. The pacemaker can also deliver information to the cardiologist about its usage history, battery state, etc. (Doctor) Richard Cavell

Comment: Re:NEWS FLASH !! FLESH HEALS !! (Score 5, Interesting) 89

by richardcavell (#41486015) Attached to: First Mammals Observed Regenerating Tissue
It is true that the "higher" parts of the brain contain memories and personality, etc. But there are some parts of the brain that are much lower and still essential. Take Parkinson's disease. If we could regrow the neurons that degenerate in Parkinson's patients, they'd have a much better quality of life. Even if the new neurons don't work identically to the old ones, the patient is still better off and has not undergone a significant personality change.

Comment: Re:NEWS FLASH !! FLESH HEALS !! (Score 5, Informative) 89

by richardcavell (#41485467) Attached to: First Mammals Observed Regenerating Tissue
I think you're underestimating the significance of this. A creature such as a lobster can regenerate an entire limb. If you cut a starfish in two, each half will regenerate the missing half so that it becomes two independent starfish. When human flesh heals, it tends to simply fill in the gap with scar tissue rather than replace the missing part. Especially for specialised tissue such as brain and heart tissue, once you've lost it, it's gone for good. If we can figure out how to make these parts regenerate, then it will revolutionize the treatment of all kinds of illness - stroke, heart attack, amputation, etc. Richard

Comment: Re:Will be really surprised if they storm the plac (Score 1) 1065

Note, by the way, that the legal basis for seizing him is an allegation of rape. The fact that he's publishing unflattering information about the internal workings of Western governments is *not* their stated reason for wanting him.

Comment: This is hideous (Score 5, Insightful) 1065

The inviolability of an embassy is critically important to diplomatic relations. If British police set a precedent here, it will cause embassies around the world to militarize, causing tension. I hope it's just a hollow threat made by some idiot who doesn't understand the situation properly.

Comment: Re:He's probably dying (Score 2) 520

by richardcavell (#35239214) Attached to: Steve Jobs Health Worries Escalate
Correct, his type is an endocrine tumour that is quite rare and not the usual type. However, we know that Jobs' cancer has spread, he required a liver transplant for it, that he's on immunosuppressive drugs following the liver transplant, etc... He's a sick boy whichever way you look at it. (Doctor) Richard Cavell

Comment: Jobs was probably in denial (Score 5, Insightful) 402

by richardcavell (#28450927) Attached to: Hospital Confirms Steve Jobs's Liver Transplant
In my experience (I'm a doctor), almost all cancer patients go into denial and will downplay the severity of their symptoms. Steve Jobs is a billionaire, a tech guru, and all that, but he's also a human being. Based on what's publicly known, I'd say that his pancreatic islet cell cancer spread to his liver and that his liver tumour was non-resectable, and now he's ended up with a new liver by way of getting rid of the metastases. He describes his situation as a 'hormone imbalance' because that's one of the consequences of his condition, but the underlying diagnosis is far worse than that. Bottom line is that he's a very sick man... a cancer patient with a liver transplant has a limited life expectancy, and his role is now going to be figurehead/part time inputter of ideas more than being the day-to-day boss. Richard

Comment: The fresh pair of eyes have it (Score 5, Insightful) 582

by richardcavell (#28305973) Attached to: Teen Diagnoses Her Own Disease In Science Class
The original CNN story mentions that sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can spot something that the first pair didn't see. Coders and authors will be familiar with the idea. Sometimes you've looked over something and worked on it so much that you can no longer analyse it from the beginning, and it takes someone else to verify one's work. That's why nurses aren't allowed to dispense medicine unless they get another nurse to check that they have selected the right medicine and the right dose and the right patient. Also, the fact that this patient had a vested interest in making the diagnosis means that she would have examined the slide thoroughly. (Doctor) Richard Cavell

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.

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