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Comment: Re:Here's the Scoop (Score 1) 340

by sChatwin (#46961701) Attached to: Average American Cable Subscriber Gets 189 Channels and Views 17
interesting paper about the economics of unbundling show that there is no gain for consumers and that the wholesale market for channels would be badly disrupted One caveat, though: the paper does not consider the effects of the streaming delivery of the content - it was written in 2010, before Netflix Hulu et al had reached any reasonable size.

Comment: Re:36 million gallons? (Score 1) 332

by sChatwin (#46810985) Attached to: Why Portland Should Have Kept Its Water, Urine and All
38 M gals approx = 114 acre.ft 1 acre-ft will supply 2 average households for a year So this is water to support ~228 households for a year. Frankly this is not such a lot of water! The smallish lake that supplies my town's water is 245,000 acre-ft capacity (currently at 60% with the drought) and this handles ~65k households

Comment: Re:So, no matter what we do, we are screwed (Score 1) 228

by sChatwin (#42891313) Attached to: NASA: Huge Freshwater Loss In the Middle East
I remember a boast from the Thames Water Board a number of years agao that "every drop of the Thames has been drunk 7 times by the time is gets to the sea". Makes most Americans I know cringe at the thought. Maybe advertising hyperbole, but we do drink recycled water all the time

Comment: Re:By not having the situation in the first place (Score 1) 304

by sChatwin (#39101331) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You Deal With Priorities Inflation In IT Projects?
Instead of ranking them as "high', "med" and "low", try force ranking them from 1 to however-many-you-have. Than a cutoff becomes more realistic. This is essentially the same approach taken in an 'agile' project with the backlog of user stories. To make this works requires the right group of stakeholders and empowering that group to make decisions that stick. Not easy!

Comment: Re:Seems to me... (Score 1) 30

by sChatwin (#39005327) Attached to: FDA Unveils Biosimilars Guidance
And the real cost of manufacturing is not from the genetic adaption of the cells and their growth, but is in the purification. After the cell has replicated and grown all the protein (Mol wgt 3,000 - 15,000) you want, you have to extract it from the chemical soup that exists in the cell. The cells are ground up and then filtered physically and chemically to separate out the one protein you're interested in. With antibodies the situation is often more complex because of there extreme uniqueness (which is what makes them such good drugs) and their size. Also adding to the cost is the level of hygene required in the manufacturing plant. The slightest infestation of mold or a failed test for bacteria in the factory can shut the manufacturing down for 3 -9 mths to clean up and sterilize the working environment. So biosimilars get cheaper because there are fewer clinical trials (usually just for safety issues) but the manufacturing is still way expensive compared to small molecule (mol wgt 300 - 500) chemicals

Comment: Re:A prize nomination? (Score 1) 380

I *do* teach this in managment classes - specifically Project Management 101. The aim is three-fold - get students to better understand risk/return, to get them to understand that presentation matters and finally that risks are often complex and you need to encourage sometimes reticent people to talk and then pay attention to them. The real wow! that the students generally get is the sheer size of engineering. Lay out a 1/4" diam. piece of rope in a 12' diameter circle to show what the O ring really looked like. The diagrams don't convey it.

Computers will not be perfected until they can compute how much more than the estimate the job will cost.