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Comment Re:The article optimistically adds.. (Score 1) 70

That really ought to read "Down the line, wearables also could help pharmaceutical makers prove to insurance companies that their treatments are effective, thus increasing healthcare profits."

Big Pharma companies don't profit from "health," they profit from "care."

Sure, but if they don't show that they deliver the former, people will be reluctant to pay for the latter.

It is still a big problem, but I'd say that drugs are actually far better off than the rest of healthcare. How much clinical evidence do you think there is for half the advice your doctor charged you $80 to give the last time you visited him? The pills are actually some of the better-tested stuff on the healthcare market.

Submission Plutonium Is the Unsung Concession in Iran Nuclear Deal-> 1

Lasrick writes: For whatever reason, the most impressive achievement regarding the nuclear agreement with Iran is the one that is being ignored: Tehran's complete turn-around on the issue of plutonium production. Plutonium is cheaper and more easily produced than uranium; more than 95% of the world's nuclear weapons rely on plutonium to ignite. William J. Broad at the NY Times gives a thorough explanation of why nuclear experts are so delighted that Iran is giving up a plutonium path to the bomb. This is a great read.
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Submission New 3D metal printing technique combines lasers and advanced robotics->

An anonymous reader writes: A new alternative to rival other 3D metal printing techniques is being developed by a team of manufacturing researchers at the Southern Methodist University. Led by Professor Radovan Kovacevic, the group have presented a technique called Laser-Based Direct Metal Deposition (LBDMD) which builds on traditional FDM and laser technology to create high-quality metal objects as parts for a range of fabrication uses. The technology uses multi-axial positioning robotics which eliminates the need for a support structure and human intervention.
Link to Original Source

Submission Steve Wozniak "Steve Jobs played no role in my designs for the Apple I & II"->

mikejuk writes: In a recent interview with very lucky 14-year old Sarina Khemchandani for her website, ReachAStudent, Steve Wozniak was more than precise about the role of Steve Jobs.
"Steve Jobs played no role at all in any of my designs of the Apple I and Apple II computer and printer interfaces and serial interfaces and floppy disks and stuff that I made to enhance the computers. He did not know technology. He’d never designed anything as a hardware engineer, and he didn’t know software. He wanted to be important, and the important people are always the business people. So that’s what he wanted to do.
The Apple II computer, by the way, was the only successful product Apple had for its first 10 years, and it was all done, for my own reasons for myself, before Steve Jobs even knew it existed."
He also says a lot of interesting things in the three ten minute videos about life, electronics and education.

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Submission Citi report: slowing global warming would save tens of trillions of dollars->

Layzej writes: Citi Global Perspectives & Solutions (GPS), a division within Citibank (America’s third-largest bank), recently published a report looking at the economic costs and benefits of a low-carbon future. The report considered two scenarios: “Inaction,” which involves continuing on a business-as-usual path, and Action scenario which involves transitioning to a low-carbon energy mix.

One of the most interesting findings in the report is that the investment costs for the two scenarios are almost identical. In fact, because of savings due to reduced fuel costs and increased energy efficiency, the Action scenario is actually a bit cheaper than the Inaction scenario. Coupled with the fact the total spend is similar under both action and inaction, yet the potential liabilities of inaction are enormous, it is hard to argue against a path of action.

But there will be winners and losers: The biggest loser stands to be the coal industry, where we estimate cumulative spend under our Action scenario could be $11.6 trillion less than in our Inaction scenario over the next quarter century, with renewables, wind and nuclear (as well as energy efficiency) the main beneficiaries.

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Submission Human induced climate change is shifting major climate zones->

GregLaden writes: Human caused climate change is changing the size and location of major climate zones, according to a new study just out.

It isn't just that climate zones move north; more complicated than that.

The most tropical of the tropical zones does not change much, semi-arid and arid zones expand a lot at the expense of areas that are important for agriculture. Overall this indicates a general bummer rather than good news.

This study confirms what other's have shown, but adds that there may be accelerated change in coming decades.

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:A service is a service (Score 1) 250

I have no problem with reasonable insurance requirements for drivers. That really applies across the board, but probably moreso for commercial operators.

However, you need to keep the requirements reasonable, and of course allow self-insurance. If Uber has a better way of managing its drivers/etc and ensuring safer operations, and they can lower their insurance costs as a result, then they ought to be able to pass those savings on to customers. I am not in any way a supporter of the whole "independent contractor" theory where Uber keeps x% of the fare but if there is a crash they accept 0% of the liability. But, that is a principle I apply everywhere - if it were up to me then if you went to Memorial Hospital for a procedure then it would be illegal to get more than one bill for the procedure and it had better come from Memorial Hospital, and if anything goes wrong Memorial Hospital pays for it and they can make the argument about liability with their subcontractors themselves. Of course, if it were up to me you probably wouldn't get a bill in the first place, but whatever...

Comment Re:If only... (Score 1) 250

I'll agree that surge pricing is more likely to affect supply when it is predictable (which still makes it useful). During unpredictable spikes it actually can help out on the demand side. If I have 3 choices of how to get from point A to B, and one of those choices triples in cost, then I'm less likely to use it. Maybe somebody else doesn't have 3 choices, and they benefit from my not leaving a subway seat empty to use Uber.

Comment Re:If only... (Score 1) 250

Most commuter train systems have peak timing. In the US examples I can think off offhand include New York, DC, and Philadelphia.

Besides the peak/off-peak fare, there are often fare discount programs only available off-peak (like disabled/senior fares, or family deals). Also, in many cities and transit systems parking may be cheaper or free on weekends, which is an off-peak time.

The idea is to try to shift usage to off-peak times so that the use of the system is more balanced, which makes it far more economical to run. Kind of like a taxi service.

Comment Re:If only... (Score 1) 250

Charging less would just mean that he'd have to leave earlier for work to get there on time, since in addition to the million people already using the system there would be another 500k people taking the train at 8 when they don't need to. It would also mean that fares would need to be raised across-the-board to maintain the same funding for the system.

It isn't like public transit operations are huge profit centers.

Comment Re:A service is a service (Score 1) 250

I don't have any problem with making Taxi services operate like Uber. The idea of the only record of a ride being something scribbled on a piece of paper that the driver can tamper with is ridiculous.

The Taxi model made sense back before it was easy to track all your cars and passengers in realtime. The problem is that we're still trying to make it work that way today.

Comment Re:Surge Pricing - Why The Hate? (Score 2) 250

Transportation can be vital to maintaining a job or caring for kids - it can also be a luxury. I can see an argument either way.

The thing is that demand for transportation isn't constant.

I need to go to the store sometime today. I can go at 8AM, or I can go at 10AM. If I go at 8AM I'm competing for transportation resources with all the folks trying to get to work. If I go at 10AM then I'm employing a driver who otherwise would probably bit sitting around unpaid.

If it costs me the same either way I'll go whenever I think it is most convenient for me. If I have to pay more for the trip at 8AM, I end up doing what is more convenient for everybody else. How is this not a win-win?

"Open the pod bay doors, HAL." -- Dave Bowman, 2001