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Comment Re:Five minutes after Monsanto Protection Act sign (Score 1) 679

Every one of those cases that I've seen has involved someone who knew that they were using a Monsanto product and were fully aware of the patents at hand. I'm not fond of Monsanto's practice, but the farmers were on shaky legal ground to start with.

In this case, one of Monsanto's (presumably patented) development products got out. I wonder if there's a case for invalidation based on negligent behavior allowing it out into the wild. Some level of doubt can be applied to products brought to market, but for those that never should have left a controlled environment, there may be other legal issues at hand.

I also wonder if there's not a chance of this being a random mutation. Does Monsanto put markers in its products that could be used to determine this?

Comment Re:India ? (Score 1) 273

I agree that culture changes are necessary. Gawande has written in the past about how introducing a simple checklist to prevent line infections at Johns Hopkins--widely seen as one of the premier hospitals in the country, if not the world--and giving nurses the power to call doctors on a missed step while also having the administration back the nurses cut the infection rate from 11% to zero, likely saving at least eight patients and dozens of infections per year.

But Gawande also notes that doctors have egos, and easily bruised ones at that. This kind of thing doesn't go over well with a lot of them who see nurses as interfering or overstepping if they call out a missed step. Given the shortage of doctors, I expect that it will be a while before most hospital administrations are willing to back their nurses in mandating that every step be followed.

Comment Re:India ? (Score 1) 273

You're thinking of the washing that you do in the bathroom. I looked up Gawande's words and found that I understated the time to wash. Here's how he describes it.

First, you must remove your watch, rings, and other jewelry (which are notorious for trapping bacteria). Next, you wet your hands in warm tap water. Dispense the soap and lather all surfaces, including the lower one-third of the arms, for the full duration recommended by the manufacturer (usually fifteen to thirty seconds). Rinse off for thirty full seconds. Dry completely with a clean, disposable towel. Then use the towel to turn the tap of. Repeat after any new contact with a patient.

Almost no one adheres to this procedure. It seems impossible. On morning rounds, our residents check in on twenty patients in an hour. The nurses in our intensive care units typically have a similar number of contacts with patients requiring hand washing in between. Even if you get the whole cleansing process down to a minute per patient, that’s still a third of staff time spent just washing hands.

And it's not always possible to hire more staff, especially when strict adherence to washing means you have to hire half-again as many staff to do rounds. While there are some private hospitals making a healthy profit, not all of them do, and there are a lot of hospitals that are run by governments, churches, or non-profits and their margins are thin to non-existent. The need to purchase new equipment just to keep up with other hospitals can obliterate that margin in a single purchase. Doctors tend to send their patients to whichever hospital has the shiniest toys and patients want it that way. Failure to keep up with the newest technology puts revenue at risk and may mean cutbacks that further damage the hospital's ability to effectively treat its patients.

Comment Re:India ? (Score 2) 273

It's not so much common sense as it is a rush to get to patients. I have all three of Dr. Atul Gawande's books where he discusses at length how the medical profession works. He talks about how there's only so much time to see patients and washing hands before seeing each one to avoid moving infections between patients takes precious time. Proper washing takes at least 30 seconds. Multiply that by the number of patients seen on rounds, and it adds up.

Even when his hospital added gel dispensers to walls, people were in such a hurry that they forgot. One of his patients became infected with MRSA and he was left wondering if it happened because he neglected to wash his hands. There was no way to know, and the patient was put in jeopardy, not to mention having to stay in the hospital even longer.

Solutions like this are done out of desperation.

Comment Re:Horrible things? (Score 1) 856

I think the major issue that scares some people is the ability of a person who is otherwise ineligible to own a firearm to manufacture one at home using a 3D printer. While it's also possible to do this with other home equipment, proper operation of a lathe, press, and other shop tools usually used to manufacture firearms requires a level of skill that a 3D printer does not. Of course, the cost of purchasing a 3D printer plus materials goes way beyond the cost of an ineligible person getting a gun on the black market. The only benefit that I can see is relative anonymity in acquiring a gun in this new manner.

I figured that something like recent events would happen, which is one of the reasons that I downloaded the plans when they first hit the web. I'm eligible to (and in fact do) own guns, and I trust the courts to protect this. But it never hurts to have an out.

Comment Re:Yawn (Score 1) 157

Wasn't Aureal starting in on this kind of thing before Creative bought them and killed the product? I seem to recall their sound chips doing some things to calculate real-time echos and other changes to the sound based on materials and room geometry.

I guess it's good that it can be done on the GPU; it might make for one less chipset to go into a system especially given the move toward DisplayPort.

Comment Re:Mission Creep? SSN (Score 1) 365

The OUI can be used for part of the address, but doesn't have to be. Microsoft by default does not use it when generating the IPv6 address as of Vista and instead generates a random address to make it harder to track a device across connections.

I don't know where you got the idea that a serial number was used at all.

Comment Bleaker than you think! (Score 5, Insightful) 355

If you read the Mars One, you'll see that they're counting on revenue from a reality program to fund the project.

So, the candidates must not only be emotionally stable and qualified, but be photogenic and charming enough to sustain the interest of viewers.

Imagine the horror if, after three years, all of the surviving colonists turn out to be phlegmatic, agreeable, no-drama workaholics and stable family-minded folks.

"These rating are terrible! My God, it's turned into The Waltons in space! Can we ship in some ninjas or a killer robot to liven things up?"

Comment Re:So.... (Score 3, Interesting) 381

I'm right there with you. As one of the security people involved with implementing BYOD (though somewhat peripherally) at my last job, I opted to keep the Blackberry issued to me rather than attach my phone to the enterprise network even though I had admin access to the system. Many people thought I was nuts, but I draw a fairly clear line between work and personal life. Knowing what can be monitored, I opted to maintain that line.

I think that might be one of the things people don't realize, even if they read what the company should be supplying. The mobile device security industry is changing rapidly with hooks going much deeper than they used to. One product that we looked at (but didn't implement) allowed not only monitoring of call logs but copied all text and MMS messages to or from the device up to the server for archiving, something I viewed as far too invasive for BYOD. Even if it was deleted immediately from the device, the software grabbed it and copied it up (or archived it for copying if data wasn't available). But with companies clambering over each other for features, I'm sure it wasn't long before others added it to their own lists.

Comment Re:root cause hasn't been found (Score 1) 32

Expensive isn't the word for it. Changing the battery technology would require months of re-engineering work and months more of certification, possibly grounding the plane for a year, and that doesn't factor in the performance loss from the extra weight. The result could cripple Boeing, possibly fatally, to implement a solution that probably is not required.

They performed a great deal of testing on the new architecture including setting off a propane explosion. The containment system held and vented properly. The FAA is satisfied with the solution, and they're the ones who are going to get blamed if it fails catastrophically. It's good enough for me. You're welcome to check the planes in use on your flights and avoid the 787.

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