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Comment Re:Spread the FUD (Score 1) 374

Like I said, I wouldn't take tamiflu for H1N1 regardless. Any halfway decent doc would pull you off if you're showing significant side effects. No clinical trial can ever claim to predict what a particular treatment will do to you as an individual, that's not how statistics work. Over a broad population, the trial data show a decrease in the severity of symptoms with tolerable side effects. If it doesn't work for you, no biggie. Just don't take it. But if you start saying, "based on one data point (me), my conclusion is this drug doesn't work and has intolerable side effects", be prepared for that opinion to be called out as unscientific. Because it is. Rule #1 of statistics-- the plural of anecdote is not data.

Comment Re:Spread the FUD (Score 1) 374

As I said, "if a lethal pandemic flu that's sensitive to tamiflu comes around....". It's well known old news that H5N1 (the asian "bird flu") isn't sensitive to tamiflu.

The side effects are significant in a small portion of the population. Most people can take it with minimal side effects. All effective drugs have side effects, and most have drug-drug interactions. If I take erythromycin, I get seriously ill. That doesn't mean erythromycin should be taken off the market. It doesn't mean that nobody should take it. That just means I shouldn't take it.

If the clinical trial you were part of was a real properly designed trial, half of you were being given pills without vitamin C in it. The person who gave you the pills didn't know the difference, and the person who was monitoring you didn't know the difference. This is called a double-blind controlled study, and is universally recognized as the only way to actually tell whether or not a treatment is effective. Many treatments (especially those that supply "common wisdom" treatments like vitamins) produce a dramatic placebo effect-- people who think they're taking Vitamin C but who are taking just lactose pills will show reduced rates of infection and will report milder symptoms. You said yourself and the rest of your company either didn't get the flu or had reduced symptoms. If this was a decently designed, placebo controlled experiment, than your observation would indicate that the results were the same for both those who actually got the vitamin pill, and for those who got the placebo. If you had noticed that half of the company didn't get sick, but the other half did, then you might have something.

I certainly wouldn't suggest that the grandparent poster should take tamiflu-- they clearly do have side effects, and anyway the current version of swine flu running around isn't doing much damage. What I took (and take) exception to the the GP credulously taking one (or for that matter, many) doctor's anecdotal experience as being conclusive, and then credulously accepting an unproven folk remedy as a treatment.

Comment Re:Spread the FUD (Score 1) 374

Ignoring a pile of clinical evidence showing oseltamivir efficacy because one doctor renders a contrary opinion, and then loading up on vitamin C (which as far as I can find has no peer-reviewed evidence to support reducing the severity or duration of influenza infection) to try to impact the course of infection?

 

If you ever had a science card, please hand it in.

 

(any effective medication has side effects. I personally wouldn't take tamiflu for H1N1 or regular seasonal flu. If a lethal pandemic flu that's sensitive to tamiflu starts around, please send your dose to me, I'll put it to good use)

 

Comment Re:Who is really hurt by such services? (Score 2, Insightful) 208

Albert Einstein captured the essence of which I speak in a single sentence: "It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education."

If you read up on the history of higher education, you'd understand that the systems referred to by Einstein in that quote (late 19th/early 20th century) essentially no longer exist. Today's system, at least in decent schools, lets you get out of it what you want. I'd say 70% of the student population in the school I went to was there to finish a BS in four-five years, while putting in as little effort and as much beer as possible. They'd plagiarize, cheat, or do anything else to get by. What they got back was a half-assed education, filled with exactly the sort of problems you descibe.

For a few of us it was a little bit different. By my junior year I was working 20+ hours a week as a paid assistant in a biochemistry lab, working closely with grad students, post-docs, & the profs (as well as a half-dozen other undergrad RAs). I rolled out of there with a fantastic science education, a strong network of professional connections that I continue to use today, 16 hours of transferrable gradute school coursework, and a level of comfort of how to work in a lab that made grad school actually fun.

The point is, the higher education system in which students can receive an individualized education delivering a high level of training in a technically challenging field does exist; actually it co-exists with the beer-swilling do-the-least-possible-work system. You just have to 1) be a little bit talented, 2) be willing to work your ass off, and 3) show some initiative.

Comment Re:Places Apple still have DRM. (Score 1) 264

I hear Apple is now making a special version of the shuffle for people who want controls on the player rather than through the headphones.

This version will have the traditional Apple click wheel controller, and will even include a small screen to see what's playing:

See here

This is why one makes a product line. See, some folks want the smallest possible player. Other folks will want controls on the device. Whining that they're not making the exact device that you want suggests a simple course of action-- go into business & make it yourself. Or use one of the knock-offs. Or buy a used last-gen shuffle on Ebay. But for god's sake, please stop the whining.

Comment Re:What? (Score 4, Insightful) 404

Why would Mac people hate somebody for that? I ssh into my macs all the time. I pretty much always have terminal windows open. A lot of the molecular biology software I use (the open EMBOSS set of programs ROCK) are command line only, take files as input & write files as output. It's a BSD box with pretty paint. Sure, it's nice to have the pretty screens & be able to run things like iphoto & etc, but at the end of the day the most useful stuff still runs from the > prompt.

Comment Re:CDMA (Score 1) 153

8-10k (yes, that's thousand) minutes per month.

Jesus tapdancing christ, there's only 44,000 minutes in a 31 day month-- you actually spend almost 1/4 of your life on your phone? Wow.

Censorship

Submission + - Slamdance updates, Toblo readmitted

Rob T Firefly writes: "In a posting on their website, the organizers of the Slamdance Guerilla Games Competition have updated their response to the controversy surrounding the blacklisting of Super Columbine Massacre RPG! (as reported previously on Slashdot here, here, and here.) They place the blame for the game's removal on the potential legal battles which could result from showing it to the public.

From the posting:
This is not a case of Slamdance lacking courage, sponsor disapproval of showing Danny's game or wanting to control freedom of expression. Simply and practically, Slamdance can't afford to take on the scope of this potential loss by showing the game to the public.
Slamdance now plans to hold a panel discussion regarding the controversy on January 21st.

In a related story Toblo, one of the seven games which was withdrawn by creators in protest of SCMRPG!'s blacklisting, has been readmitted to the festival by the school the creators attend. This was done without the consent of the creators, who have responded with their disapproval on the game's website, affirming their refusal to present or accept any awards on behalf of the game. They will, however, use their existing travel arrangements to attend the festival and Slamdance's discussion panel."
Wireless Networking

Submission + - School Pulls Wi-Fi Network On Fears of Radiation

s31523 writes: "Wi-Fi networks have become a ubiquitous entity, popping up in homes, restaurants, coffee shops, schools and the workplace. This trend of wireless communication is likened to the cell phone craze that started in the late 90's which quickly prompted a electromagnetic radiation scare that caused rumors of brain tumors and cancer. Looks like Wi-Fi networks are heading down the same path. The BBC is reporting that some schools are pulling their Wi-Fi networks after "complaints from parents that their children suffer headaches". From the article: " Some are concerned that we don't know enough about the health effects of electromagnetic radiation — the radio waves that allow the computer network to transmit (along with longwave, FM and TV and phone frequencies). For others, headaches and skin rashes — that they feel are due to the radio waves — are prompting a big switch off." Is this another chicken little phenomenon or is there really a need for concern?"
Upgrades

Submission + - Holiday Buyer's Guide For The Computing Enthusiast

MojoKid writes: "This holiday season there are lots of new gadgets and toys to choose from in an effort to bring a smile to the face of that special digitally connected someone in your life. But what if that someone is a dyed-in-the-wool computing enthusiast or do-it-yourselfer? HotHardware has a Holiday Buyer's Guide published that offers the best of the best in component selection ideas, for the killer gaming rig, overclocker's dream and budget systems. From CPUs to graphics, drives, memory, LCDs and power supplies, the best of the best are showcased here."

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