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Comment Re:Good Riddance (Score 1) 796

Personally, I have never encountered an ATM in this country which charges for "access". Some charge for cash withdrawls, but I've not seen any charge for using the machine at all, e.g. checking your balance. And, personally, I could find a free ATM a hell of a lot quicker than I could find my cheque book ;-)

Of course, I accept my experience is not universal, etc etc.

Comment Re:Logic Pro anyone? One less Windows product (Score 1) 131

I don't know about the Windows one, because I'm in the "iTunes on my PC over my dead body" crowd, but there's definitely a graphic EQ on the Mac one. I know this because my friend switched it on with some drastic setting to compensate for one particular tune once, forgot, and we spent a couple of hours wondering if his speakers were blown or something ;)

Comment Re:I assume you mean MD-diagnosed (Score 4, Insightful) 423

The CDC estimates 22M [cdc.gov] cases among Americans through mid-October... that means the poll averages should be closer to 10, not 2-5, and *certainly* not "none at all." Most people who picked the "None" option are either willfully ignorant or woefully uninformed.

Well for starters, great stat, shame about the fact slashdot isn't exclusively visited by Americans, rendering it pretty well useless. I'm in the UK. Is our population running at the same infection levels as the US? Who knows! Not me, not from that CDC report, not without researching a bunch of other sources.

Second, from your own link:

These initial case counts, and subsequent ongoing laboratory-confirmed reports of hospitalizations and deaths, are thought to represent a significant undercount of the actual number of 2009 H1N1 flu cases in the United States....

...[our data was] then corrected for factors that may result in under-reporting using a multiplier ...

In other words, they expect the number of people who have had H1N1 to be more than the number of people who have been officially diagnosed with H1N1, and have inflated their numbers accordingly so as to estimate the former. The slashdot poll clearly asks for the latter: so you would expect the poll average to be lower than the average as calculated from the report. (Even before you inflated their numbers further still by assuming a 36% rise in cases over the last month, rounding 9.7% up to an even 10, and picking 100 as the number of people that people "know" - I "know" 100 people, sure, but not all well enough and/or people I see often enough to have specifically confirmed any medical diagnoses they have had recently.)

So, no, actually I don't believe most people who picked the "None" option are not willfully ignorant or woefully uninformed. More likely they answered honestly.

Comment Re:Buy a cheap CRT (Score 1) 367

Yes, it would be nice. I know the UK has panels deciding how much budget to allocate to particular medicines, or sectors - e.g. do we spend this million pounds on a pediatrics ward or a CAT scanner or X units of ARVs or whatever - when of course there will be many patients desperate for all of them, and liable to die if money for <WHATEVER_THEY_NEED> is not allocated. Such difficult decisions are of course inevitable. However I really rather doubt such panels sit around debating whether to spend money treating individual people and, unsubstantiated, the implication that they do really seems a bit FUDish.

Comment Re:So, the question is... (Score 1) 773

The sheer scale of the inflated figures thrown around in the dotcom era still staggers me. Let's imagine that yahoo found a way of monetising broadcast.com to the tune of half a million dollars profit EVERY DAY. God alone knows how, but assuming they did - to recoup that $6bn they would still need to consistently turn in that profit for OVER THIRTY YEARS. How can anyone take such a proposition seriously? And, yeah, I know, stock not cash, but if you follow that line of argument to a logical conclusion, it means the investors knew how ludricously over-valued the stock is, so either way the whole market must have been running off undiluted stupid for such a deal to go through.

Comment Re:I've nearly last count... (Score 1) 958

As a European it's pretty easy to pass 10 countries without trying much.

True. I'm about the least well-travelled I know, I pretty much never go on holiday let alone "go travelling" per se. So I expected to be picking "one to three", but when I totalled up in my head I was surprised to realise I'm up to seven! As you say, without even trying.

Comment Re:Celsius: It's for telling temperature (Score 3, Funny) 1233

In Britain we do things rather differently.

  • +40C == I am either in a sauna or a victim of extraordinary rendition
  • +30C == PHWOAR WHAT A SCORCHER, everything stops working, people debate whether it would be worth getting air con for the next day like this (in 14 years time)
  • +20C == This might well be as good as summer gets, so grab a Solero, we're off to the beach!
  • +10C == Typical mediocre day anywhere outside the one token distinctively hot/cold week
  • 0C == Winter
  • -10C == Fuck that.
  • -20C == You're joking, right?
  • -30C == Right?
  • -40C == Seriously!?

Comment Re: Nonsense (Score 1) 276

This is absolute nonsense. I know many people who are Capricorns (born in December-January) and who are over-achievers.

Yes, because of course when scientists talk about statistical trends observed within 52 million cases, the fact that you know "many" people who defy the trend of course sufficient basis to dismiss the trend as statistically nonexistent and "absolute nonsense". Congratulations of your robust grasp of the relationship between large data sets, statistical significance and confidence, and the anecdotal relevance of a couple of your mates' star signs.

Comment Re:Depends on what you mean by immortality or FTL (Score 1) 903

Immortality is achieved through cloning of new bodies and transferring your conciousness and memories to the new body when needed. Memories can be stored at any time, allowing you to have a constant backup. That way body death isn't that big of a deal, and most people go through the transfer process a few times a decade.

A simliar concept underpins the Takeshi Kovacs universe by Richard Morgan, another new school Brit SF author. Check it out, you might like it.

I haven't read any Commonwealth saga so I can't directly compare - I did read Mindstar Rising and it's not entirely dissimilar to that - action/thriller/detective crossover elements with a hard mercenary (anti)hero, although Morgan is further in the future and more spectacularly violent.

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