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The Internet

One Year After World IPv6 Launch — Are We There Yet? 246

darthcamaro writes "One year ago today was the the official 'Launch Day' of IPv6. The idea was that IPv6 would get turned on and stay on at major carriers and website. So where are we now? Only 1.27% of Google traffic comes from IPv6 and barely 12 percent of the Alexa Top 1000 sites are even accessible via IPv6. In general though, the Internet Society is pleased with the progress over the last year. '"The good news is that almost everywhere we look, IPv6 is increasing," Phil Roberts,technology program manager at the Internet Society said. "It seems to be me that it's now at the groundswell stage and it all looks like everything is up and to the right."'"
Science

Lizard Named For Jim Morrison 50

ColdWetDog writes "The LA Times has a quick article on a newly named giant lizard: 'An ancient plant eating lizard that looked like an iguana but was closer in size to a German shepherd has been named after Jim Morrison, the late troubled and charismatic lead singer of the Doors.The lizard's name was chosen by Jason Head, a paleontologist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a hard-core Doors fan since college.' Hunter S. Thompson, who hallucinated presumably somewhat more carnivorous lounge lizards, was also considered for the honor."

Comment Re:The inability to research? (Score 1) 230

LSD's only known fatal toxicity in mammals has been in elephants; it causes heat regulation problems, and therefore might also be dangerous to other very large mammals. (It's probably a bad idea for aquatic mammals, in case disorientation can lead to drowning, but it can also be dangerous for human subjects that need to operate large machinery, such as cars.)

Damage to receptor molecules isn't much of an issue with LSD; that seems to be more of a risk with Ecstasy and the various dopamine-affecting drugs. Unfortunately, the DEA's bans on research make it really hard to study those effects on the recreationally interesting ones, compared to the more politically correct drugs. But for LSD, doses are really low and they only affect a few receptors, unlike some of the more complex psychedelics. On the other hand, for people who have risks for psychosis, it can be a really powerful and disorienting experience which they can't handle well.

I've stayed away from the serotonin-regulating drugs, but tried a dopamine-agonist for restless leg syndrome, and after using that for a few months and getting a bad reaction to nitrous at the dentist, it took me a couple of months to feel like myself again. Not planning to touch that stuff or anything like it again.

Comment Re:The inability to research? (Score 1) 230

I think hedwards was referring to other drugs, though there are psychiatric treatments like traditional talk therapy or Cognitive-Behavioural stuff.

But the reason there hasn't been as much research on LSD and Ecstasy as we'd need for routine non-experimental use in psychiatry is entirely because the drugs were banned for political incorrectness, not safety, even including bans on medical research for the psychedelics. Groups like MAPS are starting to fund new research in countries where they can get permission, and there's current work in the US on Ecstasy as part of PTSD treatment for veterans (because treating injured veterans has a political correctness all its own.) Psilocybin, in particular, seems to be really helpful for depression for some people, though the ketamine research may be more promising.

And the military research into LSD isn't very relevant (except insofar as it got people like Ken Kesey exposed to it, which popularized it on the West Coast.) They were trying to develop drugs for rapid temporary incapacitation of enemy soldiers on the battefield and also for interrogation of prisoners, and it's not very useful for either of those applications. They weren't trying to develop psychiatric treatments for shell-shocked vets, or migraine treatments, much less an enhancement for loud music and bright colors and having your world be really radically different for a day.

Comment Re:$50 billion sounds like a lot (Score 1) 230

Most Libertarians tend to be rabid about things. Some of us are rabidly pro-patent, some are rabidly anti-patent, some of us are rabid about other things and don't really care much about patents. And yes, in some circles you can have fun lobbing them a "Since corporations only exist as a favor from the State, what restrictions can the State place on them in return for the favor?" hand-grenade and walking away.

The Libertarian arguments about pharmaceutical regulation lean much more strongly to the "US regulations keep good drugs off the US market too long and make all drugs more expensive, even stuff the Swiss have been making for years" side than the "US regulations protect us from bad drugs like Thalidomide and all the other inadequately-tested drugs that kill millions of Europeans every year" side (what, did that sound slanted to you?:-), and the "In a Really Really Free Market, consumer lawsuits and liability insurance rates would force pharma makers to produce high-purity drugs" argument tends to outweigh the "US Regulations protect consumers from impure adulterated drugs like half of what they sell in China and Africa or the stuff Ranbaxy got caught doing" arguments. In particular, they often talk about the estimated 200,000 Americans who died of heart attacks because of how long it took beta-blockers to get FDA approval after the Europeans were already using it. But that may just reflect who's doing the writing or who's funding their publishing.

Comment Re:Old business ideas (Score 1) 230

Most of the anti-depressants are dangerous if you take the whole bottle. The particular suicide risk of tricyclics was that they help volition issues fairly quickly but take a while to deal with depression and anxiety, so there are a few weeks after patients start taking them when the whole world still sucks and/or is still frightening, but they have the motivation to go do something about it rather than just staying in bed avoiding it.

Comment Dangers of the old meds vs. the new ones (Score 1) 230

Tricyclics were nasty; back in the 1980s I had a friend who was bipolar but didn't respond well to lithium (which is also nasty), and they tried her on a bunch of different things, most of which also had nasty side-effects. But they're mostly norephinephrine-serotonin reuptake inhibitors, not MAO inhibitors (which are also nasty and come with warnings about "potentially fatal hypertensive crisis" if you eat the wrong foods with them.) BTW, ayahuasca's main components are an MAO inhibitor and DMT, with the MAOI having some psychoactive effects but primarily making the DMT orally active and keeping it from breaking down for much longer than normal, as well as often causing vomiting.

As far as high-blood-pressure drugs go, my doctor tells me there are about 4 main mechanisms that affect blood pressure, and different drugs work differently. For instance, diuretics generally have more effect on systolic pressure but less on diastolic than ACE inhibitors; depending on the cause of your high blood pressure, you may use one or both of them. And the ACE inhibitors have fewer side effects than some of the other old anti-hypertensives.

Comment Re:True True (Score 1) 230

Your mileage may vary. Some people do get hallucinations from dextromethorphan. Other people get hallucinations from codeine or other opiates. (In both cases, that's people who are trying to get cough suppression; people who are trying to get hallucinations are a different market segment :-) And Bayer's original goal in developing heroin was to try to find a less addictive opiate (didn't succeed, but it's sometimes more useful medically than morphine.) My experience with dental-quantity doses has been that regular codeine makes me a bit loopy, while hydrocodone (Vicodin) doesn't.

I started my notorious drug smuggling career bringing OTC antihistamines back from Canada (I forget which one it was; it turned out not to work very well for me, and eventually they found it caused kidney problems or something and banned it both here and in Canada. But last time I was there, I stocked up on generic Allegra, which was OTC in Canada but still prescription only in the US; it's now OTC here too.)

Comment We also lost Hugh Daniel (Score 1) 39

Hugh Daniel also died June 3, apparently of a heart attack. Hugh did a lot of open-source work, particularly the FreeS/WAN IPSEC project. He was well-known for being part of the Cypherpunks and Project Xanadu, and also worked on recovering data from old secret police computer records for the recent Guatemala genocide trials.

Comment Dumb question - sharing OS disks between VMs (Score 2) 191

This is a dumb question, but is there a recommended way to share operating system virtual disks between VMs, so you don't need 100 copies of the same Ubuntu? I realize you could set up one server VM and advertise /usr/share over nfs or samba across a virtual switch, but are there better approaches?

Comment Pre-9/11 flying DC/NJ/Boston (Score 1) 164

Back in the 80s and early 90s I was working in New Jersey and often doing projects in DC. Taking the train was a lot less stressful than flying, and typically took only about 15 minutes longer, but sometimes I'd fly from Newark to National Airport. There were shuttle planes every hour, you only needed about 15 minutes at the airport to catch your plane, and if you missed it there'd be another one an hour later. (Except occasionally, with bad weather or whatever.) So we'd usually aim to get to the airport 20-30 minutes before our flight, and if you didn't get a bad Metro connection downtown you could walk at the airport, or if you did you could run and usually still get on.

Comment Amtrak in the Northeast vs. Elsewhere (Score 2) 164

Between Boston, NYC, and DC, Amtrak runs the really fast Acela trains, the pretty fast Metroliners, and the slower local trains. There's also lots of commuter train service in the Northeast that isn't Amtrak, such as New Jersey Transit, the Long Island Railroad, SEPTA, DC Metro, etc. Back in the 1980s and early 90s I used to take the trains from New Jersey to DC (before the Acela started, so Metroliner if I could, or the slow trains otherwise.) Depending on where I was going in DC, it was often faster to take the train, because there's a lot less "hurry up and wait" and the train stations were more centrally located.

Outside the northeast, Amtrak runs passenger service, mostly long-haul, with occasional shorter-distance service like the trains from San Francisco Bay Area up to Sacramento and Lake Tahoe. That service runs on the same rails that carry freight trains, and freight has higher priority, so sometimes the passenger trains have to wait. I've never been on one that mixed passengers and freight, but I suppose it's possible that they're doing some of that these days.

Back when I was taking the trains, Wifi hadn't been invented, most people didn't have cell phones, and cell phones mainly worked near the city; there was a big service gap between Baltimore and Philly. I was once in one of the dining cars, and the old guy sitting across from me had the smallest cellphone I'd ever seen (a Motorola flip-phone analog), the smallest laptop I'd ever seen (a 6-pound IBM model you could only get in Japan), and an alphanumeric Skytel pager (which was also cool.) He was Professor Dave Farber, then of UPenn, and he'd just been working on the EFF founding :-)

Comment Low-tax jurisdictional arbitrage for Google etc. (Score 2) 243

Lots of big corporations have more complicated tax liabilities that can't be handled by being registered in just one company. It's not uncommon to have multiple layers of corporate shells, with different layers being the ones that officially do some part of the business in that country so as to minimize overall taxes. One such approach is the Double Irish Arrangement often with a "Dutch Sandwich" in between, and Wikipedia identifies Google as one of a number of well-known large companies doing things like this.

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