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Comment This is what Priority Review Vouchers incentivise (Score 1) 345

The FDA has a way to push development of otherwise unprofitable-to-develop drugs, you develop a drug that treats one of the named diseases and you get a voucher that can be applied so your next blockbuster drug gets reviewed and into the market faster. That means you can sell more before the patents expire and it goes generic.

Comment So, neighborhood has no poles at all ? (Score 2) 324

For all the comments about "underground is more expensive" does that really hold true if OP's neighborhood requiring all underground utilities doesn't have poles to string wire on ? I think you might end up having to get your neighborhood together as an organized group. You might be able to swing it if you could get a significant portion of the residents to pay for home-to-telecom cabinet condiuts out of their own pocket (like the resident owns the side-sewer hookup and paid for it with construction costs) but it's probably going to be a lot fewer residents than you imagine willing to do so.

Comment Re:It's not "slight" radioactivity (Score 1) 545

Quite true. In fact, the geiger counter test happened to me once when making 32P labelled RNA in lab. I had a Geiger counter positioned behind me while working at the bench with a portable shield between the 32P and myself/the counter. A labmate (who, un beknownst to me, had recently visited the hospital for some tests) walked by me and made me very, very nervous for a minute while I tried to figure out what I'd splashed or did to cause the Geiger counter to go apeshit.

It also gives some perspective on how the US university system puts rather steep limits on rad work in labs but when it's hospitals the limits are quite a bit more relaxed.

Comment Comcast IPv6 ? Hard to swallow after CableCard (Score 1) 463

After years of seeing my SB6120 cable modem (with Comcast's special sauce firmware beamed into it) display "MDD IP Mode Override (MIMO) IPv4 Only, Modem's IP Mode IPv4 Only" I'm taken aback by Comcast's statement to support IPv6 across much of their network in 5 months. Unfortunately, it also reminds me of the statements of absolute commitments they made to support full two-way CableCard solutions on their network until just enough customers/manufacturers/etc stopped believing CableCard could ever work out and the FCC officially stopped pushing for CableCard (in favor of some software-based standard that has also been stillborn).

Comment Any change in RMA procedures ? (Score 1) 353

I had a 1TB Seagate drive start throwing SMART errors after 4 years (it was actually an RMA replacement for a Seagate that was giving problems within a month or two of installation) and just sent it in for RMA. I'm kind of curious if they'll start offering cash instead of hard drives at some point or if I can look forward to a coupon for a drive at some future date. Even more fun is that I had a 1 yr old Western Digital Caviar Black at work start going out (it's so much fun backing up 100 gigs of data when the drive transfer rate stutters along for a 2-4 MB/sec average) and their LifeGuard tool keeps telling me the drive passed, even though there's a queue of sectors to reallocate and it'll take a week (literally, 192 hrs) to do the extended tests at the scan rate it's getting.

Comment NPR Planet Money covered groupon well (Score 1) 611

IIRC the team at Planet Money pointed out that, in general, groupon keeps about half of what money they do collect. There is negotiation involved and Groupon tries to make the most astounding deal possible. She obviously failed at using any negotiation skills. If she offered her cupcakes at a 75% discount 26*(1-0.75) she was only pocketing around 3.25 after groupon took its cut. The Planet Money story is actually a really interesting discussion on price discrimination and the origins of couponing in general.

Comment Re:The proper headline: Netflix loses 2% of subs! (Score 1) 325

Last year at this time (and most quarters) they report adding about 1.8 million subs NET and this quarter they lost 0.8 million subs NET. Rather than viewing as just 0.8 million of 23 million subscribers I think investors are viewing it as 2.6 million lost as compared to normal projections. (the PDF shows the 1.7-1.8 million gains being consistent)

Comment HD limit soon, now SSD limit soon? Chips are tiny (Score 2, Insightful) 315

Chips can be super tiny, spinning platters aren't so much. It wasn't that long ago that people were predicting hard drives couldn't get much more dense due to neighboring bits flipping each other too frequently, then they had a breakthrough with perpendicular recording. Look at what a 4 gig microSD card looks like. Then imagine how many of those could fit in a 3.5" drive chassis if carefully stacked them in there. I bet you'd be able to stack more than 1000 easily. Aside from that, even if each format may not be able to scale down significantly further, I can only collect so many TB of "linux isos" before I can't find a damn thing.

Comment Already published last week in Nature (Score 3, Informative) 80 The paper was already published last week in Nature. There was another paper by Guiguemde and Kip Guy in the same issue that my lab helped with. The problem is that antimalarial drugs need to be affordable for millions of people to take daily in places where people live off less than $1/day. Things like Coartem and even artemisinin combination pills cost too much for most of the countries that need them, due to patents and safe manufacturing facilities or even just raw materials. Luckily, malaria is getting special recognition and that helps a lot with widely dispensing every tool available to combat the parasite.

Comment Re:zerg (Score 2, Interesting) 163

I've had very good luck with my Sony Clie TJ-37. It did what Palm never did and brough wifi to the mainstream ($ rather than $$$) Palm OS devices. It's worked fine, after that one RMA. 802.11b, speaker, nice screen, a camera, if only it didn't use memory stick media it'd be perfect... well, if they still made them.

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