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Comment Re:Laws against science-fiction are stupid. (Score 1) 197

The actual bill can be found here: http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=128_SB_243

From the looks of it, they bill is pretty specific in discussing hybrid embryos, and it specifically allows "(1) Research involving the use of transgenic animal models containing human genes;" and "(2) Xenotransplantation of human organs, tissues, or cells into recipient animals, including animals at any stage of development prior to birth, so long as the xenotransplantation does not violate a prohibition in division (B) of this section;"
Any violation of the law is only a misdemeanor, so its meant more to be symbolic then to prevent any ongoing activity.

While grafting and transgenics are fairly common now, I don't think there have been any official reports yet of anyone trying to create a true human/animal hybrid. The biggest hurdle to true hybrids might be the number of chromosomes - while humans have 46, most other species do not. even gorillas and chimpanzees have 48. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromosome#Number_of_chromosomes_in_various_organisms


Police Investigating Virtual Furniture Theft 103

krou writes "Finnish police are involved in the investigation of up to 400 cases of theft from virtual world Habbo Hotel, with some users reporting the loss of up to €1000 of virtual furniture and other items. Users were targeted using a phishing scam that used fake webpages to capture usernames and passwords. There is no mention as to whether or not the thieves made off with the bath towels, gowns, shampoo bottles, and soaps."

Comment Re:Don't forget to get along with QA (Score 1) 842

I didn't say anything about the developer writing tests in English, I'm just saying that you need to be clear in what was changed. If the change could be effectively covered with 100 testcases, but your description of the fix is so vague that QA ends up testing 1000 variations, that's a lot of time that could have been better spent on other projects. At my company, the changes in every development log need to be clearly documented for 3 reasons: 1) Future reference, so if that code isn't touched again for years, people can figure out how its supposed to work without reading the code. 2) So QA knows what to test (if there are no instructions, QA will mark it DOA) and 3) So the documentation team can properly document the changes.

  The QA at your company may simply be grunts, but at some companies (like mine) they are just as much of functionality experts as the developers, often more so. Our testing is done manually (no automated tool we've tried has come close to doing it as well without taking 10 times longer to do). Also, I'm working in HIT, so in some areas bugs really aren't acceptable at any level, even if obscure, if it could result in someone being physically harmed. Our developers do testing as part of their process, and all new development is also receives at least two passes of code review, but plenty of bugs still get through to QA because there are potentially thousands of variations.

  Now the OP didn't state what sort of company he's working at, but depending on the type of software it is, and their internal processes, being on QAs good side can be important.

Comment Don't forget to get along with QA (Score 1) 842

As a Quality Assurance employee at a software company I can tell you that at least in my experience, they will go to QA to ask which developers are doing good development projects. This isn't based so much on the number of bugs in projects that go to QA (although anything that's DOA or has obvious major issues does reflect negatively), but more importantly, make sure to have good documentation for what to test with, necessary setup steps, and any special variations you know of or spotted in development. If QA comes to you with questions about what they're testing, reply to them within a reasonable amount of time.

      The worst projects that get to me in QA usually have one of the following problems:
1) Come into QA before they're actually ready to go due to an "In QA" deadline. This does depend on company policy but I'd rather have it just stay under development for an extra day or two so it doesn't prevent testing in other related areas if its totally broken.
2) Poor documentation (or sometimes none), or worse, documentation that's completely wrong (ex: it has instructions to test workflow X, but it should actually be workflow Y)
3) Instructions that are too general or vague, like "Test everything in {functional area A}". If it was a general change like a library function change, tell QA the various code paths that will hit that function so they don't waste time on related areas that will never touch your code change.

Comment Re:Depends (Score 1) 277

I'd be surprised if Microsoft would be willing to drop any Blu-ray or DVD playback support from the next gen X-Box. Even if games were in a proprietary format, someone would find a workaround.

Dreamcast used a proprietary 1.2 GB Disc format, but piracy was still pretty rampant because the system also read CDs (for music playback). Many games didn't fill the full 1.2 GB so they were easily ported to CD-ROM. Other games were made to fit on CD-Rom by dedicated pirates who would compress video or audio files to fit them on the disc.

Comment Google Health = PHR NOT EMR (Score 1) 98

It should be pointed out that Google Health is not an Electronic Medical Record, it is an online Personal Health Record, with patient entered data. It may be handy in some cases, such as if you travel a lot and want a common place to keep your allergies and medications, and some basic information may be able to interface with existing EMR systems on a read only basis, but it is in no way equivalent to an Electronic Medical Record.

Comment Re:Sony Timer (Score 1) 147

So it sounds like they're running on epoch time where Jan 1, 2000 = 1, and the bug forced the time/date value to 0 or null. Ultimately it still sounds like that version of the hardware is trying to treat all even years as leap years and the bug handling code is not very graceful about it.

Comment Re:Sony Timer (Score 1) 147

The problems seemed to specifically affect the PSN system along with the older PS3s (I don't have one so I haven't followed the issue that much). I'm going to guess that the date and time is sent from PSN as a single integer in seconds from an epoch time, likely Unix/POSIX time counting from Jan 1, 1970, which is then used by the hardware to figure out the actual date/time for talking to the network, and not your system entered "local" time.
    The system must have been translating the epoch time it to February 29th, which was probably causing an error in some other date checking code.

What I'd be curious to know is if the affected systems now think its March 1 and not March 2.

Comment Re:Not news (Score 1) 819

I agree and don't appreciate being treated as a potential criminal by every company selling software or other media either. My main point was that the blog writer (from the summary at least) seemed completely shocked by this idea when it's nothing new.

Personally, in most cases, I think that DRM actually increases the amount of piracy, or at least the use of DRM cracking tools, because even the consumers who pay for the product don't want to be tied down under the DRM restrictions, especially ones like SecurRom.

    Ultimately it will be impossible to tell the impact of this until its implemented. If a lot of false positives start getting reported, then the question will be how effectively Microsoft resolved those issues and validates those copies as legit.

Comment Not news (Score 5, Insightful) 819

I don't see how this is in any way news or shocking. WAT = rebranded WGA.

The only major question I would have, is if it's only calling back every 90 days, how many false positives will it get from people doing major hardware upgrades over that three month span. (I'm assuming it compares the system specs with the license key as WGA did to determine if it was actually the same computer or not)

And at least they just downgrade you - they could instead just shut your system down for a suspected license violation and prevent any log-ins.

Comment Re:Uninsurable (Score 3, Insightful) 268

With no interest I would have $35,000 right now minus 7 routine check ups @ a couple hundred dollars each cash. If I invested that $5000 a year in a savings account that earns 2% interest starting now, when I am 50 I will have $172,009. I am basically gambling that I will require over $172,000 worth of medical care by the time I am 50. Even though the chances of that being the case are very small.

1)Good luck finding a savings account that actually pays out 2% interest (yes I know there are a few, but they keep dropping rates as long as the fed stays at 0-0.25%. Mine has dropped from 3% to 1.2% in the last 18 months). CDs aren't much better unless you're willing to lock it up for a long time. 401k is the best, but the money is not then available if you do need it for medical expenses.

2)You'd be amazed at how quickly you can rack up $172,000 in medical expenses and the chances are probably higher than you think. Cost per day in a hospital is anywhere from $1000-$3500, depending on level of care. If you get in an auto-accident or have some other condition requiring emergency surgery, that's very expensive. Plus, if you're uninsured, you get charged more or you may be denied non-emergent care unless you can prove the ability to self-pay. Chemo treatments can easily be $5000 per treatment or more, and a typical course would be 6 weeks of treatment 3 times a week.
      Also take into account any lost wages due to a serious injury or medical condition leading to hospitalization and possibly long recovery.

3)You also need to take into account costs of what would happen if you had a large medical expense now, not covered by insurance. The interest rate on any debts accrued because of it would most certainly be greater than the 2% you would gain in a savings account.

Comment Re:TFA is wrong (Score 1) 268

I don't understand how this woman, who is a registered nurse, can claim that she didn't know that babies were tested at birth for several genetic diseases, so that they can be treated before it's too late and their lives saved. Didn't she learn that in nursing school?

  I thought exactly the same thing when I read this. Plus, as I recall from my daughter's birth a couple of years ago, they tell you that blood tests and genetic tests will be done - it's included in the literature they give you while you're pregnant, it might be mentioned in your birthing class, and they mention it to you when they come to take the blood samples, if you're there. What might happen is that there is so much material given to you before the birth and you're so exhausted when they come to take the sample, most people probably never read it or remember being told.

    The only part I can think of that most people including a nurse wouldn't realize is what happens to the samples after the fact.

Comment Re:A breath of fresh air (Score 1) 283

Actually, if we should blame anyone or anything its the Russians (indirectly) and the end of the Cold War. Once we got to the moon and the race was over, the Russians didn't see any point in trying for it, and without a need to "beat the communists", Congress just wasn't going to fund it anymore.

    I think we will ultimately have to go back to the moon as a practice area for building colonies elsewhere in space, but as profit takes a higher priority over knowledge and adventure, it will probably be many decades before we do so; unless we find a gold mine or something up there.

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