Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Exon Skipping? (Score 2) 264

According to NPR, Kalydeco, "works by helping to fix one defect in the protein that causes the disease." Unfortunately the way the drug works is also very specific, and won't work for all sufferers NPR also reports that it will "only work for about 1,200 patients in the U.S.". Now, being that a cursory Internet search says that there are about 30,000 sufferers in the USA, it's pretty clear that Kalydeco is just a step in the right direction, at least from a medical and research perspective.

Comment Re:Support them from your own money (Score 1) 666

This is a short-sighted comment. Most employees happen to be shareholders, even if it is an infinitesimal amount. Furthermore, most employees want the company to succeed because they either 1) would like to continue gainful employment (which is a distinct possibility in this market) or 2) do not want the stigma of working for a company that failed. The gentleman that posed the question believes that there is value in commercial support for a product, I happen to agree to a certain point. The reason is pretty simple: commercial support is an insurance plan. If you are going to build a product that makes use of code that may be unstable, then it's not a bad idea to have an expert on call "just in case".

For example a while back I worked at a company that routed wireless E-911 calls to the appropriate public safety answering point. In this case, we decided that commercial support was A Good Thing. A little while later I worked at a company that provided Short Messaging services and those with the purse-strings thought that the risk of running without support was worth it. The former company is still in business, the latter... not so much.

The only way you'll possibly sway the CIO is to change his mind about "not wanting" support via probabilistic risk assessment that shows that the "Red Hat Tax" is good insurance. If it really isn't then I wouldn't bother.


Comment Re:Choices (Score 1) 702

Uh, that's not what I said..

While it is true that monopolies can be brought into existence through a governmental apparatus, it is also equally true that a single company (and/or individual) that somehow is capable controlling and securing influence on a particular good or service.

However, in the case of telecommunications, the AT&T / Bell System was "a legally sanctioned, regulated monopoly". Thus, in this case, of AT&T it is not Conservative nonsense to say that "AT&T had a monopoly only because the government assisted them"; rather it is a simple matter of fact. Thus, I hope not to inconvenience you too terribly if I repeat it as oft as I wish.

Comment Re:Choices (Score 1) 702

No offense, but you've clearly never worked in the telecommunications industry. It's been heavily regulated since before I was even born. Even when AT&T had a monopoly it only did so because the US Government let it.


For much of its history, AT&T and its Bell System functioned as a legally sanctioned, regulated monopoly.

in other words, telecommunications has never been a free market.

Comment Re:Choices (Score 1) 702

"Competition is dead in the ISP Market?" Says who? At my house I can get service from a bunch of different carriers, let alone Internet service providers that use these carriers, for example:

Qwest DSL / Fiber to Neighborhood
Comcast Cable / Fiber to Neighborhood
Frontier Fiber to Home
Clearwire WiMAX
Covad DSL
Cortland Wireless

Now, the argument may is often made "yes, but these carriers are ex-definitionae a monopoly", and I agree. However it must be noted that these monopolies are, in no small part, a product of regulation by the FCC and far less a product of the free market. Thus, to my way of thinking, the best way to actually implement the principles of Net Neutrality is to remove barriers of entry to the market and make the market more free rather than less.

The Courts

Juror Explains Guilty Vote In Terry Childs Case 537

alphadogg writes "Terry Childs, the San Francisco network administrator who refused to hand over passwords to his boss, was found guilty of one felony count of denying computer services, a jury found Tuesday. Now, one of those jurors (Jason Chilton, juror #4) is speaking out in an interview with IDG News Service's Bob McMillan: 'The questions were, first, did the defendant know he caused a disruption or a denial of computer service. It was rather easy for us to answer, "Yes there was a denial of service." And that service was the ability to administer the routers and switches of the FiberWAN. That was the first aspect of it. The second aspect was the denial to an authorized user. And for us that's what we really had to spend the most time on, defining who an authorized user was. Because that wasn't one of the definitions given to us.'"

Need a Favor? Talk To My Right Ear 288

Hugh Pickens writes "The Telegraph reports that scientists have found that if you want to get someone to do something, ask them in their right ear. Known as the 'right ear advantage,' scientists believe it is because information received through the right ear is processed by the left hand side of the brain which is more logical and better at deciphering verbal information than the right side of the brain. 'Talk into the right ear you send your words into a slightly more amenable part of the brain,' say researchers. The team, led by Dr. Luca Tommasi and Daniele Marzoli from the University of Chieti in central Italy, observed the behavior of hundreds of people in three nightclubs across the city where they intentionally addressed 176 people in either their right or their left ear when asking for a cigarette. They obtained significantly more cigarettes when they made their request in a person's right ear compared with their left. 'These results seem to be consistent with the hypothesized specialization of right and left hemispheres,' say researchers. 'We can also see this tendency when people use the phone, most will naturally hold it to their right ear.'"

Comment Re:Oklahoma? (Score 0) 1161

And therein lies the rub. Dawkins is not making a case of mere ideas, opinions, or the evidence of hypothesis and testing. On the contrary, he states that unless you agree with his narrow understanding of reality and truth itself your must be both a deluded and unintelligent individual.

In other words, we're not talking about science vs. religion, but two competing religions.

Slashdot Top Deals

At these prices, I lose money -- but I make it up in volume. -- Peter G. Alaquon