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Comment Re:Depressing (Score 1) 195

Additionally, if the risks/losses associated with supplying increase, then fewer people will start supplying- even while some suppliers may raise prices to compensate.

There is also an upper limit. A supplier sustains losses, prices rise to compensate, and the supplies continue to reach the demand. However, if a supplier sustains too much loss, the supplier may be unable to continue supplying. Basically, a company can go bankrupt (inb4 government bailout for drug trade).

Comment Wireless Philadelphia (Score 3, Interesting) 61

Here in Philadelphia, free wifi is available almost everywhere in the city. The SSID is something like "Free Wireless Philadelphia" and it has at least fair signal quality almost everywhere I've been (aside from inside some buildings, etc).

However, you can NEVER connect to it. The connection ALWAYS fails. I have never met a single person who was able to connect to it.

After doing some testing, I realized that the problem is their receivers. The transmitters are rather powerful and can be picked up by a laptop/tablet almost anywhere. However, good luck getting your laptop/tablet to transmit strong enough for their systems to even hear you.


Submission + - Google Wasting $16 Billion on Projects Headed Nowhere ( 2

hapworth writes: Google's engineering culture is "wasting profits," according to a new report published today that refers to $16 billion dollars worth of Google projects that are going nowhere. According to the analysis, it's not that the ideas — such as the Kansas City Fiber Project, driverless cars, and other engineering efforts — are bad. Rather, it's Google's poor execution that is killing the company and adding billions of dollars worth of projects to its "trash pile."

Submission + - Camera Gun Would Let Hunters Get Killer Wildlife Shots (

Zothecula writes: Not too long ago, brothers Randy and Michael Gregg were out on a hunting expedition. It was the day after deer season had ended, yet they spied a handsome animal bedded down in the snow. Not wanting to pass up an opportunity, they silently crept up on their quarry, raised their rifle, lined the deer up in the crosshairs ... and then took a picture through the scope with a mobile phone. That photo provided all the proof they needed that they had successfully stalked their prey, without bringing home an illegally-obtained carcass. It also inspired them to create the Kill Shot — a replica hunting rifle, that takes pictures instead of firing bullets.

Submission + - Cheap solar panels made with ion cannon (

MrSeb writes: "Twin Creeks, a solar power startup that emerged from hiding today, has developed a way of creating photovoltaic cells that are half the price of today’s cheapest cells, and thus within reach of challenging the fossil fuel hegemony. As it stands, almost every solar panel is made by slicing a 200-micrometer-thick (0.2mm) wafer from a block of crystalline silicon. You then add some electrodes, cover it in protective glass, and leave it in a sunny area to generate electricity through the photovoltaic effect. There are two problems with this approach: Much in the same way that sawdust is produced when you slice wood, almost half of the silicon block is wasted when it’s cut into 200-micrometer slices; and second, the panels would still function just as well if they were thinner than 200 micrometers, but silicon is brittle and prone to cracking if it’s too thin. Using a hydrogen ion particle accelerator, Twin Creeks has managed to create very thin (20-micrometer), flexible photovoltaic cells that can be produced for just 40 cents per watt; around half the cost of conventional solar cells, and a price point that encroaches on standard, mostly-hydrocarbon-derived grid power."

Submission + - Interesting New Tool That Helps With Database Encryption For Web Applications (

shanecoughlan writes: "An interesting article about the Web Encryption Extension, a tool designed to keep data online safe without "leaving the key under the doormat" (storing the password online too). As the article explains, "there is a method of encrypting data that does not need such a secret, we have double key boxes today. We can use public keys to encrypt information before it is stored in a database, there is no secret required to do that. Any sensitive information can be protected that way before it enters the database [...] secret information is only necessary when a person needs to use the information that is stored encrypted in the database. Let's take the obvious example of financial account information. [...] the moment a staff member needs this information to carry out a money transfer, it is possible to recover the financial information by decrypting the database entry. The staff member has a brain to store the individual secret needed for decryption, and he has a reason to use the database entry now. The financial information can remain encrypted in the database [and] you won't find the key under the doormat, ever.""

Submission + - Indian Govt uses special powers to slash cancer drug price by 97% ( 1

suraj.sun writes: In a landmark decision( ) that could set a precedent on how life-saving drugs under patents can be made affordable, the government has allowed a domestic company, Natco Pharma, to manufacture a copycat version of Bayer's patented anti-cancer drug, Nexavar, bringing down its price by 97%.

In the first-ever case of compulsory licencing approval, the Indian Patent Office on Monday cleared the application of Hyderabad's Natco Pharma to sell generic drug Nexavar, used for renal and liver cancer, at Rs 8,880 (around $175) for a 120-capsule pack for a month's therapy. Bayer offers it for over Rs 2.8 lakh (roughly $5,500) per 120 capsule. The order provides hope for patients who cannot afford these drugs. The approval paves the way for the launch of Natco's drug in the market, a company official told TOI, adding that it will pay a 6% royalty on net sales every quarter to Bayer. The licence will be valid till such time the drug's patent is valid, i.e. 2020.

Submission + - Algorithm Brings Speedier, Safer CT Scans (

kenekaplan writes: Standard CT scanners can generate images of patient's body in less than five minutes today, but the radiation dose can be equal to about 70 chest X-rays. Lower powered CT scans can be used in non-emergency situations, but it can take more than 4 days to produce those images. Intel and GE created an algorithm that speeds up a computer's ability to process the low radiation dose scans by 100x, from 100 hours per image to 1 hour.

Comment How about this? (Score 1) 516

I am an organ donor. My biggest fear is the fact that I am an organ donor may discourage some doctors from fighting their hardest to keep me alive. Essentially, the fact that a doctor knows I am an organ donor may encourage the doctor to give up on me too soon with the hopes that my organs may save someone else.

So here's my proposition: Keep a patients organ donor status hidden from doctors until after they declare me dead. That would at least balance the playing field.

I would like to see some stats comparing organ donors and non-organ donors- is more "final hour/last ditch effort" treatment given to non-organ donors as opposed to organ donors? Do physicians tend to go to more/less lengths to save an patient if he/she is an organ donor?


Submission + - Gamers outdo computers at DNA sequence alignments (

ananyo writes: In another victory for crowdsourcing, gamers playing Phylo ( have beaten a state-of-the-art program at aligning regions of 521 disease-associated genes form different species (
The 'multiple sequence alignment problem' refers to the difficulty of aligning roughly similar sequences of DNA in genes common to many species ( DNA sequences that are conserved across species may play an important role in the ultimate function of that particular gene. But with thousands of genomes likely to be sequenced in the next few years, sequence alignment will only become more difficult in future.
Researchers now report that players of Phylo have produced roughly 350,000 solutions to various multiple sequence alignment problems, beating the accuracy of alignments from a program in roughly 70% of the sequences they manipulated (paper

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