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Communications

Online Drug Sales Triple After Silk Road Closure, Says Report (nbcnews.com) 95

The closure of Silk Road -- a marketplace where internet users could purchase drugs and other illegal goods -- in 2013 has had little to no effect on drug sales. According to a new report from RAND, online drug sales have tripled since the site was shut down. NBC News reports: "Since then, an estimated 50 'cryptomarkets and vendor shops where vendors and buyers find each other anonymously to trade illegal drugs, new psychoactive substances, prescription drugs and other goods and services,' have emerged to fill the void, according to the report. The research, which was commissioned by the Netherlands Ministry of Security and Justice, examined data from January and found dealers in the United States had the largest market share with 35.9 percent, followed by the United Kingdom at 16.1 percent and Australia at 10.6 percent. Marijuana was the top seller in January, accounting for 33 percent of illicit drug sales online, followed by prescription medication at 19 percent and stimulants at 18 percent."

Comment Re: I always quit without notice (Score 1) 765

So how does the new firm know that you were "unprofessional" in the timing of your departure?

That's an easy one. They ask if you're eligible to be rehired.

If you've done something bad or pissed off your management, the answer will be "no".

Since the company isn't disclosing any personal information or making any allegations regarding your conduct, there is nothing they can be sued over.

This is a fairly standard practice in corporate HR.

If you worked for a large business, you could probably dream up a not-entirely-terrible explanation since you know they will not provide any other details. It will still be a mark against, but you can mitigate it quite a bit.

I'm sure it varies by company, but you usually have to do more than just piss off management to be ineligible for rehire. Usually it's things like quitting without notice, stealing, etc.

Comment Re: I always quit without notice (Score 1) 765

At a decently run company, getting fired is never a surprise. So yeah, that is unprofessional.

Right. It shouldn't be a surprise. Most HR departments document firings by putting employees through performance improvement plans. Odds are if you get one, they want to fire you. It's basically your employer giving you notice, and it's often more than two weeks. If you work at a large company that fires people randomly out of the blue for "performance reasons", they're probably going to be sued.

Comment manual? (Score 1) 173

I see all of you privileged programmers talking about learning programming from a manual. I learned from reading source code. The kid down the street taught me how to control->reset and list BASIC programs on the Apple II, and I used those listings to figure out how to write my own programs. This was a really, really poor way to learn programming. So it's nice to see people having so many resources today. I don't think the prisoners should be allowed to use Python though, as they're supposed to be in the process of being punished. Something like Java would be more appropriate.

Comment Hairdresser (Score 1) 509

Tell her to go to beauty school and become a hairdresser.

1. It's not outsourceable.
2. It's unlikely to be automated due to the precision required involving sharp objects around the skull.
3. It's more an art than a science.
4. You get to meet people in your local community.
5. The hours are reasonable.
6. In general it's a respectable profession.

Comment Criteria (Score 1) 285

The submission sort of gets at this, but what should be some criteria for judging "the best" programmers?

Having discovered an algorithm? (Bonus points if it's named after you).
Created a programming language?
Written a book (on programming)?
Created a program that was somehow valuable or meaningful?
Educated other programmers?

Comment Re:But people forget what MENSA concluded (Score 1) 561

the study revealed NO CORRELATION.

Zippo. Nada. None. Zilch.

Most studies have found an IQ to income correlation of 0.4 to 0.5. That is not particularly strong, but it isn't zero. The correlation is weaker for people with very high IQs. Someone with an IQ of 100 (normal) will earn much more than someone at 60 (mildly retarded). Someone with an IQ of 120 will do significantly better than someone at 100. But someone with an IQ of 160 (genius) will do little better than someone at 120, on average.

Higher IQ's likely get diverted into research and education which may not pay as well as something like investment banking. We should really start tracking sociopath scores and seeing if they have any correlation with income.

Comment Re:Before you start complaining... (Score 1) 548

according to our social contract

Show me this "social contract". I think a big part of the problem here is delusional reasoning based on imaginary things that don't actually exist. I grant that there is cooperation in a society, it is an inherent and necessary component. But to claim that is a "contract", requires that the thing be voluntary and agreed to.

In any type of reasonable court the "social contract" concept would be thrown out due to Unconscionability. One side has grossly unequal bargaining power. Social Contract is a nicer way of saying "Ultima Ratio".

Comment Re:Before you start complaining... (Score 1) 548

The flip side of that is that NO western job is worth the prevailing wage, except in ultra competitive fields with international mobility like movie or basketball stars. For all other jobs, cooks, engineers, doctors, street vendors, architects and bankers etc., you will always find some equally qualified individual in some developing country ready to work for (significantly) less.

If skilled workers were paid what their production was actually worth, employers wouldn't profit from the transaction and hiring them would be counterproductive for employers. Employment is an arbitrage game, where employers offer employees some stability in return for being paid less than the actual goods they produce are worth.

The fact that globalization, technology and the liberalization of gender roles has expanded the workforce and thus pushed wages down is predictable. It's somewhat interesting that the fields that still have a large gender gap (Nurses, Computer Programmers) have some of the highest wages...likely because of a lack of supply of workers. Nice to see Google is trying to "fix" that....

Comment They're scared they won't be able to. (Score 1) 878

If the US gets missile defense systems into the Ukraine they could theoretically win a nuclear war with a first strike. This is what has Putin's panties in a bunch. This is also why Russia was so upset with the US considering putting their missile defense systems in Poland.

It would still be a crazy gambit, as Russia still has nuclear subs, and who the heck would want to take the risk? Is Putin just paranoid, or would the US really try to win a nuclear war? There are some crazy motherfuckers in positions of power in the US.

Comment Re:Well then (Score 1) 294

This doesn't make any sense to me either. Current pills containing hydrocodone are a mixture with other drugs, mostly other drugs that have a higher toxicity, and part of the reason for that is to keep people from taking too many of them. If you OD on Vicodin, it's not the 5mg of hydrocodone that kills you, it's the 500mg of acetaminophen. For a 50kg person, you can get to a reasonably toxic quantity of acetaminophen (200 mg/kg) with 20 vicodin, which gives you a dose of 100mg of hydrocodone, or 2 mg/kg. Quick googling found this: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-... that gives animal toxicity studies showing an LD50 for hydrocodone in the range of 86 mg/kg (mice) to 375 mg/kg (rats). Granted, you certainly don't want to take anything *near* to the LD50 of any drug, but the highest dosage for a Zohydro pill is 50 mg. For a 50kg person to get a dose of 1/4 the mouse LD50 would be over 20 pills. As noted, if those 20 pills were vicodin, then they would also be toxic, but only because of the acetaminophen. And really, if you're downing 20 of *any* prescription painkiller, you almost certainly have a different goal in mind than temporary pain relief. I just really don't see this as causing much harm, and potentially helping a fairly specific set of people who need it.

People who are intent on abusing pills can get around the acetaminophen simply by breaking the pills up, putting them in cold water, and running them through a coffee filter. This is known as cold water extraction.

Part of the reason for the acetaminophen in painkillers is because of a loophole in the 1970 Controlled Substances Act that classified pure Hydrocodone as a strictly controlled Schedule II drug (Which Zohydro will fall under). However, Hydrocodone combination products, such as Vicodin, which contains Hydrocodone and acetaminophen, into the less strict Schedule III classification. As a Schedule III drug, combination drugs such as Vicodin can be refilled as many as five times, while Schedule II drugs can be filled only once.

So why is there so much pushback against Zohydro, when it clearly fits a need and will be more difficult to obtain and abuse than Vicodin? I think it might have to do with the fact that it's put out by a tiny company (Zogenix) rather than one of the big players. Teva Pharmaceuticals who literally spent millions on lobbying last year has a competing product "TD Hydrocodone" which they're trying to get to market, but Zogenix beat them to it. If Zohydro were delayed for a little while, perhaps they could get to market with their competing drug and given their vastly larger resources they'd likely win market share. Another large company Purdue Pharma (the makers of OxyContin) also have something in the works

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