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Comment Re:Natural Selection and Cancer. (Score 1) 223

Cancer might resemble the kind of cells that eventually made the transition of prokaryotes to eukaryotes. But it is simplistic to say it is governed by just a few genes, so we should be able to handle it. Think about it, if these genes have escaped natural selection for 1 billion years, how hard it is going to be to fight them.

Up until very recently the vast majority of humans did not live long enough to see the onset of cancer, so natural selection didn't have a chance to play the part you're suggesting that it should/would have. Furthermore, most cancers occur later in life than when most humans reproduce (this was especially so prior to modern times). This prevents cancer from having the usual fitness detriment in relation to reproduction, providing an alternative explanation for why it hasn't been selected out.

Comment Re:DUI Hysteria (Score 3, Interesting) 549

Indeed, the hysteria surrounding intoxicated driving seems to outweigh the threat. As you mentioned, the number of yearly deaths attributable to intoxicated driving is a drop in the preventable death bucket. However, several (but not all) of the other types of preventable death are brought upon oneself, such as death from prolonged tobacco smoking. With intoxicated driving the victim is not necessarily the intoxicated individual, it can be a passenger or another driver/pedestrian. Those individuals often have families, which introduces a very emotional and tragic aspect to preventable death by an intoxicated driver. That's why you have such powerful lobbying groups like MADD, which leads to (in my opinion) overzealous pursuit of intoxicated drivers and the prevention of intoxicated driving.

It would be refreshing if some of the more substantial causes of preventable death received the same attention and lobbying.

Comment Re:This is just embarrassing. (Score 1) 338

The continental US was under a real threat of attack, I would argue, during the Cuban missile crisis. This was post WW2, by the way. I'm not sure what you'd classify as a "threat of attack," but I'm pretty sure if you'd have been alive at the time this would qualify. For more info:

Comment Re:Not again... (Score 2, Informative) 631

It's also important to note that trial courts don't set precedent, appellate courts do that (and this case was at the trial court level). The other lawsuits that are popping up elsewhere aren't the result of any new precedent set by this case, they are the result of other lawyers being shown a winning argument. CajunArson is right about Slashdot and the law -- I see a couple posts at +5 alleging that there is now legal precedent requiring the use of patented technology -- supposedly by a court that cannot even set precedent.

Furthermore, even if this case is reviewed at the appellate level and affirmed, it still will not set any legal precedent requiring companies to use patented technology. The precedent already was/is a question of reasonableness. As CajunArson mentioned, suggested use of a patented technology to improve safety is but one step down the road to establishing (or refuting) reasonableness in legal terms.

Comment Need help with Mac problem... (Score 3, Interesting) 814

I don't want to start a holy war here, but what is the deal with you Mac fanatics? I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of a Mac (a Mac Pro with two 2.26GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon "Nehalem" processors and 6GB of RAM) for about 20 minutes now while it attempts to copy a 17 Meg file from one folder on the hard drive to another folder. 20 minutes. At home, on my Pentium Pro 200 running NT 4, which by all standards should be a lot slower than this Mac, the same operation would take about 2 minutes. If that.

In addition, during this file transfer, Warcraft will not work. And everything else has ground to a halt. Even Safari is straining to keep up as I type this.

I won't bore you with the laundry list of other problems that I've encountered while working on various Macs, but suffice it to say there have been many, not the least of which is I've never seen a Mac that has run faster than its Wintel counterpart, despite the Macs' faster chip architecture. My 486/66 with 8 megs of ram runs faster than this 2x 2.26Ghz 8-core machine at times. From a productivity standpoint, I don't get how people can claim that the Macintosh is a superior machine.

Mac addicts, flame me if you'd like, but I'd rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use a Mac over other faster, cheaper, more stable systems.

Comment Re:Who cares really? (Score 2, Interesting) 339

The share price is only down a small amount, which can be attributed to normal market noise. This is actually an indicator that the iPhone is performing (over 500,000 sold) just about where financial analysts expected it to. If it had outperformed expectations you'd see huge abnormal gains, and if it had underperformed you'd see enormous capital losses. These two scenarios can still occur as more information comes out about the iPhone's sales, but for the moment it appears that analysts predicted sales fairly accurately and began pricing their estimates into Apple stock from when the product was first announced.

Personally, I short sold (bet against) a large amount of Apple stock last Friday. I feel like the iPhone has been over-hyped and the Apple loyalists are influencing the share price more than they should be in a relatively efficient market.

For those who are more risk averse than I am, it's potentially a bad security to be holding at the moment. Large fluctuations in share price are certainly possible in the coming weeks if analysts turn out to be wrong in either direction.

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