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Comment Re:Who buys hardbacks? (Score 5, Informative) 247

Actually, the answer to the library question is simple. Most libraries, especially university ones, buy special library versions of the books. They typically come in hardback, printed with special ink on acid-free paper. The upside is that the book will last, supposedly, much longer, possibly a couple centuries. With no acid in the book you also won't get that nasty breakdown you do with older books that turns the pages brittle and the covers all '60s techni-color. The downside is that this edition of the book costs around $100+ for something as simple as Dean Koontz's new thriller.

Otherwise, libraries typically buy the best quality edition of the book they can and rebind it in hardback. But there is a huge market for publishers making special library editions that aren't available to the public.

Comment Re:Who even understands the Post Office any more? (Score 1) 504

I agree. I have no mod points to give, but this is an important point. Why do we assume the Post Office is supposed to turn a profit? Why does the Post Office think they should turn a profit? Are they a government-subsidized or -run institution, or are they a private industry? Governments and their institutions don't need to make a profit.

Cheap Cancer Drug Finally Tested In Humans 363

John Bayko writes "Mentioned on Slashdot a couple of years ago, the drug dichloroacetate (DCA) has finally finished its first clinical trial against brain tumors in humans. Drug companies weren't willing to test a drug they could not patent, so money was raised in the community through donations, auctions, and finally government support, but the study was still limited to five patients. It showed extremely positive results in four of them. This episode raises the question of what happens to all the money donated to Canadian and other cancer societies, and especially the billions spent buying merchandise with little pink ribbons on it, if not to actual cancer research like this."

Comment Re:Having done the firmware upgrade... (Score 1) 546

Fifty dollars to eject the disc? That's ridiculous.

No, after sales of the system drop off, they'll just change the terms so you pay somewhere around $7.99/month to connect to PSN Premium. You will need Premium if you want to play online with friends or download "special content." This cost, of course, is to maintain the PSN servers, which require money to run now that Sony has sold so many PS3s. Not so ridiculous now, is it?

Comment Re:Told but didn't understand..... (Score 1) 332

The example with the surgery was a poor example. I'll agree to that; fair enough. However, the problem is not with the researchers profiting from the research; the problem is that they profited knowing they did not have consent to perform the tests they did. From the second article:

"“Did you have permission,” she asked during the question period, “to use Havasupai blood for your research?” The presentation was halted. Dr. Markow and the other members of the doctoral committee asked the student to redact that chapter from his dissertation."

The article, which is all we have to go on, implies there, and elsewhere that the researchers knew they did not have informed consent to perform extra research beyond the scope of the diabetes research. I have no problem with them profiting from a cure for diabetes if they found it. But if they profited from a cure for alcoholism from these DNA samples, then they did so in bad faith and by unethical means. That is the problem. Their extended research was predicated on tissue samples that were obtained for another purpose and may have been obtained in bad faith. I do not support unethical medical treatments or research. Unfortunately with a settlement we may not know definitely if they obtained the tissue samples in bad faith.

Comment Re:Told but didn't understand..... (Score 1) 332

Unfortunately, if they can't understand the consent form then they can't give informed consent, can they? This could be remedied by helping them to understand the consent form, which was done. However, if you purposefully mislead people, then again, they didn't give informed consent at all.

If I sign a paper before surgery that states the doctor has my permission to remove my appendix because it is infected, then I have given him informed consent. But, once in there, he can't just decide that my gall bladder, also an extraneous organ, looks like something his research students could use in their doctoral theses. They didn't just use the DNA for something the Havasupai didn't want them to use it for. Doctoral students and other researchers effectively made a profit from the DNA which was obtained in an unethical manner.

Comment I like them (Score 5, Insightful) 400

What will kids read on the way home from the game store now? I have also found game manuals helpful in many instances where commands and instructions that weren't put into the game were put there. Not every instruction or tip you need to convey can be put into the game without breaking the flow. The game manual helps. Besides, sometimes they're really pretty.

How Do You Land a Nuke-Powered Mini-Cooper On Mars? 218

tcd004 writes "Miles O'Brien narrates this video simulation of NASA's next Mars shot, which promises to out-gun all previous efforts. The Mini Cooper-sized Mars Science Laboratory, which is now named Curiosity, will crawl the Martian surface under steam from a nuclear powerplant — but it's a gentle giant compared to its predecessors. Recent theories have emerged that previous attempts at identifying organic compounds in Martian soil may have actually cooked away any signs of life-giving elements. Curiosity will go to great pains to avoid scorching the Earth ... erm ... Mars."

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