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Comment Re:Drop in the bucket (Score 5, Informative) 161

The one advantage that a not for profit has is that they can look for cures that might not be profitable.

You mean like the Howard Hughes Medical Institute with an endowment of $18 billion and spending of $800 million per year?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

Or the Wellcome Trust with an endowment of 18 billion pounds (~ $23 billion)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

Or the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with $44 billion
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

And of course there is the research supported by the NIH (that spends $26 billion annually) , NHS etc.
Somehow it seems $3 billion is a rather modest (if welcome) addition to the overall scope of non-profit medical
research...

Comment Re:Oh dear, poor SpaceX. (Score 1) 55

FWIW I'm not hating on Musk, I just think people should get their priorities of things to be concerned about in order.

Many fires have happened in the past, and many more are likely to happen in the future.
Overall it doesn't really have a major impact on the world.

But what SpaceX are attempting to do has the potential (at very least) to bring about significant changes to the history of space travel.

Comment Re:Forbes: (Warning paywalled) (Score 2) 244

And you know it's paywalled! So why using that article at all?

Actually it doesn't seem to be paywalled - or at least there may be a limited number of articles available for free.

I had been avoiding Forbes because of their adblock-blocking, but I was able
to read OK (this time).

Comment Re:Driving yes, but charging? (Score 1) 990

The article looked at that, and found 90%+ of people live in a place where they can charge.

No, I don't believe the article says that.
I think it says 90% of people's needs can be met if they can only charge overnight.
I don't think it actually looked at what percentage of people actually have access to overnight charging.

Comment Previous erroneous claims by group (Score 5, Informative) 240

This blog entry by a senior scientist at Fermi Lab has interesting comments on previous experimental results from the Hungarian group the UCI theoretical work is based on:

http://www.livescience.com/552...

What about the Hungarian group? I know none of them personally, but the article was published in Physical Review Letters — a chalk mark in the win column. However, the group has also published two previous papers in which comparable anomalies were observed, including a possible particle with a mass of 12 million electron volts and a second publication claiming the discovery of a particle with a mass of about 14 million electron volts. Both of these claims were subsequently falsified by other experiments.

Further, the Hungarian group has never satisfactorily disclosed what error was made that resulted in these erroneous claims. Another possible red flag is that the group rarely publishes data that doesn't claim anomalies. That is improbable. In my own research career, most publications were confirmation of existing theories. Anomalies that persist are very, very, rare.

Comment Re:Google Voice (Score 1) 46

I don't have text messaging on my cell phone (I specifically had it disabled by the carrier). But I can still receive text messages on my computer by using a Google Voice number.

I mainly use Google Voice, but I find that some companies send text messages that can't be received on my GV number.
Instead I have to use my "real" cell number.
(Also, I can't send text messages internationally via GV, only receive them.)

Since Google Voice development seems to be rather stalled, I suspect things are not going to improve.

Comment What does it do most of the time? (Score 2) 80

If it's not mobile it seems to be very expensive to just plant seeds and water an extremely small area.
The seeds could probably be planted more quickly by hand than the time it takes to program the machine
to do it.
And then using it for watering seems overkill. Even if you want to automate watering I see automated sprinkler
systems available at amazon for a couple of hundred bucks.
So it looks like the machine would spend most of its time just sitting there not doing anything.
I suppose the weeding is somewhat useful. But again it's a very small area.
Or am I missing something obvious?

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