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Comment This will fail (Score 3, Insightful) 276

Bing was created mainly as an attack on Google and an attempt to get into the search business, not because Microsoft had something new to offer in search. This is being done in the same spirit, and it will also turn out bad, with many users going to to search just because Google is that much better.

Comment Re:A false choice, of course... (Score 1) 2044

By your definition, everyone has shitty insurance.

Heh. You said it, not me. I just thought it really loud. By definition, everyone on average has shitty insurance, as, on average, they have to be paying in more than they get from it. ;)

But, seriously. You want to assert that people who have medical bills totaling over $10,000 who pay them are a 'minority', find something that says that.

Well, strictly speaking, of course they are, as uninsured people themselves are a minority. As are people who have private insurance and people who have government insurance. None of those groups are over 50% of the population.

But I assert that uninsured people pay the amount of the medical bills in this country roughly equivalent to their use of medical care. (This is a default assumption of proportionality, so I don't need to prove that.)

And I'm not letting you get away with that $10,000. I'm talking about on average, the entire thing. Oh, and you don't get to insert 'on time' in there. You know who else doesn't pay on time? Insurance companies. Except they usually demand the right to not pay any penalties.

I suspect, statistically, that the uninsured are less likely to pay, but pay much more when they do, and it does balance out. If you've got some evidence otherwise, I'd love to see it.

And good luck finding those statistics. For some public discussion-distorting reasons, almost all discussion about the cost of health care in this country pretends that paying for health insurance is somehow paying for health care, and no one actually calls up hospitals and say 'How much money did you collect from private individuals vs. insurance companies last year for how many patients?'

I may have been mistaken, but I thought that the AMA had oversight into the certification process for medical schools, and thus does have power over the number of new doctors.

I honestly don't know much about this, but checking, yes, the AMA does have half control over the LCME, who is in charge of accreditation of medical schools.

The rest of the control, however, is the hands of the Association of American Medical Colleges, which seems a much more logical group to blame for restricting openings into the medical field.

While doctors might vaguely benefit from not having as much competition in their field, at this point it's almost moot. They're still working the same amount and being paid the same amount...they're just seeing thrice as many patients, and nurses are doing the rest of the work.

It's hard to imagine they actually want this, or that a doctor's union would actually see 'providing almost no qualified people, so people have rig the system to use as much non-union workers as possible' as a good idea. (In fact, they clearly don't see it as a good idea, as the creation of PAs indicate.) At some point, 'union scarcity' turns into 'We're going to have to figure out how to do without those workers as much as possible'...and we hit that point around 1995. If it's the AMA doing it, it's mindbogglingly stupid.

Medical schools, OTOH, can keep upping their price if they don't have competitor schools. If there are 10,000 slots, and you have 1500 of them, you can charge a lot more than if there are 60,000 slots and you have 1500. Medical schools have no downsides, or at least not until they blow up the entire system.

So I have to blame the restrictions on medical schools.

But the reason I disagreed, I thought you were blaming them for restricting the number of doctors via their union, which didn't make any sense and is standard anti-union nonsense. But I was incorrect, you were asserting they are leaning on the accreditation committee, that makes more sense and is possible, although I'll keep blaming schools instead, or at least some combination of the two.

We both agree that the number of doctors is being kept criminally low by reducing the number of medical schools, and size of said schools. And, be it either the AMA or the AAMC doing it, it's not at the demand of the majority of doctors. (As the majority of doctors aren't even in the AMA.)

Of course, it's perfectly valid to bitch about the AMA inexplicably being in control of that accreditation at all. The AMA has six people on that board, it's hard to see why other unions shouldn't have some of those slots.

Or, for that matter, why a school needs LCME accreditation at all for people to take a license test, which I think you mentioned above in combination with foreign doctors. That's clearly a deliberate trick.

Comment Re:I'm not sure the language barrier is the main o (Score 4, Insightful) 206

Ah, but you put forth a good counterexample as to why familiarity will not necessarily breed understanding. Despite many years of contact with foreign cultures, you still have a xenophobic, nationalist view of them, in which you see the foreign values as degenerate and unworthy, in contrast to your own culture's quality values.

Comment Re:iPad? (Score 1) 684

I'm assuming 1 page on a PRS 300 contains far less content than 1 page of a standard novel, Mr. Pedantic, as that is the way it works on the e-readers I have tried for pocket devices. And sorry but I've played a little with a Kindle and the 505 and the refresh rate is so annoying it is the sole reason at the time I didn't purchase one. I'm sure some people would get used to it but reading for me is supposed to be a joyful experience, not a frustrating one. So no, I don't think it is that the critics don't understand the usage of the device, it is that you all are still beta testers for a new rapidly evolving technology.

Comment My 2 Cents (Score 1) 684

I found a couple of websites to download some Public Domain/Creative Commons books, only one of which really ended up appealing to me. I realize that sounds like a pretty trite struggle, but I assure that it was significant for me because Gutenberg Project is blocked in good ol' China, so I had to find an alternative source, namely After that, the struggle turned to finding a decent and preferably GENUINE eReader that actually uses eInk/ePaper or whatever you want to call it that was cheap enough for me. I don't believe that these devices should have bluetooth or wifi or all that fancy battery eating crap because I want to use the damned thing to read! If I want all that other crap, I use my phone or netbook which are both perfectly portable, have all those capabilities and have decent batterylife to boot, the netbook even has a built-in card reader, so I have no need for connecting my device to my computer when I can just plop the card in there. So, I ended up buying a Chinese brand, Teclast ( to us here), which just last month started selling its eReader named "K3" ( ). Apologies for the link to the Chinese website, but it's all they have for the moment. At any rate, I got it for a number of reasons: it doesn't have wifi or bluetooth, it reads most file formats I could possibly want to use with it (mainly epub) and it was about half the price of any other eReader I could find here. Now, from what I've heard the US price will be about $220, which is not exactly cheap, but I can tell you that if you can make it to China, you can get it for about 1250RMB, which is roughly $170. The long and the short of it is I want an eReader to read books. Other functions, to me, are somewhat useless on these devices, especially the ones that drain the battery faster.

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 2, Interesting) 926

Yeah, everyone is scared a terrorist group may have a nuke. And no, there is very little reliable data to show it has a nuke. It is a lot more reasonable to say that Iraq, with a simi-legitimate government, large area, and somewhat rich would have WMDs. Oh wait... when we invaded Iraq... they had no WMDs. If Iraq, a nation with many people couldn't get a WMD (or managed to turn these WMDs into ninjas so the US/UN/etc couldn't find them...)

It's very well-documented that in the past Iraq most certainly had been able to obtain WMDs (in particular chemical weapons) ... because they have used them to suppress uprisings. There are mass dead bodies to prove that they once did obtain WMDs. The issue before the invasion was whether they still had them, or whether the UN inspections had succeeded in making Iraq get rid of them. (Turns out, Blair and Bush were wrong and they had got rid of them -- though there's some likelihood they got rid of them by giving them away to Syria)

The "fear of a terrorist group getting a nuke", now, is pretty much that Pakistan most definitely does have nukes and is in danger of instability because of the problems in Afghanistan having pretty much crossed the border into Pakistan now. If the Pakistan government were to fail, and Pakistan became a failed state (like Afghanistan or Somalia), then it's not beyond belief that an extremist militia would not only be able to obtain a nuclear device, but a whole dang nuclear missile facility. The reason your aeroplane is unlikely to miss the runway is simply because the pilots, air-traffic controllers, and system designers are very intently working to make sure it doesn't. Similarly, the reason that the terrorists are unlikely to obtain a WMD is because there are thousands of people working very intently to make sure they don't. It is precisely because people are worrying about this sort of thing (and indeed are employed to worry about this sort of thing) that ensures that you don't need to worry about it.

Comment Re:ATTENTION (Score 1) 392

Keep reading the wiki article.

"Such a drive would use a hypothetical form of thrust that does not require any outside force or net momentum exchange to produce linear motion, and therefore necessarily violates the conservation of momentum, a fundamental principle of all current understandings of physics."

The "reaction" in "reaction drive" is in reference to a Newton's 3rd Law reaction, and that is what a gyro-based system relies on.

Basically there are two categories of propulsion: Reaction drives, which encompass every possible drive that obeys the laws of physics, and Reactionless drives, which don't.

Comment Re:*sigh* (Score 1) 151

Actually you are accelerating - so long as you are standing on the earth you are constantly accelerating.

Acceleration is a change in velocity, not speed. Velocity can change with a change in speed OR direction, or both obviously.

While standing on the ground, gravity applies a force that accelerates you toward the ground instead of allowing you to fly off into space like your velocity at any given moment in time should cause you to do.

In other words, even though gravity cannot accelerate you by increasing your speed (or decreasing, for that matter, that's still acceleration), it can and does still accelerate you by continually changing your direction.

Comment Yes, true. (Score 1) 151

But, you do realize that something that is BSD licensed can also be forked into a GPL version? Simply keep the BSD license notifications and ALL future additions to the fork are licensed GPL/LGPL, GLPv3 etc. You now have a GPL fork. So, if someone (who by the way?) abandons the BSD licensed version and begins solely working on a proprietary fork, the rest of the community can simply take the last BSD licensed version, create a GPL fork, and lock-out future proprietary forks and prevent the proprietary company from using the now GPL contributions to the GPL fork in their proprietary product.

Comment Re:This is just baffling! (Score 1) 549

This view is skewed @ Slashdot, but *most* people are not as wrapped up in technology. They will say "I have to pay for this? Than I want something tangible like a paper". It's easy to say "I'll never read a news paper

again" when it's free on-line. When the on-line edition cost something, people will back peddle and demand something tangible for their money.

Comment Re:Litigated before (Score 1) 865

As mentioned in TFS, some major jurisdictions (including IIRC both the US and the EU) have specific and/or general wording in some of their laws that might exclude these copies.

The UK (and other parts of the EU I believe) also has a law that says you cant impose conditions on use *after* the point of sale.

Couldn't you also get around the EULA by supplying almost any piece of apple branded hardware. A mouse is a form of computer.

Comment Re:We can finally explain wherefore Celtic people (Score 1) 536

They may agrue that one back and forth, with little data and no way to conclude anything, but there's a real obvious difference between us and them.

Our spine comes into our pelvis behind the hips. This means that the pelvis rocks as we walk and makes it possible for us to walk long distances without pain. Neanderthal's spine joined his pelvis right in line with his hips.


Neanderthal might have been as smart as us or smarter, or he might have lacked specialized brain functions like complex language abilities which we sport. Who cares? He accomplished nothing because he spent his whole life with a backache.

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