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Comment Re:RAM's cheap (Score 1) 543

It's stuff like this that makes me feel old. I remember paying over $400 for 16MB back in 1994 and thinking about how cheap -- not to mention how much faster! -- RAM had become since the first time I expanded a computer (an RCA COSMAC bumped from 2K to 4K) in 1978. In 1985 I took my IBM PPC all the way to a quarter MB for about $160. If you don't have to have the absolutely fastest RAM out there, Newegg is listing 16GB kits for about $90. It wasn't that long ago that a 16GB hard disk seemed out of reach let alone 16GB RAM for a personal computer.

NHS Should Stop Funding Homeopathy, Says Parliamentary Committee 507

An anonymous reader writes "Homeopathic remedies work no better than placebos, and so should no longer be paid for by the UK National Health Service, a committee of British members of parliament has concluded. In preparing its report, the committee, which scrutinizes the evidence behind government policies, took evidence from scientists and homeopaths, and reviewed numerous reports and scientific investigations into homeopathy. It found no evidence that such treatments work beyond providing a placebo effect." Updated 201025 19:40 GMT by timothy: This recommendation has some people up in arms.

Comment Nothing new here (Score 2, Interesting) 1252

My academic exposure to "special creation" versus "darwinism" goes back to the early sixties. The most significant aspect of my experience was that I never saw anyone persuaded one way or the other by discussion of either in a classroom -- and back in those days, it was perfectly acceptable to discuss God in a science class. People who believed in special creation stuck with it and people who believed otherwise stuck with it regardless of the evidence or arguments presented by the other side. Why would anyone on either side have the least fear of having the other side presented? If you truly believe (as I do) that the observable universe came into existence some 13 to 15 billion years ago and, as a consequence, the earth came into existence roughly 4.5 BYA followed by the natural evolution of life you should also be confident enough to listen to the contrary without fear that it will, in any way, corrupt or overtake the "truth." By the way: I also happen to believe that God initiated the whole thing and got it exactly right the first time, thereby needing no subsequent tweeking or fiddling to move things along. And if I hadn't told you that, you would have no way of distinguishing me from an orthodox, secular, believer in science.

Comment Re:How many lives have been lost? (Score 1) 249

Completely untrue. There was no ban or "block" on clinical trials of any stem cell therapies. In fact dozens of stem cell therapies became available during the Bush years.

Name the therapy that was held up until "now." Of course you can't because it doesn't exist. The clinical trial that was announced in February (of this year) was for a therapy that had been developed over the previous six years using private money.

As the FDA emphasized in the announcement, clinical trials were approved as soon as the researchers demonstrated that they were ready to begin.

Comment Never Was a Ban on Stem Cell Research in U.S. (Score 1) 249

George Bush did not impose a ban on stem cell research (of any kind) in the United States. There has never been a ban on stem cell research -- including hESC research in the United States.

In 1998 -- three years before Bush took office -- the Clinton administration prohibited federal funding of hESC research citing the Dickey Amendment as the reason.

In 2001 President Bush lifted the absolute ban on federal funding and implemented a set of rules for the money could be spent, including restrictions on how the stem cells could be obtained.

Please, just stick to the facts on this contentious issue and perhaps we might get to the truth.

Comment Whipper-snapper! (Score 1) 918

I pissed away my teens and early 20s (left school at 16 without finishing 10th grade) and got a job in computer operations in my mid 20s, after trying my hand in the music and photo industries. It was easy then (1975) because so few people were trained or had any aptitude for it.

My employer eventually insisted that I get a high school equivalency and take some programming courses at a community college. I excelled at that and moved on to programming. By 1980 the big money was in COBOL -- yes, COBOL -- programming so I got a diploma from a trade school and moved up to the big bucks.

Over the years I learned IBM PC operations and programming, SQL (bet you didn't think there were SQL programmers in the mid 1980s) online programming (CICS), SGML (Standard Graphic Markup Language) and some networking.

By 1990 I was the "old man" on the floor so nobody trusted me with the cutting edge CASE tool code generators. Eventually I got stuck learning HTML and TCP/IP which none of the hotshots around me wanted to be bothered with.

So there I was, over 40 and useful for nothing more than tinkering with that new internet/world wide web stuff that wasn't going to last while all the young studs around me got to work with the future: Lotus Notes and FoxPro.

You don't want to read the story of my life so I'll cut to the chase. I just turned 58. Late last year I enrolled in a bachelor's degree program. Since I have accumulated some college credit over the years it won't take me forever to graduate. I should have a bachelor's degree by the time I'm ready for early retirement in 2013.

I'm hoping the sheepskin will give my career one last boost to keep me going for another eight or 10 years after that but, really, I did it for myself, not my boss. BTW, I'm just about to take my PMP certification exam. I found that training to be the most useful of my career, despite the fact that I've been a project manager for 20 years.

Security Flaw In Yahoo Mail Exposes Plaintext Authentication Info 66

holdenkarau writes "Yahoo!'s acquisition of open source mail client Zimbra has apparently brought some baggage to the mail team. The new Yahoo! desktop program transmits the authentication information in plain text. The flaw was discovered during a Yahoo 'hacku' Day at the University of Waterloo (the only Canadian school part of the trip). Compared to the recent news about Gmail exposing the names associated with accounts, this seems downright scary. So, if you have friends or relatives who might have installed Yahoo! desktop and value their e-mail accounts, now would be a good time to get them to change the password and switch back to the web interface."

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I haven't lost my mind -- it's backed up on tape somewhere.