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DIY Lab Tests Getting More Capable

Soulskill posted about 4 months ago | from the pass-me-the-medical-tricorder dept.

Biotech 85

the_newsbeagle writes "People who are into the quantified health trend can already measure and chart a wide variety of metrics — steps taken, calories burned, heart rate, blood pressure, sleep patterns, etc can all be tracked using new gadgets. Now a new device called Cue lets people track their biochemical stats, too. Cue offers five DIY lab tests, automates the testing procedure, and sends the results to the user's smartphone. It lets guys check their testosterone levels, ladies check their fertility status, and also offers tests for the flu virus, vitamin D levels, and an inflammation-marker protein. Apparently more tests are expected down the line."

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who gets the data? (2, Interesting)

alen (225700) | about 4 months ago | (#46993393)

except me

i can imagine the banner ads i'll start seeing once i take a few of these

Re:who gets the data? (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 4 months ago | (#46993575)

Wait until your girlfriend starts getting crib advertisements.

Re:who gets the data? (2)

ShaunC (203807) | about 4 months ago | (#46994407)

Or crab advertisements!

Re: who gets the data? (1)

Adriax (746043) | about 4 months ago | (#46994785)

When your pregnant wife/girlfriend starts getting advertisements for odd foods before she starts craving them, then you should start to worry.

Under capitalism it willl only be used against us. (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 4 months ago | (#46993421)

Only communism will save us from corporate health fascism.

I need another measurement (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46993481)

erections/hour, but as you reach 40 it's more like /week.

Cartridge Cost (1)

beojan (3513785) | about 4 months ago | (#46993515)

The website states that the pre-order price ($149) includes five cartridges. Subsequent cartridges cost $4, or $10 for the flu test, so this is likely to be the main business model.

Re:Cartridge Cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46993613)

Do they have multiple blades for a closer shave?

Re:Cartridge Cost (0)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 4 months ago | (#46993685)

That's actually pretty inexpensive for solid phase chemistry tests. I would wonder what the accuracy / repeatability of these things are. Still and all, how many times are you going to actually use this? Does it come with a free trial subscription to Hypochondriacs Anonymous?

Re: Cartridge Cost (2)

Adriax (746043) | about 4 months ago | (#46995011)

I have two kids, my family tends to come down with crap starting friday nights, and only the emergency room is available over the weekend in our area. The ability to do simple tests like flu or strep at home would be a godsend.

I'm curious (1)

justthinkit (954982) | about 4 months ago | (#46995205)

I'm curious. After you get your test results, what do you do next?

There is no "cure" for the flu. Antibiotics have major downsides.

Isn't this just a rest & fluids & patience situation? Does that really need tests?

Re: I'm curious (1)

Adriax (746043) | about 4 months ago | (#46995649)

If we know it's the flu we can care for her normally without the looming fear it's something worse. Gives you the chance to wait till the clinic is open instead of wasting a trip to an ER that has the motto "If it ain't broken bones, don't fix it."

That's half our doctors trips, finding out it's something we just have to let run its course. But we still need to get those tests done to know that.

Re: I'm curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46995877)

How did people survive before ER visits for the flu? BTW, thanks for helping to drive up my premiums by taking your kids to the ER every time they get a fever of 101 F "just to be sure".

I hope the triage nurse makes you wait hours.

I mean, damn. What happened to a administering a standard children's dose of ibuprofen and monitoring the situation over the weekend? Are your kids pushing 104+ F? Having febrile seizures? Seriously dehydrated? Any legitimate emergent concern at all? Or is this more of a Munchausen by Proxy [kidshealth.org] sort of deal?

Re: I'm curious (1)

Adriax (746043) | about 4 months ago | (#46996771)

If I thought it possible you might one day breed I would tell you to wait till you have a 3 year old with a fever of 104-105, 102 after both tylenol and ibuprophen, who sits quietly whimpering because everything hurts, and see if you feel comfortable waiting two days to see if it's serious.

But we both know that's never going to happen, so go ahead and fume over some mythical worldwide rate increase caused by my daughter's 4 ER visits over a 6 year period.

Re: I'm curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46997041)

I guess you will really be pleased to learn that I am a med student with a child of my own then.

Perhaps you should consider educating yourself about the relevant differentials since this seems to be a common occurrence for your family.

Since you also have a wife and daughter, you should also learn the symptoms of toxic shock/sepsis. That is an example of something that causes death and has symptoms that people tend to ignore. Even doctors can miss it if they're being careless (cf. Rory Staunton).

Re: I'm curious (1)

GTRacer (234395) | about 3 months ago | (#46998457)

To be fair, Adriax, the AC (somewhat rudely) did set a threshold for the fever. Yes, absolutely a fever that high and unresponsive means a doctor's visit. But having worked for three years with a healthcare group specifically established and funded by the city and the major area hospitals specifically to keep ER frequent fliers away, the AC has a valid point.

Our company took treatment data from the ERs and with our own nurse case managers and a multispecialty physician network rivaling paid insurance carriers, we worked to divert uninsured and underinsureds to PCP care for non-emergent issues. This was for far more than fevers - we did diabetes and hypertension management, obesity and smoking interventions, the works. The hospitals ponied up because they were sick (ha!) of eating the $6,500 average unpaid ER bill when people without insurance would skip out on paying. And because an ER is a /terrible/ place for routine health care. The people who complied with their care plans did better and had fewer ER visits and the hospitals and the city were happy,

Until budget cuts from the city and a lack of federal grant renewal put the kibosh on the whole thing. 1,400-odd covered folks went back to their old ways...

Re: I'm curious (1)

Adriax (746043) | about 3 months ago | (#46999013)

My problem is while we have very good insurance, we just don't have any other option. The only clinic here works 8-4 m-f and that's it, anything else has to go to the ER.

We had a small clinic open on the weekends for a short time, but the doctor running it was shunned by the other doctors in the area and died after 9 months of heart attack linked to work stress.
Guy had a full workload all weekend long so there is a need for weekend care, but the other doctors in the area apparently find it more profitable to force people into ER visits.

ER visits can spread disease & get disease (1)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | about 3 months ago | (#47005657)

See for alternatives,with a section on fever: http://www.amazon.com/Raise-He... [amazon.com]
"Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, renowned pediatrician and author advises parents on home treatment and diagnosis of colds and flus, childhood illnesses, vision and hearing problems, allergies, and more. PLUS, a complete section on picking the right doctor for your child, step-by-step instructions for knowing when to call a doctor, and much more."

Dr. Sears on fevers:
http://www.askdrsears.com/topi... [askdrsears.com]
"If your child of any age has one or more of the following symptoms, you should probably call your doctor right away: High fevers of 104 (40 Celcius) or higher that don't come down to 101 or 102 (38.3 to 38.9 Celcius) with the treatment measures below. ...."

Fevers are part of how the body activates parts of the immune response and also makes an environment less hospitable for disease.

I've also found this advice helpful:
https://www.drfuhrman.com/chil... [drfuhrman.com]
"Scientific research has demonstrated that humans have a powerful immune system, even stronger than other animals. Our bodies are self-repairing, self-defending organisms, which have the innate ability to defend themselves against microbes and prevent chronic illnesses. This can only happen if we give our bodies the correct raw materials."

Vitamin D deficiency and iodine deficiency are things to look into too. We take that regularly as pills and also dulse seaweed on popcorn -- I've read that iodine forms a protective layer at the edge of cells against some viruses. Elderberry and zinc may also help with a cold or flu; I just stocked upon some of those two as lozenges and other forms for the next time someone in my family gets a cold. See also:
http://www.drfuhrman.com/libra... [drfuhrman.com]
"Don't be alarmed if your cold symptoms last longer than you expect. On average, patients report that their common cold symptoms last one and a half to two weeks. In children, earaches tend to last anywhere from less than one day to 9 days, sore throat 2 to 7 days, cough up to 25 days, and the common cold 7 to 15 days.32 In time, the body will clear the virus on its own. Remember, over-the-counter medications merely mask symptoms, and may even impair healing. However, if you experience a sudden worsening of symptoms, especially including labored breathing, or a fever above 103 degrees for three days, then it is time to call the doctor."

Extended breastfeeding also helps reduce illness in young children if the mother is getting adequate nutrition and is in the same environment with the kid, since her immune system will scan the environment for threats and produce antibodies for the nursing child. WHO recommend nursing for up to two years or beyond, even if that is not the norm in the USA:
http://www.who.int/topics/brea... [who.int]
"Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond."

When I was last in an urgent care facility for a physical injury, the guy ahead of me was there for the flu (he had diabetes and was worried about complications). I remember thinking of that when being asked to sit in the same chair he had sat in for paperwork, and probably handed the same pen he used, and of course breathing the same air in a confined space, etc.. I ended up with the flu, which made the recovery process longer and harder (although I might have gotten the flu elsewhere too, perhaps from my own family). Hospitals are full of a lot of worse stuff than the flu, too, so I guess I got lucky in that sense.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H... [wikipedia.org]
"In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated roughly 1.7 million hospital-associated infections, from all types of microorganisms, including bacteria, combined, cause or contribute to 99,000 deaths each year."

And:
http://health.howstuffworks.co... [howstuffworks.com]
"On the following pages, you'll learn about the possible illnesses you can pick up in an emergency department. Just don't let this newfound knowledge deter you from visiting the ER if you're experiencing a life-threatening condition or injury. Seeking immediate treatment is always your best bet in such situations. ... Super bugs are far from super. They carry the moniker because, unlike typical bacteria, they are resistant to antibiotic treatments. MRSA (pronounced "mursa") is the most well-known of super bug infections. Its formal name is methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, and it's a fairly easy disease to catch. Simply touching something an infected person has touched, like a door handle, is all it takes to pick up the infection. ... Pneumonia is the No. 1 reason people are admitted to the hospital from the ER [source: Elixhauser, et al]. And viruses like the flu and common cold, which are also extremely contagious, are hanging around emergency rooms as well. These infections are easy to pick up just by sitting in a crowded waiting room. Doctors, nurses and hospital staff are also at risk for catching these illnesses because they come into contact with so many infected patients. ..."

Anyway, there are a lot of tough calls when parenting. It can be hard to weight the risks sometimes. More at-home tests like in the article as well as better telemedicine could help with all that, and avoid the risk of getting sick from the ER or the doctor's office. Good luck! And enjoy -- kids grow so fast!

Re: I'm curious (1)

sjames (1099) | about 4 months ago | (#46996037)

I thought the ER's motto was make 'em wait 8 hours, then do an MRI, CT, ultrasound, and complete blood workup, then tell 'em they just have to let it run it's course (and that'll be $5000 please).

And do what with the information? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46993529)

So what could you possibly do with that information, except perhaps the female fertility tracking? Without clinical context, random blood tests are really meaningless to anyone other than hypochondriacs.

Re:And do what with the information? (2)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 4 months ago | (#46993581)

I'd be curious to know if I got my vitamin D levels up. They were on the floor about a year and a half ago. For some reason that test costs an arm and a leg too, and I had to fight my insurance company to get them to cover it. (They should have been happy it was something that could be fixed with $5 worth of pills and sunshine.)

Re:And do what with the information? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46994571)

Why do people give insurance companies money just to later "fight them" to use it? Just save your money and spend it on what you want.

Re:And do what with the information? (2)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 3 months ago | (#46998295)

Because if it had been thyroid cancer and not a low vitamin D level, the cost could have been $30,000 for treatment. I don't have 30K lying around, do you?

Re:And do what with the information? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46998923)

If that is what you are worried about then get "catastrophic" coverage. Pay them less and don't expect them to pay for every test. Also, how much have you and your parents paid to insurance companies on your behalf during your life? If you are >30 it is probably over $30k. The vast majority of people require little medical care until 50+ years old. Also remember that the 3rd leading cause of death in the US is iatrogenic illness, going to the hospital is itself a risk. Medicine is still in a primitive state.

Re:And do what with the information? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46999119)

Same AC. I mean spend your money how you deem best, I just suspect most people are not including all relevant info in their cost/risk-benefit analysis.

Re:And do what with the information? (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 3 months ago | (#47041319)

I think my parents paid very little when I was a kid. I was born in an Army hospital - the fee for my birth was $13 for a notarized birth certificate, according to my mother. We had Champus and later on Tricare. I have no idea what the monthly fees were for them.

Re:And do what with the information? (1)

sjames (1099) | about 4 months ago | (#46996043)

Figure out that 'low T' and pretty much all of the other branded 'conditions' are a load of crap?

FDA letter in 30 days and counting (4, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 4 months ago | (#46993531)

No, it's 'not diagnostic' - it's 'only investigational' so they aren't trying to get FDA approval. Right. That ought to be amusing.

It's just the same solid phase chemistry that is used in our clinic analyzers. We have a bunch of little hand held units (which in the case of the Cue is replaced by the phone and app). The chemistry is well tested, if a bit spendy - we don't use these for most tests, usually as backup in case the big analyzer has a hissy fit or if we have to take it in the field or if you are doing really rapid testing.

So, it's really just a marketing campaign to see if they can get people to buy the cartridges and a legal campaign to see if they can outrun the FDA.

Re:FDA letter in 30 days and counting (2)

Kohath (38547) | about 4 months ago | (#46993733)

If 23andme can't sell a tiny vial for you to spit into [vox.com] , there's no way the FDA will allow this Cue device to be sold. Unless they spend the next 5 years and a couple hundred million dollars testing it.

That's the government protecting you from knowing your vitamin-D levels or whether you're at risk for hereditary diseases.

Re:FDA letter in 30 days and counting (2)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 4 months ago | (#46993909)

Well, 23andme was actually still allowed to do their analysis, so long as they limited themselves to non-medical factors. That is, they were still allowed to accept your spit in a vial and do a genetic analysis on it to determine your heritage, then share that information with you. The FDA took issue with them offering medical advice, such as advising customers that they were at risk for breast cancer or whatnot, since the tests hadn't been vetted and the FDA was apparently concerned at what customers might do in response to an unvetted test offering possible false positives.

Mind you, I'm explaining what happened, not defending it, and the reason I'm explaining it is to point out that it's entirely possible a vitamin-D test may be perfectly acceptable. Or it may not be. It could likely go either way.

Re:FDA letter in 30 days and counting (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 4 months ago | (#46994573)

Mind you, I'm explaining what happened, not defending it, and the reason I'm explaining it is to point out that it's entirely possible a vitamin-D test may be perfectly acceptable. Or it may not be. It could likely go either way.

If the test claims to be able to identify if you have a Vitamin-D deficiency problem, then the FDA will say that it is a diagnostic test requiring certification of the device and test methodology.

Which is actually good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46998145)

What is the test is wrong? Too much vitamin D isn't good for you (ok, the dose has to be pretty huge, but substitute vitamin D with something else and the problem is more real)

There is enough of plain cons out there for people to fall victim to. Homeopathy style things. It's ok to have "official" tests and checks. Maybe they can sell theit thing as a toy. Or just pass the tests etc.

Re:FDA letter in 30 days and counting (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46993811)

Sell it for "animal use only". :)

The internet will take care of educating everyone that humans are animals.

Re:FDA letter in 30 days and counting (1)

sjames (1099) | about 4 months ago | (#46996071)

I hope they win since even though the materials are 'spendy' compared to the big machine, the end user gets the results much cheaper and faster.

wait there's a gadget for that too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46993585)

everything made by man fails never a better time to consider ourselves in relation to one another, our surroundings & momkind our centerpeace. does constant counting of our metabolic processes while remaining spiritually paralyzed (living under deception) really help us? or are we just being trained to be scared of our own bodies too? not able to trust that if we take care of ourselves we'll get a fair shake.... a creational notion... creation is all +++, no countdowns or fear based hoarding & depopulationing, just more & more of everything, more than enough of everything we need with no personal gain motives,, what a gig,, check it out

#FirstBlackPresidentEvictedFromSpace! #historic#pr (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46993625)

#FirstBlackPresidentEvictedFromSpace! #historic#precedent

Early and Often (1)

oil (594341) | about 4 months ago | (#46993913)

So, for fertility they talk about being able to know when it's "time to try". What happened to the patented "early and often" method? This is not an improvement.

Cool (1)

koan (80826) | about 4 months ago | (#46993925)

What else does it test for?

Triglycerides (2)

Chemical Serenity (1324) | about 4 months ago | (#46993939)

A triglyceride test would go over big. A whole lipoprotein panel, in fact.

Hell, I'd use it myself.

Re:Triglycerides (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46994371)

"Hell, I'd use it myself."

I'd never use Hell.

One of the reasons I avoided playing DOOM come to think of it.

Re:Triglycerides (1)

Eddy_D (557002) | about 4 months ago | (#46994825)

And second to that would be a blood sugar level test, that's becoming more important..

Re:Triglycerides (1)

Chemical Serenity (1324) | about 3 months ago | (#47007053)

You can already get glucose meters... or are you talking about something other?

lower healthcare premium? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46994397)

will this lower my healthcare premium?

Walmart already started (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46994555)

This is old news to me as a type 1 diabetic who has chosen to divorce themselves from the ultra commercialized American medical system. I've been using Walmart's over-the-counter A1C test for several years. It was the only service of any value that my endocrinologist had provided in years. Before that, most of my quarterly checkups consisted entirely of him trying to come up with additional excuses to bill me and my insurance through ridiculous nutritional boot camps while threatening to not give me prescriptions for insulin pump supplies (a luxury rather than a necessity) if I didn't attend. His threats had no basis on the actual state of my health as I have always been highly in control of my diabetes. It was just about money. I finally got sick of being forced to beg for what amounts to a permission slip to continue living and was shocked by how many supplies and medications could be bought over-the-counter for less than what I'd been paying with insurance for prescriptions. My diabetes remains in control and I still get regular lab work. A year later after I left him, my doctor called and begged for me to come back (hopefully because too many of his patients were leaving him). I explained why I left and said to never call me again.

I'm thrilled to hear DIY medicine is continuing to expand in the hopes that someday no one will ever have to feel like their doctor's cash cow.

Walmart already started (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47008681)

Before that, most of my quarterly checkups consisted entirely of him trying to come up with additional excuses to bill me and my insurance through ridiculous nutritional boot camps while threatening to not give me prescriptions for insulin pump supplies (a luxury rather than a necessity) if I didn't attend.

So you finally found a health care provider [yourself] who won't call you out for your morbid obesity. Congratulations, I guess.

This has been done... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46994643)

My diabetic glucometer, and similar meters can do blood sugar, cholesterol, hemoglobin for anemia, A1C for diabetics, triglycerides, and many, many more such tests.

This is one way to reduce medical costs (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 4 months ago | (#46995509)

Most medical tests can be boiled down to something simple enough for the patient to self diagnose with proper equipment.

If the US Navy can get 18 year old high school students to manage nuclear reactors aboard submarines then I think we can get the average American able to self diagnose most tests.

Cut that out of the hospital bill and you've already gone a long way to make healthcare more affordable.

This was the mistake with the healthcare reform push. They keep doing this... they just throw money at problems and expect the problem to go away. They did the same thing with housing and education. Rather then get poor people homes by giving them cheap home loans, they instead inflated home prices and made homes less affordable for people that would otherwise have had no trouble buying homes. They increased debt and created a bad house flipping culture that simply accelerated the coming crash. The same thing has happened in education. They just throw money at the students which inflates university prices well beyond the inflation rate and then IF they actually graduate they are in so much debt that they're not able to do anything in their lives but service that debt for years.

The solution is and has always been supply side rather then demand side. Demand side is just give people money and expect everything to work out properly. The problem is that it doesn't actually fix anything and tends to just inflate prices. Prices for healthcare. Prices for housing. Prices for education... it doesn't matter. Demand side stimulus just inflates prices.

The alternative is supply side. You increase the supply without giving anyone any additional money to actually buy the service. The idea is that by increasing the supply the cost of the good or service will naturally fall.

In this case, medical tests. You make it so that more people can perform the tests and that the ACTUAL per test cost is much lower. Thus the cost to the patients and what patients spend on healthcare should go down.

Supply side. Its the less moronic way to deal with controlling costs.

Re:This is one way to reduce medical costs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47003419)

Karmashock,

I agree with your sentiments about wanting to reduce costs while increasing quality of care. Perhaps a few observations could help increase the quality of your propositions.

First, please don't start by saying that 18yo submariners are running nukes, when there are actually a few years of education as pre-reqs; unfortunately, this oversight is directly related to the quality of your initial argument. Specifically, without some education or training, medical tests may be misinterpreted by an 18yo self-diagnosing. And as Woody Allen once said, he doesn't read self-help medical books because you might die of a misprint.

Next, when comparing supply-side I'm afraid that increasing the availability of something may lead to the devaluation of that resource; even when the resource is an essential human need. For example, we condone the pollution of our air and water (until several thousand died over four days, in London in 1952).

Shelter is similar. In terms of demand, there are already programs in place to provide discount loans for "first time" home buyers, which includes anyone who hasn't had a mortgage in a few years. I've used that program more than once, and really appreciate the sensible approach to increasing home ownership.

In terms of supply, there have been egregious failures. When various US governments built public housing projects (many in the 1950s, such as Marcy in Brooklyn) the projects didn't result in people saving more money from their jobs, they resulted in people de-valuing their living spaces. People treated the apartments as disposable, unfortunately. You might make a stronger case if you use examples like Habitat for Humanity.

Education can be free, doesn't have to be fancy like online MIT or CalTech classes, can be as simple as volunteering, internships, or reading a book. However, getting some credentials, such as diploma or certification, can cost bigger bucks.

Coming back to your argument -- if we had inexpensive tests for everything, I still think most people wouldn't test themselves, and even if they did test themselves I don't think they would necessarily follow through with the appropriate treatment. What facts support this? Well, vaccinations are extremely inexpensive, and yet most people don't renew their Tetanus, Tdap, MMR, or even flu shots. And when it is cheap and easy to avoid a killer like Hepatitis with a few shots, why do so few people bother? Answer: it is not lack of supply.

Summary: we need public awareness of important issues, we need education, inexpensive supplies, and some subsidizing of demand -- all of these act together.

Re:This is one way to reduce medical costs (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 3 months ago | (#47005061)

1. As to submariners, the point is that they're hardly nuclear engineers or physicists. Their instructions are literally picture diagrams. Little cartoons that tell them what to do in situation A1-F, etc.

2. As to education required to read a test, I am not taking away the doctor. By all means go to the hospital every single time if that's what floats your boat. However, some of us would prefer to have direct control over our healthcare and this would give us that.

You think that's unwise? Fine. I would never force you to use it. However, do not have the arrogance to suggest you have a right to force me.

If the public in general has the option to buy a kit and self diagnose, a significant portion of the population will buy the kits and use them. Will some of them kill themselves with a false positive or false negative? Yes. But then that also happens in hospitals and I personally feel as if I'm clever enough to figure it out if given reasonable instructions. You disagree? Its my body. My choice.

Hospitals are already outright abusive with their cost structure. People are already compromising their health simply because they're afraid of these medical costs. We are a first world country.... that is bullshit. Now obviously here is where the state healthcare lobby chimes in to tell us how we wouldn't have this problem if we just opted for state healthcare. Well, maybe and maybe not. Under that idea we all pay higher taxes and then are at the mercy of whatever monstrosity the government concocts. Given how they've run public education and a dozen other half assed institutions you'll forgive me if I'm not terribly confident in their competence.

I am an American... I want to be free. I want to go off do my own thing and be left the fuck alone. And I'd rather not die of some terrible disease or otherwise suffer in any way what so ever simply for wanting to be left alone. And for that to have a chance in hell, I need these kits or I am going to be sitting in some hospital paying through the nose for tests that I probably could have done myself given half a chance.

3. As to supply side devaluing the quality of a good or service, this is of course true. However, the quality of the good or service is ultimately what people feel is reasonable. A good example of this is food. Many people eat low quality food despite food being very abundant in the US. However, the low quality food is very cheap and so people will often buy it because they don't really care about the difference in quality.

Even so, food is so abundant in the US that the quality of our food is going up even though people don't like paying much for it. Fresh fruit and vegetables are more common and the quality of those goes up all the time without an increase in cost.

Supply side lowers costs, increases quality, and is generally good for everyone except for those that thrive on scarcity.

4. Your shelter example was actually a demand side comparison which I pointed out actually was counter productive. It gave poor people homes but also inflated the value of homes by pumping more money into the home BUYING market. That caused many people that otherwise would have had no trouble buying homes to need more extensive loans. This created a feed back loop as the government and the banks kept offering bigger loans with looser requirements to try and increase home ownership. The end result was the mortgage collapse.

Now, consider the alternative... Build homes. Don't buy homes for people. Don't give them money. Build homes. Build millions of them. That will LOWER home prices. That causes problems IF you do it all at once but if you do it a consistent and predictable basis and do only so much to keep home prices affordable... then you won't annoy home owners. And while the very poor will still not be able to buy homes, everyone else in society will have an easier time owning them. As to the very poor, expecting them to own homes is itself an unreasonable goal unless you set them up in a wilderness/nomansland. Short of that, they're not home buyers.

5. In regards to government housing, the quality of such homes was inherently low. Government housing projects tend to be shabby, soulless, concrete, shitholes. My idea supply side subsidy would be give home BUILDERS some sort of tax credit or tax deduction that made the business of building homes less expensive or more profitable. Doing either would organically increase home construction without any government oversight or control. The business of building homes would just be more lucrative or accessible and you'd get more of it. That would mean more homes. And more homes means lower prices.

6. As to education, the professors are not showing up to work for nothing and that has to paid for at some level. The current rates being paid by students is out pacing inflation by a good clip which means we have another bubble. It will pop.

And "surprisingly" it is another place where the government is pumping money into the demand side.

Shocking... Pretty much everywhere the government pumps in subsidy money into a demand side subsidy we get a bubble.

Are you enjoying these bubbles popping? Because it fucks our society up both in the self deception as they inflate and in the chaos when they finally pop.

You want to lower education costs? You don't do it by giving students big loans they can't get out of even by going through bankruptcy. Instead, you make education so abundant that the costs naturally go down.

Your point about books is quite apt. There was a time when every book in existence was literally hand written page by page... usually copied from another book word for word. That made books very expensive. Then came along movable type. And then pretty much everyone suddenly could own lots of books.

That is supply side.

Demand side would be giving everyone a giant loan so they could pay someone to copy some books by hand.

Supply side is finding a way to print a million copies so any fool can wipe his ass with the book economically.

Supply side is why we're a first world country in the first place. We have a lot of stuff. We make a lot of stuff. Money is just an abstraction. What gives money its value is what you can buy with it. If I gave you a trillion dollars but left you on a deserted island with nothing but coconuts... the money would be worthless. What you want is the STUFF. Not the money.

Demand side is waste of time. Inflate the supply and there are more goods and services. It is the only rational way to do it.

7. As to vaccinations, people don't get them because they're not concerned about contracting the disease. That might be naive or foolish but that is literally the calculation. They choose not to bother.

If you made vaccinations more expensive or harder to obtain you wouldn't increase the number of people that got them. While many people don't get vaccinations even now, consider that far more people get them when they are cheap and easy then if you made them expensive.

So its still an argument for supply side because the alternative is worse.

I don't have to offer perfect solutions. Just better ones.

8. As to public awareness, I agree. As to education, I agree. As to inexpensive supplies... that is my general thesis so I obviously agree. As to some subsidized demand... Yes, though it must be very measured. Less then 10 percent of the population should be on subsidies. These demand side schemes start eating themselves alive when the subsidization rate goes much beyond 20 percent. So long as you can show discipline and restraint in such programs and not turn into a deluded Father Christmas with a blank check from the Federal Reserve it should be fine.

But if you start passing out ponies to every little girl that says she wants one its going to implode. And the reference while comical is comparitively apt. What does a pony cost? What does a house? When you start passing out either to anyone that says "please" without actually increasing the supply to make that reasonable... you're doomed.

You want more people to have ponies? Partition more land for grazing and let horse breeders go wild on it. That's as close to the realization of any of these scarcity problems as you're going to get. Increase the supply and the resource is not scarce anymore. Problem fucking solved.

Not as capable as a HOSTS file (0)

gmhowell (26755) | about 4 months ago | (#46995689)

APK Hosts File Engine 9.0++ 32/64-bit:

http://start64.com/index.php?o... [start64.com]

(Details of hosts' benefits enumerated in link)

Summary:

---

A. ) Hosts do more than AdBlock ("souled-out" 2 Google/Crippled by default) + Ghostery (Advertiser owned) - "Fox guards henhouse", or Request Policy -> http://yro.slashdot.org/commen... [slashdot.org]

B. ) Hosts add reliability vs. downed or redirected DNS + secure vs. known malicious domains too -> http://tech.slashdot.org/comme... [slashdot.org] w/ less added "moving parts" complexity + room 4 breakdown,

C. ) Hosts files yield more speed (blocks ads & hardcodes fav sites - faster than remote DNS), security (vs. malicious domains serving mal-content + block spam/phish), reliability (vs. downed or Kaminsky redirect vulnerable DNS, 99% = unpatched vs. it & worst @ ISP level + weak vs FastFlux + DynDNS botnets), & anonymity (vs. dns request logs + DNSBL's).

---

Hosts do more w/ less (1 file) @ a faster level (ring 0) vs redundant browser addons (slowing up slower ring 3 browsers) via filtering 4 the IP stack (coded in C, loads w/ OS, & 1st net resolver queried w\ 45++ yrs.of optimization).

* Addons are more complex + slowup browsers in message passing (use a few concurrently - you'll see) - Addons slowdown SLOWER usermode browsers layering on MORE: I work w/ what you have in kernelmode, via hosts ( A tightly integrated PART of the IP stack itself )

APK

P.S.=> * "A fool makes things bigger + more complex: It takes a touch of genius & a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher/Einstein

** "Less is more" = GOOD engineering!

*** "The premise is, quite simple: Take something designed by nature & reprogram it to make it work FOR the body, rather than against it..." - Dr. Alice Krippen "I AM LEGEND"

...apk

       

gmhowell, what has APK done to you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46995959)

Everyone, see what happens when you install APK's malware? It obviously completely compromises your machine and sends APK your credentials and keystroke logs. It probably also makes your machine part of a botnet for illegal activities.

You wouldn't stick your dick in a garbage disposal, so why would you use apk's malware?

Re:gmhowell, what has APK done to you? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 4 months ago | (#46996831)

You wouldn't stick your dick in a garbage disposal, so why would you use apk's malware?

All the cool kids were doing it.

gmhowell: "Rinse, Lather, & Repeat" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46998101)

http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

By the way, "FTFY":

"All the UNcool kids, like me, were doing it." - by gmhowell (26755) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @02:27AM (#46996831) Homepage

APK

P.S.=> Posting MY stuff where it doesn't apply? As usual, You're being an off-topic TROLL, gmhowell (which is, of course, NOTHING NEW for you, now is it? Grow up...)

.... apk

Re:gmhowell: "Rinse, Lather, & Repeat" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46998359)

blah blah blah ... go fuck a goat APK

Re:gmhowell: "Rinse, Lather, & Repeat" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46998491)

A std. 1 line fart reply from gmhowell posting by anoncoward submit instead of his gmhowell account.

Re:gmhowell: "Rinse, Lather, & Repeat" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46998531)

The only thing easier than getting APK to bite is APK's mother

Re:gmhowell: "Rinse, Lather, & Repeat" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46999357)

Yet another 1 line fart reply from gmhowell posting anoncoward instead of using his /. account.

Re:gmhowell: "Rinse, Lather, & Repeat" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46999389)

Guess again muppet

Re:gmhowell: "Rinse, Lather, & Repeat" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46999685)

Yet another 1 line fart reply from gmhowell posting anoncoward instead of using his /. account!

Re:gmhowell, what has APK done to you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46998509)

Yet another 1 line fart reply from gmhowell the troll.

Re:gmhowell, what has APK done to you? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 3 months ago | (#47034045)

So you spent four days thinking about me and faildoxing me, and I haven't given your pathetic existence any consideration since trolling you Tuesday night. Pathetic, APK, pathetic...

Re:gmhowell, what has APK done to you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47034719)

Are you like, obsessed with APK or what?

Re:gmhowell, what has APK done to you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47043021)

I must admit you have a point. His post history is littered with apk. Even him posting as apk.

Re:gmhowell, what has APK done to you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47045625)

Don't fool yourself. You don't possess the capacity to think. Look at your 1 line fart posts as proof.

Re:gmhowell, what has APK done to you? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 3 months ago | (#47052191)

Don't fool yourself. You don't possess the capacity to think. Look at your 1 line fart posts as proof.

And you continue to fixate on me. I'd be flattered if you weren't a basement dwelling turd.

Re:gmhowell, what has APK done to you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47056171)

You're projecting again. Wasn't this you posting as apk here http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] ? You're clearly obsessed with apk!

Re:gmhowell, what has APK done to you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47062275)

Clearly not. That post was where apk tipped his hand that he uses his malware engine to steal identities and credentials from victims who install his malware. Apk logged in as gmhowell and posted using the stolen credentials.

...but you already knew this, because you are apk pretending to be a third party, sockpuppet-style. Now, it's ironic that you are calling someone besides yourself obsessed, troll apk.

Re:gmhowell, what has APK done to you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47062419)

gmhowell's entire post history seems to be fixated on apk. He's apk obsessed.

George M. Howell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47026579)

Phone # 301-515-0621 Address 12460 Great Park Cir Germantown, MD 20876-5983 40-44 yrs of age (and a trolling loser).

Ahem: My program's NOT malware... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46998065)

IF anything,it's "antimalware" (considering how the download site's classify it in ANTISPYWARE + ANTIVIRUS & FIREWALL category capacities http://start64.com/index.php/6... [start64.com] )... & its code has been verified AS 100% SAFE/MALCIOUS CODE FREE by members of the security community who also recommend it AS THE "BEST OF ITS KIND" @ the top of the Malwarebytes/hpHosts site where it's also hosted (since it's part of the security community) here -> http://hosts-file.net/?s=Downl... [hosts-file.net]

APK

P.S.=> gmhowell's posting by ac again being a totally useless putz as per his usual here I suspect...

... apkb

APK's malware compromises credentials! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47015259)

Hey APK, I didn't think you would out your malware by demonstrating that you use it to steal credentials from user's computers, but your post as gmhowell proved it.

Don't stick your dick in a garbage disposal. Don't install apk's malware.

...akp

How exactly does it "steal credentials"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47024247)

Answer me that. You can't since it doesn't, stupid.

APK

P.S.=> You fail... apk

Of course APK denies it now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47024587)

Of course APK would deny it now that he's been caught.

He refuses to open source his malware because a code audit would reveal all his criminal identity theft mechanisms and other illegal activities.

How can you live with yourself, APK, knowing that your malware causes so much evil in the world?

P.S. prove your code is malware-free by open sourcing it. It's the only acceptable proof. You can't prove it so you fail, troll apk.

I asked a question, answer it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47036937)

QUESTION: How does my program allegedly "steal credentials", troll?

APK

P.S.=> ANSWER = It doesn't & you're full of it!

... apk

"Lather, rinse, repeat" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47062185)

You fail, troll APK:
http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

Don't you mean George M. Howell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47024255)

Phone # 301-515-0621 Address 12460 Great Park Cir Germantown, MD 20876-5983 40-44 yrs of age

Re:Don't you mean George M. Howell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47024629)

Posting more information scraped from victims who installed your malware, APK? Seriously, APK, do you want to go to prison for distributing identity theft malware?

Everyone, see what happens when you install APK's malware? It scrapes your machine and sends data back to APK so he can use it to steal your identity. APK's malware probably does even worse things to your machine as well. If APK uses your machine for illegal purposes via backdoors in his APK malware, you may find the feds crashing through YOUR door. Your family's lives may be in danger if that happens... all because you installed APK's malware.

Sticking your dick in a garbage disposal may actually be safer than installing apk's malware engine. I encourage everyone to report APK's malware to their antivirus software company so it can be properly flagged as the dangerous malware it is.

PS. Give up your malware distribution, apk. They won't let you continue to troll Slashdot from federal prison.

Re:Don't you mean George M. Howell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47026561)

Ah, struck a nerve by giving away GMHowell's identity I see.

gmhowell has no dick (or balls) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46998213)

gmhowell's a known admitted troll -> http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] especially regarding trolling myself....

(In short - gmhowell's just a miserable no talent waste of life that hasn't accomplished anything of note whereas by way of comparison I have, so he's apparently *trying* in some sick fashion, to "drag me down" to HIS LEVEL (the lowest of the LOW online, a troll)).

APK

P.S.=> Yes, gmhowell: I now also know it's you posting by ac now rather than using your "registered 'luser'" /. account name here... sucks to be you!

... apk

gmhowell: Why're you posting this? apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46998019)

See subject-line & answer that question (you're "biting off my style" + I don't see how this applies here)...

APK

P.S.=> Seriously man - I don't get it! apk

George M. Howell (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47026569)

Phone # 301-515-0621 Address 12460 Great Park Cir Germantown, MD 20876-5983 40-44 yrs of age.

Re:George M. Howell (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 3 months ago | (#47034037)

One of those is correct. And trivial to discover.

Re:George M. Howell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47034753)

Wow. You didn't blame apk. Are you like obsessed with APK or what? You posted his material here. Do you want to be apk or something? Seriously. Your post history is all apk even. You're thinking about him all the time from your post history. Think about what you said in your post calling apk pathetic man. You're honestly acting that way seemingly obsessing over apk.

Blood Donors get this for free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46995693)

One benefit of being a blood donor is that your blood is screened (without cost to you) for a huge variety of diseases. First, you are screned for all the STDs. Then you are screened for a dozen tropical diseases from malaria to Dengue Fever to Chagas disease. Then you are screened for various infectious diseases such as TB. And if you are an apheresis donor, you will be given a CBC with a detailed breakdown of all your blood components such as white cells, red cells, hemoglobin and hematocrit. In northern Virginia contact Inova Blood Donor Services: 1-866-256-6372. In other communities contact your local hospital or American Red Cross.

Wrong tense (3, Informative)

petes_PoV (912422) | about 4 months ago | (#46996357)

Now a new device called Cue

According to the device's website: shipping expected in spring 2015

So, essentially, right now, they have nothing except a website and some 3D graphics. Please re-run the story in a year or so if/when this thing gets off the ground and there is some actionable information to back it up.

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