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CERN Releases LHC Data

RDW Re:El psy congroo (42 comments)

This is just a ploy by CERN to divert our attention away from their clandestine plans to take over the world.

What, again?

5 days ago
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MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

RDW Re:The Fix: Buy good Chocolate! (323 comments)

How much do you think a standard Hershey Bar (plain, 43g) should cost in $USD? Genuinely curious.

I'm no chocolate snob, but you couldn't pay me to eat that stuff. Who ever thought it would be a good idea to add sour milk to perfectly adequate chocolate? It tastes like they've mixed it with baby vomit. As an emergency measure, all cocoa intended for Hershey's production should be seized and used to establish a National Cocoa Reserve. Only manufacturers with a track record of selling an edible product (like Ghirardelli) would then be allowed to draw on it. Sound reasonable?

about two weeks ago
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How YouTube Music Key Will Redefine What We Consider Music

RDW Re:yet another duplication of what's out there (105 comments)

Here's what the pie is. The pie is a market. The pie is cuttable into unlimited slices. Who gets the pie, depends on if they get into the market. Getting into the market guarantees them a slice of the pie. This is why Google entered the market. Because of capitalism, gobbling up as much pie as possible is always desired, even if it's unnecessary and duplicates what's already out there a million times over.

I don't understand! Do you have a car analogy?

Also, does this mean no more free pie? Will google crack down on Youtube downloaders and ad blockers that already give naughty, naughty people most of the advantages of this service for free..?

about two weeks ago
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Interviews: Ask Rachel Sussman About Photography and the Oldest Living Things

RDW The really important question (35 comments)

So, Nikon or Canon?

about two weeks ago
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Scientists Discover a Virus That Changes the Brain To "Make Humans More Stupid"

RDW Re:Real article is here (275 comments)

Rather an odd study. Viral DNA apparently present in nearly half the subjects. They went straight to a mouse model before attempting to confirm the (small) effect in a larger, independent human cohort. No evidence that the virus actually infects mammalian cells, which would be an extremely unusual host range (the only precedent of anything similar they could find to cite is in an obscure Ukrainian journal). I'd say 'more research is needed', but maybe that's just the virus talking.

about two weeks ago
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Ebola Nose Spray Vaccine Protects Monkeys

RDW Re:This is safe? (198 comments)

And on that point, has anybody actually isolated and sequenced a confirmed ebola sample from a human subject who died from that specific infection in the affected region?

Yes, there are complete genomes from 78 cases (not necessarily fatal, but with confirmed EVD) in this publication alone:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pu...

This genomic sequence cannot be detected in uninfected individuals. It simply isn't there. Run the analysis on a thousand random blood samples from, say, the US or Europe, and you'll never see it. Does that suggest anything to you? (I assume from your language, which is similar to that used by HIV denialists, that it might not!).

about three weeks ago
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Ebola Nose Spray Vaccine Protects Monkeys

RDW Re:ebola doesn't have DNA - it has RNA (198 comments)

The vaccine vector is an Adenovirus, a DNA virus. The recombinant Ebola virus gene it carries will be in the form of DNA, designed to encode the same protein as the original RNA gene in the Ebola virus. It's the protein that is important, since this what the immune system will raise its response against.

about three weeks ago
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Ebola Nose Spray Vaccine Protects Monkeys

RDW Re:This is safe? (198 comments)

Viruses are really damned small, and finding the right organism in an infected cell is anything but easy. Cells are full of all kinds of molecule-sized bits and pieces of shit. As of today, it is not even a certainty that the ebola virus has been positively identified, let alone properly categorized; there have been reports of over 250 mutation variants, any of which might be a mutated ebola virus, or maybe just another virus which might just have been present through the isolation process. Maybe just random bits of crap from a previous disease vector or vaccination injection. Nobody really knows for sure. It's pretty murky down there, and determining which organism causes what effects is a sloppy science, and it takes a huge amount of time and energy to even approximate answers.

Viruses are indeed really damned small, but not much else is true in this paragraph, which is mostly FUD. Nobody outside the ranks of medical conspiracy theorists doubts that the Ebola virus has been positively identified. We are about as certain of this are we are about the identity of, say, a tiger or an oak tree. Its genome has been completely sequenced many times. Yes, mutations have been found in viruses from the current epidemic that weren't found in previous outbreaks. There's nothing surprising about this - we see it every time the virus emerges from the animal reservoir and causes a new outbreak. There is no question of this being just some 'random crap' or anything to do with vaccinations. The mutations occur at specific positions within the well-defined sequence of the viral genome, and if you are so inclined you can go along to the UCSC genome website and see exactly where they are: http://genome.ucsc.edu/cgi-bin...

The specific viral genes selected for insertion into the (adenovirus) vaccine vector weren't chosen at random - the Ebola virus has been studied for decades and there is a great deal of data on the functions of the proteins that its genes encode. Of course we can't know for sure if a new type of vaccine is safe and effective until it is actually tested, but this is a long way from just having some sort of vague hunch that it might be OK, as you seem to be suggesting.

about three weeks ago
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OEM Windows 7 License Sales End This Friday

RDW Re:Classic shell (242 comments)

If you like living on the edge where any windows update can obliterate your copy of Windows and make the UI unusable.

Sounds like FUD. Classic Shell, occasionally updated, has been perfectly stable for me over the last 18 months or so of Windows updates. Install and configure Classic Start Menu (switching off all the charms and hot corner nonsense) and spend a few minutes setting file associations to not load any Metro apps, and you've got a perfectly decent version of Windows with some improvements over 7, like faster booting. The window decorations are a bit flat, but I never liked Aero Glass either. Windows 8 ought only to be a problem for inexperienced users who don't yet know how to deal with its annoyances, people stuck with locked down systems, and MS shareholders. Surely most people reading Slashdor don't fall into these categories?

about a month ago
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EU Court Rules Embedding YouTube Videos Is Not Copyright Infringement

RDW Re:From the UK ... (68 comments)

Have you met Mr Farage?

about a month ago
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How To Beat Online Price Discrimination

RDW Re:Nothing new (163 comments)

Does anyone have any other ways (elaborate or otherwise) around this problem?

Have you tried shopping behind 7 proxies..?

about a month ago
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Canada Will Ship 800 Doses of Experimental Ebola Drug to WHO

RDW Re:There is a better drug in my opinion. (102 comments)

Although I did not mention it in my original post, I am extremely skeptical of the evidence for polio vaccines' effectiveness.

Then I'm afraid it's pretty unlikely we can have a useful discussion. There is still no fully effective cure for entrenched belief in anti-vaccine conspiracy theories (or HIV 'scepticism', if you also subscribe to that).

about a month ago
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Canada Will Ship 800 Doses of Experimental Ebola Drug to WHO

RDW Re:There is a better drug in my opinion. (102 comments)

Unfortunately, history (AZT giving people AIDS, Polio vaccine giving people Polio) suggests we should expect much worse when this kind of rushed drug testing occurs.

Those aren't great examples! AZT has never given anyone AIDS (outside the minds of conspiracy theorists) and remains in use as part of standard anti-retrovial combination therapy. Live polio vaccine can (extremely rarely) revert to a harmful form, but this has to be balanced against its enormously beneficial overall impact. I'm sure the researchers would be delighted if any of the anti-EBOV drugs currently being tested were as effective as AZT is against HIV, or if either of the new recombinant ebola vaccines now in trials (GSK also has one) were as protective as oral polio vaccine is against polio.

about a month ago
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Canada Will Ship 800 Doses of Experimental Ebola Drug to WHO

RDW Re:There is a better drug in my opinion. (102 comments)

There are three very different agents here:

ZMapp - engineered antibodies to EBOV.

Favipiravir - small molecule, presumably made by standard organic synthesis techniques, active against the RNA polymerases (key replication enzymes) of quite a broad range of RNA viruses (including influenza virus).

VSV-EBOV - (what the Canadians are shipping). A vaccine rather than a treatment, made by using molecular cloning to insert specific EBOV proteins into an unrelated, harmless virus. It will be propagated in mammalian cells rather than the tobacco-plant based method used for ZMapp production.

about a month ago
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Oracle Database Certifications Are No Longer Permanent

RDW Freudian slip (108 comments)

On the other, Oracle charges for certification and will definitely profit from this shift.

I had to re-read that sentence - the first time I didn't notice the 'f' in 'shift' and thought the summary was unusually direct.

about a month and a half ago
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Simple Hack Enables VR Mode For Oculus Rift In Alien: Isolation

RDW Re:Optional extras with the Oculus Rift version (57 comments)

Adult diapers.
Anti-convulsives.
Strong tranquilizers
Sixteen pairs of clean underwear.

Dramamine?

Already felt a bit of motion sickness playing it with a standard monitor, though there's a hack for that too (which does seem to help):

http://steamcommunity.com/app/...

about a month and a half ago
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China Worried About Terrorist Pigeons

RDW Avian carriers (92 comments)

What the Chinese authorities missed is that this event was being used as cover for circumventing the Great Firewall of China using RFC 1149: http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc11...

about 2 months ago

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