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Reanalysis of Clinical Trials Finds Misleading Results

Shimbo Re:Not the usual way science is done (74 comments)

Yet in clinical trials of new drugs, it seems, only a single trial is ever done.

That's not true at all. Generally, multiple trials are done and the most favourable results published.

about a week ago

New EU Rules Will Limit Vacuum Cleaners To 1600W

Shimbo Re:Waaah. (338 comments)

Somehow we get along just fine, residential or commercial, with pretty much the same as what this limit allows. /me awaits some Brit who's come to explain how their 240v 13A outlets allow them to suck the carpet right off the floor with their cleaners.

Actually, we use them mostly to take out drones and deflect NEOs into a safer orbit.

about a month ago

Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

Shimbo Re:No it will not. (375 comments)

If Scotland votes Yes in September, without a currency union the UK will lose almost 10% of its GDP overnight

Whereas Scotland, which will lose 90% of it's GDP overnight will be just peachy, right?

about a month ago

Selectable Ethics For Robotic Cars and the Possibility of a Robot Car Bomb

Shimbo Re:Insurance rates (239 comments)

Isn't that much the same as the ISP market then? Lots of choice but lots of consolidation happening behind the scenes.

about 1 month ago

The IPv4 Internet Hiccups

Shimbo Re:Is IPv6 "perfect" or will there be an IPv8? (248 comments)

I'll admit to being willfully ignorant of IPv6 other than seeing it as enormously more complicated than IPv4

I think seeing it as way more complicated is a mistake. They took IPv4, fixed a few problems, and unfortunately introduced a few others. Sure, they could have done a little less.

Couldn't they just have added a couple of extra bytes to IPv4 to come up with something that worked like IPv4?

That fairly much describes IPv4; the other proposals floating around were far more radical.

node addresses are MAC addresses plus the network address

This is covered by RFC 2462 - IPv6 Stateless Address Autoconfiguration. However, privacy concerns have made this go out of fashion.

about a month ago

HP Gives OpenVMS New Life and Path To X86 Port

Shimbo Re:LOL Itanium (136 comments)

I'm sure someone's crunched the numbers and this makes sense on paper, but seriously? Porting to Itanium before x86? I know HP wants to prop up its teensy niche CPU server line, but I just can't see how to justify that.

The reason is they hardly have to do any work for Itanium; they just have to QA a 8-core system instead of a 4-core one. The original port was done over a decade ago. With 20/20 hindsight it was a wrong move, the right one being presumably to tell Intel to shove it and wait a few years for the x64.

Who's going to migrate software from old VMS systems to a new one on very highly vendor-locked hardware?

Someone that has a 2 or 4 core processor Itanium system already. If anything is a non-starter it's the x86 version.

about a month and a half ago

"ExamSoft" Bar Exam Software Fails Law Grads

Shimbo Re:perspective from one of the victims (100 comments)

No, those students will hire a lawyer to sue.

Yes, of course. I was making a joke. Obviously not a very good one.

about a month and a half ago

"ExamSoft" Bar Exam Software Fails Law Grads

Shimbo Re:perspective from one of the victims (100 comments)

This was a massive, massive failure, and I will frankly be shocked if multiple lawsuits aren't filed against Examsoft over this.

However, those that haven't passed the exam won't be allowed to sue; Tisias must be laughing in his grave. Seriously, though, the whole online examination business needs a shakeup.

about a month and a half ago

UK Cabinet Office Adopts ODF As Exclusive Standard For Sharable Documents

Shimbo Re:This a wheeze to get Office 2013/ 365 cheaper (164 comments)

Your argument about not wanting to change something due to the length of time that it's been unchanged is laughable.

As well as being entirely untrue, of course, given the number of incompatible format changes Office has gone through over over the years.

about 2 months ago

HP Claims Their Moonshot System is a 'New Style of IT' (Video)

Shimbo Re:4.3 U (68 comments)

Exactly, in a cold / hot isle rack you are left with a gap which would need plugging with something.

A 42U rack would have 7U wasted space that is almost another 2 servers...

They will sell you a .66U spacer, or a 13U box that fits three of them. It may be a dumb idea but not that dumb.

about 2 months ago

Germany's Glut of Electricity Causing Prices To Plummet

Shimbo Re:This just illustrates (365 comments)

If it doesn't it's time to switch supplier. If they all hold their prices, then they risk being investigated as an illegal cartel. So, maybe not immediately but it creates a downward pressure.

about 3 months ago

Test: Quantum Or Not, Controversial Computer No Faster Than Normal

Shimbo Re: The real question in my mind (119 comments)

If he had 10 million dollars, he wouldn't need to.

about 3 months ago

Uber Demonstrations Snarl Traffic In London, Madrid, Berlin

Shimbo Re:Competition Sucks (507 comments)

As far as London taxis go there are two sorts of taxis: the familiar black cabs, and minicabs. Black cabs have the privilege of being able to be hailed by a passing passenger, whereas mini cabs need to be booked through their firm.

The main public interest in this distinction is that booking minicabs means that a third party will have a record of the passenger and driver, if the police need to come looking to see what has happened to the passenger. It takes years of training to know London well enough to get a taxi licence, so it's something of a barrier to someone with criminal intent.

The thing about Uber, is that it provides a very efficient way of linking up minicabs with passengers, whilst maintaining the record that the law requires. However, the taxi drivers have got used to the inconvenience of having to book the competition as their competitive advantage.

about 3 months ago

Thorium: The Wonder Fuel That Wasn't

Shimbo Re:Real Reasons Thorium is Being Held Up (204 comments)

Thank you for posting this. I'm rather tired by the constant stream of posts here that claim if we just switched to Thorium/Helium-3/Unobtainium, we would have all our energy problems solved by the end of next week. It's good to see an intelligent discussion of the real engineering problems involved for a change.

about 4 months ago

Harvard Study Links Neonicotinoid Pesticide To Colony Collapse Disorder

Shimbo Re:Who would have guessed? (217 comments)

And they are completely harmless to humans.

Sorry, but that's grade A nonsense. There isn't any chemical that is completely harmless to humans.

about 4 months ago

Court: Oracle Entitled To Copyright Protection Over Some Parts of Java

Shimbo Re:You can't copyright facts (303 comments)

I think the appeal court got it largely right: API design is a creative process. Anyone with any experience in programming knows that some APIs are well designed, others are bad ones. I think it's a nonsense to claim the API is a fact.

I don't like Oracle, and I don't really like the consequences of this ruling. However, Google really pushed the boundaries of copyright law to the limit here. And if people choose languages that are explicitly free to reimplement in future, that's a good thing.

about 4 months ago

Plant Breeders Release 'Open Source Seeds'

Shimbo Re:Missing a rather large point (136 comments)

What if you all agreed that nobody could restrict the future use of these seeds.

Then the seed companies would lobby for laws to make sharing seeds illegal. If you think that is being paranoid: it's already happened. (it didn't pass - that time).

about 5 months ago

Scientists/Actress Say They Were 'Tricked' Into Geocentric Universe Movie

Shimbo Re:But it is! (642 comments)

Except, I don't think that is what the general theory of relativity says. Maybe you're thinking of the special theory of relativity, which says that in inertial systems one frame of reference is just as valid as another. However, I don't think the sun and the earth represent an inertial system, so I'm not sure why that would apply.

Er, no. The special theory deals with inertial frames, you need the general theory for non-inertial frames. According to the general theory, you can't tell the difference between gravity and acceleration. So, you can claim that you were stationary on a roundabout and the rest of the universe swirling about you caused space to warp in such a way as to cause you to fall off. That's a perfectly valid interpretation according to general relativity, if a somewhat egocentric one.

about 5 months ago

EU Should Switch To ODF Standard, Says MEP

Shimbo Re:Ooh look! (111 comments)

What's with all the Euro-hate, anyway?

I don't think a random MP or MEP saying something particularly intelligent or unintelligent counts as news. MPs or MEPs will be found talking to almost every lobby group you can imagine at some point. And, because they are elected by proportional representation across a variety of languages and cultures, MEPs in particular will have a very diverse range of views.

To be honest, I would be happier if /. didn't run any such stories, because on average politicians say a lot more stupid things than sensible ones. Actual policies would be different.

about 5 months ago

UK Government Pays Microsoft £5.5M For Extended Support of Windows XP

Shimbo Re:UK Taxpayers (341 comments)

What I would like to know is how much would it have cost to upgrade to Linux? As a UK Taxpayer, I would prefer my money to be invested in Linux systems instead of Microsoft.

Much more than that, obviously. You don't replace the operating system, reinstall and develop specialist applications for £5 a PC. Of course, paying for extended support doesn't move you forward, so you have to some sort of migration next year.

And really, as a taxpayer (IMHO), you (and I) should be wondering how the NHS managed to piss £10 billion away on a failed IT project, and how we can avoid them doing it again. £5 million across the whole of government is fairly small beer to keep existing systems going, compared to the amount you could blow on a load of migration projects.

  It sucks that some departments are going to miss the deadline but the questions I'd like to know the answer to are 'what are their migration projects for next year?' and 'are they on track to be completed before the extended support runs out?'. Have they got a credible plan, and it's just slipped a little, or is it a total fuck up? That, to me, is the big money question.

about 5 months ago


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