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Comments

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Sniffing Out Cancer With Electronic Noses

johnnyb Early Detection (22 comments)

The problem with early detection is that many diseases are actually benign in their early stages, and, when detected, their detection can actually cause more harm for the patient. For instance, early cancer detection increases the likelihood that the patient will start chemo. Some cancers wind up being handled by the body, but *all* chemo treatments harm patients. So, early detection sometimes leads to more harm than benefit (plus an unfortunate issue with "success" rates - the cancer treatments get to include in their "success" count cancers that the body would have cleaned up anyway).

about 5 months ago
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Oregon Withholding $25.6M From Oracle Over Health Website Woes

johnnyb Re:Still profitable.. (132 comments)

"Or are those contracts written so horribly that the company gets paid for a nonfunctional product?"

The problem is that a lot of these types of contracts are written with a clause such that launching them publicly is an implicit acceptance of the project as a finished product. So, since they at least tried to launch it, that means that the project is "finished", and everything else is billed hourly on top of it.

about 5 months ago
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Oregon Withholding $25.6M From Oracle Over Health Website Woes

johnnyb Re:Oracle Services (132 comments)

It has been over a decade since I last worked with Oracle, so things may have changed. But when I worked on an Oracle project, it cost a huge amount of money, took way too long, didn't work well, and required double the number of staff to manage the application. After Oracle left, a second company came along behind who specializes in fixing stuff that Oracle broke. This company, I don't remember its name, literally does its business as cleaning up Oracle's trash. They didn't even promise good results, only "I know how much pain you are in, we'll make it not hurt quite so much." Interestingly, this particular project wound up as a "success story" on Oracle's website.

about 5 months ago
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Oregon Withholding $25.6M From Oracle Over Health Website Woes

johnnyb Sounds Nice (132 comments)

Must be nice to be able to fail at a project such that they owed you $69 million, but you don't actually have to make it work.

Perhaps states should make a rule stating that large projects must be broken up into deliverables of $1 million increments.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Printing Options For Low-Resource Environments?

johnnyb Does Everything Have to Be Electronic? (108 comments)

I know everyone wants an electronic everything, but it sounds like in your situation paper records may actually be optimal. If you have to have a paper system in place anyway, why do the added expense of going digital as well? Sometimes, what is really needed is to optimize the paper system, rather than replace it with an electronic one.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Which Google Project Didn't Deserve To Die?

johnnyb Re:And now Google Drive is down... (383 comments)

iCloud is a useless service. It intended to compete with DropBox, I think, and failed miserably. I think iOS developers should all individually opt to develop for DropBox rather than iCloud.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Which Google Project Didn't Deserve To Die?

johnnyb Re:And now Google Drive is down... (383 comments)

AWS has actually been pretty good if you actually do a proper deployment. I can only think of one time when they had multiple availability zones down at the same time. If you don't deploy across multiple availability zones, then it is just like any other hosted service. I often use it that way, too, it just isn't the magic fix-it-all system if you don't use it like it is intended.

about a year ago
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"Lazarus Project" Clones Extinct Frog

johnnyb Curious as to the Effectiveness (154 comments)

It will be interesting to see how effective this is. DNA is not the sole source of information for an organism's morphology. Nuclear transfer has shown some traits which are not dependent on DNA. It will be very interesting to compare the morphology of the final organism to the original, extinct species.

about a year ago
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Interactive Tool Visualizes Tolkien's Works

johnnyb Peter Jackson? (33 comments)

By "creating a LotR visualization tool", does that mean they have cloned Peter Jackson?

about a year and a half ago
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Lab Rats Given "Sixth Sense"

johnnyb Can they get me (78 comments)

The ability to sense when my children are misbehaving? That would be more helpful than infrared, I think.

about a year and a half ago
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Monsanto Takes Home $23m From Small Farmers According To Report

johnnyb Re:Monsanto takes .. (419 comments)

But the seeds naturally produce other seeds. That is what seeds do. Did the farmer sign an agreement stating that they would not re-gather the seeds? If not, I don't see how Monsanto has a case. They sell seeds. The natural result of a seed is to produce more seeds. That would be like selling someone a printer and then coming back and claiming copyright on everything it prints.

If, however, the farmer signed an agreement, then I think the stupid person is just the farmer, and Monsanto is just taking advantage of fools.

about a year and a half ago
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For Your Inspection: Source Code For Photoshop 1.0

johnnyb What Functionality? (176 comments)

This is a cool piece of history, though I wonder how much real functionality was in the original 1.0 version. Were they doing CMYK back then? Anyway, I want to check it out, but I don't anticipate seeing many technical marvels.

about a year and a half ago
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COBOL Will Outlive Us All

johnnyb Re:Batch (318 comments)

The real problem with COBOL is that, as Larry Wall has pointed out, you can't write poetry with it. There just isn't any good poetry that starts out with IDENTIFICATION SECTION.

The one thing I do miss about COBOL is easy access to fixed-point numeric processing. This seems like a no-brainer, but it is still missing from nearly every language.

about a year and a half ago
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Book Review: Version Control With Git, 2nd Edition

johnnyb Re:Git not version control/sourrce control. (116 comments)

We moved from subversion to git and I would not look back. I liked subversion, but there is nothing in subversion that I can't also do in git, plus I can do a lot more in git. Branches and branch merging is much cleaner in git than subversion. In addition, the fact that everyone has a copy of the repository means that (a) all operations can be done offline (yay!), and (b) you have automatic backup copies of everything. I can look through all commits (using gitk) straight off of my machine whether I'm connected or disconnected. It's wonderful.

about a year and a half ago
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Confidential Police Documents Found In Confetti At Macy's Parade

johnnyb Re:Skyfall? (180 comments)

"Yes, those documents have been securely destroyed". It's good to know that it isn't just IT that does security theater.

about a year and a half ago
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The $1 Trillion Cybercrime Myth

johnnyb Re:Of course it's made up (94 comments)

The real way to compute cybercrime numbers:

1) number of copies of Norton sold * price
2) number of copies of McAfee sold * price
3) number of copies of Windows sold * price
4) number of copies of MS Office sold * price

Adding up 1-4 will give a good estimate of cybercrime. We should probably add in an additional $10 million to also cover phishing scams.

about 2 years ago
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Facebook iOS App Ditching HTML5 For ObjectiveC

johnnyb Re:Ask any grey beard. (240 comments)

Objective-C has 90% of the power of Ruby, with 90% of the static-compile-time checking of C++. I actually started an objective-c implementation of Rails (called Newm), but haven't had time to do a lot of work on it. Ruby developers waste half their lives writing tests for things a compiler could catch automatically. About 80% of Rails application bugs could be caught just by having decent compile-time type checking, which Objective-C provides.

about 2 years ago
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South Korea Surrenders To Creationist Demands On Evolution Textbooks

johnnyb Re:Did the world start spinning backwards? (640 comments)

The real question is why is pseudo-reporting taking over for real reporting. The report by Nature is misleading at best. There has been *no* removal of evolution, just a removal of outdated evolutionary ideas. Many of the textbooks are simply replacing outdated evolutionary examples with more modern ones. What should be news is that it took a group of creationists to convince the education establishment to modernize their textbooks. Don't take the Nature report at face value - if you prod further, you'll find that *what* they are being asked to do is not problematic, they are just mad because creationists are the ones asking them to do it. I put more detail here.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What If Intellectual Property Expired After Five Years?

johnnyb Re:Not all Patents are the Same (577 comments)

The bigger problem is the large barrier to entry for new treatments, and the crazy legal system we're in. If the barrier to entry were smaller, then it would be worthwhile to someone to make cures, even non-drug cures. But if it takes $40 million to do it, what individual doctor can do that? Therefore, only the large corporations who only know the dollar sign can get in. And, with the legal system, doctors are pretty much confined to industry BS in their treatments. We have to prepare for the ability for doctors to make educated guesses *and* be wrong. This means two things - (1) patients should be more involved, and (2) doctors should be less liable.

If we put those two things in place, we could get more cures and less "treatment"s.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What If Intellectual Property Expired After Five Years?

johnnyb Re:I do not mind (577 comments)

That doesn't actually prevent people from getting the patent, and, if they have the patent, they will still sue. If you have a patent you can threaten to sue back, otherwise you have to hire lawyers. Do you know how much IP lawyers cost? If you are at a company making any amount of money you have a target painted on your back.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Network Solutions DNS Hosting Down

johnnyb johnnyb writes  |  more than 3 years ago

johnnyb writes "Is your website down? Apparently Network Solutions' DNS hosting service is the victim of a giant DDoS attack. Just called their support line and that was their story."
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Blues Brothers Music Video from Hanson & Weird

johnnyb johnnyb writes  |  more than 4 years ago

johnnyb writes "Hanson has a music video for their new song "Thinking 'bout Something" which is a hilarious spin off of Blues Brothers. Weird Al also makes an appearance as the tambourinist."
Link to Original Source
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Adam Bosworth Leaves Google

johnnyb johnnyb writes  |  more than 6 years ago

johnnyb writes ""Google has lost the services of Adam Bosworth, a vice president of engineering who was in charge of the company's Google Health project, focused on helping people research medicines, illnesses, treatments and related healthcare topics.""
Link to Original Source
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johnnyb johnnyb writes  |  more than 7 years ago

johnnyb writes "A new series of articles is out on IBM DeveloperWorks on programming the PS3. The first article is up, discussing the installation of Yellow Dog Linux and first steps in programming the Cell BE Processor on this platform. DISCLAIMER: I wrote the article."

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