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How Did the 'Berlin Patient' Rid Himself of HIV?

quantaman Summary missing punchline (107 comments)

According to the summary

Although the work doesn't provide a definitive answer, it rules out one possible explanation. [R]esearchers point to three different factors that could independently or in combination have rid Brown’s body of HIV.

Unfortunately the summary forgets to mention the explanation that was ruled out or even clearly delineate the three different factors (though the latter was more the fault of the original article).

From my reading of TFA:

Explanation 1: Conditioning: The radiation that destroyed his immune system also killed off the HIV (because HIV lives in the cells of the immune system).

Explanation 2: Shiny new immune system: The new bone marrow had a mutation that was immune to HIV and that cured him (maybe by detecting and killing HIV infected cells?).

Explanation 3: Graft vs host: The new immune system killed off his old one, not just the HIV infected cells but all the old immune systems cells including those infected with HIV.

So the researchers took chimps, extracted some stem cells (bone marrow?), infected them with SHIV (Simian HIV), destroyed their immune systems with radiation, then reinjected the uninfected stem cells.

The SHIV quickly came back which rules out explanation 1.

5 days ago
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Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway

quantaman Re:People are not (necessarily) interchangeable (363 comments)

That being said it kinda dodges the question of why they need more HB1s after laying off a ton of people whom presumably had the necessary qualifications.

You cannot presume that. While it's certainly possible that some of them did have the necessary qualifications, it is also quite possible (likely even) that most did not. If you fire an engineer you cannot replace them with an accountant or even necessarily a different engineer with a different skill set. Even if they did have the qualifications that does not mean they were available and willing to work in the jobs that Microsoft had available. To make up an example, if they fire some guy in Finland from Nokia because they want the development to take place in the US, it's quite likely the guy might not want to move to the US to take the job that is available. Maybe he has family and cannot easily relocate.

The person has to have the right qualifications, be available to do the work, be willing to locate themselves to where the work is and cost the right amount.

Alright, I'll buy that. I still feel Kamela's statement doesn't really address the question, but then again, the question was posted by the author of the summary and wasn't asked of Kamela, so he can't really be blamed for dodging a question he wasn't asked :)

about a week ago
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Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway

quantaman Re:Geographic matching (363 comments)

who later explained that about 60% of Microsoft's workforce is in the U.S., yet it makes 68% of its profits overseas

Which is pretty much irrelevant when it comes to software. There is no need at all in software to match development costs to geographic locations.

But it's relevant to the protectionist arguments people use.

People essentially claim that hiring workers outside the US is dishonest because they're an American company making money from the US. But most of their business (or at least their profit) comes from outside the US, if Microsofts' worker distribution matched its profit distribution (which may not be highly related to revenue distribution) then only about 30% of the workforce would be in the US. The current state of the company structure means that when other countries buy MS products they're putting money disproportionately into the US.

That being said it kinda dodges the question of why they need more HB1s after laying off a ton of people whom presumably had the necessary qualifications.

about a week ago
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Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"

quantaman Re:Right... (478 comments)

From the summary:

"Emanuel says that Americans seem to be obsessed with exercising, doing mental puzzles, consuming various juice and protein concoctions, sticking to strict diets, and popping vitamins and supplements, all in a valiant effort to cheat death and prolong life as long as possible."

Omitting the fad stuff, exercise and eating well improve the length of time you will remain healthy. The quote makes it sound like taking care of yourself will just let you hang on by your fingernails for a little bit longer. The opposite is actually true. Exercise, diet and mental engagement in particular improve health and mental function in old age, not necessarily overall longevity.

If you want to be a healthy octogenarian, take care of yourself now. If you want to be frail and going in for your third bypass operation, don't.

Exactly. If you want to discourage anything it's the heavy health care and heroic end of life measures used to slightly prolong low quality life. But he seems to be specifically talking about low cost measures designed to prolong high quality life. If you want a point to stop choose the point when quality of life drops off drastically. And if you want a simple cut-off (like his 75 number) choose something like being unable to live independently, or being unable to engage in topical conversation (notwithstanding disabled people).

I think a lot of people do pretty well until the last year or two when things go downhill rapidly, no point moving that last year forward but you may want to shorten its duration.

about two weeks ago
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How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

quantaman Re:In lost the will to live ... (794 comments)

A rule of thumb:

If they can't communicate their idea in a simple readable summary, they're probably not worth listening to anyway.

Btw, who else loves the irony of someone complaining about "impenetrable jargon" while writing things like "Aristotelian 'science'", "Baconian science", "policy options we as a polity", and making a bunch of incoherent sentences.

about two weeks ago
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Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance

quantaman Drinks vs foods (294 comments)

This isn't the first study to suggest that taking artificial sweeteners in drinks is bad and correlated to obesity (though they didn't actually test a direct connection to obesity in this study). Previously the theory was that the artificial sweeteners caused greater hunger later on by priming the body to expect a rush of sugar calories and getting nothing instead. One implication of that theory was that artificial sweeteners in conjunction with a real meal might still cause less weight gain than real sugar.

This study might change that if the negative effects on the gut bacteria happen even in the presence of other food.

Does anyone know if there's artificial sweetener studies that tackle the question of whether taking them in conjunction with real food makes a difference?

about two weeks ago
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New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

quantaman Re:Why does business exist? (324 comments)

Fundamental question with what should be a simple answer. We pursue enterprise to benefit ourselves and profit. Not to serve as revenue generator to the state. The state is supposed to serve the people; not the other way around, but we keep coming around and forgetting the lessons of history and the basic nature of man.

If the state were not exceeding its mandate to serve the people, taxes would be acceptable and nobody would put that much effort into avoiding them because their result would continue to appeal to our interests. But there's never enough money for the state to be all the things it is promising to be, so the states are inventing structures for self-preservation of systems fundamentally doomed to fail.

Fine we implement your libertarian paradise and taxes drop drastically.

You've done nothing to fix this problem because you misunderstood it.

Corporations don't avoid taxes because they're too high, they do it because it's profitable. Corporations compete by competing at the margins, if a competitor in your libertarian paradise goes from a very low tax rate to a slightly lower tax rate then you'll have to follow otherwise you'll be at a competitive disadvantage. If you are a libertarian this shouldn't be a surprise but gospel. The essence of libertarianism is people acting as rational self-actors, so why would you expect corportations to leave free money on the table just because the pile is a bit smaller?

about two weeks ago
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Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

quantaman Re:Lets not forget (635 comments)

That is one of the most idiotic replies I have ever received. You sir are trolling, and inventing statements never made to troll with.

I'll admit I should have granted more leniency because the OP mentioned Gore, and as such was already political. But you still took the opportunity to take a shot at Obama and talk about Agenda 21 and I don't see why were either of those were relevant. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with talking about either in general, but when you take a comment with political content and respond by injecting additional political commentary it suggests you're more interested in the politics than the science.

about two weeks ago
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Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

quantaman Re:Lets not forget (635 comments)

Why do I get the feeling your opinions are driven by partisanship instead of science and economics?

Probably because instead of asking for my opinion you provide your own. You can read my post history, I'm anything but partisan on just about every subject. False dilemmas don't really address problems, they merely cover them up.

I wasn't projecting anything. You may not be partisan in the sense of Republican/Democrat but the fact your comment grinds unrelated policial axes suggests that ideology is very present, at least in the context of that comment.

about two weeks ago
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Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

quantaman Re:Some thoughts (635 comments)

The point is that less ice in Antarctica was bad because it would contribute to sea levels rising. If global warming is helping reduce sea levels, then this is a good thing, right? (Yes, I know thermal expansion probably is the main driver, so it's still probably going to be a net "bad.")

Sea ice is irrelevant to sea levels.

Land ice matters for sea levels, and the land ice is shrinking.

about two weeks ago
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Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

quantaman Re:Lets not forget (635 comments)

Only four sentences and you find time to take unrelated shots at Obama and the UN (Agenda 21).

Why do I get the feeling your opinions are driven by partisanship instead of science and economics?

about two weeks ago
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Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

quantaman Re:It's getting hotter still! (635 comments)

Well given that 5 years ago Al Gore said in 5 years time the Arctic will be completely ice free and it's completely covered in ice still, I would say they have a point. Back to the drawing board with the models at least. If there is one. Which I doubt.

Why are you talking about the Arctic in an article about the Antarctic?

Furthermore why are you talking about Al Gore and models? Sure Gore is somewhat important in his role as an advocate, but Al Gore saying something wrong doesn't mean the models are wrong, it's means Al Gore is a politician who doesn't know the science. I'm not up to date on the models but I never got the impression that an ice free artic in this timeframe was the consensus of the scientists (sure, some thought it could happen, but that's not the same thing).

Btw, on that topic the Arctic ice is still shrinking.

about two weeks ago
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Northwest Passage Exploration Ship Found

quantaman Re:Shipping Claims (80 comments)

The real thing to take out of this article is the political angle: Canada funded the expedition in the hopes it somehow gives more weight to their claims over the shipping lanes invariably opening up as the arctic ice cap disappears.

A process only aided by the Conservatives extreme reluctance to do anything about global warming. It's actually kinda brilliant.

Step 1) Deny climate change

Step 2) Northwest passage opens up

Step 3) Profit!!!

about three weeks ago
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Ontario Government Wants To Regulate the Internet

quantaman Re:An American's opinion (184 comments)

Nm, I did specify 'we' when referring to Canada so you're likely referring to the US. Which would be odd because unlike Lithuania or Kyrgyzstan the one thing you can be assured of is everyone does know a ton about your country.

about three weeks ago
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Ontario Government Wants To Regulate the Internet

quantaman Re:An American's opinion (184 comments)

Not to sound harsh, but you're a raving jackass who doesn't know anything about my country, and I'm quite happy you'd never live here.

Not to sound confused, but which country are you talking about?

about three weeks ago
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Ontario Government Wants To Regulate the Internet

quantaman Re:A tepid defence (184 comments)

True but that's the case for any kind of business with international customers.

That's actually got me wondering why politicians always talk about job creation when selling film and television subsidies since the underlying economics are so dodgy. It seems the true reason for subsidies is the cultural benefit from having a healthy film industry.

about three weeks ago
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Ontario Government Wants To Regulate the Internet

quantaman Re:An American's opinion (184 comments)

Not to sound harsh, but Canada is a shithole and I would move to North Korea before I'd consider going up north.

Some people think Canadians are extraordinarily nice for how we deal with people like this, the truth is we simply have different ways of dealing with problems.

Consider the topic of justice and how to deal with bad people. The US is big into angry retributions and capital punishment, making sure people are punished harshly and everybody knows it.

Canada on the other hand simply tries to put bad people in a place where they don't bother anyone, and when someone does have to be punished we don't talk about it as much. In fact we're big believers in rehabilitation. Quite often we'll give the guilty something they really really want, hoping that in time they'll realize how terrible it is and discover the error of their ways.

I guess what I'm trying to say is I understand your anger and I'm sorry, we both know the US has been responsible for some terrible things, global warming, the Iraq War, NSA spying, etc, the list goes on for a while.

But sending Justin Beiber was definitely overkill.

about three weeks ago
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Ontario Government Wants To Regulate the Internet

quantaman A tepid defence (184 comments)

I think regulating Google and Netflix is a really bad idea but I think there's a defensible motive in trying to promote Canadian content and defend Canadian content providers.

I'm not sure Americans really understand what it's like for smaller countries who lack the population or money to compete with American media productions. People get so much culture from television that it's hard to maintain a national identity when there's a US megaphone next door that dominates mass media. In some ways a well functioning film industry is as important as a military. Just look at what's happening in Ukraine, the rebellion is most certainly not fuelled by East Ukrainians, however it would be hard for Russia to do what it's doing without the support of an East Ukrainian minority who feels closer to Russia and is scared by Kiev. Almost certainly Russia's game would be much more difficult if Ukraine had a mass media strong enough to forge a strong national identity in East Ukraine.

That being said I'm not sure how this works on the Internet, but smaller countries do have a reason to worry about getting swamped by culture from American websites.

about three weeks ago
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Protesters Blockade Microsoft's Seattle Headquarters Over Tax Breaks

quantaman Re:Voliunteer workers for the IRS? (246 comments)

Any "for profit" business has the responsibility to maximize profits for the sake of its continued existence and growth, and as a duty to its stockholders if it was publicly held. Therefore, it would be irresponsible of it NOT to take advantage of legal tax loopholes or tactics to minimize costs.

There's lots of unethical practices that corporations avoid as a matter of good PR.

Imagine if exploiting tax loopholes was so socially unacceptable that corporations lost more money than they'd make through lost sales.

The crux of the problem here is the way the laws are written, so only your legislators can correct it.

Partly, but there's also a possibility that the legislation is fairly well written and closing these loopholes would cause even more serious problems.

There's also the possibility that the legislation is terribly written, and by choosing a well defined high profile target (Microsoft) they can create enough political will to fix the legislation.

about three weeks ago
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Protesters Blockade Microsoft's Seattle Headquarters Over Tax Breaks

quantaman Re:actually it is quite clear, but who RTFAs? (246 comments)

However the point is that Microsoft is a victim of unconstitutional, illegal government system that usurped power and is stealing people's money. Income taxes are illegal and are collected illegally for a wide range of reasons.

Yeah, I read some of the post you linked.

So you seem to think that the 16th amendment only defines income in an incredibly narrow manner, granting the government very limited power to tax the income of corporations and none to tax individuals. You base this on your... creative interpretation of a 1921 supreme court ruling.

You're not alone in this interpretation, amazingly tax protesters have gone to the courts to make this argument many times, not so amazingly they have lost every single time.

Which begs the question. Assuming you are right, and the 1921 ruling didn't allow income tax, then you're still wrong. In the time since the courts have repeatedly ruled that income taxes are legal. Either the court rulings are legitimate, and income tax is allowed, or they're illegitimate, in which case you have no reason to cite the 1921 ruling. Hell, if you disregard the authority of the constitutionally authorized supreme court, who has rejected your interpretation by never even bothered to hear one of those lower court decisions, then I don't see how you can then claim to be so concerned about the wording of the 16th amendment.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Ogg/Linux Friendly Portable Music Players

quantaman quantaman writes  |  more than 6 years ago

quantaman (517394) writes "I'm looking for a good portable music player to use for runs to/from work. There are two absolute requirements 1) it will work under Linux, and 2) it can play ogg, also since it's for running I suspect a flash based player is highly advisable. I was wondering what has worked for other people with similar requirements?

For Linux I've heard that specific support isn't really necessary beyond it showing up as a USB drive, however the Linux category on the wikipedia comparison page must be referring to something. I've also heard advice like getting an iPod + Rockbox, however there are possible downsides with putting on a 3rd party OS (ie warranty issues, a UI not quite made for the hardware), as well I'd much rather support a company who supports ogg and Linux out of the box. One popular choice for ogg/Linux seems to be iRiver, however I don't know if this is the only choice and this page seems to suggest it's Linux and ogg support isn't that great after all.

As well there's also the criteria of durability, sound quality (do the different players have differences that people besides audiophiles would care about?), size, and cost.

I know slashdot has covered this subject in the past but I'm sure things have changed since 2002."

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