Drug companies should not be responsible for research

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 pm by blog

Does anyone else see the problems with for-profit drug companies doing all the research into new medications?
For one, when a drug company develops a drug, they will patent it, giving them an artificial monopoly on that drug. They can then keep prices artificially high, because there’s no competing companies offering the same drugs. If you cant afford that price (and many people in poor countries cannot) your screwed.

But how about the hypocrisy of it all? Imagine for a minute that you run a for-profit drugs company… Will you:
a, develop a cure for AIDS, that sufferers will take for a brief time before being cured.
b, develop combination-therapy that, with continued use, will keep sufferers alive but infected with HIV for many years

For-profit companies will take the latter. Why? It’s obvious, why sell a quick effective cure when you can keep selling people a whole cocktail of drugs for many years? It’s in the drug companies interest to offer a less effective treatment that the sufferer will need to keep taking.

So what *should* be done?

1, Abolish patents on medications, and publish medication details in the public domain, use capitalism for what its good for, pushing down prices with competition as drugs companies are forced to produce the same drugs cheaper in order to compete.
2, Have all medical research be done by charities, or non profit organisations like the UN, with all the research openly published and collaborated, so as to avoid multiple organisations repeating the same work.


Inserting random letters into acronyms to make pronounceable words

Posted in Pet Hates at 4:23 pm by blog

Have you ever heard someone refer to SQL (a language commonly used for databases) as “Sequel”?
This really annoys me, they are trying to pronounce an unpronounceable acronym (SQL) by inserting arbitrary vowells into it until it becomes a pronounceable word (SeQueL). Not only does it become a pronounceable word, but it becomes a pronounceable word that has existing meaning!
It’s SQL, pronounced Ess Queue Ell, it’s an acronym! If you dont want to use the acronym, call it “Structured Query Language”, don’t just add additional letters until you get something pronounceable.
I don’t have an issue where an acronym already spells a pronounceable word, like “VOIP”, or “SOAP”, although it can be confusing in cases like SOAP where there is already a word.
But as for adding arbitrary characters until an acronym becomes pronounceable, i submit the following atrocities:

TCP – ToeCaP

What exactly does “unlimited broadband” mean?

Posted in Pet Hates at 3:16 pm by blog

Have you ever seen an advertisement for “Unlimited Broadband” or “Unlimited Phone Service” or similar, where the small print said something like “Fair Use Conditions Apply”?
Quite often, this “Fair Use” policy will actually specify a transfer limit, yes, a LIMIT on an UNLIMITED service, does this not contradict itself? Worse still, are the ones which mention a limit, but dont specify what it is.

Now, the very nature of the Internet and the technologies used to provide broadband will enforce “Fair Use” according to the actual dictionary definition of fair. The available bandwidth will be shared equally among the users who are trying to use it. If there are 50 users, but only one of them is actually trying to use the available bandwidth, then naturally he will be able to transfer more. If 2 users try to use it, they will get half the speed of one etc.

They already caveat the available bandwidth by saying “Up to”, so why not do away with the transfer limits and merely have the service slow down when heavily being used?
Having a bandwidth cap is bad enough, your allocated bandwidth will get eaten up by unsolicited traffic – spam mails, malware trying to infect you (even if it fails, it still consumes some of your bandwidth trying).

At the very least, providers should be forced to _NOT_ advertise services as being unlimited unless they truly are. And if they are limited, then they should be advertised as such, with the limits clearly explained up front.

I would rather have a 512Kb service with no arbitrary limits enforced (technological limitation of 512Kb is 90Gb download per month), than an 8Mb service with some arbitrary limit (theoretically up to 1440Gb per month download). If i have an 8Mb service with a 90Gb limit (effectively limiting me to a 512Kb average anyway) all it takes is for one errant program, an open wireless access point, or one malicious user deciding to conduct a denial of service attack against me, and i’m quickly massively over the limit.
Going over the limit could result in me losing the connection completely, being charged extra (sometimes even unspecified amounts) by the ISP, or possibly being blacklisted so i can’t move to another ISP. And all of this could happen due to no fault of my own, and due to misleading advertising.

Phishing scams, why not use PGP?

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:39 am by blog

Most people with an email account nowadays, will get floods of email claiming to be from various banks, ebay, paypal etc. Usually it’s trying to get you to log in to confirm something, while providing a link to a malicious site.
Now, why dont these companies sign their outbound mails using PGP? That way, we can all verify the signature using their public key, and if it’s wrong we disregard the mail. Spam filters could do the same, so the fake mails never hit people’s inbox.

Refrigerated butter in hotels/restaurants/cafes etc

Posted in Pet Hates at 9:55 am by blog

Have you ever been out somewhere to eat, and there were bread rolls, or perhaps toast on offer? And conveniently, some butter is provided for you to spread on the bread/toast, all good so far.
Now many of these places will refrigerate the butter, so that it’s hard and unspreadable! You try to spread it, and end up ripping the bread apart. It causes you extra hassle as you try to chop the butter up small so it will melt faster and become spreadable, while you wait.

Am i alone in thinking this is stupid? Shouldn’t restaurants provide butter at room temperature so that you can actually use it for it’s intended purpose without ridiculous levels of hassle?

Far too many times I have found myself using a candle to try and melt the butter enough to make it spreadable. Is it really so hard to keep butter at room temperature so the customers can actually spread it?


Fast Memory Man SUCKS

Posted in fastmemorymanscam at 8:19 am by blog

It looks like fastmemoryman now has his own “sucks” website, set up by one of the many people he has defrauded: