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Date: 2012-01-24 11:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] despotliz.livejournal.com
That sequencer article is a bit ugh. The problem I have is that no one has actually seen or tested an Ion Proton yet, so we only have the company's word that it can do a $1,000 genome, and the machines aren't out for 9 months. If I'd bought one of the original Ion Torrent PGM machines I'd also be pretty grumpy - they only came out in the middle of last year and Ion Torrent were very keen on the whole "The Chip is the Machine" slogan, about how they could increase capacity just by upgrading the sequencing chips without upgrading the machine, and clearly this only goes so far.

The article also claims that Illumina machines (disclaimer: I am an Illumina user) cost upwards of $500,000 and that their new machine will cost $740,000. Which is true only if you ignore the MiSeq, which is Illumina's competitor to the Ion Torrent PGM and costs about $125,000. This is pretty competitive to the Ion Torrent machines, especially if you stop thinking about just the machine and think about the whole cost as the sample preparation for the Ion Torrent machines is different and more complicated.

Also I don't know why they're distinguishing between genome chip and exome chip, unless there's some kind of complicated exome-capture chip I don't know about - the chip only determines how much sequence you get out, not what you actually sequence, so the only difference will be capacity of the chips, and you could easily do an exome prep and stuff it on a genome chip.

In short, I am biased towards Illumina because I use their machines, but that article is slanted towards the Ion Torrent side of things and ultimately it's currently a war of sequencing vapourware until anyone has an Ion Proton or upgraded Illumina device to play with.

Date: 2012-01-25 11:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] despotliz.livejournal.com
The plot thickens today, in fact. The third major player in the sequencing game is Roche, who have a technology called 454 (which was invented by a guy called Jonathan Rothberg, who promptly sold it to Roche and went off to invent the Ion Torrent and sell that to Life Sciences and is presumably rolling about in piles of cash right now). Roche were first to market but their machines are falling behind, because they can't keep up with the others on volume. Roche's solution to this is not to improve their own tech to be competitive again, but to attempt to buy Illumina...

Date: 2012-01-24 02:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bart-calendar.livejournal.com
The thing is male and female homelessness would be more interesting if they broke it down by both gender and cause of homelessness.

A lot of homelessness is caused by mental illness. In that case, I'm betting the male/female ratio would be about equal.

Another section of homelessness is caused by drug addiction. In that case I'm betting there are more male homeless than female homeless, because a woman has more options in terms of trading her body for drugs/a place to sleep.

That said, as far as homeless people with children I'd bet that number sways very highly female, because a lot of them are probably women trying to get themselves and their children away from an abusive relationship.

Then again, I bet homeless teenagers sway heavily male, because a ton of them become homeless after their parents discover they are gay. I'm guessing this would happen less to lesbian teens, because parents would be more apt to dismiss a daughter saying she's gay as a phase then they would a son. (Since that's what society does anyway.)

Date: 2012-01-25 08:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nancylebov.livejournal.com
I think girls can be thrown out for being sexually active, so the statistics for homelessness would still be guesswork.

Date: 2012-01-24 06:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] octopoid-horror.livejournal.com
Morrowind and Oblivion still need unofficial patches to run without bugs. And there are still bugs even when you do use these patches as well as the various official ones.

Same with Fallout 1, 2 and 3.

Date: 2012-01-24 06:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anton-p-nym.livejournal.com
Indeed... last weekend I was catching up on some Fallout: New Vegas DLC and it froze my Xbox; even with all the patches and updates over the past year, the game's still unstable. (Though much less unstable than it was on release, granted.)

-- Steve'd complain more about it save that the content is so damned good when it is running.

Date: 2012-01-24 09:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] octopoid-horror.livejournal.com
One of the main problems with Fallout 3/NV and Oblivion/Skyrim on consoles is the size that the save files get to. Once you've been playing for a long time, they get a bit unwieldy and it affects performance, or so I've read.

Date: 2012-01-24 09:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] drdoug.livejournal.com
That 300ms car crash thing was awesome. It's like a real-world version of a ship-to-ship encounter in an Iain M. Banks Culture novel.

Date: 2012-01-24 10:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] octopoid-horror.livejournal.com
I would be curious to know if drivers drive more carefully in a car that they don't consider to be "safe" while taking risks in a car that they think has features that increase their survivability.

Date: 2012-01-24 09:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] octopoid-horror.livejournal.com
I'm interested by one of the comments on the car crash link. I wonder if there's a set speed of crash above which car manufacturers either overtly or tactitly say "Sorry, we're not going to try to protect you if this happens. It's really not cost/form effective."

Date: 2012-01-29 03:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anef.livejournal.com
I was a little surprised by the right-wing economics of the article on a better tax system. Then I read the bit in italics at the bottom.

Date: 2012-01-30 11:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anef.livejournal.com
Well, advocating lower rates of tax and taxes on consumption is typically a conservative position.

I'm all for simplifying the tax system over here, but I'm not sure that globally doing away with reliefs (which are aimed at things the government thinks is desirable, such as donating to charity and making pension contributions) is the best way to do it. I agree that mortgage interest tax relief is not a good idea, and it was sensible for the UK to abandon it.

One reason why our tax system is so complex is that people do abuse reliefs, and therefore rules are introduced to stop them being used in circumstances where the government did not intend them to be used. My opinion is that it's a better thing to have the reliefs than to do away with them on the grounds that it's all too difficult - but then I work in tax.

Date: 2012-01-30 01:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anef.livejournal.com
I think if our tax system was designed to work according to Adam Smith's basic principles of taxation it would be a great deal better, whatever the taxes were in fact levied on.

Date: 2012-01-30 01:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anef.livejournal.com
This is the result of a very quick search - I haven't read the paper beyond the first bit, so can't tell you whether I agree with it or not!

http://www.cooperativeindividualism.org/lambert-ian_on-adam-smith.html

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