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* Posts by The BigYin

3052 posts • joined 25 Mar 2008

Lindsay Lohan storm over Hitler, Hurricane tweets: 'It was hackers'

The BigYin
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Pray?

Why waste your breath? Get up and do something practical, something that will actually make a difference.

Pray indeed. Yeesh.

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MULTICOLOURED TARANTULAS found UP TREES in Brazil

The BigYin
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Re: genuine question

Venom...possibly their silk? Venom has lots of compounds which can be researched to find new drugs.

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Virgin Media spanked for 'we've already cabled up your house' mailshot

The BigYin
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Re: Virgin Media Let Down By Tardy Staff

@AC - I selected my current place because of fibre and proximity to the exchange. Perhaps the other poster is like me - a telecommuter and the need for reliable broadband is a high priority.

Luckily VM has reliable broadband (when the SuperHub isn't shitting its pants). In the 18 months or so I've had about 2 days of down time; which is more reliable than my corporate ISP! The only flaw in the VM service is that fookin' SuperFlub.

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The BigYin
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Can they be put on the nawty step...

...for the "SuperHub" that isn't "Super" and barely a "Hub"?

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Disney buys Lucasfilm, new Star Wars trilogy planned

The BigYin
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There's only one response to this

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

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UK's Intellectual Property Obliteration office attacked by Parliament

The BigYin
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Trollface

It's not long enough.

Copyright should be life + 5,000 years.

Patents issued in one country should be recognised (and enforced) globally.

TradeMarks issues in one country should be recognised (and enforced) globally.

Any attempt to by-pass any product protection system or any modification of any product (e.g. rooting) should be a specific offence carrying unlimited fines and jail terms.

Distributing tools that can be used to by pass any product protection system should be treated as an attempt at economic terrorism, carrying the death penalty (yes, even in Europe; the Europeans are far too soft these days).

It is only by these measures that we can continue to gouge the consumer and make the rich richer...err...I mean...protect our investment. Oh, did I mention tax? Yes, none of that please. It stifles innovation and only peasants should pay it.

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Freesat downs own website after Downton quickie

The BigYin
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"If you're going to cough up for a subscription you owe it to yourself to see what else is out there."

Err...how about saving on the subscription and seeing what else is out there? There is a life beyond the goggle-box.

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The BigYin
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Previous owners left an old Sky dish...

...when I get the time, a Freesat PVR is getting set up. So long as you are not emotionally immature and need to see the new thing right now, you can save a bundle.

In fact, use the saved money to get a subscription LoveFile/Netflix/similar or buy boxed sets. A £40+ saving each month is about one box set. You can also rip the box set (warning: this is illegal) and watch it on any device you want for no extra charge!

As the number of channels has gone up, the quality has dropped noticeably. National Geographic is reduced to shows like "Ancient Alien Ghost Mysteries of the Paranormal"; which is pretty pathetic. About the only channels consistently showing anything worth watching are BBC1-3, BBC News and Channel 4. The rest is just so much dross.

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ICO fines council £120,000 for crypto email fail

The BigYin
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And the software is free!

As in price and freedom. OK, deployment and training still cost; but FFS, sort it out already.

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Chinese e-cars to turn London cabs green

The BigYin
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Re: Where will the power come from?

@HeyMickey - got to a proper pub then. Decent beer in the UK is definitely a solved problem.

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The BigYin
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Re: Masks

@handle - 'You really think that "cycling masks" protect you from city air pollution?'

You really think they don't? If they conform to BS EN 149 and fit well, they should be fairly good.

Anecdote isn't reliable evidence, but I noticed it much easier to breathe when I had mine on.

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The BigYin
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Re: Where will the power come from?

@Snow Hill Island - Hence why I say we'd need to import power. But so long as the city types can breathe easier as they sup their lattes, who cares? Certainly not them it seems. As ever, they expect the rest of us to pay.

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The BigYin
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Re: Where will the power come from?

You're missing the massive benefit of improved air quality for people living and working in the city.

You're missing the massive cost of reduced air quality for people living near the dirty stations and the total environment cost. But so long as city wonks can are happy, who cares? Isn't that our economic policy as well?

I wish all vehicles were electric so my lungs could get a rest.

When I used to cycle through a city, I wore a mask and replaced the filters regularly. At an individual level, yours is a solved problem.

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The BigYin
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Re: Where will the power come from?

The point is that the power source is getting worse right now - by importing dirty power (and building more dirty power plants). You cannot claim green creds with one hand and spend them with the other.

We must also consider the batteries which can (in their manufacture and disposal) be highly polluting. So any gains that might be gained are offset by that as we can't just consider the "greeness" at point of use, it must be from cradle to grave.

We already have technology right now that could be put into use, we've had it for decades. But our government officials are too busy helping their pals trouser tax-payer money than deliver an efficient and reliable service. Which would also address your air quality issues.

I am continually amazed at mass transit in other countries. Clean (inside and exhaust), fair (and understandable!) prices and reliable. Meanwhile in the UK unless you book six blue moons in advance on a Tuesday whilst wearing green boxers, you will get gouged and still not be sure which trains you can get on at the station because your ticket might not be valid on that service from A-B, even though it runs on the same tracks from the same operator.

It's a farce and with current tech e-cars are simply an answer looking for a problem as there are still other solutions to personal transport. "Boris bikes" (to pick one). Cure the obesity epidemic and pollution in one!

More joined-up thinking, less joined-up PR puffery and tax-payer milking.

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The BigYin
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Where will the power come from?

Certainly not our unreliable wind farms, maybe we'll import it from East Europe?

Taxis powered by old, dirty coal electricity? My yes, that is green.

Boris is just after good news and a bit of greenwash. If he (or any government official) gave two craps about the environment or pollution, they'd be sticking the boot into Virgin, First Group, Stagecoach etc about our shabby and over-priced bus and train services.

But they're not, because all the free junkets and schmoozing is vastly more important than the nation itself.

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TSA fails again with adjustable boarding passes

The BigYin
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Gimp

Re: The way IATA will want to fix this...

Almost but when you wrote "not your boarding pass but the chip in your passport" I think you meant "not your boarding pass but the chip in your neck"

Why bother with passports when you can just implant a chip and scan people at will. It could be used in shops, stadiums etc for deter thieves and thugs. Used on the tube for automatic billing. No more need for passports, cradi cards or cash.

If you have a problem, the first responders will know where you are to within a few metres. Perfect safety all of the time. No more crime, no more terrorism. Utopia.

Yes, technology will certainly set use free by making us all slaves.

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Microsoft has no plans for a second Windows 7 Service Pack

The BigYin
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Re: I let them know.

Thanks folks - this is Citrix after all, hardly a Mickey Mouse operation.

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The BigYin
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If Citrix...

...had a GoTo Meeting client for GNU/Linux, I'd switch tomorrow. Everything else I can do native, in WINE or under virtualisation, but I need GoTo Meeting on the main box and there is simply no GNU/Linux client.

Which sux big, fat, hairy, donkey balls.

If anyone would want this, please let Citirx know.

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BT and Virgin sue over £10m state-funded Birmingham broadband

The BigYin
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I don't see why they are complaining

Like all government projects, it'll be sold off at a massive discount to the private sector and all through a tax haven so there'll be not tax to pay. Then when they don't make as much money as predicted, the tax-paying public will bail them out.

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Windows 8 versions will confuse the punters, say OEMs

The BigYin
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The versiobns are easy to explain...

...as there's only two:

1) Crap; and

2) Vomit

The good thing is, those easy-to-remember labels are interchangeable with any Win8 version!

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They've only gone and HACKED the WEATHER

The BigYin
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"Cracking"

Not "hacking".

Bring on the downvotes you 'tards. I can take it.

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Chinese 'Thunder God' plant could crush cancer

The BigYin
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Re: Bad news for endangered species

"So if an intervention has a positive effect, if you understand how the effect works you call it "treatment", and if you don't understand how the effect works you call it "placebo"?"

Ignoring the minor straw-man you've inserted, you are either being deliberately obtuse or have some axe to grind.

We do something to Group A. We do something to Group B. We do nothing to Group C. Groups A and B show a difference, for the better (just for the sake of argument) compare to Group C.

The difference of Group A and B to Group C is roughly equivalent (confidence level etc etc).

We know for a fact that what we did to Group B was fake because that's how we set it up.

Therefore whatever we did to Group A is no batter than the fake (i.e. the placebo) and is not of any use. Scratch that off the list, try the next thing.

This is obviously grossly trivialised.

But wait....what the heck happened in Group B if it was fake? Maybe it's psychological. Maybe it is some actual chemical change caused by being "treated". Maybe it's pixies. From my current understanding - no one is quite sure, but we know it happens so we have to allow for it. For relative values of "know" (see link)

"As per the link you sent me earlier, the full extent of how the placebo effect works is not yet fully understood, and a lot of different mechanisms seem to be lumped under the same 'placebo' heading, whether they are understood or not."

So what? We don't understand it yet, so why should we try to separate it? All we know is that placebo/nocebo has nothing to do with whatever we are testing. So if whatever we test is no better than placebo, it's as useless as makes no odds.

I'm struggling to understand why you seem to be convinced there is something "other" going on.

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The BigYin
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Re: yawn

Umm....belladonna. Just one example.

Can treat many things from muscle cramps, motion sickness and even nerve gas inhalation! I shit you not.

But wait, did I just advocate for some alt-med hippy bullshit? No, I didn't because the extracted compounds have been extracted, understood and tested rigorously. And yes, of course, it's been used in various tinctures by herbalists for centuries, but that does not validate the entire cannon of herbalism.

You are quite correct, we need to wait for more evidence; but it's definitely in the "curious" spectrum of things and whilst the extracted compound might not work on a human, something closely related might.

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The BigYin
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Re: Bad news for endangered species

Minor typo: I said "Some alt-med is bullshit".

What I meant to say was: "Most alt-med is bullshit".

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The BigYin
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Re: Bad news for endangered species

"My point is more about aggressive dismissal such as the kind you are showing, rather then keeping an open mind and investigating with modern techniques."

I have an open mind, just not so open that my brains fall out. Some alt-med is bullshit and should be dismissed as such. It's the same with many things, some ideas are just so outlandish that they can and should be ignored. Until, of course, actual evidence shows up (see below).

"If uneducated camel riders realised that rubbing the mould from saddles onto their sores helped, just because it was not tested in a scientific way doesn't make it quackery."

That makes it anecdote. When people start to claim that it'll cure cancer or whatever (and that does happen) that makes it quackery. When the claims that underpin the "cure" seem to be at odds with the general understanding of science that that too is probably quackery until proven otherwise (see below) .

In your above example two questions arise. Is is the mould or the rubbing? If one of the other, why? Let's say it's the mould. What are the active compounds? Why do they work? Can they be purified/synthesised? Are there other chemicals that might do something similar? What are the risks? Can it cause infection or an allergic reaction? Answer all that and not only will you have a range of treatments for saddle sore, but probably all sorts of leisons. And that is why we need the evidence. Not hearsay.

"One form of quackery IMHO is the absolute belief that only one method, or thing is right (kinda like religion) which personally I think science isn't about."

But there is only one method, and it is brutally simple: does the evidence support the theory? End of discussion. Actual science requires evidence, testable theories etc. And, of course, science will change its mind when new evidence arises. Unlike religion. Science is "right" because it has the evidence to back it up. It even has the evidence to back-up its evidence! That's all that matters. Evidence.

"In 100 years time who knows they might be laughing at your comments and techniques the same way as you are doing of others!"

Maybe. And you know what? We'll have the evidence for why things changed. But I can guarantee you that we will still have drugs companies and we will not be inserting magic quantum crystals up our butts. Or any other quack alt-med you care to pick.

And one final point. Just because one extract from one herb that happens to be used in Traditional Chinese Medicine does not validate the entirety of Traditional Chinese Medicine or any other ingredients they may happen to use. Why? Because there is not evidence. And when there is evidence we will no longer call it "Traditional Chinese Medicine" but just "medicine".

It really is that simple.

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The BigYin
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I think @NomNomNom is a semi-professional troll on these boards. Checking their history, most of their comments seem to be garbage along these lines.

I wouldn't take it to heart.

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The BigYin
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Re: Turmeric has few side effects

I doubt it will be. It'll be just like other plant extracts. Once they figure out how it works, other compounds will be developed that do the things they want, and don't do the things they don't want (also, if it needs delivered intravenously it'll probably need purified). A bit like Aspirin was (see earlier comments).

And if it turns out that turmeric is the shizzle as it is and delivery via a good curry is the way to go, do you really think a doctor won't simply tell you that? There's a good reason we still do things like gargle salt water rather than god-knows what; it's safe, cheap and works. Compared to that, treatment with a drug is just too much bother and will only be done if the problem doesn't shift.

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The BigYin
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@Captain

Aye, sorry about that. I over simplified things for the moon-unit brigade who seem to be living in fear of the Lizard People (or whatever the latest conspiracy theory is, I can never keep up).

You more complete explanation is a great example of why evidence-based medicine works. "This does a thing we like, but also something we don't. Can we make it better?" But, of course, the better item is "artificial" and clearly a plot by the Lizard People to hide the Truth of the Ancients from us! Or whatever.

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The BigYin
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Re: The Main Difference

I suggest you go do some reading, the placebo may not be as all powerful as it seems.

Here's a good starting point: http://www.skepdic.com/placebo.html (then there's always Wikipedia)

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The BigYin
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Re: Turmeric has few side effects

And this is all good news because we know it's the curcumin up to something and the boffins will be boffing away at it like billy-o figuring out how it works, how best to delivers it, what variations might be good for other things etc etc.

I would urge caution though. Any benefits delivered by the curcumin in the turmeric are likely to be offset by the sedentary lifestyle caused by becoming terrified of leaving the khazi. :)

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The BigYin
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Re: Why does "Medicine" use "Synthetics" instead of direct extracts?

"The "medical industry" has no financial interest in a cure, only in money."

The computer industry has no financial interest in computing, only in money.

The car industry has no financial interest in driving, only in money.

The book industry has no financial interest in literature, only in money.

Those three statements, along with yours, are utter crap. The medical industry is interested in money. Of course it is. It's a business! And how do they make money? By providing drugs and treatments that work! If Company A has a treatment that only alleviates symptoms, Company B will still be trying to cure the problem because it can still make money by offering a better treatment than Company A.

There are problems with the medical industry, yes (e.g. selective publishing of results to push new drugs through) but to dismiss the entire thing, along with all the advances that have been made, is crass stupidity of the absolute highest order.

"you can patent the PROCESS for extracting the active ingredient if it has never been done before or if there is a special technique required."

And....so what? Any time some new process is created from some new thing it is almost certainly going to get patented to protect the investment (I can think of exceptions which rely on trade secret instead). Why should chemical plants/processes be any different to any other feat of design/engineering?

Oh wait, It's the Intergalactic Drug Cartel of the Lizard People; isn't it?

"You will find that the efficacy of the synthetics may not even be as good as the natural extracts are."

Citation, please.

The synthetic is a pure for of the natural compound. It will be exceedingly potent simply because it is pure. Where one may observe a difference with the natural compounds is because they are not pure and do not get delivered isolation; they're a cocktail and it might be that it is the cocktail which is the important bit (maybe some other compound is acting a bit like a catalyst)

Also consider the fact that the compound might occur naturally in a form that renders it ineffective or lethal (e.g. can't be injected safely). It is thus processed and delivered in a suitable fashion.

"Also note that the chemical formulation of many drugs closely resemble that of the natural extract but are usually shifted; stereo isomers or "mirror images" of the natural material for no other reason that they can be patented."

Citation, please. Especially for that isomers statement. Depending on the drug and how it interacts, an isomer of the natural compound could be ineffective or downright dangerous.

I'd also like you to consider this: Company A gets a chemical from a plant, changes it slightly, patents it and expects to make billions. Y'know what Company B does? Just gets it from the feckin' plant! Simple! Company A is now up a certain creek and has a major competitor looking into greenhouses; we benefit from that competition.

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The BigYin
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Re: Bad news for endangered species

"The real question though, is whether real acupuncture and / or placebo acupuncture are better than no acupuncture at all"

No it isn't. Any intervention will have an effect, either placebo or nocebo. Acupuncture is an intervention and will have an effect. Due to how acupuncture is usually presented, it will probably be placebo. Even talking to someone has an effect. Cheer them up, they feel better; "Laughter is the best medicine" as they say.

This does not mean that you can speak magic words that heal people. It's the placebo effect again!

"If they ARE better than no acupuncture"

See above. They would have to be better than placebo. Also, we'd have to have some idea what was going on. It's not going to be chi, chakras or any of that. That is all bullshit.

"find out by what mechanism the acupuncture IS working"

It probably isn't, it's probably placebo.

"instead of ignoring it (or calling it bullshit) because it isn't better than a placebo"

It claims to operate by a mechanism that is unknown to modern science, does not seem to have a theoretical model which can be tested and has been shown to be no better than a placebo. Looks like bullshit, smells like bullshit and you know what? It's probably bullshit.

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The BigYin
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Re: No big shock really

This is what a lot of companies already do. They also discount a lot of the moon-unit "treatments" (like crystal healing etc) as they usually contravene major parts of modern scientific knowledge, or have been sown to fail in previous studies (actual, proper studies; not shams conducted by the moon-unit brigade).

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The BigYin
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Re: The Main Difference

"I guess there's no money in studying why and how some people are curing themselves just by thinking that they're being cured, and finding ways to replicate that consciously."

So how do you explain the studies into the placebo effect then? And the nocebo. And the fact it doesn't always work - the placebo effect isn't going to mend your broken bones for example.

The reason drugs are expected to exceed the placebo effect is so that we can be sure the drug actually does something. That the drug, in and of itself, made a difference. That means getting over the "noise" of the placebo effect.

You posts really do make you sound like a conspiracy nut.

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The BigYin
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Company 1 : We have a thing that resolves the symptoms. We'll make beeeeeellions!

Company 2 : We have a thing that fixes the actual problem. We'll make beeeeeellions!

Company 1: Rats.

And that, in a nutshell, is how it works. No need for nutty "Big Pharma" conspiracy theories. If there is collusion, we have laws to deal with that. They may not be great and they should maybe be wielded a bit more often, but that is a general societal issue to do with greed, short-termism and spineless politicos.

Even if it did come from a basic plant, the active ingredient would still require refinement because the dose the plant can give is probably rather small. Even if the plant did give a high enough dose, it would still need refinement because of all the potential contaminants. Even if the active ingredient was delivered in a pure enough form, it would still be studied as it could lead to a new class of drugs. So what I'm saying is, they'd still make it and they'd still profit from it.

For example: acetylsalicylic acid. You can get that from willow bark easily enough and yet we still get tablets of the stuff don't we?

Or, you know, maybe there really is a conspiracy all run by the Lizard People and I am just a shill for them. They don't want you to know, man, they don't want you to know!

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The BigYin
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Re: Bad news for endangered species

There is no such thing as "Western medicine" or "Eastern medicine" or whatever, there is simply "evidence-based medicine" and "bullshit".

"acupuncture, pressure puncture are just a few that have already been adopted by western medicine."

Well, apart from the fact that evidence-based medicine has shown "real" acupuncture to be no better than placebo acupuncture. i.e. it's bullshit. For certain ailments it may be possible to get a greater than placebo effect, but it will still have nothing to do with re-aligning chakras or restoring chi flow or whatever. It'll be because of an actual physiological response that and be studied, understood and then used with actual, real, evidence-based knowledge.

"these traditional medicines have had thousands of years of human testing."

Oh wow, so they had properly conducted double-blind trials did they? Wrote it all up in peer reviewed journals? Eventually figured out the mechanism by which the active ingredients worked (and a mechanism that doesn't contradict the rest of known science)? Excuse me if I call crap on their "testing". Or do you still drill a hole in your head when you are ill to release the demons? That had years of human testing too.

"So rather then dismissing traditional medicines as quackery, wouldn't it be better to adopt it as actual medicine and ensure that it undergoes the same rigorous testing?"

No, it wouldn't. For the simple reason that after it has been studied, shown to work in a proper tests/trials, been refined etc we tend to just call it MEDICINE.

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The BigYin
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Re: No big shock really

All? Far from it.

Those that have been shown to have an effect in a properly conducted double-blind trial should be investigated (i.e. greater than placebo). There rest should be ignored.

The amount of support fake medicine gets (even from our own NHS) is depressing.

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The BigYin
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Re: No big shock really

"Chinese medicine benefits from thousands of years of experimentation!"

Really? Really, really? Dried seahorse has evidence to support its use? Which journal was that published in? And tiger bits etc?

I think you meant to say "Chinese medicine benefits from thousands of years of random quackery!"

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The BigYin
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Re: The Main Difference

It's simply evidence based medicine Vs bullshit. And usually bullshit that is only going to affect your wallet.

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The BigYin
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The placebo is strong in this one. Although to be fair, unlike a lot of other alternative hippy-crap, herbalism at least has a fighting chance of delivering an active compound(s).

Got a headache? Chew on some willow bark. Which we still do today. Except we've taken the active compound, figured out how to synthesise it and now deliver it in handy pill form. Much easier than dragging a small forest around with you. :)

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The BigYin
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Re: Kind of ironic

Not really.

Plants are known to contain various organic compounds and it is fairly common practice to extract these from plants, test them and set about synthesising the ones that work in much greater quantities and purity.

The big advantage here is that the resulting compounds are actually known to work (we may even know how they work) and have a supporting body of evidence to prove it. It's not based on anecdote and hearsay, which is all you generally have for herbalism.

Also note, this plant was used to treat auto-immune problems not pancreatic cancer.

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Craig, Connery or ... Dalton? Vote now for the ultimate James Bond

The BigYin
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Surely the winner is...

...who ever pays the most to win?

Bond drinking Heineken?

Next movie? Bond is actually a Khazakstani ex-KGB double agent; because they paid the most money.

And he always makes sure his Nike shoes are clean. They paid the most money.

etc.

I know there's been product placements in Bond before, but it is getting beyond ridiculous.

"Skyfall"? More like "Skymall"

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Virgin Media's blighted SuperHub NOW comes with extra squeal (oink)

The BigYin
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Re: I heard a constant whine in the corner...

"...which confused me as I don't have Virgin."

But with an attitude like that you are a virgin, aren't you?

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The BigYin
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@AC Re: Mine does this, and has done since day one

FFS, I wish people would shut the hell up about "Modem mode" as if it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. It's still going to be running, it's still going to be making a noise, it's still going to be drawing power and it's still going to shit it's little pants because it it UTTER CRAP!

I do not want to use their garbage, I want to connect my own modem/router. Is there some technical reason (and I do mean "technical", not "business") that VM do not allow this?

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The BigYin
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Mine does this, and has done since day one

If the telly and radio are off, I can easily here a high-pitched whine from the SuperFlub. Sounds exactly like a transformer on the way out. I'd really prefer to connect my own router rather than have to rely on this sack of crap.

Will VM ever relent and approve some other routes for connection? Why can't I just connect a standard cable-type router/modem - is there some deep technical reason?

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Win 8 ready for slate ... but biz customers can wait

The BigYin
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Joke

No need for 'lock me down until i'm useless'...

...Win8 starts out that way.

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Wanted! 4m-plus PC purchases to halt industry decline

The BigYin
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Re: To all the computer OEMs

"- No more bloody glossy screens, it's impossible to work with and it's plain stupid"

This. Oh dear god, this. The glossy screens are only good for the store; they're shit in everyday use.

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The BigYin
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Linux

WANTED!

Reasonable build quality;

Reasonable prices;

And an end to enforced OS choice.

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Amazon UK leaks Windows 8 retail box, TV ads

The BigYin
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Exactly

The Window 8 box is boxy and shit. Just like the UI!

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