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I think, for the sake of his challenge (to find one good software patent granted in the last year), he is allowing the challenger to assume that those three other conditions are fulfilled simply because they would be much harder to argue about.


analog31 3 hours ago | link

This is a good point. I've been involved in IP, as an inventor, and also dealing with freedom-to-operate issues, though I'm not a lawyer. The advice that I've gotten from lawyers is that the holy grail is a single piece of prior art reading on every element of the primary claim (or of the claim that is getting in your way). Obviousness and the other criteria are much harder to argue.


Then forget the FIFO convention. How about a hardware random number generator?

However, this doesn't fix the problem with placing and canceling lots of orders to sway the bucket toward the end of the 5-minute window. I suppose if some could do this faster at the end of the window then others, they would still retain an advantage.

(Imagine somebody placing many orders, monitoring how many are likely to be fulfilled advantageously, and then cancelling the disadvantageous ones as close to the end of the window as possible.)

That could perhaps be solved with fees for cancelling bids or asks.


kasey_junk 24 days ago | link

There are already fees attached with canceling large amounts of orders, and most exchanges provide less fees (or even rebates) for providing liquidity (being the order that is taken off the book) vs taking liquidity.


pak 32 days ago | link | parent | on: Using GameStop as a bank

Yes, I can believe that is what he is saying. Certain banks/credit cards have relationships with foreign institutions that can cause unexpectedly low fees, given the right circumstances. On top of which, I've found that both Western Union and bank-to-bank transfers, on the whole, are a huge ripoff on both rates and fees--especially for frequent, small volume scenarios.

When I worked in Canada, I used the no-ATM-fee agreement [1] between ScotiaBank and Bank of America to convert USD to CAD and transfer money between the accounts. This involved the rather odd procedure of going to a ScotiaBank ATM, withdrawing a lot of CAD off of the USD in the BofA account, and stuffing the cash right back into the ATM as a deposit on the ScotiaBank account. Any other procedure, including using a teller or trying an online wire transfer, would have been more expensive and inconvenient. The above had no per-transaction fees and only a 3% conversion fee added to the market rate, which is about average compared to credit cards. (Any of Western Union's "instant" options for this kind of transaction require about 9% in fees.)

There are some credit cards with no foreign transaction fees, which is what I would use today if I had to do it again. Using such a card to purchase items in the foreign country, and then paying off the balance with the home country bank, results in "free" currency conversion. That's what GP is referring to.

[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_ATM_Alliance


dnr 32 days ago | link

Yup, I did the same thing in China by withdrawing RMB from my bank account at Bank of America at a China Construction Bank ATM and immediately depositing it in my local account. Zero fees and good exchange rate.

The only annoying part was that the amount I needed to pay my initial rent + security deposit was more than my daily withdrawal limit, so I had to transfer up to the limit three days in a row to get enough money in there to start.


rahimnathwani 31 days ago | link

I heard from a colleague that this deal no longer exists.

I opened a CCB account before my last trip to the US. I was charged a 3USD ATM fee at the BofA ATM. I don't know what exchange rate was applied when the 303USD was converted to CNY, but most Chinese banks load these transactions much less than those in the UK (which usually charge 2.25% to 2.75% above the Visa wholesale rate).


dnr 31 days ago | link

Yeah, that was in 2009. I don't know if CCB/BoA still have the no-fee agreement.

But now I have a checking account at Schwab that refunds all ATM fees, including internationally, so I could do it with that.


mdaniel 31 days ago | link

FWIW, I opened a French HSBC account (I am a US citizen, btw) and used the ATM withdraw-deposit trick you just described in order to produce Euros for local use. I was subsequently called in by the bank because they found my high denomination cash deposits very suspicious and requested that I stop doing it.

I wanted to offer an anecdotal warning that such a trick may work fine, or it may ruffle feathers; just be aware.


pak 41 days ago | link | parent | on: Medical Anarchy

Disclosure: I'm currently attending medical school in New York.

It seems incredibly irresponsible for a doctor to prescribe things based on an internet conversation without a physical exam. You can't auscultate (listen to with a stethoscope), visually inspect, run labs, do basic imaging, etc. over an anonymous internet forum, which are basic facilities that anybody should expect a doctor in the US to utilize. It is plainly evident, once you become involved in clinical encounters, that you discover things on exam that the patient didn't know about, forgot to tell you, or wouldn't be able to find themselves. These findings are often critical for diagnosis. Telling the patient to take a certain drug without that data is dangerous and irresponsible.

You could certainly offer general "advice", but this will never be a substitute for seeing a doctor. Perhaps interfaces with video and sound are able to up the bandwidth of internet medicine but currently there is still too wide of a gap between that and actually laying hands on the patient.

I was not surprised to find that this is exactly what the linked document of related policies by state medical boards states for New York (http://www.fsmb.org/pdf/InternetPrescribing-law&policylangua...):

Section 80.63 of the controlled substance regulations requires a practitioner to physically examine a patient prior to initially prescribing a controlled substance. Issuing a prescription for a controlled substance solely on the basis of a questionnaire or other medical history submitted to a practitioner over the Internet does not meet the requirement of a physical examination or establish a legitimate practitioner-patient relationship and is not a valid prescription.

I cannot find anything controversial about that. I am all for forums linking doctors to talk to more patients, even for payment, but keep the "MD" out of the name because this is not a true substitute for seeing a doctor.


sithu 41 days ago | link

Beyond cost, seeing a doctor is an annoyingly long and cumbersome process. If it were convenient, affordable, and of reasonable quality, more people would likely utilize the service- improving health, earlier detection, etc.

How many old farmers have you seen drag themselves into clinic with their 2-year bone pain that turns out to be multiple myeloma? Would they have come to attention sooner if a virtual visit took 10 mins on their computer, rather than a full day in the city?

Hard to quantify, but I do believe there is a role for a "drive thru" option here. Not every symptom needs the full weight of an academic medical center. Every day in the community there are doctors prescribing based on only a conversation, and there's ample conditions when this is fully appropriate. When a simple answer isn't possible, referrals will undoubtedly be made. The biggest issue is establishing trust.


thedufer 41 days ago | link

> You could certainly offer general "advice", but this will never be a substitute for seeing a doctor.

No, and I don't think anyone is arguing that. But surely its better than doing nothing, which is the alternative for people who can't afford to visit a doctor?


pak 41 days ago | link

The increasing inequality in access to care is something that concerns me greatly because I see it all the time (I work for a free clinic that supports local residents without insurance) and I fear that it contributes to growing frustration and distrust of the American healthcare system. It is this very frustration that fuels desperate solutions like CoinMD, sketchily marketed natural remedies and insurance supplements, political bickering over healthcare.gov and the ACA, medical tourism, semi-legal internet stores for prescription drugs, ... it goes on and on.

As a commenter below put it so well, all of these responses are "a symptom of how we think about these kinds of problems being badly broken..."

Furthermore, I disagree that something is necessarily better than nothing. Wrong or incomplete advice can be much worse than no advice. Telling somebody it sounds like they have the common cold while missing out on the possibility of tuberculosis because the doc can't do a chest XRay, a PPD (skin test), run cultures, or listen to the lungs, is downright dangerous to that person and the people that they come in contact with. If a doctor then recommends the wrong drug to somebody based on incomplete information, the long term outcome can reduce or end a life.

This is why (1) medicine is already so heavily regulated (2) malpractice is such a prevalent concern among doctors and (3) it would only confuse healthcare consumers to endorse a second tier of medical care where the advice they receive might be "less right" than that of the first tier.

Here are some reasonable parallels to the dilemma you bring up:

- Plenty of people in the US can't afford to buy a car. Is it surely better to let them all buy cheaper used cars from foreign countries with crappy brakes, no seatbelts and no airbags?

- Plenty of people can't afford to buy meat as often as they'd like. Is it surely better to let them buy cheaper meat from unknown sources which hasn't been USDA approved?


sithu 40 days ago | link

The reality is that there is already, and will always be, wide variation in quality between providers and institutions. No one should expect perfection from an online service, or anywhere for that matter.

It is this kind of thinking, the fear of missing that 0.01% chance of something serious, the fear of colleagues low opinions, the fear of lawyers and persecution- that perpetuates the current culture of doing as much as possible regardless of probability, adverse events or complications of those actions. You can't cough in an ER these days without getting radiated. You can't be a little short of breath without getting a chest CT. Surely there is a line to draw.

I agree with your overall premise that there should be a minimum quality level and regulations on any service. But I am not convinced that an online doctor (or even Watson) would be any more of a 'quack' than seeing a nurse practitioner/PA in a tiny clinic in suburbia.


lotsofmangos 41 days ago | link

I think attempts like this are symptoms of something really badly broken. It obviously isn't a good solution, but for anyone to even be thinking of seriously implementing it speaks volumes.


joe_the_user 41 days ago | link

Yes, but it is a symptom of the medical system being badly broken or a symptom of how we think about these kinds of problems being badly broken...?

Come to think of it, it's both!


lotsofmangos 41 days ago | link

If you take the concept of business and profit out of medical services and try instead to have a culture of medicine as public service, then ideas such as confidentiality and care become more commonplace.

I am not meaning this as a particularly anti-capitalist view, but I think there are areas of human existence where profit making should be excluded. For certain things, like fire departments, that battle was won long ago, and thankfully we are not in the days of ancient Rome where you would have to argue prices with Marcus Crassus before your house fire was put out. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_firefighting#Rome


pak 45 days ago | link | parent | on: Start-up NY

I found it funny that their current ad, "Don't Back Down",


uses an animation at 0:08 clearly from the STAR experiment at Brookhaven National Laboratory http://www.bnl.gov/rhic/star.asp which is run by Department of Energy (federal) funding and has nothing at all to do with startup technology, or New York taxes for that matter. The facility does happen to be located on Long Island.

A high-energy nuclear physics experiment focused around a mile-wide particle accelerator is so opposite to what startups aim to accomplish (minimum viable products, small teams, bootstrapping, becoming profitable fast) that the reference is nothing but humorous to me.

Perhaps the implication is that there are very smart scientists in the NY area that one can poach off to work at startups as federal funding for high energy physics research declines. :-(


For a similar visualization of the human genome, and to get a sense of how vast that landscape is, check out this genome browser I made a couple years ago:


At the lowest zoom level, one pixel is 280,000 bp (roughly the length of one or two genes, including noncoding segments). You can zoom all the way into the individual base pairs (a, c, t, and g).

There is a track below the chromosome cartoon (cartogram) that shows you the genes if you pull down on its label.


Assuming you meant "conspicuous", the problem with this idea is that when such officers want to participate in less than stellar behavior, they will obscure the numbers (by putting on a jacket, etc.). This could be justified to their superiors for any number of "tactical" reasons. After all, many cops regularly go on duty in unmarked cars or in plainclothes.

Cops are supposed to cite drivers for license plate covers and I see them out in NY the time--how can we expect them to enforce the display of their own numbers?

The only part of the uniform that police can't easily modify is the badge, which is also the part that unambiguously proves that they are police when necessary. (Not that most citizens would know how to authenticate the badge of their local police, much less those of all the federal LEAs [1]).

[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Federal_law_enforcemen...


rdl 52 days ago | link

IMO, raid jackets should have the police ID number written in the same font as POLICE (or other agency) on the back, and on the front in 2-3" high numbers.

The headband of a uniform cap would also work well in addition to a name tape.

There should also be a requirement that police identify themselves by name/number verbally in interactions when it is practicable to do so; e.g. "You are under arrest, I'm Officer Johnson badge #3898390 of the NYPD, ..." Coupled with audio and video recording devices, it helps create a record.


lostlogin 52 days ago | link

I'll add to that. Public access to the recorded video and audio via an established process managed by a third party (to prevent access to inappropriate content which would otherwise occur with unlimited public access).


`highlight = reverse` also flies in the face of TOOWTDI (from PEP 20).

Which is a shame, because this means that convenience methods that Ruby has, e.g. ary.first → ary[0], ary.compact → ary.reject{|x| x.nil? }, ary.map → ary.collect are pruned out of the stdlib and frowned on in contributed libraries. This chilling effect that descends from PEP20 is one of the worse aspects of Python.

They increase readability and should be encouraged. Even if ary.last is one more character, it uses less of my brain to read than ary[-1]. ary.map might be more readable if other code uses ary.reduce, while ary.collect is more readable if other code uses ary.inject, ary.detect, etc.

The OP gave a perfect example with this---in an event handler for a drag operation within an editor, I'd rather communicate that text is being .highlight()-ed, even if the underlying view methods are reversing the pixels. If I used .reverse(), it might confuse a coder into thinking the text itself is being reversed when I drag.

Perhaps if more Pythonistas consider this a "best practice," it will swing favor for amending the Zen. But I wouldn't bet on it.

Also, you're incorrect about help(). help(Foo.highlight) will provide the docstring for Foo.reverse if Foo.highlight = Foo.reverse.


habitue 54 days ago | link

> Even if ary.last is one more character, it uses less of my brain to read than ary[-1]

This has nothing to do with whether it's a good idea. If you read a lot of python code, the latter is easier to grok. And when you have separate ways of doing things, it takes a longer and longer time to absorb those idioms and internalize them to the point where you don't need to think. Adding a bunch of "convenience" methods that do minor permutations on common operations might read better when a line of code is given as an isolated example, because it can read more like an english sentence. But when you're reading over code, the resemblance to english only helps when you're looking at application code which isn't a part of the language or standard library. Having the language and standard library present a single way to do things makes it easier to get to a base level of familiarity.

Endless variety in doing simple things doesn't buy you much.

That being said, the python stdlib is full of stuff built up over many years, so it doesn't follow that idea everywhere. Also, higher level design is never going to fit into the TOOWTDI concept because things at that level are more subjective.


IgorPartola 54 days ago | link

Personally, I do agree with having ary[0] as the "one true way". Doing ary.first will lead to ary.second, which will lead to ary.slippery_slope :). I mean some conveniences are good, while having too many is evil.

> Also, you're incorrect about help(). help(Foo.highlight) will provide the docstring for Foo.reverse if Foo.highlight = Foo.reverse.

That's what I was trying to say. When doing help(Foo.highlight) I want it to say something like "Event handler for highlighting text", not "Reverse pixel color for the given rectangle."


Both the webserver (Apache) and PHP are off by default and have to be enabled separately, the latter by editing a config file.

Essentially, only Mac-owning web developers who enable these things (and serve PHP from their box to the world) are affected by any security problems in PHP. I imagine that most such web developers actually only dev locally and push the code to another server. It's nice that they updated them anyway.


This article's title echoes a paper which continues to influence the medical research and bioinformatics community, "Why Most Published Research Findings Are False" by JPA Ioannidis.


While the OP's article targets some low-hanging fruit, like halting criteria, multiple hypotheses, etc. which should be familiar to anyone serious about bioinformatics and statistics, Ioannidis takes these things a little farther and comes up with a number of corollaries that apply equally well to A/B testing.

After all, the randomized controlled trials that the FDA uses to approve new drugs are essentially identical to what would be called an A/B test on Hacker News.



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