Multiple Drugs Might Give Cancer a Whammy

I don't know why the BBC gave this story the spin that they did. The article notes that one drug by itself did no good in killing drug-resistant tumors, but two in combination did. But later the article states,Professor Lawrence Young, of Cancer Research UK's Institute for Cancer Studies in Birmingham, told BBC News Online that combinations of drugs were already regularly used in cancer treatment. However, he said they tended to be used on a trial and error basis. I don't know if they quoted him correctly. For the form of cancer I was treated for in 1998, Hodgkin's Disease, there are two multi-drug protocols that are extremely effective: ABVD and MOPP. However, Hodgkin's is one of the great successes in cancer treatment, with long-term survival rates approaching 90 percent in the latest numbers I saw versus something like 25 percent 30 years ago. Perhaps the treatment mentioned in the article was the result of a different process of discovery.

Glad to Be (Primarily) a Mac User

This column by Walt Mossberg perfectly captures the problem with all of the many different warnings that a properly protected Windows user receives all the time -- and why I'm glad to be a Mac user. I use a Mac most of the time for most of what I do as a desktop user, and I don't get warnings, alerts, errors, etc.Every week or three, Software Update alerts me to some new software which I download when I have time. It's rarely anything earth shattering, even when it's a security update. Most of Apple's security fixes address problems that haven't yet been exploited but were found by the open-source community or Darwin developer community. I have my firewall set minimally because Apple keeps all of its ports closed by default. I have a few layers of spam filtering which work better or worse, but which I have set to silent. My Mac isn't a nattering pile of warnings -- it's generally quiet.

Glaser Sues Himself

I can't seem to light a fire under the fact that Rob Glaser, chairman and CEO of Real Networks, is suing himself. His official biography excludes the fact that he is a part-owner of the Seattle Mariners, and thus Real's suit against Major League Baseball is actually in part a suit against himself as one of the owners that forms MLB. Technically, they're suing the multimedia part of MLB.I've contacted several reporters, and none thinks it's important enough to mention. But given Glaser's position, doesn't this add another angle to the story that he was unable to negotiate a private way out of this situation even with his fellow owners? (News.google.com doesn't reveal any recent stories about Glaser, Real, and The Mariners, by the way, so nobody appears to be making this connection.) It's also perplexing that it's almost impossible to find out who the owners of a team are. The Mariners site has information only about the players and stadium; MLB's site is about the game and the players. Sure, that's fine, but it's a multi-billion-dollar business, and you'd expect to see some more of the company information, too.

More Realistic Report on Laptops in Schools

This report from Pennsylvania shows that laptops in schools are a mixed blessing in a more realistic analysis than the constantly glowing but entirely anecdotal stream of news from Maine. In PA, computers are tools, but they also require care and feeding which takes time. And students forget to bring laptops 50 percent of the time when they're actually needed to projects in class. (This would argue that students don't need the laptops at home all the time and perhaps they don't all individually need laptops -- more of a pooled system could be better.)