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    I was curious about this sentence:

    “or downloads some code to let them choose generic insulin for their implanted insulin pump.”

    I couldn’t figure out whether there really are such pumps, or if this was a hypothetical scenario. However, I did find some interesting articles about why there is NO generic insulin in the first place (Which in turn suggests this is a hypothetical scenario not clearly marked by the author tut, tut).

    In brief (All the articles reference a NEJM 2015 paper on this topic.) :

    1. Companies keep tweaking Insulin (not necessarily making it better), discontinue the old (patent expiring) versions and lobby doctors to recommend the new versions instead of the old one. Note this convenient circular business logic.
    2. A major part of the cost of Insulin is in storage and transport which serve as a barrier to entry for new firms, not necessarily the patents themselves

    Refs

    1. original NJEM article - Paywalled.
    2. NPR
    3. WebMD
    4. Business Insider
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      I know much of this is “beneath” many of us technically, but I find reading this kind of explanation helps me order my thoughts about the issues – and it’s also useful to share with less-technical contacts.

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        Doesn’t link or cite any sources–especially for dieselgate supposedly killing people.

        I loves me some doctorow, but badly-cited fearmongering is no good.

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          I agree with @angersock here about fearmongering.

          From my perspective the web is already like this - I run chrome on OpenBSD and with my default user-agent I get a totally different experience to when I set my user agent to Windows NT, as shown in this picture: https://www.schoolio.co.uk/images/chrome.png

          Web Software cheats the best…

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              A peer-reviewed study published in Environmental Research Letters estimated that approximately 59 premature deaths will be caused by the excess pollution produced between 2008 and 2015 by vehicles equipped with the defeat device in the United States, the majority due to particulate pollution (87%) with the remainder due to ozone (13%).

              So, over 7 years, an estimated 59 premature deaths. That’s a bit less than 9 deaths per year, and in its entirety less than the daily deaths caused by car accidents in the US. And the source is one study published by an online journal.

              It’s really poor policymaking to use such studies and to treat them with undue urgency, especially if the mechanism of action is handwavy at-a-distance stuff.

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                I didn’t really follow (or get?) the whole anger/friendly saga… Are you being factious now?

                Doctorow’s piece isn’t about any one device or corporation. It’s asking you to imagine a world where every device is programmed to maximize its owner’s profit. 1. You won’t be the owner and 2. The devices can’t max their owners’ profits without minimizing yours–basically by scamming you every time they may get away with it.

                Within that context, isn’t it fair to point out that your pocketbook won’t be the only casualty? That some rules are meant to keep poison out of the air, and there will surely be more poison in the air of this new “every-thing-cheats” world?