Andy Grove comparing apples and oranges

This post at Pharyngula today is a reply to an interview with Andy Grove over at Newsweek. A commenter over at Pharyngula, Ashutosh also pointed me to a good reply by Derek Lowe.

This is a clear case of an apples and oranges comparison by Dr. Grove. In addition to the points raised by PZ and Derek I’d add the reliability question. It is one thing to design a semiconductor that can have severe problems without harming people and designing drugs that cure the sick without harming them. I mean there is no reset button on a human to give us a clean retry after the new drug crashes the humans life. Any engineer who thinks developing safe and effective drugs can be improved as easily as semiconductor processes is either lacking an understanding of biology and pharmacology or fooling themselves about what they know. Dr. Grove you are embarrassing to a rational thinking engineer like myself. Keep in mind Expertise is real and it matters and it sure seems that chemical engineer Andy Grove has no expertise in pharmacology, biology or medicine.

UPDATES: Oops, I needed to change Mr. to Dr. because he has a doctorate in chemical engineering.

Tyler raises some good points from a CS/Math perspective.

The Slashdot post has some interesting comments.

The Pharma Marketing Blog has a post with an industry insider perspective.

Most pertinent is the Variable Fragment blog’s post, the writer has worked in process development at Intel and now works in biotechnology. What more can you ask for, here’s someone with expertise in both areas.

Finally for silliest comment the award goes to for this bit of ridiculous commentary.

Andy, maybe if researchers would stop looking for non-existent proof of serious man-made global warming they’d have a few minutes to get on with diseases. But that’s not where the funding is.

I mean really, this fool thinks there is but one type of research and researcher so, just re-task them from climate science to pharmacology. I guess he’d like to call on the Geek Squad for all his medical needs too.

Eye-Fi – WiFi for digital cameras

EETimes has put up a couple of articles on the Eye-Fi SD card in the past week, you can read them here and here.

This device is a combination 2Gig SD card and WiFi adapter that turns any camera into a WiFi enabled camera. The scenario mentioned in the articles of sharing photos at a family get together sounds like a great application. However lets think more deeply about it, the scenario presented mentions technical glitches preventing the sharing of the photos on the day. I think throwing more technology at the problem is just as likely to cause technical problems. This is especially true since you can’t change the cards WiFi settings when it is inside a camera. Now if the person hosting the party had a bunch of these cards pre-programmed and tested for their WiFi network then gave them to people to use at the party it would probably work great. But at $100 a piece having a bunch of these things around for a party isn’t economical for most people.

I think a better plan would be to have a PC setup with a multi-format card reader installed. Then be willing to help the party attendees use the card reader to put the photos on the PC for sharing.

Add to this the possibility of a radio transmitter mounted within inches of a sensitive CCD in a camera causing noise in the CCD and the usefulness could be negated. In a few years if camera makers design and test for compatibility with the Eye-Fi this potential problem should go away.

Eye-Fi » Where to Buy