Month: October 2014

Ben Goldacre: Bad pharma

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As with Goldacre’s previous book, Bad Science, Bad Pharma is a critical review, but now where he scrutinizes Big Pharma and other parts of the medical industrial complex. His exposé is perhaps not that original, but his overview is fine and his suggestions for improvements worth considering for policy makers and others in the medical industrial complex. A bought this book and then ran into Peter Gøtzsche’s book “Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime” in its Danish incarnation, and must say I switched to Gøtzsche’s book and completed that before continuing with Goldacre’s. I found more bite in Gøtzsche’s book (he compares the drug industry with the mafia!) and he has the advantage of doing original research in the field, while Goldacre’s contribution to the medical literature has been more discussive, – as far as I can determine. But Gøtzsche’s and Goldacre’s books support each other well in addressing problems with the drug regulation: We are not dealing with a single author which sees problems. We may also take they differences in suggested solutions as a indication that there may be no one simple solution, e.g., should we let the state make clinical trials or would that make a considerable burden on taxpayers? It may relieve the pharmaceutical industry of expensive trials and let the society – perhaps – get more unbiased results.

Reviewed on Librarything.

Virtual machine for Python with Vagrant

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I may have managed to setup a virtual machine with Vagrant, partially following instructions from the vagrant homepage.

$ sudo aptitude purge vagrant virtualbox virtualbox-dkms virtualbox-qt
$ locate Vagrantfile
$ rm -r ~/.vagrant.d/
$ rm -r ~/virtual
$ rm ~/Vagrantfile 

$ sudo aptitude install vagrant
$ vagrant init hashicorp/precise32
$ vagrant up
There was a problem with the configuration of Vagrant. The error message(s)
are printed below:

vm:
* The box 'hashicorp/precise32' could not be found.

$ vagrant box add precise32 http://files.vagrantup.com/precise32.box
$ ls -l .vagrant.d/boxes/precise32
total 288340
-rw------- 1 fnielsen fnielsen 295237632 Oct  3 15:58 box-disk1.vmdk
-rw------- 1 fnielsen fnielsen     14103 Oct  3 15:58 box.ovf
-rw-r--r-- 1 fnielsen fnielsen       505 Oct  3 15:58 Vagrantfile

$ vagrant up
There was a problem with the configuration of Vagrant. The error message(s)
are printed below:

vm:
* The box 'hashicorp/precise32' could not be found.

$ vagrant box remove precise32
$ vagrant box add precise http://cloud-images.ubuntu.com/vagrant/precise/current/precise-server-cloudimg-i386-vagrant-disk1.box
$ rm Vagrantfile
$ vagrant init precise
$ vagrant up
$ vagrant ssh 
$ uname -a
Linux vagrant-ubuntu-precise-32 3.2.0-69-virtual #103-Ubuntu SMP Tue Sep 2 05:28:41 UTC 2014 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux
$ whoami
vagrant


$ sudo aptitude install python-pip
$ sudo pip install numpy
$ sudo aptitude install python-dev
$ sudo pip install numpy
$ python
>>> import numpy
>>> f = open('Hello, virtual world.txt', 'w')
>>> f.write('Hello, virtual world')
>>> f.close()
>>> exit()
$ strings ~/VirtualBox\ VMs/fnielsen_1412345235/box-disk1.vmdk | grep 'Hello, virtual world.txt'
Hello, virtual world.txt
Hello, virtual world.txt

Somewhere inbetween I erased old Virtualbox files in “VirtualBox VMs” directory: “rm -r test_1406195091/” and “rm -r pythoner/”.