Wednesday August 24th, 2016

Can we hold browser makers responsible

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Can we hold browser makers responsible for giving a rich enough development environments that users get conned into installing malware?

An open letter to Kaiser Permanente

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Hello, good folks at Kaiser!

Just following up to my whine on Twitter, I didn't expect a response, but since I've gotten two @replies I figured I owed y'all this.

In particular, I'm complaining about the recent email entitled: "11 ways to get the most from your plan". This pointed me to the PDF entitled "Kaiser Permanente Annual Notification California 2016".

Now this isn't quite as bad as some of the horror stories I heard in response to my social media griping, one woman told me of getting regular mammogram reminders despite having had a double mastectomy, and there were other tales of absurdity, but: You as an organization have *so* much information about me, when you send generic documents like this you waste my time.

Worse, when that document includes things like "2. Choose or change your primary care doctor", it makes me think "oh, crap, did my recent job change mean Kaiser lost my preferences?", and then I go have to recover my Kaiser password, log in, realize that, no, everything is fine, and, in fact, there's pretty much nothing at all in this document that applies to me.

  • The majority of the offices opening are hundreds of miles from me.
  • Of the ones that are close to me, I might need to know in an urgent situation, in which case I'll be checking the web site in the moment.

The entire message was completely irrelevant to me. And you have my home address, and know that I don't use a whole lot of medical services, so this 6 page PDF could have been distilled to a 3 paragraph email with the stuff that might possibly be relevant.

Which, of course, means that I'm way more likely to just delete future communications from Kaiser unread.

Now I realize that this is a hard problem. There are HIPAA issues, and frankly, it doesn't cost you anything to just let your customers take the costs of sorting out what's relevant and what isn't. However, when the next open enrollment period comes up and I think "well, do I follow my wife over to Western Advantage or stay with Kaiser", the amount of time I've spent figuring out whether I should have read that email will be taken into consideration.

Thanks for your time.

Tuesday August 23rd, 2016

Ducks and Sheds

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Huh, could've sworn I posted this, but well worth a re-post: By way of Eccentric Flower, The Architectural Mirror: Ducks and Sheds:

The terms “duck” and “decorated shed” were codified in the 1972 book Learning from Las Vegas by Robert Venturi, his wife Denise Scott Brown, and their friend Steven Izenour. The book argues that there are two distinctly different types of buildings and that all buildings can be classified as one or the other.

Competitive Endurance Tickling

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Kaiser Permanente knows so much about me

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Kaiser Permanente knows so much about me, including my medical records. Why are they sending me generic inapplicable emails? #bigdatafail

wiped. In a good way. Amazing night calling, the floor moved, I let the mic do all the work and I still feel like I'm hyperventilating

Monday August 22nd, 2016

Did a four mile run 2 mile cool down

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Did a four mile run & 2+ mile cool down with a friend at lunch. Just ate that whole pizza myself.

Made too much dough yesterday

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Made too much dough yesterday, but rather than doing loaves I threw it in the fridge. Lunch today:

Medical notes OTD

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Medical notes of the morning:

Postgraduate Medical Journal (March 1973) 49, 203-209. CASE REPORTS: Features of a successful therapeutic fast of 382 days' duration (PDF)

Patient A.B. aged 27 years, weighed on admission 456 lb (207 kg). During the 382 days of his fast, vitamin supplements were given daily as 'Multivite' (BDH), vitamin C and yeast for the first 10 months and as 'Paladac' (Parke Davis), for the last 3 months. Non-caloric fluids were allowed ad libitum. From Day 93 to Day 162 only, he was given potassium supplements (two effervescent potassium tablets BPC supplying 13 mEq daily) and from Day 345 to Day 355 only he was given sodium supplements (2 5 g sodium chloride daily). No other drug treatment was given. Initially, the patient was treated in hospital but for the greater part of the time he was allowed home, attending regularly as an out-patient for check-up.

Even 45 years ago. Apparently the hard part is keeping the patient alive during the re- feeding period, this one was successful.

In other news Paracetamol: widely used and largely ineffective. The widely used painkiller isn't effective for pain, and may be a killer.

The bottom line is that paracetamol doesn’t effectively relieve pain but has demonstrable rare but serious adverse events. If it were just a few tablets, then maybe we could ignore it, but it isn’t. Paracetamol consumption is measured not in kilograms, not even tons, but thousands of tons a year. Both public health and ethical questions are being ignored.

Medical notes OTD

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Medical notes of the morning:

Postgraduate Medical Journal (March 1973) 49, 203-209. CASE REPORTS: Features of a successful therapeutic fast of 382 days' duration (PDF)

Patient A.B. aged 27 years, weighed on admission 456 lb (207 kg). During the 382 days of his fast, vitamin supplements were given daily as 'Multivite' (BDH), vitamin C and yeast for the first 10 months and as 'Paladac' (Parke Davis), for the last 3 months. Non-caloric fluids were allowed ad libitum. From Day 93 to Day 162 only, he was given potassium supplements (two effervescent potassium tablets BPC supplying 13 mEq daily) and from Day 345 to Day 355 only he was given sodium supplements (2 5 g sodium chloride daily). No other drug treatment was given. Initially, the patient was treated in hospital but for the greater part of the time he was allowed home, attending regularly as an out-patient for check-up.

Even 45 years ago. Apparently the hard part is keeping the patient alive during the re- feeding period, this one was successful.

In other news Paracetamol: widely used and largely ineffective. The widely used painkiller isn't effective for pain, and may be a killer.

The bottom line is that paracetamol doesn’t effectively relieve pain but has demonstrable rare but serious adverse events. If it were just a few tablets, then maybe we could ignore it, but it isn’t. Paracetamol consumption is measured not in kilograms, not even tons, but thousands of tons a year. Both public health and ethical questions are being ignored.

Exactly as planned

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Now that assisted suicide for terminally ill people is legal in California, we're going to have to start figuring out the social customs that go with it. This is not an academic question in my circles right now, so it's great to read one tale of how to do it: I arrived at my friend's party. A few hours later she died, exactly as planned.

Walking to the store

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Walking to the store, came across evidence of an excited homecoming...

Sunday August 21st, 2016

Congrats to this year's Hugo

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Congrats to this year's Hugo winners! Am kinda bummed about Chuck Tingle, though.

Thursday August 18th, 2016

Bundled parking

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Housing Policy Debate: Hidden Costs and Deadweight Losses: Bundled Parking and Residential Rents in the Metropolitan United States, C. J. Gabbe & Gregory Pierce:

... We find that the cost of garage parking to renter households is approximately $1,700 per year, or an additional 17% of a housing unit’s rent. In addition to the magnitude of this transport cost burden being effectively hidden in housing prices, the lack of rental housing without bundled parking imposes a steep cost on carless renters—commonly the lowest income households—who may be paying for parking that they do not need or want. ...

Cool episode

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Cool episode, Tina Horn (of Why Are People Into That?) on being a pro domme, index-card based CRM, and more http://www.theheartradio.org/diaries/thebighouse

Removing unproductive infrastructure

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Some great messages here about why we have building and planning codes and make developers conform to them. Also why we should be taking maintenance and ongoing tax base into account when we set up development fees. I believe that we need to see a hell of a lot more of this as we come to the end-of-life of suburbs and sprawl that don't pay for themselves, and cities decide to stop subsidizing that lifestyle.

City of Omaha bulldozes pothole-filled street after complaints, residents still complaining about new dirt road

RT bluegleam‏ @ctrlcreep:

disproof of lovecraft: the creatures of the void would need huge eyes to capture any light at all, making them ADORABLE

Wednesday August 17th, 2016

Watching the console of a little debug

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Watching the console of a little debug web server in a throwaway VM on a weird port. The bot web traffic poking around is bizarre.

Tuesday August 16th, 2016

Okay, I need a monologue. A minute or two. Totally open to suggestions, especially if they reveal things that I didn't know about me.

series of tweets about the hack of the

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This series of tweets about the hack of the NSA malware staging server is worth reading: https://twitter.com/Snowden/status/765513662597623808

I miss an office

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I miss an office. If only because I can't build an "in case of emergency, break glass" case for business tiaras http://shop.getbullish.com/collections/business-tiaras

IRS scam robo call

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IRS scam robo call. This massive telecommunications surveillance network, and no automated drone strikes on these people? Really?

Monday August 15th, 2016

Consent musings of the morning

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Geeks, MOPs and sociopaths

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I need to delve deeper into this one, but I realized something as I was reading it: All of the cool subcultures I've run into have had get-togethers where the format was conversation. All of the tech get-togethers I've been to in the past... while ... decade? ... have been presentation format.

Need more conversation, fewer presentations.

Geeks, MOPs, and sociopaths in subculture evolution:

Subcultures were the main creative cultural force from roughly 1975 to 2000, when they stopped working. Why?

One reason—among several—is that as soon as subcultures start getting really interesting, they get invaded by muggles, who ruin them. Subcultures have a predictable lifecycle, in which popularity causes death. Eventually—around 2000—everyone understood this, and gave up hoping some subculture could somehow escape this dynamic.

Sunday August 14th, 2016

Well there's a good start: Philadelphia judge overturns 158 convictions tied to rogue narcotics cops

Public defender Bradley S. Bridge estimated that Friday's total brings to 560 the convictions involving the seven officers that have been vacated since they were indicted by a federal grand jury in July 2014.

Friday August 12th, 2016

Everything is fucked

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Really wish I had time to go through and read these, this looks fascinating: Everything is fucked: The syllabus:

In a much-discussed article at Slate, social psychologist Michael Inzlicht told a reporter, “Meta-analyses are fucked” (Engber, 2016). What does it mean, in science, for something to be fucked? Fucked needs to mean more than that something is complicated or must be undertaken with thought and care, as that would be trivially true of everything in science. In this class we will go a step further and say that something is fucked if it presents hard conceptual challenges to which implementable, real-world solutions for working scientists are either not available or routinely ignored in practice.</blockquote.

not having kids

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DEA extortion

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