Monday July 23rd, 2018

Supplements and cardiac health

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Association of Multivitamin and Mineral Supplementation and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease — A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Conclusions: Our meta-analysis of clinical trials and prospective cohort studies demonstrates that MVM supplementation does not improve cardiovascular outcomes in the general population.

Rockstar - The Computer Language

But why?

Mainly because if we make Rockstar a real (and completely pointless) programming language, then recruiters and hiring managers won't be able to talk about 'rockstar developers' any more.

Also 'cos it's kinda fun and any language based on the idea of compiling Meatloaf lyrics has to be worth a look, right?

Also we can make stickers. Who doesn't want a sticker on their laptop saying 'CERTIFIED ROCKSTAR DEVELOPER'?

Saturday July 21st, 2018

Oregon Standoff

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Friday July 20th, 2018

Secrets are a Captive Country

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Secrets Are a Captive Country — My grandfather had never told me about his trip to the Soviet Union in the sixties, but I don’t know why I was surprised. He never told me anything, not even my grandmother’s name.

When someone is forced to repeat an obvious lie, Hannah Arendt observed, even if they don’t believe the lie, through repetition of the lie they submit to the liar. They are forced to choose the world contained by the lie. Self-deception can become a matter of survival. If you are constantly affirming the lie, why not believe it? At least believe it sometimes, or with half of your mind, or because you stop being able to comprehend a world outside of the lie. When do you start to believe that Jazz is dangerous, and that it’s a slippery slope from loving jazz to betraying your family, to betraying your nation, to betraying yourself? Certain lies are exercises in power and social control. What happens when the lie is dismantled? Were the suicides after Khrushchev’s secret speech a reaction to the disclosure of these lies? Was it a question of complicity? Was the horror too much?

Via MeFi


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Alternative Medicine and cancer

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Yale University Press Release: Complementary medicine for cancer can decrease survival:

People who received complementary therapy for curable cancers were more likely to refuse at least one component of their conventional cancer treatment, and were more likely to die as a result, according to researchers from Yale Cancer Center and the Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy and Effectiveness Research Center (COPPER) at Yale School of Medicine. The findings were reported today online in JAMA Oncology.

Press Release at Using only alternative medicine for cancer linked to lower survival rate:

“We became interested in this topic after seeing too many patients present in our clinics with advanced cancers that were treated with ineffective and unproven alternative therapies alone,” said the study’s senior author, Dr. James B. Yu, associate professor of therapeutic radiology at Yale Cancer Center.

JAMA Oncology: Complementary Medicine, Refusal of Conventional Cancer Therapy, and Survival Among Patients With Curable Cancers:

Findings In this cohort study of 1 901 815 patients, use of complementary medicine varied by several factors and was associated with refusal of conventional cancer treatment, and with a 2-fold greater risk of death compared with patients who had no complementary medicine use.

City supports 13 year old entrepreneur

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CBS4 Minneapolis Minnesota: Teen Entrepreneur Gets OK To Sell ‘Old Fashioned’ Hot Dogs (Warning: Autoplay video)

Teen's hot dog stand serves up food, inspiration with Minneapolis inspectors' blessing

Authorities Were Called On A 13-Year-Old Selling Hot Dogs, But His City Had His Back

“When I realized what it was, I said, ‘No, we’re not going to just go in and shut him down like we would an unlicensed vendor,” Dan Huff, who works as the city’s environmental health director, told CNN. “We can help him get his permit. Let’s make this a positive thing and help him become a small business owner.”

Thursday July 19th, 2018

Spreading Messages and Third-Person Effects

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Third-Person Effects on Publication of a Holocaust-Denial Advertisement Vincent Price, David Tewksbury, Li-Ning Huang Journal of Communication, Volume 48, Issue 2, 1 June 1998, Pages 3–26.


We examine the potential of third-person effects to influence editorial behavior. Two studies investigated college students' judgments about a controversial advertisement and its suitability for publication in their college newspaper. The advertisement in question, printed in many college newspapers in the early 1990s, claimed that the Nazi campaign against the Jews in the World War II was an exaggeration. Study 1 confirmed a correlation between students' third-person effect perceptions and opposition to publishing the advertisement. Jewish students produced larger third-person effects and were significantly less willing to print the advertisement. These results suggest that those with interests at stake perceived the message as especially likely to influence others, and thus dangerous. However, a closer inspection of the data, followed up experimentally in study 2, suggests that both third-person effects and publication decisions were primarily a function of variance in subjects' perceived impact of the message on themselves, not on others. We discuss the implications of these findings for future research.

GPS spoofing OTD

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Ars Technica: A $225 GPS spoofer can send sat-nav-guided vehicles into oncoming traffic * is a bit of an overstatement, but the general point that if you get someone in an unfamiliar place who's overly reliant on GPS you can seriously mess with them, and that this has implications for automated vehicles, is a good one:

“Our study demonstrated the initial feasibility of manipulating the road navigation system through targeted GPS spoofing,” the researchers, from Virginia Tech, China’s University of Electronic Sciences and Technology, and Microsoft Research, wrote in an 18-page paper. “The threat becomes more realistic as car makers are adding autopilot features so that human drivers can be less involved (or completely disengaged).”

Russian propaganda and local news sources

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NPR: Russian Influence Campaign Sought To Exploit Americans' Trust In Local News

Another twist: These accounts apparently never spread misinformation. In fact, they posted real local news, serving as sleeper accounts building trust and readership for some future, unforeseen effort.

"They set them up for a reason. And if at any given moment, they wanted to operationalize this network of what seemed to be local American news handles, they can significantly influence the narrative on a breaking news story," Schafer told NPR. "But now instead of just showing up online and flooding it with news sites, they have these accounts with two years of credible history."

Of course if you wanted to tell me that the Russians are behind the editorial and letters to the editor pages on actual physical local newspapers in order to undermine the United States, well, that's a theory that also matches the available evidence...

Elon Musk and the Thai cave rescue

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XY pregnancy

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Report of Fertility in a Woman with a Predominantly 46,XY Karyotype in a Family with Multiple Disorders of Sexual Development

... Of course, it should be noted that the incidence of normal fertile females who have a 46,XY karyotype is not known because it is not routine to check the karyotype in fertile women. ...

Now that we're getting the tools to really measure the biology, we're discovering just how complicated sex and gender are...

Remote Control Voting Machines

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Top Voting Machine Vendor Admits It Installed Remote-Access Software on Systems Sold to States:

In a letter sent to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) in April and obtained recently by Motherboard, Election Systems and Software acknowledged that it had "provided pcAnywhere remote connection software … to a small number of customers between 2000 and 2006," which was installed on the election-management system ES&S sold them.

The statement contradicts what the company told me and fact checkers for a story I wrote for the New York Times in February. At that time, a spokesperson said ES&S had never installed pcAnywhere on any election system it sold. "None of the employees, … including long-tenured employees, has any knowledge that our voting systems have ever been sold with remote-access software," the spokesperson said.

Wednesday July 18th, 2018

easy to lose by accident

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Phil Birnbaum (of Sabermetric fame): An Important Life Lesson from Blackjack and Baseball — You gain more by not being stupid than you do by being smart.

Now, the interesting part. The same thing applies about winning and losing by accident. It's hard to beat the other teams by accident, but it's easy to lose to the other teams by accident.

Tuesday July 17th, 2018

Die Hardererest

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With the release of Skyscraper, "Die Hard, but in a building", and with Matt Haughey's observation that

The Skyscraper movie has done something totally unprecedented in Hollywood: Neve Campbell, plays the Rock's wife and is ONLY 2 YEARS YOUNGER THAN HIM.

to which Dan Stoza observed that

When Die Hard was released, Bonnie Bedelia was 40, 7 years *older* than Bruce Willis.

It's worth looking back at the classic: Making fists with your toes: Towards a feminist analysis of Die Hard.

Via MeFi.

Monday July 16th, 2018

If I setSelectable

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If I setSelectable:YES on my NSTextView, it disappears. And I can't edit the data in it. And I know it's some simple but obscure flag that I'm not setting...

That feeling when This document is no

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That feeling when "This document is no longer being updated. For the latest information about Apple SDKs, visit the documentation website."

Trafficked children.... not.

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RT Hannah Dreier @hannahdreier

The government said kids had to be taken at the border because MS-13 gang members kept posing as families. Yesterday, the government revealed it found seven cases of fake parents: 1 was actually an uncle, 2 were grandmothers, and 4 are under investigation.

What's most amazing about the "but what about the trafficked children?" arguments that were going around is how few people have talked to those who've been in foster care. Even those who had good experiences in foster care.

Three shooters

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‘There were three shooters’ — Two Oklahoma citizens killed an active shooter, and it's not as simple as it sounds. Interesting read on various situations where civilians carrying killed active shooters, and some where things didn't go as cleanly.

Bad at self-diagnoses

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Sunday July 15th, 2018

Bicycle drive shaft

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Via Shadow: CeramicSpeed 99% Efficient Drive Shaft // Chain Free Bike // Eurobike 2018 (YouTube video). Looks cool although in the prototype stage, and there are some interesting mechanical issues to resolve...

...needs a highway

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boat did not work well

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The boat did not work well: too much slip in the rope drive, the paddles were too deep in the water.

Saturday July 14th, 2018

Isuppose that strictly speaking the no

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Isuppose that strictly speaking the "no parking" signage doesn't actually extend on to the sidewalk...

Friday July 13th, 2018

Alma has arrived

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The Alma has arrived. Might make logistics for launching our art boat tomorrow interesting...

SESTA/FOSTA hampers prosecution of pimps

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Running Blind: IMPD arrests first suspected pimp in 7 months — with Backpage gone, cases have dried up

“We’ve been a little bit blinded lately because they shut Backpage down,” Daggy said. “I get the reasoning behind it, and the ethics behind it, however, it has blinded us. We used to look at Backpage as a trap for human traffickers and pimps.”

U.S. authorities seized Backpage, which has been accused of facilitating human trafficking and prostitution, in April. Legislation signed by President Donald Trump in April known as SESTA-FOSTA (Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act and Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act) made it illegal to knowingly assist, facilitate or support sex trafficking and removed immunity for civil liability that online services previously had. The result has been that other sites like Backpage, including Craigslist’s personals section, have gone dark.

Indianapolis vice cop says SESTA/FOSTA closure of Backpage has ‘blinded’ investigators

AppKit: Sure, you can instantiate a control! You're just gonna have to always call setTranslatesAutoresizingMaskIntoConstraints:NO on it before you add it to anything, because that's intuitive.

Philly Bike Maps

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State of Forensics

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Two FBI officials say the state of forensics is fine, here's why they're wrong. From fingerprints to DNA, why that evidence isn't as clear cut as the expert witness would have you believe.