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Medicine

Swine Flu Kills Obese People Disproportionately 661

Posted by timothy
from the super-size-someone-else-please dept.
Philip K Dickhead writes "Bloomberg is reporting that the World Health Organization discovered a single, surprising characteristic that's emerged among swine flu victims who become severely ill: They are all fat. Infected people with a body mass index greater than 40 suffer respiratory complications that are harder to treat and can be fatal. The virus appears to be on a collision course with the obesity epidemic. WHO officials are gathering statistics to confirm and understand this development. 'It's very likely that if we went back retrospectively and looked at people who did poorly during seasonal flu, what would shake out is that obesity would be one of the risks.' Fat cells secrete chemicals that cause chronic, low-level inflammation that can hamper the body's immune response and narrow the airways, says Tim Armstrong, a doctor working in the WHO's chronic diseases department in Geneva."
Portables

Lies, Damn Lies, and Battery-Life Statistics 200

Posted by kdawson
from the guilty-as-charged dept.
theodp writes "What if automakers measured gas mileage by rolling their cars downhill with their engines idling? They might, Newsweek's Daniel Lyons suggests, if they took inspiration from the MobileMark 2007 notebook battery-life benchmark test, the creation of a consortium called BAPCo, whose members are — surprise — computer makers and other tech companies. Laptops score big numbers, Lyons explains, because they're tested with screens dimmed to 20%-30% of full brightness, Wi-Fi turned off, and the main processor chip running at 7.5% of capacity. Professional reviewers see company-generated battery-life claims as a joke. 'The rule of thumb is that in real-world use you get about 50 percent of rated battery life,' says a Gizmodo associate editor. Leading the call for reform is the not-necessarily-altruistic AMD, who gripes that MM07 was created in Intel's labs and rigged so Intel chips would outscore AMD chips, which draw more power when idle."
Security

Hackers Find Remote iPhone Crack 114

Posted by kdawson
from the jailbreaking-via-mortar dept.
Al writes "Two researchers have found a way to run unauthorized code on an iPhone remotely. This is different than 'jailbreaking,' which requires physical access to the device. Normally applications have to be signed cryptographically by Apple in order to run. But Charles Miller of Independent Security Evaluators and Vincenzo Iozzo from the University of Milan found more than one instance in which Apple failed to prevent unauthorized data from executing. This means that a program can be loaded into memory as a non-executable block of data, after which the attacker can essentially flip a programmatic switch and make the data executable. The trick is significant, say Miller and Iozzo, because it provides a way to do something on a device after making use of a remote exploit. Details will be presented next month at the Black Hat Conference in Las Vegas." The attack was developed on version 2.0 of the iPhone software, and the researchers don't know if it will work when 3.0 is released.

Comment: Home automation so hard? (Score 1) 170

by Slartibartfass (#28086793) Attached to: ZigBee Pro, the New Home Automation Standard?
I don't understand what the problem with home automation is. Why does it need to be decentralized? You could have one switch station in the cellar, a small router running Linux would be fine. Then you connect that to a self-built electric autoswitchboard, connect a few sensors and cameras to the Linux box and do the rest in software. No need for proprietary light switches, but of course you need a separate wire for every light switch/bulb, a problem which can be solved by small "satellites" in each room, minimizing the need for extra copper. That solution is far superior IMO, you could for example trace the people in the house and only have lights in the rooms with actual persons in them, same for the speakers. Imagine, the music follows you!

Comment: Summary is wrong - Diet coke IS better (Score 1) 420

by Slartibartfass (#28036969) Attached to: Cola Consumption Can Lead To Muscle Problems
TFA states that "It appears that hypokalaemia can be caused by excessive consumption of three of the most common ingredients in cola drinks â" glucose, fructose and caffeine." Glucose and Fructose are not contained in diet coke. I drink about 5-6l of diet coke per day and don't experience any prolems.

Comment: Re:Godwin's Law Bait. (Score 1) 215

by Slartibartfass (#27540371) Attached to: German Wikileaks Domain Suspended Without Warning

> As a side note: The German minister of the interior sometimes reminds me about doctor Strange Love.

For those who don't know him:
http://www.pandur2000.com/wp-content/uploads/schaeuble_dw_politi_486850g.jpg
and http://www.netreaper.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/schaeuble-mit-stasi-20-flyer1.jpg

Debian

Debian Gets FreeBSD Kernel Support 425

Posted by timothy
from the types-like-this-kept-me-out-of-good-schools dept.
mu22le writes "Today Debian gets one step closer to really becoming 'the universal operating system' by adding two architectures based on the FreeBSD kernel to the unstable archive. This does not mean that the Debian project is ditching the Linux kernel; Debian users will be able to choose which kernel they want to install (at least on on the i386 and amd64 architectures) and get more or less the same Debian operating system they are used to. This makes Debian the first distribution, and probably the first large OS, to support two completely different kernels at the same time."

"If you want to eat hippopatomus, you've got to pay the freight." -- attributed to an IBM guy, about why IBM software uses so much memory

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