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Medicine

Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75" 478

Posted by samzenpus
from the end-of-the-line dept.
HughPickens.com writes Ezekiel J. Emanuel, director of the Clinical Bioethics Department at the US National Institutes of Health, writes at The Atlantic that there is a simple truth that many of us seem to resist: living too long renders many of us, if not disabled, then faltering and declining, a state that may not be worse than death but is nonetheless deprived. "It robs us of our creativity and ability to contribute to work, society, the world. It transforms how people experience us, relate to us, and, most important, remember us. We are no longer remembered as vibrant and engaged but as feeble, ineffectual, even pathetic." Emanuel says that he is isn't asking for more time than is likely nor foreshortening his life but is talking about the kind and amount of health care he will consent to after 75. "Once I have lived to 75, my approach to my health care will completely change. I won't actively end my life. But I won't try to prolong it, either." Emanuel says that Americans seem to be obsessed with exercising, doing mental puzzles, consuming various juice and protein concoctions, sticking to strict diets, and popping vitamins and supplements, all in a valiant effort to cheat death and prolong life as long as possible. "I reject this aspiration. I think this manic desperation to endlessly extend life is misguided and potentially destructive. For many reasons, 75 is a pretty good age to aim to stop."

Comment: Re: It's just a tool I guess (Score 1) 294

by flynt (#46357145) Attached to: Doctors Say New Pain Pill Is "Genuinely Frightening"

The Phase III study "Study 801" of the compound under discussion did have an open-label run-in period, *and* was placebo controlled.

I believe the ct.gov link below is the study under consideration. Regardless, the press release mentions the placebo control.

http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/...

http://ir.zogenix.com/phoenix....

From the last link:

Zohydro ER was studied in over 1,100 people living with chronic pain who participated in the pivotal Phase 3 efficacy study or an open-label Phase 3 long-term safety study. The efficacy study that enrolled over 500 subjects with chronic low back pain met the primary endpoint in demonstrating that treatment with Zohydro ER resulted in significantly improved chronic pain relief compared to placebo.

Transportation

Tesla Working On Autonomous Cars: Musk Wants Teslas With Auto-Pilot 287

Posted by Soulskill
from the go-big-or-go-home dept.
cartechboy writes "Do you like driving? Well then, you're going to hate the future, because automakers are racing to beat each other to the starting line of the self-driving car race. By 2020, autonomous vehicles may arrive from Cadillac, Nissan, Volvo, Mercedes, Audi, and even Google. But now Tesla wants to jump into the ring. CEO Elon Musk told the Financial Times that the electric-car maker will build a self-driving car...within three years. You'll note that's much sooner than 2020, which means Tesla would beat other, larger automakers to the punch. For those who fear self-driving cars, Musk said the autonomous Tesla could drive 90 percent of the time, but that in his opinion, a vehicle without a human in the cockpit isn't feasible. Like it or not, our roads will probably be safer because you won't actually be driving — well, OK, that other guy who's texting or talking or drinking a huge coffee or ... you get the idea."
Microsoft

Microsoft Surface Pro Reviews Arrive 320

Posted by Soulskill
from the evaluating-the-turducken-of-modern-computing dept.
The release date is approaching for Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet, and reviews for the new device have started appearing. The Surface Pro differs from the Surface in that it runs a full version of Windows 8 Pro, rather than the tablet-centric Windows RT. It also has much beefier hardware specs: 4GB RAM, an Intel Core i5 CPU, and a full HD display with 10-point multitouch. Ars describes it as having the expected good performance at the expected costs of heat, noise, and battery life. "This is not an all-day machine. Surface RT probably is. But Surface Pro is not." The review praises the screen and the stylus, but points out some odd scaling issues as well. The Verge's review also mentions the scaling, and notes the strangeness of dealing with issues inherent to a Windows desktop OS — like antivirus — on a tablet. BGR looks at the big picture, calling the Surface Pro Microsoft's "declaration of war" on its hardware partners. All three reviews dwell on how the Surface Pro exists at the intersection of laptop and tablet, and doesn't quite fulfill either role. Ars says, "From the tablet perspective, Surface Pro is not acceptable. It gets too hot for a hand-held device, its battery life is woefully inadequate, and it's too thick and heavy to be comfortable to hand hold for long sessions. ... From a laptop perspective, Surface Pro falls down too. The traditional laptop has a stiff hinge to hold the screen at an angle of your choosing. ... In practice, the Surface RT and Surface Pro have a bigger footprint on my lap even than my old 15-inch MacBook Pro. And if I move a little, whomp, the screen drops off the back of my knees and folds out of sight." The Verge adds, "The real dealbreaker for me was that it's just unusable in my most common position — sitting on my couch, feet on the coffee table, with the computer on my lap."
Cloud

Dropbox Password Goof Let Any Password Work For 4 Hours 185

Posted by timothy
from the you'll-find-we're-very-open-minded. dept.
tekgoblin writes "Dropbox confirmed today that for some time yesterday, any user's account was accessible without a password. The glitch was a programming error related to a code update and accounts were only vulnerable from around 1:54 pm PST to 5:46pm PST." "Only" is relative; as reader zonky puts it, "It took around 4 hours from deployment for Dropbox to notice they'd entirely broken their authentication scheme."
Portables

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Choose a Windows Laptop? 898

Posted by samzenpus
from the throw-a-dart dept.
jfruhlinger writes "I'm a Mac guy. When our 2004-era Windows XP laptop, which was used primarily by my wife, died last summer, I got myself a new MacBook Pro and she inherited my still serviceable 2008 MacBook. But after about six months, she hasn't gotten used to it, and wants a Windows machine. I don't have an ideological problem with this — it'd be her computer, and we've got a bit of money stashed away to pay for it. But trying to pick one out is my job, and I find the the whole process bewildering. Apple's product differentiation is great at defeating the paradox of choice — you have a few base models, the difference between which is quite obvious, and you can customize each. The Windows world seems totally different. Even once I've settled on a vendor for a Windows laptop (something I haven't done yet), each seems to have a bewildering array of product lines with similar specs. Often models that you find in electronics or office supply stores that seem promising in terms of form factor are exclusive to those stores and can't be found online. Obviously people do navigate this process, but I'm just feeling out of my depth. How would Slashdotters go about picking a solid, basic laptop for Web surfing and document editing that won't be obsolete in two years?"
Government

Blogger Fined $60K For Telling the Truth 433

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-can't-handle-the-truth dept.
jfruhlinger writes "'Johnny Northside,' a Minneapolis blogger with less than 500 readers a day, revealed that a University of Minnesota researcher studying mortgage fraud had been involved in a fraudulent mortgage himself; the blog post was at least partially responsible for the researcher losing his job. The researcher then sued the blogger and won — despite the blogger having his facts straight. Johnny Northside plans to appeal the verdict."
Businesses

Are We Too Reliant On GPS? 325

Posted by samzenpus
from the please-don't-take-my-GPS dept.
RedEaredSlider writes "A new report from the Royal Academy of Engineering in London suggests developed nations have become too reliant on GPS systems. The report from the Academy focuses on global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) and their vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities include deliberate or accidental interference, both man-made (such as jamming) and natural (such as solar flares). While most people equate GPS systems with the tiny screens which get drivers from point A to point B, the report says society's reliance on the technology goes well beyond that. The Academy says the range of applications using the technology is so vast that without adequate independent backup, signal failure or interference could potentially affect safety systems and other critical parts of the economy."
Android

First Alpha of Qt For Android Released 212

Posted by Soulskill
from the early-option dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In the wake of Nokia's announcement that it will be cheerfully throwing its existing developer community under a bus by not offering Qt for Windows Phone, a project to implement Qt on Android has announced its initial alpha release. Necessitas project lead Bogdan Vatra writes, 'I had a dream that one day, I'll be able to deploy existing Qt software on any Android platform. I had a dream that one day, all Qt applications will use system wide shared Qt libraries. I had a dream that one day, all Qt applications once compiled and deployed to one android platform, will run on any other newer android platform and will last for years without any recompilation. I had a dream that one day, I'll be able to create, manage, compile debug and deploy Qt apps using a first class citizen IDE. Now, those dreams become reality.' The Necessitas wiki offers some documentation on Qt for Android. A demo video of Qt for Android in action is also available."

Comment: Re:Margin of Error? (Score 1) 470

by flynt (#34916100) Attached to: Bill Gates Is More Admired Than the Pope

Well, I am a statistician, too.

I hesitate to say too much about a poll where I am not privy to its final aims, but it seems quite plausible that the point of this poll was to decide who Americans admire the *most*. It looks like they got a pretty clear answer to that question. It would be very hard (i.e., require so many respondents) to design a poll powered to differentiate between each possible candidate at some alpha level.

So, I don't share your criticism of this poll as much as the summary in this article.

The Internet

Are You Ready For the Digital Afterlife? 108

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-ads-and-buffering-bars-in-digital-hell dept.
theodp writes "Dave Winer's call for Future-Safe Archives goes mainstream in Rob Walker's NY Times Magazine cover story on how the Internet can provide a certain kind of immortality to those who are prepared. To illustrate how digital afterlives might play out, Walker cites the case of 34-year-old writer Mac Tonnies, who updated his blog on Oct. 18, 2009, sent out some public tweets and private messages via Twitter, went to bed and died of cardiac arrhythmia. As word of his death spread via his own blog, Tonnies's small, but devoted audience rushed in to save his online identity. 'Finding solace in a Twitter feed may sound odd,' writes Walker, 'but the idea that Tonnies's friends would revisit and preserve such digital artifacts isn't so different from keeping postcards or other physical ephemera of a deceased friend or loved one.' Unfortunately, how long Mac Tonnies's digital afterlife will remain for his Web friends and parents is still a big question, since it's preserved in a hodge-podge of possibly gone-tomorrow online services for which no one has the passwords. Hoping to fill the need for digital-estate-planning services are companies like Legacy Locker, which are betting that people will increasingly want control over their digital afterlife. 'We're entering a world where we can all leave as much of a legacy as George Bush or Bill Clinton,' says filmmaker-and-friend-of-Tonnies Paul Kimball. 'Maybe that's the ultimate democratization. It gives all of us a chance at immortality.'"
Canada

Free Radicals May Not Be Cause of Aging 371

Posted by timothy
from the with-very-few-exceptions-not-a-human-being dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers at McGill University in Montreal have uncovered strong new evidence that that wildly-accepted mitochondrial free radical theory of aging (MFRTA) is wrong. MFRTA suggests that free radicals cause oxidative damage, which in turn leads to the aging process. This new evidence shows that high levels of Reactive Oxidative species are rather a biological signal used to combat aging then the process itself. This goes against claims of major health benefits from consuming foods and particularly supplements that contain antioxidants."

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