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Comment: Re:haha (Score 4, Insightful) 77

by iluvcapra (#48187985) Attached to: Barometers In iPhones Mean More Crowdsourcing In Weather Forecasts

"Innovation" mostly has to do with getting people to buy or use something -- actually being the first person to invent or market the thing doesn't really carry any intrinsic benefit, follow-through and execution always trump good ideas. Ideas are cheap.

--- Signed, Ignaz Semmelweiss, Elija Gray, the Lumiere Brothers, Preston Tucker, Douglas Engelbart, Xerox PARC, inter alia

Comment: Re:Everybody Panic! (Score 1) 419

by iluvcapra (#48125525) Attached to: Texas Health Worker Tests Positive For Ebola

It doesn't to you? "Well, they have to take off those contaminated suits, and some will get infected while
doing that. Shit happens." really isn't the right approach here.

Do you even know how this case of infection occurred? I made no claims along these lines, you're the one who says he knows, or rather knows enough to know there was a systemic problem and not one merely attributable to failure to follow established protocols.

Huh? Plane flights? Are we still talking about a controlled clinical environment in a big American city?

There are only about a dozen BSL-4 facilities in the US; if you want to establish the principle that patients must be treated in such a facility, you will be moving A LOT of them. Also, none of these facilities are equipped to handle patients. The first requirement of a BSL-4 lab is that it's a separate building purpose-built for containment.

You're losing me here.

I sure am, because you seem to think every metro in the US has a world-class biohazard facility and infrastructure, and has plenty to spare on a wild goose chase of isolating minimally-virulent ebola patients, and you can't seem to understand that your fears are based completely on your own speculation and snap judgement. Your conceptualization of this disease, and the means required to contain it, constitute the textbook definition of cargo cult science.

Comment: Re:Everybody Panic! (Score 0) 419

by iluvcapra (#48125405) Attached to: Texas Health Worker Tests Positive For Ebola

So basically you're just anxious, because none of this "seems right" in complete absence of empirical evidence? And in your sample of 10 (or 20, who knows!) one person became ill, because, we dunno, but it sounds fishy.

What recommendations would you make, if you were, say, a public health official? Everyone who develops illness has to be treated in something akin to a BSL-4 facility? Have you any idea how many plane flights that would require, just to cite one small aspect of the logistics? And all this to protect from a disease vector that's completely unsubstantiated in the literature?

Or do you do like Judge Clay Jenkins, and personally go to the family's house in shirt-sleeves and drive them to a new home? Which approach is more appropriate? Which one balances our available resources against the actual concrete threat of the disease? Which one is actually workable?

Comment: Re:For those who said "No need to panic" (Score 2) 419

by iluvcapra (#48125357) Attached to: Texas Health Worker Tests Positive For Ebola

The evidence is continued exponential growth of Ebola to recent past.

This is why Africa was finally made barren of human inhabitants in 1980...

Also this is what, two cases in the US, three? Maybe 5 total outside of Africa, and almost all of them among health workers collateral to treating confirmed Ebola-suffering patients?

Comment: Re:Everybody Panic! (Score 5, Informative) 419

by iluvcapra (#48125207) Attached to: Texas Health Worker Tests Positive For Ebola

What kind of amateurs are running this place?

I had brunch with my friend this morning, who is an MD PhD in infectious disease and works in a BSL-4 laboratory from time to time, so I asked about this.

BSL-4 is a standard that only applies to laboratories, the same standards aren't necessarily applied to clinical environments, and in the case of Ebola are major overkill. Ebola can't travel through the air, so positive pressure suits aren't appropriate, and they still have to be taken on and off, and that's when health workers seem to get infected. People who "test positive" for Ebola are not contagious, only people who have symptoms are, and they can only pass the disease through contact with bodily fluids -- this usually implies touch, since hemorrhagic fevers cause people to give off all kinds of gross effluent, but it's just not like a "virus" one gets from casual contact, like, say, rubella.

The fact is, Ebola isn't that contagious -- HIV is more virulent, and these two are nothing compared to the influenza or SARS. It's bad that health workers can get it, but this is still one person, so on a completely epidemiological basis it's really not a big deal. Characterizing a single case as somehow indicative of the safety of these procedures is sensationalism.

Comment: Re:like the iwatch (Score 1) 100

It looks like you don't have to learn a gesture alphabet like Graffiti. I also recall that, even if you were quite fast and accurate, graffiti's WPM just couldn't compete with keyboard, even a touch one. And even then it still has to compete with the various speech-to-text solutions.

And then the iWatch thing is altogether a different thing -- Siri and "Ok Google" are meant for speedy text entry, at the expense of discretion; this finger writing thing seems to be meant to be still text-based but more discreet, but this makes it much slower; and the iWatch drawing seems to emphasize speed and minimize distraction at the expense of precision -- it can't send text, but you can send messages without anyone casually noticing you have a smart watch.

Comment: Re:If you can't crack the password, then don't. (Score 2) 146

by iluvcapra (#48079521) Attached to: Details of iOS and Android Device Encryption

The user is happily using their iWhatever. The government sends a Nation Security letter to Apple forcing them to put a backdoor into the phone of the target, such that this app can read whatever data it wants on the phone.

It's impossible to cut a hardware vendor out of the trust system, unless you audit the hardware of your device. But set this aside.

This won't work because apps never see your password or have access to the decryption keys. The CPU itself doesn't have access to the decryption keys and doesn't even do the crypto algorithms. When the CPU needs to access some data that's encrypted in memory or on the Flash drive, it tells the secure enclave and writes the data to its input. The enclave then decrypts the data, with keys it keeps in its own non-volatile storage, and writes the decrypted data back to the CPU. In the case of the fulll-disk encryption or the fingerprint encryption, at no time do any keys pass into the CPU, let alone get written to RAM. The CPU can order the enclave to create new keys or keypairs, it can enumerate and name them, and associate them with metadata outside the enclave, but it can't actually read the keys themselves.

Comment: Re:climate change (Score 1) 162

by iluvcapra (#48068403) Attached to: AIDS Origin Traced To 1920s Kinshasa

The truth is if you don't let a dirty needle or an AIDS-infected male penetrate you, you're pretty safe from AIDS

Ah, a male can get AIDS from a woman, particularly if one or the other of you has another STD. More to the point, the whole issue with "AIDS-infected" people is that you generally can't tell them from normal people for years after they become contagious, this doesn't have much use for married people who's partner strays -- or even for most Americans who's courtships average from 6 to 18 months (get tested everybody).

It's important to understand that AIDS isn't virulent because it passes through "dirty" or "immoral" practices -- it's the sociological phenomenon of uncleanness an immorality that cause the spread of HIV. People don't talk about gay sex, in the US people hardly talk about sex at all -- it's freighted with taboos and superstitions. Our own prudishness makes it difficult for knowledgable people to talk about the disease and how its spread, it's virulence among "undesirables" cause all kinds of rumors and misconceptions that make the pandemic worse. People in the US have been contracting HIV since the 70s, straight people, gay people, everyone, but the misguided belief that it was a "gay" disease led people to believe that it wasn't a contagion, that it wasn't a public health problem of any kind -- think of how many people were killed by the lie that HIV is spread by sexual immorality.

And how many people continue to get HIV because they're convinced, as you say, that people with HIV will "probably have warning signs that they'll be a bad partner," that HIV comes from "bad" people and "bad" behavior, that it is necessarily shameful? Really honest people can make great partners and be infectious for years before having symptoms. All of these people fucking, all the time... AIDS is a disease that is spread by people being unwilling or too uncomfortable to talk about sex, what it is, how people do it, and who should or shouldn't be doing it, and this in turn is caused by boneheaded and dangerous cultural norms that serve no purpose.

Comment: Re: Are we sure it is blood/meat contact? (Score 1) 162

by iluvcapra (#48068103) Attached to: AIDS Origin Traced To 1920s Kinshasa

Because there is not a single case of AIDS prior to 1959. Humans have been eating bushmeat for millions of years. Why did the disease cross over in 1959(AIDS-1) and 1960's(AIDS-2)?

Ah, yes, 1959, the well known red-letter day when the first human stuck his genitals in a chimpanzee. Citation?

The theory is that the intensive economic development of Africa, beginning at the start of the 20th century, created the only environment in which the nonvirulent SIV could make several animal-to-human transmissions, sustain itself and mutate in the human population, and then be communicated far enough to produce and epidemic. SIV didn't become HIV in the first jump, people had been getting exposed to SIV since antiquity; what was needed was for multiple people to get SIV, even non-virulent, poorly-transmissible SIV, and to very quickly pass it to a core group of dozens or hundreds of individuals, in which the virus would have a large enough group in which to mutate.

Prostitution and bushmeat existed in Africa prior to 1900, but cities did not, and dense cities, motorized transportation, and large populations of transient workers passing from city to countryside and back seems to be the critical factor.

[As to the implication of the question, I can only say that, like most "bad" things, conservatives tend to assume that there were no gay people prior to the 1960s. The conservative narrative about all social ills goes: "This thing didn't exist when I was a child, some weirdoes invented it around the time I came of age, and now we must defeat it in order to restore our culture to where it was when I was a child."

If some controversial social issue became patent in 1983, like say the "GRID"/AIDS crisis, basically every social conservative who was older than 18 in 1983 will believe to their dying day that gay people didn't exist prior to when they were children (1970). Now that homosexuality and AIDS is a completely "out" issue, social conservatives who have turned 18 in the last 5-10 years couldn't care less about gays. Nowadays all these younger conservatives talk about is the leviathan state and taxes, and predictably, they tell the story that government has become radical, authoritarian and profligate in some way that's categorically different from the previous 100 years, and we must fight to bring the state back to some Schlaraffian fairy-land that existed in the 90s (and conveniently prior to 9/11).]

Comment: Re:Are we sure it is blood/meat contact? (Score 3, Interesting) 162

by iluvcapra (#48067949) Attached to: AIDS Origin Traced To 1920s Kinshasa

Because, at the same time, we've been told HIV can't spread orally.

Whenever someone says something really flat and sorta elliptical like "orally," we gotta get clear about this too -- HIV cannot be spread by kissing. It can be spread by oral sex however, and can be spread by mouth-to-mouth contact when other factors are in play.

HIV exposure from dental work is actually a really common risk factor. In fact, the very first known case of iatrogenic HIV infection was from a dental office.

It's generally accepted you can't get it from kissing, but kissing, eating food, eating raw food, eating bodily fluids, oral contact in the presence of bodily fluids, and oral contact associated with cuts or open sores -- for example, florid herpes -- are all really different vectors.

Comment: Re:How important is that at this point? (Score 0, Troll) 197

by iluvcapra (#48028617) Attached to: Adobe Photoshop Is Coming To Linux, Through Chromebooks

complaints from users about the name (VERY unprofessional and immature, BTW)

They aren't the ones that named it "GIMP," which is a really well-known American idiom that could have been easily avoided if the developers weren't too busy smelling their own farts.


It's this presumption that everyone who doesn't use GIMP is stupid and lazy, or that making it more attractive would necessarily lead it to becoming a "Photoshop clone" exemplifies the FOSS general ignorance of creative use cases and users, and tends to explain FOSS's utter failure at even making a dent in these markets. As long as your attitude is "I'm doing this for free, so I don't have to meet you half way, art fag," people will happily pay $10 a month for CC.

[Signed, someone who drops $1k a year keeping his Pro Tools up to date and would rather not.]

Comment: Re:How important is that at this point? (Score 1) 197

by iluvcapra (#48028199) Attached to: Adobe Photoshop Is Coming To Linux, Through Chromebooks

3D modelers know what a vertex is, what I think he means is that, in some cases, perhaps they don't completely understand the mathematical formalism of the thing, and just have an intuitive feeling for what it is -- "the thing that's the corner of my thing."

Of course, there is the perspective that you shouldn't need to understand the "fundamentals" or nuts and bolts reifications of things, because that's what the software's for, to take all of these mathematical games and put them in a box, out of the way in a separated concern, so I can get the job done in whatever way I want. What's the point of having software if it doesn't enable people, even mathematically disinclined people, to create?

A sculptor has as much to say about 3D modeling as some voxel-counting dork from NVidia's demo team, more even, really. Saying that "vertices" or "bezier paths" form some sort of "fundamental" base for all visual art is constructivist, scientistic and naive.

Do not underestimate the value of print statements for debugging.