Forgot your password?

+ - Ebola and the War of the Worlds->

Submitted by niftymitch
niftymitch (1625721) writes "Compare and contrast todays news coverage on Ebola and the topic of the upcoming PBS special replay:
War of the Worlds
Aired: 10/29/2013 52:10 Rating: NR
Shortly after 8 p.m. on the Halloween Eve, 1938, a panicked radio announcer broke in with a report that Martians had landed in the tiny town of Grovers Mill, New Jersey. Although most listeners understood that the program was a radio drama, the next day's headlines reported that thousands of others plunged into panic. It turned out to be H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds performed by Orson Welles."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:On the other hand... (Score 1) 697

by niftymitch (#48215999) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

If they work, I don't care. The scumbags bricking devices are the problem.

There are a couple dirtbags here.
First the math:
Three dirtbags does not equal a scumbag.

The initial dirtbag would be the clowns that made parts that reported that
they were a different part but not also acted differently but were a lame
subset of the original. Fraud on the data sheet or marking on the part
is worthy of prosecution.

The second dirtbag is FTDI that can effectively disable a vastly more extensive and
expensive device and deny the purchaser that did nothing wrong and has no possibility
of auditing the content of the device they purchased.

The third dirtbag is the vendor that knowingly uses a less costly part or the distributor
that delivers a less costly part knowing or turning a blind eye to the fact that the
alternate part is a sad knockoff.

Counterfeiters are a real problem and in the modern age of 3D printing
are likely to find another media to abuse.

I dislike the strategy taken by FTDI it attacks the end user and risks others -- furthest from the fraud
and least likely to know or be able to know anything about the abuse of the trespassing on FTDI's
design intellectual property.

Comment: Re:That works fine if you manage to nip it in the (Score 1) 381

by niftymitch (#48171879) Attached to: How Nigeria Stopped Ebola

Do not forget that the EPA shut the incinerators off in these hospitals.

As for the dozen or so high isolation beds in the US that FoX and others wants
all patients to be sent to... Oh wait there are many in isolation and only
13 beds... 1,2,3, many... none can count high enough for sure.

The way to think about these 13 beds is that they are 13 lab rat cages.
Not designed for anything beyond experimental access to astoundingly
ill individuals.

Comment: Flat footed a bit. (Score 1) 478

by niftymitch (#48166373) Attached to: The CDC Is Carefully Controlling How Scared You Are About Ebola

The CDC is a bureaucratic machine.
It has a US centric view... it does not have a global charter.
It does watch for things outside the US but depends on others.

They seem to be almost flat footed on this. Had the folk in
Texas not stumbled they would look good. The folk in Texas did
step on it and now are trying to catch up.

If they had done their job and the politicians done their day job
we would have seen Governors, Mayors, President Obama formally
introduce experts then sit down and listen. However they wanted
camera time, they wanted to be in charge and here we go.

Early on I had a question about Ebola and because I could I submitted
a question that took a day to frame (unlike this 40 second /.). A week
later I got a reply... that was in effect "good question, we do not have
an answer today, we will and here is where you need to look.
Very responsible, very organized but navigates like three oil tankers
and two aircraft carriers tied together with half a million rolls of duct
tape. Slow ponderous relentless... comes to mind. Something about
five captains and a couple dozen tug boat captains applies too.

I went looking for my favorite kitchen rubber gloves today at my
favorite big box shop.... None. Like bottled water after the Napa
quake they have apparently been shipped to high demand locations like Texas
and I hope Africa. There were still gloves that work fine but not
my favorite type in the large economy box. Lots of them at the
local flu shot clinic today so the medical community here is golden.

I should give the important SUMMARY:
My meatloaf smushing and habanero slicing is still safe.

Comment: Re:No the constitution is fine.. (Score 1) 279

by niftymitch (#48143869) Attached to: Who's In Charge During the Ebola Crisis?

As scary as Ebola is it may not qualify as an emergency we have
common problems from influenza, food poisoning, pneumonia that
kill more...

Wait, the flu, food poisoning and pneumonia kill 70% of those infected!?

WTF, why didnt you start telling us all that beforehand! This is a global catastrophe!!! Once the flu season hits again, billions of people are gong to die! BILLIONS!

FUCK, the end of civilization is less than a year away! What are we going to do!? ...oh wait a this for real, or are you talking absolute shit and know figuratively nothing about ebola and its previous outbreaks?

Please let me know, so I can decide whether to start planning for the end of the world or not.

In one case we have tens of thousands infected and in the other case we have (today) less than a dozen in the US.
70% is nasty but 70% of a dozen small compared to the thousands of fatalities associated with influenza alone.

My point is that if we diminish the impact of viral infections we know how to manage we would free up
staff to address Ebola correctly. Todays news noted that there had been 5000 false alarms.
The same news noted that it takes 20 trained professionals to care for a patient in full quarantine.
If Ebola and influenza+49 others get mixed at the intake of hospitals to the point that all influenza and food poisoning
cases require twenty professionals for 48-72 hours our system will crumble.

Since sanitation is the common best tool society at large has at its disposal... and since
hand washing is low cost, requires minimum training and has good impact to the larger problem
I believe it is an important and necessary activity to encourage.

Time for me to wash my hands and go and give blood.

Comment: No the constitution is fine.. (Score 2) 279

by niftymitch (#48137005) Attached to: Who's In Charge During the Ebola Crisis?

"general welfare" as part of the spending power section is all that congress
needs to craft well considered laws.

Federal agencies could be funded to establish top level technical resources.
States could then move forward.

Emergencies open doors as well....

As scary as Ebola is it may not qualify as an emergency we have
common problems from influenza, food poisoning, pneumonia that
kill more...

However congress could declare Ebola in Africa and others problems
as a health risk to the US and fund emergency actions.

My gut reaction is if citizens were to take personal responsibility
and act on all the common influenza, food handling, common cold
basic sanitation programs Ebola would vanish only to be found in
footnotes referencing a small number of individuals and hospitals in
the US. Sadly Africa is still behind the eight ball in this disaster.

Comment: Re:Alternative? (Score 1) 146

by niftymitch (#48136903) Attached to: Raspberry Pi Sales Approach 4 Million

What would be like RaspPi, but without the USB problem?

The RaspPi model B+ with 4 USB ports. They've fixed electrical problems, added IO pins and greatly improved the physical layout.

Yes the latest revision is much improved.

The RaspPi as a teaching tool is unmatched.
It is less expensive than most textbooks.
Replace the SD card and it is a new OS or new test project.

As a teaching tool any part from u-boot up to modern computer languages
and multiple OS distributions are all possible. Multiple node MPI clusters
are easy to assemble which allows distributed multiple noded distributed
computation research to begin (they are slow as slugs though).

At this price it is a computer any class can require for all their students.

Those expecting classes in MS word from their computer "science" department
will be disappointed.

Hardware expansion is possible with minimum difficulty.

Comment: Re:Why do people still care about C++ for kernel d (Score 1) 365

by niftymitch (#48060799) Attached to: Object Oriented Linux Kernel With C++ Driver Support

C++ is an enormously powerful and comprehensive language, and it relies on the programmer or organization to use a reasonable subset of it and use good judgement in applying any given feature. ......

Good judgement... made me giggle.
At this point C and C++ are both just wrong for a long list of reasons....
However there have been advanced in database technology and programming
language design to a degree that one could be optimistic.

Knuth worked with a language subset to craft TeX and Metafont... translators like p2c
took that cautious work and emitted C.

There is almost no assembler left in Linux because of compiler improvements.
In a decade one might say "there is almost no C left".

C++ has power and is an interesting choice but the ability to muddy the
design standards with C is just too easy.

Perhaps it is time to dust off some of the good old languages and make
a short list -- and design the next player.

+ - Sure blame the computer -- Ebola->

Submitted by niftymitch
niftymitch (1625721) writes ""The Dallas hospital treating a patient with Ebola blamed a flaw in its electronic health records as the reason he was first released despite telling a nurse he had come from West Africa".
Now blame the computer....

OK flabbergasted I am. The blame game begins.
Five individuals under voluntary quarantine were threatened by officials
for going out to get food. Now under mandatory quarantine.

Silly rabbits know.
Quarantine for 21 days without food is tantamount to a death sentence.
Especially with screaming healthy small children inside a 1000 sq ft apartment.
If there are any complications starvation is serious.. Yes M. Ganhdi did fast for 21 days...

Removal of soiled linens and the bed but no plan to replace them will have
them sleeping on the floor. Oh wait now the carpet must be ripped out because
the carpet is now bedding.

Removal of common trash. Can common water bottles be recycled with other
trash. Can food scraps be composed in the local landfill."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Asymptomatic people are not contagious (Score 1) 475

by niftymitch (#48044603) Attached to: Ebola Has Made It To the United States

You are correct the problem with our modern hospitals is they would quickly be overwhelmed, my wife was in the local hospital last week inI the ICU ward, we live in a small town of about 10,000 people, the local hospital serves a population of about 25,000 people, and the ICU ward has a total of 8 beds, 3 to 5 of them were occupied when she was there.

And ICU is not full contagious in/out quarantine. i.e. It is most likely bias designed to
keep bugs from getting into the ICU and infecting patients not out.

The necessary full feature Ebola medical facility is a difficult challenge
and more involved than most MRSA protocols which are still a good start.

Comment: Re:They need to lock this down now! (Score 1) 475

by niftymitch (#48044583) Attached to: Ebola Has Made It To the United States

Why are you telling us? I'm sure the nincompoops at CDC are standing around by the water cooler trying to figure out what to do and they're certainly not reading slashdot! Quick! Get on the phone and lend them your expertise in this area!

My mental image of this has them in moon suites.

The big risks would be gatherings... even at work, at the market.

The key saving grace I can see is this is a fragile virus and common bleach and sunlight can knock it back a long way.
Every fast food shop I know maintains a sufficient standard of sanitation that I know I will not starve
as long as they stay open and the freezer stays full of processed food like stuff.

Comment: Re:Basic income from a millionaire's perspective? (Score 1) 475

by niftymitch (#48044569) Attached to: Ebola Has Made It To the United States

As I wrote here:
"Right now, a profit driven health care system has sized emergency rooms for average needs, and those emergency rooms are often full. .........

One awkward truth is the ability to quarantine and isolate the folk running a fever and complaining is beyond the system.
Consider that some 5-20% of the US population get the flu and in the first 48 hours there is no easy way to isolate and maintain those
folk with the flu. Heck hospital food is terrible but hospital kitchens could not muster meals for 5% of the population for 48 hours.
"Initial signs and symptoms are nonspecific and may include fever, chills, myalgias, and malaise. Fever, anorexia, asthenia/weakness are the most common signs and symptoms. .....
"Due to these nonspecific symptoms particularly early in the course, EVD can often be confused with other more common infectious diseases such as malaria, typhoid fever, meningococcemia, and other bacterial infections (e.g., pneumonia)."

Today it is novel and clearly has a "traveler from " component. Should it escape Africa and the
bounded list become unbounded we have a problem Houston.

Comment: Re:What's so hard about using the time-honored (Score 1) 242

by niftymitch (#48024587) Attached to: At CIA Starbucks, Even the Baristas Are Covert

My answer is to reply "thank you". I so enjoy
hearing "Thank you, your coffee is ready".

But here on /. some other negative or Enders Game name would play better.

Note that if you answer a phone the only approved answer in
many TLA sites is the extension. Just the number... 69951 or
whatever is marked on the phone.

As a visitor locked in a closet I always answered "Wei" or "Mushi Mushi"

Comment: And in winter... (Score 1) 907

by niftymitch (#48006341) Attached to: Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

Someone could freeze to death this winter.
Infants could bake in the sun....
Head out stop to put snow chains on try and restart the car...

The liability of this is murky. The local police just arrested a mailbox thief.
One payment missed by three days clearly lacks due diligence in communicating
with the driver.

Not all cars are driven by the person making the payments so this sort
of action does present some serious risk.... to people not in the loop
as it were.

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken