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Comment: Re:danger vs taste (Score 1) 507

by Anubis IV (#49562007) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame

In my case, I get diet drinks with my meals, not because I'm trying to cut calories (even though I could stand to lose some more weight), but because my dentist gave me the choice between either cutting regular sodas or having to use prescription mouthwash and toothpaste on an everyday basis, on account of my genes blessing me with thin tooth enamel. Given that choice, I went for the diet drinks.

Which is to say, I agree, it's a bit silly when people think that choosing a diet drink will make up for the thousands of calories they're otherwise stuffing down their throats, but not all of us are doing it for that reason. Maybe keep that in mind before making assumptions.

Comment: Re:There's a name for this. (Score 4, Insightful) 93

by Anubis IV (#49555701) Attached to: Apple's Next Frontier Is Your Body

You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding with regards to what ResearchKit is about. It's not HealthKit, which is aimed at helping people to be healthier. It's ResearchKit, which is aimed at connecting medical researchers with voluntary subjects who are willing to submit anonymous data. As it is right now, researchers seeking data on how well a treatment affects a disease need to first seek out people with that disease, then they need to either bring those subjects into a doctor's office to be tested, which is typically done on an infrequent basis, or they need to rely on self-reporting out in the field. There are numerous flaws in those methodologies, leading to all sorts of lies, omissions, and other forms of error creeping in. And that's the best we've had to rely on up until now. Plus, response rates are ridiculously low since there's no great way to put researchers in touch with potential subjects, and even when potential subjects are aware of the research, most don't want to deal with the hassle.

By increasing awareness, taking the hassle out of it, and even promising to open source ResearchKit, Apple is providing a foundation on which researchers can finally address those issues. They're putting the diagnostic tools directly into our smart devices, and are doing so across any platform, thus allowing the researchers to get frequently-collected data from subjects under actual conditions, rather than having to rely on faulty self-reporting or infrequent lab visits. They can also get a much wider swath of data, allowing them to have more certainty about their results, along with a better understanding of what "normal" looks like. Even if a hypochondriac is using an app that relies on ResearchKit, it's a win for all of us, since it helps to establish more baseline readings from which we can better understand how our bodies are supposed to be behaving when we're in the real world, rather than in a lab. Moreover, it may eventually help to establish a baseline reading for them, which could then be used to show them that their readings are in line with where they were before when we knew they were well.

All of which is to say, this has nothing at all to do with people fretting about being sick, and has everything to do with helping research doctors better understand diseases and how the treatments they are providing address them. Joke about it if you want, but it sounds like a worthy goal to me.

Comment: Re:Common sense here folks (Score 1) 115

Well, yes, really. The reason these claims are showing up right now is because he thinks he's finally cracked exactly that issue. The transplant is intended as a means to test that theory. And he can't do it on typical patients suffering from severed spinal cords due to trauma of some sort, since his idea relies on a very particular way of cutting the spinal cord, apparently.

Comment: Re:I hope it's a publicity stunt (Score 1) 115

Because we're not in the habit of wanton experimentation that might kill all of the patients involved. That's why we wait for there to be a case where they're going to die anyway. That way, no matter what happens, doctors have not violated their first oath to do no harm. Worst case, the person dies, just as they would have otherwise.

Comment: Re:OMG who the hell cares?! (Score 1) 170

by Anubis IV (#49549167) Attached to: Apple Watch Launches

At least a million people.

At least. The articles the other day all misreported the source material, since the source material said there were a hair under 1M purchasers who ordered an average of 1.3 devices each, yielding about 1.25M watches pre-ordered, and that was just in the US alone on the first day for pre-orders. Later numbers from other sources indicated that global pre-orders on day one were closer to 2.5M units.

But yeah, watches are worn all over the world by hundreds of millions of people. His question is just plain silly.

Comment: Re:Solution looking for a problem? (Score 1) 170

by Anubis IV (#49549149) Attached to: Apple Watch Launches

I still remember not being happy when I came home to discover that my parents had purchased a cell phone for me so that they could keep in touch in case anything happened while I was at work for a summer internship in college. I remember staring at it in my hand—even before turning it on or setting it up—and thinking, "This device is a ball-and-chain." It stripped me of the control I had over when and under what circumstances people could contact me, and placed that control in their hands.

At least modern smartphones are very pretty and light balls-and-chain, but they still are what they still are. I live and breathe on the Internet (even did my grad research with an Internet research lab at a major university), but I relish when I'm able to be away for a week, whether it's a cruise, a cabin in the woods, or a few days camping out on a remote beach. Absolutely marvelous.

Comment: Re:Good for them (Score 1) 147

How did he hold it hostage? He disclosed the vulnerabilities to them privately before doing anything else. This wasn't a case of "shame them now, hope for a payout later". It was a case of "responsible disclose it privately, then do a stupid thing by disclosing it publicly before they've had a chance to pay you". As much as I don't like Groupon, I'm not sure which side of this disagreement I think is (most) in the wrong.

Comment: Re:Wait, what? Even in offline mode? (Score 1) 117

by Anubis IV (#49540173) Attached to: iOS WiFi Bug Allows Remote Reboot of All Devices In Area

Good points all around. The one thing I might quibble about is the inability to remove the WiFi network. I can't check it at the moment, but I distinctly recall trying to delete "attwifi" as a recognized network years ago, back when I first noticed I had connected to it unexpectedly. That said, I'm not representative of a typical user, and 34% is higher than I had realized, so as I said, good points, and thanks for the rebuttal.

Comment: Re:Wait, what? Even in offline mode? (Score 2) 117

by Anubis IV (#49540015) Attached to: iOS WiFi Bug Allows Remote Reboot of All Devices In Area

They use the word "force", but as the attack was originally described, what they're actually talking about doing is spoofing a network that your device already recognizes. More or less, if an attacker knows your home WiFi SSD or can make a lucky guess about what other SSIDs your device might already recognize (e.g. ones that your device was programmed to know out of the box), they can name their malicious network in such a way to possibly get you to automatically connect to it as a recognized network.

There's nothing particularly novel about that attack, and contrary to their verbiage, it doesn't force anyone to join a network, nor can it even easily be used in conjunction with this attack for the vast majority of users. Is it a potential problem? Absolutely, but only for a small subset of users. The way they're phrasing it and talking about it, it seems pretty clear that they're trying to boost their own profile a bit. For most cases, the two attacks can't be used together unless the malicious agent is stalking their victim.

Comment: Re:even when in offline mode (Score 1) 117

by Anubis IV (#49539983) Attached to: iOS WiFi Bug Allows Remote Reboot of All Devices In Area

How did it take you that long to read the handful of comments that existed at the time?

I loaded the page before you comment existed, started reading the source material, typed up a response to the first OP in the comments with the same question I had, posted my response, and only then had the page refresh with your comment. That's what I was getting at. Sorry if I was unclear.

Comment: Re:even when in offline mode (Score 5, Informative) 117

by Anubis IV (#49539639) Attached to: iOS WiFi Bug Allows Remote Reboot of All Devices In Area

I was curious as well, so I read through their presentation slides and their press release.

The gist of the attack is that they've crafted a malicious SSL cert that can cause strange behavior in apps and the OS itself, including the possibility of initiating a crash-reboot-get malicious SSL cert-crash cycle. Once you get stuck in that cycle, there's no way to turn off WiFi, hence why they said that offline mode would not remedy the issue. That said, offline mode can indeed keep you from getting stuck in that cycle to begin with, and the researchers even recommended it as one of the ways to avoid the problem entirely. Alternatively, if it's already too late for you and you're in the crash loop, simply leaving the area will fix the issue for you, since you'll be able to pull down valid SSL certs and reboot as normal.

Which is to say, the summary has it wrong, since the attack cannot cause you to enter the crash loop while you're in offline mode, but you won't be able to enter offline mode once you're in the crash loop, so offline mode cannot save you at that point. Only leaving the area will work.

Comment: Re:Old Idea (Score 3, Informative) 33

by Anubis IV (#49537247) Attached to: New Sampling Device Promises To Make Blood Tests Needle-Free

In the case of GlucoWatch, the page you linked indicates that it's used for up to 13 hours at a time, taking samples every 10 minutes. In contrast, this device can only do one sample at a time, after which you send it off to a lab for testing. They're targeting patients who may need to monitor cancer or infection on an infrequent basis with a turnaround of a few days, as opposed to people who need immediate blood measurements, such as diabetics monitoring their blood sugar levels.

I don't know enough to suggest that that addresses your concern, but at the very least it would seem to lessen the chances that the problems associated with long-term use would occur.

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