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Submission + - Alarming Rise in Death Rates for Middle-Aged White Americans writes: Gina Kolata reports at the NYT that something startling is happening to middle-aged white Americans. Unlike every other age group, unlike every other racial and ethnic group, unlike their counterparts in other rich countries, death rates in this group have been rising, not falling, primarily because of the declining health and fortunes of poorly educated American whites who are dying at such a high rate that they are increasing the death rate for the entire group of middle-aged white Americans. “It is difficult to find modern settings with survival losses of this magnitude,” say Ellen Meara and Jonathan S. Skinner.

Though not fully understood, the increased deaths are largely thought to be a result of more suicides and the misuse of drugs and alcohol, driven by easier access to powerful prescription painkillers, cheaper high quality heroin and greater financial stresses. Death rates for people with a high school education or less rose by 22 percent while they actually fell for those with a college education. The rise in death rates among middle-aged white Americans means half a million more people have died in the US since 1998 than if the previous trend had continued. The death toll is comparable to the 650,000 Americans who lost their lives during the Aids epidemic from 1981 to the middle of this year, the researchers say. Anne Case and Angus Deaton warn that middle-aged Americans who are turning to drink and drugs are set to suffer more health problems than their elders unless the downwards trend can be halted. "This is not automatic. If the epidemic is brought under control, its survivors may have a healthy old age. However, addictions are hard to treat and pain is hard to control, so those currently in midlife may be a ‘lost generation’ whose future is less bright than those who preceded them.”

Submission + - Think Fortran and Assembly Programming is Boring and Useless? Tell it to NASA. (

Frosty Piss writes: If you thought Fortran and assembly language programming is pointless and purely for old-timers, guess again. NASA's Voyager program manager Suzanne Dodd said the retirement of the project's last original engineer left the space agency with a shortage of people capable of communicating with the 40-year-old craft. 'Although, some people can program in an assembly language and understand the intricacy of the spacecraft, most younger people can't or really don't want to,' Dodd said. With high-level languages now the standard for developers, knowing how to fluently code in assembly has become a specialized skill, as has fluency in languages such as Fortran. While obscure, the skill set is lucrative for those who know how to do it. Along with NASA's aging fleet of spacecraft, many businesses still rely on languages such as Fortran or COBOL for specialized tasks and critical infrastructure.

Comment Re:Obvious (Score 1) 163

I have a 2014 Subaru Forester with EyeSight (their adaptive (stereoscopic based) cruise control with lane departure warning system). The adaptive cruise control is amazing. I like using it in traffic on I-5 in Seattle (I said Subaru, didn't I?) and it works really well at dealing with people cutting in/stopped cars in front of me. My one complaint is when you come to a complete stop it times out and disables the system. You now have a vehicle that is idling in drive. There is an audible beep to warn you that the system is turning off, but I think I would prefer the ability to control the time out period to something more than 5 seconds.

Comment Re:What is really needed. (Score 1) 768

And the military does not exist in its own reality distortion field. I know of no other line of work in this country where failure to show up for work results in a prison sentence.

A career in the military is not the same as a career anywhere else. In their situation the ability to be bribed by the enemy is too great a risk. In industry that's what NDAs and non-compete clauses are for.

Comment Re:What is really needed. (Score 1) 768

Who the hell wants a staff full of debt-burdened carrot-chasers who couldn't get the job they really wanted?

Employees with a mountain of debt are less likely to cause trouble for their employer, as the employee's debt must be serviced, especially education debt in the US.

It is, for all intents and purposes, a rather relaxed version of indentured servitude, considering the overall lack of mobility in the job market.

Comment Re:A Tale of Two Countries (Score 1) 518

Precisely what you would expect to hear from a tea party nut that has never worked in the public sector. Thank you. Keep up the good work being a shill for the Koch brothers and their ilk. It is only a matter of time before the super-rich (who are the only ones to truly benefit from Tea Party ideals) come after you and make your life miserable.

Submission + - Wiki-style project makes maths breakthrough (

00_NOP writes: "The "Polymath" project which works by encouraging mathematicians to collaborate through a wiki-style interface has proved its worth on its first project — a task in combinatorics called the "DHJ theorem" and in just six weeks a new proof has been discovered and submitted for publication. For geeks everywhere the good news is that even "amateurs" were seen to make useful contributions."

Comment Re:I'm a web developer and I don't like this (Score 1) 285

Besides, it seems like most IE6 users in this age are enterprise clients who can't upgrade until their vendors start supporting new browsers, or until the interprise itself gets rid of legacy programs.

Wrong, if you look at the map and the percentages, it looks like poor people running bootlegged versions of outdated windows are the main users of IE6.

Desktops (Apple)

Submission + - Backdoor Trojan For Windows Ported To Mac OS

An anonymous reader writes: A Remote Access Trojan (RAT) for Windows, known as darkComet, has been ported to Mac OS X. The new backdoor Trojan is not yet finished, but it could be indicative of more underground programmers attempting to take advantage of Apple's growing market share.

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