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Submission + - The FDA and the EpiPen Shock (slatestarcodex.com)

Kurast writes: When was the last time that America’s chair industry hiked the price of chairs 400% and suddenly nobody in the country could afford to sit down? When was the last time that the mug industry decided to charge $300 per cup, and everyone had to drink coffee straight from the pot or face bankruptcy? When was the last time greedy shoe executives forced most Americans to go barefoot?

Imagine that the government creates the Furniture and Desk Association, an agency which declares that only IKEA is allowed to sell chairs. IKEA responds by charging $300 per chair. Other companies try to sell stools or sofas, but get bogged down for years in litigation over whether these technically count as “chairs”. When a few of them win their court cases, the FDA shoots them down anyway for vague reasons it refuses to share, or because they haven’t done studies showing that their chairs will not break, or because the studies that showed their chairs will not break didn’t include a high enough number of morbidly obese people so we can’t be sure they won’t break. Finally, Target spends tens of millions of dollars on lawyers and gets the okay to compete with IKEA, but people can only get Target chairs if they have a note signed by a professional interior designer saying that their room needs a “comfort-producing seating implement” and which absolutely definitely does not mention “chairs” anywhere, because otherwise a child who was used to sitting on IKEA chairs might sit down on a Target chair the wrong way, get confused, fall off, and break her head.

(You’re going to say this is an unfair comparison because drugs are potentially dangerous and chairs aren’t – but 50 people die each year from falling off chairs in Britain alone and as far as I know nobody has ever died from an EpiPen malfunction.)

Imagine that this whole system is going on at the same time that IKEA donates millions of dollars lobbying senators about chair-related issues, and that these same senators vote down a bill preventing IKEA from paying off other companies to stay out of the chair industry. Also, suppose that a bunch of people are dying each year of exhaustion from having to stand up all the time because chairs are too expensive unless you have really good furniture insurance, which is totally a thing and which everybody is legally required to have.

And now imagine that a news site responds with an article saying the government doesn’t regulate chairs enough.

Submission + - EFF: Why the First Amendment means that the FBI can't force Apple to sign code (boingboing.net)

Kurast writes: Code is speech: critical court rulings from the early history of the Electronic Frontier Foundation held that code was a form of expressive speech, protected by the First Amendment.

The EFF has just submitted an amicus brief in support of Apple in its fight against the FBI, representing 46 "technologists, researchers and cryptographers," laying out the case that the First Amendment means that Apple can't be forced to utter speech to the government's command, and they especially can't be forced to sign and endorse that speech.

In a "deep dive" post, EFF's Andrew Crocker and Jamie Williams take you through the argument, step by step.

Submission + - NYSE, WSJ, United all experience "glitches" (nytimes.com)

Actually, I do RTFA writes: The New York Stock Exchange suspended trading due to "glitches" in their software. They claim it was the result of an errant early-morning update, and not a cyberattack. United Airlines and the Wall Street Journal also experienced "glitches" today. The WSJ merely shut down their website, but United is grounding planes. (And United is also US AIr, and therefore the biggest airline in the world.)

So, is it a low-keyed cyber assault? Was patch Tuesday yesterday?

Submission + - IMAX Tries To Censor Arstechnica over SteamVR Comparison

Cutting_Crew writes: From the article:

"Last week, Ars published a story about the newest version of SteamVR, a virtual reality system made by Valve Software. The piece includes interviews with game designers praising the new system as well as writer Sam Machkovech's own experience using SteamVR at Valve's office in Bellevue, Washington. On June 16, Ars Technica was contacted by IMAX Corporation. The company said our story required a retraction because it included a brief reference to IMAX—included without IMAX's permission. "Any unauthorized use of our trademark is expressly forbidden"

If you look at the letter from the lawyer you will notice that it mentioned trademark and seems to think that merely using the name "IMAX" is somehow an infringement of that trademark. It sounds like someone is a little too scared of Valve. Apparently, they(IMAX) has never heard of or experienced the Streisand Effect. Here is a quick link to the PDF sent by the 'lawyer'.

Submission + - Nvidia Cracked (wccftech.com) 4

jones_supa writes: Another day, another corporate network intrusion. Nvidia has reportedly been breached in the first week of December with the attack compromising personal information of the employees. There is no indication that other data has been compromised. This is according to an email sent out by the company's privacy office and Nvidia's SVP and CIO Bob Worwall on December 17th. It took Nvidia a couple of weeks to pick up all the pieces and assess the incident. It appears that the issue was pinned down to an employee or several employees getting their personal data compromised outside of the company network. After that, the information was used to gain unauthorized access to the internal corporate network. Nvidia's IT team has taken extensive measures since then to enhance the security of the network against similar attacks in the future.

Comment Re:Technicalities (Score 2) 198

For a population size of 6 billion, confidence interval of 95%, expected mean distribution of 50% (most conservative) of infection ratio, a sample size of 9 gives us a margin of error of 32% (try yourself: http://www.raosoft.com/samples...)
Given 100% efficacy, it is highly significant, well outside the margin of error.
Is is significant even for 98% confidence.

Science

Submission + - Soccer Superstar Plays With Very Low Brain Activity

jones_supa writes: Brazilian superstar Neymar's (Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior) brain activity while dancing past opponents is less than 10 per cent the level of amateur players, suggesting he plays as if on "auto-pilot", according to Japanese neurologists Eiichi Naito and Satoshi Hirose. The findings were published in the Swiss journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience following a series of motor skills tests carried out on the 22-year-old Neymar and several other athletes in Barcelona in February this year. Three Spanish second-division footballers and two top-level swimmers were also subjected to the same tests. Researcher Naito told Japan's Mainichi Shimbun newspaper: "Reduced brain activity means less burden which allows [the player] to perform many complex movements at once. We believe this gives him the ability to execute his various shimmies." In the research paper Naito concluded that the test results "provide valuable evidence that the football brain of Neymar recruits very limited neural resources in the motor-cortical foot regions during foot movements".

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