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Submission + - "Father of Chinese Pinyin" Dies at the Age of 111 (bbc.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Chinese economist and self-taught linguist Zhou Youguang died on Jan 14, reports the BBC. Prof. Zhou was the leading inventor of the Pinyin phonetic transcription system for the standard Chinese language, based on 26 letters of the Latin alphabet. Developed in the 1950s and now officially adopted by China, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia and used by most West-based libraries, press and educational institutions, it paved way the widespread availability of pinyin-based computer input methods (IMEs) available today on virtually all operating systems and mobile platforms.

The pinyin was first developed as a superior alternative to earlier Chinese romanization systems such as Wade--Giles. It has since proved helpful for combating the illiteracy problem in Communist China, as well as for foreign learners of the Chinese language. The availability of pinyin in Chinese elementary schools significantly lowered the average Chinese's learning curve toward computer literacy.

Mr. Zhou survived forced labor and persecution during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960--70s and became a vocal critic of Chinese politics despite his great age, publishing 10 books after turning 100. Among his other achievements, he was responsible for overseeing the Chinese translation of the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Submission + - Carbon nanotube-based memory poised for commercialization in 2018 (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: Nano-RAM, which is based on carbon nanotubes and is claimed to have virtually a limitless number of write cycles and can achieve up to 3.2 billion data transfers per second or 2.4Gbps — more than twice as fast as NAND flash — is now being produced in seven fabrication plants around the world. Fujitsu plans to develop a custom embedded storage-class memory module using a DDR4 interface by the end of 2018, with the goal of expanding its product line-up into a stand-alone NRAM product family. A new report from BCC Research states the NRAM will likely challenge all other memory types for market dominance and is expected to be used in everything from IoT sensors to smartphone memory and embedded ASICS for automobiles.

Submission + - Another Final Obama Admin Last Act: Proposing How to Rethink College w/ Tech (edsurge.com)

jyosim writes: Yesterday the Obama Administration's Ed Dept issued a big National Education Technology Plan focused on reimagining higher education. It's a bit of a kitchen sink of examples and suggestions, but it does argue that colleges need to step up their game: “Unless we become more nimble in our approach and more scalable in our solutions, we will miss out on an opportunity to embrace and serve the majority of students who will need higher education and postsecondary learning,” says the report. Later it underscores that “higher education has never mattered so much to those who seek it. It drives social mobility, energizes our economy, and underpins our democracy.”

Colleges are good at letting the ivy grown on walls, after all.

The timing is a bit odd. Will Trump's education team possibly continue this policy direction?
Ted Mitchell, Under Secretary for Education, admitted that much activity will move to the states or other entities in the near future, but he still sees a federal role. “These federal issues are also going to be state issues,” he said. “At the core, we believe changes will happen most profoundly at the institution level.”

Submission + - Faulty phone battery may have caused fire that brought down EgyptAir flight MS80 (ibtimes.co.uk)

drunkdrone writes: French authorities investigating the EgyptAir crash that killed 66 people last year believe that the plane may have been brought down by an overheating phone battery.

Investigators say the fire that broke out on the Airbus A320 in May 2016 started in the spot where the co-pilot had stowed his iPad and iPhone 6S, which he placed on top of the instrument panel in the plane's cockpit.

Comment Re:you mean capitalism works? (Score 1) 371

Before the 80's when boomers became determined to bleed every possible drop of profit out of the economy, hospitals were run by charities

Interesting little fantasy world you live in.

What really changed medical care in the US was the Democrats' attempt to socialize it back in the '60s. They were afraid to take it over completely, so they went halfway with Medicare. That program guaranteed hospitals would be paid to provide unlimited and expensive care to the largest segment of their market. Profits soared and any incentive to hold down costs went out the window.

Submission + - CVS Announces Super Cheap Generic Alternative To EpiPen (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Pharmaceutical giant CVS announced Thursday that it has partnered with Impax Laboratories to sell a generic epinephrine auto-injector for $109.99 for a two-pack—a dramatic cut from Mylan’s Epipen two-pack prices, which list for more than $600 as a brand name and $300 as a generic. The lower-cost auto-injector, a generic form of Adrenaclick, is available starting today nationwide in the company’s more than 9,600 pharmacies. Its price resembles that of EpiPen’s before Mylan bought the rights to the life-saving devices back in 2007 and raised the price repeatedly, sparking outcry. Helena Foulkes, president of CVS Pharmacy, said the company felt compelled to respond to the urgent need for a more affordable alternative. “Over the past year, nearly 150,000 people signed on to a petition asking for a lower-cost epinephrine auto-injector option and millions more were active in social media searching for a solution,” she said in a statement. The price of $109.99 for the alternative applies to those with and without insurance, CVS noted. And Impax is also offering a coupon to reduce the cost to just $9.99 for qualifying patients. Also in the press statement, Dr. Todd Listwa of Novant Health, a network of healthcare providers, noted the importance of access to epinephrine auto-injectors, which swiftly reverse rapid-onset, deadly allergic reactions in some. “For these patients, having access to emergency epinephrine is a necessity. Making an affordable epinephrine auto-injector device accessible to patients will ensure patients have the medicine they need, when they need it."

Submission + - Study shows wearable sensors can predict illness

skids writes:

Wearable sensors that monitor heart rate, activity, skin temperature and other variables can reveal a lot about what is going on inside a person, including the onset of infection, inflammation and even insulin resistance, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. ... Participants wore between one and eight commercially available activity monitors and other monitors that collected more than 250,000 measurements a day. ... "We want to study people at an individual level," said Michael Snyder, PhD, professor and chair of genetics. ... "We have more sensors on our cars than we have on human beings," said Snyder. In the future, he said, he expects the situation will be reversed and people will have more sensors than cars do.

IT security being in the state it is, will we face the same decision about our actual lives that we already face about our social lives/identities: either risk very real hazards of misuse of your personal data, or get left behind?

Submission + - Hamas 'Honey Trap' Dupes Israeli Soldiers (securityweek.com)

wiredmikey writes: The smartphones of dozens of Israeli soldiers were hacked by Hamas militants pretending to be attractive young women online, an Israeli military official said Wednesday. Using fake profiles on Facebook with alluring photos, Hamas members contacted the soldiers via groups on the social network, luring them into long chats, the official told journalists on condition of anonymity.

Dozens of the predominantly lower-ranked soldiers were convinced enough by the honey trap to download fake applications which enabled Hamas to take control of their phones, according to the official.

Submission + - SUSE is working on a container operating system called Micro OS (thenewstack.io)

sfcrazy writes: In an interview, SUSE’s new CTO, Dr. Thomas Di Giacomo told The New Stack that there are many customers who are running legacy systems but they want to migrate to modern technologies over time. Today, if you want to start from scratch, you will start with containers. “We want to make sure that companies that have legacy infrastructure and legacy applications can move to modern technologies, where container as a service is offered through that OS itself,” said “Dr. T” (as he is known in SUSE circles). That’s what CaaSP with MicroOS is being designed to do.

Micro OS will offer transactional updates similar to Core OS, where users can roll back to older version if something fails. The big difference is that it use BTRFS snapshots to achieve that.

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