tl;dr we live in the God damn future
Look, Doc, we can’t do this without you!
After years of research, the first bionic eye has seen the light of day in the United States, giving hope to the blind around the world.
Developed by Second Sight Medical Products, the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System has helped more than 60 people recover partial sight, with some experiencing better results than others.
Consisting of 60 electrodes implanted in the retina and glasses fitted with a special mini camera, Argus II has already won the approval of European regulators. The US Food and Drug Administration is soon expected to follow suit, making this bionic eye the world’s first to become widely available.
“It’s the first bionic eye to go on the market in the world, the first in Europe and the first one in the U.S.,” said Brian Mech, the California-based company’s vice president of business development.
Those to benefit from Argus II are people with retinitis pigmentosa, a rare genetic disease, affecting about 100,000 people in the U.S., that results in the degeneration of the retinal photoreceptors.
The photoreceptor cells convert light into electrochemical impulses that are transmitted to the brain via the optic nerve, where they are decoded into images.
“The way the prosthesis works (is) it replaces the function of the photoreceptors,” Mech told AFP.
tl;dr and we worry about using them on people
The Sky is falling!
Last year, the Food and Drug Administrationproposed a set of voluntary “guidelines”designed to nudge the meat industry to curb its antibiotics habit. Ever since, the agency has been mulling whether and how to implement the new program. Meanwhile, the meat industry has been merrily gorging away on antibiotics—and churning out meat rife with antibiotic-resistant pathogens—if the latest data from the FDA itself is any indication.
The Pew Charitable Trusts crunched the agency’s numbers on antibiotic use on livestock farms and compared them to data on human use of antibiotics to treat illness, and mashed it all into an infographic, which I’ve excerpted below. Note that that while human antibiotic use has leveled off at below 8 billion pounds annually, livestock farms have been sucking in more and more of the drugs each year—and consumption reached a record nearly 29.9 billion pounds in 2011. To put it another way, the livestock industry is now consuming nearly four-fifths of the antibiotics used in the US, and its appetite for them is growing.
• Of the Salmonella on ground turkey, about 78% were resistant to at least one antibiotic and half of the bacteria were resistant to three or more. These figures are up compared to 2010.
• Nearly three-quarters of the Salmonella found on retail chicken breast were resistant to at least one antibiotic. About 12% of retail chicken breast and ground turkey samples were contaminated with Salmonella.
• Resistance to tetracycline [an antibiotic] is up among Campylobacter on retail chicken. About 95% of chicken products were contaminated with Campylobacter, and nearly half of those bacteria were resistant to tetracyclines. This reflects an increase over last year and 2002.
The resistance will be tanned.
Business travel can push a person out of his or her “comfort zone” and temporarily trash a carefully established, healthy routine—which, for many of us, includes exercise workouts. Hitting the road for a paycheck, however, does not mean your painstakingly achieved fitness has to decline significantly—and, maybe not at all. I speak from experience.
In November 2012 I returned home from what would be my ultimate business trip: a two-month, maritime-security job on the Indian Ocean. I came back in perhaps slightly better shape than when I left, too. I had swapped my normal, twice- or thrice-weekly workout routine—kettle bells, calisthenics, and Nordic Track at home; dumbbells and weight machines at a local gym—for an improvised, shipboard routine. I used minimal personal gear and a variety of metal fixtures on the lifeboat deck and navigation deck of the Asian-flagged cargo ship I helped guard against Somali pirates.
You do not need a gym to work out.
tl;dr they own a lot of tubes
A Facebook glitch briefly took down a large number of sites that use the social network’s login credentials on Thursday — highlighting just how wide Facebook’s reach has become.The glitch lasted a few minutes and affected only those who were logged into Facebook at the time. But there were widespread reports of users having trouble getting to sites such as Gawker, CNN, Mashable and, yes, The Washington Post. When users tried to visit those sites, they were sent to a Facebook page that displayed an error. To get around the bug, users had to log out of the social network.
Facebook released a short statement after the outage, saying, “For a short period of time, there was a bug that redirected people from third party sites integrated with Facebook to Facebook.com. The issue was quickly resolved.”The company has yet to provide further information about the flaw or say how many Web sites may have been affected.While the outage was a short-lived problem with a fairly quick work-around, some sites with Facebook integration may find it troubling that a flaw in Facebook’s code could affect so many users.
img by Max Slowik
img by Max Slowik
While leaving Die Less World HQ the other night I had a Die Less experience. As I walked around the front of my truck there was a pile of broken glass where my window should have been. I was pretty surprised because I don’t leave valuables in my car, ever –years of living near Detroit will teach you that lesson. With no valuables visible from the outside, I’m not sure what attracted the thieves to break in. And it was only my truck, none of the other vehicles on the block were molested. I have some ideas now about why, but they’re pretty thin.
In their best effort to find something valuable, they did rifle through the center console, the glove box and some papers. There were a few things of minor value there: my insurance paper work, my vehicle registration (including a registration sticker I’d not yet applied) and some miscellaneous crap. None of those items were taken.
All of this got me thinking; If the person(s) who broke into my car were so inclined, they could have a pretty good start to an identity theft profile. They would have had my name, my address, my insurance policy number, and access to my driving record. Not enough to immediately turn into a false identity, but probably 80% of the necessary information.
Since then I’ve sterilized the inside of my car. There is no identifying paperwork in the truck. All of that is in my wallet. Now on the one hand I’ve just made it so that if the wallet is lost or stolen the door to identity theft is wide open. On the other hand, it’s a wallet, that’s where an identity is kept, so I’d be screwed regardless. Sterilizing the vehicle at least reduces my exposure. When you consider that cars are often left unattended for hours at a time, I can’t see a good argument for not sterilizing a vehicle.
Finally, as I started examining the idea of limiting my exposure I realized I had been making a terrible mistake. For years I’ve kept a spare key to my house and car in my wallet. Think about that. I carried around keys to everything I owned in my wallet; with my license, which has my address printed right on the front. If it were stolen that would be an invitation for the wrong kind of person to come help themselves. Sometimes I marvel at the blind spots that develop around convenience.