Archive for October, 2020

Someone leaked the COVID hospitalization data taken from the CDC

October 31st, 2020
A doctor walks in front of a hospital entrance.

Enlarge (credit: Spencer Platt / Getty Images)

Earlier this year, the federal government made a major change to how data on the pandemic is reported, taking the aggregation of hospital data away from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and shifting it into the CDC's parent organization, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

At the time, there were worries that this represented an attempt to limit the public's ability to see how bad the pandemic was—worries that were reinforced when the data was no longer made public as it came in. But some recent reporting indicated that the change was primarily the work of White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Deborah Birx, who wanted greater control over the data gathering and processing. Still, regardless of the motivation, the data flowing in to HHS only made its way out to the public via weekly summaries.

Until now. Someone has leaked the daily reports to NPR, which found that the reports weren't all that they could be, but they could still be useful for public health experts.

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Posted in CDC, COVID-19, HHS, pandemic, Policy, science | Comments (0)

Thanks, r/netsec! The CTF that I posted about earlier this week is up and running right now with over 1000 players playing live. I am so grateful to this community for supporting my project that I have been on since the beginning of lockdown. My satisfaction is immeasurable and my day is made.

October 31st, 2020
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RIP Google Play Music, Gone Too Soon

October 31st, 2020
The company's music service, which was born in 2011 and shut down last week, shall live forever in our hearts.

Posted in Gear, Gear / Gear News and Events, Google Graveyard | Comments (0)

Rising Ransomware Breaches Underscore Cybersecurity Failures

October 31st, 2020
Ransomware's continued success speaks volumes about what's at stake for businesses and people, and, perhaps, the cybersecurity industry's inability to adapt quickly enough to protect everyone.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Neck-Deep in Stress? Try This Heated Massager

October 31st, 2020
TruMedic’s latest massager contains two sets of rotating balls that simulate the kneading motion of human hands.

Posted in Gear, Gear / Products / Health and Fitness, Gear / Reviews, Product Review | Comments (0)

The Wisconsin GOP Lost $2.3 Million in an Email Scam

October 31st, 2020
Trump's website gets hacked, a ransomware group calls it quits, and more of the week's top security news.

Posted in security, Security / Security News, security roundup | Comments (0)

A new way to plug a human brain into a computer: Via veins

October 31st, 2020
human brain, motherboards, chip and artificial intelligence concept and neural tech and brain computer interfaces.

Enlarge / human brain, motherboards, chip and artificial intelligence concept and neural tech and brain computer interfaces.

The hard part of connecting a gooey, thinking brain to a cold, one-ing and zero-ing computer is getting information through your thick skull—or mine, or anyone’s. The whole point of a skull, after all, is keeping a brain safely separate from [waves hands at everything].

So if that brain isn’t yours, the only way to tell what’s going on inside it is inference. People make very educated guesses based on what that brain tells a body to do—like, if the body makes some noises that you can understand (that’s speech) or moves around in a recognizable way. That’s a problem for people trying to understand how the brain works, and an even bigger problem for people who because of injury or illness can’t move or speak. Sophisticated imaging technologies like functional magnetic resonance can give you some clues. But it’d be great to have something more direct. For decades, technologists have been trying to get brains to interface with computer keyboards or robot arms, to get meat to commune with silicon.

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Posted in brain-computer interface, Neuroscience, science | Comments (0)

17 Tips to Help You Survive Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout

October 31st, 2020
This battle royale is insane. Here are some basics and tricks to outlast your 59 opponents and be the last bean standing.

Posted in Full of Beans, Gear, Gear / How To and Advice, Gear / Products / Gaming | Comments (0)

Is It Better to Plant Trees or Let Forests Regrow Naturally?

October 31st, 2020
Nations are pledging to plant billions of trees. But a new study shows that we've underestimated the power of natural forest regrowth to fight climate change.

Posted in climate change, science, Science / Environment | Comments (0)

The tech antitrust problem no one is talking about

October 31st, 2020

After years of building political pressure for antitrust scrutiny of major tech companies, this month Congress and the US government delivered. The House Antitrust Subcommittee released a report accusing Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook of monopolistic behavior. The Department of Justice filed a complaint against Google alleging the company prevents consumers from sampling other search engines.

The new fervor for tech antitrust has so far overlooked an equally obvious target: US broadband providers. “If you want to talk about a history of using gatekeeper power to harm competitors, there are few better examples,” says Gigi Sohn, a fellow at the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy.

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Posted in AT&T, broadband, Charter, Comcast, Competition, Policy, verizon | Comments (0)