Random Thoughts On A Saturday

First have you ever listened to the side effects of the drugs they hawk on TV?  One of the most disgusting was “dark anal leakage”….that is until the other day I heard one that made me shiver…..this drug could cause gangrene of the genitals……let me repeat that GANGRENE OF THE GENITALS!  What disease is so bad that the chance of your wanker turning black and falling off is a treatment?

Eeeewwwwwwwwwwwww!

A rainy Saturday and I hope every one had a good Thanksgiving Day….leftovers are forever as they say…..

Speaking of food…….diets….everyone has their diet of choice and some even try them all just so that they can wear those yoga pants……so I will help those that are looking for a diet to call their own…..

Diet fads often make the lofty claim that adjusting food habits one way or another will produce the dieter’s desired results. More specifically: Eat this, not that, and watch the pounds fall off. But diets are hard to sustain, and it seems like diet debunking is constantly calling into question what and how much we should be eating.

In a review published this week in the new issue of Science, scientists from diverse backgrounds and research focuses came together to address whether a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet or vice versa was the better option for maintaining good health, as well as whether the specific kinds of fat and carbs mattered. The researchers—from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston Children’s Hospital, Ohio State University, and others—hoped that by comparing their knowledge of nutrition, they could both find general areas of agreement and identify others where more research is needed in an effort to the end the so-called “diet wars.”

https://gizmodo.com/should-you-be-eating-a-high-fat-low-carb-diet-like-ket-1830482079

More on food….a red meat tax?

Taxing red meat would save many lives and raise billions to pay for healthcare, according to new research. It found the cost of processed meat such as bacon and sausages would double if the harm they cause to people’s health was taken into account.

Governments already tax harmful products to reduce their consumption, such as sugar, alcohol and tobacco. With growing evidence of the health and environmental damage resulting from red meat, some experts now believe a “sin tax” on beef, lamb and pork is inevitable in the longer term.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/06/taxing-red-meat-would-save-many-lives-research-shows

And then there are those yummie BBQ insects……

Roasted crickets are now on the menu at Sainsbury’s as it becomes the first UK supermarket to stock edible insects.

The barbequed flavoured bugs, described as “crunchy in texture with a rich smoky flavour”, will be sold in 250 stores across the country from Sunday.

Each packet will cost £1.50.

Sainsbury’s suggested that the novel product could be eaten as a snack or used to garnish dishes such as tacos, noodles and salads.

https://www.itv.com/news/2018-11-17/sainburys-becomes-first-uk-supermarket-to-sell-edible-insects/

Enough food news that NO one can use!

Those random thoughts are out of the way and I had yet another……

Religion!  To me it is a personal thing and as such does not need any ink but there is a situation that needs to be reported.

Millennials!  They are turning away from traditional religion for an alternative…….

An October 2017 Pew Research Center Fact Tank report reveals that 56 percent of United States adults surveyed “say it is not necessary to believe in God to be moral and have good values.” This number is up from the 49 percent figure reported in a 2011 survey. Pew associates this increase with the continued rise in population of the religiously nonaffiliated persons called “nones.” The “nones” describe themselves as “atheist, agnostic or ‘nothing in particular.’” However, Pew also says that the “nones” reflect only a part of the changing attitude about God, morality and values. “Among all religiously affiliated adults, the share who say belief in God is unnecessary for morality ticked up modestly, from 42 percent in 2011 to 45 percent in 2017,” states the October Fact Tank report.

It is interesting to note that of the religiously affiliated groups surveyed, more white, evangelical Protestants had changed their belief that it was necessary to believe in God to be moral and have good values. Another Pew Research report shows that between 2007 and 2012, 14 percent more Americans ages 18 to 29 doubt the existence of God. Why are these numbers important? Should we be concerned? How is this playing out in the real world?

https://www.thetrumpet.com/16427-millennials-are-becoming-witches

My daughter has a plan and it is investing in a certain sector that she believes will be hot in the future……

The hottest topic in the tech world these days is “quantum computing”….but is it all that?

Quantum computing is all the rage. It seems like hardly a day goes by without some news outlet describing the extraordinary things this technology promises. Most commentators forget, or just gloss over, the fact that people have been working on quantum computing for decades—and without any practical results to show for it.

We’ve been told that quantum computers could “provide breakthroughs in many disciplines, including materials and drug discovery, the optimization of complex manmade systems, and artificial intelligence.” We’ve been assured that quantum computers will “forever alter our economic, industrial, academic, and societal landscape.” We’ve even been told that “the encryption that protects the world’s most sensitive data may soon be broken” by quantum computers. It has gotten to the point where many researchers in various fields of physics feel obliged to justify whatever work they are doing by claiming that it has some relevance to quantum computing.

https://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/hardware/the-case-against-quantum-computing

How’s that for RANDOM?

Have a good day and be well and be safe….chuq

Having A Meltdown?

A new Sunday and cool weather…the garden has gone down until Spring….about the only thing to do is stay warm and read the news…..

An IST FYI report…….

There are new threats to computers……and they are a bitch……

Security experts worldwide are melting down over Meltdown and feeling haunted by Spectre. Those are the names security researchers have given two massive, newly discovered security flaws that affect central processing units at the chip level, meaning nearly all computers are at risk no matter what kind of operating system they run, TechCrunch reports. The bugs, discovered by researchers from Google’s Project Zero team and independent other teams, exploit flaws in computer architecture that make it possible for malicious software to steal information from other programs, according to a website set up by researchers to explain them. The researchers had planned to wait until fixes were available next week before disclosing the flaws, but they released them early after a tech site revealed the vulnerabilities, the AP reports.

The flaws differ in some ways: Meltdown, which breaks through barriers protecting computer memory, affects only Intel chips and works in a way that makes cloud computing especially vulnerable, while the Spectre technique, which is harder to exploit but can trick other applications into revealing information, affects just about everything with any sort of chip in it. Analysts say a patch for Meltdown could slow CPUs down by up to 30%, while there is no known fix for Spectre, which could require a major chip redesign. Researcher Paul Kocher, part of the team that discovered the flaws, tells the New York Times that focusing on improving speed in new chips resulting in design flaws. “We’ve really screwed up,” he says. “There’s been this desire from the industry to be as fast as possible and secure at the same time. Spectre shows that you cannot have both.”

Be careful on your ‘puter…..otherwise enjoy your weekend and I will see you guys tomorrow…..chuq

Just Plug Me In

My weekend begins with a call from a friend in Lebanon who needs to get out and asked if I could help…..I will do what I can but I am too far away to be much help.

Enough of life…..

I recently watch an episode of Dr. Who about a guy that could plug his brain into a computer and get info that is needed.  I thought then how long before that in not fiction but reality?

I then read a post that seem to confirm what I was asking……

The U.S. military is disclosing a super soldier project, revealing to have allocated funding of $65 million dollars for a program to develop a ‘Brain-Computer Interface’ that would allow participants to plug into a computer like the movie The Matrix. No this isn’t science fiction Neo, this is the future that the MIC wants for its soldiers.

Earlier last year in January, DARPA launched Neural Engineering System Design to research technology that could turn soldiers into cyborgs.

The military wants to use these programs to “give soldiers supersenses and boost brainpower.” Four teams will be responsible for increasing vision and two on hearing and speech. The military adds that this will help develop “new treatments for patients with sensory disorders.”

Source: DARPA Commits $65M to Brain Implant Program for Super Soldier Project

I am still in the process of confirming this….but I do not doubt that the government would sink to this level….do you?

All this money being spent to make war “better”….and so little spent looking for a way to make it unnecessary….I guess it is all about priorities, huh?

My day is going well….now just waiting for the time that I can sit among the grape vines and have some wine and a bit of Brie and crackers……

Hope your day is as enjoyable and I will be back tomorrow…see ya….chuq

Is This How “Skynet” Begins

I am sure that everyone that reads this blog is familiar with the term “Skynet”…that computer that runs everything on earth and dispatches terminators to do the dirty work….well it had to have a beginning and I think one of the spin-offs covered that…but could there be a “real life” beginning?

There has been some amazing leaps in AI research and it looks like the Penatgon is going to be the first to use it in search of “bad guys”…….

Turning hours of drone video into actionable intelligence is just the start for the fast-moving machine-learning team.

By year’s end, the Pentagon wants computers to be leading the hunt for Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, through turning countless hours of aerial surveillance video into actionable intelligence.

It’s part of Project Maven, a fast-moving effort launched last month by Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work to accelerate, improve, and put to wider use the military’s use of machine learning.

Source: The Pentagon’s New Algorithmic Warfare Cell Gets Its First Mission: Hunt ISIS – Defense One

Of course I am making light of the situation…but it is a good question when machines are starting to do a lot of our tasks and thinking for us…..

I still think that humans are better at making this decision than a machine….the machine can think faster but can it see the “not normal” that may arise from the intel?

I believe that a good analyst can see things that a machine will overlook as “not” important.

I know I am an old fart but I stand by my statement.