Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Scientific American: It's Time to End the War on Salt

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It's Time to End the War on Salt
The zealous drive by politicians to limit our salt intake has little basis in science
By Melinda Wenner Moyer - July 8, 2011

For decades, policy makers have tried and failed to get Americans to eat less salt. In April 2010 the Institute of Medicine urged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to regulate the amount of salt that food manufacturers put into products; New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has already convinced 16 companies to do so voluntarily. But if the U.S. does conquer salt, what will we gain? Bland french fries, for sure. But a healthy nation? Not necessarily.

This week a meta-analysis of seven studies involving a total of 6,250 subjects in the American Journal of Hypertension found no strong evidence that cutting salt intake reduces the risk for heart attacks, strokes or death in people with normal or high blood pressure. In May European researchers publishing in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that the less sodium that study subjects excreted in their urine—an excellent measure of prior consumption—the greater their risk was of dying from heart disease. These findings call into question the common wisdom that excess salt is bad for you, but the evidence linking salt to heart disease has always been tenuous.

I'm going to show this article to everybody who gets in my face about salt consumption.

Junk science combined with megalomaniacal politicians is not justification for controlling what people are allowed to eat, especially when the scientific evidence shows that it actually endangers health.

ArsTechnica: Surface Book review

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Surface Book review: The hybrid that really does replace your laptop
It ain't cheap, but it is pretty.
by Peter Bright - Oct 21, 2015 9:00am EDT

This is the machine that I've wanted Microsoft to build ever since it embarked on its Surface adventure in 2012.

The build quality, materials, and design of the Surface line have always impressed, but the tablet form factor continually limited its appeal. Changes to the Surface Pro 3 enabled Microsoft to carve out a niche for its "productivity tablet," and the Surface Pro 4 is a solid upgrade and refinement, but there's one thing those devices are not — a laptop.

The laptop form factor, with a stiff hinge that can hold the screen up, is tried, trusted, and tremendously popular. It is equally at home on a desk in the office, on your lap on a train or a plane, or even at home in bed or on the sofa. It can be used in all these places while still offering high quality keyboards and pointers, large screens, abundant ports, big batteries, and high performance. The Surface offered some of these things, but the laptop form factor always offered more. ...

A good review of this product.

Although I can't see myself needing to buy a new Windows PC, I have been very impressed by what I've seen in the Surface devices and this one seems better than them all. My only concern is that the high-end model is very expensive - too much to me worthwhile if all I do with it is replace my old Windows XP box (which works great, but no longer gets any security updates from Microsoft.)

I'll be very interested to see final pricing and if they fix the dock/undock bug that Ars reported.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Now THAT's a durable screen!

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Knock nail into wood! OUKITEL K4000 had a screen test that it won’t beak if hit by an iron hammer, but will the screen break if it is used as a hammer to knock other things?
Details in Official website:
Facebook page:

That's got to be the most cringe-worthy cell phone torture test I've ever seen. I wonder what they are doing to provide the promised 9H hardness and 800MPa stress value. Is it a sapphire crystal display? That's the only thing I can think of that might work.

I hope Apple sees this and manages to license the tech. I want my iPhone screen to be this strong.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Hacker Who Sent Brian Krebs Heroin Faces Charges in U.S.

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Hacker Who Sent Me Heroin Faces Charges in U.S.

A Ukrainian hacker who once hatched a plot to have heroin sent to my Virginia home and then alert police when the drugs arrived had his first appearance in a U.S. court today, after being extradited to the United States to face multiple cybercrime charges.

It's a very interesting read and a warning about what you may have to deal with if you make a career out of exposing cybercriminals. Fortunately, this story has a good ending.

Friday, October 09, 2015

FastCompany: Why The Steve Jobs In Aaron Sorkin's Movie Could Never Have Saved Apple

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Why The Steve Jobs In Aaron Sorkin's Movie Could Never Have Saved Apple

The movie is full of fictions. Many are minor details. One character accuses Jobs of having "multiple billions of dollars" — but the movie ends in 1998, and Jobs didn’t actually get that kind of money until 2006, when Disney bought Pixar (a company that isn’t even mentioned in the movie). Other fictions are major, including several invented confrontations between Jobs and Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak, Mac genius Andy Hertzfeld, and ex-CEO John Sculley. And then there’s the grand fiction of omission in the final act, which hinges on an imagined reconciliation between Jobs and Lisa—the daughter whose paternity he once denied—before his 1998 introduction of the iMac. Moviegoers have no way of knowing that by 1998 the real Steve Jobs had been married for seven years, was raising three children with his wife, had brought Lisa under their roof, and had been profoundly changed by his family life in the slow-yet-sudden way that is so common to so many people.

Steve Jobs screenwriter Sorkin has claimed his right to tinker with history for the sake of art. In the past few weeks, he has asserted that his goal was never to create a biopic. "Walter [Isaacson]’s biography had to be about what happened," Sorkin told Wired. "It had to be a piece of journalism. When I write something, there is actually a requirement to be subjective; it’s really the difference between a photograph and a painting." He also told the Wall Street Journal, when asked about some of the movie’s most memorable lines of dialogue, "If any of them are real, it’s a remarkable coincidence." And Sorkin has repeatedly cited something the late Mike Nichols told him during the creation of Charlie Wilson’s War: "Art isn’t about what happened."

h/t Daring Fireball

I wasn't planning on seeing this movie, and after reading this review (please read the whole thing) I really don't want to.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Introducing the DJI Osmo

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h/t AppleInsider

I'm not very familiar with products already available to those making movies with phones, but this device looks really awesome. I'm sure this kind of steadicam tech has been around for a long time, but this is the first I've seen of it in a (relatively) inexpensive device integrated with a smartphone, and I'm very impressed.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Benjamin Netanyahu's speech before the U.N. on October 1, 2015

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A great speech by the Churchill of our day. Anyone not on the side of the terrorists should agree with what he said. Quite notably, however, the US delegation did not applaud, even when the rest of the world did.

h/t Pamella Geller's Atlas Shrugs