Links for 2020-10-20

  • r/Ireland Christmas Market

    The denizens of r/Ireland pipe up with their favoured sources of online gifts for Xmas

    (tags: reddit ireland shopping christmas gifts shops)

  • WHO: US, Europe need to get better at quarantining – Business Insider

    Now _this_ is a good point.

    Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead for COVID-19 said during the meeting Monday that she’s had lots of friends and family asking her in recent days what, exactly, quarantine is. Essentially, it’s complete isolation from other people, including those you’d normally live with and breathe around, to the fullest extent possible.  “That means not going to work,” Van Kerkhove said. “It means not going to the grocery store. It means not socializing with friends. It means not having people over at your home.” Ideally, quarantining is a disease-fighting measure that is supported by local health programs and government support that can allow people to continue making a living and feeding their families while in quarantine, she said. 

    (tags: quarantine covid-19 infection isolation pandemics public-health)

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Links for 2020-10-19

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Links for 2020-10-14

  • RangeTherapy

    Muxsan are a Dutch company selling range extension kits for Nissan Leaf EVs, increasing their range from a Gen 1 Leaf’s 110km to a typical 238km; 440km is the max. ‘The extension pack consists of many Lithium-ion cells [NMC], which are of the highest quality, bound by aluminum casing into modules and each module comes with a German built Battery Management System [BMS].’

    (tags: nissan cars leaf driving evs muxsan batteries hacking)

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Links for 2020-10-13

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Links for 2020-10-12

  • The top 100 BBCMicroBot tweets

    these are _amazing_. Huge respect to all the contributors who wrote these great little demos-in-a-tweet

    (tags: demoscene demos bbc bbc-micro coding)

  • How Brain Fog Plagues Covid-19 Survivors – The New York Times

    “It scares me to think I’m working,” Ms. Mizelle, 53, said. “I feel like I have dementia.” It’s becoming known as Covid brain fog: troubling cognitive symptoms that can include memory loss, confusion, difficulty focusing, dizziness and grasping for everyday words. Increasingly, Covid survivors say brain fog is impairing their ability to work and function normally. “There are thousands of people who have that,” said Dr. Igor Koralnik, chief of neuro-infectious disease at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, who has already seen hundreds of survivors at a post-Covid clinic he leads. “The impact on the work force that’s affected is going to be significant. Scientists aren’t sure what causes brain fog, which varies widely and affects even people who became only mildly physically ill from Covid-19 and had no previous medical conditions. Leading theories are that it arises when the body’s immune response to the virus doesn’t shut down or from inflammation in blood vessels leading to the brain. Confusion, delirium and other types of altered mental function, called encephalopathy, have occurred during hospitalization for Covid-19 respiratory problems, and a study found such patients needed longer hospitalizations, had higher mortality rates and often couldn’t manage daily activities right after hospitalization. But research on long-lasting brain fog is just beginning. A French report in August on 120 patients who had been hospitalized found that 34 percent had memory loss and 27 percent had concentration problems months later.

    (tags: brain-fog covid-19 sequelae inflammation side-effects)

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Links for 2020-10-11

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Links for 2020-10-09

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Links for 2020-10-08

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Links for 2020-10-07

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Links for 2020-10-06

  • Marc Bevand’s cases-vs-deaths graph for Florida

    “deaths can lag up to 1 month after cases” — clear dataviz. Going to be sadly very relevant in Ireland in about a month’s time

    (tags: ireland covid-19 pandemic via:firefoxx66)

  • Timeline of COVID -19 and Vietnam policy actions at a glance

    Vietnam’s policy actions regarding COVID -19 are recapped in a timeline together with the outbreak’s movement and in context with other Asian countries from the start of 2020 to early of August 2020. Quick and decisive actions including touch control on travelling, intensive quarantine for overseas arrivals and suspected cases, massive testing and aggressive contract tracing, sealing off virus hot-spots and timely communication from very early on are considered to have contributed to Vietnam’s performance given its vulnerable position to China, a population of 100 million people and a comparatively under-developed healthcare system.

    (tags: vietnam lockdown pandemics covid-19 public-health)

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Links for 2020-10-05

  • Dr Zoë Hyde’s latest Twitter thread on kids and COVID-19

    With an Aussie perspective — Dr. Hyde works in Perth. ‘Summary: further evidence children & adults are equally susceptible & equally likely to transmit; school clusters are increasing; precautions needed in schools.’

    (tags: schools education covid-19 transmission)

  • Selling Our Genes: Government inaction allowing private sector to take control of our DNA

    Genuity Science, the main company involved in DNA sequencing in Ireland, has at least 25 links to facilities around Ireland. These include funding and collaborations with major hospitals, universities, research facilities and charities. A collaboration agreement signed between Genuity Science and UCD is “restrictive”, according to an academic expert, though Genuity Science Ireland disagree with this assessment. We have the full details in this breakout article. Hospital clinicians have become “agents of a company” due to the nature of agreements in place, according to experts. Researchers are making “the best of the situation” in Ireland by working with the private sector but most would prefer a public system due to data access concerns. Lack of Government policy and adequate regulation means that private companies have no limit on how long they have exclusive access to the data they collect from Irish patients. Researchers and patient representatives are concerned about a potential erosion of trust in genetics research in Ireland.

    (tags: genomics genuity genetics ucd gmi ireland data-privacy data-protection research)

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Links for 2020-10-01

  • WebPlotDigitizer

    Extract data from plots, images, and maps:

    It is often necessary to reverse engineer images of data visualizations to extract the underlying numerical data. WebPlotDigitizer is a semi-automated tool that makes this process extremely easy: Works with a wide variety of charts (XY, bar, polar, ternary, maps etc.) Automatic extraction algorithms make it easy to extract a large number of data points Free to use, opensource and cross-platform (web and desktop) Used in hundreds of published works by thousands of users Also useful for measuring distances or angles between various features

    (tags: data-extraction scraping tools data charts)

  • ‘Only aerosol transmission can explain’ the Skagit Choir transmission incident

    Jose-Luis Jimenez on Twitter: The “Skagit Choir” incident of mass spreading of COVID-19 indicates aerosol transmission: ‘Only aerosol transmission can explain how 1 person infected 52, including people who were 13 meters behind the index case.’

    (tags: aerosols covid-19 sars-cov-2 transmission infection air)

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Links for 2020-09-30

  • inside the LAPD/LASD usage of Palantir

    Much of the LAPD data consists of the names of people arrested for, convicted of, or even suspected of committing crimes, but that’s just where it starts. Palantir also ingests the bycatch of daily law enforcement activity. Maybe a police officer was told a person knew a suspected gang member. Maybe an officer spoke to a person who lived near a crime “hot spot,” or was in the area when a crime happened. Maybe a police officer simply had a hunch. The context is immaterial. Once the LAPD adds a name to Palantir’s database, that person becomes a data point in a massive police surveillance system. […] At great taxpayer expense, and without public oversight or regulation, Palantir helped the LAPD construct a vast database that indiscriminately lists the names, addresses, phone numbers, license plates, friendships, romances, jobs of Angelenos — the guilty, innocent, and those in between.
    This is absolute garbage — total bias built-in. No evidence required to get a person in the firing line: “The focus of a data-driven surveillance system is to put a lot of innocent people in the system,” Ferguson said. “And that means that many folks who end up in the Palantir system are predominantly poor people of color, and who have already been identified by the gaze of police.”

    (tags: palantir databases privacy law lapd lasd los-angeles surveillance big-brother police crime gangs)

  • Everything you wanted to know about the Hydrogen economy but were too busy to research

    Informative Twitter thread: ‘International hydrogen markets could be a thing, but don’t bet on hydrogen shipping’; ‘H2 future looks good regardless’; and ‘distributed plants could satisfy local industry and power markets while relieving electrical grid bottlenecks. The benefits are more likely to remain local rather than exported. So important for a just transition.’ (via Forge The Future)

    (tags: h2 hydrogen green climate-change future eu europe twitter via:ftf)

  • AWS CRT HTTP Client in the AWS SDK for Java 2.x

    Interesting — a new, high-performance, high-concurrency HTTP/1.1 client library in the AWS SDK, outperforming other Java HTTP client libs

    (tags: java libraries aws http http-1.1 clients)

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Links for 2020-09-29

  • Covid: The libertarian population immunity strategy is wrong-headed & dangerous

    +1 to this —

    As cases of covid in the UK surge once again, the debate has restarted about whether to suppress covid until a vaccine becomes available, or whether to pursue a deliberate strategy of achieving population immunity without a vaccine. The assumption is that vulnerable populations can be protected while the rest of the population, who are at low risk of hospitalisation and death, can be safely encouraged to live life normally and be exposed to the virus without a vaccine. Some even advocate that younger people, because they are at lower risk, should be the first to actively seek infection. “Not only is it a good thing for young people to go out there and become immune,” one commentator said, “but that is almost their duty”. It is this deliberate strategy which I find so troubling, for six reasons. [….]

    (tags: uk politics covid-19 herd-immunity immunity risk pandemics)

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Links for 2020-09-28

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Links for 2020-09-25

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Links for 2020-09-24

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Links for 2020-09-23

  • Feh/nocache

    minimize filesystem caching effects:

    The nocache tool tries to minimize the effect an application has on the Linux file system cache. This is done by intercepting the open and close system calls and calling posix_fadvise() with the POSIX_FADV_DONTNEED parameter. Because the library remembers which pages (ie., 4K-blocks of the file) were already in file system cache when the file was opened, these will not be marked as “don’t need”, because other applications might need that, although they are not actively used (think: hot standby).

    (tags: cache linux memory performance filesystems backup k8s unix fadvise)

  • Now 11 reported SARS-CoV-2 reinfections

    4 cases were more serious the second time around

    (tags: reinfections sars-cov-2 covid-19)

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Links for 2020-09-21

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Links for 2020-09-17

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Links for 2020-09-16

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Links for 2020-09-15

  • Rolling the COVID Dice in Ireland

    On the Probability of SARS-CoV2 Infection in Ireland & the Benefits of Mitigation: ‘In Ireland today, we have a certain chance of becoming infected with the coronavirus over the course of the next week, unless we take precautions. We can roll this many sided dice once a week for 100 weeks, and hope that our number doesn’t ever come up, or we can take a few simple precautions and only roll the dice one time. That’s the difference wearing a mask, keeping our distance, and behaving sensibly makes. That’s the choice most of us can make to keep everyone safe. I think it’s a simple choice.’

    (tags: covid-19 barry-smyth probability safety infection)

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Links for 2020-09-14

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Links for 2020-09-11

  • Benchspace PPE Project Report

    report from Benchspace on their open source PPE project during March and April. it’s great stuff. 50,000 face shields printed!

    (tags: face-shields covid-19 volunteers open-source 3d-printing ppe benchspace)

  • America Is Trapped in a Pandemic Spiral – The Atlantic

    ‘Many Americans trusted intuition to help guide them through this disaster. They grabbed onto whatever solution was most prominent in the moment, and bounced from one (often false) hope to the next. They saw the actions that individual people were taking, and blamed and shamed their neighbors. They lapsed into magical thinking, and believed that the world would return to normal within months. Following these impulses was simpler than navigating a web of solutions, staring down broken systems, and accepting that the pandemic would rage for at least a year. These conceptual errors were not egregious lies or conspiracy theories, but they were still dangerous. They manifested again and again, distorting the debate around whether to stay at home, wear masks, or open colleges. They prevented citizens from grasping the scope of the crisis and pushed leaders toward bad policies. And instead of overriding misleading intuitions with calm and considered communication, those leaders intensified them. The country is now trapped in an intuition nightmare: Like the spiraling ants, Americans are walled in by their own unhelpful instincts, which lead them round and round in self-destructive circles.’

    (tags: covid-19 america pandemics society failure ed-yong)

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Links for 2020-09-09

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Links for 2020-09-08

  • illustration of how a rise in SARS-CoV-2 positivity in younger groups can soon become a rise in older groups

    via Vincent Glad, on Twitter: the positivity rate stratified by age, in the Marseilles region

    (tags: testing covid-19 age epidemiology dataviz statistics marseilles france)

  • The timing of COVID-19 transmission

    new preprint on medRxiv:

    We examined the distribution of transmission events with respect to exposure and onset of symptoms. We show that for symptomatic individuals, the timing of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is more strongly linked to the onset of clinical symptoms of COVID-19 than to the time since infection. We found that it was approximately centered and symmetric around the onset of symptoms, with three quarters of events occurring in the window from 2-3 days before to 2-3 days after. However, we caution against overinterpretation of the right tail of the distribution, due to its dependence on behavioural factors and interventions. We also found that the pre-symptomatic infectious period extended further back in time for individuals with longer incubation periods. This strongly suggests that information about when a case was infected should be collected where possible, in order to assess how far into the past their contacts should be traced. Overall, the fraction of transmission from strictly pre-symptomatic infections was high (41%; 95%CI 31-50%), which limits the efficacy of symptom-based interventions, and the large fraction of transmissions (35%; 95%CI 26-45%) that occur on the same day or the day after onset of symptoms underlines the critical importance of individuals distancing themselves from others as soon as they notice any symptoms, even if they are mild. Rapid or at-home testing and contextual risk information would greatly facilitate efficient early isolation.

    (tags: covid-19 transmission infection epidemiology)

  • AVIF has landed

    the latest hot new image format — pretty impressive compression numbers vs quality thresholds here

    (tags: images web avif webp jpeg compression formats)

  • [MA] Post-it notes left in apartment. : legaladvice

    Classic Reddit thread. Guy finds mysterious post-it notes around his apartment, suspects his landlord is breaking in and leaving them. I won’t spoil it, but it’s quite a twist ending…

    (tags: reddit stories legaladvice apartments landlords post-its)

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Links for 2020-09-07

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Links for 2020-09-06

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Links for 2020-09-05

  • Death, sex, superstition and fear: the hawthorn tree in Ireland

    These trees that grew of their own accord, unplanted by human hands, are those most regarded with fear and superstition. These are thought of as faery trees, associated with those unseen beings from the other world.  They are believed to mark the places where the faeries, after dark, would assemble and play sweet ethereal music, ready to abduct any beautiful human who took their fancy. Faeries could potentially destroy the crops, livestock, health, fortune or luck of anyone they took a dislike to, or anyone who had somehow wronged them. Thus, anything associated with faery activity in Ireland was traditionally avoided by the people who used many rituals to appease them.

    (tags: hawthorn trees superstition fairies sidhe history ireland folklore)

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Links for 2020-09-04

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Links for 2020-09-02

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Links for 2020-08-31

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Links for 2020-08-27

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Links for 2020-08-26

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Links for 2020-08-24

  • Interchange fee

    TIL about credit card “interchange fees” — an additional fee levied by credit card companies and banks, roughly 3%, mainly in the US (the EU regulations cap it at 0.3%). ‘Imagine a consumer making a $100 purchase with a credit card. For that $100 item, the retailer would get approximately $98. The remaining $2, known as the merchant discount[13] and fees, gets divided up.’

    (tags: fees credit-cards interchange-fees us money)

  • How I helped fix Canada?s COVID Alert app

    Nice writeup of using mitmproxy to detect unwanted accesses to a Google endpoint in an iOS app

    (tags: mitmproxy mitm https ios apps reversing)

  • interesting results on children and COVID-19 — high asymptomatic infection rate

    ‘METHODS: We conducted a prospective cohort study of children and adolescents (<21 years of age) with a SARS-CoV-2-infected close contact. We collected nasopharyngeal or nasal swabs at enrollment and tested for SARS-CoV-2 using a real-time PCR assay. RESULTS: Of 382 children, 293 (77%) were SARS-CoV-2-infected. SARS-CoV-2-infected children were more likely to be Hispanic (p<0.0001), less likely to have asthma (p=0.005), and more likely to have an infected sibling contact (p=0.001) than uninfected children. Children ages 6-13 years were frequently asymptomatic (39%) and had respiratory symptoms less often than younger children (29% vs. 48%; p=0.01) or adolescents (29% vs. 60%; p<0.0001). Compared to children ages 6-13 years, adolescents more frequently reported influenza-like (61% vs. 39%; p<0.0001), gastrointestinal (27% vs. 9%; p=0.002), and sensory symptoms (42% vs. 9%; p<0.0001), and had more prolonged illnesses [median (IQR) duration: 7 (4, 12) vs. 4 (3, 8) days; p=0.01]. Despite the age-related variability in symptoms, we found no differences in nasopharyngeal viral load by age or between symptomatic and asymptomatic children.'

    (tags: covid-19 sars-cov-2 papers preprints kids children)

  • Children in close contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19 were not contacted for nine days

    ‘Children who came into close contact with a confirmed case of the coronavirus at a summer camp run by Ireland’s lead sporting authority were not contacted by the HSE regarding the issue for nine days, it has emerged. Sport Ireland, the State authority charged with the development of sport in Ireland, has been running childrens’ summer camps at the National Aquatic Centre campus in Blanchardstown, Dublin, where SI itself is headquartered, since June 29th. At one such camp on Friday, 14 August, a nine-year-old boy participating apparently came into close contact with a case of the virus. However, he heard nothing about the contact until nine days later on August 23 when his mother received an automated text message stating that the contact had occurred and that he had been referred for a Covid-19 test.’

    (tags: sport-ireland ireland contact-tracing covid-19 kids hse children)

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Links for 2020-08-20

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Links for 2020-08-17

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Links for 2020-08-14

  • Air pollution is much worse than we thought. Climate change is far from the only problem with fossil fuels. – Vox

    “Over the next 50 years, keeping to the 2°C pathway would prevent roughly 4.5 million premature deaths, about 3.5 million hospitalizations and emergency room visits, and approximately 300 million lost workdays in the US.” All that prevented death, illness, and lost productivity adds up to a lot of savings: The avoided deaths are valued at more than $37 trillion. The avoided health care spending due to reduced hospitalizations and emergency room visits exceeds $37 billion, and the increased labor productivity is valued at more than $75 billion. On average, this amounts to over $700 billion per year in benefits to the US from improved health and labor alone, far more than the cost of the energy transition. Importantly, many of the benefits can be accessed in the near term. Right now, air pollution leads to almost 250,000 premature deaths a year in the US. Within a decade, aggressive decarbonization could reduce that toll by 40 percent; over 20 years, it could save around 1.4 million American lives that would otherwise be lost to air quality. Of the potential yearly deaths prevented, Rep. Robin Kelly of Illinois remarked at the hearing, “That’s a huge number. That’s nearly three times the number of lives we lose in car accidents every year. It’s twice the number of deaths caused by opioids in the past few years. And it’s even more than the number of Americans we lose to diabetes each year.”

    (tags: pollution air energy environment climate-change air-quality health decarbonization)

  • ESB PVC Ducting Pipe Red 50mm x 6M

    decent weatherproof ducting for running cables to garden sheds etc.

    (tags: ducting sheds garden home wiring cabling cables)

  • Excellent thread on the Ofqual justification for the UK’s current approach to estimating A-level results

    Some prime quotes: ‘You can’t infer the correct grades at an individual level from the prior year’s distribution of grades, no matter how hard you clonk away at the abacus.’ ‘The data *doesn’t* allow that. ThIs puts idea that grade inflation, school level results and maintaining the distribution shape is more important than the fairness of individual results.’ ‘I don’t blame Ofqual, but they’re being asked to correctly estimate the size of each egg that went into an omelette, based on a different omelette.’

    (tags: ofqual uk education covid-19 estimation a-levels grades schools)

  • Robust T cell immunity in convalescent individuals with asymptomatic or mild COVID-19: Cell

    Good news for ongoing immunity:

    SARS-CoV-2-specific memory T cells will likely prove critical for long-term immune protection against COVID-19. We here systematically mapped the functional and phenotypic landscape of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell responses in unexposed individuals, exposed family members, and individuals with acute or convalescent COVID-19. Acute phase SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells displayed a highly activated cytotoxic phenotype that correlated with various clinical markers of disease severity, whereas convalescent phase SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells were polyfunctional and displayed a stem-like memory phenotype. Importantly, SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells were detectable in antibody-seronegative exposed family members and convalescent individuals with a history of asymptomatic and mild COVID-19. Our collective dataset shows that SARS-CoV-2 elicits robust, broad and highly functional memory T cell responses, suggesting that natural exposure or infection may prevent recurrent episodes of severe COVID-19.

    (tags: immunity covid-19 sars-cov-2 diseases immune-system t-cells)

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Links for 2020-08-13

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Links for 2020-08-12

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