Justin Mason's Weblog Posts
Good state-of-the-art writeup on where science is with Long Covid at the moment.
Increasingly, researchers want to fine-tune how they classify people with Long Covid, differentiating subsets based on symptoms, biology, or both. In a way, “the biggest obstacle that we are facing is we gave it one name, we gave it the name of Long Covid, which implies that it is one disease,” says Chahinda Ghossein, a physician and heart disease researcher at Maastricht University and co-leader of a 15,000-patient Long Covid study in the Netherlands. “All the studies being performed show us that it is not.”
A nice compact, readable, sortable unique ID string algorithm, eg. “01BX5ZZKBKACTAV9WEVGEMMVRZ” — 128 bits, 1.21e+24 unique ULIDs per millisecond, case insensitive, with a URL safe character set. Very nice. (via Nelson) There’s a java implementation here: https://github.com/huxi/sulky/tree/master/sulky-ulid
a fascinating alternative numeric representation used during the European Middle Ages
Here’s why the US government have decided that “Covid is over” — a PR firm did some market research and decided that the public were bored of it:
Recognize that people are “worn out” and feeling real harm from the years- long restrictions and take their side. Most Americans have personally moved out of crisis mode. Twice as many voters are now more concerned about COVID’s effect on the economy (49%) than about someone in their family or someone they know becoming infected with the coronavirus (24%). […] Don’t set “COVID zero” as the victory condition. Americans also don’t think victory is COVID Zero. They think the virus is here to stay, and 83% say the pandemic will be over when it’s a mild illness like the flu rather than COVID being completely gone, and 55% prefer that COVID should be treated as an endemic disease. […] Americans also assume they will get COVID: 77% agree that “it is inevitable that most people in the US will eventually get COVID-19”, and 61% of Americans who have never tested positive think they are likely to be infected over the next year. […]As jwz says — “In other words: facts don’t matter, only feelings matter, and what’s the point in saving lives if you’re just going to lose the midterms anyway?”
It’s not just a flu (in hamsters):
The host response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection can result in prolonged pathologies collectively referred to as post-acute sequalae of COVID-19 (PASC) or long COVID. To better understand the mechanism underlying long COVID biology, we compared the short- and long-term systemic responses in the golden hamster following either SARS-CoV-2 or influenza A virus (IAV) infection. Results demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 exceeded IAV in its capacity to cause permanent injury to the lung and kidney and uniquely impacted the olfactory bulb (OB) and epithelium (OE). Despite a lack of detectable infectious virus, the OB and OE demonstrated myeloid and T cell activation, proinflammatory cytokine production, and an interferon response that correlated with behavioral changes extending a month post viral clearance. These sustained transcriptional changes could also be corroborated from tissue isolated from individuals who recovered from COVID-19. These data highlight a molecular mechanism for persistent COVID-19 symptomology and provide a small animal model to explore future therapeutics.
SSL cert expiration dates strike again:
“Megaphone experienced a platform outage due to an issue related to our SSL certificate. During the outage, clients were unable to access the Megaphone CMS and podcast listeners were unable to download podcast episodes from Megaphone-hosted publishers. Megaphone service has since been restored.”
Great Twitter thread from Colm MacCarthaigh about security credentials, keeping them safe, and why time-based key expiry sucks: “When security auditors just say things like “Critical credentials need to be rotated every 90 days” you need to fire them into the sun with urgency. Here’s what you actually need … First rule of credential management: Rotation does nothing. It’s revocation that matters. You always need a well-tested mechanism to make sure that you can remove or invalidate a credential that has been compromised. Second rule of credential management: Have closed loops. Deactivated credentials are a common source of outages. When introducing a new credential you see it everywhere it needs to be before using it. When you remove one, you need to see it gone from use before deactivating. Though you can’t make that last part impossible to over-ride, because you do need to be able to lock out an attacker. Which brings up the next rule … Third rule of credential management: logging and detective controls are key. You need to be able to see when and where a credential is being used. This is important for operational safety and security. How would you even detect a stolen credential without this? Fourth rule of credential management: be INCREDIBLY wary of time-based expiry. Use only when there is no other option (e.g. public SSL certificates). There’s really no way to win with time-based expiry. If your expiry time is something like a year, you don’t get much security. Are you ok with an attacker using that cred for a year? So you still need revocation. If your expiry time is very short, like hours, are you *always* going to beat that renewal deadline? got good clocks? Super short ephemeral credentials can be done, we do it at AWS, but it takes a *lot* of resources and diligence that most organizations don’t have. Even we prefer to use real closed loops where we can. Fifth rule about credentials: Store credentials only where they are needed. This seems obvious but is rarely done. In particular it’s common to see “treasure trove” secret-distribution control-planes that know all of the credentials. Distribution planes for secrets could use one or more of end-to-end, multi-party, or threshold encryption, so that those systems themselves don’t know the secrets. We do this in places, but it’s not a common pattern in industry that I’ve seen. Sixth rule of credentials: if there is no reason to suspect credential disclosure or mis-use, leave it alone. Replacing credentials usually exposes them to more systems, at least temporarily. How do you know that’s not more risky? Seventh rule of credentials: asymmetric cryptography when you can, if not then choose between either memory-hard compute-hard hashing or derived-key symmetric auth depending on what fits your use-case. Avoid storing valuable secrets server side. Eight rule of credentials: keep credentials inside one-way enclaves like TPMs, TEEs, HSMs, when you can. Best line of defense is to keep credentials inaccessible. Ninth rule of credentials: If you can’t write down a common password comparison side-channel from memory, do not implement your own authentication. Yes this is gatekeeping. Sorry, but no. Tenth rule of credentials: Check for all-zeroes creds, and repeated values. You can do this with hashing, you don’t need to record the secrets. Coding errors, failures of entropy systems, and erasure mistakes are common enough to make this check worth doing. I’ll stop there for now, maybe add more later. These are just some of the points I go through in reviews. Would love to hear from others about their own lessons and learnings. CYA-culture shallow audits drive my crazy, I hate to see customers trapped by them.”
Very enjoyable Linux hyper-optimization through splice and huge pages
This is a super-cool building block from Google Open Source: “We’ve created the first vectorized Quicksort: – Sorts arrays of numbers ~10x as fast as C++ std:sort – Outperforms state-of-the-art specific algorithms – Is portable across all modern CPU architectures We are interested to see what new applications and capabilities will be unlocked by being able to sort at 1 GB/s on a single CPU core.” Part of their Highway library of vectorized code, https://github.com/google/highway , “a C++ library that provides portable SIMD/vector intrinsics.” Low-level, hyperoptimized libs like this will be very important to ameliorate climate change impact of datacenter usage, so it’s a great idea.
Prof Danny Altmann, an immunologist and expert on long Covid at Imperial College London, described the latest figures as alarming:
“They put to rest any vestige of hope that long Covid would somehow be just a thing of the early waves, would diminish in times of vaccination or ‘milder’ variants, or would just trail off. We’ve now created a far larger cohort of the chronically unwell and disabled than we previously had, say, within the entire national burden of rheumatoid arthritis, its healthcare costs, associated loss to quality of life and to the workplace. This couldn’t be further from ‘living with Covid’. It does necessitate some policy discussions, nationally and internationally.”Sadly, I think the same applies here in Ireland too.
This is an incredible pre-print — “We describe a persistent SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.1 infection in an immuno-compromised individual during a 12-week period, and document the accumulation of eight additional amino acid substitutions in the already antigenically-distinct Omicron BA.1 spike protein.” A SARS-CoV-2 variant evolving in a single person in real time!
Persistent SARS-CoV-2 infections have been reported in immune-compromised individuals and people undergoing immune-modulatory treatments. It has been speculated that the emergence of antigenically diverse SARS-CoV-2 variants such as the Omicron variant may be the result of intra-host viral evolution driven by suboptimal immune responses, which must be followed by forward transmission. However, while intrahost evolution has been documented, to our knowledge no direct evidence of subsequent forward transmission is available to date. Here we describe the emergence of an Omicron BA.1 sub-lineage with 8 additional amino acid substitutions within the spike (E96D, L167T, R346T, L455W, K458M, A484V, H681R, A688V) in an immune-compromised host along with evidence of 5 forward transmission cases. Our findings show that the Omicron BA.1 lineage can further diverge from its exceptionally mutated genome during prolonged SARS-CoV-2 infection; highlighting an urgent need to employ therapeutic strategies to limit duration of infection and spread in vulnerable patients.
decent speed improvements by sharing a layer cache between hosts
‘We have demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 wastewater monitoring data from a single large WWTP in Dublin reflected case data in the greater Dublin area. Moreover, the surveillance of VOCs in this WWTP reflected the results of clinical sample sequencing and also preceded, further demonstrating the potential utility of this approach to SARS-CoV-2 surveillance.’
‘Scandal, conspiracy, and cover-ups in the theft of the “Irish Crown Jewels” from Dublin Castle’ — a fantastic historical whodunnit, even featuring a Shackleton
Well, this is some worrying news: based on this study of 13 million people in Nature Medicine, COVID-19 vaccines only reduce Long Covid risk by 15%, with the largest risk reduction in blood clots and pulmonary sequelae, but less protection of other organ systems. Also, post-vaccination, immunocompromised people have a higher risk of Long Covid than others. As the author says: “Now that we know that vaccines are not sufficient as a sole line of defense, we need to urgently develop and deploy additional layers of protection to reduce risk of Long Covid. These may include vaccines specifically designed to reduce risk of Long Covid, and therapeutics that could be taken in the acute phase to reduce risk. Paxlovid and other antivirals must be urgently tested in trials for Long Covid.” (via Akiko Iwasaki)
New PNAS paper, discussed in this week’s TWiV episode — _The risk of COVID-19 death is much greater and age dependent with type I IFN autoantibodies_:
There is growing evidence that pre-existing autoantibodies neutralizing type I interferons (IFNs) are strong determinants of life-threatening COVID-19 pneumonia. It is important to estimate their quantitative impact on COVID-19 mortality upon SARS-CoV-2 infection, by age and sex, as both the prevalence of these autoantibodies and the risk of COVID-19 death increase with age and are higher in men. Using an unvaccinated sample of 1,261 deceased patients and 34,159 individuals from the general population, we found that autoantibodies against type I IFNs strongly increased the SARS-CoV-2 infection fatality rate at all ages, in both men and women. Autoantibodies against type I IFNs are strong and common predictors of life-threatening COVID-19. Testing for these autoantibodies should be considered in the general population.I would have thought that type I interferons are a fairly critical part of the immune system, and the idea that people are happily walking about with autoantibodies to them is pretty crazy, but that seems to be the implication here.
Groups that operate under the guise of inclusion, regardless of their intentions, are serving the greater goal of crypto that keeps the whole thing afloat: finding ever more fools to buy in so that the early investors can take their profits. And it is those latecomers who are left holding the bag in the end. With projects that seek to provide services and opportunities to members of marginalized groups who have previously not had access, but on bad terms that ultimately disadvantaged them, we see predatory inclusion. With projects that seek to create new communities of marginalized people to draw them in to risky speculative markets rife with scams and fraud, we are now seeing predatory community.
brilliant single-page website, scraping the “current wait time for security queues” data from Dublin Airport’s own official site, and logging historical data in a graph.
TIL: smallpox “is thought to have been a mild disease before the 17th century, and gradually evolved to become more lethal, before being eradicated by vaccines in 1980”. This is a refutation of the common preconception that viruses “naturally” evolve to become less virulent (via Tom Wenseleers – https://twitter.com/TWenseleers/status/1527695140265000960)
‘4% of [N=113] COVID19 patients shed viral RNA in their faeces 7 months after diagnosis and that the presence of faecal viral RNA is associated with gastrointestinal symptoms’
“For people with a positive PCR test or a diagnosis of COVID-19, 90-day cumulative incidence ranged from 0.2% to 0.8% for venous thromboembolism and 0.1% to 0.8% for arterial thromboembolism”. Those are _very_ high incidences for these rare and very risky conditions.
This is a great breakthrough for such a tragic disease, and one which has led to terrible miscarriages of justice.
SIDS refers to the unexplained deaths of infants under a year old, and it usually occurs while the child is sleeping. According to Mayo Clinic, many in the medical community suspected this phenomenon could be caused by a defect in the part of the brain that controls arousal from sleep and breathing. The theory was that if the infant stopped breathing during sleep, the defect would keep the child from startling or waking up. The Sydney researchers were able to confirm this theory by analyzing dried blood samples taken from newborns who died from SIDS and other unknown causes. Each SIDS sample was then compared with blood taken from healthy babies. They found the activity of the enzyme butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) was significantly lower in babies who died of SIDS compared to living infants and other non-SIDS infant deaths. BChE plays a major role in the brain’s arousal pathway, explaining why SIDS typically occurs during sleep. Previously, parents were told SIDS could be prevented if they took proper precautions: laying babies on their backs, not letting them overheat and keeping all toys and blankets out of the crib were a few of the most important preventative steps. While safe sleep practices are still important for protecting infants, many children whose parents took every precaution still died from SIDS. These parents were left with immense guilt, wondering if they could have prevented their baby’s death. Dr. Carmel Harrington, the lead researcher for the study, was one of these parents. Her son unexpectedly and suddenly died as an infant 29 years ago. In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Harrington explained what she was told about the cause of her child’s death. “Nobody could tell me. They just said it’s a tragedy. But it was a tragedy that didn’t sit well with my scientific brain.” Since then, she’s worked to find the cause of SIDS, both for herself and for the medical community as a whole. She went on to explain why this discovery is so important for parents whose babies suffered from SIDS. “These families can now live with the knowledge that this was not their fault,” she said.(via Damien)
Interesting green retrofitting product — it’s a large, wall-sized electric heating panel that mounts seamlessly in plasterboard and can be painted — so like a large, invisible radiator which can run off solar PV.
“The End of the Privacy of Digital Correspondence”:
The EU wants to oblige providers to search all private chats, messages, and emails automatically for suspicious content – generally and indiscriminately. The stated aim: To prosecute child pornography. The result: Mass surveillance by means of fully automated real-time messaging and chat control and the end of secrecy of digital correspondence. Other consequences of the proposal are ineffective network blocking, screening of person cloud storage including private photos, mandatory age verification leading to the end of anonymous communication, censorship in Appstores and the paternalism and exclusion of minors in the digital world.
A thought-terminating cliché (also known as a semantic stop-sign, a thought-stopper, bumper sticker logic, or cliché thinking) is a form of loaded language, often passing as folk wisdom, intended to end an argument and quell cognitive dissonance. Its function is to stop an argument from proceeding further, ending the debate with a cliché rather than a point.Examples: “it is what it is”, “it’s in God’s hands”, “YOLO”, or the Irish favourite: “we all partied”
the un-skinned booking site for car hire
Interesting Twitter thread discussing a potential treatment for long COVID — no interest in providing even the relevant _tests_ in the UK, so a British kid was brought to Germany to receive the treatment, and is now responding well. Here’s details on the specific biosigns:
Her fluorescent microscopy showed very hyperactivated sticky platelets. Mine are on the right for comparison. She also had microclots and evidence of endothelial damage (but latter not severe). I believe she was the first UK child under 12 to have these tests done. The platelets and microclots show that her blood is ‘hypercoaguable’ – too sticky. These may be blocking up the very small blood vessels that allow oxygen into muscles and nerves, which could explain some of her symptoms.
Very interesting thread from Trent Telenko on how a Ukrainian GIS app, combined with Starlink internet access, has created 21st century artillery warfare and outflanked the Russia military:
Ukraine’s ‘GIS Art for Artillery’ app combined with Starlink actually gives the Ukrainian military measurably better than US Military standard artillery command and control. The Ukraine War is the first Starlink War & the side with Starlink is beating the side without.This is pretty nuts. On the other hand, though, Starlink’s operational security is now critically important, and doubtless being heavily targeted by Russian hackers, and Ukraine’s tactics are reliant on the vagaries of Elon Musk… Source twitter thread: https://twitter.com/TrentTelenko/status/1523791050313433088
This looks fantastic — Trino (nee Presto) adds some significant improvements for long-running and heavyweight query support.
When your long-running queries experience a failure, they don’t have to start from scratch. When queries require more memory than currently available in the cluster they are still able to succeed. When multiple queries are submitted concurrently they are able to share resources in a fair way, and make steady progress.
Interesting thread from a Mount Sinai-based lab discussing the side effects of possible mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress:
Our cells use a very specific fuel source called ATP that is produced in a part of the cell called the mitochondria. Unfortunately, ATP also fuels the cellular activities of viruses. As such, when a virus enters our cells it quickly hijacks our mitochondria to fuel viral replication and other viral activities. In other words when you are infected by a virus like #COVID19, you are infected by a little energy thief: taking your hard-earned ATP and using it for its own purposes. Not only does this mean that the virus is proliferating on stolen energy (rude!) but it also means that your cells must perform their regular functions with far less energy. So this is where things get cyclical: we have hijacked mitochondria resulting in inefficient, “stressed“ cells. Our cells are producing energy “for two” now, but barely managing to function, leading to the overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which we can think of as the “exhaust fumes” of our mitochondria. ROS are bad characters – systemically, they can trigger inflammation and hypocapnia. Unfortunately, once the body is experiencing oxidative stress, the mere act of producing more energy starts to damage the mitochondria.
The numbers are in; omicron was as severe as previous variants, it was just that people had been vaccinated. (preprint)
“It costs just over $160 to get a week’s worth of data on where people who visited Planned Parenthood came from, and where they went afterwards.” …and this is why the GDPR is needed. grim
‘an open source font that has you covered for all your emoji needs, including support for the latest Unicode emoji specification (14.0). It has multiple weights and features 3,663 emoji.’
This is unpleasant stuff:
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) reveals that An Post & OSI use Census data to profile every Irish home and sell ‘location intelligence’ to data brokers and insurance companies. ICCL has lodged a complaint with the Data Protection Commission.In particular, buyers include Experian, one of the world’s biggest data brokers. There’s no way this meets the spirit, if not the word, of the GDPR, there’s no data privacy here.
aka. “Classification of Ireland’s land area into four categories in relation to availability for forestry expansion and the area of productive and marginal agricultural land with most potential for forestry expansion” — good way to identify regions with poor agricultural land, ie. a better probability of rewilding
This is a fantastic thread from Luca Ferretti:
“Living with COVID” has been a lie. Not because it isn’t possible, or because it isn’t the right goal. But in practice it has clearly morphed into “let’s stop talking about COVID, and the problem will disappear by itself”. A dangerous and irresponsible bet. Most of the political & health authorities have implicitly chosen to rely mainly on vaccination to control COVID. A reasonable choice… if only the vaccination campaign would have aimed at protecting the entire population with sterilising vaccines adapted to the new variants. Instead, despite hundreds of vaccines in the pipeline, there are no next-generation or sterilising vaccines on the horizon… little large-scale clinical trials (apart from Israel)… and few updated vaccines against variants (Moderna’s Omicron-Delta booster and little else). Of course, protection for children has been repeatedly delayed (English kids between 5-11 were vaccinated only last month) and kids under 5 are still unprotected worldwide, with the laudable exception of Cuba. Everybody’s waiting for the US FDA, whose intentions are unclear. It is truly depressing to see so little and slow concrete progress on what is meant to be “the ultimate weapon” against SARSCoV2. It seems to suggest that we don’t really rely so much on it, and that we’re satisfied with postponing the problems until the next not-so-mild variant. Simple precautionary public hygiene measures – face masks and ventilation – are mostly ignored. Testing and surveillance, downsized or limited. And the growing stress on the healthcare system is being swept under the carpet, even as we risk paying the price for it for years. This is not the product of any large conspiracy. It is simply the result of a combination of neglect, inertia, bureaucracy, selfishness, careerism, lack of long-term perspective and so on, among some (though not all!) politicians, doctors, academics, bureaucrats and others…
Ireland is included:
These graphs show [COVID-19] cases per million for selected countries, coloured by the estimated frequency of variants. Only a small percentage of cases are sequenced in most countries, therefore these graphs show the reported case numbers coloured by the frequency of variants detected by sequences in these countries – which may represent <5% of cases.
Well executed satire:
An 8080 microprocessor utilising a modern, containerised, microservices-based architecture running on Kubernetes with frontends for a CP/M test harness and a full implementation of the original Space Invaders arcade machine. The full project can be found as a github organisation https://github.com/21st-century-emulation which contains ~60 individual repositories each implementing an individual microservice or providing the infrastructure.Needless to say this monster runs at approximately 1KHz, instead of the required 2MHz. A good demo of how some deliberately obtuse and inappropriate architectural decisions can really make a mess of things.
This sounds like a pretty crappy way to go about things:
It is unclear to me what GitHub’s intended result was with these account suspensions, but it appears to be incredibly destructive for any open source project that has interacted with a now-suspended account. On a service like Twitter, you can visit the placeholder profile of a suspended account and see a message communicating that the account is suspended, and other users’ @mentions of the account still link to the suspended account’s profile. On GitHub, that’s not how it works at all. Apparently, “suspending an account” on GitHub actually means deleting all activity for a user — which results in (1) every pull request from the suspended account being deleted, (2) every issue opened by the suspended account being deleted, (3) every comment or discussion from the suspended account being deleted. In effect, the user’s entire activity and history is evaporated. All of this valuable data is lost. The only thing left intact is the raw Git commit history. It’s as if the user never existed.
Argh, this is a bad one:
Recent releases of Java were vulnerable to a similar kind of trick, in the implementation of widely-used ECDSA signatures. If you are running one of the vulnerable versions then an attacker can easily forge some types of SSL certificates and handshakes (allowing interception and modification of communications), signed JWTs, SAML assertions or OIDC id tokens, and even WebAuthn authentication messages. All using the digital equivalent of a blank piece of paper. It’s hard to overstate the severity of this bug. If you are using ECDSA signatures for any of these security mechanisms, then an attacker can trivially and completely bypass them if your server is running any Java 15, 16, 17, or 18 version before the April 2022 Critical Patch Update (CPU). For context, almost all WebAuthn/FIDO devices in the real world (including Yubikeys*) use ECDSA signatures and many OIDC providers use ECDSA-signed JWTs.
A project by the NOG Alliance:
We are creating a platform so that we can collect what our colleagues in Ukraine need to keep the internet up and running. We will be the link between the tech community, manufacturers, whoever else wants to get involved and Ukraine. Where absolutely necessary we can even transport the required hardware from Europe to the Ukraine. The aim of the “Keep Ukraine Connected” task force is not only to mediate, but also to actively help the Ukrainian internet stay up.
I’m having this problem (with GoMo in Ireland). it’s annoying
This is a decent step forward in long COVID research. 968 self-selected long covid sufferers reporting their symptom progression over a year: “Proud to present our results on the course of Long Covid symptoms over time, using the @PatientsComPaRe cohort and recently published in @NatureComms. after 1 year 85% of patients still reported some symptoms; there were specific trajectories depending on symptoms (pane A). For example, 40% reported cough 60 days after symptom onset vs. 20% at 12 months after onset; 50% of patients report a considerable impact on their professional lives; Long Covid is a relapsing remitting disease. It seems that, over time, relapses tend to be less frequent; Future research will look at patient trajectories (understanding those who get better vs others) and looking at biomarkers of long COVID”.
The Irish College of General Practitioners have published their guidance for migraine treatment and it’s an excellent guide to symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment (as of 3 years ago at least). Sadly the new CGRP treatments aren’t available for my level of episodic migraine yet…
“Built-in HTTPS Endpoints for Single-Function Microservices”. _Finally_ — this should have been part of Lambda right from the start
This makes a lot of sense. Letting “working for a big software company” be the only way to effectively get paid to collaborate on open source wasn’t a great idea.
Promo committees have, for years now, been consistently undervaluing the work of full-time Kubernetes contributors. Or really of open source work more broadly. Attributable revenue has been taking over as one of the most important factors at most companies. And Kubernetes has very little of that. It’s happened gradually, and I don’t think this was ever an intended outcome but it’s a thing and we have to live with it. It’s too indirect, fixing a bug in kube-apiserver might retain a GCP customer or avoid a costly Apple services outage, but can you put a dollar value on that? How much is CI stability worth? Or community happiness? And then add on top of it, the time cost. “FOSS maintainers are overloaded” should not be news to anyone, but now add 20/hours a week of campaigning to other high-level folks to “build buzz” for your work and let me know how that goes.
via Dr. Deepti Gurdasani: ‘1.7 million people now living with long COVID (28 day definition) – that’s 1 in 37 people in the community; 780,000 have had this for *more than a year*; at least 334,000 got it during the omicron wave (impact since Feb not felt yet) increases are disproportionately high among young children — which is likely a combination of mass exposure and lack of vaccinations & other protections.’
We don’t know how many children are affected, and we don’t know which symptoms came from infections and which might have resulted indirectly from the pandemic. Scientists can’t even agree over what it means for children to have long covid.
This is absolutely horrific — if this is an accurate output of the state (and I don’t doubt it is), then it’s a blueprint for current and future war crimes. ‘Russian state-owned propaganda outlet RIA published the new programmatic article with the title “What Russia must do with Ukraine”. The article reveals a detailed plan for a genocide, starting from full elimination of Ukrainian state.’
this is quite an interesting story — the key detail is the addition of litestream, which streams writes from the write-ahead log up to S3 to provide live replication of SQLite dbs, near-real-time backups, and replays. nifty
A good blog post about strong consistency in config data, and how it’s often not all that useful, and can pose a risk:
We mostly like Consul and would use it again in new designs. It’s easy to stand up. It’s incredibly useful to deploy infrastructure configurations. […] But we probably wouldn’t use Consul as the backing store for a global app platform again, in part because a global app platform might not even want a single globally consistent backing store. Our trajectory is away from it.
In case there was any doubt how much of Western COVID disinformation was being driven by Russian bot campaigns, this was a pretty big tell
These bear repeating, despite being known since January. This is quite a failure by our media, IMO. The 3 myths are: “endemic doesn’t mean mild; covid is not evolving to become milder; vaccinations are not ‘finished'”.
This is very worrying, given our government’s current “just boosters” strategy for dealing with COVID-19:
We are living in a precarious truce imposed through frequent mRNA boosters to keep the viral caseload “manageable”. But there are signs this isn’t sustainable, and that a strategy simply consisting of boosters in perpetuity may not be fit for purpose. Recent case surges in Hong Kong, Denmark and Scotland emphasise the fragility of that balance. And new evidence from the past two years suggests that encounters with different variants of Covid or different vaccine types can alter the effectiveness of later jabs in surprising ways – an effect called immune imprinting. This raises the possibility that booster performance could be even less predictable and effective in the future. Sars-CoV-2 began as a single variant, which we term the Wuhan strain. But we now inhabit a world where no two people share precisely the same exposure history: we have never been infected, or were asymptomatically, mildly or severely infected during any or a combination of the Wuhan to Alpha, Delta, Omicron or BA.2 waves, and we’ve all had somewhere from zero to four doses of diverse vaccines. The combination of these exposures gives each of us a unique immune memory repertoire.The author is Danny Altmann, a professor of immunology at Imperial College London.
Nifty, I didn’t realise there was such high-resolution LIDAR imagery of Dublin available for free…
This record serves as an index to a suite of high density, aerial remote sensing data for a 2km² area of Dublin, Ireland obtained at an average flying altitude of 300m. Collected in March 2015, the data include aerial laser scanning (ALS) from 41 flight paths in the form of a 3D point-cloud (LAZ) and 3D full waveform ALS (LAS and Pulsewave), and imagery data including ortho-rectified 2D rasters (RGBi) and oblique images. The ALS data consist of over 1.4 billion points (inclusive of partially covered areas) and were acquired by a TopEye system S/N 443.
Very pleasant rendering of LIDAR data for SF (via Nelson)
as one Twitter user put it, “one of the dumbest examples of performative activism in tech that I have ever seen” — side effects of this include allegedly wiping over 30,000 messages and files detailing war crimes committed in Ukraine by Russian army and government officials since the start of the invasion.
At the June 2021 AMA Special Meeting, delegates adopted policy to support “the development of an ICD-10 code or family of codes to recognize Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (‘PASC’ or ‘long COVID’) and other novel post-viral syndromes as a distinct diagnosis.” Read about the AMA’s support for more resources to help millions living with long COVID. The AMA’s What Doctors Wish Patients Knew series provides physicians with a platform to share what they want patients to understand about today’s health care headlines, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. For this installment, AMA member Devang Sanghavi, MD, took the time to discuss what patients need to know about long-haul COVID. Dr. Sanghavi is an intensivist and medical director of the medical intensive care unit (ICU) at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. Since summer of 2020, he has seen about 100 patients with long COVID, many of whom take weeks to recover.
‘Long-COVID clinical features occurred and co-occurred frequently and showed some specificity to COVID-19, though they were also observed after influenza. Different long-COVID clinical profiles were observed based on demographics and illness severity.’
Handy, the HSE now offer the free 5 tests for a Irish primary school close contact online, no phone call required
This US-based anti-abortion and anti-gender-rights group is now operating in Ireland, receiving an annual income of nearly €1m per year. It “[runs] the anti-abortion pregnancy counselling service Ask Majella, campaigns against the use of contraceptives, and […] a host of other Catholic endeavours […] also been linked to a Russian oligarch closely associated with the Kremlin and Vladimir Putin.”
If true, this is going to be bananas:
The UK is, indeed, taking the “world-leading” stance – not duplicated by any other western nation – of requiring any business or organisation whose online presence could possibly be accessed in the UK to proactively monitor and scan for legal content. That means you and your business and your project, not just the five or six companies the people who cooked up this law think the Internet is. This hits everyone and everything.I’d have to agree with the poster that the likely result will simply be websites going offline for UK users.
“Find me a single electricity tariff in Ireland that provides electricity for as cheap as 5.3c/kWh for at least one hour during the daytime. *crickets*.”
Truly, truly horrific —
We are still flooded by messages from people wanting to learn the fate of loved ones we photographed and filmed. They write to us desperately and intimately, as though we are not strangers, as though we can help them. When a Russian airstrike hit a theater where hundreds of people had taken shelter late last week, I could pinpoint exactly where we should go to learn about survivors, to hear firsthand what it was like to be trapped for endless hours beneath piles of rubble. I know that building and the destroyed homes around it. I know people who are trapped underneath it. And on Sunday, Ukrainian authorities said Russia had bombed an art school with about 400 people in it in Mariupol. But we can no longer get there.
Well, this is terrifying:
In less than 6 hours after starting on our in-house server, our [machine learning] model generated 40,000 molecules that scored within our desired threshold. In the process, the AI designed not only VX, but also many other known chemical warfare agents that we identified through visual confirmation with structures in public chemistry databases. Many new molecules were also designed that looked equally plausible. These new molecules were predicted to be more toxic, based on the predicted LD50 values, than publicly known chemical warfare agents (Fig. 1). This was unexpected because the datasets we used for training the AI did not include these nerve agents. The virtual molecules even occupied a region of molecular property space that was entirely separate from the many thousands of molecules in the organism-specific LD50 model, which comprises mainly pesticides, environmental toxins and drugs (Fig. 1). By inverting the use of our machine learning models, we had transformed our innocuous generative model from a helpful tool of medicine to a generator of likely deadly molecules.(via Theophite)
This is not great — this article in Nature from Sep 2021 details “autoimmune features and autoantibody production” associated with COVID-19 infection.
COVID-19 is associated with a wide range of clinical manifestations, including autoimmune features and autoantibody production. Here we develop three protein arrays to measure IgG autoantibodies associated with connective tissue diseases, anti-cytokine antibodies, and anti-viral antibody responses in serum from 147 hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Autoantibodies are identified in approximately 50% of patients but in less than 15% of healthy controls. When present, autoantibodies largely target autoantigens associated with rare disorders such as myositis, systemic sclerosis and overlap syndromes. A subset of autoantibodies targeting traditional autoantigens or cytokines develop de novo following SARS-CoV-2 infection. [….] We conclude that SARS-CoV-2 causes development of new-onset IgG autoantibodies in a significant proportion of hospitalized COVID-19 patients and are positively correlated with immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 proteins.
A quarter of UK employers say long Covid is now one of the main causes of long-term sickness absence among their staff, according to research that suggests the debilitating condition could be exacerbating labour shortages that are plaguing many parts of the economy. A survey of 804 organisations, representing more than 4.3m employees, found that one in four put it among the top three reasons for long-term absence, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development said on Tuesday, while half had staff who had suffered from long Covid in the past 12 months.