Pseudo Random News and Comment

The security of multi-word passphrases. Better than passwords but still not stellar. I still think the best method is to require at least an 8 character password, but entered into a larger field along with whatever gibberish you want. As long as your password is somewhere in that field you’re in. It obviously wouldn’t prevent users from sabotaging themselves with stupid passwords always typed starting in the first position of the field but for those who want security it would make brute force attacks much more difficult.

Backdoor Bailout 101. One of the many ways to funnel money to the banks illustrated by Mish.

Human origins getting muddier all the time. If they can find some DNA it’s almost certain there is some in modern humans somewhere.

WARNING: Women cause cognitive impairment in men.  Clearly the government should mandate warning labels on all females.

Interactive periodic table.

The best way to play a lottery, and why you shouldn’t…It works in much the same way as a Martingale strategy.

What one quality predicts a good doctor? Curiosity.

Saying something can make it true. Politicians have thought this for years.

A different route to achieving gecko-like adhesion.

The brain fog of menopause confirmed. No wonder the world is screwed up. Women can’t think straight from menopause and PMS and men can’t think straight when they even think of being around a woman. An example of what results is here.

Rappers tend to have a very poor opinion of cops. Maybe you should too.

The smart meth heads are now stealing Tide to sell for drug money. The dumb ones of course continue to be electrocuted trying to steal copper wire out of transformers.

Sigh Ants Two Day

Animated nuCaptcha defeated. Might as well let the bots post what they want. Cheap human labor now seems to be the preferred way to defeat bot screens anyway.

Synaptic diversity. More complexity at the synaptic level makes consciousness that much easier to explain. No quantum effects needed.

Give it up women. Men aren’t going extinct.

mTOR and metastasis. Promising for some cancers but not clear whether complete inhibition would work very well with chronic use in transplantation.

The latest on radioactive rainfall post Fukushima. I don’t have time to check but it would be wise to verify the sites sampled have been consistent since the accident.

Forcing unnecessary medical procedures on women. You’ll never go broke betting on human stupidity, but I’d sure welcome some occasional losses on that trade.

ScIeNcE tOdAy

Reevaluation of the Cascadia Subduction Zone. It ain’t pretty.

Maybe the men around them are such a pain in the butt they don’t notice. 2/5 women don’t experience chest pain during a heart attack.

Homocysteine beats the rap.

Protein mutation in Parkinson’s disease.

Barnes and Noble makes their Nook product line more confusing, but maybe it will mean some cheap 16GB versions online.

Interesting post on alternative medicine’s partial embrace of the placebo label. The Secret gets a mention too, bringing back many painful memories of reading it.

ScIeNcE tOdAy

Another possible link between Wall St “performance enhancing” drugs and trading disasters.

“You accessed the very heart of the system of an international business of massive size, so this was not just fiddling about in the business records of some tiny business of no great importance.” [Italics added] Very nice of the judge to reaffirm that power and money are all that matter in the justice system

The details of EBV’s layaway plan are slowly being unraveled.

Stunningly innumerate conclusion: “Those without kids in school are getting just as much benefit from public schools as those with kids and accordingly should be just as responsible for maintaining the schools,”  Ummm, no matter what benefits are conjured up for the childless, the breeders still receive that plus the cost of the education itself.

A small victory for science. Very small. Now we will have a small group of enlightened beings anointed to read the research, divine the outcome of myriad interactions and ramifications, and then deliver their verdict on whether the costs outweigh the benefits. If they’re that damn smart why do we need research? They should just tell us the answers and be done with it.

ScIeNcE tOdAy

Bow down to your new overlords. Mass produced robot insect armies are on the way.

Many studies fail to make clear what type of stroke they are talking about, but this one does

Quantification doesn’t make something scientific, as economics and the new DSM demonstrate.

More reasons pot is illegal. Oh wait…

Top 4 reason people don’t lose weight, based on one expert’s opinion of anecdotal evidence in a very limited sample, so it must be true.

Not really science but Phil Falcone just completed his recent demonstration of why no matter how concentrated wealth becomes  the individuals who compose “the rich” will frequently change. At least so far they still have to make good decisions to keep it.

Information Flow

Free flow of information fosters innovation. Unfortunately this is just as true for endeavors most of us would rather didn’t exist. Krebs on Security has a good post about a Trojan which is using a more collaborative model to rapidly improve their product.

There is no denying the free flow of information helps evil people discover new methods, but the world is still a better place in the absence of secrecy. The majority of humans are not evil, despite how the news makes it seem, so even if fully 5% of the population were evil geniuses, which I think is quite high for both evil and geniuses, the other 95% of humanity (including many geniuses) could work with all available information to frustrate their efforts.

If anything, restricting access to information provides an environment where evil can flourish since it denies the ethical majority the chance to contribute, while evil will be business as usual. Like it or not there will always be a proportion of people working in an official capacity who are in fact evil as well, and secrecy only gives them more opportunity to do harm. In coping with evil, whether it’s cryptography or flu viruses, the more people who know the state of the art the better off we all are.

Science Links

I decided science and medicine links deserved their own post. Now with fancy pants links too.

The internet causes food allergies and eczema! Here is the somewhat less sensational version.

It’s such a fad these days that everyone is claiming they’re getting Alzheimer’s. Maybe it can be disproved without waiting years for the outcome.  Link

Continuing the trend toward giving glial cells their due. Link

I’m so relieved sex remains safe.

At this point I’d have to say consciousness is definitely an illusion and therefore free will is too, no matter what the illusory you feels about it.  More on the subject here.