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posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday March 17 2020, @11:52AM   Printer-friendly
from the sudden-impact dept.

A lot has already happened this year. SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) which can cause COVID-19 (COronaVIrus Disease 2019) has been making headlines shortly after it was first reported. The first cases were reported to WHO (World Health Organization) on 2019-12-31. The virus spread. It began as an epidemic in China . The world watched apprehensively. Reports surfaced of cases in other countries and the the apprehension grew. For many folk, it turned to fear when it was upgraded to a pandemic: WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 11 March 2020: "We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic."

We have seen increasing efforts to stem the spread of the disease. Efforts have run the gamut. Closing of borders. Cancellation of sporting events. Conferences cancelled. Churches and other places of worship also closed. Schools closed. Panic buying of household goods and supplies. Supply chain disruptions affecting manufacturers. Restaurant, bars, and other such establishments closed. Work-from-home policies established and enacted.

The changes have been many, widespread, and continuing.

Reading about all the ways that "other people" have been affected is one thing. It seems different, somehow, when it hits closer to home and affects us directly. With many of our usual social activities curtailed or cancelled, it is easy to begin isolating and lose perspective. SoylentNews arose from a troubled period (the SlashCott) and a community has formed from that challenging period.

How have you been affected? Have you been infected? Had a family member or friend who was? Helped neighbors who are struggling? Hunkering down and isolating? (In a basement is optional.) Are you suddenly working from home and finding it challenging to manage your time? Still working on site, but now have a faster commute due to all the other people staying home? Catching up on watching TV shows? Reading more SoylentNews? How has your life changed?

From a somewhat different perspective, how have others helped you to cope... and how have you been able to help others? One of the potential impacts of social distancing is isolation and depression. I count myself fortunate, indeed, to have served this site for over 6 years and for all the people I have gotten to know, here. For those who may not be aware, SoylentNews has its own IRC (Internet Relay Chat) server. Feel free to drop in to #Soylent and just say "Hi!"

Social distancing is permanent when you're dead. So, practice good hygiene and stay safe.

Previously (oldest first):
China Battles Coronavirus Outbreak: All the Latest Updates
2019-nCoV Coronavirus Story Roundup
Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Roundup
Coronavirus Roundup
Coronavirus Roundup (Feb. 17)
Roundup of Stories about the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus and COVID-19 Disease
COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2 - CoronaVirus) Roundup
CoronaVirus (SARS-CoV-2) Roundup 2020-03-12
Working from Home: Lessons Learned Over 20 Years


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  • (Score: 1, Disagree) by khallow on Tuesday March 17 2020, @01:30PM (51 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 17 2020, @01:30PM (#972187) Journal
    Reported cases != cases. For Italy, for example, their high deaths per cases probably means that they're greatly underreporting cases.
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  • (Score: 2) by choose another one on Tuesday March 17 2020, @02:10PM (46 children)

    by choose another one (515) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 17 2020, @02:10PM (#972202)

    Italy's healthcare system has collapsed in some areas, based on some reports they are already triaging based on age (and probably pre-existing conditions), and old = no treatment, at all. Not enough oxygen, tubes, or ventilators. When people are dying who would recover on oxygen for a day or so, your CFR is going to go way way up.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 17 2020, @03:08PM (5 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 17 2020, @03:08PM (#972248)

      Disorganized? Ineffective? Corrupt? Italy?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 17 2020, @03:43PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 17 2020, @03:43PM (#972275)

        More likely, that's just how quickly it hit. They were one of the first countries to be hit hard outside of Asia and had little time to put in place quarantines and social distancing measures to slow the rate at which it spreads.

        As bad as it is there, at least people will get tested without having to worry about being presented with a $1500 bill on top of whatever the cost of being treated is.

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 17 2020, @07:52PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 17 2020, @07:52PM (#972435)

        That has little to do with the problem.

        At the latest numbers more than 0.5% of Italy's entire population has been diagnosed with the virus. And it continues to spread rapidly. And those who have been diagnosed are going to be a fraction of all people with it. No medical system anywhere is meant to operate with this sort of influx of mostly new cases. Do you know what I mean on that last point? This doesn't mean it's like 0.5% of Itality's population getting sick - it's everybody who's already getting sick/injured/etc at a normal rate, suddenly with 0.5% of the entire nation's population added on to it.

        No country's medical systems anywhere are going to be able to deal with this because meaningfully and genuinely (as opposed to theoretically) preparing for this sort of eventuality would just be an absurd waste of time and resources 99.99% of the time. We just hit that 0.01%.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 17 2020, @10:06PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 17 2020, @10:06PM (#972500)

          Yes, they typically do drills for this sort of thing, but there's really only so much you can do. Getting additional medical doctors and nurses along with supplies like ventilators and this short of a time frame is a massive challenge no matter what you do. If you're lucky enough for it to be contained to a region, then you can import from elsewhere, but during a pandemic, there is no elsewhere. At least not unless you're towards the end of the epidemic and can borrow previously used equipment after the rates have returned to normal elsewhere.

        • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Wednesday March 18 2020, @07:43AM

          by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Wednesday March 18 2020, @07:43AM (#972673) Homepage
          You prepare for that eventually by being prepared to do something that prevents that eventuality.
          Blocking people from China at the borders would have slowed their growth down massively, and given them many more weeks to prepare and further manage policy. *Politics* could have fixed this, not stocks of medicine or hospital beds.

          Almost all of the cases we have here in Estonia came from Italy. *3 weeks* after I was considering Italy a festering pit of toxins the worst cluster of cases arrived inside our borders, and yes, it was a planeload of plague that arrived. If we'd have said "no entry from Italy" when I thought it was sensible 3 weeks earlier, we'd be fine right now, instead we have the 5th highest infection rate in the world. All Italy's cause, and all Estonian idiots' fault. And now the whole country is suffering because of a few idiots' insane decisions.

          One of my businesses, a brewpub which I've invested much of what I've ever owned into, might go bust because of this disaster.
          --
          Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
      • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Tuesday March 17 2020, @08:53PM

        by PiMuNu (3823) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 17 2020, @08:53PM (#972476)

        Note they are predicting a 30-fold excess in UK of intensive care unit cases to beds, if no preventative action is taken. That means "health system collapses".

    • (Score: 2, Disagree) by quietus on Tuesday March 17 2020, @03:27PM (39 children)

      by quietus (6328) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 17 2020, @03:27PM (#972265) Journal

      Those reports are in all likelihood very much exaggerated. The popular prejudice is that Italians are not organized, and chaotic, and these reports play on that.

      But: (a) the region where the outbreak has focused is about the richest region in Italy, (b) Italy's economy is the second most important economy in the EU, (c) the ICU capacity was still not reached last I checked, during the weekend, and (d) other EU countries (i.e. Germany) have been transferring medical supplies to Italy.

      There was a video posted on my national public broadcaster: a helicopter view, circling an Italian hospital; the sound: a nurse with broken voice, telling that people are dying on the floor (crying), doctors are deciding who's going to live and who is going to die.

      That's not reporting: that's emotion. That's hype.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 17 2020, @05:50PM (6 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 17 2020, @05:50PM (#972363)

        Italy's health care system was ranked 2nd in the world by the World Health Organization. The United States is 37th.

        Italy's medical services have had to perform reverse triage for several days, now as the number of patients has exceeded the number of ventilators. This means telling the 90 year old, that she must be left to die, so a 30 year old can be saved. A very shitty position to be in, and it should not be minimized.

        • (Score: 2) by Bot on Tuesday March 17 2020, @06:25PM (2 children)

          by Bot (3902) on Tuesday March 17 2020, @06:25PM (#972387) Journal

          Italian health system varies depending on the region, some areas of world class excellence, some with ants populating the patients bed. The problem, in all areas the personnel is stretched. The equipment, or so it seems, too. So when unexpected numbers turns out, it becomes a war scenario.

          --
          Account abandoned.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 18 2020, @05:04PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 18 2020, @05:04PM (#972823)

            Jesus Fucking Christ you dipshits just NEEEEEED to shit on universal healthcare in order to not admit you live in a 3rd world healthcare system. Well, unless you're wealthy, then you can afford 1st world status.

            Dipshit.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 18 2020, @06:10PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 18 2020, @06:10PM (#972854)

              Hey dumbass armchair internet big guy:

              The guy is Italian, I would expect him to know and have seen a thing or two about Italian health care.

        • (Score: 2) by quietus on Tuesday March 17 2020, @08:25PM (2 children)

          by quietus (6328) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 17 2020, @08:25PM (#972457) Journal

          It should not be exaggerated, either. So let's take a look at some numbers.

          The latest (March 17) figures [rainews.it] state that there are currently 26.062 corona patients in Italy; 2060 of them are in intensive care. How much should this stress the Italian hospital system?

          Italy had a population of 60.4 million people in 2017. In that same year, it had 261.530 [europa.eu] nurses and caring professionals working in 1.063 [statista.com] hospitals.

          Italy has 262.5 [europa.eu] hospital beds per 100.000 citizens. I couldn't find any numbers for ICU beds in Italy, but if we take the lower of the lowest number in Europe, the UK (3.5-7.4 [nih.gov] beds per 100,000 inhabitants), that should still work out to 2,100 ICU beds for Italy.

          They are also certainly not laggards in medical technology: scoring in the top 5 for CT, PET and MRI scanner deployments [oecd.org]. That indicates that the number of ICU beds is probably much higher too: in Belgium, there are about 150 ICU beds per million inhabitants: in Italy terms that would come down to about 9,000 ICU beds in total.

          In short, we've got 100 nurses per corona patient, the limit in the number of ordinary ICU beds has not yet been reached, and this is a hospital system which is at the forefront in terms of technological infrastructure.

          As a final note, a video akin to the one I mentioned in my previous post, has been published today: this time however, the critical situation was not in an Italian hospital. The setup was identical though: a crying nurse, claiming disaster in the intensive care department. The location, this time: the Saint-Luc hospital, in Brussels. For your info: there are a little over 1,700 intensive care unit beds in Belgium, and there's a current total of 360 corona patients in hospital -- 58 of them, I believe, are in intensive care.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by drussell on Tuesday March 17 2020, @09:12PM (1 child)

            by drussell (2678) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 17 2020, @09:12PM (#972478) Journal

            For your info: there are a little over 1,700 intensive care unit beds in Belgium, and there's a current total of 360 corona patients in hospital -- 58 of them, I believe, are in intensive care.

            How many empty ICU beds are there in Belgium?

            Presumably some of the total beds are occupied by patients with conditions other than coronavirus.

            The question is how many are actually available vs. how many you will need for a given speed of outbreak and trying to keep it below the system-breaking-point.

            • (Score: 2) by quietus on Tuesday March 17 2020, @09:35PM

              by quietus (6328) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 17 2020, @09:35PM (#972486) Journal

              Indeed. I've got no numbers for that, but all non-critical treatments have been suspended. One can assume that the vast majority of ICU beds are, in normal times, intended for post-surgery patients. As there are little to no surgeries anymore, the number of available ICU beds must be quite substantial. As a conservative estimate, take 60 percent: that's still about 1,200 ICU beds available, for 58 patients (currently), after 3-4 weeks of infection spread. Take the extreme case, with the number of intensive care patients doubling every day from now on: that would come down to about 5 days runway for that number. We know from Chinese research that after day 8, the patient either has died, or survives, and can be moved to ventilation only. So we need another 3 days runway, or about 900 additional beds.

              That might become the reality. Current reality, though, is that we -- and the Italians -- currently not have reached that maximum capacity, and there's no need for triaging, nor is it a disaster situation, yet.

      • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by barbara hudson on Wednesday March 18 2020, @12:00AM (28 children)

        by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Wednesday March 18 2020, @12:00AM (#972559) Journal
        Anyone over 65 doesn't get a respirator even if they need it. They die. Triage can be a bitch, but with limited supplies, warehouses being converted to wards for the sick on camp cots, 12 years in jail if you break quarantine, panic is advised.
        --
        SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
        • (Score: 3, Informative) by quietus on Wednesday March 18 2020, @05:04AM (27 children)

          by quietus (6328) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 18 2020, @05:04AM (#972647) Journal

          I take it then that you can read/write and speak Italian, and have some sources to back this up?

          • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Wednesday March 18 2020, @07:41AM (26 children)

            by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 18 2020, @07:41AM (#972672) Journal

            Barbara doesn't believe in providing the evidence to back up her claims - she believes that the onus is upon you to find the evidence to support her statements. Trust me, don't go there, you might as well bang your head against a brick wall.

            • (Score: 2, Troll) by barbara hudson on Wednesday March 18 2020, @12:03PM (25 children)

              by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Wednesday March 18 2020, @12:03PM (#972721) Journal
              That's right - I'll tell you where to look, but you have to move your fat fingers to do your own research. There's plenty of reports on the guardian. Go do your own research. You should not take anything I or anyone else says on the Internet as true. And you should not assume that any link anyone provides is without bias. Do your own research , make your own judgment calls. Anyone who tells you to do otherwise is pushing a personal agenda (which is exactly what you are doing now).

              You've been caught out, now own up to it.

              For everyone else following along wondering WTF this is about, the poster I'm replying to keeps insisting that it is somehow my duty to provide links, specifically to a claim that Iber was stupid enough to think that they could implement their self driving cat code in JavaScript, because JavaScript coders are cheap and plentiful . I told him to look on a discussion about Uber layoffs on slashdot a year or two ago, but he keeps giving excuses as to why he won't do that , makes up shit as to why it probably won't be satisfactory anyway without actually looking at it first, and doesn't get that it's not my problem if he can't find other proof.

              I'll say it again - people proffer biased links that confirm their narratives all the time. I prefer to tell people to do their own research and make their own judgments, same as we do all the time in the real world, where we either trust the statement or do research. If I tell you there was a car accident outside, you can either believe me or go look for yourself. But don't demand that I provide a link to prove it because you're too lazy to go outside to look. If I tell you that bananas are on sale this week, don't go all Internet lawyer and demand a link - it's no skin off my nose if you miss out on the bargain. You can get off your ass and go check it out in person, or not. I am under no obligation to go home and get the store flyer and send you pictures.

              Just because you can't find out something without it being in the first 10 results in a search engine doesn't mean it isn't true. There's plenty on the Internet that search engines won't expose. A search engine web interface that only returns the top 1,000 results is gonna miss a LOT. Sometimes you have to do actual research, sometimes you have to get hold of someone familiar with the problem, sometimes you have to accept that not everything is accessible by a search engine.

              That's life. Janrinok either can't or won't accept that, and keeps wanting to play Internet lawyer and internet cop at the same time . I told him where to look, " rel="url2html-21324">https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?noupdate=1&sid=36486&page=1&cid=970177#commentwrap> here is his refusal to do so. How is that my problem? Hint - it's not.

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              SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
              • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Wednesday March 18 2020, @12:07PM (6 children)

                by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Wednesday March 18 2020, @12:07PM (#972723) Journal
                fixed link to the whiner's excuses [soylentnews.org] My apologies.
                --
                SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
                • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Wednesday March 18 2020, @03:26PM (5 children)

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 18 2020, @03:26PM (#972776) Journal
                  So you bother to link to that, but not supporting evidence?
                  • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Thursday March 19 2020, @05:02PM (4 children)

                    by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Thursday March 19 2020, @05:02PM (#973247) Journal

                    That's right. I link to what I want, when I feel like it. I am under NO obligation to do other people's research on topics that are external to here.

                    And people who stupidly insist that I have to, and try to play both internet lawyer and internet cop, show me the RFC that requires me to, or STFU.

                    The bone of contention was what language Uber was trying to implement their self driving car software in. There's a simple solution - let him tell us what they are "really using". After all, by his own self-professed internet cop/internet lawyer standards, he's made a claim and now he has to back it up with links.

                    On a side note, I'm really, really disappointed that the latest "Call of the Wild" (the one with Harrison Ford) used a man in a suit instead of a real dog. No wonder it looks creepy in close-up, according to early reviews.

                    --
                    SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
                    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday March 20 2020, @09:02PM (3 children)

                      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 20 2020, @09:02PM (#973621) Journal

                      I am under NO obligation to do other people's research on topics that are external to here.

                      Nobody is under anyone's obligation to do any research at all. But it saves time if you do the research instead of dozens of readers. It's also support of your assertions that you can readily provide.

                      • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Friday March 20 2020, @09:17PM (2 children)

                        by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Friday March 20 2020, @09:17PM (#973627) Journal

                        As I've pointed out, there is always a bias from any citation anyone makes. I'll cite the CBC and the Guardian, someone else will cite LGF and the Daily Stormer. It's not always possible for me to provide citations, in some cases because my eyesight goes so I have to give up, in other cases, because it's not indexed by search engines (such as comments).

                        In such cases, people are free to either do their own research (always a good thing imo). After all, they might find something they wish to share that would have been ignored if they had just followed a link.

                        There's a balance, and I do provide links when I can, but if everything suddenly goes completely illegible, I can't, so I won't. And in other cases, such as COVID19, I referred them to the guardian site because there is simply no link that won't be obsolete within hours, sometimes within minutes. Not like opinion pieces, which can hang around for days.

                        --
                        SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
                        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday March 21 2020, @01:35AM (1 child)

                          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 21 2020, @01:35AM (#973704) Journal

                          It's not always possible for me to provide citations, in some cases because my eyesight goes so I have to give up, in other cases, because it's not indexed by search engines (such as comments).

                          Even when that happens, don't rub salt in the wound by citing [soylentnews.org] the disagreement instead.

                          • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Saturday March 21 2020, @02:25AM

                            by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Saturday March 21 2020, @02:25AM (#973712) Journal
                            Scroll up a few parents to the link you just gave. See that janrinok was the one who started the whole mess with an off-topic post taking a cheap shot at me. He's been going on in several threads from several articles, claiming that it is my obligation to supply links. There's no such obligation anywhere on the Internet.

                            I think it's a good idea to encourage people to do their own searches; I don't think it's a good idea for anyone to try to outright lie because they can't stand that someone disagrees with their need for everyone to conform to a non-existent standard. The lying - about never visiting slashdot because he doesn't want to be accused of plagiarism - and in the next sentence stating that he checked 3 years worth of headlines was wacko behaviour over something that nobody else gives a crap about - not even Uber.

                            To then claim he didn't visit the site because he used a python3 script to scrape the headlines is an outright lie. Visiting the site can be done with a browser, a script, or whatever.

                            The whole was misdirection theatre because I never claimed it was in any story, but in the comments, which google probably doesn't index anyway. More dishonest argument.

                            And then to lie by saying I said it was "in the Guardian Newspaper " - well, I have never even seen a copy of the newspaper. Just the site and app. And I never ever said it was in the Guardian. Just another attempt to put up a smokescreen of misdirection.

                            There's something not right about all this behaviour. It's obviously personal for him.

                            But emailing me at 1:10 in the morning, rather than posting his latest attempt at justifying his gonzo behaviour, that really took it up a notch. It was cowardly. A stupid attempt to avoid public scrutiny of his latest "justifications."

                            Most people don't look into the psychological aspect of this behaviour - I find it fascinating. Why does someone need to play internet cop and insist I have a duty to post links? Do they do that in real life - pick nonsense fights over nonsense questions? Is it a form of aggression? Or just a need for "everything following the same routine?" (a la aspies and people with OCD, or is it something else?)

                            Is there a way to run experiments to probe what lies behind it? Would it even be ethical without informed consent? Or can the same data be gleaned by observation only? The tech world is not normal, but observing how abnormal behaviour diverges from the norm can give us a better understanding of both worlds. But is even that ethical without informed consent ? And will such knowledge of itself alter the behaviour , like how people are more likely to wash their hands when someone else is also in the washrooms?

                            People are fascinating.

                            --
                            SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
              • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Wednesday March 18 2020, @12:24PM (14 children)

                by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 18 2020, @12:24PM (#972730) Journal

                There's plenty of reports on the guardian. Go do your own research.

                So presumably you have found the links - but you still refuse to provide them? Thank you for your invaluable contribution.

                • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Thursday March 19 2020, @03:58PM (13 children)

                  by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Thursday March 19 2020, @03:58PM (#973212) Journal

                  The situation is changing hourly, and the site is updated much more often - why limit yourself to any link I post, which will be outdated withing an hour, when you can get fresh, up-to-date information just as easily?

                  Or are you really that determined not to continue peddling your silliness. Go back and re-read your excuse for not going to slashdot for the information. So childish. You want it from somewhere else "because". So you're cutting your nose off to spite your face. But it's still no skin off my nose.

                  Keep it up - I'm the one encouraging people to do their own research, and not trust anyone's links because people can be selective in the links they post. You're against this. Why?

                  Anyone who's worked for a search engine knows the limitations of even the biggest ones. Most stuff isn't findable via search, because algorithms and site limitations. I ran into google's 1,000 search results maximum a few times when looking for information that I knew existed, because they had it before, but it had been pushed out of the top 1,000 (have they fixed that "feature" yet?).

                  BTW, since you claim to be so smart, what was Uber using to develop their self-driving car software? c? ada? cobol? pascal? programmable fpga's? Java? Since you claim it's not javascript, as was revealed in the discussion threads on slashdot, you must know what it is. Or say you don't know, and it could be anything, including javascript.

                  --
                  SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
                  • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Thursday March 19 2020, @04:22PM (12 children)

                    by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 19 2020, @04:22PM (#973224) Journal

                    As a founder member of this site which we created because Slashdot didn't want us - the majority here who remember those times are of the same opinion as I. As we say - 'Fuck Beta'. As an Editor we have to ensure that we cannot be accused of plagiarism - we do this by not visiting the site - period.

                    However, I have been through all of the story titles on that site which contain the word Uber or Javascript from Jan 2017 until today. None of them appear to be discussing writing the control software for a vehicle using javascript. So, as far as any reasonable search would suggest, it was not a discussion topic. Now, if you are suggesting it was in a comment and that I should go back and search all the comments - you are simply being obstructive. Javascript WAS used for the display of their ride hailing app, their driver/rider control display, and was used for one display that could have been used - but apparently never was - in a vehicle. That is not the same as what you claimed. Javascript was never suggested as a real time operating system that was used to control a car in any of the material I have searched. I have spent over 3 hours searching for the link you claim is easy to find.

                    BTW, since you claim to be so smart, what was Uber using to develop their self-driving car software? c? ada? cobol? pascal? programmable fpga's? Java? Since you claim it's not javascript, as was revealed in the discussion threads on slashdot, you must know what it is. Or say you don't know, and it could be anything, including javascript.

                    I never said I did know what they were using. But such a task would require a real-time operating system with more than the 2 interrupts that javascript has on offer. You made the claim that it was being used, not I. You may have simply misunderstood what was being discussed, or misread the article that you refuse to provide a link to.

                    As I said - thank you for your "invaluable contribution". I was quite prepared comment no further, but seeing that you commented to me, I have politely replied. However, as you have failed to prove your claim I will quite happily ignore your comments from now on.

                    • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Thursday March 19 2020, @05:27PM (11 children)

                      by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Thursday March 19 2020, @05:27PM (#973253) Journal

                      First, I never said it was a good idea, just that they were trying to do it that way. That's why everyone was laughing at Uber for being so stupid. Duh!

                      Second, as someone else just pointed out here [soylentnews.org], burden of proof is not a thing.

                      Third, your status as a founder/editor looks like an attempt at argument from authority. It's kind of irrelevant, and you just contradicted yourself in this post:

                      we do this by not visiting the site - period.

                      However, I have been through all of the story titles on that site

                      Those two statements are contradictory. Either the first one is true, and the second one false, or vice versa, or neither is true, but most certainly they can't both be true. I'll do you the courtesy of letting you pick one of the three possible options, but I've got to say, it doesn't look good from here.

                      You can always prove me wrong (won't be the first time) by practicing what you preach - post a link with information as to what Uber was actually using when they laid off the first 400 engineers.

                      I'm not the one requiring any proof from you one way or another - but you're the self-appointed internet cop who says a link is necessary to back up a claim. You claim it wasn't javascript - prove it.

                      Or just drop it. Because WTF is wrong with you that this is so important anyway?

                      --
                      SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
                      • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Thursday March 19 2020, @05:55PM (9 children)

                        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 19 2020, @05:55PM (#973256) Journal

                        First, I never said it was a good idea, just that they were trying to do it that way. That's why everyone was laughing at Uber for being so stupid. Duh!

                        But you said there was a newspaper report and discussion - you did not demonstrate that it actually occurred or what was said. Hence the request for you to provide a link so that we can ALL see what was actually said.

                        Second, as someone else just pointed out here [soylentnews.org], burden of proof is not a thing.

                        I do not believe that the opinion of a single AC (who, let's be fair, could be you) should actually replace the standards that this site tries to maintain and which are common in all scientific or technical debate.

                        However, I have been through all of the story titles on that site

                        It's you who has not thought this out. I have written a program in python-3 using selenium which I used to scrape all the titles from Jan 1 2017 until today. If Slashdot's own search cannot find it that is a fair indication that they haven't got it. I have not read any articles.

                        but most certainly they can't both be true.

                        As I have explained, the next option is that your assumption is wrong - which in this case it is.

                        You claim it wasn't javascript - prove it.

                        Don't be silly, I haven't claimed it was anything at all. YOU made the claim - and you now cannot or will not prove it. I can only surmise why you cannot/will not find the link that would so easily solve this problem. I am also prepared to accept that it occurred, but we have seen absolutely nothing to suggest that it did.

                        There is nothing more to discuss. You are not, in my personal opinion, a reliable commenter and I will be taking your comments with a huge bucket of salt in the future. I'm sure that will not concern you in the slightest.

                        Thank you for your views.

                        • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Thursday March 19 2020, @11:24PM (8 children)

                          by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Thursday March 19 2020, @11:24PM (#973335) Journal

                          But you said there was a newspaper report

                          Another lame attempt at misdirection, this time with a TOTAL LIE ON YOUR PART.

                          It's you who has not thought this out. I have written a program in python-3 using selenium which I used to scrape all the titles from Jan 1 2017 until today. If Slashdot's own search cannot find it that is a fair indication that they haven't got it. I have not read any articles.

                          And again, another lame attempt at misdirection. You claimed that you avoid the site completely to avoid any claims of plagarism, and yet somehow scraping and reading the results is "completely avoiding the site." You're so full of shit at this point it's not funny.

                          You made the claim that I was wrong. That is also a claim. According to your opwn standards, you have to either back up your claim or retract it.

                          You are not, in my personal opinion, a reliable commenter and I will be taking your comments with a huge bucket of salt in the future.

                          Aha - a convert! I've been urging everyone to do the same thing - do their own research. Nice to see you admit I'm right.

                          And as I've said repeatedly, I don't care what you think, I have zero obligation to prove anything to you. But you've been caught out in blatant lies, and I've bookmarked this for future use, because after all, you're the one who insisted on hijacking a thread in an article on COVID-19 to make a personal attack on me [soylentnews.org] and my policy on not providing links, just guidelines and letting people do their own research.

                          Obviously, you're pretty stupid to stoop to such attacks so publicly. Whine all you want - you made your bed, you sleep in it.

                          BTW - I notice you have not been able to come up with a single argument against my policy of urging people to educate themselves and form their own opinions by doing their own research rather than trusting proffered links that can reflect the biases of the poster. Stupid troll.

                          --
                          SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
                          • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Friday March 20 2020, @05:08AM (7 children)

                            by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 20 2020, @05:08AM (#973413) Journal

                            Final reply sent by DM. There is nothing to be gained by continuing this pointless discussion.

                            • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Friday March 20 2020, @08:57PM (6 children)

                              by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Friday March 20 2020, @08:57PM (#973617) Journal

                              Janrinok was too cowardly to reply here, so he instead sent this via email from a no-reply address.

                              The stuff in blockquotes is him quoting me. His "rebuttals" are in plain text. My comments are in italics.

                              ====================================

                              Our discussion is filling up a thread on an entirely different topic.

                              (janrinok was the one who posted a completely off-topic shot at me under one of my on-topic posts. Further on, he accuses others of going off-topic, but wasn't happy at all when I pointed out his hypocrisy. Just another example of how he's lost it.

                              My final reply is here:

                              Another lame attempt at misdirection, this time wth a TOTAL LIE ON YOUR PART.

                              You said it was reported in the Guardian, and that I should go and search pm a search engine. But you cannot substantiate that either.

                              Mistaking the guardian for slashdot??? I'm half blind, and I don't make that mistake. I never said that the Uber thing was on the Guardian. Ever. I have always been quite clear that it was in comments on a slashdot article. I also think it's a lie when he claims that his scraping 3 years of headlines from slashdot in the sentence immediately after claiming that he never goes to slashdot to avoid plagerism claims, is somehow not visiting a site. Whether it's a web browser or a script, it's still visiting the site.

                              Also, kind of pointless to scrape 3 years of headlines when I've repeatedly said it was in the comments. This is far beyond disingenuous.

                              I've made it a point lately to tell other people to do their own research; don't take my word or janrinok's word, or anyone else's word, or link, as the final authority. This is the internet, FFS. I'll say it again - do your own research. If you can't find something, that's not my problem.

                              Search engines don't make the vast majority of the data they scrape off the Internet available for free. If you can't find it via a search engine, it just means that you can't find it via a search engine. It doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

                              You claimed that you avoid the site completely to avoid any claims of plagiarism

                              I am trying to get to the bottom your your claim - if you have a better solution then I would have been pleased to hear it. If it is true then it is probably worth a story on its own right.

                              Seriously? Trying to justify a lie by claiming to do detective work on defunct software? Hey, keep an eye out, there might be some more Atari carts buried in the desert! You're not the "internet police.: Get over yourself already.

                              -if you have a better solution than I would be pleased to hear it.

                              ( And another lie - I proposed an extremely simple solution - he can post evidence of what Uber was using at the time they did their first round of software engineers. But he doesn't, because his motivation is not to settle the question, but something a bit more sinister.

                              I say that IF IT MATTERS ALL THAT MUCH TO YOU, do your own research. It's not my problem, and I'm not about to go all OCD like janrinok searching for near-worthless shit, doing it on a site he claims he will never visit, and searching in the wrong place - the story titles, not the comments. It's the fucking internet, ffs. Get some perspective. It's obsolete information. But if you think it's relevant, why not tell us what they were using at the time instead of scraping slashdot titles that you never visit.

                              I can see it now - guy claims he didn't access aa website with KP because he scraped it instead of using a web browser ... nobody will buy it.

                              It's the same as criticism that I didn't post a link to the guardian about COVID-19. I made my reason quite clear when I was again criticized by Mr Intenet Cop. Any link would be out of date within minutes, since they are doing almost continuous updates, so just visit the site for the latest and best news.

                              But no, that is somehow "wrong." He has continually ragged on me not posting links to everything. And I've been clear - show me the RFC that requires it, or STFU.

                              I stopped posting links to everything one evening when I tried to, and everything in my field of view went completely unreadable. That was at the beginning of the month, when my "better" eye bled, ruining the work I had put in to training my vision to work despite the diseased retinas, the holes and edemas in the retinas, the distortions, the cataracts that may be too risky to operate on ... I said to myself "There has to be a better way." And there is:

                              1. Every time you choose to cite a link, you can't help but have it reflect your internal biases. The site you got it from and the content can't help but reflect your biases. I'll cite the CBC and the Guardian, others will cite LGF (Little Green Footballs - are they still around?) and The Daily Stormer. Obviously this reflects two different world views.

                              2. So why not encourage people, if it matters so much to them, to do their own research free of any bias from me, and let them make their own decisions, same is we do in the real world.

                              Real-world example: I claim that bananas are on sale. If someone asks me for a link, I'm not going to go home and take a picture of the store flyer to "prove" it. Either take my word for it and pick up some bananas on sale, like normal people do, or miss out on the sale because I won't provide "proof" (and obviously not everything on the internet is true, so again, you have to use YOUR judgment).

                              So if someone goes all medieval and says I have to provide a link, I'll point out "No, I don't."

                              I still provide links when I can, when they are relevant, and when it's something interesting. Nobody normal is interested in Uber's defunct self-driving car software - they've laid off the devs and moved on. And it's not that important to me whether Janrinok or anyone else believes that Uber originally tried to do it in Javascript. It's only important to someone with an ulterior agenda.

                              And emailing me with more bullshit, instead of posting it in the thread, where his statements can be judged in context, is the act of a coward who knows he's been caught out multiple times.

                              Seriously, WTF is your problem, dude?

                              Your judgment has been superseded by your need to have a certain order - that the internet must work a certain way, that people HAVE to provide links, and you threw a wobbly when I said No, it's not my job."

                              Dude, do you think it's normal for you scrape 3 years worth of headlines off slashdot to try to "prove" something, a task that you should have realized was doomed to failure since I repeatedly said it was in the comments, not the story? Or did you somehow "manage" to forget that it's in the comments, despite my repeating it multiple times?

                              What makes this interesting to me is the human aspect - that someone can be so desperate to preserve "the order", including the imaginary requirement that people have to post links, that they mis-remember things that don't fit into their narrative of the world, and go to extremes like scraping slashdot for 3 years of headlines.

                              Most sites would consider that rude behaviour. Some would make it an outright ToS violation. And for what, exactly???

                              emailing me at 2 in the morning instead of replying in the thread ON SUCH A USELESS TOPIC is nuts and cowardly. You've been caught out in multiple lies. Not my problem. Just stop trying to prove I'm the liar.

                              I've gotten used to people acting weird wrt me. This is far from the worst, but it's definitely a strange reaction. Check your motivations.

                              --
                              SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
                              • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Saturday March 21 2020, @07:36AM (5 children)

                                by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 21 2020, @07:36AM (#973758) Journal

                                janrinok was too cowardly to reply here, so he instead sent this via email from a no-reply address.

                                You are now trolling:

                                Read the last line of that message - it is my email address. You are still trying to recover from digging yourself into a hole. But, in case you claim you cannot now find it - my email as everyone here probably knows is janrinok (at) soylentnews (dot) org.

                                I am NOT going to clutter up this thread by responding to your trolling, whinging and complaining. I do not believe anything you now say because you cannot/will not substantiate the claims that you have made. I will respond to you via email. You could have prevented all of this by simply providing the source of your claim.

                                • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Sunday March 22 2020, @12:52AM (3 children)

                                  by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Sunday March 22 2020, @12:52AM (#973978) Journal

                                  First, when you scraped slashdot, you violated their robots.txt policy, which can be found here [slashdot.org] since you want links so much. I've bolded the applicable lines:

                                  User-agent: *
                                  Disallow: /authors.pl
                                  Disallow: /index.pl
                                  Disallow: /comments.pl
                                  Disallow: /firehose.pl
                                  Disallow: /journal.pl
                                  Disallow: /messages.pl
                                  Disallow: /metamod.pl
                                  Disallow: /users.pl
                                  Disallow: /search.pl
                                  Disallow: /submit.pl
                                  Disallow: /pollBooth.pl
                                  Disallow: /pubkey.pl
                                  Disallow: /topics.pl
                                  Disallow: /zoo.pl
                                  Disallow: /palm
                                  Disallow: /slashdot-it.pl
                                  Disallow: slashdot-it.pl
                                  Disallow: authors.pl
                                  Disallow: index.pl

                                  There's more to the file, but the bold parts are the relevant parts.

                                  What you did was called "unauthorized access to a protected computer." The computer was protected from script robots by the robots.txt file (aka the robots exclusionary standard). Your access was illegal under Title 8 of the Patriot Act, as well as being a real dick move.

                                  As for your email, you sent it from noreply@soylentnews.org. And you did it again today. Sedriously, WTF is wrong with you? Or are you going to deny that you sent it from a noreply address, because people look at the sender, since that's the canonical address for the sender, unless it's been spoofed.

                                  But that's okay, anything from noreply@soylentnews.org is now flagged as junk. And checking my junk folder, your latest message has only noreply@soylentnews.org.

                                  To add insult to injury, you sent an .odt file. Why would I want to carry around an app to read ODT files? My email app does plain text just fine (doesn't even do html, but at least I can still read the content).

                                  I can picture this latest stupidity:

                                  Me: I don't do odt. I don't do doc or docx. I don't do wp, pdf, swf, xls, or whatever.

                                  You: But everyone does ODT.

                                  Me: So? I'm not everyone. Text only.

                                  You: But what if someone wants to send you something important?

                                  Me: From a noreply address? Can't be that important, at least not to me. Tons of spam from noreply addresses. And certainly I don't expect anything important from you, just more lies and stupidity. You started this in public and off-topic, it's going to continue in public until you stop, because your behaviour is off the wall.

                                  What a dope. Are you going senile? You mistake the guardian for slashdot, you illegally scrape slashdot headlines and not the comments even though I was quite clear it was in the comments, you now want any further discussion out of the public eye ...

                                  Now THAT is a story! Maybe I should submit it .... but nah, you just keep playing internet cop - it'll keep you off the streets, and with Covid-19 and France on lock-down, the french would probably consider it a public service :-)

                                  Try not to step in it any more, mkay?

                                  --
                                  SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
                                  • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Sunday March 22 2020, @08:10AM (2 children)

                                    by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 22 2020, @08:10AM (#974057) Journal

                                    To add insult to injury, you sent an .odt file.

                                    You included bold, italics and other formatting. What format would you prefer people to use?

                                    Your access was illegal under Title 8 of the Patriot Act,

                                    Fortunately, that is a US law. I will await the extradition request, but ....

                                    ... I didn't access any of the the links you provided in the robots.txt. I accessed only https://slashdot.com. [slashdot.com.] Wherever they subsequently redirect anything is not anything I can control. Most of those links are to Perl files/directories which I most certainly wouldn't want. Selenium creates a virtual browser and accesses a site like any other user could but with the ability to enter data into fields or press buttons etc.

                                    Other recipients of that email had my email address as the sender - janrinok (at) soylentnews (dot) org, (that is obfuscated here of course, but I'm sure you know that). I would check your email settings.

                                    • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Sunday March 22 2020, @07:37PM (1 child)

                                      by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Sunday March 22 2020, @07:37PM (#974215) Journal

                                      So you admit that you purposefully didn't even try to look at any comments, even though I was quite specific that it was in the comments. You're losing it mentally. Same as for some reason you claimed I said it was in the Guardian newspaper, when I've never in my life seen a copy of that newspaper, and haven't been able to read newspapers for years.

                                      I've already offered to send a copy to TMB of your email. It displays as noreply@soylentnews.org. But nice to know you were sending it to others as well - so now you can't even accuse me of some sort of unfairness for posting the contents. And thanks for also confirming that you were in fact the sender, and not someone pretending to be you.

                                      --
                                      SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
                                      • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Monday March 23 2020, @08:39AM

                                        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 23 2020, @08:39AM (#974364) Journal

                                        So you admit that you purposefully didn't even try to look at any comment

                                        Because there are thousands if not millions of comments on /. - without a clue which story to look at I would have to scrape and read everyone of them. All because you are unable to provide any source to support your claim.

                                        There's plenty of reports on the guardian [soylentnews.org]

                                        You wrote that - you know this because it was in the email that I sent and I know that you received it because you are quoting from it. Then you say "when I've never in my life seen a copy of that newspaper, and haven't been able to read newspapers for years". Two of us took you at your word - which you are now denying you even said. But you have the temerity to call me a liar or suffering from a mental defect. It is there in the link. You seem to be having no problem reading the comments here - I suggest that you could easily use the same method to read the Guardian.

                                        But nice to know you were sending it to others as well - so now you can't even accuse me of some sort of unfairness for posting the contents.

                                        You have accused me of being a liar. I am not. Why send it to TMB - he has nothing to do with my editorial role? If you want to go the senior person currently available on site address it to Deucalion / Juggs. The Editor-in-Chief is Martyb. I will send my emails to whomever I like as we often do. We depend on communication because we are all widely dispersed over every continent. The emails received by other staff here have the correct sender address. The problem appears to be at your end, but I will ask the email specialists at SN to investigate further.

                                        Yet despite me giving you my email address multiple times (janrinok (at) soylentnews (dot) org) you still seem to want to come on here accusing others of being liars and trying to score points rather than communicating directly. We have been asked to stop this discussion in this thread. You have lost this argument in the opinion of many although you will undoubtedly have your own supporters. Your word cannot be trusted, as even the links in this comment demonstrate.

                                        If you wish to continue to protest - send me an email or put something in your journal. Please leave this thread for the story under discussion.

                                • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Sunday March 22 2020, @01:01AM

                                  by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Sunday March 22 2020, @01:01AM (#973982) Journal
                                  BTW, you asked in you first email if I could propose a simple solution, and I had already done so, several times, even before that - tell us what Uber was using before their first round of engineer layoffs. Substantiate YOU claim of STFU, you lying hypocrite.

                                  Nobody else is making such a fuss that I don't always post links. You have OCD or what?

                                  Or you can show me the RFC that states that I have to post links. Too bad there isn't one.

                                  Or the site policy saying that I have to post links for comments. I don't see one, not here, not anywhere else.

                                  Bloody internet nazi.

                                  --
                                  SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 22 2020, @08:07PM

                        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 22 2020, @08:07PM (#974223)

                        Second, as someone else just pointed out here [soylentnews.org], burden of proof is not a thing.

                        Apparently you are immune to all forms of sarcasm and satire.
                        As the author of that post, I have the happy duty to inform you I was mocking you.

              • (Score: 2) by quietus on Wednesday March 18 2020, @02:14PM (1 child)

                by quietus (6328) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 18 2020, @02:14PM (#972756) Journal

                The poster you accuse of being a whiner is, well, let's say, he belongs to the bedrock of this site. I respect him, and trust him; he does not need to prove himself at all.

                • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Thursday March 19 2020, @04:58PM

                  by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Thursday March 19 2020, @04:58PM (#973245) Journal

                  Except that he being a hypocrite. He claims that I somehow "need' to post links to the discussion where it was revealed that Uber was using javascript ... but oh noes, not slashdot. That's childish. He keeps saying I have to prove it with links, but he won't prove that they're using something else.

                  Read his excuses.

                  And then think about our different approaches. I say "don't trust anyone's links. Do your own research, make your own evaluation. People can pick links that are biased towards their viewpoint. They do it all the time." He says "post links." Like you should trust any link anyone posts uncritically.

                  Also, links get obsolete really fast. Shallow khallow criticized me for not posting a link to the guardian, insted telling people to go there to look. I pointed out to him that the site is updated several times an hour with the latest information on things like COVID-19 and anything I link to will be obsolete within minutes, so use the source, luke, use the source.

                  This is not rocket science. But people have become lazy and want everything spoon-fed to them. OMG if they have to actually read something on their own!

                  No wonder so many people fall for scams like colloidal silver curing COVID-19.

                  --
                  SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
              • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 18 2020, @05:31PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 18 2020, @05:31PM (#972835)

                Can we just mod this spam? At this point I think it qualifies.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by FatPhil on Wednesday March 18 2020, @07:50AM (2 children)

        by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Wednesday March 18 2020, @07:50AM (#972674) Homepage
        > There was a video posted on my national public broadcaster: a helicopter view, circling an Italian hospital; the sound: a nurse with broken voice, telling that people are dying on the floor (crying), doctors are deciding who's going to live and who is going to die.

        > That's not reporting: that's emotion. That's hype.

        Were people dying on the floor? The photos I have seen certainly looked like very infirm people on campbeds, which is as near as darn it to the floor, many with a very low survival expectation.
        Are doctors performing triage to bias care towards the young and otherwise healthy, who will survive, and away from the old or comorbid, who have a significant risk of dying? All the reports I've seen have indicated that's the case.

        So those are facts being reported.

        If you have a problem with facts being reported, then the problem is with you, not the reporting.
        --
        Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
        • (Score: 2) by quietus on Wednesday March 18 2020, @02:20PM (1 child)

          by quietus (6328) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 18 2020, @02:20PM (#972757) Journal

          There were no photo's at all, just the video I described. What I do know is (a) the numbers about hospital resources, as posted in my previous posts, and (b) the post about the Brussels' hospital was completely fake.

          If you provide your resources, I might attempt to cross-check with Italian sources.

          • (Score: 3, Touché) by barbara hudson on Thursday March 19 2020, @11:43PM

            by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Thursday March 19 2020, @11:43PM (#973339) Journal

            Go watch the evening news. Two days ago it was a report from a warehouse that had been converted to house patients in Italy. Tonight it was ICUs with people jammed in because there wasn't enough room to space them out. Or just look at the latest stats, where Italy now has more deaths than China, and expecting it to get much worse, and towns where funeral homes are having problems disposing of the dead (even though funerals are banned, so that's one bottleneck taken care of) because they have a shortage of workers and coffins, and doctors who attest a death are now having to seal off the rooms in which the dead are because pickup and disposal can take a few days.

            And remember - this is the future of the USA, thanks to your idiot-in-chief cutting back on all sorts of health research and funding to give more money to his buds in the swamp. The +13,000 cases today are nothing - wait until testing really gets underway. Given that large segments of the population still refuse to practice social distancing to help prevent the virus from spreading, May is going to be a total disaster.

            And if you still believe that summer weather will somehow make this all go away, look at Italy - it's on the Mediterranean. It's where people go to escape winter. And Iran, on the Persian Gulf. Summery weather didn't save them.

            Interesting news this evening (our national news network ran another hour of coronavirus reporting) - turns out that after re-examining data, people under 60 make up half the cases. And they're also dying. And not just people with "underlying health conditions" either. People in their 30s are also dying. So much for #boomerremover.

            The most likely scenario under current modelling is that 80% of the population gets it. The idea of "flattening out the curve" is not just to keep health services from being overwhelmed. Autopsies of the dead show major damage to the lungs. But we know that you are more likely to have a less severe case if your initial viral load is lower, so by keeping people apart, you'll be less likely to get a severe case and kill your lungs. Ditto with smoking - if you want to live, stop smoking. Stop hanging around people who smoke because second hand smoke is also a problem. But not believing that it is "that bad", or that it can't happen to you, is exactly what keeps people from taking precautions.

            Crowded beaches and concession stands - yeah, that will sure keep the virus from spreading. Not.

            --
            SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
  • (Score: 2) by drussell on Tuesday March 17 2020, @04:42PM (3 children)

    by drussell (2678) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 17 2020, @04:42PM (#972316) Journal

    Case fatality rates (CFR)—that is, the number of infected people who will die from the infection—are simply calculated by dividing the number of dead by the number of recovered plus dead. The fatality rates you’ve probably seen so far have likely been a crude version of this: deaths divided by total cases.

    One problem with these crude calculations is that the cases then being counting are not all resolved. Some of the patients who are currently sick may later go on to die. In that situation, the patients' cases are counted, but their deaths are not (yet). This skews the current calculation to make the CFR look artificially low.

    The best way to clear up this uncertainty is to wait until one of the local outbreaks is completely over and then to do blood tests on the general population to see how many people were infected. Those blood tests would look for antibodies that target SARS-CoV-2. (Antibodies are Y-shaped proteins that the immune system makes to help identify and attack pathogens and other unfriendly invaders.) The presence of antibodies against a specific germ in a person’s blood indicates that the person has been exposed to that germ, either through infection or immunization. Screening the general population for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies will give a clearer picture of how many people were actually infected—regardless of whether they were symptomatic or diagnosed while sick. That number can then be used to calculate an accurate CFR.

    So far, some preliminary population screening for COVID-19 infections has been done in China, specifically in Guangdong province. Screening of 320,000 people who went to a fever clinic suggested that we may not be missing a vast number of mild cases. This in turn suggests that the CFRs we are calculating now are not wildly higher than they should be. However, experts still suspect that many mild cases are going unreported, and many still anticipate that the true CFR will be lower than what we are calculating now.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 17 2020, @05:01PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 17 2020, @05:01PM (#972330)

      We by far will never know the total case count. With the current hysteria, you would either be really sick or a lunatic risking being placed in forced quarantine for common cold symptoms.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 17 2020, @05:06PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 17 2020, @05:06PM (#972335)

        I meant to say "really sick to seek medical advice or a lunatic".

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday March 18 2020, @10:44AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 18 2020, @10:44AM (#972700) Journal

      This in turn suggests that the CFRs we are calculating now are not wildly higher than they should be.

      In China!