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How things are, in a few short words

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If we keep the economy closed at current levels, it will continue to decay, and at some point turn into irreversible, non-linear damage.  No one knows when, or how to model the course of that process.  That decay also will eat into our future public health capacities, and perhaps boost hunger and poverty around the world.

If we keep people locked up at current levels, fewer of them will be exposed to the virus, and in the meantime we can develop better treatments, and also improve test and trace capabilities.  No one knows how quickly those improvements will come, or how to model the course of that process, or how much net good they will do.

The relative pace of those two processes should determine our best course of action.  No one knows the relative pace of either of those two processes.  Yet commentators pretend to be increasingly knowledgeable, moralizing based on the pretense of knowledge they do not have.

That is where we are at!  And here is my earlier post Where We Stand.

The post How things are, in a few short words appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

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afwmeek
1448 days ago
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Malicious Shortcuts

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Simeon:

I’ve just been made aware (by @AvimanyuRoy3) that it is trivially easy to steal highly sensitive & personal information from an iPhone via Shortcuts

Just browsing through the malicious Shortcut is mind blowing

You’ll be unsettled what your phone has on you

From highly personal contacts, names you’ve typed into iMessage, addresses, browsing history, app usage, file contents

I’d even loaded the entire text of Dickens’ David Copperfield into Codea recently to test editing performance. Names and places from the story were indexed

This was from a Shortcut that was disguised to look like a memory cleaner. But it really zipped the above data, uploaded it, then sent the link via iMessage to an attacker. The details were obfuscated in the shortcut through base64 encoding

You couldn’t expect a reasonable user to know what they were agreeing to run when receiving an Apple-hosted link to this shortcut

With automatic scheduling of shortcuts you could possibly trick someone into running a key logger

I’ve disclosed all the details to Apple and hope that they fix it, but the more Shortcuts becomes mainstream, the more people need to be aware of how they can be powerfully misused

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afwmeek
1904 days ago
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This risk has been bothering me. Apple does serve up a warning when users run a shortcut downloaded from the web, but some of the more powerful shortcuts are too complex for lay users to either build them themselves or audit the code to ensure that it is not malicious.
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Life at the margin?

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With Seamus Heaney:

Poetry isn’t important in one sense — it’s more important to live your life and be a good person. Who cares about poetry, there’s plenty already around. Life is more important than art.

Under what conditions is that true?  Under what conditions is it actually believed by Heaney?  Here is the rest of the interview, interesting throughout.  I enjoyed this bit:

MB: What do you like to discuss in terms of literature in your classes?
SH: I’m radical about this, but it seems strange to have discussions with people who don’t know anything and who overreact. They usually don’t have much to say. Maybe discuss literature with them the following year — after the class — when they’ve had time to have the material enter their memory. Until it’s entered their personality they can’t say much.

Via Anecdotal.

The post Life at the margin? appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

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afwmeek
1935 days ago
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The Best Windshield Wipers for Your Car

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After researching wiper blades for more than 60 hours, scouring user reviews, talking to auto-service shops in such weather-challenged regions as Chicago, Illinois and Portland, Oregon, and testing top competitors on a handful of cars, our findings show that the Bosch Icon is a good bet for most drivers, as long as it fits your car. Bosch wiper blades are recommended by the shops we interviewed more than any other brand, and the Icon is consistently among the highest-rated models by users on websites that sell a wide range of wipers. It’s also earned among the highest ratings of any top-selling blade on Amazon with relatively few complaints.

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afwmeek
2188 days ago
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Definitely go with silicone blades. They last much longer than traditional blades.
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What’s Inside the iPhone

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Bloomberg and iFixit have teamed up to take apart every iPhone and compare them side by side. I love it.

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afwmeek
2374 days ago
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Very cool.
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Flash and Chrome

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Adobe Flash Player played a pivotal role in the adoption of video, gaming and animation on the Web. Today, sites typically use technologies like HTML5, giving you improved security, reduced power consumption and faster page load times. Going forward, Chrome will de-emphasize Flash in favor of HTML5. Here’s what that means for you.

Today, more than 90% of the Flash on the web loads behind the scenes to support things like page analytics. This kind of Flash slows you down, and starting this September, Chrome 53 will begin to block it. HTML5 is much lighter and faster, and publishers are switching over to speed up page loading and save you more battery life. You’ll see an improvement in responsiveness and efficiency for many sites.

This is similar to a change we made last September, when some Flash content became click-to-play with Chrome 42. This had an immediate, positive impact for our users by improving page load times and saving battery power.

In December, Chrome 55 will make HTML5 the default experience, except for sites which only support Flash. For those, you’ll be prompted to enable Flash when you first visit the site. Aside from that, the only change you’ll notice is a safer and more power-efficient browsing experience.

Flash helped make the Web a rich, dynamic experience, and shaped the modern set of web standards. We continue to work closely with Adobe to ensure that your web experience is as fast and secure as possible and to help the Web transition to HTML5.

Posted by Anthony LaForge, curator of Flash in Chrome.
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afwmeek
2802 days ago
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2 public comments
marmalade
2803 days ago
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Finally... almost.
Sussex, UK
chrisminett
2803 days ago
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And so goes Chrome. So, that just leaves Edge?
Milton Keynes, UK
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