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Eczema patients treated by drug-producing microbes found on their own skin

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Enlarge (credit: Getty | Media for Medical )

Looking to find the most effective probiotics? You may need to look no further than your own body.

Scientists could rid eczema patients’ arms of disease-spurring Staphylococcus aureus simply by picking out rare but helpful bacteria also on their skin, growing it up to large quantities, and mixing it with off-the-shelf lotion that the patients slathered on. The finding, reported this week in Science Translational Medicine, is another example of harnessing the protective and disease-fighting potential of the human microbiome. Researchers are optimistic that in future clinical trials, the personal bacteria boosts will prove useful in longterm treatment for eczema, without the risks that come with antibiotics.

“This approach is inherently superior to current pharmaceutically derived antibiotics,” the authors conclude. Unlike bottled antibiotics that may kill microbes indiscriminately—friends or foes—the patient’s skin bacteria selectively killed off harmful S. aureus and left the protective community intact.

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Universal Install Script

10 Comments and 23 Shares
The failures usually don't hurt anything, and if it installs several versions, it increases the chance that one of them is right. (Note: The 'yes' command and '2>/dev/null' are recommended additions.)
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10 public comments
jsonstein
949 days ago
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one of them *has* to work, esp all running in parallel
43.128462,-77.614463
srsly
953 days ago
reply
I appreciate the lines,

> apt-get install $1
> sudo apt-get install $1
Atlanta, Georgia
kimmo
953 days ago
reply
Excellent idea to run all of these in parallel. :)
Espoo, Finland
kevjava
954 days ago
reply
Don't forget to run as root!
toddgrotenhuis
953 days ago
arghhhhhh
JayM
954 days ago
reply
:)
Atlanta, GA
Cthulhux
954 days ago
reply
Doesn't work on BSD since there is no bash by default. Pffff, universal!
Fledermausland
tante
954 days ago
reply
Universal Install Script
Oldenburg/Germany
superiphi
954 days ago
reply
Ha ha ha ha.
Idle, Bradford, United Kingdom
alt_text_bot
954 days ago
reply
The failures usually don't hurt anything, and if it installs several versions, it increases the chance that one of them is right. (Note: The 'yes' command and '2>/dev/null' are recommended additions.)
denubis
954 days ago
reply
This is terrifying.
Sydney, Australia
lamontcg
954 days ago
This is my job

Five-Day Forecast

5 Comments and 13 Shares
You know what they say--if you don't like the weather here in the Solar System, just wait five billion years.
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5 public comments
emdot
1065 days ago
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I need a 5 second option.
San Luis Obispo, CA
maxdibe
1066 days ago
reply
Your 5 forecast:
on a bike
JayM
1066 days ago
reply
Heh
Atlanta, GA
stefanetal
1065 days ago
10 years out something happened.
lukeburrage
1066 days ago
reply
I can't believe there isn't a Celsius version of this automatically served to browsers outside of the USA.
bobdvb
1066 days ago
reply
#fail for using Fahrenheit
Down from 51.5, left of 0.25
stevetursi
1066 days ago
Lighten up. He's ridiculing American weather forecasts.
dukeofwulf
1065 days ago
If you've ever read his What If articles, you know Randall is a huge fan of Celcius and Kelvin scales (naturally, he's an engineer).

The Security Risks of Third-Party Data

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Most of us get to be thoroughly relieved that our e-mails emails weren't in the Ashley Madison database. But don't get too comfortable. Whatever secrets you have, even the ones you don't think of as secret, are more likely than you think to get dumped on the Internet. It's not your fault, and there's largely nothing you can do about it.

Welcome to the age of organizational doxing.

Organizational doxing -- stealing data from an organization's network and indiscriminately dumping it all on the Internet -- is an increasingly popular attack against organizations. Because our data is connected to the Internet, and stored in corporate networks, we are all in the potential blast-radius of these attacks. While the risk that any particular bit of data gets published is low, we have to start thinking about what could happen if a larger-scale breach affects us or the people we care about. It's going to get a lot uglier before security improves.

We don't know why anonymous hackers broke into the networks of Avid Life Media, then stole and published 37 million -- so far -- personal records of AshleyMadison.com users. The hackers say it was because of the company's deceptive practices. They expressed indifference to the "cheating dirtbags" who had signed up for the site. The primary target, the hackers said, was the company itself. That philanderers were exposed, marriages were ruined, and people were driven to suicide was apparently a side effect.

Last November, the North Korean government stole and published gigabytes of corporate e-mail email from Sony Pictures. This was part of a much larger doxing -- a hack aimed at punishing the company for making a movie parodying the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The press focused on Sony's corporate executives, who had sniped at celebrities and made racist jokes about President Obama. But also buried in those e-mails emails were loves, losses, confidences, and private conversations of thousands of innocent employees. The press didn't bother with those e-mails emails -- and we know nothing of any personal tragedies that resulted from their friends' searches. They, too, were caught in the blast radius of the larger attack.

The Internet is more than a way for us to get information or connect with our friends. It has become a place for us to store our personal information. Our e-mail email is in the cloud. So are our address books and calendars, whether we use Google, Apple, Microsoft, or someone else. We store to-do lists on Remember the Milk and keep our jottings on Evernote. Fitbit and Jawbone store our fitness data. Flickr, Facebook, and iCloud are the repositories for our personal photos. Facebook and Twitter store many of our intimate conversations.

It often feels like everyone is collecting our personal information. Smartphone apps collect our location data. Google can draw a surprisingly intimate portrait of what we're thinking about from our Internet searches. Dating sites (even those less titillating than Ashley Madison), medical-information sites, and travel sites all have detailed portraits of who we are and where we go. Retailers save records of our purchases, and those databases are stored on the Internet. Data brokers have detailed dossiers that can include all of this and more.

Many people don't think about the security implications of this information existing in the first place. They might be aware that it's mined for advertising and other marketing purposes. They might even know that the government can get its hands on such data, with different levels of ease depending on the country. But it doesn't generally occur to people that their personal information might be available to anyone who wants to look.

In reality, all these networks are vulnerable to organizational doxing. Most aren't any more secure than Ashley Madison or Sony were. We could wake up one morning and find detailed information about our Uber rides, our Amazon purchases, our subscriptions to pornographic websites -- anything we do on the Internet -- published and available. It's not likely, but it's certainly possible.

Right now, you can search the Ashley Madison database for any e-mail email address, and read that person's details. You can search the Sony data dump and read the personal chatter of people who work for the company. Tempting though it may be, there are many reasons not to search for people you know on Ashley Madison. The one I most want to focus on is context. An e-mail email address might be in that database for many reasons, not all of them lascivious. But if you find your spouse or your friend in there, you don't necessarily know the context. It's the same with the Sony employee e-mails, emails, and the data from whatever company is doxed next. You'll be able to read the data, but without the full story, it can be hard to judge the meaning of what you're reading.

Even so, of course people are going to look. Reporters will search for public figures. Individuals will search for people they know. Secrets will be read and passed around. Anguish and embarrassment will result. In some cases, lives will be destroyed.

Privacy isn't about hiding something. It's about being able to control how we present ourselves to the world. It's about maintaining a public face while at the same time being permitted private thoughts and actions. It's about personal dignity.

Organizational doxing is a powerful attack against organizations, and one that will continue because it's so effective. And while the network owners and the hackers might be battling it out for their own reasons, sometimes it's our data that's the prize. Having information we thought private turn out to be public and searchable is what happens when the hackers win. It's a result of the information age that hasn't been fully appreciated, and one that we're still not prepared to face.

This essay previously appeared on the Atlantic. The Atlantic.

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kevjava
1132 days ago
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Very much this.

Future Self

6 Comments and 18 Shares
Maybe I haven't been to Iceland because I'm busy dealing with YOUR crummy code.
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5 public comments
satadru
1496 days ago
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Folks, make that trip to Iceland. You won't regret it.
New York, NY
toddmichaelryan
1496 days ago
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Love it.
mrobold
1496 days ago
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From my own vault:

* To the person who ever has to modify this that isn't me:
*
* I'm really, really sorry. This project started out so simply. It was a pretty straightforward
* dumb-client. All processing was done on the back-end routine and all this
* code did was display the appropriate data. That was it.
*
* Over the past 8 years (Christ, have I been here that long?), rather than rewriting the client,
* we have simply affixed more and more functionality to it - most of which would have necessitated
* a complete redesign of the client in any other organization. However, in the interests of
* expediency, those things have been bolted on - turning this dumb client into a 14,000+ line
* monstrosity that, frankly, I doubt anyone other than myself could actually maintain without
* losing their sanity. It's quite possible that the only reason I've been able to maintain
* this code is that my sanity left me a long time ago.
Orange County, California
jimwise
1497 days ago
reply
...
jepler
1497 days ago
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the day that stretches out before me, ladies and gentlemen
Earth, Sol system, Western spiral arm
emdeesee
1496 days ago
The #-delimited comments are cute.

Substitutions

9 Comments and 21 Shares
INSIDE ELON MUSK'S NEW ATOMIC CAT
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9 public comments
Michdevilish
1806 days ago
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No comment
Canada
expatpaul
1806 days ago
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Now I just need a search/replace plugin for Firefox...
Belgium
mrobold
1807 days ago
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Brilliant.
Orange County, California
aaronwe
1807 days ago
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Totally trying this in my next newscast. Or not. Maybe I'll just run a global find->replace on a set of scripts and chuckle to myself.
Denver
wyeager
1807 days ago
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I never thought I'd see an extension better than "cloud to butt plus". Today is the day.
Blur Area
anna_librariana
1808 days ago
reply
Yes!
Boston, MA
eraycollins
1808 days ago
reply
A couple of these are so true.
hansderycke
1808 days ago
Personally, I've been doing germs->Germans
skoobahdiver
1807 days ago
Yes, but I so miss Homestar!
stavrosg
1808 days ago
reply
Alt Text: INSIDE ELON MUSK'S NEW ATOMIC CAT
Rodos, Greece
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