Claims of B.C. hospital racism where staff guessed alcohol level of Indigenous patients spark investigation


British Columbia’s premier says there’s no excuse for “dehumanizing behaviour” as part of alleged racism by some emergency room staff accused of playing a game to guess the blood-alcohol levels of Indigenous patients. […] “The game involved guessing the blood-alcohol level of patients, essentially in advance or during their treatment. Obviously, playing a game of that sort is beyond unacceptable,” he told reporters on a conference call.

Two things stand out here:

  1. There’s no way this was limited to indigenous people. Broke-ass caucasians — the kind of people I grew up around — would also be prime targets for this kind of game
  2. People will guess probable outcomes based more on lived experience than anything else. This isn’t limited to blood-alcohol levels in the ER, either. Patterns are seen everywhere in life and people make a game out of them because they enjoy being correct.

If the hospital staff were betting money, keeping tallies, and compiling rankings, that would be unprofessional. If they’re examining a patient exhibiting all the symptoms of alcohol poisoning and one says “0.09” while the other says “0.11” before the result is in, then it’s not systemic racism.

But this probably makes me racist 🙄

OpenZFS removed offensive terminology from its code


On Wednesday evening, ZFS founding developer Matthew Ahrens submitted what should have been a simple, non-controversial pull request to the OpenZFS project: wherever possible without causing technical issues, the patch removed references to "slaves" and replaced them with "dependents."

This patch in question doesn't change the way the code functions—it simply changes variable names in a way that brings them in conformance with Linux upstream device-mapper terminology, in 48 total lines of code (42 removed and 48 added; with one comment block expanded slightly to be more descriptive).

But this being the Internet, unfortunately, outraged naysayers descended on the pull request, and the comments were quickly closed to non-contributors. I first became aware of this as the moderator of the r/zfs subreddit where the overflow spilled once comments on the PR itself were no longer possible.

I work with databases every single day. Many of them involve replication of some sort. I have refused to call servers “master” or “slave” since the 90s because they’re such awful words. Instead it has primarily been Primary/Secondary for MySQL/PostgreSQL and Publisher/Subscriber for SQL Server.

The people who have a problem with the language change are likely the same people that take phone calls in movie theatres via speakerphone 🙄

Also, don’t read the comments to the article. Many are not worth the bits they’re encoded with.

Apple plans to announce ARM transition for all Macs at WWDC 2020


At its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) later this month, Apple plans to announce the beginning of its transition from Intel-based Macs to ARM-based ones with internally designed CPUs, according to a report from Bloomberg. The report comes from Mark Gurman, who has had a generally good track record on reporting the internal workings of Apple and cites "people familiar with the plans."

Why did it have to be from Bloomberg? Why not a more reputable source like Jillian’s Jaded Blog or an egg on Twitter? Still, it’ll be interesting to see if this is the way Apple is going.

IBM will no longer offer, develop, or research facial recognition technology


IBM will no longer offer general purpose facial recognition or analysis software, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said in a letter to Congress today. The company will also no longer develop or research the technology. […]

“IBM firmly opposes and will not condone uses of any [facial recognition] technology, including facial recognition technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and freedoms, or any purpose which is not consistent with our values and Principles of Trust and Transparency,” Krishna said in the letter. “We believe now is the time to begin a national dialogue on whether and how facial recognition technology should be employed by domestic law enforcement agencies.”

The cynic in me says this is likely a PR-friendly way of axing an unprofitable business division. The optimist in me says this is a good thing.

Ultimately the only reason I can think of why I might want to use facial recognition software in a project is to develop a robotic pet that can recognize friendlies 🤔

Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders says he's resigning to spend time with family


From the comments section:

With the "woke" mob screaming to "defund police" and hating the people who put their lives on the line for us, I'm pretty sure that there will be a lot of policeman retiring.

Second issue, why would any decent person want a career in policing and put his/her life on the line for the very same people who spit on him/her? Would you? I wouldn't.

Our "progressive" world is going to be a lot more dangerous when the dumbest ideas on our safety are knee jerked forward. Worse, those who are vulnerable now will be far more vulnerable if there are less dedicated people to protect us from the real and very dangerous world.

Shortly after, this article came out staying that the Toronto city councillors are hoping to cut T.O’s police budget by 10% despite the city having one of the more compassionate, highly trained forces in North America.

Cutting budgets won’t put an end to police violence. If anything, it’ll encourage the best ones to leave and remove the few internal checks that keep the bad ones from being power-tripping jerks 🙄

Protesters hit Tokyo and Osaka streets with rallies against racism and police brutality


“We all know what’s happening in the U.S.,” said Nami Nanami, 28. “The same thing is happening in Japan but nobody is talking about it.”

Umm … no. The same thing most certainly is not happening in Japan. The handful of protesters in this country might know of what’s happened in the US, but I guarantee none of them know very much about it.

Amazon Makes AMD Rome EC2 Instances Available


After many months of waiting, Amazon today has finally made available their new compute-oriented C5a AWS cloud instances based on the new AMD EPYC 2nd generation Rome processors with new Zen2 cores.

These are some crazy-potent systems. So potent that I will not come close to making full use of their potential …

Apple releases iOS 13.5.1 to fix the flaw behind a well-known jailbreak


Less than two weeks after Apple released iOS 13.5, the company is rolling out iOS 13.5.1 to patch the vulnerability that enabled a high-profile jailbreak.

Well that didn’t take too long. While I can understand Apple’s desire to ensure a consistent and reliable experience on their hardware, I do wonder if the endless cat and mouse with jailbreakers has more to do with marketing than security 🤔

Photo Essay: Tokyo Without the People


How the megapolis looked with 99.9 percent fewer people

The photo essay focuses mainly on the tourist areas, but the entire region, if not most of the country, was much the same for April and the first weeks of May …

A $350 “anti-5G” device is just a 128MB USB stick, teardown finds


Believers of 5G conspiracy theories have apparently been buying a $350 anti-5G USB key that — not surprisingly — appears to just be a regular USB stick with only 128MB of storage. […] The product's website charges £283 for a single 5GBioShield, which converts to nearly $350. That's what it costs to get "protection for your home and family, thanks to the wearable holographic nano-layer catalyser, which can be worn or placed near to a smartphone or any other electrical, radiation or EMF emitting device."

See, this is why I’ll never be a millionaire. Ideas like this are completely foreign 😑