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Americans warned not to drink hand sanitiser after four die and others go partially blind

Americans are being warned against drinking hand sanitiser after four people died and others were left with visual impairments.

A total of 15 people - 13 men and two women - were admitted to hospital after ingesting sanitiser in the southern states of Arizona and New Mexico in May and June, a new report from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

All of them, aged 21 to 65, had drunk hand sanitiser containing methanol, an ingredient deemed "not acceptable" by the US regulator Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Four people out of the 15 died, three left hospital with new visual impairments and six had seizures as they were admitted - including three of those who died.

The report said four of the patients were still in hospital as of 8 July, so there is no update on whether they have suffered long-term effects.

Read more here. (Sky News)

Utah: Students sues Brigham Young University for 'subpar' online classes during pandemic, seeks refund

PROVO, UT (KUTV) — A student suing Brigham Young University claims he didn't get the education he paid for after in-person classes were canceled in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Chase Hiatt, an undergraduate student, claims in the federal lawsuit that the online classes were "subpar" compared to in-person classes.

"In short, plaintiffs and the members of the class have paid for tuition for a first-rate education and an on-campus, in person educational experience, with all the appurtenant benefits offered by a first-rate university, and were provided a materially deficient and insufficient alternative, which alternative constitutes a breach of the contracts entered into by plaintiffs and the class with the university," the lawsuit states.

Claims in the lawsuit include breach of contract and unjust enrichment, based on that BYU priced its tuition and mandatory fees on the in-person educational services, experiences and opportunities.

Read more here. (KUTV)

National Park Service warns against sacrificing slower friends in bear attack, "even if friendship has run its course."

There are a few potential reactions to being attacked by a bear – stand your ground and attempt to scare it off, run away or perhaps curl up into the fetal position and hope for the best.

The US government has now, however, officially advised against the most cowardly option: pushing over a slower friend to save yourself.

The National Park Service has warned against sacrificing another person to an irate bear “even if you think the friendship has run its course” in a rather informal set of recommendations posted on Facebook.

Bear attacks are a rare but real threat in parts of the US, with a man recently videoing his own mangled hand and arm after encountering a grizzly bear in an abandoned shed in Montana. In a separate incident this week, wildlife officials in Alaska killed four bears suspected of involvement in the death of a man who was mauled while clearing a trail behind his property.

Read more here. (The Guardian UK)

Walt Disney Company Posts First Quarterly Loss In Almost 20 Years

This year, its fortunes have reversed: few entertainment companies, if any, have been as badly hit by the coronavirus. Largely as a result of the pandemic, Disney has posted its first quarterly loss in decades.

Here are the details:

  • Disney lost $4.72 billion in the three months ending June 27, with total revenue falling 42% to $11.8 billion. The company earned a profit of $1.43 billion in the same quarter last year.
  • Revenues from its theatrical, theme park, and live sports businesses were severely dented by the pandemic. Costs relating to its Fox acquisition, including integration expenses and severance pay, were also a factor.
  • The direct-to-consumer and international division was the only one to report an increase in year-over-year revenue. In less than nine months, Disney+ has passed 60 million subscribers — a milestone Netflix took around eight years to reach. Combined with subscribers to Disney’s other streaming services, like Hulu and ESPN+, Disney has over 100 million subscribers.

Read more here. (CartoonBrew)

Scientists rename human genes to stop Microsoft Excel from misreading them as dates

There are tens of thousands of genes in the human genome: minuscule twists of DNA and RNA that combine to express all of the traits and characteristics that make each of us unique. Each gene is given a name and alphanumeric code, known as a symbol, which scientists use to coordinate research. But over the past year or so, some 27 human genes have been renamed, all because Microsoft Excel kept misreading their symbols as dates.

The problem isn’t as unexpected as it first sounds. Excel is a behemoth in the spreadsheet world and is regularly used by scientists to track their work and even conduct clinical trials. But its default settings were designed with more mundane applications in mind, so when a user inputs a gene’s alphanumeric symbol into a spreadsheet, like MARCH1 — short for “Membrane Associated Ring-CH-Type Finger 1” — Excel converts that into a date: 1-Mar.

This is extremely frustrating, even dangerous, corrupting data that scientists have to sort through by hand to restore. It’s also surprisingly widespread and affects even peer-reviewed scientific work. One study from 2016 examined genetic data shared alongside 3,597 published papers and found that roughly one-fifth had been affected by Excel errors.

“It’s really, really annoying,” Dezső Módos, a systems biologist at the Quadram Institute in the UK, told The Verge. Módos, whose job involves analyzing freshly sequenced genetic data, says Excel errors happen all the time, simply because the software is often the first thing to hand when scientists process numerical data. “It’s a widespread tool and if you are a bit computationally illiterate you will use it,” he says. “During my PhD studies I did as well!”

Read more here. (The Verge)

NASA astronauts safely drop into sea after pioneering SpaceX mission to International Space Station

Nasa astronauts have dropped into the sea after a pioneering SpaceX mission to the International Space Station.

Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley became the first American astronauts to splashdown in 45 years when they landed in the capsule made by Elon Musk’s space firm.

The arrival in the Gulf of Mexico – after having blazed through Earth’s atmosphere, and being carried safely down by parachutes – brought an end to a mission that is set to change space travel in the US.

The mission began at the end of May, when the two men took part in the first launch of astronauts from US soil in nearly a decade.

The successful finish to the mission means that SpaceX’s Dragon capsule – in which the astronauts were carried up to space, docked with the ISS, and then safely came back down – has passed the last of its tests, and will now go into regular use flying astronauts.

Read more here. (The Independent UK)

An unprecedented Nintendo leak turns into a moral dilemma for archivists

For the past week, Nintendo fans have resembled digital archaeologists. Following a massive leak of source code and other internal documents — appropriately dubbed the gigaleak — previously unknown details from the company’s biggest games have steadily trickled out. Those poring over the code have uncovered a new Animal Crossing villager, early prototypes for games like Pokémon Diamond, cut characters from Star Fox, a very weird Yoshi, and strange titles like a hockey RPG. Perhaps the biggest discovery has been a Luigi character model from Super Mario 64.

From a historical and preservationist perspective, the leak is an incredible find. It’s a rare look into the process and discarded ideas of one of the most influential — and secretive — companies in video games. But for those preservationists digging through the data, that excitement is tainted by a moral dilemma. The origins of the code leak are still largely unknown, but it’s likely that it was obtained illegally. That presents a pertinent question: does the source of the leak tarnish all that historians can learn from it?

“It puts a bad taste in my mouth a bit about the leak to be sure, but perhaps my curiosity about the data is overriding my moral compass somewhat in this case, because I can’t say I’m unhappy to see the data released,” says an archivist who goes by the handle MrTalida. “The volume of new knowledge and understanding that this leak has brought is at times overwhelming.”

Read more here. (The Verge)
General chit-chat
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  • Ghan Ghan:
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    I must be in a test server.
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    Nice, Twitter tweets embedding now works
  • Wizard Wizard:
  • Ghan Ghan:
  • Ghan Ghan:
    @tom_mai78101 Hello there.
  • Ghan Ghan:
    Tagging works in the chat too.
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    @Ghan Missed it.
  • Wizard Wizard:
    Still fixing things here and there. Added widgets to the portal, will make it match the ones here on the forum index tomorrow.
  • Ghan Ghan:
    The venerable World Editor Tutorials site has been converted to HTTPS at last.
  • jonas jonas:
  • jonas jonas:
    and I can even edit my messages, nice
  • seph ir oth seph ir oth:
  • Ghan Ghan:
    Hello there
  • The Helper The Helper:
    this new chatbox is great and the forum software update is great too
  • The Helper The Helper:
    upgrade has fixed forum registration spam problem
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    Something tells me we might be able to customize the chatbox a bit, considering that there's a gap under every message.
  • Wizard Wizard:
    Going to deploy a fix soon, just had to take some time for myself this weekend.
  • Varine Varine:
    Unbelievable. Time for yourself? How dare you!
  • Wizard Wizard:
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    Hm, it is now harder to type anything on an Android phone. Pressing Backspace or Enter keys will dismiss the Android keyboard for some reasons.
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    Just noticed there's a delay of at least 2 minutes before each post. Guess I can't post Headline News quickly as I used to.
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    As far as I can tell, there are definitely things I need to get accustomed to first.
  • Varine Varine:
    FCC is cracking down recently

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