Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for December 28th, 2022

The LastPass breach last August was MUCH worse than admitted

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Karl Bode reports at techdirt:

Back in August, password storage app LastPass vaguely admitted that hackers had accessed the company’s systems. In the company’s original August reveal, the company generally tap danced around the subject, claiming that while they had identified some “unusual activity,” consumer data had not been accessed.

By November, LastPass had begun shifting its story a bit, acknowledging that the unauthorized August access to its systems had allowed an unidentified third party to “gain access to certain elements” of customer info later on. Then, right before the Christmas holiday on December 22, LastPass finally revealed something closer to the full truth. And it’s not pretty:

The threat actor was also able to copy a backup of customer vault data from the encrypted storage container which is stored in a proprietary binary format that contains both unencrypted data, such as website URLs, as well as fully-encrypted sensitive fields such as website usernames and passwords, secure notes, and form-filled data.

That vault data included company names, end-user names, billing addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers, and the IP addresses from which customers were accessing the LastPass service. All of that information, including numerous IP address records allowing the tracking of user locations and movement, is now in the hands of an unknown third party.

The vaults also included copies of encrypted user passwords. And while those passwords might be safe for users with strong master passwords and updated default account settings, some users with older account settings and weaker master passwords may have had their entire password list exposed, meaning those folks are now spending the holiday updating potentially thousands of website and service passwords all across the internet.

Security researchers weren’t impressed for numerous reasons. For one, . . .

Continue reading.

As soon as I got 1Password up and running, I started changing important passwords (banks, online vendors). Some use two-factor authentication, which I always use if it’s available. Also, I have my credit card and bank accounts notify me immediately of any transaction made on my accounts.

Written by Leisureguy

28 December 2022 at 10:01 pm

How the House of Trump Was Built

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Carlos Lozada writes in the NY Times (no paywall):

When journalists write books on the presidency of Donald Trump, they tend to choose one of three options. They write about personality, they write about paper, or they write about people.

This choice not only determines what kinds of work they produce but also affects how their audiences interpret Trump’s continuing influence over American life. In personality-driven narratives, the former president’s uniqueness and unpredictability render him mesmerizing but always verging on self-destruction; after all, when you suck all the air out of the room, you risk bursting. Writers who focus on paper — meaning the investigations, memos and ritual documentation of Washington, which Trump challenged with equal measures of deliberation and carelessness — depict his presidency as a tug between disruption and procedure, as the political system and Trump resisted and adapted to each other. An emphasis on people tells the story of Trump’s craven enablers, his true believers, his embattled opponents and, looking ahead, his most opportunistic imitators.

The personality stories fascinate for their color and detail; they appeal to the versions of history that place a singular individual at their center. The paper stories resonate for their clash of cultures and institutional heft; the findings and accusations of the House’s Jan. 6 committee offer but the latest plot point in this dramatic arc. The people stories captivate for their steady supply of characters who, facing the unthinkable, decide to go ahead and think it, who, having experienced Trump’s America, opt to live there full time. Just about every Trump book that aims to shape the historical record and not just cater to momentary passions is a variation on one of these themes, even if most contain elements of all three. Depending on the accounts you choose and trust, you may come to believe that America is experiencing the death throes of the Trump era, awaiting its miraculous resurrection or feeling the birth pangs of Trumpism by another name.

In the epilogue of her recent book “Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America,” Maggie Haberman recalls an interview with Trump in which he muses that talking to her is like talking to his psychiatrist. Haberman, a New York Times reporter, dismisses the line as a “meaningless” attempt at flattery. “He treats everyone like they are his psychiatrist,” she writes. Even so, “Confidence Man” constitutes a study of Trump’s “personality and character traits,” as Haberman affirms. She writes of his stunted emotional development, of the loneliness “that always seemed to be stalking him,” of the “emotional balm” that campaign rallies provide for him, of how he displays “both the thickest and thinnest skin” of any public figure she has covered, of his tendency to live in the moment yet inhabit an “eternal past” full of unquenchable grievance and of his “irrepressible self-destructive streak.” Haberman concludes that her subject is “a narcissistic drama seeker who covered a fragile ego with a bullying impulse.”

Haberman may not be Trump’s shrink, but she puts him on the couch, takes detailed notes and offers a diagnosis.

This focus surfaces some odd Trumpian obsessions and tendencies. On multiple occasions in the book, for instance, Trump wonders aloud about

Continue reading. (no paywall)

Written by Leisureguy

28 December 2022 at 8:33 pm

Tech Journalism Doesn’t Know What to Do With Mastodon

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George Dillard writes at Medium:

• “New, exciting tech company will revolutionize everything!”
• “Older, established tech company releases new product!”
• “Look how rich or weird this tech CEO is!”
• “Tech company acquires another tech company!”
• “Tech company is on the rise!”“Tech company is in decline!”

And, when things go awry: “Tech founder faces criminal charges!”

Values over profit

I was prompted to write this post when I ran across . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

28 December 2022 at 7:44 pm

The New IgG4 Study Doesn’t Say What Anti-Vaxxers Think It Does

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Jessica Wildfire writes at OK Doomer:

There’s been some disturbing developments with Covid lately. First, the public is finally catching on to the rise in sudden deaths around the world. It sounds a little alarmist to say healthy people are dropping dead, but it’s happening. Second, a new study in Science Immunology shows that mRNA vaccines are having an unintended impact on our immune systems.

Both developments are leading to a resurgence in the anti-vaxxer movement, and it’s doing a lot of damage to public health.

Basically, anti-vaxxers are taking advantage of mistakes by the CDC and other public health officials. Those mistakes are turning into epic failures as they continue to dodge and deny their way through problems rather than address them. That leaves the public vulnerable to misinformation.

In short:

  • Vaccines aren’t causing sudden deaths.
  • Covid is causing sudden deaths.
  • Vaccines aren’t ruining your immune system.
  • Covid hurts your immune system.
  • You’re better off vaxxed and boosted.
  • Higher levels of IgG4 antibodies could be good.
  • We still need mitigations (N95 masks, HEPA, etc).
  • The CDC has done a poor job explaining this.
  • Anti-vaxxers aren’t your friend.

First, a new wave of . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

28 December 2022 at 12:15 pm

How Diet Alone Can Achieve Remission in Diabetes

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Example of a therapeutic dose of lifestyle medicine that could significantly improve or normalize diabetic biometrics in certain patients with type 2 diabetes:

• Self-care goal: Work toward remission of diabetes with a whole-food, plant-predominant eating pattern.

•Breakfast: No earlier than 8 a.m. ½ C. cooked steel cut oats, ½ C. blueberries, soy milk M, W, F, and Sat, Tofu scramble, whole food fruit side on T, TH, Sun.

Lunch: Dark green leafy salad with ½ C. cooked quinoa or cooked beans and 2 C. multicolored raw vegetables, light homemade dressing M-F. Vegetable and tofu or bean wrap or burrito Sat and Sun Add 1 C. vegetable soup as desired to satisfy hunger.

• 15-minute walk a half hour after lunch,

•Snack: Apple slices with 1-2 TBSP hummus or nut butter, if desired.

• Dinner: No later than 6 p.m. Simple dark green leafy salad. Variety of warm, savory dishes as provided on recipe cards. Keep this meal lighter than lunch.

15-minute walk a half hour after dinner.
Example of a therapeutically dosed dietary regimen to achieve remission in type 2 diabetes.

Cate Collings, MD, has an excellent article in Medscape:

Every year, roughly 1.4 million US adults are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. But when doctors discuss treatment options with newly diagnosed patients, they often fail to include an intensive whole-food and predominately plant-based dietary intervention as a potential strategy to achieve remission without medications or procedures.

That’s a shame because remission should be the primary clinical goal of type 2 diabetes treatment, and evidence demonstrates that a person’s diet is a significant driver of type 2 diabetes morbidity and mortality worldwide. But a lack of physician training, false assumptions that patients are not willing to engage in intensive interventions, and misguided quality measures that ultimately penalize successful outcomes through nutritional lifestyle interventions frequently result in treatment plans that approach type 2 diabetes more like an irreversible chronic illness.

Fortunately, the medical community is recognizing the need for change. In May, the American College of Lifestyle Medicine published an expert consensus statement Dietary Interventions to Treat Type 2 Diabetes in Adults with a Goal of Remission that was endorsed by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology, supported by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and co-sponsored by the Endocrine Society.

Diet recommendations as treatment for diabetes generally focus on prevention and disease management. The expert panel behind the consensus statement focused on diet — without medications or procedures — as a primary means of achieving lasting remission of diabetes rather than its more common role as an adjunctive therapy.

This multidisciplinary expert panel (including representatives from seven other medical organizations) agreed on the effectiveness of a whole-food, plant-based diet and reduced calorie intake through reduced food volume, portion size, energy density, or a combination of the approaches over the standard US diet to promote remission of type 2 diabetes. A high level of consensus was also reached on the risk for significant adverse events associated with a very–low-carbohydrate diet.

The panel had consensus that remission should be defined as normal glycemic measures (normal A1c < 6.5% and normal fasting glucose) for at least 3 months without surgery, devices, or active pharmacologic therapy to lower glucose.

The publication delivers an empowering message. It can be argued that failure to present a food-as-medicine treatment option to individuals with type 2 diabetes is a failure of informed consent and shared decision-making. Numerous studies show that sufficiently intensive lifestyle interventions may result in type 2 diabetes remission, with a success rate similar to bariatric surgery but without the excessive costs of surgery or the potential complications. Nevertheless, patients are often steered to riskier and more invasive treatments before consideration of intensive lifestyle change.

The Critical Element of Dose

The expert consensus statement can help guide shared decision making but it is vital that clinicians who prescribe food as medicine develop the knowledge and skills to do so. Just as medication must be dosed correctly to achieve a desired result, intensive lifestyle interventions must be dosed sufficiently to achieve remission. For example, these interventions must be more intensive than those with the goal of prevention of type 2 diabetes. Many lifestyle medicine treatment plan failures are the result of incorrect dosing.

Success of a whole-food, predominantly plant-based diet to achieve remission is, of course, largely dependent on a patient’s readiness to adapt to intensive changes and adhere to them, which has been challenging for adults with type 2 diabetes.

Poor communication and lack of support from clinicians are frequent roadblocks. That is why it is important to receive treatment from a clinician who is trained in lifestyle medicine who can clearly support and prescribe appropriate dosing. The clinician must consider . . .

Continue reading.

As readers know, I am a living testament to the efficacy of lifestyle treatment for type 2 diabetes. See this post for details.

Written by Leisureguy

28 December 2022 at 10:14 am

Surprisingly good slant makes me happy

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Shaving setup with white-handled brush having a keyhole shaped silhouette and light tan synthetic bristles with grey tips. Next is a tub of Stubble Trubble's Up & Adam shaving soap, then a bottle of Spring-Heeled Jack aftershave whose black label has a drawing of a person leaping, shoes showing spring heels. In front is a clear plastic razor.

Stubble Trubble is no more, but I certainly love the espresso-and-vanilla fragrance of this soap, and the lather also is excellent. My RazoRock Keyhole brush had an easy job of it today.

The razor is the Phoenix Artisan Filament that I blogged yesterday. I tend to be a little apprehensive when using a new slant — I’ve encountered a couple of harsh ones — but this slant is totally comfortable and in fact an excellent little razor, a bargain at $27. The Derby Extra blade did a fine job, but I think I’ll replace it with something sharper.

Three passes left my face totally smooth, and a drop of Grooming Dept Rejuvenating Serum followed by a good splash of Phoenix Artisan’s Spring-Heeled Jack finished the shave.

The tea this morning is Murchie’s London Afternoon: “Fragrant rose petals are interwoven with smoky Lapsang Souchong, sweetened with creamy vanilla and a touch of bright bergamot to create a comforting blend.”

Written by Leisureguy

28 December 2022 at 9:39 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

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