Friday Links

We've never even built datacenters using robots here on Earth

Making a call on the quality of a new idea in tech can be hard. But if you ask me, not in the case of Lonestar Data Holdings, whose plan to build datacenters on the Moon is literal lunacy.

Take a look at Azure's or AWS's infrastructure maps. Think about what would have to happen to make your data, backed up across even half those locations, permanently unavailable. Would you be able to download anything from the moon? Would you be around to care?

The only data that might be worth putting on the moon is a greeting to any aliens who wander by after we're extinct.

Inappropriate antibiotics for kids tied to adverse events, higher costs

The study, published yesterday in JAMA Network Open, found that children who received inappropriate or non-recommended antibiotics for common viral and bacterial infections had an increased risk of adverse side effects such as Clostridioides difficile infection, severe allergic reactions, and rashes. The additional medical care needed to address these adverse events resulted in roughly $74 million in excess healthcare costs in 2017.

A Profile of PimEyes, Which Performs Facial Recognition on Public Photos

PimEyes disclaims responsibility the results of its search tool through some ostensibly pro-privacy language. In a blog post published, according to metadata visible in the page source, one day before the Times’ investigation, it says its database “contains no personal information”, like someone’s name or contact details. The company says it does not even have any photos, storing only “faceprint” data and URLs where matching photos may be found. Setting aside the question of whether a “faceprint” ought to be considered personal information — it is literally information about a person, so I think it should — perhaps you have spotted the sneaky argument PimEyes is attempting to make here. It can promote the security of its database and its resilience against theft all it wants, but its real privacy problems are created entirely through its front-end marketed features. If its technology works anywhere near as well as marketed, a search will lead to webpages that do contain the person’s name and contact details.

Big Tech loves talking up privacy – while trying to kill privacy legislation

The report examined 31 states when state legislatures were considering privacy legislation and identified 445 lobbyists and lobbying firms working on behalf of Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft, along with industry groups like TechNet and the State Privacy and Security Coalition.

How We All Got in Debt

“For the first time, money from the core of capitalism, the consumer banks, was invested, albeit indirectly, in consumer debt,” Hyman writes. “What began with automobiles spread to vacuum cleaners, furniture, radios, and nearly every kind of durable good desired in the great boom of the 1920s.”

Computers Beat Oncologists In Predicting Death From Cancer: Now What?

Put bluntly, an oncologist saying they would not be surprised that a patient would die within 3 months is a poor prognostic sign. But them saying they would be surprised is not terribly reassuring. Oncologists are optimistic. They only correctly identify about 30% of the patients who died within that 3-month period.

Despite a First-Ever ‘Right-to-Repair’ Law, There’s No Easy Fix for Wheelchair Users

The multibillion-dollar power-wheelchair market is dominated by two national suppliers, Numotion and National Seating and Mobility. Both are owned by private equity firms that seek to increase profits and cut spending. One way they do that is by limiting what they spend on technicians and repairs, which, when combined with insurance and regulatory obstacles, frustrates wheelchair users seeking timely fixes.

Pulse Oximeters Are Less Accurate Among Black, Hispanic and Asian Covid-19 Patients

Even a small inaccuracy in estimated oxygen saturation can have significant implications for a patient’s treatment options, said Tianshi David Wu, a study co-lead author and assistant professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. In the Johns Hopkins Health System, for instance, patients who had pulse oximeter measurements below 94% were considered to have severe Covid-19.

Why masks work, but mandates haven’t

From the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a paradox involving masks. As Dr. Shira Doron, an epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center, said, “It is simultaneously true that masks work and mask mandates do not work.”