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Steve Savitzky
Works at Amazon.com
Attended Stanford University
Lives in Seattle, WA
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Steve Savitzky

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Nails it.
 
Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists - US President George W. Bush, to Congress,  20 Sept 2001 It became necessary to destroy the town to save it We had to destroy the town. So we could save it. That statem...
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Nixon has come back as a cat?
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It has come to the attention of the Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) that a new law known as The Georgia Religious Freedom Restoration Act has been passed by the Senate with an overwhelming majority, and is on its way to the House with hopes to pa...
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I forgot I wanted to meet you at the wedding😪
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If you have a Lenovo computer (not just a laptop -- anything) manufactured between October and December of 2014, you need to do a clean OS install from scratch.  Lenovo's removal instructions don't remove the bad cert.  Just nuke it.
 
A word of caution if you're planning on buying a laptop in the future.
Superfish may make it trivial for attackers to spoof any HTTPS website.
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A choose-your-own-adventure about git:

http://sethrobertson.github.io/GitFixUm/fixup.html
This document is an attempt to be a fairly comprehensive guide to recovering from what you did not mean to do when using git. It isn't that git is so complicated that you need a large document to take care or your particular problem, it is more that the set of things that you might have done is ...
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Steve Savitzky

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More than 17,000 sound recordings made by the famed folklorist are now available, for free.
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Sharing for later. The way it's really done.
 
Actual Software Architectures: Big Ball of Mud

We present the following seven patterns:
BIG BALL OF MUD
THROWAWAY CODE
PIECEMEAL GROWTH
KEEP IT WORKING
SHEARING LAYERS
SWEEPING IT UNDER THE RUG
RECONSTRUCTION ❞
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A thriving middle class is the cause of growth. The middle class creates rich people -- not the other way around
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I remember the distortions of Stockman's statements from when they first came out.
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For future reference
 
Linux and Chrome OS running at the same time on your Chromebook is as great as vanilla ice-cream and hot fudge on a sundae.
Love your Chromebook, but want to run Linux programs too? Here’s how to run Linux and Chrome OS on your Chromebook simultaneously.
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Hey, +Michelle Dockrey -- this ever happen to you?
 
Since the age of four, Gabi Mann of Seattle has forged a relationship with the neighborhood crows by offering them food. Then suddenly something unexpected happened — the crows, in an apparent act of reciprocation, started to present various trinkets to Gabi in return.
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Real Questions and Answers to Anti-Vaxxers

So, this weekend, I got into it with a couple of anti-vaxxers about the ongoing measles outbreak. With that in mind, here are a few answers to the questions I was asked:

Doesn't VAERS demonstrate that vaccines are unsafe?

VAERS doesn't track vaccine-related deaths and injuries. It tracks all deaths and injuries due to anaphylaxis (or a variety of other causes) within the reporting period. For the MMR vaccine in particular, this includes all deaths associated with febrile seizures within a couple months of the vaccine.

In other words, it's a source of raw data about deaths that occur closely enough to vaccine administration that they might be related, not a source of confirmed (or even suspected!) vaccine-related deaths. It's the best starting point, though.

Over the past fifteen years, haven't more people died of the MMR vaccine than of measles?

Possibly. It doesn't matter. The MMR vaccine uses an attenuated virus, which means that it's still infectious in humans, and (accordingly) is somewhat more dangerous. Thrombocytic purpurea, febrile seizures, and anaphylaxis are all possible vaccine side effects, and VAERS requires that all instances of those side effects be reported to the CDC. On further review, there were no definitive deaths due to MMR vaccination for the reporting period between 1981 and 1995, but the present data does not rule out the mMR vaccine as a cause.

According to VAERS, there are up to 15 MMR-associated deaths per year. As long as endemic measles is eliminated in the United States, there will be more deaths from measles vaccines than there will be from measles. That's not even a matter of science. That's a matter of simple mathematics. But if herd immunity slips, measles will pop right back, and start killing the immunosuppressed people we can't vaccinate.

Measles isn't Ebola. Why do we care so much?

No, measles isn't Ebola. That's the problem.

The dangerousness of a disease is a function of its transmissibility times its lethality, not a function of its lethality alone. Which means that although measles isn't particularly fatal, it's also far, far more dangerous than Ebola.

0.2% of tens of millions of yearly cases is a much, much, much larger number than 75% of a few dozen yearly cases. In 2013, there were 145,000 measles deaths worldwide. In 2014, during the worst Ebola outbreak in history, the number of deaths was less than 10% that number.

Isn't the idea of herd immunity widely debunked?

By "widely debunked," you mean "a crank said it once in an op-ed," not "there are actual peer-reviewed studies on the matter," right? Herd immunity is precisely how we eliminated smallpox and how we have almost eliminated polio. The concept isn't just non-debunked. There are actual examples of using precisely that mechanism to wipe out huge, deadly, endemic diseases.

Measles is both (a) highly contagious, and (b) non-zoonotic, so it was initially thought that we could eliminate it relatively easily. But it turns out that it's so contagious that the complete-herd-immunity threshold is in fact very high. And we in fact reached that high threshold in the United States, and wiped it out. 

Doesn't the decline in measles deaths which began in the 1890s -- long before the development of the measles vaccine -- demonstrate that the measles vaccine is ineffective?

I'd like to direct you to page 6 of the linked study (or page 270 of the PDF, if you prefer), because I imagine what you're obliquely citing is a dishonest anti-vaxxer infographic.

Deaths due to measles decreased substantially in the early part of the 20th century. That's the result of better nutrition and supportive care, not sanitation: measles is airborne, so sanitation has a minimal effect. The rate of infection remained stable until mass MMR vaccination began. Herd immunity was finally achieved when we realized that MMR vaccination needs a second booster shot for immunity to actually continue into adulthood. 

What's the takeaway here?

The science on vaccine efficacy and safety is more settled than the science on anthropogenic global warming. It's more settled than the science on evolution. It's about as settled as heliocentric model of the solar system. We have wiped whole organisms off the face of the earth this way, all while keeping a population-wide morbidity and mortality tracking system.

For god's sake, if you have kids, get them vaccinated. In a wost-case scenario, you're talking about a risk of death that's less than a week's worth of driving. Even if the tradeoff isn't worth it for you -- and it is -- it isn't worth the other people you're putting at risk. 
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As for whether "Herd immunity is a myth," I just found this article on WebMD.com: A similar occurrence -- one infected person coming in contact with unvaccinated persons in a theme park, occurred in a Florida theme park in 2013. But the vaccination rate in Central Florida is much higher than in CA's LA/Orange counties. So only five people caught the measles.
http://goo.gl/aZi3GV (webMD.com)
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Interesting.  And probably very useful.
 
The death of cable inches closer.... it will be galloping soon enough.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/24/hbo-cord-cutting_n_6534886.html
As many as 7 million people might cut the cord once HBO launches its new streaming service later this year. At least that's how a market research firm read the numbers from its recent online survey. Such a mass exodus, if it were to occur, would ...
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People
In his circles
280 people
Have him in circles
192 people
Annie Walker's profile photo
Eric Raymond's profile photo
Rowan Fairgrove's profile photo
Errol Elumir's profile photo
Brenda Sutton's profile photo
Sunnie Larsen's profile photo
John Carl Villanueva's profile photo
J Kauth's profile photo
SunFrog Buy & Sell SHIRTS's profile photo
Work
Occupation
hacker/songwriter
Skills
java, perl, object-oriented design
Employment
  • Amazon.com
    Software Development Engr., 2014 - present
    Programming mostly in Java, mostly internal web services.
  • KForce
    Contract S/W Engineer, 2012 - 2013
    Finished a contract at Disney writing web APIs in Java using Spring, Maven, Mockito, Tomcat, etc., and moved over to Amazon writing more Java.
  • Ricoh Innovations, Inc.
    Sr S/W architect, 1992 - 2012
    Software research.
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Seattle, WA
Previously
Lake Forest Park, WA - San Jose, CA - Yonkers, NY - Norwalk, CT - Wilton, CT - Northfield, MN - Palo Alto, CA
Story
Tagline
Hacker/Songwriter, computer curmudgeon, java and git guru
Introduction
Steve Savitzky is almost exactly as old as the ACM, and has been kicking around the net since it was the ARPAnet.  He has written a book on real-time microprocessor systems, over a hundred songs (a few about computers are on his CD), and tens of thousands of lines of Perl, Java, C++, and LISP code.
Bragging rights
Book: Real-Time Mircroprocessor Systems. CD: Coffee, Computers & Song! Software: PIA
Education
  • Stanford University
    Computer Science, 1969 - 1971
  • Carleton College
    Math, 1965 - 1969
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Other names
The Mandelbear