Archive for July 2014

curing E Einstein

July 31, 2014

Insulin shock therapy or insulin coma therapy (ICT) was a form of psychiatric treatment in which patients were repeatedly injected with large doses of insulin in order to produce daily comas over several weeks. It was introduced in 1927 by Austrian-American psychiatrist Manfred Sakel and used extensively in the 1940s and 1950s, mainly for schizophrenia, before falling out of favour and being replaced by neuroleptic drugs in the 1960s.
Insulin coma therapy was a labour-intensive treatment that required trained staff and a special unit. Patients, who were almost invariably diagnosed with schizophrenia, were selected on the basis of having a good prognosis and the physical strength to withstand an arduous treatment. There were no standard guidelines for treatment; different hospitals and psychiatrists developed their own protocols. Typically, injections were administered six days a week for about two months.
The daily insulin dose was gradually increased to 100–150 units until comas were produced, at which point the dose would be levelled out. Occasionally doses of up to 450 units were used. After about 50 or 60 comas, or earlier if the psychiatrist thought that maximum benefit had been achieved, the dose of insulin was rapidly reduced before treatment was stopped
After the insulin injection patients would experience various symptoms of decreased blood glucose: flushing, pallor, perspiration, salivation, drowsiness or restlessness. Sopor and coma—if the dose was high enough—would follow. Each coma would last for up to an hour and be terminated by intravenous glucose. Seizures sometimes occurred before or during the coma. Many would be tossing, rolling, moaning, twitching, spasming or thrashing around.
The hypoglycemia (pathologically low glucose levels) that resulted from ICT made patients extremely restless, sweaty, and liable to further convulsions and “after-shocks”. In addition, patients invariably emerged from the long course of treatment “grossly obese”. The most severe risks of insulin coma therapy were death and brain damage, resulting from irreversible or prolonged coma respectively. A study at the time claimed that many of the cases of brain damage were actually therapeutic improvement because they showed “loss of tension and hostility”.
Although coma therapy had largely fallen out of use in the USA by the 1970s, it was still being practiced and researched in some hospitals, and may have continued for longer in countries such as China and the Soviet Union.
ICT was popular among psychiatrists because “administering (it) made psychiatry seem a more legitimately medical field”, “It meant that psychiatrists had something to do, it made them feel like real doctors instead of just institutional attendants”



In 2013, French physician-and-novelist Laurent Seksik wrote a historical novel about the tragic life of Eduard Einstein: Le cas Eduard Einstein. He related the encounter between Dr Sakel and Mileva Maric, Einstein first wife (and Eduard’s mother), and the way a Sakel’s therapy had been given to Eduard.


when such problems happen to you, do not come see me

July 28, 2014

“I’m sick of seeing colleagues passing in my office asking me to resolve their computer problems … here is a misunderstanding I want to clear: dealing with digital cultures (that is my job) does not mean I know how to handle computer problems.

Dealing with digital cultures does not mean I know why your computer makes a strange noise or why it refuses to start. So when such problems happen to you, do not come see me.

would you think to go to a bullfighting critic to ask him to cut a steak?

It is just as wonderful to be butcher than a bullfighting critic, but it is not the same job.

A geek friend of mine told me this short story:

his father bought a new car, He did not change car for a long time.

One morning, his brand new car did not start. He opened the hood: no engine inside. The engine has disappeared. The man called a repairman, and, a bit distressed, explained his problem: they stole my engine.”

The skilled man diagnosed: but no sir, your engine is there”. My friend’s father could not conceive that this almost odorless thing, made ​​of plastic and impeccable pipes, that the mechanic showed him, could be a car engine.

Today, we are facing our computers like our cars: we do not know how they work.



over 80s are intimidated by the big number of applications on the tablet screen

July 27, 2014

“US senior citizens are lagging behind the overall population in online usage.”

“37 percent of those over 80 go online, compared with 86 percent of the overall US population who use the Internet”
“The number of over 80s will have almost quadrupled between 2000 and 2050 to 395 million, according to the UN World Health Organization”
“technologies can help less mobile people to maintain social connections”
“Many seniors understandably have difficulty with digital communications, having spent most of their lives in the pre-Internet era”
“many elderly people are intimidated by the big number of applications on the tablet screen”
“a new interface so that (senior citizens) could see only one or two buttons on her screen with the application (they) use: Skype, games”
“The result is a simplified screen on which all unused applications are hidden, …”
“… and a support service that can take remote control of the device to fix problems or install new apps”
“relatives often do not have the knowledge or the time to help the seniors with the device”
“By pressing a help button on their screen, users will be connected vocally to a real person for help”

It probably just costs a few dollars to administer a test like the TOEFL

July 26, 2014

“Standardized English exams like the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) that almost every foreign student who has ever wanted to study in the U.S. has to take are a big business and essentially operate like monopolies.” Here is the first startup to take these standardized tests on directly. And this startup delivers an almost free language learning service. “It probably just costs a few dollars to administer a test like the TOEFL but because these companies are essentially monopolies, they can charge huge markups”

Operation Emmental whacks European banks

July 26, 2014

“the attackers are exploiting a weakness in single-session token protection strategies. There may be a need to consider adopting other strategies, such as “use of multiple transaction authentication numbers (TANs), photo TANs, and card readers”