Make a Difference

Day: November 13, 2009

The Endless Empty Sea of Media Irresponsibility

Thousands of examples to choose from, but this MSNBC headline caught my eye today:

Teen suffers rare illness after swine flu shot – Boy diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, but CDC says no clear link.

The headline suggests the CDC thinks there might be a link, just not a clear one. Or they just don’t want to admit there is a link. Or something.

Actually, the CDC and other medical scientists say there is no link, for the very good reason that there is no link.

Many journalists are people of courage and integrity, who genuinely want to make a difference to the world by telling the truth, and thereby helping to find real solutions to real problems.

Then there are people like John Pilger and Michael Moore, who get awards and money for a career of spectacular distortions.

Somewhere in between are journalists like MSNBC medical reporter JoNel Aleccia, who can get a good headline, and either don’t think or don’t care about the impact of what they write.

JoNel’s story will make parents think the H1N1 vaccine is dangerous. Some children will not be vaccinated who otherwise would have been. Some of those children may become seriously ill when that illness could have been avoided. Some may die.

This article Nerve Disease from H1N1 Vaccine from cheap and nasty ‘news’ site is even worse.

One thing following another does not mean the two are connected. The rooster crowing does not cause the sun to rise.

This Telegraph article – People will die after swine flu vaccine – but it’s just coincidence – explains how that coincidence works:

Dr Steven Black and colleagues calculated that if 10 million people in Britain were vaccinated, around 22 cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome and six cases of sudden death would be expected to occur within six weeks of vaccination as coincident background cases.

In other words, the same number of people would have been diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome or suffered sudden death whether they had been vaccinated or not – they just wouldn’t have the vaccination to blame it on.

.. research also suggested that 397 per one million vaccinated pregnant women would be predicted to have a spontaneous abortion within one day of vaccination.

But this is the rate of spontaneous abortion that would occur on any given day out of a group of one million pregnant women during a vaccination campaign or not.

As the article points out, a headline reading ‘Man wins lottery after swine flu jab’ would make just as much sense as the MSNBC headline.

High Commissioner Surprised Australians Still Thinking

Britain’s new high commissioner, Baroness Valerie Amos, has expressed surprise that Australians are still debating whether humans cause climate change and says other nations have long since ”moved on”.

Not only have we stopped thinking, she says, but you should stop thinking too.

Maybe political leaders in other countries believe thoughtful examination of the evidence is an unneccessary inconvenience, but polls show most ordinary people, and most scientists, disagree.

Politicians who allow the media to drag them along by their snouts should not be surprised when their constituents demand an explanation for the billions of wasted dollars, the lost jobs, the suppression of industry and employment, for a scare with as much substance as the Jupiter Effect.

Israel Is An Amazing Country

News yesterday that an Israeli judge refused to sentence an Arab teenager to jail for throwing stones at a police car.

The judge disqualified the youth from driving for two years, ordered that he pay approximately $1300 in damages, and sentenced him to 200 hours of community service.

The judge refused the jail time requested by the prosecution because he said he believed there was a double standard in the way Arab and Jewish youths would have been treated by police in the same situation.

I am not in a position to know whether this is true or not, whether it is fair to the police concerned, or whether Jewish youths throwing stones at Israeli police cars is a major problem.

But ask yourself this:

Is there any Arab country in which a young Jew throwing stones at state offcials and property would be released because the court found that that his arrest was probably a result of anti-semitism and double standards in law enforcement?

Paragon Hard Disk Manager

I have many years experience using partition management software. I have four MCTS qualifications, am an MCITP and an A+Certified IT Technician.

I frequently have clients who want disk partitions copied, extended, etc.

I have used Paragon software before with good results. Or at least, without major disasters.

I recently upgraded to the latest version of Paragon Hard Disk Manager. The disasters began immediately.

Moving partitions is always risky. I always save or image user data before any partition operations. About one out every four times the operation will fail, because of file errors, or a full moon, or the day of the week having a ‘y’ in it, or whatever. It is never a problem, because I always make a complete back up of target disks beforehand.

The first time I used the new Paragon Hard Disk Manager the operation failed. No problem, I thought. A minor inconvenience at most.

Until I tried to restart my computer. I got a message saying there were interrupted operations, and I should insert my recovery CD.

Paragon Hard Disk Manager had no business making any changes to my C: drive at all – that was not one of the drives I was operating on – let alone making changes to critical boot files or records.

No recovery CD would let me restart Windows, nor could the repair utility on the Windows CD get the system working.

Now I had a problem, because the user’s data was no longer accessible from his drive, and my C: drive, where I had saved his disk image, was also inaccessible.

I recovered my and my user’s data from the disk, reinstalled Windows, and tried again. Same problem – the partition operation failed. Windows would not start. Same error message.

I had just upgraded to Windows 7, and thought perhaps there might be an incompatibility, though there was nothing to suggest this on Paragon’s website.

I wiped the disk, went back to Vista Business, and tried again, ths time with a different partition operation on a different disk. Exactly the same result. The operation failed, and Windows would not restart, even though there was no reason for Partition Manager to have made any changes to my primary drive at all.

This is a dog’s breakfast of a programme. There is no excuse for releasing to market a piece of software that repeatedly causes such disastrous disk and sytem errors.

Until Paragon fix this, anyone who uses Hard Disk Manager is at serious risk, not only of wasting several hours of time, as I did, but of losing any or all information from their hard disks.

© 2023 Qohel