Good idea.

Researchers find way to convert bad body fat into good fat

There’s good fat and bad fat in our bodies. The good fat helps burn calories, while the bad fat hoards calories, contributing to weight gain and obesity. Now, new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has identified a way to convert bad, white fat into good, brown fat, at least in mice.

The findings raise the prospect of developing more effective treatments, in people, for obesity and diabetes related to weight gain.

The study is published Sept. 19 in the journal Cell Reports.

White fat stores calories and pads our bellies, hips and thighs. In contrast, brown fat, found near our necks and shoulders, burns calories through a process that generates heat.

Yeah … probably …

Would SELinux have stopped Equifax breach?

Writing on the Double Pulsar site, infosec practitioner Kevin Beaumont suggests Security Enhanced Linux (SELinux) would have saved Equifax from the disastrous breach it disclosed earlier this month.

If you’re going to have Apache Struts facing the internet, SELinux is the way to go, he wrote, referring to the Apache Struts vulnerability the thieves exploited:

This is the #1 thing almost every organisation seems to miss. Security Enhanced Linux is very simple to deploy — usually just one command — and it beefs up security on processes. Correctly deployed, it stops Tomcat accessing the system — so stops unknown exploits.

The article goes on to describe how the absence of SELinux makes things easy for the bad guys, and how IT/infosec practitioners can get the best bang from it.

Looks a lot like Amazon … only smaller.

Take a look inside Alibaba’s smart warehouse where robots do 70% of the work

Take a look inside Alibaba’s smart warehouse where robots do 70% of the work.

They can carry up to 500 kilograms above them around the warehouse floor.

They have special sensors to avoid colliding into each other and they can be summoned using wifi.

When they run out of battery, they can take themselves to a charging station. A five minute charge can power them for 4/5 hours.

So where did the money go?

Fed sets process to wind down $4.5 trillion balance sheet

Federal Reserve officials appear to be in synch on how they plan to unravel the mammoth stimulus implemented during the financial crisis.

The central bank is holding a $4.5 trillion portfolio, known as its “balance sheet,” of mostly government debt it accumulated in the years after the crisis. …

Janet Yellen
Fed: Need more proof of Q1 weakness being temporary
6:29 PM ET Wed, 24 May 2017 | 02:45

Federal Reserve officials appear to be in sync on how they plan to unravel the mammoth stimulus implemented during the financial crisis.

The Fed is holding a $4.5 trillion portfolio, known as its “balance sheet,” of mostly government debt it accumulated in the years after the crisis. Until now, the central bank has been taking the proceeds it receives from maturing debt and reinvesting them in more bonds.

In recent days, officials have been indicating that the balance sheet will be unwound, likely starting later in the year, raising questions from investors about how the process will work and what impact it will have.

According to minutes released Wednesday from the Federal Open Market Committee meeting earlier this month, the central bank sees a system where it will announce cap limits on how much it will allow to roll off each month without reinvesting. Any amount it receives in repayments that exceeds the cap limit will be reinvested. …

Too much interference with the (free?) market.

Getting rid of this stack of securities off the central bank’s balance sheet has proved a touchy subject for investors. It wasn’t so long ago that the very idea of winding down the Fed’s portfolio was spoken in hushed tones after comments by Bernanke sparked the “taper tantrum” in 2013.

Dropping hints in May 2013 that the Fed was preparing to wind down its bond purchases, Bernanke sparked a selloff in Treasurys and stocks, sending the 10-year Treasury yield up by more than 100 basis points to touch 3%, a level unseen this year even in the Fed’s current tightening cycle. Yields and debt prices move in opposite directions.

Yet the bond market, presumably first in the firing line, has defied forecasts, with yields for long-end Treasurys below the level seen at the start of 2017. Analysts argue without a large price-insensitive buyer, i.e., the Fed, to prop up the market, U.S. government paper could be prone to selloffs that could send yields rising.

Burma coming apart?

Rohingya activists—in Burma and in Western countries—tell The Daily Beast that Facebook has been removing their posts documenting the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya people in Burma (also known as Myanmar). They said their accounts are frequently suspended or taken down.

The Rohingya people are a Muslim ethnic minority group in Burma. They face extraordinary persecution and violence from the Burmese military; military personnel torch villages, murder refugees, and force hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes.

Human rights watchdogs say the persecution has intensified in recent months, and a top UN official described a renewed offensive by the Burmese military as “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.” Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh. Sen. John McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, has called for reduced military cooperation with the Burmese government because of the violence.

Prediction – They’ll need more money …

Why Does the U.N. Exist? Secret Deals, Sex Scandals and Silence Harm United Nations Mission

… This week, world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly in New York are set to deliver major speeches addressing some of the most pressing issues facing the international community. President Donald Trump, a frequent critic of the U.N., is widely expected to take on rivals Iran and North Korea in his first appearance at the forum. While the gathering is likely to host some fiery rhetoric from all sides, critics such as U.N. Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer are more concerned with what’s going on behind closed doors, something he says could compromise the integrity of the organization as a whole. …

This actually turned out to be a pretty good read. From NewsWeek nonetheless.

With the constant protests and press coverage even I forgot about this.

According to this narrative, black men are constantly harassed by the police and routinely brutalized with impunity, even when they have done nothing wrong, and there is an “epidemic of police shootings of unarmed black men.” Even high-profile black celebrities often claim to be afraid of the police because the same thing might happen to them. Police brutality, or at least the possibility that one might become a victim of such violence, is supposed to be part of the experience of a typical black man in the U.S. Events such as the death of Brown in Ferguson are presented as proof that black men are never safe from the police. This narrative is false. In reality, a randomly selected black man is overwhelmingly unlikely to be victim of police violence — and though white men experience such violence even less often, the disparity is consistent with the racial gap in violent crime, suggesting that the role of racial bias is small.

Burma (Myanmar) off the rails.

Three killed in stampede for aid near Rohingya refugee camp

One woman and two children were killed in a stampede for unofficial handouts of clothing near a Rohingya refugee camp, aid agencies say.
The three people — whose names and ages have not been released — died Friday as supplies were being thrown from relief trucks on the road in the Balukhali Pan Bazar near the Kutupalong refugee camp, the Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) in Bangladesh said.
The deaths are a stark reminder of the desperation in the camps near the border with Myanmar, where an estimated 409,000 refugees have arrived since August 25, more than doubling the existing Rohingya refugee population.
“I could not bring anything. My clothes were given to me by someone here,” said Rohingya refugee Romiza Begum. “I lost everything. There is nothing left in my home in Myanmar. Everything is destroyed.”


China has achieved a major breakthrough in heavy-duty anti-corrosion coating by using modified graphene, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

The results were achieved by scientists led by researcher Wang Liping and academician Xue Qunji through years of research and development.

Identified by the Chinese Society for Corrosion and Protection, the new coating can be used in the state grid, petrochemical engineering, and marine engineering and equipment.