Daily Archives: 2021-02-18

Pfizer and Moderna vaccines prove 92 percent effective with just 1st dose

Source: The Week: Most Recent Home Page Posts

Article note: Oh hell yes, this makes me feel _very_ good about the 1st dose of Pfizer I got this week (In-person teaching put me oddly high on the list, not complaining).

Just one dose of the Moderna and Pfizer two-shot coronavirus vaccines is seemingly nearly as good two.

In a study published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, a pair of Canadian-based researchers suggested an amendment to the determined efficacy of the Pfizer vaccines after just one shot. While Pfizer and BioNTech reported their vaccine was just 52.4 percent effective at preventing infection after the first dose, the researchers noted that this data includes results from within the first two weeks after inoculation, "when immunity would have still been mounting." After two weeks, that efficacy mounted to 92.6 percent, matching the first-dose efficacy of 92.1 percent reported from the Moderna vaccine as well. After two doses, the Pfizer vaccine is 95 percent effective, and Moderna's is 94 percent.

The Canadian-based researchers' interpretations of the Pfizer results led them to suggest in the letter that vaccine distributors delay giving people the second dose. This would let distributors get first doses to more at-risk people instead of leaving them "completely unprotected" — something the researchers called "a matter of national security that, if ignored, will certainly result in thousands of COVID-19–related hospitalizations and deaths this winter in the United States."

Another study from January led Pfizer and BioNTech to say Wednesday that they are unsure if the vaccine will be effective at protecting against the B.1.351 variant first found in South Africa. The study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found the vaccine was still capable of neutralizing the virus within the B.1.351 strain, and that trials haven't shown the variant reduces the vaccine's protection in people. Still, the companies may end up creating a booster shot to ensure the vaccine remains effective against the highly transmissible strain.

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Facebook news ban is “arrogant,” Australia will not be “intimidated,” PM says

Source: Ars Technica

Article note: Man do I hate being in the position of agreeing with something obnoxious Facebook does, but pay-to-link is a big problem for the Internet, governments being coerced to set up protection rackets for entrenched fourth estate entities (basically by and for Rupert Murdoch) is also a big problem for society, and we should vigorously nip that shit in the bud.
News is still very much happening both around the world and in Australia... but you wouldn't know it if you're one of the tens of millions of Australian Facebook users.

Enlarge / News is still very much happening both around the world and in Australia... but you wouldn't know it if you're one of the tens of millions of Australian Facebook users. (credit: Brent Lewin | Bloomberg | Getty Images)

A long-simmering battle between tech firms and the government of Australia became explosive yesterday when Facebook announced that it would block all linking of news publications inside the country. Not only has this change affected Australian and international news publishers, but Facebook's wide net has also caught up governments, nonprofits, and basically anyone else in Australia who posts non-news content to the platform.

Australian lawmakers have been considering a bill that would require Internet platforms such as Google and Facebook ("digital platform corporations") to negotiate in good faith with news outlets ("registered news business corporations") to link to their content. If the outlets and the platforms can't reach a deal on their own, they would have to go to baseball-style arbitration, where a neutral third-party arbitrator would decide whose offer is the better one.

The bill would at first apply to only two companies: Google and Facebook. Both, as you might expect, have expressed consistent opposition to the bill. (Microsoft, operator of remote second-place search engine Bing—which captures between 2 and 3 percent of the market—does not oppose the rules that would apply to its largest competitor.)

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Nvidia announces mining GPUs, cripples hash rate of RTX-3060

Source: Hacker News

Article note: Bahahaha. Nvidia is trying to cripple their drivers to get cryptominers off their gaming line and on to "dedicated" (marked up) parts. Same tier of skeezy as when they altered their driver license to try to force people lured by CUDA dependencies and cheap GPUs for compute onto artificially-differentiated compute parts (I bet this latest crippling will also be a problem for compute users). This is going to have a bunch of motivated hackers reverse engineering in their visibly-shitty drivers and firmware, and it's not going to go well for them.
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