In the first half, technology and privacy expert Lauren Weinstein shared updates. Regarding George's campaign to protect the grid from an EMP attack, he commented that a lot of the electrical grid infrastructure is old, and at or over capacity. Some of it hasn't been updated in a half-a-century or longer, "so how we're going to actually harden that against a massive over current event...is pretty tough, when we don't even have the money right now to upgrade the grid for basic security," he continued. Weinstein reported on controversies surrounding the topic of net neutrality (in which big ISPs like Comcast are paid by certain content providers such as Netflix to have faster speeds for consumers), and how the FCC has been flooded with comments about the issue.
Regarding recent hacking incidents, in which user passwords and other information was stolen, there are superior technologies available now or on the horizon that help protect consumers, he noted. One of these is called two-factor authentication, which in addition to your password, you share information with a service such as your cell phone number. Then, when you log in at certain intervals, you are texted a code to use in addition to your password, he explained. Looking toward the future, Weinstein foresees higher speeds in broadband, which could bring capabilities for amazing applications that we can scarcely even imagine right now.
Ralph Moss PhD, was the science writer and assistant director of public affairs at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and for the past 35 years has independently evaluated the claims of conventional and non-conventional cancer treatments. In the latter half, he discussed how laetrile was studied at Sloan-Kettering as a cancer treatment, and initially the research leaders were very excited about the results, and went to Washington to plead for human trials. "They were very rudely rejected in this by people at the federal level and national fundraising foundations," and these leaders went on to reverse their course in 1975, and deny that laetrile had positive effects, he recounted.
Moss reported on a study in Belgium which demonstrated that women who had breast cancer and received inexpensive non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (similar to aspirin) after their surgeries had far fewer early recurrences of their cancer as opposed to the patients who got painkillers instead of NSAIDS. These results were ignored in the US, where chemotherapy treatments rake in over $100,000 per patient, he noted. The problem with cancer research isn't the lack of money but that the funds aren't going to the most productive areas or to the brightest people, he said. "And when a really good scientist comes up with something really exciting, it's deep sixed-- it's just ignored, unappreciated, or attacked from every angle," he added. As far as a treatment approach he considers viable, he cited a combination of heat therapy (hyperthermia) and immune therapy, with possibly a small amount of chemotherapy.
There was some confusion initially as to which fault was at fault for Sunday's 6.0 quake in Napa, California. It's currently believed that the culprit was the West Napa Fault, which is part of a huge fault zone extending outward from the San Andreas Fault. The quake injured 170 people, and caused severe damage to homes, wineries, and businesses. More at LiveScience.
Pictured (click on image to enlarge): A mannequin lays in broken glass in front of a damaged store in Napa, California. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.