Items filtered by date: Friday, 01 June 2018

We commonly think of DUI’s, or Driving Under the Influence, a result of drinking alcohol and driving while intoxicated.  However what many people fail to realize is drugs, including prescriptions, could decrease your ability to drive safely, hence putting you at risk for a DUI when alcohol wasn’t even ingested.

A report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility found that more fatal crashes were the result of drug use as opposed to alcohol use.

These findings showed that although alcohol was involved in 38% of fatal crashes, prescriptions and illegal drugs were responsible for 44% of driver- related deaths (similar to last year’s findings of 37% and 43% respectively).

Looking deeper they found 58 % of drug related fatal car crashes were the result of marijuana, opioids or both being on board.

According to their report, entitled, Drug-Impaired Driving: Marijuana and Opioids Raise Critical Issues for States, “44% of fatally-injured drivers with known results tested positive for drugs, up from 28% just 10 years prior.”

 

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Opioid overdose is currently responsible for 115 deaths per day. And as marijuana becomes legalized throughout the country, more people run the risk of being on a combination of the two, which can be deadly if they get behind the wheel.

“Drugged driving” manifests in less reaction time, poor coordination, memory loss, and distortion of one’s reality or surroundings.

Now what about prescription drugs? California Vehicle Code 23152(e) states, “It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle.”

So what prescription drugs could impair one’s driving?

The obvious ones include the following:

Narcotics such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, codeine…to name a few

Muscle relaxants such as carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine, methocarbamol……

Sleep aids such as zolpidem, eszopiclone….

 

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Anti-anxiety medications such as diazepam, lorazepam, alprazolam, clonazepam…..

However surprisingly, these next groups of medications can also cause sedation:

Cholesterol medications such as statins:  lovastatin, atorvastatin, etc. may cause fatigue and recent studies have found them to cause “excessive tiredness”.

Stomach acid suppressants such as proton pump inhibitors:  omeprazole, lansoprazole have been reported to cause vitamin deficiencies such as B12 and magnesium which in turn can cause fatigue.

 

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Antibiotics that treat many common infections:  Amoxicillin, azithromycin, ciprofloxacin have been known to cause fatigue.

Diuretics for blood pressure and water retention:  hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide cause potassium loss in the urine which may contribute to fatigue

Antihistamines:  anti-allergy medications such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) are very sedating, which is why they are used in some over the counter sleep aids.  There are some reports that the younger generation of medications such as Zyrtec can cause drowsiness as well.

Blood pressure medications:  these can include the ACE inhibitors such as captopril, enalapril;  calcium channel blockers such as amlodipine; beta blockers such as metoprolol as well as the diuretic family mentioned previously.

Antidepressants: many antidepressants additionally help with anxiety through their sedating effects such as trazodone, paroxetine, and escitalopram to name a few.

Mood stabilizers, anti-seizure medications, and antipsychotics can cause fatigue as well.

Despite the rarity of these types of cases, the potential is still there for one to not only receive a DUI but injure himself or others if the prescription makes him less alert, i.e. decreases his “sobriety.”  Discuss with your medical provider if you feel drowsy after you take your medication and if there are less sedating options.

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Daliah Wachs is a guest contributor to GCN news. Doctor Wachs is an MD,  FAAFP and a Board Certified Family Physician.  The Dr. Daliah Show , is nationally syndicated M-F from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm and Saturday from Noon-1:00 pm (all central times) at GCN.

 

Published in Health

A few years back, I embarked on upgrade mission, to swap out the slow hard drive on my 2009 27-inch iMac and replace it with a nice and speedy SSD. With the cooperation of Larry O’Connor of Other World Computing, I got ahold of a 1TB drive and an upgrade kit, consisting of a few tools and suction caps. The latter was used to pry the display from the chassis.

 

Once the glass is extracted it’s supposed to be placed on a soft surface — I put it on a bed — the rest of the job largely involved carefully unhooking several thin wiring harnesses, easily damaged, and the drive. The manufacturer provides an adapter cable to make the new drive compatible with the iMac.

 

All told, it took about an hour to get through the process and reassemble the computer. O’Connor’s company offers installation videos on his site to simplify the process.

 

The reason I bring this up is the result of the first interview on this episode of The Tech Night Owl LIVE, where we were joined by tech columnist Rob Pegoraro, who writes for USA Today, Yahoo Finance, Wirecutter and other publications. At the beginning of this segment, Rob explained that he took apart his vintage 27-inch iMac, from 2009, in order to replace the drive with an SSD from Other Word Computing. Gene shared his experiences in upgrading a similar computer several years ago. In later iMacs, it’s held together with an adhesive strip, making the disassembly and reassembly process far more complicated. There was also a discussion about Siri’s voice recognition problems, and a recent report that someone’s Amazon Echo Dot, featuring Alexa, recorded a personal conversation and sent the file to a contact in another city.

 

Can we trust these digital assistants to respect our privacy? Rob also talked about a meeting with security experts discussing changes and possible improvements in online security over the past 20 years.

 

The Amazon scandal is also discussed in the next article.

 

After the interview with Rob was recorded, I contacted two local authorized third-party Apple repair shops as to whether they’d be able to upgrade the drive on a more recent 27-inch iMac and how much it would cost. The process involves removing the adhesive that holds the display to the chassis. It’s not something I’d care to tackle.

 

Well, the first dealer gave a flat no, saying that even trying would damage the computer. That didn’t sound right to me, since Apple uses a similar process to upgrade memory on the iMac Pro. It can’t be upgraded as simply as the regular large iMac, which has a RAM cover at the bottom. Maybe that particular dealer didn’t want to bother or had a bad experience or two.

 

A second dealer gave me a detailed quote that included labor, two adapters from Other World Computing, plus backup and restore. It came to $457.93!

 

When I looked at the numbers, though, it sort of made sense, since they charge $200 for a full backup and restore, $19.99 for the replacement adhesive strip, and $79.99 for the needed OWC and Newer adaptors. The actual labor comes to $150. OWC sells SSDs with the proper adaptors and the customer can always restore the data themselves, so the price could be as “low” as $169.99.

 

In a special encore presentation, you heard a vintage segment featuring Ben Williams of Adblock Plus. Ad blocking has experienced a lot of activity over the past year, especially since Google entered the fray with its ad filter for Chrome. There are still battles between publishers and ad blockers, and payment systems to publishers from users are being talked about with more frequency. Gene and Ben also engaged in an extended discussion about the value of online advertising, and the long history of making it as offensive as possible. There was also a fun pop culture discussion, about ads that build branding images based on using a well-known personality, such as Oscar winning actor J.K. Simmons, known for Farmers Insurance commercials and loads of movies and TV shows, including the recent comic book film, “Justice League,” where he played Commissioner Gordon. You also learned how ad blockers can be configured to allow ads that have been approved by Adblock Plus.

 

On this week’s episode of our other radio show, The Paracast:  Gene and guest cohost Goggs Mackay present Dr. Jack Hunter, an anthropologist and author of “Engaging the Anomalous: Collected Essays on Anthropology, the Paranormal, Mediumship, and Extraordinary Experience.” In this book, Dr. Hunter poses serious questions about consciousness, experience, spirits, mediumship, psi, the nature of reality, and how best to investigate and understand them.

 

In this discussion, Dr. Hunter will present stories of personal experiences, encounters with mediums, and float a wide variety of suggestions as to how various paranormal phenomena might somehow be connected, and that includes the UFO mystery. Dr. Hunter is the founder and editor of a free online journal, Paranthropology.

 

SSSSHHHH: ALEXA IS LISTENING

 

Let me start with the Siri follies.

 

With growing concern that Apple’s Siri digital assistant isn’t capable of matching the competition from Amazon and Google, there are rumors that the next WWDC will feature news of a major refresh. Last year, Apple touted that Siri would receive a new voice and machine learning, but it’s not at all certain there has been much change beyond a smoother conversational tone.

 

A recent published report featured expressions of sour grapes from former Siri employees who worked at Apple, plus a claim that it worked fine when reporters tested it before it went public. But after it was launched, beginning with the iPhone 4s in 2011, Siri’s bugs were legion. Maybe it just couldn’t cope with massed requests under load.

 

The Night Owl’s personal experiences are hit or miss. Despite the fact that I have 25 years experience as a broadcaster, and a decade of voice training, Siri is sometimes deaf to me. A simple example is the request for Maps to navigate me to the location of the nearest Walmart. There happen to be several, a few miles apart, but Siri will only produce a list, and rarely does that list display the location I seek. I find it easier to search in Google and manually pick the store to which I want to travel.

 

But that process hardly makes it hands free. I have to stop somewhere first to make my selection. So I tend to focus on setting alarms or reminders, where Siri is mostly correct.

 

One excuse given for Siri’s subpar performance is that Apple doesn’t want to infringe on your privacy, so it doesn’t actively collect information about you that is pushed and stored beyond the device itself. The theory goes that, if access to your device and requests were more open, since Siri resides online, you’d achieve more accurate results to more complicated requests.

 

That takes us to one of the “superior” digital assistants, Alexa, which is featured on the Amazon Echo smart speakers. Indeed, Alexa and the Google Assistant are supposed to represent the cutting edge of voice recognition and response technology.

 

Apple is often urged to maybe relent on online privacy and deliver a smarter and more dependable Siri. But maybe that’s not the right idea after all.

 

So there’s a published report of the results of  an overeager Alexa, which confirmed the worst fears about such digital voice assistants. The act of recording someone’s private conversation and emailing it to someone, even from their contact lists, is the worst definition of eavesdropping. I suspect intelligence agencies might be salivating over the ease with which this stunt can be pulled off.

 

As you might expect, the family contacted Amazon “multiple times,” according to a published report, and conversed with one of the Alexa engineers, who looked into the matter to figure out what went wrong. In the end, the existence of a bug was confirmed.

 

According to Amazon’s statement, “Amazon takes privacy very seriously. We investigated what happened and determined this was an extremely rare occurrence. We are taking steps to avoid this from happening in the future.”

 

Well, you can hardly expect them to say anything else.

 

Now I want to be fair to Amazon, and perhaps it was just a glitch as they claimed, one that they will or have already fixed. But how often has this happened, and had there not been publicity about this particular episode, would anything have been done other than perhaps make some excuses to the victims?

 

To be blunt: Amazon does a fine job delivering merchandise at affordable prices, but its customer service, largely outsourced, is not easy to deal with. Whether a chat or a phone call, you often have to explain and re-explain the problem several times for the basics to be understood.

 

That doesn’t mean Amazon is being careless about Alexa and how it works as the frontend to a smart speaker. Again, I am not suggesting this mishap was anything more than a rare system glitch of some sort.

 

One article I read on Alexa’s inadvertent attempt at spying tried to connect it to Apple and the HomePod, and whether it, too, might accidentally record someone’s personal conversation and email it to someone. But that’s not the province of Apple’s smart speaker; we benefit from the fact that it was not designed to record your random conversations in the course of isolating a request.

 

Maybe you’d rather not have HomePod laden with too many features after all, however useful it might seem to some users.

 

Peace,

 

Gene

 

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Gene Steinberg is a guest contributor to GCN news. His views and opinions, if expressed, are his own. Gene hosts The Tech Night Owl LIVE - broadcast on Saturday from 9:00 pm - Midnight (CST), and The Paracast - broadcast on Sunday from 3:00am - 6:00am (CST). Both shows nationally syndicated through GCNlive. Gene’s Tech Night Owl Newsletter is a weekly information service of Making The Impossible, Inc. -- Copyright © 1999-2018. Click here to subscribe to Tech Night Owl Newsletter. This article was originally published at Technightowl.com -- reprinted with permission.

 

Published in Technology

“When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.”  Thomas Sowell

If I see a recurring post on social media, almost without fail, it is a post from the people reminding the President of his promises told to them on the campaign trail concerning the rule of law that he promised to bring back in. After all, he has been given delegated authority from “We the people” to prosecute; yet he has not.  

Remember Donald Trump said on December 29, 2017, “I can do whatever I want with the Justice Department?”

The question that I have for the President is, why haven’t you prosecuted the enemies within who mean to destroy you and this country? (I, of course, am playing to those that still have not opened their eyes to this never ending game of circus politics that they are caught up into.)  (Jeremiah 5:21)

“A king (President Donald Trump as a Representative of the American people under God’s moral Law, Common Law) that sitteth in the throne of judgment scattereth away evil with his eyes.” – Proverbs 20:8

Therefore, we see that judgment scatters evil away as does it guard our liberties.  Yet, judgment has not been brought forth to establish peace and righteousness within our country by this administration. (Amos 5:15)  

I ask, what of that “swamp” that remains to be judged according to the law, Mr. President?  If you remember, that was to be drained by your administration. 

Americans need to awake to the fact that this is all controlled opposition, the left warring against the right is nothing more than pro wrestling.

Furthermore, this president acts, and I said acts (this is what actors do), more like an impotent victim than the Commander-in-Chief.  America, Donald Trump is the President, not the victim!

He is nothing more than a created underdog (CIA Controlled media attacking him, unless it agrees with the agenda) who is being beat up by those that he fails to prosecute.  Why? It is to simply drive more support for his administration. This is a Communist tactic.

“The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.” -Vladimir Lenin  

Furthermore this is merely the “Circus of Politics” from start to finish, designed to divert one’s attention away from the agenda that they are pushing forward.  All of this, of course, is behind the contrived and fabricated “smoke and mirrors.” 

Look at the headlines, just today, highlighting the crimes of corruption in government.

Obama Administration Official’s, FBI, and CNN Coordinated to Set Up Donald Trump

Well, Mr. President, when is that DOJ that you have control over to do what you will, going to bring forth judgment against those that allegedly want to overthrow your administration?  This is illegal Mr. President. (10 U.S. code 7 894- Art. 94. Mutiny or Sedition. Or Article 3, Section 3 of the US Constitution.)

This is simply the conditioning of the American people by pulling away prosecution of the guilty with help coming from the likes of the appeasers Trey Gowdy, Jason Chafftetz, and Daryl Issa.  

We are not seeing Justice Americans, we are seeing injustice.  These criminals are not being prosecuted, and, at length, they are being promoted (Matthew 16:14-16).

“If you tell them what they want to hear, they don’t bother to try to see.” –Libba Bray

“Stuart Varney: ‘Entrenched Obama Bureaucrats Tried To Cover For Hillary, Destabilize Trump”

On May 25, 2018, Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday received the Radcliffe Medal, which annually honors a recipient whose life and work have had a “transformative impact on society.” Sound familiar? “Fundamentally Transform America.” I thought Barrack Obama and Hilary Clinton were rivals?

Where is that special prosecutor, Mr. Trump, that you promised to bring forth were you to win the Presidency?

“Politicians like to tell people what they want to hear-and what they want to hear is what won’t happen.”  -Paul Samuelson

And another one to add to the never ending games (This just today)

America deserves to know if Democrats (As if to suggest that there is a difference between the democrats and the republicans; Divide and conquer Mark 3:25) used taxpayer money to fund spy ring in Trump Campaign

All circus politics, no justice: No rule of Law unto judgment to establish peace (Isaiah 51:4), just empty promises.

Side note: The hypocrisy and willfulness to justify the president (The professed Christians in this country may want to make sure that they are Christians before making sure the president is one (1 John 2:6).  In an attempt to justify themselves (Luke 16: 14-16), it has become so apparent that pro-life organizations are thanking Donald Trump for a victory in a PROPOSED bill to defund the abortion industry. I said PROPOSED. Where did government receive delegated authority from “We the People” to enact such legislation, forcing taxpayers to pay for the murder of the innocent in the womb?  (Proverbs 6:17)

Maybe these that are duped by political theatre would like to take a look at the $1.3 trillion omnibus bill that Donald Trump just signed under “National Security” that funds the illegal abortion industry with a $51 million deposit into Abortion Industries bank accounts, paid for, of course, by these cheerleaders who refuse to judge this administration by its fruit (Matthew 7:16).

Americans do not see when it comes to these corrupt politicians that they are simply protecting their own, as well as themselves and the corporations and special interest groups for which they work. Time will prove this truth, as it always does.

How many administrations were called out for their crimes during their incumbencies?  When questioned for their crimes, they would stand and deny it publicly and laugh it off, only to find later on that they finally admit it when they are no longer in office.  Every, single one of them (John 8:44).

It has been said, “If you start throwing these corrupt politicians in jail that the swamp will dry up real quick.”

So, I ask again, where is that rule of Law, Mr. President?

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Bradlee Dean is a guest contributor to GCN news. His views and opinions, if expressed, are his own and do not reflect the views and opinions of the Genesis Communication Network. Bradlee's radio program, The Sons of Liberty broadcasts live M - Sat here at GCN. This op-ed was originally published by Sons of Liberty Media at www.sonsoflibertyradio.com. Reprinted with permission. 

 

 

Published in Opinion