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Archive for September, 2023

There’s No Plan to Defeat COVID-19 and Many People Are Still Dying

Here in the UK, COVID-19 spirals out of control again. Almost 4 years have passed and there’s still no solution to it. In England, COVID-19 cases, deaths, and further escalations (hospitalisations) soared 30% in one week.

Based on the numbers released by ONS this morning, excess deaths across the country remain high.

Here is 2019:

English and Wales deaths 2019 autumn

Compare to 2023:

English and Wales deaths 2023 autumn

Notice the significant increase for the latest week on record.

CDC Advice on COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters Ignores Scientific Evidence Regarding Risk and Benefit

Another new video.

Description and sources:

Updated COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for everyone 6 months and older and will be available by the end of this week

‘Safe and effective’

Estimated hospitalizations prevented per 1,000,000 vaccine doses

12 -17 years

19-95 hospitalizations,

5-19 ICU admissions,

and perhaps one death.

5 – 11 years

16 hospitalizations,

(based on Spring 2023 data)

18 – 49 years

75 hospitalizations,

(based on Spring 2023 data)

Serious adverse events of special interest following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination in randomized trials in adults

pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36055877/

Pfizer vaccines excess risk of serious adverse events

(Higher than placebo baseline)

10.1 per 10,000

101 per 100,000

1,010 per 1,000,000

Moderna vaccines excess risk of serious adverse events

(Higher than placebo baseline)

15.1 per 10,000

151 per 100,000

1,510 per 1,000,000

In Western Australia

www.health.wa.gov.au/~/media/Corp/Documents/Health…

Total AEFI rate following a COVID-19 vaccine

264.1 per 100,000 doses

2,641 per 1,000,000 doses

www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceutical…

March 22 Moderna chief executive defended the company’s plan to quadruple the price of its COVID-19 vaccine,

$130 per dose

Pfizer last year suggested $110 to $130 per dose.

From FDA to MHRA: are drug regulators for hire?

www.bmj.com/content/377/bmj.o1538

Money derived from Industry

US Food and Drug Administration, $3,416,000,000 (2022)

The revolving door

FDA, nine out of 10 of its past commissioners, 2006 to 2019 went on to secure roles linked with pharmaceutical companies

www.fda.gov/about-fda/fda-organization/robert-cali…

2005 UK, House of Commons’ health committee

Industry funding could lead MHRA, to “lose sight of the need to protect and promote public health above all else as it seeks to win fee income from the companies.”

BMJ investigation (2022)

We found that industry money permeates the globe’s leading regulators,

raising questions about their independence

Sociologist Donald Light, Rowan University, New Jersey

“Like the FDA, the TGA was founded to be an independent institute.

However, being largely funded by fees from the companies whose products it is charged to evaluate is a fundamental conflict of interest,

and a prime example of institutional corruption.”

It is no longer possible for doctors and patients to receive unbiased, rigorous evaluations from drug regulators.

FDA

“It’s the opposite of having a trustworthy organisation independently and rigorously assessing medicines.

They’re not rigorous, they’re not independent, they are selective, and they withhold data.

Doctors and patients must appreciate how deeply and extensively drug regulators can’t be trusted so long as they are captured by industry funding.”

Revisiting financial conflicts of interest in FDA advisory committees

pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25199895/

Large study, FDA advisory committee members over 15 years,

those with financial interests solely in the sponsoring firm were more likely to vote in favour of the sponsor’s product.

Not Effective: COVID-19 Vaccines’ False Promise Harms Reputation of Vaccines in General

They also harm trust in government, media, and the medical profession

New video:

Video description:

Richer countries ongoing excess deaths

Our world in data, excess mortality

ourworldindata.org/grapher/excess-mortality-p-scor…

Our world in data covid vaccination status

ourworldindata.org/coronavirus

Office for health improvement

app.powerbi.com/view?r=eyJrIjoiYmUwNmFhMjYtNGZhYS0…

www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/births…

Week ending 25 August 2023 (Week 34)

England and Wales

10,086 deaths

203 mentioned novel coronavirus

2.0% of all deaths

Of the 203 deaths

67.0% (136 deaths) recorded as underlying cause of death

Deaths registered in the UK

11,522, (4.5% above five-year average)

Techrights Has Grown Beyond the World Wide Web

I don’t typically check Web statistics (I stopped checking for this site over a decade ago because it was a waste of time that did not help meaningfully improve anything, except ego or vanity), but this past week in Techrights 4 million requests (hits) were served over HTTP/S and since the start of this month almost 400,000 requests were served over Gemini. IPFS does about 40 GB of traffic per day, circulating Techrights content in a peer-to-peer fashion.

This coming December it will be one year since I resigned from my job (after nearly 12 years). The decision to leave likely came later than it ought to have come; I thought about it since 2018, but it finally happened last October when they were trying to force everyone to adopt a work mobile phone.

Techrights has grown not only on the Web. It is growing outside the Web and this is very important because this means the site’s relevance isn’t tried to the relevance of the Web itself.

Nobody Will Want to Work for Sirius ‘Open Source’ Anymore

Video download link | md5sum 9364e74c9fb26a531bfe13118066b89d
When Companies Lie to Applicants
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Pension fraud and other crimes rendered my last employer incapable of recruiting and retaining staff; we want to make this a cautionary tale for other companies and technical workers out there while at the same time working towards full accountability

I was running background checks on this company as “Seems too good to be true” situation,” a person told us about Sirius ‘Open Source’. It later turned out that this person was nearly ready to work for the company. But a little bit of research changed the plans.

As it turns out, our series continues to have a lot of impact even about a year later. We knew the company very well (I was there since 2011 and my wife since 2013), but we didn’t know until this year about the pension fraud. Things got really bad in the last 4 years and especially the last year (2022). The video above explains more.

“I’m just starting my Linux career,” the person above told me. He was under the impression Sirius was based in two places, so I had to clarify that the company is almost 100% UK, but it is hiding in the US (dodging the law since around 2019). Apparently it’s not so uncommon a practice (there is a new shell in the US, bearing the name “Inc.”).

“I’m stuck in a position as this would be a good stepping stone for me,” the person said, “but I don’t want to deal with company drama.”

“Also they offered an extremely low amount (25k) for a technical role (understandably, helpdesk but Linux based… hmm).”

“Reading your posts about them being skimpish with cash I can completely understand,” he added.

I explained to him that some salaries were in fact reduced over time, not even taking inflation into account (my highest per-hour salary was in 2011 when I had just joined the company!) and one co-worker from the southern hemisphere, now living with his wife in England, was paid 21k for the same position as his colleagues. So there was an element of exploitation and even a ground for litigation (if he chose to pursue that; it’s not cheap). Yes, same role, different salary.

I also mentioned the nepotism, lack of holiday pay and so on. There’s the whole “Google is your friend” mindset as well. “One of the questions I was being asked is “What are your skills like with Google workspace etc”,” the person recalled. So they’re still rejecting “Open Source”, even though it is in the company’s name.

“I hope this page gets more exposure so that people don’t fall for this,” the person added. “I’m still in two minds, because choices are pretty limited for junior devops type work and exposure in large enterprises.”

Remember this was in 2023 when companies laid off many people while imposing some strict “hiring freeze” policies. So many people were desperate to either get in or merely stay inside.

But “the gig won’t last long,” I told him, so it might not be worth the trouble. It can get uglier when HMRC and police get involved. This is an ongoing issue and we’ll make further progress.

There’s a lot more in the video above, but I’ve carefully omitted some details to protect the person in question from reprisal.

Sirius ‘Open Source’ Recruitment is Dead

Video download link | md5sum fc2ca023aa9cd6715b0568cf80397df3
Sirius Behind the Veil of Lies
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The crimes of Sirius ‘Open Source’ have made it virtually impossible to attract people who can support GNU/Linux systems; there are lessons to learn here, both for employers and for employees

THE collapse of Sirius is still being chronicled here, albeit less frequently than before. At the end of July we saw that the company had sunk deeper into debt and headcount fell to about half what the company falsely claims in its Web site.

There is also a staff exodus (people fleeing); this includes high-level positions. This is still an ongoing or outstanding issue. How long before it’s a one-man shop with huge debt? Many workers got burned, some got burned out, and many has been secretly robbed for many years. The details are updated still and indexed under our Wiki pages; since leaving the company I was contacted by people who had applied for the positions. All of them regretted even applying!

“I have decided to withdraw from the offer made by [redacted],” one told me. “I have also carried out a credit reference check and it confirms a lot of what you have said. I cannot be associated with a company like that. I think I have dodged a bullet and wanted to thank you for your wiki entries. [...] I ran a check through companycheck.co.uk, it gave me a full history of the finances and a score of the likelihood of the company folding. There was also a history of Sirius spinning up shell companies. I do not like companies trying to dodge their responsibilities by playing the system.”

“I looked at the companies finances and compared that to [redacted]‘s version. It didn’t match up, also [redacted] claimed contractors were “perm” employees to make it look like the company was more successful than it actually was.”

The video above discusses this in greater depth. Some time tomorrow we intend to tell a similar story. What takes a bit of effort here is hiding people’s identities. The thing of utmost importance is to explain this from a more generalised point of views, as it’s safe to assume many other companies behave similarly. We try to explain the patterns.

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