Man Murders Quack Who Dissuaded His Wife from Seeking Chemotherapy

ScienceBasedMedicine.org has an in-depth look at the murder of Juan Gonzalez, a “naturopath” who was murdered in Bowling Green, Kentucky, on March 3, 2017.

On March 8, 2017, Ohmer Ahmetovic was arrested for the murder. It turns out that Ahmetovic’s wife, Fikreta Ibrisevic, was afflicted with cancer and sought treatment from Gonzalez. Ibrisevic died on February 27, 2017, and Gonzalez was murdered just 6 days later.

According to a report in the Lexington Herald Leader, Ahmetovic filed a lawsuit against Gonzalez shortly before the murder.

Ibrisevic was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a soft-tissue cancer, in late 2015 to early 2016, according to the lawsuit. The couple were interested in natural therapies while Ibrisevic waited to be scheduled for the beginning of traditional cancer treatments.

On or near Jan. 11, 2016, Gonzalez told the couple that traditional cancer treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy were for “uneducated” people and he could “guarantee” Ibrisevic would be cancer free with his treatments within three months, according to the lawsuit. He is further accused of telling Ibrisevic that “chemotherapy is for losers.”

Ibrisevic began treatments which included buying herbs from Gonzalez, massages, foot soaks, dietary instructions and other treatments. From January through May 2016, Ibrisevic and Ahmetovic paid Gonzalez and Natural Health Center for Integrative Medicine more than $7,000 for the treatments and herbs, according to the lawsuit.

When Ibrisevic began treatment, she had one tumor. When she discontinued treatment with Gonzalez she had seven tumors, according to the lawsuit.

Two lives lost thanks to privileging quackery over science.

 

 

Google Announces Open Source JPEG Encoder

Google recently released a new open source JPEG encoder called Geutzli, that promises to reduce the size of high quality JPEGs by up to 35 percent, but at a price–longer encoding times.

The visual quality of JPEG images is directly correlated to its multi-stage compression process: color space transform, discrete cosine transform, and quantization. Guetzli specifically targets the quantization stage in which the more visual quality loss is introduced, the smaller the resulting file. Guetzli strikes a balance between minimal loss and file size by employing a search algorithm that tries to overcome the difference between the psychovisual modeling of JPEG’s format, and Guetzli’s psychovisual model, which approximates color perception and visual masking in a more thorough and detailed way than what is achievable by simpler color transforms and the discrete cosine transform. However, while Guetzli creates smaller image file sizes, the tradeoff is that these search algorithms take significantly longer to create compressed images than currently available methods.

When Google says it takes “significantly longer to create compressed images than currently available methods,” they’re not exaggerating. John Gruber reported it took 8 minutes on a high-end Mac to compress a single iPhone camera image. Other reports on the Internet have suggested the process also consumes very large amounts of RAM while it is working its magic.