Friday, April 29, 2016

Head Transplant ?!?

Newsweek: "Doctor Ready to Perform First Human Head Transplant".

Of course this is really a body transplant, not a head transplant.

Chinese RoboCop

"China's first intelligent security robot debuts in Chongqing". (Via Tyler Cowen.)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Apocalypse And Behavior

"How the Apocalypse Will Bring Out the Best in People".

An interesting argument, but one I'd rather not have to test empirically. (Via P.O.)

History of Alarm Clocks

"A 2,000-Year History of Alarm Clocks"

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Not A Drone

"'Drone' that hit British Airways jet was likely a plastic bag: British transport minister says fear of drone was 'overreaction.'"

Friday, April 22, 2016

Broken Science

William Wilson: "Scientific Regress".

Related commentary: "Big Science Is Broken".

Origins Of Laughter

"The evolutionary origins of laughter are rooted more in survival than enjoyment"

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

What Color Is A Mirror?

"What Color is a Mirror?"

Short answer: Slightly green. Really. (Via H.R.)

Spotting Fake Reviews On Amazon

"What to do when those Amazon reviews seem a little too positive to be real". (Via H.R.)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Ultimate High-Tech City

"Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs plans to build the ultimate high-tech city". (Via J.J.)

12 Secrets of the New York Subway

"12 Secrets of the New York Subway"

Monday, April 18, 2016

Light Posting Notice

Admin note: Due to external obligations, posting will be lighter than usual for the next two weeks.

90-Day Weather Forecasts!?!

"AccuWeather issues 90-day forecasts and meteorologists are not amused".

Full Duplex Wireless

"New Full Duplex Radio Chip Transmits and Receives Wireless Signals at Once". (Via H.R.)

Friday, April 15, 2016

Encrypt All The Things

Wired: "A Scheme to Encrypt the Entire Web Is Actually Working"

Synthetic Nervous System

"Using synthetic nervous system, paralyzed man is first to move again." (Via H.R.)

Economics Of NPR

"The Fight for the Future of NPR: A slow-moving bureaucracy. An antiquated business model. A horde of upstart competitors. Can National Public Radio survive?"

My answer: Maybe not. And maybe that's ok. (Via Marginal Revolution.)

Bad Code Horror Story

"Man accidentally 'deletes his entire company' with one line of bad code"

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Micro-Engraver Art

"Inside the studio of the 'micro-engraver' who works between heartbeats to keep his hand steady"

Inaccessible Places

"Have Fun Trying to Reach the Poles of Inaccessibility"

Inky's Great Escape

"The great escape: Inky the octopus legs it to freedom from aquarium".

I hope Inky found his way to freedom and happiness!  (Via T.M.)

How to Find Your Wi-Fi Password

"How to Find Your Wi-Fi Password"

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Weather CAPS

"NWS forecasts will ditch all-caps format starting May 11 -- DON'T PANIC". (Via H.R.)

LSD and Brain Imaging

Nature: "Brain scans reveal how LSD affects consciousness"
We found that under LSD, compared to placebo, disparate regions in the brain communicate with each other when they don’t normally do so. In particular, the visual cortex increases its communication with other areas of the brain, which helps explain the vivid and complex hallucinations experienced under LSD, and the emotional flavour they can take.

On the other hand, within some important brain networks, such as the neuronal networks that normally fire together when the brain is at rest, sometimes called the ‘default mode network’, we saw reduced blood flow — something we’ve also seen with psilocybin — and that neurons that normally fire together lost synchronization. That correlated with our volunteers reporting a disintegration of their sense of self, or ego. This known effect is called ‘ego dissolution': the sense that you are less a singular entity, and more melded with people and things around you. We showed that this could be experienced independently of the hallucinatory effects — the two don’t necessarily go together...

How a Cashless Society Could Embolden Big Brother

"How a Cashless Society Could Embolden Big Brother"

Faces Plus Wine

"Amazing photos capture how faces change after 1, 2 and 3 glasses of wine". (Via M.M.)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Monday, April 11, 2016

US State Lotteries Hacked

"Man hacked random-number generator to rig lotteries":
A lottery security director who was convicted of fixing a $16.5m lottery jackpot also allegedly rigged several other lottery random-number generators to be able to predict the winning numbers, according to Iowa investigators.

For several years, Eddie Tipton, the former security director of the US Multi-State Lottery Association, installed software code that allowed him to predict winning numbers on specific days of the year, investigators allege. The random-number generators had been erased, but new forensic evidence has revealed how the hack was apparently done.

Tipton was convicted last year of rigging the $16.5m jackpot in Iowa, and is now awaiting trial on charges linking him to prizes in Colorado, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Kansas.

Taking Fake Book Covers on the Subway

Video: "Taking Fake Book Covers on the Subway"

Emergency Airplane Oxygen

"How Commercial Airplanes Keep a Steady Supply of Fresh Air and How the Emergency Oxygen Masks Supply Oxygen Given They are Not Hooked Up to Any Air Tank". (Via H.R.)

FBI Can Only Unlock Older iPhones

Wired UK: "FBI's iPhone unlock doesn't work on newer iPhones".

According to the FBI, their hack only works on the iPhone 5C -- but not the 5S or the newer iPhone 6 models.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Panasonic Weather Model

"TV maker Panasonic says it has developed the world's best weather model". (Via H.R.)

Friday, April 08, 2016

Touching A Robot

"Touching a Robot's 'Intimate Parts' Makes People Uncomfortable".

I'm going to guess there is a subset of people for which this makes them very very comfortable. (Via Tyler Cowen.)

Number Theory Weirdness

"2 Plausible Things That Cannot Both Be True"

TE Lawrence's Bullet

"Bullet Helps Revive Lawrence of Arabia's Reputation"

What To Do When You Catch A Liar

Forbes: "What To Do When You Catch A Liar".

One interesting tidbit:
[I]t’s critical to take steps to protect yourself. One way to do that is to have a witness attest to what the liar said. Failing this, interact with the liar via email or text, both of which create a written record.

Though if you’re dealing with a particularly savvy liar, they’re not going to commit to anything in writing. In that case, document the conversation yourself: who, what, when, where, etc., and cap it off by sending your lying colleague an email summarizing the conversation. That’s not as good as having proof in the other person’s words, but at least you’ll be able to make the argument that your colleague had the opportunity to correct you...

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Desalinization Update

"Making Salt Water Drinkable Just Got 99 Percent Easier"

Mean Beats Median

"How the Average Triumphed Over the Median"

Loki Does the Weather

Video: "Loki (Tom Hiddleston) Does the Weather".

"Tom Hiddleston channeled Loki's silly prankster side and crashed local Chicago news station Fox 32 so he could deliver the weather and dis his pretend big bro Thor..."

Slot-Based Traffic Intersections

"Can Self-Driving Cars Kill Traffic Lights? With "slot-based" intersections, autonomous cars can thread through an intersection without stopping."

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Self-Driving Car Update

"The hacker who built his own self-driving car is ushering in the age of cheap AI"

How to Hack an Election

"How to Hack an Election: Andrés Sepúlveda rigged elections throughout Latin America for almost a decade. He tells his story for the first time"

Livestock in Opera

"Our bovine public: A brief history of livestock cameos at the opera". (Via Marginal Revolution.)

World's Deadliest Creatures

"Killer snails and assassin bugs: Secrets of the world’s deadliest creatures"

Monday, April 04, 2016

Shipping Container House

"Couple builds Denver dream house from nine steel shipping containers". (Via H.R.)

Getting Fatter

"More people on Earth now obese than underweight"

Shakespearean English

"What the English of Shakespeare, Beowulf, and King Arthur actually sounded like"

Not Dead Yet

"The Lazarus Phenomenon, Explained: Why Sometimes, the Deceased Are Not Dead, Yet"