Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Artemis, Chapter 1

The first chapter of Andy Weir's new book Artemis is now viewable for free online.

Data Protection Across Borders

"Introducing Travel Mode: Protect your data when crossing borders"
Travel Mode is a new feature we’re making available to everyone with a 1Password membership. It protects your 1Password data from unwarranted searches when you travel. When you turn on Travel Mode, every vault will be removed from your devices except for the ones marked “safe for travel.” All it takes is a single click to travel with confidence.

CRISPR Explained At 5 Levels

"A biologist explains CRISPR to people at five different levels of knowledge"

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Monday, May 29, 2017

Ninja Shortage

"Japan is suffering from a ninja shortage"

First Fire

"Who Started the First Fire?"

"Forgotten" Password Defense

"Is 'I forget' a valid defense when court orders demand a smartphone password?"

If this judge has his way, the answer is "no".  (Note: I disagree with the analogy of password as providing a physical key to a lockbox, and instead consider it a form of self-incrimination.)

Anker Success

"How Anker is beating Apple and Samsung at their own accessory game"

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Legal Definitions Of Sandwich

"5 Ways to Define a Sandwich, According to the Law"

Naming Diseases

The convoluted politics of naming new diseases.

Retro Phone

"Good call: The Nokia 3310 returns".

Counterpoint: Ars Technica doesn't like it.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Dinosaur Killer Update

"Why these researchers think dinosaurs were minutes away from surviving extinction"

Weakening Consent Requirements for Human Research

NYT: "Some Social Scientists Are Tired of Asking for Permission".

I totally get that asking permission and jumping through IRB hoops is a pain in the butt. OTOH, I'm also wary of researchers adopting the attitude of, "My work is so important, and 'the knowledge gain is precious' that I don't need no stinkin' consent from subjects."

Secrets Categorized

"What kinds of secrets does the average person keep?"

Sunday, May 21, 2017

New Hottest Chili

"Hottest chilli pepper in the world accidentally created by Welsh farmer".

From the article:
Originally intended to be a thing of beauty rather than a sensory beast, the peppers measure a formidable 2.48 million on the Scoville heat scale, ahead of the 2.2 million achieved by the Carolina Reaper...

Experts believe that anyone who attempted to swallow one of the chilli peppers would be at risk of death from  anaphylactic shock.

AI Paint Color Names

"An AI invented a bunch of new paint colors that are hilariously wrong". (Via H.R.)

Google AI Chip

"Google Reveals a Powerful New AI Chip and Supercomputer"

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Free Wolfram

"Stephen Wolfram's A New Kind of Science is now available online for free"

3D-Printed Ovaries

"Mice With 3D-Printed Ovaries Successfully Give Birth"

Light Posting Notice

Admin note: Posting may be lighter than usual the rest of the week because of external obligations.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

da Vinci Instrument

"After 500 years, Leonardo da Vinci's music machine is brought to life". More info here. (Via H.R.)


"The ability of attackers to exert malicious control over brain implants ("brainjacking") has unique challenges that we address in this review, with particular focus on deep brain stimulation implants..."

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Leaked Miltary Code-Breaking Project

"NYU Accidentally Exposed Military Code-breaking Computer Project to Entire Internet"

Smart Contact Lens

"Smart Contact Lens Detects Diabetes and Glaucoma":
To detect intraocular pressure, a dielectric layer is sandwiched between two hybrid films. In this arrangement, the films now become a capacitor that responds to intraocular pressure. At high intraocular pressure, the thickness of the dielectric layer decreases, resulting in the increased capacitance. High intraocular pressure also increases the inductance of the antenna coil by bi-axial lateral expansion.

For detecting glucose, the top hybrid film layer is exposed to tears and detects glucose. In a selected region of the film, the researchers removed the nanowires so only graphene remained. The surface of graphene was then coated with an enzyme that binds selectively to glucose. This binding changes the resistance of the graphene.

The changes of resistance, inductance and capacitance in these two detection modes can be monitored wirelessly in real-time...
(Via H.R.)


"David Lloyd Gyms have launched a new health and fitness class which is essentially a bunch of people taking a nap for 45 minutes."

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

ARTEMIS By Andy Weir

"Here's What Andy Weir's New Book ARTEMIS is All About (Exclusive)"

Intelligent Intersection

"The intelligent intersection could banish traffic lights forever". (Via H.R.)


"Rise of the Robolawyers"

Monday, May 08, 2017

Two Factor Flaw

"Hackers Beat Two-Factor to Rob Bank Accounts"

Clock Vindication

"Clockmaker John Harrison vindicated 250 years after 'absurd' claims". (Via H.R.)

Game Of Thrones Spinoffs

"Game of Thrones forever: HBO developing 4 different spinoffs"

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Sarcasm Database

"A Large Self-Annotated Corpus for Sarcasm". (Via Marginal Revolution.)

Life After NFL

"Life After FootballThe Surprising New Second Careers of Former Players":
The success story of former Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers safety Myron Rolle, who started a neurosurgery residency at Harvard, has prompted many to think there is more to an NFL athlete than the number of touchdowns he makes or endorsement deals he secures. And more and more Black players — who make up about 70 percent of the league — are taking steps toward STEM careers...

Dumb Appliances

"Why You Should Buy the Dumbest Appliances You Can Find". (Via Rand Simberg.)

Monday, May 01, 2017

Is Every Speed Limit Too Low?

"Is Every Speed Limit Too Low?"

Short answer, "yes".

Texting Metamessages

"The (Sometimes Unintentional) Subtext of Digital Conversations"

Twin Prime Update

Numberphile: "Twin Prime Conjecture"