Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Historical Reactions To Solar Eclipses

"A history of solar eclipses and bizarre responses to them"

Goldfish and Alcohol

"During the winter, goldfish and their relatives can have a blood-alcohol concentration beyond the legal limit for drink driving."

Dr. Smartphone

"The airplane had just taken off when one of the passengers lost consciousness."
Eric Topol pulled his smartphone out of his pocket and immediately performed an electrocardiogram (EKG) on the passenger. He used the device to do an ultrasound scan of the man's heart and measured oxygen levels in his blood. He was then able to give the all-clear and the plane could continue its journey. The man had lost consciousness merely due to a temporarily slowed heart rhythm.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Recipe Videos In The Style Of Famous Directors

"Hilarious recipe videos in the style of famous directors"

My favorite: "What if Tarantino made Spaghetti & Meatballs?"

Free Old Music

"Philly company digitizes 25,000 old records and they're free to download"

Russian Casino Hacker

"Meet Alex, the Russian Casino Hacker Who Makes Millions Targeting Slot Machines":
Alex defends his enterprise as cunning but by no means criminal. “We, in fact, do not meddle with the machines — there is no actual hacking taking place,” he says. “My agents are just gamers, like the rest of them. Only they are capable of making better predictions in their betting. Yes, that capability is gained through my technology, it’s true. But why should it be against the law? On the basic level, it’s like using a calculator for counting faster and more accurately, rather than relying on one’s natural capacity.”

Monday, August 14, 2017

Eclipses Feel Weird

"A Total Solar Eclipse Feels Really, Really Weird"

Parenting As Viewed Through Cartoons

"Changing Parenting Attitudes, as Seen Through New Yorker Cartoons"

Malicious Code In DNA

"In a mind-boggling world first, a team of biologists and security researchers have successfully infected a computer with a malicious program coded into a strand of DNA"

Friday, August 11, 2017

Bad Password Rules

"The Guy Who Invented Those Annoying Password Rules Now Regrets Wasting Your Time"

Underwater Post Office

"Whale Mail Is the New Snail Mail at the World’s First Underwater Post Office"

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Comeuppance In SF

"Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street"

AI-Generated Beer Names

"Artificial intelligence proves that craft beer names are total nonsense"

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Leonardo da Vinci’s Notebook

"Browse the British Library's online copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s 570-page notebook"

Fortune Cookie Math

"We Analyzed 1,000 Fortune Cookies To Unlock Their Secrets"

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Ikea Capes

"Game of Thrones uses cheap IKEA rugs as capes"

Tesla Model 3 Review

"Driving Tesla's Model 3 Changes Everything"

Monday, August 07, 2017

SR-71 Speed Check Story

"An SR-71 Blackbird Pilot Recounts His Infamous LA Speed Check Story".

As friend JRW notes, "Interesting story about flying the SR-71 — but go all the way to the end.  The last 60 seconds is hilarious."

Upgrading The Great Firewall

"China holds drill to shut down 'harmful' websites"

Friday, August 04, 2017

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Light Posting Notice

Admin note: Posting may be lighter than usual for the rest of this week and next week due to external obligations.

Gene Editing Update

NYT: "In Breakthrough, Scientists Edit a Dangerous Mutation From Genes in Human Embryos"

Cochlear Implant Upgrade For iOS

New cochlear sound processor allows users to directly stream music and voice from iOS device to the cochlear implant.

Robot Safecracking

"Watch a Homemade Robot Crack a Safe in Just 15 Minutes"

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Can You "Rape" A Sex Robot?

NYT: "The Trouble With Sex Robots".

The NYT author appears to think so, consistently using the term "rape" for males interacting with robots programmed to "reject" their sexual advances.

In contrast, this NPR story gets it right ("What's New In The World Of Robot Sex?"):
Today's robots are not conscious and thus "rape" is not the correct descriptor.

I want to be very clear about what I am saying here: The robots' lack of consciousness is fundamentally different from the state of a person who has lost consciousness or for some reason suffers from diminished mental acuity. For a person who has passed out, who is in a coma, or who is mentally compromised for any reason and is violently sexually assaulted, "rape" is absolutely the correct term.
I recognize that there is a potential issue of people acting towards robots that would otherwise be impermissible towards other humans. For instance, if I knew my next door neighbor got his jollies by engaging in mock serial killings of life-like robots, I'd be more than a little nervous. And it might be grounds for asking law enforcement to take a closer look at him. But you can't "murder" a robot any more than you can "rape" one.

AI Creating Malware

"AI quickly cooks malware that anti-viral software can't spot"

Splitting Water

"Scientists produce robust catalyst to split water into hydrogen, oxygen". (Via H.R.)

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

The Case for Cursing

The NYT publishes "The Case for Cursing", doesn't use any actual profanity.

Challenges Of Zero-G Surgery

"Zero-G Blood and the Many Horrors of Space Surgery"

Mathematical Paintings Of Crockett Johnson

"Mathematical Paintings of Crockett Johnson"