Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Night Vision Update

"Nanoparticles Will Give You Superhuman Night Vision".

I'm totally fine with others being the early adopters on this procedure.  (Via H.R.)

Robotic Tail For Elderly

"Japanese researchers build robotic tail to keep elderly upright". (Via H.R.)

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Light Posting Notice

Admin note: Posting may be very light(or non-existent) for the next two weeks, due to external obligations.

Doomsday Returns

"The New Nuclear Arms Race -- and How Washington and Moscow Can Stop It"

Reliability Of Intuitions?

"Can We Rely on Our Intuition?"

Monday, August 26, 2019

Quantum Internet Update

"A super-secure quantum internet just took another step closer to reality":
Now physicists at the University of Science and Technology of China and the University of Vienna in Austria have found a way to ship even more data using something called quantum trits, or qutrits...

Conventional bits used to encode everything from financial records to YouTube videos are streams of electrical or photonic pulses than can represent either a or a 0. Qubits, which are typically electrons or photons, can carry more information because they can be polarized in two directions at once, so they can represent both a and a 0 at the same time. Qutrits, which can be polarized in three different dimensions simultaneously, can carry even more information. In theory, this can then be transmitted using quantum teleportation.

Stolen Fingerprints

"What Can a Hacker Do With Your Stolen Fingerprints?"

Similar Suburbs

Video: "Why so many suburbs look the same"

Sunday, August 25, 2019

First Space Crime?

"NASA investigating possible first allegation of criminal wrongdoing in space".

Related story from New York Times: "How a Bitter Divorce Battle on Earth Led to Claims of a Crime in Space".

Police And Photoshop

Police use Photoshop to make a suspect more closely resemble the perpetrator caught on video, to "help" witnesses make a positive identification. US Attorney calls this "prudent" and "appropriate".

As one of my lawyer friends says, "So what evidence does that earn the government? An eyewitness identification of a manipulated photograph. Otherwise known as defense attorney manna from heaven."

Medical Innovation

"This college dropout was bedridden for 11 years. Then he invented a surgery and cured himself."

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Monday, August 19, 2019

Mysterious "Top Brand"

"What does Amazon's 'Top Brand' badge actually mean?"

Related:  "What Does It Mean When a Product Is 'Amazon's Choice'?"

Noninvasive BP Measurement

"Researchers accurately measure blood pressure using phone camera". (Via H.R.)

Robots Fighting Back

"Smart ovens have been turning on overnight and preheating to 400 degrees"

Sunday, August 18, 2019

AI Can't Distinguish California Legislators From Criminals

"Facial recognition software mistook 1 in 5 California lawmakers for criminals, says ACLU".

The jokes practically write themselves.

Tolkien Series On Amazon

"The Tolkien Estate has banned Amazon from using certain storylines in its billion dollar Lord of the Rings series"
[Tolkien scholar and series consultant Tom] Shippey says that the series will be confined solely to Middle Earth's 'Second Age', the period prior to the 'Third Age', which was seen in Peter Jackson's movies, and that the 'First Age' is 'off-limits'.

“Amazon has a relatively free hand when it comes to adding something [to the Second Age], since… very few details are known about this time span,” Shippey said.

“The Tolkien estate will insist that the main shape of the Second Age is not altered. Sauron invades Eriador, is forced back by a Númenorean expedition, is returns to Númenor. There he corrupts the Númenoreans and seduces them to break the ban of the Valar. All this, the course of history, must remain the same.

Real Flying Saucer

"Someone Built a Flying Saucer That Actually Flies And We're So Here For It". (Via H.R.)

Thursday, August 15, 2019

RFK And Cuban Missile Crisis

"RFK's Secret Role in the Cuban Missile Crisis"

Self-Driving Trucks In Use

"UPS Has Been Delivering Cargo in Self-Driving Trucks for Months And No One Knew"

AC-Powered LEDs

"AC-powered LEDs Could Cut the Cost of Lighting". (Via H.R.)

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Hsieh Forbes Column: "Pooping Less Frequently To Save The Planet? Really?"

My latest Forbes column is now out: "Pooping Less Frequently To Save The Planet? Really?"

I'm totally letting out my inner 10-year old.

School Bus Routing

"How One City Saved $5 Million by Routing School Buses with an Algorithm"

New Electric Motor

"HET electric motor massively boosts power, torque and efficiency, reduces weight and complexity". (Via H.R.)

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Clever Teen

"Teen's tweets from her smart fridge go viral after mother confiscates phone". #CantStopTheSignal

Falling Space Debris

"No one has yet been killed by re-entering space junk".  The key word is "yet".

Regulating Biohacking

"Is it time to regulate biohacking? California thinks so."
California wants to make it clear that tinkering with your own genes is a “don’t try this at home” sort of thing. 

The state is making it illegal to sell a do-it-yourself genetic engineering kit unless it comes with a clear warning stating that “the kit is not for self-administration.” This is a notable escalation of an effort to regulate biohacking, a movement that’s gotten people interested in hacking their genomes — although it bears noting that right now, nobody appears to actually be selling the sort of kit California prohibits.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Moon Base

"IEEE Special Report: Project Moon Base"

Hacking Canon Cameras

"Canon DSLR Cameras Can Be Hacked With Ransomware Remotely"

Artificial Whiskey Taster

"Artificial tongue's nanoscale tastebuds can sort real whisky from counterfeits more than 99% of the time"

Sunday, August 11, 2019


"A new tool uses AI to spot text written by AI"

IOT Insecurities

"Russian hackers are infiltrating companies via the office printer"

Machine-Made Art

"Metal and Wood Drawing Machines by James Nolan Gandy Form Mesmerizing Multi-Color Ellipses".

They look like high-quality "Spirograph" drawings. I especially like this one.

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Alien Abduction Insurance

"Florida company offering 'alien abduction insurance' has sold nearly 6,000 policies"
Policyholders should read the fine print before they buy, though. In the event of an abduction, the plan's $10 million coverage pays out at a rate of $1 per year for 10 million years. 

Compelled Decryption Update

"The debate over 'compelled decryption' is likely headed for the US Supreme Court"

Path-Traced Movies

Pixar: "The Path to Path-Traced Movies"

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Hidden Galaxies

"Scientists find huge world of hidden galaxies, changing our understanding of the universe"

Better Lens Equation

"A Mexican Physicist Solved a 2,000-Year Old Problem That Will Lead to Cheaper, Sharper Lenses". (Via H.R.)

Cell Signal Boosters

"Ars reviews three cell signal boosters -- and they actually work"

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Monday, August 05, 2019

Bond Villians Ranked

"All 104 James Bond Villains, Ranked"

I will say that I don't agree with their #1 choice. But I do appreciate this list was all on a single page, without having to click-click-click onto multiple pages.

Hidden Copyright Message

"Author hid funny messages on the copyright page of his book"

Decoding Beethoven

"Roll over, Beethoven: Decoding the maestro's musical style with statistics". (Via H.R.)

Sunday, August 04, 2019

AI Code Assistant

"This AI-powered autocompletion software is Gmail's Smart Compose for coders". (Via H.R.)

Claw Machines

"Claw machines are rigged -- here's why it's so hard to grab that stuffed animal".

Related article.

Jaywalking Vs. Self-Driving Cars

NYT: "How Jaywalking Could Jam Up the Era of Self-Driving Cars".

If pedestrians know that self-driving cars will never hit them, how will that change their behavior?

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Roman Joke Pen

"Ancient Roman 'Pen' Was a Joke Souvenir"
During an archaeological excavation at a Roman-era site in London, researchers found around 200 iron styluses used for writing on wax-filled wooden tablets. One of those styluses, which just debuted in its first public exhibition, holds a message written in tiny lettering along its sides. The inscription's sentiment, according to the researchers who translated it, is essentially, "I went to Rome and all I got you was this pen."
I came, I saw, I bought some kitchy trinkets!

Florida Man Again

Today's 21st century headline: "Florida Man Parks His Tesla Overnight on a Stranger's Lawn to Steal Electricity"

Advanced Prosthetic

"World’s Most Advanced Prosthetic Now With Sense of Touch"