Thursday, May 28, 2020

Astronaut Hopefuls

Dr. Katherine Mack: "[T]he common term for people who are applying to become astronauts but haven't been selected (yet?) is 'astronaut hopefuls,' sometimes abbreviated ASHOs. #ProudASHO"

Good luck, Dr. Mack!

Sneaky Ransomware

"Ransomware deploys virtual machines to hide itself from antivirus software"

France And Mac-N-Cheese

"Macaroni cheese is now an American staple. But it probably arrived there via France -- and Thomas Jefferson"

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Timeline of SF Ideas

Cool! "Timeline of Science Fiction Ideas, Technology and Inventions" sorted by publication date. (Via G.F.)

Ninja Squirrels

"Former NASA Engineer Builds a Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course to Stop Nut-Stealing Backyard Squirrels". (Via H.R.)

Grateful Dead Recordings Free

"14,566 Grateful Dead concert recordings made available online free"

Monday, May 25, 2020

Brief Holiday Hiatus

Admin note: I'm taking a brief holiday hiatus for US Memorial Day. Posting will resume tomorrow.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Star Wars "Danger Zone"

Clever video using Star Wars X-Wing fighter footage, set to "Danger Zone" from the Top Gun movie.

AI Stock Picker

"Can an artificial intelligence learn to beat the stock market?"

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Monday, May 18, 2020

Friday, May 15, 2020

Hobbits At SCOTUS

"Why Frodo Baggins made an appearance at the Supreme Court"
In a line of hypothetical questioning during Wednesday oral arguments on the Electoral College, Justice Clarence Thomas brought up the hobbit from the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy in a case that would decide whether states can bind presidential electors to vote for the state's popular-vote winner...

"The elector who had promised to vote for the winning candidate could suddenly say, you now, I'm going to vote for Frodo Baggins. I really like Frodo Baggins. And you're saying, under your system, you can't do anything about that," Thomas said.

Zoom Fatigue

"Zoom fatigue is something the deaf community knows very well"
“It’s not necessarily persistent fatigue but surely a measurable increase in listening effort,” Mario Svirsky, professor of hearing science at NYU Langone Health medical center, told Quartz. “A little noise in the background can bring you over a tipping point where communication becomes much more difficult and you have to do a lot of work. You may participate in a meeting focusing on everything for the full two hours and, at the end, you are wiped out.” 

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Mathematics For Machine Learning

"We wrote a book on Mathematics for Machine Learning that motivates people to learn mathematical concepts. The book is not intended to cover advanced machine learning techniques because there are already plenty of books doing this. Instead, we aim to provide the necessary mathematical skills to read those other books."

Direct link to most current PDF version of the book.

Also available at Cambridge University Press.

Faster Workout

Forget the 7-minute workout, here's the 4-second workout.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Software Folklore

"Sometimes bugs have symptoms beyond belief. This is a collection of such stories from around the web."

No-Touch Tools Debunked

"You Don't Need A Brass Or Copper No-Touch Tool"

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Robodog Distancing Enforcer

"Roaming 'robodog' politely tells Singapore park goers to keep apart"
The remote-controlled, four-legged machine built by Boston Dynamics was first deployed in a central park on Friday as part of a two-week trial that could see it join other robots policing Singapore's green spaces during a nationwide lockdown.

"Let's keep Singapore healthy," the yellow and black robodog named SPOT said in English as it roamed around. "For your own safety and for those around you, please stand at least one metre apart. Thank you," it added, in a softly-spoken female voice.
Video of the robodog:

iPad Cursor

"How Apple reinvented the cursor for iPad"

Monday, May 11, 2020

Tracking In India

"India is forcing people to use its COVID app, unlike any other democracy"
While official policy is that downloading the app is voluntary, the truth is that government employees are required to use it, while major private employers and landlords are mandating it as well. The city of Noida is now reportedly fining and even threatening to arrest anyone who fails to install the app on their phone.
If this were the policy in the US, I suspect we'd see a lot of non-compliance.

Sneaky Calculator

"Calculator Hacked for Cheating Includes a Secret OLED Screen, Wifi, and Even a Chat Function"

Thursday, May 07, 2020

Zip Tie Art

"Luminescent Zip-Tie Formations Are Shaped into Futuristic Organic Life by Artist Elisabeth Picard"

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Monday, May 04, 2020

Book Stamina

"Men are likely to give up reading a book before page 50, while women more often make it to page 100 (at least)."

Sniff Test And Consciousness

"A 'sniff test' signals consciousness after a brain injury, study shows".

I think it clearly demonstrates neural activity. I'm not convinced it demonstrates consciousness, however.

Friday, May 01, 2020