Friday, October 30, 2020

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Hsieh Forbes Column: Three Covid-19 Success Stories

My latest Forbes piece is now out: "Three Covid-19 Success Stories".

We can learn from places and organizations that have been able to limit the spread of the virus. 

Green Puppy

BBC: "Rare green puppy 'Pistachio' born in Italy"


Space War

"This is what 'war in space' probably would look like in the near future"

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Programmers And Time

"Falsehoods programmers believe about time"

Super-White Paint

"You've Heard of Vantablack. Scientists Just Created 'Super White', And It's Very Cool". (Via H.R.)

Monday, October 26, 2020

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Facebook PreparesPossible Election Unrest

WSJ: "Facebook Prepares Measures for Possible Election Unrest"

The potential moves include an across-the-board slowing of the spread of posts as they start to go viral and tweaking the news feed to change what types of content users see, the people said. The company could also lower the threshold for detecting the types of content its software views as dangerous...

Deployed together, the tools could alter what tens of millions of Americans see when they log onto the platform, diminishing their exposure to sensationalism, incitements to violence and misinformation, said the people familiar with the measures. But slowing down the spread of popular content could suppress some good-faith political discussion, a prospect that makes some Facebook employees uneasy, some of the people said.

Technology Works Both Ways

"Protesters are using facial recognition technology to ID police".

Related from New York Times: "Activists Turn Facial Recognition Tools Against the Police"

Uncrushable Beetle

"How This Uncrushable Beetle Can Survive Being Run Over by a Car". (Via H.R.)

Thursday, October 22, 2020


"Scientists clock the fastest interval of time in 'zeptoseconds'"

Scientists have measured the shortest interval of time ever recorded, clocking how long it takes a particle of light to cross a single molecule of hydrogen.

The ultra-quick journey took 247 zeptoseconds, according to a team of German researchers, with a zeptosecond representing a trillionth of a billionth of a second. This is equivalent to the number 1 written behind a decimal point and 20 zeroes.

New Organ

NYT: "Doctors May Have Found Secretive New Organs in the Center of Your Head"

Related: "The tubarial salivary glands: A potential new organ at risk for radiotherapy"

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Pangea With Modern-Day Borders

"A Map of Pangea With Modern-Day Borders" (Click on image to see full size.)


Apple Lidar

"Lidar used to cost $75,000 -- here's how Apple brought it to the iPhone". (Via H.R.)

Monday, October 19, 2020

Old Twinkie

"A Disturbing Twinkie That Has, So Far, Defied Science"


Big Cat

"Large 2,000-year-old cat discovered in Peru's Nazca lines"


Thursday, October 15, 2020

Excel Warriors

"Meet the Excel warriors saving the world from spreadsheet disaster"

Room Temperature Superconductivity

"First room-temperature superconductor reported". 

(Via H.R., who notes that is room temperature but not room pressure.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Special Relativity Test

"NIST Pair of Aluminum Atomic Clocks Reveal Einstein's Relativity at a Personal Scale"

Ultra-Black Fish

"Scientists find 16 'ultra-black' fish species that absorb 99.9% of light "

Monday, October 12, 2020

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Enhanced Internet Privacy

"DuckDuckGo, EFF, and others just launched privacy settings for the whole internet"

Cyberwar Update

"Cyber Command has sought to disrupt the world's largest botnet, hoping to reduce its potential impact on the election"

Thursday, October 08, 2020

White House Physician

"Some interesting tidbits about the White House Physician".  In particular, #5 (no need to be truthful to American public) and #12 (triage priority):

5. White house physicians have no duty to be truthful with the American public. Historically, they have often deceived the public about the state of the President's health. This goes back to George Washington - when he had a massive boil on his ass, the doctor who lanced it reported that it had been on his leg. Woodrow Wilson's doctor helped cover up a massive stroke, then conspired with the first lady to secretly run the government themselves while denying everyone else access to the bedridden President.

12. Triage is by importance, not severity. The president comes first. If a bystander is bleeding out from a bullet wound and the president is barely grazed, all attention goes first to the President. So don't have a heart attack in the White House at the same time as the VP gets a sunburn!

IBM Breakup

"IBM to break up 109-year old company to focus on cloud growth"

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Vending Machine Economics

"The economics of vending machines"

Japanese Train Wrestling

"Pro-wrestlers battle on Japan scenic train in bid to help region rebound off the ropes"

Monday, October 05, 2020

Rare Fern

"Europe's rarest fern has been discovered in Killarney, Ireland, leaving botanists baffled over how it remained undetected for so long."

Otter Dating

"A lonely otter at a sanctuary finds love online through a dating site built just for him"

Sunday, October 04, 2020

Fake Recycling

"Apple sues recycling partner for reselling more than 100,000 iPhones, iPads and Watches it was hired to dismantle"

Space Toilets For Women

"NASA's new $23 million space toilet now accommodates women". (Via H.R.)

Thursday, October 01, 2020