Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Light Posting

Admin note: Posting will be light or non-existent the rest of the week because of the US Thanksgiving holiday.

Bionic Hand Update

"Bionic Hand Gives Amputees Sense of Touch". (Via H.R.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Plants Vs. Prey

"Time Lapse of Carnivorous Plants and Their Prey Preparing for Battle".

Also: "[N]ever fear, a tender disclaimer in the video’s description: 'All insects captured by the plants have been released.'"

New Mineral

"New Mineral Discovered in Deep-Earth Diamond":

A diamond that formed deep in the earth’s mantle contains a mineral never seen before in nature. The discovery is a rare glimpse into the deep mantle and may help reveal new information about the structure of the planet at depths of more than 660 kilometers...

The mineral, calcium silicate perovskite, only forms under the incredibly high pressures that occur deep in the earth...


Monday, November 22, 2021

Friday, November 19, 2021

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Drone Attack

Unsuccessful attempted assassination using explosive-laden drones.

Singularity And Metaverse

"Singularity Is Fast Approaching, and It Will Happen First in the Metaverse"

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Controlling Super-Intelligent AIs

"Calculations Suggest It'll Be Impossible to Control a Super-Intelligent AI".

Not quite sure how much to be worried about this.

Link to original paper in Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research: "Superintelligence Cannot be Contained: Lessons from Computability Theory"

Alzheimer's Vaccine Update

I really hope this pans out: "Alzheimer's Disease Nasal Vaccine To Be Tested At Brigham And Women's Hospital". (Via R.T.)

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Cold Case Bank Robbery Solved

"US bank robber identified after decades-long hunt":

According to the Marshal Service, Conrad had allegedly told friends of his plans to rob the bank and boasted about how easy it would be to do. He was reportedly obsessed with the 1968 Steve McQueen heist film, The Thomas Crown Affair, and watched it more than a dozen times during his preparation for the robbery. 

Crypto Tax Rules

"The infrastructure bill makes crypto tax-reporting failures a felony"

Monday, November 15, 2021

Friday, November 12, 2021

Relativity And Zero-Knowledge Proofs

Nature: "Experimental relativistic zero-knowledge proofs". (Via G.F.)

In this work, we report the experimental realization of such a zero-knowledge protocol involving two separated verifier–prover pairs. Security is enforced via the physical principle of special relativity, and no computational assumption (such as the existence of one-way functions) is required. Our implementation exclusively relies on off-the-shelf equipment and works at both short (60 m) and long distances (≥400 m) in about one second. 

Kinetic Launch

"SpinLaunch's rocket-free kinetic launch system conducts first test flight". (Via A.A.)

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Teapot Effect Solved

"Physicists say they've finally solved the teapot effect -- for real this time". (Via H.R.)

Legality Of Submerged Nation?

"Tuvalu looking at legal ways to be a state if it is submerged"

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Culture Shock

America, as viewed by a newly-arrived Indian graduate student. Fascinating observations. Via A.A.

Mandatory Anti-Drunk Driving Tech

In the new "infrastructure bill" car manufacturers will be required to install technology in new vehicles to keep drunk people from driving

Also from the article: "The voluminous bill also requires automakers to install rear-seat reminders to alert parents if a child is left inadvertently in the back seat" and "automatic emergency braking and lane departure warnings in all passenger vehicles".

Monday, November 08, 2021

Friday, November 05, 2021

Robotic Laser Weedkiller

"Self-Driving Farm Robot Uses Lasers To Kill 100,000 Weeds An Hour, Saving Land And Farmers From Toxic Herbicides". (Via H.R.)

Thursday, November 04, 2021

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

James Bond Health Risks

Tongue-in-cheek analysis of James Bond's health risks including poor hand-washing skills and "above-average sexual activity".

Direct link: "No time to die: An in-depth analysis of James Bond's exposure to infectious agents", Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, Volume 44, November–December 2021.

Window Washing Robots

"Skyscraper Window Washing Robots Are Here to Take Over One of Our Most Terrifying Jobs". (Via H.R.)

Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Hoverbike Update

"Japan startup targets supercar users with $700,000 hoverbike"


Bombing A Volcano

"When the U.S. dropped bombs on a volcano to save a town"

Monday, November 01, 2021

First Remote Worker

"The First Remote Worker".

For various reasons, which are described in the podcast, [Paul] Lutus was living in a cabin in the Oregon woods. Before he got the Apple II in 1976, he didn’t even have electricity -- he had to run what amounted to a 1,200 foot extension cord to a construction box that he talked the utility company into installing...

[H]is backup system was to bury floppy disks of his work in an ammo can at his cabin. He started doing that after a lightning strike reset his computer while he was working. There’s a bunch of other amusing stories as well...

(Via Gus Van Horn.)

Ars Technica On MB Pro

Ars Technica: "2021 MacBook Pro review: Yep, it's what you’ve been waiting for". (Via H.R.)