Monday, January 31, 2022

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Prime Progress

"Mathematicians Clear Hurdle in Quest to Decode Primes":
In a paper posted in September, Paul Nelson of the Institute for Advanced Study has solved a version of the subconvexity problem, a kind of lighter-weight version of Riemann's question. The proof is a significant achievement on its own and teases the possibility that even greater discoveries related to prime numbers may be in store.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Light Posting Notice

Admin note: Posting may be lighter than usual this week due to external obligations.

One-Minute Time Machine

Video: "One-Minute Time Machine"

Friday, January 21, 2022

Fake QR Codes On Parking Meters

"Police Warn of Parking Meters with Phishing QR Codes":

The QR codes found by Austin police department directed unsuspecting users to a fraudulent website which would ask for payment details with the false promise that their parking session would be paid for. 

The City of Austin checked its parking meters after being notified of a similar QR code scam by officials in San Antonio. They had discovered over 100 parking meters similarly stickered in late December.

Airline Passenger Rights

"The Airline Passenger Rights Everyone Should Know: You should know what you're entitled to the next time you're bumped, delayed, or trapped on the tarmac"

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

AI System Has Been Named An Inventor

"A First: An AI System Has Been Named An Inventor"

The South African patent office made history in July when it issued a patent that listed an artificial intelligence system as the inventor.

The patent is for a food container that uses fractal designs to create pits and bulges in its sides. Designed for the packaging industry, the new configuration allows containers to fit more tightly together so they can be transported better. The shape also makes it easier for robotic arms to pick up the containers.

(Via J.P.)


Prisoner's Dilemma With Real Prisoners

What happens when you run "Prisoner's Dilemma" experiments on actual prisoners? The hard core Mafiosi stick together and punish defectors, in contrast to "ordinary" criminals. (Via M.R.)

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Impossible Light Bulb

Massimo: "In the 1920s newly hired engineers at General Electric would be told, as a joke, to develop a frosted lightbulb. The experienced engineers believed this to be impossible: newly hired Marvin Pipkin got the assignment not realizing it was a joke & succeeded

Alphabet Evolution

"From Greek to Latin: Visualizing the Evolution of the Alphabet"

Friday, January 14, 2022

Never-Ending Blind Date

Chinese woman goes on "blind date" for dinner at the guy's house. Then authorities impose COVID lockdown in the middle of the date and she's been stuck at his house for the past week:

Since then, Wang has posted short videos documenting her daily life in lockdown, which show her date cooking meals for her, doing household chores and working at his laptop while she sleeps in, according to clips published by local media.

So far it seems romance has yet to blossom during their prolonged date, according to Wang who says she's looking for a more talkative partner.

"Besides the fact that he's as mute as a wooden mannequin, everything else (about him) is pretty good," Wang told The Paper. "Despite his food being mediocre, he's still willing to cook, which I think is great."


Japanese Railgun Technology

"Japan set to develop railguns to counter hypersonic missiles":

The Japanese Defense Ministry will develop a means to intercept hostile missiles using magnetically powered projectiles, sources told Nikkei Asia, as the nation scurries to respond to the hypersonic weapons being developed by China, North Korea and Russia.

The ministry is focusing on railgun technology that can launch projectiles with power generated when an electric current is applied to a magnetic field. The projectiles are faster than those shot from conventional intercept systems and can be fired continuously.


Thursday, January 13, 2022

Fast Keyboard

"This Keyboard Lets People Type So Fast It's Banned From Typing Competitions"


Shocking The Brain

"Jolting the brain's circuits with electricity is moving from radical to almost mainstream therapy. Some crucial hurdles remain"

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Living Self-Replicating Robots

Sam Kriegman: "We Created Living Robots That Self-Replicate"

More Fusion News

"Fusion Power Generation May Come Sooner Than You Think".  Of note:

While Lawrence Livermore’s facility is making strides and the ITER project is gathering together teams from around the world, the real reason for hope on the fusion front is coming from the private sector. Much as the space launch industry has been invigorated by innovative companies such as SpaceX, Blue Origin and Rocket Lab that challenge an ossified government-directed order, so a new generation of entrepreneurs is pushing new boundaries of commercial fusion research...

The following list of companies, while not exhaustive, illustrates the myriad approaches to achieving fusion power under development in the private sector... 

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Signal And Untraceable Payments

"How Signal is playing with fire: A push into untraceable payments could put end-to-end encryption at risk"

What sets Signal’s effort apart is the combination of end-to-end encryption in messaging and a cryptocurrency with privacy features designed to make any transactions anonymous.

Last year, current and former Signal employees told me they were worried about what that combination would bring to the app. Anonymous transactions would likely attract criminals, they told me, and that in turn would attract regulatory scrutiny. Given that end-to-end encryption already faces legal challenges around the globe, they said, Signal’s addition of anonymous payments was a needless provocation. And it could give more ammunition to lawmakers who want to end encryption as we know it...

Cat Attractor

"Starlink's Self-Heating Internet Satellite Dishes Are Attracting Cats"

Friday, January 07, 2022

Brains On A Chip

"Brains on a chip: Why startups are combining cells and silicon"

Mind Reading

"The Science of Mind Reading".  Communicating with patients in a seemingly "vegetative state".

Thursday, January 06, 2022

Astute Radiologist

Classic radiology case.

Good Naps

"The Science of a Good Nap"

Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Fish Operated Vehicle

"Israeli scientists train goldfish to steer car around room":

Six goldfish trained to use the apparatus managed to find their way around the small room and toward a reward, wrote the authors of a study published this month in the journal Behavioural Brain Research.

The fish “were able to operate the vehicle, explore the new environment, and reach the target, regardless of the starting point, all while avoiding dead-ends and correcting location inaccuracies,” said Shachar Givon and Matan Samina, who published the research along with Ohad Ben Shahar and Ronen Segev.


SAGE History

"The most important computer you've never heard of"

Monday, January 03, 2022

Roman Concrete

"Noblewoman's tomb reveals new secrets of ancient Rome's highly durable concrete". (Via H.R.)

Malicious DeepFake Update

"A horrifying new AI app swaps women into porn videos with a click".