Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Bogus "Fun" Vs. Genuine "Fun" At The Workplace

"The death of 'mandatory fun' in the office". An unexpected positive side-effect of the pandemic on workplace culture:

"On the flip side, the pandemic also led to the rise of more employee-led initiatives... Team-building events and 'fun' ceased to be top-down. Employees would lead a Zoom yoga class, or a cooking class for their colleagues. It's an interesting shift, away from 'you have to do this,' and toward, ‘what do you guys really want to do?'"


Burner Browser

Wirecutter: "How a Burner Browser Hides My Most Embarrassing Internet Searches"

Monday, May 30, 2022

Brief Hiatus

GeekPress will take a short holiday hiatus for US Memorial Day.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Musical Chills

"This 715-song playlist is scientifically verified to give you the chills, thanks to 'frisson'"

Better Cooling

"A computer cooling breakthrough uses a common material to boost power 740 percent". (Via H.R.)

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Best Interview Question

Tyler Cowen: "The Best Question to Ask a Job Applicant".

Cowen's recommendation: "What are the open tabs in your browser right now?"

First, the question measures what a person does with his or her spare time as well as work time. If you leave a browser tab open, it probably has some importance to you and you expect to return to the page. It is one metric of what you are interested in and what your work flow looks like.

It’s not just cheap talk. Some job candidates might say they are interested in C++ as a programming language, but if you actually have an open page to the Reddit and Subreddits on that topic, that is a demonstrated preference...

The question also tests for enthusiasm. If the person doesn’t seem excited about any of those open browser tabs, that may be a sign that they are blasé about other things as well. But if you get a heated pitch about why a particular website is the best guide to “Lord of the Rings” lore, you may have found a true nerd with a love of detail. That will be a plus for many jobs and avocations, though not all.

2.5-Dimensional Materials

"2.5D materials promise new applications for electronics, AI"

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Apple And China

"Apple is reportedly looking ramp up manufacturing outside China":

Apple has long relied on China for the vast majority—more than 90%, writes the [Wall Street Journal] -- of its manufacturing. A small percentage of its products are produced in India and Vietnam. Now the Journal’s sources, identified only as people familiar with the talks, say that both countries have been named as potential destinations for added manufacturing.

To The Moon

"These six countries are about to go to the Moon -- here's why"

Monday, May 23, 2022

Inspiring A Young Scientist

Great story about how a friendly scientist changed a 4-year old girl's life!: "Scientist finds professor who supported her love for bugs when she was 4".

According to the article, Dr. Rebecca Varney earned "her PhD in 2021 from the University of Alabama in biological sciences and now working with aquatic invertebrates such as crustaceans as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California at Santa Barbara."
But my favorite sentence: "Varney, in addition to keeping walking sticks in her room growing up, had millipedes and a corn snake named Beverly Crusher."


Detecting Seismic Activity

"A breakthrough in fiber optics turned an undersea cable into 12 seismographs". (Via H.R.)

Friday, May 20, 2022

Better Chocolate

"Scientists Use 3D Printer to Craft Crispier Chocolate". (Via J.P.)


Apple Mail Blocks Now E-mail Tracking

"Apple Mail Now Blocks Email Tracking. Here's What It Means for You"

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Truly Hard Problems

"Computer Scientists Prove That Certain Problems Are Truly Hard"


"A quick guide to the most important AI law you've never heard of"

Monday, May 16, 2022

Science Of Multiverses

"Doctor Strange and the Multiverse in Science"

Fermi Paradox Solution?

"Planetary scientists suggest a solution to the Fermi paradox: Superlinear scaling leading to a singularity".

Direct link to academic paper: "Asymptotic burnout and homeostatic awakening: a possible solution to the Fermi paradox?", by Wong and Bartlett, Journal of The Royal Society Interface (2022). DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2022.0029.







"Figure 3. Perhaps hypothetical Type III civilizations are in an inaccessible region of biotechnological–population size state space, where civilization trajectories are bounded by a ‘burnout horizon’, and long-lived civilizations have consciously reoriented their trajectories away from growth in population size and length scales to explore other dimensions of biotechnological state space. Note that we do not rule out the possibility of some kind of channel that might allow a transition to the Type III region."

Friday, May 13, 2022

Midnight Sun

Video: Artic Midnight Sun.


"The EBUG Edition: On hockey, rules, and goalies". 

Via Gus Van Horn, who notes, "To the best of my knowledge, in all of professional sports, only the National Hockey League has a standing rule that can result in a fan being summoned from the stands to play".

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Surveillance Update

"EU plans to require backdoor to encrypted messages for child protection".

Matthew Green, cryptography teacher at Johns Hopkins University, has described the leaked plans as "the most terrifying thing I've ever seen."

More 3-D Printing

"Scientists develop rapid new method of 3D printing glass into parts with 'the thickness of hair'". (Via W.R.)

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Kill Switches Pro And Con (Mostly Con)

"About those kill-switched Ukrainian tractors: What John Deere did to Russian looters, anyone can do to farmers, anywhere"

3-D Printing Update

"Stanford engineers develop new kind of 3D printing"

Engineers at Stanford and Harvard have laid the groundwork for a new system for 3D printing that doesn’t require that an object be printed from the bottom up.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Prosthetic Arm Update

"This High Schooler Invented a Low-Cost, Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm". (Via H.R.)

Smart Screws

"Smart Screws That Can Detect When They're Loose Could Help Save America's Bridges". (Via H.R.)

Monday, May 09, 2022

Mechanical Watchworks

Bartosz Ciechanowski: "Mechanical Watch". Great illustrations!

Bike Propeller

"What Happens If You Put A Giant Propeller On A Bike?"  (Via H.R.)

Associated video.

Friday, May 06, 2022

Thursday, May 05, 2022

Ancient HR Woes

"3,200-Year-Old Egyptian Tablet Records Excuses for Why People Missed Work: 'The Scorpion Bit Him,' 'Brewing Beer' & More"

The Disappearing Hyphen

"How to Use (or Not Use) a Hyphen"

Wednesday, May 04, 2022

METI Debate

"Blasting out Earth's location with the hope of reaching aliens is a controversial idea -- two teams of scientists are doing it anyway"

Brain-Reading Update

"The brain-reading devices helping paralysed people to move, talk and touch"

Tuesday, May 03, 2022

Desalination Progress

"From seawater to drinking water, with the push of a button" 

MIT researchers build a portable desalination unit that generates clear, clean drinking water without the need for filters or high-pressure pumps.