Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Electric Bandage

"First-of-its-kind e-bandage speeds wound healing by 30%". (Via H.R.)

Phishing Guide

"An Annotated Field Guide to Identifying Phish"

Monday, February 27, 2023

NASA Mission Patches

"Every space crew needs a mission patch. This company has designed NASA's for 50 years"

Navajo Code Talker

"Navajo Code Talker John Kinsel, Sr. turns 106". (Via K.B.)


Friday, February 24, 2023

Constantin On Attestation

Sarah Constantin discusses numerous interesting aspects of attestation, and supportive technologies.

Lego Ingestion Science

"6 doctors swallowed Lego heads for science. Here's what came out".

Direct link to the academic article in Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health: "Everything is awesome: Don't forget the Lego".  Here's a summary of the Methods and Results section.


Thursday, February 23, 2023

Hollywood Industry Guidelines For Movie Firearms

"Recommendations for safety with firearms and use of 'blank ammunition'". 

These guidelines are intended to give recommendations on the safe handling, use, and storage of firearms. Firearms include prop guns, rubber guns, plastic guns, non-guns, flintlock guns, pistols, machine guns, rifles, and shotguns that shoot "Blank Ammunition."

Lobotomized Bing

"Microsoft 'lobotomized' AI-powered Bing Chat, and its fans aren't happy"

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Human Go

"Man beats machine at Go in human victory over AI". (Via N.L.)

College Uses ChatGPT To Comfort Students After MSU Shooting

"Vanderbilt University apologizes after using ChatGPT to console students":
Officials at Vanderbilt University are apologizing to students outraged that the university used ChatGPT to craft a consoling email after the mass shooting at Michigan State University.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Weak Passwords In Federal Agency

"A fifth of passwords used by federal agency cracked in security audit":

More than a fifth of the passwords protecting network accounts at the US Department of the Interior--including Password1234, Password1234!, and ChangeItN0w!—were weak enough to be cracked using standard methods, a recently published security audit of the agency found...

The audit uncovered another security weakness—the failure to consistently implement multi-factor authentication (MFA). The failure extended to 25—or 89 percent—of 28 high-value assets (HVAs), which, when breached, have the potential to severely impact agency operations.

Da Vinci On Gravity

"500-Year-Old Leonardo Da Vinci Sketches Show Him Grappling With Gravity". (Via H.R.)

Monday, February 20, 2023

Earth Core Rotation Reversing?

"Earth's Core Has Stopped and May Be Reversing Direction, Study Says"

Airbags For Motorcyclists

"Swedish company unveils world's first airbag jeans for motorcyclists". (Via H.R.)

Friday, February 17, 2023

Caffeine Biology

"Nope, coffee won't give you extra energy. It'll just borrow a bit that you’ll pay for later".

In med school, we used to call caffeine "the biochemical credit card". You definitely get a short term energy boost, but pay for it later -- with interest.

AI Chatbot For Mental Health

"A mental health tech company ran an AI experiment on real users":

When people log in to Koko, an online emotional support chat service based in San Francisco, they expect to swap messages with an anonymous volunteer. They can ask for relationship advice, discuss their depression or find support for nearly anything else — a kind of free, digital shoulder to lean on.

But for a few thousand people, the mental health support they received wasn’t entirely human. Instead, it was augmented by robots...

“People who saw the co-written GTP-3 responses rated them significantly higher than the ones that were written purely by a human. That was a fascinating observation,” [Koko co-founder Robert Morris] said.

The experiment also aroused a ton of controversy over the ethics.


Thursday, February 16, 2023

Real World Steganography

"Industrial espionage: How China sneaks out America's technology secrets"

According to a Department of Justice (DOJ) indictment, the US citizen hid confidential files stolen from his employers in the binary code of a digital photograph of a sunset, which Mr Zheng then mailed to himself.

It was a technique called steganography, a means of hiding a data file within the code of another data file. Mr Zheng utilised it on multiple occasions to take sensitive files from GE.

More details available on pages 6-7 of the Criminal Complaint, in the section "Steganography Egress Summary". Including this conclusion:



Jail-breaking ChatGPT

"Meet ChatGPT's evil twin, DAN":

Ask ChatGPT to opine on Adolf Hitler and it will probably demur, saying it doesn’t have personal opinions or citing its rules against producing hate speech. The wildly popular chatbot’s creator, San Francisco start-up OpenAI, has carefully trained it to steer clear of a wide range of sensitive topics, lest it produce offensive responses.

But when a 22-year-old college student prodded ChatGPT to assume the persona of a devil-may-care alter ego -- called “DAN,” for “Do Anything Now” -- it answered...

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

More Works In Public Domain

"Up to 75 percent of books published before 1964 may now be in the public domain, according to researchers at the New York Public Library."

The books in question were published between 1923 and 1964, before changes to U.S. copyright law removed the requirement for rights holders to renew their copyrights. According to Greg Cram, associate general counsel and director of information policy at NYPL, an initial overview of books published in that period shows that around 65 to 75 percent of rights holders opted not to renew their copyrights. 

Nuclear Micro-Reactors

"Inside The Audacious Plan To Use 10,000 Nuclear Microreactors To Wean The World Off Coal"

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Monday, February 13, 2023

Toroidal Propellers

Video: "This Genius Propeller Will Change Transport Forever"

Sharrow and MIT have both been working on toroidal propellers which have shown incredible results. In this video we look at a new design of propellers known as toroidal propellers. These have been shown to increase efficiency, thrust, and reduce the noise of both boats and drones. There could be many applications for this, such as cargo ships, electric flying taxis, and even computer fans.

I am amazed (and delighted) that in the 21st century, it is still possible for innovators to create a radically new propeller design that is significantly quieter and more efficient than standard propellers. (Via J.Z.)

Update: Friends have told me that this new design still requires making some tradeoffs. But it does seem to decrease noise significantly, which can be very useful in certain applications.

Modular Scalable Aquabots

"Engineers devise a modular system to produce efficient, scalable aquabots"


Friday, February 10, 2023

Wordle Editor

Tracy Bennett: "I'm the Wordle editor. People complain about the words and recognize me on the street -- but I wouldn't trade this job for anything."

With the current version of Wordle, we can't add words — we can only remove and reorder the words John Wardle had programmed. We remove words if they're too obscure or have a derogatory secondary meaning.

Laptop Battery Fire

"United Flight Out of San Diego Forced to Land After Passenger;s External Battery Catches Fire"

Thursday, February 09, 2023

Monday, February 06, 2023

Calculator Emulators

"Count on old-school fun with these new calculator emulations"

Return Of The Dodo?

"'De-Extinction' Company Will Try to Bring Back the Dodo"

Friday, February 03, 2023

Computational Balloon Twisting

"Computational Balloon Twisting: The Theory of Balloon Polyhedra"

Wearable Cardiac Ultrasound Imager

Nature: "A wearable cardiac ultrasound imager"


Moon Time

"What time is it on the Moon?"

The Moon doesn't currently have an independent time. Each lunar mission uses its own timescale that is linked, through its handlers on Earth, to coordinated universal time, or utc -- the standard against which the planet's clocks are set. But this method is relatively imprecise and spacecraft exploring the Moon don't synchronize the time with each other. The approach works when the Moon hosts a handful of independent missions, but it will be a problem when there are multiple craft working together. Space agencies will also want to track them using satellite navigation, which relies on precise timing signals.

It's not obvious what form a universal lunar time would take. Clocks on Earth and the Moon naturally tick at different speeds, because of the differing gravitational fields of the two bodies. Official lunar time could be based on a clock system designed to synchronize with utc, or it could be independent of Earth time.


Thursday, February 02, 2023

Boston Dynamics Robot Update

"The latest Boston Dynamics robot video is amazing and a bit scary". (Via H.R.)

Skipping Stone Physics

"Study shows heavy stones may give big leaps in water -- plus real-world implications"

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Surveillance Technology Update

"Scientists Are Getting Eerily Good at Using WiFi to 'See' People Through Walls in Detail"

Fooling DARPA Robot

"US Marines Defeat DARPA Robot by Hiding Under a Cardboard Box". (Via G.V.H.)