Rehacked #116: Study Finds Laughter in 65 Species, from Rats to Cows, Google Had Secret Project to ‘Convince’ Employees ‘That Unions Suck’, US surgeons transplant pig heart into human patient and more

When we laugh, we are often providing information to others that we are having fun and also inviting others to join. --Sasha Winkler

Rehacked #116: Study Finds Laughter in 65 Species, from Rats to Cows, Google Had Secret Project to ‘Convince’ Employees ‘That Unions Suck’, US surgeons transplant pig heart into human patient and more
Microsoft engineer Branden Cole disassembles the Surface Laptop SE step-by-step. (Microsoft/Youtube).

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Animals Laugh Too: UCLA Study Finds Laughter in 65 Species, from Rats to Cows | Open Culture #nature

Every pet owner knows that animals love to play, but laughter seems reserved for humans, a few apes, and maybe a few birds good at mimicking humans and apes. As it turns out, according to a new article published in the journal Bioacoustics, laughter has been “documented in at least 65 species,” Jessica Wolf writes at UCLA Newsroom. “That list includes a variety of primates, domestic cows and dogs, foxes, seals, and mongooses, as well as three bird species, including parakeets and Australian magpies.” This is a far cry from just a few years ago when apes and rats were the “only known animals to get the giggles,” as Liz Langley wrote at National Geographic in 2015.

Google Had Secret Project to ‘Convince’ Employees ‘That Unions Suck’ #politics #economy #bigcorp

A National Labor Relations Board ruling sheds light on a highly secret anti-union campaign at Google, that a top executive explicitly described as an initiative to “convince [employees] that unions suck."

The campaign was called Project Vivian, and ran at Google between late 2018 and early 2020 to combat employee activism and union organizing efforts at the company, according to court documents.

In 1st, US surgeons transplant pig heart into human patient | AP News #science #health

In a medical first, doctors transplanted a pig heart into a patient in a last-ditch effort to save his life and a Maryland hospital said Monday that he’s doing well three days after the highly experimental surgery.

While it’s too soon to know if the operation really will work, it marks a step in the decades-long quest to one day use animal organs for life-saving transplants. Doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center say the transplant showed that a heart from a genetically modified animal can function in the human body without immediate rejection.

Danish intelligence chief held over suspected information leaks -media reports [original link] #privacy

The head of Denmark's foreign intelligence unit, Lars Findsen, has been remanded in custody over his involvement in a case of "highly classified" information leaks, public broadcaster DR reported on Monday.

Denmark's two intelligence services have been thrown into disarray since four current and former employees were detained in December over allegations of leaking highly classified information, a case that could bruise the agencies' reputation abroad.

Deep Purple's Ian Paice And Meshuggah's Tomas Haake Get Ancient Fossils Named After Them - #culture #nature

DEEP PURPLE's Ian Paice and MESHUGGAH's Tomas Haake are the latest hard rock and heavy metal musicians to get ancient fossils named after them. Ophiopetagno Paicei and Muldaster Haakei are two fossils of extinct brittle stars retrieved from 428-million-year-old rocks from the Swedish island of Gotland.

"Analyzing fossils the size of a dust grain and delving deeply into complex evolutionary patterns can be mind-wrecking," explains Dr. Ben Thuy from the Natural History Museum Luxembourg, lead author of the study. "The music of DEEP PURPLE and MESHUGGAH really helped us blow off steam, renew inspiration and calm our minds."

LastPass appears to be holding users' passwords hostage alongside more expensive pricing plans | AlternativeTo #security #software #copyrights #privacy

LastPass is likely knowingly restricting users from exporting their passwords while putting their new pricing plan into effect. This makes the user have to choose between paying an increased price for LastPass or losing access to all of their online accounts. If this is true, they are in major violation of Article 20 of the GDPR.

REPORT Lufthansa group confirmed that 18,000 flights had been flown empty to keep airport slots - AIRLIVE #economy

The airline’s parent company, Lufthansa Group, confirmed that 18,000 flights had been flown empty, including 3,000 Brussels Airlines services, according to a report in The Bulletin.

EU rules require that airlines operate a certain percentage of scheduled flights to keep their slots at major airports.

Under these “use it or lose it” regulations, prior to the pandemic carriers had to utilise at least 80pc of their scheduled take-off and landing slots.

NASA Says Webb’s Excess Fuel Likely to Extend its Lifetime Expectations – James Webb Space Telescope #science #engineering #space

After a successful launch of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Dec. 25, and completion of two mid-course correction maneuvers, the Webb team has analyzed its initial trajectory and determined the observatory should have enough propellant to allow support of science operations in orbit for significantly more than a 10-year science lifetime.  (The minimum baseline for the mission is five years.)

The analysis shows that less propellant than originally planned for is needed to correct Webb’s  trajectory toward its final orbit around the second Lagrange point known as L2, a point of gravitational balance on the far side of Earth away from the Sun. Consequently, Webb will have much more than the baseline estimate of propellant – though many factors could ultimately affect Webb’s duration of operation.

US grounded planes as a 'precaution' after a North Korean missile launch – KION546 #security #politics

An unusual ground stop was issued to some pilots for a short period of time following a North American Aerospace Defense Command alert of a launch of a North Korean missile, a US official said Tuesday.

The official says it was not a national ground stop and may have been issued by a regional air traffic control facility.

“No warning was issued by NORAD HQ,” regarding a potential threat to the US, according to Captain Pamela Kunze, the chief NORAD spokesperson.

The Federal Aviation Administration, responsible for the nation’s air traffic control system, said the ground stop was to err on the side of safety.

Google Is Intentionally Making Its Products Worse for Users. The Reason Might Surprise You | #bigcorp #copyrights

Last week, the International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that Google infringed on five patents held by Sonos, related to creating and controlling speaker groups. The ITC entered an order that would have restricted the importation and sale of a variety of the company's Nest smart speakers.

Sonos, as one might expect, declared it a total victory because its patents were affirmed as valid, and the ITC agreed that Google had stolen its technology for use in its own products. The company was hoping Google would pay it a royalty for the infringing technology.

It turns out that it might not be such a victory after all--for anyone involved. That's because, instead of paying Sonos a royalty, Google decided it would simply send out a software update to the products in question to remove the capabilities that are covered by the patents.

Microsoft posts its own teardown and repair video for the Surface Laptop SE | Ars Technica #hardware

Usually, when you want to see a step-by-step teardown video for a Surface device, you need to go to a third-party outfit like iFixit. But today, Microsoft's Surface YouTube channel posted its own teardown video for the cheap, education-focused Surface Laptop SE. In the video, a Microsoft engineer completely disassembles the laptop (with iFixit tools, no less) while describing each step as he goes.

Microsoft's Surface lineup was infamously difficult to repair for years, thanks to the extensive use of glued- and soldered-down components. This has started to shift in recent years, as Microsoft has added user-replaceable SSDs and made other tweaks to make its machines easier to take apart and put back together. Repairability is a selling point for the Surface Laptop SE in particular because the laptop is being marketed to schools, where laptops can be dropped, spilled on, or otherwise abused by kids who may or may not know better.

Lawsuit aiming to break up Facebook group Meta can go ahead, US court rules | Meta | The Guardian #bigcorp #socialmedia #internet

The US competition watchdog can proceed with a breakup lawsuit against Facebook’s owner, a federal judge has ruled.

Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta, the parent of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, had asked a court to dismiss an antitrust complaint brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for the second time. However, Judge James Boasberg said on Tuesday that the FTC’s revised lawsuit should be allowed to proceed.

“Ultimately, whether the FTC will be able to prove its case and prevail at summary judgment and trial is anyone’s guess. The court declines to engage in such speculation and simply concludes that at this motion-to-dismiss stage, where the FTC’s allegations are treated as true, the agency has stated a plausible claim for relief,” wrote Boasberg, of the US District Court for the District of Columbia.

Goldman Sachs just made a record-setting investment in… | Canary Media #technology #futurism

An iconoclastic Canadian startup just raised a landmark investment from Goldman Sachs to build massive storage for clean energy.

Hydrostor stores surplus electricity by compressing air into underground caverns. It updates a long-standing technology that never took off for electrical storage. Hydrostor thinks the tweaks it has made will allow underground storage to work in more places — just as grids increasingly need help turning wind and solar production into reliable 24/7 electricity.

People behave more sadistically when they’re bored – Research Digest #psychology

Stefan Pfattheicher at Aarhus University and colleagues report a total of 9 studies in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Interpersonal Relations and Group Processes. In the first, 1,780 people from the US, Germany and Denmark completed personality assessments and scales that measured proneness to boredom in everyday life and sadistic tendencies. They indicated how much they agreed with statements including ‘Many things I have to do are monotonous and repetitive’ and ‘I often find myself at “loose ends”, not knowing what to do’. And they reported on whether they’d been “purposely mean” to people in high school, and enjoyed hurting or humiliating other people, for example. The results revealed that more everyday boredom was associated with more sadism.

The Technium: Amish Hackers #culture #society #history

Like all legends, the Amish myth is based on some facts. The Amish, particular the Old Order Amish — the stereotypical Amish depicted on calendars – really are slow to adopt new things. In contemporary society our default is set to say “yes” to new things, and in Old Order Amish societies the default is set to “no.” When new things come around, the Amish automatically start by refusing them.  Thus many Old Order Amish have never said yes to automobiles, a policy established when automobiles were new. Instead, they travel around in a buggy hauled by a horse. Some orders require the buggy to be an open carriage (so riders – teenagers, say – are not tempted with a private place to fool around); others will permit closed carriages. Some orders allow tractors on the farm, if the tractors have steel wheels; that way a tractor can’t be “cheated” to drive on the road like a car. Some groups allow farmers to power their combine or threshers with diesel engines, if the engine only drives the threshers but is not self-propelled, so the whole smoking, noisy contraption is pulled by horses. Some sects allow cars, if they are painted entirely black (no chrome) to ease the temptation to upgrade to the latest model.

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