ReHacked #120: How big was the Tonga eruption, Webb’s Journey to L2 Is Nearly Complete, Google Drive flags file only containing “1” for copyright infringement and more

The lifetime of a structure is no mere anthropomorphic metaphor, for how long a piece of engineering must last can be one of the most important considerations for its design. --Henry Petroski

ReHacked #120: How big was the Tonga eruption, Webb’s Journey to L2 Is Nearly Complete, Google Drive flags file only containing “1” for copyright infringement and more
Tonga’s eruption visualization. (C) Reuters.

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How big was the Tonga eruption? #nature

The explosive eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano may be one of the largest recorded in such detail. The blast was visible from space, with images of the massive ash plume going viral over the following days. But just how big was it?

VW fired senior employee after they raised cyber security concerns | Financial Times #security #economy

A senior Volkswagen employee was dismissed weeks after raising the alarm about alleged cyber security vulnerabilities at the carmakers’ payments arm, which is soon to be majority-owned by JPMorgan.

The manager alerted bosses in September 2021 to concerns that VW’s system in the region was “open to fraud” following an attempted cyber attack, and maintained that $2.6m sitting in the company’s accounts could be stolen, according to documents seen by the Financial Times.

The staff member, who also told superiors that VW could face regulatory action if the vulnerabilities were not addressed, was then fired in October.

Scam Alert: Fake DMCA Takedown for Link Insertion - Stephen Foskett, Pack Rat #internet #security

Be careful out there! Scammers are getting better and better at impersonating legitimate businesses and using scare tactics like the DMCA. If you get a request for a link insertion, even if it looks like a DMCA notice, use caution!

Webb’s Journey to L2 Is Nearly Complete – James Webb Space Telescope #space #engineering #webb

So why send Webb to orbit Sun-Earth L2? Because it is an ideal location for an infrared observatory. At Sun-Earth L2, the Sun and Earth (and Moon, too) are always on one side of space, allowing Webb to keep its telescope optics and instruments perpetually shaded. This enables them to get cold for infrared sensitivity, yet still access nearly half the sky at any given moment for observations. To view any and every point in the sky over the course of time requires merely waiting a few months to travel farther around the Sun and reveal more of the sky that was previously “behind” the Sun.

People no longer believe working hard will lead to a better life, survey shows - Hack - triple j (2020) #economy #society

A growing sense of inequality is undermining trust in both society's institutions and capitalism, according to a long-running global survey.

717 Gigapixel Image of Rembrandt's Nightwatch #art

Militarized Dolphins Protect Almost a Quarter of the US Nuclear Stockpile | #history #nature

Situated just 20 miles from Seattle, Naval Base Kitsap houses America's most powerful and secret deterrents, a weapon that is the first line of defense for U.S. national security: U.S. Navy dolphins.

Since 1967, the Navy has been training dolphins and sea lions (and probably other marine life) for military applications such as mine clearing, force protection and recovery missions. The U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program deployed military dolphins as early as the Vietnam War and as recently as the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

When protecting harbors and ships from mines, as they do at Naval Base Kitsap, the dolphins use their extraordinary biological sonar to detect hazards beneath the surface, whether tethered to the sea floor or buried beneath sediment.

The Great Resignation looks more like The Great Renegotiation : Planet Money : NPR #career #economy

There's been much hubbub in recent months about what's been dubbed "The Great Resignation." The popular phrase refers to the roughly 33 million Americans who have quit their jobs since the spring of 2021. Some — pointing to the difficulty of businesses in recruiting workers and spectacles like the immense popularity of the "Anti-Work" thread on Reddit — have gone as far as to suggest this record-breaking trend is a movement of young, able-bodied Americans rejecting work altogether.

But it's pretty clear that, at least for the vast majority of Americans quitting their jobs, that's not the case. Americans are not en masse rejecting consumerism, moving off the grid, and living off the land. Most still need money. Some of those quitting are older workers deciding to retire early in large part because their finances have been buoyed by surging stock and housing markets. Others are secondary earners who have stayed home because they have had to take care of kids while schools have closed due to COVID-19 — or because, more simply, working face to face during a pandemic sucks.

In the 1800s, This British Isle Was Covered in Groves of 12-Foot-Tall Kale - Gastro Obscura #history #nature

Skyscraper cabbages: That’s how botanist Edgar Anderson described the massive kale endemic to Jersey, the little island off the coast of France. You can almost hear the wonder in his voice as he recalls his visit: “The lower leaves had all been harvested from time to time, as green food for cattle, and the plants had kept on growing until they were well over my head; I really walked in their shade.”

Bitrot – Surfing Complexity #engineering #design

Unfathomed misunderstanding is further revealed by the term “software maintenance”, as a result of which many people continue to believe that programs —and even programming languages themselves— are subject to wear and tear. Your car needs maintenance too, doesn’t it? Famous is the story of the oil company that believed that its PASCAL programs did not last as long as its FORTRAN programs “because PASCAL was not maintained”.

Edsger W. Dijkstra, On the cruelty of really teaching computing science

The history of the end of poverty has just begun - Our World in Data #society #economy

How far away are we from a world in which no one lives on less than $30 a day?

The economic history of today’s richest countries shows that widespread poverty is not inevitable. What needs to happen to achieve the same for all people in the world?

The share in poverty in any country depends on two factors: the average level of income and the level of inequality.

Some countries reduced inequality successfully and thereby reduced poverty. Lower inequality in the future can further reduce poverty. But because the average income in the majority of countries in the world is much lower than $30-poverty-line, strong growth is necessary for global poverty to decline.

Why Agatha Christie could afford a maid and a nanny but not a car #economy #history

In 1919, Ford’s Model T cost  £170—around $12,000 in 2022 dollars. So a car was worth about three months of income for the Christie family—but almost five years of income for their maid!

By modern standards, these numbers seem totally out of whack. An American family today with a household income of $50,000 might have one or even two cars. But they definitely wouldn’t have a live-in maid or nanny. Even if it were legal today to offer someone a job that paid $2,600 per year, nobody would take it.

Economists are revising their views on robots and jobs | The Economist #economy #society

[alternative link]

WHEN THE pandemic first struck, unemployment soared. Not since the Depression had American joblessness surpassed 14%, as it did in April 2020. But fears of a prolonged period of high unemployment did not come to pass. According to the latest available data, for November, the unemployment rate for the OECD club of mostly rich countries was only marginally higher than it was before the pandemic. By now it may even have drawn level. The rich world’s labour-market bounceback is the latest phenomenon provoking economists to look again at a foundational question in the discipline: whether robots help or harm workers.

uBlock Origin filters made easy #privacy #internet #software

Remove low-quality content and useless nags, focus on what matters. Make the web yours again with this collection of community-owned content filters.

A companion to the great  content blocker.

How the Soviets Put a Lander on Venus
Author’s note: You can watch the video below

Searching for Susy Thunder #history #hacking #longread

She was known, back then, as Susan Thunder. For someone in the business of deception, she stood out: she was unusually tall, wide-hipped, with a mane of light blonde hair and a wardrobe of jackets embroidered with band logos, spoils from an adolescence spent as an infamous rock groupie. Her backstage conquests had given her a taste for quaaludes and pharmaceutical-grade cocaine; they’d also given her the ability to sneak in anywhere.

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