ReHacked #121: How Claude Shannon Helped Kick-start ML, The Oldest Animal In The World, Sweden approves plan to bury spent nuclear fuel for 100,000 years and more

ReHacked #121: How Claude Shannon Helped Kick-start ML, The Oldest Animal In The World, Sweden approves plan to bury spent nuclear fuel for 100,000 years and more
Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery explains Allied strategy to King George VI in his command caravan in Holland. 1944. Photo credit: Imperial War Museums / Library of Congress / Office of War Information

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How Claude Shannon Helped Kick-start Machine Learning - IEEE Spectrum #history #computerscience

Shannon is best known for establishing the field of information theory. In a 1948 paper, one of the greatest in the history of engineering, he came up with a way of measuring the information content of a signal and calculating the maximum rate at which information could be reliably transmitted over any sort of communication channel. The article, titled “A Mathematical Theory of Communication,” describes the basis for all modern communications, including the wireless Internet on your smartphone and even an analog voice signal on a twisted-pair telephone landline. In 1966, the IEEE gave him its highest award, the Medal of Honor, for that work.

If information theory had been Shannon’s only accomplishment, it would have been enough to secure his place in the pantheon.

Jonathan the 190-Year-Old Tortoise Was Photographed in 1886 and Today | PetaPixel #nature

Jonathan is a giant Seychelles tortoise who arrived at St. Helena by ship in 1882. A letter in the island’s records states that the tortoise was a gift to St. Helena from British colonial administrator Sir William Grey-Wilson, who later became the island’s governor in 1887.

“Jonathan was fully grown at that time [of arriving at St. Helena], which would be at least 50 years old, so his hatching year would have been about 1832,” says Teeny Lucy of the St. Helena SPCA. “He is the oldest land animal in the world — [there are] many older [animals] in the ocean!”

Sweden approves plan to bury spent nuclear fuel for 100,000 years | Nasdaq #economy #technology

What to do with nuclear waste has been a major headache since the world's first nuclear plants came on line in the 1950s and 1960s. The International Atomic Energy Agency estimates that there is around 370,000 tonnes of highly radioactive, spent nuclear fuel in temporary storage around the globe.

"Our generation must take responsibility for nuclear waste. This is the result of 40 years of research and it will be safe for 100,000 years," Environment Minister Annika Strandhall told reporters at a news conference.

"The solution for the final storage of spent nuclear fuel - through that, we ensure that we can use our current nuclear power as a part of the transition to becoming the world's first fossil-free, developed nation."

Mysterious object unlike anything astronomers have seen before - ICRAR #astronomy #space #nature

“This object was appearing and disappearing over a few hours during our observations,” she said.

“That was completely unexpected. It was kind of spooky for an astronomer because there’s nothing known in the sky that does that.

“And it’s really quite close to us—about 4000 lightyears away. It’s in our galactic backyard.”

Ottawa study finds space travel destroys red blood cells | Ottawa Citizen #health

Published in the journal Nature Medicine , the study followed 14 astronauts and found they all suffered “space anemia” throughout six-month missions to the International Space Station.

Previously, it was believed that space anemia was a temporary condition and that astronauts’ bodies adjusted to it after a few weeks in microgravity.

But the Ottawa-led study discovered the phenomenon is sustained throughout the full duration of an astronaut’s space travel.

Researchers found astronauts were destroying three million red blood cells every second while in space: 54 per cent more than on Earth. Results were the same for the 11 male and three female astronauts in the study.

An old photo of a very large BBS #hardware #history

Rare color photos from the Second World War, 1941-1945 - Rare Historical Photos #history

These are rarely seen color pictures from the Second World War featured in the book “The Second World War in Colour” by the Imperial War Museum. Many are being published for the first time and shed light behind the scenes of the conflict.

Color film was quite rare in World War II. The majority of the photos taken during the war were in black and white, and color photography as a whole was still a relatively new technique. It’s this fact that makes these photos so mesmerizing and amazing.

Suicide hotline shares data with for-profit spinoff, raising ethical questions - POLITICO #internet #privacy

Crisis Text Line is one of the world’s most prominent mental health support lines, a tech-driven nonprofit that uses big data and artificial intelligence to help people cope with traumas such as self-harm, emotional abuse and thoughts of suicide.

But the data the charity collects from its online text conversations with people in their darkest moments does not end there: The organization’s for-profit spinoff uses a sliced and repackaged version of that information to create and market customer service software.

Crisis Text Line says any data it shares with that company,, has been wholly “anonymized,” stripped of any details that could be used to identify people who contacted the helpline in distress. Both entities say their goal is to improve the world — in Loris’ case, by making “customer support more human, empathetic, and scalable.”

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Robot successfully performs keyhole surgery on pigs without human help | Robots | The Guardian #technology #health #futurism

For years, the world of medicine has been steadily advancing the art of robot-assisted procedures, enabling doctors to enhance their technique inside the operating theatre.

Now US researchers say a robot has successfully performed keyhole surgery on pigs all on its own – without the guiding hand of a human. Furthermore, they add, the robot surgeon produced “significantly better” results than humans.

The breakthrough is another step towards the day when fully automated surgery can be performed on patients.

Autonomous battery-powered rail cars could steal shipments from truckers | Ars Technica #technology #economy #futurism

“We think our platoon sizes are ideally between ten and 50 cars,” Matt Soule, CEO of Parallel Systems, told Ars. “With ten, you’re sharing the aerodynamic load over multiple cars, and the benefits of that kind of asymptote out around ten cars. But on the business case side, in terms of serving the volumes that might be there, we think moving in platoons of up to 50 is the max.”

By modern standards, a 50-car train is pretty short. “Trains have always been long, but they’ve gotten longer in recent years because you get really good unit economics when you do that,” Soule said. “The problem now is that you have the three-mile-long train. Where do you park a train that big? And the answer is 'not that many places.'”

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