ReHacked #155: I was forced to be a child star, Proton Adds Proton Calendar, Proton Drive, and Proton VPN Encrypted Features, The death of 'mandatory fun' in the office and more

ReHacked #155: I was forced to be a child star, Proton Adds Proton Calendar, Proton Drive, and Proton VPN Encrypted Features, The death of 'mandatory fun' in the office and more
The Andromeda galaxy, our Milky Way's closest neighbor, is the most distant object in the sky that you can see with your unaided eye. Photo: Getty

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yes, i was forced to be a child star. it was never my dream or my idea. – WIL WHEATON dot NET #showbiz #history

I can’t remember specifically when I first said “I just want to be a kid,” but I can still see the late 70s smog, and smell the exhaust all around us as I begged her for what feels like years to stop making me do this, while we sat in traffic on the freeway after school, going to and from auditions, day after day after day. Once, in my teens, I was trying to talk with her about that, trying to understand why she didn’t hear me, and she said “I always let you book out when you wanted to take a break,” which is a weird choice of language if it was all my idea and something I really wanted to do so much. Also, I never once — never once — asked to go back and audition again. But after some period of time, she ALWAYS pressured me to go on auditions again until I gave in.

Ancient Earth globe #nature #history

Interactive Earth history.

Proton Adds Proton Calendar, Proton Drive, and Proton VPN Encrypted Features | WIRED #software #internet #privacy

Since its founding in 2014, ProtonMail has become synonymous with user-friendly encrypted email. Now the company is trying to be synonymous with a whole lot more. On Wednesday morning, it announced that it’s changing its name to, simply, Proton—a nod at its broader ambitions within the universe of online privacy. The company will now offer an “ecosystem” of linked products, all accessed via one paid subscription. Proton subscribers will have access not just to encrypted email, but also an encrypted calendar, file storage platform, and VPN.

Physicists Trace the Rise in Entropy to Quantum Information | Quanta Magazine #nature #physics #science

Classical thermodynamics has only a handful of laws, of which the most fundamental are the first and second. The first says that energy is always conserved; the second law says that heat always flows from hot to cold. More commonly this is expressed in terms of entropy, which must increase overall in any process of change. Entropy is loosely equated with disorder, but the Austrian physicist Ludwig Boltzmann formulated it more rigorously as a quantity related to the total number of microstates a system has: how many equivalent ways its particles can be arranged.

The second law appears to show why change happens in the first place. At the level of individual particles, the classical laws of motion can be reversed in time. But the second law implies that change must happen in a way that increases entropy. This directionality is widely considered to impose an arrow of time. In this view, time seems to flow from past to future because the universe began — for reasons not fully understood or agreed on — in a low-entropy state and is heading toward one of ever higher entropy. The implication is that eventually heat will be spread completely uniformly and there will be no driving force for further change — a depressing prospect that scientists of the mid-19th century called the heat death of the universe.

The death of 'mandatory fun' in the office - BBC Worklife #career

It is a truth universally acknowledged that there’s nothing better than a pizza party, except maybe an ice cream social. Field trips are super fun, too. And you can’t beat a good extra-curricular activity.

They’re the best, that is, if you’re in the third grade. If you’re an adult being forced to attend a team-building exercise, go to a post-work happy hour or celebrate in a conference room with your colleagues lest you be seen as ‘not a team player’, they’re mostly the worst.

For more than two years, a complete shake-up of office culture has effectively banished the forced fun of the pre-pandemic era. Many people have attended some kind of virtual team-building activity or Zoom happy hour, of course. But workers have by and large been spared the mandatory monthly birthday celebrations, afterhours drinks and outings to obstacle courses.

Artificial intelligence is breaking patent law #copyrights

In 2020, a machine-learning algorithm helped researchers to develop a potent antibiotic that works against many pathogens (see Nature; 2020). Artificial intelligence (AI) is also being used to aid vaccine development, drug design, materials discovery, space technology and ship design. Within a few years, numerous inventions could involve AI. This is creating one of the biggest threats patent systems have faced.

Patent law is based on the assumption that inventors are human; it currently struggles to deal with an inventor that is a machine. Courts around the world are wrestling with this problem now as patent applications naming an AI system as the inventor have been lodged in more than 100 countries1. Several groups are conducting public consultations on AI and intellectual property (IP) law, including in the United States, United Kingdom and Europe.

New discovery about distant galaxies: Stars are heavier than we thought – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen #nature

For as long as humans have studied the heavens, how stars look in distant galaxies has been a mystery. In a study published today in The Astrophysical Journal, a team of researchers at the University of Copenhagen’s Niels Bohr Institute is doing away with previous understandings of stars beyond our own galaxy.

Since 1955, it has been assumed that the composition of stars in the universe's other galaxies is similar to that of the hundreds of billions of stars within our own – a mixture of massive, medium mass and low mass stars. But with the help of observations from 140,000 galaxies across the universe and a wide range of advanced models, the team has tested whether the same distribution of stars apparent in the Milky Way applies elsewhere. The answer is no. Stars in distant galaxies are typically more massive than those in our "local neighborhood". The finding has a major impact on what we think we know about the universe.

Big Tech talks up privacy while trying to kill privacy laws • The Register #privacy

Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft often support privacy in public statements, but behind the scenes they've been working through some common organizations to weaken or kill privacy legislation in US states.

That's according to a report this week from news non-profit The Markup, which said the corporations hire lobbyists from the same few groups and law firms to defang or drown state privacy bills.

The report examined 31 states when state legislatures were considering privacy legislation and identified 445 lobbyists and lobbying firms working on behalf of Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft, along with industry groups like TechNet and the State Privacy and Security Coalition.

High speed train between Paris and Berlin could start operating as soon as 2023 | Euronews #economy

French rail operator SNCF and Deutsche Bahn are planning to launch a direct high-speed train between Paris and Berlin at the end of 2023.

The new rail line was announced on Tuesday by the head of the French company, who came to Strasbourg to celebrate 15 years of Franco-German high-speed cooperation.

"We want to launch a TGV Paris-Berlin in December 2023," SNCF CEO Jean-Pierre Farandou told AFP.

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