ReHacked #161: Rarely Seen Paintings by J.R.R. Tolkien, After the Higgs, physicists face the nightmare of finding nothing, Japan makes 'online insults' punishable and more

“The internet is broken because the internet is a business.” --B.Tarnoff

ReHacked #161: Rarely Seen Paintings by J.R.R. Tolkien, After the Higgs, physicists face the nightmare of finding nothing, Japan makes 'online insults' punishable and more
J.R.R. Tolkien, Conversation With Smaug, July 1937 Courtesy of the Tolkien Estate / © The Tolkien Estate Limited

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Ten years after the Higgs, physicists face the nightmare of finding nothing else | Science | AAAS #science

A decade ago, particle physicists thrilled the world. On 4 July 2012, 6000 researchers working with the world’s biggest atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European particle physics laboratory, CERN, announced they had discovered the Higgs boson, a massive, fleeting particle key to their abstruse explanation of how other fundamental particles get their mass. The discovery fulfilled a 45-year-old prediction, completed a theory called the standard model, and thrust physicists into the spotlight.

Then came a long hangover. Before the 27-kilometer-long ring-shaped LHC started to take data in 2010, physicists fretted that it might produce the Higgs and nothing else, leaving no clue to what lies beyond the standard model. So far, that nightmare scenario is coming true. “It’s a bit disappointing,” allows Barry Barish, a physicist at the California Institute of Technology. “I thought we would discover supersymmetry,” the leading extension of the standard model.

Rarely Seen Paintings by J.R.R. Tolkien Portray a Lush 'Lord of the Rings' Landscape | Smart News| Smithsonian Magazine #art #culture #history

In his high-fantasy novels, British author J.R.R. Tolkien combined his academic training in languages and his love of storytelling to create Middle-earth, a fictional continent populated by wizards, elves, orcs, dragons, hobbits, talking trees and other mythical creatures.

But Middle-earth didn’t just live in Tolkien’s head: The Lord of the Rings author was also a skilled artist who sketched, painted and mapped the worlds that he was imagining as he wrote about them. Many of the original illustrations in the Hobbit were created by Tolkien himself.

Japan makes 'online insults' punishable by one year in prison in wake of reality TV star's death - State Time #internet #society

Japan's parliament on Monday passed legislation making "online insults" punishable by imprisonment amid rising public concern over cyberbullying sparked by the suicide of a reality television star who had faced social media abuse.

Under the amendment to the country's penal code -- set to take effect later this summer -- offenders convicted of online insults can be jailed for up to one year, or fined 300,000 yen (about $2,200).

It's a significant increase from the existing punishments of detention for fewer than 30 days and a fine of up to 10,000 yen ($75).

The bill proved controversial in the country, with opponents arguing it could impede free speech and criticism of those in power. However, supporters said the tougher legislation was needed to crack down on cyberbullying and online harassment.

Julian Assange can be extradited, says UK home secretary - BBC News #world

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s extradition to the US has been approved by UK Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Mr Assange has 14 days to appeal over the decision, the Home Office said.

It said the courts found extradition would not be "incompatible with his human rights" and that while in the US "he will be treated appropriately".

Mr Assange is wanted by the American authorities over documents leaked in 2010 and 2011, which the US says broke the law and endangered lives.

The Wikileaks documents related to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

The Privatized Internet Has Failed Us #internet #longread

The internet has long been surrounded by a libertarian idealism, despite always failing to deliver on those ambitions, and many of the ideas for a better internet take on a preference for decentralization. Since Tarnoff relies on existing ideas to outline how a deprivatized internet could function, his vision can also be seen as taking on some of those qualities. Yet in his discussion of community networks, he notes that decentralization isn’t an inherent good, as it can be positioned by some digital rights activists and tech libertarians.

Japan's NTT to begin remote work as norm for 30,000 employees in July #career #economy

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. will in July begin remote work as its new norm for around 30,000 of its domestic employees, treating attendance as a business trip and allowing for work and commute from anywhere in Japan, even by air, a source familiar with the matter said Saturday.

The telecom giant will have no limit set for transportation expenses and will pay for accommodations when employees commute to work after the company, like many other firms, has introduced different working styles as part of measures against the coronavirus pandemic, the source said.

How to slow down properly – International Institute of Not Doing Much #psychology #career

The Brain Has a ‘Low-Power Mode’ That Blunts Our Senses | Quanta Magazine #nature #psychology

When our phones and computers run out of power, their glowing screens go dark and they die a sort of digital death. But switch them to low-power mode to conserve energy, and they cut expendable operations to keep basic processes humming along until their batteries can be recharged.

Our energy-intensive brain needs to keep its lights on too. Brain cells depend primarily on steady deliveries of the sugar glucose, which they convert to adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to fuel their information processing. When we’re a little hungry, our brain usually doesn’t change its energy consumption much. But given that humans and other animals have historically faced the threat of long periods of starvation, sometimes seasonally, scientists have wondered whether brains might have their own kind of low-power mode for emergencies.

About Bunny Fonts | Faster & GDPR friendly Fonts #software #privacy

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With a zero-tracking and no-logging policy, Bunny Fonts helps you stay fully GDPR compliant and puts your user's personal data into their own hands. Additionally, you can enjoy lightning-fast load times thanks to's global CDN network to help improve SEO and deliver a better user experience.

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