ReHacked #163: Voyager Spacecraft Begin to Power Down, Microsoft stops selling emotion-reading tech, World's Biggest Cruise Ship Has No Buyer and more

ReHacked #163: Voyager Spacecraft Begin to Power Down, Microsoft stops selling emotion-reading tech, World's Biggest Cruise Ship Has No Buyer and more
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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Record-Breaking Voyager Spacecraft Begin to Power Down - Scientific American #science #engineering #space #history

If the stars hadn't aligned, two of the most remarkable spacecraft ever launched never would have gotten off the ground. In this case, the stars were actually planets—the four largest in the solar system. Some 60 years ago they were slowly wheeling into an array that had last occurred during the presidency of Thomas Jefferson in the early years of the 19th century. For a while the rare planetary set piece unfolded largely unnoticed. The first person to call attention to it was an aeronautics doctoral student at the California Institute of Technology named Gary Flandro.

Unclutter is a new kind of reader mode. #software #utilities

Directly in your browser, without boring walls of text.

CityEngine: Build a Digital Twin of Your City - GIS Geography #software

CityEngine is a stand-alone desktop application by Esri that allows users to create 3D data models for urban design and city planning.

Traditionally, whenever there was a large planned development in a city, there would be open houses with physical models.

But because of advancements in technology and 3D data models, CityEngine can help visualize proposed projects and streamline its review process.

Not only for cities of the present time, but it also could be for cities of the past and future as well. Let’s take a closer look at some of the capabilities and use cases of this urban planning software package.

Microsoft stops selling emotion-reading tech, limits face recognition | Reuters #privacy #ai

Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) on Tuesday said it would stop selling technology that guesses someone's emotion based on a facial image and would no longer provide unfettered access to facial recognition technology.

The actions reflect efforts by leading cloud providers to rein in sensitive technologies on their own as lawmakers in the United States and Europe continue to weigh comprehensive legal limits.

Since at least last year, Microsoft has been reviewing whether emotion recognition systems are rooted in science.

Scientists unveil bionic robo-fish to remove microplastics from seas | Plastics | The Guardian #science #engineering #futurism

Scientists have designed a tiny robot-fish that is programmed to remove microplastics from seas and oceans by swimming around and adsorbing them on its soft, flexible, self-healing body.

Microplastics are the billions of tiny plastic particles which fragment from the bigger plastic things used every day such as water bottles, car tyres and synthetic T-shirts. They are one of the 21st century’s biggest environmental problems because once they are dispersed into the environment through the breakdown of larger plastics they are very hard to get rid of, making their way into drinking water, produce, and food, harming the environment and animal and human health.

World's Biggest Cruise Ship Has No Buyer, 1st Voyage May Be To Scrapyard #economy

An unfinished mega-liner that was to be one of the world's biggest cruise ships by capacity is sitting in a German shipyard, waiting to be scrapped, because bankruptcy administrators can't find a buyer, according to cruise industry magazine An Bord.

The lower hull of a liner known as Global Dream II, the second global class vessel from insolvent MV Werften shipyard on Germany's Baltic coast, is to be disposed of at scrap price, An Bord reported, citing insolvency administrator Christoph Morgen. Machinery and much of the equipment, which had already been delivered, are to be sold, the German magazine cited Morgen as saying at a press conference on Friday.

Showing off your status and wealth makes you seem less co-operative – Research Digest #psychology #society

People who can afford luxury goods tend to buy them, and to show them off.  “This is unsurprising given the myriad social benefits associated with being perceived as well-off and high status,” note the authors of a new study, led by Shalena Srna at the University of Michigan. But in some situations, there might be downsides to conspicuous consumption. After all, as the team writes: “it conveys a boastful self-interest, which is incompatible, in people’s minds, with pro-sociality”.

So what happens when — as is so often the case — it’s in our interests to work with others? Given the opportunity, do we show off, and signal high status — or do we choose to be more modest? The team’s findings, reported in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Attitudes and Social Cognition, contain some important insights.

Digital Trails: How Bungie Identified a Mass Sender of Fake DMCA Notices * TorrentFreak #copyrights

In response to persons unknown sending large numbers of fake DMCA notices to YouTube while impersonating its anti-piracy partner, Bungie filed a lawsuit in the US seeking millions in damages. At the time the name of the 'Doe' defendant was unknown. This is how a Bungie investigation followed digital breadcrumbs to track down and identify that person by name and physical address.

Destiny 2Earlier this year, Bungie and its enthusiastic Destiny fan community were plunged into chaos.

Here’s Google’s letter saying employees can relocate to states with abortion rights - The Verge #politics #freedom #humanrights

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision on Friday to overturn Roe v. Wade, Google’s chief people officer Fiona Cicconi sent a staff-wide email to employees informing them of Google’s response to the ruling. Among other things, the email highlights that Googlers can “apply for relocation without justification” and that people in charge of the relocation process “will be aware of the situation” in assessing their requests. In an email last August reported by Bloomberg, Google told employees that of 10,000 requests over the prior few months to work remotely or relocate, 85 percent were approved.

FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON - DANIEL KEYES #book #longread #literature

'Blade Runner' at 40: Why It's Still the Greatest Sci-Fi of All-Time #culture #art #history

Based on Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep, Scott’s film created a world so rich, so dirty and wet and worn out, so visually stunning, that imitation was an inevitability. Less gym-bro than The Terminator, less wacky than Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, and less all-out apocalyptic than Mad Max, Blade Runner arguably defined not just 1980s science fiction, but in the forty years since its initial release, sci-fi films in general. From Ghost In The Shell, to Total Recall and Minority Report and even Black Panther, Blade Runner is owed a debt of gratitude.

Ridiculous: Gov’t Contractor Copies Open Source 3D Printing Concept… And Patents It | Techdirt 3copyrights

We’ve been talking about the importance of patent quality, and one of the points made in our podcast discussion, was that many companies felt the unfortunate need to patent something just to avoid having someone else patent it later and create problems. One thing we didn’t really get to discuss about that is that this actually makes it ridiculously difficult for any project that wants to do something innovative and donate it to the world, without patents. Because someone else might just come along and patent it themselves.

Switzerland’s underground freight project gets start date #technology #transportation #futurism

The Cargo sous terrain (CST) project will connect Switzerland’s key hubs starting in 2031. CST aims to take the strain off the road and railway networks, reduce the environmental impact of transport and improve the delivery of goods across the country.

The project, which was launched in 2013, includes a three lane underground tunnel network with automated, driverless electric transport vehicles travelling at 30km an hour operating 24 hours a day. In addition, there will be a rapid overhead roof track will deliver smaller packages.

Reading Ourselves to Death — The New Atlantis #psychology #longread

Imagine you are imprisoned in a room by a despotic regime and allowed contact with the outside world only through a primitive computer. Called a text-only terminal, the computer lets you send and receive as many written messages as you like. It lets you read as many articles as you like. But it can’t display images or videos of any kind, nor play any sound. The only understanding you would have of the reality beyond your four walls — aside from the trays of food slid under the door — comes from the words on your screen.

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