ReHacked #83: Sir Clive Sinclair dies aged 81, Saudi Arabia's Camel Site Predates Stonehenge, SpaceX's first civilian mission Inspiration4 and more

Any observed statistical regularity will tend to collapse once pressure is placed upon it for control purposes. Ch. Goodhart

ReHacked #83: Sir Clive Sinclair dies aged 81, Saudi Arabia's Camel Site Predates Stonehenge, SpaceX's first civilian mission Inspiration4 and more
Sir Clive Sinclair, holding his ZX Spectrum. (Image Credit: Dick Barnatt/Getty Images)

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Home computing pioneer Sir Clive Sinclair dies aged 81 | Clive Sinclair | The Guardian #history #technology #promemoria

Sir Clive Sinclair, the inventor and entrepreneur who was instrumental in bringing home computers to the masses, has died at the age of 81.

His daughter, Belinda, said he died at home in London on Thursday morning after a long illness. Sinclair invented the pocket calculator but was best known for popularising the home computer, bringing it to British high-street stores at relatively affordable prices.

Reversing Sinclair's amazing 1974 calculator hack - half the ROM of the HP-35 #history #engineering

In a hotel room in Texas, Clive Sinclair had a big problem. He wanted to sell a cheap scientific calculator that would grab the market from expensive calculators such as the popular HP-35. Hewlett-Packard had taken two years, 20 engineers, and a million dollars to design the HP-35, which used 5 complex chips and sold for $395. Sinclair's partnership with calculator manufacturer Bowmar had gone nowhere. Now Texas Instruments offered him an inexpensive calculator chip that could barely do four-function math. Could he use this chip to build a $100 scientific calculator?

Texas Instruments' engineers said this was impossible - their chip only had 3 storage registers, no subroutine calls, and no storage for constants such as π. The ROM storage in the calculator held only 320 instructions, just enough for basic arithmetic. How could they possibly squeeze any scientific functions into this chip?

The new warrant: how US police mine Google for your location and search history | US policing | The Guardian #privacy

It was a routine bike ride around the neighborhood that landed Zachary McCoy in the crosshairs of the Gainesville, Florida, police department.

In January 2020, an alarming email from Google landed in McCoy’s inbox. Police were requesting his user data, the company told him, and McCoy had seven days to go to court and block its release.

McCoy later found out the request was part of an investigation into the burglary of a nearby home the year before. The evidence that cast him as a suspect was his location during his bike ride – information the police obtained from Google through what is called a geofence warrant. For simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time, McCoy was being investigated and, as a result, his Google data was at risk of being handed over to the police.

Windows 11: Just say no | Computerworld #software #opinion

SpaceX Inspiration4 mission splashes down in first Atlantic Ocean landing - CNET

Saudi Arabia's Camel Site Predates Stonehenge | Smart News | Smithsonian Magazine #hature #history

When researchers in northern Saudi Arabia found a series of life-size camel sculptures in 2018, they estimated that the artworks dated back some 2,000 years. Now, a new study suggests that this proposed timeframe was off by as much as 6,000 years.

The findings, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, suggest that the so-called Camel Site actually dates to between 7,000 and 8,000 years ago. As Arab News reports, this timeline would likely make the sculptures the world’s oldest surviving large-scale, three-dimensional animal reliefs. In contrast, Egypt’s Pyramids of Giza are 4,500 years old, while England’s Stonehenge was built about 5,000 years ago.

China prepares to test thorium-fuelled nuclear reactor #engineering #technology

Scientists are excited about an experimental nuclear reactor using thorium as fuel, which is about to begin tests in China. Although this radioactive element has been trialled in reactors before, experts say that China is the first to have a shot at commercializing the technology.

The reactor is unusual in that it has molten salts circulating inside it instead of water. It has the potential to produce nuclear energy that is relatively safe and cheap, while also generating a much smaller amount of very long-lived radioactive waste than conventional reactors.

Construction of the experimental thorium reactor in Wuwei, on the outskirts of the Gobi Desert, was due to be completed by the end of August — with trial runs scheduled for this month, according to the government of Gansu province.

Treasury Department Seeks to Track Financial Transactions of Personal Bank Accounts Over $600 - Foundation for Economic Education #privacy

In May, the Treasury Department released the Biden administration’s revenue proposals for fiscal year 2022. One aspect of this document that has gone under-reported is the administration's new plan for reporting requirements for financial institutions.

The document is unequivocal about the administration’s goal for financial reporting, stating, “this proposal would create a comprehensive financial account information reporting regime.”

The Biden administration’s goal here is to increase tax revenue by making sure no income avoids detection. How will the administration do this? It plans to leverage financial institutions like banks.

“[T]his requirement would apply to all business and personal accounts from financial institutions,” the proposal reads, “including bank, loan, and investment accounts, with the exception of accounts below a low de minimis gross flow threshold of $600 or fair market value of $600.”

Goodhart's law - Wikipedia #economy #science

Any observed statistical regularity will tend to collapse once pressure is placed upon it for control purposes.

A Single Fire Killed At Least 10% Of The World's Giant Sequoias, Study Says #nature #disasters

At least a tenth of the world's mature giant sequoia trees were destroyed by a single California wildfire that tore through the southern Sierra Nevada last year, according to a draft report prepared by scientists with the National Park Service.

The Visalia Times-Delta newspaper obtained a copy of the report that describes catastrophic destruction from the Castle Fire, which charred 273 square miles (707 square km) of timber in Sequoia National Park.

Researchers used satellite imagery and modeling from previous fires to determine that between 7,500 and 10,000 of the towering species perished in the fire. That equates to 10% to 14% of the world's mature giant sequoia population, the newspaper said.

Berlin buys thousands of apartments from corporate landlords - ThinkPol #economy #politics #cities

Berlin's city government said Friday it is buying some 14,750 apartments from two large corporate landlords for 2.46 billion euros ($2.9 billion) — a deal announced a week before local and national elections as the German capital tries to expand the supply of publicly owned accommodation.

The deal with Vonovia and Deutsche Wohnen, which also includes about 450 shops and follows months of negotiations, involves both companies selling about 10% of their property in Berlin to state-owned property companies. It will bring the number of government-owned apartments in Berlin to about 355,000 — about a fifth of the 1.67 million rental apartments in the city.

GIT PURR! Git Commands Explained with Cats! – GirlieMac! Blog #programming #learning #link

Alexa leaks your private wishlists – Terence Eden’s Blog #privacy #link

Why Does No One Ever Talk About Sweden Anymore? - by IM - Unmasked #health #covid

Sweden now ranks 40th. Eleven months later, they went from 12th to 40th. Peru, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Paraguay, Belgium, Italy, Mexico, Croatia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Poland, Chile, Spain, Romania, Uruguay, Portugal, France, South Africa all rank ahead of Sweden. Nearly every one of them has tried masks and lockdowns and to this point it’s resulted in a “net failure” in terms of “death and suffering” compared to Sweden.
Why Does No One Ever Talk About Sweden Anymore?
One of the most consistently repeated trends of COVID has been the premature declarations of victory from areas with a perceived level of “success” in “controlling” the pandemic. It’s happened in countries all over the world — Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Mongolia — just to name a few examples. They all have been praised for their ability to “cont…

Big gap between Pfizer, Moderna vaccines seen for preventing COVID-19 hospitalizations | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette #health #covid

Data collected from 18 states between March and August suggest the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine reduces the risk of being hospitalized with COVID-19 by 91% in the first four months after receiving the second dose. Beyond 120 days, however, that vaccine efficacy drops to 77%.

Meanwhile, Moderna’s vaccine was 93% effective at reducing the short-term risk of COVID-19 hospitalization and remained 92% effective after 120 days.

Take back your privacy with Dot Browser, the privacy-conscious web browser that protects you from being tracked and monitored online. #software #privacy

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Dot Browser is a privacy-conscious web browser with smarts built-in for protection against trackers and advertisments online.

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