ReHacked vol. 190: Red meat is not a health risk, The Map of the Universe, AI’s true carbon footprint and more

Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it. --Alan J. Perlis

ReHacked vol. 190: Red meat is not a health risk, The Map of the Universe, AI’s true carbon footprint and more
B612 font family. (C) ENAC Lab, Interactive Informatics

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Eye contact marks the rise and fall of shared attention in conversation | PNAS #psychology

Conversation is the platform where minds meet: the venue where information is shared, ideas cocreated, cultural norms shaped, and social bonds forged. Its frequency and ease belie its complexity. Every conversation weaves a unique shared narrative from the contributions of independent minds, requiring partners to flexibly move into and out of alignment as needed for conversation to both cohere and evolve. How two minds achieve this coordination is poorly understood. Here we test whether eye contact, a common feature of conversation, predicts this coordination by measuring dyadic pupillary synchrony (a corollary of shared attention) during natural conversation. We find that eye contact is positively correlated with synchrony as well as ratings of engagement by conversation partners. However, rather than elicit synchrony, eye contact commences as synchrony peaks and predicts its immediate and subsequent decline until eye contact breaks. This relationship suggests that eye contact signals when shared attention is high. Furthermore, we speculate that eye contact may play a corrective role in disrupting shared attention (reducing synchrony) as needed to facilitate independent contributions to conversation.

Le ministre de l'Éducation nationale ne veut pas de Microsoft Office 365 ni de Google Workspace #french #opensource #software

Le ministère de l'Éducation nationale confirme ne pas vouloir des offres gratuites de Microsoft Office 365 et de Google Workspace dans les écoles. Selon Pap NDiaye, le ministre de l'Éducation nationale, ces deux solutions ne sont ni compatibles avec le RGPD, ni avec la doctrine « cloud au centre ».

Extreme load shedding ahead as Eskom diesel budget runs dry | Fin24 #energy #world

Eskom said on Sunday that it has run out of cash to buy diesel and does not plan to order any more until 1 April 2023.

The consequence of this will be extreme levels of load shedding not yet experienced in SA.

At a state of the system briefing last week, Eskom Chief Operating Officer Jan Oberholzer said that since 1 April, Eskom has spent R12 billion on diesel against an initial budget of R6.1 billion. This was later revised to R11.1 billion.

"If we continue to burn diesel the way we have for the past seven months, the cost would be astronomical. But we do not have the cash to spend. We would be able to pay if the municipalities were paying us," said Oberholzer at the time.

10 KB Club #software #internet

The following websites are members of the 10 KB Club. Click anywhere on a row (except on the website name) to see links to popular Reddit and Hacker News discussions on content belonging to the website. The oldest five popular discussions from each forum have been picked for this list.

“Just a bunch of idiots having fun”—a photo history of the LAN party | Ars Technica #fun #history #gaming

And yet we're both hopelessly wistful for something else entirely: LAN parties. Merritt K so much so that she's writing, compiling, and crowdfunding a book: LAN Party. It's a collection of original amateur photos—many upscaled through AI—and short essays on a period when multiplayer gaming meant desktop towers, energy drinks, and being physically present in some awkward spaces. It's been in the works for more than a year, but she's been thinking about it much longer.

"Some reasons for that are just nostalgia, like, 'Remember when you were a teen, listening to emo music, going to LAN parties and stuff.' But there is another aspect of it, where the Internet that I think a lot of like, Gen X, elder millennial, or mid-millennial-aged people grew up with, is basically falling apart," Merritt K said. "We've felt like this thing that was so important to me, Internet culture and being online and tech and all this stuff—it was so hard to be growing up, and it gave me a way to talk to people and make connections.

Greg Bear (1951-2022) | File 770 #promemoria

Five-time Nebula winner Greg Bear died November 19, a week after heart surgery from which he never awoke. A CT scan showed stroke damage was caused to many parts of the brain by clots that had been hiding in a false lumen of the anterior artery to the brain ever since an earlier surgery eight years ago. After a review of the possible outcomes by the medical team, and following the wishes expressed in his advance directive, Bear was taken off life support and died two hours later.

LATAM Airlines Airbus A320neo hits fire engine on runway during take-off - #aviation #safety

On 18 November, a LATAM Airlines Airbus A320neo (registered CC-BHB) operated domestic flight LA2213 between Lima and Juliaca, Peru. During the take-off roll, however, the aircraft struck a fire engine that crossed the runway.

Red meat is not a health risk. New study slams shoddy research - Big Think #health

Studies have been linking red meat consumption to health problems like heart disease, stroke, and cancer for years, but these invariably suffer from methodological limitations. In an unprecedented effort, health scientists at the University of Washington scrutinized decades of research on red meat consumption and its links to various health outcomes, introducing a new way to assess health risks in the process. They only found weak evidence that unprocessed red meat consumption is linked to colorectal cancer, breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, and ischemic heart disease, and no link at all between eating red meat and stroke.

The Map of the Universe #nature #interesting #astronomy

Faceless Clock Makes You Think Twice About How It Works | Hackaday #fun #interesting

Earth now weighs six ronnagrams: New metric prefixes voted in #physics #science

Say hello to ronnagrams and quettameters: International scientists gathered in France voted on Friday for new metric prefixes to express the world's largest and smallest measurements, prompted by an ever-growing amount of data.

It marks the first time in more than three decades that new prefixes have been added to the International System of Units (SI), the agreed global standard for the metric system.

Joining the ranks of well-known prefixes like kilo and milli are ronna and quetta for the largest numbers—and ronto and quecto for the smallest.

New Records for the Biggest and Smallest AI Computers - IEEE Spectrum #hardware #ai

The machine-learning consortium MLCommons released the latest set of benchmark results last week, offering a glimpse at the capabilities of new chips and old as they tackled executing lightweight AI on the tiniest systems and training neural networks at both server and supercomputer scales. The benchmark tests saw the debut of new chips from Intel and Nvidia as well as speed boosts from software improvements and predictions that new software will play a role in speeding the new chips in the years after their debut.

We’re getting a better idea of AI’s true carbon footprint  | MIT Technology Review #ai #nature

While that may seem like a lot for one model—50 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions is the equivalent of around 60 flights between London and New York—it's significantly less than the emissions associated with other LLMs of the same size. This is because BLOOM was trained on a French supercomputer that is mostly powered by nuclear energy, which doesn’t produce carbon dioxide emissions. Models trained in China, Australia, or some parts of the US, which have energy grids that rely more on fossil fuels, are likely to be more polluting.

After BLOOM was launched, Hugging Face estimated that using the model emitted around 19 kilograms of carbon dioxide per day, which is similar to the emissions produced by driving around 54 miles in an average new car.

By way of comparison, OpenAI’s GPT-3 and Meta’s OPT were estimated to emit more than 500 and 75 metric tons of carbon dioxide, respectively, during training. GPT-3’s vast emissions can be partly explained by the fact that it was trained on older, less efficient hardware. But it is hard to say what the figures are for certain; there is no standardized way to measure carbon dioxide emissions, and these figures are based on external estimates or, in Meta’s case, limited data the company released.

These companies ran an experiment: Pay workers their full salary to work fewer days : Planet Money : NPR #career #economy #society

Reframing the workplace

From the moment the five-day week was adopted as the industry standard, about a century ago, we've been talking about spending less time at work. John Maynard Keynes declared in the early 1930s that technological advancement would bring the work week down to 15 hours within a century. A U.S. Senate subcommittee doubled down on this in 1965, predicting we'd only be working 14 hours by the year 2000.

But, over the last few years, the idea of shortening the work week has been given new impetus by the pandemic, which threw workplaces into disarray. That created a unique opening for reformers like Charlotte Lockhart. "The opportunity we have here is to completely reframe the workplace," she says.

To get companies on board, she is using the holy grail of increased productivity as a lure. That's a particularly tantalizing enticement for companies in the UK, where productivity has languished for more than a decade, and where, she says, workers are on average productive for just three hours a day.

B612 – The font family #design

In 2010, Airbus initiated a research collaboration with ENAC and Université de Toulouse III on a prospective study to define and validate an “Aeronautical Font”: the challenge was to improve the display of information on the cockpit screens, in particular in terms of legibility and comfort of reading, and to optimize the overall homogeneity of the cockpit.

2 years later, Airbus came to find Intactile DESIGN to work on the design of the eight typographic variants of the font. This one, baptized B612 in reference to the imaginary asteroid of the aviator Saint‑Exupéry, benefited from a complete hinting on all the characters.

In 2017, Airbus agreed to publish the font with an open source license (Eclipse Public License) within the Polarsys project, an industry oriented project hosted by the Eclipse foundation.

In December 2018, B612 has been published on Google Fonts with an open source license (OFL) and the source has been put on Github.

Well done: Archaeologists find 780,000-year-old fire-cooked fish | Daily Sabah #history

Fire is thought to have first been mastered by Homo erectus some 1.7 million years ago.

But "because you can control fire for warming, that does not mean you control it for cooking – they could have eaten the fish next to the fire," Zohar said.

Then the human ancestors might have thrown the bones in the fire, said Anais Marrast, an archaeozoologist at France's National Museum of Natural History not involved in the study.

Aerobic Activity can Reduce Risk of Metastatic Cancer by 72% | Tel Aviv University | Tel Aviv University #health

A new study at Tel Aviv University found that aerobic exercise can reduce the risk of metastatic cancer by 72%. According to the researchers, intensity aerobic exercise increases the glucose (sugar) consumption of internal organs, thereby reducing the availability of energy to the tumor.

The study was led by two researchers from TAU's Sackler Faculty of Medicine: Prof. Carmit Levy from the Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry and Dr. Yftach Gepner from the School of Public Health and the Sylvan Adams Sports Institute. The paper was published in the prestigious journal Cancer Research and chosen for the cover of the November 2022 issue

The crypto dominoes in the wake of FTX exchange collapse include a Winklevoss project and BlockFi, among others #blockchain

The big picture: It's a classic case of contagion. That’s when the failure of one institution sets off a rush among customers to redeem their money, which makes the institution's lending and borrowing impossible — ultimately generating a cascade of similar closures from other firms.

The U.S. banking crisis of 1930-31 is perhaps the textbook case of financial contagion (as anyone who's watched "It's a Wonderful Life" knows)

The financial crisis of 2008 — triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers — was a similar episode.

Pakistan's lost city of 40,000 people - BBC Travel #history

I was about an hour outside of the dusty town of Larkana in southern Pakistan at the historical site of Mohenjo-daro. While today only ruins remain, 4,500 years ago this was not only one of the world's earliest cities, but a thriving metropolis featuring highly advanced infrastructures.

Mohenjo-daro – which means "mound of the dead men" in Sindhi – was the largest city of the once-flourishing Indus Valley (also known as Harappan) Civilisation that ruled from north-east Afghanistan to north-west India during the Bronze Age. Believed to have been inhabited by at least 40,000 people, Mohenjo-daro prospered from 2500 to 1700 BCE.

"It was an urban centre that had social, cultural, economic and religious linkages with Mesopotamia and Egypt," explained Irshad Ali Solangi, a local guide who is the third generation of his family to work at Mohenjo-daro.

But compared to the cities of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, which thrived around the same time, few have heard of Mohenjo-daro. By 1700 BCE, it was abandoned, and to this day, no-one is sure exactly why the inhabitants left or where they went.

'Be' is nice. End of story.
Jean-Louis Gassée was born in Paris France in 1944. From ‘68 to ‘74, he worked for Hewlett Packard in Europe. He was in charge of a project to develop the first scientific desktop computer from HP, a…

The BeBox shipped with two PowerPC 603 CPUs clocked at 66MHz. These are 32-bit RISC microprocessors on a 0.5 micron process. They featured a 8KB code cache, and 8KB data cache. Later models shipped with the 603e, which doubled both cache sizes, and bumped the clock to 133MHz. The 603e CPUs were on a 0.35 micron process. The BeBox allowed for eight 72-pin SIMMs which granted a maximum of 256MB of RAM. For expansion, the BeBox’s motherboard had three PCI slots, and it had five ISA slots. Another note on hardware that I feel is important is that this machine’s DAC allowed for 16-bit audio sampled at up to 48kHz; not shocking, but still rather impressive for the time. #software #hardware #history

Divers Accidentally Find a Piece of the Challenger Space Shuttle | Smart News| Smithsonian Magazine #history  #nature

In search of a sunken World War II-era aircraft, a TV documentary crew plunged into the waters off the coast of Florida. Instead, the divers came across a large, flat metal object with square tiles indicative of a spacecraft, partially covered by sand on the seafloor.

The team, which had been filming for the History Channel, soon realized their discovery is one of the largest recovered pieces of NASA’s Challenger Space Shuttle.

“Looking at the images that have been released, it's obviously a piece of the orbiter,” Jennifer Levasseur, a curator at Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, tells NPR’s Elissa Nadworny. “If you go and visit any of the space shuttles, you'll notice that the tiles that protect the vehicle for reentry—those black tiles on the bottom—have a very obvious pattern, just like tiles on a floor.”

Digital Books wear out faster than Physical Books - Internet Archive Blogs #copyrights #content

Ever try to read a physical book passed down in your family from 100 years ago?  Probably worked well. Ever try reading an ebook you paid for 10 years ago?   Probably a different experience. From the leasing business model of mega publishers to physical device evolution to format obsolescence, digital books are fragile and threatened.

For those of us tending libraries of digitized and born-digital books, we know that they need constant maintenance—reprocessing, reformatting, re-invigorating or they will not be readable or read. Fortunately this is what libraries do (if they are not sued to stop it). Publishers try to introduce new ideas into the public sphere. Libraries acquire these and keep them alive for generations to come.

Myocarditis after Covid vaccine: Research on long-term effects underway #health

Miller is one of a very small group of people in the United States who have experienced myocarditis following vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna Covid vaccines based on mRNA technology.

Myocarditis is a condition that has long been linked to a number of viral infections, including influenza, coxsackieviruses, as well as Covid. It has also been observed as an infrequent but worrisome side effect of the mRNA Covid vaccines.

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