ReHacked vol. 203: A brief history of random numbers, Switzerland will vote on keeping banknotes and coins forever, How to design a sailing ship for the 21st century and more

Cropping tools like those in Google Docs allow viewers to see the full, original images. --N.Mazurov

ReHacked vol. 203: A brief history of random numbers, Switzerland will vote on keeping banknotes and coins forever, How to design a sailing ship for the 21st century and more
Shadows do not continue from the floor up the wall on the right. Piero della Francesca, Polittico di Sant’Antonio (detail), 1460–1470. Perugia, Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria. Image credit: © Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria.

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Silurian hypothesis #nature #history #philosophy

The Silurian hypothesis is a thought experiment[1] which assesses modern science's ability to detect evidence of a prior advanced civilization, perhaps several million years ago.

The idea was presented in a 2018 paper by Adam Frank, an astrophysicist at the University of Rochester, and Gavin Schmidt, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Frank and Schmidt imagined an advanced civilization before humans and pondered whether it would "be possible to detect an industrial civilization in the geological record". They argue as early as the Carboniferous era (~350 million years ago) "there has been sufficient fossil carbon to fuel an industrial civilization comparable with our own". However, they also wrote: "While we strongly doubt that any previous industrial civilization existed before our own, asking the question in a formal way that articulates explicitly what evidence for such a civilization might look like raises its own useful questions related both to astrobiology and to Anthropocene studies."[2] The term "Silurian hypothesis" was inspired by the fictional species called the Silurians from the British television series Doctor Who.

A brief history of random numbers #learning

Cashless society? Not in Switzerland where people will vote on keeping banknotes and coins forever | Euronews #economy #society

Swiss citizens will get the chance to try to ensure their economy never becomes cashless, a pressure group said, after collecting enough signatures on Monday to trigger a popular vote on the issue.

The Free Switzerland Movement (FBS) says cash is playing a shrinking role in many economies, as electronic payments become the default for transactions in increasingly digitised societies, making it easier for the state to monitor its citizens' actions.

It wants a clause added to Switzerland's currency law, which governs how the central bank and government manage the money supply, stipulating that a "sufficient quantity" of banknotes or coins must always remain in circulation.

Mozilla solves the Manifest V3 puzzle to save ad blockers from Chromapocalypse #software #privacy

Mozilla has made good on its promise to implement Google’s new extension platform, Manifest V3, in a way that does not compromise the functionality of ad blockers. The new version of Firefox, which began rolling out last month, will ensure that users still have access to popular privacy-preserving tools, most notably content-blocking extensions.

On the one hand, by implementing Manifest V3 on its own terms, Mozilla saves developers who are switching to the new platform from having to support two different versions of their extensions (for Google Chrome and Firefox) at the same time. On the other hand, it allows content-blocking extensions that were originally built using the less restrictive Manifest V2 to continue working at full tilt.

Leonardo da Vinci's Forgotten Experiments Explored Gravity as a Form of Acceleration | #science #history

Da Vinci, who lived from 1452 to 1519, was well ahead of the curve in exploring these concepts. It wasn't until 1604 that Galileo Galilei would theorize that the distance covered by a falling object was proportional to the square of time elapsed and not until the late 17th century that Sir Isaac Newton would expand on that to develop a law of universal gravitation, describing how objects are attracted to one another. Da Vinci's primary hurdle was being limited by the tools at his disposal. For example, he lacked a means of precisely measuring time as objects fell.

Da Vinci's experiments were first spotted by Mory Gharib, the Hans W. Liepmann Professor of Aeronautics and Medical Engineering, in the Codex Arundel, a collection of papers written by da Vinci that cover science, art, and personal topics. In early 2017, Gharib was exploring da Vinci's techniques of flow visualization to discuss with students he was teaching in a graduate course when he noticed a series of sketches showing triangles generated by sand-like particles pouring out from a jar in the newly released Codex Arundel, which can be viewed online courtesy of the British Library.

1st UK child to receive gene therapy for fatal genetic disorder is now 'happy and healthy' | Live Science #health #science

A 19-month-old girl named Teddi recently became the first child in the U.K. outside a clinical trial to receive a new gene therapy for metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD), a fatal genetic disorder, the National Health Service (NHS) announced(opens in new tab).

Roughly six months out from treatment, "Teddi is a happy and healthy toddler showing no signs of the devastating disease she was born with," the NHS statement reads.

The genetic disorder MLD disrupts cells' ability to break down sulfatides, a fatty material used to insulate the wiring that runs through the white matter of the brain and much of the nervous system beyond the brain. Sulfatide buildup destroys brain and nerve cells, resulting in cognitive problems, a loss of motor control and sensation, seizures, paralysis and blindness, according to the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center(opens in new tab). Eventually, the disorder leads to death.

VISTA X-62 Advancing Autonomy and Changing the Face of Air Power - Feb 13, 2023 #ai #aviation #futurism

The Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) VISTA X-62A, a one-of-a-kind training aircraft, was flown by an artificial intelligence agent for more than 17 hours recently, representing the first time AI engaged on a tactical aircraft.

VISTA, short for Variable In-flight Simulation Test Aircraft, is changing the face of air power at the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School (USAF TPS) at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

VISTA is a one-of-a-kind training airplane developed by Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® in collaboration with Calspan Corporation for the USAF TPS. Built on open systems architecture, VISTA is fitted with software that allows it to mimic the performance characteristics of other aircraft.

Deepfake Detection: A Systematic Literature Review | IEEE Journals & Magazine | IEEE Xplore #deepfake

Over the last few decades, rapid progress in AI, machine learning, and deep learning has resulted in new techniques and various tools for manipulating multimedia. Though the technology has been mostly used in legitimate applications such as for entertainment and education, etc., malicious users have also exploited them for unlawful or nefarious purposes. For example, high-quality and realistic fake videos, images, or audios have been created to spread misinformation and propaganda, foment political discord and hate, or even harass and blackmail people. The manipulated, high-quality and realistic videos have become known recently as Deepfake. Various approaches have since been described in the literature to deal with the problems raised by Deepfake. To provide an updated overview of the research works in Deepfake detection, we conduct a systematic literature review (SLR) in this paper, summarizing 112 relevant articles from 2018 to 2020 that presented a variety of methodologies. We analyze them by grouping them into four different categories: deep learning-based techniques, classical machine learning-based methods, statistical techniques, and blockchain-based techniques. We also evaluate the performance of the detection capability of the various methods with respect to different datasets and conclude that the deep learning-based methods outperform other methods in Deepfake detection.

BBC documentary used face-swapping AI to hide protesters' identities | New Scientist #ai #security

Filmmakers used an AI to swap the faces of anti-government protesters in Hong Kong for those of actors to protect the protestors' identities while maintaining their facial movements and emotional expressions

How to design a sailing ship for the 21st century? - LOW-TECH MAGAZINE #travel #engineering #sailing #longread

The revival of the sailing ship

The sailing ship has seen a modest revival in the last decade, especially for the transportation of cargo. In 2009, Dutch company Fairtransport started shipping freight between Europe and the Americas with the Tres Hombres, a sailing ship built in 1943. The company remains active today and has a second ship in service since 2015, the Nordlys (built in 1873).

Since then, others have joined the sail cargo business. In 2016, the German company Timbercoast started shipping cargo with the Avontuur, a ship built in 1920. In 2017, the French Blue Schooner Company started transporting cargo between Europe and the Americas with the Gallant, a sailing ship that was built in 1916. All these sailing ships were constructed in the twentieth or nineteenth century, and were restored at a later date. However, a revival of sail cannot rely on historical ships alone, because there’s not enough of them.

Exploring the Rise of Asexuality in Japanese Fiction | Tokyo Weekender #art #literature #culture #longread

There are plenty of things that strike you as you read Sayaka Murata’s Earthlings. The incest. The child abuse. The pedophilia. The cannibalism. The teenager hacking a man to death with a garden tool during a psychotic episode. And the fact that all of these elements are in service to a message you can’t help but sympathize with. So, I’ll concede that it’s a little strange to dwell on the protagonist’s sexual orientation or lack thereof.

As an adult, Natsuki, who has long felt estranged from the world — or “the Factory,” as she calls it — is asexual and cannot bear the thought of being in a marriage bound by carnal desire. It’s therefore a good thing she finds Tomoya, her eventual husband and fellow victim of childhood trauma, who’s also on the asexual spectrum. Charting Natsuki’s fraught childhood, smoke-screen marriage and romance-less love triangle, readers are taken on an absurdist journey of nonconformity that is typical of Murata’s style.

CMU CS Academy #learning

CMU CS Academy is an online, graphics-based computer science curriculum taught in Python provided by Carnegie Mellon University. We create novel, world-class Computer Science education for your classroom —and it’s entirely free.

Scientists find first observational evidence linking black holes to dark energy | University of Michigan News #nature

The first study found that these black holes gain mass over billions of years in a way that can’t easily be explained by standard galaxy and black hole processes, such as mergers or accretion of gas. According to the second paper, the growth in mass of these black holes matches predictions for black holes that not only cosmologically couple, but also enclose vacuum energy—material that results from squeezing matter as much as possible without breaking Einstein’s equations, thus avoiding a singularity.

With singularities removed, the paper then shows that the combined vacuum energy of black holes produced in the deaths of the universe’s first stars agrees with the measured quantity of dark energy in our universe.

Sea life bounced back fast after the ‘mother of mass extinctions’ #nature #history

The fossils that Dai and his colleagues collected from the Guiyang biota comprise a complete pyramid of food-web tiers, from single-celled shelled foraminifers that would have fed on marine algae to sponges, bivalves, lobster relatives and predatory fish. Considering how soon after the mass extinction these organisms lived, “the diversity is remarkable”, says Shi.

Dai, now at the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France, says that the appearance of the Guiyang biota so soon after the end-Permian mass extinction calls into question the step-wise model of ecosystem recovery. A quicker recovery process probably began with the survivors of the mass extinction, he says.

Shoichiro Toyoda, who turned Toyota into global automaker, dies at 97 - The Mainichi #promemoria

Shoichiro Toyoda, the honorary chairman of Toyota Motor Corp. who transformed the Japanese automaker into a leading global brand, died of heart failure on Tuesday, the company said. He was 97.

The Art of the Shadow: How Painters Have Gotten It Wrong for Centuries | The MIT Press Reader #art #history

Shadows can do some adventurous, sometimes malignant, poetic things: They move, rebel, hide, refuse to be identified, vanish. All these visual aspects provide fertile ground for complex metaphors and narrations. Shadows are so visually telling that it takes little to move into emotionally tinged narratives. But it is the visual aspects that we primarily deal with here, with a special focus on several types of misrepresentations of shadows — shadows doing impossible things — that nevertheless reap a payoff for scene layout and do not look particularly shocking.

Whistleblowers Take Note: Don’t Trust Cropping Tools #privacy #security

AN ICONIC scene from the sci-fi comedy series “Red Dwarf” meant to parody the absurdist fetishization of image forensics — in which TV and movie characters are able to perform seemingly magical image enhancements — contains one crucial kernel of truth: It is, in fact, possible to uncrop images and documents across a variety of work-related computer apps. Among the suites that include the ability are Google Workspace, Microsoft Office, and Adobe Acrobat.

Being able to uncrop images and documents poses risks for sources who may be under the impression that cropped materials don’t contain the original uncropped content.

Hyundai and Kia forced to update software on millions of vehicles because of viral TikTok challenge - The Verge #safety #automotive

Hyundai and Kia are offering free software updates for millions of their cars in response to a rash of car thefts inspired by a viral social media challenge on TikTok.

The so-called “Kia Challenge” on the social media platform has led to hundreds of car thefts nationwide, including at least 14 reported crashes and eight fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Thieves known as “the Kia Boyz” would post instructional videos about how to bypass the vehicles’ security system using tools as simple as a USB cable.

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