ReHacked vol. 214: ‘Godfather of AI’ quits Google with fears about his life’s work, How Academic Bullying Led Data Scientist to Open Science, EU ready to back open access w/o author fees, and more

...documentation gets out of date, and the code does not! If the script breaks, someone will fix it. --A. Ruban

ReHacked vol. 214: ‘Godfather of AI’ quits Google with fears about his life’s work, How Academic Bullying Led Data Scientist to Open Science, EU ready to back open access w/o author fees, and more
Mansion under SF Bay Bridge. (C) Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE

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Pixel phones are sold with bootloader unlocking disabled – fitzsim's development log #privacy

EU ready to back immediate open access without author fees - Research Professional News #copyrights

The EU is ready to agree that immediate open access to papers reporting publicly funded research should become the norm, without authors having to pay fees, and that the bloc should support non-profit scholarly publishing models.

In a move that could send shockwaves through commercial scholarly publishing, the positions are due to be adopted by the Council of the EU member state governments later this month.

Various draft positions on scholarly publishing have been published by the January-June Swedish presidency of the Council in recent months, but with few clues as to how the potentially industry-shaking proposals were being received by fellow member state governments.

Now, however, the latest version published on May 4, which retains the most radical aspects of the earlier drafts, has been agreed “at technical level”, ready for research ministers to give it their assent at a meeting on 23 May.

Intel OEM Private Key Leak: A Blow to UEFI Secure Boot Security #security

It has been confirmed that the private key (KeyManifest) provided by Intel to OEMs has been leaked. These keys pertain to Intel Boot Guard digital signatures, a processor feature designed to ensure that computers only run verified programs before booting.

In essence, this concerns UEFI secure boot, a mechanism that validates programs prior to operating system startup to prevent malware from running.

The leaked private keys affect Intel’s 11th, 12th, and 13th generation processors and were distributed to various OEMs, including Intel itself, Lenovo, and Supermicro.

There's a mansion hidden directly under the Bay Bridge #hisotry #architecture

Quarters 1 was built on Yerba Buena Island in 1900 as part of the only U.S. Navy training station on the West Coast. It was home to the commander of the base and crafted to be appropriately opulent. Large windows framed expansive views of the bay and the East Bay hills beyond and filled the elegant foyer with light. There were plenty of bedrooms and bathrooms, plus a study, spread over its nearly 6,000 square feet.

Some of the Navy’s highest-ranking officers came and went as residents, including one unfortunate admiral whose entire collection of dress pants went up in flames during a small house fire in 1934. “Admiral Senn dispatched the remnants of his once regal wardrobe to the cleaners, but, try as they did, they couldn’t restore the garments to ship-shape form,” the San Francisco Examiner reported.

TikTok spied on me. Why? | Ars Technica #privacy #security

A Financial Times journalist writes about discovering she’d been surveilled by TikTok.

Gmail is showing ads in the middle of the inbox #internet #privacy

Ads are a central part of Google’s business and, in many cases, the way that the company’s products are provided at no charge. That includes Gmail, which is starting to show more ads for a lot of folks.

Gmail has shown ads for years and years now. Google brought ads to the mobile apps a decade ago, and they’ve continued ever since, evolving from time to time with new placements and appearances.

Over the past several days, though, it seems Google has been turning up the dial on how many ads show in Gmail, both on mobile devices and the web.

Westinghouse announces a small nuclear reactor #engineering #energy

Westinghouse is offering a smaller-scale nuclear reactor in an effort to expand access to nuclear power as demand for clean energy soars.

The company announced the launch of a small version of its flagship AP1000 nuclear reactor on Thursday. The new reactor, called the AP300, aims to be available in 2027, and will generate about a third of the power of the flagship AP1000 reactor.

Westinghouse’s move is a notable inflection point in the nuclear industry’s effort to remake itself as a way to address climate change. Electricity generated from a nuclear fission reactor produces no greenhouse gas emissions.

The AP300 will generate approximately 300 megawatts of energy, which will power approximately 300,000 homes, versus 1,200 megawatts for the AP1000, according to David Durham, president of energy systems at Westinghouse.

James Webb Space Telescope detects water vapor around alien planet | Space #space

Astronomers used the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to observe water vapor around a distant rocky planet. The water vapor could indicate the presence of an atmosphere around the extrasolar planet, or exoplanet, a discovery that could be important for our search for habitable worlds outside the solar system. However, the scientists behind the discovery caution that this water vapor could be coming from the world's host star rather than the planet itself.

Wearing an eye mask during overnight sleep improves episodic learning and alertness - PubMed #health

Ambient light can influence sleep structure and timing. We explored how wearing an eye mask to block light during overnight sleep impacts memory and alertness, changes that could benefit everyday tasks like studying or driving. In Experiment 1, ninety-four 18-35-year-olds wore an eye mask while they slept every night for a week and underwent a control condition in which light was not blocked for another week. Five habituation nights were followed by a cognitive battery on the sixth and seventh days. This revealed superior episodic encoding and an improvement on alertness when using the mask. In Experiment 2, thirty-five 18-35-year-olds used a wearable device to monitor sleep with and without the mask. This replicated the encoding benefit and showed that it was predicted by time spent in slow-wave sleep. Our findings suggest that wearing an eye mask during overnight sleep can improve episodic encoding and alertness the next day.

This Brazilian frog might be the first pollinating amphibian known to science | Science | AAAS #nature

The creamy fruit and nectar-rich flowers of the milk fruit tree are irresistible to Xenohyla truncata, a tree frog native to Brazil. On warm nights, the dusky-colored frogs take to the trees en masse, jostling one another for a chance to nibble the fruit and slurp the nectar. In the process, the frogs become covered in sticky pollen grains—and might inadvertently pollinate the plants, too. It’s the first time a frog—or any amphibian—has been observed pollinating a plant, researchers reported last month in Food Webs.

Scientists long thought only insects and birds served as pollinators, but research has revealed that some reptiles and mammals are more than up to the task. Now, scientists must consider whether amphibians are also capable of getting the job done. It’s likely that the nectar-loving frogs, also known as Izecksohn’s Brazilian tree frogs, are transferring pollen as they move from flower to flower, the authors say. But more research is needed, they add, to   confirm that frogs have joined the planet’s pantheon of pollinators.

Bank failures visualization / Mike Bostock | Observable #economy

Microsoft is forcing Outlook and Teams to open links in Edge, and IT admins are angry - The Verge #software #privacy

Microsoft Edge is a good browser but for some reason Microsoft keeps trying to shove it down everyone’s throat and make it more difficult to use rivals like Chrome or Firefox. Microsoft has now started notifying IT admins that it will force Outlook and Teams to ignore the default web browser on Windows and open links in Microsoft Edge instead.

Reddit users have posted messages from the Microsoft 365 admin center that reveal how Microsoft is going to roll out this change. “Web links from Azure Active Directory (AAD) accounts and Microsoft (MSA) accounts in the Outlook for Windows app will open in Microsoft Edge in a single view showing the opened link side-by-side with the email it came from,” reads a message to IT admins from Microsoft.

Exercise Increases the Number of Cancer-Destroying Immune Cells in Cancer Patients | University of Turku #health

Two new Finnish studies show that short bouts of light or moderate exercise can increase the number of immune cells in the bloodstream of cancer patients.

Exercise decreases the risk of cancer and reduces side effects of cancer treatments. In addition, it improves patients’ quality of life and the prognosis of cancer patients.

“It was previously thought that cancer patients should just rest after a cancer diagnosis. Today, we have more and more researched information that exercise can even improve the prognosis of cancer. However, it is not yet fully known how exercise controls cancer,” explains Research Assistant Tiia Koivula.

Fakespot | Blog - Fakespot is acquired by Mozilla #software #internet

Film studios lose bid to unmask Reddit users who wrote comments on piracy | Ars Technica #copyrights

Reddit doesn't have to identify eight anonymous users who wrote comments in piracy-related threads, a judge in the US District Court for the Northern District of California ruled on Friday. US Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler quashed a subpoena issued by film studios in an order that agrees with Reddit that the First Amendment protects the users' right to speak anonymously online.

The First Amendment right to anonymous speech is not absolute, but the precedent followed by US district courts only forces disclosure of anonymous users' identities "in the exceptional case where the compelling need for the discovery sought outweighs the First Amendment rights of the anonymous speaker," Beeler noted. After reviewing the facts and arguments, she found that the Reddit users' comments were irrelevant to the film studios' underlying case and that the studios could obtain relevant information from other sources.

How Academic Bullying Led This Data Scientist to Open Science #science #academia #society #longread

Not long after embarking on her PhD, data scientist Paola Chiara Masuzzo began to feel she was being coaxed into writing research papers primarily for one self-serving purpose: publishing in respected journals to increase the prestige of others. Fed up with this academic culture and the exploitative publishing industry, she decided to go rogue - and has since rediscovered how much she loves good science.

Making Middle Earth maps with R | Andrew Heiss #datascience #fun

Explore Tolkien’s Middle Earth with R-based GIS tools, including {ggplot2} and {sf}

The Kingdom Of Bhutan Has Been Quietly Mining Bitcoin For Years #blockchain

Beneath the Himalayas, rivers fed by ancient glaciers supply the tiny kingdom of Bhutan with immense stores of hydroelectricity. The renewable resource has become an economic engine, accounting for 30% of the country’s gross domestic product, and fueling the homes of nearly all of its 800,000 residents. But for the past few years, Bhutan’s royal government has been quietly devising a new use for these reserves: powering its very own bitcoin mine.

Sources familiar with Bhutan’s efforts to develop sovereign mining operations told Forbes that discussions have been occurring since 2020, though until this week its government had never disclosed its plans. Bhutan sought to harness the country’s hydroelectric plants to power racks of mining machines that solve complex mathematical problems in order to earn bitcoin rewards. Once completed, this would make Bhutan one of the only countries to run a state-owned mine, alongside El Salvador.

Wind farm in Germany is being dismantled to expand coal mine #energy

A wind farm in Germany is being dismantled to expand the Garzweiler lignite mine. One of eight turbines installed at the location in 2001 has already been removed. Nevertheless, the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia said it would phase out coal by 2030, as did RWE, the company that owns the mine.

The “Location Off” switch on your phone is a lie. – Gabriel Sieben #privacy

If you’re going somewhere anonymously, or attending a politically unpopular protest, or visiting a sensitive client, you might want to turn Location Services to Off in your smartphone’s settings. Great – now you can go and do whatever it is without worrying.

Well, that would be the case if we lived in an ideal world, but that switch is more of a polite “please don’t” than an actual deterrent. There are many other ways of getting your location, some of which you may not have considered, but I’m going to focus on the biggest oversight I regularly see even privacy-focused people ignorant of. This will be nothing new for privacy experts, but… it’s your carrier.

The web's most important decision - The History of the Web #internet #history

Thirty years ago, Tim Berners-Lee and CERN gave the world a gift. After some internal discussions, CERN stamped (quite literally) its approval on a document, relinquishing all intellectual property rights to the World Wide Web and entering it into the public domain. It wasn’t a decision that was altogether altruistic—there were certainly logistical and operational reasons for the choice—but it was a decision grounded in optimism and ambition. It radically changed the trajectory of the web, enabling an openness and accessibility that most technologies don’t come close to reaching.

‘Godfather of AI’ quits Google with regrets and fears about his life’s work - The Verge #ai

Geoffrey Hinton, who alongside two other so-called “Godfathers of AI” won the 2018 Turing Award for their foundational work that led to the current boom in artificial intelligence, now says a part of him regrets his life’s work. Hinton recently quit his job at Google in order to speak freely about the risks of AI, according to an interview with the 75-year-old in The New York Times.

“I console myself with the normal excuse: If I hadn’t done it, somebody else would have,” said Hinton, who had been employed by Google for more than a decade. “It is hard to see how you can prevent the bad actors from using it for bad things.”

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