ReHacked vol. 216: History of Karaoke in Japan, Retro Computer Museum, Food Innovations That Came from War, and more

ReHacked vol. 216: History of Karaoke in Japan, Retro Computer Museum, Food Innovations That Came from War, and more
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The corner of “The Tokyo Weekender”

History of Karaoke in Japan | Tokyo Weekender

It is hard to pin down the one definite point in history when karaoke, as we know it, was invented. Technical systems that might be considered predecessors of modern karaoke hardware were developed independently in at least five different parts of Japan during the 1960s. The word itself, which is a composite of ‘kara’ (empty) and a shortened version of ‘orchestra,’ had then already been in use for some time. However, initially, it did not refer to a form of entertainment for the masses but to professional singers using instrumental playback tracks for their performances when bands or orchestras could not be arranged. ‘Karaoke’ was strictly a Japanese industry term before it became known as a global phenomenon.

Japan’s War on Sleep | Tokyo Weekender

“Two-thirds of adults throughout all developed nations fail to obtain the recommended eight hours of nightly sleep.

“I doubt you are surprised by this fact, but you may be surprised by the consequences. Routinely sleeping less than six or seven hours a night demolishes your immune system, more than doubling your risk of cancer. Insufficient sleep is a key lifestyle factor determining whether or not you will develop Alzheimer’s disease. Inadequate sleep — even moderate reductions for just one week — disrupts blood sugar levels so profoundly that you would be classified as pre-diabetic. Short sleeping increases the likelihood of your coronary arteries becoming blocked and brittle, setting you on a path toward cardiovascular disease, stroke, and congestive heart failure. Fitting Charlotte Brontë’s prophetic wisdom that ‘a ruffled mind makes a restless pillow’, sleep disruption further contributes to all major psychiatric conditions, including depression, anxiety, and suicidality.”

3 Japan Oceanside Escapes for Any Type of Traveler | Tokyo Weekender

No matter your favorite way to vacation, you'll find a destination to suit your preferences in Miyazaki Prefecture.

The other news

Noise Is All around Us—and It’s Affecting You More than You Think | The Walrus #nature #health

AS THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC gripped the world, much human activity ground to a standstill. That rare pause led to a string of fascinating events. The Himalayas could be seen from the city of Jalandhar for the first time in decades as air pollution dropped. Animals strolled into cities as we retreated into our homes. Wild boars roamed the streets of Haifa in Israel, dolphins played in the Bosphorus Strait in Turkey, and cougars strolled through the streets of Santiago in Chile. Perhaps most noticeable of all was the silence in the oceans, with ships coming to a halt in ports across the world. Amidst the quiet, whales may have significantly broadened their song repertoire using a greater variety of sounds than they previously had. Scientists observing that change still don’t have a very good idea of what it means.

Plain Text Accounting portal - #software

Plain text accounting is a way of doing bookkeeping and accounting with plain text files and scriptable, command-line-friendly software, such as Ledger, hledger, or Beancount.

Potentially millions of Android TVs and phones come with malware preinstalled | Ars Technica #privacy #security

Overall, Android devices have earned a decidedly mixed reputation for security. While the OS itself and Google's Pixels have stood up over the years against software exploits, the never-ending flow of malicious apps in Google Play and vulnerable devices from some third-party manufacturers have tarnished its image.

On Thursday, that image was further tarnished after two reports said that multiple lines of Android devices came with preinstalled malware that couldn’t be removed without users taking heroic measures.

Writing summaries is more important than reading more books — Andreas Fragner #learning

If your goal is to maximize comprehension, you need to ask questions while you read — questions that you yourself must try to answer in the course of reading.

Psychologist Enrique Echeburúa: ‘People who die by suicide want to stop suffering, not to stop living’ | Science & Tech | EL PAÍS English #health #psychology #society

Enrique Echeburúa (San Sebastian, Spain, 72 years old), Professor Emeritus of Clinical Psychology at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), says that when a suicide occurs, there are other victims beyond the deceased, and they do not receive adequate support. “The first thing [we need to do] is make it easier for the family that has lost a child, or the person who has lost their partner, to unburden them, to be able to talk about it,” he explains. “Silence is the worst thing, because many people don’t talk to them, even their social circle of neighbors and friends, because they don’t know how to approach [them], which leads to social isolation,” Echeburúa continues in a video call conversation.

The 1924 Mikiphone Was The World's First Pocket Record Player - Flashbak #hardware #history

The Mikiphone pocket phonograph was designed by Hungarian brothers Miklós and Étienne Vadász, and mass produced under licence by Masison Paillard of Saint Croix, Switzerland.

Montana to become first US state to ban TikTok | Reuters #copyrights

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte on Wednesday signed legislation to ban Chinese-owned TikTok from operating in the state to protect residents from alleged intelligence gathering by China, making it the first U.S. state to ban the popular short video app.

Montana will make it unlawful for Google and Apple's app stores to offer TikTok within the state, but will not impose any penalties on individuals using the app. The ban is to take effect Jan. 1, 2024, and is almost certain to face legal challenges.

Windows XP Activation: GAME OVER #copyrights #software

Supreme Court Rules Andy Warhol's Prince Art is Copyright Infringement | PetaPixel #copyrights

The United States Supreme Court has released its opinion on The Andy Warhol Foundation v. Goldsmith case, finding in favor of Lynn Goldsmith and stating that Warhol’s use of her photo was not fair use.

For those unfamiliar, the Warhol v. Goldsmith case has been ongoing for several years and involves photographer Lynn Goldsmith’s photo of Prince and Andy Warhol’s use of that photo which his Foundation argues was fair use.

One million cancel broadband as living costs rise - BBC News #economy #society

Up to one million people cancelled their broadband in the last year because of the high cost of living, a survey by Citizens Advice suggests.

The charity said those struggling could have benefited from cheaper social tariffs or special low-cost packages.

Watchdog Ofcom has warned 4.3 million eligible people are missing the deals.

The government said it had encouraged social tariff take-up by working with Ofcom and the industry to introduce a range of products to the market.

These were available in 99% of the UK and started from £10 per month, it added.

Another issue with the Cyber Resilience Act: European standards bodies are inaccessible to Open Source projects - Voices of Open Source #software #copyrights #privacy

In Europe, standards requests from the European Commission are handled by bodies which have been designated an ESO under EU law. There are only three of these; CEN, CENELEC and ETSI. None of these standards development organizations are accessible to Open Source projects per se.

CEN and CENELEC are largely controlled by national standards bodies which in turn are dominated by national industries, while ETSI is a  member organization with high membership fees and largely secret proceedings (although laudable with free specifications) that is directly controlled by its members, predominantly from the telecoms industries but also including the European states. In addition, ETSI celebrates its role as a pioneer and proponent of FRAND licensing, which is fundamentally incompatible with Open Source communities. As with all de jure standards, participation in each of these standards bodies is expensive, both financially and in time, and engaging in their governance is beyond the scope of small players.

Given this context, when the European Commission requests standards that will be applied for conformity assessment, it’s not clear how they will take into account the development workflow that applies to Open Source software. Like the European Commission itself (as I commented recently), Europe’s standards bodies have no functional relationships with Open Source charities and do not consult them.

Airline exposes passenger info to others due to a 'technical error' #security

airBaltic, Latvia's flag carrier has acknowledged that a 'technical error' exposed reservation details of some of its passengers to other airBaltic passengers.

Passengers also reported receiving unexpected emails which addressed them by the name of another customer.

The Riga-based airline, incorporated as AS Air Baltic Corporation operates flights to 80 destinations and is 97% government-owned. Although the air carrier says the leak impacts a small percentage of its customers and that no financial or payment data was exposed, the airline has yet to disclose the total number of impacted passengers.

Swiss tech giant ABB confirms ‘IT security incident’ #security

Swiss technology conglomerate ABB confirmed Friday that it is dealing with an “IT security incident” that is affecting some of its officers and systems around the world.

The Black Basta ransomware group attacked the company on May 7, reported BleepingComputer on Thursday night. Multiple anonymous sources told the news outlet that the ransomware attack targeted the company’s Windows Active Directory and affected hundreds of devices.

Small Worlds: Clever And Funny Sci-Fi Story Ideas #art #literature #fun

It’s the year 2023, a talented and creative individual has made a bold and inspiring commitment to his craft. He decided to create one sci-fi story idea in a form of poster each day for a whole year. Featured below are our favorite picks. For more, follow him @SmallWorlds Twitter account into the future.

Retro Computer Museum #computing #history #hardware


In the heart of Leicestershire lies a building brimming with gaming history!

Featuring classic systems such as the Sinclair Spectrum, Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga and Atari 2600. Gaming giants including Nintendo NES, Sega MegaDrive, Xbox and PlayStation. Plus the truly unique Virtuality VR systems and the one of a kind CD1200!

However we haven't got to the best bit! Everything is out to not only touch, but to play on! Using original hardware and with a colossal software library. It truly is a gamers paradise!

Logitech teams up with iFixit on a self-repair program - The Verge #hardware

Official spare parts, batteries, and repair guides for select Logitech hardware will be available through iFixit starting ‘this summer.’

The US Post Office Is Spying on the Mail. Senators Want to Stop It | WIRED #privacy

EACH YEAR, AT the request of police and intelligence agents across the country, the United States Postal Service conducts surveillance on physical pieces of mail going to and from the homes and businesses of tens of thousands of Americans, a group of United States senators says.

To initiate this surveillance, the department or agency has at least one hurdle to climb. First, they must submit the request in writing. Then … well, nothing. That is the entire hurdle.

In practice, this serves less as an evidentiary threshold than an IT ticketing system. For more than a handful of senators, that’s unacceptable. And in a letter today to the nation’s chief postal inspector, Gary Barksdale, the group explains why: “There is a long history of documented abuses of postal surveillance.”

Google will soon let Pixel phones double as dashcams #software #android

On select Android devices – primarily Google’s Pixel phones but also other devices like the Nothing Phone (1) – the Personal Safety app offers useful features like “Emergency Sharing,” “Safety Check,” and “Car Crash Detection.” This evening, Google seems to have mistakenly launched a “dogfood” build of Personal Safety – version 2023.04.27.532191641.8-dogfood – via the Play Store.

Inside, our team managed to enable a new feature called “Dashcam” that, as the name suggests, records video (and audio, optionally) while you are driving. If your phone is mounted in the right spot, the recording should provide helpful information in the event of an accident or other unexpected situation.

Introducing the World's Largest Open Source Company Dataset #datascience

Attention all data enthusiasts, analysts, and curious minds! We have exciting news to share - the world's largest open-source dataset of company information is now available for public use. With over 15 million global companies included, this dataset is a treasure trove of valuable information on the business world.

OpenAI chief concerned about AI being used to compromise elections | Reuters #software #ai #politics #society

The CEO of OpenAI, the startup behind ChatGPT, told a Senate panel on Tuesday the use of artificial intelligence to interfere with election integrity is a "significant area of concern", adding that it needs regulation.

"I am nervous about it," CEO Sam Altman said about elections and AI, adding rules and guidelines are needed.

For months, companies large and small have raced to bring increasingly versatile AI to market, throwing endless data and billions of dollars at the challenge. Some critics fear the technology will exacerbate societal harms, among them prejudice and misinformation, while others warn AI could end humanity itself.

random(random(random(random()))) - OpenProcessing #science #fun

random(random()) should be enough for everyone.

Food Innovations That Came from War - Gastro Obscura #history

Whether invented at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center or by subcontracted private companies, many processed foods now common in civilian life were first created by and for the military-industrial complex.

Secret room inside CounterStrike contains independent journalism forbidden in Russia - Ulkomaat | #information #war

Counter-Strike is one of the most popular video games in the world.

Its basic idea is simple: Players are divided into teams of terrorists and counter terrorists. The counter terrorists must defuse bombs or save hostages, for example, while the terrorists try to prevent this.

Each round lasts two minutes, and then the players switch roles. After a few dozen rounds, the winner is declared.

The game is extremely popular in Russia, especially in St. Petersburg and Moscow. It is played by approximately four million Russians, mostly by young men.

Originally created in the United States, Counter-Strike differs from many Western online services and digital platforms in one respect:

It is not forbidden in Russia. Russians can still play the game.

After the start of the war on Ukraine, Russia has banned its citizens from accessing such online services as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, as well as the sites of several Western media, including Helsingin Sanomat. Due to this, a large proportion of Russians are not aware of what is going on in Ukraine, for example.

The Russian state-controlled media are not telling the truth.

This sparked a crazy idea: Could we create a place in Counter-Strike, where the millions of young Russian men playing this first-person shooter game would be forced to face the terrors of the war in Ukraine?

LobbyFacts - exposing lobbying in the European institutions #society #politics #opensociety

Off-grid solar brings light, time and income to remotest villages | AP News #society #technology

“It used to be dark at night, now it’s bright until morning,” the 30-year old mother of two said, carefully arranging and pushing red threads at the loom. “So tonight I work ... to pay for the children.”

Around the world, hundreds of millions of people live in communities without regular access to power, and off-grid solar systems like these are bringing limited access to electricity to places like these years before power grids reach them.

Some 775 million people globally lacked access to electricity in 2022, according to the International Energy Agency. Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are home to some of the largest populations without access to electricity. Not having electricity at home keeps people in poverty, the U.N. and World Bank wrote in a 2021 report. It’s hard for very poor people to get electricity, according to the report, and it’s hard for people who don’t have it to participate in the modern economy.

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