ReHacked vol. 244: The Secret Language of Ships, The hidden beauty of Berlin's indoor pools, Max Headroom signal hijacking and more

If you’re very very stupid, how can you possibly realize that you’re very very stupid? --J.Cleese

ReHacked vol. 244: The Secret Language of Ships, The hidden beauty of Berlin's indoor pools, Max Headroom signal hijacking and more
Constructed in 1898, Stadtbad Charlottenburg is Berlin's oldest swimming pool (Credit: Image Professionals GmbH/Alamy)

New Wave Sci-Fi: 75 Best Novels of 1964–1983 – HILOBROW #literarture #history #longread

Science fiction’s so-called New Wave era began in approximately 1964. Writing in 2003 about that “cusp” year, Michael Moorcock noted: “It will [soon] be 40 years since JG Ballard published The Terminal Beach, Brian Aldiss published Greybeard, William Burroughs published Naked Lunch in the UK, I took over New Worlds magazine and Philip K Dick published The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch.” The era lasted through approximately 1983 — giving way to the cyberpunk era, the kickoff of which we might as well date to the 1984 publication of William Gibson’s Neuromancer.

What is New Wave science fiction? Moorcock describes it as the era during which the genre “rediscovered its visionary roots and began creating new conventions which rejected both modernism and American pulp traditions.” Right! The best sf adventures published during the Sixties (1964–1973) and Seventies (1974–1983) — my 75 favorites are listed on this page, but this is by no means an exhaustive list — are characterized by an ambitious, self-consciously artistic sensibility; they often concern themselves, at the level of content and form, with the nature of perception itself; and they will blow your mind.

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1960s chatbot ELIZA beat OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 in a recent Turing test study | Ars Technica #computers #history #ai #software

Through the site, human interrogators interacted with various "AI witnesses" representing either other humans or AI models that included the aforementioned GPT-4, GPT-3.5, and ELIZA, a rules-based conversational program from the 1960s. "The two participants in human matches were randomly assigned to the interrogator and witness roles," write the researchers. "Witnesses were instructed to convince the interrogator that they were human. Players matched with AI models were always interrogators."

All the hominins made tools #history #anthropology

The two inventors of the idea of natural selection had somewhat different viewpoints about how technology mattered to human origins. In an 1864 lecture, Alfred Russel Wallace observed that tools, weapons, and clothing all tend to remove humans from the direct action of natural selection on the form of the body. Wallace suggested that the physical features of the human body had become “fixed and permanent”. Instead, he offered, Man had been “kept in harmony with the slowly changing universe around him, by an advance in mind, rather than by a change in body.”

How to Ripen Avocados Quickly #nutrition

In side-by-side tests tests, avocados from the supermarket showing no softness at all take between three-to-five days to ripen in a brown paper bag. Throw a banana in there (an ethylene powerhouse), and you can bring that range down to two-to-three days. It's not instant, but it does give you a wider range of control over having a ripe avocado when you need it.

Stanisław Lem's Prescient Vision of Artificial Life | The MIT Press Reader #sci-fi #futurism

In the grand tradition of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, Stanisław Lem’s “The Invincible” tells the story of a space cruiser sent to an obscure planet to determine the fate of a sister spaceship whose communication with Earth has abruptly ceased. Landing on the planet Regis III, navigator Rohan and his crew discover a form of life that has apparently evolved from autonomous, self-replicating machines — perhaps the survivors of a “robot war.” Rohan and his men are forced to confront the classic quandary: What course of action can humanity take once it has reached the limits of its knowledge? In “The Invincible,” Lem has his characters confront the inexplicable and the bizarre: the problem that lies just beyond analytical reach.

EP rejects mass scanning of private messages - European Digital Rights (EDRi) #privacy

As we explained when this position was provisionally agreed by the Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee on 14 November, it is a clear political statement that even the most important societal aims do not justify measures at any cost. EU fundamental rights law requires that limitations on people’s rights are necessary for the aim they seek to achieve – including being objectively effective and the least intrusive possible – and proportionate. That means that their broader impact must be reasonable.

On this basis, the Parliament firmly rejected rules which would force companies to scan huge volumes of people’s private messages – instead now requiring there to be reasonable suspicion. Lawyers for the Council of EU Member States had previously made an unprecedented warning that the original proposal would violate the essence of the right to privacy. In EU-speak, this is a damning assessment, because case law from the Court of Justice of the EU has always upheld that while rights can be limited for justifiable reasons, the “essential core” of any human right must never be violated. The Parliament has clearly listened to this warning.

Japan Bans Cannabis-Like Compound HHCH After Spate of Illnesses | Tokyo Weekender #health

On Tuesday, government narcotics agents inspected the factory of WWE in Osaka city. The food production and sales company had been manufacturing gummies featuring the ingredient hexahydrocannabihexol (HHCH), a semi-synthetic cannabinoid derivative that emulates tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in marijuana. While THC was already banned in Japan, HHCH wasn’t designated as a regulated substance. That changed on Wednesday when it was added to the country’s list of controlled substances. The possession, use and distribution of HHCH will be prohibited from December 2.

According to the police, more than 20 people fell ill after consuming gummies containing HHCH. That included five individuals who ate them at a festival in Musashino Park in Western Tokyo on November 4. A man in his 40s allegedly handed them out. “Since I ate some myself and felt good afterwards, I wanted everyone else to eat them,” he reportedly told the police during voluntary questioning. The Health Ministry is now considering a ban of all compounds with a similar chemical structure.

Rolls-Royce calls off bets on electric planes, says low-carbon fuel is the future | Electrek #energy #future

Just as the wheels touched down on Virgin Atlantic’s historic flight from London to New York yesterday, powered by a low-carbon fuel engine made by Rolls-Royce, the company has announced a new shift. Rolls-Royce CEO Tufan Erginbilgiç says it’s time to sell off its electric jet engine unit and focus on other strategies – namely sustainable aviation fuels, or SAF.

Rolls-Royce, a flagship company in Britain, makes jet engines and systems on planes such as the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787. It was, like many companies, hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic when air travel was grounded, and Rolls-Royce cut 9,000 jobs as a result.

Several Piracy-Related Arrests Spark Fears of High-Level Crackdown * TorrentFreak #copyrights

A series of arrests that began in late August and continued into last week has sparked concerns that a relatively rare 'Scene' crackdown targeting the top of the so-called 'Piracy Pyramid' may be underway in the Nordic region. A long-running investigation involving Denmark's Special Crime Unit appears to be the common denominator. Coincidentally, several groups have stopped releasing.

Over the past few years, increased enforcement by players in both the private and public sectors has made Denmark one of the riskiest places in Europe for pirate site operators and prolific file-sharers.

Periodic Table of Tools #interesting

The Dunning-Kruger Effect is Autocorrelation – Economics from the Top Down #psychology #career

Have you heard of the ‘Dunning-Kruger effect’? It’s the (apparent) tendency for unskilled people to overestimate their competence. Discovered in 1999 by psychologists Justin Kruger and David Dunning, the effect has since become famous.

And you can see why.

It’s the kind of idea that is too juicy to not be true. Everyone ‘knows’ that idiots tend to be unaware of their own idiocy. Or as John Cleese puts it:

If you’re very very stupid, how can you possibly realize that you’re very very stupid?

Of course, psychologists have been careful to make sure that the evidence replicates. But sure enough, every time you look for it, the Dunning-Kruger effect leaps out of the data. So it would seem that everything’s on sound footing.

I Am Sitting in a Room - Wikipedia #art

I am sitting in a room is a sound art piece composed in 1969 and one of composer Alvin Lucier's best known works.

The piece features Lucier recording himself narrating a text, and then playing the tape recording back into the room, re-recording it. The new recording is then played back and re-recorded, and this process is repeated. Due to the room's particular size and geometry, certain frequencies of the recording are emphasized while others are attenuated. Eventually the words become unintelligible, replaced by the characteristic resonant frequencies of the room itself.

The Secret Language of Ships | Hakai Magazine #interesting #longread

Oceangoing vessels carry over 80 percent of the world’s trade, with more than 90,000 merchant ships plying international waters. Tankers, bulk carriers, and container ships—the largest things on Earth that move—are by far the most important modes of transportation of our time. They convey billions of tonnes of goods every year, bringing us everything from cars to crude oil to containers jammed with fidget spinners.

Vespa 150 TAP - Wikipedia #interesting

The Vespa 150 TAP was an anti-tank scooter made in the 1950s from a Vespa scooter for use with French paratroops (troupes aéroportées, TAP). Introduced in 1956 and updated in 1959, the scooter was produced by Ateliers de Construction de Motocycles et Automobiles (ACMA), the licensed assembler of Vespas in France at the time.

Max Headroom signal hijacking - Wikipedia #history #tv #interesting

On the night of November 22, 1987, the television signals of two stations in Chicago, Illinois, were hijacked, briefly sending a pirate broadcast of an unidentified person wearing a Max Headroom mask and costume to thousands of home viewers.

The first incident took place during the sports segment of independent TV station WGN-TV's 9:00 p.m. newscast. Like the later signal intrusion, it featured a person wearing a mask swaying erratically in front of a swiveling corrugated metal panel, apparently meant to resemble Max Headroom's animated geometric background. Unlike the later intrusion, the only sound was a loud buzz. This interruption went on for almost 17 seconds before engineers at WGN were able to regain control of their broadcast tower.

Email obfuscation: What still works in 2023? #privacy

URL encoding blocked 100% of spam

Bacteria Store Memories and Pass Them on for Generations - UT News #nature

Scientists have discovered that bacteria can create something like memories about when to form strategies that can cause dangerous infections in people, such as resistance to antibiotics and bacterial swarms when millions of bacteria come together on a single surface. The discovery — which has potential applications for preventing and combatting bacterial infections and addressing antibiotic-resistant bacteria — relates to a common chemical element bacterial cells can use to form and pass along these memories to their progeny over later generations.

Northvolt develops state-of-the-art sodium-ion battery #technology

Northvolt today announced a state-of-the-art sodium-ion battery, developed for the expansion of cost-efficient and sustainable energy storage systems worldwide. The cell has been validated for a best-in-class energy density of over 160 watt-hours per kilogram at the company’s R&D and industrialization campus, Northvolt Labs, in Västerås, Sweden.

Northvolt’s validated cell is more safe, cost-effective, and sustainable than conventional nickel, manganese and cobalt (NMC) or iron phosphate (LFP) chemistries and is produced with minerals such as iron and sodium that are abundant on global markets. It is based on a hard carbon anode and a Prussian White-based cathode, and is free from lithium, nickel, cobalt and graphite. Leveraging a breakthrough in battery design and manufacturing, Northvolt plans to be the first to industrialize Prussian White-based batteries and bring them to commercial markets.

Weibo is losing influencers over legal display name rule - Rest of World #privacy

On October 23, popular book blogger and writer Tu Pao Ding announced she was leaving Weibo, China’s largest microblogging platform. She’d read rumors online that Weibo planned to introduce a new rule requiring “Big Vs” (verified influencers with large followings) to display their legal name on their public profiles. Using a pseudonym, Tu Pao Ding (which translates to “rabbit butcher”) had shared book reviews and commentary on current affairs with her 2 million Weibo followers for over two decades. “With real-name rules looming, I plan to abandon this platform,” she wrote in a post. | SEC Charges Kraken for Operating as an Unregistered Securities Exchange, Broker, Dealer, and Clearing Agency #blockchain #crypto

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Payward Inc. and Payward Ventures Inc., together known as Kraken, with operating Kraken’s crypto trading platform as an unregistered securities exchange, broker, dealer, and clearing agency.

According to the SEC’s complaint, since at least September 2018, Kraken has made hundreds of millions of dollars unlawfully facilitating the buying and selling of crypto asset securities. The SEC alleges that Kraken intertwines the traditional services of an exchange, broker, dealer, and clearing agency without having registered any of those functions with the Commission as required by law. Kraken’s alleged failure to register these functions has deprived investors of significant protections, including inspection by the SEC, recordkeeping requirements, and safeguards against conflicts of interest, among others.

After Boeing declines to pay up, ransomware group leaks 45 GB of data #privacy #security

Ransomware hackers warned aircraft industry giant Boeing they were going to leak data if their price wasn’t met—and on November 10, they did just that, publishing nearly 45 gigabytes of company data online.

LockBit, a Russia-linked hacking gang, claimed responsibility for the attack on Oct. 27. “Sensitive data was exfiltrated and ready to be published if Boeing do not contact within the deadline!” the gang posted on its data leak site. As IT Brew has reported, ransomware has been a major problem in 2023, and gangs are now able to deploy malware quicker than ever.

The hidden beauty of Berlin's indoor pools - BBC Travel #travel #history #architecture

On a recent November day in Berlin's upscale Prenzlauer Berg neighbourhood, locals in long jackets pushed strollers through the crisp autumn air. Others wrapped themselves in blankets and lingered at outdoor cafes. And down the street, a handful of people gripping swimsuits headed under the stone Neo-Renaissance facade at the Hotel Oderberger Berlin to partake in a beloved, centuries-old local tradition: whiling away the hours at one of Berlin's many eye-catching public indoor swimming pools (Hallenbäder).

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