ReHacked vol. 252: BJP’s Saral app gathers unusual levels of data about Indian voters, Ingenuity Helicopter Mission Ends, Faircamp is a Free Bandcamp Alternative and more

Doshisha University shows an image taken by a Lunar Excursion Vehicle 2 (LEV-2) of a robotic moon rover called Smart Lander for Investigating Moon, or SLIM, on the moon. Credit: JAXA/Takara Tomy/Sony Group Corporation/Doshisha University via AP

BJP’s Saral app gathers unusual levels of data about Indian voters - Rest of World #privacy #politics

In the first week of December, 25-year-old Prince Upadhyay, a local volunteer for India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), went around the coastal town of Nalasopara trying to convince people to download an app.

The app, called Sangathan Reporting and Analysis, or Saral, had been developed by the BJP to connect with its followers. Upadhyay told Rest of World he was under instructions from the BJP leaders in his state, Maharashtra, to visit 600 houses and get 600 people to register on Saral. He decided to go a step further and set up a registration camp in his neighborhood, offering to help people sign up on the app. The posters for the camp bore the BJP’s logo, and advertised Saral registration alongside voter registration and other government welfare schemes.

Make a donation - support Ukraine. My favourite: Support the Armed Forces of Ukraine | via National Bank of Ukraine. More options if you want alternatives. Also, very important Come Back Alive Foundation - Charity Organization.

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The Simpsons + Akira = BARTKIRA #fun

An original idea by Ryan Humphrey

Brains Are Not Required When It Comes to Thinking and Solving Problems--Simple Cells Can Do It | Scientific American #nature #longread

Tiny clumps of cells show basic cognitive abilities, and some animals can remember things after losing their head

Japan's precision moon lander has hit its target, but it appears to be upside-down #space

Japan's space agency said Thursday that its first lunar mission hit the tiny patch of the moon's surface it was aiming for, in a successful demonstration of its pinpoint landing system—although the probe appears to be lying upside-down.

Faircamp is a Free Bandcamp Alternative - We Distribute #internet #copyrights

In the aftermath of Epic selling Bandcamp to Songtradr, Bandcamp has found itself in a place of instability. Half of the company’s employees were laid off post-acquisition, leading many to speculate over the beloved platform’s future. Most importantly, many artists who depended on the service are left looking for alternatives.

There isn’t a Fediverse solution yet. Although Funkwhale is a great music platform, it’s just not geared towards selling music. Not all is lost, however, as the Faircamp project is stepping in to help musicians.

After Three Years on Mars, NASA’s Ingenuity Helicopter Mission Ends - NASA #space

Originally designed as a technology demonstration to perform up to five experimental test flights over 30 days, the first aircraft on another world operated from the Martian surface for almost three years, performed 72 flights, and flew more than 14 times farther than planned while logging more than two hours of total flight time.

“The historic journey of Ingenuity, the first aircraft on another planet, has come to end,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “That remarkable helicopter flew higher and farther than we ever imagined and helped NASA do what we do best – make the impossible, possible. Through missions like Ingenuity, NASA is paving the way for future flight in our solar system and smarter, safer human exploration to Mars and beyond.”

The Noise-Arch Archive : Free Audio : Free Download, Borrow and Streaming : Internet Archive #music #internet #history

This collection is a compilation of underground/independently-released cassette tapes from the days when the audio cassette was the standard method of music sharing... generally the mid-eighties through early-nineties. The material represented includes tape experimentation, industrial, avant-garde, indy, rock, diy, subvertainment and auto-hypnotic materials. Much of this material defies category, and has therefore not been given one.

The bulk of the tapes in this library were donated to the project by former CKLN FM radio host Myke Dyer in August of 2009. The original NOISE-ARCH site was hosted and maintained by Graham Stewart and Mark Lougheed.

When the Grateful Dead Performed on Hugh Hefner's Playboy After Dark & Secretly Dosed Everyone With LSD (1969) | Open Culture #history

At one time, what­ev­er else peo­ple did with it, they real­ly did read Play­boy for the arti­cles. And what­ev­er oth­er vic­ar­i­ous thrills they might obtain from Hugh Hefner’s Playboy’s Pent­house vari­ety show or its fol­low-up, Play­boy After Dark, they def­i­nite­ly tuned in for the music. Guests includ­ed Ike & Tina Turn­er, The Byrds, Bud­dy Rich, Cher, Deep Pur­ple, Fleet­wood Mac, Step­pen­wolf, James Brown, and many more. On Jan­u­ary 18, 1969, the Grate­ful Dead per­formed, and it went exact­ly as one might expect, mean­ing “things got total­ly out-of-hand,” Dave Melamed writes at Live for Live Music, “but every­thing wound up work­ing out just fine.

Another Mysterious Roman Dodecahedron Has Been Unearthed in England | Smart News| Smithsonian Magazine #history

Instead, the group agrees with experts who think dodecahedrons were used for ritualistic or religious purposes. As Smithsonian magazine wrote last year, researchers at Belgium’s Gallo-Roman Museum have hypothesized that Romans used the objects in magical rituals, which could explain dodecahedrons’ absence from historical records: With the Roman Empire’s eventual embrace of Christianity came laws forbidding magic. Practitioners would have had to keep their rituals—and related objects—a secret.

“Roman society was full of superstition,” writes the Norton Disney group. “A potential link with local religious practice is our current working theory. More investigation is required, though.”

The dodecahedron was recently shown on the BBC’s “Digging for Britain” and is now on display in the nearby National Civil War Center: Newark Museum.

Hair Sample That Put a Man in Prison Turned Out to Be Dog Hair #crime #science

An FBI analyst at his trial testified that there was just a one in 10 million chance that the hair found on a stocking mask at the crime scene belonged to someone other than Tribble.

But after spending over 20 years in prison, Tribble was cleared when the hairs were retested and none of them matched. (At least one was dog hair.)

The Innocence Project, which works closely with the CIFS, got the FBI to admit that "even when hairs seem microscopically indistinguishable," it really couldn't say how unique those similarities are.

Sex, aggression, and humour: responses to unicycling - PMC #society

Almost 50% of those encountered, more often men than women, responded verbally (box). The sex difference in the type of response was striking. Around 95% of responses from women praised, encouraged, or showed concern, and women made few comic or snide remarks. In contrast, only 25% of the comments made by men indicated praise, appreciation, or neutrality, whereas 75% were attempts at comedy, often snide and proffered combatively as a put-down. Equally striking was their repetitive nature, even though given as if original—almost 66% of these “comic” responses referred to the number of wheels (the most common), the absence of handlebars, or a part having being lost or stolen (box). Less than 25% used less obvious snide humour, but often with stylistic repetition. Some remarks were fired off as if they had been rehearsed on approach. More often, people paused briefly while trying to formulate the response, which was sometimes delivered after I had passed. This pause to find a comic phrase contrasted with the immediacy and apparent spontaneity of the few laudatory remarks made by men and the many made by women. Some of the remarks showed combativeness and envy, such as “bet I could do better than that.”

Higher vehicle hoods significantly increase pedestrian deaths, study finds | Ars Technica #safety #automotive

It's hard to escape the fact that American trucks and SUVs have been on a steroid-infused diet for the last few years. The trend was all too apparent at the last auto show we went to—at Chicago in 2020, I felt physically threatened just standing next to some of the products on display by GMC and its competitors. Intuitively, the supersized hood heights on these pickups seem more dangerous to vulnerable road users, but now there's hard data to support that.

Boeing Whistleblower: Production Line Has "Enormous Volume Of Defects" Bolts On MAX 9 Weren't Installed - View from the Wing #aviation #safety

If you have been paying attention to this situation closely, you may be able to spot the critical error: regardless of whether the door is simply opened or removed entirely, the 4 retaining bolts that keep it from sliding off of the door stops have to be pulled out. A removal should be written in either case for QA to verify install, but as it turns out, someone (exactly who will be a fun question for investigators) decides that the door only needs to be opened, and no formal Removal is generated in CMES (the reason for which is unclear, and a major process failure). Therefore, in the official build records of the airplane, a pressure seal that cannot be accessed without opening the door (and thereby removing retaining bolts) is documented as being replaced, but the door is never officially opened and thus no QA inspection is required.

Can autoimmune diseases be cured? Scientists see hope at last #health

Back in 2001, immunologist Pere Santamaria was exploring a new way to study diabetes. Working in mice, he and his collaborators developed a method that uses iron oxide nanoparticles to track the key immune cells involved in the disorder.

But then Santamaria, who is at the University of Calgary in Canada, came up with a bold idea. Maybe he could use these particles as a therapy to target and quiet, or even kill, the cells responsible for driving the disease — those that destroy insulin-producing islet cells in the pancreas. It seemed like a far-fetched idea, but he decided to try it. “I kept doing experiment after experiment,” he says. Now, more than two decades later, Santamaria’s therapy is on the cusp of being tested in people.

Car Seats as Contraception by Jordan Nickerson, David H. Solomon :: SSRN #safety #society

Since 1977, U.S. states have passed laws steadily raising the age for which a child must ride in a car safety seat. These laws significantly raise the cost of having a third child, as many regular-sized cars cannot fit three child seats in the back. Using census data and state-year variation in laws, we estimate that when women have two children of ages requiring mandated car seats, they have a lower annual probability of giving birth by 0.73 percentage points. Consistent with a causal channel, this effect is limited to third child births, is concentrated in households with access to a car, and is larger when a male is present (when both front seats are likely to be occupied). We estimate that these laws prevented only 57 car crash fatalities of children nationwide in 2017. Simultaneously, they led to a permanent reduction of approximately 8,000 births in the same year, and 145,000 fewer births since 1980, with 90% of this decline being since 2000.

Google Play store still hosts spyware loan apps like Joy Credito - Rest of World #privacy #security

For most of 2023, Ana Mariela Macías González, a 31-year-old state employee from Puebla, Mexico, told Rest of World she received tens of intimidating phone calls and texts every day. Some of the messages included altered photos of her and a text that implied she was a prostitute. Her entire contacts list, which included friends, family, and coworkers, received them too.

The calls and messages were from collectors sent by several predatory apps she had downloaded from the Google Play store, including an app called JoyCrédito. Her debt had snowballed from 1,000 pesos ($60) to almost 60,000 ($3,500) in less than six months. When the harassment became impossible to handle, she filed a police report. Macías González said she was advised by the police to ignore the calls, get rid of her phone, destroy her SIM card, and brace herself for months of more harassment to her contacts until it would finally stop. Her nightmare ended in late 2023 when the calls finally ceased, but her reputation was damaged: To this day, she said, some of her coworkers still humiliate her for the doctored photos and awful messages they received.

What happens when an astronaut in orbit says he’s not coming back? | Ars Technica #space #history #longread

On the second day of the mission, Wang floated over to his experiment and sought to activate the Drop Dynamics Module. But it didn't work. He asked the NASA flight controllers on the ground if he could take some time to try to troubleshoot the problem and maybe fix the experiment. But on any Shuttle mission, time is precious. Every crew member has a detailed timeline, with a long list of tasks during waking hours. The flight controllers were reluctant.

After initially being told no, Wang pressed a bit further. "Listen, I know my system very well," he said. "Give me a shot." Still, the flight controllers demurred. Wang grew desperate. So he said something that chilled the nerves of those in Houston watching over the safety of the crew and the Shuttle mission.

"Hey, if you guys don't give me a chance to repair my instrument, I'm not going back," Wang said.

Exactly what happened after that may never be known. But thanks to new reporting, we may finally have some answers. And though this is an old story, it still reverberates today, four decades on, with lasting consequences into the era of commercial spaceflight as more and more people fly into orbit.

Google and AT&T invest in Starlink rival for satellite-to-smartphone service | Ars Technica #technology

Google, AT&T, and Vodafone are investing $206.5 million in AST SpaceMobile, a Starlink competitor that plans to offer smartphone service from low-Earth-orbit satellites.

This is the first investment in AST SpaceMobile from Google and AT&T, while Vodafone had already put money into the satellite company. AST SpaceMobile announced the funding in a press release on Thursday and announced a $100 million public offering of its stock on the same day.

"Vodafone and AT&T have placed purchase orders for network equipment from AST SpaceMobile to support planned commercial service," the satellite company said. Google has meanwhile "agreed to collaborate on product development, testing, and implementation plans for SpaceMobile network connectivity on Android and related devices." AST, which has one very large test satellite in orbit, previously received investments from Rakuten, American Tower, and Bell Canada.

The Haier Europe Eases Off On Legal Threat And Seeks Dialogue | Hackaday - continuation from first link in previous ReHacked.

Boeing 737-900ER: Second model to be inspected after 737 Max 9 blowout - BBC News #aviation

Checks are to be carried out on a second Boeing aircraft model following the blowout of an unused door on one of its planes earlier this month.

The US Federal Aviation Administration grounded more than 170 of the 737 Max 9 fleet after a cabin panel broke away thousands of feet above the ground.

On Sunday, the agency said airlines should also inspect older 737-900ER models, which use the same door design.

The FAA described the move as an "added layer of safety".

It said there had been no reported issues with the 737-900ER, but that it uses the same style of panel to "plug" an unused door as the plane involved in the terrifying 5 January incident.

The Price Is Not Right - Right to Repair Europe #economy

For about 5 years now, we’ve been keeping an eye on the price of a particular circuit board for a washing machine as it fluctuated between 299€ and 1073€—which is more expensive than the whole of the machine ever cost. Surely a glitch? Don’t be so sure. When looking into spare prices in more detail as we were preparing for our ‘Price is Right’ game, we had no trouble at all finding similar examples for various products, ranging from a Samsung LCD panel that costs nearly 25% more than the TV that it’s used in, to a 60€ motor for a Gardena grass trimmer that costs only 37€, shipping included (see image).(2) That’s over 160% of the product price, for a single part! Unless you find a repairer that’s willing to pay you for the opportunity to repair your lawn trimmer, that doesn’t leave much room for any repair scenario, does it?

Helium is an essential material for research and medical equipment, but it’s nonrenewable and difficult to recycle #technology #nature

The next time you pick up balloons for your big party, remember the helium gas in those balloons is destined for the stars. Helium is so light that it easily escapes Earth’s gravity, and all helium will eventually make its way into space. Like fossil fuels, helium is a limited resource.

Helium shortages have become an acute problem for many researchers. Since early 2022, a variety of factors have put pressure on the global helium market, including the potential sale of the U.S.’s publicly held helium reserves and production infrastructure, sanctions against Russia and a series of breakdowns at helium plants.

Four helium shortages have occurred over the past decade, and these disruptions affect several high-tech industries. Beyond inflating balloons, helium plays a part in welding for certain metals and in making semiconductors.

Meta now lets EU users unlink their Facebook, Messenger and Instagram accounts - Neowin #privacy

In a major move addressing European regulations, Meta will soon give users in the EU, EEA, and Switzerland significantly more control over how their data is used across Facebook and Instagram. The changes, set to begin rolling out in the coming weeks, aim to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

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