ReHacked vol. 265: The Battlegrounds from World War 1 Are Still Dangerous in France, Manipulation, indoctrination and addiction, TikTok ‘ban’ bill and more

ReHacked vol. 265: The Battlegrounds from World War 1 Are Still Dangerous in France, Manipulation, indoctrination and addiction, TikTok ‘ban’ bill and more
Swaths of toxic land the size of Paris still cover much of France. Tinodela/Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Generic

<...> the goal of a book isn’t to get to the last page, it’s to expand your thinking. --Dave Rupert

The Battlegrounds from World War 1 Are Still Dangerous in France - Atlas Obscura #history

In some parts of France, World War I has never ended. These are the Zones rouges—an archipelago of former battlegrounds so pockmarked and polluted by war that, more than a century after the end of hostilities, they remain unfit to live or even farm on.

WWI was the first industrial war and a laboratory for all kinds of military innovations, including the first use of tanks and poison gas. Both the German and the Allied war machines belched out deadly explosives and lethal chemicals on a massive scale. It is estimated that around 60 million shells rained down near Verdun during the fierce battles over that city in 1916—of which 15 million didn’t explode upon impact.

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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Manipulation, indoctrination and addiction | Seth's Blog #psychology

They’re often related.

It’s not unusual for someone to have more experience or knowledge than we do. If they use that knowledge to their benefit, not ours, they might be manipulating us. If we knew what they knew, we wouldn’t have gone along. This is the difference between a generous teacher and a hustler.

Financial Times | The myth of the second chance #personalgrowth

A mis­take, in the mod­ern telling, is not a mis­take but a chance to “grow”, to form “resi­li­ence”. It is a mere bridge towards ulti­mate suc­cess. And in most cases, quite so. But a per­son’s life at 40 isn’t the sum of most decisions. It is skewed by a dis­pro­por­tion­ately import­ant few: some­times pro­fes­sional, often romantic. Get these wrong, and the scope for retriev­ing the situ­ation is, if not zero, then over­blown by a cul­ture that struggles to impart bad news.

Sacred Modernity showcases "unique beauty" of brutalist churches #architecture

Photographer Jamie McGregor Smith has spent the last five years capturing brutalist and modernist churches across Europe. Here, he picks his 12 favourites from his Sacred Modernity book.

With 139 photographs of 100 churches, McGregor Smith created the book to showcase the sculptural and unique forms of some of the churches built in the post-war period in countries including Italy, Germany, Austria, Poland and the UK.

A storybook designed to teach kids about how computers work #learning #longread

Air Force picks Anduril, General Atomics for next round of CCA work - Breaking Defense #technology #aviation

Defense startup Anduril and drone maker General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) have been picked by the Air Force to build and test drone prototypes for the next phase of the service’s Collaborative Combat Aircraft program, the Air Force announced tonight.

Why One Man Spent 12 Years Fighting Robocalls - IEEE Spectrum #privacy #robocalls

Can more regulation help?
Frankel: Well, regulations are really, really tough for a couple of reasons. One is, it’s a bureaucratic, slow-moving process. It’s also a cat-and-mouse game, because, as quick as you start talking about new regulations, people start talking about how to circumvent them.

Big Telecom Used Fake and Dead People to Fight Net Neutrality, NY AG Says #internet

Survey after survey has shown that the public overwhelmingly opposed the Trump FCC’s 2017 repeal of net neutrality rules designed to protect consumers from telecom monopolies. So the broadband industry engaged in a practice that’s becoming more and more common: it used fake and even dead people to generate bogus support for the industry’s unpopular plan.

FCC restores net neutrality rules that ban blocking and throttling in 3-2 vote | Ars Technica #internet #law

The Federal Communications Commission voted 3–2 to impose net neutrality rules today, restoring the common-carrier regulatory framework enforced during the Obama era and then abandoned while Trump was president.

The rules prohibit Internet service providers from blocking and throttling lawful content and ban paid prioritization. Cable and telecom companies plan to fight the rules in court, but they lost a similar battle during the Obama era when judges upheld the FCC's ability to regulate ISPs as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act.

Palm OS and the devices that ran it: An Ars retrospective | Ars Technica #haredware #computer #history #longread

In the mid-to-late 1980s, portable computing primarily meant either heavy, luggable workstations or a unique class of pocket computers with tiny screens, small memories, and calculator-like keyboards. Jeff Hawkins, then vice president of research at portable systems builder GRiD, thought he could do better. He wanted to build a system where the screen itself becomes the input device, replacing keyboards with pens and styluses.

While handwriting recognition was an even bigger challenge for systems back then, Hawkins’ PalmPrint system simplified the task by merely matching strokes to characters instead of trying to recognize entire words. PalmPrint became GridPen, the core of the 1989 GriDPad 1900, or what we would call today the first commercially successful tablet computer. Using a resistive 10-inch black-and-white LCD as the screen and writing surface, it ran MS-DOS on a lower-power 10 MHz Intel 80C86 and weighed just about two kilograms (4.5 pounds), selling at an MSRP of $2,500 (about $6,200 in 2024 dollars).

Recoding Voyager 1—NASA’s interstellar explorer is finally making sense again | Ars Technica #space #technology #engineering

There was a breakthrough last month when engineers sent up a novel command to "poke" Voyager 1's FDS to send back a readout of its memory. This readout allowed engineers to pinpoint the location of the problem in the FDS memory. The FDS is responsible for packaging engineering and scientific data for transmission to Earth.

After a few weeks, NASA was ready to uplink a solution to get the FDS to resume packing engineering data. This data stream includes information on the status of the spacecraft—things like power levels and temperature measurements. This command went up to Voyager 1 through one of NASA's large Deep Space Network antennas Thursday.

Then, the wait for a response. Spilker, who started working on Voyager right out of college in 1977, was in the room when Voyager 1's signal reached Earth Saturday.

You Are What You Read, Even If You Don’t Always Remember It - Jim Nielsen’s Blog #reading

Other people’s problems | Seth's Blog #psychology

When we care enough to solve our own problem, we’ll loosen the unloosenable constraints and embrace the new challenges to come.

Biden signs TikTok ‘ban’ bill into law, starting the clock for ByteDance to divest it - The Verge #software #politics

President Joe Biden signed a foreign aid package that includes a bill that would ban TikTok if China-based parent company ByteDance fails to divest the app within a year.

The divest-or-ban bill is now law, starting the clock for ByteDance to make its move. The company has an initial nine months to sort out a deal, though the president could extend that another three months if he sees progress.

5.25-inch floppy disks expected to help run San Francisco trains until 2030 | Ars Technica #technology #history

Members of the SFMTA recently spoke with the ABC7 Bay Area News and detailed the agency's use of three 5¼-inch floppy disks every morning. The floppies have been part of Muni Metro's Automatic Train Control System (ATCS) since its installation in the Market Street subway stop in 1998. The ATCS has multiple components, "including computers onboard the trains that are tied into propulsion and brake systems, central and local servers, and communications infrastructure, like loop cable signal wires," Michael Roccaforte, an SFMTA spokesperson, told Ars Technica.

Fallout for modern operating systems #software #fun

Fallout Community Edition is a fully working re-implementation of Fallout, with the same original gameplay, engine bugfixes, and some quality of life improvements, that works (mostly) hassle-free on multiple platforms.

There is also Fallout 2 Community Edition.

Carl Sagan, nuking the moon, and not nuking the moon | Eukaryote Writes Blog #history

“Why would anyone think it was a good idea to nuke the moon?”

That’s a great question. Most of us go about our lives comforted by the thought “I would never drop a nuclear weapon on the moon.” The truth is that given a lot of power, a nuclear weapon, and a lot of extremely specific circumstances, we too might find ourselves thinking “I should nuke the moon.”

NASA’s Voyager 1 Resumes Sending Engineering Updates to Earth – Voyager The team discovered that a single chip responsible for storing a portion of the FDS memory — including some of the FDS computer’s software code — isn’t working. The loss of that code rendered the science and engineering data unusable. Unable to repair the chip, the team decided to place the affected code elsewhere in the FDS memory. But no single location is large enough to hold the section of code in its entirety.

So they devised a plan to divide the affected code into sections and store those sections in different places in the FDS. To make this plan work, they also needed to adjust those code sections to ensure, for example, that they all still function as a whole. Any references to the location of that code in other parts of the FDS memory needed to be updated as well.

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