ReHacked vol. 275: The Economics of Writing Technical Books, Supreme Court rules ex-presidents have immunity for official acts and more

ReHacked vol. 275: The Economics of Writing Technical Books, Supreme Court rules ex-presidents have immunity for official acts and more
West Japan Railway has introduced a 12-metre high robot mounted on a truck to perform maintenance work on rails, including trimming tree branches and painting. Photograph: Reuters

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Supreme Court rules ex-presidents have immunity for official acts | AP News #politics #dystopy

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled for the first time that former presidents have broad immunity from prosecution, extending the delay in the Washington criminal case against Donald Trump on charges he plotted to overturn his 2020 presidential election loss and all but ending prospects the former president could be tried before the November election.

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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He Might Have Been the First Jazz Star... - by Ted Gioia #music #history

The obvious comparison is with Duke Ellington. Both Dabney and Ellington were born in Washington DC in the late nineteenth century, and raised in supportive middle class settings where musical talent was nurtured.

But Dabney was born in 1883, while Ellington was born in 1899. That was enough of difference to make Ellington a jazz star, while Dabney falls into the cracks. He learned ragtime piano in his youth, but the market for rags was already declining during his teen years.

But Dabney was an extremely creative rag composer, and his works reveal his skill in pushing beyond the oom-pah rhythmic clichés of the idiom.

1Password & 2FA: Is it Safe to Store Passwords and 2FA Codes Together? | 1Password #security

The correct choice is the one that works best for you.

For the majority of people, storing TOTP in 1Password is well within their risk tolerance. There will always be those of you who will trade that convenience because you want or require the added protection of true 2FA. And to those faithful hardware key crew members: Think of your true second factor as less “extra layer of security,” and more granular protection that will apply only if you’re subject to certain forms of attack.

Security guidance is largely straightforward — X is bad, do Y instead — but two-factor security is a rare case in which the correct choice is the one that works best for you. It’s not the mechanism that matters. When 2FA is enabled, your account is safer, and that is 2FA the right way.

Anxious Generation — How Safetyism and Social Media are damaging the kids | Matija Munjaković | Digital Product Development #society

In addition to social media use, he also talks about the other big issue that leads to his Great Rewiring: helicopter parenting.

The net effect of this is that kids have far more extended boundaries set on them (except on their phones!). For example, nowadays, parents expect their children to be free to go and do groceries alone or play outside without adult supervision only at around the age of 10 to 12 (if not even higher). Gen X, in his research, remembers this as having happened for them around ages 6, 7, or 8. On one hand, I feel like this claim rings true; on the other, I'm also wondering if there might be a case of some rosy retrospection or wishful thinking.

Why privacy is important, and having "nothing to hide" is irrelevant #privacy #security #freedom

Loss of privacy leads to loss of freedom.

Your freedom of expression is threatened by the surveillance of your internet usage – thought patterns and intentions can be extrapolated from your website visits (rightly or wrongly), and the knowledge that you are being surveilled can make you less likely to research a particular topic. You lose that perspective, and your thought can be pushed in one direction as a result. Similarly, when the things you write online, or communicate privately to others, are surveilled, and you self-censor as a result, the rest of us lose your perspective, and the development of further ideas is stifled.

Your freedom of association is threatened by the surveillance of your communications online and by phone, and your freedom of assembly is threatened by the tracking of your location by your mobile phone. Can we afford to risk the benefits of free association, the social change brought by activists and campaigners, or the right to protest?

These freedoms are being eroded, right now. The effects will worsen over time, as each failure to exercise our freedom builds upon the last, and as more people experience the chilling effects.

Welsh government commits to making lying in politics illegal | Welsh politics | The Guardian #politics

After a passionate and dramatic debate in the Welsh parliament on Tuesday evening, the government’s counsel general, Mick Antoniw, said the legislation would be introduced before the next Welsh elections in two years’ time.

He said: “The Welsh government will bring forward legislation before 2026 for the disqualification of members and candidates found guilty of deliberate deception through an independent judicial process.”

Philip Morris International has secretly funded Japanese academics #science #economy

Despite claiming to conduct transparent science PMI has been covertly funding research and attempting to influence science and policy to create a favourable environment for its products. This contradicts PMI’s supposed transformation efforts and raises serious concerns about the company’s research ethics. We must urgently reform the ways tobacco research is funded and governed to protect science from vested corporate interests, and ensure the public and policymakers have the truly transparent and independent science they need.

Stolen credentials could unmask thousands of darknet child abuse website users #security

Thousands of people with accounts on darknet websites for sharing child sexual abuse material (CSAM) could be unmasked using information stolen by cybercriminals, according to research published Tuesday.

In a proof-of-concept report, researchers at Recorded Future said they have been able to identify these individuals from credentials harvested by infostealer malware — a type of malware that typically steals log-in credentials for banking services, which are then exploited by financial fraudsters.

Japan introduces enormous humanoid robot to maintain train lines | Japan | The Guardian #futurism #interesting

It resembles an enormous, malevolent robot from 1980s sci-fi but West Japan Railway’s new humanoid employee was designed with nothing more sinister than a spot of painting and gardening in mind.
Starting this month, the large machine with enormous arms, a crude, disproportionately small Wall-E-like head and coke-bottle eyes mounted on a truck – which can drive on rails – will be put to use for maintenance work on the company’s network.

Man-Computer Symbiosis (1960) #society #futurism #longread

Man-computer symbiosis is an expected development in cooperative interaction between men and electronic computers. It will involve very close coupling between the human and the electronic members of the partnership. The main aims are 1) to let computers facilitate formulative thinking as they now facilitate the solution of formulated problems, and 2) to enable men and computers to cooperate in making decisions and controlling complex situations without inflexible dependence on predetermined programs. In the anticipated symbiotic partnership, men will set the goals, formulate the hypotheses, determine the criteria, and perform the evaluations. Computing machines will do the routinizable work that must be done to prepare the way for insights and decisions in technical and scientific thinking. Preliminary analyses indicate that the symbiotic partnership will perform intellectual operations much more effectively than man alone can perform them. Prerequisites for the achievement of the effective, cooperative association include developments in computer time sharing, in memory components, in memory organization, in programming languages, and in input and output equipment.

Chinese AI stirs panic at European geoscience society | Science | AAAS #science #ai

Few things prompt as much anxiety in science and the wider world as the growing use of artificial intelligence (AI) and the rising influence of China. This spring, these two factors created a rift at the European Geosciences Union (EGU), one of the world’s largest geoscience societies, that led to the firing of its president.

The whole episode has been “a packaging up of fear of AI and fear of China,” says Michael Stephenson, former chief geologist of the United Kingdom and one of the founders of Deep-time Digital Earth (DDE), a $70 million effort to connect digital geoscience databases. In 2019, another geoscience society, the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), kicked off DDE, which has been funded almost entirely by the government of China’s Jiangsu province.

Why Is Chile So Long? - by Tomas Pueyo #nature

Google's carbon emissions surge nearly 50% due to AI energy demand #ai #environment

Google’s emissions surged nearly 50% compared to 2019, the company said Tuesday in its 2024 environmental report, marking a notable setback in its goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030.

Google’s emissions also increased 13% year over year in 2023, per the report.

Pharma firms stash profits in Europe's tax havens as patients struggle with drug prices | Investigate Europe #health #economy

Nine of the 10 biggest pharma groups in the world have operations in Ireland and the largest is "likely to be Pfizer," suspects Prof Stewart. "I say likely because there are no published accounts available for any Irish subsidiary. Nearly all Pfizer subsidiaries in Ireland operate as a branch of a Dutch entity."

In the Netherlands, Pfizer booked three-quarters of its $100 billion global revenues with a Dutch holding at the helm of a myriad of subsidiaries. CPPI CV, a limited partnership, is "fiscally transparent", meaning its shareholders can draw profits untaxed. In the two years to the end of 2023, CPPI sent $35 billion to its parent companies in Delaware. Follow the Money, an investigative outlet, published several articles on Pfizer's Dutch affairs and described how the partnership became the most profitable company in the Netherlands. Pfizer did not respond to requests for comment.

New Open Source law in Switzerland | Joinup #copyrights

"Switzerland's new 'public money public code' law is a great opportunity for government, the IT industry and society. All stakeholders benefit from this new regulation since the public sector can reduce vendor lock-in, companies can grow their digital business solutions, and taxpayers spend less on IT solutions and receive better services due to increased competition and innovation." Professor Dr. Matthias Stürmer

The Economics of Writing Technical Books - The Architect Elevator #economy #selfpublish

If you publish a book, you should be thinking about how it supports what you want to do with your career. If you want to get a “normal” job (like an engineering director role, CTO, etc.), a book might help you get an interview, but it won’t close the deal. As a consultant you’re selling your expertise and advice, which the book demonstrates.

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