Curating the Internet: Science and technology digest for November 4, 2019

in rsslog •  8 days ago 

Another 5G article, this one arguing that it should be presumed safe; Mars CEO says automation brings opportunity and responsibility; An 18th century automaton in China with an incomplete history; A Steem report on a coming drone delivery service from CVS and UPS; and A theory to explain the 1864 sinking of the Confederate sub, the Hunley


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  1. The Science Of Why 5G Is (Almost) Certainly Safe For Humans - The "back and forth" continues. In this post, Ethan Siegel responds to We Have No Reason to Believe 5G Is Safe, saying that nearly anything can cause cancer in high doses, but that 5G wireless signals have received the World Health Organization's lowest-level risk assessment, on par with coffee, thyme, and nickel coins. Siegel goes on to argue that every generation of wireless technology has led to fear-mongering from opponents, but that in reality the risk is severely limited by the distance from the transmitter, because wireless signal strength decays in proportion to the inverse square-root of the distance. Citing Alex Berezow, Siegel argues that a full suite of scientific studies back the assumption that 5G wireless is safe, and the burden of proof falls upon those who claim that it is unsafe. In particular, Siegel points to studies of wireless workers, which found that workers who receive up to four times more than normal exposure to wirelss signals do not show elevated risks for cancer. Stylistic note, one thing that put me off about this article was Siegel's use of the term WiFi truther to describe people who hold a different point of view. This style of rhetoric really annoys me, from people on both sides of many debates. (Note: This topic was previously covered in Curating the Internet: Science and technology micro-summaries for October 22, 2019 and Curating the Internet: Science and technology micro-summaries for September 18, 2019.) - h/t RealClear Science.

  2. The CEO of a $35 billion company says that automation brings 'massive opportunities' and 'massive obligations' - Mars CEO, Grant Reid, says that as they automate work, the company - known for its M&M candy coated chocolate products - has also invested heavily in retraining to make sure that 10,000 associates are ready for their next roles in the company. He says that the company's Mars university has received numerous awards, and the company's training decisions are driven by Mars' five principles, responsibility. (The others are: quality, mutuality, efficiency, and freedom)

  3. Who Manufactured the Mysterious Chinese Android? - In this article, Herbert Bruderer talks about some of the early automatons that were created by inventors in the 18th century, including some that are preserved and available for public viewing in Europe, one that was not preserved, and another one - termed an android - that was preserved, but is kept behind a cloak of secrecy in Beijing, China. According to Bruderer, the automaton was built by Timothy Wilson. It consists of a carved coffee table with a four floor house on it. In the house are dancing figures with "a scroll, jaquemart, clock, and writer". One of the figures uses a brush to trace the eight Chinese figures for, "May the kings of all nations come to pay homage to our emperor." Bruderer goes on to note that Zhang and Gho have asserted that although Williamson signed the clock, that portion of the creation was actually made by Jaquet-Droz, a Swiss clock maker. According to Bruderer, that claim is possible, but the strict secrecy that's currently imposed on the device in China's "forbidden city", where one must not look upon it up close, makes it impossible to know.

  4. STEEM CVS To Partner with UPS For Drone Delivery - In this post, @doitvoluntarily reports on a recent joint announcement by CVS and UPS. Within a few weeks, the two companies plan to launch a drone delivery service in at least two cities. The end-goal is to offer drone delivery service of products like prescription medicine for customers around all 6,000 of the CVS stores. This comes at a time when Walgreens is testing a comparable service, and other companies like Amazon and McDonald's have also begun pursuing their own drone delivery plans.

  5. What sank the Hunley? Clemson researchers have a theory on Confederate sub’s demise - The Hunley was a Confederate submarine that sank in 1864 off the coast of South Carolina. Researchers have now observed that the air circulation system, consisting of manual bellows and snorkels to the surface was not in use when the ship went down. The crew had intentionally disconnected it and stowed it under a bench. Perhaps to make more room on the cramped conditions. This meant that the crew would have had only about two hours of breathing time before needing to activate the circulation system or resurfacing. The researchers suggest that this may mean that the crew ran out of air while trying to stay submerged in order to hide from nearby Union surface vessels. h/t archaeology.org


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5G wireless signals have received the World Health Organization's lowest-level risk assessment

Who knows 100% sure that the World Health Organization is not simply bribed or forced to make such claims. Have been studies conducted and shown publicly to the world. Like real life tests over a relevant period of time. I've watched quite a few videos regarding wifi, 4G and 3G where "amateurs" were simply measuring radiations from wireless routers and from smartphones when in use with 4G or 3G on. I personally believe that the increased amount of radiations that we currently live in is not good for our health and the best that I could do for myself was to quit using a wifi router and simply cable my laptop. I am using it only on my desk anyway and on my smartphone I have unlimited data.

I noted in the comments on a previous post that after my mom died from brain cancer, I now make a habit of only talking on my phone in "speaker mode" or else using a wired headset. I also don't keep the phone on my person when I don't have to. I typically keep it on a nearby table or shelf. I just don't want the phone transmitting in close proximity to my body, especially my brain, any more than necessary.

Beyond that, I don't worry about it too much, because the signal strength falls off very quickly as distance increases. But I always try to read new articles on the subject, just so I'm aware of the current state of knowledge.



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