Curating the Internet: Science and technology micro-summaries for September 13, 2019

in rsslog •  7 months ago 

A Steem post reporting on a colorful gel-llike substance that was found on the moon's surface; Redefining racism in order to solve it and improve policing; Instagram appears to be emulating a TikTok technology; Reprogrammable ink that allows object coloring to be redesigned or erased; And a robot pilot that can turn any plane into an autonomous vehicle


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Links and micro-summaries from my 1000+ daily headlines. I filter them so you don't have to.


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  1. STEEM China Says It Discovered A Colorful Gel-Like Substance On The Moon - China is being tight-lipped on details, but this post by @sauravrungta says they have discovered a colorful gel-like substance at the bottom of a creater on the moon's dark side. Little is known about the origin of this substance, which differs dramatically from the surrounding soil.

  2. How we can turn racism into a solvable problem -- and improve policing - In this TED talk, Phillip Atiba Goff suggests that racism should be defined and measured based upon behaviors instead of beliefs or attitudes. He argues that this simple change in definition converts racism from an impossible problem to a solvable problem.

  3. Instagram appears to be working on a new video tool, and it's a clone of the feature that made TikTok so successful - Reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong says that Instagram is working on "Clips" video mode, which is a camera mode that lets cell phone users record videos in snippets and then splice them together. This is apparently a capability that helpded to build TikTok's popularity. Instagram declined to comment, and it remains to be seen if the new feature will be released.

  4. Scientists have invented an unbelievable 'reprogrammable' ink that can change color and vanish at will - MIT scientists have invented a new ink from a photochromic dye that changes color when exposed to ultra-violet light. With this ink, color patterns can be designed into 3D models and projected onto objects, where they will persist until changed or erased. The article says this could have practical uses in the fashion arena, enabling people to easily match clothing colors. Video here:


  • Robot pilot that can grab the flight controls gets its plane licence - Unlike many aircraft autopilots, the ROBOpilot Unmanned Aircraft Conversion System physically manipulates the plane's controls and reads the sensors with a computer vision system. The ROBOpilot can take off, follow a flight plan, and land a plane, and it has passed its pilot's test and been issued a license. It flew its first test-flight in Utah, but a few weeks later suffered a mishap of some sort, where the robot suffered an unknown degree of damage. The robot was developed by US based DZYNE Technologies as an "easy" way to make any plane autonomous. h/t Communications of the ACM


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    Once again a very nice selection! I am quite skeptical with the second selected article, especially because of the 'human' factor... But this is maybe just me...

    Thanks for the feedback! I sort-of agree about the second one. I had a mixed reaction to the video. On one hand, at the policy level it's almost certainly easier to change actions than beliefs, so the change in definition makes sense to me. But on the other hand, I kept wondering what he's going to do about Goodhart's Law: When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.

    I am confronted with racism mostly every day, being a foreigner in a European country where the extreme right wing is getting stronger stronger (although I am not really the primary target of the racists, so that my experience may be softer than the one of others). I see things changing and evolving in the good way, but I also see a large number of people who refuse to evolve. For that reason, I do not think we are ready for that. Sadly...

    I like social media site.



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