Interesting Links: April 20, 2019

in #rsslog4 years ago

Business, News, Science, Technology, or whatever gets my attention.

Straight from my RSS feed:


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


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pixabay license: source.

  1. Facebook may have broken the law by harvesting 1.5 million users' email contacts, experts say - Facebook says it accidentally harvested contact information from 1.5 million users. Legal experts say this might violate the 2011 consent decree, Federal antitrust laws, unfair competition laws in all 50 states, the EU's GPDR, and potentially even criminal codes including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Although1.5 million facebook users were directly affected, the count of people who had their contact information snatched is likely much higher.

  2. Five Years in the Making, Bisq Exchange Launches Its Bitcoin DAO - The decentralized exchange uses a KYC resistant exchange mechanism, and the DAO makes use of TOR and "colored coins", satoshis that are earmarked for a particular purpose.

  3. Americans Will Benefit From 5G, Regardless of Who Gets There First - 5G is about 100 times faster than 4G, which will enable all sorts of new technologies, from autonomous vehicles and remote surgery to smart cities using the Internet of Things. What matters isn't which country develops it first, but who does the best job building upon it.

  4. STEEM Samsung’s $2,000 foldable phone falls apart in DAYS, reviewers complain (PHOTOS, VIDEOS) - From Steem's new media giant, @rt-international, Samsung's folding smart phone is set to launch on April 26 in the US, but reviewers are already reporting product failures after just days of use.

  5. Tolkien was right: Scholars conclude Beowulf likely the work of single author - Scholars have long debated whether the 1000+ year old poem was written by a single author. JRR Tolkien weighed in in 1936 saying that it was a single author, and now a team of Harvard researchers published in Nature Human Behavior agreeing with Tolkien. Their statistical analysis used a methodology called, stylometry, and determined that stylistic identifiers for a single author were present throughout the document. In particular, the authors looked at meter, "sense pauses" between clauses, word choice, and letter combinations. They applied the same analysis to four poems that are believed to by an ancient poet known as Cynewulf, and found that three or maybe even four are by the same author.

  6. Crusader armies were remarkably genetically diverse, study finds - A study reported in the American Journal of Human Genetics extracted DNA from a mass burial pit that was located near a "crusader castle". The Crusades lasted for two centuries, so its participants included fathers, sons, grandsons, and so on. Of the nine people studied, only three were from western Europe. In contrast, four were Lebanese, and the last two had a mix of European and near east DNA. This lends support to the theory that the Crusaders developed relationships with local inhabitants during the two century campaign.

  7. Landowners are earning millions for carbon cuts that may not occur - According to a policy brief from the University of California, Berkeley, participants may have overestimated carbon reductions by as much as one third of the total expected reductions.

  8. Inside the black hole image that made history - Sheperd Doeleman gives a TED talk describing the back story for the first ever photograph of a black hole, 55 million light years away, in between the constellations, Virgo and Leo. The effective size of the composite telescope that they used was the size of the entire Earth. Doeleman reports that they have already collected data on the black hole in the center of our own galaxy, so an image of that may also be upcoming.

  9. Defense against the Darknet, or how to accessorize to defeat video surveillance - At an upcoming computer vision conference, researchers will be presenting a technique for using a 15 inch square panel as a countermeasure in order to defeat visual surveillance techniques that aim to identify an object as a person. The work is available in ArXiv and the article contains a youtube embed that demonstrates the technique.

  10. Home Robot Control for People With Disabilities - A group of researchers at Georgia Tech are working on methods of communicating with robots for people who can't move their arms or hands. The researchers are accomplishing this by using low level autonomy for the robots, coupled with an augmented reality environment in a standard web browser with off-the-shelf I/O devices like head trackers, eye gaze trackers, or voice control. As published recently in PLOS ONE, the system is effective and easy to use, but due to limits of the I/O mechanism, it is not fast.


Here is a youtube video from the last article that shows Henry Evans, a mostly paralyzed operator, who can control the PR2 robot just by moving his eyes and clicking a button with his thumb.

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