VnutZ's Articles, Page 2 of 80
Not too long ago, my little girl was having a bout of coughs. Her mother took her to a Naturpath to get natural remedies and she received a prescription for ALJ – a dietary supplement. I rolled my eyes at this approach and was challenged with, “What do you think people did before modern medicine?” To this I responded, “Died young.”
Now, to be fair, before modern medicine this was the method by which people were treated and the properties of various plants formed the basis of initial scientific research into why people were getting better. But lately, especially with the anti-vaxxers, there seems to be this movement away from modern medicine as if the ways of the past using nothing but natural herbs and spices is the way to go.
Regular car manufacturers continue to produce electric vehicles that nobody wants like the Nissan Leaf while others have only just caught on that people want a “normal” car that happens to be electric like the BMW i3. But by and large, the Tesla has been the superior manufacturer despite being out of the common person’s price range. Until the Model 3. Tesla’s latest offering is more than 50% cheaper than the famed Model S and includes all of the best features – minus luxury size – and that has already resulted in more than 100,000 preorders. The company has simply figured out how to deliver cool, green, and function together in a fashion no other automaker has even approached.
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Some astronomers recently suggested a technique for hiding the Earth from aliens by using lasers. The idea was to counter our own technique of analyzing transit photometry, a method of looking for when a star “darkens” as a planet passes in front of it. The astronomers suggest that blasting laser energy in an opposite direction at nearby stars in the plan of Earth would negate the method from revealing our location.
Wait … WTF?! Is that really a concern? Apparently it is quite the debated topic. Even renowned minds such as Stephen Hawking suggest that Earth should do a better job about NOT advertising our presence in space.
Researchers at Stanford University have leveraged mimicry to empower small robots. The end result of their work was a small team of six microbots weighing no more 3.5 ounces (together) capable of moving a 3900 pound car. It was done by studying the incredible friction forces used by geckos, applying them to the microbots, and then carefully synchronizing tiny movements.
In a somewhat appropriate posting given the initial voting trend on the Income Inequality Poll, some research out of the UK is showing that higher education does not necessarily make one richer. Dr. Matt Dickson and collaborator Dr. Franz Buscha found that an additional year of education resulted in an earnings loss of £45,000 (~ $64K) over a 35 year span. Essentially, it takes a higher educated individual into their 30s to “catch up” against a peer with more experience. Even then, by the time they are in the mid-30s, despite achieving experience parity, the wage differentials were not significant.
Oh humanity and its inventions. facepalm
Microsoft recently created Taylor, an artificially intelligent chatbot designed to interact with people on Twitter with roughly the language of a contemporary teenager. The project did not go so well and was turned off in about a day. Why? Through it’s use of Twitter as a training platform, “Tay” quickly began spewing racist comments and promoting Hitler. Microsoft’s experiment may have been a public relations disaster offers a lot to social sciences as a reflection of who we are. Basically, the neural network was trained by the type of content it found on Twitter through the weighted relationships it found between Q&A associations and responses in addition to the direct feedback it received when users interacted with Tay directly.
On 6 May 2010, the Flash Crash wiped out nearly $1 trillion in stock mark assets in less than a day. Unfortunately, OmniNerd ScottB did nothing to stop it despite his clairvoyance … jerk. In a series of contrived trades (a practice that when not abused is known in the industry as Market Making), stock trader Navinder Singh Sarao created and cancelled enormous trades designed to stimulate High Frequency Trading (HFT) systems to falsely drive particular prices so that he could make a predicted sweep of the system. After more than half a decade, the United States has put together a case and is requesting extradition from the United Kingdom where Sarao would face charges and potential penalties to include 300 years of prison.
OmniNerd was on course to achieve $2B in revenue somewhere around FY3062 after the Great Purge eliminated most of the competition. Before OmniNerd could achieve such a feat, RedHat managed to break the $2 billion barrier. There are a few notable points about RedHat’s accomplishment. The first being the company’s success constructing a ecosystem of certifications, standards, and system support using a free, open source operating system as their business model. The second, it was only four years ago that RedHat broke the $1B barrier showing this achievement is no fluke and continuing to build rapidly.
Derek Zoolander might wonder how anybody is supposed to read the data unless they’re ant sized. Researchers developed a technique for storing data in quartz that offers to provide near permanent, ageless retention and incredible storage capacity. 5D refers to their process of using three dimensional structure within the quartz crystal combined with the size and orientation of quantized photon which are all permanently etched with lasers. Current technology allows storing 360TB on a single inch crystal disc that can handle 1000 degrees Celsius.
In the not too distant past, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik went on a killing spree in San Bernadino in what is characterized as a domestic terror event fueled by radicalization. The FBI believes the couple was in contact with handlers long before the shooting took place but have been stymied by the encryption on an Apple iPhone. Although otherwise cooperating on a technical basis with the FBI, a judge ordered Apple to assist the investigation by breaking into the phone. To this, Apple CEO Tim Cook published an open letter defying the order to effectively backdoor their products, even for government one off cases, as a slippery slope towards broader abuse. Shortly after, Google has joined Apple in a combined front against the government’s ability to break into their product security.
For all the OmniNerds that are already happily settled down, this news is not for you. Otherwise, mathematicians have devised the magic ratio at which a person should date around and reject people before settling down. In a nutshell, a person should reject the first 37% of their potential dating pool (but still date them for comparison metrics). After the brutal round of rejecting that 37% are complete, the person should subsequently settle for the first person that is better than all the prior rejects. The math behind the 37% lies within the article (or here and here) but all plays against probability.
Most people aren’t aware, but every time they sang the “Happy Birthday” song, they were violating copyright. The fact that the song has been generating royalties for decades is either an excellent example of the copyright system working … or of its abuse. A Federal Judge in 2015 had ruled the song itself was not protected by copyright and now a new ruling is forcing the current claimant to the copyright to pay back royalties to affected parties. Basically, this means your home YouTube videos can include the song now without fear of DMCA takedowns and infringment lawsuits.
Shortly after the most recent North Korean nuclear test, the tiny nation launched a satellite into space. At first, that’s a fairly impressive accomplishment for them considering most of their ballistic missile tests result in failed disaster over Japan and crash somewhere in the Pacific. Nevertheless, the North Koreans succeeded at adding to the orbiting rubbish circling the Earth as analysts already determined the satellite is tumbling uselessly in orbit. Let that not become an indicator of safety for the rest of the world as an ability to put a “satellite” into failed orbit is more or less identical to putting a re-entry-ready warhead into space and therefore anywhere in the world. The only assurance is the North Koreans are terrible at delivering their warheads to the intended target but you only need to be close in a game of horseshoes and nuclear weapons.