Step Inside The Museum of Obsolete Library Science

by David Solomonoff

There’s a popular misconception that librarians as a profession are conservative. Not politically conservative, but literally conservative—wanting to keep old stuff. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth—we are often on the cutting edge of using new technologies. However, the dirty little secret is that sometimes the old stuff, while no longer useful, is actually cool.

Source: Step Inside The Museum of Obsolete Library Science | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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How the appreciation of beauty can foster perceptual learning

by David Solomonoff

Could play an important role in psychotherapy, as many mental disorders are associated with dissociated experiences of emotion and rigid thought processes. Learning to be in the moment, to stop and observe the beauty around them, could thus help individuals to regain a curious, joyful and open-minded outlook on life.

Source: How the appreciation of beauty can foster perceptual learning

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New Stent-like Electrode Allows Humans to Operate Computers With Their Thoughts

by David Solomonoff

First humans to receive a “stentrode” demonstrate that home brain-computer interface systems are feasible:

Researchers have been experimenting for over 15 years with sensing human brain activity and converting it directly into computer commands. Most of these systems involve open brain surgery and leave hardware protruding from the head so that the systems can be studied in labs. It’s highly experimental, and only a handful of people have had it done.

The stentrode offers a less intrusive way to get electrodes to the brain. The device is squeezed into a catheter and placed in the jugular vein in the neck.

Source: New Stent-like Electrode Allows Humans to Operate Computers With Their Thoughts – IEEE Spectrum

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Spy agency ducks questions about ‘back doors’ in tech products

by David Solomonoff

Destroying the trust in essential tech, infrastructure and technical standards/protocols can have long term, unpredictable consequences:

NSA has pursued many means for getting inside equipment, sometimes striking commercial deals to induce companies to insert back doors, and in other cases manipulating standards – namely by setting processes so that companies unknowingly adopt software that NSA experts can break

Source: Spy agency ducks questions about ‘back doors’ in tech products | Reuters

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Can lab-grown brains become conscious?

by David Solomonoff

A handful of experiments are raising questions about whether clumps of cells and disembodied brains could be sentient, and how scientists would know if they were.

Ethicists and scientists raise a host of moral and philosophical questions about whether organoids should be allowed to reach this level of advanced development, whether ‘conscious’ organoids might be entitled to special treatment and rights not afforded to other clumps of cells and the possibility that consciousness could be created from scratch.

Source: Can lab-grown brains become conscious?

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Army fires tank-killing robots armed with Javelin missiles

by David Solomonoff

Human soldiers now increasingly partner with artificial intelligence when making decisions regarding deployment of lethal weapons:

U.S. Army will soon operate robots able to destroy enemy armored vehicles with anti-tank missiles, surveil warzones under heavy enemy fire and beam back identified targeting details in seconds due to rapid progress with several new armed robot programs.

Concept is to optimize state-of-the-art networking between manned armored vehicles operating in a command and control capacity and forward-positioned armed robots capable of testing enemy defenses, performing surveillance under enemy fire or simply firing upon and destroying enemy targets when directed by humans.

Source: Army fires tank-killing robots armed with Javelin missiles | Fox News

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March 11th, 2020, House Armed Services Committee Received Briefing on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs)

by David Solomonoff

Following document is the House of Representatives, Committee on Armed Services, Summary of Progress of Specific Studies and Investigations for March of 2020. This document reveals that on March 11th, 2020, the full Committee received a classified briefing on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena or UAPs. Document Archive House of Representatives, Committee on Armed Services,Read More

Source: March 11th, 2020, House Armed Services Committee Received Briefing on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs) – The Black Vault

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Network Outages Go Global

by David Solomonoff

On August 30, CenturyLink experienced a major network outage that lasted for over five hours and which disrupted CenturyLink customers nationwide as well as many other networks.

Right now, the security of the Internet is in the hands of few corporations that stress the bottom line first, and which have willingly accepted increased risk to our Internet backbones as a price to pay for cost efficiency.

Source: Network Outages Go Global | POTs and PANs

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UW researcher put tiny tracking technology on giant hornets to help state deal with murderous pest

by David Solomonoff

A researcher from the University of Washington, using tiny technology, has been playing a big role in helping state entomologists tackle a giant problem. Giant hornets, in fact. #MurderHornets

Source: UW researcher put tiny tracking technology on giant hornets to help state deal with murderous pest – GeekWire

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Earth could be seen by alien civilisations on nearby exoplanets, scientists find

by David Solomonoff

“Only a very small fraction of exoplanets will just happen to be randomly aligned with our line of sight so we can see them transit. But all of the thousand stars we identified in our paper in the solar neighborhood could see our Earth transit the Sun, calling their attention.”

“If we found a planet with a vibrant biosphere, we would get curious about whether or not someone is there looking at us too.”

Source: Earth could be seen by alien civilisations on nearby exoplanets, scientists find | The Independent

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