Boulder Future Salon

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"In a series of articles, IEEE Spectrum is examining exactly what data Tesla vehicles collect, how the company uses them to develop its automated driving systems, and whether owners or the company are in the driver's seat when it comes to accessing and exploiting that data."

Event data recorders (EDRs) are triggered by a crash and collect 5 seconds of information, including speed, acceleration, brake use, steering input, and automatic brake and stability controls, to assist in crash investigations.

Tesla's routine "gateway log" files include seatbelt, Autopilot, and cruise-control settings, and whether drivers had their hands on the steering wheel.

For Teslas built since mid-2017, "every time you drive, it records the whole track of where you drive, the GPS coordinates and certain other metrics for every mile driven," claims a Tesla owner who has reverse engineered the data collection. These data submissions use a temporary ID for anonymization, but the temporary ID "can persist for days or weeks".

"In Shadow Mode, operating on Tesla vehicles since 2016, if the car's Autopilot computer is not controlling the car, it is simulating the driving process in parallel with the human driver. When its own predictions do not match the driver's behavior, this might trigger the recording of a short 'snapshot' of the car's cameras, speed, acceleration, and other parameters for later uploading to Tesla. Snapshots are also triggered when a Tesla crashes."

These "Snapshots" can result in a "detector" being downloaded by the rest of the Tesla fleet that watches for similar scenarios and sends more "Snapshots" to Tesla when the detector is triggered.

Dashcam recordings, and Sentry Mode recordings, that record the vehicle's surroundings when parked, "do not appear to be uploaded to Tesla."

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Autosummarized HN: Hacker News summarized by an AI (specifically GPT-3). The system grabs the top 30 HN posts once every 24 hours (at 16:00 UTC), which are then reviewed by a human (Daniel Janus) to make sure none of the content violates the OpenAI content policy before being published on the site. Only guaranteed to run for August of 2022, because he has to pay the OpenAI bill and the site is not monetized. If you want it to run for longer, you'll have to get the code (it's open source -- written in Clojure) and get permission from OpenAI to run your own version of the site (and pay the OpenAI API bill).

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"Russian forces have situated a long array of pyramidal radar reflectors in the water near the recently cratered Antonivskiy Bridge and an also recently cratered nearby rail bridge, both of which cross over the Dnipro River."

"Days ago, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data revealed what looked like a pontoon bridge being constructed alongside a rail bridge just up the river from Antonivskiy Bridge. But satellite imagery showed there was no pontoon bridge being constructed. Subsequent high-resolution satellite imagery [...] shows a large array of objects dispersed across the channel on the west side of the Antonivskiy Bridge. A smaller number of similar objects can be made out on the west side of the nearby rail bridge."

"Russia has deployed these radar corner reflectors at both locations, making a 'phantom' bridge appear next to the real ones on satellite-based radar."

Hmm, weird.

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"Seven years ago, when the Epyc comeback plan was formulated, AMD could not have dreamed in a million years that Intel's vaunted foundries would run into so many troubles with 10 nanometer and then 7 nanometer processes. The current situation has created as big of a gap for AMD to exploit as Intel's stubborn decision to put forth the Itanium architecture as the future of datacenter compute back in the late 1990s and early 2000s."

"In the quarter ended in June, revenues for AMD were up 70.1 percent to $6.55 billion. Due to higher costs for development of products like the 'Genoa' and 'Bergamo' Epyc 7004, the 'Genoa-X' and Turin tweaks to the Epyc 7004 designs with Zen 4 cores, the 'Turin' and 'Siena' CPUs with Zen 5 cores coming further down the road in 2024, as well as the still-un-codenamed Instinct MI300A hybrid CPU-GPU compute engine coming next year, net income took a pretty big hit."

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Scott Alexander Siskind, aka "Astral Codex Ten guy", weighs in on underpopulation concerns.

"1: Declining birth rates won't drive humans extinct, come on." "Not only are we not going to go extinct because of underpopulation, population is going to continue to rise for the next 80 years."

"2: Immigrant-friendly countries will keep growing." US will go from 330 million to 430 million in 2100. UK will go from 60 million to 80 million.

"3: Countries with low immigration will shrink, but mostly slowly." Brazil 210 million to 190 million in 2100. Germany 80 million to 70 million. Japan 125 million to 70 million. India 1.3 billion to a peak of 1.8 billion in 2060, then down to 1.6 billion in 2100. China 1.4 billion to 800 million in 2100.

"4: Big relative drops still imply high absolute populations." "But Japan and China will drop a lot. By 2100, there will only be 800 million Chinese and 70 million Japanese."

"5: Concerns about 'underpopulation' make more sense as being about demographic shift." "In high-immigration countries, declining birth rates will cause changing ethnic demographics, as native populations shrink and immigrant populations increase."

"6. Age pyramid concerns are real, but not compatible with technological unemployment concerns." "It's weird to be worried both that the future will be racked by labor shortages, and that we'll suffer from technological unemployment and need to worry about universal basic income."

"7: Dysgenics is real but pretty slow." "Another potential demographic shift in both types of country is shift among social classes / levels of educational attainment."

"8. Innovation concerns are real but probably overwhelmed by other factors." "Consider the century 1820-1920. It gave us the steamship, the railroad, the automobile, the factory, mass production, electricity, refrigeration, radio, the airplane, etc, etc, etc, with a population only about 10-20% as high as today."

"9. In the short-to-medium run, we're all dead." Alrighty then. Wait, one more...

"Appendix: The Amish inversion." "Suppose that there is a 2100 -- and even a 2200, 2300, etc. what happens if we extend current trends? Answer: the Amish take over the world."

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PredictIt, a prediction market, has stopped addition of any new predictions to trade on with end dates after February 15, 2023, due to a Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) decision. The fate of predictions already in the system with end dates after February 15, 2023, is unknown.

"The staff of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has withdrawn the No-Action letter (NAL) issued to Victoria University of Wellington and under which PredictIt has operated since 2014."

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Cell and organ function restored in pigs after death. "Within minutes of the final heartbeat, a cascade of biochemical events triggered by a lack of blood flow, oxygen, and nutrients begins to destroy a body's cells and organs." "Using a new technology the team developed that delivers a specially designed cell-protective fluid to organs and tissues, the researchers restored blood circulation and other cellular functions in pigs a full hour after their deaths."

"The research builds upon an earlier Yale-led project that restored circulation and certain cellular functions in the brain of a dead pig with technology dubbed BrainEx." "If we were able to restore certain cellular functions in the dead brain, an organ known to be most susceptible to ischemia [inadequate blood supply], we hypothesized that something similar could also be achieved in other vital transplantable organs."

"In the new study the researchers applied a modified version of BrainEx called OrganEx to the whole pig. The technology consists of a perfusion device similar to heart-lung machines -- which do the work of the heart and lungs during surgery -- and an experimental fluid containing compounds that can promote cellular health and suppress inflammation throughout the pig's body. Cardiac arrest was induced in anesthetized pigs, which were treated with OrganEx an hour after death."

"Six hours after treatment with OrganEx, the scientists found that certain key cellular functions were active in many areas of the pigs' bodies -- including in the heart, liver, and kidneys -- and that some organ function had been restored. For instance, they found evidence of electrical activity in the heart, which retained the ability to contract."

"We were also able to restore circulation throughout the body, which amazed us."

The research paper is paywalled and the article doesn't say any more about how this technique works.

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Fires at food processing plants this year are up to 95. However, according to "fact checking" site PolitiFact, 50 of these were fires set on purpose to destroy poultry that had contracted infectious disease, and none of the remaining had been declared "suspicious" by fire authorities, and in fact at least 15 have been declared "not suspicious". So... a lot of poultry destroyed to protect us from disease and just coincidentally in the same year a higher than average number of unrelated fires at food processing plants.

(Possible explanation I have heard is that due to employment conditions, food processing plants are understaffed, have untrained new hires, and these facilities have hot ovens and other equipment that constitute a fire hazard.)

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"SIML.ai combines state-of-the-art machine learning with physics simulation." "SIML.ai is a software platform for working with high-performance AI-based numerical simulators."

"Under the hood, SIML.ai consists of two parts - Model Engineer and Simulation Studio."

"Model Engineer: Train and optimize extremely fast physics simulators using deep learning techniques through web-based Model Engineer application."

"Simulation Studio: Hybrid web and native application for solving engineering and scientific problems leveraging pre-trained and optimized learned simulators."

Also under the hood they use Unreal Engine for visualization.

They claim to be able to do all this through a web interface. If you want to try it you have to sign up for the waitlist.

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"In order to circumvent the extreme censorship raging as we speak across Russian media, we enabled journalists to upload reports about Ukraine camouflaged as pirated torrents of popular movies, series, softwares, music and books in Russia."

"As of March 7, the Russian government has legalized intellectual property theft to counterattack the economic sanctions taken against it, thus encouraging Russian citizens to pirate content from 'unfriendly countries'. Turning this into an opportunity to bypass censorship, we launched a cyberaction across popular P2P platforms in Russia by uploading testimonies from volunteer journalists on the war in Ukraine disguised as pirated torrents of movies, series, softwares, music and books."

"In total, 21 torrents files have been uploaded and seeded on RuTracker, Demonoid, The Pirate Bay or 1337x and other torrent trackers popular in Russia."

I haven't seen any of these reports; I'm just passing this along because I think it's interesting that it exists.

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"shelljack is a computer surveillance tool designed to capture Linux command-line interactions in real-time."

"This is similar to a keystroke logger, but will also return the output from the command line as well. In addition to the data being captured, it is also forwarded to a remote listener for analysis in real time."

"This embedded position allows the attacker to capture all of the traffic that crosses the terminal. This includes child processes and ssh sessions to other hosts!"

"There are no exploits here. shelljack takes advantage of some Linux deep magic that is completely legitimate, although often not well understood. In order to shelljack a target, you will need the appropriate permissions to do so."

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aussie++ is a programming language based on Aussie slang. Programs must start with "G'DAY MATE!". To assign variables you say "I RECKON", "YEAH" and "NAH" are used for boolean variables, nil pointers are "BUGGER ALL", to increment a variable you say "GOOD ON YA" and to decrement you say "PULL YA HEAD IN", to print to the console you say "GIMME", to do conditionals (if statements) you say "YA RECKON", to do loops you say "WALKABOUT", you can open block comments with "OI MATE!" and close with "GOT IT?", and boomerangs (< >) are used instead of curly braces ({ }).

Hilarious. Python better watch out?

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Freeastro: Free software for astronomy. Telescope and other device control, autoguiding, autofocus, filter wheel commands, cartography, all kinds of sky maps, particularly including telescope control features (GoTo), and image processing.

"Many open projects have become available in the past years with the spreading of affordable microcontrollers and systems on chips like Arduino and Raspberry Pi."

"Free-Astro also hosts some projects: Siril, an astronomical image processing software and MCMTII, drivers for the open telescope motorization, and many others available on gitlab."

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"Michael Saylor is down about a billion dollars on his bitcoin bet and just stepped down as CEO at MicroStrategy, the software company he founded in the 1980s."

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"Blowhole wave energy generator exceeds expectations in 12-month test." "The UniWave 200 has been making reliable, clean energy for Australia's King Island for a year now, delivering better performance than expected."

"Wave Swell Energy's remarkable UniWave 200 is a sea platform that uses an artificial blowhole formation to create air pressure changes that drive a turbine and feed energy back to shore."

"WSE's key innovation here is that one-way generation; other devices that harvest the same effect use bi-directional turbines, requiring the ability to reverse blade pitch or redirect the airflow. WSE says its design allows for far cheaper and simpler turbines, that should also last longer since they're not getting as much salt water splashed through them when a big wave hits. Indeed, all this device's moving parts are above the waterline, a fact that should help extend its service life as well as making it completely harmless to marine life."

Now I'm wondering whether "blowhole" is an unmarketable name for a technology... or the perfect name because who is going to forget a name like "blowhole"?

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Conjoined twins with fused brains separated. 7 surgeries, over 100 medical staff involved, 33 hours of operations time in Rio de Janiero. Twins were 3-year-olds Bernardo and Arthur Lima. Another twist in this story is that the medical staff practiced the operation in virtual reality for 6 months before the operations. No only that but the VR wasn't done in one place -- it was done over the internet between Brazil and the UK.