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Jan 19, 2022

On rumors of impending doom

Posted by in categories: governance, government, human trajectories, internet, journalism, philosophy, science
“Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” — Dr Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park

Throughout most of human history, the goal was to establish a better life for people. Whether proponents of change admit to it or not, they hope to make everything perfect. However, this very impulse to improve security against everything bad and eliminate all physical ills could precipitate just another kind of doom.

To borrow the words of a Jeff Goldblum character, those of us who did the most to uplift humanity may have been “so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

In Carl Sagan’s The Demon-Haunted World, he pointed out that the modern world is complicated. Everything we don’t understand is something to fear (unless you are a specialist in it), and it is a thing that can be ignorantly speculated about in a vacuum, as vaccines are by many on social media.

Rather than give up on humanity’s ability to come to correct judgments, Sagan offers the tools of critical thinking, taking the form of the famous Baloney Detection Kit. The rules are things you can always try to offer someone if they believe nonsensical conspiracy theories.

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Jan 18, 2022

US Airlines Warn of a ‘Catastrophic’ Crisis Caused by New 5G Services

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, engineering, government, internet

They claim that more than 100,000 passengers could be affected in a single day. 🤔

#engineering


Several high-profile executives of U.S. airlines warned on Monday, January 17, of an oncoming “catastrophic” aviation crisis that will take hold by Wednesday should AT&T and Verizon activate their new 5G services, a report from Reuters reveals.

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Jan 17, 2022

SCO2 Turbomachinery Developed for Concentrated Solar Power Plant

Posted by in categories: government, solar power, sustainability

Southwest Research Institute worked with government and commercial collaborators to successfully develop and demonstrate full-scale turbomachinery for one of the world’s first supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) power systems for a concentrated solar power (CSP) plant. The technology combines sCO2 power cycles with integrated thermal energy storage.

The project was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s APOLLO program, which was created to improve performance and reduced the cost of electricity from CSP plants. The 10MW sCO2 turbomachinery has successfully completed performance and endurance tests in a closed-loop environment.

SCO2 is carbon dioxide held above a critical temperature and pressure, which causes it to act like a gas while having the density of a liquid. It’s also nontoxic and nonflammable, having been used in dry cleaning processes, low-GHG refrigeration systems, as well as to decaffeinate coffee.

Jan 15, 2022

Congress Introduces A Game-Changing Crypto Bill As The Price Of Bitcoin, Ethereum, BNB, Solana, Cardano, XRP Sinks

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, government

A congressman proposes a game-changing crypto bill, which could be a catalyst for the price of bitcoin, ethereum, bnb, solana, cardano, XRP.

Jan 14, 2022

India Is Doing Space Travel, on a Budget

Posted by in categories: business, government, space

India is one of only a handful of nations that have sent probes to the moon and Mars. But the most impressive part of its space program is its cost-effectiveness. Unlike other government space organizations, India’s agency is extremely efficient, with the lowest cost-per-kilogram in the industry. Now India is throwing open its doors to private companies and raising its stellar ambitions.

#India #Space #BloombergQuicktake.
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Jan 14, 2022

Ukraine hit by ‘massive’ cyber-attack on government websites

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, government

Suspected Russian hackers left a message on the foreign ministry website, according to reports. It said: “Ukrainians! … All information about you has become public. Be afraid and expect worse. It’s your past, present and future.”

The message reproduced the Ukrainian flag and map crossed out. It mentioned the Ukrainian insurgent army, or UPA, which fought against the Soviet Union during the second world war. There was also a reference to “historical land”.

In a message to the Guardian, the foreign ministry’s spokesperson, Oleg Nikolenko, said: “As a result of a massive cyber-attack, the website of the ministry of foreign affairs and other government agencies are temporarily down.”

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Jan 14, 2022

Smart guns finally arriving in U.S., seeking to shake up firearms market

Posted by in categories: government, law enforcement

Personalized smart guns, which can be fired only by verified users, may finally become available to U.S. consumers after two decades of questions about reliability and concerns they will usher in a new wave of government regulation.

Four-year-old LodeStar Works on Friday unveiled its 9mm smart handgun for shareholders and investors in Boise, Idaho. And a Kansas company, SmartGunz LLC, says law enforcement agents are beta testing its product, a similar but simpler model.

Both companies hope to have a product commercially available this year.

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Jan 13, 2022

China Reportedly Wants to Separate NFTs from Crypto With State-Backed Blockchain

Posted by in categories: blockchains, business, cryptocurrencies, government

Allowing users to buy NFTs with fiat money.

Cryptocurrency might be illegal in China, but that doesn’t mean non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have to be.

China is planning to separate the infrastructure used for crypto from the one used to create NFTs so that its crackdown on cryptocurrencies doesn’t harm the country’s NFT industry, a report from South China Morning Post reveals.

Continue reading “China Reportedly Wants to Separate NFTs from Crypto With State-Backed Blockchain” »

Jan 11, 2022

Unblock research bottlenecks with non-profit start-ups

Posted by in category: government

A type of non-profit start-up could be a better way to support projects that enable research. These would have full-time scientists, engineers and executives, and total funding of about US$20 million to $100 million that would last around 5 years — longer than most grants or venture-capital funding rounds allow. And they would be set up to pursue predefined milestones, such as improving the resolution of a measurement system by tenfold, or gathering a pre-specified amount of data. We call them focused research organizations (FROs).


‘Focused research organizations’ can take on mid-scale projects that don’t get tackled by academia, venture capitalists or government labs.

Jan 11, 2022

Remember IBM’s Amazing Watson AI? Now It’s Desperately Trying to Sell It Off

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, government, health, robotics/AI

In fact, it’s not even the first time that IBM has tried — unsuccessfully — to unload the project, in yet another sign that corporate expectations for AI are continuing to crash into reality.

“Health care always is going to turn out to be more subtle, as well as more regulated for the right reasons, than it is in other areas,” IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said in an Axios and HBO interview last year. “And to me, that’s natural. It is a decision that may impact somebody’s life or death. You got to be more careful. So in health care, it turns out maybe we were too optimistic.”

The sale, if it actually goes through this time, would affect millions of patients and entire government healthcare strategies.

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