Dark Tower

A viral account is using off-the-shelf facial recognition tech to dox random people on the internet for the amusement of millions of viewers.

Hotel hackers redirect guests to fake Booking.com to steal cards

Mastercard sells cardholder transaction data through third party online data marketplaces and through its in-house Data & Services division, giving many entities access to data and insights about consumers at an immense scale. […] For example, Mastercard’s listing on Amazon Web Services Data Exchange states that companies can access data like the amount and frequency of transactions, the location, and the date and time. Mastercard creates categories of consumers based on this transaction history, like identifying “high spenders” on fast fashion or “frequent buyers” of big ticket items online, and sells these groupings, called “audiences”, to other entities. These groups can be targeted at the micro-geographic level, and even be based on AI-driven scores Mastercard assigns to consumers predicting how likely they are to spend money in certain ways within the next 3 months.

we find no consistent relation between hormones and unethical behavior or tendencies

two thirds of U.S. children are unable to read with proficiency. An astounding 40 percent are essentially nonreaders. Most are taught through phonics—a system of instruction based on sounding out letters that is mandated in at least 32 states and the District of Columbia. The phonics method of converting each letter to a particular sound is totally unsuited to the English language.

For decades, tobacco companies hooked people on cigarettes by making their products more addictive. Now, a new study suggests that tobacco companies may have used a similar strategy to hook people on processed foods. In the 1980s, tobacco giants Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds acquired the major food companies Kraft, General Foods and Nabisco, allowing tobacco firms to dominate America’s food supply and reap billions in sales from popular brands such as Oreo cookies, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and Lunchables. By the 2000s, the tobacco giants spun off their food companies and largely exited the food industry — but not before leaving a lasting legacy on the foods that we eat.

Dark Tower was the subject of trade secret litigation in 1985. Two independent game developers named Robert Burton and Allen Coleman submitted a game to Milton Bradley titled “Triumph” that involved an electronic tower as the centerpiece. Milton Bradley rejected the game, but proceeded to release Dark Tower some time later. The inventors sued for misappropriation of trade secrets and won a jury verdict for over $700,000.

‘Shrunken skull. And old.’ –James Joyce

A cornerstone of cognitive science is that mental systems are limited: There is a maximum amount of information they can process or store, beyond which performance breaks down. Yet so far the study of such limits has been focused on core systems like attention and memory. Here we explore the limit of self-representation, the ability to represent someone or something as you. […]

results are consistent with the view that the mind employs a cognitive architecture that can represent at most one self at a time, and which serially switches out the items it represents. […]

The self-representational limit of one item at a time differs markedly from known limits on other systems, like attention and short-term memory. The number of items we can both track and remember in short-term memory is greater than one, and somewhat flexible depending on the nature of the stimuli and their relations. For instance, people can track more items if they are evenly spaced out on the display rather than clumped together (Alvarez & Franconeri, 2007), remember more items if they are less complex (e.g., simple colors rather than shaded cubes) (Alvarez & Cavanagh, 2004), and both track and remember more items if they span the visual hemifields rather than occur within a single visual hemifield (Alvarez & Cavanagh, 2005; Strong & Alvarez, 2020). Self-representation appears to have a limit that is more severe and inflexible.

{ PsyArXiv | Continue reading }

sexual activity of anchovies

How two photographers captured the same millisecond in time — We had what looked like the exact same image, taken at the exact millisecond in time, from what looked like the same exact location and perspective. Aside from choices made in Lightroom, the photos at first glance look virtually identical aside from water in front and some of the white caps being in different position. […] I was concerned that maybe MY image was stolen and altered a bit.

An online order for grouper fillets that was supposed to cost $10 ended up costing one woman more than $44,000 after scammers took control of her Android phone and banking details remotely.

Spyware can infect your phone or computer via the ads you see online – report

The 2023 Ig Nobel Prize Winners — using cadavers to explore whether there is an equal number of hairs in each of a person’s two nostrils, why many scientists like to lick rocks, the sensations people feel when they repeat a single word, the mental activities of people who are expert at speaking backward, how electrified chopsticks and drinking straws can change the taste of food, measuring the extent to which ocean-water mixing is affected by the sexual activity of anchovies…

Despite lacking a centralized brain, jellyfish can learn from past experiences to avoid bumping into obstacles

Investigating the strange disappearance of Mrs Agatha Christie

different types of love

Ancient Stone Tools Once Thought to be Made by Humans Were Actually Crafted by Monkeys, Say Archaeologists

Amazon made a new version of its cashierless tech that doesn’t need cameras

Airlines make more money from mileage programs than from flying planes — United’s MileagePlus program, for example, was valued at $22 billion, while the company’s market cap at the time was only $10.6 billion.

China has announced plans to become the world’s leader in biotechnology by 2035, and it regards genetic information — sometimes called “the new gold” — as a crucial ingredient in a scientific revolution that could produce thousands of new drugs and cures.[…] To develop drugs for a global market, China needs highly diverse sources of genetic information along with individual patient histories, which provide critical context, researchers say. So, beginning early in the past decade, China began to ramp up its acquisition of such records. In 2013, Complete Genomics, a San Jose company and a U.S. leader in gene-sequencing technology, was purchased for $118 million by BGI Group, a Chinese company formerly called Beijing Genomics Institute. […] By 2019, through business partnerships and stock purchases, nearly two dozen Chinese companies had acquired rights to genetic data and other private records of U.S. patients […] A Justice Department indictment in 2019 accused Chinese operatives of illegally accessing patient databases at four U.S. companies. The hackers are believed to have siphoned the private health-care data, including DNA information, of more than 80 million Americans, according to prosecutors. […] in January 2020, amid the virus’s rapid spread across the planet, BGI unveiled a new portable coronavirus testing facility, called Huo-Yan in Mandarin — “Fire-Eye” in English. […] Over the following months, BGI would manufacture about 100 labs in different configurations. […] Amid the pandemic, Fire-Eye labs would proliferate quickly, spreading to four continents and more than 20 countries, from Canada and Latvia to Saudi Arabia, and from Ethiopia and South Africa to Australia. Several, like the one in Belgrade, now function as permanent genetic-testing centers.

ShadowDragon tracks BabyCenter, a website for people expecting children, as well as social media sites specifically for Black people, bodybuilders, and the fetish community

We find converging evidence that prenatal gonadal hormones influence the development of human sexual orientation […] Evidence is particularly strong that androgens increase sexual attraction to females. […] Some evidence also indicates that estrogens increase sexual attraction to males

Researchers at Aalto University have made a map of where in the body different types of love are felt and how strongly they are experienced

Your Brain Is Not an Onion With a Tiny Reptile Inside

Why We’ll Never Live in Space

The vast majority of NFTs are now worthless, new report shows

the impossibility of the future

When I first signed my creator-owned publishing contract with DC Comics, the company was run by honest men and women of integrity, who (for the most part) interpreted the details of that agreement fairly and above-board. When problems inevitably came up we worked it out, like reasonable men and women. Since then, over the span of twenty years or so, those people have left or been fired, to be replaced by a revolving door of strangers, of no measurable integrity, who now choose to interpret every facet of our contract in ways that only benefit DC Comics and its owner companies. At one time the Fables properties were in good hands, and now, by virtue of attrition and employee replacement, the Fables properties have fallen into bad hands. Since I can’t afford to sue DC, to force them to live up to the letter and the spirit of our long-time agreements […] I’ve decided to take a different approach, and fight them in a different arena, inspired by the principles of asymmetric warfare. The one thing in our contract the DC lawyers can’t contest, or reinterpret to their own benefit, is that I am the sole owner of the intellectual property. I can sell it or give it away to whomever I want. I chose to give it away to everyone.

The subjective world of depression was characterized by an altered experience of emotions and body (feeling overwhelmed by negative emotions, unable to experience positive emotions, stuck in a heavy aching body drained of energy, detached from the mind, the body and the world); an altered experience of the self (losing sense of purpose and existential hope, mismatch between the past and the depressed self, feeling painfully incarcerated, losing control over one’s thoughts, losing the capacity to act on the world; feeling numb, empty, non-existent, dead, and dreaming of death as a possible escape route); and an altered experience of time (experiencing an alteration of vital biorhythms, an overwhelming past, a stagnation of the present, and the impossibility of the future).

“jamais vu”, when something you know to be familiar feels unreal or novel in some way.

Scientists figured out how to write in water

a new “pop-up fashion PR agency” called the OutLaw Agency

Facebook could prevent users from ever forgetting a colleague’s name, give a reminder at a cocktail party that an acquaintance had kids to ask about or help find someone at a crowded conference. — The Technology Facebook and Google Didn’t Dare Release

Isaac Newton’s later career […] as Warden of the Mint […] contains many elements of a modern crime thriller: including an ingenious arch-adversary, Newton visiting the gin houses of London in disguise, personally interrogating suspects, playing good cop–bad cop, and using every trick in the book, before the book had been written.

A total of 4.8% of the participants (N = 82,243) were at high risk of experiencing CSBD (compulsive sexual behavior disorder) […] The highest CSBD scores were observed in Turkey, followed by China and Peru.

The rapidly growing art therapy literature claims that there is solid evidence that engaging with art ameliorates mental and physical disorders and increases wellbeing. […] there is no compelling evidence that art objects and activities can induce physiological changes to the human nervous system that result in health improvements and wellbeing.

Herding dogs are often initially taught control around livestock with the use of a long lead line. Having another experienced herding dog to assist with modeling behavior is an asset. How to Train Your Dog to Herd Sheep

Horseshoe crabs have 10 eyes, a pair of compound eyes on the cephalothorax, and “photo receptors” in other areas, primarily along the tail. Horseshoe crabs are not actually crabs at all, they are much more closely related to spiders and other arachnids than they are to crabs or lobsters.

1,280 reproducing individuals

Researchers gave 200 people $10,000 each to study generosity

the feeling of orgasm can be considered a form of “nonaversive pain.” For example, the intense facial grimace expressed during pleasurable orgasm can be surprisingly similar to that of persons in extreme pain […] the brain regions that classically respond to pain are also selectively activated during orgasm

Scientists say they have pinpointed the moment humanity almost went extinct — 900,000 years ago when the global population dwindled to around 1,280 reproducing individuals

When FBI agents arrived at James Nott’s Kentucky apartment with a search warrant on Tuesday, they asked if anyone else was home. “Only my dead friends,” Nott replied. That’s according to the FBI, who in a criminal complaint detailed 40 human skulls and other remains they found decorating Nott’s home, tying him to a ring of people allegedly buying and selling human body parts illegally – including a Harvard Medical School morgue manager, who is accused of stealing cadaver parts.

The World Bank poured billions of dollars into fossil fuels around the world last year despite repeated promises to refocus on shifting to a low-carbon economy

Is air conditioning making cities hotter? A study found that waste heat generated by a city’s worth of air conditioners during a heatwave can raise the outside temperature by more than 2 degrees Celsius.

Look beneath the surface of Bach’s music and you will find a fascinating hidden world of numerology and cunning craft

Why is the ocean salty?

from age 9 to age 94

Texas paid bitcoin miner more than $31 million to cut energy usage during heat wave

Nasdaq receives SEC approval for AI-based trade orders

A magician’s guide to zero-knowledge proofs (magic tricks are zero-knowledge proofs)

Our results showed that life satisfaction decreased from age 9 to 16 (d = −0.56), increased slightly until age 70 (d = 0.16), and then decreased again until age 96 (d = −0.24). Positive affect declined from age 9 for almost the entire time until age 94.

You Aren’t Lazy: Exploring a Lack of Motivation

The human male expels two fluids in response to sexual stimulation: semen (containing a variety of nutrients in addition to sperm cells) and pre-ejaculate (a colorless lubricant and an acid neutralizer that creates a favorable environment in the urethra for sperm). Females, on the other hand, expel four: vaginal lubrication (clear, slippery, and slightly acidic plasma), ejaculate (thick, whitish fluid from the Skene’s gland), coital incontinence (urine), and — the most mysterious — squirt. Occasionally, when a woman is highly aroused, a gush of ten or more milliliters of clear, watery fluid can erupt from her vagina. […] the fluid released during squirting comes from the bladder. So yes, it’s pretty similar to urine, although there are small amounts of other compounds including sugars and proteins. Additionally, to the likely relief of women and their partners everywhere, it tends to be far more watered down than typical pee. […] To build toward squirting, women used harder, more intense touch than usual, exerted pressure inside the vaginal wall, and concurrently applied outer and inner pressure. To release the fluid, some reported swiftly relaxing clenched muscles, applying a burst of speed or pressure with their chosen stimulation, or bearing down. For around 40% of women, squirting occurred unexpectedly simply from clitoral stimulation alone or without any specific pattern.

The fruit machine was an actual machine built to aid in the detection of gay people in the Canadian Civil Service from 1950 to 1973 […] The idea was to unmask perverts by measuring involuntary pupillary dilations and other physiological reactions to pictures and words. […] the technology came in several proposed models. One involved perspiratory responses to vocabulary with homosexual meanings like queen, circus, gay, bagpipe, bell, whole, blind, mother, punk, queer, rim, sew, swing, trade, velvet, wolf, blackmail, prowl, bar, house, club, restaurant, tea room, and top men.

being alone

This is how money is laundered on Spotify

“artificial general intelligence” ever arrives — an AI that surpasses human intelligence and capability […] if you read between the lines of a new, exhaustive profile of OpenAI […] “Somewhere in the restructuring documents is a clause to the effect that, if the company does manage to create AGI, all financial arrangements will be reconsidered”

Wilson et al. explored the state of being alone with one’s thoughts and found that it appears to be an unpleasant experience. In fact, many of the people studied, particularly the men, chose to give themselves a mild electric shock rather than be deprived of external sensory stimuli. [2014]

Physical activity is highly beneficial for improving symptoms of depression, anxiety and distress

dietary supplements containing antioxidants can accelerate tumour growth and metastasis “There’s no need to fear antioxidants in normal food but most people don’t need additional amounts of them,” says Professor Bergö. “In fact, it can be harmful for cancer patients and people with an elevated cancer risk.”

Cancer cases in under-50s worldwide up nearly 80% in three decades — poor diets, alcohol and tobacco use, physical inactivity and obesity are likely to be among the factors.

‘Modern cars are a privacy nightmare’ 92 percent of the reviewed automakers provide drivers with little (if any) control over their personal data, with 84 percent sharing user data with outside parties.

3,200-year-old pants on Chinese mummy are like modern-day jeans

the most expensive liquid on the planet

Woman named ‘Barbie Oppenheimer’ says she’s having trouble checking into hotels

2 passengers were kicked off an Air Canada flight because they refused to sit in seats covered in puke, fellow traveler says

Each scorpion produces about 2 milligrams of venom daily, which is harvested or milked using a pair of tweezers and tongs, before being dried ready for export. A liter of the venom is worth about $US10 million, Mr Orenler told Reuters. It’s previously been described as the most expensive liquid on the planet. Some cosmetics companies are now adding scorpion venom or its extracts to their products, claiming near-miracle-like results from their concoctions.

Are deep blue seas fading? Oceans turn to new hue across parts of Earth, study finds

Scientists have discovered that “acute exposure” to microplastics — tiny bits of plastic material that are now pretty much everywhere, from remote Antarctic ice to human lungs, breastmilk, and bloodstreams — causes dementia-like symptoms in mice, among other behavioral shifts.

Are self-driving cars already safer than human drivers? More: The streets of San Francisco are buzzing with autonomous taxis, prompting questions about traffic safety [NYT podcast]

Cool Science Tricks

How a TV Works in Slow Motion

broken promises

I Tracked an NYC Subway Rider’s Movements with an MTA ‘Feature’ “Obviously this is a great fit for abusers,” an expert on domestic violence and cybersecurity said.

Hackers typically target victims with Qakbot by sending them spam emails containing malicious attachments or links. As soon as a victim downloads the attachment or clicks the link, Qakbot infects their computer, which then becomes part of a botnet — or a network of infected computers controlled remotely by hackers. From there, bad actors can install additional malware on their victims’ devices, such as ransomware. To take down the network, the FBI routed Qakbot through FBI-controlled servers

Most of My Instagram Ads Are for Drugs, Stolen Credit Cards, Hacked Accounts, Counterfeit Money, and Weapons — The ads are a window into a blatantly illegal underground economy that Meta is not only failing to moderate, but is actively profiting from and injecting into users’ feeds. More: Instagram Throttles 404 Media Investigation Into Drug Ads on Instagram

Tech’s broken promises: Streaming is now just as expensive and confusing as cable. Ubers cost as much as taxis.

The Art of Lying — A 51-year-old man I will call “Mr. Pinocchio” had a strange problem. When he tried to tell a lie, he often passed out and had convulsions. In essence, he became a kind of Pinocchio, the fictional puppet whose nose grew with every fib. For the patient, the consequences were all too real: he was a high-ranking official in the European Economic Community (since replaced by the European Union), and his negotiating partners could tell immediately when he was bending the truth. His condition, a symptom of a rare form of epilepsy, was not only dangerous, it was bad for his career. Doctors at the University Hospitals of Strasbourg in France discovered that the root of the problem was a tumor about the size of a walnut. The tumor was probably increasing the excitability of a brain region involved in emotions; when Mr. Pinocchio lied, this excitability caused a structure called the amygdala to trigger seizures. Once the tumor was removed, the fits stopped, and he was able to resume his duties.

The devious art of lying by telling the truth

McKinsey unveils its own generative AI tool for employees: Lilli

Is quantum computing hype or almost here?

Fighting fire with fire (and drones)

Chronic sleep deprivation — when you consistently get less rest than what you require — has more pernicious effects. Memory and learning suffer even more: Sleep is when the brain consolidates information after all. Blood pressure and heart rate tick higher. Immune functions fall. Metabolism slows, leading to weight gain. Inflammation rises. Brain cells die from overwork. All of these physiological effects seem to lead to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and dementia. […] In a 2021 study, subjects slept an average of 5.3 hours for ten nights and then were given a week to sleep as long as they liked. While they felt normal after that week of unrestricted sleep, their cognitive function did not totally return to baseline levels before their sleep deprivation. […] if a person who needs eight hours of rest per night only gets five hours on a particular night, it will take six days of 8.5 hours of sleep to “repay” those three lost hours.


22.png Georgia man arrested for stealing neighbor’s entire front porch

Most Americans have very little choice but to provide their personal information to credit bureaus. Hackers have found a way into that data supply chain, and are advertising access in group chats used by criminals.

Inside the AI Porn Marketplace Where Everything and Everyone Is for Sale — “For some reason adding ‘hands on hips’ to the prompt completely breaks this [model]. Generates just the balls with no penis 100% of the time. What a shame,” one user commented on the model.

The social and psychological characteristics of individuals who hoard physical items are quite well understood, however very little is known about the psychological characteristics of those who hoard digital items […] analyses of email deletion and archiving behaviours in organisations show that users do not manage digital information in an effective way. They typically keep half of the emails they receive and reply to about a third of them (e.g. Dabbish, Kraut, Fussell, & Kiesler, 2005); with very few people engaging in proactive ‘clean-up’ of that stored information. […] As digital hoarding rises, businesses find it more difficult to extract value from the stored information and the risks associated with that information grow significantly […] Digital hoarding was significantly higher in employees who identified as having ‘data protection responsibilities’

Prohibition worked better than you think — America’s anti-alcohol experiment cut down on drinking and drinking-related deaths — and it may have reduced crime and violence overall. […] as Prohibition reduced drinking, it also reduced alcohol-induced violence, like domestic abuse. So the increase in organized crime may have been offset by a drop in more common, and less publicly visible, types of violence driven by alcohol. […] There are 88,000 deaths linked to alcohol each year — more than drug overdose deaths, car crash deaths, or deaths from gun violence. […] In modern times, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence estimated alcohol is a factor in 40 percent of violent crimes, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calculated that alcohol contributed to 47 percent of homicides.

1 in 5 women report mistreatment from medical staff during pregnancy

Build a business, not an audience

How to sabotage your salary negotiation efforts before you even start

Time of day perception in paintings

2012 was a “tipping-point” year

Is there another word for synonym?


{ Focus. The stairs will change direction every ~10 seconds. }

avoidance of feared situations

Texas electricity prices soar 6,000 percent as a fresh heat wave is expected to shatter records – Spot electricity prices jumped to $4,750 per megawatt-hour from the average of $75

What everyone agrees on is that the environment’s influence on our genes, or epigenetics, has played a large role in the rise of allergies, as does the makeup of our nose, gut and skin microbiomes. In the end, it appears, we are at least partially doing this to ourselves. Modern living is likely at the root of the recent rise in allergies.

excessive avoidance of feared situations prevents learning through exposure […] Anxious individuals shift emotion control from lateral frontal pole to dorsolateral prefrontal cortex

The man who can talk backwards

Some called Tether the central bank of crypto. […] I’d been hearing rumors about illicit uses of Tether […]but pig butchering was the most concrete example I found. People around the world really were losing huge sums of money to the con. A project finance lawyer in Boston with terminal cancer handed over $2.5 million. A divorced mother of three in St. Louis was defrauded of $5 million. And the victims I spoke to all told me they’d been told to use Tether, the same coin Vicky suggested to me. Rich Sanders, the lead investigator at CipherBlade, a crypto-tracing firm, said that at least $10 billion had been lost to crypto romance scams. […] Most pig-butchering operations were orchestrated by Chinese gangsters based in Cambodia or Myanmar. They’d lure young people from across Southeast Asia to move abroad with the promise of well-paying jobs in customer service or online gambling. Then, when the workers arrived, they’d be held captive and forced into a criminal racket. Thousands have been tricked this way. Entire office towers are filled with floor after floor of people sending spam messages around the clock, under threat of torture or death. They described abuses that were worse than I could have imagined. Workers who missed quotas were beaten, starved, made to hit one another. One said he’d seen people forcibly injected with methamphetamine to increase productivity. Two others said they’d seen workers murdered, with the deaths passed off as suicides. They said the bosses would buy and sell captive laborers like livestock.


Major U.S. energy org targeted in QR code phishing attack

We Spent $1,500,000 on Ads Without Getting a Single Customer

While the average person might turn to Instagram to brag about their wealth, the mega-rich can afford to boast on “Rich Kids,” an exclusive photo sharing network. For $1,000 a month on Rich Kids, you’re guaranteed to only see photos from other wealthy patrons.

Spotify Annoyed by People Uploading Hours of White Noise — Some podcasters are making as much as $18,000 a month through ads placed in these episodes of crashing waves or recordings of fans blowing air

Child influencers in Illinois can now sue their parents

Netflix is Responsible for 15% of Global Internet Traffic

3 ways AI is transforming music

One of the big promises of NFTs was that the artist who originally made them could get a cut every time their piece was resold. that’s not the case anymore.

The shift to electronic medical reimbursements gave rise to payment processing companies demanding a 1.5% to 5% fee every time a doctor gets paid by insurers. The government banned such fees — until a company lobbyist got involved. […]With more than $2 trillion a year of medical claims paid electronically, these fees likely add up to billions of dollars that could be spent on care but instead are going to insurers and middlemen.

Falsely accused? Anger and silence are the two worst reactions

Why did people in the past look so much older?

Bored Apes investors

Beer-loving raccoons are ‘trashing homes and eating pets’ in Germany and Two intoxicated US tourists ‘trapped’ overnight up the Eiffel Tower

Scientists Recreate Pink Floyd Song by Reading Brain Signals of Listeners The audio sounds like it’s being played underwater. [study]

Font Size Can ‘Nudge’ Customers Toward Healthier Food Choices

Nvidia’s H100 GPU is the most sought-after resource in the tech industry right now, thanks to the role it’s playing in powering the generative AI boom. […] Saudi Arabia has bought at least 3,000 of Nvidia’s H100 chips — a $40,000 processor

‘Bored Apes’ investors sue Sotheby’s, Paris Hilton and others as NFT prices collapse

Trump, who currently holds $2.8 million in ETH, earned $4.87 million in licensing fees from his NFT collection

In an explosive new lawsuit, shutterbug Jacob Beam says his entire life has gone down the tubes thanks to Libbie Mugrabi—who reportedly once had a physical altercation with ex-husband David Mugrabi over a $500,000 Keith Haring sculpture—and that he now works as a part-time food deliveryman while attempting to get past the “psychological and emotional issues caused by [the] horrific ordeal he has undergone.”

Spinoza: Life and Legacy

5 stages of grief

ChatGPT produces wrong answers to software programming questions more than half the time

Common Alzheimer’s disease gene may have helped our ancestors have more kids

By his estimates, Alex has performed at least six separate sex acts in robotaxis

A WWII Propaganda Campaign Popularized the Myth That Carrots Help You See in the Dark

A journey inside Mexico’s underground vanilla economy

We are drowning in a sea of irrelevance: so much information that we can no longer make sense of it. In a world of decontex- tualized shards of content, each with an increasingly short shelf life, what does free and open communication mean? To grapple with this, one common heuristic is to look to the source of informa- tion as a guide as to its importance or veracity. But in an Internet without information gatekeepers—for good and ill—this heuristic itself has a key flaw: who is the gatekeeper of the gatekeepers in a fully-decentralized online ecosystem?

how geckos stick to walls. The answer is van der Waals forces

“5 stages of grief” is a myth — and knowing that helps us better cope with loss

going backward

Google and Universal Music Discuss Making an AI Tool to Replicate Artists’ Voices

Bots are better than humans at cracking ‘Are you a robot?’ Captcha tests, study finds

The U.S. spends 17.8 percent of GDP on health care, nearly twice as much as the average OECD country. Health spending per person in America is almost twice as high as in the next most expensive country, Germany, and four times higher than in South Korea. […] longevity: according to the UN, the U.S. ranks No. 70 out of 227 sovereign or semi-sovereign state entities. […] lower longevity has implications for many other statistics, such as infant mortality; America’s ranking among developed countries is abysmal: “U.S. maternal mortality in 2020 was over 3 times the rate in most of the other high-income countries.” So much for the pro-life charade of the religious right. — Why America is going backward

A transgender woman has gone to court alleging that her ex-boyfriend stole her surgically removed genitals and is demanding that he return them.

we are more likely to make rational decisions when decision-making on the behalf of others than for ourselves

The books are the result of a swirling mix of modern tools: A.I. apps that can produce text and fake portraits; websites with a seemingly endless array of stock photos and graphics; self-publishing platforms — like Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing — with few guardrails against the use of A.I.; and the ability to solicit, purchase and post phony online reviews, which runs counter to Amazon’s policies and may soon face increased regulation from the Federal Trade Commission. The use of these tools in tandem has allowed the books to rise near the top of Amazon search results and sometimes garner Amazon endorsements such as “#1 Travel Guide on Alaska.” A recent Amazon search for the phrase “Paris Travel Guide 2023,” for example, yielded dozens of guides with that exact title. One, whose author is listed as Stuart Hartley, boasts, ungrammatically, that it is “Everything you Need to Know Before Plan a Trip to Paris.”

tonight while you sleep, something amazing will happen within your brain. Your neurons will go quiet. A few seconds later, blood will flow out of your head. Then, a watery liquid called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) will flow in, washing through your brain in rhythmic, pulsing waves.

Clive Campbell (born April 16, 1955), better known by his stage name DJ Kool Herc, is a Jamaican American DJ who is credited forthe creation of hip hop music in the Bronx, New York City, in the 1970s.

full Ginsburg

It appears Australia is truly on its way to becoming a cashless society, with the number of notes in circulation officially declining for the first time since dollars and cents were introduced in 1966.

The Billionaire Who Controls Your Medical Records — The company dress code is: “When there are visitors, you must wear clothes.”

“One of the security guards was saying to the guy, ‘Dude, you cannot be naked in here,’” she recalled. “The guy was all confused and upset that he couldn’t be naked in the theater … he was getting all worked up.” […] Some people seem to have forgotten how to go to the movies, with widespread reports of drunken outbursts, rampant cellphone use and exhibitionism.

I Went to 50 Different Dentists and Almost All of Them Gave Me a Different Diagnosis

The “full Ginsburg” is a term used in American politics to refer to a person who appears on all five American major Sunday morning talk shows on the same day. The term is named for William H. Ginsburg, the lawyer for Monica Lewinsky during the sexual conduct scandal involving President Bill Clinton. Ginsburg was the first person to accomplish this feat, on February 1, 1998.

Elon Musk Will Train His AI Project Using Your Tweets

Not enough films feature dykes talking about fisting

labyrinth and maze

A team of researchers from British universities has trained a deep learning model that can steal data from keyboard keystrokes recorded using a microphone with an accuracy of 95%.

The Environmental Protection Agency approved a component of boat fuel made from discarded plastic that the agency’s own risk formula determined was so hazardous, everyone exposed to the substance continually over a lifetime would be expected to develop cancer. Current and former EPA scientists said that threat level is unheard of. It is a million times higher than what the agency usually considers acceptable for new chemicals and six times worse than the risk of lung cancer from a lifetime of smoking. […] the EPA decided its scientists were overstating the risks and gave Chevron the go-ahead to make the new boat fuel ingredient […] Though the substance can poison air and contaminate water, EPA officials mandated no remedies other than requiring workers to wear gloves, records show. […] Another serious cancer risk associated with the boat fuel ingredient […] For every 100 people who ate fish raised in water contaminated with that same product over a lifetime, seven would be expected to develop cancer.

A majority of American adults report having used sex toys, which, by design, interact with intimate and permeable body parts yet have not been subject to sufficient risk assessment or management. Physical and chemical data are presented examining potential risks associated with four types of currently available sex toys: anal toy, beads, dual vibrator, and external vibrator. […] After extraction, phthalates known to be endocrine disruptors were present in all tested sex toys at levels exceeding hazard warnings.

Most cars still cost more to charge than to fill up with gas

labyrinth and maze

Knife Throwing Machine

1.jpgHow a doctor’s two-decade quest to grow the penis is leaving some men desperate and disfigured

Are blind individuals immune to bodily illusions? Somatic rubber hand illusion in the blind revisited

Marx is more than just a competitive gun-disarmer and martial artist. He is also a former Marine, a self-proclaimed exorcist, and an author and filmmaker. He also helped launch the Skull Games, a privatized intelligence outfit that purports to hunt pedophiles, sex traffickers, and other “demonic activity” using a blend of sock-puppet social media accounts and commercial surveillance tools — including face recognition software.

Forget subtitles: YouTube now dubs videos with AI-generated voices

10 Cities With Their Own Psychological Disorders — Less well known, Lima Syndrome describes the exact opposite of Stockholm Syndrome—that is, the captors develop positive attachments to their hostages.

— Scientists are finding ways to help people sober up faster and feel fewer bad effects

The reshuffling of neurons during fruit fly metamorphosis suggests that larval memories don’t persist in adults

In The Future, Death Will Be Different

Knife Throwing Machine [Accuracy Testing Trick Shots]