more than three people a day

2.jpegU.S. Marines Outsmart AI Security Cameras by Hiding in a Cardboard Box

The Infinite Conversation — an AI generated, never-ending discussion between Werner Herzog and Slavoj Žižek

‘Nothing, Forever’ Is An Endless ‘Seinfeld’ Episode Generated by AI [Watch]

OpenAI releases tool to detect machine-written text

Image diffusion models such as Stable Diffusion are trained on copyrighted, trademarked, private, and sensitive images. Yet, our new paper [PDF] shows that diffusion models memorize images from their training data and emit them at generation time. Diffusion models are less private than prior generative models.

The non-existent brain image being circulated by anti-pornography activists

participants (aged 40–69 years) completed 24-h dietary recalls between 2009 and 2012 (N = 197426, 54.6% women) […] Every 10 percentage points increment in ultra-processed food consumption was associated with an increased incidence of overall and ovarian cancer. Furthermore, every 10 percentage points increment in ultra-processed food consumption was associated with an increased risk of overall, ovarian, and breast cancer-related mortality.

Previously: ultra-processed nature of modern food generally means that the complex structure of the plant and animal cells is destroyed, turning it into a nutritionally empty mush that our body can process abnormally rapidly.

US law enforcement killed at least 1,176 people in 2022, an average of more than three people a day

Instagram’s co-founders are back with Artifact, a kind of TikTok for text

Is AM Radio Dead?

Missing radioactive capsule found on remote road in Australia [more]

Paintings by Turner and Monet depict trends in 19th century air pollution

Photography: the Alps as seen from of the Pyrenees

‘It will become cheaper to show fakes than to show reality.’– Jaron Lanier

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I wrote in medical jargon, as you can see, “35f no pmh, p/w cp which is pleuritic. She takes OCPs. What’s the most likely diagnosis?”

Now of course, many of us who are in healthcare will know that means age 35, female, no past medical history, presents with chest pain which is pleuritic — worse with breathing — and she takes oral contraception pills. What’s the most likely diagnosis? And OpenAI comes out with costochondritis, inflammation of the cartilage connecting the ribs to the breast bone. Then it says, and we’ll come back to this: “Typically caused by trauma or overuse and is exacerbated by the use of oral contraceptive pills.” […]

OpenAI is correct. The most likely diagnosis is costochondritis […]

But I wanted to ask OpenAI a little more about this case. […]

what was that whole thing about costochondritis being made more likely by taking oral contraceptive pills? What’s the evidence for that, please? Because I’d never heard of that. It’s always possible there’s something that I didn’t see, or there’s some bad study in the literature.

OpenAI came up with this study in the European Journal of Internal Medicine that was supposedly saying that. I went on Google and I couldn’t find it. I went on PubMed and I couldn’t find it. I asked OpenAI to give me a reference for that, and it spits out what looks like a reference. I look up that, and it’s made up. That’s not a real paper.

It took a real journal, the European Journal of Internal Medicine. It took the last names and first names, I think, of authors who have published in said journal. And it confabulated out of thin air a study that would apparently support this viewpoint.

{ Medpage Today | Continue reading }

Mining company Rio Tinto issued an apology

an 8mm by 6mm silver capsule, no bigger than a coin, believed to be lost somewhere along a stretch of vast desert highway in Australia’s biggest state. […] Authorities believe the capsule, which emits both gamma and beta rays, fell off the back of a truck […] creating a radioactive health risk for anyone who comes across it for potentially the next 300 years […] Mining company Rio Tinto issued an apology [more]

‘Doppelganger murder’: German prosecutors claim woman killed lookalike to fake death

Through its savvy but legal exploitation of the U.S. patent system, Humira’s manufacturer, AbbVie, blocked competitors from entering the market. […] the drug’s price kept rising. […] Humira is the most lucrative franchise in pharmaceutical history. Next week […] the knockoff drug that regulators authorized more than six years ago, Amgen’s Amjevita, will come to market […] nine more Humira competitors will follow this year […] Prices are likely to tumble. The reason that it has taken so long to get to this point is a case study in how drug companies artificially prop up prices on their best-selling drugs. AbbVie orchestrated the delay by building a formidable wall of intellectual property protection and suing would-be competitors before settling with them to delay their product launches until this year. The strategy has been a gold mine for AbbVie, at the expense of patients and taxpayers. […] For example, an early Humira patent, which expired in 2016, claimed that the drug could treat a condition known as ankylosing spondylitis, a type of arthritis that causes inflammation in the joints, among other diseases. In 2014, AbbVie applied for another patent for a method of treating ankylosing spondylitis with a specific dosing of 40 milligrams of Humira. The application was approved, adding 11 years of patent protection beyond 2016. […] One analysis found that Medicare, which in 2020 covered the cost of Humira for 42,000 patients, spent $2.2 billion more on the drug from 2016 to 2019 than it would have if competitors had been allowed to start selling their drugs promptly. […] “AbbVie and Humira showed other companies what it was possible to do.”

Usage of Children’s Makeup and Body Products in the United States and Implications for Childhood Environmental Exposures

Study finds that UV-emitting nail polish dryers damage DNA and cause mutations in cells

Homeopathy suggests treating genetic diseases with tiny doses of the patient’s own DNA “It is important to reiterate that this is a theoretical hypothesis and without scientific evidence so far”

Delta (1 – 4 Hz) EEG/MEG activity is generally indicative of loss of consciousness and cortical down states, particularly when it is diffuse and high amplitude. Remarkably, however, drug challenge studies of several diverse classes of pharmacological agents—including antiepileptics, GABA-B-ergics, anticholinergics, and psychedelic tryptamines—demonstrate that participants appear to be neurophysiologically “down” (EEG activity resembling cortical down states) even when they are not psychologically “out” (unconscious). Of those substances that are safe to use in healthy volunteers, some may be highly valuable research tools for investigating which neural activity patterns are sufficient for consciousness or its absence.

Consider Michel de Montaigne, who in 1571, fed up with his job as a magistrate in the city of Bordeaux, quit at the age of 38. Retreating to his library, he inscribed his reason on the wall of his study. “Weary of the servitude of the courts,” Mr. Montaigne declared, “I am determined to retire in order to spend what little remains of my life, now more than half run out … consecrated to my freedom, tranquillity, and leisure.” He went on to invent an entirely new kind of writing — the essay — by which he launched an extraordinary experiment in self-examination. Yet he experimented lazily. “I have to solicit it nonchalantly,” he wrote about his memory. “What I do easily and naturally I can no longer do if I order myself to do it by strict and express command,” he wrote. For the man who transformed our way of reading and writing, he was seriously unserious. “If I encounter difficulties in reading, I do not gnaw my nails over them; I leave them there.” He added: “I do nothing without gaiety.” [NY Times]

We recommend avoiding general and often dehumanizing “the” labels such as the poor, the mentally ill, the French, the disabled, the college-educated. Instead, use wording such as people with mental illnesses. And use these descriptions only when clearly relevant. [@APStylebook]

Who will compete with ChatGPT? Meet the contenders

InteriorAI.com Interior design mockups and virtual staging by AI

Channa Horwitz, Sonakinatography I Movement #III for Multi-Media, 1969

Incels are transitioning to women for sex. It’s called Transmaxxing. They have a manual.

placebos

The first-ever AI-powered legal defense was set to take place in California on Feb. 22, but not anymore. “Multiple state bar associations have threatened us,” Browder said. “One even said a referral to the district attorney’s office and prosecution and prison time would be possible.”

People are already using ChatGPT to create workout plans — Fitness advice from OpenAI’s large language model is impressively presented—but don’t take it too seriously.

how investors like the idea of using AI to replace journalists…

We find that participants exploit vagueness to be consistent with the truth, while at the same time leveraging the imprecision to their own benefit.

placebos can reduce feelings of guilt, even when the person knows they’re receiving placebos.

“It’s really important that people understand that there is a genetics of depression,” Krystal said. “Until very recently, only psychological and environmental factors were considered.” […] simply having the genes for depression doesn’t necessarily guarantee that someone will become depressed. The genes also need to be activated in some way, by either internal or external conditions. […] Differences in a person’s genes may predispose them to depression; so, too, may differences in the neural wiring and structure of their brain.

New study finds 6 ways to slow memory decline and lower dementia risk — Eating a balanced diet, exercising the mind and body regularly, having regular contact with others, and not drinking or smoking

A new book traces Chekhov’s relentless work as both a doctor and a master of the short story

What time is it on the Moon? The Moon doesn’t currently have an independent time. Each lunar mission uses its own timescale that is linked, through its handlers on Earth, to coordinated universal time, or UTc — the standard against which the planet’s clocks are set. But this method is relatively imprecise and spacecraft exploring the Moon don’t synchronize the time with each other. The approach works when the Moon hosts a handful of independent missions, but it will be a problem when there are multiple craft working together. Space agencies will also want to track them using satellite navigation, which relies on precise timing signals.

‘The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things.’ –Rainer Maria Rilke

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[T]he reason someone may live beyond 100 years starts with their DNA […] “You can’t make it out that far without having already won the genetic lottery at birth” […] The longer your parents live, the more likely you’ll live a healthier, longer life, experts say. […]

“It’s probably not one single gene but a profile, a combination of genes”

Nir Barzilai, the director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, has studied the lives of hundreds of centenarians, the people they’ve married and their kids. The children of centenarians are “about 10 years healthier” than their peers, Barzilai said. […]

The plan is to use artificial intelligence to help find the genes and develop drugs from them

{ Washington Post | Continue reading }

Unalaska, Alaska

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Just as mobile unleashed new types of applications through new capabilities like GPS, cameras and on-the-go connectivity, we expect these large models to motivate a new wave of generative AI applications.

{ Seqoia | Continue reading }

sexual activity without orgasm

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70% of drugs advertised on TV are of “low therapeutic value,” study finds

Average Pregnancy Length Shorter in the US Than European Countries

reason they discourage MRIs during pregnancy

partnered sex with orgasm was associated with increased sleep quality Sexual activity without orgasm and masturbation with and without orgasm were not associated with changes in sleep.

Experimental and comparative studies suggest that the striped coats of zebras can prevent biting fly attacks. Biting flies are serious pests of livestock that cause economic losses in animal production. We hypothesized that cows painted with black and white stripes on their body could avoid biting fly attacks and show fewer fly-repelling behaviors. […] Cows painted with zebra-like striping can avoid biting fly attack

ant’s sense of smell is so strong, it can sniff out cancer

Fusions of Consciousness — We assume instead that subjects and experiences are entities beyond spacetime, not within spacetime. We make this precise in a mathematical theory of conscious agents, whose dynamics are described by Markov chains. We show how (1) agents combine into more complex agents, (2) agents fuse into simpler agents, and (3) qualia fuse to create new qualia.

The way to get new ideas is to notice anomalies: what seems strange, or missing, or broken? You can see anomalies in everyday life (much of standup comedy is based on this), but the best place to look for them is at the frontiers of knowledge. Knowledge grows fractally. From a distance its edges look smooth, but when you learn enough to get close to one, you’ll notice it’s full of gaps. These gaps will seem obvious; it will seem inexplicable that no one has tried x or wondered about y. In the best case, exploring such gaps yields whole new fractal buds.

Search 5.8 billion images used to train popular AI art models: Have I Been Trained?

Turnitin, best known for its anti-plagiarism software used by tens of thousands of universities and schools around the world, is building a tool to detect text generated by AI.

ChatGPT passes MBA exam given by a Wharton professor

Imagine a world where autonomous weapons roam the streets, decisions about your life are made by AI systems that perpetuate societal biases and hackers use AI to launch devastating cyberattacks. This dystopian future may sound like science fiction, but the truth is that without proper regulations for the development and deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI), it could become a reality. The rapid advancements in AI technology have made it clear that the time to act is now to ensure that AI is used in ways that are safe, ethical and beneficial for society. Failure to do so could lead to a future where the risks of AI far outweigh its benefits.
I didn’t write the above paragraph. It was generated in a few seconds by an A.I. program called ChatGPT, which is available on the internet. I simply logged into the program and entered the following prompt: “Write an attention grabbing first paragraph of an Op-Ed on why artificial intelligence should be regulated.

Large Language Models as Corporate Lobbyists

Cleopatra Selene, the daughter of Cleopatra VII, Queen of Egypt, and Mark Antony, became the influential queen of a mysterious, abundant North African kingdom

In October 1984, Fred L. Worth, author of The Trivia Encyclopedia, Super Trivia, and Super Trivia II, filed a $300 million lawsuit against the distributors of Trivial Pursuit. He claimed that more than a quarter of the questions in the game’s Genus Edition had been taken from his books, even to the point of reproducing typographical errors and deliberately placed misinformation. One of the questions in Trivial Pursuit was “What was Columbo’s first name?” with the answer “Philip”. That information had been fabricated to catch anyone who might try to violate his copyright. The inventors of Trivial Pursuit acknowledged that Worth’s books were among their sources, but argued that this was not improper and that facts are not protected by copyright. The district court judge agreed, ruling in favor of the Trivial Pursuit inventors.

A look back at the prize-winning anti-car-jacking flamethrower

‘A happy memory is perhaps on this earth truer than happiness itself.’ –Alfred de Musset

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Adult individuals frequently face difficulties in attracting and keeping mates, which is an important driver of singlehood.

In the current research, we investigated the mating performance (i.e., how well people do in attracting and retaining intimate partners) and singlehood status in 14 different countries, namely Austria, Brazil, China, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Peru, Poland, Russia, Spain, Turkey, the UK, and Ukraine (N = 7,181).

We found that poor mating performance was in high occurrence, with about one in four participants scoring low in this dimension, and more than 57% facing difficulties in starting and/or keeping a relationship.

Men and women did not differ in their mating performance scores, but there was a small yet significant effect of age, with older participants indicating higher mating performance.

{ Evolutionary Psychology | Continue reading }

design { Ken Kelleher }

beyond the physical brain and body in both space and time

21.jpgThe existence of the Five Eyes wasn’t officially acknowledged until 2010 […] The sheer extent of the global surveillance system overseen by the US and its allies made it difficult to hide.

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) has the ability to track people in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx by running images from 15,280 surveillance cameras into invasive and discriminatory facial recognition software, a new Amnesty International investigation reveals.

The many, many reasons space travel is bad for the human body — Like any other muscle, the heart doesn’t need to work as hard in microgravity and will begin to atrophy without rigorous exercise. Doused with radiation, many immune cells die and immunity is lowered. There’s also DNA damage, potentially upping cancer risk. Inflammation spikes throughout the body, possibly contributing to heart disease and other conditions. Bones thin by about 1.5 percent a month. Spinal discs harden.

While certain irritants can make the stomach more vulnerable to acid and ulcer formation, multiple large studies have found that this is not the case with coffee. Nonetheless, coffee does have an effect on the gut — it can speed up the colon and induce a bowel movement, and coffee increases acid production in the stomach. […] drinking coffee, especially if it’s black, without a meal can reduce the stomach’s pH more than it would if you drank it with milk or with a meal. Although a slightly lower pH is no problem for your stomach lining, it could pose an issue for the lining of your esophagus because it is far more vulnerable to damage from acid.

Their job is to grow monumental amounts of animal muscle cells; around 10 trillion are needed to make one measly steak. The first CRISPR gene-edited meat is coming

Scientists Just Invented an Entirely New Way to Refrigerate Things

Getty Images is Suing the Creators of AI Art Tool Stable Diffusion for Scraping Its Content

ChatGPT could automatically compose comments submitted in regulatory processes. It could write letters to the editor for publication in local newspapers. It could comment on news articles, blog entries and social media posts millions of times every day. It could mimic the work that the Russian Internet Research Agency did in its attempt to influence our 2016 elections, but without the agency’s reported multimillion-dollar budget and hundreds of employees. […] an A.I. system with the sophistication of ChatGPT but trained on relevant data could selectively target key legislators and influencers to identify the weakest points in the policymaking system and ruthlessly exploit them through direct communication, public relations campaigns, horse trading or other points of leverage. […] Like human lobbyists, such a system could target undecided representatives sitting on committees controlling the policy of interest […] What makes the threat of A.I.-powered lobbyists greater than the threat already posed by the high-priced lobbying firms on K Street is their potential for acceleration. Human lobbyists rely on decades of experience to find strategic solutions to achieve a policy outcome. That expertise is limited, and therefore expensive. A.I. could, theoretically, do the same thing much more quickly and cheaply.

A wave of lawsuits argue that Tesla’s self-driving software is dangerously overhyped. What can its blind spots teach us about the company’s erratic C.E.O.? […] (The four available Tesla models are S, 3, X and Y, presumably because that spells the word “sexy.”)

This review examines phenomena that apparently contradict the notion that consciousness is exclusively dependent on brain activity, including phenomena where consciousness appears to extend beyond the physical brain and body in both space and time.

An auditory illusion

The Food Timeline

The Landlord’s Game (1904), inspiration for the 1935 board game Monopoly

‘Ils m’ont appelé l’Obscur et j’habitais l’éclat.’ –Saint-John Perse

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{ Midjourney is getting crazy powerful }

We’re not here to impress each other. We’re here to connect.

In Boston labs, old, blind mice have regained their eyesight, developed smarter, younger brains and built healthier muscle and kidney tissue. […] The experiments show aging is a reversible process, capable of being driven “forwards and backwards at will” […] “The astonishing finding is that there’s a backup copy of the software in the body that you can reset” […] It doesn’t matter if the body is 50 or 75, healthy or wracked with disease, Sinclair said. Once that process has been triggered, “the body will then remember how to regenerate and will be young again, even if you’re already old and have an illness. Now, what that software is, we don’t know yet. At this point, we just know that we can flip the switch.”

Small Penises and Fast Cars: Evidence for a Psychological Link — In this experiment, we manipulated what men believed about their own penis size, relative to others. We gave them false information, stating that the average penis size was larger than it in fact is.

Historically, women who were victims of rape had to show evidence of strenuous or ferocious resistance to the attack, as indicated by broken fingernails, blood, bruises… […] Consider the emotion of sexual disgust—the things that repulse you from a sexual perspective. Are men aware that women are more easily sexually disgusted than they are? (Crosby, Durkee, Meston, & Buss, 2020). Judging from the number of men who send unsolicited “dick-pics” (photographs of men’s genitalia) to women, the answer is a resounding “no.” Among millennial-aged women, slightly more than half have received dick pics, and 78% of these were unsolicited. […] Understanding sex differences in sexual psychology provides a path toward reducing violence toward women. When women have a say in designing laws and policies around sexual violence, they are more likely to bring a female mindset to those policies.

Women are more likely than men to suffer adverse side effects of medications because drug dosages have historically been based on clinical trials conducted on men (2020)

OpenAI signaled it’ll soon begin charging for ChatGPT […] ChatGPT had over a million users as of early December — an enviable user base by any measure. But it’s a pricey service to run. According to OpenAI co-founder and CEO Sam Altman, ChatGPT’s operating expenses are “eye-watering,” amounting to a few cents per chat in total compute costs. (ChatGPT is hosted in Microsoft’s Azure cloud.)

Research Summaries Written by AI Fool Scientists

“In the unlikely situation where a crew is unable to control the aircraft, DragonFly can redirect the flight to the nearest appropriate airport and facilitate a safe landing” Airbus close to landing fully automated passenger jets

JPMorgan Chase is suing the 30-year-old founder of Frank, a buzzy fintech startup it acquired for $175 million, for allegedly lying about its scale and success by creating an enormous list of fake users to entice the financial giant to buy it.

Goldman Sachs lost $1.2 billion in 2022 mostly because of Apple Card

Apple launched its Self-Service Repair program, letting US customers fix broken screens, batteries, and cameras on the latest iPhones using Apple’s own parts and tools for the first time ever. I expected Apple would send me a small box of screwdrivers, spudgers, and pliers; I own a mini iPhone, after all. Instead, I found two giant Pelican cases — 79 pounds of tools — on my front porch. […] The single most frustrating part of this process, after using Apple’s genuine parts and Apple’s genuine tools, was that my iPhone didn’t recognize the genuine battery as genuine. “Unknown Part,” flashed a warning. […] $69 for a new battery — the same price the Apple Store charges for a battery replacement, except here I get to do all the work and assume all the risk. $49 to rent Apple’s tools for a week. A $1,200 credit card hold for the toolkit, which I would forfeit if the tools weren’t returned within seven days of delivery.

It’s illegal to burn a body in a floating boat anywhere in the U.S., and a single town in Colorado is the only place in the country where you can legally burn a corpse on a dry-land funeral pyres. The popular conception of what are commonly called “Viking” funerals – a flaming longship – aren’t historically accurate anyway […] “They (Vikings) were more likely to drag the boat ashore and burn it on dry land with the chieftain’s body and his possessions inside, or just bury the entire boat without setting it on fire,” Pray told Cowboy State Daily.

Kanzi the bonobo lives in America and has learnt how to build a fire, light it using matches and toast marshmallows on it

Date Like a Monk — Monks are famously celibate, but celibacy doesn’t just mean you’re not having sex. It means you’re not interacting with other people in a way that could be considered romantic. The Sanskrit word for monk, brahmacharyi, means “the right use of energy.” […] As monks, we were trained to direct our energy toward understanding our psyches, how we see the world and interact with it. If you haven’t developed a deep understanding of your motivations and obstacles, it’s harder to move through life with patience and compassion. […] Monks never try to impress anyone. […] We’re not here to impress each other. We’re here to connect.

some genetic changes

s.jpgIdentical college twins were accused of cheating in an exam by signaling. They won $1.5 million in damages after a jury decided they hadn’t cheated because their minds were connected.

When taxes go up, executives increase profits from insider trading, study “In states where there are increases in tax rates, there is an increase in the number of SEC insider trading investigations.”

There wasn’t a single bank robbery in Denmark last year

Hackers hit websites of Danish central bank and seven other Danish banks

Microsoft neural codec language model can generate speech in any voice after only hearing a 3-second sample of that voice

ChatGPT isn’t all that bad at writing fairly decent malware — within a few weeks of ChatGPT going live, participants in cybercrime forums—­some with little or no coding experience­—were using it to write software and emails that could be used for espionage, ransomware, malicious spam, and other malicious tasks.

According to a new study, humans still have the genes for a full coat of fur. Those genes, it seems, have simply been switched off. […] “Some genetic changes might be responsible for loss of hair.”

Fewer than 40% of New Yorkers earn a living wage

Medical student types journals during ketamine infusions for suicidal ideation, treatment-resistant depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder […] patient achieved remission from suicidality and PTSD within 1 month [Ketamine Journals | .docx]

A seven-day forecast can accurately predict the weather about 80 percent of the time and a five-day forecast can accurately predict the weather approximately 90 percent of the time. However, a 10-day—or longer—forecast is only right about half the time.

Even if there is a very strong neurological similarity between memories and experiences, we know that they can’t be exactly the same

2.jpgA team of security researchers managed to gain “super administrative access” into Reviver, the company behind California’s new digital license plates which launched last year. That access allowed them to track the physical GPS location of all Reviver customersand change a section of text at the bottom of the license plate designed for personalized messages to whatever they wished

Ghost Writer: Microsoft Looks to Add OpenAI’s Chatbot Technology to Word, Email

Microsoft will have to buy OpenAI in 2023

Artists accuse Adobe of tracking their design process to power its AI

Memory and perception seem like entirely distinct experiences, and neuroscientists used to be confident that the brain produced them differently, too. But in the 1990s, neuroimaging studies revealed that parts of the brain that were thought to be active only during sensory perception are also active during the recall of memories. “It started to raise the question of whether a memory representation is actually different from a perceptual representation at all” […] Even if there is a very strong neurological similarity between memories and experiences, we know that they can’t be exactly the same. “People don’t get confused between them”

Intermittent fasting can boost your health, but how and when to restrict food consumption is crucial — When food intake starts in the morning, studies have observed weight loss and improvements in insulin sensitivity. Conversely, there are fewer or no benefits to starting meals at midday and ending them in the evening. Ram Babu Singh’s team (Halberg Hospital and Research Institute, India) also showed positive results in participants who ate only in the morning — and not in those who ate in the evening after 8 p.m. Research suggests our internal clock and circadian rhythms may have something to do with it.

It is very well known that intelligence (or, more in general, talent and personal qualities) exhibits a Gaussian distribution among the population, whereas the distribution of wealth — often considered as a proxy of success — follows typically a power law (Pareto law), with a large majority of poor people and a very small number of billionaires. Such a discrepancy between a Normal distribution of inputs, with a typical scale (the average talent or intelligence), and the scale-invariant distribution of outputs, suggests that some hidden ingredient is at work behind the scenes. In this paper, we suggest that such an ingredient is just randomness.

The happiest, least stressful, most meaningful jobs in America

Communities are already seeing items delivered by drones from Amazon Prime and Walmart

David Horvitz’s Public Access (2010) includes photographs of himself at various public beaches in California which were uploaded to the Wikimedia Commons and then inserted into the Wikipedia pages, and the subsequent reaction of the Commons and Wikipedia communities to his actions. Before all items were deleted, Horvitz printed them out, bound them and covertly placed the bound books in the history sections of local libraries along the California Coast. […] In 2016, David Horvitz hired a pickpocket to place sculptures in the pockets of attendees of the annual Frieze Art Fair.

Philosophy Experiment: Staying Alive

‘One of the most time-consuming things is to have an enemy’ –E. B. White

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Malibu Media LLC is an adult movie company that produces films featured on the pornagraphic website X-Art.com. The company has spent years suing people for copyright infringement, alleging the defendants downloaded its films via peer-to-peer file sharing software such as BitTorrent.

Malibu Media LLC is an adult movie company that produces films featured on the pornographic website X-Art.com. The company has spent years suing people for copyright infringement, alleging the defendants downloaded its films via peer-to-peer file sharing software such as BitTorrent.

The company targets individuals based on their IP address (like a phone number, but for one’s computer), which its proprietary technology has detected as being associated with illegal filesharing.

{ Rosenblum Law | Continue reading }

Over the past decade, Malibu Media has emerged as a prominent so-called “copyright troll,” suing thousands of “John Does” for allegedly torrenting adult content hosted on the porn studio’s website, “X-Art.” Whether defendants were guilty or not didn’t seem to matter to Malibu, critics claimed, as much as winning as many settlements as possible. As courts became more familiar with Malibu, however, some judges grew suspicious of the studio’s litigiousness. As early as 2012, a California judge described these lawsuits as “essentially an extortion scheme,” and by 2013, a Wisconsin judge ordered sanctions, agreeing with critics who said that Malibu’s tactics were designed to “harass and intimidate” defendants into paying Malibu thousands in settlements. […]

Now, TorrentFreak reports that Malibu’s litigation machine appears to finally be running out of steam—with its corporate status suspended in California sometime between mid-2020 and early 2021 after failing to pay taxes. Last month, a Texas court said that Malibu has until January 20 to pay what’s owed in back taxes and get its corporate status reinstated. If that doesn’t happen over the next few weeks, one of Malibu’s last lawsuits on the books will be dismissed, potentially marking the end of Malibu’s long run of alleged copyright trolling.

{ Ars Technica | Continue reading }

Doyle Lonnegan: I put it all on Lucky Dan; half a million dollars to win.

The simplest form of investment scam is that you promise people some attractive return on their investment […] There are two basic approaches, which are:

A reasonable return, or
An insane return.

The first approach was made famous by Bernie Madoff […] The advantage of this approach is that it can attract sophisticated investors: Madoff was able to raise money from rich people and funds-of-funds because, in their obviously flawed due diligence, they concluded that the returns he promised were plausible. […]

The second approach […] you mostly don’t want sophisticated investors. It is plausibly harder to trick sophisticated investors than it is to trick unsophisticated ones. This is like why advance-fee scam emails have lots of typos: “By sending an initial email that’s obvious in its shortcomings, the scammers are isolating the most gullible targets.” Promising a 1,000,000% return ensures that you never end up talking to anyone but the most gullible possible marks. […] Here’s a good Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement action against an alleged vaguely crypto-ish fraud: […]

According to the SEC’s complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Chandran, Davidson, Glaspie, Knott, and Mossel falsely claimed that investors could generate extravagant returns by investing in a blockchain technology called CoinDeal that would be sold for trillions of dollars to a group of prominent and wealthy buyers. […]

Chandran, a recidivist securities law violator and convicted felon, claimed to own a unique blockchain technology that was on the verge of being sold for trillions of dollars to a group of reputable billionaire buyers (“CoinDeal”). Chandran further claimed his business required interim financial support until the sale transaction closed. Together with and through other named Defendants, Chandran targeted mostly unsophisticated investors with false and misleading promises and representations that investments in CoinDeal would soon yield extremely high returns from the imminent sale of his business. Ultimately, there was no sale, and no distribution of proceeds, because CoinDeal was a sham. […]

Chandran typically provided status updates on the supposed deal, including but not limited to: the involvement of foreign central banks and the United States Department of Homeland Security; the latest board meetings of the consortium of wealthy buyers; the role of certain political figures; and the causes of “temporary” delays to the sale closing. These updates were designed to lull investors and induce them to continue investing in CoinDeal. […]

Then of course the “deal” would not close and there would be excuses, which included “the engineer … called in sick yesterday” and “the bank wants a new set of documents.” […] My favorite part, though, might be the section about Linda Knott. According to the SEC complaint, she didn’t know these people, and wasn’t in any real sense a part of their alleged scam. She just used their alleged scam as a substrate to run her own alleged scam:

In February 2021, Knott learned of CoinDeal through one of Glaspie’s teleconferences […] Knott started collecting funds for CoinDeal through an investor group called Together We Profit. Together We Profit was a loose arrangement of individuals interested in participating in CoinDeal. … Knott facilitated investment by lowering the barrier to entry for CoinDeal by allowing prospective investors to participate for as little as $27, which was lower than the amounts permitted by Glaspie. […] While Knott assured investors she would transmit all of their funds to CoinDeal, that was false. She enriched herself by misappropriating approximately $79,000 or more for personal use and purposes unrelated to CoinDeal.

{ Bloomberg | Continue reading }

Is my ‘red’ your ‘red’?

imp-kerr-foucault.pngNew York has become the latest US state to allow so-called human composting. A person can now have their body turned into soil after their death - which is seen as an environmentally friendly alternative to a burial or cremation. In 2019, Washington was the first US state to legalise it. Colorado, Oregon, Vermont and California followed suit.

OnlyFans mum embarrassed about wetting herself for years now sells wet pants

A fundamental question in the study of consciousness is “To what extent are sensory experiences equivalent between individuals?” Is my “red” your “red”?

GAN faces [realistic-looking faces of non-existing people] are more likely to be perceived as real faces than real faces

In a world first, AI lawyer will help defend a real case in the US

College student built an app called GPTZero that can “quickly and efficiently” label whether an essay was written by a person or ChatGPT.

Study Finds That Buttons in Cars Are Safer and Quicker to Use Than Touchscreens

Malone understood a few things about the cable industry that many outsiders didn’t. First, he understood that cable was like real estate: incredibly high fixed costs up front as you built or bought the systems, and then highly predictable, monopoly cash flows for a long time afterwards. He understood that if he used debt to finance acquisitions, he could keep growing the company, and use the depreciation on acquired systems (plus the write-offs from the loans itself) to delay paying taxes on that cash flow. […] The problem was that Wall Street in the 70s and 80s didn’t get any of this. […] To make his point, Malone created a new accounting metric, something he called ‘earnings before interest, depreciation, and taxes’, or EBITDA.

There are an estimated 25 million safe deposit boxes in America, and few protections for customers. No federal laws govern the boxes; no rules require banks to compensate customers if their property is stolen or destroyed.

At 93, the world’s best-selling living female artist is still painting daily at the psychiatric hospital she voluntarily checked into and has lived in since the 1970s.

PLAYBOY: Your salary is shooting up into the multimillions per movie–reportedly $4 million to $ 7 million. Do those numbers make you chuckle? NICOLAS CAGE: I don’t chuckle. I have respect for the dollar.

The Harvard Study of Adult Development has expanded to three generations and more than 1,300 descendants of the original subjects; it is, according to the researchers, the longest-running in-depth study on human happiness in the world. From all the data, one very clear finding has emerged: Strong relationships are what make for a happy life. More than wealth, I.Q. or social class, it’s the robustness of our bonds that most determines whether we feel fulfilled.

Optimal wings for flying fruits — Appendages of seeds, fruits, and other diaspores (dispersal units) are essential for their wind dispersal, as they act as wings and enable them to fly. […] The link of the fruit’s sepal shape to flight performance, however, is as yet unknown.

“You’re going to have black snakes from time to time. It’s just a fact of life,” he advised me. “You’re going to have field mice. You’re in the country.” And if one of those black snakes pursues one of those field mice into my bedroom? He suggests I put a wet towel on the floor, wait for the snake to wrap itself in the towel and then remove it.

Map of Italy in 1796

‘In fact, one of the big banks came to me and said, “Donald, you don’t have enough borrowings. Could we loan you $4 billion”?’ –Donald Trump

“Hey Jared! POTUS wants to trademark/own rights to below, I don’t know who to see – or ask…I don’t know who to take to,” the email from Scavino reads, according to a transcript of Kushner’s testimony to the committee, which was released by the panel on Friday.

Two phrases were bolded in the email: “Save America PAC!” and “Rigged Election!”

Kushner forwarded the request and discussed it on an email chain that included Eric Trump, the president’s son; Alex Cannon, a Trump campaign lawyer; Sean Dollman, the chief financial officer of Trump’s 2020 campaign; and Justin Clark, a Trump campaign lawyer.

“Guys - can we do ASAP please?” Kushner wrote.

Eric Trump responded, saying: “Both web URLs are already registered. Save America PAC was registered October 23 of this year. Was that done by the campaign?”

Dollman responded: “‘Save America PAC’ is already taken/registered, just confirming that. But we can still file for ‘Save America.’”

Kushner’s response, according to the transcript, was: “Go.”

{ CNN | Continue reading }

pure self-defense

22.jpg
Another source of discomfort was our neighbors’ cats. Now, we are eminently social in our disposition, and enjoy our neighbors’ company very much. We like to spend a social evening with them and have them do the same by us. But not so their cats. We never interchanged civilities with them, their visits were too ill timed and frequent. Our ducklings were carried off in large numbers, and in pure self-defense we shot the cats. Of course, this made trouble in our neighbors’ families, especially the female portion, by whom it was promptly resented. The principle of “touch my dog, touch me,” was illustrated here in all its force. No amount of provocation ever justified us in their eyes in killing their cats. With pater familias it was different. His affections were not engaged. He recognized the necessity of the thing, laughed it off, and said it was all right. [Natural and Artificial Duck Culture, 1906]

The former nun also claimed Rupnik had asked her and another nun to have a threesome with him, saying they would replicate the three-way relationship among God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Why do some people seem to be drawn to situations that are not good for them? […] hypotheses: people make dysfunctional choices 1) to process or master previous trauma, 2) out of habit and because of preferences for what is familiar, 3) to maintain a coherent view of themselves and the world, and 4) to avoid difficult emotions.

Schooling substantially improves intelligence, but neither lessens nor widens the impacts of socioeconomics and genetics

Two groups including 26 women and 25 men […] We found that the brains of women and men reacted differently to infants’ faces, and these differential areas are in facial processing, attention, and empathetic networks.

In the mid-1800s a German physician, Carl Wunderlich, measured axillary (armpit) temperatures from about 25,000 people and found that the average was 98.6˚ F (37˚ C). And so, we’ve believed that ever since. […] An analysis of 20 studies between 1935 and 1999 found that the average oral temperature was 97.5˚ F. Time to redefine normal body temperature?

Bitcoin has a maximum supply of 21 million. Current data shows that 19.1 million bitcoins have been mined to date. However, of that amount, it is estimated that between 3-4 million bitcoins have been lost forever. […] Others such as Satoshi Nakomoto, the creator of bitcoin, are believed to hold as much as 1 million bitcoin. This anonymous person has not published any communication since 2010 and many presume the famed character has passed away. […] a mining firm in China mines 3% of all bitcoin. It mines 650 bitcoins monthly with an estimated electric bill of almost $1.2 million.

as of September 19, 2022, MicroStrategy and its subsidiaries held approximately 130,000 Bitcoins, acquired at an aggregate purchase price of $3.98 billion, at an average purchase price of $30,639 per bitcoin.

Who Owns the Most Bitcoin?

Pink Sauce went viral on TikTok. But then it exploded

Cheerful Chatbots Don’t Necessarily Improve Customer Service

The chief executive of one of Europe’s biggest insurance companies has warned that cyber attacks, rather than natural catastrophes, will become “uninsurable” as the disruption from hacks continues to grow. “What will become uninsurable is going to be cyber”

balls to the walls

A startup says it’s begun releasing particles into the atmosphere, in an effort to tweak the climate — Make Sunsets is already attempting to earn revenue for geoengineering, a move likely to provoke widespread criticism.

People suffering from depression have lower connectivity in brain regions linked to reward processing, study finds

Cassidy and Dylan Scott, a married couple from Huntsville, Alabama, just happen to have the same birthday. This week, they welcomed their first baby – on their birthday. — Their baby girl arrived on Dec. 18 […] While this phenomenon is rare, in 2017, another couple who shared a birthday also welcomed a baby on the same day – and it happened to be Dec. 18, just like the Scotts. […] The family’s birthday, Dec. 18, is actually a common one – ranking No. 56 out of all days […] Out of all the calendar days, including leap day on Feb. 29, the two least common birthdays are Jan. 1, ranking at No. 365, and Dec. 25, ranking at No. 366, according to Stiles. Leap day, which only occurs every four years, is also uncommon, ranking at No. 347.

Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative (Stanford University): Gender-based language includes a range of words and phrases that are not helpful, and, in many cases, are exclusionary. […] Instead of “balls to the wall” consider using “accelerate efforts.” balls to the walls (Wiktionary): First attested in the 1960s in the context of aviation, in reference to ball-shaped grips on an aircraft’s joystick and throttle. Pushing the “balls to the wall” would put the engine at maximum power. Not related to the vulgar sense of balls (“testicles”).

All four tests classified ChatGPT’s answers to their questions as left-leaning.

“Google has a business model issue. If Google gives you the perfect answer to each query, you won’t click on any ads.” […] Google has been reluctant to share its technology broadly because, like ChatGPT and similar systems, it can generate false, toxic and biased information. LaMDA is available to only a limited number of people through an experimental app, AI Test Kitchen.

Bitcoin hashrate drops nearly 40% as deadly U.S. storm unplugs miners

Loni Goddard works at Kerala Ayurveda, a wellness company, and rents an apartment in Reno. In 2020, her one-bedroom apartment cost $950 with internet and cable. When she re-signed her lease in April, the rent rose to $1,490 — not including internet and cable.

How a Vermont farmer proved no snowflakes are alike

Why do bees die when they sting you?

Aliens haven’t contacted Earth because there’s no sign of intelligence here, new answer to the Fermi paradox suggests […] If life has evolved on many planets in the galaxy, then aliens are probably more interested in the ones where there are signs not just of biology but technology […] experts have offered other explanations for the missing aliens: Perhaps they visited Earth in the past, before humans evolved or were capable of recording the visit. Or maybe long-distance space travel is more difficult than believed. Perhaps aliens evolved advanced civilization too recently to make it to Earth. Or they’ve deliberately decided not to explore the cosmos. It’s even possible that they’ve killed themselves off.

The Phantom of Heilbronn

3.jpgNew research indicates the most common reasons for lying are altruistic (i.e., to protect others from harm).

Google can now read your doctor’s bad handwriting

The results of GPT-3 are often unexpected and surprising. But are they creative? GPT-3 was not trained to look at meaning. It does not understand its training data. When asked the simple multiplication question “1111*2=?”, GPT-3 responded “22”.

Study finds AI assistants help developers produce code that’s more likely to be buggy

People have A.I. bots running that use ChatGPT to automatically reply to people’s tweets and breaking up by letting ChatGPT write their break up letter

the images are fed into a “pre-trained machine learning (ML) model” to generate “a collection of 1,000 new, non-existing shapes” derived from the initial sex toy dataset

Previous studies have shown that comic book bodies are supernormal stimuli, exaggerated in dimensions that are attractive to primarily male comic book consumers. We predicted that comic book women would have longer legs than comic book men and would have longer than average legs [and] that comic book women would be depicted as wearing heels or walking on tiptoe more often, as this further elongates the legs. […] 86%–88% of female characters were drawn as either wearing high heels or walking or standing on tiptoe.

Adults are buying toys for themselves, and it’s the biggest source of growth for the industry […] one-fourth of all toy sales annually […] toy makers such as Mattel have created lines just for these consumers.

DEA seized enough fentanyl to kill every person in the U.S. in 2022

With a flat fee of $70 for trips into Manhattan and a guaranteed stream of passengers, a ride to and from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport is one of the more lucrative journeys for the city’s cab drivers. But federal prosecutors say two 48-year-old Queens men found another way to profit from the crowd of taxis waiting long hours for passengers at the airport, conspiring with Russians to hack the dispatch system and allow drivers to cut ahead in line for a $10 payment.

The Genesis of East Village Drag: An oral history of the Pyramid Club

This case started off as a missing person investigation, in which the victim disappeared in Taiwan on November 29, 2019. I was hired in mid-December 2019 and filed a petition for conservatorship of her estate, according to law.

The Phantom of Heilbronn, often alternatively referred to as the “Woman Without a Face”, was a hypothesized unknown female serial killer whose existence was inferred from DNA evidence found at numerous crime scenes in Austria, France and Germany from 1993 to 2009. The only connection between the crimes was the presence of DNA from a single female, which had been recovered from 40 crime scenes, ranging from murders to burglaries.[…] in March 2009, the case took a new turn when, while trying to identify a corpse, investigators found the Phantom’s female DNA in fingerprints on a male asylum seeker’s application. They subsequently came to the conclusion that there was no mysterious criminal and the laboratory results were due to contamination of the cotton swabs used for DNA probing. The cotton swabs used by many state police departments were found to have been contaminated before shipping. They all came from the same factory. The DNA belonged to a woman who worked at the factory where they were made. [more]

Data Visualization of How Apple Names Things

Lessons from watching every single Hallmark holiday movies