Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-03-12
- xkcd: Chat Systems
I need to make image embedding possible for these weekly posts
- Gene drives could halt malaria in West Africa — if residents agree to it
These scientists are planning to release mosquitoes equipped with “gene drives,” a technology that overrides nature’s genetic rules to give every baby mosquito a certain trait that normally only half would acquire. Once such an insect gets out into the wild, it will move indiscriminately and spread its modified trait without respect for political borders.
Locus Online Perspectives » Cory Doctorow: Demon-Haunted World In 2015, HP pushed a fake security update to millions of Officejet owners, which showed up as a routine, ‘‘You must update your software’’ notification on their printers’ screens. Running that update installed a new, secret feature in your printer, with a long fuse. After six months’ wait, the infected printers all checked to see whether their ink cartridges had been refilled, or manufactured by third parties, and to refuse to print with any ink that HP hadn’t given its corporate blessing to. CS50 Updates Course Policies, Asks Students To Go To Class | News | The Harvard Crimson Students are now “encouraged” to physically attend the course’s taped weekly lectures, according to the two-page document. Malan had previously tweaked the course policies in fall 2016 to make lecture attendance optional. Attendance is now also expected at every discussion section until the first mid-semester exam. Malan wrote Thursday that previous CS50 students had reported the online presentations lacked the energy of in-person lectures. Meet Me in the Google Doc For, Uh… a Performance? | KQED Arts took part in a previous incarnation of the Google Doc as shared canvas. “We had no idea how it would develop,” she says. “Over three hours, the doc took on a life of its own. It […]
Glitch City – BLDGBLOG Sites of urban infrastructure and other industrial facilities integral to municipal management, from fire stations to fuel depots, appear to be the target of deliberate erasure in Baidu’s street maps. Nick Bostrom: ‘We are like small children playing with a bomb’ | Technology | The Guardian The axes of daunting-looking graphs in his papers will be calibrated on closer inspection in terms of “endurable”, “crushing” and “hellish”. In his introduction to Superintelligence, the observation “Many of the points made in this book are probably wrong” typically leads to a footnote that reads: “I don’t know which ones.” Does he sometimes feel he is morphing into Douglas Adams? These May Be the Only People Who Want Yahoo to Thrive – Bloomberg The world’s biggest oil traders take price slumps, trade sanctions and natural disasters in stride. The decline of a vintage Internet company has them quaking. Yahoo! Inc.’s Messenger has for almost 18 years been the default communication tool for the men and women who each day move billions of dollars’ worth of crude oil and petroleum products around the planet. _9MOTHER9HORSE9EYES9: the mysterious tale terrifying Reddit | Technology | The Guardian Reddit makes a fascinating platform for community-oriented fiction, and a perfect one for this slow-building and creepy invention, which fans have started calling “The Interface […]
The mystery of the ‘ghost trees’ may be solved – SFGate Redwoods can also clone themselves, further complicating scientists’ understanding of them. Vast rings of related plants communicate via their roots, and during the hard months of winter and early spring, they’ll distribute nutrients evenly among themselves. Scientists have spilled dye onto trees at one end of a grove and traced it through the root network all the way to the other side. “Most people, when they come to the redwood, they look up at the canopy,” Kuty says. “But down is where the action is.” This collaboration lasts only until summer comes. Then every tree, sprout and branch must fend for itself. Those that can’t photosynthesize enough sugar are cut off from the shared root system and discarded during what’s known as the autumn “needle drop.” Douglas Coupland: ‘I’m actually at my happiest when I’m writing on a plane’ | Books | The Guardian There’s a kind of existential heebie-jeebies that accompanies the abandonment of routine: what if I lose my skills and they never come back? What if I become too fragmented? What if the forces of the future I’m trying to depict crush me like a bug? But then, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Live asynchronously. If your job requires even an ounce of creativity, you’ll do your best […]