Let’s go for my web review for the week 2021-10.

Do Complex Numbers Exist? - YouTube

Tags: mathematics, physics, science

Interesting summary about the debate around the existence of complex numbers or the fact that they are just a convenient mathematical tool. Once again quantum mechanics are at it creating issues. ;-)

I guess we’ll see how that unfolds at some point.

Complexity class or designer drug?

Tags: tech, complexity, science

Funny way to recall some of the odd complexity classes. :-)

Finland Had a Patent-Free COVID-19 Vaccine Nine Months Ago — But Still Went With Big Pharma

Tags: science, covid, capitalism

Or why having everything market driven is a bad idea… we could have a patent-free COVID-19 vaccine by now which could be mass produced everywhere, we collectively decided to not even try.

Multimodal Neurons in Artificial Neural Networks

Tags: tech, ai, neural-networks

Fascinating findings around artificial multimodal neurons. Especially interesting is how they encode information but also how they open the door to new attacks to the corresponding neural networks.

How to poison the data that Big Tech uses to surveil you | MIT Technology Review

Tags: tech, ai, strikes, data-science

Interesting discussion… could people go on strike toward providing data to big tech to demand change? At that point it seems to me more like an interesting thought experiment than something really doable… Probably worth monitoring where the conversation goes.

Tens of thousands of US organizations hit in ongoing Microsoft Exchange hack | Ars Technica

Tags: tech, security

Now this is a massive hack… and it might be more widespread than it sounds, I have a hard time believing it’s only one group exploiting this. That’s kind of the problem when you put all your eggs in the same basket.

Global semiconductor shortage could stymie EV manufacturers in 2021 - Electrek

Tags: tech, ecology, economics, resources

Interestingly it’s likely we’ll see more of those shortages in the future, probably in cycles and not only for cars. In the end this is mainly because the access to the raw materials to make semiconductors is becoming harder. As more parts of our society make things “smarter” there will be more competition from different industries to get access to those semiconductors.

What if the World turned to Gold? - The Gold Apocalypse - YouTube

Tags: science

Extremely funny thought experiment. What if the world turned to gold? But even… what does it mean to turn into gold? Which method should be applied?

Google AI Blog: Accelerating Neural Networks on Mobile and Web with Sparse Inference

Tags: tech, ai, neural-networks

Very interesting work on the use of sparse neural networks for faster inference. This is a good way to run originally larger models with less CPU and memory penalty than using the original model while retaining result quality.

OVH Tasks  - SBG2 Massive incident

Tags: tech, reliability

A good reminder that things might happen even in major secure data centers. This is fairly bad… this kind of stuff can happen to the best (low probability events do happen). In any case that is a good reminder on why offsite backups are still a very important. I can’t imagine how many companies hosting their data in there didn’t have a proper recovery plan and backup strategy… for sure they’re in a lot of trouble now.

Why asynchronous Rust doesn’t work

Tags: tech, rust, asynchronous

Interesting conversation of the growing pains around the introduction of async/await in Rust.

Flipper Zero — Multi-tool Device for Hackers. Lite version based on STM32

Tags: tech, hacking, security, pentesting

Now that looks like a very fun decide for hackers. I definitely want one. :-)

Git project - CVE-2021-21300

Tags: tech, git, security

Interesting security issue with Git affecting the cloning of evil crafted repositories. Luckily this seems to affect only lesser filesystems, which are the default of lesser systems (looking at you Windows and macOS… 2021 and still case insensitive, give me a breack).

Around the Web 〜 RSS as a Facebook Alternative - The New Leaf Journal

Tags: tech, rss, social-media

A good reminder to get off social media and mainly use RSS again. Also proposes a bunch of good tools to work with RSS feeds including quite a few high quality free software ones. :-)

User-defined Order in SQL

Tags: tech, databases, sql

Do you ever need to order items stored in SQL? There are ways to do it right and ways to do it wrong. Do it right and pick something meaningful for your case. This article does a good job at listing the typical approaches.

The SQLite R*Tree Module

Tags: tech, databases, geospatial, 3d, sqlite

Interesting, I didn’t know SQLite could have R-Tree indices. This can come in handy for three dimensions or geospatial problems.

Mantis Shrimp Inspires New Breed of Light Sensors | NC State News

Tags: tech, mantis-shrimp, sensors

We already new the Mantis Shrimp is the most awesome creature in the known Universe. Now it gives us even something more! It is the inspiration for a new type of light sensors small enough to fit on a smartphone but able of capturing hyperspectral or polarimetric images. How cool is that!?

Facebook Pulls “Culture Fit” Card on Black Applicant With Ph.D.

Tags: hiring, hr, culture

Here the problem of the “culture fit” concept in HR interview becomes obvious… if you’re part of the main culture of the company (for most big tech companies like this it’s basically the “bro culture”) you’re likely safe, if you’re part of a minority beware.

From Vim to Emacs in Fourteen Days - The Chronicle

Tags: tech, vim, emacs

I keep having a love/hate relationship with Emacs and thus I tend to stick to Vim. But since everyone is not me and I might revisit the question at some point. Let’s have a good path to transition. :-)

Everything You Need to Know About “this” in JavaScript | Hacker Noon

Tags: tech, javascript

A good summary and reminder on how complicated something as mundane as this can be. From the callee you never quite know what it’ll end up being, it’s the call site which matters most.

Self-supervised learning: The dark matter of intelligence

Tags: tech, ai, machine-learning

Interesting account on the recent research around self-supervised learning. In my opinion this is still the early days but already gives some interesting results. A good reminder for me to read up more on the energy-based models. :-)

Stimulus: A modest JavaScript framework for the HTML you already have.

Tags: tech, javascript, framework

It looks like an interesting JS framework. I’m not a huge fan of the big ones which force on you how to structure everything… the apparently minimalist nature of that one feels fairly appealing. Of course need to find the contexts where is works and the ones where it doesn’t.

Modern action and superhero films fetishize the body, even as they desexualize it

Tags: movies, hollywood

That’s an interesting take… Indeed Hollywood has never been pushing forward body positivity or gender equality, still that article points a few interesting things it looks that overall things went worse. Blockbusters are even more about looking feature less and hygienic, all the way to the homes being depicted… which means they push forward images of desexualized play dolls. Disturbing.

Why Mormons Make Great FBI Recruits - Atlas Obscura

Tags: history, surprising, spy

Now that’s a fairly surprising situation. In some way this is logical though and can be seen through recent history. Unsurprisingly, this comes with its own clique effects challenges like discrimination or overprotecting “your group”.

Bye for now!