Links July 2023 has an interesting article about finding evidence for nanohertz gravity waves [1]. 1nano-Herz is a wavelength of 31.7 light years!

Wired has an interesting story about OpenAI saying that no further advances will be made with larger training models [2].

Bruce Schneier and Nathan Sanders wrote an insightful article about the need for government run GPT type systems [3]. He focuses on the US, but having other countries/groups of countries do it would be good too. We could have a Chinese one, an EU one, etc. I don’t think it would necessarily make sense for a small country like Australia to have one – but it would make a lot more sense than having nuclear submarines (which are much more expensive).

The Roadmap project is a guide for learning new technologies [4]. The content seems quite good.

Bigthink has an informative and darkly amusing article Horror stories of cryonics: The gruesome fates of futurists hoping for immortality [5].

From this month in Australia psilocybin (active ingredient in Magic Mushrooms) can be prescribed for depression and MDMA (known as Ecstacy on the streets) can be prescribed for PTSD [6]. That’s great news!

Slate has an interesting article about the Operation Underground Railroad organisation that purports to help sex trafficed chilren [7]. This is noteworthy now with the controverst over the recent movie about that. Apparently they didn’t provide much help for kids after they had been “rescued” and at least some of the kids were “trafficed” specifically to fulfill the demand that they created by offering to pay for it. Vigilantes aren’t as effective as law enforcement.

The ACCC is going to prevent Apple and Google from forcing app developers to give them a share of in-app purchases in Australia [8]. We need this in every country!

This site has links to open source versions of proprietary games [9].

Vice has an interesting article about the Hungarian neuroscientist Viktor Tóth who taught rats to play Doom 2 [10]. The next logical step is to have mini tanks that they can use in real battlefields. Like the “Mason’s Rats” episode of “Love Death and Robots” on Netflix.

Brian Krebs wrote a mind boggling pair of blog posts about the Ashley Adison hack [11]. A Jewish disgruntled ex-employee sending anti-semitic harassment to the Jewish CEO and maybe cooperating with anti-semitic organisations to harass him is one of the people involved, but he killed himself (due to mental health problems) before the hack took place.

Long Now has an insightful blog post about digital avatars being used after the death of the people they are based on [12].

Tavis Ormandy’s description of the zenbleed bug is interesting [13]. The technique for finding the bug is interesting as well as the information on how the internals of the CPUs in question work. I don’t think this means AMD is bad, trying to deliver increasing performance while limited by the laws of physics is difficult and mistakes are sometimes made. Let’s hope the microcode updates are well distributed.

The Hacktivist documentary about Andrew “Bunnie” Huang is really good [14].

Bunnie’s lecture about supply chain attacks is worth watching [15]. Most descriptions of this issue don’t give nearly as much information. However bad you thought this problem was, after you watch this lecture you will realise it’s worse than that!

1 comment to Links July 2023

  • Larry Doolittle

    Two minor typos:
    controverst -> controversy
    Ashley Adison -> Ashley Madison
    Also probably “Bunnie” -> “bunnie”.