[Popular STEM] Curating the Internet: Science and techology digest for May 24, 2020

2개월 전

A Steem photo-essay describes the mistletoe plant and provides some photos; North Dakota's contact tracing app sends data to FourSquare; Coinbase announces shift to "remote first" after COVID lockdowns end; A robot that can use gait analysis to guess how people are feeling; and Researchers with computer-model determine that Neanderthal went extinct do to resource competition, not climate change

Curating the Internet: Science and techology digest for
May 24, 2020


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First posted on my Steem blog: SteemIt.

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  1. Steem @oppongk:Mistletoe on its Host plant - I have heard of the tradition of hanging mistletoe at Christmas time ever since I was a kid, but I'm not sure that I've ever seen what the actual plant looks like. In this photo-essay, the author posts some photos of mistletoe in the wild, and describes the plants lifecycle as a parasite that serves as food for birds, but damages the host plants that it grows on by injecting toxins and stealing nutrients. (A 10% beneficiary setting has been applied to this post for @oppongk.)

  2. Researchers found North Dakota's contact-tracing app covertly sending location and advertising data to third parties - North Dakota is one of the first states to deploy a contract tracing application, and the privacy policy said that no data would be shared with advertisers or third parties, but a security research firm observed that once installed, the phone's location and a unique code were being leaked to FourSquare, a company that specializes in selling data to advertisers. In response, the state said that the app will update its privacy policy and reduce the amount of data that is going to FourSquare. According to FourSquare, the app was developed with a free version of their software developer's kit (SDK), which means that any data received is promptly discarded.

  3. Post COVID-19, Coinbase will be a remote-first company - Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong announces in an e-mail to employees and public blog post that the firm is switching their business model to a new model where employees are given the option to work in an office or remotely in "the vast majority of roles". This switch will continue after government-imposed lockdowns are lifted. As a result of this change, the post says that the company hopes to help build a world with more economic freedom, where wealth is not tied to location. They also hope to be able to attract top talent. Armstrong defines, "Remote first" as the option to work remotely for employees who want it, and the option to work in an office for the employees who don't. As a result of the change, the company estimates that 20-60% of employees will work remotely when the lockdowns are lifted.

  4. This Robot Can Guess How You're Feeling by the Way You Walk - Subtitle: Walk like you're angry, and the emotionally intelligent machine will give you more room, leaving your personal bubble intact. - People can observe each other's moods by picking up subtle cues from facial expression and mannerisms like gait. Now, researchers from the University of Maryland have developed ProxEmo to do the same thing. The robot is capable of mobility and uses wheels for navigation. It uses the emotional clues that it observes in order to plan its route. If someone seems angry, the robot might choose a more circuitous route. Researcher, Aniket Bera adds, "If somebody's feeling sad or confused, the robot can go up to the person and say, Oh you're looking sad today, do you need help?". The article also notes that the robot operates off of perceived emotions, and that it's not possible to be 100% accurate about a person's internal emotional state. Not even humans can do that. -h/t Communications of the ACM: Artificial Intelligence

  5. Supercomputer model simulations reveal cause of Neanderthal extinction - It is well established that the decline of the Neanderthals, who occupied Europe for 300,000 years, happened at the same time as major climate changes and also the arrival of Homo Sapiens on the continent, but researchers have been unsure which factor was most influential in their decline. As a result, researchers from the IBS Center for Climate Physics, including Axel Timmermann, built a computer model to try to sort it all out. The findings are summarized as follows:
    What exactly caused the rapid Neanderthal demise has remained elusive for a long time. This new computer modeling approach identifies competitive exclusion as the likely reason for the disappearance of our cousins. “Neanderthals lived in Eurasia for the last 300,000 years and experienced and adapted to abrupt climate shifts, that were even more dramatic than those that occurred during the time of Neanderthal disappearance. It is not a coincidence that Neanderthals vanished just at the time, when Homo sapiensstarted to spread into Europe” says Timmermann. He adds “The new computer model simulations show clearly that this event was the first major extinction caused by our own species”.
    -h/t archaeology.org


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Coinbase's excellent decision, the world changed, globalization, technology and the covid-19 changed, so we must adapt to the modern world.
This quarantine is demonstrating to the world that working remotely, using a computer is possible, to do a good job you should not keep office hours.
Great report !!

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Thanks for the reply. I agree that it's a good decision by coinbase, and many other companies are following the same course of action. I hope it becomes the dominant working model.

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I also hope that it is so, that of meeting a schedule has never been good to me hahaha

This post has been rewarded by the Steem Community Curation Project. #communitycuration07