Curating the Internet: Science and technology digest for January 25, 2020


A Youtube explanation of P vs. NP, computer science's biggest mystery; A TED talk covering indoor vertical farming, aka controlled environment agriculture; Youtube channels for cats. Really.; States sue feds over online plans for 3D printed guns; and a Steem photo competition entry with 25 high quality iguana photos

Fresh and Informative Content Daily: Welcome to my little corner of the blockchain

Straight from my RSS feed
Whatever gets my attention

Links and micro-summaries from my 1000+ daily headlines. I filter them so you don't have to.

First posted on my Steem blog: SteemIt, SteemPeak*, StemGeeks.


pixabay license: source.

  1. P vs. NP - The Biggest Unsolved Problem in Computer Science - This youtube video discusses the P and NP classes from complexity theory in the field of computer science. The P class consists of problems that can be solved in polynomial time, which is tractable for modern computers. The NP class consists of problems that can be verified, but not necessarily solved, in polynomial time. As-of now, problems in the NP Complete class (which is the hardest subset of NP) are intractable at scale, and their solutions can only be approximated. There is an open question to determine whether the two classes are the same - or stated another way - "If a problem can be verified in polynomial time, does that imply that it can also be solved in polynomial time?" This question is important because a number of useful problems are known to be "NP Complete" but not known to be in P. If one problem from NP is found to also be in P, that would imply that all of them are. And this would imply that all problems in NP have tractable solutions. Personally, until recently I thought the two classes were probably different, but recent advances in quantum physics and quantum algorithms now lead me to suspect that they may-well be the same.

    Here is the video:

    -h/t RealClear Science

  2. Are indoor vertical farms the future of agriculture? | Stuart Oda - This TED talk by Stuart Oda was posted in June, 2019, and it came across the RSS feed on January 21, 2020. Oda points out that as population grows, people will need to grow more food in the next 35 to 40 years than humanity has grown in the last 10,000 years. At the same time, he says, it must be accomplished with less land. To meet this challenge, he says that indoor vertical farming should be an increasing part of the solution. This is because the technology is quickly becoming less expensive and more efficient. In indoor vertical farming, or controlled environment agriculture, food is grown 3-dimensionally in vertical racks that make use of artificial lighting instead of sunlight and materials like poly-urethane sponges or biodegradable peat moss instead of soil. Racks can be 14-16 stories in height, and these indoor farms make use of high tech monitoring and weather proofing to control disease and pests with little or no need for pesticides. As a result, the largest indoor farms produce 350 times more food per square foot than outdoor farms. Drawbacks, however, include the fact that the indoor farms use large amounts of energy, only a small variety of vegetables can currently be grown at scale, and the overall cost of food production is still high.

  3. Cats, Once YouTube Stars, Are Now an ‘Emerging Audience’ - According to the article, there is a growing body of video content that is intended for consumption by domesticated cats. The videos apparently include things like squirrels and birds in order to tap into the cat's instincts for hunting and stalking. The article describe's one owner's cat who enjoys the content so much that it comes running as if a treat jar had been opened whenever an iPad comes out. Youtube channels include: Little Kitty & Family, Handsome Nature, and Videos for Your Cat. Even Steem's own @montanacellist has posted some videos with music that's intended for cats. When I was a kid, my family had a console TV that was close to the floor, and we had a cat that loved to sit in front of it and swat at the players during baseball games, so I guess this trend shouldn't come as a surprise.

  4. States are suing the US government over 3D-printed gun blueprints - In 2013, plans for 3D printed guns were published online by Defense Distributed, and a controversy ensued. The Obama administration ordered the organization to take the plans down, and the organization sued on grounds that its first amendment speech rights were being violated. According to the article, the organization lost the suit, but in 2018 the Trump administration allowed it to post the plans, until a federal judge required the administration to reverse course. Now, the administration has proposed new rules that may allow the plans to be published, but 20 states are suing to prevent the change. The states claim that the proposed rule change, "would promote exports and reduce the regulatory burden on gun makers" and also, "that deregulation will 'make it far easier for individuals ineligible to possess firearms under state or federal law to obtain a deadly weapon without undergoing a background check'". The suit was filed in US District Court in Seattle. California and New York are among the states that are suing.

  5. STEEM Amazing Nature Contest: my ultimate iguana photo collection - This post is a submission for an Amazing Nature Contest that is being run by @adalger on the Steem blockchain. In this photo-essay submission, @phortrun embeds a series of 25 photos of Black Spiny Tailed Iguanas in a variety of settings from Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The photo-essay doesn't specify reuse permissions, so you'l have to click through to see them. I recommend that you do. And leave an upvote while you're there. (A 10% beneficiary setting has been applied to this post for @phortun.)

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Thanks for featuring my post here, I feel honored :)


You're welcome. I enjoyed viewing the iguana photos, so thank you too!

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