Curating the Internet: Science and technology micro-summaries for September 9, 2019

in rsslog •  11 days ago  (edited)

Massive denial of service attack left wikipedia unreachable in parts of Europe and the Middle East; Moody's expects blockchain standards by 2021; MIT Media Lab insiders say the personal food computer is mostly smoke and mirrors; The most likely explanation for the Loch Ness Monster - A giant eel; Arguing that there are limits to what science can accomplish

Fresh Internet 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.


pixabay license: source.

  1. STEEM Wikipedia says massive hack attack took down the website in Europe & Middle East - Starting on Friday, and well into Saturday, wikipedia was unavailable for users in "UK, Poland, the Netherlands, France, Germany, and Italy". According to wikipedia, the problem was caused by malicious activities by unknown actors. The official statement didn't provide any details, but a German Twitter page said the attack was a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, which involves the use of numerous computers to flood a web site with more traffic than it can handle. (A 10% beneficiary has been set for @rt-international)

  2. Research: Blockchain Technology to Be Standardized by 2021 - A report from Moody's was published on September 5. The report says that the firm expects industry blockchain standards to be published by 2021, and that it will be helpful for "future securitisations using the technology." as well as overall interoperability. Moodys says that the driving force behind this effort is the International Organization for Standardization.

  3. The Epstein-funded MIT lab has an ambitious project that purports to revolutionize agriculture. Insiders say it's mostly smoke and mirrors. - Two employees of the MIT Media Lab say that the organization's "personal food computer" simply doesn't work. The goal of the device from the Open Agriculture Initiative is to "turn anyone into a farmer". The project's director said, "We design CO2, temperature, humidity, light spectrum, light intensity, and the minerality of the water, and the oxygen of the water". These insiders claim, however, that the devices are basically "glorified grow boxes", only two of the devices have actually produced plants, and many demos were rigged with plants that are grown using other methods. An e-mail was sent to MIT asking for comment, but no reply was received. (For more on Epstein and the MIT Media Lab, see today's "business, leadership, and management" post. I'll add a link after both are posted. Update: Link here)

  4. Environmental DNA Evidence Suggests the Loch Ness Monster Could Be a Giant Eel - Led by Neil Gemmell, a team of researchers collected 250 samples from all over Loch Ness, and used it to create a DNA survey of the life in the lake. No DNA from unknown species was collected, ruling out the more adventurous theories about Nessie. The study also ruled out sharks, catfish and sturgeons as explanations. One theory that could not be ruled out was the idea that "Nessie is a giant eel. The article suggests that a large eel swimming at the surface of the lake might look like the backbone of a larger animal. A great deal of eel DNA was collected, so this seems to be the most likely explanation for "monster" sightings that date back to the 6th century.

  5. The Delusion of Scientific Omniscience - Starting in the 1980s, John Horgan recaps a long list of scientists who have claimed that with advances in science, computing, and mathematics, we were on the verge of discovering a "theory of everything". But, Horgan points out that among a host of other shortcomings, the idea that everything can be explained by science suffers from the problem of infinite regress. Even if the laws that control nature were all known, the problem would remain to explain where those laws came from - and so on. Personally, I encountered this sort of overconfidence in my own career in 2004, when an executive predicted that by 2015, "Everything that could be digitzed would be."

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Hubris, in every endeavor, from science to literature, from farming to graphene coding, is the enemy of progress. It is likely that MIT has spent the time and treasure that should have enabled their proposed agricultural AI on cavorting with little boys and girls instead.


Interesting link. Thanks. I am reflexively skeptical of claims like that without substantial corroborating evidence to back them, but it does raise an eyebrow that it was apparently written in 2012 or 2013, and specifically named two people from the MIT Media Lab who are now caught up in the Jeffrey Epstein wave.

I was able to verify that the original post was archived by in 2013, with those names included, so it wasn't just posted recently with a backdated label.

We'll have to see where the follow-up to the Epstein investigation leads... I hope it doesn't get dropped. Coincidentally, I included two links about MIT & Epstein in my business curation post today, too (I had a hard time deciding if they should go under "business" or "technology," but opted for "business"). It's disturbing to see how close he seems to have been to the center of the network of "who's who in science..."

All too true. I've been tugging on the threads poking out of the Epstein shitpile, and keep following them to ever more bad news. I should probably just get drunk instead.

On and on it goes. Mintpressnews has done a yoeman's job researching Epstein's involvement in many other matters, and linked this network to Ehud Barak's company now offering products very likely to include surveillance features that may soon be on our phones, in the name of 'preventing mass murders of children', as Trump has promised to do. The company name eludes me atm (Alzheimer's, I'm sure. I linked to the mintpressnews story mentioning it on a post recently if you're interested) but has close ties to Peter Thiel, of Palantir, and Michael Chertoff, who has a competing product also, and is a slippery character as well.

Its those claims I am most dubious about. I find it all too easy to believe rich and powerful people do bad things to gain wealth and power.

Nice blog bro keep sharing.