High likelihood of human civilisation coming to an end starting in 2050 — A harrowing scenario-analysis of how human civilisation might collapse in coming decades due to climate change has been endorsed by a former Australian defence chief and senior royal navy commander.
Ladybuggeration — An 80 by 129km blob in the atmosphere, chugging toward San Diego in the US, turned out to be a massive ‘bloom’ of ladybugs . It was densest in a 16km mass in the middle and could be seen by people as flying specks from the ground.
‘Completely catastrophic’ flooding (and tariffs) causing chaos for US farmers — Weeks of rain across the Midwest and the Great Plains have kept many farmers from planting crops. Surging rivers have broken levees, flooded fields and brought barge traffic to a halt on some of the nation’s biggest waterways.
Training a single AI model can emit as much carbon as five cars in their lifetimes — With the artificial-intelligence industry often compared to the oil industry, now it seems the metaphor may extend even further. Like its fossil-fuel counterpart, the process of deep learning has an outsize environmental impact.
The gyre is terrible, but microplastics are through all the oceans to a much greater degree — And it’s throughout the maritime food chain right up to us.
Dastardly data — You might expect Homer Simpson to hand over personal details in exchange for a donut, but not cybersecurity professionals. But they do.
The US House Intelligence Committee will next week examine the risks posed by deepfakes, artificial intelligence technology that can create realistic-looking fake videos, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said. [A deepfake is an artful, digitally constructed fake, by contrast to Donald Trump, who is just a shallow fake.]
Schiff: “And this may be the future we are heading into, and when you combine that with the fact that we already have a President of the United States who says the things that are real – like the Access Hollywood tape – are fake, and things that are fake – like the Pelosi tape – he pushes out as real; when he has a presidential lawyer saying truth isn’t truth, and a spokesperson, Kellyanne Conway, saying they are entitled to their own alternate facts.”
Police order phone unlocking, but … A Florida man was thrown in jail for 44 days for refusing to unlock two iPhones in his possession during a traffic stop!
The Russian government has added dating service Tinder to a government database that legally forces the company to hand over user data and private communications to the country’s law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
NSA recommends updating Microsoft software — A critical Windows security vulnerability known as BlueKeep was revealed and fixed a few weeks ago, with Microsoft repeatedly begging users of older Windows versions to make sure their machines were updated. The NSA agreed: “Although Microsoft has issued a patch, potentially millions of machines are still vulnerable,” the NSA wrote.
Evil abounds — Piracy is ethically acceptable, according to many Harvard lawyers. This is the conclusion of an intriguing new study conducted among Harvard lawyers by Professor Dariusz Jemielniak and Dr Jérôme Hergueux.
Tesla tries to stop its workers communicating — Blind is an anonymous social network that has been used by tech workers to speak freely about grievances related to the workplace, among other concerns. Thousands of Tesla employees have signed up for the service, but now the company is reportedly trying to suppress its workers from joining the network.
Drug company’s paltry fine for 1 billion dollar scandal — Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals has announced the company expects to pay $15.4 million in a settlement with the US. Justice Department after allegations that Questcor Pharmaceuticals, which Mallinckrodt acquired in 2014, had bribed doctors and their staff to prescribe an incredibly expensive drug.
Troubling study to monitor social media against suicide — Northumbria University in the UK has announced it will surveil student social media posts, among other data, to try and determine whether students are suicidal. The project is part of a pilot program and will reportedly be deployed across all British institutions if it works as intended.
YouTube bravely bans Nazis hours after throwing LGBT users under the bigot bus — That headline says it all, really …
Boeing reports up to 148 parts for its aircraft were ‘improperly manufactured‘ — But hey, the profits! Even the payouts to the families of 346 dead people won’t come close.
A little good news — Princess Cruise Lines fined — It and its parent company Carnival Corporation has agreed to pay a $20 million criminal penalty for environmental violations. Princess Cruise Lines has already paid $40 million over other deliberate acts of pollution including systematic dumping gf plastics and oil at sea.
And Microsoft has discreetly wiped its massive facial recognition database.