Tag Archives: sleep

The Apocalypticon ~ Bad Chinese, data, crypto-creep, Police fraud, Chrome, Vaxxing, MMR, trash, Antarctic humans, Faceyuck, garlic, onions, sleep


Driving a car in 1909? Carry a gun — Life wasn’t easy for women in the early 20th century and race car driver and motorist Dorothy Levitt knew that for a fact, so published The Woman and the Car: A Chatty Little Handbook for all Women who Motor or Who Want to Motor in 1909. It tells women how to take care of themselves and their cars, and reminds them to always carry a gun.
‘Bad’ Chinese can’t use the train — China’s dystopian ‘social credit’ system penalises citizens found to have engaged in some type of misconduct by imposing a number of restrictions on their activities. This has already resulted in tens of millions of rejected attempts to purchase plane or train tickets. [All praise Xi Jinping.]
On data — Security researchers Bob Diachenko and Vinny Troia discovered an unprotected MongoDB database  belonging to an email verification service containing 150GB of detailed, plaintext marketing data, including hundreds of millions of unique email addresses.
Winnipeg police update their devices with fraudulent data — Winnipeg police have arrested a manager with the city for allegedly updating police radios with fraudulent software he got from a person considered to be a security threat by the US Department of Homeland Security. [Doh! But hey, he saved his department some money.]
Chrome meltdown — Google said this week that a Chrome zero-day the company patched last week was actually used together with a second one, a zero-day impacting the Microsoft Windows 7 operating system.
Artificial AI — Two-fifths of Europe’s AI startups do not use any AI programs in their products, according to a report that highlights the hype around the technology.
Crypto-wallets finally unlocked, but proved empty — The money was there, it was just locked away. At least that’s what the QuadrigaCX cryptocurrency exchange had been saying, before an auditor revealed it had finally accessed digital wallets set up by Quadriga’s late CEO Gerald Cotten, and that instead of holding US$137 million, the wallets were empty, drained in 2018. [Don’t invest in things you don’t understand.]

Trash talking — Gizmodo has reached out to a number of experts in geography, paleobiology, environmental science, engineering and more to figure out the absolute worst trash that humans produce. [I will stick with Donald Trump, but Xi Iinping, you’re up there.]
Microplastics host ocean-borne toxic bacteria — Plastic pollutants in the ocean serve as platforms for the growth of toxic bacteria, say scientists from the National University of Singapore (NUS). 
Human footprint surprisingly big in Antarctica — Antarctica is huge, stretching nearly 5,633km at its widest extent. Despite its enormous size, however, the frozen continent features a paltry amount of habitable space: a limited resource humans have claimed to the potential detriment of the local wildlife, as new research points out.
Nature strikes back! That’s the shared theme of these 10 eco-horror movies Gizmodo has compiled in honour of Garbage Week, all tales of terrible punishments that transpire when the environment lashes out against evil, wasteful, and destructive humans.
Deflecting asteroids … not easy! According to new asteroid collision models designed by scientists at Johns Hopkins University, deflecting a large rock headed for Earth will be harder than previously thought.
US Army reckons war robots won’t murder people [OK, two words: war robots.]

MMR does not increase autism risk — The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is not associated with an increased risk of autism even among kids who are at high risk because they have a sibling with the disorder, a Danish study suggests.
Adult son of anti-vaccination parents furious after contracting measles —Joshua Nerius of Chicago, Illinois, had no idea he wasn’t vaccinated until he came down with the highly contagious disease in 2016. But Facebook reckons it’s working on dealing with anti-vax poropganda.

Faceyuck — All the bad press about Facebook might be catching up to the company. New numbers from Edison Research show an an estimated 15 million fewer users in the United States compared to 2017, with the biggest drop is in the very desirable 12- to 34-year-old group. [Maybe Facebook should just rename itself ‘Faceplant’.]

Good news: The consumption of onions and garlic is associated with lower colorectal cancer risk, according to researchers in China. [Presumably, these researchers are allowed to get the train.]
And broken DNA is repaired while you sleep — Scientists have discovered that broken DNA builds up in brain cells in the daytime and repair work reverses the damage only during sleep. For an act so universal, sleep has enormous benefits: it restores the body and helps learning and memory. In the calm hours of sleep, the repair mechanisms at a neuron level have a chance to get on top of the job. 

Tomorrows’s big event, iPhone evolution, hints of new iPod touch, AI and sleep for Watch


(Image from Apple’s event live-streaming page for September 2017

Where to watch the Apple event livestream tomorrow — Tomorrow’s Apple event (13th September in New Zealand is 12th September in the US) should prove to be one of the most interesting product reveals in the history of the company, even if this weekend’s leaks took a bit of the surprise out of what we expect to see. Live streaming uses Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) technology and HLS requires an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with Safari on iOS 9.0 or later, a Mac with Safari on macOS v10.11 or later, or a PC with Microsoft Edge on Windows 10.
Apple has the livestream page all ready to go, and you can even add an event to your calendar to remind you to watch. There’s the Apple Events app on Apple TV (streaming via Apple TV requires an Apple TV 2nd or 3rd generation with software 6.2 or later or an Apple TV 4th generation).

I will be updating this site from 7am NZ time — I gather together multiple sources and try and publish the most cogent information. Initial posts may be followed by additional posts with, for example, more information and NZ prices/availability. [But I have a prediction: 20-50% of any new features will hardly be used by anyone.] 

Phone X event at Steve Jobs Theater frames the future of Apple, Inc reckons Daniel Eran Dilger at Apple Insider — “Next Tuesday, Apple is expected to unveil its largest array of new product introductions ever, ranging from iPhone 8 and a premium new iPhone X to a new 4K/HDR Apple TV, new Apple Watch Series 3, revamped AirPods and the new HomePod appliance–as well as its new Apple Park campus. Here’s why it all matters, focusing on the new lineup of iPhones.” [Er, doesn’t every announcement ‘frame the future of Apple’, Daniel?]

Evolution of the iPhone — Gadgets Desk has a good infographic tracing the evolution of the iPhone, from the original iPhone to current rumors for Tuesday’s iPhone 8/iPhone X launch. It’s an interesting walk down memory lane that includes specs and pics for each iPhone model (minus iPhone 5C and iPhone SE).
And an infographic from Decluttr shows how the Internet reacted to the iPhone over the years.  You’ll have to scroll for a while to get to the iPhone 7/7 Plus, but the comments are well worth your time.

A new iPod touch may be coming soon — Along with all of the other goodness found in this weekend’s leak of the iOS 11 golden master, it appears that the iPod touch may finally get an update. Leak source Benjamin Geskin found reference to a device labeled as “iPod8,1” in the code, which may point to an all new iPod touch.

Bodymatter, Inc. today announced the latest version of their iPhone and Apple Watch app, Sleep Watch — The company breaks new ground with the application of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in its popular sleep tracking app to empower individuals with unparalleled insight and control over their own sleep habits and general wellbeing.
Bodymatter’s AI is presented to users through the Discover feature, which provides users with feedback on how certain behaviors are influencing indicators of their sleep. The app gathers data as the user wears their Apple Watch and it finds statistically significant relationships between users’ habits (including exercise) and the quality of their sleep. The data is then shared with each user through Discover. By providing individualised insight on behaviors, users can then make smarter, and hopefully healthier, choices every day. Cost is NZ$4.49/US2.99.

Futurology ~ Insane star, neutrino data, El Nino, scientists warn against AI, wifi footpaths, sleep


Neutrinos going through the arctic generate staggering loads of data (image from Motherboard)
Neutrinos going through the arctic generate staggering loads of data (image from Motherboard)

Insanely variable star puzzles — A star has a variation in starlight of over 20% (you have to scroll down past the first couple of articles on this site). We don’t have a very good explanation for this, since most vary only within 5%, also of course some people are speculating such variation could be caused by a civilization building a Dyson Sphere around it. Of course – that’s what immediately sprung to my mind (not). Huge panels (or clusters of them) hundreds of thousands of kilometers across, and oddly-shaped, could produce the dips we see in that star’s light. well, that’s overwhelmingly unlikely, but hey.
~ I bet they’ll have the best vacuum cleaners. 

Search for neutrinos deep inside ice sheet grapples with staggering loads of data — Deep beneath the Antarctic ice sheet, sensors buried in a cubic kilometer of frozen H2O are searching for neutrinos. The raw data is stored on tape at the pole, and a 400-core cluster makes a first pass at the data to cut it down to around 100GB/day. A 4000-CPU dedicated local cluster crunches the numbers. The storage system has to handle typical loads of “1-5GB/sec of sustained transfer levels, with thousands of connections in parallel,” Merino explained.
~ Hopefully Merino will be warm enough there with a name like that. 

Bad El Nino on its way — NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center issued the US Winter Outlook, and the long and short of it is the US is in for some serious weather weirdness. Wind patterns and water temperatures look eerily similar to the very bad 1997 conditions.
~ But does that mean New Zealand will have a great summer? Coz I’m voting for that. 

European scientists warn against computer super intelligence — During a recent United Nations meeting about emerging global risks, political representatives from around the world were warned about the threats posed by artificial intelligence and other future technologies.
~ And wait till your car takes over the driving. what if it gets drunk on data? 

English town spreads wifi from the footpaths — In the sleepy British town of Chesham, the very ground on which people walk is now providing respectably fast wifi to residents as they wander the streets.
~ Footloose and data-free.

Sleeping badly is normal— A team from the University of California studied three groups that continue to live pre-agricultural ways of life. 94 individuals from across these societies wore devices that measured their movement and dilation of blood vessels at the surface of the skin. The team also measured temperature and humidity in the environments where people slept. From 1165 days of data, the team found the participants slept for between 5.7 and 7.1 hours a day, with an average of around 6.5 hours. That’s at the low end of the sleep spectrum in the Western world. The team found the participants rarely napped and in fact stayed awake after the sun went down for an average of 3.3 hours. All told, the results suggest that our desire to clock up eight hours of sleep or more every night may be just that — a desire, rather than a necessity.
~ So much for the sun totally dictating sleep patterns, then. The time at which participants went to bed was more likely to be dictated by temperature.