Curating the Internet: Science and technology micro-summaries for August 24, 2019

in rsslog •  10 months ago  (edited)

The risks of brain-computer-interface (BCI) technology; Heating Siberian homes with bitcoin miners; Youtube joins Facebook and Twitter in censoring suspected state-sponsored disinformation about the Hong Kong protests; After public pressure, Steam's parent-company - Valve, agreed to fix a zero-day security bug; A Steem essay describing the links between fake news and false memories

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. Silicon Valley wants to read your mind. Here's why you should be worried - Facebook recently announced a break through in a device that lets people type with their thoughts, and Elon Musk's Neuralink is working on a brain-computer-interface that will be implanted in the body. The article points out that data collection is all about consent, and that it's very difficult for a user to give meaningful consent to a device that's tapping straight into their thoughts. Worse, it says that not only could your thoughts be stolen, but they could even be manipulated. h/t Communications of the ACM

  2. Bitcoin Miners Are Heating Homes Free of Charge in Frigid Siberia - Focusing on customers in Siberia, Hotmine is making home heating appliances that mine for bitcoin. At current bitcoin prices, the devices earn about $55 per month for their owners while heating a space up to about 10 square meters. The concept has been tried before in France and Kiev, but the frigid climate in Siberia may offer a more appealing customer-base. A pilot batch of 60 heaters is expected to sell for about $1,050 at the end of this year, and the company ultimately hopes to sell about 100-200 of them.

  3. YouTube has removed 210 channels that posted about the Hong Kong protests - Saying that China appers to be operating the channels as part of a state-run disinformation campaign, youtube suspended 210 channels that were posting videos that favored the "official" perspective in a coordinated fashion. Youtube said that the action was consistent with recent actions by Facebook and Twitter, but it's not clear whether the channels were shut down for being state-run or for coordinated posting. Twitter's ad suspension was covered in Curating the Internet: Science and technology micro-summaries for August 20, 2019, and @rt-international also offered commentary on the topic, here on Steem. (A 5% beneficiary has been set for @rt-international)

  4. Steam cleaned of zero-day security holes after Valve turned off by bug bounty snub outrage - As covered in Curating the Internet: Science and technology micro-summaries for August 9, 2019, Valve previously closed the bug report as, "not our problem", but public pressure has now encouraged them to fix it, which is why "full disclosure" is a thing.

  5. STEEM New Study Investigates Link Between Fake News And False Memories - @doitvoluntarily reports on a recent study finding a link between fake news and false memories. According to the study, people who read fabricated news stories may later recall false memories that arise from them. The study also found that false memories are more likely to form if the story aligns with the subject's own pre-existing bias, and that people who scored lower on cognitive ability tests were more likely to be manipulated by the fabricated stories. (A 10% beneficiary setting has been assigned to this post for @doitvoluntarily.)

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Just a note on semantics. The use of BTC miners to heat homes is actually not free, but creates a net profit.

The difference is that people without the initial price are not availed of the ability, which were it free of charge they would be.


Agreed. Thanks for the clarification. I copy the headlines from the source articles, but that one could have been phrased better.

Nice blog on crypto.