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UCLA graduate student Charley Kline got as far as typing in the first two letters of the word “login” when the network crashed. Hence, "Lo." Even with that abrupt ending, something big had just happened: Two computers, miles apart, had successfully communicated — a moment that many now consider the beginning of the Internet.
-- Carolyn McMillan, UC Newsroom

It took some 800 years from the invention of the English pound until you could buy coffee with it, and then a few hundred more years before it was accepted at Starbucks, so Bitcoin really is making relatively quick progress.
-- Matt Levine

"Eventually you're going to run out of rich people, right? And you've got to start targeting middle-class people, upper-middle class people," Nixon says. "I know people that have been SIM-swapped that have no clear indication as to why, aside from the fact that they get paid and they have a retirement account."
-- Martin Kaste, NPR

Our identities (generally) boil-down to just three things; our Social Security Number, our birthday and our phone number. One easy method of protecting a phone number (over and above assigning a PIN number to the account) is to use a Google Voice number for non-critical registrations, like social media.

-- Scrib

Ninety percent of a turbine's parts can be recycled or sold, according to Van Vleet, but the blades, made of a tough but pliable mix of resin and fiberglass - similar to what spaceship parts are made from - are a different story. "The blades are kind of a dud because they have no value," he said.
-- Christina Stella, NPR

I've seen these blades being transported and they're huge! Think of the uses though, if you could just figure out a way to economically deconstruct them on-site. The utilities across the country would be your oyster! A few ideas off the top of my head:

  • 3D printer media
  • Structural Insulated Panels (SIP Panels)
  • Composite panels for RVs and aerospace
  • Snowboards, wakeboards, water & snow skis

{whisper/} "windmill blades" {/whisper}

-- Scrib

When the law was extended...in 1996, a Senate report said its goal was to "increase protection for the privacy and confidentiality of computer information." As a result, the 9th Circuit reasons "the prohibition on unauthorized access is properly understood to apply only to private information - information delineated as private through use of a permission requirement of some sort."
-- Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica

That makes sense, to me. I mean, in the physical world, hiQ (the data company scraping LinkedIn public profiles) could count or photograph cars going in and out of the Microsoft parking lots, or digitize local phone books (which were created using publicly-available data). The interwebs are a big, mostly public, place. I always raise an eyebrow when people with Facebook accounts rail against Facebook over privacy.

-- Scrib

Contract factories owned by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd’s Foxconn, Pegatron Corp, Wistron Corp and others employ hundreds of thousands of workers to assemble Apple devices.
-- Stephen Nellis, Reuters

It's not really deepening, now is it? China has been the go-to electronics assembler for a long time, which reflects on the stagnation in tech. Billions of dollars are flowing into autonomous vehicles, but tech is still using hundreds of thousands of people to manually assemble its' widgets. This is the next revolution. Not autonomous, not artificial intelligence, not blockchains. Those things will come, but manual assembly of (largely) affinity products by an oppressed workforce, is a larger near-term problem that tech has to solve.

-- Scrib

You build the machine to perform a particular task, and then you optimize your machine according to this metric. But its behavior is an open-ended aspect. And it’s an unknown quantity. There are behaviors that manifest themselves across different timescales. So [when you’re building it] maybe you focus on short timescales, but you can only know that long-timescale behavior once you deploy these machines.
-- Iyad Rahwan in Quantamagazine

In Silicon Valley, we make a fairly basic widget that goes into an extremely complicated system. Though far from trivial, the engineering of the widget is a known entity, incorporating half a million lines of code with a number of discrete electronic components that provide input from the outside environment. The functionality of our widget is simple, but the details are in how the higher-level system interacts with it (and vice versa).

This is systems engineering, and it is a daunting task. Sure, you can model it. Simulate it. Test it in a representative environment. But there is nothing that can fully recreate the functioning system, because there are quite likely more unknown variables, than known. So what is currently going-on in the autonomous vehicle space (not where my widget goes, but the complexity is similar) is seemingly endless data collection - exponentially more than occurs at Boeing or Airbus.

I think Iyad is on to something, with his re-characterization of systems engineering as a behavioral science. Perhaps we need to zoom-out, a bit, and get a larger view of how complex systems interact with their environment. I have no incite into Google's autonomous vehicle group (Waymo) but I would be extremely curious to see how Google AI and Waymo are interacting, and if that interaction is shortening the bug discovery loop (that "long timescale behavior" Iyad refers to).

-- Scrib