February 2024

Monday, 19 February 2024

Death, Lonely Death

Doug Muir, Crooked Timber: “Voyager stored its internal data on a digital tape recorder. Yes, a tape recorder, storing information on magnetic tape. It wasn’t designed to function at a hundred degrees below zero. It wasn’t designed to work for decades, winding and rewinding, endlessly re-writing data. But it did.”

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Monday, 12 February 2024

What Do Americans Know About International Affairs?

Laura Silver, Christine Huang, Laura Clancy, Aidan Connaughton, and Sneha Gubbala, Pew Research: “Political party groups are roughly similar in their overall levels of international knowledge, although conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats tend to score higher on the scale than do their more moderate counterparts.”

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Sunday, 11 February 2024

Standards for Software Liability: Focus on the Product for Liability, Focus on the Process for Safe Harbor

Jim Dempsey, Lawfare: “The secure software development framework promulgated in February 2022 by NIST35 consists mainly of recommended processes…. None of these actually describes a secure product; none identifies a weakness that should be avoided.”

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Saturday, 10 February 2024

Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course

René M. Van Westen, Michael Kliphuis, and Henk A. Dijkstraa, Science Advances: “The European climate is greatly affected … under the AMOC collapse. Note that the corresponding changes occur within [a 100 year period] and under a very small change in surface freshwater forcing. The yearly averaged atmospheric surface temperature trend exceeds 1°C per decade over a broad region in northwestern Europe, and for several European cities, temperatures are found to drop by 5° to 15°C ….”

Discussion: RealClimate, CNN

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Thursday, 8 February 2024

World surpasses key warming threshold across an entire year for the first time

France 24: “Planet-heating emissions, mainly from the burning of fossil fuels, have continued to rise in recent years, when scientists say they need to fall by almost half this decade and the UN’s IPCC climate panel has warned that the world will likely crash through 1.5C in the early 2030s.”

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Will the new judicial ruling in the Vizio lawsuit strengthen the GPL?

Luis Villa: “To divine the objective of the contract, the court used the sophisticated technique of ‘read it.’”

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Wednesday, 7 February 2024

The Pitchfork Ruling

Timothy Snyder: “Reasoning from different assumptions and different commitments, almost everyone will find their way to a broad American consensus: the Supreme Court acted from convenience and cowardice. People who are afraid and people who are not afraid; people who threaten and people who do not threaten; people of various legal and political convictions: all would understand such a verdict as a pitchfork ruling.

“And here’s the rub: correctly.”

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Rampant COVID Poses New Challenges in the Fifth Year of the Pandemic

Meghan Bartels, Scientific American: “Worldwide, there were more than 11,000 reported deaths from COVID between mid-December 2023 and mid-January 2024, and more than half of those deaths occurred in the U.S.”

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I pick up my phone 111 times a day – it doesn’t matter how much time we spend on it

Blake Montgomery, The Guardian: “All that is to say: consider carefully who is selling you a phone detox. You’re probably fine without it.”

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Monday, 5 February 2024

Proclaiming Failure for Social Credit

Steven Sinofsky: “18/ Nearly every technology scenario is right, but it is just a matter of timing. But you can never know if the timing is right until you try.”

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Saturday, 3 February 2024

For the first time, an Irish nationalist will lead Northern Ireland’s government

Brian Melley, AP: “Neither side can govern without agreement from the other. Government business ground to a half over the past two years after the Democratic Unionist Party walked out to protest trade issues related to Brexit.”

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Thursday, 1 February 2024

The Israel-Hamas War in Gaza: No One Wins but the Spoilers

Adam L. Silverman: “Right now our policies make no sense for the reality of the problem sets in the region. The objectives, or ends, can never be achieved by the strategies we’ve developed. We are living in the reality of policy cannot ask of strategy that which policy will not provide. Specifically, achievable objectives. It is not just us.”

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