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Wayne Radinsky
17,687 followers -
Software Design Engineer
Software Design Engineer

17,687 followers
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Wayne's posts

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Bot-on-bot editing wars on Wikipedia. "The most contested articles were pages on former president of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf, the Arabic language, Niels Bohr and Arnold Schwarzenegger."

"One of the most intense battles played out between Xqbot and Darknessbot which fought over 3,629 different articles between 2009 and 2010. Over the period, Xqbot undid more than 2,000 edits made by Darknessbot, with Darknessbot retaliating by undoing more than 1,700 of Xqbot's changes. The two clashed over pages on all sorts of topics, from Alexander of Greece and Banqiao district in Taiwan to Aston Villa football club."

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Who broke the SHA1 algorithm (and what does it mean for Bitcoin)? SHA1 is considered 'broken' now because researchers at Google and CWI Amsterdam have succeeded in successfully generating a 'hash collision' for two different documents using the SHA1 encryption algorithm.

"The cryptography underpinning the bitcoin network, which makes use of the more secure SHA256 algorithm, is not directly affected by the discovery. " "The SHA1 collision vulnerability does pose a concern for the bitcoin development community, since its Git version control system uses SHA1 to generate the hash digest for commits." "The consequences aren't that we have to stop using Git immediately, but it will make it more important to review other people's work, because a third party could try to push a malicious commit in."

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A machine learning AI demolished the world's top super smash bros. players. "The AI team was led by Vlad Firoiu at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Using deep learning algorithms, the teamed honed the AI's skills in Nintendo's popular brawler featuring iconic game characters." The AI "uses reinforcement learning to smash its opponents. It has a reaction speed of around 33 milliseconds, versus around 200 milliseconds for humans, giving it an inherent advantage."

"The researchers are considering dialing back the AI's reaction time to see if they can further tweak the program to beat humans when playing at their speed."

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Robots for water pipe inspections. "The robots themselves are small, with three sections that articulate much like some multi-section city buses. They are designed to expand to the size of the pipe so that wheels touch the insides, making it easier to insert them and (even more importantly) to extract them. The robot has a camera in the front, and tows an RFT magnetic sensor that allows the HiBot USA team to measure the amount of material loss in the pipe."

The robots can only go in pipes that are not in service, so a statistical analysis is used to estimate the condition of pipes still in service based on the robots' inspections of the pipes taken out of service.

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Video on how those spy animals that the BBC is using to make those animal spy TV shows are made.

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"Children who spend time with a robotic companion appear to pick up elements of its behavior. New experiments suggest that when kids play with a robot that's a real go-getter, for instance, the child acquires some of its unremitting can-do attitude."

Some parents "have complained that Amazon's Alexa personal assistant is training their children to be rude. Alexa doesn’t need people to say please and thank you, will tolerate answering the same question over and over, and remains calm in the face of tantrums. In short: it doesn’t prime kids for how to interact with real people.

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No one knows why plants aren't black.

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A new mathematical model of evolution says aging is not inherent, it's genetic, and the prospect of extending lifespans dramatically is a reasonable conclusion. "Spatial heterogeneity of limiting resources and self-organizing population structures result in robust selection for lifespan limitation,' they write in the paper. In other words: combine limited resources and fierce competition in a given region with a population fighting for survival, and it results in shorter lifespans. 'In our model, intrinsic mortality leaves resources for descendants, which are more likely to be found in the same local region, increasing long-term strain success.'"

"That means, in other words, that when resources are scarce, a species as a whole has a better shot at surviving if its populations are organizing themselves to promote long term survival with shorter individual lifespans. They are evolving to combat overpopulation and overconsumption, basically."

"That of course includes humans." "We have, after all, inherited a lifespan from times when our forebears were eking out an existence as scrappy hunter gatherers."

"There is no reason that the scale of lifespan we see is the same as any fundamental limit. We already have examples of mutations that extend life by 5 or 10 fold in nematodes, and there are animals that have no apparent aging."

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Drones vs chubby Siberian tigers. Chasing the drone was supposed to give them exercise but they knocked it out of the sky and tore it up instead. This was in a protective tiger park in Heilongjiang Province, northeast China.

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MIT grad student Evan Ward casually remarked, "What if we try this?" before making a small change to a robotic device that will result in nearly 50 million jobs being made expendable over the next two decades, according to The Onion.
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