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Links for 2021-03-18
2 min read

Links for 2021-03-18

  1. Inside the wine world’s most mysterious cheating scandal. A fantastic and devastating read. As is mentioned in the article, the documentary Somm is a great complement to this piece. [Adam Elder / Vice]
  2. Intel joins DARPA in search of encryption 'holy grail'. "Today, traditional encryption protects data while stored or in transmission, but the information must be decrypted to perform a computation, analyse it, or employ it to train a machine learning model. Decryption endangers the data, exposing it to compromise by savvy adversaries or even accidental leaks. [Fully Homomorphic Encryption] enables computation on encrypted information, allowing users to strike a balance between using sensitive data to its full extent and removing the risk of exposure." [Asha Barbaschow / ZDNet]
  3. Woman allegedly made deepfakes to kick rivals off daughter's cheerleading squad. This is insane and we're just getting started. [Jon Fingas / Engadget]
  4. Tips from neuroscience to keep you focused on hard tasks. "To solve hard problems, the brain needs ready access to the information, plans, procedures and knowledge it will be using. Cognitive scientists refer to this collective task knowledge as a task set. However, the task set is not always immediately available: we can’t hold it all active in our limited mental workspace, or ‘working memory’, all the time." [David Badre / Nature]
  5. How does the brain interpret computer languages? "Right now, there are two schools of thought. The prevailing one is that coding is a type of language, with its own grammar rules and syntax that must be followed. After all, they’re called coding languages for a reason, right? [...] Others think that it’s a bit like learning the logic found in math; formulas and algorithms to create output from input." Clearly, I subscribe to the latter. [Fintan Burke / Ars Technica]
  6. Is spacetime real?. "Are space and time inherently quantum and discrete, where they themselves are divided up into indivisible 'chunks,' or are they continuous? Is gravity inherently quantum in nature like the other known forces, or is it somehow non-quantum: a classical and continuous fabric all the way down to the Planck scale? And if spacetime is anything other than what General Relativity dictates it ought to be, how is it different, and in what way(s) will we be able to detect that? [I]t isn’t real in the same way that an atom is real. There’s nothing you can do to 'detect' spacetime directly; you can only detect the individual quanta of matter and energy that exist within your spacetime. We’ve found a description of spacetime in the form of Einstein’s General Relativity that can successfully predict and explain every physical phenomenon we’ve ever observed or measured, but as far as exactly what it is — and whether it’s 'real' or not — that’s not a question that science has yet discovered the answer to." [Ethan Siegel / Forbes]
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