Wednesday, March 09, 2016


Get used to America, we just may not be that unique.

An interesting approach to limit wasteful exchanges of political favors during election cycles. "In ancient Athens, not only juries but many office-holders were selected by lot. But the most intriguing unpredictable election process was probably that of the medieval Venetian Republic. In Venice, many political offices were selected by a repeated cycle of lottery, vote, .... lottery, vote."

The Ukrainian power grid was hit by Russian-sponsored hackers late last year. Kim Zetter has the compelling story. The scary part - "the control systems in Ukraine were surprisingly more secure than some in the US, since they were well-segmented from the control center business networks with robust firewalls."

Oh France! Why? "[T]he French National Assembly has amended a pending counterterrorism bill to impose heavy penalties on technology companies that fail to cooperate in decrypting communications relating to terrorism investigations."

Science is messy. "An influential psychological theory, borne out in hundreds of experiments, may have just been debunked. How can so many scientists have been so wrong?"

Artificial "octopus skin" for robots - what more needs to be said.

While bitcoin is having some success, maybe it's the blockchain that will be the real 'game changer.' "Goldman Sachs says the technology 'has the potential to redefine transactions' and can change 'everything.'"

"Legal marijuana may be doing at least one thing that a decades-long drug war couldn't: taking a bite out of Mexican drug cartels' profits."

Could the insurance industry help reform American policing? Radley Balko found "several examples in which insurers had demanded changes to policies regarding the use of SWAT teams, usually after one or more incidents that resulted in a payout to someone shot or injured during a police raid...[T]he financial incentives insurers can offer to cities and towns for good policing are powerful."

Bonds by William Dupre
All that we look to spend
To suit a legacy
With others there to lend
The bonds that are not free.
The sense we must abuse
And trespass to for-give
On lies we like to use
For lives we long to live.
We must, but no alone,
End the art to deceive,
Lest what we love be gone
And we ourselves take leave
Of senses that are the
Guise of what is to be.

No comments: