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Annoyed black woman having video chat on smartphone at home

Sorry! I Take It Back (But Only With iOS 16)

The new iOS lets you edit messages, but only within 15 minutes of sending them, and guess what—the recipient can see all your edits…

This article by Texas State University engineering prof Karl D. Stephan is republished with permission from MercatorNet November 1, 2022) Everybody has said something they later regret saying. If the person you’re talking to is right there in front of you, there’s nothing you can do to unsay it. As country singer Jon Langston says in one of his song titles, “I Can’t Take Back Words.” But according to tech guru Kim Komando, the new iOS 16 operating system for iPhones (version 8 and later) lets you do that with text messages—sort of. Ever since commercial text messaging became available on mobile phones in the mid-1990s, it has shared with verbal interchanges the fact that once you send a text, it’s Read More ›

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Man with conceptual spiritual body art

The Orville Crew Sails Into Hallucinations From Deathless Beings

The ETs’ Big Message is: Ignore such labels as man, husband, captain, explorer because they are all irrelevant. Embrace loss of individuality and sculpt the cosmos!

As with Episode 2, Episode 3 of The Orville, Season 3, starts out with a great deal of promise only to completely fall apart at the end. However, I will say that — of all the episodes so far — the beginning of this story felt the most like Star Trek, in the sense that an anomaly shows up on the scanners, followed by a quirky scenario which promises a great deal of mystery to come. The crew detects a civilization on a planet that was previously understood to be desolate. Ed, Kelly, Talla, Bortus, and Gordon all land on the planet to find a lush forest and a high school. They enter the high school and are immediately trapped Read More ›

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press and media camera ,video photographer on duty in public new

Polls: Trust in Mainstream U.S. Media Still in Free Fall

Both the New York Times poll and Gallup poll illustrated that this week

A Canadian commentator has noticed a little-publicized fact about last week’s New York Times–Siena College poll of 792 registered voters. While the poll focused on the US mid-term elections next month, the information about how typical voters view mainstream media was most revealing. A majority not only don’t trust media but see them as a threat to democracy: A New York Times-Siena College poll published Tuesday found 59 percent of voters view the media as a “major threat to democracy,” while 25 percent said the press is a “minor threat” and only 15 percent said it poses no threat. The divide fell sharply along partisan lines, with 87 percent of voters who supported former President Trump in 2020 indicating they Read More ›

COSM 2021

Software Pioneer David Gelernter to Speak at COSM 2022, November

Gelernter, a Yale computer prof, is known for thinking through problems from a non-Silicon Valley-elite perspective

David Gelernter has been derided as a “fiercely anti-intellectual computer scientist” by influencers whose computer systems may well depend in part on his software (though they probably don’t know that and couldn’t tell us how). From his page at Yale University: The “tuple spaces” introduced in Carriero and Gelernter’s Linda system (1983) are the basis of many computer-communication and distributed programming systems worldwide. “Mirror Worlds” (1991) “foresaw” the World Wide Web (Reuters, 3/20/01) and was “one of the inspirations for Java”; the “lifestreams” system (first implemented by Eric Freeman at Yale) is the basis for Mirror Worlds Technologies’ software. “Breaking out of the box” (NY Times magazine, ‘97) forecast and described the advent of less-ugly computers (Apple’s iMac arrived in Read More ›

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The colossal titan is comingAttack On Titan

Big Tech Moguls vs. Historic Titans of Industry: What’s Changed?

Today’s Big Tech moguls were more likely to have been born into fractured relationships and may be seeking an eternal geek adolescence

If we had to compare the giants of industrialization of the late 19th through early 20th centuries — Andrew Carnegie, Thomas A. Edison, Henry Ford, Henry Clay Frick,J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, and Cornelius Vanderbilt — with the giants of the contemporary tech world —Jeff Bezos, Jack Dorsey, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs,  Elon Musk, Larry Page, and Mark Zuckerberg — would we see significant differences? Fred Bech tackles that at Expensivity. He finds that the immense fame, power, and wealth are comparable, as is the fact that they took inventions created largely by others and — via business acumen — transformed our way of life.Of course, that means new problems as well as new solutions. Staying in touch with far-distant loved ones is a blessing; viruses, hacking, and Twitter mobs are Read More ›

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Man and dog

Study: Dogs Cry for Joy as Well as Pain

Recent research has focused on how dogs respond to the world they share with us

A recent study looked at dogs reuniting with their human friends: When a person is overcome with emotion, their feelings stream down their cheeks. Even positive emotions can turn on the waterworks, as people bawl when they win awards, express love for their partners, or are reunited with a long-lost friend. But these feelings-driven tears may not be a wholly human experience. Dogs can also cry happy tears, according to a study published today (August 22) in Current Biology. Although the animals’ eyes don’t overflow, they well up when they’re reunited with their owners after spending even just hours apart, the researchers found. And they have hunch as to why: a sudden increase in oxytocin, the so-called love hormone, named Read More ›

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Amyloid plaques in Alzheimer's disease

Trust in Science? Fraud Now Claimed re Key Alzheimer Paper

Autism and COVID-19 research have also been marred by misrepresentation, raising issues about what “trust in science” should mean

[This article is republished with permission from The Epoch Times (July 26, 2022) where it appeared under the title “Scientists Are Destroying Our Trust in Science.”] A just-published exposé in the journal Science claims that a seminal study on the causes of Alzheimer’s disease may contain falsified data. The 2006 report concluded that Alzheimer’s is caused by a buildup of a certain type of plaque in the brain—a finding that has guided research into cures for Alzheimer’s ever since. But now, critics claim that the original authors “appeared to have composed figures by piecing together parts of photos from different experiments” calling their conclusions into significant question. If true, this is a scientific scandal of the worst order. As the Science article Read More ›

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Old lonely woman sitting near the window in his house.

Is a Robot Pal Really a Solution to Old Age Loneliness?

New York State is buying a companion bot called ElliQ in a pilot project that is likely among the first of a trend

New York State is buying 800 ElliQ robots from Israeli firm Intuition Robotics to help seniors cope with the familiar problem of loneliness — which worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic: ElliQ, a tabletop device that resembles a virtual assistant like Alexa or Siri, can make small talk, answer questions, remind users to take medication, help contact friends and family, initiate conversation and help with other daily activities. Users interact with the robot an average of 20 times per day, according to the company. Margaret Osborne, “New York State Purchases Robot Companions for the Elderly” at Smithsonian Magazine (June 22, 2022) Greg Olsen, director of the state’s Office for the Aging, says that seniors accept new technology like the ElliQ model Read More ›

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Twisted watch face representing the infinite time spiral

Can the Future Reach Back and Affect the Past?

Researchers say that only elementary particles can really time travel but there is another way…

If the future influenced the past, that would be retrocausality. As Victor Bhaura puts it, Retrocausality means that, when an experimenter chooses the measurement setting with which to measure a particle, that decision can influence the properties of that particle (or another one) in the past, even before the experimenter made their choice. In other words, a decision made in the present can influence something in the past. Victor Bhaura, “Retrocausality — Future Influences Past Information Before Occurrence Of An Event” at Medium (June 8, 2022) Bhaura reminds us of a limerick called “Relativity” from 1923: There was a young lady named BrightWhose speed was far faster than light;She set out one dayIn a relative wayAnd returned on the previous Read More ›

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Chatbot chat bot customer service automation. Hand pressing button on virtual screen.

When LaMDA “Talked” to a Google Engineer, Turns Out It Had Help

Evidence points to someone doing quite a good edit job. A tech maven would like to see the raw transcript…

Readers may recall that Google engineer Blake Lemoine was placed on leave for telling media that a large language program he was working on is a sentient being. Some Googlers looked into the matter and this is what they found: A Washington Post story on Lemoine’s suspension included messages from LaMDA such as “I think I am human at my core. Even if my existence is in the virtual world.” But the chat logs leaked in the Washington Post’s article include disclaimers from Lemoine and an unnamed collaborator which noted: “This document was edited with readability and narrative coherence in mind.” The final document — which was labeled “Privileged & Confidential, Need to Know” — was an “amalgamation” of nine Read More ›

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new technologies, a child uses a futuristic processor for augmented reality. high technology and communication concept. TV

Psychologist Promotes “Virtual Children” for the Good of Earth

The former technology advisor to the U.K. government thinks that parents may prefer no-strings AI children for $25 a month

What if you had a child who was simply a virtual reality, who had no existence about from your own wishes? British psychologist Catriona Campbell, whose aim is to secure “a healthy, human-centred relationship with AI,” thinks that’s the way of the future and better for the planet. The vision of the author of AI by design: A Plan for Living with Artificial Intelligence (Chapman and Hall/CRC, 2022, is spelled out at Study Finds: The overpopulation crisis could be solved within 50 years thanks to the evolution of “virtual children,” one of Britain’s leading artificial intelligence experts claims. Computer-generated babies that cost about $25 a month are likely to become commonplace by the early-2070s, according to Catriona Campbell. In addition Read More ›

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Human internal organs on metal plate ready for organ transplant.

Firefly 12: The Amazing Mail Order Human Body

The episode, while still interesting, returned to a pattern of puzzling plot developments

I was disappointed with Episode 12. After a run of three great episodes in a row, we experience yet another drop in quality. This drop is marked by the classic telltale sign of a bad episode: Simon says something stupid, and Kaylee storms off in a huff. The context of this conversation is not important; the bottom line is, Kaylee is mad, so all the other women are mad because nobody loves poor Simon. While Kaylee is being consoled, Captain Mal and Zoë are actually doing something important, retrieving the crew’s mail. Now, this plot development was not irksome at first, because Jayne gets a letter from his mother and a funny hat. This made sense. If the crew is Read More ›

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Woman fist with woke written. Woke concept refers to awareness of social and racial justice, concern, vigilance, activism.

A Catholic and a Hindu Tackle Woke culture

In a wide-ranging discussion, Michael Egnor and Arjuna Gallagher look at Woke culture, abortion, euthanasia, and microaggressions

In a recent series of Mind Matters News, podcasts, neurosurgeon Michael Egnor interviewed Arjuna Gallagher, a Hindu who lives in New Zealand. The first podcast looked at what the world’s 1.2 billion Hindus generally think about the mind and the second explored the Hindu view of free will and evil. The third podcast addressed the question, “What do Hindus think about the Big Bang?” Now, the fourth and final podcast asks, what do Hindus think of current science and culture issues, especially the flowering of Woke Cancel Culture, abortion, and euthanasia? Gallagher hosts a YouTube channel called Theology Unleashed, which has featured many guests discussing the spiritual dimension of our lives — for example, philosopher David Bentley Hart and neuroscientist Read More ›

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炎に包まれた壊れかけのハート

Firefly Episode 10: Jealousy Divides the Firefly Crew in Space

And yet jealousy plays a key role in saving Mal and Wash from a villain’s sadistic torture

Episode 9 marks a turning point for the series. The previous episodes have been somewhat hit and miss but so far, there’s only been one outright bad episode (Episode 5, which broke all the “rules” of consistent character). However, at best thus far, the series has been very… episodic. That is, a handful of the characters recurs but the events from the preceding episodes seem to have no effect on the upcoming ones. But with Episode 9, that changes. The transition from Episode 9 to 10 starts off on a promising note. We see the events of Episode 9 actually affecting the events of Episode 10. This is a trend that continues as the story builds to a crescendo. That Read More ›

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Family with laptop, tablet and smartphone, everyone using digital devices

Escaping the “Truman Show” of Our Times

Effective methods intentionally hook us in, keep us engaged, and encourage behaviors that benefit them — and are often damaging for us

This story originally appeared at Newsmax. (April 5, 2022) as “Time to Write Our Own Stories, Not Big Tech” and is reprinted with permission. It’s one of the best movies of the late 1990s. In The Truman Show, Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) has no idea his life is actually a popular TV show. Everything has been fabricated — his parents, his friends, his marriage, his job. But things start happening — a studio light falls from the sky, a fake elevator reveals a hidden backstage room. Suddenly, Truman is determined to discover the truth of his existence. Rebelling against the script being played out all around him, he begins a journey to seek the truth and discover the life he was Read More ›

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Sculptor artist creating a bust sculpture with clay

Firefly Episode 7: Jayne Can’t Live With Himself As a Hero

Jayne Cobb, otherwise dumb muscle, once helped many people — inadvertently — and is stuck with deadly consequences when the truth emerges

After the strong “Stagecoach” rebound of Episode 6, Episode 7 focuses on Jayne Cobb. Up to now, the dumb muscle has mainly been comic relief. But when Mal and his crew stop by a planet to retrieve some smuggled cargo — under the pretense of ordering a shipment of mud used to make ceramic parts — we learn a little more about the big man’s past. As the crew exits the Serenity to pick up the goods, they come across a giant mud statue… of Jayne. He has no idea why the statue is there but, come to think of it, he’s been acting nervous throughout the mission. Years ago, we learn, things went south at a job he was Read More ›

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A humanoid robot with a shopping trolley is shopping at a grocery store. Future concept with robotics and artificial intelligence. 3D rendering.

Engineering Mag Editor Dislikes Androids That Make People “Feel”

That’s not really the job of a robot, says Evan Ackerman, who“hugs robots” himself

Evan Ackerman, a senior editor at the prominent engineering mag IEEE Spectrum, thinks — even though he “hugs robots” — that we don’t really need androids in daily life. Ackerman, who has a degree in Martian geology, focuses on “Nicola,” an android under development at Riken, a research institute in Japan, modeled on a boy and intended to ““to promote natural interactions with both adults and children.” So far, it is only a head. The reason that this research was necessary is because androids can be tricky to read at times, especially when making expressions associated with negative emotions, which are more difficult to distinguish. And that’s one of the reasons why I’m so skeptical that androids are the best Read More ›

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Woman in red cloak praying alone

Study: Accountability to God Means a Greater Sense of Well-being

Researchers found that the association between accountability to the divine and sense of psychological well-being was stronger in those who prayed more

A recently published study sought to measure the difference that a sense of accountability to God made in terms of psychological well-being, as distinct from church attendance, prayer and meditation: Religious believers who embrace accountability to God (or another transcendent guide for life) experience higher levels of three of the four variables of psychological well-being – mattering to others, dignity and meaning in their lives, though not happiness – according to a study from researchers with Baylor University, Westmont College and Hope College. The study also found that this relationship is stronger among those who pray more often, suggesting that accountability coupled with communication may be a powerful combination for well-being. Lorie Fogleman, Baylor University, “Study Examines Link Between Accountability Read More ›

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Man and woman shooting with gamepads while playing in virtual reality using VR headsets in the playing room

Take Control of Your Tech Before Metaverse Hits

Soon you will be enticed on all sides by a host of virtual worlds. They will look and feel very real and very cool

This story originally appeared at Newsmax. (February 17, 2022) Facebook’s recent name change to Meta has ushered in the Age of the Metaverse. Big Tech’s focus is shifting to a new frontier, the untamed wilds of the virtual world. Or is it worlds? Interestingly, the Germanic word world has a literal meaning of “age of man.” Which sounds quite fitting. But will the metaverse be an age that will see us grow and be nourished, as the root of age suggests? Or will we give in to our modern tendency toward laziness, entitlement and poor judgment? Before someone dares you to slip on a VR headset to get your first taste of the metaverse, get one thing straight — who is the boss of your tech? By Read More ›

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3d rendering of an android robot cyborg woman humanoid - side view and  isolated in an empty background

Watch a Robot Try To Replicate Human Emotions

We wouldn’t know there was such a thing as human emotions if this were our only source

A robot by BilTek trying to replicate human emotions The reactions have been pretty much what we might expect: The clip, posted by EHA News, shows the head of the robot, which has been designed to look so life-like that its eyes, mouth and facial expressions are detailed enough to be able to mimic human expressions. One Twitter user commented that the robot was showing ‘The UK emotions of being absolutely off ya bonk’. Simon Catling, “Scientists Create Robot Trying To Replicate Human Emotions And Everyone’s Saying The Same Thing” at UNILAD (January 14, 2022) Catling notes that a video of another, much creepier, robot by Engineered Arts surfaced last month: The robot in question – called the Ameca – Read More ›