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The Risk Makers: The nuclear, auto, and food industries

  • Benesch, a human rights lawyer, faculty associate at Harvard, and founder of the Dangerous Speech Project, a nonprofit studying the connection between online speech and real-world violence, worked closely with the Compassion Research Team, and used this meeting to raise a serious issue that had come to her attention: The extensive sectarian violence in Myanmar.
  • According to interviews with more than three dozen tech industry experts, insiders, and researchers, these companies and more, including Google, YouTube, Lime, and Zoom, repeatedly fail to adequately assess the risks their products introduce.
  • Beyond saying that they were “monitoring new threats continuously,” as a YouTube spokesperson said, few companies described a specific or formalized process for identifying and assessing risk.
  • In interviews, industry executives, technologists, and security experts said that “you can’t know what you don’t know.” They had little to say about decision-making processes designed to identify acceptable risk, before the fact of harm.

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A Visual History of Interpretation for Image Recognition

  • Guided back-propagation works about as fast as vanilla gradient ascent, since it only requires one pass through the network, but usually produces a cleaner output, especially around the edges of the object.
  • The authors further generalized Grad-CAM to work not just with a target class, but with any target “concept.” This meant that Grad-CAM could be used to interpret why an image captioning model predicted a particular caption, or even handle models that take several inputs, like a visual question-answering model.
  • Although this usually produces more accurate sensitivity maps, the method is slower and introduces two new additional hyperparameters: the choice of baseline image and the number of steps over which to produce the integrated gradients.
  • Presented in Attribution in Scale and Space [2020], the method was proposed to solve specific issues with integrated gradients, including the elimination of the ‘baseline’ parameter, and removing certain visual artifacts that tend to appear in interpretations.

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Clubhouse for X – The emerging trend of audio-only applications

  • Clubhouse doesn't yet have a website and only counts about 1,500 users, but it's generating buzz for bringing celebrities together with venture capitalists.
  • Well, especially in COVID times we are having more and more screen time and new issues like zoom Fatigue and the like appear.
  • E-ink is (at least partially) about improving the screen ergonomics and healthier display tech for eye strain reduction and eye comfort.
  • But why not bring this to a new level and have more “audio-only” applications.
  • The classical example is a phone call, but it’s more and more coming with WhatsApp audio messages, voice to speek recogntion and the like.
  • Can you imagine having more screen workflows being “screenless”.
  • I think it’s even more natural to use voice and audio than just typing into a screen.
  • Or even better to combine voice, audio and eink.

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A 19th-Century Vision of the Year 2000

  • Originally in the form of paper cards enclosed in cigarette/cigar boxes and, later, as postcards, the images depicted the world as it was imagined to be like in the then distant year of 2000.
  • There are at least 87 cards known that were authored by various French artists, the first series being produced for the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris.
  • Due to financial difficulties the cards by Jean-Marc Côté were never actually distributed and only came to light many years later after the science-fiction author Isaac Asimov chanced upon a set and published them in 1986, with accompanying commentary, in the book Futuredays: A Nineteenth Century Vision of the Year 2000.
  • The majority of the digital copies featured are in the public domain or under an open license all over the world, however, some works may not be so in all jurisdictions.

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How I Build Web Apps As A Freelancer

  • And since my process of creation has dramatically changed over the years, today, I'd like to share how I'm developing web apps in 2021.
  • Within the front end development world, transpiling had just become a thing, so we ended up babelifying our builds to use ES6.
  • Our argument back then was that one day, we would be able to push our application's directory structure on a web server and since all browsers would then support the augmented ES6 features, our app would just work!
  • To me, that's promising as it assumes a proper directory structure and properly connected files such that maybe one day I can push my app to the web without that build step.
  • I "use my own work." Meaning, I dare to write seemingly complex code myself.
  • They're still important virtues for me, but I learned that I could use open source also for building a personal toolset.

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Nobody lives here: Nearly 5M Census Blocks with zero population (2014)

  • A Block is the smallest area unit used by the U.S. Census Bureau for tabulating statistics.
  • Of the places where settlement is prohibited, the most apparent are wilderness protection and recreational areas (such as national and state parks) and military bases.
  • At the national and regional scales, these places appear as large green tracts surrounded by otherwise populated countryside.
  • Update: On a more detailed examination of those two states, I’m convinced the contrast here is due to differences in the sizes of the blocks.
  • West of the Missouri River, South Dakota’s blocks are substantially larger than those in ND, so a single inhabitant can appear to take up more space.
  • In the east, with its larger population, unpopulated places are more likely to stand out on the map.
  • FAQ:A larger version of "Nobody Lives Here?"Yes. Pan and zoom, see a detailed view of unpopulated census blocks.

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Show HN: AI: Reversion to the old days – Software as a product (SaaP)

  • Bloat compounded the problem of limited HDD space and led to large costs forcing companies to further adopt distributed hosting of software on centralized clusters.
  • The mass adoption of the internet opened the door for distributed compute to go global and it gave rise to the Application Service Provider (ASP) industry.
  • By signing up 100 users at a company on a per seat license, the SaaS vendor can provide its services to different teams all having some budget to spend.
  • Furthermore, the low price points allow SaaS services to fly under the radar and get lost in financial reviews at large organizations.
  • A large company may be spending millions on a single SaaS vendor and never notice it until an audit is done, at which point they will be upset about spending costs but it’s too late because they are locked in.

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Software effort estimation is mostly fake research

  • A 2019 review of datasets used for effort estimation using machine learning between 1991 and 2017, found the top three to be NASA with 17 papers (23%), the COCOMO data and ISBSG were joint second with 16 papers (21%), and Desharnais was third with 14.
  • The NASA dataset contains 93 rows (that is not a typo, there is no power-of-ten missing), COCOMO 63 rows, Desharnais 81 rows, and ISBSG is licensed by the International Software Benchmarking Standards Group (academics can apply for a limited time use for research purposes, i.e., not pay the $3,000 annual subscription).
  • Why are researchers involved in software effort estimation feeding tiny datasets from the 1980s-1990s into machine learning algorithms?
  • What datasets do researchers use to build Agile effort estimation models?

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The secret to a great inaugural address

  • These are the words that begin to define a presidency -- reminding us that, at its best, politics is history in the present tense.
  • But an inaugural is preeminently a speech about the new president's values -- about how he sees the world and America's role in it.
  • His best speeches -- at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and Warm Springs, Georgia, -- consciously drew on American history to summon our strength to rise above these challenging times and rediscover the better angels of our nature.
  • These speeches were too deep-seated in Biden's soul to be put aside for something entirely fresh for Inauguration Day. He is not one for reinvention, and this is not a time for more reality television.
  • The rhyming of hope and history are what great inaugural addresses deliver.

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The world has more riding on Joe Biden than any US president in decades

  • Johnson, who has a reputation for tardiness, was quick to put Trump down, because like many of America's allies, the Capitol siege was the moment their own nations risked damage by association.
  • Trump's most fervent political allies -- like Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, Congressman Jim Jordan and others -- have made clear they'll continue his fiction of a stolen election and in so doing not only risk America's democracy but her allies too.
  • Many Europeans believe Trump's presidency has managed to not only damage democracy in the United States but unleash a trickledown effect in Europe, enabling populists like Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
  • Biden's experience and hitherto truth-telling style will be welcomed by allies, but as long as he is fighting off Trump's lies -- still pedaled by leading Republicans -- America's standing in the world will be shakier, and democracy the world over in danger.

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