Publish or go home, ramen coins, driving is hard, and more: THE WEEKLY RECAP (2021#27)

Another week, another batch of nice reads. Three more until summer holidays! Let’s start.


Life finds a way

As every month, astonishing bundle of science-related images, with amazing stories behind.

Sea snot, stars and sleeping elephants — June’s best science images, on nature

Publish or die

Really happy to see that people are catching up with some of the biggest problems people doing science face: the field is a complete shitshow that chews you until there is nothing left, and then spits you out. All of this allowed by universities, society in general, and based on the fact that you love to do research, so you put up with all that bullshit for years.

Mental health of graduate students sorely overlooked, on nature

Are you eating that?

Curiosity of the week. Apparently, people stopped using tobacco as currency in prisons long ago, and moved to ramen noodles. You can read more about this on the openculture post, and the following video.

How Ramen Became the Currency of Choice in Prison, Beating Out Cigarettes, on openculture

We have a problem

Breaking news: Elon Musk is a blabbermouth, exhibit #N

Elon Musk just now realizing that self-driving cars are a ‘hard problem’, on theverge

Apple vs the wo… wait, Google vs the world

As expected, we are starting to see more and more scrutiny for big tech companies. After the Epic vs Apple trial (boy that was fun), now we have similar lawsuits going on on Android. Remember, tech companies are evil, no matter their motto.

A lawsuit that ignores choice on Android and Google Play, on google blog
Google feared Samsung Galaxy Store and tried to quash it, lawsuit alleges, on theverge

And that’s it for the week. Stay safe!

It’s Prime day & hospitals selling datasets: The weekly recap (2021#25)

Must. Keep. Going. Summer. Holidays. Are. Coming.


It’s Prime Day!

Go give Bezos some more money. After all, he seems like a cool billionaire. First, let’s destroy all the bookshops. Then, make everyone sell at my stores, and steal their designs to sell them cheaper. Slaves? that sounds good too, it will improve our margins. Recycling? mate, that seems like such a big effort.

Amazon destroying millions of items of unsold stock in one of its UK warehouses every year, ITV News investigation finds, on itvNews

The hunt for medical datasets gets wilder

Hospitals selling “de-identified” medical data “for science”. Made me think about the news some weeks ago about ransomware paralyzing the oil industry in the US. Will we see these kind of attacks directed at hospitals soon? How much money are those datasets worth? In case of attack, how much would they pay for getting them back? Could they just not negotiate with the data from patients?

Hospitals are selling treasure troves of medical data — what could go wrong?, on theverge

And that’s it for the week. Stay safe!

The weekly recap (2021#18)

Hectic week… sometimes unexpected tasks jeopardize you schedule. Coming back to normal now I hope.

Anyway, really interesting stuff has been happening for the past few days. Let’s delve into it:

Apple vs the world: episode #1

Recently Apple changed the way its users are noticed about how some apps track their information. This perturbation on the (advertisement) force has generated a lot of ripples, which might become bigger than a tsunami. There have been a lot of interesting articles on the topic, most of them defending a good vs bad sceneario (where Apple is almost a white knight fighting for our privacy and Facebook is a devil). While obviously there are companies that behave much worse than others, I kinda see the scenario as the evil vs the lesser evil. If you are interested, I found these sources particularly informative:

Apple And Tracking: A Story Of Good Guys And Bad Guys, on forbes
I checked Apple’s new privacy ‘nutrition labels.’ Many were false. on The Washington Post

Anyone in cherno?

One of the reasons we have not gone fully on the nuclear wagon was the Chernobyl accident. While some might think that everything was solved by now, there have been recent news that sparkled some concerns: nuclear reactions are starting to ramp up in activity again

‘It’s like the embers in a barbecue pit.’ Nuclear reactions are smoldering again at Chernobyl, on Science

Was Wolfram right?

I remember some coding lessons on the university that used Mathematica and their notebooks. I kinda hated those and always thought that it was a terrible way of coding, and only nice for sharing stuff. Nowadays Jupyter notebooks are used by millions of people, and I still see terrible code on notebooks that should have been just a .py file (also, it has to be said that I also see amazing dissemination notebooks).

Anyway, if you want to read the opinion of really clever people, you can take a look at this article:

Reactive, reproducible, collaborative: computational notebooks evolve, on Nature

Apple vs the world: episode #2

This week the trial on Apple vs Epic started, and oh boy it’s been fun. Two tech giants spreading shit all over the place. Let’s see how far greed can get.

I share some articles and a couple threads on twitter. While the articles are nice, the threads are kind of a live streaming of the trial, and I loved reading them. Also, every email that has been exposed during this week is pure gold, and a perfect insight on how companies operate… Interesting topic which will have a lot of repercussions in the way we interact with our devices…

WHY EPIC IS BURNING ITS OWN CASH TO COOK APPLE, on theverge
Even If Epic Loses Against Apple, Developers Could Still Win, on bloomberg
Apple antitrust trial kicks off with Tim Sweeney’s metaverse dreams, on theverge

Has AI gone too far?

Wild news on how some people are using AI-fuelled narrative games to make disturbing narratives involving sex and children. It really makes you think about the biases in training, the use we give to any tool, responsibility of companies on the use people do of their tech, and privacy. What a nice read:

It Began as an AI-Fueled Dungeon Game. It Got Much Darker, on wired

And that’s it for the week. Stay safe!