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Thursday, December 02, 2021

Robots Reproducing

 In what specific sense, we ask.  

Living Robots Can Now Reproduce, Scientists Say

CNN, Katie Hunt, November 29, 2021

Researchers at the University of Vermont, Tufts University, and Harvard University discovered that the living robots they developed last year from the stem cells of the African clawed frog are able to reproduce. University of Vermont's Josh Bongard said the xenobots reproduce using kinetic replication, which has never been seen before at the scale of whole cells or organisms. The researchers used a supercomputer and artificial intelligence (AI) to determine the C-shape that would make the xenobots more effective at kinetic replication. Bongard said the AI came up “with this Pac-Man shape” of the xenobots, which “influences how the xenobots behave to amplify this incredibly surprising process."

Autonomous Ships for the Supply Chain

Improving supply chains

Autonomous Electric Container Ship Completes First Trip

Interesting Engineering,Ameya Paleja, November 22, 2021

The world's first all-electric and emission-free container ship completed its 8.7-mile maiden voyage from Porsgrunn, Norway, to the Norwegian port of Brevik. Next year, the Yara Birkeland will replace up to 40,000 annual truck trips for Norwegian fertilizer producer Yara, reducing the firm’s carbon emissions by as much as 1,000 tons per year. The Birkeland is powered by a 7-megawatt/hour battery and can travel at speeds of up to 15 knots (about 17 mph/28kph). Reuters reported the ship will eventually be able to load and offload cargo, charge its battery, and navigate autonomously.

Notes on Usage

“Crypto” Means “Cryptography,” not “Cryptocurrency”    in Schneier

I have long been annoyed that the word “crypto” has been co-opted by the blockchain people, and no longer refers to “cryptography.” I’m not the only one.   ....   With lots of comments.

Research Integrity Considered

Usefulness for internal research?

Want research integrity? Stop the blame game

Helping every scientist to improve is more effective than ferreting out a few frauds.

Malcolm Macleod

Most scientists reading this probably assume that their research-integrity office has nothing to do with them. It deals with people who cheat, right? Well, it’s not that simple: cheaters are relatively rare, but plenty of people produce imperfect, imprecise or uninterpretable results. If the quality of every scientist’s work could be made just a little better, then the aggregate impact on research integrity would be enormous.

How institutions can encourage broad, incremental improvements is what I have been working to figure out. Two things are needed: a collective shift in mindset, and a move towards appropriate measurement.

Over the past 2 years, some 20 institutions in the United Kingdom have joined the UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN), a consortium that promotes best practice in research. They have created senior administrative roles to improve research and research integrity. I have taken on this job (on top of my research on evaluating stroke treatments) at the University of Edinburgh. Since then, I’ve focused on research improvement rather than researcher accountability. Of course, deliberate fraud should be punished, but a focus on investigating individuals will discourage people from acknowledging mistakes, and mean that opportunities for systems to improve are neglected.

Research integrity: nine ways to move from talk to walk

At the University of Edinburgh, we have audits as part of projects to shrink bias in animal research, speed up publication and improve clinical-trial reporting. These are not the metrics that most researchers are used to. Many people are initially wary of yet another ‘external imposition’, but when they see that this is about promoting our own community’s standards — and that there are no extra forms to fill in — they usually welcome this shift in institutional focus

Here’s what we are learning to look for at my university.

Integrity indicators. Counting papers published in Science or Nature or prizes received is a poor reflection of performance. Measures should reflect the integrity of research claims: for instance, the proportion of quantitative studies that also publish data and code, and that pre-register their hypothesis, study design and analysis plan. At the University of Edinburgh, we are focusing on the reporting of randomization and blinding in published animal studies that test biomedical hypotheses. Existing tools can be applied to such tasks. The DOIs of publications that match a series of ORCIDs (author IDs) can be identified, the open-access status ascertained through the Unpaywall database, and these details can be linked back to institutions, departments or even individual research groups.

I care more about how my institution is doing compared with last year than about how it performs relative to other organizations. That said, benchmarking can be useful — and working with other organizations can help to develop standard reporting tools without reinventing the wheel.

Evidence of impact. Having data in hand allows an institution to focus on what can be improved, and how. In 2019, only 55% of Edinburgh clinical trials were fully reported on the European Union Clinical Trials Register. Programmes to reach trial organizers (by e-mailing reminders and mentoring them through the process) increased this to 95% in 2021. To build on that, I am working with members of UKRN and others to develop institutional dashboards that will provide real-time data across a range of measures, such as clinical-trial reporting and the quality and timeliness of reporting animal research. ... '

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Covid ReShaping Supply Chains

 Another example of ther need for needed disaster planning.

How COVID-19 is reshaping supply chains

November 23, 2021 | Article, By Knut Alicke, Ed Barriball, and Vera Trautwein

Companies have only partly addressed the weaknesses in global supply chains exposed by the coronavirus pandemic. In the face of new challenges, finishing the job is even more urgent.

 (Article (8 pages) at link) 

In May 2020, much of the world was still in the grip of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns, shelter-in-place orders, and travel restrictions were disrupting activity in every part of the economy. Demand evaporated in some categories and skyrocketed in others. As they struggled to keep their businesses running, companies were planning significant strategic changes to the configuration and operation of their supply chains. When we surveyed senior supply-chain executives from across industries and geographies, 93 percent of respondents told us that they intended to make their supply chains far more flexible, agile, and resilient.

Twelve months later, in the second quarter of 2021, we repeated our survey with a similarly diverse group of supply-chain leaders. This time, we asked respondents to describe the steps they had taken to shore up their supply chains over the past year, how those changes compared with the plans they drew up earlier in the crisis, and how they expect their supply chains to further evolve in the coming months and years.  .... ' 

New Rowhammer

 Schneier writes about rowhammer, I like the image of a rowhammer.

New Rowhammer Technique

Rowhammer is an attack technique  involving accessing — that’s “hammering” — rows of bits in memory, millions of times per second, with the intent of causing bits in neighboring rows to flip. This is a side-channel attack, and the result can be all sorts of mayhem.

Well, there is a new enhancement:

All previous Rowhammer attacks have hammered rows with uniform patterns, such as single-sided, double-sided, or n-sided. In all three cases, these “aggressor” rows — meaning those that cause bitflips in nearby “victim” rows — are accessed the same number of times.

Research published on Monday  presented a new Rowhammer technique. It uses non-uniform patterns that access two or more aggressor rows with different frequencies. The result: all 40 of the randomly selected DIMMs in a test pool experienced bitflips, up from 13 out of 42 chips tested in previous work from the same researchers.  .... ' 

Lotfi Zadeh and Fuzzy Logic

 I note the post about Lotfi Zaheh and the connection to fuzzy logic, from the Language Log.  Just featured in the Google Doodle.  We used some of his methods to implement 'fuzzy logic' for AI implementations.  Worth reexamining. 

Lofti Zadeh and the Z transform  from Language Log

December 1, 2021 @ 9:32 am · Filed by Mark Liberman under Research tools

The Google Doodle for November 30 featured Lofti Zadeh.

The Doodles page explains that:

Today’s Doodle celebrates world-renowned Azerbaijani-American computer scientist, electrical engineer, and professor, Lotfi Zadeh. On this day in 1964, Zadeh submitted “Fuzzy Sets,” a groundbreaking paper that introduced the world to his innovative mathematical framework called “fuzzy logic.”

You can learn more about this contribution from the Wikipedia page on Fuzzy Mathematics. What I learned, from reading the Other Contributions section of Zadeh's Wikipedia page, was his role in the invention (discovery?) of the z-transform.

In my lecture notes on the z transform, 20-odd years ago, I wrote:

The z transform is unusual, in being named after a letter of the alphabet rather than a famous mathematician. The Fourier transform is named after Baron Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier (1768-1830); the Walsh-Hadamard transform is named after J.L. Walsh (1895-1973) and Jacques Salomon Hadamard (1865-1963); we haven't discussed the Laplace and Hilbert transforms yet, but we will (at least briefly), and they are named after Pierre-Simon de Laplace (1749-1827) and David Hilbert (1862-1943) respectively.

Laplace transforms have long been used in solving (continuous-time) linear constant-coefficient differential equations.  ..... '

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Cisco on Zero Trust Security

Future of Zero Trust

Security

An Open Security Ecosystem with Shared Signals is the Future of Zero Trust

By Nancy Cam-Winget  Cisco

Zero Trust: as the name implies, is the strategy by which organizations trust nothing implicitly and verify everything continuously. This industry north star is driving different architectures, frameworks, and solutions to reduce an organization’s risk and improve their security posture.   Beyond the need to enforce strong authentication and authorization to establish trust of an endpoint, how can we verify continuously? Often, the zero-trust approach today uses strong authentication and tools that evaluate the security of the user and device at the point of access, but what happens when the security posture of the user and device change after its initial access request is granted?

With many vendors offering impressive security capabilities in cybersecurity, there is a wealth of information that can be shared. Unfortunately, this information is fragmented and lacks standardization and thus interoperability. Getting all these best-in-class vendors to talk to each other is an expensive and time-consuming task, leaving organizations with disparate signal silos and a serious lack of visibility and control across their environment.

This is the problem the OpenID Foundation’s Shared Signals and Events working group is poised to address. For the unfamiliar, the OpenID Foundation is a non-profit organization that promotes open, interoperable standards with OpenID at its core, most notably the standardization of a simple identity layer on top of Oauth 2.0: OpenID Connect. The Shared Signals and Events working group lives within the OpenID Foundation and is comprised of industry leaders and innovators working to promote more open communication between systems. Shared Signals and Events standards like CAEP and RISC have the goal of enabling federated systems with well-defined mechanisms for sharing security events, state changes and other signals. This communication in turn simplifies interoperability and allows organizations to get closer to the Zero Trust ideal of continuously evaluating and enforcing security.

In its first ratified standard, the Shared Signals and Events working group created an open standard through which multiple services can communicate by publishing or subscribing relevant event streams. The standard drastically simplifies communication between applications with security context.  For example, a cloud application might subscribe to events from an endpoint detection and response solution to quickly remove access from infected systems. Alternatively, an IAM solution might publish a change of user context used by a SIEM tool to start an investigation.  An example shown below demonstrates how a device or an application performs an HTTPS service request in step 1 can trigger an update to a change in state to a policy server in step 2.  Further, a policy service can determine whether that change in state needs to be broadcasted to other subscribers (step 3).  A subscriber to that event can process the information and determine if a remediation response (step 4) is needed.  ... '

Monday, November 29, 2021

3-D Printed Living Ink can Release Drugs

 New possibilities for more directly efficient delivery methods.  Continue to be impressed by the new capabilities introduced by 3D printing. 

3D-Printed 'Living Ink' Full of Microbes Can Release Drugs

New Scientist, Carissa Wong, November 23, 2021

A “living ink” made entirely from bacterial cells can be used in a three-dimensional (3D) printer to create structures that discharge drugs or absorb toxins. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology genetically engineered the printable gel from proteins known as curli nanofibers, which are generated by E.coli cells; the nanofibers possess one of two oppositely charged modules attached to them, which crosslink. Filtering the bacteria through a nylon membrane concentrates the crosslinked fibers, making the gel printable. "The beauty of the work lies in the ability to genetically program the functional response of the printed living material," says André Studart at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETH Zürich).

AWS Does a RoboRunner

Will be interesting to see what such services will include.

At a keynote during its Amazon Web Services (AWS) re:Invent 2021 conference today, Amazon launched AWS IoT RoboRunner, a new robotics service designed to make it easier for enterprises to build and deploy apps that enable fleets of robots to work together. Alongside IoT RoboRunner, Amazon announced the AWS Robotics Startup Accelerator, an incubator program in collaboration with nonprofit MassRobotics to tackle challenges in automation, robotics, and industrial internet of things (IoT) technologies.

The adoption of robotics — and automation more broadly — in enterprises has accelerated as the pandemic prompts digital transformations. A recent report from Automation World found that the bulk of companies that embraced robotics in the past year did so to decrease labor costs, increase capacity, and navigate a lack of available workers. The same survey found that 44.9% of companies now consider the robots in their assembly and manufacturing facilities to be an integral part of daily operations.

How Mondelez International uses low code tech from DronaHQ for sales enablement at speed, across geographies_

Amazon — a heavy investor in robotics itself — hasn’t been shy about its intent to capture a larger part of a robotics software market that is anticipated to be worth over $7.52 billion by 2022. In 2018, the company unveiled AWS RoboMaker, a product to assist developers with deploying robotics applications with AI and machine learning capabilities. And Amazon earlier this year rolled out SageMaker Reinforcement Learning Kubeflow Components, a toolkit supporting the RoboMaker service for orchestrating robotics workflows.

IoT RoboRunner

IoT RoboRunner, currently in preview, builds on the technology already in use at Amazon warehouses for robotics management. It allows AWS customers to connect robots and existing automation software to orchestrate work across operations, combining data from each type of robot in a fleet and standardizing data types like facility, location, and robotic task data in a central repository.

The goal of IoT RoboRunner is to simplify the process of building management apps for fleets of robots, according to Amazon. As enterprises increasingly rely on robotics to automate their operations, they’re choosing different types of robots, making it more difficult to organize their robots efficiently. Each robot vendor and work management system has its own, often incompatible control software, data format, and data repository. And when a new robot is added to a fleet, programming is required to connect the control software to work management systems and program the logic for management apps.

Developers can use IoT RoboRunner to access the data required to build robotics management apps and leverage prebuilt software libraries to create apps for tasks like work allocation. Beyond this, IoT RoboRunner can be used to deliver metrics and KPIs via APIs to administrative dashboards.

IoT RoboRunner competes with robotics management systems from Freedom Robotics, Exotec, and others. But Amazon makes the case that IoT RoboRunner’s integration with AWS — including services like SageMaker, Greengrass, and SiteWise — gives it an advantage over rivals on the market.

“Using AWS IoT RoboRunner, robotics developers no longer need to manage robots in silos and can more effectively automate tasks across a facility with centralized control,” Amazon wrote in a blog post. “As we look to the future, we see more companies adding more robots of more types. Harnessing the power of all those robots is complex, but we are dedicated to helping enterprises get the full value of their automation by making it easier to optimize robots through a single system view.”  ..... ' 

Detecting Sarcasm

 Computers Detecting Sarcasm  An important component of modern communication

How Computers Can Finally Detect Sarcasm Ramya Akula and the tech that lets sentiment analysis spot mocking words3119:2901 JUL 2021.   Podcast and transcript 

Hi and welcome to Fixing the Future, IEEE Spectrum’s podcast series on the technologies that can set us on the right path toward sustainability, meaningful work, and a healthy economy for all. Fixing the Future is sponsored by COMSOL, makers of of COMSOL Multiphysics simulation software. I’m Steven Cherry.

Leonard: Hey, Penny. How’s work?

Penny: Great! I hope I’m a waitress at the Cheesecake Factory for my whole life!

Sheldon: Was that sarcasm?

Penny: No.

Sheldon: Was that sarcasm?

Penny: Yes.

Steven Cherry That’s Leonard, Penny and Sheldon from season two of the Big Bang Theory. Fans of the show know there’s some question of whether Sheldon understands sarcasm. In some episodes he does, and in others he’s just learning it. But there’s no question that computers don’t understand sarcasm or didn’t until some researchers at the University of Central Florida started them on a path to learning it. Software engineers have been working on various flavors of sentiment analysis for quite some time. Back in 2005, I wrote an article in Spectrum about call centers automatically scanning conversations for anger either by the caller or the service operator. One of the early use cases behind messages like this call may be monitored for quality assurance purposes. Since then, software has been getting better and better at detecting joy, fear, sadness, confidence and now, finally, sarcasm. My guest today, Ramia Akula, is a PhD student and a graduate research assistant at the University of Central Florida is Complex Adaptive Systems Lab.. She has at least 11 publications to her name, including the most recent interpretable multiheaded self attention architecture for Sarcasm Detection in Social Media, published in March in the journal Entropy with her advisor, Ivan Garibay Ramia. Welcome to the podcast.   ... ' 

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Exotic Material for Superconductors

 New materials for quantum computing  are a big deal. 

Exotic New Material Could Be Two Superconductors in One – With Serious Quantum Computing Applications

TOPICS:Materials ScienceMITQuantum ComputingQuantum MaterialsSuperconductor

By ELIZABETH A. THOMSON, MIT MATERIALS RESEARCH LABORATORY NOVEMBER 21, 2021

Work has potential applications in quantum computing, and introduces new way to plumb the secrets of superconductivity.

MIT physicists and colleagues have demonstrated an exotic form of superconductivity in a new material the team synthesized only about a year ago. Although predicted in the 1960s, until now this type of superconductivity has proven difficult to stabilize. Further, the scientists found that the same material can potentially be manipulated to exhibit yet another, equally exotic form of superconductivity.

The work was reported in the November 3, 2021, issue of the journal Nature.

The demonstration of finite momentum superconductivity in a layered crystal known as a natural superlattice means that the material can be tweaked to create different patterns of superconductivity within the same sample. And that, in turn, could have implications for quantum computing and more.

The material is also expected to become an important tool for plumbing the secrets of unconventional superconductors. This may be useful for new quantum technologies. Designing such technologies is challenging, partly because the materials they are composed of can be difficult to study. The new material could simplify such research because, among other things, it is relatively easy to make.

Three Different Patterns of Superconductivity

Diagram illustrating three different patterns of superconductivity realized in a new material synthesized at MIT. Credit: Image courtesy of the Checkelsky lab

“An important theme of our research is that new physics comes from new materials,” says Joseph Checkelsky, lead principal investigator of the work and the Mitsui Career Development Associate Professor of Physics. “Our initial report last year was of this new material. This new work reports the new physics.”

Checkelsky’s co-authors on the current paper include lead author Aravind Devarakonda PhD ’21, who is now at Columbia University. The work was a central part of Devarakonda’s thesis. Co-authors are Takehito Suzuki, a former research scientist at MIT now at Toho University in Japan; Shiang Fang, a postdoc in the MIT Department of Physics; Junbo Zhu, an MIT graduate student in physics; David Graf of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory; Markus Kriener of the RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science in Japan; Liang Fu, an MIT associate professor of physics; and Efthimios Kaxiras of Harvard University.  ... 

Reference: “Signatures of bosonic Landau levels in a finite-momentum superconductor” by A. Devarakonda, T. Suzuki, S. Fang, J. Zhu, D. Graf, M. Kriener, L. Fu, E. Kaxiras and J. G. Checkelsky, 3 November 2021, Nature.

DOI: 10.1038/s41586-021-03915-3

Blog: AI in Libraries

Like to be involved.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

New directions in AI: formation of an IFLA Special Interest Group on Artificial Intelligence

There is an online meeting on New directions in AI: formation of an IFLA Special Interest Group on Artificial Intelligence on 6 December 2021 at 4pm UTC (UK time); 5pm CET; 11am US EST. This exploratory meeting will: "give an overview of the current state of AI in libraries; discuss the goals and objectives; gather 25 signatories who intend to actively participate in the activities of the SIG for a petition to be submitted to the Professional Council; propose a satellite meeting and main session at IFLA WLIC 2022 in Dublin, Ireland." "Artificial intelligence applications are increasingly a part of the library space: in chatbots, embedded in library systems, used for automated indexing and classification, and integral to robots. The IT Section is sponsoring the formation of a Special Interest Group in AI (AI SIG). ... If the SIG is approved we will also hold the first business meeting to nominate a Convenor and seek volunteers to serve in roles including Secretary and Communications Coordinator. Registration at 

Posted by Sheila Webber at 16:07   ...... ' 

Predicting Jet Engine Stability

Passing this along to my former colleagues at GE who may have comment, I am sure they already know of this simulation research. 

Tool Can Detect Precursor of Engine-Destroying Combustion Instability

By Tokyo University of Science (Japan), November 23, 2021

Combustion engines, like those in aircrafts, are at risk of fatal damage by a phenomenon called "combustion oscillations," where pressure fluctuations inside the engine become large.

Researchers at Japan's Tokyo University of Science (TUS) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have designed a tool for detecting a precursor of thermoacoustic combustion oscillation, which damages combustion engines.

The researchers performed combustion experiments with varying fuel flow rates in a staged multisector combustor from JAXA, and fed the resulting data to a support vector machine (SVM) algorithm.

The SVM classified the combustion as stable, transitional, and combustion oscillations; the transitional state's pressure fluctuations are crucial to forecasting future combustion oscillations.

TUS' Hiroshi Gotoda said, "The methodology combining dynamical systems theory and machine learning can be useful for detecting predictive combustion oscillations in multisector combustors, such as those in aircraft engines."  Full article.

From Tokyo University of Science (Japan)

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Testing Clearview Face Recognition

Would expect such methods to ultimately be well calibrated and put to common use.

Clearview AI Does Well in Another Round of Facial Recognition Accuracy Tests

By The New York Times, November 24, 2021

After Clearview AI scraped billions of photos from the public web — from websites including Instagram, Venmo and LinkedIn — to create a facial recognition tool for law enforcement authorities, many concerns were raised about the company and its norm-breaking tool. Beyond the privacy implications and legality of what Clearview AI had done, there were questions about whether the tool worked as advertised: Could the company actually find one particular person's face out of a database of billions?

Clearview AI's app was in the hands of law enforcement agencies for years before its accuracy was tested by an impartial third party. Now, after two rounds of federal testing in the last month, the accuracy of the tool is no longer a prime concern.

In results announced on Monday, Clearview, which is based in New York, placed among the top 10 out of nearly 100 facial recognition vendors in a federal test intended to reveal which tools are best at finding the right face while looking through photos of millions of people. Clearview performed less well in another version of the test, which simulates using facial recognition for providing access to buildings, such as verifying that someone is an employee.

From The New York Times

View Full Article  

AI Helping Data Management

Not unexpected, we often used analytic methods to provide predictive patterns to generate useful data streams.   But makes much sense to explore this direction to manage assets.

AI will soon oversee its own data management in Venturebeat

AI thrives on data. The more data it can access, and the more accurate and contextual that data is, the better the results will be.

The problem is that the data volumes currently being generated by the global digital footprint are so vast that it would take literally millions, if not billions, of data scientists to crunch it all — and it still would not happen fast enough to make a meaningful impact on AI-driven processes.

AI helping AI

This is why many organizations are turning to AI to help scrub the data that is needed by AI to function properly.

According to Dell’s 2021 Global Data Protection Index, the average enterprise is now managing ten times more data compared to five years ago, with the global load skyrocketing from “just” 1.45 petabytes in 2016 to 14.6 petabytes today. With data being generated in the datacenter, the cloud, the edge, and on connected devices around the world, we can expect this upward trend to continue well into the future.

In this environment, any organization that isn’t leveraging data to its full potential is literally throwing money out the window. So going forward, the question is not whether to integrate AI into data management solutions, but how.

AI brings unique capabilities to each step of the data management process, not just by virtue of its capability to sift through massive volumes looking for salient bits and bytes, but by the way it can adapt to changing environments and shifting data flows. For instance, according to David Mariani, founder of, and chief technology officer at AtScale, just in the area of data preparation, AI can automate key functions like matching, tagging, joining, and annotating. From there, it is adept at checking data quality and improving integrity before scanning volumes to identify trends and patterns that otherwise would go unnoticed. All of this is particularly useful when the data is unstructured.

One of the most data-intensive industries is health care, with medical research generating a good share of the load. Small wonder, then, that clinical research organizations (CROs) are at the forefront of AI-driven data management, according to Anju Life Sciences Software. For one thing, it’s important that data sets are not overlooked or simply discarded, since doing so can throw off the results of extremely important research.

Machine learning is already proving its worth in optimizing data collection and management, often preserving the validity of data sets that would normally be rejected due to collection errors or faulty documentation. This, in turn, produces greater insight into the results of trial efforts and drives greater ROI for the entire process.  .... ' 

How to Find Hidden Spy Cameras with a Smartphone

How to Find Hidden Spy Cameras with a Smartphone

By Help Net Security, November 24, 2021

How it works. 

During the scan process, the Time-of-Flight sensor emits laser pulses and captures the reflected light off of an object and its surroundings. Hidden cameras embedded in objects reflect incoming laser pulses at a higher intensity than its surroundings, a result of lens-sensor retro-reflection.

Scientists at the National University of Singapore and South Korea's Yonsei University developed a smartphone application that can find tiny spy cameras concealed in everyday objects, using smartphones' time-of-flight (ToF) sensor.

The researchers said the Laser-Assisted Photography Detection (LAPD) app spots hidden cameras better than commercial camera detectors, and much better than the human eye.

The app, which works on any smartphone handset equipped with a time of flight (ToF) sensor, can only scan a single object at a time, and requires about a minutes to scan that object.

The researchers said the app could be made more accurate by taking advantage of the handset’s flashlight and RGB cameras.

From Help Net Security

Friday, November 26, 2021

Can a Free Internet Survive?

What steps, what cost, what limits?

Can a Free Internet Survive?,  By Samuel Greengard, Commissioned by CACM Staff, November 23, 2021

In the beginning, Internet pioneers dreamed of creating an open framework for global communication and interaction. It would be a place where free thinking and information could flourish. Over the last half century, despite a few potholes and speedbumps, the Internet has largely lived up to that promise.

However, there's evidence that attitudes and values are shifting. Governments around the world are taking steps to limit access to information, or even shut it down using tactics like site blocking, URL throttling, restricting mobile data, and regulatory and legal threats.

"This is in the face of governments, business and industry, and popular movements responding to perceived threats to dominant institutions and traditional sources of information," observes William H. Dutton, Emeritus Professor at the University of Southern California and co-author of the UNESCO report   Freedom of Connection, Freedom of Expression.

Washington D.C.-based democracy advocacy group Freedom House reported in 2021 that Internet freedom declined for the fifth year in a row in the U.S. and the 11th consecutive year internationally. Officials in at least 20 countries suspended Internet access, and 20 regimes blocked access to social media platforms, the report noted.

Principles for Innovative Engineers

Very useful principles below at the link, we worked with Rosalind Picard long ago ... 

What Every Engineer and Computer Scientist Should Know: The Biggest Contributor to Happiness

By Rosalind Picard     in CACM

Communications of the ACM, December 2021, Vol. 64 No. 12, Pages 40-42    10.1145/3465999

My teams at MIT and our spin-out companies have worked for years to create technology that is both intelligent and able to improve people's lives. Through research drawing from psychiatry, neuroscience, psychology, and affective computing, I have learned some surprising things. In some cases, they are principles we have embedded into technology that interacts with people. Guess what? People like it. After one year of the COVID-19 pandemic, I realize that the principles we learned apply not only to making smart robots or software agents, but also to the people around us. They give us lessons for how to live happier lives, and happier engineers are better at solving creative problems and have more fun.

Researchers have studied what brings happiness in life, and what, at the end of life, people wish they had done. While many factors contribute, do you know the biggest one?

Almost never late in life do people say: "I wish I had invented a smarter or faster device," "I wish I had made more money," "I wish I had given more TED talks," "I wish I had climbed higher in my business," or "I wish I had authored more books." Even this pinnacle of achievement is not uttered: "I wish I had written an article for an ACM magazine." Instead, almost always, people wish that they had done a better job at building meaningful authentic human relationships, and spending time in those relationships.

This finding is a general one, whether studying human happiness or end-of-life reflections. They apply to hard-working, well-educated computer scientists or engineers and also to many kinds of people, different races and cultures, rich and poor, male and female, uneducated or over-educated.

All of the patents, publications, presentations, and personal technical achievements can be amazing: They can literally save lives and bring immense delight, win us world acclaim, fill our shelves with awards, tally up clicks online, and even make our resumes impressively long. However, they all pale in comparison to something that is even more joy-giving: Achieving deeply satisfying, personally-significant human relationships.

How do you engineer great relationships? Here are three helpful principles you can test in your own life and relationships. If you build AI that interacts directly with people, you can build these principles into those interactions too. I learned these principles while trying to engineer more intelligence in machines, specifically computers with skills of social-emotional intelligence. The skills derive from studies of human relationships and they apply not only when the interactions involve two people, but also when one is a computer (including chatbots, software agents, robots, and other things programmed to talk with us). The three principles below can help improve relationships, human or AI.   ..... ....

(Full principles below)

SAS Customer Intelligence Blog

 I have been reviewing reviewing SAS's blogs.  They nicely have a 'customer intelligence blog:

Customer Intelligence Blog

Evolving relationships for business growth

Welcome to Customer Intelligence, a blog for anyone who is looking for ways to improve the business of marketing and communicating with customers.

We strive to prompt new thinking in the way you tackle customer-related business issues. And we hope to inspire the use of analytics for everything from multi-level marketing to social media campaigns.  ... ' 


New NVIDIA AI Brain

 NVidia pushes on.

NVIDIA's new AI brain for robots is six times more powerful than its predecessor

And it can still fit in the palm of your hand

By M. Moon, @mariella_moon   in Engadget

The chipmaker says Orin is capable of 200 trillion operations per second. It's built on the NVIDIA Ampere architecture GPU, features Arm Cortex-A78AE CPUs and comes with next-gen deep learning and vision accelerators, giving it the ability to run multiple AI applications. Orin will give users access to the company's software and tools, including the NVIDIA Isaac Sim scalable robotics simulation application, which enables photorealistic, physically-accurate virtual environments where developers can test and manage their AI-powered robots. For users in the healthcare industry, there's NVIDIA Clara for AI-powered imaging and genomics. And for autonomous vehicle developers, there's NVIDIA Drive. .... ' 

Interpol Arrests Cybercrime Suspects

Don't know much about Interpol, and how useful it can be regarding security,  but was once involved with data that they had gathered  regarding supply chain practices. Now how might we leverage this data? 

Interpol arrests over 1,000 suspects linked to cyber crime   By Bill Toulas  in Bleepingcomputer

Interpol has coordinated the arrest of 1,003 individuals linked to various cyber-crimes such as romance scams, investment frauds, online money laundering, and illegal online gambling.

This crackdown results from a four-month action codenamed ‘Operation HAEICHI-II,’ which took place in twenty countries between June and September 2021.

These were Angola, Brunei, Cambodia, Colombia, China, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Korea (Rep. of), Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Philippines, Romania, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Thailand, and Vietnam.  ... '