As the world continues to converge on the One True OSS Browser that is Google's Chromium, this article serves as an important warning about a poison pill that is being added to the mix. To play protected content such as Netflix videos or PlayStation games, you need a DRM solution such as Google's Wildvine - in fact, Wildvine is the only solution for Chromium. But if you're actually building an open source browser based on Chromium, you can't use Wildvine. "Google, the creators of the open source browser Chrome, won’t allow DRM in an open source project." Buyer beware. More on Hacker News. (P.S. the synchronized browser called Metasteam Maddock is building in Electron looks pretty interesting.)
One of the things that has made me happy about MOOCs is not the way some entrepreneurs turned them into multi-million dollar businesses, but how they have really become a fixture of the education systems in less privileged regions of the world. This impact is demonstrated through stories like this. This story describes SWAYAM, which stands for Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds and means self in Hindi. Students can sign up for courses on SWAYAM, which are free to take, and upon completion, have them count toward their degree. Awesome.
A 'root of trust' "ensures that a system state comprises all and only content chosen by the user, and the user’s code begins execution in that state." In other words, only if you have a root of trust can you be sure nobody else has infiltrated your computer with spyware or whatever. This paper (Establishing software root of trust unconditionally Gligor & Woo, NDSS’19) demonstrates a proof for root of trust. The proof is complex, but is essentially based on the minimum time it would take for a computer to perform the 'lower bounds' of a specific algorithm (specifically, a hashing function).
When I studied rule-based processes of induction in the 1990s, John Holland was one of the people I turned to. In the end I came to view induction as an outcome of complex systems. This is important, because it means the processes described by people like Duncan J. Watts can be applied to scientific reasoning. In this article I learned that they can also be applied to legal reasoning, which makes sense if you come to the understanding that law is a dynamic complex system. This is a good interview with law professor Dan Katz, though I wish it had gone into some more depth on some of the current issues regarding AI in law - for example, how does the use of neural networks impact equity in law? Do neural networks stereotype? Do they create different systems of justice for the rich and the poor?
Make no mistake. I think YouTube is a fantastic resource. But it has problems because of the way it rewards engagement and views, and because it's recommendation engine can be manipulated by controversy and outrage. "The massive 'library,' generated by users with little editorial oversight, is bound to have untrue nonsense. Instead, YouTube’s problem is that it allows the nonsense to flourish. And, in some cases, through its powerful artificial intelligence system, it even provides the fuel that lets it spread." Good article, takes a bit to get going, but provides a good insight in the end.
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