The way in which we code deaths in our country [Italy] is very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus.

Source: Telegraph UK

Well, now that’s one of the stupidest ways to count.

By the way, the Robert-Koch-Institute in Germany counts the same way. I guess, most others do that, too.

Read more …

Authorities advise people to stay 1-2 meters apart, but researchers found that a bus passenger infected fellow travelers sitting 4.5 meters away.

The scientists behind the research said their investigation also highlighted the importance of wearing face masks because of the length of time it can linger.

Source: South China Morning Post

According to the cohesion-tension theory, mangrove trees desalinate salty water using highly negative pressure (or tension) that is generated by evaporative capillary forces in mangrove leaves. Here, we demonstrate a synthetic mangrove that mimics the main features of the natural mangrove: capillary pumping (leaves), stable water conduction in highly metastable states (stem), and membrane desalination (root). When using nanoporous membranes as leaves, the maximum osmotic pressures of saline feeds (10 to 30 bar) allowing pure water uptake precisely correspond to expected capillary pressures based on the Young-Laplace equation. Hydrogel-based leaves allow for stable operation and desalination of hypersaline solutions with osmotic pressures approaching 400 bar, fivefold greater than the pressure limits of conventional reverse osmosis. Our findings support the applicability of the cohesion-tension theory to desalination in mangroves, provide a new platform to study plant hydraulics, and create possibilities for engineered membrane separations using large, passively generated capillary pressures.

Source: Science Advances

You enter a cave. At the end of a dark corridor, you encounter a pair of sealed chambers. Inside each chamber is an all-knowing wizard. The prophecy says that with these oracles’ help, you can learn the answers to unanswerable problems. But there’s a catch: The oracles don’t always tell the truth. And though they cannot communicate with each other, their seemingly random responses to your questions are actually connected by the very fabric of the universe. To get the answer you seek, you must first devise… the questions.

Computer scientists are buzzing about a new mathematical proof that proposes a quantum-entangled system sort of like the one described above. It seems to disprove a 44-year-old conjecture and details a theoretical machine capable of solving the famous halting problem, which says a computer cannot determine whether it will ever be able to solve a problem it’s currently trying to solve.

The 150-page proof, titled simply “MIP*=RE,” deals in the esoteric subject of computational complexity. If it holds under scrutiny, it demonstrates a profound connection between quantum physics, computation, and mathematics. It shows that a theoretical class of computing devices—a verifier interrogating the quantum-entangled oracles—can check some of the most complex computer problems imaginable. And it has important implications for quantum physicists.

Source: Gizmodo

Real-time data and analytics and machine learning and AI creates unpreparedness by corporations and Big Tech companies.

Source: cyberscoop

That’s what the bot said, and he seems smarter than the people who use him.

Light Commands is a vulnerability of MEMS microphones that allows attackers to remotely inject inaudible and invisible commands into voice assistants, such as Google assistant, Amazon Alexa, Facebook Portal, and Apple Siri using light.
In our paper we demonstrate this effect, successfully using light to inject malicious commands into several voice controlled devices such as smart speakers, tablets, and phones across large distances and through glass windows.

Source

Here’s the respective paper: source, local copy

How does this work? The Quran requires that muslims above a certain threshold of wealth give away 2.5% of wealth as charity (“zakat”). In Pakistan, the government automatically taxes citizens above this threshold at the 2.5% level.

The threshold (“nisab”) is historically determined as the price of 612 grams of silver. So each year, the Pakistani government looks at the current price of silver, and taxes everyone who falls above the corresponding threshold.

Individuals who fall *just* below the threshold one year due the changed price of silver suddenly avoid a 2.5% government tax. Those people then increase their private donations to charity.

Many such donations (whether intended or not) go to charities affiliated with terrorist groups. With this additional financing, these groups conduct more attacks:

↑silver price → ↑tax threshold → ↓taxes → ↑charity → ↑terrorist financing → ↑terrorist attacks!

Read the absolutely incredible paper presented at the Stigler Center’s Political Economy of Finance conference in Chicago this weekend, by Nicola Limodio, here.

Source: Ben Marrow

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    Destabilizing cishetero amatonormativity. Providing disruption as a service. Once you know the way, you see it in all things. Unless you puke, faint or die, keep going. Also we never asked for this. I̸͝t̸̑ ̵̽i̷͗s̶͐ ̵͝a̶͒l̷ ͍r̷ ̗͕e̵͑a̶͌d̸̄y̷̚ ̶̀ ͓͑t̷̚ô̶o̸ ̥ ̶́ ̡l̷͝a̶̽t̵͒ė̶.̸ ̋͑

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