Curating the Internet: Science and technology micro-summaries for October 8, 2019


Ancient Australian rocks hint that life may have begun in hot springs; Using an underground water tank to detect neutrinos; Most Deep Fake videos are porn; Paralyzed man can walk in mind-reading exoskeleton; and a Steem essay on the ability of quantum computing to compromise cryptocurrency security


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  1. An ancient rock suggests a new theory for how life started - In this TED talk, Tara Djokic promotes a theory on the origins of life that was developed after examining geyserite rocks in Western Australia that are 3.5 billion years old. The prevalent theory on the origin of life is that it arose out of thermal vents in the deep oceans. However, the discovery of bacteria in those 3.5 billion year old geyserite rocks - rocks that formed on the edges of a geyser - indicates that life may have originated on land, around the borders of hot springs.

  2. A golden chamber buried under a mountain in Japan contains water so pure it can dissolve metal, and it's helping scientists detect dying stars - Physicists are using the Super-Kamiokande neutrino detector (Super-K) to detect neutrinos. Collapsing stars shoot out a shower of neutrinos prior to their collapse, so when neutrinos are detected, they can give an early warning system to tell astronomers where to look in the sky. They are also being fired through the Earth and into the tank so that scientists can study the ways that neutrinos change as they pass through matter. The 15 story tank is 1,000 meters below ground - to filter out other particles that cannot pass through matter - and filled with ultra-pure water, which can be used to find neutrionos because the neutrinos pass through water at a faster speed than light, and this produces an effect with light that is analogous to a sonic boom. The chamber is lined with 11,000 bulbs that can detect the effect. To maintain purity, the water in the container is frequently replaced, and blasted with UV light to kill bacteria.

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    topic from 2014 that is linked in the article.

    Tara Djokic promotes a theory on the origins of life that was developed after examining geyserite rocks in Western Australia that are 3.5 billion years old. The prevalent theory on the origin of life is that it arose out of thermal vents in the deep oceans. However, the discovery of bacteria in those 3.5 billion year old geyserite rocks - rocks that formed on the edges of a geyser - indicates that life may have originated on land, around the borders of hot springs.


  3. have originated on land, around the borders of hot springs.

  4. Forget fake news—nearly all deepfakes are being made for porn - A new report by DeepTrace says that the researchers found at least 14,678 DeepFake videos on the Internet, and that 96% of them were fake porn videos, where someone's head is digitally attached to the body of an actor in a porn video. According to the researchers, the fake porn disproportionately targeted women, mostly famous actresses (of the not-porn variety) and musicians.

  5. Paralysed man moves in mind-reading exoskeleton - In a surgical procedure, implants with 64 electrodes each were implanted into the part of the patient's brain that controls motion. After strapping the patient into the exoskeleton, those implants read brain waves and pass the signals on to software that converts them into instructions for controlling it. He learned to control the device by practicing with a digital avatar. A researcher says that the device is still "far from autonomous walking", and it's not ready for use outside of the lab. The device is currently limited by the amount of data that they're able to read from the brain in a timely fashion. If the communication doesn't take place in less than 350 ms, the device becomes unwieldy and difficult to control. As a result, they are currently only able to take advantage of 32 out of 64 electrodes per implant. The researchers say that they are not attempting to achieve transhumanism or develop military applications. h/t RealClear Science

  6. STEEM A QUANTUM LEAP INTO INSECURITY - Originally posted on Medium (with a verification link to this Steem account), this post by @quube-exchange reviews the recent advances in Quantum computing, and cites research showing that - although quantum computers are far superior to classical computers for solving particular problems - Bitcoin's miners are believed to be safe until 2028 with the current hashcash proof of work mechanism, although other forms of attack may become possible sooner. The article goes on to note that in addition to providing attacks against today's cryptocurrencies, however, it also provides new defenses, so protocols that upgrade to make use of quantum computing's defenses will continue to be secure. (A 10% beneficiary setting has been applied to this post for @quube-exchange)


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Comments 9


"...the ability of quantum computing to comprise cryptocurrency security..."

Did you mean compromise instead of comprise?

Thanks!

08.10.2019 20:38
4

Yep. Fixed. Nice catch. Thank you!

08.10.2019 22:35
1

It is interesting to me, coincidentally, that it's a true statement either way.

09.10.2019 01:49
4

Wow. That is interesting. The phrasing was a bit awkward with "comprise", though.

09.10.2019 02:09
1

Did you know that ancient rocks were also perfect dark matter detectors? :)

08.10.2019 22:24
4

No, I did not know that. I just read a couple articles about it, though. This is a good one. Thanks for the insight!

Coincidentally, tomorrow's post has a link to an article about deep-earth drilling - not for dark matter detection, though.

09.10.2019 02:06
1

You may also like this one that I wrote myself a while ago. :)

10.10.2019 22:34
4

Thanks! I'm on my way out tonight, but I'll read it over the week-end.

10.10.2019 23:28
0



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08.10.2019 22:24
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