PROFESSIONAL NERD.

PERSONAL BLOG.

What I'm Reading - 4/20/2018

Three to five links every weekday - often off-topic weekend edition.

Dogs Will Lie to Get What They Want, New Study Says

These results, the authors write, show that dogs are capable of adjusting their behavior and using tactical deception; they understand how their actions affect the behavior of others.

Elisha Stynchula is a certified dog trainer and owner of "I Said Sit!" School for Dogs in Los Angeles. She says the study makes a person think about a dog's intentions. "Although it is a small sample and only reflects a contrived scenario," she tells Broadly, "my takeaway is not that dogs lie and deceive, but rather it confirms that dogs are very intelligent animals. Dogs are very motivated to do what benefits them the most. That's one of the reasons they are so trainable."


INSIDE THE HIGH-TECH PLOT TO SAVE THE NORTHERN WHITE RHINO FROM EXTINCTION

Immediately after the world’s last male northern white rhino died on March 19th, a team of vets got to work. Within 30 minutes, they had collected tissue from the ears, gums, spleen, windpipes, and testicles of the 45-year-old rhino, named Sudan. The precious genetic material was put in a solution and then frozen at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, where Sudan spent the last nine years of his life. Those cells could one day bring the northern white rhino back from the brink of extinction.

Dozens of scientists across the globe — from the US to Europe to Africa — are working together tirelessly to figure out ways to breed rhino embryos in the lab. The effort resembles in some ways the popular de-extinction projects that are attempting to resurrect the woolly mammoth or the passenger pigeon; all want to reverse extinction and in some cases, fix the damage humans have done.


OLPC’S $100 LAPTOP WAS GOING TO CHANGE THE WORLD — THEN IT ALL WENT WRONG

It was supposed to be the laptop that saved the world.

In late 2005, tech visionary and MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte pulled the cloth cover off a small green computer with a bright yellow crank. The device was the first working prototype for Negroponte’s new nonprofit One Laptop Per Child, dubbed “the green machine” or simply “the $100 laptop.” And it was like nothing that Negroponte’s audience — at either his panel at a UN-sponsored tech summit in Tunis, or around the globe — had ever seen.

After UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan offered a glowing introduction, Negroponte explained exactly why. The $100 laptop would have all the features of an ordinary computer but require so little electricity that a child could power it with a hand crank. It would be rugged enough for children to use anywhere, instead of being limited to schools. Mesh networking would let one laptop extend a single internet connection to many others. A Linux-based operating system would give kids total access to the computer — OLPC had reportedly turned down an offer of free Mac OS X licenses from Steve Jobs. And as its name suggested, the laptop would cost only $100


WITH GO90 FLATLINING, VERIZON SEES TUMBLR AS HOME TO ORIGINAL DIGITAL VIDEO PROGRAMS

Will people watch TV-like shows on Tumblr? Verizon is looking to find out, as its media arm Oath tries to establish a digital video service that can succeed where Go90 has failed.

Verizon has syndicated some of Go90’s original shows on Tumblr and is seeking new shows that would air exclusively or primarily on the microblogging platform, according to two non-Verizon media and entertainment executives.


AS CITIES GET HIGH-TECH, HACKERS BECOME MORE DANGEROUS

Remember when a major U.S. city’s computer infrastructure was hacked, and held ransom, by a group of cyber criminals?

It’s very possible that Atlanta’s battle with this new type of online threat last month—hackers gained control and shut down the city’s computer system for days—went unnoticed due to the recent rapid-fire news cycle. Atlanta’s Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms compared the incident, known as a ransomware attack, to a hostage situation.

While the premise of hackers holding a city ransom may seem sci-fi, cyber security experts believe it’s already a common menace.

What I'm Reading - 4/23/2018

What I'm Reading - 4/19/2018