Watchful Sunset

Image: Watchful Sunset, this photo is available to licence on EyeEm.

#142

Friday, January 18, 2019

In This Edition:
Oumuamua, Moon 360, AI research papers, Graphic Short Story Prize, immediate fossil fuel phaseout, NI border and Alias parasite smart device!

This week's highlights include the return of The Orville! Season 2 started back in U.S. a few weeks ago, it is such a good show! :-)

Oumuamua

Image: European Southern Observatory / M. Kornmesser

The first object in history to pass through the solar system and to be identified as originating outside the solar system was discovered in October 2017 by Canadian astronomer Robert Weryk in Hawaii. The object was named Oumuamua, which in Hawaiian means first distant messenger. Avi Loeb, the chairman of the astronomy department at Harvard believes that the object, which passed Earth at a distance of 24 million kilometres on an extreme hyperbolic orbit, displays signs of solar sail technology. He posits that it could be a long lost probe from a distant civilisation. NASA believes the particular propulsion pattern was caused by gas emissions.

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Moon 360 Photo

Image: Chinese National Space Administration

China's Chang’e-4 space probe has sent the first 360 photo of the moon's surface back from the far side of our nearest neighbour. The image has been converted into a panorama which can be seen here.

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Top 2018 AI Research Papers

Image: Andrew Brock, Jeff Donahue, Karen Simonyan

Topbots have posted a handy summary of some of the top AI research papers published in 2018.

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Graphic Short Story Prize

Image: Tom Honan

The Irish Times is partnering with Comics Lab in Dublin to launch Ireland's first Graphic Short Story competition. The winning entry will be published in The Ticket and announced at the Dublin Comic Arts Festival in April. The Comics Lab founders Debbie Jenkins and Sarah Bowie are interviewed about the competition and the expanding popularity of all types of comics in Ireland.

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Immediate Fossil Fuel Phaseout Needed

Image: Wind Turbines, available to licence on EyeEm.

A study from the University of Leeds says that there is a 66% chance of keeping temperature increase below a 1.5 degree increase if a fossil fuel phaseout begins immediately. The research assumes a lifespan for powerplants of 40 years, cars 15 years and planes 26 years. It also assumes a rapid end to beef and dairy consumption. If the phaseout doesn't being until 2030, the chances reduce to 33%.

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No Hard Border?

Image: The Irish Times

It would appear that some people, particularly in the vicinity of Westminster and Dundela Avenue in Belfast, have forgotten about the 30 years of violence perpetrated at the hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland during the troubles. The Irish Times have created an excellent interactive data visualisation of every border crossing on the Northern Ireland border, which include details of all the violent incidents such as bombings, shootings and arson, and the number of fatalities and wounded at each crossing during the troubles. The work is accompanied by a piece describing the history of the border.

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Alias Voice Assistant Parasite

Image: Bjørn Karmann

Bjørn Karmann and Tore Knudsen have created Alias, a parasite smart device that can be used to stop your voice assistant device from spying on you. The DIY device deafens the assistant's microphone with white noise, and only stops when alias hears you speak the device's wake word. Alias then cuts the white noise and relays a recording of the wake word to the assistant, allowing it to work as intended. Details on how to build the alias device are available on Instructables.

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See you next week!

See you next week :-)

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About Found This Week

Found This Week is a curated blog of interesting posts, articles, links and stories in the world of technology, science and life in general.
Each edition is curated by Daryl Feehely every Friday and highlights cool stuff found each week.
The first 104 editions were published on Medium before this site was created, check out the archive here.

Daryl Feehely

I’m a web consultant, contract web developer, technical project manager & photographer originally from Cork, now based in Swansea. I offer my clients strategy, planning & technical delivery services, remotely & in person. I also offer freelance CTO services to companies in need of technical bootstrapping or reinvention. If you think I can help you in your business, check out my details on http://darylfeehely.com