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Betteridge's law of headlines (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Betteridge's law of headlines is an adage that states: "Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no." It is named after Ian Betteridge, a British technology journalist who wrote about it in 2009, although the principle is much older. It is based on the assumption that if the publishers were confident that the answer was yes, they would have presented it as an assertion; by presenting it as a question, they are not accountable for whether it is correct or not. The adage does not apply to questions that are more open-ended than strict yes–no questions.The maxim has been cited by other names since 1991, when a published compilation of Murphy's law variants called it "Davis's law", a name that also appears online without any explanation of who Davis was. It has also been referred to as the "journalistic principle" and in 2007 was referred to in commentary as "an old truism among journalists".
User:Guy Macon/Wikipedia has Cancer (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Alternative title: Just because you have some money, that doesn't mean that you have to spend it. In biology, the hallmarks of an aggressive cancer include limitless multiplication of ordinarily beneficial cells, even when the body signals that further multiplication is no longer needed. The Wikipedia page on the wheat and chessboard problem explains that nothing can keep growing forever. In biology, the unwanted growth usually terminates with the death of the host. Ever-increasing spending can often lead to the same undesirable result in organizations. Consider the following example of runaway spending growth: In 2005, Wikipedia co-founder and Wikimedia Foundation founder Jimmy Wales told a TED audience "So, we're doing around 1.4 billion page views monthly. So, it's really gotten to be a huge thing. And everything is managed by the volunteers and the total monthly cost for our bandwidth is about US$5,000, and that's essentially our main cost. We could actually do without the employee … We actually hired Brion because he was working part-time for two years and full-time at Wikipedia so we actually hired him so he could get a life and go to the movies sometimes." According to the WMF, Wikipedia (in all language editions) now receives 16 billion page views per month. The WMF spends roughly $2 million USD per year on Internet hosting and employs some 300 staff. The modern Wikipedia hosts 11–12 times as many pages as it did in 2005, but the WMF is spending 33 times as much on hosting, has about 300 times as many employees, and is spending 1,250 times as much overall. WMF's spending has gone up by 85% over the past three years.Sounds a lot like cancer, doesn't it? For those readers who were around three years ago, did you notice at the time any unmet needs that would have caused you to conclude that the WMF needed to increase spending by $30 million dollars? I certainly didn't. From 2005 to 2015, annual inflation in the US was between 1% and 3% per year, and cumulative inflation for the entire decade was 21.4%—far less than the increase in WMF spending. We are even metastasizing the cancer by bankrolling local chapters, rewarding them for finding new ways to spend money.Nothing can grow forever. Sooner or later, something is going to happen that causes the donations to decline instead of increase. It could be a scandal (real or perceived). It could be the WMF taking a political position that offends many donors. Or it could be a recession, leaving people with less money to give. It might even be a lawsuit that forces the WMF to pay out a judgement that is larger than the reserve. Whatever the reason is, it will happen. It would be naïve to think that the WMF, which up to this point has never seriously considered any sort of spending limits, will suddenly discover fiscal prudence when the revenues start to decline. It is far more likely that the WMF will not react to a drop in donations by decreasing spending, but instead will ramp up fund-raising efforts while burning through our reserves and our endowment. Although this essay focuses on spending, not fundraising, it could be argued that the ever-increasing spending is a direct cause of the kind of fund-raising that has generated a storm of criticism. These complaints have been around for years, leading one member of a major Wikimedia mailing list to automate his yearly complaint about the dishonesty he sees every year in our fundraising banners.No organization can sustain this sort of spending on a long-term basis. We should have leveled off our spending years ago. Like cancer, WMF spending is growing at an ever-increasing rate. Like cancer, this will kill the patient unless the growth is stopped. Some charities can safely grow without limits. If you are feeding 1,000 starving orphans per week, a ten times increase in revenue means that you will be able to feed 10,000 orphans per week. Wikipedia isn't like that. It costs a certain amount to have reliable servers, run a good legal team, maintain the core software, etc. But none of the things that the WMF needs to do require ever-expanding spending. The reason I have so little faith in the WMF's ability to adapt to declining revenues (note that I specified the WMF; I think Wikipedia has shown an excellent ability to adapt to multiple problems) is the horrific track record they have regarding adapting to other kinds of problems. In particular, their poor handling of software development has been well known for many years. The answer to the WMF's problems with software development is extensively documented in books such as The Mythical Man-Month and Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams, yet I have never seen any evidence that the WMF has been following standard software engineering principles that were well-known when Mythical Man-Month was first published in 1975. If they had, we would be seeing things like requirements documents and schedules with measurable milestones. This failure is almost certainly a systemic problem directly caused by top management, not by the developers doing the actual work. This is not to imply that decades-old software development methods are somehow superior to modern ones, but rather that the WMF is violating basic principles that are common to both. Nothing about Agile or SCRUM means that the developers do not have to talk to end users, create requirements, or meet milestones. In fact, modern software development methods require more communication and interaction with the final end users. Take as an example the way Visual Editor was developed. There are many pages of documentation on the WMF servers and mailing lists, but no evidence that any developer had any serious discussions with the actual editors of Wikipedia who would be using the software. Instead, the role of "customer" was played by paid WMF staffers who thought that they knew what Wikipedia editors need better than the editors themselves do. Then they threw the result over the wall, and the community of Wikipedia editors largely rejected it. Or Knowledge Engine, which was developed in secret before being cancelled when word got out about what the WMF was planning. Another example: The MediaWiki edit toolbar ended up being used by a whopping 0.03% of active editors.After we burn through our reserves, it seems likely that the next step for the WMF will be going into debt to support continued runaway spending, followed by bankruptcy. At that point there are several large corporations (Google and Facebook come to mind) that will be more than happy to pay off the debts, take over the encyclopedia, fire the WMF staff, and start running Wikipedia as a profit-making platform. There are a lot of ways to monetize Wikipedia, all undesirable. The new owners could sell banner advertising, allow uneditable "sponsored articles" for those willing to pay for the privilege, or even sell information about editors and users. If we want to avoid disaster, we need to start shrinking the cancer now, before it is too late. We should make spending transparent, publish a detailed account of what the money is being spent on and answer any reasonable questions asking for more details. We should limit spending increases to no more than inflation plus some percentage (adjusted for any increases in page views), build up our endowment, and structure the endowment so that the WMF cannot legally dip into the principal when times get bad. If we do these things now, in a few short years we could be in a position to do everything we are doing now, while living off of the endowment interest, and would have no need for further fundraising. Or we could keep fundraising, using the donations to do many new and useful things, knowing that whatever we do there is a guaranteed income stream from the endowment that will keep the servers running indefinitely.
Sturgeon's law (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Sturgeon's law (or Sturgeon's revelation) is an adage stating "ninety percent of everything is crap." The adage was coined by Theodore Sturgeon, an American science fiction author and critic. The adage was inspired by Sturgeon's observation that while science fiction was often derided for its low quality by critics, the majority of examples of works in other fields could equally be seen to be of low quality, and science fiction was thus no different in that regard from other art.
The Market for Lemons (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
"The Market for Lemons: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism" is a widely-cited 1970 paper by economist George Akerlof which examines how the quality of goods traded in a market can degrade in the presence of information asymmetry between buyers and sellers, leaving only "lemons" behind. In American slang, a lemon is a car that is found to be defective after it has been bought. Suppose buyers cannot distinguish between a high-quality car (a "peach") and a "lemon". Then they are only willing to pay a fixed price for a car that averages the value of a "peach" and "lemon" together (pavg). But sellers know whether they hold a peach or a lemon. Given the fixed price at which buyers will buy, sellers will sell only when they hold "lemons" (since plemon < pavg) and they will leave the market when they hold "peaches" (since ppeach > pavg). Eventually, as enough sellers of "peaches" leave the market, the average willingness-to-pay of buyers will decrease (since the average quality of cars on the market decreased), leading to even more sellers of high-quality cars to leave the market through a positive feedback loop. Thus the uninformed buyer's price creates an adverse selection problem that drives the high-quality cars from the market. Adverse selection is a market mechanism that can lead to a market collapse. Akerlof's paper shows how prices can determine the quality of goods traded on the market. Low prices drive away sellers of high-quality goods, leaving only lemons behind. In 2001, Akerlof, along with Michael Spence, and Joseph Stiglitz, jointly received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, for their research on issues related to asymmetric information.
United States v. Microsoft Corp (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
United States v. Microsoft Corporation, 253 F.3d 34 (D.C. Cir. 2001) is a noted American antitrust law case in which the U.S. government accused Microsoft of illegally maintaining its monopoly position in the personal computer (PC) market primarily through the legal and technical restrictions it put on the abilities of PC manufacturers (OEMs) and users to uninstall Internet Explorer and use other programs such as Netscape and Java. At trial, the district court ruled that Microsoft's actions constituted unlawful monopolization under Section 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed most of the district court's judgments. The plaintiffs alleged that Microsoft had abused monopoly power on Intel-based personal computers in its handling of operating system and web browser integration. The issue central to the case was whether Microsoft was allowed to bundle its flagship Internet Explorer (IE) web browser software with its Windows operating system. Bundling them is alleged to have been responsible for Microsoft's victory in the browser wars as every Windows user had a copy of IE. It was further alleged that this restricted the market for competing web browsers (such as Netscape Navigator or Opera), since it typically took a while to download or purchase such software at a store. Underlying these disputes were questions over whether Microsoft had manipulated its application programming interfaces to favor IE over third-party web browsers, Microsoft's conduct in forming restrictive licensing agreements with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and Microsoft's intent in its course of conduct. Microsoft argued that the merging of Windows and IE was the result of innovation and competition, that the two were now the same product and inextricably linked, and that consumers were receiving the benefits of IE free. Opponents countered that IE was still a separate product which did not need to be tied to Windows, since a separate version of IE was available for Mac OS. They also asserted that IE was not really free because its development and marketing costs may have inflated the price of Windows. The case was tried before Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The DOJ was initially represented by David Boies. Compared to the European decision against Microsoft, the DOJ case is focused less on interoperability and more on predatory strategies and market barriers to entry.
Sverdlovsk anthrax leak (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
On 2 April 1979, spores of Bacillus anthracis (the causative agent of anthrax) were accidentally released from a Soviet military research facility in the city of Sverdlovsk, Russia (now Yekaterinburg). The ensuing outbreak of the disease resulted in the deaths of at least 66 people, although the exact number of victims remains unknown. The cause of the outbreak was denied for years by the Soviet authorities, which blamed the deaths on consumption of tainted meat from the area, and subcutaneous exposure due to butchers handling the tainted meat. The accident was the first major indication in the West that the Soviet Union was embarked upon an offensive programme aimed at the development and large-scale production of biological weapons.
Contra proferentem (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Contra proferentem (Latin: "against [the] offeror"), also known as "interpretation against the draftsman", is a doctrine of contractual interpretation providing that, where a promise, agreement or term is ambiguous, the preferred meaning should be the one that works against the interests of the party who provided the wording.
Flamanville Nuclear Power Plant (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
The Flamanville Nuclear Power Plant is located at Flamanville, Manche, France on the Cotentin Peninsula. The power plant houses two pressurized water reactors (PWRs) that produce 1.3 GWe each and came into service in 1986 and 1987, respectively. It produced 18.9 TWh in 2005, which amounted to 4% of the electricity production in France. In 2006 this figure was about 3.3%. At the time, there were 671 workers regularly working at the plant. A third reactor at the site, an EPR unit, began construction in 2007 with its commercial introduction scheduled for 2012. As of 2020 the project is more than five times over budget and years behind schedule. Various safety problems have been raised, including weakness in the steel used in the reactor. In July 2019, further delays were announced, pushing back the commercial date to the end 2022.
Kessler syndrome (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
The Kessler syndrome (also called the Kessler effect, collisional cascading, or ablation cascade), proposed by NASA scientist Donald J. Kessler in 1978, is a scenario in which the density of objects in low Earth orbit (LEO) due to space pollution is high enough that collisions between objects could cause a cascade in which each collision generates space debris that increases the likelihood of further collisions. In 2009 Kessler wrote that modeling results had concluded that the debris environment was already unstable, "such that any attempt to achieve a growth-free small debris environment by eliminating sources of past debris will likely fail because fragments from future collisions will be generated faster than atmospheric drag will remove them". One implication is that the distribution of debris in orbit could render space activities and the use of satellites in specific orbital ranges difficult for many generations.
LiMux (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
LiMux was a project launched by the city of Munich in 2004 in order to migrate from Windows to a desktop infrastructure of its own, based on Linux. By 2012, the city had already migrated 12 600 of the total of 15 500 desktops, until in November 2017, the Munich City Council (Stadtrat) resolved to reverse the migration and return to Microsoft Windows-based software by 2020. In May 2020, it was reported that the newly elected politicians in Munich, while not going back to the original plan of migrating to LiMux wholesale, will prefer Free Software for future endeavours.The project initially used OpenOffice.org, but announced on 15 October 2012 that it will switch to LibreOffice. The city reported that due to the project, it had gained freedom in software decisions, increased security and saved €11.7 million (US$16 million).LiMux was the first Linux desktop distribution certified for industry use (ISO 9241) by the Technical Inspection Association (German: Technischer Überwachungsverein). It was first based on Debian, but later changed to the most popular Debian derivative, Ubuntu. LiMux Client version 5.0 was released in November 2014, based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS with KDE SC 4.12 as the desktop. The default office suite was LibreOffice 4.1. Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird were included in their Extended Support Release version.
Harrison Bergeron (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
"Harrison Bergeron" is a dystopian science-fiction short story by American writer Kurt Vonnegut, first published in October 1961. Originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, the story was republished in the author's Welcome to the Monkey House collection in 1968.
High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation is a 2010 United States Department of Justice (DOJ) antitrust action and a 2013 civil class action against several Silicon Valley companies for alleged "no cold call" agreements which restrained the recruitment of high-tech employees. The defendants are Adobe, Apple Inc., Google, Intel, Intuit, Pixar, Lucasfilm and eBay, all high-technology companies with a principal place of business in the San Francisco–Silicon Valley area of California. The civil class action was filed by five plaintiffs, one of whom has died; it accused the tech companies of collusion between 2005 and 2009 to refrain from recruiting each other's employees.
Rent-seeking (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Rent-seeking is the effort to increase one's share of existing wealth without creating new wealth. Rent-seeking results in reduced economic efficiency through misallocation of resources, reduced wealth-creation, lost government revenue, heightened income inequality, and potential national decline. Attempts at capture of regulatory agencies to gain a coercive monopoly can result in advantages for rent-seekers in a market while imposing disadvantages on their uncorrupt competitors. This is one of many possible forms of rent-seeking behavior.
Lindy effect (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
The Lindy effect (also known as Lindy's Law) is a theorized phenomenon by which the future life expectancy of some non-perishable things, like a technology or an idea, is proportional to their current age. Thus, the Lindy effect proposes the longer a period something has survived to exist or be used in the present, it is also likely to have a longer remaining life expectancy. Longevity implies a resistance to change, obsolescence or competition and greater odds of continued existence into the future. Where the Lindy effect applies, mortality rate decreases with time. Mathematically, the Lindy effect corresponds to lifetimes following a Pareto probability distribution. The concept is named after Lindy's delicatessen in New York City, where the concept was informally theorized by comedians. The Lindy effect has subsequently been theorized by mathematicians and statisticians. Nassim Nicholas Taleb has expressed the Lindy effect in terms of "distance from an Absorbing barrier."The Lindy effect applies to "non-perishable" items, those that do not have an "unavoidable expiration date". For example, human beings are perishable: most humans live for about 80 years. So the Lindy effect does not apply to individual human lifespan: it is unlikely for a 5-year-old human to die within the next 5 years, but it is very likely for a 70-year-old human to die within the next 70 years, while the Lindy effect would predict these to have equal probability.
Wikimedia Foundation (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. (WMF, or simply Wikimedia) is an American foundation headquartered in San Francisco, California. It owns and operates the Wikimedia projects.It was established in 2003 by Jimmy Wales as a way to fund Wikipedia and its sibling projects through non-profit means. As of 2021, it employs over 550 staff and contractors, with annual revenues in excess of US$150 million.
Integral fast reactor (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
The integral fast reactor (IFR, originally advanced liquid-metal reactor) is a design for a nuclear reactor using fast neutrons and no neutron moderator (a "fast" reactor). IFR would breed more fuel and is distinguished by a nuclear fuel cycle that uses reprocessing via electrorefining at the reactor site. IFR development began in 1984 and the U.S. Department of Energy built a prototype, the Experimental Breeder Reactor II. On April 3, 1986, two tests demonstrated the inherent safety of the IFR concept. These tests simulated accidents involving loss of coolant flow. Even with its normal shutdown devices disabled, the reactor shut itself down safely without overheating anywhere in the system. The IFR project was canceled by the US Congress in 1994, three years before completion.The proposed Generation IV Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactor is its closest surviving fast breeder reactor design. Other countries have also designed and operated fast reactors. S-PRISM (from SuperPRISM), also called PRISM (Power Reactor Innovative Small Module), is the name of a nuclear power plant design by GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) based on the Integral Fast Reactor.
1889–1890 pandemic (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
The 1889–1890 pandemic, often referred to as the "Asiatic flu" or "Russian flu", killed about 1 million people out of a world population of about 1.5 billion. It was the last great pandemic of the 19th century, and is among the deadliest pandemics in history. The most reported effects of the pandemic took place from October 1889 to December 1890, with recurrences in March to June 1891, November 1891 to June 1892, the northern winter of 1893–1894, and early 1895. Although contemporaries described the pandemic as influenza and twentieth-century scholars identified several influenza strains as the possible pathogen, more recent research suggests that it was caused by human coronavirus OC43.
Jevons paradox (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
In economics, the Jevons paradox (; sometimes Jevons' effect) occurs when technological progress or government policy increases the efficiency with which a resource is used (reducing the amount necessary for any one use), but the rate of consumption of that resource rises due to increasing demand. The Jevons paradox is perhaps the most widely known paradox in environmental economics. However, governments and environmentalists generally assume that efficiency gains will lower resource consumption, ignoring the possibility of the paradox arising.In 1865, the English economist William Stanley Jevons observed that technological improvements that increased the efficiency of coal-use led to the increased consumption of coal in a wide range of industries. He argued that, contrary to common intuition, technological progress could not be relied upon to reduce fuel consumption.The issue has been re-examined by modern economists studying consumption rebound effects from improved energy efficiency. In addition to reducing the amount needed for a given use, improved efficiency also lowers the relative cost of using a resource, which increases the quantity demanded. This counteracts (to some extent) the reduction in use from improved efficiency. Additionally, improved efficiency increases real incomes and accelerates economic growth, further increasing the demand for resources. The Jevons paradox occurs when the effect from increased demand predominates, and improved efficiency increases the speed at which resources are used.Considerable debate exists about the size of the rebound in energy efficiency and the relevance of the Jevons paradox to energy conservation. Some dismiss the paradox, while others worry that it may be self-defeating to pursue sustainability by increasing energy efficiency. Some environmental economists have proposed that efficiency gains be coupled with conservation policies that keep the cost of use the same (or higher) to avoid the Jevons paradox. Conservation policies that increase cost of use (such as cap and trade or green taxes) can be used to control the rebound effect.
Ignaz Semmelweis (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis (German: [ˈɪɡnaːts ˈzɛml̩vaɪs]; Hungarian: Semmelweis Ignác Fülöp [ˈsɛmmɛlvɛjs ˈiɡnaːts ˈfyløp]; 1 July 1818–13 August 1865) was an ethnic German-Hungarian physician and scientist born in the Kingdom of Hungary, Austrian Empire, now known as an early pioneer of antiseptic procedures. Described as the "saviour of mothers", Semmelweis discovered that the incidence of puerperal fever (also known as "childbed fever") could be drastically cut by the use of hand disinfection in obstetrical clinics. Puerperal fever was common in mid-19th-century hospitals and often fatal. Semmelweis proposed the practice of washing hands with chlorinated lime solutions in 1847 while working in Vienna General Hospital's First Obstetrical Clinic, where doctors' wards had three times the mortality of midwives' wards. He published a book of his findings in Etiology, Concept and Prophylaxis of Childbed Fever. Despite various publications of results where hand washing reduced mortality to below 1%, Semmelweis's observations conflicted with the established scientific and medical opinions of the time and his ideas were rejected by the medical community. He could offer no acceptable scientific explanation for his findings, and some doctors were offended at the suggestion that they should wash their hands and mocked him for it. In 1865, the increasingly outspoken Semmelweis supposedly suffered a nervous breakdown and was committed to an asylum by his colleagues. In the asylum he was beaten by the guards. He died 14 days later from a gangrenous wound on his right hand that may have been caused by the beating. Semmelweis's practice earned widespread acceptance only years after his death, when Louis Pasteur confirmed the germ theory, and Joseph Lister, acting on the French microbiologist's research, practised and operated using hygienic methods, with great success.
High-voltage direct current (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
A high-voltage, direct current (HVDC) electric power transmission system (also called a power superhighway or an electrical superhighway) uses direct current (DC) for the transmission of electrical power, in contrast with the more common alternating current (AC) systems.Most HVDC links use voltages between 100 kV and 800 kV. However, a 1,100 kV link in China was completed in 2019 over a distance of 3,300 km (2,100 mi) with a power capacity of 12 GW. With this dimension, intercontinental connections become possible which could help to deal with the fluctuations of wind power and photovoltaics.HVDC allows power transmission between AC transmission systems that are not synchronized. Since the power flow through an HVDC link can be controlled independently of the phase angle between source and load, it can stabilize a network against disturbances due to rapid changes in power. HVDC also allows transfer of power between grid systems running at different frequencies, such as 50 Hz and 60 Hz. This improves the stability and economy of each grid, by allowing exchange of power between incompatible networks. The modern form of HVDC transmission uses technology developed extensively in the 1930s in Sweden (ASEA) and in Germany. Early commercial installations included one in the Soviet Union in 1951 between Moscow and Kashira, and a 100 kV, 20 MW system between Gotland and mainland Sweden in 1954. Before the Chinese project of 2019, the longest HVDC link in the world was the Rio Madeira link in Brazil, which consists of two bipoles of ±600 kV, 3150 MW each, connecting Porto Velho in the state of Rondônia to the São Paulo area with a length of more than 2,500 km (1,600 mi).
Marek's disease (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Marek's disease is a highly contagious viral neoplastic disease in chickens. It is named after József Marek, a Hungarian veterinarian who described it in 1907. Marek's disease is caused by an alphaherpesvirus known as "Marek's disease virus" (MDV) or Gallid alphaherpesvirus 2 (GaHV-2). The disease is characterized by the presence of T cell lymphoma as well as infiltration of nerves and organs by lymphocytes. Viruses related to MDV appear to be benign and can be used as vaccine strains to prevent Marek's disease. For example, the related herpesvirus found in turkeys (HVT), causes no apparent disease in the birds, and continues to be used as a vaccine strain for prevention of Marek's disease. Birds infected with GaHV-2 can be carriers and shedders of the virus for life. Newborn chicks are protected by maternal antibodies for a few weeks. After infection, microscopic lesions are present after one to two weeks, and gross lesions are present after three to four weeks. The virus is spread in dander from feather follicles and transmitted by inhalation.
Haenyeo (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Haenyeo (also spelled haenyo) (Hangul: 해녀; lit. "sea women") are female divers in the Korean province of Jeju. whose livelihood consists of harvesting a variety of mollusks, seaweed, and other sea life from the ocean. Known for their independent spirit, iron will and determination, haenyeo are representative of the semi-matriarchal family structure of Jeju.: 1
List of common Chinese surnames (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
These are lists of the most common Chinese surnames in mainland China (People's Republic of China), Taiwan (Republic of China), and the Chinese diaspora overseas as provided by authoritative government or academic sources. Chinese names also form the basis for many common Cambodian, Vietnamese, Korean, and Japanese surnames and to an extent, Filipino surnames in both translation and transliteration into those languages. The conception of China as consisting of the "old 100 families" (Chinese: 老百姓; pinyin: Lǎo Bǎi Xìng; lit. 'Old Hundred Surnames') is an ancient and traditional one, the most notable tally being the Song-era Hundred Family Surnames (Chinese: 百家姓; pinyin: Bǎi Jiā Xìng). Even today, the number of surnames in China is a little over 4,000, while the year 2000 US census found there are more than 6.2 million surnames altogether and that there were 150,000 American surnames held by at least 100 people.The Chinese expression "Three Zhang Four Li" (simplified Chinese: 张三李四; traditional Chinese: 張三李四; pinyin: Zhāng Sān Lǐ Sì) is used to mean "anyone" or "everyone", but the most common surnames are currently Wang in mainland China and Chen in Taiwan. A commonly cited factoid from the 1990 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records estimated that Zhang was the most common surname in the world, but no comprehensive information from China was available at the time and more recent editions have not repeated the claim. However, Zhang Wei (张伟) is the most common full name in mainland China.The top five surnames in China – Wang, Li, Zhang, Liu, Chen – are also the top five surnames in the world, each with over 70-100 million worldwide.
Polio vaccine (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Polio vaccines are vaccines used to prevent poliomyelitis (polio). Two types are used: an inactivated poliovirus given by injection (IPV) and a weakened poliovirus given by mouth (OPV). The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends all children be fully vaccinated against polio. The two vaccines have eliminated polio from most of the world, and reduced the number of cases reported each year from an estimated 350,000 in 1988 to 33 in 2018.The inactivated polio vaccines are very safe. Mild redness or pain may occur at the site of injection. Oral polio vaccines cause about three cases of vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis per million doses given. This compares with 5,000 cases per million who are paralysed following a polio infection. Both types of vaccine are generally safe to give during pregnancy and in those who have HIV/AIDS but are otherwise well. However, the emergence of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV), a form of the vaccine virus that has reverted to causing poliomyelitis, has led to the development of novel oral polio vaccine type 2 (nOPV2) which aims to make the vaccine safer and thus stop further outbreaks of cVDPV2.The first successful demonstration of a polio vaccine was by Hilary Koprowski in 1950, with a live attenuated virus which people drank. The vaccine was not approved for use in the United States, but was used successfully elsewhere. The success of an inactivated (killed) polio vaccine, developed by Jonas Salk, was announced in 1955. Another attenuated live oral polio vaccine was developed by Albert Sabin and came into commercial use in 1961.Polio vaccine is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines.
Office of Personnel Management data breach (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
In June 2015, the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced that it had been the target of a data breach targeting personnel records. Approximately 22.1 million records were affected, including records related to government employees, other people who had undergone background checks, and their friends and family. One of the largest breaches of government data in U.S. history, information that was obtained and exfiltrated in the breach included personally identifiable information such as Social Security numbers, as well as names, dates and places of birth, and addresses. State-sponsored hackers working on behalf of the Chinese government carried out the attack.The data breach consisted of two separate, but linked, attacks. It is unclear when the first attack occurred but the second attack happened on May 7, 2014, when attackers posed as an employee of KeyPoint Government Solutions, a subcontracting company. The first attack was discovered March 20, 2014, but the second attack was not discovered until April 15, 2015. In the aftermath of the event, Katherine Archuleta, the director of OPM, and the CIO, Donna Seymour, resigned.
Onkalo spent nuclear fuel repository (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
The Onkalo spent nuclear fuel repository is a deep geological repository for the final disposal of spent nuclear fuel. It is near the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant in the municipality of Eurajoki, on the west coast of Finland. It has been constructed by Posiva, and is based on the KBS-3 method of nuclear waste burial developed in Sweden by Svensk Kärnbränslehantering AB (SKB). The facility is expected to be operational in 2023.
Original antigenic sin (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Original antigenic sin, also known as antigenic imprinting or the Hoskins effect, refers to the propensity of the body's immune system to preferentially utilize immunological memory based on a previous infection when a second slightly different version of that foreign pathogen (e.g. a virus or bacterium) is encountered. This leaves the immune system "trapped" by the first response it has made to each antigen, and unable to mount potentially more effective responses during subsequent infections. Antibodies or T-cells induced during infections with the first variant of the pathogen are subject to a form of original antigenic sin, termed repertoire freeze. The phenomenon of original antigenic sin has been described in relation to influenza virus, SARS-CoV-2, dengue fever, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and to several other viruses.This phenomenon was first described in 1960 by Thomas Francis Jr. in the article "On the Doctrine of Original Antigenic Sin". It is named by analogy to the theological concept of original sin. According to Francis as cited by Richard Krause: "The antibody of childhood is largely a response to dominant antigen of the virus causing the first type A influenza infection of the lifetime. [...] The imprint established by the original virus infection governs the antibody response thereafter. This we have called the Doctrine of the Original Antigenic Sin."
Poe's law (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Poe's law is an adage of Internet culture stating that, without a clear indicator of the author's intent, every parody of extreme views can be mistaken by some readers for a sincere expression of the views being parodied.
Grant Study (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
The Grant Study is part of the Study of Adult Development at Harvard Medical School. It is a 75-year longitudinal study that followed 268 Harvard educated men, the majority of whom were members of the undergraduate classes of 1942, 1943 and 1944. It has run in tandem with a study called "The Glueck Study," which included a second cohort of 456 disadvantaged non-delinquent inner-city youths who grew up in Boston neighborhoods between 1940 and 1945. The subjects were all male and of American nationality. The men continue to be studied to this day. The men were evaluated at least every two years by questionnaires, information from their physicians, and in many cases by personal interviews. Information was gathered about their mental and physical health, career enjoyment, retirement experience and marital quality. The goal of the study was to identify predictors of healthy aging. The study, its methodology and results are described in three books by a principal investigator in the study, George Vaillant. The first book describes the study up to a time when the men were 47 years of age, and the second book to when the inner-city men were 70 years old and the Harvard group were eighty. In 2012, Vaillant and Harvard University Press published Triumphs of Experience, sharing more findings from the Grant Study.The study is part of The Study of Adult Development, which is now under the direction of Dr. Robert J. Waldinger at Massachusetts General Hospital. The study included four members who ran for the U.S. Senate. One served in a presidential Cabinet, and one served as President John F. Kennedy.The study is unique partly because of the long time span of the cohort, and also partly because of the high social status of some of the study participants.
Replication crisis (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
The replication crisis (also called the replicability crisis and the reproducibility crisis) is an ongoing methodological crisis in which it has been found that the results of many scientific studies are difficult or impossible to reproduce. Because the reproducibility of empirical results is an essential part of the scientific method, such failures undermine the credibility of theories building on them and potentially of substantial parts of scientific knowledge. The replication crisis most severely affects the social and medical sciences, where considerable efforts have been undertaken to re-investigate classic results, to determine both their reliability and, if found unreliable, the reasons for the failure. Survey data strongly indicates that all natural sciences are affected as well.The phrase "replication crisis" was coined in the early 2010s as part of a growing awareness of the problem. Considerations around causes and remedies have given rise to a new scientific discipline called metascience, that uses methods of empirical research to examine empirical research practice. Since empirical research involves both obtaining and analyzing data, considerations about its reproducibility fall into two categories. The validation of the analysis and interpretation of the data obtained in a study runs under the term reproducibility in the narrow sense and is discussed in depth in the computational sciences. The task of repeating the experiment or observational study to obtain new, independent data with the goal of reaching the same or similar conclusions as an original study is called replication.
SARS-CoV-2 Epsilon variant (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Epsilon variant, also known as CAL.20C and referring to two PANGO lineages B.1.427 and B.1.429, is one of the variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It was first detected in California, USA in July 2020.As of July 2021, Epsilon is no longer considered as a variant of interest by the WHO.
Semantic Web (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
The Semantic Web (sometimes known as Web 3.0) is an extension of the World Wide Web through standards set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The goal of the Semantic Web is to make Internet data machine-readable. To enable the encoding of semantics with the data, technologies such as Resource Description Framework (RDF) and Web Ontology Language (OWL) are used. These technologies are used to formally represent metadata. For example, ontology can describe concepts, relationships between entities, and categories of things. These embedded semantics offer significant advantages such as reasoning over data and operating with heterogeneous data sources.These standards promote common data formats and exchange protocols on the Web, fundamentally the RDF. According to the W3C, "The Semantic Web provides a common framework that allows data to be shared and reused across application, enterprise, and community boundaries." The Semantic Web is therefore regarded as an integrator across different content and information applications and systems. The term was coined by Tim Berners-Lee for a web of data (or data web) that can be processed by machines—that is, one in which much of the meaning is machine-readable. While its critics have questioned its feasibility, proponents argue that applications in library and information science, industry, biology and human sciences research have already proven the validity of the original concept.Berners-Lee originally expressed his vision of the Semantic Web in 1999 as follows: I have a dream for the Web [in which computers] become capable of analyzing all the data on the Web – the content, links, and transactions between people and computers. A "Semantic Web", which makes this possible, has yet to emerge, but when it does, the day-to-day mechanisms of trade, bureaucracy and our daily lives will be handled by machines talking to machines. The "intelligent agents" people have touted for ages will finally materialize. The 2001 Scientific American article by Berners-Lee, Hendler, and Lassila described an expected evolution of the existing Web to a Semantic Web. In 2006, Berners-Lee and colleagues stated that: "This simple idea…remains largely unrealized". In 2013, more than four million Web domains (out of roughly 250 million total) contained Semantic Web markup.
Spanish flu (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Spanish flu, also known as the Great Influenza epidemic or the 1918 influenza pandemic, was an exceptionally deadly global influenza pandemic caused by the H1N1 influenza A virus. The earliest documented case was March 1918 in Kansas, United States, with further cases recorded in France, Germany and the United Kingdom in April. Two years later, nearly a third of the global population, or an estimated 500 million people, had been infected in four successive waves. Estimates of deaths range from 17 million to 50 million, and possibly as high as 100 million, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in human history. The name "Spanish flu" is a misnomer, rooted in historical othering of infectious disease origin, which is now avoided. The pandemic broke out near the end of World War I, when wartime censors suppressed bad news in the belligerent countries to maintain morale, but newspapers freely reported the outbreak in neutral Spain. These stories created a false impression of Spain as the epicenter, so press outside Spain adopted the name "Spanish" flu. Limited historical epidemiological data make the pandemic's geographic origin indeterminate, with competing hypotheses on the initial spread.Most influenza outbreaks disproportionately kill the young and old, with a higher survival rate in-between, but this pandemic had unusually high mortality for young adults. Scientists offer several explanations for the high mortality, including a six-year climate anomaly affecting migration of disease vectors with increased likelihood of spread through bodies of water. The virus was particularly deadly because it triggered a cytokine storm, ravaging the stronger immune system of young adults, although the viral infection was apparently no more aggressive than previous influenza strains. Malnourishment, overcrowded medical camps and hospitals, and poor hygiene, exacerbated by the war, promoted bacterial superinfection, killing most of the victims after a typically prolonged death bed.The 1918 Spanish flu was the first of three flu pandemics caused by H1N1 influenza A virus; the most recent one was the 2009 swine flu pandemic. The 1977 Russian flu was also caused by H1N1 virus, but it mostly affected younger populations. The ongoing pandemic of COVID-19, which began in December 2019 and is caused by SARS-CoV-2, is the deadliest respiratory virus pandemic since the Spanish flu.
Tendency of the rate of profit to fall (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
The tendency of the rate of profit to fall (TRPF) is a theory in the crisis theory of political economy, according to which the rate of profit—the ratio of the profit to the amount of invested capital—decreases over time. This hypothesis gained additional prominence from its discussion by Karl Marx in Chapter 13 of Capital, Volume III, but economists as diverse as Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, David Ricardo and Stanley Jevons referred explicitly to the TRPF as an empirical phenomenon that demanded further theoretical explanation, although they differed on the reasons why the TRPF should necessarily occur.Geoffrey Hodgson stated that the theory of the TRPF "has been regarded, by most Marxists, as the backbone of revolutionary Marxism. According to this view, its refutation or removal would lead to reformism in theory and practice". Stephen Cullenberg stated that the TRPF "remains one of the most important and highly debated issues of all of economics" because it raises "the fundamental question of whether, as capitalism grows, this very process of growth will undermine its conditions of existence and thereby engender periodic or secular crises."Marx regarded the TRPF as proof that capitalist production could not be an everlasting form of production since in the end the profit principle itself would suffer a breakdown.
The Treachery of Images (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
The Treachery of Images (French: La Trahison des images) is a 1929 painting by Belgian surrealist painter René Magritte. It is also known as This Is Not a Pipe and The Wind and the Song. Magritte painted it when he was 30 years old. It is on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.The painting shows an image of a pipe. Below it, Magritte painted, "Ceci n'est pas une pipe", French for "This is not a pipe". The famous pipe. How people reproached me for it! And yet, could you stuff my pipe? No, it's just a representation, is it not? So if I had written on my picture "This is a pipe", I'd have been lying! The theme of pipes with the text "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" is extended in Les Mots et Les Images, La Clé des Songes, Ceci n'est pas une pipe (L'air et la chanson), The Tune and Also the Words, Ceci n’est pas une pomme, and Les Deux Mystères.The painting is sometimes given as an example of meta message conveyed by paralanguage, like Alfred Korzybski's "The word is not the thing" and "The map is not the territory", as well as Denis Diderot's This is not a story. One interpretation is that the pipe in the painting is not a pipe, but rather a drawing of a pipe. On December 15, 1929, Paul Éluard and André Breton published an essay about poetry in La Révolution surréaliste (The Surrealist Revolution) as a reaction to the publication by poet Paul Valéry "Notes sur la poésie" in Les Nouvelles littéraires of September 28, 1929. When Valéry wrote "Poetry is a survival", Breton and Éluard made fun of it and wrote "Poetry is a pipe", as a reference to Magritte's painting.In the same edition of La Révolution surréaliste, Magritte published "Les mots et les images" (his founding text which illustrated where words play with images), his answer to the survey on love, and Je ne vois pas la [femme] cachée dans la forêt, a painting tableau surrounded by photos of sixteen surrealists with their eyes closed, including Magritte himself.
Tulip mania (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Tulip mania (Dutch: tulpenmanie) was a period during the Dutch Golden Age when contract prices for some bulbs of the recently introduced and fashionable tulip reached extraordinarily high levels, with the major acceleration starting in 1634 and then dramatically collapsing in February 1637. It is generally considered to have been the first recorded speculative bubble or asset bubble in history. In many ways, the tulip mania was more of a then-unknown socio-economic phenomenon than a significant economic crisis. It had no critical influence on the prosperity of the Dutch Republic, which was one of the world's leading economic and financial powers in the 17th century, with the highest per capita income in the world from about 1600 to about 1720. The term "tulip mania" is now often used metaphorically to refer to any large economic bubble when asset prices deviate from intrinsic values.In Europe, formal futures markets appeared in the Dutch Republic during the 17th century. Among the most notable centred on the tulip market, at the height of tulip mania. At the peak of tulip mania, in February 1637, some single tulip bulbs sold for more than 10 times the annual income of a skilled artisan. Research is difficult because of the limited economic data from the 1630s, much of which come from biased and speculative sources. Some modern economists have proposed rational explanations, rather than a speculative mania, for the rise and fall in prices. For example, other flowers, such as the hyacinth, also had high initial prices at the time of their introduction, which then fell as the plants were propagated. The high asset prices may also have been driven by expectations of a parliamentary decree that contracts could be voided for a small cost, thus lowering the risk to buyers. The 1637 event gained popular attention in 1841 with the publication of the book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, written by Scottish journalist Charles Mackay, who wrote that at one point 5 hectares (12 acres) of land were offered for a Semper Augustus bulb. Mackay claimed that many investors were ruined by the fall in prices, and Dutch commerce suffered a severe shock. Although Mackay's book is a classic, his account is contested. Many modern scholars believe that the mania was not as destructive as he described, but was limited to cliques of urban artisans.
HDMI (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) is a proprietary audio/video interface for transmitting uncompressed video data and compressed or uncompressed digital audio data from an HDMI-compliant source device, such as a display controller, to a compatible computer monitor, video projector, digital television, or digital audio device. HDMI is a digital replacement for analog video standards. HDMI implements the EIA/CEA-861 standards, which define video formats and waveforms, transport of compressed and uncompressed LPCM audio, auxiliary data, and implementations of the VESA EDID.: p. III CEA-861 signals carried by HDMI are electrically compatible with the CEA-861 signals used by the Digital Visual Interface (DVI). No signal conversion is necessary, nor is there a loss of video quality when a DVI-to-HDMI adapter is used.: §C The Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) capability allows HDMI devices to control each other when necessary and allows the user to operate multiple devices with one handheld remote control device.: §6.3 Several versions of HDMI have been developed and deployed since the initial release of the technology, but all use the same cable and connector. Other than improved audio and video capacity, performance, resolution and color spaces, newer versions have optional advanced features such as 3D, Ethernet data connection, and CEC extensions. Production of consumer HDMI products started in late 2003. In Europe, either DVI-HDCP or HDMI is included in the HD ready in-store labeling specification for TV sets for HDTV, formulated by EICTA with SES Astra in 2005. HDMI began to appear on consumer HDTVs in 2004 and camcorders and digital still cameras in 2006. As of January 2021, nearly 10 billion HDMI devices have been sold.
Z-order curve (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
In mathematical analysis and computer science, functions which are Z-order, Lebesgue curve, Morton space filling curve, Morton order or Morton code map multidimensional data to one dimension while preserving locality of the data points. It is named in France after Henri Lebesgue studied in 1904, and named in US after Guy Macdonald Morton, who first applied the order to file sequencing in 1966. The z-value of a point in multidimensions is simply calculated by interleaving the binary representations of its coordinate values. Once the data are sorted into this ordering, any one-dimensional data structure can be used such as binary search trees, B-trees, skip lists or (with low significant bits truncated) hash tables. The resulting ordering can equivalently be described as the order one would get from a depth-first traversal of a quadtree or octree.
Goodhart's law (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Goodhart's law is an adage often stated as "When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure". It is named after British economist Charles Goodhart, who advanced the idea in a 1975 article on monetary policy in the United Kingdom: Any observed statistical regularity will tend to collapse once pressure is placed upon it for control purposes. It was later used to criticize the British Thatcher government for trying to conduct monetary policy on the basis of targets for broad and narrow money.
Frequency illusion (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Frequency illusion, also known as the Baader–Meinhof phenomenon or frequency bias, is a cognitive bias in which, after noticing something for the first time, there is a tendency to notice it more often, leading someone to believe that it has a high frequency of occurrence. It occurs when increased awareness of something creates the illusion that it is appearing more often. Put plainly, the frequency illusion is when "a concept or thing you just found out about suddenly seems to crop up everywhere."
BeOS (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
BeOS is an operating system for personal computers first developed by Be Inc. in 1990. It was first written to run on BeBox hardware. BeOS was positioned as a multimedia platform that could be used by a substantial population of desktop users and a competitor to Classic Mac OS and Microsoft Windows. It was ultimately unable to achieve a significant market share, and did not prove commercially viable for Be Inc. The company was acquired by Palm Inc. and today BeOS is mainly used and developed by a small population of enthusiasts. The open-source operating system Haiku, a complete reimplementation of BeOS, is an open-source continuation of BeOS concepts. Beta 1 of Haiku was released in September 2018, six years after Alpha 4. Beta 2 of Haiku was released in June 2020, while Beta 3 was released about a year later in July 2021.
Executive Order 6102 (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Executive Order 6102 is an executive order signed on April 5, 1933, by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt "forbidding the hoarding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the continental United States." The executive order was made under the authority of the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917, as amended by the Emergency Banking Act in March 1933. The limitation on gold ownership in the United States was repealed after President Gerald Ford signed a bill legalizing private ownership of gold coins, bars, and certificates by an Act of Congress, codified in Pub.L. 93–373, which went into effect December 31, 1974.
DjVu (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
DjVu ( DAY-zhah-VOO, like French "déjà vu") is a computer file format designed primarily to store scanned documents, especially those containing a combination of text, line drawings, indexed color images, and photographs. It uses technologies such as image layer separation of text and background/images, progressive loading, arithmetic coding, and lossy compression for bitonal (monochrome) images. This allows high-quality, readable images to be stored in a minimum of space, so that they can be made available on the web. DjVu has been promoted as providing smaller files than PDF for most scanned documents. The DjVu developers report that color magazine pages compress to 40–70 kB, black-and-white technical papers compress to 15–40 kB, and ancient manuscripts compress to around 100 kB; a satisfactory JPEG image typically requires 500 kB. Like PDF, DjVu can contain an OCR text layer, making it easy to perform copy and paste and text search operations. Free creators, manipulators, converters, Web browser plug-ins, and desktop viewers are available. DjVu is supported by a number of multi-format document viewers and e-book reader software on Linux (Okular, Evince), Windows (Okular, SumatraPDF), and Android (FBReader, EBookDroid, PocketBook).
Embrace, extend, and extinguish (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
"Embrace, extend, and extinguish" (EEE), also known as "embrace, extend, and exterminate", is a phrase that the U.S. Department of Justice found that was used internally by Microsoft to describe its strategy for entering product categories involving widely used standards, extending those standards with proprietary capabilities, and then using those differences in order to strongly disadvantage its competitors.
Georgism (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Georgism, also called in modern times geoism and known historically as the single tax movement, is an economic ideology holding that, although people should own the value they produce themselves, the economic rent derived from land – including from all natural resources, the commons, and urban locations – should belong equally to all members of society. Developed from the writings of American economist and social reformer Henry George, the Georgist paradigm seeks solutions to social and ecological problems, based on principles of land rights and public finance which attempt to integrate economic efficiency with social justice.Georgism is concerned with the distribution of economic rent caused by land ownership, natural monopolies, pollution and the control of commons, including title of ownership for natural resources and other contrived privileges (e.g. intellectual property). Any natural resource which is inherently limited in supply can generate economic rent, but the classical and most significant example of land monopoly involves the extraction of common ground rent from valuable urban locations. Georgists argue that taxing economic rent is efficient, fair and equitable. The main Georgist policy recommendation is a tax assessed on land value, arguing that revenues from a land value tax (LVT) can be used to reduce or eliminate existing taxes (such as on income, trade, or purchases) that are unfair and inefficient. Some Georgists also advocate for the return of surplus public revenue to the people by means of a basic income or citizen's dividend. The concept of gaining public revenues mainly from land and natural resource privileges was widely popularized by Henry George through his first book, Progress and Poverty (1879). The philosophical basis of Georgism dates back to several early thinkers such as John Locke, Baruch Spinoza and Thomas Paine. Economists since Adam Smith and David Ricardo have observed that a public levy on land value does not cause economic inefficiency, unlike other taxes. A land value tax also has progressive tax effects. Advocates of land value taxes argue that they would reduce economic inequality, increase economic efficiency, remove incentives to underutilize urban land and reduce property speculation.Georgist ideas were popular and influential during the late 19th and early 20th century. Political parties, institutions and communities were founded based on Georgist principles during that time. Early devotees of Henry George's economic philosophy were often termed Single Taxers for their political goal of raising public revenue mainly or only from a land value tax, although Georgists endorsed multiple forms of rent capture (e.g. seigniorage) as legitimate. The term Georgism was invented later, and some prefer the term geoism as more generic.
General relativity priority dispute (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Albert Einstein presented the theories of special relativity and general relativity in publications that either contained no formal references to previous literature, or referred only to a small number of his predecessors for fundamental results on which he based his theories, most notably to the work of Henri Poincaré and Hendrik Lorentz for special relativity, and to the work of David Hilbert, Carl F. Gauss, Bernhard Riemann, and Ernst Mach for general relativity. Subsequently, claims have been put forward about both theories, asserting that they were formulated, either wholly or in part, by others before Einstein. At issue is the extent to which Einstein and various other individuals should be credited for the formulation of these theories, based on priority considerations. In general relativity, there is a controversy about the amount of credit that should go to Einstein, Marcel Grossmann, and David Hilbert. Many others (such as Gauss, Riemann, William Kingdon Clifford, Ricci, Gunnar Nordström and Levi-Civita) contributed to the development of the mathematical tools and geometrical ideas underlying the theory of gravity. Also polemics exist about alleged contributions of others such as Paul Gerber. It was noted by Sir Edmund Whittaker in his 1954 book that David Hilbert had derived the theory of General Relativity from an elegant variational principle almost simultaneously with Einstein's discovery of the theory. Hilbert's derivation of the theory predated that of Einstein by five days.
Scrum (software development) (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Within project management, scrum is a framework for developing, delivering, and sustaining products in a complex environment, with an initial emphasis on software development, although it has been used in other fields including research, sales, marketing and advanced technologies. It is designed for teams of ten or fewer members, who break their work into goals that can be completed within time-boxed iterations, called sprints, no longer than one month and most commonly two weeks. The scrum team assess progress in time-boxed daily meetings of 15 minutes or less, called daily scrums (a form of stand-up meeting). At the end of the sprint, the team holds two further meetings: the sprint review which demonstrates the work done to stakeholders to elicit feedback, and sprint retrospective which enables the team to reflect and improve.
Byzantine fault (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
A Byzantine fault (also Byzantine generals problem, interactive consistency, source congruency, error avalanche, Byzantine agreement problem, and Byzantine failure) is a condition of a computer system, particularly distributed computing systems, where components may fail and there is imperfect information on whether a component has failed. The term takes its name from an allegory, the "Byzantine Generals Problem", developed to describe a situation in which, in order to avoid catastrophic failure of the system, the system's actors must agree on a concerted strategy, but some of these actors are unreliable. In a Byzantine fault, a component such as a server can inconsistently appear both failed and functioning to failure-detection systems, presenting different symptoms to different observers. It is difficult for the other components to declare it failed and shut it out of the network, because they need to first reach a consensus regarding which component has failed in the first place. Byzantine fault tolerance (BFT) is the dependability of a fault-tolerant computer system to such conditions. It has applications especially in cryptocurrency.
The DAO (organization) (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
The DAO (stylized Đ) was a digital decentralized autonomous organization, and a form of investor-directed venture capital fund. It launched in April 2016 after a crowdfunding campaign via a token sale and it became one of the largest crowdfunding campaigns in history.The DAO had an objective to provide a new decentralized business model for organizing both commercial and non-profit enterprises. It was instantiated on the Ethereum blockchain, and had no conventional management structure or board of directors. The code of the DAO is open-source.In June 2016, users exploited a vulnerability in The DAO code to enable them to siphon off one-third of The DAO's funds to a subsidiary account. The Ethereum community controversially decided to hard-fork the Ethereum blockchain to restore virtually all funds to the original contract. This split the Ethereum blockchain into two branches, each with its own cryptocurrency, where the original unforked blockchain continued as Ethereum Classic.By September 2016, the value token of The DAO, known by the moniker DAO, was delisted from major cryptocurrency exchanges (such as Poloniex and Kraken) and had, in effect, become defunct.
Burning glass (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
A burning glass or burning lens is a large convex lens that can concentrate the sun's rays onto a small area, heating up the area and thus resulting in ignition of the exposed surface. Burning mirrors achieve a similar effect by using reflecting surfaces to focus the light. They were used in 18th-century chemical studies for burning materials in closed glass vessels where the products of combustion could be trapped for analysis. The burning glass was a useful contrivance in the days before electrical ignition was easily achieved.
Rice's theorem (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
In computability theory, Rice's theorem states that all non-trivial semantic properties of programs are undecidable. A semantic property is one about the program's behavior (for instance, does the program terminate for all inputs), unlike a syntactic property (for instance, does the program contain an if-then-else statement). A property is non-trivial if it is neither true for every partial computable function, nor false for every partial computable function. Rice's theorem can also be put in terms of functions: for any non-trivial property of partial functions, no general and effective method can decide whether an algorithm computes a partial function with that property. Here, a property of partial functions is called trivial if it holds for all partial computable functions or for none, and an effective decision method is called general if it decides correctly for every algorithm. The theorem is named after Henry Gordon Rice, who proved it in his doctoral dissertation of 1951 at Syracuse University.
Temperature anomaly (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
A temperature anomaly is the departure from the average temperature, positive or negative, over a certain period (day, week, month or year). In standard usage, the normal average temperature would be calculated over a period of at least 30 years over an homogeneous geographic region. For example, if the reference value is 15 °C, and the measured temperature is 17 °C, then the temperature anomaly is +2 °C (i.e., 17 °C −15 °C). Temperatures are obtained from surface and offshore weather stations, or inferred from meteorological satellite data. Anomalies can be calculated for surface and upper-air atmospheric temperatures or sea surface temperatures.
Tatra 87 (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
The Tatra 87 (T87) was a car built by Czechoslovak manufacturer Tatra. It was powered by a rear-mounted 2.9-litre air-cooled 90-degree overhead cam V8 engine that produced 85 horsepower and could drive the car at nearly 100 mph (160 km/h). It is ranked among the fastest production cars of its time. Competing cars in this class, however, used engines with almost twice the displacement, and with fuel consumption of 20 liters per 100 km (11.8 mpg). Thanks to its aerodynamic shape, the Tatra 87 had a consumption of just 12.5 litres per 100 km (18.8 mpg). After the war between 1950 and 1953, T87s were fitted with more-modern 2.5-litre V8 T603 engines.The 87 was used by Hanzelka and Zikmund for their travel through Africa and Latin America from 1947 to 1950.
Super-Kamiokande (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Super-Kamiokande (abbreviation of Super-Kamioka Neutrino Detection Experiment, also abbreviated to Super-K or SK; Japanese: スーパーカミオカンデ) is a neutrino observatory located under Mount Ikeno near the city of Hida, Gifu Prefecture, Japan. It is located 1,000 m (3,300 ft) underground in the Mozumi Mine in Hida's Kamioka area. The observatory was designed to detect high-energy neutrinos, to search for proton decay, study solar and atmospheric neutrinos, and keep watch for supernovae in the Milky Way Galaxy. It consists of a cylindrical stainless steel tank about 40 m (131 ft) in height and diameter holding 50,000 metric tons (55,000 US tons) of ultrapure water. Mounted on an inside superstructure are about 13,000 photomultiplier tubes that detect light from Cherenkov radiation. A neutrino interaction with the electrons or nuclei of water can produce an electron or positron that moves faster than the speed of light in water, which is slower than the speed of light in a vacuum. This creates a cone of Cherenkov radiation light, the optical equivalent to a sonic boom. The Cherenkov light is recorded by the photomultiplier tubes. Using the information recorded by each tube, the direction and flavor of the incoming neutrino is determined.
Carbon fee and dividend (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
A carbon fee and dividend or climate income is a system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address global warming. The system imposes a carbon tax on the sale of fossil fuels, and then distributes the revenue of this tax over the entire population (equally, on a per-person basis) as a monthly income or regular payment. Since the adoption of the system in Canada and Switzerland, it has gained increased interest worldwide as a cross-sector and socially just approach to reducing emissions and tackling climate change.Designed to maintain or improve economic vitality while speeding the transition to a sustainable energy economy, carbon fee and dividend has been proposed as an alternative to emission reduction mechanisms such as complex regulatory approaches, cap and trade or a straightforward carbon tax. While there is general agreement among scientists and economists on the need for a carbon tax, economists are generally neutral on specific uses for the revenue, though there tends to be more support than opposition for returning the revenue as a dividend to taxpayers.
Categorical imperative (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
The categorical imperative (German: kategorischer Imperativ) is the central philosophical concept in the deontological moral philosophy of Immanuel Kant. Introduced in Kant's 1785 Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals, it is a way of evaluating motivations for action. It is best known in its original formulation: "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law."According to Kant, sentient beings occupy a special place in creation, and morality can be summed up in an imperative, or ultimate commandment of reason, from which all duties and obligations derive. He defines an imperative as any proposition declaring a certain action (or inaction) to be necessary. Hypothetical imperatives apply to someone who wishes to attain certain ends. For example, "I must drink something to quench my thirst" or "I must study to pass this exam." A categorical imperative, on the other hand, denotes an absolute, unconditional requirement that must be obeyed in all circumstances and is justified as an end in itself. Kant expressed extreme dissatisfaction with the popular moral philosophy of his day, believing that it could never surpass the level of hypothetical imperatives: a utilitarian says that murder is wrong because it does not maximize good for those involved, but this is irrelevant to people who are concerned only with maximizing the positive outcome for themselves. Consequently, Kant argued, hypothetical moral systems cannot persuade moral action or be regarded as bases for moral judgments against others, because the imperatives on which they are based rely too heavily on subjective considerations. He presented a deontological moral system, based on the demands of the categorical imperative, as an alternative.
The Thing (listening device) (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
The Thing, also known as the Great Seal bug, was one of the first covert listening devices (or "bugs") to use passive techniques to transmit an audio signal. It was concealed inside a gift given by the Soviet Union to W. Averell Harriman, the United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union, on August 4, 1945. Because it was passive, needing electromagnetic energy from an outside source to become energized and active, it is considered a predecessor of radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology.
Single room occupancy (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Single room occupancy (more commonly abbreviated to SRO) is a form of housing that is typically aimed at residents with low or minimal incomes who rent small, furnished single rooms with a bed, chair, and sometimes a small desk. SRO units are rented out as permanent residence and/or primary residence to individuals, within a multi-tenant building where tenants share a kitchen, toilets or bathrooms. SRO units range from 7 to 13 square metres (80 to 140 sq ft). In some instances, contemporary units may have a small refrigerator, microwave, or sink.SROs are a form of affordable housing, in some cases for formerly or otherwise homeless individuals. SRO units are the least expensive form of non-subsidized rental housing, with median rents even in New York City ranging from $450 to $705 per month. The term is primarily used in Canada and US. Since the 1970s and 1980s, there has been an increasing displacement of SRO units aimed at low-income earners due to gentrification, with SRO facilities being sold and turned into condominiums. Between 1955 and 2013, almost one million SRO units were eliminated in the US due to regulation, conversion or demolition.The term SRO refers to the fact that the tenant rents a single room, as opposed to a full flat (apartment). While roommates informally sharing an apartment may also have a bedroom and share a bathroom and kitchen, an SRO tenant leases the SRO unit individually. SRO units may be provided in a rooming house, apartment building, or in illegal conversions of private homes into many small SRO rooms. There is a variety of levels of quality, ranging from a "cubicle with a wire mesh ceiling", at the lowest end, to small hotel rooms or small studio apartments without bathrooms, at the higher end. They may also be referred to as "SRO hotels", which acknowledges that many of the buildings are old hotels that are in a poor state of repair and maintenance. The acronym SRO has also been stated to mean "single resident only". The terms "residential hotel" or "efficiency unit" are also used to refer to some SROs.
Ship of Theseus (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
In the metaphysics of identity, the Ship of Theseus is a thought experiment that raises the question of whether an object that has had all of its components replaced remains fundamentally the same object. The concept is one of the oldest in Western philosophy, having been discussed by Heraclitus and Plato by c. 500–400 BC.
Clean room design (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Clean-room design (also known as the Chinese wall technique) is the method of copying a design by reverse engineering and then recreating it without infringing any of the copyrights associated with the original design. Clean-room design is useful as a defense against copyright infringement because it relies on independent creation. However, because independent invention is not a defense against patents, clean-room designs typically cannot be used to circumvent patent restrictions. The term implies that the design team works in an environment that is "clean" or demonstrably uncontaminated by any knowledge of the proprietary techniques used by the competitor. Typically, a clean-room design is done by having someone examine the system to be reimplemented and having this person write a specification. This specification is then reviewed by a lawyer to ensure that no copyrighted material is included. The specification is then implemented by a team with no connection to the original examiners.
Bullwhip effect (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
The bullwhip effect is a distribution channel phenomenon in which demand forecasts yield supply chain inefficiencies. It refers to increasing swings in inventory in response to shifts in consumer demand as one moves further up the supply chain. The concept first appeared in Jay Forrester's Industrial Dynamics (1961) and thus it is also known as the Forrester effect. It has been described as “the observed propensity for material orders to be more variable than demand signals and for this variability to increase the further upstream a company is in a supply chain”.The bullwhip effect was named by analogy with the way in which the amplitude of a whip increases down its length; the further from the originating signal, the greater the distortion of the wave pattern. In a similar manner, forecast accuracy decreases as one moves upstream along the supply chain. For example, many consumer goods have fairly consistent consumption at retail, but this signal becomes more chaotic and unpredictable as the focus moves away from consumer purchasing behavior. In the 1990s, Hau Lee, a Professor of Engineering and Management Science at Stanford University, helped incorporate the concept into supply chain vernacular using a story about Volvo. Suffering a glut in green cars, sales and marketing developed a program to sell the excess inventory. While successful in generating the desired market pull, manufacturing did not know about the promotional plans. Instead, they read the increase in sales as an indication of growing demand for green cars and ramped up production.Research indicates a fluctuation in point-of-sale demand of five percent will be interpreted by supply chain participants as a change in demand of up to forty percent. Much like cracking a whip, a small flick of the wrist a shift in point of sale demand can cause a large motion at the end of the whip manufacturers response.
Third-party doctrine (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
The third-party doctrine is a United States legal doctrine that holds that people who voluntarily give information to third parties—such as banks, phone companies, internet service providers (ISPs), and e-mail servers—have "no reasonable expectation of privacy." A lack of privacy protection allows the United States government to obtain information from third parties without a legal warrant and without otherwise complying with the Fourth Amendment prohibition against search and seizure without probable cause and a judicial search warrant.
Black comedy (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Black comedy, also known as black humor, dark humor, dark comedy, morbid humor, or gallows humor, is a style of comedy that makes light of subject matter that is generally considered taboo, particularly subjects that are normally considered serious or painful to discuss. Writers and comedians often use it as a tool for exploring vulgar issues by provoking discomfort, serious thought, and amusement for their audience. Thus, in fiction, for example, the term black comedy can also refer to a genre in which dark humor is a core component. Popular themes of the genre include death, crime, poverty, suicide, war, violence, terrorism, discrimination, disease, racism, sexism, and human sexuality. Black comedy differs from both blue comedy—which focuses more on crude topics such as nudity, sex, and bodily fluids—and from straightforward obscenity. Whereas the term black comedy is a relatively broad term covering humor relating to many serious subjects, gallows humor tends to be used more specifically in relation to death, or situations that are reminiscent of dying. Black humor can occasionally be related to the grotesque genre. Literary critics have associated black comedy and black humor with authors as early as the ancient Greeks with Aristophanes.
The pen is mightier than the sword (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
"The pen is mightier than the sword" is a metonymic adage, created by English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839, indicating that the written word is more effective than violence as a tool for communicating a point. In some interpretations, written communication can refer to administrative power or an independent news media.
Wirth's law (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Wirth's law is an adage on computer performance which states that software is getting slower more rapidly than hardware is becoming faster. The adage is named after Niklaus Wirth, who discussed it in his 1995 article "A Plea for Lean Software".
2007 Chinese anti-satellite missile test (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
On 11 January 2007, China conducted an anti-satellite missile test. A Chinese weather satellite—the FY-1C polar orbit satellite of the Fengyun series, at an altitude of 865 kilometres (537 mi), with a mass of 750 kilograms (1,650 lb)—was destroyed by a kinetic kill vehicle traveling with a speed of 8 km/s (18,000 mph) in the opposite direction (see Head-on engagement). It was launched with a multistage solid-fuel missile from Xichang Satellite Launch Center or nearby. Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine first reported the test on 17 January 2007. The report was confirmed on 18 January 2007 by a United States National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson. At first the Chinese government did not publicly confirm whether or not the test had occurred; but on 23 January 2007, the Chinese Foreign Ministry officially confirmed that a test had been conducted. China claims it formally notified the U.S., Japan and other countries about the test in advance.It was the first known successful satellite intercept test since 1985, when the United States conducted an anti-satellite missile test using an ASM-135 ASAT to destroy the P78-1 satellite. The ASM-135 ASAT was released by a F-15 Eagle at altitude of 38,100 ft (11.6 km) while the F-15 was flying at Mach 0.934. The Solwind P78-1 satellite was flying at an altitude of 345 miles (555 km).The New York Times, The Washington Times and Jane's Intelligence Review reported that this came on the back of at least two previous direct ascent tests that intentionally did not result in an intercept, on 7 July 2005 and 6 February 2006.A classified U.S. State Department cable revealed by WikiLeaks indicates that the same system was tested against a ballistic target in January 2010 in what the Chinese government publicly described as a test of "ground-based midcourse missile interception technology". That description also closely matches the Chinese government's description of another test in January 2013, which has led some analysts to conclude that it was yet another test of the same ASAT system, again against a ballistic target and not a satellite.
Wikipedia:Fundraising statistics (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Information on the amounts and uses of the funds raised by the Wikimedia Foundation. A note on the separate status of the m:Wikimedia Endowment The Wikimedia Endowment passed $100 million in June 2021. This money is not included in the above net assets figures, but payments the WMF made to the Endowment are included in the above expenses figures. The Endowment was set up in 2016 and was originally expected to reach $100 million in 2026. (During the year ended June 30, 2016, the Foundation entered into an agreement with the Tides Foundation to establish the Wikimedia Endowment as a Collective Action Fund to act as a permanent safekeeping fund to generate income to ensure a base level of support for the Wikimedia projects in perpetuity. The Endowment is independent from the Foundation. The Foundation has provided irrevocable grants to the Tides Foundation for the purpose of the Wikimedia Endowment. These amounts are recorded in awards and grants expense. Source: Financial Statements 2019/2020, p. 14)
2016 Indian banknote demonetisation (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
On 8 November 2016, the Government of India announced the demonetisation of all ₹500 and ₹1,000 banknotes of the Mahatma Gandhi Series. It also announced the issuance of new ₹500 and ₹2,000 banknotes in exchange for the demonetised banknotes. Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed that the action would curtail the shadow economy, increase cashless transactions and reduce the use of illicit and counterfeit cash to fund illegal activity and terrorism.The announcement of demonetisation was followed by prolonged cash shortages in the weeks that followed, which created significant disruption throughout the economy. People seeking to exchange their banknotes had to stand in lengthy queues, and several deaths were linked to the rush to exchange cash.According to a 2018 report from the Reserve Bank of India, approximately 99.3% of the demonetised banknotes, or ₹15.30 lakh crore (15.3 trillion) of the ₹15.41 lakh crore that had been demonetised, were deposited with the banking system, leading analysts to state that the effort had failed to remove black money from the economy. The BSE SENSEX and NIFTY 50 stock indices fell over 6 percent on the day after the announcement. The move reduced the country's industrial production and its GDP growth rate. It is estimated that 1.5 million jobs were lost. The move also saw a significant increase in digital and cashless transactions through out the country.Initially, the move received support from several bankers as well as from some international commentators. The move was also criticised as poorly planned and unfair, and was met with protests, litigation, and strikes against the government in several places across India. Debates also took place concerning the move in both houses of Parliament.
Waterfall model (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
The waterfall model is a breakdown of project activities into linear sequential phases, where each phase depends on the deliverables of the previous one and corresponds to a specialization of tasks. The approach is typical for certain areas of engineering design. In software development, it tends to be among the less iterative and flexible approaches, as progress flows in largely one direction ("downwards" like a waterfall) through the phases of conception, initiation, analysis, design, construction, testing, deployment and maintenance. The waterfall development model originated in the manufacturing and construction industries; where the highly structured physical environments meant that design changes became prohibitively expensive much sooner in the development process. When first adopted for software development, there were no recognised alternatives for knowledge-based creative work.
Ward Cunningham (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Howard G. Cunningham (born May 26, 1949) is an American computer programmer who developed the first wiki and was a co-author of the Manifesto for Agile Software Development. A pioneer in both design patterns and extreme programming, he started coding the WikiWikiWeb in 1994, and installed it on c2.com (the website of his software consultancy) on March 25, 1995, as an add-on to the Portland Pattern Repository. He co-authored (with Bo Leuf) a book about wikis, entitled The Wiki Way, and invented the Framework for Integrated Tests. Cunningham was a keynote speaker at the first three instances of the WikiSym conference series on wiki research and practice, and also at the Wikimedia Developer Summit 2017.
WSPR (amateur radio software) (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
WSPR (pronounced "whisper") stands for "Weak Signal Propagation Reporter". It is a protocol, implemented in a computer program, used for weak-signal radio communication between amateur radio operators. The protocol was designed, and a program written initially, by Joe Taylor, K1JT. The software code is now open source and is developed by a small team. The program is designed for sending and receiving low-power transmissions to test propagation paths on the MF and HF bands. WSPR implements a protocol designed for probing potential propagation paths with low-power transmissions. Transmissions carry a station's callsign, Maidenhead grid locator, and transmitter power in dBm. The program can decode signals with a signal-to-noise ratio as low as −28 dB in a 2500 Hz bandwidth. Stations with internet access can automatically upload their reception reports to a central database called WSPRnet, which includes a mapping facility.
Voynich manuscript (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
The Voynich manuscript is an illustrated codex hand-written in an otherwise unknown writing system, referred to as 'Voynichese'. The vellum on which it is written has been carbon-dated to the early 15th century (1404–1438), and stylistic analysis indicates it may have been composed in Italy during the Italian Renaissance. The origins, authorship, and purpose of the manuscript are debated. Various hypotheses have been suggested, including that it is an otherwise unrecorded script for a natural language or constructed language; an unread code, cypher, or other form of cryptography; or simply a meaningless hoax. The manuscript currently consists of around 240 pages, but there is evidence that additional pages are missing. Some pages are foldable sheets of varying size. Most of the pages have fantastical illustrations or diagrams, some crudely coloured, with sections of the manuscript showing people, fictitious plants, astrological symbols, etc. The text is written from left to right. The manuscript is named after Wilfrid Voynich, a Polish book dealer who purchased it in 1912. Since 1969, it has been held in Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.The Voynich manuscript has been studied by many professional and amateur cryptographers, including American and British codebreakers from both World War I and World War II. The manuscript has never been demonstrably deciphered, and none of the many hypotheses proposed over the last hundred years have been independently verified. The mystery of its meaning and origin has excited the popular imagination, making it the subject of study and speculation.
Volkswagen 1-litre car (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
The Volkswagen XL1 (VW 1-litre) is a two-person limited production diesel-powered plug-in hybrid produced by Volkswagen. The XL1 car was designed to be able to travel 100 km on 1 litre of diesel (280 mpg‑imp; 240 mpg‑US), while being both roadworthy and practical. To achieve such economy, it was produced with lightweight materials, a streamlined body and an engine and transmission designed and tuned for economy. The concept car was modified first in 2009 as the L1 and again in 2011 as the XL1.A limited production of 250 units began by mid 2013 and pricing started at €111,000 (~ GB£119,000). The Volkswagen XL1 plug-in diesel-electric hybrid was available only in Europe and its 5.5 kWh lithium-ion battery delivered an all-electric range of 50 km (31 mi), had a fuel economy of 0.9 l/100 km (310 mpg‑imp) under the NEDC cycle and produced emissions of 21 g/km of CO2. The XL1 was released to retail customers in Germany in June 2014.
Apple Corps v Apple Computer (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Between 1978 and 2006 there were a number of legal disputes between Apple Corps (owned by The Beatles) and the computer manufacturer Apple Computer (now Apple Inc.) over competing trademark rights. The High Court of Justice in England handed down a judgment on 8 May 2006 in favour of Apple Computer. The companies reached a final settlement, as revealed on 5 February 2007.
BN-800 reactor (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
The BN-800 reactor is a sodium-cooled fast breeder reactor, built at the Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Station, in Zarechny, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia. The reactor is designed to generate 880 MW of electrical power. The plant was considered part of the weapons-grade Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement signed between the United States and Russia, with the reactor being part of the final step for a plutonium-burner core. (a core designed to burn and, in the process, destroy, and recover energy from, plutonium) The plant reached its full power production in August, 2016. According to Russian business journal Kommersant, the BN-800 project cost 140.6 billion rubles (roughly 2.17 billion dollars).
United States involvement in regime change (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
The United States government has participated and interfered, both overtly and covertly, in the replacement of foreign governments. In the latter half of the 19th century, the U.S. government initiated actions for regime change mainly in Latin America and the southwest Pacific, including the Spanish–American and Philippine–American wars. At the onset of the 20th century, the United States shaped or installed governments in many countries around the world, including neighbors Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. During World War II, the United States helped overthrow many Nazi Germany or imperial Japanese puppet regimes. Examples include regimes in the Philippines, Korea, the Eastern portion of China, and much of Europe. United States forces were also instrumental in ending the rule of Adolf Hitler over Germany and of Benito Mussolini over Italy. After World War II, the United States in 1945 ratified the UN Charter, the preeminent international law document, which legally bound the U.S. government to the Charter's provisions, including Article 2(4), which prohibits the threat or use of force in international relations, except in very limited circumstances. Therefore, any legal claim advanced to justify regime change by a foreign power carries a particularly heavy burden.In the aftermath of World War II, the U.S. government struggled with the Soviet Union for global leadership, influence and security within the context of the Cold War. Under the Eisenhower administration, the U.S. government feared that national security would be compromised by governments propped by the Soviet Union's own involvement in regime change and promoted the domino theory, with later presidents following Eisenhower's precedent. Subsequently, the United States expanded the geographic scope of its actions beyond traditional area of operations, Central America and the Caribbean. Significant operations included the United States and United Kingdom-orchestrated 1953 Iranian coup d'état, the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion targeting Cuba, and support for the overthrow of Sukarno by General Suharto in Indonesia. In addition, the U.S. has interfered in the national elections of countries, including Italy in 1948, the Philippines in 1953, and Japan in the 1950s and 1960s as well as Lebanon in 1957. According to one study, the U.S. performed at least 81 overt and covert known interventions in foreign elections during the period 1946–2000. Another study found that the U.S. engaged in 64 covert and six overt attempts at regime change during the Cold War.Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the United States has led or supported wars to determine the governance of a number of countries. Stated U.S. aims in these conflicts have included fighting the War on Terror, as in the Afghan War, or removing dictatorial and hostile regimes, as in the Iraq War.
Twilight Zone accident (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
On July 23, 1982, a Bell UH-1 Iroquois helicopter crashed at Indian Dunes in Valencia, Santa Clarita, California, United States, during the making of Twilight Zone: The Movie. The crash killed three people on the ground and injured the six helicopter passengers; those killed were actor Vic Morrow and child actors Myca Dinh Le and Renee Shin-Yi Chen. The incident led to years of civil and criminal action against the personnel overseeing the shoot, including director John Landis, and was responsible for the introduction of new procedures and safety standards in the filmmaking industry.
Demand Progress (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Demand Progress is an internet activist-related entity encompassing a 501(c)4 arm sponsored by the Sixteen Thirty Fund and a 501(c)3 arm sponsored by the New Venture Fund. It specializes in online-intensive and other grassroots activism to support Internet freedom, civil liberties, transparency, and human rights, and in opposition to censorship and corporate control of government. The organization was founded through a petition in opposition to the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, sparking the movement that eventually defeated COICA's successor bills, the Stop Online Piracy Act and the PROTECT IP Act, two highly controversial pieces of United States legislation.The organization has continued to fight for such causes in the wake of the successful shelving of these two acts. Demand Progress has also played key roles in forwarding the passage of net neutrality rules, blocking expansion of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, under which co-founder Aaron Swartz was indicted, and other key legislative efforts. Estimated membership numbers in early 2015 weigh in at over two million.
DESQview (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
DESQview (DV) is a text mode multitasking operating environment developed by Quarterdeck Office Systems which enjoyed modest popularity in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Running on top of DOS, it allows users to run multiple programs concurrently in multiple windows.
Democracy Index (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
The Democracy Index is an index compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the research division of the Economist Group, a UK-based private company which publishes the weekly newspaper The Economist. The index is self-described as intending to measure the state of democracy in 167 countries and territories, of which 166 are sovereign states and 164 are UN member states. The index is based on 60 indicators grouped in five different categories, measuring pluralism, civil liberties and political culture. In addition to a numeric score and a ranking, the index categorises each country into one of four regime types: full democracies, flawed democracies, hybrid regimes and authoritarian regimes. The Economist has published reports with updated versions of the Democracy Index for 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.
Randonneuring (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Randonneuring (also known as Audax in the UK, Australia and Brazil) is a long-distance cycling sport with its origins in audax cycling. In randonneuring, riders attempt courses of 200 km or more, passing through predetermined "controls" (checkpoints) every few tens of kilometres. Riders aim to complete the course within specified time limits, and receive equal recognition regardless of their finishing order. Riders may travel in groups or alone as they wish, and are expected to be self-sufficient between controls. A randonneuring event is called a randonnée or brevet, and a rider who has completed a 200 km event is called a randonneur. The international governing body for randonneuring is Audax Club Parisien (ACP), which works with other randonneuring organisations worldwide through Les Randonneurs Mondiaux (RM). Randonneuring is popular in France, and has a following in The Netherlands, Belgium, United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, United States, Canada, Brazil, Ireland, India, Korea, Japan and Malaysia.
Porsche-Arena (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Porsche-Arena is a multi-purpose arena, located in Stuttgart, Germany. The seating capacity of the arena varies, from 5,100 to 8,000 people and it was opened in 2006, after 14 months of construction. The arena is part of a sport complex located in Stuttgart's NeckarPark, situated between the Scharrena Stuttgart, Mercedes-Benz Arena and Hanns Martin Schleyer Halle. To fund the construction, costs had already been pre-construction sales of the name rights planned. Dr. Ing h.c. F. Porsche AG bought the name rights, for a ten million euro, for a term of 20 years. It is the venue for the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, a WTA Tour event and also hosted some matches at the 2007 World Men's Handball Championship. Anton Hunger: "The tournament is now at home in Stuttgart. We knew we’d make mistakes at the first edition. But we didn’t promise too much last year and have eliminated almost all the mistakes in 2007. A total of more than 36,000 spectators were in the arena. The number was up on the previous year even though seating was slightly reduced to improve comfort."
1992 South African apartheid referendum (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
A referendum on ending apartheid was held in South Africa on 17 March 1992. The referendum was limited to white South African voters, who were asked whether or not they supported the negotiated reforms begun by State President F. W. de Klerk two years earlier, in which he proposed to end the apartheid system that had been implemented since 1948. The result of the election was a large victory for the "yes" side, which ultimately resulted in apartheid being lifted. Universal suffrage was introduced two years later.
Lions' Commentary on UNIX 6th Edition, with Source Code (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Lions' Commentary on UNIX 6th Edition, 1976, by John Lions, with source code, contained analytical commentary on the source code of the 6th Edition Unix computer operating system "resident nucleus" (i.e., kernel) software, plus copy formatted and indexed by Lions, of said source code obtained from the authors at AT&T Bell Labs, commonly referred to as the Lions Book.Itself an exemplar of the early success of UNIX as portable code for a publishing platform, Lion's work was typeset using UNIX tools, on systems running code ported at the University, similar to that which it documented, see page vi.It was commonly held to be the most copied book in computer science. Despite its age, "the Lions Book" is still considered an excellent commentary on simple, high quality code. Lions' work was most recently reprinted in 1996 by Peer-To-Peer Communications, and has been circulated, recreated or reconstructed variously in a number of media by other parties, e.g. see webpage of Greg Lehey.
FBI–Apple encryption dispute (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
The FBI–Apple encryption dispute concerns whether and to what extent courts in the United States can compel manufacturers to assist in unlocking cell phones whose data are cryptographically protected. There is much debate over public access to strong encryption.In 2015 and 2016, Apple Inc. received and objected to or challenged at least 11 orders issued by United States district courts under the All Writs Act of 1789. Most of these seek to compel Apple "to use its existing capabilities to extract data like contacts, photos and calls from locked iPhones running on operating systems iOS 7 and older" in order to assist in criminal investigations and prosecutions. A few requests, however, involve phones with more extensive security protections, which Apple has no current ability to break. These orders would compel Apple to write new software that would let the government bypass these devices' security and unlock the phones.The most well-known instance of the latter category was a February 2016 court case in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) wanted Apple to create and electronically sign new software that would enable the FBI to unlock a work-issued iPhone 5C it recovered from one of the shooters who, in a December 2015 terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, killed 14 people and injured 22. The two attackers later died in a shootout with police, having first destroyed their personal phones. The work phone was recovered intact but was locked with a four-digit password and was set to eliminate all its data after ten failed password attempts (a common anti-theft measure on smartphones). Apple declined to create the software, and a hearing was scheduled for March 22. However, a day before the hearing was supposed to happen, the government obtained a delay, saying it had found a third party able to assist in unlocking the iPhone. On March 28, the government announced that the FBI had unlocked the iPhone and withdrew its request. In March 2018, the Los Angeles Times later reported "the FBI eventually found that Farook's phone had information only about work and revealed nothing about the plot."In another case in Brooklyn, a magistrate judge ruled that the All Writs Act could not be used to compel Apple to unlock an iPhone. The government appealed the ruling, but then dropped the case on April 22, 2016, after it was given the correct passcode.
Life and Debt (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Life and Debt is a 2001 American documentary film directed by Stephanie Black. It examines the economic and social situation in Jamaica, and specifically how the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank's structural adjustment policies have impacted the island.
Lies, damned lies, and statistics (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
"Lies, damned lies, and statistics" is a phrase describing the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments. It is also sometimes colloquially used to doubt statistics used to prove an opponent's point. The phrase was popularized in the United States by Mark Twain (among others), who vaguely attributed it to the British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli. However, the phrase is not found in any of Disraeli's works and the earliest known appearances were years after his death. Several other people have been listed as originators of the quote, and it is often attributed to Twain himself.
Field-reversed configuration (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
A field-reversed configuration (FRC) is a type of plasma device studied as a means of producing nuclear fusion. It confines a plasma on closed magnetic field lines without a central penetration. In an FRC, the plasma has the form of a self-stable torus, similar to a smoke ring. FRCs are closely related to another self-stable magnetic confinement fusion device, the spheromak. Both are considered part of the compact toroid class of fusion devices. FRCs normally have a plasma that is more elongated than spheromaks, having the overall shape of a hollowed out sausage rather than the roughly spherical spheromak. FRCs were a major area of research in the 1960s and into the 1970s, but had problems scaling up into practical fusion triple products. Interest returned in the 1990s and as of 2019, FRCs were an active research area.
Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) is a proposed space probe to detect and accurately measure gravitational waves—tiny ripples in the fabric of spacetime—from astronomical sources. LISA would be the first dedicated space-based gravitational wave detector. It aims to measure gravitational waves directly by using laser interferometry. The LISA concept has a constellation of three spacecraft arranged in an equilateral triangle with sides 2.5 million kilometres long, flying along an Earth-like heliocentric orbit. The distance between the satellites is precisely monitored to detect a passing gravitational wave.The LISA project started out as a joint effort between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA). However, in 2011, NASA announced that it would be unable to continue its LISA partnership with the European Space Agency due to funding limitations. The project is a recognized CERN experiment (RE8). A scaled down design initially known as the New Gravitational-wave Observatory (NGO) was proposed as one of three large projects in ESA's long term plans. In 2013, ESA selected 'The Gravitational Universe' as the theme for one of its three large projects in the 2030s. whereby it committed to launch a space based gravitational wave observatory. In January 2017, LISA was proposed as the candidate mission. On June 20, 2017 the suggested mission received its clearance goal for the 2030s, and was approved as one of the main research missions of ESA.The LISA mission is designed for direct observation of gravitational waves, which are distortions of spacetime travelling at the speed of light. Passing gravitational waves alternately squeeze and stretch space itself by a tiny amount. Gravitational waves are caused by energetic events in the universe and, unlike any other radiation, can pass unhindered by intervening mass. Launching LISA will add a new sense to scientists' perception of the universe and enable them to study phenomena that are invisible in normal light.Potential sources for signals are merging massive black holes at the centre of galaxies, massive black holes orbited by small compact objects, known as extreme mass ratio inspirals, binaries of compact stars in our Galaxy, and possibly other sources of cosmological origin, such as the very early phase of the Big Bang, and speculative astrophysical objects like cosmic strings and domain boundaries.
Labor Thanksgiving Day (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
Labor Thanksgiving Day (勤労感謝の日, Kinrō Kansha no Hi) is an annual national holiday in Japan celebrated on November 23 of each year, unless that day falls on a Sunday, in which case the holiday is moved to Monday. The law establishing the holiday cites it as an occasion to respect labor, to celebrate production, and citizens give each other thanks.Events are held throughout Japan, one such being the Nagano Ebisuko Fireworks Festival, which had 400,000 attendees in 2017.
Kolmogorov complexity (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
In algorithmic information theory (a subfield of computer science and mathematics), the Kolmogorov complexity of an object, such as a piece of text, is the length of a shortest computer program (in a predetermined programming language) that produces the object as output. It is a measure of the computational resources needed to specify the object, and is also known as algorithmic complexity, Solomonoff–Kolmogorov–Chaitin complexity, program-size complexity, descriptive complexity, or algorithmic entropy. It is named after Andrey Kolmogorov, who first published on the subject in 1963.The notion of Kolmogorov complexity can be used to state and prove impossibility results akin to Cantor's diagonal argument, Gödel's incompleteness theorem, and Turing's halting problem. In particular, no program P computing a lower bound for each text's Kolmogorov complexity can return a value essentially larger than P's own length (see section § Chaitin's incompleteness theorem); hence no single program can compute the exact Kolmogorov complexity for infinitely many texts.
First-past-the-post voting (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
In a first-past-the-post electoral system (FPTP or FPP; sometimes formally called single-member plurality voting or SMP; sometimes called choose-one voting for single-member districts, in contrast to ranked choice voting), voters cast their vote for a candidate of their choice, and the candidate who receives the most votes wins (even if the top candidate gets less than 50%, which can happen when there are more than two popular candidates). FPTP is a plurality voting method, and is primarily used in systems that use single-member electoral divisions. FPTP is used as the primary form of allocating seats for legislative elections in about a third of the world's countries, mostly in the English-speaking world. The phrase is a metaphor from British horse racing, where there is a post at the finish line (though there is no specific percentage "finish line" required to win in this voting system, only being furthest ahead in the race). Many countries use FPTP alongside proportional representation in a non-compensatory parallel voting system. Others use it in compensatory mixed systems, such as part of mixed-member proportional representation or mixed single vote systems. In some countries that elect their legislatures by proportional representation, FPTP is used to elect their head of state. FPTP can be used for single-member electoral divisions, the candidate with the highest number (but not necessarily a majority) of votes is elected. The multiple-member version of plurality voting is when each voter casts (up to) the same number of votes as there are positions to be filled, and those elected are the highest-placed candidates - this system is called the multiple non-transferable vote (MNTV) and is also known as block voting. When voter have only a single vote, but there are multiple seats to be filled, that system is called the single non-transferable vote (SNTV). The multiple-round election (runoff voting) method most commonly uses the FPTP voting method in the second round. The first round, usually held according to SNTV rules, determines which candidates may progress to the second and final round.
Flynn effect (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
The Flynn effect is the substantial and long-sustained increase in both fluid and crystallized intelligence test scores that were measured in many parts of the world over the 20th century. When intelligence quotient (IQ) tests are initially standardized using a sample of test-takers, by convention the average of the test results is set to 100 and their standard deviation is set to 15 or 16 IQ points. When IQ tests are revised, they are again standardized using a new sample of test-takers, usually born more recently than the first. Again, the average result is set to 100. However, when the new test subjects take the older tests, in almost every case their average scores are significantly above 100. Test score increases have been continuous and approximately linear from the earliest years of testing to the present. For example, a study published in the year 2009 found that British children's average scores on the Raven's Progressive Matrices test rose by 14 IQ points from 1942 to 2008. Similar gains have been observed in many other countries in which IQ testing has long been widely used, including other Western European countries, Japan, and South Korea.There are numerous proposed explanations of the Flynn effect, such as the rise in efficiency of education, along with skepticism concerning its implications. Similar improvements have been reported for semantic and episodic memory. Some research suggests that there may be an ongoing reversed Flynn effect, i.e. a decline in IQ scores, in Norway, Denmark, Australia, Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, and German-speaking countries, a development which appears to have started in the 1990s. In certain cases this apparent reversal may be due to cultural changes which render parts of intelligence tests obsolete. Meta-analyses indicate that, overall, the Flynn effect continues, either at the same rate or at a slower rate in developed countries.
Foreign-born Japanese (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
A foreign-born Japanese (外国生まれの日本人, gaikoku umare no nihonjin, literally "Japanese person born in a foreign country") is a Japanese person of foreign descent or heritage, who was born outside Japan and later acquired Japanese citizenship. This category encompasses persons of both Japanese and non-Japanese descent. The former subcategory is considered because of intricacies of national and international laws regarding the citizenship of newborn persons.
GEM (desktop environment) (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
GEM (for Graphics Environment Manager) is an operating environment which was created by Digital Research (DRI) since 1984 for use with the DOS operating system on Intel 8088 and Motorola 68000 microprocessors. GEM is known primarily as the graphical user interface (GUI) for the Atari ST series of computers, and was also supplied with a series of IBM PC-compatible computers from Amstrad. It was also available for the standard IBM PC, at a time when the 6 MHz IBM PC AT (and the very concept of a GUI) was brand new. It was the core for a small number of DOS programs, the most notable being Ventura Publisher. It was ported to a number of other computers that previously lacked graphical interfaces, but never gained popularity on those platforms. DRI also produced X/GEM for their FlexOS real-time operating system with adaptations for OS/2 Presentation Manager and the X Window System under preparation as well.
HiQ Labs v. LinkedIn (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
hiQ Labs, Inc. v. LinkedIn Corp, 938 F.3d 985 (9th Cir. 2019), was a United States Ninth Circuit case about web scraping. The 9th Circuit affirmed the district court's preliminary injunction, preventing LinkedIn from denying the plaintiff, hiQ Labs, from accessing LinkedIn's publicly available LinkedIn member profiles. hiQ is a small data analytics company that used automated bots to scrape information from public LinkedIn profiles. The court ruled for hiQ and the right to do web scraping. However, the Supreme Court, based on its Van Buren v. United States decision, vacated the decision and remanded the case for further review in June 2021.
Gold Reserve Act (en.wikipedia.org) Summary ↓
The United States Gold Reserve Act of January 30, 1934 required that all gold and gold certificates held by the Federal Reserve be surrendered and vested in the sole title of the United States Department of the Treasury. It also prohibited the Treasury and financial institutions from redeeming dollar bills for gold, established the Exchange Stabilization Fund under control of the Treasury to control the dollar’s value without the assistance (or approval) of the Federal Reserve, and authorized the president to establish the gold value of the dollar by proclamation.Immediately following passage of the Act, the President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, changed the statutory price of gold from $20.67 per troy ounce to $35. This price change incentivized gold miners globally to expand production and foreigners to export their gold to the United States, while simultaneously devaluing the U.S. dollar by increasing inflation. The increase in gold reserves due to the price change resulted in a large accumulation of gold in the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury, much of which was stored in the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox and other locations. The increase in gold reserves increased the money supply, lowering real interest rates which in turn increased investment in durable goods. A year earlier, in 1933, Executive Order 6102 had made it a criminal offense for U.S. citizens to own or trade gold anywhere in the world, with exceptions for some jewelry and collector's coins. These prohibitions were relaxed starting in 1964 – gold certificates were again allowed for private investors on April 24, 1964, although the obligation to pay the certificate holder on demand in gold specie would not be honored. By 1975 Americans could again freely own and trade gold.
Last Update 2021-12-05 00:07
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