Cheap cyberpunk, reading with Alexa, LEGO microscopes, and more: THE WEEKLY RECAP (2021#26)

One less week until summer holydays. Let’s go!


You can film all you want

I’ve had this conversation many times with some friends: what is your favourite science-fiction genre? Some of them usually say: cyberpunk. And every time, I told them the same: that should not count, we already live in that scenario. Exhibit #N:

The pity is that, even though we are already controlled by mega corporations, in a highly-developed technology environment, we are missing the flying cars, holograms, and commonly available virtual reality… I guess we just have to accept that we live in the darkest timeline…

Watch a police officer admit to playing Taylor Swift to keep a video off YouTube, on theverge

Space wanks

Funny story of the week, coming from Japan, as usual. I am not even going to try to make any jokes.

Japan’s Tenga wants to create a masturbatory aid for people to use in outer space, on soranews24

For years now, it is very common to see scientific instruments made with LEGO. This time, a very simple yet nice microscope where the only non-brick parts are the optics. It even comes with a familiar manual for building the whole thing, documentation, and a cool paper (Github).

LEGO MICROSCOPE AIMS TO DISCOVER FUTURE SCIENTISTS, on hackaday


Alexa, let’s read

Amazon Official Site: All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen) Kids Edition | Designed  for kids, with parental controls | Tiger

Another story that makes me think about science-fiction. On The Diamond Age, Neal Stephenson introduces a super cool gadget, the young lady’s illustrated primer, that helps little girls get a good education. The book creates stories, teaches to read, to code, to defend yourself, and a long etc. It is a distilled educational system, but also a love supply for any person, no matter how fucked up your family is, or if you are rich or poor. Could Alexa end up doing something similar? Of course, we are witnessing the baby steps of digital education, but it does not seem impossible. If only we could trust any of the companies exploring these ideas…

Amazon’s latest Alexa trick is helping kids read, on theverge

And that’s it for the week. Stay safe!

PS: Featured image: fanart from The Diamond Age, by Kamikaye

It’s Prime day & hospitals selling datasets: The weekly recap (2021#25)

Must. Keep. Going. Summer. Holidays. Are. Coming.


It’s Prime Day!

Go give Bezos some more money. After all, he seems like a cool billionaire. First, let’s destroy all the bookshops. Then, make everyone sell at my stores, and steal their designs to sell them cheaper. Slaves? that sounds good too, it will improve our margins. Recycling? mate, that seems like such a big effort.

Amazon destroying millions of items of unsold stock in one of its UK warehouses every year, ITV News investigation finds, on itvNews

The hunt for medical datasets gets wilder

Hospitals selling “de-identified” medical data “for science”. Made me think about the news some weeks ago about ransomware paralyzing the oil industry in the US. Will we see these kind of attacks directed at hospitals soon? How much money are those datasets worth? In case of attack, how much would they pay for getting them back? Could they just not negotiate with the data from patients?

Hospitals are selling treasure troves of medical data — what could go wrong?, on theverge

And that’s it for the week. Stay safe!

The good and the bad NFTs, hype trains, and more : The weekly recap (2021#24)

Conference week, which means not a lot of time to read cool stuff outside of work. However, sunshine arrived to Paris, curfew is disappearing, and summer holidays are getting closer and closer, so I will call it a win. Let’s start with the links:


So long and thanks for all the fish

You know we are doomed when videogame companies make more sense than universities. Exhibits A and B:

How scientists are embracing NFTs, on nature
Devolver Digital somehow sold an NFT that made the world less awful, on rockpapershotgun

By the way, if you have a little bit of time, the whole Devolver conference on the E3 was sublime:


The hype train was here

E3 finished, and even if the only “bomb” we got was Elden Ring, there was still a lot of cool stuff in many conferences.


There is no more room in here

I am happy to read that the OECD realized that there are less positions in academia than people getting a PhD. Jokes aside, there are some cool insights on how the future could be shaped for this small bubble that many people has no clue on how it works (maybe including many of the ones we are inside of it)

Researchers’ career insecurity needs attention and reform now, says international coalition, on nature

Empty offices, bazooka trickshots, taxes, and more: The weekly recap (2021#23)

So much cool stuff happening, and so little time…


Stop fangirling rich people

Rememeber this: big companies just want money, they are not your friends. They are guided ONLY by money, not by moral, ethics, or anything else you can think about.

The Secret IRS Files: Trove of Never-Before-Seen Records Reveal How the Wealthiest Avoid Income Tax, on ProPublica
The creator economy is running into the Apple Tax — this startup is fighting back, on theverge

Tales from the pandemic

Two very nice reads on how the pandemic changed things (sometimes for the better). I am looking forward to see the changes in society when we are ‘back to normal’. Will it be like 9/11? Will we forget this in no time? Wait and see…

The empty office: what we lose when we work from home, on the guardian
Education outreach can inspire the next generation of scientists, on nature

Hop in, we’re going to a better place

E3 started this week and oh boy, I missed this. Time to enjoy with the lies, the memes, and the cool games:

Bazooka trickshot confirmed Battlefield canon:
Elden Ring IS HERE!

And that’s it for the week. Stay safe!

PS: I can’t wait to see what is the % of FIFA code that has been the same for the last 10 years:

Hackers Steal Wealth of Data from Game Giant EA, on vice

The weekly recap (2021#22)

Summer arrived to Paris (it only rained for two days this week). Busy schedules, but things are going nice (crossing fingers!). Let’s start with the few links I want to share this time:

Prime time

Yeah, it is super nice to receive packages the day after you buy them. This is not causing people to die working for Amazon. Keep walking, nothing to see here.

Amazon’s newest euphemism for overworked employees is ‘industrial athlete’, on theverge
Amazon Calls Warehouse Workers ‘Industrial Athletes’ in Leaked Wellness Pamphlet, on vice

Also, I think is a super good idea to let the same company build its own mass surveillance network. What could go wrong?

Amazon US customers have one week to opt out of mass wireless sharing, on the guardian

Another round of “first image of…” from the Curiosity rover. This time, clouds in Mars. Could not help but stop and look marbled by the colours of the Martian sky (I always pictured the surface as a red desert with a very limited colour palette).

NASA’s Curiosity Rover Captures Shining Clouds on Mars, on NASA

Unreal 5 is here

And it looks amazing. It is always nice to see the technical aspects of videogames, and this video shows a little bit of that. Easter egg: temporal super-resolution being implemented in mainstream tools! Can’t wait to see more of this engine during the E3.


That’s it for the week. Stay safe!

The weekly recap (2021#21)

Another week, another batch of nice reads. Let’s start.


Being smart doesn’t make you a good person

In case you did not know, you can be both a PhD and a piece of shit. Exhibits A and B, both from this week. 21st century and we still have to deal with this… at least it seems that institutions are starting to do something?

Elite US science academy expels astronomer Geoff Marcy following harassment complaints, on nature
Academic bullying is too often ignored. Here are some targets’ stories, on science

Good news everyone

It seems that, after more than one year of almost daily bad news (and we have still not finished with the pandemic), we start to get better and better perspectives. While it is early to be sure, it seems that antibodies to fight the virus will last longer than we thought. *crosses fingers*

Had COVID? You’ll probably make antibodies for a lifetime, on nature

Look at it go!

One step closer to curing blindness, brought to you by the amazing field of Optogenetics. Incredible mix of biology, photonics, and computer science.

Injection of light-sensitive proteins restores blind man’s vision, on nature

Apple vs Epic, episode…

I am quite sad for the trial to be over, but hopefully the verdict will make a last round of nice news (and probably derive into other interesting trials, as it seems that big tech corps are starting to be seen with higher detail by governments) .

It was quite fun to read a CEO saying that he does not know how much money the App Store produces. I am also now a bit of a fan of Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers (gamers unite!).

Tim Cook faces harsh questions about the App Store from judge in Fortnite trial, on theverge
Tim Cook plays innocent in Epic v Apple’s culminating testimony, on techcrunch
Nine things we learned from the Epic v. Apple trial, on theverge

And that’s it for this (loooong) week. Time to rest and relax a bit (seems like summer is finally arriving to Paris). Stay safe!