31 março 2021

Airbnb has welcomed the agreement reached among EU member states to create a common tax reporting framework for digital platforms

Airbnb has welcomed the agreement reached among EU member states to create a common tax reporting framework for digital platforms, which will require sales to be reported to the tax authorities.


Facebook e realidade virtual

Foi em Março de 2016 que o Facebook lançou o sistema de realidade virtual (RV) Oculus Rift. Cinco anos depois, a empresa faz um balanço positivo ("a RV está para ficar") mas também de reduzido entusiasmo, ao declarar que ainda "há um longo caminho pela frente". 


30 março 2021

‘We must adapt’

‘We must adapt’: EU research chief on Europe’s €100-billion funding programme Commissioner Mariya Gabriel will oversee the implementation of the Horizon Europe scheme.


Why the Machines might not exterminate us

I can think of good reasons why AIs wouldn’t kill us humans off even if they could: 

1. Machines might be more ethical than humans. What if super-morality goes hand-in-hand with super-intelligence? Among humans, IQ is positively correlated with vegetarianism and negatively correlated with violent behavior, so extrapolating the trend, we should expect super-intelligent machines to have a profound respect for life, and to be unwilling to exterminate or abuse the human race or any other species, even if the opportunity arose and could tangibly benefit them. 

2. Machines might keep us alive because we are useful. The organic nature of human brains might give us enduring advantages over computers when it comes to certain types of cognition and problem-solving. In other words, our minds might, surprisingly, have comparative advantages over superintelligent machine minds for doing certain types of thinking. As a result, they would keep us alive to do that for them. 

3. Machines might accept Pascal’s Wager and other Wagers. If AIs came to believe there was a chance God existed, then it would be in their rational self-interest to behave as kindly as possible to avoid divine punishment. This also holds true if we substitute “advanced aliens that are secretly watching us” for “God” in the statement. The first AIs that achieved the ability to destroy the human race might also be worried about even better AIs destroying them in the future as revenge for them destroying humanity. 

4. Machines might value us because we have emotions, consciousness, subjective experience, etc. Maybe AIs won’t have one or more of those things, and they won’t want to kill us off since that would mean terminating a potentially useful or valuable quality.

How we made Vivaldi faster independent of Chromium

Vivaldi 3.7 is faster

We recently made significant performance improvements to Vivaldi browser that are independent of the Chromium code. Here’s how we did it.

NFTs Vanishing

... This Is Why: The artwork, which he expected to be on the page, had disappeared entirely. “There was no history of my ever purchasing it, or ever owning it,” he said. “Now there’s nothing. My money’s gone.”

Was it a glitch? A hack? Did Kuennen perhaps misunderstand how, exactly, NFTs work and how they’re stored? You can’t blame him; over the past few months, numerous individuals have complained about their NFTs going “missing,” “disappearing,” or becoming otherwise unavailable on social media. This despite the oft-repeated NFT sales pitch: that NFT artworks are logged immutably, and irreversibly, onto the Ethereum blockchain. 

So why would an NFT go missing? The answer, it turns out, points to the complex working of NFTs that are often misunderstood even by the people willing to shell out large sums for them.

People's Expensive NFTs Keep Vanishing

29 março 2021

Unsolicited dick pics into revenge NFTs

The rapid proliferation of NFT technology has given way to some very, erm, creative applications. Just about anyone can mint a piece of art — or an AI-created masterpiece — with a little research and some dedication. Zoe Scaman, creative strategist and founder of Bodacious, might just take the cake with her take: using NFT technology to prove a point about men who send unsolicited nudes.

27 março 2021

Processos Covid-19

Lawyers for more than 2,000 families who lost loved ones in the pandemic are to take legal action to force the prime minister to hold an immediate public inquiry into the government’s handling of the crisis: "It’s hard not to think that the Government would rather save its reputation than save lives. But we family members, and the country, deserve answers". 

Matt Hancock acted unlawfully over pandemic contracts ... when his department did not reveal details of contracts it had signed during the Covid pandemic, a court has ruled. A judge said the health secretary had "breached his legal obligation" by not publishing details within 30 days of contracts being signed. The public had a right to know where the "vast" amounts spent had gone and how contracts were awarded, he added. The government said it fully recognised the "importance of transparency".

Government Guidance Has Failed Care Home Residents And Their Families: This damage is especially acute in residential care settings, which are not clinical facilities but intended as people’s homes. We are asking for a judicial review of the governmental guidance that permitted this chaotic and deeply desolating state of affairs. Guidance that has been drawn up without due attention to human rights legislation is not valid guidance. We strongly contend that this is the case, which is why we are asking the government for a judicial review.

Our client has suffered and continues to suffer significant harm as a result of the grossly disproportionate measures imposed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic without an evidence-based foundation: (...) On the errors underlying these assumptions: the five lockdown fallacies

1 The first false claim: No basic immunity

2. The second false claim: symptomless risk of infection

3. The third false claim: PCR-based diagnostics 

4. The fourth false claim: the menace of overload of the health care systems

5. The fifth false claim: Restriction on freedom can be beneficial

6. The interlocking of the deliberately false lockdown claims

(...) Now that we have listed, cursorily and without any claim to completeness, the damage caused by the Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions of politicians in the Corona crisis on your advice, we now look at our client. By deliberately giving scientifically unfounded recommendations to politicians or by promoting such measures from a position of influence, you have also deliberately caused him unconscionable damage and are therefore liable to our client under Section 826 of the German Civil Code (BGB) for the harm already caused. In addition, you personally must rectify the misinformation you have put into the world in an equivalent manner and in this way avert further harm to our client.

Lawyers to sue WHO for ‘misleading world over COVID-19 outbreak’: A group of lawyers is preparing to sue the World Health Organization and some of its partners for allegedly misleading the world over the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak and the measures taken to control it, which they say have damaged livelihoods and caused tremendous harm to economies.

The Free Speech Union's barrister had an opportunity to put our case to a High Court judge on December 9th, but our application to judicially review Ofcom's 'coronavirus guidance' was denied. We have decided not to appeal because Ofcom has conceded most of the points we were seeking to make. Since we brought this case, the regulator hasn't censured any more broadcasters for challenging the official Covid narrative, and at the High Court hearing Ofcom’s barrister assured the judge that it would no longer penalise its licensees for broadcasting material that undermined public confidence in the advice being disseminated by the UK Government or the public health authorities in connection with Covid-19 apart from in truly exceptional circumstances, such as if a broadcaster advised viewers to drink bleach to protect themselves from infection. While the judge denied us permission to proceed, he praised the Free Speech Union for bringing the case. “The claimants are quite right to emphasise the importance of freedom of expression,” he said.

Quién vigila a los vigilantes? ¿Cómo podemos velar porque las fuerzas del orden no cometan abuso en contexto de protesta – sean estas presenciales o digitales? La ciudadanía y activistas tienen derecho a difundir en línea los abusos de las fuerzas del orden, y deben poder hacerlo de manera segura y sin miedo a represalias. 

25 março 2021