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What's the greatest invention of 21st century, in your opinion?
  • People forget that the research behind those vaccines had been going on for 30+ years. What was accelerated was the trials and the gathering and analysis of efficacy and safety data. The actual vaccine technology had been in existence for around a decade at the time.

  • ‘It’s the perfect place’: London Underground hosts tests for ‘quantum compass’ that could replace GPS
  • Especially since, to calculate current location, it needs an input of initial location (i.e. it needs GPS coordinates to begin with so it can track direction and velocity relative to that initial position). You can’t replace something you depend upon.

  • What's your best "sticking it to the man" story?
  • Young me went to a strict, highly academic school where we had a lot of rules written in the back of a pocket diary we had to carry around (to log homework, sports training and fixtures, etc).

    I was also a little rebellious and I hated being told what I could or couldn’t do.

    One day, our Art teacher is off sick and an English teacher who hated my insubordinate guts sat in on the class and made us do sketchbook work in silence.

    I’d just got my hands on the first MP3 player to hit the market (by doing a lot of gardening work for family members). So I popped in my ear buds and started sketching.

    A minute or so later, the buds are yanked out of my ears and the English teacher confiscates the MP3 player, saying it’s against school rules to have one. I, naturally, object rather passionately and get myself written up for having a banned item in school.

    Later that day, I’m pulled into one of the disciplinary staff member’s office to be given an ear full. After they finished chastising me, I pulled out my little pocket diary, flicked to the back, and read:

    Students are not permitted to possess nor use CD or cassette players on school grounds”.

    Me: “This is an MP3 player. It’s neither of those things.

    After a long silence, I’m handed back my MP3 player and told to not bring it back again.

    The next term, the new diary has a mysterious little amendment to the rules, now mentioning “audio” players instead.

    But that very term I also spotted that “All students must have a school tie” with no specification that one must actually wear it…

  • How do you get people to wash their vegetables when you're at their house and you don't wanna seem rude?
  • Wash them whole and dry them right after. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t soak up water like sponges with a quick wash. You can easily prove this by just weighing them before and after washing/drying. The weight change is minuscule.

  • How do you get people to wash their vegetables when you're at their house and you don't wanna seem rude?
  • Been washing all kinds of mushrooms for years and I‘ve had the opposite experience. They’re only soggy if they’ve been cooking in oil, soaked it up, then dumped all their water. They don’t get brown as they soak up the oil, and then they dump it all out with the water, meaning you’re just steaming them until you evaporate off all the water.

    Best is to wash the mushrooms, slice, cook in a little bit of water until they dump out their water, cook until the water has evaporated, then add oil and brown (or even crisp if you desire).

    Perfect mushrooms every time (I’ve dated a lot of vegans so I’ve eaten mushrooms every few days for over a decade).

  • Apple announced RCS with a whimper when it should have been a bang
  • Only Google’s proprietary extension has encryption. The actual industry standard specification of RCS has no encryption defined at all.

    Edit: It turns out Apple have refused to use Google’s proprietary encryption implementation and are instead working with GSMA to update the RCS Universal Profile specification to finally have encryption defined and standardised so that any RCS client can handle encrypted payloads (whereas only Google Messages today can do encrypted RCS and requires other users to be exclusively using Google Messages otherwise messages are sent unencrypted).

  • Apple announced RCS with a whimper when it should have been a bang
  • Bingo. RCS is yet another proprietary protocol, one controlled by Google (GSMA who originally designed it have practically forgotten about it for a decade) and without an open specification. RCS also doesn’t have a standardised approach to encryption as it’s designed for lawful interception.

    So unless Apple have licensed Google’s implementation and extended version of RCS, this will be a shitty, insecure way to communicate between the Apple Messages and Google Messages apps and nothing more.

    Google did an impressive job applying pressure and suggesting RCS was a perfect solution when in fact it’s just putting more control in Google’s hands. RCS is not an open “industry” standard. You nor I as individuals can implement it without paying license fees to see the specification and fees to have our implementations tested and accredited.

    And Google have extended GSMA’s RCS with their own features (such as encryption) which is not part of the official standard and they haven’t made open either.

    If Apple had been pressuring Google to implement the iMessage protocol or whatever, we’d have been up in arms (and rightfully so).

    But instead of us all collectively hounding Apple and Google to ditch proprietary protocols and move to open ones such as Matrix, Signal, XMPP, etc (ones where we could all implement, use open source software clients, etc) we’ve got this shit:

    Proprietary, insecure, non-private communication protocols baked into the heart of hundreds of millions of devices that everyone is now going to use by default instead of switching to something safer, private, public, open, auditable, etc etc.