Friday 28 May, 2021

Predator and friend

Quote of the Day

”If the Third World War is fought with nuclear weapons, the Fourth will be fought with bows and arrows.”

  • Lord Mountbatten

Funnily enough, I’m reading  2034: A Novel of the Next World War by Elliott Ackerman and Admiral James Stavridis and thinking along the same lines.

Musical alternative to the morning’s radio news

Handel | ”The Harmonious Blacksmith” | Wilhelm Kempff


I’ve loved this piece ever since I first heard it. There are also some delicious adaptations of it — for example this for Oboe, Bassoon and Harpischord.

Long Read of the Day

 Data isn’t oil, so what is it?

We need a better metaphor, because metaphors shape the way we think. And at the moment we’re wilfully misunderstanding ‘data’.

Really insightful essay by Matt Locke.

Thanks to Andrew Curry for spotting it.

Got an electric car but no home charger?

If you have an EV (as I do) then charging it at home is the obvious thing to do. But in order to do that you need to have a driveway so that the vehicle off the road while being charged. This is an obvious limitation on the adoption of EVs by people who live in apartments or in urban houses with no off-street parking.

Which is why this story by Miles Brignall in the Guardian caught my eye.

Electric car owners with a charger installed at their home can sign up to a community app that allows them to share it with neighbours, while making them a little extra cash at the same time.

Designed to get local communities sharing the 300,000 privately owned electric chargers across the country, the Co Charger app puts electric vehicle owners who don’t have a charger of their own in touch with neighbours who do.

Joel Teague, the man behind it, came up with the idea after his new electric Renault Zoe arrived without its charger. A kind neighbour allowed him to use his, with Teague popping £5 in his letterbox each time.

The app matches people with home chargers, the hosts, to “chargees” – those who would like to share them. It is free to download and it handles the whole booking process, works out how much the chargee owes the host, and makes the payment directly into their bank account…

Singapore Approves Covid Breath Test With One-Minute Result

From Bloomberg.

A breath test designed to detect Covid-19 and give accurate results within one minute has been approved for use in Singapore, the National University of Singapore said in a statement.

The test, developed by NUS spin-off startup Breathonix, works much like a standard breathalyzer test that police might use to see if an erratic driver is drunk. A person blows into a one-way valve mouthpiece, and compounds in the person’s breath — think of it as a breath signature — are compared by machine-learning software to the sort of breath signature expected from someone who’s Covid-positive.

Accurate tests at that speed could be key to unlocking a travel sector that’s crucial for Singapore’s economy but has slowed to a crawl during the pandemic. Even as the U.S. and parts of Europe begin to reopen with higher viral caseloads, Singapore and other “Covid-Zero” countries in Asia have been hesitant to open borders and have cracked down harshly on any sign of flare-ups.

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