Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Google Cloud - Now that machines can learn, can they unlearn?


Lake Tahoe Suffocates With Smoke New York Times. A wake up call that the squillionaires that hang there are guaranteed to ignore.

SCIENCE!  Previous Covid Prevents Delta Infection Better Than Pfizer Shot.

People who recovered from a bout of Covid-19 during one of the earlier waves of the pandemic appear to have a lower risk of contracting the delta variant than those who got two doses of the vaccine from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE.

Pew: “Americans have long debated the boundaries of free speech, from what is and isn’t protected by the First Amendment to discussions about “political correctness” and, more recently, “cancel culture.” The internet has amplified these debates and fostered new questions about tone and tenor in recent years. Here’s a look at how adults in the United States see these and related issues, based on Pew Research Center surveys…”

I Studied People Who Think Leisure Is a Waste of Time – Here’s What I Found

Michael Pascoe: What happens next isn’t ‘freedom’ – it’s triage The New Daily. Australia. All it takes is one defector, and everybody in the defector’s network is “living with it.”

Why Do Some People Weather Coronavirus Infection Unscathed? Undark

The Origins of SARS-CoV-2: A Critical Review

GPs and hospitals to limit blood tests in England due to bottle shortage Guardian

First, surges in Covid-19 infections led to shortages of hospital beds and staff. Now it’s oxygen CNN 

Fatal overdoses from illicit tranquilizers jumped 6-fold during pandemic.

Stories on clip above: US Marines officer relieved of duties after video seeking ‘accountability’ over Afghanistan Guardian and Active duty Marine battalion commander is relieved of duties after posting furious video rant hammering senior leaders for not admitting ‘we messed this up’ Daily Mail (Alison L)

US Troops caught up in ISIL-K – Taliban Civil War: Why it Proves Biden was Right to LeaveJuan Cole (resilc)

Taliban forces in Kabul airport ready to take over -Taliban officials Reuters

Who profits from the Kabul suicide bombing? Asia Times 

Like Ordering Pizza London Review of Books (Anthony L)

Leon Panetta says US troops will need to go back to Afghanistan New York Po

Want a Successful Cloud Migration? First, Change Your Mindset

Intro to Google Cloud VMware Engine: Establishing an SDDC in Google Cloud

Ars Technica – Researchers see if they can remove sensitive data without retraining AI from scratch: “Companies of all kinds use machine learning to analyze people’s desires, dislikes, or faces. Some researchers are now asking a different question: How can we make machines forget? A nascent area of computer science dubbed machine unlearning seeks ways to induce selective amnesia in artificial intelligence software. The goal is to remove all trace of a particular person or data point from a machine-learning system, without affecting its performance. If made practical, the concept could give people more control over their data and the value derived from it. Although users can already ask some companies to delete personal data, they are generally in the dark about what algorithms their information helped tune or train. Machine unlearning could make it possible for a person to withdraw both their data and a company’s ability to profit from it. Although intuitive to anyone who has rued what they shared online, that notion of artificial amnesia requires some new ideas in computer science. Companies spend millions of dollars training machine-learning algorithms to recognize faces or rank social posts, because the algorithms often can solve a problem more quickly than human coders alone. But once trained, a machine-learning system is not easily altered, or even understood. The conventional way to remove the influence of a particular data point is to rebuild a system from the beginning, a potentially costly exercise. “This research aims to find some middle ground,” says Aaron Roth, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who is working on machine unlearning. “Can we remove all influence of someone’s data when they ask to delete it, but avoid the full cost of retraining from scratch?”..”

Google’s “About This Result” Panel Offers Insight into your Search Results

Wisblawg: “Have you ever been puzzled by the results from a Google search?  Found yourself wondering how Google connected those results to the words you typed, especially if you didn’t get exactly what you were expecting to find?  Fortunately, the newly enhanced About This Result paneloffers some contextual insight into your search results. To view the About this Result panel, click on the three dots next to most Google search results as shown below. This will open a new panel that provides information about the source website, a list of your search terms that appear in the results, and any related terms that Google added to your search. Note that in the example below, I searched for “sources of tribal law.” Google automatically added in “Native American, court, and legal” as related terms. In this instance, that was a pretty helpful addition…”

The Secret Bias Hidden in Mortgage-Approval Algorithms

The MarkUp: “Nationally, loan applicants of color were 40%–80% more likely to be denied than their White counterparts In certain metro areas, the disparity was greater than 250%… An investigation by The Markup has found that lenders in 2019 were more likely to deny home loans to people of color than to White people with similar financial characteristics—even when we controlled for newly available financial factors that the mortgage industry for years has said would explain racial disparities in lending. Holding 17 different factors steady in a complex statistical analysis of more than two million conventional mortgage applications for home purchases, we found that lenders were 40 percent more likely to turn down Latino applicants for loans, 50 percent more likely to deny Asian/Pacific Islander applicants, and 70 percent more likely to deny Native American applicants than similar White applicants. Lenders were 80 percent more likely to reject Black applicants than similar White applicants. These are national rates. In every case, the prospective borrowers of color looked almost exactly the same on paper as the White applicants, except for their race…”

Get Shots or Get Out, U.S. Employers Are Telling Workers Bloomberg. I guess we have “corporate health” now, not public health. So it goes.

The Corporate Deterrent To More VaccinationsDaily Poster. No paid time off. Naturally. The people permitted to change social relations in the workplace are non-essential workers who can work from home. Period. Everybody else at a minumum needs a union, and maybe that’s not enough.

O Canada! Claudia Sahm, Stay-At-Home Macr


U.S. Billionaires Got 62 percent Richer During Pandemic. They’re Now Up $1.8


Trillion.Institute for Policy Studies. Capitalism seems to be anti-fragile.


COVID-19: A Catalyst for Rising Inequality in Thailand The Diplomat


What Made the Battle of Blair Mountain the Largest Labor Uprising in American HistorySmithsonian