Lees and Orts

Ted Cruz goes on to win the Wisconsin primary despite not receiving the all important cheese-head rodent endorsement.

Hmmm – the badger state citizens have fallen for the flashing idiot lights of Trump’s Traveling Slight of Hand and Magical Snake Oil Emporium.

The cheese-heads appeared oblivious to what history will eventually reveal; the true reason for Trump’s quixotic presidential bid has been a (largely less than successful) effort to remake Cruz as a “normal” person.

It boggles further the mind that Wisconsin, heretofore unremarkable for anything outside of cheese curds and the Green Bay Packers, would disdain the moderate 1 Kasich in favor of religious zealot and world class loon Ted Cruz. After all, the state repudiated this sort of wing-nuttery back in 2008.

Waddup wid dat shit, badgers?

If the populace isn’t careful Paul Ryan could shoot out of Cleveland this summer as the GOP nominee.

Lees and Orts

Meanwhile in the ever enlarging field of robots-as-sex-toys comes news that no matinee idol is safe:

…a Hong Kong designer who made a robot that looks just like the award-winning actress—although Ricky Ma, the robot’s creator, wouldn’t name the actress he modeled the bot on, choosing instead to call it Mark 1. It took Ma eighteen months and over $50,000 to complete the project, which he constructed on his patio with a 3-D printer and software that he taught himself how to use.

The question, however, is one of precedent. If a man can’t earn the attention of the woman he longs for, is it plausible for that man to build a robot that looks exactly like his love interest instead? Is there any legal recourse to prevent someone from building a ScarJo bot, or Beyonce bot, or a bot of you? Sure, people make doll and wax replicas of famous people all the time. But the difference here is that Mark 1 moves, smiles, and winks.

“It being animate all of a sudden for some reason feels too invasive,” said Ryan Calo, a law professor at the University of Washington. “If [Ma] were to gain commercially in almost any way from this, and even arguably the notoriety he has gained from this, Scarlett Johansson could almost certainly sue him.”

For what, one wonders? Alienation of affection? It’s not like he has any cash – the bot cost him $50k HK that he didn’t have. Still, it’d be a fun case to watch, probably setting several precedents for all the replicants sure to follow…

Lees and Orts

Over at Nature they’re putting a different spin on attraction. As they so eloquently put it…

Quantum spin liquids (QSLs) are topological states of matter exhibiting remarkable properties such as the capacity to protect quantum information from decoherence. Whereas their featureless ground states have precluded their straightforward experimental identification, excited states are more revealing and particularly interesting owing to the emergence of fundamentally new excitations such as Majorana fermions. Ideal probes of these excitations are inelastic neutron scattering experiments. These we report here for a ruthenium-based material, α-RuCl3, continuing a major search (so far concentrated on iridium materials) for realizations of the celebrated Kitaev honeycomb topological QSL. Our measurements confirm the requisite strong spin–orbit coupling and low-temperature magnetic order matching predictions proximate to the QSL. We find stacking faults, inherent to the highly two-dimensional nature of the material, resolve an outstanding puzzle. Crucially, dynamical response measurements above interlayer energy scales are naturally accounted for in terms of deconfinement physics expected for QSLs. Comparing these with recent dynamical calculations involving gauge flux excitations and Majorana fermions of the pure Kitaev model, we propose the excitation spectrum of α-RuCl3 as a prime candidate for fractionalized Kitaev physics.

Which is just their fun way of saying that some physicists finally were able to espy long predicted quantum spin liquid, not to mention the strange fermions that accompany it.

Not sure what “real” world applications this will have down the road –will the strange fermions also act as irresistible human pheromones?– but the possibilities are limitless.

Lees and Orts

As further proof that what one thinks IS reality comes the following:

Barclays has become the first big British bank to form a partnership with a digital currency firm, social payments app Circle, which runs partly on bitcoin’s blockchain network and launched in the UK on Wednesday.

In what Britain’s Treasury called a “major milestone” in its push to make the UK the world’s capital for financial technology, or fintech, Circle was granted an e-money licence by the Financial Conduct Authority, the UK watchdog – another first for a digital currency company.

The Boston-based start-up, which is backed by $76 million in venture capital and counts Goldman Sachs and investment firm Digital Currency Group among its investors, said the licence would allow it to hold users’ money and to facilitate domestic and international payments…

Circle launched in the United States at the end of last year, and is now allowing cross-currency transfers of pounds and dollars at rates that it says are better than other money transfer services, and with no added fee. It will soon also allow transfers in and out of euros, when it launches in the rest of Europe later in the year.

But if a customer is sending money to a country where Circle hasn’t yet launched, it is simply transferred into bitcoin, then transferred and settled within minutes via the blockchain network that validates bitcoin transactions. At the other end, the bitcoin is then transferred back into the currency of that particular country.

Barclays Corporate Banking is providing the account that Circle needs to store sterling for consumers, and the infrastructure to allow transfers from any UK bank account in and out of Circle.

“We support the exploration of positive uses of blockchain that can benefit consumers and society,” said a spokesperson for the bank in a statement.

Barclays’ support is something of a coup for Circle – banks are increasingly investing in blockchain technology, but have tended to shy away from any firm that is in the least involved in bitcoin because of the web-based digital currency’s links to the dark web and illicit online activity.

I wouldn’t count bitcoin out quite yet.

Lees and Orts

Show 1 footnote

  1. In this bizarro world election cycle at any rate.

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