Summary of “Every New York City Subway Line Is Getting Worse. Here’s Why.”

Subway delays have become a frustrating fact of life in New York City.
Large crowds slow down trains, which creates more crowding in a vicious circle that takes hours to unwind during every rush.
How exactly does overcrowding cause delays? Subway officials say trains slow down as they face an onslaught of passengers at each station.
The delay reverberates down the line as a queue of trains behind it backs up.
A train is considered late if it reaches the final station on the line more than five minutes after its scheduled arrival time.
“The only truly effective way to address crowding on the subway is to run more trains,” said John Raskin, the executive director of the Riders Alliance, an advocacy group.
What the system needs is more capacity: trains that run more frequently and new lines to carry the growing population.
Another subway rider, KC Brown, recently found herself in a situation that is sadly familiar to most New Yorkers: The train doors closed in her face and when they opened, the train was too full to get on.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Chaos Cures Metaphysics”

Given two real numbers, we know how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide them.
We know how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide complex numbers.
Just as one can construct the complex numbers from pairs of real numbers, so too can one construct the quaternions from pairs of complex numbers.
Let c1 = r1 + r2i and c2 = r3 + r4i be complex numbers; then we can construct a quaternion as q = c1 + c2j where j is a special number.
So while the complex numbers are comprised of two real numbers, the quaternions are comprised of four real numbers.
Rather than looking at the real numbers as central and the octonions as strange larger number systems, think of the octonions as fundamental and all the other number systems as just special subsets of octonions.
Let us turn this view on its head. Rather than looking at the real numbers as central and the octonions as strange larger number systems, think of the octonions as fundamental and all the other number systems as just special subsets of octonions.
Let us explore how we can derive all the properties of the number systems that we are familiar with.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Cyberattack ‘the World Isn’t Ready For'”

What Mr. Ben-Oni had witnessed was much worse, and with all eyes on the WannaCry destruction, few seemed to be paying attention to the attack on IDT’s systems – and most likely others around the world.
In IDT’s case, attackers used DoublePulsar to steal an IDT contractor’s credentials.
Mr. Ben-Oni learned of the attack only when a contractor, working from home, switched on her computer to find that all her data had been encrypted and that attackers were demanding a ransom to unlock it.
Attackers entered IDT’s network at 6 p.m. on Saturday on the dot, two and a half hours before the Sabbath would end and when most of IDT’s employees – 40 percent of whom identify as Orthodox Jews – would be off the clock.
With the exception of Amazon, which found that some of its customers’ computers had been scanned by the same computer that hit IDT, no one had seen any trace of the attack before Mr. Ben-Oni notified them.
‘No One Is Running Point’Since the Shadow Brokers leaked dozens of coveted attack tools in April, hospitals, schools, cities, police departments and companies around the world have largely been left to fend for themselves against weapons developed by the world’s most sophisticated attacker: the N.S.A.A month earlier, Microsoft had issued a software patch to defend against the N.S.A. hacking tools – suggesting that the agency tipped the company off to what was coming.
For his part, Mr. Ben-Oni said he had rolled out Microsoft’s patches as soon as they became available, but attackers still managed to get in through the IDT contractor’s home modem.
There are now YouTube videos showing criminals how to attack systems using the very same N.S.A. tools used against IDT, and Metasploit, an automated hacking tool, now allows anyone to carry out these attacks with the click of a button.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Meet the Chinese Finance Giant That’s Secretly an AI Company”

The company boasts more than 450 million active users compared to about 12 million for Apple Pay.
Ant’s progress will be significant to the future of the financial industry beyond China, including in the U.S., where the company is expanding its interests.
A spokesperson for the company says it hasn’t brought Alipay to the U.S. because existing financial systems provide less of an opportunity.
Yuan Qi, a vice president and chief data scientist at Ant, says the company’s AI research is shaping its growth.
Qi speaks a mile a minute, which seems appropriate given how quickly his company seems to be moving.
Dressed in a smart shirt and dress pants on a sweltering afternoon in Beijing this May, shortly after giving a speech at a major AI conference, Qi explained that the company considers itself not a “Fintech” business but a “Techfin” one, due to the importance of technology.
The company has invested almost $1 billion in Paytm, an Indian payments company.
Last year the company acquired EyeVerify, a U.S. company that makes eye recognition software.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Is the Universe Conscious?”

For centuries, modern science has been shrinking the gap between humans and the rest of the universe, from Isaac Newton showing that one set of laws applies equally to falling apples and orbiting moons to Carl Sagan intoning that “We are made of star stuff” – that the atoms of our bodies were literally forged in the nuclear furnaces of other stars.
Three decades ago, Penrose introduced a key element of panpsychism with his theory that consciousness is rooted in the statistical rules of quantum physics as they apply in the microscopic spaces between neurons in the brain.
“The only dominant theory we have of consciousness says that it is associated with complexity – with a system’s ability to act upon its own state and determine its own fate,” Koch says.
Koch is inspired by integrated information theory, a hot topic among modern neuroscientists, which holds that consciousness is defined by the ability of a system to be influenced by its previous state and to influence its next state.
“The only dominant theory we have of consciousness says that it is associated with complexity – with a system’s ability to act upon its own state and determine its own fate.”
Which brings us to Roger Penrose and his theories linking consciousness and quantum mechanics.
“The laws of physics produce complex systems, and these complex systems lead to consciousness, which then produces mathematics, which can then encode in a succinct and inspiring way the very underlying laws of physics that gave rise to it.”
There are no stars to monitor, and no brains to measure, to understand whether reality depends on the presence of consciousness.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Russian Cyber Hacks on U.S. Electoral System Far Wider Than Previously Known”

Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system before Donald Trump’s election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems in almost twice as many states as previously reported.
“They’re coming after America,” Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Russian interference in the election.
Russian officials have publicly denied any role in cyber attacks connected to the U.S. elections, including a massive “Spear phishing” effort that compromised Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, among hundreds of other groups.
One of the mysteries about the 2016 presidential election is why Russian intelligence, after gaining access to state and local systems, didn’t try to disrupt the vote.
“Last year, as we detected intrusions into websites managed by election officials around the country, the administration worked relentlessly to protect our election infrastructure,” said Eric Schultz, a spokesman for former President Barack Obama.
In early July 2016, a contractor who works two or three days a week at the state board of elections detected unauthorized data leaving the network, according to Ken Menzel, general counsel for the Illinois board of elections.
According to the leaked NSA document, hackers working for Russian military intelligence were trying to take over the computers of 122 local election officials just days before the Nov. 8 election.
While some inside the Obama administration pressed at the time to make the full scope of the Russian activity public, the White House was ultimately unwilling to risk public confidence in the election’s integrity, people familiar with those discussions said.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Integrated Information Theory Serves Physics”

Neuroscientists have been developing theories that are comprehensive in scope, built on basic principles, open to experimental testing, and mathematically meaty-in a word, physics-y. Foremost among those theories is Integrated Information Theory, developed by neuroscientist Giulio Tononi at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
An approach based on Integrated Information Theory allows for the possibility that causation occurs on more than one level.
Physicists commonly construct a higher level by taking an average, but Integrated Information Theory encourages them to approach it more like a biologist or software engineer: by chunking components into groups that perform some specific function, like an organ of the body or a computer subroutine.
The line of thinking based on Integrated Information Theory might also loop back on the mind-body problems that inspired it.
Emergence is not the only knotty physics subject that Integrated Information Theory might help to untangle.
This conjecture didn’t get very far because no one knew how to quantify the mind, but Integrated Information Theory now provides a way.
Integrated Information Theory might also fix another nagging problem with the concept of collapse.
Integrated Information Theory may not solve it-the scientific study of consciousness is young, and it would be surprising if neuroscientists had hit on the right answer so soon.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Getting Your Head Around Performance”

Performance is one of the most interesting and challenging areas in systems development.
Improvements in algorithms and architectures are critical, but they are almost always enabled or made necessary by underlying improvements in performance.
Analyzing performance requires a deep understanding of the current behavior of elements of your design, but also needs to be informed by what is changing and likely to continue to change in the future and whether that will make your design better or worse over time.
The design strategies that catch on are the ones that become feasible and then see performance trends make them a better and better trade-off over time.
So the relationship between the components of the system are constantly changing and diverging which means that performance improvements in the individual components will often enable or require deeper overall changes in design.
The same mechanisms that computer designers use to have additional caches “Automatically” improve performance of existing workloads makes it hard to recognize when those caches fail to be effective.
In-memory databases are an example where increasing memory capacity opened up new performance scenarios as an entire database could fit in memory and no longer be constrained by disk bandwidth and latencies.
Looking at an application like OneNote one could ask how many notebooks will a typical user have open? How many sections with how many pages? How big and complex is a page? A corollary to “Know your design point” is “Your design point will change” - either because of changing usage scenarios or changing performance characteristics of the devices it runs on and how that drives requirements.

The orginal article.

Summary of “”Personal kanban”: a time-management system that explodes the myth of multitasking”

One such system is “Personal Kanban,” which was named for the Japanese concept that inspired it, a just-in-time manufacturing process developed at Toyota in the late 1940s.
Post all of these cards in the “Options” column.
The “Options” column makes it possible to see everything that’s on your list and assess what’s manageable or not.
The middle column is the “Now” that matters most, according to Benson, and should never contain more than three tickets.
Squeezing more than three items into the “Doing” column, on the other hand, likely means you’re taxing your brain and slowing it down.
The appeal of the “Done” column needs no elaboration.
With some coding or sub-categorization, this column can morph into a record of your work that offers some useful insights.
Several popular software programs are based on the Kanban system, too, including Pivotal Tracker, and Trello.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Is Singapore’s “miracle” health care system the answer for America?”

Singapore’s system requires individuals to take responsibility for their own health, and for much of their own spending on medical care.
Here’s what Singapore’s conservative admirers get right: Singapore really is the only truly universal health insurance system in the world based on the idea that patients, not insurers, should bear the costs of routine care.
How Singapore’s health insurance system works Books could be written on the structure of Singapore’s health care system, and indeed, they have been.
How Singapore’s health care system works It’s easy, looking at Singapore’s insurance scheme, to see what conservatives find so attractive in the system.
The bulk of the American government’s intervention into the health care system is done through health insurance, and so American analysts often look at Singapore’s insurance system and stop there.
The bulk of the Singapore government’s intervention into the health care system is through the health care system itself.
Singapore’s health outcomes are excellent, but that’s not only because its health system is well-designed.
Singapore’s health care system relies much more on the government, and much less on the market, than America’s does.

The orginal article.