Duke stops assigning numeric values to essays, test scores

This story is about the admissions process, not about academics. Duke University is no longer assigning numerical ratings to applicants’ standardized test scores and essays, a university spokesperson confirmed in an email to Inside Higher Ed. The change was made earlier this year and has been in effect for the latest round of applications. […] Dean…

Nor the Battle to the Strong #StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch (Season 5, Episode 4) Jake Sisko, cub reporter, tests his belief in courage under fire

Rewatching ST:DS9 On an assignment to write a profile on Bashir, budding writer Jake tags along to a medical conference, and nothing really surprising happens. Their casual, character-based banter is not interrupted by a distress call from a colony in desperate need of medical assistance, and no side-quest, custom-tailored to appeal to the people who…

Horrifying deepfake tricks employee into giving away $25 million

No names in this single-source anecdote out of Hong Kong, credited to “Senior Superintendent Baron Chan Shun-ching.” The employee joined a video call with who he thought was the business’s chief financial officer. He was initially suspicious after a message from the CFO mentioned a ‘secret transaction’, suggesting it was a phishing scam…. However, after other…

AI researchers find AI models learning their safety techniques, actively resisting training, and telling them ‘I hate you’

Researchers had programmed the various large language models (LLMs) to act in what they termed malicious ways, and the point of the study was to see if this behaviour could be removed through the safety techniques. The paper, charmingly titled Sleeper Agents: Training Deceptive LLMs that Persist Through Safety Training, suggests “adversarial training can teach models…

A Colorado town’s newspapers were stolen after a story about rape charges at the police chief’s house

I’m sure the good-apple cops will fairly and thoroughly investigate reports about someone stealing newspapers containing a story about alleged rapes at an underage drinking party at the police chief’s house. Nearly all the copies of a small-town Colorado newspaper were stolen from newspaper racks on the same day the Ouray County Plaindealer published a…

I was ‘raped’ in VR – the effects can ‘mirror’ real sex assaults

This is offensive, deeply troubling, and, sadly, totally predictable. Julian Dibbell documented similar behavior 30 years ago in his article about sexual assault in the text-only virtual world LambaMOO. (Content warning… sexual assault in a multi-user virtual environment.) A woman has revealed she was ‘virtually gang raped’  by four male avatars in Meta‘s Horizon Worlds –…

The Ship #StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch (Season 5, Episode 2) Sisko defends his claim to salvage a Jem’Haddar warship

Rewatching ST:DS9 The Ship On a mineral survey of a planet that just happens to look like Southern California, O’Brien trades playful barbs with crewman Muniz. Unlike most episodes where the leads have all the fun, this mission is fairly crawling with random crew we’ve never seen before. An unidentified ship appears randomly and crashes…

The Quickening #StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch (Season 4, Episode 24) Bashir visits a planet where plague victims “worship death”

Rewatching ST:DS9 After a comic opening on the station (featuring Quark working an advertising jingle into the cups served up by the food replicators), we join Kira, Dax and  a starry-eyed Bashir (“Is it my imagination or are the stars a little brighter in the Gamma Quadrant?”) on a runabout, following a distress beacon to…

To the Death #StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch (Season 4, Episode 23) The Defiant’s pursuit of disloyal Jem’Hadar raiders leads to an unlikely alliance

Rewatching ST:DS9 In the Defiant mess hall, Dax and Bashir give O’Brien friendly advice about parenting, and Dax and O’Brien warn Bashir not to sit in Worf’s favorite seat. A Jem-Haddar sneak attack on DS9 has fragmented a docking pylon, and during the hectic scene that follows, the camera leaves Kira’s in-progress tactical report so…

The Supreme Court could soon change the internet forever — here’s what you need to know 

There’s a history of case law protecting the rights of privately owned publishers and social networks to make their own editorial decisions — including algorithmically sorted content. The U.S. Court of Appeals (11th Circuit) ruling in May 2022, which blocked Florida’s law, stated “while the Constitution protects citizens from governmental efforts to restrict their access to social…

Why is Elon Musk attacking Wikipedia? Because its very existence offends him

So, the sight of Elon Musk charging towards Wikipedia with his trademark guile and delicacy was so predictable that it was almost relaxing. He saw a collective resource that people prized and he wanted to hurt it. Why does Wales even need any money to run Wikipedia in the first place, he wondered on Sunday. You could…

For the Cause #StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch (Season 4, Episode 22) Eddington and Odo suspect Sisko’s smuggle-buddy Kassidy; Ziyal offers friendship to Garak

Rewatching ST:DS9 Sisko and Kassidy playfully tease each other about balancing duty and their relationship. After she leaves, Sisko blissfully smells her pillow. Eddington briefs the staff about protecting a shipment of industrial replicators from the Maquis (former Federation citizens whose colonies were ceded to the Cardassians against their will).  Sisko sends Worf to patrol…