NEWS DIGEST 10.04.2022: News on tech & Ukraine crisis

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On Feb. 26, only two days into the war, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti published an op-ed titled “The Coming of Russia and of the New World.” Its author, without a trace of irony, praises Russian President Vladimir Putin for the timely “solution of the Ukrainian question.” A few hours later, the article was removed and is now only available in web archives. Since the failure of Putin’s apparent plan to rush into Kyiv, decapitate the Ukrainian government, and install a puppet regime became evident-and it became clear to him that ordinary Ukrainians weren’t waiting to be liberated by Russia-the language on Ukraine and Ukrainians has turned much more radical and toxic. The war didn’t have anything to do with the Ukrainian people, they insisted, because Russia was fighting NATO and the West, which had undermined Russia by supporting Ukraine’s “nationalist junta.” Of course, Russian claims that its military is “denazifying” Ukraine are an absurdity; Ukrainian Jews are, of course, siding with their country, and Ukraine’s right-wing Svoboda party only gathered 3 percent of the vote in the last election. When Ukrainians fought back ferociously, stood fully behind their allegedly evil leadership, and showed no desire to be so-called liberated by Russia, the Kremlin’s propaganda switched gears-and went into full genocidal mode – Russia’s Ukraine Propaganda Has Turned Fully Genocidal (Foreign Policy ~ Analysis)

Entrepreneurs often have to decide whether to look for external funding or go the bootstrap route. There are many companies, including Wingify, GrabOn and Zoho, that have proven that bootstrapping works. If you’re bootstrapping, and you’re the sole founder of your company, then you will own 100% of it. It is common to say that after a company goes public the long-term vision of the company is forgotten and instead quarterly numbers are the goal. Bootstrapping doesn’t mean you have to spend too much time fundraising. You have fewer distractions when you are bootstrapping. Bootstrap entrepreneurs spend more time creating value for customers than on fundraising – Top 9 Benefits of Bootstrapping Your Company (TNT)

The Internet of Things industry is now valued at more than $300 billion, and it is likely to continue growing for years to come. One of the two is what makes the IoT so valuable to people. We live in the transitional time between when people dreamed about “someday” when delivery robots could place packages on their doorstep and their car could drive itself and those things becoming ubiquitous. Our naturally more sedentary lifestyles mean that the fitness industry isn’t going anywhere. Robots implemented in food service are also gaining momentum and may ease the huge burden of staffing that the industry is currently experiencing. Those who are seeking a longer-term career in IoT industries will be rewarded if they play their cards right. PRIVACY CONCERNS. Privacy will continue to be one of the biggest concerns in 2022 from pretty much everyone’s standpoint – Here’s what we can expect to see in the IoT industry in 2022 (Fast Company)

In a new paper, Alex Townsend (associate professor of mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell University in the US), together with co-authors Nicolas Boullé of the University of Oxford and Christopher Earls, professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering, advance PDE learning with a novel “rational” neural network, which reveals its findings in a manner that mathematicians can understand: through Green’s functions – a right inverse of a differential equation in calculus. Neurons – called “activation functions” in the context of computerized neural networks – collect inputs from other neurons. To do this, the researchers created a customized rational neural network, in which the activation functions are more complicated but can capture extreme physical behavior of Green’s functions. Rational neural networks are potentially more flexible than standard neural networks because researchers can select various inputs. “The machine learns the Green’s function for a natural system. It doesn’t know what it means; it can’t interpret it. But we as humans can now look at the Green’s function because we’ve learned something we can mathematically understand.”Rational neural network advances machine-human discovery (Cornell Chronicle)

Nato members fear supplying heavier offensive equipment like tanks and fighter jets could lead to direct open conflict with Russia. Nato strategic planners worry that once the nuclear taboo is broken, even if the damage is limited to a localised target on the Ukrainian battlefield, then the risk of escalation to a catastrophic nuclear exchange between Russia and the West inevitably goes up a notch. Tobias Ellwood MP, who chairs the Parliamentary Defence Committee, is one of those who believes Putin is bluffing when he raises the spectre of nuclear weapons and that Nato should be doing more. A Russian strategic missile strike targets a supply convoy of military hardware crossing from a Nato country, like Poland or Slovakia, into Ukraine. If casualties were sustained on Nato’s side of the border that could potentially trigger Article 5 of Nato’s constitution, bringing the entire alliance to the defence of the country attacked – Ukraine: Three ways this war could escalate and drag Nato in (BBC News ~ World – Europe)

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