Linkage
This is my penultimate link roundup before I give up on Google+, rather than holding out for its rapidlyapproaching demise.

State Court of Berlin orders German Wikipedia to remove claims linking CS prof Alex Waibel to US intelligence (\(\mathbb{M}\), G+, via). “Whether the claims were justified or not was not taken into account by the court” — instead it seems the court disagrees with Wikipedia’s policy of repeating claims from published sources, and insists that potentiallyharmful claims can only be published by people who have researched them directly.

How to make a hollow geodesic plywood ball (\(\mathbb{M}\), G+). I don’t actually care about the howto part of the linked video, but the malachitelike patterns that emerge from the plywood layers on the resulting ball are quite pretty. If you think about it, it’s reversed from actual malachite, where the 3d structure involves nested spheres, and you get the patterns from a flat cut. Here, the 3d structure involves flat layers, and you get the patterns from a spherical cut.

The Hungarian far right forces the eviction of an entire university (\(\mathbb{M}\), G+, via). They’ve also forbidden universities in the country from teaching gender studies, using binary genderessentialist rhetoric to do so.

Rigid foldability is NPhard (\(\mathbb{M}\)). It was previously known that folding a purported origami folding pattern to a flat state is NPhard, because you can encode logic in the way the paper gets in the way of itself. But this paper proves that it’s hard even to tell whether you can make any rigid motion at all starting from completely unfolded paper, well before selfinterference kicks in. Instead, the difficulty involves getting sums of angles to come out right.

ACM announces their 2018 class of fellows (\(\mathbb{M}\)). Congratulations, new fellows! See also Wikipedia’s coverage of all the ACM fellows. Quite a few are still missing articles, so if you want to improve Wikipedia’s coverage of computer scientists there’s still plenty to do.

Australia’s war on encryption: the sweeping new powers rushed into law (\(\mathbb{M}\)). With all the vague “end of the internet!” or “why is everyone so upset at such good idea” stories elsewhere on the new Australian backdooryourapps law, it’s good to see a piece that explains what it actually does. The moral seems to be: don’t allow or agree to any automatic updates while in Australia. Australians, if you want security from government snooping and from security flaws, tough luck.

“In UC’s battle with the world’s largest scientific publisher, the future of information is at stake” (\(\mathbb{M}\), G+, via). Michael Hiltzik of the LA Times on the negotiations between the University of California and Elsevier over open access publishing. See also UC’s official summary of the negotiations.

Taylor and Francis refuse to publish a mathematics paper after its editors and referees accepted it, because one ot its authors is Iranian (\(\mathbb{M}\), G+). The paper in question appears to be “Saturation of generalized partially hyperbolic attractors” by A. Fakhari and M. Soufi. The decision was condemned by the European Mathematical Society and reversed after creating an uproar, but it’s not clear from the reversal statement whether the publisher might try doing this again later.

Population mountains (\(\mathbb{M}\), via). Nice 3d visualization of global urban population patterns, by Matt Daniels.

Flip graphs of matroids are expanders (\(\mathbb{M}\)). Gil Kalai reports on a new proof by Nima Anari, Kuikui Liu, Shayan Oveis Gharan, and Cynthia Vinzant of a conjecture by Milena Mihail and Umesh Vazirani that any subset \(S\) of at most half of the bases of a matroid has at least \(\vert S\vert\) flips to a base outside \(S\).

Map of the tracks of six wolf packs shows them carefully partitioning the wilderness into nonoverlapping territories, and staying within their own (\(\mathbb{M}\)). Higher resolution version at the linked reddit page.

xkcd on arXiv vs the commercial journals (\(\mathbb{M}\)). Infer what you will from the fact that xkcd is published openaccess.

A move to doubleblind reviewing fixes huge gender bias in acceptance rates for space telescope allocation competition (\(\mathbb{M}\), G+)