Precis 21.10.2021

vintage bicycle with basket near wall
Photo by Maria Orlova on

Hazel Scott: The Gorgeous Face of Jazz at the Mid-Century | Library of Congress Blog

Black and white publicity of Hazel Scott, sitting beside a white piano in a black dress, gazing directly at the photographer

Born in Trinidad in 1920 and raised in Harlem by her mother, Alma Long Scott, a professional musician, she was a child prodigy with perfect pitch. The Julliard School of Music accepted her as a special student at the age of 8, when the minimum age for acceptance was 16.

Her virtuosity was astonishing. She would start playing classical music, perhaps Bach or Beethoven, then slowly add syncopation and rhythm until it was swinging jazz. Then she’d launch into boogie-woogie. Her albums were hits.

Urban Design: Why Can’t We Build Nice Neighborhoods Anymore? – Bloomberg

Another partially true explanation for the decline of neighborhood beauty concerns zoning. The beautiful medieval neighborhoods of Lübeck or Siena, for example, could not have been built in today’s regulatory environment. Still, it is odd that wealthy modern society cannot work around those constraints to produce something more impressive than typical suburban cookie-cutter houses.

 “Selection effects” are also often cited as an explanation for the decline of neighborhood beauty: The best neighborhoods from the past are (at least partially) preserved, conveying an overly glorified sense of the aesthetics of previous eras. It’s a good point, but it’s hard for me to name many recent neighborhoods that will go down in history as aesthetically admirable.

Privacy-preserving Brave Search Replaces Google as the Default Search Engine in the Brave Browser | Brave Browser

Starting today, new Brave users will have the search functionality in the Brave browser powered by Brave Search, giving them the privacy and independence of a search/browser alternative to Big Tech. Brave Search is built on top of an independent index, and doesn’t track users, their searches, or their clicks. Privacy-preserving Brave Search now replaces Google as the default search engine used in the address bar for new Brave users in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom; Brave Search as default also replaces Qwant in France, and DuckDuckGo in Germany, with more geographies to be added in the next several months. Existing Brave users will keep their chosen search engine default, and can set Brave Search as the default search engine in Brave or most other major browsers. 

VA doctors seek to harness artificial intelligence to target care for sicker Veterans – VAntage Point

The team used a type of AI called machine learning to “read” through the records. With machine learning, computers imitate human intelligence, solving complex problems that often involve huge amounts of data. Medical record reviews with machine learning can identify patterns beyond the reach of a doctor’s traditional—and time-consuming—chart reviews.

Japan’s Skylark rolls out robo-waiters for contactless dining – Nikkei Asia

With authorities easing restrictions on dining out and other activities that had been curtailed over pandemic concerns, Skylark aims to compensate for the restaurant industry’s chronic worker shortage without sacrificing service quality. Robot servers also reduce contact between customers and human staff, lowering the risk of virus transmission.

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