In August 2016, 28-year-old Sayed Asadullah Poya and his wife Jamila from Afghanistan had a newborn baby to name. Sayed had just read Donald Trump‘s book, Trump: How to Get Rich, and when he saw that his baby had blonde hair, the name Donald Trump sounded like a real good choice. He thought the name would bring "good fortune." But so far, the name has been as crummy for the family as it has for the U.S. For starters, Sayed‘s parents
Yesterday‘s bombshell article in the Guardian about the way that Cambridge Analytica was able to extract tens of millions of Facebook users‘ data without their consent was preceded by plenty of damage control on Facebook‘s part: they repeatedly threatened to sue news outlets if they reported on the story and fired the whistleblower who came forward with the story. (more)
Gourmet charcuterie expert Elias Cairo of Olympia Provisions knows from good meat. I still like Oscar Meyer bologna.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXdYSQ6nu-M Yesterday‘s bombshell article in the Guardian about the way that Cambridge Analytica was able to extract tens of millions of Facebook users‘ data without their consent was preceded by plenty of damage control on Facebook‘s part: they repeatedly threatened to sue news outlets if they reported on the story and fired the whistleblower who came forward with the story. (more)
Oklahoma spent eight years under full GOP rule, with Republicans controlling the governorship and the legislature, passing a fully ALEC-compliant slate of laws that benefited the wealthy at the expense of the poor; the result has been a catastrophe for the party‘s fortunes in Oklahoma, to say nothing of a catastrophe for Oklahomans, whose schools are running four day weeks so teachers can made ends meet by getting a day‘s work at Wa
A reminder that this Thursday (3/22), Institute for the Future, the nonprofit thinktank where I‘m a researcher, is hosting an event celebrating the Voyager Golden Record at our Palo Alto, California offices/gallery! Joining me in conversation will be legendary astronomer Frank Drake, the father of the scientific search for extraterrestrial intelligence and technical director of the original Voyager Record in 1977. Tickets are 10 and RSVP is
KNXV in Arizona reports that a pedestrian died last night after being hit by an autonomous vehicle. The Uber had a human safety driver but was self-driving when it collided with the victim, according to KNXV. Early reports identified the victim as a bicyclist, but the latest updates say she walked into the street. It appears to be the first pedestrian killed by an autonomous vehicle. 10 pedestrians were killed in the last week by cars driven by
By design, data placed in the blockchain is visible to everyone in the world and can never be removed; everyone who mines bitcoin makes a copy of the blockchain, and so any illegal content stashed in the blockchain ends up on the computers of every miner. (more)
A trio of engineering researchers from UC Berkeley modeled the effect of heavy reliance on GPS routing on municipal road efficiencies and found that people who are GPS-routed are likely to move to surface streets and secondary highways when the main highways are congested; though this increases overall throughput in a city and reduces overall drive-time, it also creates heavy traffic on residential streets, effectively transferring traffic jams
Great Pyrenees like to think for themselves, and don‘t much care what you want them to do. I took my buddy Nemo to agility training. He can do all the tricks. He will not do any of them once he has had enough treats. Simple things like sit, down or stay all come instantly, when he wants the treats I‘m holding. Any other time, unless I have real urgency in my voice, Nemo feels I‘m presenting options. Sit generally results in
KNXV in Arizona reports that a pedestrian was killed last night by an Uber autonomous vehicle. It appears to be the first pedestrian killed by an autonomous vehicle. The Uber had a human safety driver but was self-driving when it collided with the victim, according to KNXV. Early reports identified the victim as a bicyclist, but the latest updates say she walked into the street. https://twitter.com/daiwaka/status/975771533745336320
Machine learning is often characterized as much an "art" as a "science" and in at least one regard, that‘s true: its practitioners are prone to working under loosely controlled conditions, using training data that is being continuously tweaked with no versioning; modifying parameters during runs (because it takes too long to wait for the whole run before making changes); squashing bugs mid-run; these and other common practices mean that r
Kurzgesagt, the maker of the world‘s best explainer videos, is back with an explain about the "selfish argument for making the world a better place." The entire video is worth watching but the gist of it is this: Innovation is driven by supply and demand. Supply goes up when more people around the world are educated and become inventors, scientists, engineers, and thinkers. Demand increases as people‘s wealth increases and they ha
In the wake of the latest Facebook data breach catastrophe, Josh Constantine rounds up more than a decade‘s worth of major catastrophes wrought by Facebook‘s recklessness, greed, and foolishness, from Beacon to the "Engagement Ranked Feed" to the "Engagement Priced Ad Auctions" to the choices that created spamming games like Zynga‘s offerings, to the mass overwriting of privacy preferences, to "ethnic affinity" ad targeting, t
I needed a new cordless handset for my home POTS line. I wanted no-frills, just a phone. This works wonderfully. Every decade or so I need a new phone for my landline. My former AT&T model‘s reception had degraded so badly, from drops of both the base and handset, that I couldn‘t move around the house while I talk. I like to pace. Pacing is how I can talk in the phone. I needed something new. Most of the units I was seeing had VOIC
When Gary Cohn left Goldman Sachs to to work for Donald Trump, he was required to sell off his Goldman Sachs stock, but he didn‘t have to pay capital gains tax on that sale, saving him a cool 150,000,000; a year later, he was out of the Trump administration, and he still gets to hang onto those tax-free hectabucks. (more)
To show off the Magnus effect, again, 5 balls of varying size are thrown off a 200m cliff. Fun ensues.
The Dodd-Frank act mandated that publicly listed companies would have to publish an annual figure listing the ratio between their CEO‘s pay and their median worker‘s pay: now, after nearly a decade of stalling tactics from corporate lobbyists, those figures are emerging, and they‘re equipping cities with the tools they need to crack down on the most unequal companies in the world. (more)
Sara Elizabeth Williams‘ long, beautifully written profile of the merchants who established illegal storefronts on the Champs-lyses, a stretch of road in Jordan‘s Za‘atari refugee camp -- home to 93,000 Syrian refugees -- is a lens on the crisis created by decades of western complicity in the brutal Assad regime, followed by a global proxy war fought on Syrian soil, with no compassion or regard by any of the belligerents for
If you add Chirpss to your website, it will make a chirping noise whenever anyone comes or goes. You have to have Google Analytics installed (it relies on the realtime tracking GA provides) and the willingness to revisit the golden age of hit counters.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlvbcZEaIB4 Exploring a disused and marvelously creepy building, urban spelunker shiey runs into a still-functioning PBX room. The environment isn‘t so decrepit that it comes across as as impossible or supernatural--the building has power, obviously--but it‘s definitely weird to find the place between presence and abandonment, where the humans are gone but our footsteps are still talking.
It‘s obvious when comparing an untunable yet adorable craigslist clunker with a high-quality modern piano, but I was surprised to find myself noticing the difference between a 15k grand and a 50k one, too. There was, it must be said, a big difference in age. I wonder how "cheaper" modern Yamahas (the GB1K comes in at a trifling 14k or so, and then there are the uprights...) sound compared to the big grands.
The Twitter account of upscale retailer Nordstrom confirmed this weekend that it did not "like" a tweet that claimed the "DS" in "Nintendo DS" stood for "dick suck." Another twitter user had reported that the offensive remark appeared in their feed because Nordstrom liked it, but it appears now that this report was itself mistaken. "The DS in Nintendo DS stands for Dick Suck," wrote Nick Wiger, a Twitter japester with 32k followers on the p
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-hxWLoOjgw Elite was the original 3D space-trading game, spinning a vast universe to explore from a few lines of code, birthing a series that‘s still going strong. It famously came boxed with a novella by Rob Holdstock to give literary life to its procecurally-generated expanse, but did you know there was also Elite: The Musical? By Aidan Bell, brother of Elite co-creator Ian Bell, the musical clocks in a