The borrowers: why Finland's cities are havens for library lovers | Cities | The Guardian
"According to local authority figures from 2016, the UK spends just £14.40 per head on libraries. By contrast, Finland spends £50.50 per inhabitant. While more than 478 libraries have closed in cities and towns across England, Wales and Scotland since 2010, Helsinki is spending €98m creating an enormous new one."

They take organised education pretty seriously as well
notes 
2 days ago
‘Americans are Being Held Hostage and Terrorized by the Fringes’ - POLITICO Magazine
"There are basically two kinds of people in life: people who want to win competition and people who want to shut it down. People who don’t understand competition actually are the ones who want to shut it down because they don’t understand that competition requires rules. It requires moral precepts. Pepsi doesn’t want to go blow up the Coca-Cola bottling factory. It wants to take their customers fair and square for the better product and better pricing. The same thing should be true in American politics and policy."

Leaves out the effects of the algorithm: inevitable need for 'power structures' to implement a policy programme in a complex and interconnected set of institutions.

"It’s not like 50 percent of Americans thinks one thing and 50 percent thinks another thing. No, 15 percent on each side are effectively controlling the conversation and 70 percent of us don’t hate each other."

Parliamentary system?
notes 
8 days ago
Opinion | Dalai Lama: Behind Our Anxiety, the Fear of Being Unneeded - The New York Times
"And yet, fewer among us are poor, fewer are hungry, fewer children are dying, and more men and women can read than ever before. In many countries, recognition of women’s and minority rights is now the norm. There is still much work to do, of course, but there is hope and there is progress.

How strange, then, to see such anger and great discontent in some of the world’s richest nations. In the United States, Britain and across the European Continent, people are convulsed with political frustration and anxiety about the future. Refugees and migrants clamor for the chance to live in these safe, prosperous countries, but those who already live in those promised lands report great uneasiness about their own futures that seems to border on hopelessness."
notes 
9 days ago
Joseph Brodsky's trial
Brodsky felt his calling had a value beyond political expediency, while the judge was tasked with reminding him that the state needn’t subsidize his hobby if he wasn’t going to say anything useful. But the incommensurability of these points of view runs much deeper than this one case.
notes 
11 days ago
‘What Happened to Alan Dershowitz?’ - POLITICO Magazine
"Around then, Dershowitz—never one to overlook a celebrity being railroaded—started getting more TV airtime for his argument that a sitting president could not be guilty of obstruction of justice."

As a limey, one immediately thinks 'Nixon'??
notes 
11 days ago
Subscription hell | TechCrunch
"Take my colleague Connie Loizos’ article from yesterday reporting on a new venture fund. The text itself is about 3.5 kilobytes uncompressed, but the total payload of the page if nothing is cached is more than 10 MB, or more than 3000x the data usage of the actual text itself. This pattern has become so common that it has been called the website obesity crisis"
notes 
16 days ago
Junior doctors' job offers withdrawn after blunder - BBC News
"Last week, the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) discovered a significant number of candidates were credited with the wrong score, because of an error transferring data from one computer programme to another - and may therefore have received an incorrect job offer."

Never retype data: don't you just love legacy systems
notes 
17 days ago
The Gambler Who Cracked the Horse-Racing Code - Bloomberg
"Bill Benter did the impossible: He wrote an algorithm that couldn’t lose at the track. Close to a billion dollars later, he tells his story for the first time."

Sometimes you can win against the bookies
notes  statistics 
18 days ago
'We're doomed': Mayer Hillman on the climate reality no one else will dare mention | Environment | The Guardian
>> “With doom ahead, making a case for cycling as the primary mode of transport is almost irrelevant,” he says. “We’ve got to stop burning fossil fuels. So many aspects of life depend on fossil fuels, except for music and love and education and happiness. These things, which hardly use fossil fuels, are what we must focus on.” <<
notes 
23 days ago
Can’t sleep? Tell yourself it’s not a big deal | Oliver Burkeman | Life and style | The Guardian
>> "In a review of the research published last year, Lichstein concluded that “non-complaining poor sleepers” – who sleep badly but don’t define themselves as insomniacs – don’t suffer the high blood pressure commonly associated with severe sleeplessness. Meanwhile, “complaining good sleepers” – who get enough shut-eye, but are heavily invested in their alleged insomnia – were essentially as tired, anxious and depressed as those who genuinely didn’t sleep." <<

Basically stay positive
notes 
23 days ago
LEM - SCIENCE FICTION'S PASSIONATE REALIST - review - NYTimes.com
>> ''What would happen to us if we could truly sympathize with others, feel with them, suffer for them? The fact that human anguish, fear, and suffering melt away with the death of the individual, that nothing remains of the ascents, the declines, the orgasms, and the agonies, is a praiseworthy gift of evolution, which made us like the animals. If from every unfortunate, from every victim, there remained even a single atom of his feelings, if thus grew the inheritance of the generations, if even a spark could pass from man to man, the world would be full of raw, bowel-torn howling.'' <<

Last paragraph of *His Master's Voice*
notes 
4 weeks ago
Solved: A Decades-Old Ansel Adams Mystery - Atlas Obscura
"Donald Olson sees all that and something else: a mystery. He wants to know the moment it was taken. An astrophysicist and forensic astronomer, Olson uses quantitative methods to answer questions raised by artwork, literature, and historical accounts—not the heady ones, but the basic, surprisingly slippery who, what, when, and where."

Reverse search on Sun's position
notes 
4 weeks ago
Alien Pastures » Fun and games in -current when ABIs break
"Among others, an ABI depends on the machine architecture, and on the toolchain (compiler, linker) used to generate the binary code from its sources. An ABI guarantees binary compatibility: the program will work on every machine with the same ABI, without a need for recompilation."

And somehow something the upstream provider puts in the source code so poppler/icu4c both change the soname so often
linux 
4 weeks ago
The Artificial Intelligentsia | Aaron Timms
"The story of Silicon Valley is as much about donkeys as unicorns, entrepretendeurs as entrepreneurs. Like all good stories, this story has the capacity to surprise. Many of the tech industry’s most memorable flops were at one point seen as great successes."

So when the great and the good give their recipes for success, think 'survivor bias'

notes
notes 
5 weeks ago
The Plunging Morale of America’s Service Members - The Atlantic
>> Decaul now has a playwriting fellowship at Brown University, where he assures me that racial dialogue happens very differently than it did in the Corps. But thinking back, he told me, “No one, including me, was offended. Everyone thought it was hilarious.” The party continued, and the deployment followed without incident. The last Decaul heard of J. was recently, when he got a Facebook notification that J. wanted to “friend” him. “I turned him down,” Maurice told me. “I thought, I’ve had enough of you, J.” <<

Keep an eye out for this guy's plays
notes 
5 weeks ago
Yeast Came From China - The Atlantic
"The out-of-China hypothesis for yeast is not so different from the out-of-Africa hypothesis for humans. Among Homo sapiens, Africa has the most genetic diversity of anywhere on Earth. All humans elsewhere descend from populations that came out of Africa; all yeast elsewhere descend from strains that came out of East Asia. Once wild yeast strains made it out of Asia, humans likely domesticated them several times to make the yeasty foods that we know: beer, bread, wine."
notes 
5 weeks ago
Rick Scott vs. Bill Nelson: 2018’s Florida Senate race, explained - Vox
"He is worth about $150 million, according to the most recent estimates, after making his money as a hospital executive."

Just trying to work out how you can make $1.5 x 10^8 dollars running a hospital...
notes 
6 weeks ago
Want to Be Happy? Think Like an Old Person - The New York Times
>> For now, he said, “I’m thinking about resistance. What does it mean, resistance? What kind of resistance do we need today? Technology is now being used, much of it, for negative purposes. So to resist all what is happening negatively in humanity or technology is to develop the — O.K., this banal word, spiritual aspect.” <<

Perhaps we all *need* to be Jonas Mekas now.
notes 
6 weeks ago
Northern and Midlands trainee teachers 'told to change their accents' - BBC News
"The Department for Education told Newsbeat they would not comment on the issue."

Says it all really
notes 
6 weeks ago
Turkish Flatbread - Pide Recipe
Making these. The ingredient list left out 2 tblsp of yoghurt.
food 
6 weeks ago
News Diet (full essay) – Rolf Dobelli
"This article is the antidote of news. It is long, and you probably won’t be able to skim it. Thanks to heavy news consumption, many people have lost the ability to read more than four pages straight. This article will show you how to get out of this trap – if you are not already too deep in the trap."
notes 
6 weeks ago
News is bad for you – and giving up reading it will make you happier | Media | The Guardian
"News is bad for your health. It leads to fear and aggression, and hinders your creativity and ability to think deeply. The solution? Stop consuming it altogether"
notes 
6 weeks ago
How kids in a low-income country use laptops: lessons from Madagascar
"But there was one marked difference: computer use in Madagascar tended to be a collective rather than an individual practice. Children and their families would gather around one laptop to play educational games, take photos or make videos. Computers were being used to strengthen existing social relations among siblings, parents and peers."

Social learning spaces and 'egroups' as per my previous occupation. Vygotsky knew a thing or two about how people learn
notes  learning 
6 weeks ago
The Inside Story of Reddit's Redesign | WIRED
"In those early days, Reddit's makeshift design team worked out of an empty room on the fourth floor of the company's headquarters. They dragged up a TV, a couple of chairs, a little Wi-Fi station, a bunch of paper, and started to hash out how to bring Reddit into the future."

Sounds like the best way to (re)design anything. Small group. Fresh look.
notes 
7 weeks ago
Rich User Experience, UX and Desktopization of War
"In 2013, Dr. Scott Fitzsimmons and MA graduate Karina Sangha published the paper Killing in High Definition. They rose the issue of combat stress among operators of armed drones (Remote Piloted Aircrafts) and suggested ways to reduce it. One of them is to Mask Traumatic Imagery."

Link from Stallman's page.
notes 
7 weeks ago
Meet the Amateur Scientist Who Discovered Climate Change
“As man is now changing the composition of the atmosphere at a rate which must be very exceptional on the geological time-scale, it is natural to seek for the probable effects of such a change.”
notes 
7 weeks ago
Listening to Kilgore - Columbia Journalism Review
How the anecdotal story started (plus newspapers have been under threat for about 90 years)
notes 
7 weeks ago
This is how Cambridge Analytica’s Facebook targeting model really worked — according to the person who built it » Nieman Journalism Lab
"The whole point of a dimension reduction model is to mathematically represent the data in simpler form. It’s as if Cambridge Analytica took a very high-resolution photograph, resized it to be smaller, and then deleted the original. The photo still exists — and as long as Cambridge Analytica’s models exist, the data effectively does too."

Via HN again.

Forget the search warrants and legal stuff, go after the model
notes 
7 weeks ago
Uses This / Tim Maughan
"A few years ago I made a trip up the consumer electronics supply chain to look at the labour and environmental impact of manufacturing and our lust for new technologies. We spent a week on a container ship, visited electronics and Christmas factories in China, and ended up at a toxic lake in Inner Mongolia that is the result of rare earth mining. It's basically a 5 mile wide pool of semi-radioactive sludge that's the byproduct of polishing smartphone screens and making the magnets in your earphones."

Reuse stuff
notes 
7 weeks ago
The Mind-Expanding Ideas of Andy Clark | The New Yorker
"Whereas in science there’s a whole row going on about criticizing people in public. The number of times that I’ve seen people give talks and people are thinking, That’s bollocks, absolute shit data, and no one brings it up.”"
notes 
8 weeks ago
Aaron Greenspan :: Writing :: In Search of the Cookie Dough Tree
"Today, it's quite clear that we are all glad things did work back then, even if things required arsenic and benzene and PCBs and lead, because the Valley helped the United States win the Cold War, beat the Japanese economy, and propel Gross Domestic Product to great heights, raising the standard of living for everyone. As with all things economic, though, the Valley contributed such great advances at a cost, and that cost usually involved those chemicals leaching into the ground and into the bodies of low-paid, immigrant workers for years, and years, and years, until somebody finally noticed."

Externalities

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16681073
notes 
8 weeks ago
Look for the duct tape
"Look for the patches to the original system which were done by people who actually work in a given space. Track down the sharp edges which have been systematically covered up by users who were more interested in being productive and weren't willing to fight with the owners of the system to get things changed upstream."

Works for processes as well as the software environment
notes 
8 weeks ago
Maths, Madness and the Manhattan Project: the Eccentric Lives of Steinhaus, Banach and Ulam | Article | Culture.pl
"They would lay the basis for new findings on the marble tabletops of the ambient Scottish café in pre-war Lviv. There professors, associate professors and people with doctorates from the Lviv Technical University and the Jan Kazimierz University would meet over coffee and cognac to discuss maths for hours on end. The results of these gatherings were twofold. They gave rise to many anecdotes and a thick, lined notebook with 193 equations (The Scottish Book), some of which have yet to be resolved. These meetings lay the foundation for the Lviv School of Mathematics – the most important Polish contribution to world science, entangled in the whirlwind of history that was World War II. Unfortunately, little is known of the school except for the great talent of its members. Culture.pl traces their footsteps."

Via HN
notes  maths 
8 weeks ago
The Cajun Democrat who could shake up the 2020 field - POLITICO
>> "Poverty is a form of violence, I believe. So is not having access to health care, or not having a real job,” Landrieu writes. “We all come to the table of democracy in the United States as equals. That's what makes America great.” <<
8 weeks ago
CIA Cybersecurity Guru Dan Geer Doesnt Use a Cell Phone | WIRED
"If there’s anything that I’ve come to be relatively adamant about is that, as humans, we have repeatedly demonstrated that we can quite clearly build things more complex than we can then manage, our friends in finance and flash crashes being a fine example of that."
9 weeks ago
Level 3 technician's misstep causes largest outage ever reported | FierceTelecom
>> "The technician left empty a field that would normally contain a target telephone number. The network management software interpreted the empty field as a 'wildcard,' meaning that the software understood the blank field as an instruction to block all calls, instead of as a null entry. This caused the switch to block calls from every number in Level 3’s non-native telephone number database.”" <<

Via HN, priceless
notes 
9 weeks ago
‘I made Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare tool’: meet the data war whistleblower | News | The Guardian
"Wylie oversaw what may have been the first critical breach. Aged 24, while studying for a PhD in fashion trend forecasting, he came up with a plan to harvest the Facebook profiles of millions of people in the US, and to use their private and personal information to create sophisticated psychological and political profiles."

Good heavens
notes 
9 weeks ago
Can we fix it? The repair cafes waging war on throwaway culture | World news | The Guardian
>> “It’s a matter of confidence. It’s not magic. Someone put it together, someone can take it apart, you only need a Phillips screwdriver and some knowledge,” says Katsimbas as he shows Daniel Turner how to open up his laptop so he can clean out the fluff and dust that is causing the machine to overheat. <<
notes 
9 weeks ago
This Is What Happens When Bitcoin Miners Take Over Your Town - POLITICO Magazine
"The commercial miners now pouring into the valley are building sites with tens of thousands of servers and electrical loads of as much as 30 megawatts, or enough to power a neighborhood of 13,000 homes. And in the arms race that cryptocurrency mining has become, even these operations will soon be considered small-scale."

600Mw for large scale aluminium smelter so wondering total consumption
notes 
10 weeks ago
[Press Release] Continuing frequency deviation in the Continental European Power System originating in Serbia/Kosovo: Political solution urgently needed in addition to technical
49.996Hz as opposed to 50.000Hz means 113Gwh of power 'missing' (i.e. wholesale bills charged at 50Hz rate but only 49.999/50.000 being supplied)
notes 
11 weeks ago
‘It’s almost nasty’: Dems seek crackdown on sleeping in the Capitol - POLITICO
>> “I get up very early in the morning. I work out. I work until about 11:30 at night. I go to bed. And I do the same thing the next day,” Ryan said in 2015 when asked whether he would continue sleeping in his office after becoming speaker. “It actually makes me more efficient. I can actually get more work done by sleeping on a cot in my office.” <<

Euwww. Many years ago I remember a cat and mouse game between campus security and a sessionally paid tutor who was sleeping in the first aid room and using the chemistry lab shower. We found him a cheap room before matters came to a head.
notes 
11 weeks ago
Meet the ‘data thugs’ out to expose shoddy and questionable research | Science | AAAS
"Brown, a graduate student in psychology at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, sent an email about the study to James Heathers, a postdoc in behavioral science at Northeastern University in Boston whom he had met a few years earlier. The description alone triggered a laughing spell in Heathers—not an uncommon reaction to science he finds risible."

Sounds like a measured reaction to most of the stuff I get sent to read in emails...
notes 
11 weeks ago
President Donald Trump wants tariffs on steel and aluminium - World trade
"Americans employed in steel-consuming sectors far outnumber those employed directly in steel and aluminium industries (see chart). Higher prices of inputs for products such as cars, air-conditioning units, refrigerators and beer cans will be passed on to consumers. If they respond by buying less, jobs will be lost. Studies have found that George W. Bush’s tariffs on steel in 2002 destroyed more American jobs than they saved. If the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA) continues in something like its current form, manufacturers could even avoid the new tariffs by shifting production to Canada or Mexico, from where they can export their final goods to America tariff-free."
notes 
11 weeks ago
U.S. heads toward dangerous waters with steel and aluminum duties - iPolitics
"Others in the business community as well as the Pentagon have objected to broad brush duties being based on national security. Clearly, reducing imports of primary aluminum will hurt aluminum processors in the U.S. and raise concerns with the military as well as in the defence, aircraft and aerospace industries."

Canadian steel group geezer
notes 
11 weeks ago
Demoralized West Wing stokes fears over Trump’s capacity to handle a crisis - POLITICO
>> “Most presidents know when to recalibrate, to redirect, to hit a reset button” on their policies or their own leadership style, said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who served at senior levels of both the Clinton and Obama White Houses. “So in the face of incompetence and total chaos you have a president who has no self-awareness of how bad it is.” <<
notes 
11 weeks ago
Stock market volatility wiped out investors betting against the VIX. That should make you nervous. - Vox
“It worked well for a long time until it didn’t, which is generally what happens in markets,”

Ouch. Capitalist tells truth.
notes 
12 weeks ago
Why It’s so Hard to Actually Work in Shared Offices · The Walrus
"You, precarious worker who will never have a pension, are not a simple cog in a machine. You are an artist, the CEO of your own company, and the face of a dynamic personal brand. Your work is not merely labour, for which you deserve decent pay and security, but an extension of your personality. You’re doing what you love and paying $500 per month for the desk from which to do it."

There was a lot to be said for 'from the cradle to the grave' back in the 1960s I think
notes 
february 2018
What to Do When Laptops and Silence Take Over Your Cafe? - The New York Times
>> “Everybody was at a laptop wearing headphones,” Mr. Glanville said. He strode inside, unplugged the device that provided free Wi-Fi and tossed it into a bin in his office. <<

Which is fine but we have a country where people will sit in silence and ignore each other with or without wifi and devices!
notes 
february 2018
The Limits of Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning | WIRED
"According to skeptics like Marcus, deep learning is greedy, brittle, opaque, and shallow. The systems are greedy because they demand huge sets of training data. Brittle because when a neural net is given a “transfer test”—confronted with scenarios that differ from the examples used in training—it cannot contextualize the situation and frequently breaks. They are opaque because, unlike traditional programs with their formal, debuggable code, the parameters of neural networks can only be interpreted in terms of their weights within a mathematical geography. Consequently, they are black boxes, whose outputs cannot be explained, raising doubts about their reliability and biases. Finally, they are shallow because they are programmed with little innate knowledge and possess no common sense about the world or human psychology."
notes 
february 2018
Facebook’s Desperate Smoke Screen - Study Hacks - Cal Newport
"Facebook’s revenue, for example, is almost entirely a function of the number of minutes the average user spends per week engaging with the service. Reducing this by even 5 to 10% — by tamping down or eliminating some of Facebook’s most addictive features — would have a disastrous impact on the quarterly earnings of this $500 billion company."

I'm surprised the revenue function is that fine-grained given the gibberish Ruth sees in her feed.
notes 
february 2018
74: Conventions - This American Life
"John Perry Barlow

Elegance of design. And it attracted the strangest kind of hybrid, which was sort of like UNIX weenies by Armani , combination."
notes 
february 2018
Why Paper Jams Persist | The New Yorker
"Bruce Thompson, the computer modeller who sat at the head of the table, had spent days creating a simulation of the jam. “We’re dealing with a highly nonlinear entity moving at a very high speed,” he said."

I get to share 'flower arrangements' on a regular basis
notes 
february 2018
The Secret Sci-Fi Life of Alice B. Sheldon : NPR
"At last I have what every child wants, a real secret life. Not an official secret, not a Q-clearance polygraph-enforced bite-the-capsule-when-they-get-you secret, nobody else's damn secret but MINE."
notes 
january 2018
If you watch closely enough, everything is a speaker
"Using high speed cameras, it’s possible to record the vibrations of everyday objects caused by nearby sounds and reverse engineer the sounds…essentially turning anything that vibrates into a speaker."
notes 
january 2018
'An agent of chaos, fuelled by fire': stars' memories of Mark E Smith | Music | The Guardian
“People don’t have their own smell any more. Everyone bathes too much.”
notes 
january 2018
Tasty Colours: A Very Problematic Bean
Fasola Jas from local Polish shop soaking now to make soup tomorrow. Off over to baker to get rye bread in the morning.
notes 
january 2018
George Soros: Facebook and Google are a menace to society | Hacker News
“Social media companies deceive their users by manipulating their attention and directing it towards their own commercial purposes. They deliberately engineer addiction to the services they provide. This can be very harmful, particularly for adolescents. There is a similarity between internet platforms and gambling companies.”
notes 
january 2018
If You Multitask During Meetings, Your Team Will, Too – Dave Paola
"But then, I see your eyes drawn to your email inbox. During the meeting. While someone else is saying something. Electronically, someone else has asked for your attention, and you’ve given it to them. I’m not the only one who saw this."
notea 
january 2018
Linus Torvalds: “Somebody is pushing complete garbage for unclear reasons.” | Hacker News
"The most striking thing here is that Linus has apparently dismissed incompetence as a rational explanation. Yes, he is often brash, but usually he is accusing someone of sheer stupidity. He does not do that here. Linus alleges that we are being lied to - that we don’t know the full story, nor Intel’s motives."

This gets worse
notes  linux 
january 2018
Linux-Kernel Archive: Re: [RFC 09/10] x86/enter: Create macros to restrict/unrestrict Indirect Branch Speculation
"So somebody isn't telling the truth here. Somebody is pushing complete
garbage for unclear reasons. Sorry for having to point that out."

This whole thing is a bit odd.
notes  linux 
january 2018
20 Years of LWN [LWN.net]
"not big and professional like the real press" ;-}
notes 
january 2018
Here’s why you can’t buy a high-end graphics card at Best Buy | Ars Technica
"But the rise of cryptocurrency mining has created an unprecedented global shortage of graphics cards. If you go to your local retailer, you're likely to find bare shelves where the beefier cards used to be. Instead of trading at a discount, used cards routinely sell for well above MSRP on sites like eBay and Craigslist."

These things use quite a lot of electricity as well. Proof of work is basically a waste of power.
notes 
january 2018
FOSDEM 2018 - Interview with Michael Meeks<br/>Re-structuring a giant, ancient code-base for new platforms. Making LibreOffice work well everywhere.
"When you look at the cumulative effect of seven years of aggressively paying back a national-debt sized technical debt, we are in an amazingly better place - it makes me cringe mentally to consider working on or even reading the old code; yet still there is plenty more to do."

Interesting stuff. BUT the 'old code' (i.e. openoffice) actually runs quite well and has less confusing UI changes...
notes 
january 2018
Unmasking American Legend D.B. Cooper, Who Got Away With Hijacking a Plane -- New York Magazine
"Porteous looked at the envelope. He studied the return address. Morris, Minnesota. He looked at a map. The town was two hours from Fargo, North Dakota. Population: 5,200. He opened the letter, and after peering inside for powders, he read it. It barely made sense. It was a rambling confession of finding the answer to a “famous unsolved caper” that would make a great movie—and one only Ephron could direct, because she had “heart.” She could call this movie Bashful in Seattle—because the main character in the caper lived near Seattle. Skipp thought, Strange, yes; dangerous, no. So he hailed a cab, rode over to Ephron’s building on East 79th, and left the letter with her doorman. Ephron got the letter. She opened it and looked at it and put it down on the kitchen counter. It stayed there for some time. Then it disappeared. “I don’t know what happened to it,” she says."
notes 
january 2018
Jaron Lanier interview: on VR, LSD, and where Silicon Valley went wrong - Vox
90Mb download, 96 minutes of my favourite Windows user speaking about stuff.
notes 
january 2018
Black Death 'spread by humans not rats' | Hacker News
Discussion about a fairly recondite research paper and the issues around popularizing science. One of the authors of the paper is taking part.
notes 
january 2018
How to Turn a Red State Purple (Democrats Not Required) - POLITICO Magazine
"Under Hammond, Alaska also amended its constitution to create the Alaska Permanent Fund, which invests oil revenue for future generations. In 1982, the state began paying every resident the Permanent Fund Dividend, which is determined by a formula that relies on the fund’s income over the last five years. At its low point, in 1984, the dividend was $331.29 per person, and it peaked in 2015 at $2,072—meaning a family of four could expect a check from the state worth nearly $8,300."

We got high house prices and tax breaks for rich people thanks to Maggie.
notes 
january 2018
It’s not just the Brexit border question that divides Ireland. It’s imagination | Matthew O’Toole | Opinion | The Guardian
"As Bradley will discover, Brexit has unsettled one of the most intangible but important features of the fraying Northern Ireland settlement: the ability of its citizens to imagine themselves into different nationalities. This is why the border question is so difficult: it is about psychology as much as the practical mechanics of border controls. How does anyone know what nationality they are? Do they belong to the country to which they pay taxes, or whose football team they support?"

Via Slugger
notes 
january 2018
Improving Ourselves to Death | The New Yorker
"Carl Cederström and André Spicer, business-school professors in a field called “organization studies,” set out to do all that and more in their recent book, “Desperately Seeking Self-Improvement: A Year Inside the Optimization Movement” (OR Books), a comically committed exploration of current life-hacking wisdom in areas ranging from athletic and intellectual prowess to spirituality, creativity, wealth, and pleasure."

Personally, I think the Danes have this one sowed up.
notes 
january 2018
Legends of the Ancient Web
Radio as social media? Via HN
notes 
january 2018
Vintage Verification | Nuclear Futures Laboratory
"We pursue a fundamentally different approach: Our prototype of an inspection system uses vintage hardware built around a 6502 processor. The processor uses 8-micron technology (about 600 times larger than current 14-nanometer technology) and has only about 3500 transistors. Vintage hardware may have a number of important advantages for applications where two parties need to simultaneously establish trust in the hardware used. CPUs designed in the distant past, at a time when their use for sensitive measurements was never envisioned, drastically reduce concerns that the other party implemented backdoors or hidden switches on the hardware level. "

Interesting approach - didn't see that one coming
notes 
january 2018
User Interfaces: How Not to Design a Microwave
"Every UI principle I’ve learnt can be derived from the following statement: Good user interface design minimizes the friction between a user and the task they aim to achieve. In other words, well designed software makes it easy to achieve a task."

Looks interesting and well written. The trouble starts when you need to provide an interface that supports a wide range of tasks and which supports a range of user knowledge (e.g. beginner to guru).
notes 
january 2018
« earlier      
admin algebra algorithm and angles audio bash best-buy birminghamuk blender-slide-show bodmas bread card cards chart charts chromeos city closed coffee communications computers critical-thinking data devices drawing education elearning food formulas fractions functional gcse graphs guardiantech handouts icewm ideas ilt interface interfce it jobs journalism learning linux literacy locations longread maths mean measurement median mirror music nets notea notes notes. number numeracy old-school-desktop old_school_desktop openbsd openoffice percentage photos pie places population powerpointideas presentations probability processing proportion r ratio reflector resources revision scheme science shape skills software sonics space spaces statistics statitics stats stem-and-leaf study teaching technology tessellation text trains web wheezy-minimal whole words writing xubuntu

Copy this bookmark:



description:


tags: