Is Garry Kasparov Too Old To Dominate Chess Again? | FiveThirtyEight
"The result is shaped like a large floating apostrophe of mortality. After a steep increase in players’ early years (youth is wasted on the young), the estimated trend in ratings peaks just after age 38, before beginning a long, slow, irreversible and depressing decline (kinda like real life)."

R^2 on that dust cloud can't be that high!
notes  stats 
3 hours ago
The Great American Bubble Machine - Rolling Stone
"The world's most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money."

Matt Taibbi - almost but not quite the new HST
notes 
12 days ago
“It’s just an embarrassing spectacle at this point”: Matt Taibbi on Trump’s America - Vox
"I know this will sound weird, but I actually thought Trump’s victory was a kind of triumph of American democracy. I mean, I’m completely opposed to everything that Trump believes in. But the notion that somebody completely outside the American political system, who had virtually no institutional support from either of the two parties, could actually win the presidency is something that I wouldn't have believed eight years ago. So I took his election as a sign that our democracy was functioning correctly."

Book ordered. I still wish HST was still around
notes 
13 days ago
Military to Trump: we won’t ban transgender service members just because you tweeted about it - Vox
“We don’t have guidance. We have a tweet. We don’t execute policy based on a tweet.” Capt. Jeff Davis, DoD [spokesman]

Nice to see candid responses
notes 
19 days ago
For Obamacare enrollees, Obamacare repeal is already real - Vox
>> “I don’t have intensive needs — I’m 39, I’m not planning to get pregnant — but that is a thing that could happen,” she says. “Still, I feel like I need coverage. I’ve watched people go through terrible things when they didn’t have insurance. I’m just risk-averse and don’t want to go without coverage.” <<

For all the NHS's faults, I hope we keep the safety net. I can't imagine the effect of having to worry about healthcare when starting up a small business given the impact of small businesses on most economies
notes 
20 days ago
10,000 Hours With Claude Shannon: How A Genius Thinks, Works, and Lives
"His mind was a heat-seeking missile targeting problems. What got him up in the morning was dissecting how things worked, not digressions into creativity and productivity."
notes 
26 days ago
BBC - Future - How Tibetans survive life on the ‘roof of the world’
"Our differences are slight and are held at the surface. Under the skin, deep in our DNA, we are nearly identical. From this sea of similarity, important genetic changes between populations can be seen as small but steep islands breaking the surface of the genome. But after looking more closely at the EPAS1 gene from the Tibetan genomes, Nielsen not only found it was a steep change, but it was a unique one too. After searching through the aptly named 1,000 Genomes Project, he couldn’t find anything quite like it elsewhere. “The DNA sequence that we saw in Tibetans was simply too different,” Nielsen says."

Remarkable. Via HN from Medium
notes 
27 days ago
Don’t Compare Trump to Nixon. It’s Unfair to Nixon. - POLITICO Magazine
"Are we right to analogize the tarnished ending of the two-term Nixon presidency—with its historic accomplishments, as well as sordid tapes and long list of criminal convictions—with a chaos-engulfed Trump presidency that has not even been able to staff up, has no significant legislative wins to its name and is already, at just six months in as of this week, the most unpopular in seven decades?"

Harsh... but accurate (Nixon was re-elected in a landslide)
notes 
4 weeks ago
[CentOS] Thanks to every one
"It is crucial for long running calculations that you
have a stable OS - you have never seen wrath like a computational
scientist whose 200 day calculation has just failed because you needed
to reboot the node it was running on."

In my day we wrote a tape, but then again the program was on punched cards.
notes  linux 
4 weeks ago
Reality Check: Is public sector pay higher than private sector? - BBC News
"The point about qualifications is important, because jobs in the public sector tend to require higher qualifications. Also, there has been a tendency for public sector bodies to outsource lower-paid functions such as cleaning and catering to contractors, which moves them from the public to the private sector. Doing so on a large scale would increase average earnings in the public sector."
notes  statistics 
4 weeks ago
The computer poetry of J. M. Coetzee’s early programming career | Cultural Compass
"How do you read code? What is the “text” of a program—the machine code, the high-level programming, or the output it generates? How do you preserve an electronic file and how should the scholar access it?"
algorithm 
4 weeks ago
Unhappy meals
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."
notes 
4 weeks ago
Eat the Seasons
Nice idea but is the production volume there?
notes 
5 weeks ago
Gambiarra: repair culture | efeefe
"Of course, a repair culture isn't about repairing things only. We could try to find a better way to define a culture of reuse, repair and re-purposing. But proposing repair - the physical act of mending things in order to extend their lifetime or else turning them into something else of use - as a core value sounds good enough for a current need: criticizing the path apparently taken by maker culture that is addicted to novelty, becoming consequently toxic, unsustainable, superficial and alienating."

Or repairing stuff could just be useful :-)
notes 
5 weeks ago
How to See What the Internet Knows About You (And How to Stop It) - The New York Times
>> "The relentlessly unyielding (but highly profitable) personalization of the products and services we use is getting deeper and creepier than ever. This type of data is incredibly valuable, we’re producing a ton of it every day, and it’s all being used to turn us into products. As one Facebook developer famously said: “The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads.”" <<
notes  algorithm 
5 weeks ago
The language of programming
"I won’t lie, this looks outrageous even to me. But not to my Dad, who is a civil engineer and doesn’t speak a word of English. He is dangerously fluent in Excel’s formulas, which he uses extensively in those hundred-sheet documents bristling with filters, conditionals, and pivot tables. Then the roads and bridges are getting built based on those calculations. He doesn’t know what IF means, but he uses ЕСЛИ all the time. What’s amazing is that if he emailed you one of his spreadsheets and you happened to open it in your “real deal” MS Excel, every formula would appear in English, but work just as he intended."

Three cheers for the spreadsheet - one of the longest lasting end-user programming metaphors we have
notes  algorithm 
5 weeks ago
10 charts that show the effect of tuition fees - BBC News
"But the biggest change, often overlooked, has been the collapse in part-time students.

These were often adults with other responsibilities who were more sensitive to increased costs."

350k to 150k in status (remember there is a 6 year lead when taking a degree part time)
notes  statistics 
5 weeks ago
How Nature Solves Problems Through Computation | Quanta Magazine
>> "Like flocking or schooling, the policing behavior arises from individual interactions to produce a macroscopic effect on the entire ensemble. But it is subtler, perhaps harder to visualize and measure. Or, as Flack says of macaque society and many of the other systems she studies, “their metric space is a social coordinate space. It’s not Euclidean.”" <<
maths 
5 weeks ago
A big international meeting is exposing a Trump-sized rift between the US and its allies - Vox
"In a certain sense, Trump — who campaigned as a historically talented dealmaker — has ironically been the anti-deal president. It’s not just that he hasn’t struck a single major agreements with a foreign power; it’s that he has called into question many previous ones — leading American allies to wonder just how much they can trust America’s commitment to the entire international order."
notes 
5 weeks ago
Trump is preparing to meet Putin this week by reading tweet-length memos - Vox
"...Trump is preparing for his biggest foreign meeting with the leader of a country that actively tried to undermine America’s democratic process, a leader who sees the US as his personal enemy, by reading tweet-length talking points."

What could possibly go wrong?
notes 
5 weeks ago
A near-disaster at a federal nuclear weapons laboratory takes a hidden toll on America’s arsenal | Science | AAAS
"In a hi-tech testing and manufacturing building pivotal to sustaining America’s nuclear arsenal, [technicians] gathered eight rods painstakingly crafted out of plutonium, and positioned them side-by-side on a table to photograph how nice they looked."
...
"The technicians’ improvised photo-op, an internal Energy Department report concluded later, revealed the staff had become “de-sensitized” to the risk of a serious accident"

Potential Darwin Award winners! De-sensitisation is a theme with people who get lucky most of the time until they don't.
notes 
6 weeks ago
www.trumptwitterarchive.com
json data feed for all of #realdonaldtrump's ruminations. For the ages.
notes 
7 weeks ago
The palaeogenetics of cat dispersal in the ancient world | Nature Ecology & Evolution
"While the cat’s worldwide conquest began during the Neolithic period in the Near East, its dispersal gained momentum during the Classical period, when the Egyptian cat successfully spread throughout the Old World. The expansion patterns and ranges suggest dispersal along human maritime and terrestrial routes of trade and connectivity."

Your moggie is in a direct line from the Pharos' court. Quite an amazing thought.
notes 
7 weeks ago
The USS Fitzgerald Is At Fault. This Is Why. – gCaptain
"This is important because basic communication problems have been found to be a primary cause in nearly every multi-vessel incident gCaptain has reported on in the last ten years."

Voice carries non-verbal information
notes 
7 weeks ago
Who Americans spend their time with
Hours per day on vertical axis, age on horizontal axis. Snapshot, not longitudinal, but makes you think
data 
7 weeks ago
What conservatives know about climate change that liberals don’t - Vox
"I think the right understands this, and therefore chooses to deny reality. Whereas one of the things we see on the liberal side is, instead of denying the science, they deny the implications of the science."

I always get worried when economists talk about the need for *growth*. We have to stop growing somehow and reach steady state.
notes 
7 weeks ago
The story behind that Connecticut deli math sign - Home | As It Happens | CBC Radio
>> AH: No, I can give you one example of a mathematical joke. People think the following joke is really funny, that someone is giving a lecture on group theory and they stand up at the board and say "let L be a group".<<

excellent
notes 
7 weeks ago
politicalbetting.com » Blog Archive » Alastair Meeks makes his first next general election bet: LAB to win most seats
"The government faces the most demanding peacetime challenge since the first post-war government and does so against a hard deadline with a divided party, a leader with no authority and with no majority in the House of Commons."

What could possibly go wrong?

Well, something has to happen, and it is not in the interests of the eurozone to have an economy the size of the UK going pear shaped, so we shall see...
notes 
7 weeks ago
Leading universities rated 'bronze' under new ranking system - BBC News
"The lowest score of bronze was awarded to 56 - including the London School of Economics (LSE), Southampton, Liverpool, Goldsmiths and the School of Oriental and African Studies (Soas)."

Who is kidding whom? Status is a positional good and a degree from a Russel group uni, the LSE or Goldsmith's is likely to be well-regarded.
notes 
7 weeks ago
Trump Doesn’t Want to Be President - POLITICO Magazine
"He’s always loved to lie (I mean, talk) to reporters because he lives for having an attentive audience, and now that he’s president reporters would line up to transcribe his words even if he started reciting a Maytag washer repair manual backward."

Jack Shafer is a right of centre journalist but I love these Fourth Estate columns
notes 
7 weeks ago
Portrait: Masahiro Kikuno, Japanese Independent Watchmaker | Watches By SJX
"Kikuno has built only a handful of watches in the seven years since he started, averaging one watch a year. That’s a consequence of his uncompromising adherence to traditional techniques of production."
notes 
7 weeks ago
'Re: Current FreeBSD looking to switch to OpenBSD' - MARC
"Even though building it with mandoc(1) only takes a minute on my notebook, i'm not sure it's a great idea to put all that information into a single file."

The OpenBSD base system manual comes in at 15 458 pages when compiled into a .pdf file.
notes  linux 
8 weeks ago
5 things Trump did while you weren't looking: Week 2
>> “So much is happening in Washington and yet nothing is happening at all” read one recent piece of commentary. <<

Noise to signal ratio is quite low
notes 
8 weeks ago
Those who leave home, and those who stay - Vox
UK has the third highest percentage of people who moved last year. Plenty of people seem to be getting on their bike unless this is just housing ladder churn.
notes 
8 weeks ago
Mapping the Shadows of New York City: Every Building, Every Block - The New York Times
>> “In general, zoning regulations show what the city values,” said Luc Wilson, an architect at Kohn Pedersen Fox. “In Shanghai, they care about getting light to the buildings. In New York, they care about protecting light and air in the streets and parks.” England has a Law of Ancient Lights, a common-law doctrine that guarantees a homeowner the right to light if he or she has had access to it for 20 years. <<

Via HN
notes 
9 weeks ago
politicalbetting.com » Blog Archive » From loser to leader – and beyond
"Corbyn showed that you can pitch policies from the left and get a hearing; while, crucially, he also demonstrated that you do not have to live in fear of the right wing press. Previous Labour leaders have focus-grouped policies to death, stage-managed their every appearance and carefully measured each word in order to avoid unhelpful coverage in the Mail, the Sun and the Express, but Corbyn just carried on regardless."
notes 
9 weeks ago
How Theresa May lost it – POLITICO
>> “The main difference is her,” one senior campaign official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a week before election day, comparing May’s campaign to Cameron’s two years before. <<

I think the *main* difference is policies. I think people are tired of austerity that results in no growth and low wage growth, and I think quite a few people are worried about the Brexit process. The other stuff didn't help but it is window dressing at the end of the day,
notes 
9 weeks ago
politicalbetting.com » Blog Archive » Ideas, events and people. What the Conservatives need to do next
"The Conservatives are repeating their mistakes from the election campaign. They spent the entire campaign based on personality politics, presenting Theresa May as Prime Ministerial and attacking Jeremy Corbyn for his past unsavoury connections, with only terrorist attacks intruding to draw them up to the level of discussing events. Meanwhile Jeremy Corbyn spent the campaign discussing his ideas."

And it appears a new generation quite like some of those ideas.
notes 
9 weeks ago
The GOP That Failed - POLITICO Magazine
"But one often overlooked reason—and one for parties to remember if they hope to avoid future Trumps—is that the rules of the GOP greatly benefitted Trump. The party allows winner-take-all primaries by congressional district or statewide— which in many states hugely magnified Trump’s delegate totals. Trump won 32 percent of the South Carolina vote, but all 50 delegates. He won 46 percent of the Florida vote but all 99 delegates. He won 39 percent of the Illinois vote, but 80 percent of the 69 delegates."

Wow. So he never had a base at all even in the Republican party. FPTP applied to candidate selection and aggregation at each stage.
notes 
9 weeks ago
What Really Happened with Vista – Hacker Noon
"Unfortunately, when you are building a complex system and running without clear constraints and delivery deadlines, the right mental image for a team that is generating lots of code is not one that is building a railroad and is now 90% across the country. A better image is one where you have dug an incredibly deep hole that you now have to figure out how to climb out of and fill back in."

Insight into Vista development.
notes 
10 weeks ago
Boehner: Trump has been a 'complete disaster' - POLITICO
>> “I wake up every day, drink my morning coffee and say hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah,” Boehner said. “I don’t want to be president. I drink red wine. I smoke cigarettes. I golf. I cut my own grass. I iron my own clothes. And I’m not willing to give all that up to be president.” <<

Sounds sensible to me (apart from the smoke cigarettes bit which is surprising). Hitchhikers Guide scenario - those who *want* to be President should be prevented from being President. Small hut on planet with rain (and cats to feed).
notes 
11 weeks ago
Theresa May’s toughest (televised) moment yet – POLITICO
"Corbyn, a vegetarian north London peace activist who accidentally became the leader of the opposition, doesn’t strike the public as an opportunist who will say and do anything to get into Number 10. Indeed, if that was the case, he might stand a better chance."

Hilarious - echos of George Orwell and his Sandal wearing vegetarians. One wonders if this might be a good election to actually lose (but with a vote share higher than Blair's and Milliband's)
notes 
12 weeks ago
Internet Atlas maps the physical internet to enhance security
"Professor of Computer Sciences Paul Barford, Ph.D. candidate Ramakrishnan (Ram) Durairajan and colleagues have developed Internet Atlas, the first detailed map of the internet’s structure worldwide."

The Cloud = Other people's computers, fibre optic cables, line amplifiers and generators.
Closed 
may 2017
How to make the perfect bagels | Life and style | The Guardian
"Bagels need boiling – Reinhart writes that a "number of bagel companies now skip the boiling (really, more like poaching) and use steam-injected ovens, but this produces a kind of a hybrid bagel/French-bread texture". Boiling sets the crust, so it will remain hard and chewy, but too long a boiling time (2-3 minutes on each side from Joseph, but 1-2 minutes from Roden) will make the crust too hard, and stop the inside from expanding as it should."

Next challenge. Visit to Brick Lane Beigel Shop on soon as well.
notes 
may 2017
We overanalyze Trump. He is what he appears to be. - Vox
"But what if there’s nothing to understand? What if there’s no there there? What if our attempts to explain Trump have failed not because we haven’t hit on the right one, but because we are, theory-of-mind-wise, overinterpreting the text?"

So impulsive 70 year old with no long term plan. What could possibly go wrong?
notes 
may 2017
Rejection Letter - Charlie's Diary
"This is a really serious case of stable doors being bolted a week too late; the UK historically prioritized offensive internet operations far above defense and resilience, and we're paying the price."

CESG now part of National Cyber Security Centre
notes 
may 2017
Trump is dangerous. But he's not Nixon — yet - Vox
"I saw in Trump's tweeting and in his statements the peculiarity that I had heard on the Nixon tapes of a man who, though by all standards has succeeded in the game of life, comes to the most powerful position in the world thinking he's a victim."

Timothy Natfali, ex-director of the Nixon presidential library
notes 
may 2017
Lost Generation: The Relay Computers – Creatures of Thought
"He believed he could greatly improve the efficiency of Telegrafverket’s operations by building an automatic switching system entirely of relays: a matrix of relays sitting at each intersection in a lattice of metal bars which connected to the phone lines. It would be faster, more reliable, and easier to maintain than the sliding and rotating contacts then used."
Closed 
may 2017
Behind Comey’s firing: An enraged Trump, fuming about Russia - POLITICO
"Instead, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told him he was making a big mistake — and Trump seemed "taken aback," according to a person familiar with the call. "
notes 
may 2017
Former presidents walk fine line in Trump’s America - POLITICO
>> “He doesn’t know much,” Clinton said in late December. “One thing he does know is how to get angry white men to vote for him.” <<

Seems to be general these days. Chill everyone
notes 
may 2017
Jeff Varasano's NY Pizza Recipe
"It's all in the crust. My dough is
just water, salt, flour and yeast. I use no dough conditioners,
sugars, oils, malts, corn meal, flavorings or anything else. These
violate the "Vera Pizza Napoletana" rules and I doubt that
Patsy's or any great brick oven place uses these things. I've
only recently begun to measure the actual "baker's percents"
of the ingredients. Use this awesome spreadsheet
to help you. The sheet allows you to track your experiments.
Here's a basic set of ratios. The truth is that a lot of these
recipes look the same and that you can vary these ingredients by
several percentage points and it's not going to make a huge
difference. You really have to learn the technique, which I'm going
to explain in as much detail as I can, and then go by feel. Really, I
just measure the water and salt and the rest is pretty flexible. The
amount of flour is really, "add until it feels right." The
amount of Sourdough starter can range from 3% to 20% and not affect
the end product all that much."
bread 
may 2017
The Physicist Who Sees Crime Networks – Backchannel
"Mizuno was surprised to find that companies behave rather like people. Like the urban myth of there being six degrees of separation between Kevin Bacon and any other actor, Mizuno found that 80% of the world’s firms could be connected to any other business via six customers or suppliers. For example, Elpitiya Plantations, a producer of fine teas in Sri Lanka, is linked to financial behemoth Western Union by hopping from a hotel chain to a fertilizer company to food giant Nestlé to bargain US retailer Dollar General."

networks and algorithms
notes 
may 2017
Baking SOS: How to solve 10 common bread problems by Luis Troyano | BBC Good Food
"If you want a really great crust, try making your bread in a casserole pot with the lid on. That creates an airtight environment. Take your biggest casserole pot, get it hot in the oven, then put your shaped dough in there. It can be quite tricky to get in there, so I shape my dough on a loose bottomed tart tin lined with paper then lower it into the pot using string. Bake it in the pot for about 35-40 minutes and you’ll end up with as close to a bakery loaf as you can achieve at home."

Try this one! Sourdough could have been over-proved
bread 
may 2017
The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked | Technology | The Guardian
Is using an analytics company a conspiracy? Need to think this one through. People have always used all resources when campaigning.
notes 
may 2017
Lessons in Bread Baking: Oops! I forgot the salt - Bread Experience
"Salt serves a number of purposes in bread. It stabilizes the gluten structure which creates a better dough and adds flavor. It also slows down the fermentation process by dehydrating the yeast and bacteria. Technically, salt is an optional ingredient; however, if you’re going to omit it, you should use cold temperatures to slow down the fermentation process or reduce the rising times."

Forgot the salt on my sourdough so cut it in and kneeded a bit more. See what happens when it bakes
bread 
may 2017
Review: Brexit, by Harold D. Clarke, Matthew Goodwin and Paul Whiteley | THE Books
"According to the BBC, the ratio of Leave to Remain campaign spending was £16.4 million pounds to £15.1 million. That is a ratio of 52:48, almost identical to the ratio of the votes cast, but if the authors of this book are aware of this, they do not say."
notes 
may 2017
Sent to Prison by a Software Program’s Secret Algorithms - The New York Times
"...He may have been thinking about the case of a Wisconsin man, Eric L. Loomis, who was sentenced to six years in prison based in part on a private company’s proprietary software. Mr. Loomis says his right to due process was violated by a judge’s consideration of a report generated by the software’s secret algorithm, one Mr. Loomis was unable to inspect or challenge."

Algorithms that make decisions should be available for inspection. Via Techmeme.
Closed 
may 2017
Microsoft's Tuesday event: what to expect from its Chromebook response - The Verge
"Recently, Microsoft started hiding its touch-friendly mobile versions of Office in the Windows Store. While mobile devices can still search for them, if you’re a tablet or regular PC user then they’ve simply vanished from the Windows Store search. These apps are Universal Windows apps, and were supposed to be the future of Office and a demonstration of how powerful Microsoft’s Windows 10 apps could be."

Taken a little out of context, via techmeme. Article about modified Windows 10 and cheap clients as competitor to Chromebooks in US.
Closed 
may 2017
Major apps abandoning Apple Watch, including Google Maps, Amazon & eBay [u]
"In the last few weeks, the latest update for Google Maps on iOS ditched support for the Apple Watch. Its removal was not mentioned in the release notes, and Google has not indicated whether support for watchOS will be reinstated."
Closed 
may 2017
Interview with Byron Westbrook | RHYTHMPLEX
"I am largely dealing with positioning and size of sounds as dynamic elements. If only one speaker is sounding from the center of the room, that can appear to be lower in dynamic scale, whereas if it shifts from that point to two extremes of the room, appearing to expand, that in turn expands that sound to a dominant position of scale and intensity. I do a lot of this shifting of sounds, but it happens very slowly, and (hopefully) imperceptibly enough that it should communicate more of a feel than the thought “the sound just went from mono to stereo” or whatnot. Another technique is to use two speakers playing the same sound slightly out of pitch or out of phase to position it in a place other than where the speakers are positioned. Height is another factor a well. I have these small speakers that I built which can be easily positioned on small ledges, and at every performance, they end up being configured differently. It’s also worth noting that I don’t use matched speakers/enclosures and different ones emphasize different frequencies. In general though, thinking about dynamic of sound in a room in terms of an x/y/z axis really opens up compositional/improvisational possibilities."

Infinte Sustain geezer on methodology
sonics 
may 2017
My coffeehouse nightmare.
"There is a golden rule, long cherished by restaurateurs, for determining whether a business is viable. Rent should take up no more than 25 percent of your revenue, another 25 percent should go toward payroll, and 35 percent should go toward the product. The remaining 15 percent is what you take home. There's an even more elegant version of that rule: Make your rent in four days to be profitable, a week to break even. If you haven't hit the latter mark in a month, close."

Hipster arithmetic
notes 
may 2017
VS Ramachandran: The Sherlock Holmes of Neuroscience  
"Poverty forces you to be "ingenious" and resourceful early on in your career plus the history of science tells us the importance of simplicity. The minute you start using fancy technology, there are so many steps from the raw data to the conclusion that there is plenty of scope for unintended massaging of the data. Methodology is important but your research should be concept driven – not methodology driven. Lastly, using sophisticated techniques (especially if computers are involved) lulls you into a false sense of thinking you have done something “scientific". The use of hi-tech is – to quote Peter Medawar – seen, unfortunately, as a sign of intellectual manhood."
notes 
april 2017
If Chinese Were Phonetic - The New Yorker
"With a phonetic writing system like an alphabet or a syllabary, you need only learn a few dozen symbols and you can read most everything printed in a newspaper. With Chinese characters, you have to learn three thousand. And writing is even more difficult than reading; when you can’t use pronunciation as an aid to spelling, you have to rely on pure memorization. The cognitive demands are so great that even highly educated Chinese speakers regularly forget how to write characters they haven’t used recently."

But then on the upside, reading is (I gather) independent of the spoken language. Handy in a huge polyglot country. Via HN
notes. 
april 2017
Growing Ubuntu for Cloud and IoT, rather than Phone and convergence | Ubuntu Insights
"I’m writing to let you know that we will end our investment in Unity8, the phone and convergence shell. We will shift our default Ubuntu desktop back to GNOME for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS."

Good heavens. I've just checked the date on the post really carefully, and checked that the sky is not actually falling.
linux 
april 2017
The Real Story of Reagan’s 11th Commandment - POLITICO Magazine
"Fast forward to 2017. The Republicans have become the party of dysfunction. They inherited the Southern conservatives who abandoned the Democrats, and are now as deeply split as the Democrats ever were—even as they hold the presidency, the Congress, and a majority of the nation’s state governments."
notes 
april 2017
Why Japan's Rail Workers Can't Stop Pointing at Things - Atlas Obscura
"Train conductors, drivers and station staff play an important role in the safe and efficient operation of the lines; a key aspect of which is the variety of physical gestures and vocal calls that they perform while undertaking their duties. While these might strike visitors as silly, the movements and shouts are a Japanese-innovated industrial safety method known as pointing-and-calling; a system that reduces workplace errors by up to 85 percent."

Pointing and calling for maths?
learning 
april 2017
The art of the denial - Vox
"About 100 people were slotted to come to the conference from Africa — from filmmakers to government officials, from Guinea to Ethiopia to South Africa. But all of their visas to come to the US for business travel were rejected. Every. Single. One."

So the centre of gravity of the 'development' industry moves out of the US. The UK needs international contacts at present, and the UK civil service has a lot of experience with scrutiny of visa applications...
notes 
april 2017
Democrats aim to take out Cruz in 2018 - POLITICO
"The affable O’Rourke cuts a unique profile in the House. He recently spent two days in a car with Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) driving from Texas to D.C. after a snowstorm. The two livestreamed the entire ride and took questions from constituents along the way."

Sounds like a way to reach younger voters. Transcript of some of the questions could be fun
notes 
march 2017
The failure of the Republican health care bill reveals a party unready to govern - Vox
"This is a party that has forgotten how to do the slow, arduous work of governing. Perhaps it’s worse than that. This is a party, in many ways, that has built its majority upon a contempt for the compromises, quarter-loaves, and tough trade-offs that governing entails."
notes 
march 2017
IBM is ending its decades-old remote work policy — Quartz
"At IBM, which has embraced remote work for decades, a relatively large proportion of employees work outside of central hubs. As early as the 1980s, the company had installed “remote terminals” in several employees’ homes. And by 2009, when remote work was still, for most, a novelty, 40% of IBM’s 386,000 global employees already worked at home (the company noted that it had reduced its office space by 78 million square feet and saved about $100 million in the US annually as a result)."

How the mighty have fallen. A company that sells remote working services...
notes 
march 2017
Berlin strikes back against Trump claim that Germany owes ‘vast sums’ to NATO, US – POLITICO
“A sensible security policy is not just buying tanks, driving defense spending to insane heights and escalating the arms race,” he said. “A reasonable policy means crisis-prevention, stabilization of weak states, economic development and the fight against hunger, climate change and water scarcity.”

Sigmar Gabriel has the right idea I think. Talking is cheaper.
notes 
march 2017
How to fix Obamacare with this one weird trick - POLITICO
"The under 26 provision has contributed to one of Obamacare’s biggest flaws: Not enough young, healthy people have signed up for coverage in the law's insurance marketplaces, or exchanges."

Any insurance based system for paying for health care has to fiddle the premiums some how as we all need high levels of health care eventually (What I call the Kurt Cobain principle). Only way to fund health care is to do it through tax somehow so we all contribute consistently and not at a level that depends on individual risk.
notes 
march 2017
Brian Moriarty | Lectures & Presentations | Who Buried Paul?
"Who Buried Paul? was first presented at the San Jose Convention Center on St. Patrick’s Day 1999, as a featured lecture of the Game Developers Conference."

Could this be the first alt-truth exhibit? Via HN
notes 
march 2017
>I'm shocked at how antisocial it is. Did I really believe this stuff? I did. A... | Hacker News
"What I saw that most changed my mind? I was expecting a world of nefarious villains, but what I found was nothing but a bunch of weak anit-patterns and emergent behaviours. The world didn't suck because illuminati super-villains were oppressing the sheeple, it sucked for the same reason parks get trashed. Garbage accumulates and nobody bothers to pick it up."

Nice analogy. It isn't a conspiracy, just neglect. HN discussion on cyberpunk manifesto.
notes 
march 2017
Review: In ‘Spider Network,’ an Intriguing Tale of Complicity - The New York Times
"At bottom, the Libor scandal was not very complicated at all. Libor was calculated daily based on submissions made by relatively low-level bank employees with modest oversight by the banks, the private association collecting the data and the regulators. The value of banks’ trading positions in derivatives and other Libor-influenced securities could be tremendously affected by even relatively small changes in the financial benchmark. The result was a mad scramble by market participants to influence the submissions in the hope of moving Libor in a direction favorable to their holdings."

Just ordered the book. Good example of small decisions taken at low level blowing up through network effects.
notes 
march 2017
Moving Deliveroo from a Monolith to a Distributed System
"Beech is lead engineer at Deliveroo which was founded in 2013. They started with a typical Ruby on Rails monolith using PostgreSQL and Redis for data storage and handled the growth in business by using larger and larger databases. One year ago, they were running about 20 servers on Heroku. Currently, they are running a few hundred servers which is the largest application ever deployed on Heroku, at peek using 1800 cores and 3 TB of memory. They have grown from 10 engineers in 2015, to about 100 in 2017, working on a main codebase of 600,000 significant lines of code."

So until recently, all your junk food orders could be searched for and patterns of location found.
notes 
march 2017
Humans weren’t designed to be rational, and we benefit hugely from our mental biases — Quartz
>> " "But even if we were able to live life according to such detailed calculations, doing so would put us at a massive disadvantage. This is because we live in a world of deep uncertainty, under which neat logic simply isn’t a good guide." " <<

Black Swan 2.0
notes  learning 
march 2017
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