Mission District Neighbors Are Now Opposing Nuns Trying To Feed The Homeless: SFist
If you wrote this into a work of fiction, people would accuse you of painting NIMBYs with too broad a brush.
bay-area  housing  urbanism 
2 days ago
Inversions, by Iain M. Banks
Finished 2016-11-??. Finally broke down and bought this in print.

I've read the other Culture books so the central conceit was so transparent to me that there was never much mystery as to what's going on, but still I found this enjoyable in that old-timey Banks way. It's fun to read about the Culture from this angle at least.
booklog  finished:2016  iain-m-banks  science-fiction  fantasy-fiction  fiction  the-culture 
9 days ago
God's Chinese Son: The Taiping Heavenly Kingdom of Hong Xiuquan, by Jonathan D. Spence (@Kindle)
Finished 2016-11-26. Somewhat more discussion of Hong's messianic visions and the religious arguments within the Taiping than I wanted; ultimately the fanatical delusions of the Taiping leaders are much less interesting to me than the social dynamics of their followers, which I feel are too thinly covered here. Still, some vivid and finely written passages, and covers a lot of ground that is excluded from _Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom_.
booklog  history  china  religion  war  taiping  finished:2016 
12 days ago
Rich Puchalsky's blog: Protest (II)
I have criticized the efficacy of protest in the past but I still think that the government's efforts to suppress protest are, overall, rather sinister in character.
protests  police  united-states 
13 days ago
Fixation on Fake News Overshadows Waning Trust in Real Reporting
<<Facebook is a place where people construct and project identities to friends, family and peers. It is a marketplace in which news is valuable mainly to the extent that it serves those identities. It is a system built on ranking and vetting and voting, and yet one where negative inputs are scarcely possible, and where conflict is resolved with isolation. (Not that provisions for open conflict on a platform present any easy alternatives: For Twitter, it has been a source of constant crisis.)

Fake news operations are closely aligned with the experienced incentives of the Facebook economy — more closely, perhaps, than most of the organizations that are identifying them. >>
journalism  social-formation-of-belief  bullshit 
19 days ago
Daft Science | Coins
<<A FREE album of Beastie Boys remixes, using only Daft Punk samples.>>
21 days ago
We saw some really bad Intel CPU bugs in 2015, and we should expect to see more in the future
After writing this, an ex-Intel employee said “even with your privileged access, you have no idea” and a pseudo-anonymous commenter on reddit made this shocking comment:

As someone who worked in an Intel Validation group for SOCs until mid-2014 or so I can tell you, yes, you will see more CPU bugs from Intel than you have in the past from the post-FDIV-bug era until recently.


Let me set the scene: It’s late in 2013. Intel is frantic about losing the mobile CPU wars to ARM. Meetings with all the validation groups. Head honcho in charge of Validation says something to the effect of: “We need to move faster. Validation at Intel is taking much longer than it does for our competition. We need to do whatever we can to reduce those times… we can’t live forever in the shadow of the early 90’s FDIV bug, we need to move on. Our competition is moving much faster than we are” - I’m paraphrasing. Many of the engineers in the room could remember the FDIV bug and the ensuing problems caused for Intel 20 years prior. Many of us were aghast that someone highly placed would suggest we needed to cut corners in validation - that wasn’t explicitly said, of course, but that was the implicit message. That meeting there in late 2013 signaled a sea change at Intel to many of us who were there. And it didn’t seem like it was going to be a good kind of sea change. Some of us chose to get out while the getting was good. As someone who worked in an Intel Validation group for SOCs until mid-2014 or so I can tell you, yes, you will see more CPU bugs from Intel than you have in the past from the post-FDIV-bug era until recently.
hardware  intel  security  computer-architecture 
26 days ago
Intel Intrinsics Guide
The Intel Intrinsics Guide is an interactive reference tool for Intel intrinsic instructions, which are C style functions that provide access to many Intel instructions - including Intel® SSE, AVX, AVX-512, and more - without the need to write assembly code.
programming  performance 
26 days ago
Advertisers capture: Evidence from Hong Kong - Marginal REVOLUTION
Exercise: apply these principles to Thiel-funded Gawker lawsuit, Facebook's algorithm, other aspects of US media.
propaganda  journalism  economics 
4 weeks ago
How Users Read on the Web
<< It was somewhat surprising to us that usability was improved by a good deal in the objective language version (27% better). We had expected that users would like this version better than the promotional site (as indeed they did), but we thought that the performance metrics would have been the same for both kinds of language. As it turned out, our four performance measures (time, errors, memory, and site structure) were also better for the objective version than for the promotional version. Our conjecture to explain this finding is that promotional language imposes a cognitive burden on users who have to spend resources on filtering out the hyperbole to get at the facts. When people read a paragraph that starts "Nebraska is filled with internationally recognized attractions," their first reaction is no, it's not, and this thought slows them down and distracts them from using the site. >>
usability  writing  propaganda  bullshit  psychology 
4 weeks ago
FindBugs project in its current form is dead | Hacker News
bookmarking the HN thread for this observation:

<< A million downloads, commercial deployments by 3rd parties, and basically no contributions coming in. The status quo of the open-source model. >>
software  free-software  economics  programming-systems  program-analysis 
4 weeks ago
Trump voters are (mostly) Romney voters — Crooked Timber
<< People are Republican partisans because they agree with the core elements of the Republican position: white Christianist identity politics, opposition to (non-white) immigration, and anti-poor, anti-union economic and social policies. What Trump has done is to show that some things previously thought to be core Republican commitments (free trade, for example) are actually peripheral. >>
trump  republicans  politics 
4 weeks ago
Cyberspace Admin Issues New Live-streaming Rules - China Digital Times (CDT)
<< Chen Na reports on new regulations from the Cyberspace Administration of China, the nation’s top internet regulator, which will require all live-streamers commenting on news or current events to apply for official accreditation, and have their scripts approved by an editor. >>
china  censorship  internet  video 
4 weeks ago
Attitude toward school does not predict academic achievement
so basically fuck all the teachers who said I had a bad attitude, fuck them all with a rusty pole
education  psychology 
5 weeks ago
FAQ on the Science of Changing Sex | On the Science of Changing Sex
#todayilearned it is commonly believed that there are two distinct types of transgendered psychological profiles. don't know enough about this subject to judge the reliability of this source.
gender  sexual-politics  psychology 
5 weeks ago
Ask a Korean!: The Irrational Downfall of Park Geun-hye
Every day, Choi would receive a huge stack of policy briefs from the presidential residence to discuss with her inner circle--an illustrious group that included Choi's gigolo (no, really) and a K-pop music video director (I'm serious.) Choi would receive ultra-confidential information detailing secret meetings between South and North Korean military authorities.
. . .
At first, there was a tiny bit of perverse relief, as all the bizarre actions of Park Geun-hye administration suddenly began to make sense. Why did the president only hold just three press conferences in the first four years of her administration? Why does the president always speak in convoluted sentences that make no sense? Why did the president fly off the handle and sue the Japanese journalist who claimed that she was with Choi Soon-sil's husband while the ferry Sewol was sinking in 2014, drowning 300 school children? Why did the ruling party randomly host a shamanistic ritual in the halls of the National Assembly? Ohhhh, the relief went. Now it all makes sense.

But this brief relief soon gave way to the terrifying realization: actually, it does not make sense. None of this makes any sense.

In an ordinary case of political corruption, the politician is in it for himself. At most, the politician is doing it for his family, or other rich people who may end up helping him later. Obviously, corruption is bad. But this type of self-interested corruption at least gives some measure of predictability. We all know what self-interest looks like. Even though we would prefer that our politicians are not corrupt, at least we know how corrupt politicians behave.

But not with Park Geun-hye. Her corruption was not self-interested at all. If anything, her corruption was self-sacrificing in favor of Choi Soon-sil. Among the numerous revelations, I personally found this the most pathetic: Park Geun-hye gave Choi a sizable budget to purchase the presidential wardrobe, and Choi embezzled most of it. Instead of purchasing the clothes that befitted a head of state, Choi outfitted Park Geun-hye with crappy clothes that she had her cronies made with subpar material. There is a video of Choi's staff smoking and drinking while eating fried chicken, right next to the suit meant for Park Geun-hye. At one point, one of the staff members handled the suit without even wiping chicken grease from his hands, while breathing smoke onto the clothes. Park Geun-hye would wear this suit on her presidential visit with Xi Jinping.
korea  corruption  k-pop 
5 weeks ago
Alley Cat Allies | Why Trap-Neuter-Return Feral Cats? The Case for TNR
It is rare to find studies of the effectiveness of TNR. This source is probably motivated to pass along only pro-TNR research so take with a grain of salt.

I have never understood the logic of how TNR could reduce cat populations in the long term; it seems that it can only stabilize them. TNR can never neuter every cat, which means that there will remain some breeding cats. The existing healthy cat population, by consuming existing food resources, will starve a large proportion of new kittens that enter the population, thus controlling the population, but as the neutered cats die off it creates room for more kittens to survive.
cats  ecology 
7 weeks ago
Image Synthesis from Yahoo's open_nsfw
Prediction: some years from now some artist sanctioned by the art community will take more or less this idea and put it on a wall, and this guy will get no credit.
digital-art  new-aesthetic  computer-vision  neural-networks 
7 weeks ago
Washington’s foreign policy elite breaks with Obama over Syrian bloodshed - The Washington Post
<<President Obama’s departure from the White House — and the possible return of a more conventional and hawkish Hillary Clinton — is being met with quiet relief.>>

foreign-policy  washington-dc  united-states  hillary-clinton 
7 weeks ago
Free Software Always Costs Something | Zdziarski's Blog of Things
<< without the same financial backing that open source used to have back in the DARPA days (namely, defense grants and university backing), we’ve gone from creating software that’s developed in a resourceful setting to software that’s developed whenever we’re not busy working, changing diapers, cooking dinner; you get the idea: free software today is developed on a shoe-string budget of our time as well as financially >>

Amen. Underfunding of Free Software is one of the greatest missing public goods.
security  free-software 
7 weeks ago
Microsoft has built a best-in-class security organization since its embarrassments around the turn of the century. Maybe Google is still slightly better for now, but it remains to be seen whether Google has the fortitude to apply the same resources to Android that Microsoft did to Windows.
security  software  microsoft  microsoft-windows 
7 weeks ago
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