Jackie French on Twitter: Me: how much does it costs to borrow a thousand books a year from the library? Small boy: $500? Smaller girl: $1,000! Me: It’s free! Six hundred kids in the hall gasp, then cheer.
@jackie_french_: Me: how much does it costs to borrow a thousand books a year from the library?
Small boy: $500?
Smaller girl: $1,000!
Me: It’s free!
Six hundred kids in the hall gasp, then cheer.
18 hours ago
1Password Extends into the iOS QuickType Keyboard with Password AutoFill – MacStories
Anxieties were surely at a high as Apple shared news of iCloud Keychain's expanded capabilities in iOS 12 – the system now offers seamless new password creation, security code AutoFill, and more. The team at Agile Bits wasted no time getting to work implementing this Password Manager API, and it's launching today in 1Password alongside iOS 12. Once 1Password is active as an AutoFill source, any text box recognized as a login field will present data in the QuickType keyboard's suggestion row that comes directly from 1Password – this behavior is identical to that held by iCloud Keychain in the past. Since 1Password now has a deeper integration with iOS' keyboard, it can detect when you're on a site or in an app with two-factor configured, and a push notification informs you that the code you need has been copied to the clipboard. At a time when I was starting to fear for 1Password's future, Apple has extended an olive branch of sorts with iOS 12's Password Manager API.
2 days ago
Overcast 5: Redesigned Now Playing Screen, Search, Siri Media Shortcuts, and More – MacStories
Sprinkled throughout Overcast's release history are design details and enhancements big and small that make it a sophisticated, versatile client for podcast aficionados who don't want to settle for a stock app. I can trigger these shortcuts from Siri on my iPhone, HomePod, and Apple Watch without being taken into the Overcast app; while I'm listening, I can say "star episode" to recommend it or "enable voice boost" to toggle the effect. Media shortcuts kick off background audio playback in a couple of seconds (even if the app had been previously force quit), and other actions (such as chapter navigation or recommending an episode) execute reliably. Testing Overcast 5 for the past few weeks reminded me how much I appreciate Arment's attention to detail, thoughtful approach to building features for podcast producers and listeners, and tendency to push the boundaries of what is possible to achieve on Apple's platforms. Overcast's new Now Playing screen looks great and is easier to operate, but it's the adoption of shortcuts, search, and release frequency that make the app genuinely more useful and valuable for regular podcast listeners.
2 days ago
tvOS 12: The MacStories Review – MacStories
I always love seeing the amazing cities and landscapes of the world shown through screensavers in glorious 4K video; seeing Earth itself from the view of the International Space Station is going to be breathtaking. The new device brought 4K and HDR support to the Apple TV lineup for the first time, offering a compelling high quality picture upgrade. With its newfound support for Atmos, the Apple TV 4K enables enjoying compatible movies and shows in immersive surround sound. Since tvOS already pings your iPhone when a text input field is recognized, now you'll be able to access iOS 12's AutoFill features inside that Continuity Keyboard via its push notification. Stacked up next to new versions of iOS, macOS, and watchOS, this is an underwhelming release, but the Apple TV is still my favorite way to enjoy content on the big screen, and this year's update made that experience just a bit better.
2 days ago
Lack of Study Time is the Problem, but What is the Solution? Unsuccessful Attempts to Help Traditional and Online College Students
We evaluate two low-cost college support programs designed to directly target insufficient study time, a common characteristic among a large fraction of undergraduates. More than 9,000 students were randomly assigned to complete an online planning exercise with information and guidance to create a weekly schedule containing sufficient study time and other obligations. Treated students also received weekly study tips, reminders, and coach consultations via text message throughout the academic year. Despite high levels of fidelity and initial participation, we estimate precise null effects on academic outcomes at each site, implying that the planning treatment was ineffective at improving student credit accumulation, course grades, and retention. Taken together, the results suggest that, in addition to helping students stay organized, an effective intervention may need to provide stronger incentives or specific guidance on the tasks to complete while studying.
2 days ago
Nevertheless She Persisted? Gender Peer Effects in Doctoral STEM Programs
We study the effects of peer gender composition, a proxy for female-friendliness of environment, in STEM doctoral programs on persistence and degree completion. Leveraging unique new data and quasi-random variation in gender composition across cohorts within programs, we show that women entering cohorts with no female peers are 11.9pp less likely to graduate within 6 years than their male counterparts. A 1 sd increase in the percentage of female students differentially increases the probability of on-time graduation for women by 4.6pp. These gender peer effects function primarily through changes in the probability of dropping out in the first year of a Ph.D. program and are largest in programs that are typically male-dominated. Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25028
2 days ago
iOS 12 on the iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 Plus, and iPad Mini 2: It’s actually faster! | Ars Technica
But at the time, some of you asked us to test a handful of other older iOS devices, particularly the A7-equipped iPad Air and Mini 2 and the A8-equipped iPhone 6 Plus. In the iPads, the same A7 CPU and GPU that powers the iPhone 5S’ screen has to adequately support a tablet with more than three times as many pixels. Later Apple chips—from the A8X in the iPad Air 2 and the A9 in the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus onward, approximately—remain more than fast enough to run iOS 11 without any huge degradation of performance. But with iOS 12 this year, we’re testing an iPad Mini 2 and iPhone 6 Plus in addition to the old 5S to get an idea of how well Apple was able to improve the responsiveness of these older devices, many of which are still in use as secondary phones and tablets or hand-me-downs (or by people who just see no particular reason to upgrade). But if nothing else, iOS 12 is a convincing counterargument to the theory that Apple intentionally hobbles its old devices to force people to buy new ones.
2 days ago
inessential: Oh God Not This Again
Another is that millions of mainstream users rely on it — for podcasting, especially, but also because it powers other things that they use. It’s totally fine if RSS readers are just used by journalists, bloggers, researchers, and people who like to read. But note that everyone who uses Twitter and whatever else, and who follows those people, are benefiting indirectly from RSS. For instance, posts to my @NetNewsWire account on Twitter come from the blog ’s feed. I don’t expect to see RSS readers running on every Mac and iOS device.
2 days ago
Fuck Yeah Toronto! - On Doug Ford
September 17th
12:23 PM I’m somewhere between die-in-a-fire and die-somewhat-peacefully-of-smoke-inhalation. candyxjackie liked this
2 days ago
The Rise and Demise of RSS
The web, originally built to enable a simple transaction between
two parties—a client fetching a document from a single host server—would be
broken open by new standards that could be used to repackage and redistribute
entire websites through a variety of channels. One of these pioneers was Dave Winer, CEO of a company called
UserLand Software, which developed early content management systems that made
blogging accessible to people without deep technical fluency. Arrayed against Winer were several other people, including Rael Dornfest of
O’Reilly, Ian Davis (responsible for a search startup called Calaba), and a
precocious, 14-year-old Aaron Swartz, who all thought that RSS needed
namespaces in order to accommodate the many different things everyone wanted to
do with it. But syndication on the web only happens
through one of a very small number of channels, meaning that none of us “retain
control over our online personae” the way that Werbach thought we would. One
reason this happened is garden-variety corporate rapaciousness—RSS, an open
format, didn’t give technology companies the control over data and eyeballs
that they needed to sell ads, so they did not support it.
2 days ago
Top 10 Must-Watch PyCon Talks – Real Python
If you ever get the chance to attend a PyCon event, either in the United States or closer to where you live, I highly recommend it. Amjith Ramanujam is a Traffic Engineer at Netflix and creator of PGCLI and MYCLI, amazing interactive command line tools for Postgres and MySQL. It’s common for newer Python developers to not think or care about memory management since it is handled somewhat “automagically.” But it can actually be crucial to know the basics of what is happening behind the scenes so you can learn how to write more efficient code. In case that hasn’t catch your attention, he also received a standing ovation at the end of his talk, which I haven’t seen happen since. I had the pleasure of personally attending this talk, which is the epitome of what the Python community is all about: unity, inclusion, and the love of solving complex problems.
2 days ago
Daring Fireball: The iPhones XS
It’s basically pretty simple: in difficult lighting conditions (harsh backlighting for example) HDR combines multiple exposures into a single image. Leveraging multiple technologies — like faster
sensors, an enhanced ISP, and advanced algorithms — Smart HDR
brings more highlight and shadow detail to your photos. The whole I/O path between the sensor and the Neural Engine is so fast the iPhone XS camera system can manipulate 4K video frames like Neo dodging bullets in The Matrix . “32 percent larger sensor”, however, means something very specific, and it should perk up the ears of any photographer — even one who’s skeptical of Apple’s “computational photography” claims. The default wallpapers for iPhone XS (they’re actually soap bubbles, not planets, as I originally thought) hide the sensor array notch with a black background.
2 days ago
Fact-Checking Jian Ghomeshi’s Comeback Attempt
Jian Ghomeshi’s essay in The New York Review of Books , titled “Reflection from a Hashtag,” chiefly concerns his suffering, how his friends betrayed him, and how he was wronged by an ex-girlfriend, “certain reporters,” and even his own crisis PR team. (The person who commissioned and edited the essay, Ian Buruma, was shown in a Slate interview to be unfamiliar with basic facts of the Ghomeshi scandal, such as the number of accusers. The truth is that Ghomeshi was fired after he displayed “graphic evidence” to CBC executives that he had caused “physical injury to a woman.” The images of his ex-girlfriend’s bruised body, reportedly after he had cracked her rib, were shared because he believed these materials would also prove that she had consented to the violence. IN FACT: Since the piece was published, I’ve checked in with or heard from several of Ghomeshi’s key accusers — his ex-girlfriend who was my original source, Kathryn Borel, Lucy DeCoutere , and Reva Seth. He also never warned them about the impending release of his essay, which re-asserts his position that the allegations against him are “inaccurate,” and which has re-animated Ghomeshi’s small but virulent base of misogynist trolls, who have been plaguing these women for four years.
2 days ago
The trailer for Captain Marvel is finally here, and it’s spectacular | Ars Technica
We had our first hint of what's to come in the teaser at the end of Avengers: Infinity War , when Nick Fury placed a mysterious call just before—well, spoiler alert, he was among the one-half of the population turned to dust when that bastard Thanos fatally snapped his fingers. The caller ID on Fury's dropped phone showed no name, just a bright flash of blue, red, and gold with a white insignia. Her super powers are soon on display, and she draws the attention of Nick Fury (Samuel Jackson), who still has two eyes. We see her in flight school, in boot camp, playing softball as a young girl—all hinting that perhaps her origins are more terrestrial and that she came by her power by other means. Either way, she's here to defend Earth from any alien force that threatens it—even if that means punching out a seemingly harmless little old lady.
2 days ago
Download local copies of all movies, music purchased on iTunes to make sure they don’t disappear — Apple World Today
It tells of a man who had purchased three movies from iTunes, but which disappeared from his library. Here’s the scoop: He explained that three movies he’d “bought” through iTunes disappeared from his library and shared an email from Apple that explained that content was no longer being offered in the iTunes store by the content provider. However, don’t assume that every movie (or album) you buy will always be waiting for you “in the cloud.” Download everything locally. If you buy a lot of movies, you’ll need a very spacious drive — and a second one to back up the first. Click this icon to download them to the drive that houses your photo library.
2 days ago
International effort to improve data science in schools | Computing Education Research Blog
(Where “involved” means, “a couple of phone conversations, and a set of emails about frameworks, standards, and curricula, and I missed every physical meeting.”) Nick Fisher has drawn together an impressive range of experts and professional societies to back the effort. I’m not sure that it’s possible to create a course to work internationally — school systems and expectations vary dramatically. To inspire mathematically able school students to pursue tertiary studies in data science and its related fields, with a view to a career. Two curriculum frameworks are being created to support development of a pre-calculus course in data science that is rigorous, engaging and accessible to all students, and a joy to teach. Dr Fisher said that the draft frameworks will be published for widespread public consultation in early 2019 before completion by August.
2 days ago
Consider first the so-called gender-equality paradox, namely the finding that countries with the highest levels of gender equality tend to have the lowest ratios of women to men in STEM education. Finland excels in gender equality (World Economic Forum, 2015), its adolescent girls outperform boys in science literacy, and it ranks second in European educational performance (OECD, 2016b). Even if STEM fields pay more, we would expect small differences in personality that vary with gender would become more apparent as income increases. Some people argue that more men than women have extraordinary ability levels in math and science because of greater male variability in most characteristics. I don’t claim that theory is true but it’s worth thinking about a pure case to understand how the same pattern can be interpreted in diametrically different ways.
2 days ago
Avatar: The Last Airbender Is Returning as a New Netflix Series
Concept art fro the Avatar reboot.Image: NetflixAlong with the first piece of concept art from the upcoming reboot, Netflix announced that The Last Airbender ’s co-creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko are both signed on to oversee the show, something they’ve been planning on for ages. In a public statement, DiMartino and Konietzko expressed their excitement about the upcoming show and made a point of stating that this incarnation of the Aang’s story will star characters of color, unlike M. Night Shyamalan’s much-maligned 2010 The Last Airbender: It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to build upon everyone’s great work on the original animated series and go even deeper into the characters, story, action, and world-building. Netflix is wholly dedicated to manifesting our vision for this retelling, and we’re incredibly grateful to be partnering with them.” It’s been a while since we last caught up with Aang and the Avatar crew, but from the sounds of it, it won’t be too long before we’re all “yip-yipping” our ways into another unforgettable adventure.
2 days ago
Canada's Three Types of Colleges - HESA
If you’re in the business of trying to describe Canadian higher education, one of the hardest things to do is to try to explain Canada’s community college sector, since the institutions that comprise it vary substantially from one province to another. There are also some differences in the way the system evolved: Ontario colleges are by and large more technologically advanced and offer a wider range of training for white collar occupations than those in the other six provinces (and in this respect are closer to the Alberta and BC models). But as that term has come to be defined, it refers to that group of large, professionally-oriented and technologically sophisticated institutions which are heavily involved in both applied research and in providing bachelor’s level education. Though their number is small, they represent the median “college” experience, particularly in urban Canada west of the Ottawa river. Access (particularly in a geographic sense) is a much more central part of their identity, and they deliver a significant proportion of their programming via community-based teaching.
2 days ago
netflix last airbender - Google Search
https://geektyrant.com/.../netflixs-avatar-the-last-airbender-announcement-does-not-m... 17 hours ago - The news of a live-action adaptation series of Avatar: The Last Airbender does not fill me with excitement like many of my fellow fans. I want to ... https://www.netflix.com/ca/title/70142405 Siblings Katara and Sokka wake young Aang from a long hibernation and learn he's an Avatar, whose air-bending powers can defeat the evil Fire Nation.
2 days ago
The Swan | besidealife
“Well,” said Fister, looking directly at my face and smiling the way animals do when issuing some imminent threat, “then she can ask for one.” The exchange was a surprise; I was hovering in the doorway of the school’s Hospitality class waiting for Dolly so we could walk home. I was not angling for a swan, one of dozens of confectionary creations made that afternoon by the class for parents’ night. They looked like uneven, bottom-heavy worms that tapered upwards into a vague S-shape with two dark sprinkles for eyes and a gob of icing for a beak. But sometimes, when I encounter ugly birds or badly-executed desserts or unseemly, overbearing men, or when Dolly again does something that particularly annoys, I remember that foul-tasting little swan, the only innocent among the four of us that day.
2 days ago
Daring Fireball: Thoughts and Observations on Apple’s iPhone XS/XR and Series 4 Apple Watch Introductory Event
The only thing man-made you can see from the pavilion atop the Steve Jobs Theater is Apple Park’s Ring building, seemingly on the horizon. With the exception of the Photos watch face (which Apple added to early models only grudgingly, knowing it looked bad but also knowing people would want it), previous Apple Watch faces all took advantage of the way OLED’s deep black could blend in almost seamlessly with the surrounding black bezel to effectively hide the corners of the display. One side effect of this is that the bezels surrounding the display are slightly wider — because of LCD backlighting, Apple couldn’t get them as close to the edges as they can with OLED. Apple can’t use Haptic Touch on home screen icons, I think, because a long press already has meaning there: it enters you into jiggle mode. Some speculators thought the XR would be named the XC for the same reason — the rumor mill had suggested for months that the new 6.1-inch LCD model would be available in a variety of sporty colors.
2 days ago
There is no longer any such thing as Computer Security
What's even funnier (well, in the way of gallows humor, I guess) is that public stats were left enabled for that bit.ly tracking link, so you can see exactly what crazy domain that "Google login page" resolved to, and that it was clicked exactly twice, on the same day it was mailed. Note that the phishing URL is carefully constructed so the most "correct" part is at the front, and weirdness is sandwiched in the middle. I originally wrote this post as a presentation for the Berkeley Computer Science Club back in March, and at that time I gathered a list of public phishing pages I found on the web. Security awareness even followed the campaigners into the bathroom, where someone put a picture of a toothbrush under the words: “You shouldn’t share your passwords either.” Have I mentioned that Discourse added two factor authentication support in version 2.0 , and our just released 2.1 adds printed backup codes, too?
2 days ago
PCalc binomial functions - All this
Over the weekend, I read Federico Viticci’s excellent post on using iOS 12 Shortcuts to access PCalc . I haven’t installed iOS 12 yet (I usually wait a few days to let Apple’s servers cool down), but I expect to use Federico’s advice to make a few PCalc shortcuts when I do. In the meantime, his post inspired me to clean up and finish off a PCalc function that I’d half-written some time ago. There are only two possible outcomes of each event, which we’ll call success and failure , although you could give them any names you like. If you look through the function definition, you’ll notice that I’m using up a lot of registers—more than is truly necessary to run out the calculation.
2 days ago
PCalc binomial functions—Part 2 - All this
The binomial CDF appears in lots of practical probability problems, so it would be useful to have it as a PCalc function. What’s happened is we did the PMF calculation for [k=5], added its result to the cumulative sum (which was zero), and reset the stack for another round with [k=4]. PCalc helps out by always putting the last function run at the top of the list you choose from after tapping the ƒ(x) button. It’s basically the Binomial PMF function from the last post with a bit of business at the end that resets the stack for the next trip through the loop. You can enter it by hand for the full PCalc programming experience, or just download it .
2 days ago
Chris's Wiki :: blog/sysadmin/EdScriptErrorProblem
One of the things that is frequentlysaid about ed(1) is that it remains useful for non-interactive modifications
to files, for example as part of shell scripts. I would much rather
use sed or something else that is genuinely focused on stream
editing if I can, or put together some code in a language where I
can include explicit error checking so I'll handle the situation
where my input file is not actually the way I thought it was going
to be. If I was creating an ideal version of ed for non-interactive
editing, I would definitely have it include some form of conditionals
and 'abort with a non-zero exit status if ...' command. I wrote it in sed to
deliberately explore these features and it works, but it's basically
a stunt and I would probably be better off if I rewrote the script
in a language where the actual logic was not hiding in the middle
of a Turing tarpit .) PS: One place this comes up, or rather came up years ago and got
dealt with then, is in what diff format people use for patch .
2 days ago
Won’t Amount to a Hill of These | besidealife
My habit isn’t to eavesdrop on people, but I do at times catch snatches of conversations that are hard to keep to myself. “Remember the time you mentioned you didn’t want beans and she served you a bowl of bean-less chilli and then she gave me mine and it was just full of beans ? And I told her, again, that I can’t stomach beans in my chilli and she was like ‘Oh, you don’t like them?’” I watched as they walked out of my life, presumably forever. Memory and conviction are odd catalysts in conversation – where they will take you and where they don’t, and what that will do to the rest of your day.
2 days ago
Poll: Liberal 38, Conservative 34, NDP 17 | Abacus Data
Having said that, trend lines of late have made it clear that Liberal support can rise and fall and that the Conservatives are considerably more competitive than they were a year ago. To provide a bit of added context we included popularity measures for Doug Ford (-30), Rachel Notley (-6), Bernie Sanders (+23), Hillary Clinton (+2) and Donald Trump (-71). According to Bruce Anderson : “Heading into the last election, the Liberals needed to fight for a share of voice against the incumbent Conservatives and an NDP which was the Official Opposition party led by the high-profile Thomas Mulcair. With large leads in Quebec, Ontario, BC, and Atlantic Canada, the Liberals would likely win another majority government if an election was held today. Despite a fairly turbulent summer involving the Trans Mountain pipeline, border crossings, and NAFTA negotiations, support for the Liberals has held steady nationally and appears to have rebounded in Ontario after the provincial election.
2 days ago
BigCityLib Strikes Back: Doug Ford Shits The Bed
And its not just the nation as a whole that thinks he's a right douche-bag. It's here in Ontario: Once a star, Doug Ford is now a case. It happens to all leaders, but as it ever happened as fast? ?
2 days ago
Cult classic TV show Veronica Mars is Hulu’s latest resurrection | Ars Technica
Hulu, Amazon, and Netflix seem to have all settled on one recipe for success: rebooting cult classic TV series that didn't quite hit it big in their original broadcast runs. In the new installment, spring breakers are getting murdered in Neptune, thereby decimating the seaside town's lifeblood tourist industry. After Mars Investigations is hired by the parents of one of the victims to find their son's killer, Veronica is drawn into a mystery that pits the enclave's wealthy elites, who would rather put an end to the month-long bacchanalia, against a working class that relies on the cash influx that comes with being the West Coast's answer to Daytona Beach. Additionally, all the previous episodes of Veronica Mars and the feature film will arrive on Hulu next year, leading up to the new season premiere. When it premiered 14 years ago, Veronica Mars tackled a number of issues that would come to be key talking points for our era: income inequality, immigration, sexual assault, technology and privacy, startups and social accountability, and more.
2 days ago
Michael Tsai - Blog - New Git Client: Sublime Merge
Where it makes sense we will show you exactly which individual characters have been changed for a commit. From a Mac perspective, the user interface looks kind of odd. It has some ideas I hadn’t seen before, such as hunk history and putting the staging area at the top of the commit list rather than in a separate source list item. The main thing it doesn’t seem to do is full text search. Personal licenses [$99] are a once off purchase, and come with 3 years of updates.
2 days ago
Michael Tsai - Blog - Twitter Brings Back the Reverse Chronological Timeline
This ✨ magical link ✨ shows your Twitter timeline in true chronological order—without retweets, liked tweets, or any algorithm nonsense. if you turn off timeline ranking in settings today, you’ll see all the tweets from people you follow in reverse chronological order…no “in case you missed it” or tweets the people you follow “liked”. What Twitter should do instead is use the same simple mechanism people already use to control their timelines: following and unfollowing. Instead of adding tabs to the interface or throwing random stuff into everyone’s timeline for the greater good, those things should be accounts you can follow. Then users would be able to have a fully chronological timeline but also see tweets from their Smart Accounts according to their particular preferences.
2 days ago
New Doctor Who trailer shows first female Doctor is still the boss | Ars Technica
The BBC just released a new trailer, and it's clear from the footage that we've got a delightfully fresh take on the classic series ahead, while still keeping the most iconic elements that have made Doctor Who so enduring. His companion, Martha, guards his Time Lord essence (in the form of a fob watch), since he will have no recollection of his no-human existence. But Martha is black (and female), which limits her own undercover identity options to that of a lowly maid in the school, scrubbing floors despite her medical degree. Her new companions—Yasmin Kahn (Mandip Gill), Ryan Sinclair (Tosin Cole), and Graham O’Brien (Bradley Walsh)—respond by emphatically declaring her “the boss." There's no sign of the Tardis here: it was presumably badly damaged in last year's Christmas special " Twice Upon a Time ," suffering multiple failures right after the Doctor regenerated.
2 days ago
Chapter 7, Page 13 – O Human Star
by Blue on September 20, 2018at 9:45 amHey, welcome back to OHS updates! Thanks for your patience as I get back on track after an illness that laid me low.
2 days ago
Review: Mega-hit boardgame Scythe goes digital on Steam | Ars Technica
The app handles all of that quite smoothly, offering mouse-over prompts so you know what each option does and a series of questions and confirmation dialogs for each set of actions you can take. You might take half the game to achieve your first objective (shown as a star on your player icon in the lower right of the screen) but then find yourself hitting a new one every few turns after that. The Steamversion of Scythe has run smoothly for me for months, even as Asmodee Digital has pushed upgrades to the Early Access version I was playing. I’m not a huge fan of the tabletop version of Scythe , yet I found the app consistently enjoyable, even when I was still learning the game and getting my clock cleaned regularly by the easy opponents. With some other heavy titles in Asmodee Digital’s pipeline—including Terraforming Mars later this year and Gloomhaven in 2019—tabletop players and video gamers alike should be encouraged to see this release come out as well as it has.
2 days ago
prokopetz: aleph-null-47: prokopetz: ...
September 15, 2018 Fundamental dualites of indie tabletop RPG design: “Explaining jargon is a sign of weakness” versus “obligatory ‘what is a roleplaying game?’ essay is the longest section of the PDF” “Mandatory setting brainstorm session” versus “120 pages of elaborate worldbuilding that never quite gets around to mentioning what player characters actually do” “d66 tables for miles” versus “print-and-play cards are cool now, right?” “Frank and sensitive discussion of setting boundaries” versus “frank and sensitive discussion of setting boundaries, but tries to make it sound edgy by saying ‘fuck’ a lot” “Graphic design is my passion” versus “punctuation is for squares” “Expects you to get exactly the same people together every week for the next year” versus “assumes you have literally never met the rest of the group before in your life” “Early 2000s prog rock playlist” versus “muffin recipe” which one is your tabletop games We at Penguin King Games pride ourselves on supporting both gratuitous d66 tables and big piles of print-and-play cards.
2 days ago
The Russians are paying for it all.
September 14, 2018 The Russians are paying for it all.
2 days ago
Thread by @Noahpinion: "Today's @bopinion post is about why Africa is the future, and why China is smart to invest in that future, and why the West should follow su […]"
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2 days ago
Sean Illing on Twitter: The irony, of course, is that Peterson made his name as a free speech martyr, and even though I was fair to him and offered him a chance to defend his own ideas, he threatens to sue me and @kate_manne because she said mean things h
@seanilling: The irony, of course, is that Peterson made his name as a free speech martyr, and even though I was fair to him and offered him a chance to defend his own ideas, he threatens to sue me and @kate_manne because she said mean things he didn’t like. Hilarious. https://t.co/tyB5BVU5MG

3 days ago
Greg Wilson on Twitter: "We…have arranged our institutions to prevent the concentration of political power... But we have failed utterly to prevent the concentration of economic power… Too often, the defenders of free markets forget that what we reall
@gvwilson: "We…have arranged our institutions to prevent the concentration of political power... But we have failed utterly to prevent the concentration of economic power… Too often, the defenders of free markets forget that what we really want is free men." - Matthew Crawford
3 days ago
William Gibson on Twitter: Or... What if *every* candidate for the Supreme Court turns out to have had, during adolescence, *at least* one libidinously disinhibited tulpa? @forteantimes
@GreatDismal: Or... What if *every* candidate for the Supreme Court turns out to have had, during adolescence, *at least* one libidinously disinhibited tulpa? @forteantimes
3 days ago
Thread by @JeffreyASachs: "In THREAD , I examined the question of whether there is a partisan or ideological imbalance within the academy (spoiler: there is), and wh […]"
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3 days ago
Thread by @JeffreyASachs: "Earlier this week, @CassSunstein beat the extremely well-beaten drum about academia's partisan imbalance. Suggesting it may be due to discri […]" #s
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3 days ago
Gabriel N. U. on Twitter: Although some Triassic sauropterygian marine reptiles evolved carapaces similar to those of turtles, they were not related to them. Turtles were evolving at the same time and the earlier stem-turtles did not have carapaces yet. #
@SerpenIllus: Although some Triassic sauropterygian marine reptiles evolved carapaces similar to those of turtles, they were not related to them. Turtles were evolving at the same time and the earlier stem-turtles did not have carapaces yet. #paleoart #turtles #chelonians https://t.co/BLQj7HOBwg

3 days ago
Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier – review | Books | The Guardian
The restless scrolling, the clammy self-reproach afterwards … we could recognise that as addiction quite easily, but the mathematical mechanism for having created it makes horrible sense (Lanier isn’t that interested in culprits, though he finds all of Silicon Valley pretty callow). He wears his tech credentials lightly, as he can afford to, having been there for the creation of the internet; he was chief scientist of the engineering office of Internet2 and there in the very first chat-rooms, whence he draws the conclusion that I found the least convincing: even at its incipience, online communication tended towards the hostile. This flattens out some vital distinctions: there’s a difference between getting together to talk to strangers about why your celibacy is a woman’s fault, and mustering online to start the Arab spring. Photograph: Rex Features
Lanier explicitly addresses this in chapter eight, Social Media Doesn’t Want You to Have Economic Dignity, as he describes how our modern reality was seeded by that mindset, those peculiar yes/no certainties of the web’s earliest creators. We figured it would be wiser to let entrepreneurs fill in the blanks than to leave that task to government … We foolishly laid the foundations for global monopolies.”
3 days ago
Sally Hudson on Twitter: If you’re being a good economist, you sometimes have to say things that make people uneasy. The converse is not necessarily true. Economists fetishize contrarians — way more than the natural sciences. That’s the behavior I w
@SallyLHudson: If you’re being a good economist, you sometimes have to say things that make people uneasy.

The converse is not necessarily true.

Economists fetishize contrarians — way more than the natural sciences.

That’s the behavior I want us to stop. Ain’t nothin’ scientific about it.
3 days ago
Radix for R Markdown
Radix combines the technical authoring features of Distill with R Markdown , enabling a fully reproducible workflow based on literate programming (Knuth 1984 ). Note that by default the Radix format does not display the code for chunks that are evaluated to produce output (knitr option echo = FALSE ). The echo = FALSE default reflects the fact that Radix articles are often used to present the results of analyses rather than the underlying code. Radix provides a set of tools to facilitate clear scientific communication that links richly with other sources of knowledge and insight. Davide Cervone and Volker Sorge created the MathJax library for rendering mathematical notation on the web.
3 days ago
THE.... Sodomite Hal Duncan!! (sic) on Twitter: Next up: "Bob. I was possessed by an evil spirit from the Black Lodge known as Bob. I may even have been replaced by him, the good me trapped in the Black Lodge for... OK, actually the good me is *still* in
@Hal_Duncan: Next up: "Bob. I was possessed by an evil spirit from the Black Lodge known as Bob. I may even have been replaced by him, the good me trapped in the Black Lodge for... OK, actually the good me is *still* in the Black Lodge." https://t.co/0nnhRtWMMa

3 days ago
Snakes in a Package: combining Python and R with reticulate – Mango Solutions
Nowadays whenever I do my work in R there is a constant nagging voice in the back of my head telling me “you should do this in Python”. Except in Python you don’t load functionality from a package through a call to library but instead you import a module. In the above code I import the numpy module which is a powerful package for all sorts of numerical computations. Clearly RStudio have put in a lot of effort to ensure a smooth interface to Python, from the easy conversion of objects to the IDE integration . Therein lies the problem as I want to avoid querying the Gmail server (it wouldn’t make it easy to reproduce).
3 days ago
Employment Equity Report 2017 | Excalibur Publications
On September 3, York’s human resources department released the 2017 Statistical Employment Equity report. The report takes figures from previous years to determine the progress the university has made to ensure inclusivity and equality amongst employees. According to the report, there tends to be a significant underrepresentation within middle and other managers, Professionals, Semi-Professional,s and Technicians employment equity occupational groups. “We recognize that York has more work to do with respect to equity, diversity, and inclusion,” Dagonas explains. “Inclusion happens when diversity of experience, thought, and identity harmonize around common purpose.”
3 days ago
Former Head of Google China Foresees an AI Crisis—and Proposes a Solution - IEEE Spectrum
His hope is that enough people will listen to avert catastrophic disruption on three different scales: to the global balance of power, to national economies, and to human beings’ delicate souls. Then, he boldly declares that we shouldn’t waste time worrying about who will win and says the “real AI crisis” will come from automation that wipes out whole job sectors, reshaping economies and societies in both nations. When you open WeChat, you have access to everything U.S. users get from Facebook, Twitter, iMessage, Uber, Expedia, Evite, Instagram, Skype, PayPal, GrubHub, LimeBike, WebMD, Fandango, YouTube, Amazon, and eBay. Spectrum: You describe China’s startup ecosystem as a brutal “coliseum” where companies don’t win because they’re the most innovative, but rather because they’re the best at copying, using dirty tricks, and working insane schedules. Imagine a future clinic, in which the room is enhanced with all sorts of sensors that take readings of your body and give the human doctor lots of information.
3 days ago
Heather Green, PhD on Twitter: "Settler colonialism is not an event, it's a structure and it is deeply embedded in our society." - @doctorallyson76. Great conversation on settler colonialism and decolonization with Allyson Stevenson and Lorenzo Veracini t
@heathergreen21: "Settler colonialism is not an event, it's a structure and it is deeply embedded in our society." - @doctorallyson76. Great conversation on settler colonialism and decolonization with Allyson Stevenson and Lorenzo Veracini today @WilsonCndnHist. Great line up for tomorrow!!
3 days ago
In crowded field, some media companies sour on podcasts | Poynter
BuzzFeed's move followed Panoply's announced exit from podcast-making last week and reinforced the latest flavor for digital sites: Making content deals with Hollywood. The move also reflected two truths in the industry: Quality podcast-making is expensive and not for dilettantes, and many podcast “seasons” often don’t amount to full 52-week employment conducive to salaries. Connie Britton and Eric Dana are starring in a Bravo TV series on the story, and its success inspired Wondery's true-crime followup podcast, " Dr. Death ," which was No. Another canceled Panoply podcast, " Harry Potter and the Sacred Text ," drew strong financial support from listeners and relaunched last week on the subscription-based Patreon network. Last week, longtime Slate chief Jacob Weisberg and " Revisionist History " host Malcolm Gladwell left the Slate/Panoply world to set up their own company to produce podcasts, audiobooks and short-form audio content.
3 days ago
The Roots of Quotation
But I have been taking some baby steps in that direction with Peter Seibel's excellent (free online) book Practical Common Lisp . It seems that when people talk about the birth of Lisp, they frequently cite a paper by John McCarthy called Recursive Functions of Symbolic Expressions and Their Computation by Machine Part 1 . As told by Graham, In McCathy's original paper in 1960, he laid out 7 primitive operators and then proved those 7 could be combined into a recursive evaluation system for arbitrary expressions of a list-based form. More exciting still is that quote can be described and understood in quite simple terms, owing to the simplicity and elegance of McCarthy's evaluation system. Tidy eval deserves our appreciation for doing something similar to what purrr did for functional programming: it's rounding off the jagged edges in the API and making metaprogramming in R much more stable and predictable.
3 days ago
The drake R Package User Manual
With make(..., parallelism = "mclapply, jobs = 4") , drake launches 4 persistent workers up front and efficiently processes the targets in R. Convenient organization of output. Thanks to future , future.batchtools , and batchtools , it is straightforward to configure a drake project for most popular job schedulers, such as SLURM , TORQUE , and the Grid Engine , as well as systems contained in Docker images . In remake , the user must manually write a YAML configuration file to arrange the steps of a workflow, which leads to some of the same scalability problems as Make . drake surpasses memoise because it uses the entire dependency network graph of a project to decide which pieces need to be rebuilt and which ones can be skipped. Knitr is not designed to be a serious pipeline toolkit , and it should not be the primary computational engine for medium to large data analysis projects.
3 days ago
Something is rotten in the Linux Foundation – Valerie Aurora's blog
Instead, before the story was even published, the Linux project leader Linus Torvalds suddenly announced that he was temporarily stepping down from his leadership role. I finally realized why the Linux community was enduringly toxic and resistant to change: because Torvalds likes it that way , and he can inflict millions of dollars of losses on anyone who tries to stop him. My hope was that if a news story exposed this underlying power structure and showed how Linux Foundation sponsors such as Google, Intel, and HP are paying millions of dollars to fund toxic harassment of their own employees , the sponsors would act in concert to force some change, hopefully sometime in the next year. If you’re being abused at work, I hope you will , pay attention to statutes of limitation , talk to a lawyer , and reach out to a reporter sooner rather than later. As the stories about Uber, CBS, and The Weinstein Company show, many boards of directors just rubber-stamp the abuses of the CEO and upper management until someone talks to a reporter.
3 days ago
Costars Isolate Olivia Munn for Speaking Out Against Shane Black | Bitch Media
In the trailer for director Shane Black’s hyper-masculine new thriller, The Predator , agent Will Traeger (Sterling K. Brown) sits across from science teacher Casey Bracket (Olivia Munn) and describes the frightening creatures who just crashed a spaceship into Earth. “Predators don’t just sit around making hats out of rib cages,” he warns her, “They conquered space.” It’s the kind of ridiculous dialogue that we’ve come to expect in over-the-top action films, but it’s also not that far from describing the chilling threat posed by men in Hollywood. Yet even now, the director’s first impulse after the news broke wasn’t to support Munn—but to defend Striegel, telling the Los Angeles Times that he “personally chose to help a friend.” And the subsequent lack of response from Munn’s costars further demonstrates just how stubbornly Hollywood’s patriarchal, predatorial environment is being maintained—even in the face of the #MeToo movement. After the film’s premiere in Toronto on September 6, mere hours after the studio decided to cut the scene, Munn witnessed costars Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, and Keegan-Michael Key giving Black a standing ovation. Regardless of the donations made or the pins worn, the real answer has been in the quiet, ghastly acceptance of a return to normal; of showing up to productions, premieres, and promotional tours and not demanding a sea change at every turn; and allowing the culture to persist as it always has, regardless of the terror it births, all b
3 days ago
Dr. Change Agent: How I Learned to Stop Complaining and Love Committees
“Service” is a section header on our CVs, which, though eclipsed by research and teaching in importance, makes it sound as if the effort to sustain the organizations enabling our work were a noble sacrifice. Though ostensibly there is a line of command through chairs, deans, and provosts, up to the president, in reality, university culture is that faculty are their own bosses and generally acknowledged as the soul of their institutions. For this reason, faculty members — and tenured ones in particular — wield a degree of power and agency that few other frontline employees of other types of organizations enjoy. Thanks to the flexibility of our time, the guarantee of academic freedom, the absence of day-to-day supervision, and the collegiality of our colleagues, faculty can start and engage with peer groups focused on just about any cause we wish. Two years after we started, our final draft — with a few modifications along the way, of course — was accepted as a resolution by the Senate Assembly, the university body that represents the entire faculty.
3 days ago
Alex Usher on Twitter: You know, one day we may look back at all the excitement about AI and facebook and ask ourselves why so many central Canadian universities fell over themselves to trumpet their involvement with the surveillance industry. https://t.c
@AlexUsherHESA: You know, one day we may look back at all the excitement about AI and facebook and ask ourselves why so many central Canadian universities fell over themselves to trumpet their involvement with the surveillance industry. https://t.co/mgi9dGBpDA

3 days ago
Big Online Courses Have a Problem. Here’s How We Tried to Fix It. – dy/dan
Teachers had to remember another login and website in order to participate in the course, creating friction that decreased retention. Of course this meant that participants wouldn’t see all their classmates’ responses in the massive forum, including potentially helpful insights. So the role of the instructors in this work wasn’t to respond to every email but rather to keep an eye out for interesting questions and helpful insights from participants. Both courses were free and about math, but there are plenty of variables that confound a direct comparison of the media. At the risk of sounding cliché or boastful about reaching “that one student”, how does one represent a “data point” like this one within that tiny 3%?
3 days ago
Jodie Whittaker says Doctor Who is 'an alien with two hearts,' not defined by gender
Doctor Who is one of the most beloved sci-fi characters of all time, and most transferences of the Time Lord to a different body and actor have been met with stoic (or not-so-stoic) resignation by the die-hard fans who loved and grew attached to say, Matt Smith's Doctor, or David Tennant's. But the transfer that's about to be completed this coming October 7 when the 11th season of Doctor Who debuts on the BBC has been met with more than the usual amount of both excitement and dissection, as the world's first female Doctor , played by Black Mirror sci-fi alum Jodie Whittaker, will step from the police call box for the very first time. It seems that most Doctor Who fans are open to the change ( a recent British poll had 85 percent of the thousands of self-proclaimed Doctor Who fans who were polled either thrilled with the casting or open to it) but a few voices of dismay have stirred the pot, such as fifth doctor Peter Davison lamenting the casting as a "loss of a role model for boys," though even he added, "...but I understand the argument that you need to open it up." (It is also worth noting that many other former Doctors, such as the hallowed Tennant himself, have squarely backed the choice with no reservations.) But also, she added, "Role models and heroes come in all different shapes and sizes, and I've never needed to look like mine for me to be able to relate to them."
3 days ago
Meta-analyses were supposed to end scientific debates. Often, they only cause more controversy | Science | AAAS
After Nikolas Cruz killed 17 students and teachers and wounded 17 others early this year at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, President Donald Trump had a theory about the underlying causes. Christopher Ferguson, Texas A&M International University One reason is that, although the basic rules of the meta-analysis are simple, researchers must make many choices along the way, allowing conscious or unconscious biases to creep in. Yet over the decades, the tandem of systematic review and meta-analysis has become widely accepted as a standardized, less biased way to weigh the evidence; it now guides thousands of treatment guidelines and social policies. For Miguel, who says the Liverpool study looked at the wrong things and lacked statistical power, there was more at stake than public health: He had headed several trials of mass deworming and had become a strong advocate of WHO’s policy. Psychologist James Coyne of the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands says scientists shouldn’t be involved in meta-analyses that include their own work; he has sharply criticized Cochrane for not taking “intellectual conflicts of interest” seriously enough.
3 days ago
How to make a racist AI without really trying | ConceptNet blog
In a few steps, you can put text in one end and get positive and negative scores out the other, and you never have to figure out what you should do with a parse tree or a graph of entities or any difficult representation like that. If the system weren’t trained on all of the Common Crawl (which contains lots of unsavory sites and like 20 copies of Urban Dictionary), maybe it wouldn’t have gone bad. ConceptNet, the knowledge graph I work on with word-embedding features built in, has a training step that adjusts the embeddings to identify and remove some sources of algorithmic racism and sexism. It may help, for example, to build a stronger model of whether sentiment should be assigned to words at all, designed to specifically exclude names and groups of people. But the lack of machine learning means that this approach has low recall, and the only way to adapt it to your data set is to edit the list manually.
3 days ago
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