Saturday April 19th, 2014

Wish Daily Acts would do a now that

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Wish Daily Acts would do a now that you've sheet mulched your lawn how do you go back to an easy to maintain yard workshop.

I know that the organization of PVC

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I know that the organization of PVC fittings in the big box hardware store makes sense to somebody, however....

Friday April 18th, 2014

Things which I shouldn't admit

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Things which I shouldn't admit: 104904 in 2048

Cleaning up Wischemann Hall after

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Cleaning up Wischemann Hall after another excellent Redwood Rainbows potluck.

New Age Gen

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http://sebpearce.com/bullshit/

It is a sign of things to come. The future will be an interstellar blossoming of understanding. We must learn how to lead dynamic lives in the face of discontinuity.

Useful for warm fuzzy filler for websites... or Burning Man Camp Placement Applications.

Melbourne Cup betting vs tech startups

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How to make Atlassian the rule, not the exception: StartupAUS director Jana Matthews, just for this pull:

...And as for venture capital, Australians bet more money on the Melbourne Cup each year than they put in venture capital funds that “bet” on tech start-ups. ....

Physicists sure can be promiscuous

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Cracked.com: 6 famous geniuses you didn't know were perverts. Although if you didn't know James Joyce was a little pervy, you definitely weren't paying attention.

Sound cannons against speeders

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Kickass! Missouri is taking positive steps towards highway safety with LRAD sound cannons on maintenance vehicles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fr3zUG86Ns#t=21

Thursday April 17th, 2014

Git man pages

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Sex and art

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Wednesday April 16th, 2014

Fast pinewood derby

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EASY Pinewood Derby Car WINS using Science!!! (YouTube). How to make the ultimate (race legal) Pinewood Derby race car.

In case there are any Cub Scouts in your life...

Wow: Great takedown of bike lanes vs cyclists taking the whole lane: http://streetsmarts.bostonbike...4/15/is-this-street-wide-enough/

Edit for the archives: http://vimeo.com/92095170

I have been wanting to do a nutrition

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I have been wanting to do a nutrition db query app for years, and now Shawn is. Backed. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/foodstats-android-app

Something about the word

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Something about the word "hermeneutics" makes me think it's the Fred Gwynne character's answer to Dianetics.

Feinstein pissed off that we know the CIA tortured

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Leaked Report Says CIA Tortured Illegally; Feinstein's Mad Somebody Leaked It:

The McClatchy news service reported Friday that it had obtained a leaked copy of a Senate Intelligence Committee report that contradicts pretty much everything the CIA has said about its Detention and Interrogation Program. Here's the list of the report's conclusions (PDF), but let me just break it down for you:

  • The CIA tortured people;
  • Even under to the DOJ's definition of "torture," it tortured people;
  • It lied about how many people it tortured;
  • It lied about how brutal the torture was;
  • It "avoided or impeded" congressional oversight;
  • It lied about whether the torture worked; and
  • The torture didn't work.

Via JWZ.

Fundraiser for 'FoodStats' mobile app

Shawn comments (4)

As my first foray into a new way to think about employment, I've launched a crowd-funding campaign to build an open source Android (and later iOS, Windows Phone, etc.) app for looking up nutrition information. The initial focus is on getting nutrition stats for restaurant menus, but it will also support USDA data for individual foods.

At this early stage I could really use help spreading word about the campaign. (The short URL http://tiny.cc/foodstats points to the campaign for now, and will redirect to the app afterwards.) The app should be especially useful for those with diabetes, high blood pressure and/or varioous dietary restrictions.

The full announcement can be found on my blog.

Thanks for your help :-)

Swipe, but not assemble

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Children can swipe a screen but can't use toy building blocks, teachers warn:

"I've spoken to a number of nursery teachers who have concerns over the increasing numbers of young pupils who can swipe a screen but have little or no manipulative skills to play with building blocks – or pupils who can't socialise with other pupils, but whose parents talk proudly of their ability to use a tablet or smartphone."

(via /., from the Manchester, UK Association of Teachers and Lecturers conference>). I'm sure some of this is just pearl clutching, but the Waldorf culture in which I grew up made extra effort to keep kids from being exposed to technology, and ... I have many issues with Waldorf education, but I'm not sure that I disagree with the general sentiment.

Tuesday April 15th, 2014

TN slaps buses

meuon comments (1)

http://www.wired.com/2014/04/tennessee-bans-bus-rapid-transit/

Better article:

http://utdailybeacon.com/news/...ation-faces-legislative-hurdles/

Tennessee State Senate approved Senate Bill 2243, a measure that forbade all metropolitan cities within the state from “constructing, maintaining or operating any bus rapid transit system using a separate lane," effectively stifling any plans to move forward with the AMP.

I'm not sure of the driving forces behind this, or how it will impact the bus system in Chattanooga, but this strikes me as strange. While not always, many bus systems sometimes use a separate lane for certain places, especially loading/unloading.

Dear Lazy Web

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Dear Lazy Web: Recommendations for a Markdown/text/whatever to HTML slide generator? Using Landslide, but it's got some weird quirks...

99 Percent Invisible on the Citicorp building

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Many of you have read The New Yorker story about structural engineer William LeMessurier getting a call from an undergraduate student who told him that the New York City Citicorp building he designed would blow over in a strong wind (PDF), and re-doing his calculations, discovering that the undergrad was correct, and the efforts taken to stabilize the building.

the 99 Percent Invisible podcast tackles that, and talks to the undergrad, Diane Hartley. Linked here so I can get it on my phone and listen to it.

Smart Watches in 1981

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Time: This 1981 Computer Magazine Cover Explains Why We’re So Bad at Tech Predictions, has a Robert Tinney cover from Byte Magazine of a smart watch in which a guy is inserting a micro-floppy.

So for all of the whining about bad predictions, that miniature floppy is just about exactly the same size as a modern microSD card.

Computing without instructions

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The Page-Fault Weird Machine: Lessons in Instruction-less Computation:

Trust Analysis, i.e. determining that a system will not execute some class of computations, typically assumes that all computation is captured by an instruction trace. We show that powerful computation on x86 processors is possible without executing any CPU instructions. We demonstrate a Turing-complete execution environment driven solely by the IA32 architecture’s interrupt handling and memory translation tables, in which the processor is trapped in a series of page faults and double faults, without ever successfully dispatching any instructions. The "hard-wired" logic of handling these faults is used to perform arithmetic and logic primitives, as well as memory reads and writes. This mechanism can also perform branches and loops if the memory is set up and mapped just right. We discuss the lessons of this execution model for future trustworthy architectures.

Safety Speech

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Southwest Airlines flight attendant gives the ultimate safety speech (YouTube).

A whole bunch of lines I haven't heard before, well delivered.

Monday April 14th, 2014

Hey, I volunteered to give a talk on something I didn't know anything about. You should come! http://www.meetup.com/beawimp/events/175860382/

So y'all wondering about that US

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So y'all wondering about that US Airways errant tweet, very NSFW: https://twitter.com/SAPPHlRES/status/455788753257504768/photo/1

Keep misreading OutageDuration as

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Keep misreading "OutageDuration" as "OutrageDuration" and wondering if the field is large enough for what we need to store there.

Tom of Finland gets a stamp

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Whoah! Check Out Finland’s New Graphic Gay Bondage Stamps. New Finnish stamps feature homoerotic themes.

Finland is releasing a new line of stamps based on the work of Touko Laaksonen, aka "Tom of Finland".

If the USPS wanted to revive interest in paper letters...

Some comics you may not be reading:

I really need to revive the "export my RSS reader to a side bar" code...

Why the tech buses

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Why have the tech buses invaded San Francisco?:

Google, for one, would love to build housing near its campus in Mountain View. They have tried to get it permitted and it has been rejected, while at the same time the city has approved additional office space. In fact, the city of Mountain View expressly forbade housing in its citywide general plan for the area around the Bayshore Campus. This would have put large numbers of Google employees walking distance from work, while also providing a walkable neighborhood near a light rail station. Google has also started investing in affordable housing, including one project in Mountain View, but unfortunately it’s only 51 units. The truth is that suburban communities don’t want to build more housing, and Prop 13 gives existing owners little reason to care about increasing housing prices.

Why structuring your tax revenue models is important...

Porn & piracy

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Fascinating: Why are porn performers scared to talk about Internet piracy?

Seems like yet another situation where the stigmatization of porn, which leads to making payment processing and hosting and all sorts of other technical issues very difficult, means that the performers can't take control of the economics of their performance.

A performance comparison between Java and C on the Nexus 5. Java vs C++ on the Android platform, with some relative comparisons on an x86 architecture laptop.

Spoiler: C still wins. Just a little over 2x with a lot of manual Java optimization (at the expense of readability), but clearly the Java optimizers have a long way to go.

Sunday April 13th, 2014

"Kids ... runing wild..." I both hate and respect auto correct...

End of local control

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The Sacramento Coalition to Save Public Education: Kate Lenox: The CORE Waiver--the End of Local Control.

So apparently "No child left behind" was a very deliberate mechanism to funnel public dollars from well-off districts into private consultancies. I mean, really really deliberate.

Urban Naked

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Ethics & crashing vehicles

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Shadow forwarded along Joseph Rose: When a road-raging cyclist crashes, should you stop and help?.

Rose answers "no", and I've got to admit I'm not necessarily opposed to that; if one of the people who's threatened me with a motor vehicle crashed, I'd be hard pressed to find it in me to stop and help.

Saturday April 12th, 2014

Dear LibreOffice documentation

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Dear LibreOffice documentation: "Click the Glue Point icon..." doesn't help if I can't figure out WTF that icon looks like or where it is.

Friday April 11th, 2014

Oh, look, nodejs has npm, yet another freakin' package manager to figure out how to untangle. How attractive is that?

Because TC asked about a picture of the

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Because TC asked about a picture of the roof

NSA used Heartbleed

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Aaand, NSA Said to Have Used Heartbleed Bug, Exposing Consumers

The U.S. National Security Agency knew for at least two years about a flaw in the way that many websites send sensitive information, now dubbed the Heartbleed bug, and regularly used it to gather critical intelligence, two people familiar with the matter said.

on a bender

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Let's go on a bender - male versions of cartoon female heroines, from Ariel of The Little Mermaid to Princess Mononoke.

Read access to Google servers

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Detectify: How we got read access on Google's production serves. Once again demonstrating that XML is teh evil, and using an XML parser to parse XML is double evil.

Shared fence law

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New Shared Fence Law Effects Property Managers and Rental Property Management Companies. Because we're going to be re-doing the fence adjacent to one property shortly, and the details are handy to know.

Thursday April 10th, 2014

Charlene wanted to blow big bubbles

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Charlene wanted to blow big bubbles with her students, so we practiced: http://youtu.be/Roik7D4RB6A

Theo de Raad on OpenSSL deliberately

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Theo de Raadt on OpenSSL deliberately coding around OpenBSD's exploit countermeasures http://article.gmane.org/gmane.os.openbsd.misc/211963

When the morning's email tasks becomes

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When the morning's email tasks becomes going back and copy-pasting from previous emails to the same person. #shootmenow

Whoah: MyPy brings static typing to Python.

Tamiflu, Roche, and scams

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BBC News: Tamiflu: Millions wasted on flu drug, claims major report.

Drug companies do not publish all their research data. This report is the result of a colossal fight for the previously hidden data into the effectiveness and side-effects of Tamiflu.

The Cochrane Collaboration: Neuraminidase inhibitors for preventing and treating influenza in healthy adults and children

The Guardian: What the Tamiflu saga tells us about drug trials and big pharma:

First, the Cochrane researchers wrote to the authors of the Kaiser paper. By reply, they were told that this team no longer had the files: they should contact Roche. Here the problems began. Roche said it would hand over some information, but the Cochrane reviewers would need to sign a confidentiality agreement. This was tricky: Cochrane reviews are built around showing their working, but Roche's proposed contract would require them to keep the information behind their reasoning secret from readers.

When you want to know why the anti-vaccine movement is gaining ground? Look at Roche.