Sunday September 21st, 2014

Not a very diverse one

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Not a very diverse one...

No wonder you can't turn eucalyptus

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No wonder you can't turn eucalyptus into lumber without steaming it straight...

Pandering to Western Audiences

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Worth reading on a lot of fronts. Via Mary Anne Mohanraj: Why Am I Brown? South Asian Fiction and Pandering to Western Audiences by Jabeen Akhtar, on how stereotypes are promulgated by publishing mechanisms:

In fact, South Asian diaspora novels expose little about the flesh-and-blood people they are trying to portray and everything about the hypocrisy of the publishing enterprise: South Asian authors characterizing immigrant life with clichés and co-opting third-world problems for insta-tragedies; White Guilt readers who feel that they are doing something about third-world problems by proxy just by reading novels about them; and the Western publishing elite who think they’re multi-culti because they make their own hummus and wear earrings from World Market when they are, in reality, only comfortable seeing foreigners behave within the confines of their stereotypes.

Wood porn otd

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Dayumn: Shadow forwards along this half-log table. There's a whole bunch of "How TF did they keep that straight" and "what does the under-side look like" hidden in that picture...

Shadow forward this cyclist close call auto accident video. The think about all the videos coming out of the Russian dash cam culture (although this is a fixed overhead surveillance type set-up) is that it makes even more clear how loopy our dependence on automobiles for mobility is.

Friday September 19th, 2014

Just as the map is not the terrain

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Just as the map is not the terrain, consider carefully before you let the database be the data.

Acoustic Guitar

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That elusive single star

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Botto Bistro in Richmond California is encouraging its customers to leave 1 star Yelp reviews:

To achieve this end, Botto Bistro is encouraging all of its customers to leave one-star Yelp reviews; it is even offering deals for anyone who pens a crummy review: 25% off any pizza and a chance to win a cooking class. (Hat-tip to Richmond Standard.)

Says it's getting him better customers who spend more.

On high level trolls

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Post deleted because I'm trying to figure out how not to be engaged by trolling.

Thursday September 18th, 2014

ISIS vs Mexican failed state

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RT Corcosman @Corcosman

The difference between ISIS and the Mexican drug cartels? The Mexican drug cartels have beheaded more people.

Myth of Trafficking

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Marijke Vonk: The Myth of Trafficking:

“It’s as if prostitutes don’t want to be saved,” said a surprised manager of a Rescue Foundation shelter in India. The rescuers had once again made a raid on a brothel, after which the women had been forced into a shelter they weren’t allowed to leave. Again and again women escaped, continually protested their imprisonment in the shelters, and returned to their old workplaces as soon as they were able to make a run for it. It was as if the women were working as prostitutes of their own accord, didn’t view themselves as victims, thought of the rescue missions as threats to their human rights and livelihoods and for the most part felt victimized by the rescue industry.

When a coworker asks for debug help

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When a coworker asks for debug help, but the Vagrant config doesn't run his code, there's workstation CPAN dependency hell, and it's SOAP.

Hamster Wheel

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Apple & the NSA

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Apple's "warrant canary" has disappeared, suggesting that Apple is now subject to an order under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act.

ie: All your iOS are now belong to the NSA.

Carefully read the TOS...

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Kevin Roose in NY Mag: Silicon Valley's contract worker problem:

At least one on-demand start-up,, has a contingency plan for a possible change in the law. The company's terms of service states that "if is found to be liable for any tax or withholding tax in connection with your use of Users' services, then you will immediately reimburse and pay to an equivalent amount, including any interest or penalties thereon." In other words, if is forced to reclassify its contract workers as employees, its customers – not the company itself – will be on the hook for any extra costs.

Jack Kirby of porn

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Targeted Advertising

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My Social Sherpa: The ultimate retaliation: pranking my roomate with targeted Facebook ads.

... It was truly luck that he never discovered any of these ads while he and I were in the same room because my maniacal laughter would have been a dead giveaway. Over the next two weeks I continued to create and target ads that had a progressively more accurate and disturbing understanding of his personal life.

These things are slick as hell when

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These things are slick as hell when they're wet. #ouch #engineeringfail

Nuking a duplicate

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Nuking a duplicate entry

Wednesday September 17th, 2014

I have suggested that JavaScript is the

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I have suggested that JavaScript is the VM platform of the future. It can even run the JVM...

Of beards and doors

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Two from shadow:

Dafuq are you doing with your SSL certs

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Dafuq are you doing with your SSL certs today, Gmail?

Most security thinking

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Most security thinking: well, the grizzly bears haven't attacked *my* camp yet, but when they do I'll just put a padlock on my tent.

Signs I'm a nerd

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Signs I'm a nerd: Today's Girl Genius had me thinking about ways to generate that much hydrogen without dissipating huge amounts of heat, because even storing that much hydrogen in liquid form wouldn't leave room for the passengers. #suspensionofdisbelieffail

Cost of a child

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On the Facebook "real names" crackdown

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Tuesday September 16th, 2014

No, the bollard wasn't wearing a helmet.

We Are Not In Our World

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Judy Endow: We Are Not In Our World. On autism and seeing signs and metaphors we use to examine communication. The Option Institution process, an organization and process that Charlene thinks highly of, works in this space, urging care-givers to join autistic people in their space and understand why they're behaving that way.

Posted here because I wanted to pass it on to Charlene.

But it should be pronounced "giffies"

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RT Nick Wright ‏@AbsurdHero:

GFYS may be internet shorthand for Go Fuck Yourself, but it sure sounds cheery when you pronounce it "jiffies"

When the project is 5 thinking and

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When the project is 5% thinking and 95% wrangling the damned APIs to do what the docs say they should be doing.

U.S. committing 3,000 troops to fight Ebola. Will they be going house to house with close air support? And will there be drone strikes?

Benzodiazepine and Alzheimers

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Benzodiazepine use may raise risk of Alzheimer’s disease. So if you were taking Valium or Xanax to deal with your anxieties, well... here's something to be anxious about.

People who had taken a benzodiazepine for three months or less had about the same dementia risk as those who had never taken one. Taking the drug for three to six months raised the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 32%, and taking it for more than six months boosted the risk by 84%.

The long acting versions (diazepam (Valium) and flurazepam (Dalmane)) are a bigger risk than the short-acting (like triazolam (Halcion), lorazepam (Ativan), alprazolam (Xanax), and temazepam (Restoril)).

The study is Benzodiazepine use and risk of Alzheimer’s disease: case-control study: BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 09 September 2014).

Syringe with the cap still on the

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Syringe with the cap still on the needle in the middle of the Joe Rodota trail. But so far everyone has pants on. Unlike yesterday.

Where's Dildo

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For everyone who's ever wondered "huh, did we really leave that in the dish drying rack while company was over?": Forget Where's Waldo -- Let's Play Where's the Dildo? a little article about Subtle Dildo - An installation art project about the place of rubber in our lives.

Monday September 15th, 2014

Made the mistake of looking at my

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Made the mistake of looking at my server logs. Trackback spam is a huge thing again. Maybe we should be sharing "ufw deny" rules after all.

Ugh. Hate dumbed down marketing crap: Which @namecheap Comodo cert gives me three or so SNI certs cheapest?

Apple Windows Chrome Mozilla

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Da hell is this User Agent string?

"Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/35.0.1916.153 Safari/537.36"

Will be receptive to more home

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Will be receptive to more home automation when someone finally builds a presence sensing trash can with a ui that doesn't suck. Grrrrr.

Bakersfield v. North Korea

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American arrives in North Korea, tears up his visa, asks for asylum, is sentenced to six years of hard labor for espionage. No information as to whether North Korea hard labor is better than Bakersfield, but I suspect that if those were his only options he made the superior choice.

Yep: Comcast is now looking at what kind of traffic you're using your Internet account for, and is pretty judgey:

Mojang acquired by Microsoft

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RT Markus Persson ‏@notch, back on December 18 2012:

Anyway, my price is two billion dollars. Give me two billion dollars, and I'll endorse your crap.

"Notch" is the original developer of Minecraft. Mojang announces that they're being bought by Minecraft for 2.5 billion dollars. (Via MeFi)

But if you read only one thing on Minecraft and the acquisition today, read Notch on why he's leaving Mojang.

As soon as this deal is finalized, I will leave Mojang and go back to doing Ludum Dares and small web experiments. If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, I’ll probably abandon it immediately.

NYPD use of force

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NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton claims 2% of arrests involve force, City Council analyst uses math, is fired:

In his email, Matusov goes on to say there were 40,000 stop-and-frisk arrests in 2011, and “[o]f those, the arresting officers themselves reported that they used force in 19,360 arrests,” which exceeds Bratton's estimate, even among that smaller sample.

Sunday September 14th, 2014

It's that sort of project brainstorming

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It's that sort of project brainstorming where I now know that 10' of 24" diameter 24" PVC Schedule 80 Pipe costs $142.88 plus motor freight

Trader Joe's

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Trader Joe's: woman sampling "mini beef tacos": "This is vegetarian, right?" #sob

Once again, it's quicker and easier to build it ourselves than decipher what options to order. Sigh.

Saturday September 13th, 2014

I feel all deconstructing edge

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I feel all "deconstructing edge play? Y'all are so cute! I just want to pinch your little cheeks!"

House chores accompanied by podcast

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House chores accompanied by podcast interview w/post-modern academic sociologist talking about BDSM ethnography. Soooo '90s flashback.

Friday September 12th, 2014

Want to see how a Comcast ruled

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Want to see how a Comcast ruled internet will impact you? The Onion has your back...

Bike Ice Hauler

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[Ice Hauling Side Car] Having a trailer or other way to haul stuff at Burning Man is essential, I did a lot of "taxi service" for the camp this year including 90 pounds of ice per day (big camp with great food!), luggage runs to/from the Burner Express bus station, and some people transport... It really sums up what I did this year, help other people, in and out of camp. Fixed Chris and David's RV, helped some wiring at Distrikt, holding a wrench for a dome... and most importantly,: Nancy and I had a great time. Mission accomplished.

200 gallon follow up

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[Foot Wash Evapatron] Follow up to: this post about evaporating a lot of water at Burning Man. While not artistic, I spent $25 on a 12 volt bilge pump and $7.99 each on some kiddie pools, and 4 boards.... and it worked very very well. The bilge pump had it's own float switch so it only ran when it needed to, which was in short bursts. It evaporated much more than 200 gallons, including some water from neighboring camps. 12 volt power came from my camp power supply, 100 watt solar + battery + inverter.. Most of the water pumped up recycled back into the pool, with just a little spraying into the two levels of overflow area.
[evapatron final clean-up] This is the "leftovers" being pumped into our sludge tank, which included some kitchen waste and some other misc.. Using the bilge pump worked well for this also. Credit needs to be given to our 18+ campmates, who were very good about using the system, kitchen practices, running water through the filter buckets.. and being careful with their water usage.

Genetic Testing

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I have been somewhat skeptical about 23AndMe, there are an awful lot of claims made about the current level of "genetic testing" which aren't backed up by reality, or which are only very thinly supported. But this is interesting...

With genetic testing, I gave my parents the gift of divorce

"I would want a warning saying, 'check this box and FYI: people discover their parents aren't their parents and they have siblings they didn't know about.'"

World's longest board

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The world's largest wooden board, a 46.53 meter long piece of Doug Fir cut from a forest in Kashubia Poland, and then ripped by hand:

We organised technical, cultural and medical assistance for the participants and... fresh supply of beer. In terms of beer, cutting 1 metre of the board cost 54.3 litres of it... The board was cut traditionally with a two-men saw, just like our ancestors did it.

Via MeFi.

Of all the campy voice clips on the

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Of all the campy voice clips on the X-Men pinball machine at the office, Rogue announcing that she's an ex-man is the best.

Just discovered that there are

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Just discovered that there are link-bait-y apps (63 Ways To Lose Weight!) that have 100k+ downloads. Faith in humanity currently negative.

Thursday September 11th, 2014

amazing mechanisms of engineering

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Why archeologists hate Indiana Jones:

“That first scene, where he’s in the temple and he’s replacing that statue with a bag of sand – that’s what looters do,” Canuto says, grinning. “[The temple builders] are using these amazing mechanisms of engineering and all he wants to do is steal the stupid gold statue.”

FCC meetings without an ex parte notice

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Wetmachine: Tales of the Sausage Factory: The Comcast Witness Protection Program and Misplaced Rage:

Why Comcast has such a reputation for exacting reprisals remains unclear. Perhaps it was the time they cut funding for a film program for teenage girls because they didn’t like one of the girl’s Tweets. Or perhaps it was when they retaliated against Bloomberg News and banished them to outer programming Siberia. Or maybe it was the time they retaliated against the NFL. Or possibly the time they retaliated against Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, or refused to carry the America Channel. Anyway, for whatever reason, most folks in the industry pretty clearly believe if you do something Comcast doesn’t like, Comcast will squish you like a bug. And even the biggest companies believe that Comcast is already big enough to hurt them considerably if it wants to retaliate. So the FCC can’t get a real understanding of the industry, let alone of the impact of the proposed merger, unless it can protect companies that fear reprisal that it is safe to talk to them.

IndieWeb musings & flounderings

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I went to last night's Homebrew Website Club, and though I enjoy seeing the enthusiasm of people working on things they're excited about, and will probably go back (in two weeks?), I've got mixed feelings...

So last night I implemented for inbound links to Flutterby comments. It seems like the latest in a long chain of such things, from referer(sic) tracking to Trackback to Pingback that's easy enough to throw together, but is eventually going to be used for spamming (and, yes, before I dropped support for those previous things I was getting spamming from people implementing the inbound links). It also really looks like unless people implement it very carefully (I haven't yet), it's a huge amplification attack vector (if you can get a thousand sites that have implemented webmention, send a pingback request for a large file on your target site, boom, instant DDOS).

Distributed "Like"s and comments and all... well... There are some cool abuses if IFRAMEs and JavaScript coming, but...

The thing about the early blog community that made it so interesting wasn't that we were all interested in the technology, it's that we were interested in the technology as an end to pursue our other interests. The same thing with the BBS scene. And Facebook and Twitter: Nobody's going to Facebook and Twitter thinking "oh, cool technology", they're going there thinking "here's a community of interesting people I can talk to".

Is the concern about owning our own data enough to be that critical mass? Because all of the old school bloggers are on to other things now, none of them really care about all the details of ownership.

So I enjoyed the conversation last night, I'm skeptical that adding will do anything other than being a technology I'll need to rip out later, but I'm really more interested in conversations about topics where tech is the enabling thing, not where the tech is the end goal.

Signs your morning will likely suck

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Signs your morning will likely suck: Finding index.php and config.rb in the same directory.