Monday August 20th, 2018

Salsa Rueda

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So that I can remember it: Rueda de Casino is a called round dance salsa that shares with (Modern Western) Square Dancing that it involves multiple partners, and calls which the dancers don't know ahead of time.

(Various exercise forms like Zumba and XtremeHipHop are called, but don't have the multiple partner interaction. Facebook video of the XtremeHipHop that got Aahz to remind me of this.)

Saturday August 18th, 2018

Trading sodoku for heroin

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Twitter user yolo contendere @Theophite describes bitcoin:

imagine if keeping your car idling 24/7 produced solved Sudokus you could trade for heroin

And the "oh snap" response: Carlos Parada @CParadaTech

Wow! that would be as crazy as buying a car for $45k every 5 years and keeping it unused/parked 95% of the time, there is no way anybody would fall for that

It's Naked Ladies season Amaryllis

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It's Naked Ladies season! (Amaryllis Belladonna)

Oh, the "An unknown error occurred" it's probably just fallout from the fact that all keychain managers are broken.

Friday August 17th, 2018

Dear Apple: "An unknown error occurred." is increasingly annoying when encountered via various different Apple ID login attempts.

Frame this and put it on your wall. Put it on every wall.

RT Thoughts and Prayers Aren’t Enough @chrisdazey:

It’s a recurring theme in many aspects of human culture that the status quo is rarely perceived as being political, but wanting to change it is.

Things that could be better documented

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Things that could be better documented: In Pete Steinberger's Aspects library, the AspectToken "remove" method is class-wide, not instance specific. That surprised some people who've been using it...

Thursday August 16th, 2018

Just tried to use the BMWUSA patch kit

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Just tried to use the @BMWUSA patch kit that's supposed to be a spare tire replacement. That was a total waste of 20 minutes. Sigh. Wonder what it's supposed to do when it works?

McRaven on Brennan

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A former Admiral speaks up for John Brennan: Revoke my security clearance, too, Mr. President

William H. McRaven, a retired Navy admiral, was commander of the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command from 2011 to 2014. He oversaw the 2011 Navy SEAL raid in Pakistan that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

This week in child abuse

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Intersectionality means we can critique

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Intersectionality means we can critique Trump's retaliation against Brennan while still acknowledging that the CIA has created and encouraged many evil repressive regimes.

Wednesday August 15th, 2018

Callifornia & Police Corruption

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Here's how California became the most secretive state on police misconduct:

In the 1970s, Los Angeles police officers were furious that past complaints against them increasingly were making their way into court cases.

So LAPD officials did something radical: They took more than four tons of personnel records dating to the 1940s and shredded them.

That those responsible weren't immediately charged with destruction of evidence is telling.

Good morning to you

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Good morning to you, too!

Monday August 13th, 2018

housing economics

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We disagree with the Washington Post about housing economics

Monday’s Washington Post ran a provocative headline: “In expensive cities, rents fall for the rich–but rise for the poor.”  Citing data from one of the nation’s most authoritative real estate analytics firms, Zillow, it claims not only that rents are falling for the rich while rising for the poor, but also implies that building new apartments (chiefly at the high end) hasn’t done anything to help affordability.

Other thing to note is that the income split used for these categories is for renters alone, so "high income" still means relatively low income compared to your median homeowner.

Sunday August 12th, 2018

Whoah! PayPal is broken

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Whoah! PayPal is broken. Multiple computers, multiple sites, charging accounts, but when it gets back to the merchant the transaction was allegedly canceled by PayPal.

Theremin-X Project

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The Theremin-X Project

The Theremin-X Project imagines a small concert in which a theremin is hooked up to vibrators worn by audience members, with the pitch, volume, and intensity of the music translated directly into vibration. You can see the result below.

Saturday August 11th, 2018

Some years ago

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Some years ago, we asked some teenagers to house sit and take care of the cat, with the understanding that they'd have a LAN party. We came home to find the cats well fed, that a socket that should have been on a 15A breaker was, in fact, on a 50A breaker, and melted, and that BonziBuddy and the Alexa toolbar were installed on my computer. And this receipt, which we saved because it so wonderfully encapsulated something about that experience...

A coworker has been reporting great fun with Screeps, the MMO sandbox game for programmers. Lots of autonomous little creatures that you give behavior via JavaScript...

Via C3 backdoors

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project:rosenbridge — hardware backdoors in Via C3 x86 architecture CPUs.

The rosenbridge backdoor is a small, non-x86 core embedded alongside the main x86 core in the CPU. It is enabled by a model-specific-register control bit, and then toggled with a launch-instruction. The embedded core is then fed commands, wrapped in a specially formatted x86 instruction. The core executes these commands (which we call the 'deeply embedded instruction set'), bypassing all memory protections and privilege checks.

While the backdoor should require kernel level access to activate, it has been observed to be enabled by default on some systems, allowing any unprivileged code to modify the kernel.

Wednesday August 8th, 2018

Working vs Typing

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Shadow forwarded along this great re-quoting from Peopleware: RT Channing Walton @channingwalton, Replying to @jasongorman @missingfaktor:

This reminds of something I heard.

A manager saw a dev reclining in his chair, looking at the ceiling, and asked “What the hell is he doing?”.

“He’s thinking!”, replied another dev.

“I don’t pay him to think, he should be typing!”, replied the manager furiously.

I started a new job recently, and have been loving it. I've also been feeling super productive, and my net effective on the code base has been to reduce the lines of code.

Workplace Wellness & Randomized vs Observational trials

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New York Times: Workplace Wellness Programs Don’t Work Well. Why Some Studies Show Otherwise. — Randomized controlled trials, despite their flaws, remain a powerful tool. looks at the Illinois Workplace Wellness Study, a randomized controlled trial on workplace wellness programs, which the researchers then also analyzed as though it were an observational study, and the differences are striking.

Tuesday August 7th, 2018

SSL/HTTPS and performance

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Eric Meyer: Securing Web Sites Made Them Less Accessible:

In 2018? Yes. In rural Uganda, where I was improvising an introduction to web development for a class of vocational students, that’s the reality. They can have a computer lab full of Dell desktops running Windows or rows of Raspberry Pis running Ubuntu or whatever setup there is, but when satellites in geosynchronous earth orbit are your only source of internet, you wait. And wait. And wait.

On the other hand, at least this way they're getting Wikipedia and not whatever their local ISP decides to inject into Wikipedia...

Cold Case Killer

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RT The Associated Press @AP:

Man who jumped out of restaurant freezer and threatened employees with a knife before dying of cardiac arrest was a suspected cold-case killer, authorities say.