Friday September 18th, 2020

Wednesday September 16th, 2020

737 Max report

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If you read only one security

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If you read only one security vulnerability disclosure about finding a former Australian Prime Minister's passport number from an Instagram post of his boarding pass today, make it this one.

Tuesday September 15th, 2020

Support Our (Russian) Troops

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TikTok caves to Oracle

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Oracle Wins TikTok Sweepstakes, Rewarding Trump Donor Larry Ellison

Alleged cheating billionaire yachtsman Larry Ellison has long been very visible about his high-rolling Trump fundraisers and full-throated support of the president, so it’s little surprise to see the federal government shepherd a billion-dollar megadeal his way. Still, not many saw his Redwood City cloud company Oracle as a real contestant in the TikTok takeover frenzy, where US tech players like Microsoft and Twitter were bidding against one another for the short form video-sharing app that President Trump had deemed a Chinese state security threat. But the New York Times reports on a wild (and completely vague) last-minute deal that came together rather out of the blue on Sunday, just days before a Trump-imposed September 20 deadline for a sale, that sees Oracle win the bid to become a "trusted technology provider" for TikTok — which is clearly not an outright sale — but certainly gives the Trump-supporting Ellison a major victory and reason to donate more by gaining a new swath of 100 million new TikTok users who largely occupy the 18-24 age demographic.

Bluetooth AA battery

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Mashable: Twitter-controlled anal vibrators are the cyberpunk future we need

Say hello to the Double-Oh, a custom-built battery which theoretically allows for wireless control of any device that uses AA batteries. And, as its inventor Buck — the pseudonymous fursona of a 31-year-old maker based in Berlin — let Twitter know on Friday, that control extends to anal vibrators. 

To demonstrate his invention, Buck connected a Double-Oh-augmented vibrator, which was at that time in use, to a Twitter poll.

Monday September 14th, 2020

LAPD lies about Josie Huang's arrest

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L.A. deputies tackled and arrested a reporter. Her videos contradict their claims about the incident.

Police claimed Huang, who also reports for LAist, didn’t have credentials and ignored demands to leave the area.

But those claims are contradicted by video Huang shared on Sunday showing her quickly backing away from police when ordered to do so and repeatedly identifying herself as a journalist. Huang said she also had a press badge around her neck.

Golly, LAPD lying about incidents that were caught on camera? I'm shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

Policing The Open Road

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While I've been building stuff, I've had Song Exploder on my podcasts, but I just got to 99 Percent Invisible, and I do not need another book to read, but I think I'm gonna have to add Sarah Seo's Policing the Open Road: How Cars Transformed American Freedom to my list. The fact that we subsidies cars heavily enough that we have to have one, and then have built a legal structure that's so discretionary, has caused... well... more reason to be working on unwinding some of the automobile impacts.

As if the existential threats we're facing weren't enough to begin with.

Sunday September 13th, 2020

September, when every car in the Bay Area is covered in a white layer of alkali dust. Even this year, without Burning Man...

Saturday September 12th, 2020

We Are Freestyle Love Supreme

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It was a rough week, so after the "Woke" binge, we said "what else is on Hulu?" last night and stumbled onto "We Are Freestyle Love Supreme". That was fun, a bunch of friends improv rapping, presented in a way that was inspiring.

morning I am pissed off enough at

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This morning I am pissed off enough at computers to consider ditching Ubuntu, rewriting all of my Perl stuff in something else, and adopting a no-database solution.

Thursday September 10th, 2020

Roman sex coins

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kidnapped in Portland

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Swept up in the federal response to Portland protests: ‘I didn’t know if I was going to be seen again’

Videos obtained by The Washington Post show agents’ tactics during Trump operation

Interesting how many detainees were released without charges. It's almost like the DHS goons were just trying to make a show of force without actually basing their actions on anything...

Wednesday September 9th, 2020

Current inappropriate earworm Nat King

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Current inappropriate earworm: Nat King Cole's "Orange Colored Sky"...

Cyberpunk Dystopia

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Sorry but I feel like I’m going insane. A bright glowing advertisement truck went by my street in Oakland and it was loudly saying instructions about proper coronavirus hygiene practices. With the orange sky.

good news is that we installed those

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The good news is that we installed those monster lights in the living room to help deal with the seasonal darkness blues; we just didn't think that season was gonna be September...

I'd sprayed off this windshield

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I'd sprayed off this windshield yesterday...

Since we're clearly stuck on Barsoom

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Since we're clearly stuck on Barsoom, can anybody check to see if the access codes for the atmosphere plant still work?

Virtual Classes & Toy Weapons

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Tuesday September 8th, 2020

Helicopter rescue from Mammoth Pool Reservoir

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Inside the daring helicopter flights that rescued 200 from a California fire

Military helicopters rescue more than 200 people trapped by wildfire in California

Rescuers in military helicopters airlifted 207 people to safety over the weekend after an explosive wildfire trapped them in a popular camping area in California's Sierra National Forest, one of dozens of fires burning amid record-breaking temperatures that strained the state's electrical grid and for a time threatened power outages for millions.

Creek Fire: National Guard Helicopter Crews Rescue 200+ Trapped Sierra Campers

Externalities of large gatherings and COVID-19

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics — The Contagion Externality of a Superspreading Event:The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and COVID- 19

Large in-person gatherings without social distancing and with individuals who have traveled outside the local area are classified as the “highest risk” for COVID-19 spread by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Between August 7 and August 16, 2020, nearly 500,000 motorcycle enthusiasts converged on Sturgis, South Dakota for its annual motorcycle rally. Large crowds, coupled with minimal mask-wearing and social distancing by attendees, raised concerns that this event could serve as a COVID-19 “super- spreader.” This study is the first to explore the impact of this event on social distancing and the spread of COVID-19. First, using anonymized cell phone data from SafeGraph, Inc. we document that (i) smartphone pings from non-residents, and (ii) foot traffic at restaurants and bars, retail establishments, entertainment venues, hotels and campgrounds each rose substantially in the census block groups hosting Sturgis rally events. Stay-at-home behavior among local residents, as measured by median hours spent at home, fell. Second, using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a synthetic control approach, we show that by September 2, a month following the onset of the Rally, COVID-19 cases increased by approximately 6 to 7 cases per 1,000 population in its home county of Meade. Finally, difference-in-differences (dose response) estimates show that following the Sturgis event, counties that contributed the highest inflows of rally attendees experienced a 7.0 to 12.5 percent increase in COVID-19 cases relative to counties that did not contribute inflows. Descriptive evidence suggests these effects may be muted in states with stricter mitigation policies (i.e., restrictions on bar/restaurant openings, mask-wearing mandates). We conclude that the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally generated public health costs of approximately $12.2 billion


If we conservatively assume that all of these cases were non-fatal, then these casesrepresent a cost of over $12.2 billion, based on the statistical cost of a COVID-19 case of $46,000 estimated by Kniesner and Sullivan (2020). This is enough to have paid each of the estimated 462,182 rally attendees $26,553.64 not to attend. This is by no means an accurate accounting of the true externality cost of the event, as it counts thosewho attended and were infected as part of the externality when their costs are likely internalized.

Mother Jones: Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Is Now Linked to More Than 250,000 Coronavirus Cases

Newsweek: Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Linked to More Than 260,000 Coronavirus Cases, Economists Estimate

Twitter tells me the Walbridge fire

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Twitter tells me the Walbridge fire flared up last night. Purple Air claims the AQI is between 28 and 47 in my neighborhood, but damn you'd never notice from the visibility.

The Feds Went Down To Georgia and other places

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No, The Government Did Not Break Up A Child Sex Trafficking Ring In Georgia

Federal agents did not rescue a large number of children from a single location — or even a single jurisdiction. Kirby told HuffPost that only two children were recovered together. The other kids were found individually across 15 Georgia counties and six other states: South Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Florida, Kentucky and Michigan. The operation took place over two weeks, not one night.

I really don't want to run wire down

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I really don't want to run wire down the walls by the closets for light switches, but the pull cords stick and don't work very well, so I made some maple blocks with rounded holes to help give a straight pull, and these seem to work awesomely.

Monday September 7th, 2020


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StackOverflow: gamifying stupid answers. Sigh.

Magnifying glass in holder

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Magnifying glass in holder

Fiscally got around to building stops

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Fiscally got around to building stops for the router table fence rather than just clamping on whatever scraps I had lying around.