Thursday May 26th, 2016

Realizations I'm old

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Realizations I'm old: Looking at new computers, and "DDR" still means "Dance Dance Revolution", not "Double Data Rate"

Wednesday May 25th, 2016

Porn vs Erotica

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Tina Horn: Why the dichotomy between porn and erotica is false and destructive.

Porn=bad/erotica=good doesn’t train the sexual taste of the rich white Emma Watsons of the world; it dehumanizes the trans people, the people of color, the “not classy” bodies who have chosen to make porn because it’s an option that works for them.

Invisible Brainfuck

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As if you needed any more evidence that Unicode and i18n were evil, here's an example of implementing Brainfuck except with invisible Unicode characters, and then writing exploits in that invisible language... Using, of course, Perl 6...

Tuesday May 24th, 2016

Lesbians and Subarus

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How an Ad Campaign Made Lesbians Fall in Love with Subaru.

Via MeFi.

Edit: MeFi poster beagle points out:

Just dropping by to say that the website where this Subaru story is posted,, is a "content marketing" service. As it says at the bottom of the story: "Note: If you’re a company that wants to work with Priceonomics to turn your data into great stories, learn more about the Priceonomics Data Studio."

In other words, Subaru paid for this story to be written. And we're doing what we're supposed to do, sharing and discussing it.

In other words, just as Subaru was very smart and subtle about marketing to lesbians, they are now being very smart and subtle about the story that they were smart and subtle about marketing to lesbians, and we're buying it.

And some nights are like that

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And some nights are like that. Only got my groove in sync with the floor a few times tonight. Lots of new material, but still...

Monday May 23rd, 2016

Structure and Interpretation of Square Dance Choreography

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Musical and Mathematical Design of Square Dance Singing Calls Part 1 - Guy L. Steele Jr..

You knew him as the authority on computer language structure. He's also a square dance caller.

Attention Grabbing

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How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist.

Or: Why you should demand command-line interfaces and no notifications.

Saturday May 21st, 2016

Good morning

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Good morning, Guerneville! And all you bleary eyed people who were up all night partying...

Off to Stumptown Stomp There will be

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Off to Stumptown Stomp! There will be much dancing, all weekend, because it'll be too chilly in Guerneville to lounge by the pool...

Friday May 20th, 2016

conference call tech

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Using open source software and IBM's Watson to zone out during conference calls:

Newlan's python script starts to run when a meeting begins and his computer's microphone listens in the background. It uses an open source speech recognition program to recognize phrases based on the silences between people's sentences. Then it uses IBM Watson's speech-to-text service to transcribe what's said.

Whenever his name is mentioned, the program sends him a 30 second transcript of what was said before his name was mentioned (and a little after).

Newlan's script then waits 15 seconds and plays a pre-recorded audio file of him saying, "Sorry, I didn't realize my microphone was on mute."

centers of unconvention

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RT Phil Shapiro ‏@philshapiro:

Convention centers can only take you so far.

Cities need centers of unconvention.

Thursday May 19th, 2016

Your reminder that in Jun 2008

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Your reminder that in Jun 2008, Clinton's campaign was telling us that her voters wouldn't cross-over to Obama

Aha moment: Interviews on news shows are usuallly kayfabe

Glenn Beck on conservative affirmative action

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I am not a fan of Glenn Beck. Glen Beck: What disturbed me about the Facebook meeting is well worth reading.

Financial services company pitching me

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Financial services company pitching me a "crafting an enduring legacy" seminar. Dudes, have you *seen* my code?

OH: "nah, man. I tried those enchroma glasses. your all's colors suck"

Great run down on the Sanders v

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Great run down on the Sanders v. Clinton kerfluffle at the Nevada State Democratic Convention

Wednesday May 18th, 2016

Because I'm betting this will be handy for the new job:

Improve Your ST_GeoHash Sorting With These Three Simple Tricks, ways to improve PostGIS performance/.

These nuts may require tightening half

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These nuts may require tightening half a turn periodically

Programming on inuse systems is pretty

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Programming on in-use systems is pretty much like raking leaves into a basket with pandas helping...

Vitamin pills can increase cancer risk

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Missed this a year ago: Excessive use of dietary supplements linked to increase cancer risk:

While dietary supplements may be advertised to promote health, a forum at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2015 by University of Colorado Cancer Center investigator Tim Byers, MD, MPH, describes research showing that over-the-counter supplements may actually increase cancer risk if taken in excess of the recommended dietary amount.

CBS News version of the story

Intergenerational economic mobility

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What’s your (sur)name? Intergenerational mobility over six centuries:

... We focus on the Italian city of Florence, for which data on taxpayers in 1427 – including surnames, occupations, earnings, and wealth – have been digitalised and made available online. We matched these data with those taken from the tax records relating to the city of Florence in 2011. Family dynasties are identified by surnames. Table 1 offers a first flavour of our results. We report for the top five and bottom five earners among current taxpayers (at the surname level) the modal value of the occupation and the percentiles in the earnings and wealth distribution in the 15th century (the surnames are replaced by capital letters for confidentiality). The top earners among the current taxpayers were already at the top of the socioeconomic ladder six centuries ago – they were lawyers or members of the wool, silk, and shoemaker guilds; their earnings and wealth were always above the median. In contrast, the poorest surnames had less prestigious occupations, and their earnings and wealth were below the median in most cases.

Tuesday May 17th, 2016

Mary Anne Alfriend Noland

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In Memoriam: Noland, Mary Anne:

NOLAND, Mary Anne Alfriend. Faced with the prospect of voting for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, Mary Anne Noland of Richmond chose, instead, to pass into the eternal love of God on Sunday, May 15, 2016, at the age of 68. ...

NPR: "That sounds pretty Portland." "Oh, no, Portland, Eugene, Bend, Brooklyn. It's all over the world, really."

Dear @LGUS, losing data is not the way to get me excited about writing reviews on your web site

Monday May 16th, 2016

University Title Generator

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Fucking Inappropriate

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Max from Fucking Inappropriate mentioned on Twitter that he'd be in the area, so we met up and talked over coffee. I am eagerly looking forward the book, but also reminded of the wider variety of experiences. Great chat.

Go read and let that help inform your foreign policy stance.

On scary men

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Eccentric Flower: In which epiphanies come from the strangest places:

This is when it dawned on me: The people who don't want transwomen in the women's toilets (and that's always the real issue, they don't give a shit about transmen in the men's toilets) hate and fear men even more than I do. They figure all men are voyeurs or potential rapists or what-have-you. Fear is at the heart of this hatred. It's not a rejection of "weirdness" or "not like us," which is what I originally assumed was the root cause. There may be some of that, sure. But the overwhelming majority of the hostility is because they are scared of what men do.

Resigned to it

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I've sent the official email, so I guess I can leak it here: I believe Sonic is an important company. I'm proud to have worked for a little over 4 years for an ISP that regularly tops the EFF's list of companies most concerned with your privacy. I love that Sonic has been putting the lie to this notion that ISPs doing bandwidth limiting is about anything other than funneling customers into cable TV packages.

But I've been made an offer I can't turn down, and am resigning to pursue professional growth that I cannot get with Sonic. Further details in a bit, but it involves the transportation sector, geographic information, and "big data" that, hopefully, will get a whole hell of a lot bigger. A chance to learn and grow, with some super smart people, get me into the city (SF) more often, and pursue some new and interesting challenges.

Kids in the shop

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Kids in the shop. Today went from planning tree houses to making a toy car to archery. Bet their dad didn't expect that last twist...