Saturday June 24th, 2017

Nature abhors a vacuum

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Nature abhors a vacuum, and a cat abhors a closed door.

Friday June 23rd, 2017

Japanese porn needs men

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Japanese porn industry hit by a shortage of men:

Shimiken — real name Ken Shimizu — has slept with more than 8,000 women for his 7,500 movies, and recently caused a stir by begging for reinforcements, tweeting that there were more Bengali tigers alive than male porn actors in Japan. "There are about 70 male actors to 10,000 women," he said. Shimiken's call to arms was retweeted thousands of times by fans worried about Japan's $20 billion adult video industry coming under threat. "It is boring for viewers to watch the same actors all the time. That's the biggest worry," he added.

Motorcyclist & car

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Because I'm gonna wanna find it: Motorcyclist kicks car and triggers chain-reaction crash in apparent road-rage video.

Direct link to the Facebook version of the video.

Looks like the sedan driver merges over into the HOV lane to get closer to the motorcyclist. I can fill in the blanks about what was happening previously, but CHP is looking for the motorcyclist as a hit-and-run suspect. If I were the motorcyclist's lawyer, I think there's a strong case that stopping anywhere near someone who'd just tried to kill me with a deadly weapon is a bad long-term survival strategy.

And I hope there are "assault with a deadly weapon" charges coming against that sedan driver.

Le Clitoris

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Philips Hue and mesh exploits

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IoT goes nuclear: creating a ZigBee chain reaction is a little blog post exploring what a paper of the same name, IoT goes nuclear: creating a ZigBee chain reaction (PDF), means.

Short version: Given the recently discovered security flaws, doesn't take a huge density of Philips Hue lightbulbs to create an environment in which an exploit spreads between them via ZigBee...

Related: last night Charlene and I went to a talk about the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918, and the historian noted a correlation with streetcar lines. I think this is important to think about as I2V and V2V communication gets forced on us...

Thursday June 22nd, 2017

Political Divisions in 2016

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Democracy Fund Voter Study Group: Political Divisions in 2016 and Beyond. Among the conclusions:

  • To the extent that the Democratic Party is divided, these divisions are more about faith in the political system and general disaffection than they are about issue positions.
  • By contrast, Republican voters are more clearly split. For the most part, Trump and Cruz supporters look fairly similar, though Cruz supporters are considerably more conservative on moral issues, and notably less concerned about inequality and the social safety net, and more pro- free trade. Kasich supporters are the true moderates, caught in between the two parties on almost every issue, both economic and social.
  • In both parties, the donor class is both more conservative on economic issues and more liberal on social issues, as compared to the rest of the party

Most interesting bit: How few socially liberal economic conservatives there actually are:

Induced Demand

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Sex, brains & aging

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Can sex in later life improve brain health?

Dr Hayley Wright discusses research which explores whether sex for the over 50s can protect – and even improve – cognitive functions.

That seems to be a little over-stating it, there's correlation, not cause. So we don't know whether being smarter and cognitively sharp leads to more sex, or vice-versa, but who's willing to take that risk?

Another article: Reuters: Healthy brain linked to active sex life in old age.

All about: Sex on the brain! Associations between sexual activity and cognitive function in older age:

Results: after adjusting for age, education, wealth, physical activity, depression, cohabiting, self-rated health, loneliness and quality of life, there were significant associations between sexual activity and number sequencing and recall in men. However, in women there was a significant association between sexual activity and recall, but not number sequencing.

Lesbian Ken Dos=lls

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75 Lesbian Ken Dolls, Ranked By Lesbianism. Barbie got a girlfriend. And even if you run out of steam, because it does go on, scroll down to #s 3 through 1.

Wednesday June 21st, 2017

Android trojans

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Another reason to not let apps get too much control over your phone: More Android apps from dangerous Ztorg family sneak into Google Play.

Steel jobs automated

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Tuesday June 20th, 2017

Sadiq Khan wants per-mile road pricing

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London mayor considers pay-per-mile road pricing and ban on new parking:

“We have to make not using your car the affordable, safest and most convenient option for Londoners going about their daily lives. This is not only essential for dealing with congestion as London grows, but crucial for reducing our toxic air pollution and improving the health of all Londoners.”

Belief in "fair" results in worse outcomes

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Believing the System is Fair Predicts Worsening Self-esteem and Behavior for Marginalized Youth

The researchers found that believing the system is fair was associated with better outcomes at the start of middle school, but worse overall outcomes over the course of middle school. By the end of the 7th grade, youth who believed the system was fair in 6th grade had lower self-esteem, engaged in more risky behaviors, and were less able to follow directions in the classroom. For risky behavior, this reversal was particularly pronounced for youth who reported experiencing more discrimination.

Yeah. Maybe stop lying to kids.

Medical Privacy

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How a company you've never heard of sends you letters about your medical conditions:

When asked about its partnership with Acurian, Walgreens spokesperson Scott Goldberg pointed me to a Walgreens FAQ page about clinical trials. It states that Walgreens doesn’t share health information with third parties without permission, but that a third party may “receive your information if you contact the web-site and/or toll-free number in the letter to seek more information about the clinical trial.”</blockquote<

And those "clinical trial" web sites will grab anything you type in, and use all of the standard ad network tricks and tools to establish your identity, including sending back any data you've entered before you've clicked on any terms and conditions documents.

No real harm from Manning leaks

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Oh, look, prosecutors in the Manning/Wikileaks case lied. This is my shocked face.

Secret Government Report: Chelsea Manning Leaks Caused No Real Harm:

Prosecutors said WikiLeaks' disclosures about Iraq and Afghanistan posed a major threat to US national security. But it turns out the classified document they cited — newly obtained by BuzzFeed News — said almost the exact opposite.

Monday June 19th, 2017

Netflix passes cable

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Well, I guess it's probably about time to concede to TC on the bandwidth bet. The network topology doesn't look anything like it did back in 2000, we could make an argument based on that, but culturally the water cooler discussion is way less important than I thought it'd be: Netflix Is Now Bigger Than Cable TV. Maybe, this doesn't capture all of the cable companies, just the big ones.

Via ZeroHedge (which is too linkbaitish and rip-off to link to directly or without a rel="nofollow".

Sunday June 18th, 2017

one sensor says it's 108 in the shade

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one sensor says it's 108 in the shade of my shop

Saturday June 17th, 2017

Wait, when I bought the house I thought I paid the extra for the Northern California weather package. It's way too freakin' hot!

Naked ascent of El Capitan

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Yeah, sure, Alex Honnold recently fre-soloed El Cap, but let's look to the real accomplishments: First naked ascent of El Capitan:

El Capitan saw two firsts last week. On June 3, Alex Honnold made the historic first free solo of the monolithic wall via Freerider, climbing the route with nothing but the clothes on his back. On June 6, Leah Pappajohn and Jonathan Fleury traded out the clothes for a rope and completed the first naked ascent of El Cap via the Nose in a day. We spoke to Pappajohn about the ascent.

A couple of awesome quotes from that interview:

As I was stemming up the first section of the great roof, Jon admitted that he had never stared at a vagina for so long. Just a part of the job description of an attentive naked belayer.


There is now real nude El Cap beta. The beta is that clothes only slow you down.

Via For the first time ever, climbers ascend El Capitan naked

Friday June 16th, 2017

Indentured truck drivers

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Rigged. Forced into debt. Worked past exhaustion. Left with nothing.

A yearlong investigation by the USA TODAY Network found that port trucking companies in southern California have spent the past decade forcing drivers to finance their own trucks by taking on debt they could not afford. Companies then used that debt as leverage to extract forced labor and trap drivers in jobs that left them destitute.

Thursday June 15th, 2017

Just finished a tour of the Fremont

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Just finished a tour of the Fremont Tesla factory. Now I have all sorts of questions about the details we were to far away to see...