Sunday October 21st, 2018

So much chasing problems in tech that

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So much chasing problems in tech that had no good reason to break on upgrades this weekend. Including: why did Ubiquiti change the mounts on their APs? Had to plaster fill the old holes...

Rent Control

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I remain super skeptical about rent control's impacts on a community and the political scene that it engenders, but I need to dig a bit into the source material behind this: USC joins growing collection of research that moderate rent regulation in region will alleviate housing crisis . It contains sketchy things like:

However, much of the evidence provided has been either skewed or ignoring social issues like stability within neighborhoods. For example, multiple studies in New Jersey, the most rent-regulated state in the country, have shown that rent control has had little impact on rent levels and availability, contrary to common economic research. But this was because, according to Pastor and his crew, researchers accounted for income levels, the racial makeup of neighborhoods and other related factors.

Like, what does that mean? If "rent levels" means "occupancy", then, yeah, a region with low vacancy rates will have low vacancy rates after rent control too, because nothing's been done to impact supply.

And "...accounted for income levels, the racial makeup of neighborhoods..." means somehow they accounted for gentrification as some sort of externality? The article makes little sense on this matter, but is being passed around by Prop 10 proponents so I'd like to understand it better.

Saudi Arabia clamps down on satire

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Saudi Arabia Will Now Punish Online Satire With Five-year Jail Term

Actual news will be punished withS beheadings or dismemberment with a bone saw or whatever...

Cow Farts vs Cars

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More Khashoggi

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RT Robbie Gramer @RobbieGramer:

He's not dead, he left the consulate we have evidence

OK, he has disappeared

OK, he may be dead

OK, he's dead but we didn't do it

OK, he's dead, but it was a rogue group who worked for us

OK he's dead and we did it, but it was only because a 1 vs. 15 fight broke out

Conservatives mount a whisper campaign smearing Khashoggi in defense of Trump.

It's kind of amazing how the statists are coming out of the woodwork in defense of the killing...

Read Jamal Khashoggi’s columns for The Washington Post

NY Times: Saudis’ Image Makers: A Troll Army and a Twitter Insider

Saturday October 20th, 2018

If the Petaluma PD is really so hard up

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If the Petaluma PD is really so hard up for funding, I can point out a couple of intersections where they could easily pull down a few thou an hour with stop sign violations.

Looks like they were wrapping up

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Looks like they were wrapping up something on Kentucky street. Couldn't have been much, they weren't there when I walked by the other way a few minutes earlier.

As a truck drives by way faster than

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As a truck drives by way faster than appropriate for the neighborhood I'm walking through, I'm thinking about how much nicer it'd be if the sidewalks were two feet wider and the road four feet narrower.

Thursday October 18th, 2018

Whitehouse threatens UPU withdrawal

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It is easy to throw potshots at the current administration (I mean, if you're gonna compare the Saudi murder of Jamal Khashoggi to the allegations against Kavanaugh, we should probably be digging up the back yards of several suburban Maryland backyards looking for remains), but I think it's important to call out the good stuff, too: The Whitehouse is making noises about withdrawing from the Universal Postal Union. This is probably a good thing. Shipping for devices from China is currently amazingly subsidized, in ways that mean it's currently cheaper to ship electronics to me from Shenzen than from San Jose.

Planet Money did a backgrounder on this:…/63...pisode-857-the-postal-illuminati;/statement-press-secretary-38/

Warren DNA test

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So ignoring all of the cultural identity issues, here's an interesting thing on the science of DNA testing: Washington Post Fact Checker: Just about everything you’ve read on the Warren DNA test is wrong

We are not trying to defend Warren’s decision to release the test, just to set the record straight about what the test shows. The media bungled the interpretation of the results — and then Warren’s opponents used the uninformed reporting to undermine the test results even further. We fell into this trap as well, and were too quick to send out a tweet (now deleted) that made an inaccurate comparison. We should have not relied on media reporting before tweeting.

Wednesday October 17th, 2018

How is software getting more

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How is software getting more complex? These days it takes all of the infrastructure of iCloud to do nothing more than randomly tell the user "An unknown error occurred."

With Trump comparing the outrage over

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With Trump comparing the outrage over Saudi Arabia's killing of Jamal Khashoggi to the treatment of Brett Kavanaugh, are we sure that Kavanaugh stopped at sexual assault, and hasn't been killing and dismembering people in a long serial murder spree?

Ford's letter

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Tennessee Man

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Tuesday October 16th, 2018

American death squads

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American Mercenaries Were Hired To Assassinate Politicians In The Middle East:

The CIA said it had no information about the mercenary assassination program, and the Navy's Special Warfare Command declined to comment. A former CIA official who has worked in the UAE initially told BuzzFeed News there was no way that Americans would be allowed to participate in such a program. But after checking, he called back: “There were guys that were basically doing what you said.” He was astonished, he said, by what he learned: “What vetting procedures are there to make sure the guy you just smoked is really a bad guy?” The mercenaries, he said, were “almost like a murder squad.”

But it's not like foreign policy like this has ever really backfired on the United States, right?

Driving sex workers back to the streets

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The Scanner: Sex workers returned to SF streets after shut down.

“Without being able to advertise online,” Long said, “a huge number of sex workers were forced to go outside, and many have reported that former pimps came out of the woodwork offering to ‘manage’ their business again since they were now rendered unable to find and screen clients online.”

Golly. It's almost like the moralists weren't thinking about the broader context. Who could possibly have seen this as an unintended consequence?

Monday October 15th, 2018


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Uber, Google & self-driving cars

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Wow: New Yorker: Did Uber steal Google's intellectual property? isn't just about Uber, but about Levandowski encouraging a culture of terrifying disregard for safety while at Google, before he defected.

There’s no crying in tittie bars

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The Cut: Stormy Daniels Didn’t Want to Be Anybody’s Hero “It was funnier when he wasn’t the president.”

And now if you go to one of my shows, it’s large groups of women, oftentimes in homemade matching Stormy shirts. They are loud, and they’re angry. They’re like, “Fuck Trump.” Or they’re crying. I’m like, “Jesus Christ. There’s no crying in tittie bars. What’s happening?” People are grabbing me and giving me money, and then later they’re sharing their personal stories — women are saying, “I was molested or I was raped, and you’ve given me the inspiration to file charges against my boss.” Just heavy, heavy shit every night.

Lot of good stuff in here. So many awesome pull quotes that could get used.

Keeping Us Safe

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U.S. Border Agency Says Hundreds of Employees Have Been Arrested Over 2 Years

WASHINGTON — More than 500 employees of the United States’ primary border security agency were charged with drug trafficking, accepting bribes and a range of other crimes over a two-year period, according to reports released on Friday.

Facebook uses shiftenter to avoid

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Facebook uses shift-enter to avoid immediately sending a message. Nextdoor uses shift-enter to immediately send a message. If I were ruler of the universe...

Sunday October 14th, 2018

Okay, Amazon, why does "with lids for slime 8oz" rank higher than both "for clothes" and "for freezing food"? What are people searching for out there?

Friday October 12th, 2018

Abstract Expressionism

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The First Abstract Painter Was a Woman

Wassily Kandinsky has long been widely regarded as the forefather of abstraction, but as the shows of Af Klint’s work clearly establish, her abstract paintings predate his by several years. “As of 1906, that is, nearly six years before what is recognized as the inaugural date of abstract painting,” wrote Pascal Rousseau in the catalogue accompanying the Berlin show, “Hilma af Klint, who lives away from the axis of modernity (Paris/Munich/Milan), was painting abstract, sometimes monumental works.”

Why is there no option in Nextdoor

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Why is there no option in Nextdoor voting on inappropriate messages for "drive the person who reported this message screaming in terror from our neighborhood"?

expletives of surprise

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Vehicle over 39 feet attempts to navigate State Route 175 between Hopland and Lakeport, despite posted warnings. The best part of the video is the caption: "Note that the audio of this video was edited to remove expletives of surprise from our crew."

NASA then & now

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The Planetary Society: NASA Then & Now has some amazing sliderable "first pictures vs current pictures" exhibits.

Cleared of all charges

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Cop who’s been arrested 3 times, fired 6 times, can go back to work, magistrate rules

Still, the controversial cop’s lengthy record and internal affairs file has earned him unflattering headlines from publications across the state. Most famously, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune wrote an exposé in 2011 that outlined his 18 years in law enforcement to that point as looking more like “a rap sheet than a resumé.”

Thursday October 11th, 2018

Holy crap. The amazing Capricious by Julie Cox that ran on the @Nobilis Erotica podcast is up for a Parsec!

Whoever decided that '' at the

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Whoever decided that '-' at the beginning of the line should denote an Objective-C method name didn't spend a lot of time poring over diffs

I realize I haven't actually signed up

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I realize I haven't actually signed up to pay for iCloud, but given the number of times I've logged back in and still get complaints about not being able to access it, I'm pretty certain that it's irrevocably broken and unusable.

Wednesday October 10th, 2018

Mexico California rail tunnel

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Practical public transit finally comes to Southern California: Tunnel with a rail system is found under Mexico-California border:

Mexican police and military forces found the tunnel’s entrance during an operation in mid-September. Mexican officials worked with the team of U.S. agencies to explore the tunnel. The team reached the tunnel’s end on Thursday.

So mid-September to Thursday (October 4th?) to travel 627 feet? I guess despite the dedicated right-of-way this is about as fast as taking the bus.

Yesterday we had a new dryer delivered. For various (legitimate) reasons, the deliver guys wouldn't help me stack it. So once I got the stacking kit in place I lifted the dryer up on to saw horses, and from there up to on top of the washer.

Turns out I am *OUCH* years old.

Our office is in a co-working space

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Our office is in a co-working space. I walked past an open conference room and a guy was saying "...high value leads for you, like the Glengarry leads...". I should have stormed in and taken his coffee.

And now we come to that every few month

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And now we come to that every few month situation where we try to figure out the magic sauce for @letsencrypt this time. Some day I'll figure out how to configure it and Apache to "just work", today is not that day... sigh.

Anyone else remember when computing

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Anyone else remember when computing used to be a mostly deterministic process?

CVS acquiring Aetna

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Well, this is fascinating... Given that evidence-based medicine is still in its infancy, that the placebo effect is so strong, and that we can prolong human "life" pretty much indefinitely, healthcare can chew up as much of an economy as a society is willing to let it.

The board of CVS apparently realizes this, and is consolidating: CVS’s $69 billion merger with Aetna approved in deal that could transform the health-care industry

Millenials Kill Again

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The debt that we owe Millennials can never be truly repaid. No, really, y'all are screwed. But while we watch you march bravely towards your climate change related doom, unless the political situation explodes and we all die for other reasons first, thank you for your service:

Millennials Kill Again. The Latest Victim? American Cheese