• Pythonic coding

    I learned a few pythonic tricks and shortcuts I want to share with you while solving a programming puzzle called Alien Dictionary (leetcode 🔒, tutorial cup).

    Else after a for loop

    In Python, else can be used with for and while loops. The code within the else block executes once the loop has finished iterating over all items. If the loop is exited prematurely with a break statement, then the else block is not executed.

    ans = ''
    chars = ['h', 'i', ' ', 'm', 'o', 'm']
    for c in chars:
        ans += c
    else:
        ans += '!'
    print(ans)
    # hi mom!
    

    Zip protects you from out of bounds indexes

    If you want to iterate through an interable and compare elements to the ones next to themselves, use zip() on the iterable, and on the same interable indexed from 1.

    zip() stops creating tuple pairs once one of the iterables is exhausted.

    nums = list(range(10))
    sorted = True
    for a, b in zip(nums, nums[1:]):
        if a > b:
            sorted = False
            break
    print(sorted)
    

    If instead you want the tuples to include all elements from both iterables, replace zip() with itertools.zip_longest(). For the missing values from the shorter interable you can supply a fillvalue argument such as None.

    Dictionaries with a default value

    Ordinary python dicts throw an exception if you try to index a key that doesn’t exist.

    d = {}
    d['a']
    # KeyError: 'a'
    

    If you want a default value for missing keys, use collections.defaultdict.

    from collections import defaultdict
    d = defaultdict(int)
    d['a']
    # 0
    

    The argument to defaultdict is a function that returns the default value when called. In this case, int() returns 0. Another possibility is set() to create an empty set.

    To hardcode a value, write a short lambda function that returns it.

    from collections import defaultdict
    d = defaultdict(lambda: 42)
    d['a']
    # 42
    

    Nested list comprehensions

    These are controversial since some think they are hard to read, but are very powerful.

    import pprint
    words = ['physics', 'chemistry', 'biology']
    degrees = {c : 0 for word in words for c in word}
    pprint.pprint(degrees)
    {'b': 0,
     'c': 0,
     'e': 0,
     'g': 0,
     'h': 0,
     'i': 0,
     'l': 0,
     'm': 0,
     'o': 0,
     'p': 0,
     'r': 0,
     's': 0,
     't': 0,
     'y': 0}
    

    This code sets up part of a graph data structure succintly. To get some intuition for nested list comprehensions, read this Stack Overflow answer.

  • I moved my substack here

    Today’s post is more blog business. I moved my substack posts to this blog. Now I will have only one blog, this one.

    Here they are! There are only three but I’m proud of them.

    Help! I can’t become a digital nomad, I have too much stuff!

    What American digital nomads can learn from people who live in RVs

    I’m a digital nomad. Should I renounce my US citizenship?

  • What I've been up to

    This blog

    Hi everyone! As you may have noticed, I changed the url for this blog. I spent the weekend cleaning up my personal web infrastructure, and decided to consolidate my projects under the cahillanelabs.com domain. Every domain you own costs an annual fee, so I’m going to let most of mine expire without paying to renew them to save some money.

    I’m going to host my side projects in subdomains like mrbooks.cahillanelabs.com and blog.cahillanelabs.com. To ease the transition I set up 301 redirects that respect the slug of the old url. So if you have a link to a post on this blog, it will still work.

    I also changed the blog layout, so visitors can read posts without clicking into the post page. Let me know what you think!

    Buildspace

    I just went through buildspace Nights and Weekends and it was pretty intense. I didn’t graduate because I didn’t complete all of the activities. I did get a lot out of it, learned a lot of simple lessons that will pay off big time. In the end, the program demands about 10-20 hours a week minimum, and the best projects spend more time than that. I simply didn’t have time to work on my project (my youtube channel TechEeq) enough. Not enough to post an update every week, since I only uploaded two real videos during the six-week program.

    Buildspace is a wonderful program I recommend to anyone thinking about it. The more time you put in, the more you’ll get out of it. I would love to do a future season. (I have done season one, when I did graduate but my product was hopeless, and season three, where I didn’t graduate and my product is awful, but getting better!)

    Zettelkasten

    I’ve had a Zettelkasten for a few years, and have gradually been getting used to using it properly. This weekend I brought together scattered notes, bookmarks and saved essays and put everything worth saving into the Zettelkasten.

    I even posted on Hacker News about archiving webpages, because I found that some of them have been lost since I started my Zettelkasten in 2019. For now I am archiving valuable text by hand, by cutting, pasting and formatting it myself in a notecard file.

    Tthe value of a Zettelkasten comes when an idea or some analysis you’ve currated yourself, that to you personally is valuable, is stored in your “second brain” (another name for Zettelkasten.) A few months or years later, when you’re interested in that topic again, you’ll find that a past version of yourself already researched it.

    Building a second brain, to me, has been a project that takes a lot of effort up front, that seemed confusing, and initially of little value. I remembered everything that I stored, and I wasn’t sure what to put in there. Now that I’ve been doing it for four years, I’m starting to find stuff that I had only vaguely remembered, forgotten, or see in a new light now. I hope the payoffs continue!

    The biggest benefit is not wondering where to save something, I know I can put it in the Zettelkasten, and I’ll look there later. Centralized notes!

    My Youtube channel

    I haven’t posted a new video lately, but I’ve been researching two ideas that I think people would like. I’m not sure how to title and thumbnail them, and searching youtube for similar ideas yields videos with very low view counts.

    The first idea is how short sellers can be right about a company that goes bankrupt, but in between when they take a short position, and when their prediction comes true, the company stock increases so much that the investors get margin called. They are dead right!

    The second idea is the story of a polymarket prediction market about the Elon and DeSantis Twitter Spaces event. The question was, will they mention Trump? During the event, one of them said the word “trump”, the verb, meaning to win! The market resolved to “yes” for a while, then switched to “no”. This raises the question of who resolves markets, which is a fundamental question for prediction markets, especially those that aspire to decentalization.

  • The CFTC complaint against Binance

    I made a youtube video about the CFTC civil complaint filed against Binance and CZ.

  • An Interview with The Air Current’s Jon Ostrower about Southwest’s Meltdown and Independent Publishing

    Ben Thompson: We never really knew how low the [flight] price could get, because there was no competition.
    Jon Ostrower: Exactly. Yeah, exactly. So, if you want to justify the business case, what ends up happening is you have to have airlines on the same route. If you put two Sonic Cruisers on the same route, what ends up happening is they end up competing against each other to get the premium passenger paying for speed. And then, “Oh, by the way, all the wide body aircraft, slow pokey wide bodies, are going even lower to keep those aircraft running.” And so what Boeing found was that you take a city pair like New York to London and you actually take money out of it by introducing these airplanes, it’s actually a net loser.
    —By Ben Thompson stratechery

    Sonic Cruisers can fly mach 0.98. This interview explains why supersonic flight is great for consumers and terrible for airlines.

  • There Will Be No Lessons Learned From FTX

    So, we’re now in a less than ideal situation. Bad actors are undeterred by the lack of regulation, but good actors are. The result: Bad actors face far less competition. It’s not, thankfully, zero competition. There are quite a lot of good actors in this space, but due to absent regulatory clarity and standards even those players are having a hard time differentiating themselves from the bad guys. Every bad actor claims they’re audited, professionally run and take compliance seriously, and few end-users know enough to tell the truth from fiction.
    —By Paul Brody coindesk
  • Three tourists died of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning in an Airbnb

    Three American tourists died in October while staying in an Airbnb in Mexico City, apparently of carbon monoxide poisoning.

    —By Chevel Johnson Rodrigue with Associated Press euronews
  • Crypto firms Genesis and Gemini charged by SEC with selling unregistered securities

    According to the SEC, Genesis loaned Gemini users’ crypto and sent a portion of the profits back to Gemini, which then deducted an agent fee, sometimes over 4%, and returned the remaining profit to its users. Genesis should have registered that product as a securities offering, SEC officials said in a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court.

    —By Rohan Goswami cnbc
  • Bolsonaro's Florida stay puts ball in Biden's court after Brasilia riots

    A U.S. consular official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Bolsonaro had almost certainly entered on an A-1 visa, which are reserved for heads of state. A second source, a senior former U.S. diplomat, also believed it was almost certain that Bolsonaro had entered on an A-1.

    Normally the A-1 is canceled after the recipient leaves office. But with Bolsonaro having left Brazil and entered the United States before his term ended, the official suspected his A-1 is still active.

    —By Gabriel Stargardter reuters
  • Normal Republicans, Stand Up to the Fringe

    The other story involves Norman Lear, who produced many of the greatest television comedies of the latter half of the 20th century, the television century. At a recent 100th birthday party, he shared wisdom with friends. He said there are two words we don’t honor enough. One is “over” and the other is “next.” There’s a kind of hammock between the two and it is right now, this moment we’re sharing. He was saying: Be present. But as he talked, I heard embedded within his words a layer of advice: That it’s actually a key skill to be able to see when something’s over, when it’s the past, not the future; that you have to have eyes that can find the next area of constructiveness, which may take time; and in the time between, the hammock, you must maintain your peace and poise.

    —By Peggy Noonan wsj

    As someone in a transitional period, and feeling tumult, this advice resonated with me.

  • Home sellers are basically throwing money at buyers right now

    42% of sellers offered at least one concession to buyers, often in the form of cash credit for things like repairs, closing costs, or mortgage rate buydowns. That's up from 31% a year ago, and back to the same level as July 2020, when the boom was just getting underway.

    axios

  • Mastodon Verification

    This post is me verifying my mastodon account

    Mastodon
  • Welcome this blog to Jekyll!

    I switched this blog from Wordpress to Jekyll!

    Jekyll also offers powerful support for code snippets:

    def print_hi(name)
      puts "Hi, #{name}"
    end
    print_hi('Tom')
    #=> prints 'Hi, Tom' to STDOUT.

    Check out the Jekyll docs for info on Jekyll. File all bugs/feature requests at Jekyll’s GitHub repo. If you have questions, you can ask them on Jekyll Talk.

  • São Paulo metro system deploys facial recognition in transit stations

    The facial recognition solution was implemented last month by the Governor of the State of São Paulo at the Metrô Operational Control Center. The electronic monitoring system from Intelligent Security Systems (ISS), which covers the entire São Paulo Metrô, is connected to a centralized control center that enables real-time detection of suspicious activity and triggers alerts for security operators.

    Security Magazine

  • Freedom to Roam in Scotland: Everything You Need to Know

    When Scottish legislation on public ‘freedom to roam’ changed in 2003, it marked the moment that the hills, valleys, moors and waters of Scotland became open to anyone who wanted to explore them. Made for purposes of both recreation and education, as well as to give the public rights to make overland journeys, the Act was at once a nod to ancient traditions and an outlook to the future.

    apidura

  • A startup says it’s begun releasing particles into the atmosphere, in an effort to tweak the climate

    By Iseman’s own description, the first two balloon launches were very rudimentary. He says they occurred in April somewhere in the Baja peninsula, months before Make Sunsets was incorporated in October. Iseman says he pumped a few grams of sulfur dioxide into weather balloons and added what he estimated would be the right amount of helium to carry them into the stratosphere. 

    He expected they would burst under pressure at that altitude and release the particles. But it’s not clear whether that happened, where the balloons ended up, or what impact the particles had, because there was no monitoring equipment on board the balloons. Iseman also acknowledges that they did not seek any approvals from government authorities or scientific agencies, in Mexico or elsewhere, before the first two launches. 

    MIT Technology Review

  • For Cassidy Hutchinson, ‘I don’t remember’ wasn’t good enough

    One lawyer she consulted said he could assist — then demanded a $150,000 retainer.

    So, the young aide, out of work since Donald Trump had left office a full year earlier, initially decided to turn to Trump world for help. Which is how she came to receive a phone call from Stefan Passantino, previously a lawyer in the Trump White House counsel’s office.

    On Dec. 19, the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection wrapped proceedings and made criminal referrals for former president Donald Trump. (Video: Blair Guild/The Washington Post)

    “We have you taken care of,” he told Hutchinson. When she asked who would be paying the bills, Passantino demurred — this despite legal ethics rules that let attorneys accept payment from third parties but only with the “informed consent” of their client.

    “If you want to know at the end, we’ll let you know, but we’re not telling people where funding is coming from right now,” Hutchinson, in her deposition, recalled him saying. “Like, you’re never going to get a bill for this, so if that’s what you’re worried about.”

    Washington Post

  • Texas is now home to 30 million people

    New estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau put the state’s population as of July 1 at 30,029,572 following years of steady growth. This makes Texas the only state, other than California, with a population of more than 30 million.

    Texas Tribune

  • HOWTO install Tensorflow on an M1 Mac

    It took me almost two days to figure this out.

    1. You must use python 3.8. No other version will work.
    2. Install the package tensorflow-macos, not tensorflow

    That's it!

  • Face Recognition Tech Gets Girl Scout Mom Booted From Rockettes Show — Due to Where She Works

    A sign says facial recognition is used as a security measure to ensure safety for guests and employees. Conlon says she posed no threat, but the guards still kicked her out with the explanation that they knew she was an attorney.

    "They knew my name before I told them. They knew the firm I was associated with before I told them. And they told me I was not allowed to be there," said Conlon.

    Conlon is an associate with the New Jersey based law firm, Davis, Saperstein and Solomon, which for years has been involved in personal injury litigation against a restaurant venue now under the umbrella of MSG Entertainment.

    "I don’t practice in New York. I’m not an attorney that works on any cases against MSG," said Conlon.

    NBC

  • J. Robert Oppenheimer Cleared of ‘Black Mark’ After 68 Years

    In April and May of 1954, after 19 days of secret hearings, the Atomic Energy Commission revoked Oppenheimer’s security clearance. The action blocked Oppenheimer’s access to the government’s atomic secrets and brought his career to a humiliating end. Until then a hero of American science, he lived out his life a broken man and died in 1967 at the age of 62.

    NYT

  • Trump special counsel has subpoenaed officials in these 7 battleground states

    Special counsel Jack Smith has issued a round of subpoenas targeting election officials in seven battleground states that were key to former President Trump and his allies after the 2020 election.

    The Hill

  • Binance withdrawals hit $1.9 bln in 24 hours, data firm says

    the world's biggest crypto exchange said it had "temporarily paused" withdrawals of the USDC stablecoin.

    reuters

  • Exclusive: SBF secretly funded crypto news site

    One $16 million batch of funding from Alameda was used in part to finance the purchase of an apartment in the Bahamas for Block CEO Michael McCaffrey, according to sources familiar with the transactions.

    Axios

  • House Republicans brace for doomsday scenario if McCarthy falls short of 218 votes for speaker

    With the increasing likelihood that the speaker’s race could go to multiple ballots – something that hasn’t happened since 1923 – McCarthy’s allies and foes alike are starting to quietly game out the next steps if he can’t get the necessary 218 votes on the first round and they move into uncharted territory.

    CNN

  • Can The Daily Wire Turn Nashville Into Hollywood for Conservatives?

    One simple principle explains almost every aspect of The Daily Wire: culture war as entertainment, a format-flexible monofocus on the bitter conflicts that can dominate American public life.

    nyt

  • Shockingly good AI-generated podcasts

    Go here https://podcast.ai/ and click play

  • Michael Avenatti sentenced to 14 years in prison for stealing millions of dollars from clients

    The sentence handed down by federal district Judge James Selna will begin after Avenatti completes a five-year prison term he’s currently serving after being convicted in two separate trials in New York.

    CNN

  • 11 American Cities Will Host World Cup Matches in 2026. Here's Why Chicago Isn't One of Them

    Despite hosting matches, including the opening contest, in the 1994 World Cup, the city of Chicago was not one of the 11 cities selected by FIFA earlier this year, and there were a few different reasons why.

    For starters, former Mayor Rahm Emanuel withdrew the city's bid for the tournament when the United States was selected as a host country in 2018, saying that FIFA wanted a “blank check” for costs associated with the event.

    “The guys from international soccer wanted us to underwrite their sporting event,” he said. “I am not going to write a company a blank check that can fleece the taxpayers.”

    There had been some concerns that Soldier Field, which can hold just over 61,000 fans, would be too small to host the World Cup. The stadium was the smallest of the more than two dozen venues that had originally been in the running to host matches.

    NBC

  • Iranian athlete’s family home demolished by officials, media outlet says

    The family home of Iranian rock climber Elnaz Rekabi has been demolished, according to the pro-reform news outlet IranWire, after she rose to international prominence this fall for competing with her head uncovered.

    CNN

  • Crypto Lender BlockFi Files for Bankruptcy as FTX Fallout Continues

    The company's largest creditors include West Realm Shires Inc., the business name for FTX US, which has a $275 million unsecured claim, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which has a $30 million unsecured claim. The majority of the other top 50 creditors' names were not shared.

    coindesk

  • The unbearable lightness of BuzzFeed

    But outlets that depend on third-party platforms for traffic live and die according to platforms’ whims. A Facebook algorithm change aimed at reducing “clickbait” around 2014, for example, hit viral content mills the hardest. Upworthy, which at one point was called “the fastest growing media site of all time,” went from 87 million monthly visitors to 49 million in a matter of months in late 2013 — more than 40 percent of traffic wiped out. Smaller outfits that were almost entirely dependent on Facebook traffic — like Distractify or LittleThings — have since shuttered completely or disappeared from the general consciousness.

    Verge

  • DeSantis faces hurdles despite 2024 momentum

    “DeSantis has never run nationally before,” Keith Naughton, a veteran Republican strategist, said. “He’s going to do some dumb things at some point.” 

    The Hill

  • Crypto Firm FTX’s Ownership of a U.S. Bank Raises Questions

    Banking veterans say it’s hard to believe that regulators would have knowingly allowed FTX to gain control of a U.S. bank.

    “The fact that an offshore hedge fund that was basically a crypto firm was buying a stake in a tiny bank for multiples of its stated book value should have raised massive red flags for the F.D.I.C., state regulators and the Federal Reserve,” said Camden Fine, a bank industry consultant who used to head the Independent Community Bankers of America. “It’s just astonishing that all of this got approved.”

    nyt

  • I updated one of my websites

    Marginal Revolution Books 2.0 is a side project of mine that I've been working on again for the past few days.

    I added automatic updates (updates used to happen from my laptop when I ran them, which wasn't often.) Now the site is updated twice a day.

    Today I added a local cache. Before, the list of books (almost 20MB) was downloaded fresh before first page render every time. Now that only happens on the first visit.

    There's still plenty to do but the site is more or less useful now.

    • Searching and sorting the books by more than when the posts were published
    • Vastly reduce some unnecessary network traffic
    • Add some kind of explanation of what the site is, who I am, etc.
    • Add the books from before 2012 (I have them locally but there are various size limits working against me.)
    • Get rid of the "More Books" button at the bottom and replace it with something more elegant

  • AI will change the world, but won’t take it over by playing “3-dimensional chess”.

    In this essay, we claim that the “loss of control” scenario rests on a few key assumptions that are not justified by our current understanding of artificial intelligence research.

    windowsontheory

  • US moves to shield Saudi crown prince in journalist killing

    The administration said the senior position of the crown prince, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler and recently named prime minister as well, should shield him against a suit brought by the fiancée of slain Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi and by the rights group Khashoggi founded, Democracy for the Arab World Now.

    The request is non-binding and a judge will ultimately decide whether to grant immunity.

    ap

  • Inside Elon Musk’s first meeting with Twitter employees

    The Verge

  • NASA needs a new moon car for off-roading astronauts at the lunar south pole

    While the previous lunar vehicles, used during the 1970s Apollo missions, were designed for the relatively balmy climate of the moon's equatorial region (or slightly north of there), NASA's Artemis missions are planned for the lunar south pole, where conditions are expected to be much harsher.

    space dot com

  • Mastodon

    I've been on Mastodon since May, and enjoying it very much.

    Mastodon

  • US citizens crossing border in record numbers — to live in Mexico: report

    Mexico City is the chosen destination for many of the US citizens heading south, with 1,619 — or 19% — choosing the capital city over popular Mexican hot spots such as Puerto Vallarta and Cancun.

    NY Post

  • Argentina adds another exchange rate -- for tourists only

    On Friday, one dollar was officially worth 157 Argentine pesos. But in the unofficial market, commonly referred to as the “blue dollar,” it could be worth as much as 285 pesos. And in the system that will now be used by credit card operators it was at 292.

    ABC news

  • Discontent Rises in Europe as Economic War With Russia Pushes Up Cost of Living

    The public backlash against high prices for electricity and heating as temperatures begin to fall is also fueling tensions between European capitals over richer nations’ larger relief packages, which poorer neighbors say are distorting the market and compounding the crisis.

    wsj

  • Google built a ping-pong robot

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fh7VK0WPvU4

    Watch Google’s Ping-Pong robot pull off a 340-hit rally

  • In Argentina, controls spawn soybean and 'Netflix' currency rates

    The government has tightened access to the dollar and added levies, especially on overseas travel and luxuries. It created a temporary "soy" dollar in September to boost soy exports by giving producers more pesos for their dollar-based sales.

    Some have popped up more organically: a so-called "Coldplay" dollar for paying sports stars or music performers in the country. The British band is performing ten concerts later this month. A "Netflix" dollar, meanwhile, refers to a rate elevated by various taxes on overseas streaming services.

    reuters


    https://www.reuters.com/markets/us/argentina-controls-spawn-soybean-netflix-currency-rates-2022-10-19/

  • Hu Jintao: The mysterious exit of China's former leader from party congress

    The Communist Party's mass meetings are normally highly scripted events, leading to speculation that the timing of Hu Jintao's departure might not have been an accident.

    bbc

  • Classical liberalism vs. The New Right

    Furthermore, the last twenty years have seen 9/11, a failed Iraq War, a major financial crisis and recession, and a major pandemic, mishandled in some critical regards. It doesn’t seem that wrong to become additionally skeptical about American elites, and the New Right wields these points effectively.

    Marginal Revolution

  • The Social Security COLA Will Ease the Sting of Inflation

    The payroll tax is split between employers and employees, who each paid 6.2 percent of wages, up to a taxable maximum of $147,000, in 2022. Next year, up to $160,200 of earnings will be subject to these taxes.

    NYT

  • Tesla AI Day in 23 Minutes (Supercut) (2022)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suv8ex8xlZA

  • Getting started writing AI software

    Hi! Two months ago I started teaching myself to write AI software using free stuff online. It was overwhelming due to the large amount of content on this topic.

    Here's what I wish I had known when I started.

    Your first two months writing AI software

    Tooling

    Despite having many years of experience as a software engineer and sysadmin, I had difficulty setting up a workflow for AI.

    I chose to use python, conda (a python package manager) and jupyter notebooks. I have seen ML implementations in R, MatLab, and even one in Excel. Jupyter notebooks support JUlia, PYthon, and R. For some tasks, you can run software directly on your local computer. However, when you're training a model, you need to use a GPU.

    A GPU can train a model in a few minutes that would take hours or days using a CPU. Typically this is done using a cloud tool such as Google Colab, which has a free tier that offers free GPU time. Make sure that you're actually using the GPU you have available, it doesn't always happen automatically. Google Colab has many competitors.

    If you're coding on a machine with a GPU, you can try to run your code on it. Running and maintaining a GPU rig for development and training AI is a difficult sysadmin task. Expect to put some time and effort into this if you try it. Otherwise, take advantage of cloud tools.

    You may wonder about TPUs vs. GPUs. In short, they are similar tools. TPUs are better suited to some types of computations, and GPUs to others. They will both continue to exist alongside each other. If you are choosing to use a GPU or TPU, use a GPU unless the library you're using suggests using a TPU for the problem you're solving.

    AI software libraries make extensive use of native extensions to increase speed.

    Most libraries that run on GPUs use an Nvidia software library called CUDA for their implementation. You need an Nvidia GPU to use these optimized libraries. Compiling native extensions for python libraries that can use CUDA can be complicated even if you don't have an Nvidia GPU, because the code might expect you to have one.

    Additionally, if you're using an M1 MacBook (as I am) there are libraries whose native extensions are surprised by the M1's ARM-based architecture, making them difficult to compile.

    The M1 is a blessing and a curse. There are so many people using M1's that some developers have gone through the trouble of optimizing software to run on it. For example, running Stable Diffusion models on an M1 is possible and it takes advantage of the M1's built-in GPU.

    AI software libraries are less user-friendly than the web development libraries I use in my day-to-day work. Many popular libraries are little more than a proof of concept that is the only existing implementation of some technique, so we are all stuck with it unless we want to write our own from scratch.

    More than usual, I have found that sample code in the AI world never runs without errors, often because libraries are not professionally engineered. Many popular libraries make changes to their APIs in minor version updates without explanation or warning, spam STDOUT with massive amounts of text, and don't specify their library requirements in their dependency graph, forcing their users to play dependency manager by hand.

    Jupyter tips

    Before starting, make sure you have a GPU turned on if you need one.

    In the first code block of your notebook, put the !pip and !apt-get commands. Run them first, then restart the kernel runtime.

    In the second block, put the import statements. On the second run (after restarting), run the first block, then second block. Then restart again.

    Fix the errors that come up one by one, restarting each time.

    Now you're reading to start coding and experimenting!

    If a model training step is taking more than 20-30 minutes, double-check that you have a GPU turned on and you're utilizing it.

    Google Colab is finicky and you can lose your progress if you leave the page for too long. If you have to start over, you might have to do the "install packages, restart runtime, import, restart runtime" routine again to get into a usable state.

    If you're put a lot of time into training, figure out how to save an artifact of your training work. This can take a few forms. You might pickle your model object, or save the weights from a neural network so that you can simply reuse them again in another computing context.

    Jupyter notebooks and git don't mix well. Consider using the "File menu -> Download -> Download .py" option in Google Colab to back up your work in a human-readable python source code file.

    Learning

    The amount of AI books, tutorials and courses available is completely overwhelming. Here's what worked for me.

    • Do the Fast.AI course Practical Deep Learning for Coders. Watch the video, step through the jupyter notebook book chapters executing the code, do the exercises, read and share your work on the forums. I especially recommend the lesson where you train and deploy your own image classifier to Hugging Face. I trained a Westworld host detector to save humanity from killer robots. Doing is better than reading and watching.
    • While you're doing the Fast.AI course, watch Making Friends with Machine Learning by Cassie Kozyrkov, Chief Decision Scientist, Google. It's a six-hour course that teaches what is possible to do with ML in practice, and teaches lessons to skip common pitfalls.
    • Have a project of your own that you're working on. This helps focus the mind while working through the courses, since you might learn something to help you with your own project. My project is training agents to play the game Blokus at superhuman level.
    • Look around on Kaggle. I haven't seriously attempted any competitions yet, but I often find myself reading a Kaggle notebook linked to from Fast.AI, or researching something on their Learn page.

    Next steps

    I'm not finished with the Fast.AI course, so I'll keep working through that. My Blokus AI project is a lot of fun, although I'm worried that training the agents might cost so much money that I'm not able to afford it. What if I make a mistake and spend a ton of money running code with a bug and it's all useless? I want to do some beginner Kaggle competitions and maybe work my way up to competing in the active contests.

    I want to continue to make educational content like this until I get to the point that I'm training useful models!

    Any thoughts? tweet at me

  • Canada reportedly set to lift vaccine requirements for people entering country

    To enter the country, the Canadian government currently requires a person to have received a second COVID-19 vaccine dose -- or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine -- at least 14 days before entry. But the government likely will be dropping the requirement, pending a final sign-off from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

    espn

  • AI Allows Dead Woman to Talk to People Who Showed Up at Her Funeral

    StoryFile used 20 cameras to film the woman answering around 250 questions prior to her death. This data was then fed into a software tool that was able to virtually recreate her after she passed.

    futurism

  • Republicans frustrated with Peter Thiel's refusal to fund his hand-picked Senate candidates

    Thiel's $15 million super PAC investments helped boost Ohio's J.D. Vance and Arizona's Blake Masters in their competitive primaries earlier this year, with the California billionaire even influencing former President Donald Trump's decision to endorse both candidates.

    But since the two candidates won their respective nominations, Thiel has not stepped up with additional investments as Vance and Masters have struggled to raise money on their own -- while both have been massively outraised by their Democratic rivals.

    cnn

  • Staples: As college football resets, CFP expansion offers hope to all conference tiers (whatever we end up calling them)

    (could happen)

    UCLA and USC will join the Big Ten. If Oregon and Washington could convince Big Ten leaders that they could add enough value, then they’d join that year as well. But that probably would require current Big Ten schools to take less money — something they might be loath to do.

    The Athletic

  • Yachts and Watches? The Real CEO Flex Is Washboard Abs.

    The era of the buff business leader has arrived (usually after a 5 a.m. workout and a breakfast of water and black coffee to maintain an intermittent fast).

    wsj

  • NLP & AI Revolution - Transformers and Large Language Models (LLMs)

    The 3 types of companies to expect: Platforms, AI-de novo, and Incumbent AI-enabled.

    One analogy in this NLP market may be the mobile revolution around 2010. You ended up with roughly 3 types of companies

    Elad Blog

  • Why is Instagram Dying? We Asked 100 Gen Z Users to Compare TikTok vs. Reels

    Imagine you’re a dying app. The cool kids used to adore you, but they’ve grown up and the new generation has moved on. The only ones left are your parents and boomers.

    Luckily, you still have piles of cash and a crack team of data scientists. Surely you can A/B test your way to coolness and the hearts of teenagers again?

    Surge HQ

  • These self-morphing 3D wood shapes could be future of wood manufacturing

    The technique could one day be used to make furniture or other wooden products that could be shipped flat to a destination and then dried to form the desired final shape.

    Ars Technica

  • This company is about to grow new organs in a person for the first time

    Their approach is to inject liver cells from a donor into the lymph nodes of sick recipients, which can give rise to entirely new miniature organs. These mini livers should help compensate for an existing diseased one. The approach appears to work in mice, pigs, and dogs. Now we’ll find out if it works in people.

    MIT Tech Review

  • Argentina’s new economy minister pledges to restore fiscal order

    “I’m not a magician, or a saviour,” Sergio Massa, the third person to take charge of Argentina’s economy in barely a month, said on Wednesday. “The challenge is enormous.” In his first speech since being appointed last week, Massa, 50, announced a slate of measures including a vow to end money printing to fund the budget — financing it instead through deficit reduction or private-sector borrowing — along with building dollar reserves and “reworking” state subsidies in order to narrow the country’s large deficit and meet budget targets.

    FT

  • Argentina’s Long Road to Ruin

    On July 2, Argentina’s centrist economy minister, Martín Guzmán, resigned. The peso’s value plummeted 26% in the next 26 days. Three weeks later, President Alberto Fernández, a left-leaning law professor who took office in December 2019, sacked Mr. Guzmán’s successor.

    The official inflation rate is now 64% and economists forecast it could reach 90% by December. Wages haven’t kept up, and the gap between the official and black-market exchange rates hasn’t been this wide since Argentina’s hyperinflation crisis of 1989-90, when inflation soared to 2,600%.

    WSJ Opinion

  • The SLS rocket is the worst thing to happen to NASA—but maybe also the best?

    The reason I say that SLS was one of the best things to happen to NASA is simple. In hindsight, it's the political price the agency had to pay to bring Congress on board with a real deep space exploration program. The Artemis Program—which certainly is NASA's most "real" human deep space exploration program since Apollo—was created by Vice President Mike Pence and then-administrator Jim Bridenstine about three years ago. Congress only went along because Bridenstine promised to use the SLS rocket for all human launches to the Moon.

    Ars

  • Home prices plunging in ‘pandemic boomtowns’ as market slumps

    The trend was at its worst in “pandemic home-buying boomtowns” such as Boise, Idaho, where a whopping 69.7% of homes for sale slashed listing prices in July. Other overheated markets included Denver, with a 58% of price drops, and Salt Lake City, with a 54.8% share of cuts.

    ny post

  • Think 9% Inflation Is Bad? Try 90%

    Nearly every big purchase in Argentina — land, houses, cars, expensive art — is done in tall stacks of U.S. currency. To save up, Argentines stuff bundles of American bills into old clothes, beneath floor boards and in bombproof safe deposit boxes past nine locked gates and five stories beneath the ground.

    NYT

  • How an O.C. lawyer's bragging prompted a judge to throw out winning malpractice verdict

    That was before his lawyer, Robert McKenna III, appeared in an online celebration video, bragging of his work and saying the case involved “a guy that was probably negligently killed, but we kind of made it look like other people did it.”

    Citing McKenna’s remarks, the judge who presided over the trial has vacated the verdict, ordering the case back to court.

    msn

  • Rocket Lab will self-fund a mission to search for life in the clouds of Venus

    On Tuesday evening Rocket Lab announced that it will self-fund the development of a small spacecraft, and its launch, that will send a tiny probe flying through the clouds of Venus for about 5 minutes, at an altitude of 48 to 60 km.

    ars

    Great trend!

  • The End of Social Media and the Rise of Recommendation Media

    Given the strength of recommendation media platforms like TikTok and YouTube, and the way traditional social media platforms are chasing them, it seems likely Professional Media platforms (such as Netflix) may try to follow suit (in fact, Netflix’s co-CEO, Reed Hastings, may have even foreshadowed this when he famously stated that his biggest competitors were TikTok and YouTube, both of which are open to any creator).

    Michael Mignano - this post on medium

    I found this post because Ben linked to it from Stratechery.

  • How MONAI Fuels Open Research for Medical AI Workflows

    MONAI is an open-source PyTorch-based framework for building, training, deploying, and optimizing AI workflows in healthcare. It focuses on providing high-quality, user-friendly software that facilitates reproducibility and easy integration.

    NVIDIA dev blog

  • When Data Fails

    However, this 0.1% decline was inaccurate because an Excel formula hadn’t been dragged down properly. After fixing the formula, the 0.1% decrease became a 2.2% increase, completely changing the paper’s conclusion.

    This error made headlines because of how influential the paper was. According to Google Scholar, it had been cited by more than 4,500 other academic papers.

    ofdollarsanddata

  • New York is roaring back from the worst of the pandemic. Why isn’t San Francisco?

    San Francisco is the only major U.S. city where median rent still is below pre-pandemic levels

    SF Chronicle

  • Starship will be the biggest rocket ever. Are space scientists ready to take advantage of it?

    Some astronomers also have Starship in their eyes. “There’s no way to talk about it without resorting to cliches, but ‘best rocket engine ever,’ probably, by most metrics,” says David Rubin, a cosmologist at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. He wonders how much simpler the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) might have been if its 6.5-meter-wide segmented mirror hadn’t had to fold up to fit on its rocket. Engineers could have built a monolithic mirror and launched it as is within the 9-meter-wide Starship fairing, which encloses a volume about half as big as a hot air balloon.

    Rubin also dreams of using Starship to construct a giant telescope—say 30 meters—in space. Limbed robots could precisely lay down mirror segments on a scaffolding, forming a giant mirror that could pick out the universe’s first galaxies and look for signs of life in the atmospheres of Earth-like exoplanets. “The science gains scale really quickly as you build larger and larger telescopes,” Rubin says.

    Science

  • (2017) Google buys Kaggle and its gaggle of AI geeks

    On Wednesday, the Google Cloud Platform said it had acquired Kaggle, what it calls the world's biggest community for data scientists and machine-learning geeks.

    cnet

  • Why the ESPN–Big Ten Split Shocked College Sports, and How It Impacts Everyone

    No TV deal is as fascinating as the one commissioner Kevin Warren & Co. are amassing in Chicago, where starting in 2024 three different networks are expected to acquire the rights to broadcast his league’s games in three different windows: Fox (noon), CBS (afternoon) and NBC (primetime). In a somewhat expected but still shocking move, the conference is moving on without the Worldwide Leader in sports.

    ESPN and ABC are out, and the college sports world is awed.

    Sports Illustrated

  • The F1 score


    Imagine you are working on the sales data of a website. You know that 99% of website visitors don’t buy and that only 1% of visitors buy something. You are building a classification model to predict which website visitors are buyers and which are just lookers.

    Now imagine a model that doesn’t work very well. It predicts that 100% of your visitors are just lookers and that 0% of your visitors are buyers. It is clearly a very wrong and useless model.

    towards data science

  • This startup plans to create realistic human embryos | MIT Technology Review

    In a next set of experiments, Hanna is using his own blood or skin cells (and those of a few other volunteers) as the starting point for making synthetic human embryos. It means his lab could soon be swimming in hundreds or thousands of tiny mini-mes—all genetic clones of himself.

    MIT Tech Review

  • Podcast Guests Are Paying Up to $50,000 to Appear on Popular Shows

    Welcome to the golden era of pay-for-play podcasting, when guests pay handsomely to be interviewed for an entire episode.

    bloomberg

  • Liz Cheney Is Ready to Lose. But She’s Not Ready to Quit.

    Few lawmakers today face those dangers as regularly as Ms. Cheney, who has had a full-time Capitol Police security detail for nearly a year because of the threats against her — protection few rank-and-file lawmakers are assigned. She no longer provides advance notice about her Wyoming travel and, not welcome at most county and state Republican events, has turned her campaign into a series of invite-only House parties.

    dnyuz

  • Anne Carpenter’s AI Tools Pull Insights From Cell Images | Quanta Magazine

    Replacing a large-scale drug assay with a computational query saves millions of dollars each time.

    Quanta Magazine

    Quanta is the best website out there

  • New Black Hole Math Closes Cosmic Blind Spot

    If you treat one black hole as a single point, with no event horizon, previously invisible black-hole collisions come into focus.

    Quanta Magazine

    Surprising and clever.

  • The Neurologist Who Hacked His Brain—And Almost Lost His Mind

    In the late 1990s he made global headlines for implanting several wire electrodes in the brain of a paralyzed man and then teaching the locked-in patient to control a computer cursor with his mind. Kennedy called his patient the world’s “first cyborg,” and the press hailed his feat as the first time a person had ever communicated through a brain-computer interface. From then on, Kennedy dedicated his life to the dream of building more and better cyborgs and developing a way to fully digitize a person’s thoughts.

    Wired

    This is probably the article John Carmack mentions in his 2019 appearance on the Joe Rogan podcast.

  • Scientists reanimate dead cells in pigs, a potential breakthrough for organ transplants

    OrganEx restored circulation and prompted the repair of damaged cells. For example, the scientists saw heart cells contract and electrical activity return. Other organs, including kidneys, also showed improvements, the study says. 

    The pigs treated with OrganEx startled researchers. During experimentation, the dead pigs’ heads and necks moved under their own power. The animals remained under heavy anesthesia. 

    [...]

    The researchers do view the neck jerk is an indication some muscle function was restored after death. 

    NBC News

  • This experimental drug could change the field of cancer research

    A tiny group of people with rectal cancer just experienced something of a scientific miracle: their cancer simply vanished after an experimental treatment.

    In a very small trial done by doctors at New York's Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, patients took a drug called dostarlimab for six months. The trial resulted in every single one of their tumors disappearing. The trial group included just 18 people, and there's still more to be learned about how the treatment worked. But some scientists say these kinds of results have never been seen in the history of cancer research.

    NPR

  • NEOM CITY: Saudi Arabia's $500 Billion Smart City

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ap300gEIrY

    What is the artificial moon? I want more information about that part. What's wrong with the ordinary moon?

  • MBS’s $500 Billion Desert Dream Just Keeps Getting Weirder

    Although the Neom site was in a region few Saudis have ever visited, MBS made clear that he expected it to become a hub for national life. Within a few months of the Ritz-Carlton announcement, satellite images showed that a series of large buildings was already under construction, surrounded by expanses of greenery that stuck out sharply from the desert. It was a new palace for the crown prince, where he’d soon be spending much of his time.

    Bloomberg

    Incredible. $500B is hard to fathom.

  • How an accidental discovery made this year could change the world

    On the surface, lithium-sulfur seems to solve all of lithium-ion’s problems. It uses far less ecologically harmful materials, can be cheaper to produce, can be up to three times more energy-dense (meaning a lighter battery) and is far less likely to catch fire. All without compromising charge speeds. 

    Big Think

    I don't endorse the breathlessness of this article but it is factual.

  • Juris Hartmanis (1928-2022): Guest post by Ryan Williams

    And especially check out Hartmanis’s extraordinary biographical essay from 2015, in which he describes his childhood in Latvia; his father being taken away by the Soviets to be executed when he was 12 years old; his move to America with his mother, where he worked as a steelworker and a butler while he studied at the University of Kansas City; Caltech’s farsighted decision to admit him as a graduate student despite his unusual background; and then the beginnings of computational complexity theory and the rest of his distinguished career.

    scott aaronson blog

    Incredible story!

  • Jack Ma escapes Beijing’s crosshairs by giving up his power

    While it’s not Ma’s first trip outside China since he criticised Communist Party officials in 2020 over regulation of his fintech giant Ant Group Co, it’s a stark change from the days when the billionaire was being advised by the government to not leave the country.

    The Star

  • The Copenhagen Interpretation of Ethics

    The Copenhagen Interpretation of Ethics says that when you observe or interact with a problem in any way, you can be blamed for it. At the very least, you are to blame for not doing more. Even if you don’t make the problem worse, even if you make it slightly better, the ethical burden of the problem falls on you as soon as you observe it.

    jaibot blog

  • Techno-optimism for 2022

    noahpinion

    More posts like this please

  • Two Weeks In, the Webb Space Telescope Is Reshaping Astronomy

    Already, the telescope — which launched on Christmas Day 2021 and now sits 1.5 million kilometers from Earth — has spotted the most distant, earliest galaxy known.

    Quanta Magazine

  • Why Big Tech Is Making a Big Play for Live Sports

    Last year, sports accounted for 95 of the 100 most viewed programs on television.

    NYT

  • Ramen profitable and your student loan

    Ramen profitable means a startup makes just enough to pay the founders' living expenses.

    Paul Graham (2009)

    For a lot of American wannabe entrepreneurs, our student loan payment is a major obstacle to moving from full-time employment to entrepreneurship. High rent? Move somewhere cheaper. Restaurant food too expensive? Learn to cook. But you can't escape your student loan payments, not even in bankruptcy.

    If you read financial advice online, it often says before trying to start a business you should be completely out of debt. But for some of us paying off our student loan would take so many years we'd never get a chance to try a startup before an age where people want to settle down and stop taking risks.

    The only option we have is to pause our payments for a few months. During this time, interest will accumulate on the loan, so this is an expensive option. We should only use it for a few months while we scramble to get a startup to ramen profitable, then to "ramen plus loan payment" profitable.

    At that point we can restart our loan payment (which will be higher each month due to the accumulated interest). It's risky, but we can't change the past when we decided to go to college or grad school and took out the loan. We can change the present and take a chance on ourselves and entrepreneurship.

    If the startup doesn't start earning money fast enough, there is always freelance income.

    Airbnb famously used a big stack of maxed-out credit cards to get started. The interest rate on credit cards is much higher than student loans, so they are a worse option that pausing loan payments. (Although credit card debt can be discharged in bankruptcy, that's a bad option that should be taken as a last resort.)

    What do you think? Should "ramen profitable" include making loan payments?

  • Massive Losses Define Epidemic of ‘Pig Butchering’

    West said pig butchering victims are often quite sophisticated and educated people.

    “One woman was a university professor who lost her husband to COVID, got lonely and was chatting online, and eventually ended up giving away her retirement,” West recalled of a recent case. “There are just horrifying stories that run the gamut in terms of victims, from young women early in their careers, to senior citizens and even to people working in the financial services industry.”

    Krebs

    Terrible.

  • Ex-CIA engineer convicted in massive theft of secret info

    Prosecutors alleged the 33-year-old Schulte was motivated to orchestrate the leak because he believed the CIA had disrespected him by ignoring his complaints about the work environment. So he tried “to burn to the ground” the very work he had helped the agency to create, they said.

    While behind bars awaiting trial, he continued his crimes by trying to leak additional classified materials from prison as he carried on an “information war” against the government, prosecutors said.

    Politico

    This was a bad plan

  • Field Guide to the Curve Wars:
    DeFi’s Fight for Liquidity

    Every

  • There Has to Be a Better Way to Run the Government

    “We live in this wildly litigious environment,” Janno Lieber, the head of the M.T.A., told me. “At some level — I can’t fix that. I can’t fix that NEPA became a tool for attacking pro-environmental initiatives. I want to get congestion pricing started here in the country’s biggest city, prove it out, and show its environmental worth. And I think that’ll be a stronger argument against environmental lawsuits than the accusation that you missed the five low-income cabdrivers in East New York.”

    NYT Op-Ed Ezra Klein

  • We could have universal COVID vaccines very soon — if we urgently reform the process

    Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech are working on “bivalent” vaccines that combine original COVID spike proteins with those from Omicron. These will help remedy the structurally silly situation that prevails today, where we’re vaccinating people with a COVID variant that was outcompeted a long time ago (early 2021). While there are nuances (Omicron appears to generate less cross-immunity than the original strain), updating the spikes as is currently proposed will almost certainly yield better immunity against current COVID variants.

    Slow Boring

  • Taiwan to cut COVID-related quarantine for arrivals to 3 days

    Taiwan said on Saturday it would cut mandatory quarantine for all arrivals to three days from seven, its latest relaxation of the rules to try to live with COVID-19 and resume normal life even as it has been dealing with a surge of infections.

    Taiwan has kept its quarantine rules in place as large parts of the rest of Asia have relaxed or lifted them completely, though in May it cut the number of days spent in isolation for arrivals to seven from 10 previously.

    reuters

  • Cyber slavery: inside Cambodia's online scam gangs

    Operating across borders, the traffickers and online gambling groups pay local authority figures for protection or, at the very least, to look the other way, Nikkei has been told. In one case, local police officers accompanied bosses and bodyguards from an online gambling group as they tried to recapture trafficked workers who had escaped.

    Some cases have received public attention. A Cambodian court in April charged Soum Pov, a former two-star military general, and six accomplices after they were caught trying to smuggle 28 Chinese nationals across the Cambodia-Vietnam border using military-plated vehicles, according to a local news report.

    Tep Phalla, a spokesman for the court, said Pov remained in custody while the case was under investigation. "[The case] is in the hands of the investigating judge; they are working on it," he said.

    nikkei

    The person behind "pig fattening" scam text messages online might be working under slave-like conditions.

  • Washington state police will not comply with out-of-state agency requests for abortion-related information, governor says

    Under the directive, the Washington State Patrol will establish processes with the Office of Attorney General and the Office of General Counsel to scrutinize any request for cooperation. All requests must be documented and reported, according to the directive.

    Washington has also partnered with California and Oregon to protect those seeking abortion services as well as implement policies to address existing gaps in those protections, the governor's directive indicates.

    CNN

  • Stop Being Surprised by Germany

    It’s getting harder, in fact, to square the popular impression of Scholz and his cabinet as weak and confused naïfs who see the world as if from inside a Brandenburgian dollhouse with the reality that, for all its twists and turns, Berlin’s Ukraine policy has been firmly grounded in both German history and an interpretation of strategic realities more plausible than most of what passes through Brussels and Washington.

    Tablet

  • Launch House raises millions to launch houses (and the next big startups)

    they’ve raised $3 million to expand their residency program, physically and digitally. Next fall, Launch House will launch LA and NYC-specific programs, as well as residencies built to gather people within Web 3.0, fintech, B2B enterprise and the creator economy.

    TechCrunch

  • The Rendezvous That Was Almost Missed: Lunar Orbit Rendezvous and the Apollo Program (1992)

    In the opinion of many space historians, however, Langley's most important contribution to Apollo was its development of the lunar-orbit rendezvous concept.

    NASA

  • Massive Black Holes Shown to Act Like Quantum Particles

    Over the past few years, physicists specializing in the arcane behavior of quantum particles have turned their mathematical machinery toward black holes, which, at a distance, resemble particles. Several groups have recently made a surprising finding. They have shown that the behavior of a gravitational (or electromagnetic) wave can be fully known through the actions of just one of its countless particles, as if we could learn the precise silhouette of a tsunami after examining a single water molecule.

    Quanta Magazine

  • MAGA Voters Send a $50 Million G.O.P. Plan Off the Rails in Illinois

    The Illinois governor’s race is now on track to become the most expensive campaign for a nonpresidential office in American history.

    NYT

  • Trump endorses Darren Bailey for Illinois governor

    Sullivan, another GOP candidate, responded to the presidential snub by ridiculing Bailey and the torrent of television ads paid for by Pritzker and the Democratic Governors’ Association that helped vault the state senator into the lead over Irvin. The Democratic ads helped neutralize Irvin’s $50 million in contributions from Chicago hedge fund billionaire Kenneth Griffin.

    local Illinois NPR

  • SpaceX moves a massive rocket with 33 engines to its launch pad for tests

    A launch attempt this year now seems more likely than not.

    Ars

  • Dobbs decision likely to enhance Washington's abortion haven status

    In late October 2021, the pro-choice research organization the Guttmacher Institute predicted a 385% increase in demand for abortion in Washington state based on Roe being overturned.

    According to Guttmacher, the overturning of Roe could mean as many as 230,000 women from Idaho, where abortion access is going to be more limited, may drive to Washington to get an abortion.

    Ferguson indicated he would defend the Evergreen State’s status as an abortion sanctuary for out-of-state women seeking the procedure.

    “Moreover, I will use my authority to ensure Washington welcomes any individual who comes here to access the fundamental right to reproductive justice,” he said. “I am already working to protect medical professionals who are prosecuted in other states for providing essential health care services that are legal and protected in Washington.”

    Washington has a history of abortion rights going back more than 50 years.

    The Center Square

  • Learning to Play Minecraft with Video PreTraining

    With fine-tuning, our model can learn to craft diamond tools, a task that usually takes proficient humans over 20 minutes (24,000 actions).

    OpenAI

    It's hard to explain how amazing this is, and how often OpenAI does something incredible.

  • Ken Griffin moving hedge fund headquarters from Chicago to Miami

    In a note to employees Thursday, Griffin said his investment firm, Citadel, will relocate to new headquarters in Miami’s financial district after more than 30 years in Chicago.

    Yahoo

    Will he remain active in Illinois politics, or is this a capitulation?

  • (2020) Electronic Health Records Vendor to Pay $145 Million to Resolve Criminal and Civil Investigations

    The resolution announced today addresses allegations that Practice Fusion extracted unlawful kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies in exchange for implementing clinical decision support (CDS) alerts in its EHR software designed to increase prescriptions for their drug products.  Specifically, in exchange for “sponsorship” payments from pharmaceutical companies, Practice Fusion allowed the companies to influence the development and implementation of the CDS alerts in ways aimed at increasing sales of the companies’ products. 

    Dept of Justice

  • National Geographic Exposé Slams Colin O’Brady Antarctic ‘Crossing’

    “It is a highway,” he said, which “more than doubles someone’s speed and negates the need for navigation. An expedition cannot be classed as unassisted if someone is skiing on a road.”

    Adventure Journal

  • The great wine fraud

    In time, however, discrepancies appeared in the market. Bottles of Clos St Denis from Domaine Ponsot, of vintages between 1945 and 1971, started to turn up. Laurent Ponsot, the head of the house, found this surprising as his family only started making the wine in 1982. He set out to investigate.

    The Guardian

  • Túmin: the alternative currency rebuilding community in Mexico

    Túmin is an alternative currency that emerged in Veracruz, Mexico in 2010. About the size of a credit card, Túmin notes are printed with vibrant illustrations that vary from state to state. Each Túmin note is equivalent to one peso, one minute of work or even one US dollar. It is both a unit of exchange and a currency that comes in 1, 5, 10, and 20 denominated notes.

    Open Democracy

  • U.S. policymakers misjudged inflation threat until it was too late

    On July 19, 2021, President Biden played down the risk of persistent inflation, telling reporters that price hikes “are expected to be temporary.” This month, Biden called reining in prices his “top domestic priority.”

    What changed?

    Washington Post

  • America's next wind powerhouse: The Gulf of Mexico?

    Entergy — the New Orleans-based energy company that distributes electricity across Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas — also hasn’t announced any commitments to buy wind power from the Gulf.

    “Right now, solar is more cost competitive for customers and available in our system,” said Elizabeth Adams, vice president of Entergy’s enterprise planning. “But we do see wind and we are evaluating offshore wind as part of that wind portfolio, as an important part of a diverse portfolio as we get a decade or so out.”

    Politico

  • UK inflation hits 40-year high of 9% as energy bills soar

    The surge came as millions of people saw an unprecedented £700-a-year increase in energy costs last month.

    Higher fuel and food prices, driven by the Ukraine war, are also pushing the cost of living up, with inflation expected to continue to rise this year.

    BBC

  • Dressing for the Multiverse

    Jobu’s style is loud, experimental and confrontational. She shows up at various points in head-to-toe tartan, her face obscured by a mask and visor; a preppy pink polo with an argyle sweater vest and a pleated skirt, wielding a golf club as a weapon; a sparkly white Elvis-inspired jumpsuit and a pink wig; a psychedelic zip-up with teddy bears on either sleeve. Her makeup is, likewise, unsubtle and unnerving: She paints red hearts on her cheeks and covers her face in pearls and rhinestones. (A keen observer may notice that one gem is shaped like a teardrop.)

    NYT

  • Two thought experiments to evaluate automated stablecoins

    In general, the crypto space needs to move away from the attitude that it's okay to achieve safety by relying on endless growth.

    vitalik

  • ‘Crypto muggings’: thieves in London target digital investors by taking phones

    a man was approached by a group of people offering to sell him cocaine and agreed to go down an alley with them to do the deal. The men offered to type a number into his phone but instead accessed his cryptocurrency account, holding him against a wall and forcing him to unlock a smartphone app with facial verification. They transferred £6,000-worth of ripple, another digital currency, out of his account.

    The Guardian

  • Amid crypto market turmoil, Andreessen Horowitz announces $4.5 billion web3 fund

    The new $4.5 billion fund doubles the size of its last crypto fund and showcases the widening interest among the firm’s limited partners in increasing their exposure to crypto startups. The firm specifies that one-third of the new mega-fund will be earmarked for seed deals exclusively.

    It’s been less than one year since a16z announced its $2.2 billion Crypto Fund III, and the firm has endured just as many changes as the broader crypto market during that time. Recent months have seen the further ascent of crypto-native firms like Paradigm and Electric Capital, which have raised mega-funds to challenge a16z’s dominance. The firm also endured the exit of its crypto co-lead, Katie Haun, who split off from a16z, taking a number of colleagues with her to launch Haun Capital with $1.5 billion spread across two funds.

    TechCrunch

  • Is an unknown, extraordinarily ancient civilisation buried under eastern Turkey?

    Taken together with its age, complexity, sophistication, and its deep, resonant mysteriousness, and its many sister sites now being unearthed across the Harran Plains – collectively known as the Tas Tepeler, or the ‘stone hills’ – these carved, ochre-red rocks, so silent, brooding, and watchful in the hard whirring breezes of the semi-desert, constitute what might just be the greatest archaeological revelation in the history of humankind.

    The Spectator

  • Attorney client privilege in the metaverse

    Many immersive metaverses have public digital spaces, accessible to anyone on the platform. Avoid confidential communications in these public digital spaces and opt for a password or token-protected private space.

    LexDAO

  • The ‘E-Pimps’ of OnlyFans

    Spend enough time on social media, and you’ll encounter young people engaged in all sorts of schemes: running drop-shipping companies, minting NFTs, pumping crypto, selling real estate in the metaverse. Many are based in Miami. It’s a place where young marketing types have embraced a vision of what the internet is actually for that is at odds with Silicon Valley’s: less a utopian escape from reality than an infinite expansion of its strip malls.

    NYT

  • How a Trash-Talking Crypto Founder Caused a $40 Billion Crash

    Pantera Capital, a hedge fund that invested in Mr. Kwon’s efforts, made a profit of about 100 times its initial investment, after selling roughly 80 percent of its holdings of Luna over the last year, said Paul Veradittakit, an investor at the firm.

    Pantera turned $1.7 million into around $170 million. The recent crash was “unfortunate,” Mr. Veradittakit said. “A lot of retail investors have lost money. I’m sure a lot of institutional investors have, too.”

    NYT

  • 'It's dangerous to everyone,' Rockford residents worry about ATVs on city streets

    Illegal ATVs and dirt bikes continue to plague Rockford streets, sending residents and officials into a tailspin about how to stop them.

    Rockford Register Star

  • A Subway Shooting That New York City Overlooked

    During the past two decades, swiping has become a common hustle across the subway system. Swipers, often young men, stand near turnstiles offering MetroCard swipes for two dollars cash—a discount from the official $2.75 fare. Many swipers operate by buying unlimited-ride MetroCards and then trying to sell enough two-buck swipes to surpass the initial capital outlay. Swiping can be a relatively sturdy trade underground.

    New Yorker

  • Ukraine travel log

    Some people speculated that after the war ends, the US and NATO will dump billions of dollars into the Ukrainian economy for a new Marshall Plan. A smart man might just have the idea to go to an up-and-coming city like Dnipro, or a sunny sea-side resort like Odessa, and buy up all of this newly cheap real estate…

    mattlakeman.org

  • Hofstadter’s Paranoid Style Revisited

    If he were still alive, Hofstadter probably wouldn’t be surprised to find that what he called “the paranoid style” is back. He wrote his essay about this phenomenon shortly after Senator Joseph McCarthy’s lurid press conferences and demagogic congressional hearings about a supposedly vast communist conspiracy riveted and repulsed the nation. But Hofstadter argued that McCarthyism was simply the latest iteration of a longstanding American tradition. Over and over again, he observed, America had become an arena for “uncommonly angry minds” on the Right and the Left, who imagined that a diabolical conspiracy was on the verge of destroying the nation. What he described was more like a state of mind—one of “heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy”—than an ideology or movement. One can be uncommonly angry and paranoid at any point on the political spectrum.

    Quillette

  • Republicans Need a New Leader. They’re Looking to Florida.

    Indeed, any movement conservative sealed in a time capsule circa 1984 and emerging today would recognize Mr. DeSantis as a more or less standard Sunbelt Republican — a fiscal conservative wooing people and businesses to his state based on a favorable economic climate who is also anti-elitist, socially conservative and eager to reform public schools.

    None of this is new. What stands out as a true departure is Mr. DeSantis’s willingness to use government power in the culture war.

    NYT Op-Ed. By Rich Lowry. Mr. Lowry is the editor in chief of National Review.

  • Astronomers reveal first image of the black hole at the heart of our galaxy

    Event Horizon Telescope

    This is absolutely incredible. Humankind can accomplish unbelievable things.

  • NATO: New challenges for the alliance as Finland and Sweden inch closer to membership?

    NATO currently shares a land border of 1,215 kilometers (754 miles) with NATO members. Once Finland joins, that will increase to 2,600 kilometers

    DW

  • What American digital nomads can learn from people who live in RVs

    Some digital nomads and RVers (people who live in recreation vehicles) don’t really have a home state. They don’t even have a permanent residence!1 Instead, they carry their belongings with them, and travel to a new place on their own schedule.

    This is a great lifestyle, but it can be hard to know how to file your taxes. The IRS (Internal Revenue Service, the federal tax authority in the US) and state tax authorities don’t really acknowledge that digital nomads exist, and expect filers to have a permanent address.

    Many nomads put some US address on their federal tax return2, whether it’s a friend’s place, family house, or just the last place they lived before they started their nomadic life.

    What many nomads don’t realize is that when you put a US address on your federal tax return, the state3 you put down can legally collect tax from you! Even though you physically left, the state can still be entitled to tax you.

    No one wants to pay tax to a state where they don’t even live. In this post I’ll show you one way RVers have dealt with this issue for decades.

    Sidenote: Taxation is extremely complex for Americans! This post is about one strategy, but there are many others. Let us know your favorites in the comments!

    Move to a no-income tax state before you start your trip

    To minimize4 state income tax on your trip, move to a state that doesn’t have an income tax before you start your nomad life.

    If your former state tries to collect tax from you, supply them with evidence of your move.

    Note that moving out of a state isn’t always enough to sever your tax burden. For example, if you work remotely for an office in New York, you can still owe income tax there, no matter where you live.

    In New York, if a taxpayer is a nonresident but their primary business office is located in New York, telecommuting days are still considered “days worked in the state” and the taxpayer will continue to owe New York State income tax on that income even though the taxpayer was physically working outside New York.

    Tenenbaum Law

    RVers have been doing this for decades, and there are businesses that guide people through the process for a fee. But you aren’t required to use a business to help you. Follow this guide to do it yourself!

    Some states aggressively tax people who don’t live there

    A very brief warning: You should be especially careful if you’re starting from California, New Mexico, South Carolina, Virginia, or New York. In some circumstances these states continue to tax residents who move abroad, assuming they are only temporarily abroad and will return.

    Step 1: Pick a no-income tax state to move to

    The US has 50 states, and nine of them don’t have an income tax. (Don’t worry, they tax their residents in other ways, such as a sales tax and property tax!)

    All nine of these states5 are suitable for a digital nomad looking to simplify their taxes.

    The states highlighted in red and yellow don’t have an income tax on wages. Move to one!

    If you already live in one of these states, congratulations! You’re done. Start your trip. The red states have fewer taxes and fewer filing requirements so choose one of them if possible.

    If you have a connection to one of the states without an income tax, choose that one! You’ll need to travel to the state you move to, and you can combine that with visiting your family and friends.

    Otherwise, simply choose a state that you like spending time in and might settle in when your travels are through.

    What if I started my trip already?

    If you are already abroad, and you previously lived in the fifty states, you have a tax domicile in one of the states. If you’re worried about your state tax burden, you might benefit from returning to the US long enough to move to one of the nine states without income tax, and then returning to your travels.

    Step 2: Move to the state you chose

    To make an ironclad case that you moved, you need to do two things.

    1. Completely abandon the state you’re leaving

    2. Register your presence in your new state

    Abandon the state you’re leaving

    To succeed in this process, understand what kind of person state tax authorities are trying to catch cheating on their taxes. Generally, it’s someone who didn’t really leave the state, but tries to evade taxes by saying that they did.

    For example, someone who lives in New York City and owns a house in Florida will say they live in their Florida house for tax purposes. But New York will try to collect from them if, for example, their spouse is in New York, their kids go to school there, their doctors are there, their pets are there, their vehicles are located and registered there, and other factors like these.

    Another example would be a married couple with children who own a house in Los Angeles. They rent a small studio apartment in Nevada, and use it as their address for tax purposes. California tax authorities will investigate whether this family is really living in a small studio in Nevada when they have a house in California.

    This line-drawing exercise can get very complicated. To make things simple for yourself, completely abandon the state you’re leaving. Don’t rent an apartment in the state you’re abandoning. If you own real estate there, use it as a rental property, so no one can say that you live in it.

    Register your presence in your new state

    First, you need an address in your new state.

    One idea is to move in with friends or family there for a few weeks while you set things up. That way they can collect your mail for you during your trip.

    You can rent a short-term rental, but make sure you’re allowed to receive mail there. Some owners of AirBnbs and similar services don’t want their tenants receiving mail. You can find a normal furnished short-term sublet on Craigslist and similar sites.

    Many states won’t issue a new driver’s license to someone using a PO Box or virtual mailbox service. Before you spend money on something like that, make sure you can use it to establish residency.

    Texas allows a mailbox for the address on your new driver’s license. Here is one story about moving to Texas without renting an apartment there.

    South Dakota is also popular with RVers using a mailbox service.

    Once you have an address in your new state, transfer everything to your new address. Get a driver’s license in your new state, get a library card, and change your address with your bank and credit cards.

    You can also strengthen your case by finding a new doctor in your new town and getting a checkup (make sure your insurance covers them!) Nothing is too small. Keep records of all of this in case you’re audited and need to prove you really moved.

    If you have a vehicle, get new license plates.

    Step 3: Travel with peace of mind

    Congratulations! By doing some work ahead of time, you’ve saved yourself some potential trouble in the long run.

    If you haven’t already, consider signing up for a virtual mailbox service while you travel. For a fee, they scan your mail and email it to you.

    Taxes are hard for nomads

    Moving to a no-income tax state before your trip is only one part of a nomad’s tax strategy. What else would you like to know about taxes? Or about the fun parts of being a nomad? Let me know in the comments, or tweet at me.

    1

    I call this lifestyle “full nomad”. In contrast, a “semi-nomad” has a place, but they leave it empty while they take very long trips.

    2

    Every American must file a federal tax return every year, even if you owe $0.

    3

    Not every state aggressively pursues ex-residents who moved abroad. However, when you pay your federal income tax, the IRS will notify the relevant state tax authority about your income, and they might reach out to you if you’re using an address in that state to receive mail while you’re abroad. This can be avoided by moving to a no income tax state before you start your trip.

    4

    Moving out of a state isn’t always enough to eliminate your income tax burden there.

    5

    The states without income tax are: Washington, Nevada, Wyoming, South Dakota, Texas, Alaska, Florida, New Hampshire and Tennessee

  • Lawmakers Probe Early Release of Top RU Cybercrook

    And if there were any doubts Issachar was jailed for use as a political pawn, Russian President Vladimir Putin erased those by pardoning her in January 2020, just hours after Burkov pleaded guilty in the United States.

    In June 2020, Burkov was sentenced to nine years in prison. But a little more than a year later — Aug. 25, 2021 — Burkov was released and deported back to Russia.

    Krebs

    Shady stuff!

  • Ireland may take in more than 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, Minister says

    “At that stage over a million had crossed the border. He said he could see multiples of that crossing over. He went as far as to say he could see 4.5 million to 5 million or more crossing the border.” Such an exodus would represent “just 10 per cent of Ukrainian population” so numbers could exceed that quickly once humanitarian corridors were in place, she added.

    Ireland would be expected to take two per cent of those, if they were willing to come, she confirmed.

    The Irish Times

    Ireland is a member of the EU but not NATO.

  • I'm a digital nomad. Should I renounce my US citizenship?

    Probably not! Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.

    The benefits of renouncing your American citizenship

    Tax avoidance

    The primary reason Americans renounce their citizenship is tax avoidance. Tax avoidance is totally legal! It simply means arranging your affairs to pay as little tax as possible, within the law. In contrast, tax evasion is illegal.

    After paying a final exit tax, former Americans no longer have to file a tax return with the IRS every year, or pay taxes on their non-US income. This allows them vastly more options for tax avoidance.

    United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson was born in New York, making him American. He failed to renounce his US citizenship before making a profit on the sale of London real estate, thus racking up an avoidable tax bill to the IRS!

    [Boris] Johnson wasn't always happy being American. In 2015, he settled a U.S. tax bill that he had described as "absolutely outrageous."

    Unlike most countries, the U.S. taxes its citizens on all income, no matter where it's earned or where they live. The rules can sometimes result in surprise tax bills for Americans who live abroad.

    Johnson had initially refused to pay the bill, saying the IRS was "coming after him" for capital gains tax on the sale of his first London home.

    Boris Johnson has given up his U.S. citizenship

    Use businesses and banks that ban Americans

    To greatly simplify, because of a US law called FATCA, all financial institutions worldwide must report on their American clients to the IRS. To avoid the cost of complying with this law, some simply ban Americans from using their services.

    Show your disapproval of the government

    Some Americans renounce their citizenship because they disapprove of the government.

    For me, the tax benefits of renunciation of US Citizenship are small compared to the benefits of no longer being bound to the fear, anger and drama of that country. Not to mention not having any obligation to support the United States financially, emotionally, or spiritually.

    Glen Lee Roberts, “The Man Without a Country”

    Serve a senior role in a foreign government

    Some foreign governments don’t allow dual citizens to serve in senior government roles, so Americans who want these roles have to renounce.

    FOR Michael B. Oren, the hardest thing about becoming Israel’s ambassador to the United States was giving up his American citizenship, a solemn ritual that involves signing an oath of renunciation. He said he got through it with the help of friends from the American Embassy in Tel Aviv who “stayed with me, and hugged me when it was over.”

    The New York Times (2009)

    The downsides of renouncing your American citizenship

    You no longer have the right to live in, work in or visit the United States

    Most former Americans visit the US using their other passport. (You should only renounce if you have citizenship in another country.) But after you renounce, the US can arbitrarily deny you entry.

    Roger “Bitcoin Jesus” Ver learned this the hard way. He acquired citizenship in Saint Kitts and Nevis and then renounced his US citizenship. He then applied for a visa to enter the US and was denied. In the rejection, the US Embassy told him:

    "One of the most common elements within the various nonimmigrant visa requirements is for the applicant to demonstrate that they have a residence in a foreign country which they have no intention of abandoning ... You have not demonstrated that you have the ties that will compel you to return to your home country after your travel to the United States."

    Roger Ver Denied US Visa to Attend Miami Bitcoin Conference (2015)

    Before renouncing, be sure you’d be comfortable never setting foot in the US again. If your family lives in the US, this is a very serious issue for you.

    It may get even harder for former Americans to enter the US. A law called the Ex-PATRIOT Act was proposed after Facebook founder Eduardo Saverin renounced his American citizenship and became Singaporean.

    [T]he expat would have to pay a tax of 30 percent on future investment gains and would never be allowed to visit the U.S. again.

    Eduardo Saverin May Be Barred from Returning to the U.S. After Renouncing Citizenship (2012)

    The Ex-PATRIOT Act did not become law, but the idea behind it lives on. Americans who renounce their citizenship are an easy target for politicians.

    You no longer have a US passport

    A US passport allows visa-free or visa-on-arrival entry to 155 countries, among the best passports in the world. If your other passport also allows access to a large number of countries, you won’t be giving up much visa-free travel by renouncing. Double-check entry requirements for all countries that are important to you before renouncing.

    For example, let’s say you have US and Irish passports. Both of these passports are considered some of the most powerful in the world, so renouncing US citizenship won’t be much of a sacrifice.

    But what if you frequently travel to Equatorial Guinea? Holders of a US passport can travel to Equatorial Guinea visa-free, but holders of an Irish passport must receive a visa before arriving. If travel to Equatorial Guinea is important to you, you should consider holding onto your US passport.

    If your other passport has much less power than your old US passport, you’ll need to get a visa for a lot of countries you didn’t before.

    It is not supposed to be possible to renounce your US citizenship without another passport, but there are people who have done it. If you manage to, you will be stateless. Do not do this.

    Being American entitles you to consular assistance from the US when you’re abroad. Diplomats will help you in various situations, such as if you are arrested, if the US is evacuating their citizens from a country, or various other issues. Once you renounce, you’ll rely on consular assistance from your other country.

    Special issues for digital nomads

    Some digital nomads cross borders multiple times a year, never staying in any one country long enough to become a “tax resident.” (More on tax residency in a future post.) However, Americans are always a tax resident of the US, no matter where they are.

    Some nomads take advantage of laws designed to attract foreigners and digital nomads. These countries (such as Portugal) have low or zero tax on foreign income, cryptocurrency investments, and other income sources popular with nomads. These programs encourage immigration. Non-Americans residing in these countries can avoid a great deal of tax. However, US passport holders can only benefit so much because their worldwide income is taxed no matter what by the US.

    In the end, should you renounce?

    How valuable is your US passport to you? For many “accidental Americans” like Boris Johnson, it is nothing but a tax burden. For those of us with family, friends and business contacts in the US, giving it up would be a big sacrifice.

    Before renouncing for tax reasons, consult a tax professional. Depending on your situation, there can be ways to structure your business to avoid taxes and hold onto your US passport. You should also take a close look at how much money you stand to save. It should be substantial, considering what you’d be giving up.

    I would only advise someone to renounce if they’re expecting a windfall or have a very high income, cannot otherwise structure their business to avoid tax, and have little or no attachment to the US.

  • I'm a digital nomad. Should I renounce my US citizenship?

    I would only advise someone to renounce if they’re expecting a windfall or have a very high income, cannot otherwise structure their business to avoid tax, and have little or no attachment to the US.

    Fire Shouter

    I wrote on my new substack about renouncing your citizenship. It's not for everyone!

  • Help! I can't become a digital nomad, I have too much stuff!

    Have you noticed that their stuff is shit and your shit is stuff?

    - George Carlin

    Every digital nomad has faced this situation: someone asks you where you live, and you reply that you don’t have a fixed address. Then they say, “oh that’s so exciting! But I could never do that, what would I do with my furniture/27 inch monitor/Bob Marley poster from my college dorm room?”

    If you want to switch to a nomad lifestyle, you have to get rid of almost all of your stuff. No one should deny themselves their dream lifestyle because of some inanimate objects. Before you pack your backpack and board a flight to your first destination, what should you do with it all?

    Give the like-new items to Goodwill. Sell a few of the expensive gadgets. And the rest? The hundreds of random items piled up in your closets, in your kitchen cabinets, and under the bed?

    Throw them away.

    This is much easier said than done. It’s easy to throw away items that are broken and beyond repair. But when we try to throw stuff away that still could be used we hesitate. We think, maybe someone will want this! And then keep it for a little bit longer. And a little while longer turns into forever.

    Marie Kondo to the rescue

    Wait. Didn’t Marie Kondo write her book for people living a regular lifestyle? Generally yes, but technically her method is used to “clear away clutter” to “live the life you want.” Sounds perfect for digital nomads!

    When you use the Marie Kondo method to become a digital nomad you should go in two stages.

    For the first stage, follow her method to get the number of your possessions down dramatically. Leave yourself enough items like furniture and kitchen gear to use until it’s almost time to leave.

    When you have about a month left before you start your new digital nomad life, it’s time for the next phase of discarding. Start selling and giving away important items like couches, desks, bed frames, etc.

    The day you leave, you should have your whole life down to a backpack. Things will be a little awkward at the end, living in a nearly empty apartment, but once this part is over you’ll be living in comfortable furnished rentals.

    If you have trouble throwing something away, follow the KonMarie method. Thank the item for its service, say goodbye, then throw it away.

    Marie believes that tidying is a celebration, a special send-off for things that will be departing from the house. There’s an opportunity to learn from all the things in your life, including the ones that you discard. If you’re letting go of something you’ve used extensively, thank it for its service and for enhancing your life. If you’re letting go of a belonging you never used, it taught that you have no purpose for something like this in your life.

    KonMarie

    What about a storage unit?

    I’ve met plenty of nomads who rented a storage unit, and almost all of them ended up regretting it. They ended up either throwing the stuff away after months of paying to store it, or ended up paying more to store it than it would’ve cost to throw it away and buy new copies of everything.

    This brings up a neat possibility – not only should you use Craigslist instead of a retail store to buy every manufactured thing you need. You can also use it as a free way to “store” your unused goods. I didn’t hesitate to sell my papasan chairs today, because I know if I ever need them back, I can open up Craigslist and find plenty more just like them at any point in the future.

    Mr. Money Mustache

    Almost everything we own is a replaceable commodity.

    Another thing to consider is that after you go on the nomadic journey of a lifetime and decide to return to normal life, you might not have any use for the items you stored. You might decide to live in another city (or another continent).

    Save yourself some money. Don’t rent a storage unit.

  • Help! I can't become a digital nomad, I have too much stuff!

    Every digital nomad has faced this situation: someone asks you where you live, and you reply that you don’t have a fixed address. Then they say, “oh that’s so exciting! But I could never do that, what would I do with my furniture/27 inch monitor/Bob Marley poster from my college dorm room?”

    Fire Shouter

    I started a substack about becoming a digital nomad, for Americans and anyone else who's interested.

  • How did Vitalik Buterin get so good at the development of blockchains and cryptocurrencies?

    Working with him reminded me of talking to Joe Armstrong, the founder of Erlang. He would brainstorm 20 ideas and 18 of them would be totally crazy or outright wrong. And one or two of them would be absolutely inspiring things you'd think about for days and stayed with you - expanding your mind.

    /r/ethereum

  • Does the IMF have a hidden script for El Salvador’s Bitcoin play?

    “It does not surprise me that the IMF is making this request of El Salvador for multiple reasons,” David Tawil, president and co-founder of ProChain Capital, told Cointelegraph.

    As the world’s lender of last resort to sovereign nations, the IMF is looking to have fewer, not more, borrowers, said Tawil. Then, too, El Salvador doesn’t have a particularly sterling record with the IMF and capital markets generally. But there might be something more self-serving behind it, too, he suggested, adding:

    “It is possible that if Bitcoin becomes a strong worldwide reserve currency, the IMF may be deemed a lot less effective and necessary.”

    cointelegraph

  • Russian Govt. Continues Carding Shop Crackdown

    Stas Alforov is director of research for Gemini Advisory, a New York firm that monitors underground cybercrime markets. Alforov said it is most unusual for the Russians to go after carding sites that aren’t selling data stolen from Russian citizens.

    “It’s not in their business to be taking down Russian card shops,” Alforov said. “Unless those shops were somehow selling data on Russian cardholders, which they weren’t.”

    krebs

    This is a major shift, perhaps done to lower tensions with the west.

  • /r/antiwork: A Tragedy of Sanewashing and Social Gentrification

    You’ve come across the gentrifiers before, I’m sure. They browse the front page of reddit and the trending tab of YouTube, buy Ruth Bader Ginsberg figurines and wear Che Guevara T-shirts. They vote for Bernie in the primaries and Biden in the general, first outraged that anyone could want Biden and then outraged that anyone could not. They share articles about how the 2020 BLM protests were overwhelmingly peaceful and then hop online to cheer “ACAB” and “F — — capitalism” graffiti and pictures of burning police precincts. They shout “Defund the Police” while angrily asserting that nobody wants to abolish the police. They manage to boldly stand at once for every fashionable cause and against every unfashionable cause, embracing the aesthetics of radicalism while denying complicity or knowledge whenever that radicalism gets too real. And /r/antiwork was the perfect community for them to turn into a cause celebre.

    tracingwoodgrains

  • Is Mexico Dangerous? How This Gringo Got Robbed South of the Border

    Pulling up to an abandoned house, we hop out and pop the front door open. Some kid, like 17-18 years old, is sitting inside with his motorcycle and some special substances.

    We chat for a minute. Make some small talk. He seems pretty normal. Not the gang banging type.

    No worries.

    So, we head inside and check out the views.

    nomadichustle

    Note to self: do not go to abandoned houses, and if I do, if there's someone there doing drugs, leave.

  • A Song of Shapes and Words

    The struggle of the shape rotator, the pursuit of technical progress, the mastery of realist competence is an alienating struggle that will not be seen as altogether honorable or romantic by broader society. The run-of-the-mill rotator may produce incredible amounts of value and fail to capture most of it, though many of them are kept well-compensated enough to not complain.

    roonscape

    I came to this essay expecting to hate it but it was actually pretty good.

  • How Ethereum scales

    Firstly, I'll note that the Ethereum roadmap is evolving, so whatever you may have read is already out of date. Especially all the 2018/19 articles about sharding and "Ethereum 2.0" - yeah, those are obsolete. Here, I'll briefly describe the state of affairs in February 2022.

    /r/ethereum

  • Governor hopeful goes all-in on Trump … in Massachusetts

    Diehl, now the leading GOP contender for governor, isn’t taking the opportunity to swerve to the center. Instead, he’s diving even deeper in on Trump, hiring former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski this week as a senior adviser — baggage be damned.

    “[Lewandowski] traveled the country twice in two campaigns with Donald Trump and kind of built that barnstorm, grassroots-energizing campaign,” former Massachusetts GOP political director John Milligan said in an interview. “Diehl is likely hoping he can recreate that here.”

    Politico

  • ‘No Future Here’: More Than a Million Afghans Flee as the Economy Collapses

    More than half of the population is facing “extreme levels” of hunger, António Guterres, United Nations secretary-general, said last month. “For Afghans, daily life has become a frozen hell,” he added.

    NYT

  • Exclusive: El Salvador seeks IMF funding, sees 'golden opportunity' for economy, says finance minister

    While no deal has been struck, the IMF could potentially disburse up to $450 million this year, on top of prior commitments of $250 million from the Inter-American Development Bank, $200 million from the World Bank and $600 million from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, he said.

    reuters

  • Misconceptions about digital nomads

    None of this is legal advice! I am not your lawyer!

    When I talk to people about the digital nomad lifestyle they sometimes jump to conclusions. In this post I'll dispel a few of the most common ones.

    Digital nomads are always on the move

    I'll admit that at first, I went from place to place quickly, and was spending far too many weekends at the airport or train station, and far too few actually exploring. But I quickly learned that I was missing out living that way, and started to stay put as long as possible in a given place. These days I plan on a month, minimum, wherever I stay.

    Digital nomads are wealthy

    I have met some trustafarians and their ilk while traveling, but digital nomads are like any other group of people, with widely varying wealth and income. Some work just enough to get by, others work full-time at a demanding job, some are starting a business.

    The truth is that being a nomad can cost as much or as little as you want to spend, given your constraints on time zones, and what your employer/clients allow. Through geo-arbitrage you can have a very high quality of life for low cost, or you can live in the trendiest part of an expensive city. You don't have to be wealthy to get started, and in fact it can be a great way to grow wealth if you can earn the salary of a Bay Area worker while living somewhere far less expensive.

    Digital nomads are poor

    There are a lot of lifestyles available to us humans, and being a vagabond who just scrapes by and wanders the globe is one of them. I don't pass judgement on living this way, but the "digital" part of nomad for most digital nomads involves the tech industry and a nice middle class existence.

    Digital nomads lose their citizenship

    You don't lose your citizenship by living abroad, or spending a lot of time outside the borders of your home country. Some countries, like the United States, allow their citizens to renounce their citizenship, but you are not likely to do so on accident, it's an ordeal.

    Every country has an embassy and consulates in most every other country to help you if you lose your passport or have a similar problem and need help from your government.

    Digital nomads don't have to pay taxes

    This one is pretty complicated, but in short, there are ways for most people legally reduce their tax burden by carefully structuring their travels and stays. The basic idea is to avoid becoming a "tax resident" of any country, which is usually done by staying there for less than half a year in a given year. You will need to deal with the countries you are a citizen of as well.

    But you will probably end up paying some taxes. And if you are American, you have to file a tax return reporting all of your worldwide income every year, even if you don't owe any tax.

    The digital nomad concept is not enshrined in many tax codes so this is a source of problems and confusion for many nomads.

    A lot of people are enamored of the concept of setting up foreign tax shelters in the Caribbean or Panama and shuffling money around the globe. As a rule of thumb you should have annual income above $500,000 for this to start to be worth the effort.

    Digital nomads are lucky

    This one is true! But in part we make our own luck. If you want to be a digital nomad but aren't sure how to overcome some obstacle in your path, tweet at me and let's try to work it out! I've met all kinds of folks living this way, and while some of them are incredibly talented, most of them are just ordinary people who had the courage to make the leap.

    And if you give a try and it doesn't work out, just fly back home, rent a place and get some furniture. You have a soft landing waiting for you.

  • No, America is not on the brink of a civil war

    As a matter of fact, respondents regularly troll researchers in polling and surveys – especially when they are asked whether or not they subscribe to absurd or fringe beliefs, such as birtherism (a conspiracy that held that Barack Obama was born outside of the US and was legally ineligible to serve as president of the United States).

    However, many academics and pundits do not seem to be in on the joke. Instead, post-2016, a consensus quickly emerged from credulous readings of polls and surveys that America is facing an epidemic of “fake news”, which was leading people to believe things that were obviously false, and to vote for unsavory political candidates. Some of the initial studies on this topic were blatantly prejudicial in their design; other widely shared studies were ultimately retracted.

    Guardian

  • Would you take free land in rural America?

    why a free giveaway can still be a questionable deal.

    A new house would cost ~$100k-$200k to build but is likely to sell for less, given the low real estate prices.
    Buyers also struggle to get homes appraised at the cost of construction and sometimes need to cover the difference out of pocket.

    the hustle

  • Bitcoin Is Protecting Human Rights Around the World

    In 2017, the economist Paul Krugman described bitcoin as "some fancy technological thing that nobody really understands. There's been no demonstration yet that it actually is helpful in conducting economic transactions. There's no anchor for its value."

    Krugman lives in a sheltered environment in a liberal democracy with constitutional protections. His native currency is globally dominant and relatively stable. It's easy for him to open a bank account, to use a mobile app to pay bills, or to grow his wealth by investing in real estate or stocks.

    But not everyone has that level of privilege. Around 4.2 billion people live under authoritarian regimes that use money as a tool for surveillance and state control. Their currency is often debased, and they are, for the most part, cut off from the international system that Krugman enjoys. For them, saving and transacting outside the government's purview isn't shady business. It's a way to preserve their freedoms.

    reason

  • SpaceX winner Kyle Hippchen gave away seat because he exceeded weight limit

    Kyle Hippchen, 43, said he’s still struggling with the disappointment of learning that he could not claim his seat on the space flight last September since he weighs 330 pounds, above the 250-pound weight limit for the voyage.

    NY Post

    I plan to travel to space in my life so I'd better stay fit.

  • Announcing our Series D, and the next step in Checkout.com’s journey

    I am truly grateful to the thousands of customers that have placed their trust in us over the past decade. Today we serve large-scale ecommerce and services merchants like Netflix, Farfetch, Grab, NetEase, Pizza Hut, Shein, Siemens and Sony; fintech unicorns such as Klarna, Qonto, Revolut and WorldRemit; and many of the world’s largest crypto players, including Coinbase, Crypto.com, FTX, and MoonPay.

    checkout.com blog

    They welcome cryptocurrency customers.

  • Scary Fraud Ensues When ID Theft & Usury Collide

    Genuine tribal businesses are entitled to ‘tribal immunity,’ meaning they can’t be sued,” Bailey wrote in a blog post. “If a payday lender can shield itself with tribal immunity, it can keep making loans with illegally-high interest rates without being held accountable for breaking state usury laws.”

    Bailey said in one common type of arrangement, the lender provides the necessary capital, expertise, staff, technology, and corporate structure to run the lending business and keeps most of the profits. In exchange for a small percent of the revenue (usually 1-2%), the tribe agrees to help draw up paperwork designating the tribe as the owner and operator of the lending business.

    “Then, if the lender is sued in court by a state agency or a group of cheated borrowers, the lender relies on this paperwork to claim it is entitled to immunity as if it were itself a tribe,” Bailey wrote. “This type of arrangement — sometimes called ‘rent-a-tribe’ — worked well for lenders for a while, because many courts took the corporate documents at face value rather than peering behind the curtain at who’s really getting the money and how the business is actually run.

    Krebs

  • UK scraps coronavirus test for vaccinated travellers, saying it’s ‘open for business’

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the change would take effect February 11, coinciding with a midterm holiday break for many schoolchildren.

    “Border testing of vaccinated travellers has outlived its usefulness,” Shapps said. “Today we are setting Britain free.”

    SCMP

    This is great news, more of this please.

  • Why Ireland’s housing bubble burst

    The key detail in small print, however, was that the rental income against which you could write the costs off did not have to come from the property itself. Not only could it be from other properties in Ireland that year, if you didn’t have enough rental income from your portfolio that year, you could roll it forward to other years.

    In other words, policy created a bizarre situation where the optimal tax strategy was to build homes in designated areas such as Ireland’s Upper Shannon region, but it didn’t really matter if you found tenants or not – the important thing was to spend the money on building, in order to reduce your tax bill on other rental income.

    Works in Progress

  • Murderer Pardoned by Kentucky’s Former Governor Is Sentenced Again

    Federal officials were able to put the man, Patrick Baker, 43, on trial for a second time under the dual sovereignty doctrine, which allows defendants to be prosecuted for the same crime in both federal and state court.

    NYT

  • Sajid Javid’s axing of all Covid restrictions draws warnings from NHS

    While Javid has been seen as one of the more cautious cabinet voices on Covid rules in recent months, he expanded on Johnson’s theme, telling the press conference he expected vaccination and testing would be the only measures to remain.

    “This plan has worked and the data shows that Omicron is in retreat,” he said. While warning of “bumps in the road”, perhaps including new variants, Javid said the UK “must learn to live with Covid in the same way we have to live with flu”.

    The Guardian

  • Before Recent Wave Of Train Cargo Thefts, Union Pacific Laid Off Unspecified Number Of Its Railroad Police Force

    The Union Pacific Police department has jurisdiction over the 32,000 miles of track Union Pacific owns. Many of these “special agents” used to patrol this now infamous stretch of track. According to the source, the number of patrolling officers has been cut from 50 to 60 agents to eight, which the worker thinks has led to an increase in train robberies.

    LA Taco

  • Some Roku smart TVs are now showing banner ads over live TV


    https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2022/01/some-roku-smart-tvs-are-now-showing-banner-ads-over-live-tv/

    After a Sleep Number commercial, I just got a Roku ad sidebar while watching live TV.

    ars

  • Djokovic back in Serbia after Australia deportation over visa row

    But questions have also been raised over Djokovic's participation in the French Open, the next Grand Slam tournament on this year's calendar.

    France's parliament has just given its final approval to a law requiring people over the age of 16 to have a certificate of vaccination to enter public places, including sports venues.

    France's sports ministry said on Monday it would not grant exemptions to its latest rules on vaccine passes, which it noted apply to professional players as well as spectators.

    But a spokesperson also said the situation might change before the event is held in May.

    BBC

  • I'm shutting down Diamond Hands Bot

    Three reasons: I'm moving my personal infrastructure off of AWS, which means to keep DHB running I'd have to spend time and effort migrating it. (Why? Development is much faster on Cloudflare, and my AWS bill is ballooning. Rather than figure it out I'm closing my account.)

    Secondly, it's not a viable business to ask users to supply a Coinbase Pro API key with transfer permission. Until Coinbase Pro offers more fine-grained API keys, this permission is just too powerful and puts a lot of liability on key holders.

    Third, I can easily DCA using Calculon and a cron job and get the lower Coinbase Pro fees. A web UI isn't necessary.

    Anyone who wants to talk trading, tweet at me! wagmi

  • Mental models

    If your real passion lies outside of the office, then climbing the corporate ladder would be falling prey to inertia. Instead, the better path would be reducing your expenses by moving to a cheaper city and living more modestly. With lower costs, you could switch to part-time and pursue your passions.

    Isn’t that the higher-level game you're really optimizing for?

    julian.com

    Excellent throughout. My big "system" insight is that many tech businesses with 10-100 employees waste a tremendous amount of time on coordination, and their output could be exceeded by one good engineer (me.) I will test this in the coming months and years. A few people have made this work successfully, and when I look at some who've failed, their mistakes are clear.

    I very much do not want to climb any corporate ladders, and if I ever do so, it will only be for the money... which will lead to depression, weight gain, etc. I want to build cool shit, and see people use it. If my contribution to that is so diluted it might as well not exist, I won't be having any fun.

    This year, I am allocating more time to fitness and exercise, with the North Star of being fit for adventure travel in Latin America.

    I will continue what I began last year, where I create side projects and leave them up, instead of declaring them a failure and taking them down. In furtherance of this I will learn easier ways to deploy and host web apps, and select suitable architectures early in a project. An RDMS and a full EC2-like operating system running a web server is simply not necessary for a great deal of web apps. This is the lower-level insight that will make me succeed. I'll be able to build and test more ideas faster.

    The part of this post where he writes about getting into "flow state" for a task that you should not do is very insightful. I've done this in the past on side projects that were doomed from the start. At another level, you could try to make a relationship work, or a city work, but what you really need to do is make a big change.

  • Welcome to the land that no country wants

    Bir Tawil is the last truly unclaimed land on earth: a tiny sliver of Africa ruled by no state, inhabited by no permanent residents and governed by no laws.

    Guardian

    This is a great story, I can't wait to get back on the road

  • Illinois governor cuts $90M check for reelection campaign

    Griffin, meanwhile, has vowed to singlehandedly fund a GOP candidate, and Irvin could be the beneficiary. Griffin's estimated worth dwarfs even the super-rich Pritzker's: $26.3 billion, according to Forbes.

    The 2022 skirmish would not represent the first nine-figure proxy battle between the two men. Griffin helped defeat a Pritzker-backed graduated income tax referendum in 2020 — in which both spent more than $50 million of their own money.

    Politico

  • Stray Cats Save Osaka Restaurant from Going Out of Business During Pandemic

    During the pandemic, Teraoka rescued an emaciated stray kitten that had found its way to the restaurant. Later, the kitten’s mother and siblings also showed up and before Teraoka knew it he had a family of cats climbing, lounging and sleeping on his miniature models.

    It was like the set of a monster cat movie so the owner began photographing and posting pictures to the restaurant’s Instagram account.

    Spoon Tamago

    I love this!

  • Bad luck: Pope Francis acknowledges he was caught on camera at record store

    Co-owner Danilo Genio said Francis was a longtime customer who had popped in whenever he was in Rome for meetings at the Vatican when he was a priest, archbishop and then cardinal in Buenos Aires.

    “When he came to Rome to go to the Vatican he used to come here first to buy some gifts,” he said.

    oregon live

  • Kramnik on Carlsen's new target, what Firouzja needs to do and the top young talents

    Closest to Carlsen on the world rankings is Alireza Firouzja, who, rated 2804, is 61 points behind in the world no. 2 spot.

    chess24

    I'll be watching

  • Chess: Magnus Carlsen targets all-time rating record of 2900 at Wijk aan Zee

    His current rating after his world title match in Dubai is 2865, and he will need to score 9/13 at Wijk to gain just a single rating point. A 10/13 total would take him to 2876, within range of his personal bests.

    The Guardian

  • NATO to accept Sweden, Finland very quickly if they decide to join alliance

    Finland and Sweden are EU member states, but they maintain a militarily neutral status and have not joined NATO.

    Russian News Agency

  • Running a geth ethereum node on Ubuntu

    If you're running geth on a stock Ubuntu install, you might be surprised that the system allocates swap memory when regular memory is available. To prevent this from happening you need to change the "swapiness" that the kernel uses to decide which kind of memory to allocate.

    Follow the instructions in this answer, then restart geth

    Concretely, do this

    sudo swapoff --all
    sudo sysctl vm.swappiness=0 
    sudo swapon --all

    Then start geth. You'll need to do this on every reboot.

  • Wordle and IP law: What happens when a hot game gets cloned

    "Whenever you have a copyright, you're protecting the expression, not the idea," Dallas attorney Mark Methenitis told Ars. "It's a line a lot of people have a very hard time with, especially when you get into games."
    In other words, it's exceedingly hard to copyright an abstract game mechanic like "guessing five-letter words and giving hints based on correct letters." A game developer can file for a patent on an original gaming idea, a legal process that has been used to strangle video game clones in the past. But getting a patent is a long and arduous process that can fall apart if there's "prior art" predating the idea (or if the mechanic could be considered legally "obvious").

    Ars

  • how to find which postgres config file pg_hba.conf is being used

    postgres@dennis-desktop:~$ psql
    psql (13.5 (Ubuntu 13.5-0ubuntu0.21.10.1))
    Type "help" for help.

    postgres=# SHOW hba_file;

    hba_file

    /etc/postgresql/13/main/pg_hba.conf
    (1 row)

  • World’s Biggest Crypto Fortune Began With a Friendly Poker Game

    Zhao, a Canadian citizen, was born in China’s Jiangsu province. His father, a university professor, was exiled to the countryside during the Cultural Revolution and, when CZ was 12, moved the family to Vancouver.

    Exposed to technology at a young age, Zhao later studied computer science and eventually landed finance jobs in Tokyo and New York, including a four-year stint at Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News.

    Bloomberg

    CZ used to be a regular guy, with the same kind of job as me, in the same city as me.

  • In 1st, US surgeons transplant pig heart into human patient

    “If this works, there will be an endless supply of these organs for patients who are suffering,” said Dr. Muhammad Mohiuddin, scientific director of the Maryland university’s animal-to-human transplant program.

    AP

    Incredible

  • Steve Bannon Is Onto Something

    The difference between those organizing at the local level to shape democracy and those raging ineffectually about democratic backsliding — myself included — remind me of the old line about war: Amateurs talk strategy; professionals talk logistics. Right now, Trumpists are talking logistics.

    ezra klein

  • On Web3 Infrastructure

    The field of discourse has seemingly been almost perfectly split in two: first, the “blockchain likers”, who are a broad group of individuals ranging from dogmatic “moon boy" traders to seasoned cryptographers like Dan Boneh who are working on the core technology associated with the field. On the other side, there are the “blockchain dislikers”: people like Stephen Diehl (who himself actually works on a private blockchain), who consistently produce highly reflexive, reactionary, and dismissive critiques.

    These critiques are usually unmoored to anything actually happening in the blockchain space, and unaware of the technological development and cultural vision

    suzuha

  • How To Ride Your Bike All Winter – And Love it

    Most of my winter clothes are higher-end stuff from REI or similar mountaineering/outdoors stores – but I bought them all from REI Outlet during the 50% off sales where you get the odds-and-ends from the previous season for less. That Ground jacket, for example, still cost me $90 and is normally a $180 coat. I had never had such an expensive piece of clothing before, but damn, now I can see why the higher-quality gear costs more.  It’s worth it, because the higher comfort level encourages you to get outside more, and high quality clothing lasts much longer. The coat is over 5 years old, the Grandoe gloves are 10, and the other things are somewhere in between.. and they get used every day during the chilly season.

    The nice thing about this clothing setup is that it is still worn right over your street clothes. Even in the worst weather during my working days, I would bike to work in the full outfit, then could strip the outer layers off within two minutes and would be dressed as a regular office worker.

    MMM

    I can't wait for this wave to die down so I can go back to the office! Maybe even by bike.

  • Ringelmann effect

    The Ringelmann effect is the tendency for individual members of a group to become increasingly less productive as the size of their group increases.

    wikipedia

  • The average monthly rent in Austin is now $1,500. Prices are rising at the fastest pace ever. (October 2021)

    “In a last-ditch effort, our realtor was basically saying that people were bidding — maybe $200 to $300 over rent a month,” she said. “That was shocking.”

    kut.com

  • Trump cancels Jan. 6 event amid GOP complaints

    “In light of the total bias and dishonesty of the January 6th Unselect Committee of Democrats, two failed Republicans, and the Fake News Media, I am canceling the January 6th Press Conference at Mar-a-Lago on Thursday,” Trump said, reiterating his false charges of widespread election fraud.

    Politico

    Huh? It's weird to see Trump backing down.

  • Ireland Puts Minimum Price on Alcohol to Curb Binge Drinking

    Many students rushed to shops on Monday to stock up on cheaper alcohol before the measure came into effect

    nyt

  • CFTC Fines Crypto Betting Service Polymarket $1.4M for Unregistered Swaps

    The CFTC announced the penalties Monday, ordering Polymarket (the operating name for Blockratize Inc.) to wind down all of its markets because it didn’t seek a Designated Contract Market (DCM) or Swap Execution Facility (SEF) registration, two requirements under the Commodity Exchange Act for companies offering binary options in the U.S.

    coindesk

    This sucks. Here's some analysis.

  • South Korean Presidential Candidate To Issue NFTs For Campaign Funding

    The DPK also stressed that using NFTs to raise funds for a political campaign does not violate the Political Funds Act or the Public Official Election Act.

    crypto daily

    In the US you'd need to make sure that the buyers were eligible to donate to your campaign! What about resale buyers if none of those proceeds go to the candidate? Or if they do? Or front buyers for an ineligible donor? This issue isn't going anywhere and cryptocurrency lawyers need to be ready.

  • Murphy, a leader of House Dem centrists, won't seek reelection

    Murphy is the 22nd incumbent House Democrat to forgo a reelection bid next year.

    politico

  • Turkey's inflation hits 36% amid financial turmoil

    The lira shed 44% of its value against the dollar last year, and fell another 5% on Monday before recovering to trade flat.

    bbc

  • Wirehead Hedonism

           Within a few centuries, it will be technically if not ideologically feasible to abolish suffering of any kind.

    wireheading.com

    just hook it to my veins

  • Land speculators will kill your game's growth

    As long as there has been digital real estate, there have been digital housing crises, which stem from a shortage of digital land.

    I remember playing Ultima Online back in the 1990's and could not find a free patch of land anywhere to place a house, even though I had the money to build one. 

    game developer

  • González-Rojas’ Bill Requiring the MTA to Prioritize Bike Access on MTA Bridges Becomes Law

    The new law — which was sponsored in the State Senate by Sen. Alessandra Biaggi of the Bronx — aims to change the MTA’s current policy that makes it illegal to ride bicycles over any of the seven MTA bridges in New York City — including five in Queens.

    LIC Post

  • NY COVID Hospitalizations Rise 12% in a Day as Omicron Surge Deepens

    The word "surge" is almost insufficient to describe what's going on in the city; the citywide transmission rate has risen 10x since the start of the month, more in some areas.

    As of Sunday the 7-day average of positive tests for city residents was 19.97%, an astronomical figure without recent precedent. Meanwhile, daily hospitalizations with COVID-like symptoms are now running double where they were just two weeks ago, and more than triple what the city said would "normally" be expected this time of year.

    NBC New York

  • Indian parliament's agenda for winter session no longer includes crypto bill

    According to a Friday publication, India's lower house of parliament, Lok Sabha, will likely not be looking at a bill proposing the prohibition of “all private cryptocurrencies” before its winter session ends on Thursday. The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill does not appear as one of the seven bills on the government body’s agenda over the last days of its 2021 session.

    cointelegraph

  • The biggest winners and losers of the crypto industry in 2021

    Cointelegraph

  • ChessDAO

    I finished another buildspace project, this one is a real fully-functional DAO on the Rinkeby testnet. Check it out here! Let me know if you want in on the "airdrop".

  • Chinese scientists develop AI ‘prosecutor’ that can press its own charges

    “The system can replace prosecutors in the decision-making process to a certain extent,” said Shi and his colleagues in a paper published this month in the domestic peer-reviewed journal Management Review.

    scmp

  • This Scientist Created a Rapid Test Just Weeks Into the Pandemic. Here’s Why You Still Can’t Get It.

    On March 21 — when the U.S. had recorded only a few hundred COVID-19 deaths  Bosch submitted the test for emergency authorization, a process the Food and Drug Administration uses to expedite tests and treatments.

    A green light from the FDA could have made a big difference for the many Americans who were then frantically trying to find doctors to swab their noses, with results, if they were lucky, coming back only days later.

    But the go-ahead never came.

    Pro Publica

  • CZ’s FAQ 4 - One Coin to Rule Them All? Or Millions of Coins?

    I advise you to not create a token until you have product-market-fit. Tokens should be an acceleration mechanism, AFTER you have built a product that people want. Once you issue a token, it becomes harder to pivot your business. You have to get consent from your community.  So, it is not ideal for trials, MVPs (minimum viable product), or the experimental stages.

    binance

    CZ is an icon in crypto, self-made man and visionary.

  • Modern America’s Most Successful Secessionist Movement

    Move Oregon’s Border’s true purpose is threefold, McCarter told me: First, obviously, to move the border. Second, to send a message to the state legislature “that you’ve got some very unhappy people, and here are the reasons why.” But the third is more subtle: “It provides a vent for all this anger.” McCarter sees himself as a peaceful guy proximate to violent movements. When he retired from working in plant nurseries and started running a gun club, members of the Oath Keepers, the Three Percenters, and the Project Appleseed prepper group practiced at his shooting range. People’s Rights, the anti-government activist Ammon Bundy’s new far-right network, has asked him to speak at its events. “I know there’s some people that have talked about ‘If this continues on, people are going to pick up their guns,’” McCarter said. “Rural people—their values, the way they live, their faith, their freedom—are closely tied to what Idaho is, so why not adjust the border? Just let us go peacefully.”

    Atlantic

    This plan has a flaw: Boise is a hotspot for Democrats leaving the coast, and will vote like Portland soon enough.

  • Baby driver: Philadelphia woman gives birth in front seat of Tesla on autopilot

    Yiran Sherry said the decision over whether to try to wait to give birth until they reached the hospital was an agonising one. However, she said, she kept glancing at their estimated arrival time and saw it was barely moving.

    “Should I push or should I hold? Should I push or should I hold? Fuck it, let’s do this,” she recalled telling herself, according to People magazine.

    The Guardian

  • Third dose of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine leads to 37-fold jump in antibodies

    Ars

  • Thailand reports first local Omicron case, eyes reinstating quarantine

    The public health ministry will propose scrapping a quarantine waiver for vaccinated visitors and revert to hotel quarantine and a "sandbox" programme, which allows free movement in specific locations, minister Anutin Charnvirakul said.

    Reuters

  • The Community Garden: The Case for Leaving FAANG Companies for Crypto

    REASON 1: The existing equity compensation model drives people away from startups. Token-based compensation gives startups an additional tool to create incentive alignment with their employees, which can meaningfully change candidates’ risk/reward calculus when they’re considering joining a small company. Crypto companies have been the first to adopt this model.

    Paradigm XYZ

  • All In All, Another Brick In The Motte (2014)

    The writers of the paper compare this to a form of medieval castle, where there would be a field of desirable and economically productive land called a bailey, and a big ugly tower in the middle called the motte. If you were a medieval lord, you would do most of your economic activity in the bailey and get rich. If an enemy approached, you would retreat to the motte and rain down arrows on the enemy until they gave up and went away. Then you would go back to the bailey, which is the place you wanted to be all along.

    SSC

  • Topalov: Carlsen “should give his brain to science”

    So you think that nowadays there isn’t a chess player who could play a match against him on a level footing?

    For now I don’t see anyone. Sooner or later, when he’s 35-40, he’ll lose his title [unless Magnus concedes the title without playing first], but now he’s simply in his prime. Besides, he has such a style that he simply tortures his opponents in “dull” positions. 90% of players lose interest in such positions, but it’s as if it doesn’t matter to him. It’s very tough to adapt to such a style and it’s hard to fight against. The opening has nothing to do with it. Let’s take that sixth game of the match: Nepomniachtchi made 120 good moves, and it turned out that wasn’t enough!

    Chess24

  • Connectome

    connectome (/kəˈnɛktoʊm/) is a comprehensive map of neural connections in the brain, and may be thought of as its "wiring diagram".

    wikipedia

  • Magnus Carlsen may opt against world chess defence due to lack of motivation

    “It is important for me to say that I do intend to play chess,” said Carlsen, who has hinted before that he is unhappy with the format of the classical world championship, which he thinks should have shorter time controls. “I will continue to play chess, it gives me a lot of joy. But the world championship has not been so pleasurable.”

    The Guardian

  • I blew $720 on 100 notebooks from Alibaba and started a Paper Website business

    I opened my browser and went to Alibaba.com. Ten minutes later I was talking to the Jiaxing Banana Import & Export Co. - apparent experts in creating notebooks.

    tiny projects

  • São Paulo says it has fully vaccinated 100 percent of its adults.

    For months, day after day, long and orderly lines formed outside the city’s vaccination stations. Young and old, rich and poor, highly and barely educated: People showed up when their names were called. Then returned weeks later for the second dose. “The world’s vaccine capital,” the city has dubbed itself.

    msn

  • Tales from the Trenches of Tech Support Hell

    Hilarious

  • Announcing Peace Portal ;)

    If you have Metamask installed, turn on the Rinkeby testnet and check out my lil project! It's called Peace Portal and it was a lot of fun to make, most of the code comes from the Buildspace project.

  • Solana Validators, Engineers Grapple With Blockchain Slowdown on Public Call

    Solana’s 1,000-plus validators are the computing power behind a nearly $12 billion ecosystem of lending, trading and other decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms. Only a handful of them came to Thursday’s call. They weren’t happy.

    coindesk

  • NY’s Telecommuting Tax Penalty

    In Huckaby v. New York State Division of Tax Appeals (04-1734), a New York state court found Thomas L. Huckaby liable for taxes on 100% of the wages he earned from a New York employer while working from his home in Tennessee, which has no state income tax.

    BigLaw Investor

    Very interesting. The NYC income tax is avoidable though.

  • Getting Started with Solana Development

    The very first thing that I think is important for any new developer coming into the Solana Ecosystem to understand is that it is not a requirement that you have experience with smart contracts or Rust to get started building on Solana. In fact, you don’t need blockchain experience at all. In Solana, smart contracts are called Programs. Rust C, C++ are the languages used to build programs that are deployed on-chain.

    solana.com

    In Spanish a solana is a solarium.

  • How Austin Became One of the Least Affordable Cities in America

    A decade ago, Austin, the capital of Texas often deemed a liberal oasis in a staunchly conservative state, was among the most affordable places to live. Now, according to a forecast prepared by Zillow, a real estate company that tracks affordability, the Austin metropolitan area is on track to become by year’s end the least affordable major metro region for homebuyers outside of California. It has already surpassed hot markets in Boston, Miami and New York City.

    NYT

  • Introducing Isomorphic Labs

    We are reimagining the entire drug discovery process from first principles with an AI-first approach.

    Isomorphic Labs Blog

  • Physicists detect signs of neutrinos at Large Hadron Collider

    What makes FASERnu unique, he said, is that while other experiments have been able to distinguish between one or two kinds of neutrinos, it will be able to observe all three flavors plus their antineutrino counterparts. Casper said that there have only been about 10 observations of tau neutrinos in all of human history but that he expects his team will be able to double or triple that number over the next three years.

    Phys org

    More work funded in part by James Simons. I am very impressed with how he is spending his money to support physics research.

  • Magnus Inc.: The Business of Being World Chess Champion

    Magnus Chess, the private entity created when Carlsen was 16 to handle his winnings, owns nine percent of Play Magnus, making it the second-largest shareholder. Magnus Chess, in turn, is 85 percent owned by Carlsen; that makes his personal stake in Play Magnus worth nearly $9 million.

    nyt

  • Starship is Still Not Understood

    To take JPL as an example, divide the total budget by the mass of spacecraft shipped to the cape and it works out to about $1,000,000/kg. I’m not certain how much mass NASA launches to space per year but, even including ISS, it cannot be much more than about 50 T. This works out to between $100,000/kg for LEO bulk cargo and >$1,000,000/kg for deep space exploration.

    Enter Starship. Annual capacity to LEO climbs from its current average of 500 T for the whole of our civilization to perhaps 500 T per week. Eventually, it could exceed 1,000,000 T/year. At the same time, launch costs drop as low as $50/kg, roughly 100x lower than the present. For the same budget in launch, supply will have increased by roughly 100x. How can the space industry saturate this increased launch supply?

    Casey Handmer's blog

    Incredible. The future is already here, just not widely understood. There's also a part 2 Science upside for Starship.

  • Why We Are Leaving Fox News

    We started The Dispatch two years ago “to do right as we see it, by providing engaged citizens fact-based reporting and commentary on politics, policy and culture—informed by conservative principles.” We made a promise to our readers and members that we’d challenge our own assumptions as we challenged theirs, and that we wouldn’t pull punches. The tension between doing that work well and remaining loyal to Fox has tested us many times over the past few years. But with the release of Patriot Purge, we felt we could no longer “do right as we see it” and remain at Fox News. So we resigned. 

    The Dispatch

    It's always good to piggyback on hot news to get attention!

  • Hedge fund titan Ken Griffin outbids crypto group for U.S. Constitution

    Sotheby's said it set a world auction record for any book, manuscript, historical document or printed text.

    Politico

  • The genius of John von Neumann

    unherd

  • Fifty percent of Facebook Messenger’s total voice traffic comes from Cambodia. Here’s why

    Keyboards weren't designed for Khmer. So Cambodians have just decided to ignore them

    rest of world

  • Statement from Chancellor Robert J. Zimmer on his role for the University of Austin

    I was asked to serve in an advisory role to the University of Austin by its founding president, Dr. Pano Kanelos. This board had no fiduciary, oversight or management responsibilities. While the new organization’s commitment to a liberal arts education and free expression reflects topics that are very important to me, I resigned from the Advisory Board on November 11, noting that the new university made a number of statements about higher education in general, largely quite critical, that diverged very significantly from my own views.

    My focus and commitment have been, and will continue to be, to the University of Chicago. I will continue to work on and speak about the issue of free expression on campuses, and I wish the University of Austin success in advancing this essential priority.

    UChicago News

  • Why Are There UPPER Case and lower Case Letters?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-clrKOp5Co

  • The Crypto Capital of the World. It has to be somewhere. Why not Ukraine?

    “In this country, you can kill a person and you will not go to jail, if you have enough money and you’re connected,” he said, sipping tea on a plush leather sofa. “If you are not connected, it will cost you more.”

    NYT

    And how is COVID-19 going?

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy promised Monday to pay 1,000 hryvnias ($38) to each Ukrainian who gets vaccinated.

    ABC News

  • How Martin Shkreli Became a Wallstreetbets Legend

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80BXR4zX2EE

  • Democrat Beto O’Rourke running for Texas governor in 2022

    “It’s not going to be easy. But it is possible,” O’Rourke said in an interview with The Associated Press ahead of his announcement. “I do believe, very strongly, from listening to people in this state that they’re very unhappy with the direction that (Gov.) Greg Abbott has taken Texas.”

    Chicago Tribune

    O'Rourke is the classic 49% candidate, who can run over and over and almost win every time. The smart money is on Republicans in every 2022 race, except in legislative races in states where Democrats gerrymandered the district boundaries like Illinois.

  • Judge dismisses gun charge against Kyle Rittenhouse

    Under the judge’s interpretation, it would be illegal for a 17-year-old to carry brass knuckles in Wisconsin but permissible to carry a semi-automatic rifle.

    Chicago Tribune

    It's not the judge's fault when a law is poorly drafted.

  • Make your monorepo feel small with Git’s sparse index

    If you are in a repository that can use sparse-checkout, then you can enable the sparse index using these commands:

    git sparse-checkout init --cone --sparse-index
    git sparse-checkout se
    t <dir1> <dir2> ... <dirN>

    The size of the sparse index will scale with the number of files within your chosen directories, instead of the full size of your repository. When enabled with a number of other performance features, this can have a dramatic performance impact.

    Github Blog

  • Birchbox Acquired By Femtec Health In $45 Million Deal

    Founded in 2010 [...] The business had raised $90 million and was once valued at half a billion dollars.

    Beauty Matter

    A cautionary tale of a once high-flying business.

  • A Chicago Bears move to Arlington Heights may leave thousands of fans with worthless Soldier Field seat licenses

    The Bears sold 26,000 permanent seat licenses, or PSLs, priced between $765 and $10,000 each, to help fund the 2003 renovation of Soldier Field. While many of those seats have since changed hands, thousands of current PSL owners now face the prospect of their investments expiring worthless if the team packs up for the northwest suburbs.

    The Soldier Field seat license terminates at “the end of the final home game of the last season in which the team plays home games in the stadium,” according to the Bears’ PSL agreement.

    Chicago Tribune

  • Microsoft passes Apple to become the world’s most valuable company

    Microsoft had a market cap of nearly $2.49 trillion at market close, while Apple’s stood at about $2.46 trillion.

    CNBC

  • What ARGs Can Teach Us About QAnon (2020)

    Online communities have long been dismissed as inferior in every way to “real” friendships, an attenuated version that’s better than nothing, but not something that anyone should choose. Yet ARGs and QAnon (and games and fandom and so many other things) demonstrate there’s an immediacy and scale and relevance to online communities that can be more potent and rewarding than a neighbourhood bake sale. This won’t be news to most of you, but I think it’s still news to decision-makers in traditional media and politics.

    mssv

    Very good post explaining why people get wrapped up in QAnon. I found it on Astral Codex Ten.

  • Metaverses

    Stratechery

  • NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory Sees Evidence for Possible Planet in Another Galaxy

    Exoplanets are defined as planets outside of our Solar System. Until now, astronomers have found all other known exoplanets and exoplanet candidates in the Milky Way galaxy, almost all of them less than about 3,000 light-years from Earth. An exoplanet in M51 would be about 28 million light-years away, meaning it would be thousands of times farther away than those in the Milky Way.

    NASA

  • Ruby has an Async implementation!

    The only caveat is that it doesn't work with Ruby on Rails, because ActiveRecord doesn't support async gem. You can still use it with Rails if ActiveRecord is not involved.

    Bruno Sutic

    Dang! So close.

  • Non-transitive Dice

    Singing Banana

  • classic Magnus queen sac

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqAOSdIkoNk

  • An Interview with Mark Zuckerberg about the Metaverse

    You talked about things like interoperability and the importance of openness and you referenced your experience being an app on someone else’s platform and how that influenced your thinking. But there is a tension here where to deliver on a metaverse vision, particularly when you talk about things like being able to carry, say purchases, across different experiences, where it actually may be easier if there is one company providing the totality of the fabric, and that does seem to be this vision where Facebook is the water in which you swim when you’re in the metaverse, not Facebook, but whatever the new name, the new idea for this metaverse is, and then other people can plug into it. Is that a good characterization of the way you’re thinking about it? Or do you see this really being a peer-to-peer thing, where there are other metaverses and those are also interoperable? What’s your vision on how that plays out?

    MZ: I think it’s probably more peer-to-peer, and I think the vocabulary on this matters a little bit. We don’t think about this as if different companies are going to build different metaverses. We think about it in terminology like the Mobile Internet. You wouldn’t say that Facebook or Google are building their own Internet and I don’t think in the future it will make sense to say that we are building our own metaverse either. I think we’re each building different infrastructure and components that go towards hopefully helping to build this out overall and I think that those pieces will need to work together in some ways.

    Stratechery

    Thank goodness the interview is in Stratechery so they talk about interesting subjects!

  • Trump suggests he might drop a bomb on the Va. gov race. Then leaves.

    For months, McAuliffe has pleaded with Trump to join Youngkin on the campaign trail, knowing the appearance of the former president on behalf of Youngkin could serve as rocket fuel for driving Democrats to the polls in a state President Joe Biden won by 10 percentage points. Meanwhile, Youngkin has tried to emphasize the idea that he’s taking the opposite approach, publicly campaigning alone and without national Republicans by his side.

    Politico

  • Trump made a social network

    TRUTH Social is America’s “Big Tent” social media platform that encourages an open, free, and honest global conversation without discriminating against political ideology.

    TRUTH Social

    Well, at least he made a landing page that collects email addresses.

  • "Dance of the Other" from Anthony Davis's "You Have the Right To Remain Silent" (Excerpt)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uh-Z0mMfBrw

  • Intel slipped—and its future now depends on making everyone else’s chips

    The investments required to stay at the leading edge—where the most advanced chips are made—has whittled down the number of semiconductor competitors from more than 20 in 2001 to just two today. “There’s really only so much room at the leading edge, just because of the huge capital costs involved,” said Will Hunt, a research analyst at Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology.

    That cost is driven by the price of the equipment that’s required to etch ever-smaller features onto chips. A few years ago, the industry began to use extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) to shrink transistor sizes. EUV machines are marvels of physics and engineering, and one tool costs upwards of $120 million. To stay relevant, companies will need to buy a dozen or more annually for the next several years.

    Ars Technica

    Ars is a treasure.

    Also, the semiconductor industry is super interesting from every perspective, science, business, engineering, and even politics! Stratechery is a great resource.

  • M.I.T.’s Choice of Lecturer Ignited Criticism. So Did Its Decision to Cancel.

    This is a debate fully engaged in academia. No sooner had M.I.T. canceled his speech than Robert P. George, director of Princeton’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, invited him to give the speech there on Thursday, the same day as the canceled lecture. Dr. George is a founding member of the Academic Freedom Alliance, which is dedicated to promoting academic debate.

    “M.I.T. has behaved disgracefully in capitulating to a politically motivated campaign,” Dr. George said. “This is part of a larger trend of the politicization of science.”

    The story took another turn this week, as David Romps, a professor of climate physics at the University of California, Berkeley, announced that he would resign as director of the Berkeley Atmospheric Sciences Center. He said he had tried to persuade his fellow scientists and professors to invite Dr. Abbot to speak and so reaffirm the importance of separating science from politics.

    “In my view, there are some institutional principles that we have to hold sacred,” he said in an interview on Tuesday.

    NYT

  • Stop onscreen keyboard from appearing in Gnome every time you use touchscreen

    This bug has existed for years, and someone actually wrote a Gnome extension to fix it! Thank goodness, it was driving me crazy.

  • Trump asserts his dominance inside GOP, pushing Republicans to embrace his false claims of fraud

    With more than a year to go before the midterm elections, the former president is leaving no corner of the party untouched as he moves to assert his dominance, both in public and behind the scenes. His stepped-up efforts create a conundrum for many of the party’s strategists and lawmakers, who believe they could have a banner election year in 2022 if they keep the focus on President Biden and his agenda.

    But Trump has repeatedly turned the focus back onto the 2020 election. He moved into new territory Wednesday when he released a statement threatening the GOP with ballot-box repercussions if candidates do not embrace his false claims that the White House race was rigged.

    Washington Post

    Trump will never win another election

  • President Reagan, Mastermind - SNL

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5wfPlgKFh8

  • Gensler confirms SEC won’t ban crypto... but Congress could

    Representative Patrick McHenry believes Gary Gensler’s SEC has disregarded standard practice when going after crypto.

    Coin Telegraph

  • Biden will meet with Pope Francis on European trip

    Last month, Francis declined to directly wade into the issue, but said that politics should stay separate from church practices and urged priests and ministers to "be pastors, and not go condemning."

    Politico

  • A Famous Honesty Researcher Is Retracting A Study Over Fake Data

    But Ariely gave conflicting answers about the origins of the data file that was the basis for the analysis. Citing confidentiality agreements, he also declined to name the insurer that he partnered with. And he said that all his contacts at the insurer had left and that none of them remembered what happened, either.

    Buzzfeed

  • Grow and eat your own vaccines?

    “Ideally, a single plant would produce enough mRNA to vaccinate a single person,” said Juan Pablo Giraldo, an associate professor in UCR’s Department of Botany and Plant Sciences who is leading the research, done in collaboration with scientists from UC San Diego and Carnegie Mellon University. 

    “We are testing this approach with spinach and lettuce and have long-term goals of people growing it in their own gardens,” Giraldo said. “Farmers could also eventually grow entire fields of it.”

    UC Riverside

  • Wisconsin politics a microcosm of the nation

    With their new majorities, Republican legislators drew legislative district lines that would lock Democrats out of power for the decade. Even when winning a majority of the total votes cast in Assembly races in 2018, Democrats ended with little more than a third of the seats in the lower chamber.

    Washington Post

  • The Great Yokai Battle of Akihabara | Rick and Morty | adult swim

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_246-G6DnuY

  • German police warn against legalizing weed, as parties hash out coalition deal

    “If cannabis were to be taxed similarly to cigarettes, up to €1 billion could be raised annually,” the FDP wrote in its election program, while the Greens vowed to “drain the black market for cannabis and reduce organized crime” by introducing a so-called cannabis control law.

    Politico EU

  • We Are Republicans. There’s Only One Way to Save Our Party From Pro-Trump Extremists.

    Starting a new center-right party may prove to be the last resort if Trump-backed candidates continue to win Republican primaries. We and our allies have debated the option of starting a new party for months and will continue to explore its viability in the long run.

    NYT

  • NFTs

    It’s hard to grasp just how much the NFT market has grown in the span of a year. 

    Earlier in this piece, we noted that OpenSea alone was on track to surpass $27.5 billion in volume for 2021. Should the company hold on to its 97% market share, that suggests a total annual GMV of $28.4 billion. 

    NFT sales in 2020 were $94.8 million. That’s a 30,000% increase year over year. Our brains are not made to comprehend this kind of growth, this sudden gigantism. In the blink of an eye, NFTs have matured from a nettlesome triviality to a strolling behemoth.

    Generalist

  • Why do we put DOCTYPE html at the top of every html doc?

    There are now three modes used by the layout engines in web browsers: quirks mode, almost standards mode, and full standards mode. In quirks mode, layout emulates nonstandard behavior in Navigator 4 and Internet Explorer 5. This is essential in order to support websites that were built before the widespread adoption of web standards. In full standards mode, the behavior is (hopefully) the behavior described by the HTML and CSS specifications. In almost standards mode, there are only a very small number of quirks implemented.

    MDN

  • Never use TRIM in production

    mrbooks2_development=# select count(*) as num, TRIM('www.' FROM anchors.host) as trimhost from anchors group by trimhost order by num desc limit 25;
    num | trimhost
    ------+---------------------------
    7750 | amazon.com
    6187 | marginalrevolution.com
    5259 | nytimes.com
    4124 | twitter.com
    2528 | en.wikipedia.org
    2376 | ashingtonpost.com
    1695 | bloomberg.com
    1207 | nber.org
    1198 | ft.com
    1107 | google.com
    940 | youtube.com
    908 | econlog.econlib.org
    884 | papers.ssrn.com
    833 | theguardian.com
    753 | economist.com
    652 | online.wsj.com
    604 | medium.com
    543 | slate.com
    522 | theatlantic.com
    497 | sj.com
    494 | guardian.co.uk
    464 | krugman.blogs.nytimes.com
    428 | bbc.com
    419 | sciencedirect.com
    393 | newyorker.com
    (25 rows)

    Another sneak peak into my side project

  • Multiple sportsbooks stand to lose more than $1 million if San Francisco Giants win World Series

    Although the Giants never faded as they rolled to a 107-55 mark during the regular season, bookmakers still only gradually lowered their odds throughout the season. Bettors could have grabbed them at 10-1 in late July.

    ESPN

  • A custom brain implant lifted a woman’s severe depression

    Scientists programmed the device to detect when gamma signals were high in Sarah’s amygdala, and respond with a tiny jolt to her VC/VS. This happened about 300 times a day. The stimulation was calibrated so Sarah didn’t feel any zaps, but she said they left her feeling a little more energetic.

    Science News

  • Sun outages may be affecting your TV service.

    Such outages are caused by a phenomenon called a “solar satellite interference." These brief outages occur when the sun is in a direct line behind a satellite transmitting cable signals. When the sun is aligned with a satellite, solar radiation, an energy the sun is emitting, interferes with the satellite’s signal and thus causes a brief signal outage.

    RCN

    Usually the emails from my cable company are pretty boring but today was an exception!

  • (2018) How to Fight Mobile Number Port-out Scams

    T-Mobile suggests adding its port validation feature to all accounts. To do this, call 611 from your T-Mobile phone or dial 1-800-937-8997 from any phone. The T-Mobile customer care representative will ask you to create a 6-to-15-digit passcode that will be added to your account.

    “We’ve included alerts in the T-Mobile customer app and on MyT-Mobile.com, but we don’t want customers to wait to get an alert to take action,” the company said in its statement. “Any customer can call 611 at any time from their mobile phone and have port validation added to their accounts.”

    Krebs

  • How to transcode a directory of video files

    mkdir transcoded
    for file in *; do ffmpeg -i "$file" "./transcoded/${file}".mp4; done

  • Ruby on Rails: How to make Zeitwerk and Binding.pry work together

    During exploratory programming I often use rails runner to run a script within the context of my rails app, and stop at a binding.pry while I build and experiment. Today my debugger shell kept dropping me into zeitwerk internals outside the context of my script. To fix this, add a nil at the end of your script.

    # your code
    
    binding.pry
    nil

    Then run the script normally be rails runner script.rb and you're in the context of the script!

  • sneak peak at a project i'm working on

    mrbooks2_development=# select author, count(*) as num  from articles group by author order by num desc;
          author       |  num  
    -------------------+-------
     Tyler Cowen       | 27147
     Alex Tabarrok     |  4238
     Fabio Rojas       |    63
     Justin Wolfers    |    24
     Steven Landsburg  |    19
     Robin Hanson      |    17
     Tim Harford       |    15
     Craig Newmark     |    14
     Ed Lopez          |    12
     Eric Helland      |    11
     Bryan Caplan      |    11
     Angus Grier       |    10
     Gary Leff         |     9
     Russell Roberts   |     9
     Lee Coppock       |     7
     MKoyama           |     6
     Daniel Akst       |     5
     Ramez Naam        |     5
     Nicholas Tabarrok |     4
                       |     4
     Robert Hormats    |     3
     Lloyd Cohen       |     3
     Michael Stastny   |     3
     Garett Jones      |     1
     E. Glen Weyl      |     1
    (25 rows)
    

  • Upper Back Love | Yoga For Back Pain | Yoga With Adriene

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMTyp5npt78

    This is exactly what I needed this week. It's almost like it was a personal training session!

  • Tom Brady's return drives Buccaneers-Patriots prices to regular-season high for New England

    The average ticket price to see Tampa Bay Buccaneersquarterback Tom Brady in his return to face the New England Patriots on Sunday night is $1,101, which ranks among the most expensive tickets for any sporting event in Boston-area history, according to Vivid Seats.

    The only game that tops it is Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final -- when the St. Louis Blues beat the Boston Bruins -- at an average price of $1,887, per Vivid Seats.

    ESPN

  • Bezos Wants to Create a Better Future in Space. His Company Blue Origin Is Stuck in a Toxic Past.

    This suppression of dissent brings us to the matter of safety, which for many of us is the driving force for coming forward with this essay. At Blue Origin, a common question during high-level meetings was, “When will Elon or Branson fly?” Competing with other billionaires—and “making progress for Jeff”—seemed to take precedence over safety concerns that would have slowed down the schedule.

    In 2020, company leaders demonstrated increasing impatience with New Shepard’s schedule of a few flights per year; their goal, routinely communicated to operations and maintenance staff, was to scale to more than 40. Some of us felt that with the resources and staff available, leadership’s race to launch at such a breakneck speed was seriously compromising flight safety. When Challenger exploded, the government’s investigation determined that the push to keep to a schedule of 24 flights per year “directly contributed to unsafe launch operations.” Of note: the Challenger report also cited internal stifling of differences of opinion as one of the organizational issues that led to the disaster and loss of life.

    Lioness

  • Apple AirTag Bug Enables ‘Good Samaritan’ Attack

    The vulnerability was discovered and reported to Apple by Bobby Rauch, a security consultant and penetration tester based in Boston. Rauch told KrebsOnSecurity the AirTag weakness makes the devices cheap and possibly very effective physical trojan horses.

    “I can’t remember another instance where these sort of small consumer-grade tracking devices at a low cost like this could be weaponized,” Rauch said.

    Consider the scenario where an attacker drops a malware-laden USB flash drive in the parking lot of a company he wants to hack into. Odds are that sooner or later some employee is going to pick that sucker up and plug it into a computer — just to see what’s on it (the drive might even be labeled something tantalizing, like “Employee Salaries”).

    Krebs

    Similar to a plot from Mr Robot!

  • Stats and facts behind Cards' 16-game streak

    They had just a 2.8% chance to make the playoffs on Sept. 7, according to FanGraphs’ playoff odds. Now, they’re on the verge of clinching.

    mlb

    Talk about finishing strong, *and* the Dodgers or Giants will have to play them in a one-game playoff!

  • Berlin faces expropriation vote: What happens if the people say 'yes'?

    They want voters to back their appeal for the Berlin Senate to devise a law that would allow for the expropriation of what they call "private" real estate companies, specifically those that own more than 3,000 housing units. The campaigners say the companies would be compensated at a rate "well below market value."

    DW

    Strongly recommend Berlin politics if you need a break from US politics.

  • 200,000-Year-Old Hand Art Found Near a Tibetan Hot Spring


    Gizmodo

    Hacker News

  • Indie developers can't use crypto exchanges

    (iii) Exchanges: Apps may facilitate transactions or transmissions of cryptocurrency on an approved exchange, provided they are offered by the exchange itself.

    Apple App Store Guidelines

    I had an idea for a iOS app that used the Coinbase Pro API, sure am glad I checked the rules before starting to make it!

  • Jam landing page

    I really like this landing page. Really everything about it.

  • Jam raises $3.5 million to Figma-tize product collaboration

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izOo40ATJlE&t=4s
    this looks really cool

    TechCrunch

    I need to make a video like this for my side projects.

  • The Mini-Trump Blowing Up Local GOP Politics

    Throughout 2021, Burns has transformed the local Republican party in this suburban corner of northeast Ohio, making a local partisan group less local and more partisan. He has dispensed with much of the staid standard fare and even the pedestrian goals of a traditional place-based Republican club like actually electing Republicans. Instead, he has presented what can feel like almost non-stop programming — movie nights, gun range nights, grandiose political summits with right-wing A-list-ish guests. In fact, Burns no longer is even running a local Republican club — because the Strongsville GOP at this point is legally the Better Ohio PAC, a political action committee Burns started just nine days after Gonzalez’s fateful vote [to impeach Trump].

    Politico

    This isn't going away, get used to it.

  • How to WIN with the London System!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECMMct_jnEM
    I just watched this whole video and need to get back to work! Can't wait to try out some new ideas.

  • Opinion | The Supreme Court is Giving George W. Bush the Last Laugh on Guantanamo

    Al-Hela is a Yemeni tribal sheikh who was apprehended in Egypt in 2002 by American forces and who has been held at Guantanamo Bay for close to 17 years and still hasn’t seen all the factual evidence against him. His case raises the fundamental – and as of yet unanswered – question of whether Guantanamo detainees have due process rights under the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment.

    Opinion by DEBRA PERLIN

  • Use react libs in react, not plain javascript

    Before react, when I wanted some javascript code, I'd search online and grab a code snippet or find and add a script tag to my head tag. But that approach doesn't work with React. It's simple enough to download a file and then import * as whatever from whatever.js. Then run your code snippet in a useEffect(() => {}, []) block to emulator componentDidMount() behavior of running once after the dom element has mounted.

    But! Now typescript and react are going to complain mightily about the whatever.js file you're importing. And oftentimes it will be minified, so now you're reading minified js, always a bad thing. So you start putting ignores at the top of the minified file, and it still doesn't work!

    Don't go down this road. Instead, at the beginning of the process, find a react version of what you're looking for, preferably one that's packaged in npm. Using this will be straightforward.

  • Mastercard Signs Magnus Carlsen, Reveals Huge Esports Deal For Chess Fans

    Magnus Carlsen, the highest-rated chess grandmaster in history, and the highest-paid esports player in 2020.

    In becoming a global brand ambassador, Carlsen joins the ranks of fellow Mastercard partners such as four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka, soccer legends Lionel Messi and Crystal Dunn, and ten-time LPGA champion Annika Sörenstam.

    Forbes

    Meltwater finals start in a few days!

  • Alphabet’s laser-Internet system has sent 700TB of data with 99.9% uptime

    The Taara laser beam is bridging the gap between Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo and Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which are on opposite sides of the Congo River. Brazzaville has decent Internet, but because nobody wanted to run a fiber line through the world's deepest and second-fastest river, Kinshasa uses a fiber line that runs 400 km around the river, and the Internet is five times more expensive there. Alphabet's 20Gbps commercial link has been up and running for 20 days now, and the company says it has served nearly 700TB of data in that time, with 99.9 percent uptime.

    Ars Technica

    Lazer beams!

  • The Scientist and the A.I.-Assisted, Remote-Control Killing Machine

    The Revolutionary Guards’ assessment — that the attack was carried out by a remote-controlled machine gun “equipped with an intelligent satellite system” using artificial intelligence — was correct.

    The entire operation took less than a minute. Fifteen bullets were fired.

    Iranian investigators noted that not one of them hit Ms. Ghasemi, seated inches away, accuracy that they attributed to the use of facial recognition software.

    nyt

  • My working MVP to save fees on coinbase

    Hey everyone! I built a little prototype that I want to share to find out if I should continue refining it or build something else instead.

    A while back I noticed that coinbase fees are higher on regular coinbase as opposed to coinbase pro. For example, buying $10 of bitcoin on coinbase costs $0.99, but on coinbase pro is $0.05.

    First I wrote a python script that I ran using cron to make these buys, and ran it all summer. It's even open source on github and I have a detailed README for setting it up, so people can use that for free. I know at least one person did.

    To make it more usable to the general public, I built a web app to do the coinbase "Repeat Purchase" feature on coinbase pro. Users will save fees on every purchase. I use it myself for a daily buy of Ethereum.

    Right now my big question is, will anyone go through the trouble of adding an API key? I think maybe only people who understand APIs will use the app, no matter how much onboarding material I make.

    I'm a developer, not a designer so ugliness might be a problem.

    About me: I'm privacy-focused and into Linux and open source software. I intentionally didn't add any ads or trackers or nonsense like that to my app.

    My general philosophy mostly involves making super fast, lean apps that give regular users as much power and speed as programmers do.

    Indie Hackers

    I made a post on Indie Hackers. Feels good man!

  • Rap Genius founder talk about building

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X45YY97FmL4

  • (2013) Heroku’s Ugly Secret

    A Rails dyno isn't what it used to be. In mid-2010, Heroku quietly redesigned its routing system, and the change — nowhere documented, nowhere instrumented — radically degraded throughput on the platform. Dollar for dollar a dyno became worth a fraction of its former self.

    Rap Genius Tech Blog (James Somers)

    James is one of the best writers out there, always read when you see his byline. I remember enjoying this kerfuffle on Hacker News back when it was happening, so I thought I'd share it here as a blast from the past. It feels like there used to be more companies like Rap Genius, with eccentric founders, engineering blog with an attitude, that threw a rails app up on heroku and blew up. I'm nostalgic!

  • Diamond Hands Bot

    Do you use Coinbase to automatically buy crypto every day, week, etc.?

    Use this bot 🤖 to pay lower fees. Coinbase charges lower transaction fees 💰 if you use the Coinbase Pro API instead of coinbase.com.

    For example: You buy $10 of Bitcoin. On coinbase.com the fee is $0.99. Using the Coinbase Pro API, the fee is only $0.05!

    Diamond Hands Bot

    This alpha version of the site allows unlimited buys with no charge! I haven't added charges yet. Please do let me know what you think.

    My next idea is to dynamically show users how much they're saving. e.g. If you buy $10 of bitcoin every day for a year, you'll save $343.10.

  • A New Company With a Wild Mission: Bring Back the Woolly Mammoth

    Heather Bushman, a philosopher at the London School of Economics, said that whatever benefits mammoths might have to the tundra will need to be weighed against the possible suffering that they might experience in being brought into existence by scientists.

    “You don’t have a mother for a species that — if they are anything like elephants — has extraordinarily strong mother-infant bonds that last for a very long time,” she said. “Once there is a little mammoth or two on the ground, who is making sure that they’re being looked after?”

    NYT

    This is incredible! More of this please!

  • FTC Alleges Facebook Resorted to Illegal Buy-or-Bury Scheme to Crush Competition After String of Failed Attempts to Innovate

    Unable to maintain its monopoly or its advertising profits by fairly competing, Facebook’s executives addressed this existential threat by buying up the new mobile innovators, including its rival Instagram in 2012 and mobile messaging app WhatsApp in 2014, who had succeeded where Facebook had failed.

    FTC.gov

    It sounds nice in theory to force Facebook to allow competition, but I don't have any confidence that the government will improve the situation.

  • https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OqMs9WsJg2k

  • Lower Manhattan Rebounded After 9/11, but the Pandemic Erased the Gains

    More than 21 percent of Lower Manhattan’s office space is available for rent, a record high that is more than double the vacancy rate before the pandemic

    NYT

  • Celeste the singer

    https://open.spotify.com/track/4L0dAqy0TS8itpVLAXRkss?si=673ff16bba4444c0

    I found this amazing singer while searching for the soundtrack music to the video game Celeste!

  • Trump builds ‘turnkey’ campaign operation for 2024

    Trump would turn 78 years old during the 2024 campaign, making him even older than Ronald Reagan when he left office at the end of his second term.

    Politico


    https://polymarket.com/market/will-donald-trump-be-the-2024-republican-presidential-nominee

  • The Strange Tale of the Freedom Phone, a Smartphone for Conservatives

    Mr. Finman said that the phone also has his “PatriApp Store,” though ClearCellular provides the technological support for the app store.

    NYT

  • Ruby is Still a Diamond

    The team behind Ruby has been working to improve memory usage during compilation. Matz’s hope was that Ruby 3.0 would be 3x faster than Ruby 2.0. Whether or not that was accomplished is a little hard to objectively measure, but many cumulative improvements were made throughout the various minor versions of 2.0. If starkly comparing 3.0 to 2.0, Ruby is, yes, nearly 3x faster. A lot of that is thanks to the Just-In-Time compiler, and its refined relative, the MJIT compiler.

    Medium

  • Berlin’s techies fume as sector takes election backseat

    “When I look today into the founder ecosystem, the number of non-Europeans in Berlin or in Germany is miniscule,” Shaam said, as he sipped an Americano in Berlin's fast-gentrifying Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood.

    Politico

  • The Soundcloud founders have a new startup

    We see an opportunity to completely transform the way we live. Ebike usage is associated with healthier communities, but ownership is perceived as a hassle: ebikes can cost thousands of euros, while needing special parts and providers to fix, maintain and store.

    Dance Blog

  • As we approach the end of the Queen's reign the country needs an honest, grown-up debate about the monarchy.

    republic

  • Researchers Discover Three Super-massive Black Holes Merging Together in Our Nearby Universe

    Indian gov

  • How screwed is Adam Kinzinger?

    The Democrats’ ideal map would shift the delegation from its current roster of 13 Democrats and five Republicans to a 14-3 split.

    “Given the configuration and where the population trended, and the way it's trending, if I had to take a bet, I bet that we lose a Republican district," said Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.), who represents the Loop in Chicago.

    Politico

  • How underground arm-wrestling mania is slamming NYC streets

    Inspiration came in the form of a brolic man he had seen doing wrist curls with barbells at the Sheepshead Bay 24 Hour Fitness the week before the gym shuttered.

    “I knew he was into arm-wrestling because he had the fat grip on,” Anoshka, a recent college grad, told The Post. “I randomly asked him to arm wrestle, and I couldn’t even move his hand.”

    ny post

  • How does LIGO detect gravitational waves?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7RJHxeCulY

  • FDA grants full approval to Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid shot, clearing path to more vaccine mandates

    a survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation found 3 in 10 unvaccinated adults said they would be more likely to get vaccinated if one of the vaccines receives full approval.

    cnbc

  • The Coronavirus Is Here Forever. This Is How We Live With It.

    Protection against severe illness and death was, in fact, the original goal of vaccines. When I spoke with vaccine experts as the trials were under way last summer, they universally told me to temper expectations. Vaccines against respiratory viruses rarely protect against full infection because they are better at inducing immunity in the lungs than in the nose, where respiratory viruses gain their first foothold. (Consider: The flu shot is 10 to 60 percent effective depending on the year.) But “the extraordinary efficacy” from the initial clinical trials raised expectations, Ruth Karron, the director of the Center for Immunization Research at Johns Hopkins University, told me. With the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines 95 percent effective against symptomatic infection, eliminating COVID-19 locally, like measles or mumps in the U.S., suddenly seemed possible.

    Then came the less pleasant surprise: new variants, like Beta, Gamma, and now Delta, that erode some protection from vaccines. “We now are where we thought we would be a year ago,” Karron said. The vaccines still protect against serious illness very well, as expected, but herd immunity again seems out of reach. The virus will continue to circulate, but fewer people will get sick enough to be hospitalized or die.

    The Atlantic

  • Waymo Self Driving Taxi Fumbles In Construction Zone, Blocks Traffic

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=zdKCQKBvH-A

    This video of a self-driving car getting confused, stopping and blocking traffic went viral a few months ago.

  • Wrap 32 brain sensors around your head for $1699

    EPOC Flex transmits wireless data at 128 Hz, so you can record high resolution brain data without being tethered to a computer.

    EPOC

  • Turkish on-demand grocery delivery unicorn Getir makes its first acquisition to focus on Spain and Italy

    the Turkish company delivers groceries and corner shop items to customers within 10 minutes of placing the orders. 

    Keeping up the momentum, the company is gearing up to launch across several cities within the US by the end of the year. In the US, the company will compete against GoPuff, which promises to deliver the retail items in 30 minutes or less. 

    Silicon Canals

    Grocery delivery is at this moment subsidized by billionaire LP's, so enjoy this time of unsustainable low prices.

  • The various kinds of Two-Factor Authentication

    The reason you really should use U2F/WebAuthn is because it does origin binding which, unlike entering a TOTP, a code from your hardware token/authenticator app on your phone/SMS/etc is not phishable, i.e. you can't enter it by accident on accounts.google.com.totallylegit.ru and then have them enter it on real accounts.google.com. This is so because the U2F/WebAuthn security key signs a request, sent by your browser, which embeds the requesting page's domain, so a signature on attacker.com will not pass victim.com's verification checks, whereas a code from your authentication app is trivially copied.

    HN

  • https://youtu.be/bKzvgp1YesY

    They found a galaxy 50x bigger than the Milky Way

  • The strange summer land rush in Peoria’s dying south end

    Slowly over the course of the summer, the distant buyers made their way to Peoria to check on their homes. Malkebu Moore, a long-haul trucker from Philadelphia, pushed open the unlocked door to his house on West Millman Street and stepped over piles of rotting food, used condoms and feces smeared across the floor and walls. Minutes later, he was back on the sidewalk catching his breath when a prostitute propositioned him.

    “How are you?” Moore asked.

    “Drunk,” she said. “What are you selling?”

    “I’m not selling,” Moore replied. “I’m buying. I bought that house. I’m going to fix it up.” But, by that point, Moore knew the structure wasn’t worth rehabilitating. A few days later, city officials found a dead body inside.

    Washington Post

  • Why would the Big Ten form an alliance with the ACC and Pac-12? It’s all about TV’s ‘Four Million Club’

    What’s the Four Million Club? It’s the group of football games that draw more than four million viewers.

    Athletic

  • Taliban victory in Afghanistan spells trouble for the neighbors

    Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, who are proud of their tradition of international adventurism, have also hinted that they are not confining their interests to within Iran’s frontiers. Iranian media quoted the Guards’ commander, Hossein Salami, as saying that “the scope of our observations has gone beyond the borders and we are monitoring and controlling all the developments in the neighboring country.”

    [...]

    In 1996, when the Taliban first took over the country, Pakistan was quick to recognize the government, but this time, Afzal said, it’s more concerned with how such a step might be perceived internationally, especially if Western countries don’t recognize the government.

    politico

  • ‘We aren’t all dumb hillbillies’: how Covid caused a rift in country music

    Guardian

  • Modern web apps without JavaScript bundling or transpiling

    The first crucial change is that ES6 is now supported by all browsers that matter. Chrome, Edge, Safari, and Firefox fully support ES6. The last major hold out was IE11, but Microsoft mercifully announced its end of life this year.

    This means we don't need a transpiling step to turn ES6 into something that'll run in the browser. It runs just fine, no changes needed. That's huge.

    The second crucial change is that HTTP2 is now the norm. With HTTP2, you no longer pay a large penalty for sending many small files instead of one big file. A single connection can multiplex  all the responses you need. No more managing multiple connections, paying for multiple SSL handshakes. This means that bundling all your JavaScript into a single file loses many of its performance benefits (yes, yes, tree-shaking is still one).

    dhh

    A pleasant trip down javascript memory lane.

  • People Now Spend More at Amazon Than at Walmart

    Propelled in part by surging demand during the pandemic, people spent more than $610 billion on Amazon over the 12 months ending in June, according to Wall Street estimates compiled by the financial research firm FactSet. Walmart on Tuesday posted sales of $566 billion for the 12 months ending in July.

    nyt

  • Moderna Is About to Begin Trials for HIV Vaccine Based on COVID-19 Research

    The company will soon begin human trials for their mRNA-based vaccine, according to information posted to the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) clinical trials database last week. Moderna is seeking 56 individuals, aged 18 to 50 and who are HIV-negative, for the trial, which is estimated to begin on August 19 and conclude in spring 2023. Moderna is also reportedly developing an influenza vaccine based on the same technology.

    them.

  • Spanish study -- one month in

    Why Spanish?

    I am learning Spanish to travel in the Hispanic world--all of it. (Even Equatorial Guinea!) I already have spent significant time in Barcelona and Andalusia, and have big plans for travel all over Spain. I also have months of ideas for travel in Mexico and all of Latin America. I am most looking forward to Beunos Aires, the city with the most bookstores per capita in the world!

    What's different this time

    I've had only a little bit of success with language study. I often get caught in an infinite loop of learning about how to study language more efficiently instead of actually studying. This time I decided to spend some time each day studying Spanish before I would spend any time researching making the process more efficient. Then I'd check in every few weeks.

    Duolingo

    Duolingo is a tedious, grueling chore. The idea of finishing the entire course is not enticing at all. I either can't remember the answer, or type the same word about 10-20x times when once would've sufficed.

    I fear if I keep up Duolingo I won't ever learn Spanish.

    Overall, Duolingo is an inefficient use of time, and not fun at all.

    Memrise

    Memrise isn't nearly as bad as Duolingo. It's pretty good Spanish flashcards.

    It isn't fun, but it feels efficient. I feel much more of a sense of progress than Duolingo.

    The Dreaming Spanish youtube channel

    The idea of this youtube channel is for Spanish learners to consume as much comprehensible content as they can before bothering to create content: speaking, writing, etc. This has real potential but I am such a beginner that I can't even understand the "super beginner" videos, which are at the level of cartoons for babies. They aren't the kind of videos I would watch in English.

    I have tried to watch some of the beginner and intermediate videos and I can tell I am going to really like this learning method once I can handle it.

    I wish this channel had higher-quality closed captions. I believe they are AI-generated.

    Right now this channel is tedious and sometimes the videos are almost insultingly simple. I'm going to keep it up and have really high hopes for this method once I get a few hundred vocab words memorized.

    The Linguriosa youtube channel

    The content on this channel is the kind of videos I watch in English (and a little bit of French and German) on youtube already: linguistics, history, language study, Spanish culture, etc. Watching these videos doesn't feel like work, however, my comprehension is pretty low. The closed captions are pretty good on this channel, and I'm sometimes pretty familiar with the topic so I can muddle through the video and learn a bit of Spanish at the same time.

    When I first started watching this channel, I thought it was the final boss. If I can understand these videos, then I've learned Spanish! That isn't true unfortunately!

    This channel is max fun, probably not the most efficient use of time since long time periods go by where I understand absolutely nothing and that's a waste.

    The Chess24 ES channel

    This channel is just the Spanish version of Chess24, which I watch all the time in English. Watching this is a stark wake-up call that the other Spanish channels I watch are taking it very easy on their viewers, going slow, using easy vocab, etc. I go for long periods of time watching these videos and don't understand anything, which is not helping me at all.

    Long term goal--any time I spend here is close enough to useless that I shouldn't count it as learning Spanish.

    Next steps

    I'm thinking about reallocating the "eat your vegetables language study sucks" time to 100% Memrise and cutting out Duolingo. And trying to take the Dreaming Spanish superbeginner videos more seriously somehow, somehow figure out a way to make them do more for me.

    I also think about hiring a tutor, haven't done it yet. I'm not sure if I'm really learning Spanish or not, since I have a demanding professional life. OTOH this is really important to me!

  • Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Bear

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=mjfOeLQG9-M&feature=youtu.be

  • Polygon Merges With Hermez Network in $250M Deal

    Polygon’s merger with Hermez is the first complete merger of one blockchain network into another.

    Coindesk

  • 120 Subgenres of EDM (w/ examples)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTUDKu3BL7c

  • MAXIMUM DISRESPECT: How to win TWICE in the same game

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyCzJTNOeao

  • Speeding truck runs light and pops a wheelie at the 11foot8 bridge

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0BJmC6u7MU
    If you've never watched one of these videos, this is a great one to start with. Just relax and enjoy.

  • Lucid Motors goes public, collects $4.5 billion

    It was founded in 2007 as a battery company called Atieva. But in 2016 it set out to build an all-electric sedan of its own, and tapped Peter Rawlinson — the former lead engineer of the Model S program at Tesla — to head up the project. (Rawlinson would later become CEO.)

    Verge

  • Ole Miss football program has reached 100% vaccination rate

    Kiffin said there is a 100% vaccination rate among those players, coaches, staff members and everybody within the program who will be on the practice field Sunday. It's been a huge push by everybody within the Ole Miss athletic program in a state -- Mississippi -- that ranked last a week ago in percentage of residents receiving at least one vaccination dose (41.6%), according to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    espn

  • Could a Conservative Replace Gavin Newsom?

    He describes himself as libertarian—which means liberal on cultural issues like same-sex marriage.

    WSJ https://www.wsj.com/articles/gavin-newsom-larry-elder-governor-california-recall-lockdowns-taxes-crime-11628265859?mod=djemalertNEWS

    this guy sounds great, vote him in California!

  • Trudeau to ease border rules Aug. 9 for fully vaccinated Americans. Now it's Biden's move.

    Traveling to Canada: Starting at 12:01 a.m. ET on Aug. 9, fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents residing in the U.S. will be allowed to enter Canada for nonessential travel.

    Canada will continue to deny entry to those who have yet to be fully vaccinated unless they are already exempt under the Quarantine Act.

    Fully vaccinated travelers from other parts of the world will get the green light Sept. 7.

    Getting through the door: To enter Canada, travelers must have received their full series of a vaccine — approved by Health Canada — at least 14 days prior to their arriving at the border.

    Politico

  • How America Fractured Into Four Parts

    The Atlantic

  • The Last Great Content Creator

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=V4BjQgx6XSM

  • Gabber Eleganza Interviewed by Maria Ustimenko.

    Do you think the concept of the underground even means anything today? 

    No, it means nothing. An approach, how you choose to do things can be underground, but then “independent” makes more sense. Do-it-yourself also means a lot of things today, but underground is just an aesthetic. If one track is listened to by 10 people, it doesn't mean it's underground. Or you hear a track and think it sounds underground, but you go on YouTube and it has 1 million views. Like, what the fuck? What's the meaning of underground? Is it something that the mass media don't talk about? It doesn’t make sense. 

    CXEMA blog

  • The Trump campaign’s ‘Four Seasons’ landscaping fixation went deeper than you know

    In fact, they were two separate Trump campaign events, each involving a landscaping company named Four Seasons.

    politico

  • Best Video Game ending of all time

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=vW674z8q9l4

  • Ichiro's newest feat? He's catching bullpens!

    This wouldn’t be the first time that Ichiro has lent a helping hand to the Mariners' organization. He’s also served as a batting practice pitcher, a role Ichiro takes very seriously, so much so he had a mound built into his yard at his home in Japan.

    mlb

    Wow, what a guy! <3

  • The European Union pulls ahead of the United States in vaccinations.

    E.U. countries had administered 102.66 doses per 100 people as of Tuesday, while the United States had administered 102.44

    NYT

    This trend is significant, and not likely to change. My next personal inflection point will be in April, when my lease ends in NYC. I have been fully vaccinated with Moderna since April myself, and don't want to be around large numbers of unvaccinated people. it is possible that Europe could be a nicer place to live than the US in 2022, with a larger percentage of people vaccinated leading to fewer lockdowns and outbreaks.

  • EuroVelo 6

    The EV6 traverses ten countries, from the mouth of the Loire eastward along that river to the Saône, across the border to Switzerland, along the Rhine to Lake Constance, north into Germany, down the Danube and through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, and Romania to the Danube Delta, before terminating at Constanța on the Black Sea.

    wikipedia

    Apparently this is the best one for a first timer? I might have a new fixation.

  • Trends in Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in the US

    Watch this plot. We are in a third wave.

  • COVID: Germany set to donate vaccine doses to other countries

    Some 60% of Germans have received at least one COVID jab, with another 100 million or so vaccine doses expected in the third quarter from July to September.

    But the willingness to be vaccinated has waned. Availability currently exceeds demand — so vaccine supplies are available for donation. 

    DW

    The Germans are almost as hesitant to get vaccinated as us Americans!

  • Kiev is the next Berlin (2016)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4G1r2u8m9g

  • The beginning of the end of the Francis papacy

    Finding young candidates for the priesthood, meanwhile, who support Francis and want to be celibate is like looking for Catholic unicorns, and if you were to find some, they aren’t likely to be welcomed by conservative seminaries. As a result, the laity who are encouraged to come to church because they like Francis are unlikely to find him in their parishes or dioceses.

    Thomas Reese Religion News

  • Bicycling in New York City

    Repairs and maintenance

    Just go to Bicycle Station. I don't care how many bike shops you ride by on the way there. It's an open secret that this is the best bike shop in town. The owner, Mike, actually cares about his customers and personally helps you with whatever you need.

    I had a hard time finding a bike shop to sell me thinner tires for my mountain bike and install them, but Mike took care of me right away.

    Bridges

    You aren't allowed to ride a bike across MTA bridges. If there's a pedestrian path, you can push your bike across. Of course people ride across anyway, but some of these paths are not designed for it and could be dangerous, like the RFK bridge from Astoria to Randall's Island.

    Another consequence of the MTA bridge bike ban is that Google Maps-style apps will not give you biking directions over these bridges, not even if pushing your bike across, is worth it to save time. It's a shame, because Randall's Island has some very nice bike-friendly bridges to Manhattan and the Bronx.

    You will see the MTA bridges called Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (TBTA) bridges. They are toll bridges (and tunnels) built by Robert Moses and taken from his control by Governor Rockefeller, a story famously told in The Power Broker.

    You can ride your bike over NYC DOT bridges.

    The MTA is owned by New York State. The NYC DOT is... owned by NYC.

    Training and overtraining

    As a sedentary office worker I tend to go overboard on the weekend. It turns out this is a bad idea for cycling and set me back quite a few days where I had to rest and recover. During my recovery I did some research and found that you should track your rides and gradually increase distance, giving yourself a week or so to recover.

    I still haven't figured out how to balance weightlifting with long-distance bicycle rides.

    Some of the climbs are pretty tough on the legs, especially the climb up Amsterdam Ave around the 130's in Harlem/Manhattanville. With that climb, once you get to the top, you lose all of your elevation in a block or two and don't even get to enjoy the free speed due to stop signs!

    Dream rides

    The Old Croton Aqueduct Trail is the beginning of the Empire State Trail. I'm looking forward to building up the strength to try this ride someday, especially the parts that are off road. It would be amazing to get on a bike in NYC and just ride to Canada!

  • Significant song in Berlin techno history

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHPHi1rrn90
    Der Klang der Familie (translated to English: the sound of family)

  • A motorcycle-riding lawyer searches Guatemala’s remotest corners to reunite families separated by the U.S.

    More than four years after the Trump administration began separating migrant families at the border, Pop is among a handful of searchers trying to find the parents deported alone to some of the farthest-flung corners of Central America. Two hundred seventy-five of them are still missing.

    Most of their children remain in the United States with relatives or foster families. Some were babies when Border Patrol agents took them from their parents; they’ve now lived most of their lives apart from them.

    The Biden administration has agreed to reunify those families in the United States — a reparation for the most controversial U.S. immigration policy in decades. The hardest part has been simply locating the parents.

    Washington Post

  • The scientist Eric Topol on the Delta variant and its dangerous impact.

    the age skew of the disease and the age skew of vaccine penetration, taken together, mean that the country as a whole has probably had at least 90 percent of its collective mortality risk eliminated through vaccines.

    NY magazine

  • Trumpworld is already weighing veeps for 2024. Hint: It ain’t Pence.

    The election is still 39 months away.

    Politico

  • List of current longest-ruling non-royal national leaders

    A page to launch wikipedia rabbit holes

  • Islands of the Undesirables: Randall’s Island and Wards Island

    Until the 1960s, Randall’s and Wards were two distinct islands, with the stretch between them known as Little Hell Gate.

    https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/islands-of-the-undesirables-randall-s-island-and-wards-island

    So that's why Randall's Island has a bridge called the Wards Island Bridge!

  • Food Carts Adjust to a Changed [New York] City

    DNYUZhttps://dnyuz.com/2021/07/20/game-over-food-carts-adjust-to-a-changed-city/

  • Astronomers push for global debate on giant satellite swarms

    Tens of thousands of satellites could be added to Earth orbit in the next few years to provide broadband Internet, if companies and governments build and launch all the networks, or ‘megaconstellations’, they have publicly announced. The sheer number of these could mean that hundreds are visible all night long, affecting the sky like never before in human history. “These constellations are changing dramatically the way space has been used,” says Piero Benvenuti, an astronomer at the University of Padua in Italy and a former general secretary of the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

    Nature

  • Wifi disconnects every hour

    I've been having an issue with my Ubuntu 20.04 laptop where it disconnects from wifi from time to time. If I wait a minute it will reconnect, or I can do it myself, but it lasts long enough to pause video if I'm watching one, which is a problem.

    After some investigation tonight I figured out that when my laptop's DHCP lease expires on wifi, it stops, then reconnects, instead of planning ahead. So I used the router admin interface to give my laptop a static IP address! Not sure if this will solve the problem but static IP's don't have leases that end.

  • Twitter is shady

    I just logged on to twitter and put in the effort of typing a long tweet. Then when I tried to post it, instead of posting it twitter redirected me to some "security account verification" dark pattern form where I did a captcha, then they asked for my phone number! And a box was checked that allowed them to use my phone number for marketing and harvesting contacts forever!

    I really like using twitter to joke around with my mutuals but lately it's been a dumpster fire of bad takes, and you can't disable viewing the liked tweets of others which are always high-engagement terrible stuff.

  • Buying An $18,000 House: Inside America’s Cheap Old Houses

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YD_AyFEaWwU

  • Amazing Sahara Desert survival story

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=apLSdNuUdKU

  • Getting strong The Martian Mark Watney vibes from this inventor

    Shallow ponds and ditches are producers of greenhouse gases, especially methane, which is released by the breakdown or decay of organic material. Gijs Schalkx harvests this methane from ponds — by hand — and uses it to power his moped. Eight hours of hoeing in a ditch supplies him with enough fuel to ride his vehicle for 20 km.

    Inventor harvests methane gas from ditches and ponds to power his moped

  • Is Spanish Spoken Faster than English?

    No, but there's a reason it seems that way. read more

  • Dankmus - E A T - T H I S - P I E -

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHSFCdeuqdg

  • Illinois might pass a crypto-friendly law

    Illinois would be the second state in the nation to allow special trusts to hold digital assets after Wyoming, which drew digital asset bank Avanti and cryptocurrency exchange Kraken to the state with a similar measure in 2019.

    Illinois may become 2nd state allowing financial services run on cryptocurrency

  • What I've been reading

    Hail Mary - Andy Weir. This is an Andy Weir-style book, if you liked the last two, you'll like this one, I think even more. I won't say any more. If you read it let's have coffee!

    World Travel - Anthony Bourdain. An unusual book, and some will criticize co-author Laurie Woolever for going ahead with the collaboration after Bourdain passed away. I'm glad she did, because the long Bourdain quotes and hearsay and wisdom are well-worth the effort of skipping past the filler material about airports. Bourdain was so incisive that even a small dose is worthwhile.

    How Life Imitates Chess - Garry Kasparov. I'll read anything by Kasparov, and I love the anecdotes about his career. The MBA-style vague chess analogies like "always attack!" are perfectly fine. If you read one prose book by Kasparov I preferred Deep Thinking about the Deep Blue match and machine intelligence in general.

    Mind Master - Vishy Anand. If you like chess world champion autobiographies, you'll like this one! It is truly unbelievable that the first grandmaster from India became world champion, held his crown for so long, and passed along every bit of his good fortune to the next generation. One of the most incredible people active in the world today.

    The 4-Hour Work Week - Tim Ferriss. (reread, as I regularly do.) This is my bible. It can be hard to remember when reading it that it was written so long ago in 2009 (except the dated parts about magazine ads!) Tim recently made a really nice podcast episode where he answered questions about himself and his routines which I enjoyed very much. Read this to get out of a rut.

    A Memory Called Empire (Teixcalaan) - Arkady Martine. The author was at U of C at the same time as me! I didn't know her, but I absolutely loved the story (so fresh and creative) and her success is a kick in the pants that I need to get my creative work out in front of people.

    The Two-State Delusion - Padraig O'Malley. (2016). An attempt at an impartial telling of the story of Zionism, the many parties involved, the inculcation of children, and what outcomes are possible. The author is an Irishman with extensive experience covering intractable conflict in Northern Ireland. I read this during the recent fighting between the Gaza Strip and Israel, and the subject of Israel being raised in the NYC mayoral race. Recommended, although the conclusion is bleak is born out by the intervening years.

    The Time Machine Did It. and How I Conquered Your Planet by John Swartzwelder. I picked these up after reading the recent New Yorker interview with the author. He's an absolute legend among Simpsons fans (like me) and the books were a cut above, unlike any comic writing I've ever read, absolutely worth their weight in gold. Up there with A Confederacy of Dunces.

  • The invisible addiction: is it time to give up caffeine?

    Michael Pollan with a "long read" about coffee.

  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger on the Moral Failure of Republicans and the Big Lie

    The Congressional Representative from my childhood home district gave an interview to the NYT.

  • GW200115 and GW200105—Completing the set

    Christopher Berry Gravitational-wave astronomer

    Very exciting! We have probably detected a neutron star crashing into a black hole!

  • Meet the Author: Torbjørn Ekelund, author of In Praise of Paths

    Walking as your sole means of transportation must have been a big transition, although you said it only took a matter of days. What was the biggest adjustment for you?  

    The biggest adjustment for me was that I needed to establish a new conception of time. It only took me a few days to get used to not being able to drive a car, but my decision to walk everywhere, even when I could take the bus or the subway, forced me to create a whole new schedule for myself. I needed to start everything earlier: start walking an hour before a scheduled meeting, if it took place on the other side of town, for example. And I always had to make sure I carried a backpack for grocery shopping, etcetera. Now, if I don’t have a backpack, I feel like I’m missing an important part of my body. And when I see people that drive their cars to the supermarket (which almost everybody does), it seems almost absurd to me.

    Author Interview

  • Cuba's COVID vaccine rivals BioNTech-Pfizer, Moderna

    These are the first vaccines on the island since Cuba declined importing any shots from Russia or China. Cuba has also decided against joining the UN-backed COVAX initiative, a global project aimed at getting COVID-19 shots to countries regardless of their wealth.

    dw

  • NASA Selects 2 Missions to Study ‘Lost Habitable’ World of Venus

    NASA is awarding approximately $500 million per mission for development. Each is expected to launch in the 2028-2030 timeframe.

    https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-selects-2-missions-to-study-lost-habitable-world-of-venus

  • Robert Shiller: ‘Wild West’ mentality is gripping housing, stocks and crypto

    According to Shiller, current home price action is also reminiscent of 2003, two years before the slide began. He notes the dip happened gradually and ultimately crashed around the 2008 financial crisis.

    “If you go out three or five years, I could imagine they’d [prices] be substantially lower than they are now, and maybe that’s a good thing,” he added. “Not from the standpoint of a homeowner, but it’s from the standpoint of a prospective homeowner. It’s a good thing. If we have more houses, we’re better off.”

    CNBC

  • The Profound Potential of Elon Musk’s New Rocket

    The benefits of Starship for both robotic and human exploration are hard to overstate. Mars’ recent arrival, Perseverance, can deliver one ton to the Red Planet’s surface. Starship, with its 100-ton capacity, can land a battalion of robots. These could include many Perseverance-like explorers, and much bigger versions of the Ingenuity helicopter.

    Nautilus

  • J.D. Vance Is Making Everyone Mad on Twitter. Can It Win Him a Senate Seat?

    But there’s a deeper reason why a cerebral cultural figure like Vance would convert to Trump-style trolldom: In today’s political and media culture, trolling is the shortest, simplest path to a level of attention you’d never get any other way.

    politico

    I suppose if you could talk to the real Vance, he'd say something akin to "don't hate the player, hate the game." OK, I hate the game of politics, like a lot of people do, because the smartest politicians pretend to be rubes to impress voters.

  • Ethereum will reduce electricity usage by 99%+

    A country's worth of power, no more!

  • Europe is starting to freak out about the launch dominance of SpaceX

    Thanks to its reusable, low-cost Falcon 9 rocket, SpaceX has been able to slash prices for large commercial satellites that could be lofted by the Ariane 6. Whereas Europe's Ariane vehicles once played a dominant role in launching geostationary satellites, they've lost considerable market share since 2014. Moreover, through its rideshare program for the Falcon 9, SpaceX also threatens to take missions away from Vega-C, which has a lift capacity of about 1.5 tons to polar orbit.

    Ars

  • Antikythera mechanism

    The Antikythera mechanism (/ˌæntɪkɪˈθɪərə/AN-tih-kih-THEER-ə) is an ancient Greek hand-powered orrery, described as the first analogue computer,[1] the oldest known example of such a device [...] The instrument is believed to have been designed and constructed by Greek scientists and has been variously dated to about 87 BC

    wikipedia

  • The founder of JPL died at age 37 having led an incredible life

    After a brief involvement with Marxism in 1939, Parsons converted to Thelema, the English occultist Aleister Crowley's new religious movement. In 1941, with his first wife Helen Northrup, Parsons joined the Agape Lodge, the Californian branch of the Thelemite Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.). At Crowley's bidding, he replaced Wilfred Talbot Smith as its leader in 1942 and ran the Lodge from his mansion on Orange Grove Boulevard. Parsons was expelled from JPL and Aerojet in 1944 due to the Lodge's infamous reputation and his hazardous workplace conduct.

    In 1945 Parsons separated from Helen after having an affair with her sister Sara; when Sara left him for L. Ron Hubbard, he conducted the Babalon Working, a series of rituals designed to invoke the Thelemic goddess Babalon to Earth. He and Hubbard continued the procedure with Marjorie Cameron, whom Parsons married in 1946. After Hubbard and Sara defrauded him of his life savings, Parsons resigned from the O.T.O. and held various jobs while acting as a consultant for Israel's rocket program. Amid the climate of McCarthyism, he was accused of espionage and left unable to work in rocketry. In 1952 Parsons died at the age of 37 in a home laboratory explosion that attracted national media attention; the police ruled it an accident, but many associates suspected suicide or murder.

    wikipedia

    L Ron Hubbard stole his wife and his life savings! And that's not all!

  • What's Dominic Cummings up to?

    Cummings founded Siwah Ltd. on Feb. 25, according to a filing to Companies House. The firm’s focus is described as “information technology consultancy activities.”

    It is unclear what Cummings’s new project will entail. Wāḥat Sīwah is the site of a legendary oracle that proclaimed Alexander the Great as the Pharaoh of Egypt.

    Bloomberg

  • Roman Space Telescope Could Image 100 Hubble Ultra Deep Fields at Once

    NASA’s upcoming Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope will be able to photograph an area of the sky at least 100 times larger than Hubble with the same crisp sharpness.

    nasa

  • Excellent episode of the Rationally Speaking podcast (guest Vitalik)

    [Vitalik:] There is definitely a difference between just seeing that the way the mainstream world does things,and the way that your own direct, explicit thinking leads you are different, and then just admitting that, yeah, your thinking is probably wrong...versus thinking that your thinking is probably right, but still not doing anything about it.

    Rationally Speaking podcast

    Fantastic, clear thinking, I'm definitely pulling the thread on the phrase “epistemic modesty”, "where smart people who think the market is being irrational look at it,and they assume, "Well, but the market is efficient, and so if I think that I can beat it, I'm probably wrong, and therefore I won't try to beat it."

    It explains why some people can win at prediction markets, which has been hard for me to explain.

  • The case for opsimaths. Maybe late bloomers aren't so late

    Elsewhere, I have called this ‘The Fitzgerald Rule’: You spot talent by looking at what people persist at, not what persistently happens to them.

    Taking the ideas of cognitive peaks, fluid and concrete intelligence, the role of luck and persistence in scientific success, and other recent empirical findings, we should be able to start re-thinking how we write the lives of late bloomers. We might start by dropping the ‘late’ designator all together.

    Rather than thinking of people as late bloomers, people who were in some way held back or prevented from success, we would be better off seeing them as opsimaths: smart people who carried on learning and achieved things when the timing and circumstances were right.

    Biography’s contribution to this is to contextualise and show the ways in which talent can express itself seemingly out of nowhere. Tracing the factors that were in place before the biographical subject made their achievement, using the general factors detailed from recent empirical research, might offer a useful approach.

    The Common Reader

    "40 Under 40" articles are complete bullshit. Just keep working hard at what you're inclined to work at.

  • TikTok and the Sorting Hat

    The problem with approximating an interest graph with a social graph is that social graphs have negative network effects that kick in at scale. Take a social network like Twitter: the one-way follow graph structure is well-suited to interest graph construction, but the problem is that you’re rarely interested in everything from any single person you follow. You may enjoy Gruber’s thoughts on Apple but not his Yankees tweets. Or my tweets on tech but not on film. And so on. You can try to use Twitter Lists, or mute or block certain people or topics, but it’s all a big hassle that few have the energy or will to tackle.

    Eugene Wei

    Eugene goes on to explain that TikTok's brilliance is being 100% about your interests and curating your feed for you. No need to manage human relationships and ensuing conflict that causes, or struggle to categorize yourself and admit to embarrassing interests. The algorithm will take care of everything, simply launch the app.

  • The TikTok For You Page was designed for the ML algorithm

    In recent years, one of the realizations in machine learning, at least to an outsider to the subject like myself, is just how much progress was possible just by increasing the volume of training data by several orders of magnitude. That is, even if the algorithms themselves aren’t that different than they were a few years ago, just by training them on a much larger datasets, AI researchers have achieved breakthroughs like GPT-3 (which temporarily gave tech Twitter a tantric orgasm). [...]

    TikTok fascinates me because it is an example of a modern app whose design, whether by accident or, uhh, design, is optimized to feed its algorithm as much useful signal as possible. It is an exemplar of what I call algorithm-friendly design. [...]

    The default UI of our largest social networks today is the infinite vertically scrolling feed (I could have easily used a screenshot of Facebook above, for example). Instead of serving you one story at a time, these apps display multiple items on screen at once. As you scroll up and past many stories, the algorithm can’t “see” which story your eyes rest on. Even if it could, if the user doesn’t press any of the feedback buttons like the Like button, is their sentiment towards that story positive or negative? The signal of user sentiment isn’t clean.

    Eugene Wei

    This is a very long post, and it links to some incredible long posts and a few entire books. Here's the big payoff: ML algorithms become more accurate with larger, more detailed data sets. TikTok, by placing a single post on the screen at once, is able to capture granular data about each user's interaction with the post, increasing the power of it's algorithm compared to other social media apps, which offer an infinite feed and therefore aren't always sure which post you're interacting with.

    Very insightful. TikTok is a big deal whether we like it or not. (I do.)

  • Mechanical keyboards

    Mechanical keyboard hobbyists (yes, it's often referred to as "the hobby") who are really serious about keeping their keyboard as quiet as possible, or who like the smoothest possible action, take apart and lubricate each switch individually.

    Ars Technica

    Although I am not myself a practitioner of "the hobby" these are my kinds of nerds.

  • Ted Chiang short story about cognitive enhancement

    NYT (the story was published in the NYT)

  • Rug Pulled on Users as DeFi Project Meerkat Finance Disappears Along with $31 Million

    However, it is speculated that instead of a hack, the Meerkat Finance team has pulled the rug. According to on-chain data, the original Meerkat deployer’s account was used to alter the smart contract that contains the project’s vault business logic, which means either the project did so itself or its private key was compromised.

    Adding to the exit scam suspicions is the disappearance of Meerkat's Twitter profile and website.

    Bitcoin Exchange Guide

    Binance Smart Chain is a little bit centralized, but apparently not enough to return these funds.

  • BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes May Surrender to US Law Enforcement Next Month

    Hayes is currently in Singapore, Greenwood told District Judge John Koeltl, of the Southern District of New York, according to the transcript.

    “We have discussed with counsel how to arrange for a voluntary surrender, and he has proposed appearing within the United States in Hawaii and having his initial appearance there and then,” she said in the transcript. 

    Greenwood said Hayes could continue to reside abroad, traveling to Hawaii for virtual appearances during the initial stages of the legal process. He would travel to New York if and when the case proceeds to the trial phase.

    Coindesk

    This is a sweet deal, but it raises the question of why he'd surrender in the first place. Would Singapore have extradited him?

  • Some group is systematically taking down Russian cybercrime forums

    Some forum lurkers have speculated that these recent compromises feel like the work of some government spy agency.

    “Only intelligence services or people who know where the servers are located can pull off things like that,” mused one mainstay of Exploit. “Three forums in one month is just weird. I don’t think those were regular hackers. Someone is purposefully ruining forums.”

    Others are wondering aloud which forum will fall next, and bemoaning the loss of trust among users that could be bad for business.

    “Perhaps they work according to the following logic,” wrote one Exploit user. “There will be no forums, there will be no trust between everyone, less cooperation, more difficult to find partners – fewer attacks.”

    Krebs

    Some anonymous group is using illegal methods to take down criminals!

  • Stripe Sessions 2019 | The future of payments

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hta9-Ja2HQc&mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiWW1aa05tSTBNekUwTkRFeSIsInQiOiJzUml4bWZ1ZElHblc1bTNGWDRjU2MxbTFvSTd6ekY2dUlwR2dSSCt3TVNYaVZRUzFIWW94TkhPbXJlcDFKTEFIY2l3c21ZQnZXNlBTN1wvYVhjXC9MdXo5Q3QxTXdPTU1RQWNcL0RqdnlnTExCZkNiaGV2alFsTytPYnVOT1JnaUhqeiJ9

    Stripe founder John Collison and the CEO of Paystack Shola Akinlade give an update on China, India, and Nigeria. These countries are moving far faster than the US and in some aspects of payments have surpassed us.

    Akinlade asked his customers what they wanted. They asked him to plaster the Paystack brand on billboards to increase customer trust in the brand! Absolutely classic story of users surprising a business and giving them valuable info resulting in a more effective next move.

  • Good news on the exciting James Webb Space Telescope

    The James Webb Space Telescope will be the world's premier space science observatory when it launches in 2021. Webb will solve mysteries in our solar system, look beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probe the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it.

    NASA

    This project is a very big deal, long-delayed (as always with these one-of-kind space projects) but going to have a huge payoff.

  • HOWTO: make a breaking change to your heavily-used API

    Stripe schools us on the right way to do engineering.

    We locked ourselves in a conference room for three months with the goal of designing a truly unified payments API. If successful, a developer would only need to understand a few basic concepts in order to build a payments integration. Even if they hadn’t heard of the payment method, they should be able to just add a few parameters to a few specific points in their integration. To enable this, the states and guarantees of our APIs had to be extremely predictable and consistent. There shouldn’t be an array of caveats and exceptions scattered throughout our docs.

    A team of five people—four engineers and a PM—walked through every payment method we supported and we could imagine supporting in the future. We iterated on an API design that would be able to model all of them. We ignored all existing abstractions and thought about the problem from first principles.

    Stripe Blog

    Stripe was forced into launching a new API because their existing one had too much bolted on and was getting unwieldly. This is a classic way a big, successful company starts to lose what made them great in the first place. But not Stripe! They kept their existing API operating, designed a new one from first principles, and made migrating as easy as possible.

  • Picking up survivors

    RMS Laconia, carrying 2,732 crew, passengers, soldiers and prisoners of war, was torpedoed and sunk by U-156, a German U-boat, off the West African coast. Operating partly under the dictates of the old prize rules, the U-boat commander, Korvettenkapitän Werner Hartenstein, immediately commenced rescue operations. U-156 broadcast their position on open radio channels to all Allied powers nearby, and were joined by the crews of several other U-boats in the vicinity.

    After surfacing and picking up survivors, who were accommodated on the foredeckU-156 headed on the surface under Red Cross banners to rendezvous with Vichy French ships and transfer the survivors. En route, the U-boat was spotted by a B-24 Liberator bomber of the US Army Air Forces. The aircrew, having reported the U-boat's location, intentions and the presence of survivors, were then ordered to attack the sub. The B-24 killed dozens of Laconia's survivors with bombs and strafing attacks, forcing U-156 to cast their remaining survivors into the sea and crash dive to avoid being destroyed.

    Wikipedia

  • A story of running a startup (Waze) within Google after being acquired

    I believed that I could build out Waze within Google, breaking the myth about what happens to companies after being acquired by large corporations. Looking back, this reminds me of the Western CEO and China. Every Western CEO thinks she or he will be the first to be a successful Western brand in China and many try and launch a service there. The Chinese are used to this Western arrogance and welcome the foreigners. Many quarters and dollars later, the Western CEO leaves with some China experience and the Chinese partner keeps the IP, money, business… You cannot fight the nature of the beast, this is China. Same thing happened to me in China pre acquisition… So, to complete the analogy - I was the naive start-up leader believing that I can build out Waze within Google to its full potential and conquer the beast, regardless of its nature. This irrational belief is critical for a Start-up leader but challenging in the corporate environment.

    The founder's post

    This is more than the usual posts we see on HN where someone leaving FAANG give them a kick in the butt on the way out the door. (Without returning the money they made of course.)

    Post discussion on Hacker News.

    Netflix slides discussion in the post.

  • A woman on her thoughts about The Other Woman

    The Point Mag

    Not the kind of essay I usually read, and I couldn't produce a train of thought resembling this after a million years of effort. When I read that bit of Tolstoy, I thought that he was pointing out that there is always a possibility of everything falling to pieces for no good reason, a typical Russian novel point. But her interpretation is so different.

    I wonder as neuroscience and AI advance if we'll be able to isolate what makes different people see the world so differently, and care more about different aspects of it.

  • Writing Ethereum bots made easy

    Build a Flash Loan Arbitrage Bot on Infura, Part II

    Fantastic blog post and sample code, I got it running so fast with only minimal edits, like filling in the values in .env and commenting out the line of code that trades real money. Needless to say, don't try to use this bot to arb the eth/dai market, with this code you're a minnow swimming with sharks.

  • NASA Science countdown clocks


    NASA Science

  • tech podcasts need a reboot

    I feel like every blog, message board and podcast interviews the same guys who made bank during the Bush administration starting Twitter and that era's companies, and they are getting stale. When you're rich and high status for 10-15 years you just aren't hungry any more.

    And I can't listen to one more podcast question about having a good board of directors. This is not something very many people need to think about and once you're at that point you can go do research on it. Let's all just step back a minute and realize this will probably never come up for most of us.

  • No one has made a video telling the story of catnip exchange and the nTrump token

    This is a great opportunity for someone. It's really cutting edge cool decentralized tech.

  • Is there a way to sort through referer spam in serverside analytics logs?

    I'd like to know how many non-bot visitors this blog gets, but a lot of my traffic feels botlike when I look at it. I'm sure someone has sorted out how to do this somewhere. I use WP Analytics for what it's worth and as always prefer free as in libre software.

  • Using AWS Lambda and AWS Elemental MediaConvert to transcode videos in the cloud

    Our AWS Serverless Video Transcoding Solution

  • Fundamental Analysis doesn't work for Bitcoin. And if you use it for Tesla, it won't tell the whole story.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2H0EKnkLqk

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz7hsHC2ORE

    Bitcoin

    Guys like this want to use fundamental analysis, which is fine. There's nothing wrong with it. But there's nothing special about it either. The fundamental analysis people think that it's holy, that there's something special about it that makes it better than other investment strategies. But fundamental analysis is just one tool, it applies to some assets well and others poorly.

    But as this video says, Bitcoin doesn't have fundamentals. It's not a currency. It's something new. It's price comes from the story people tell about it. Read Narrative Economics by Robert Schiller. He won the Nobel Prize (for work he did on another topic). If that's too much to ask, just read the first chapter of it, it's about Bitcoin and why it has value at all.

    Making fun of dumb people and their pro-Bitcoin arguments makes for an amusing video but doesn't help us decide whether to hold or sell Bitcoin.

    If you don't think Bitcoin has any fundamental value unless the US undergoes hyperinflation or societal collapse, look at people in countries like Argentina and Venezeula. Bitcoin has already served as a store of value for people living under oppressive currency manipulation. This argument has been stale for years. There's a big world out there outside of the US.

    Tesla

    In Tesla's case, the (reasonable) thesis behind its market cap is that it is a step-change company. You can put up Tesla numbers against big old guard companies all you want and Tesla will always look terrible. But fundamental analysis can't explain meme stocks, moon shot companies like Tesla, or crypto. Fundamental analysis is great if you're deciding between an investment in General Electric and Exxon, old guard companies with steady businesses that operate quarter by quarter.

    Tesla isn't like that, their business will either collapse or disrupt the fossil fuel vehicle industry, justifying their valuation over a long time scale of a decade or more. You have to think big to see this, and acknowledge that while massive undertakings usually fail, sometimes people do succeed.

    Is everyone who owns Tesla stock a visionary genius? No. But while OP correctly points out quite a few fallacies to avoid when evaluating an investment, they miss a few of their own.

    If everyone was this short-sighted we'd never get any big breakthrough tech.

  • How to change the Encoded and Tagged date on a video file

    Quick reference

    The following commands were run in order so you can see the results. Here is how to check the dates on a file.

    $ mediainfo video.mp4 | grep date
     Encoded date    : UTC 2019-12-15 09:11:47
     Tagged date     : UTC 2019-12-15 09:11:47
     Encoded date    : UTC 2019-12-15 09:11:47
     Tagged date     : UTC 2019-12-15 09:11:47
     Encoded date    : UTC 2019-12-15 09:11:47
     Tagged date     : UTC 2019-12-15 09:11:47

    How to change the date on a file

    ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -c copy -map 0 -metadata creation_time="2015-10-21 04:20:00" output.mp4

    Now the date is changed

    $ mediainfo output.mp4 | grep date
     Encoded date    : UTC 2015-10-21 08:20:00
     Tagged date     : UTC 2015-10-21 08:20:00
     Encoded date    : UTC 2015-10-21 08:20:00
     Tagged date     : UTC 2015-10-21 08:20:00
     Encoded date    : UTC 2015-10-21 08:20:00
     Tagged date     : UTC 2015-10-21 08:20:00

    More info

    When I use my Samsung Smart TV to watch video files hosted on my UPnP media server, the file browser is incredible awkward. One of the least awkward ways to browse the files is by date, since the TV allows you to view them by year. But sometimes videos that go together don't have the same year.

    You can view and correct the year on video files using the above commands.

  • NASA Awards Contract to Launch Initial Elements for Lunar Outpost

    About one-sixth the size of the International Space Station, the Gateway will function as a way station, located tens of thousands of miles at its farthest distance from the lunar surface, in a near-rectilinear halo orbit. It will serve as a rendezvous point for Artemis astronauts traveling to lunar orbit aboard Orion prior to transit to low-lunar orbit and the surface of the Moon. From this vantage, NASA and its international and commercial partners will conduct unprecedented deep space science and technology investigations.

    NASA

    Hurry up! I want to travel to space!

  • A container in 52 lines of go

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Utf-A4rODH8
    Building a container from scratch in Go - Liz Rice (Microscaling Systems)

  • The Rezz remix is better

    https://open.spotify.com/track/0LwScqPc3ALwZtOPW65ITG

  • The NOAA updated their sunrise/sunset calculator

    Please note that this web page is the old version of the NOAA Solar Calculator. Back when this calculator was first created, we decided to use a non-standard definition of longitude and time zone, to make coordinate entry less awkward. So on this page, both longitude and time zone are defined as positive to the west, instead of the international standard of positive to the east of the Prime Meridian.

    old calculator

    New calculator

    For whenever you need to calculate sunset time based entire on lat/long coordinates instead of a city name!

  • Digital Ocean offers a $5/month plan

    That's amazing. Lately I've been messing around a lot with raspberry pis and running servers at home, but it has been tedious to deal with. This is tempting for something simple like a gemini server.

  • Soundcloud allowing users to tip artists directly

    Repost allows artists on SoundCloud to monetize their music on the platform, and distribute music and collect revenue from major streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and TikTok, along with offering promotional tools, for $30 a year, a plan that lets acts keep 100% of their SoundCloud revenue, and 80% of revenue from other platforms.

    Billboard

    This sounds fantastic, hooray for directly connecting fans and artists and cutting out record labels who add very little or nothing to the relationship.

  • Signal distributes their client outside of the Google Play store

    Click here to download. This means users can install Signal on their Android phone without the involvement of Google or the other large tech companies.

  • Yearn Loses $11M in 2021’s First DeFi Hack

    The hack brought sarcastic comments hailing DeFi as “the future of finance,” as well as people questioning open finance’s uncensorable nature considering Yearn deposits were disabled, not entirely different from Robinhood’s limiting of GME stock purchases last week.

    [...]

    In response, Tether has frozen the 1.7M USDT stolen in the attack, again casting a shadow on just how decentralized crypto really is.

    The Defiant

    Note that it is possible to make fully decentralized services on Ethereum, but Yearn and Tether both have admin keys.

  • NASA is sending a problem to a metal asteroid in the asteroid belt named Psyche

    NASA’s Psyche Mission Moves Forward, Passing Key Milestone

  • RubyConf 2019 - Keynote - Collective Problem Solving in Music, Science, Art... by Jessica Kerr

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oeigCANJVQ
    This is one of the best talks I've ever seen, it spans centuries and explains so much.

  • Really interesting Mario Maker level

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=2p2M-KrbVJk&t=311s
    This channel is great

  • Well-informed speculation about the future of DeFi (Ethereum)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgzzQ2SBZ50

  • Remind anyone of Liu Cixin and The Dark Forest?

    Could game theory help discover intelligent alien life?

  • Gottlob Frege gets the credit he deserves!

    I'm always happy to consume Russell's Paradox #content! Gottlob Frege

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xauCQpnbNAM

  • A real-life three star system with a planet!

    Planetary Sleuthing Finds Triple-Star World https://www.nasa.gov/feature/ames/planetary-sleuthing-finds-triple-star-world

  • Incredible real-life story of escape from Yemen (2018)

    But on March 25, 2015, two days before Mokhtar planned to fly out from Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, air strikes rained down, forcing closure to civilian airports and ports.

    Mokhtar was determined to make it to the SCAA conference in Seattle. Since planes were no longer an option, he grabbed 60 kilograms of coffee samples in two suitcases and drove seven hours to an old, vacant port – the port of Mokha.

    Mokha was the first port in the world to trade coffee. He initially planned to take a large ship across to the closest next country’s working airport, but when he arrived in Mokha, he was informed the ship didn’t have enough diesel.

    There was one other option: a small, fiberglass boat to Djibouti. The trip would take one day across the Red Sea. He paid the captain $900 and climbed into the boat.

    “You're in this giant ocean, and these waves [are] crashing on you … and this guy has no GPS. You don't know if he knows where he's going. And he has one single motor engine. If it dies, you're done. Stuck.”

    How One Man Fled The Yemeni War To Get His Coffee Beans To Seattle

  • Absolutely gorgeous programming by id Software

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8u_k2LIZyo

  • President Biden freezes FinCEN's proposed crypto wallet regulations

    President Joe Biden has frozen all regulatory processes including proposed FinCEN rules detrimental to the crypto industry.

  • The Kraken cryptocurrency exchange doesn't serve New York

    I tried to sign up and they sent me this message

    Regrettably, we cannot provide service to residents of New York due to the state's imposition of the "BitLicense." We hope this changes in the future, and we will notify you if and when it does.

    In the meantime, you can still submit verification details to pre-verify your account. This will ensure account features are unlocked when and if this situation changes.

    For more information on this topic, please see our blog post here: https://blog.kraken.com/post/253

    Thank you for your understanding. We truly hope to be able to provide service to you soon.
    Best Regards,

    https://blog.kraken.com/post/253/

  • MIA Paper Planes story

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oWu2RrIUgsU

  • Ethereum pessimism

    A nice writeup of the contra case for Ethereum

  • Hidden surprises in the Bitcoin blockchain and how they are stored: Nelson Mandela, Wikileaks, photos, and Python software

    Hidden surprises in the Bitcoin blockchain and how they are stored: Nelson Mandela, Wikileaks, photos, and Python software

    Nice technical write-up on how things are stored in the Bitcoin blockchain

  • I made a running bar chart of cryptocurrency market caps from 2013 until now

    https://youtu.be/C-6nssLbmx8

  • And another one

  • I am watching The Social Dilemma

  • Learn to trade Bitcoin using bots: Part 2: your first bot: simple moving average crossover

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPgu_wiN76I

    I made another youtube video in my series teaching how to trade crypto using bots.

  • Learn to write bots that trade Bitcoin & crypto, Part 1: what does it mean to go long and short?

    https://youtu.be/6kvjgOIKVyM

  • Yu Ming Is Ainm Dom (2003) - Short Film

    https://youtu.be/JqYtG9BNhfM

  • The FXCM python library dependency error from Python for Finance

    The fxcmpy library used in the book Python For Finance doesn't correctly handle its dependencies. This error is compounded by the similar name of the libraries socketio and python-socketio. Here is the solution.

    If you are trying to import fxcmpy and get an error about importing socketio

    In [1]: import fxcmpy
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ModuleNotFoundError                       Traceback (most recent call last)
    <ipython-input-1-dccc53ad16b2> in <module>
    ----> 1 import fxcmpy
    
    ~/.pyenv/versions/3.8.5/lib/python3.8/site-packages/fxcmpy/__init__.py in <module>
    ----> 1 from fxcmpy.fxcmpy import fxcmpy as fxcmpy
          2 from fxcmpy.fxcmpy_open_position import fxcmpy_open_position
          3 from fxcmpy.fxcmpy_closed_position import fxcmpy_closed_position
          4 from fxcmpy.fxcmpy_order import fxcmpy_order
          5 from fxcmpy.fxcmpy_oco_order import fxcmpy_oco_order
    
    ~/.pyenv/versions/3.8.5/lib/python3.8/site-packages/fxcmpy/fxcmpy.py in <module>
         12 
         13 import requests
    ---> 14 import socketio
         15 from threading import Thread
         16 import json
    
    ModuleNotFoundError: No module named 'socketio'
    
    

    You might think you need to install socketio yourself.

    $ pip install socketio
    Collecting socketio
      Using cached socketio-0.2.1.tar.gz (6.1 kB)
        ERROR: Command errored out with exit status 1:
         command: /home/dennis/.pyenv/versions/3.8.5/bin/python3.8 -c 'import sys, setuptools, tokenize; sys.argv[0] = '"'"'/tmp/pip-install-k501njpi/socketio/setup.py'"'"'; __file__='"'"'/tmp/pip-install-k501njpi/socketio/setup.py'"'"';f=getattr(tokenize, '"'"'open'"'"', open)(__file__);code=f.read().replace('"'"'\r\n'"'"', '"'"'\n'"'"');f.close();exec(compile(code, __file__, '"'"'exec'"'"'))' egg_info --egg-base /tmp/pip-pip-egg-info-cfkvuljn
             cwd: /tmp/pip-install-k501njpi/socketio/
        Complete output (11 lines):
        Traceback (most recent call last):
          File "<string>", line 1, in <module>
          File "/home/dennis/.pyenv/versions/3.8.5/lib/python3.8/site-packages/setuptools/__init__.py", line 12, in <module>
            from setuptools.extension import Extension
          File "/home/dennis/.pyenv/versions/3.8.5/lib/python3.8/site-packages/setuptools/extension.py", line 7, in <module>
            from setuptools.dist import _get_unpatched
          File "/home/dennis/.pyenv/versions/3.8.5/lib/python3.8/site-packages/setuptools/dist.py", line 16, in <module>
            import pkg_resources
          File "/home/dennis/.pyenv/versions/3.8.5/lib/python3.8/site-packages/pkg_resources.py", line 1479, in <module>
            register_loader_type(importlib_bootstrap.SourceFileLoader, DefaultProvider)
        AttributeError: module 'importlib._bootstrap' has no attribute 'SourceFileLoader'
        ----------------------------------------
    ERROR: Command errored out with exit status 1: python setup.py egg_info Check the logs for full command output.

    But that doesn't work! The problem is that the fxcmpy library doesn't list of all its dependencies so you have to install socketio yourself, *and* there is naming confusion between socketio and python-socketio. The solution is to install the needed library.

    pip install python-socketio

    And then fxcmpy will work.

    $ ipython
    Python 3.8.5 (default, Aug 14 2020, 01:11:32) 
    Type 'copyright', 'credits' or 'license' for more information
    IPython 7.17.0 -- An enhanced Interactive Python. Type '?' for help.
    
    In [1]: import fxcmpy
    
    In [2]: 

  • Maurice Ashley is even more amazing than I realized

    Here's an excerpt that struck me from the Tim Ferriss podcast.

    [Maurice Ashley:] Like I said, my kids had won the national championships, my students. I was doing commentary, I was traveling the world, doing commentary. I’d written, I’d done a CD ROM by then. And it felt like I was doing everything that was just periphery, peripheral to what I really wanted to do. And I was basically letting her know that this was where my spirit was.

    And she was the one who said, “Well, why don’t you just ask Dan?” And that didn’t even occur to me, even though he was just basically one degree of separation away. I said, “I don’t know. Okay. I guess.” And so I just did, and very quickly he said, “I love this. You’ve done so much for the kids, and for our organization, I’d be happy to support you.” And I feel like that’s an important thing to — when you have a dream, you’re not on an island, right? You’re not isolated. There are people around who will sense your sincerity, will sense your drive, will sense your determination, and sometimes it just comes together. And I feel very fortunate that this all happened for me.

    But I feel like that’s happened to me at various points in my life. That a window opens because I’m manifesting out there that “This is what I want.” That a window opens because I’m manifesting out there that “This is what I want.”

    The Tim Ferriss podcast

    Italics added by me. I listened to this podcast last month and this part has been in my head ever since. These ideas combined with the 50 Cent biography I just read are pushing me to pursue my dreams more directly.

  • Elite CIA unit that developed hacking tools failed to secure its own systems, allowing massive leak, an internal report found

    The theft of top-secret computer hacking tools from the CIA in 2016 was the result of a workplace culture in which the agency’s elite computer hackers “prioritized building cyber weapons at the expense of securing their own systems,” according to an internal report prepared for then-director Mike Pompeo as well as his deputy, Gina Haspel, now the current director.

    Washington Post

  • Helpful links and information for voting in the upcoming NYC primary election

    On Tuesday, June 23, 2020, New York State is holding a primary election which was delayed due to COVID-19. The contests are federal and state offices, and some party committee memberships.

    Your next chance to vote in New York City elections, like for mayor, will not be until 2021.

    If you're registered as a Democrat, you will be given that party's ballot and allowed to vote. It is too late now to change your party affiliation and you cannot do it on voting day.

    To check your registration status, use this website. If you see "Party: DEM" then you can vote in this primary!

    If you don't want to go to a polling place, request an absentee ballot. Because so many people will be voting by absentee ballot, don't expect results on Election Day this time!

    To see who is running in the contests on your ballot, use this website. Tips: you don't need to put in anything in the email form field, and your street address should include the entire address, for example "100 W 20th St." with the W.

    It can be hard to research these races, New York State is fairly liberal in allowing candidates onto the ballot. Some candidates are not running serious campaigns, or are colorful neighborhood characters like Paperboy Love Prince.

    Unlike the presidential races, polling is not widespread in these races, and turnout can be extremely low. I recommend checking out the candidate's social media accounts and searching for them in local media to see how serious they are and whether you agree with their stances.

    There are multiple competitive Congressional primaries on the ballot this year. Here's an article about four of them, with information about endorsements from AOC, Justice Democrats. etc.

    Here in NY-12, I'm supporting Suraj Patel. If I lived in NY-10, I'd vote for Lindsay Boylan.

    Is there anything else you want to know about the upcoming election? Please ask me!

  • Best of the week

    The best content I saw this week!

    Policing in Baltimore

    The Tragedy of Baltimore (2019)

    Who Wants to Run the Deadliest Big City in America? (2020)

    The Media Business

    How the ‘Call Her Daddy’ Feud Boiled Over (2020)

    I had been underestimating the value of a podcast and personal brand by multiple orders of magnitude. The podcasters, Sofia Franklyn, and Alexandra Cooper understand their value (99.9%), the value of their hosting company (very little) and decide to get paid what they are worth. Hosting a podcast is simply hosting an RSS feed of an mp3 file, and some metadata like description text and images. A podcast app on a phone is just an RSS reader at heart. This includes the extremely popular Apple podcast app. Podcasts are an open web triumph! Now we come to the issue of promoting the podcast. This is another topic that the article corrected my understanding of. Sofia and Alexandra don't need gatekeepers to promote them. They can do it themselves. They are brands.

    Combine

    1) the open web of podcast hosting

    2) social media connecting Sofia and Alexandra directly with their fans and the gatekeepers are not needed.

    Sofia and Alexandra made it to the Top 20 on the Apple Podcast app.

    “These girls have nearly one million followers, they can make $10,000 or $20,000 for a single Instagram post,” she said. “You can take that audience and do anything. You could start a fashion label, you could start a spinoff podcast. If that audience likes and trusts you, there’s literally endless things you can do with it. Imagine getting to that level and then taking a $75,000 salary.”

    Sounds great for a top influencer! Now add in the long tail of interests online, and there's a big blue ocean of opportunity out there for creators.

  • TSMC reportedly stops taking orders from Huawei after new U.S. export controls

    On the same day as the Commerce Department’s announcement, TSMC said that it is opening a new $12 billion advanced chip foundry in Arizona with support from the state and the U.S. federal government. Once opened, the plant will allow more of TSMC’s American clients to fabricate their chips domestically.

    TechCrunch

  • German intelligence can't spy on foreigners outside Germany

    One of the plaintiffs in the case was Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova, who was awarded the 2017 Right Livelihood Award, often referred to as the "Alternative Nobel Prize," for her work exposing corruption and organized crime in her own country. For her, the fact that the BND had the power to share intelligence with Germany's less democratic allies made today's court decision vital.

    DW

  • At $2.1 Million, New Gene Therapy Is The Most Expensive Drug Ever

    But for those patients lucky enough to get it, it appears it can save their lives with a one-time treatment.

    NPR

  • Gigantic new 3D map traces every neuron in a tiny mouse brain

    The project aims to do for neuroscience what whole-genome sequencing did for biology in the 1990s: create a common, standardized mouse brain that all researchers working on mice can reference.

    link

  • Christian Löffler in The Lab: Home Sessions #StayHome

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsTdB4s_zK8
    So beautiful. One of my favorite musicians!

  • The Dream Machine by M Mitchell Waldrop

    Tim Ferriss: I was just going to say if it’s helpful, I was going to ask about The Dream Machine. And maybe that illustrates how you vet books or hold onto books that are particularly valuable because at any given point in time, even if you have six to eight books around your houses, there are hundreds of thousands of books published every year. So there’s a selection challenge.

    Patrick Collison: Yes. Okay. So first off, I think you should mostly ignore the books that are published every year and take advantage of the fact that quite a lot of books have been published up to 10 years ago. But the books published up to 10 years ago, people have had a lot of time to filter through them and try to select the real gems there. And of course, there are other false negatives. There are a lot of great books that just never, for whatever reason, got the attention they deserved. Or maybe that they don’t have the salience that they ought to have for you. But I really think people should be much more biased towards older books than they are. I think The Dream Machine is a good example of this. And I think there are two things that stand out in The Dream Machine. The first is Mitchell Waldrop, the author, he really spent the ti – well, I guess I should describe what it is.

    It is a book about the history – well, it is nominally, a biography of J. C. R. Licklider. And many people were responsible for the creation of the internet. But I think Licklider has more claim than any other single person to being the individual causally responsible for its creation. He funded a lot of the early researchers. He tried to bring the community together. And he really instigated much of the movement that led to ARPANET and the internet and so on. And it’s this amazing book about, obviously, one of the most important inventions in the history of humanity. And Mitchell Waldrop spent the time to real – years to really understand in depth not just the specific sequence of events that led to this happening but the milieu and intellectual environment and thinking and landscape that it all came from.

    And so the book starts way before Licklider was doing anything because there were all these different fields and disciplines and strains of thinking that Licklider built on. I think it’s pretty rare that an author either takes the time or has the time to really go deep in that manner. And it’s striking that if you look at how The Dream Machine came to be, he was funded by a grant. As I recall, it was the Sloan Foundation. I could be wrong on that, but I believe it was the Sloan Foundation. They thought this was, obviously, a super important period in history. But Waldrop was not toiling under the clock to get a book out by Christmas. He was really trying to capture an important series of events in the arc of technology. So that’s really what stands out about that book.

    Tim Ferriss: How did you come across that book? Because was it in print or out of print at the time that you came across it?

    Patrick Collison: It was out of print. There were a couple of copies on Amazon. After I finished it, I was so excited about it that I went and bought a whole bunch of them to give away to people at Stripe, to give away to my friends and fairly quickly, we exhausted Amazon’s pretty limited supply. I think I first heard about it from I think some combination of Bret Victor and Alan Kay. Alan Kay many of your listeners will already know about. For anyone who doesn’t, he was a researcher who worked at – he was best known for working at Xerox PARC, which was this amazing industrial research lab that played a formative role in the creation of the GUI, the graphical computer interface and ethernet, one of the main networking technologies, and object-oriented programing, which is the main programming paradigm that’s used today. And so they were just really critical in the history of where we consider modern technology, modern software.

    Anyway, Alan Kay worked there and was one of the leading researchers there. And then Bret Victor is one of the most interesting researchers, software creatives working today. And I remember Alan saying that The Dream Machine is semi-unique among computer history and technology history books and that really gets it right. And obviously, we’re a pretty young field. And so there hasn’t been a whole lot of research and deep, scholarly scrutiny, at least to the extent that there might be for math or physics or something. But this book really stood out. And the technology industry is not an industry that spends a lot of time looking to its past in a way that I think is really both a strength and a weakness in that people are always trying ideas that have failed tons of times before. And they’re oblivious to the fact that they’ve failed tons of times before.

    And that really is a good thing because sometimes the fact that it has failed five times before does not mean that it’s going to fail the sixth time. But it can, of course, also, in some ways be a weakness where we don’t build on ideas that precede us. Alan Kay’s line about this is computer science is a kind of pop culture where it’s Brownian motion rather than really building layer by layer. Anyway, in a broader culture, I think The Dream Machine is an outlier.

    Tim Ferriss: And you mentioned Alan. I will just mention a quote that perhaps people have heard, which is often misattributed. But it is, I think, correctly attributed to Alan, which is, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” That may be a quote that people recognize but perhaps not in association with the name.

    Patrick Collison: Yeah. Alan, I would say is quite widely recognized as a genius. But despite that, I think he is still underrated. I think he will be even more highly regarded in 50 years or in 100 years than he is today.

    The Tim Ferriss podcast

  • Capitalism, Cultural Disintegration, and Buzzfeed

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9srhgHzUFd4

  • BuzzFeed's founder used to write Marxist theory and it explains BuzzFeed perfectly

    In brief, the paper argues that, going forward, capitalism will need to be constantly producing identities for people to adopt at an ever-increasing rate. And now Peretti's at the helm of a firm that's doing exactly that.

    Vox

  • Scientists Discover Brightest Supernova Ever Seen

    The explosion energy of SN2016aps was ten times that of a normal-sized supernova.

    Harvard Center for Astrophysics (Hacker News)

  • Conservative activist family behind 'grassroots' anti-quarantine Facebook events

    A family-run network of pro-gun groups is behind five of the largest Facebook groups dedicated to protesting the shelter-in-place restrictions, according to an NBC News analysis of Facebook groups and website registration information.

    The groups were set up by four brothers — Chris, Ben, Aaron and Matthew Dorr — and have amassed more than 200,000 members collectively, including in states where they don't reside, according to an NBC News analysis based on public records searches and Facebook group registrations.

    NBC

  • Peter Beard, Wildlife Photographer on the Wild Side, Dies at 82

    A denizen of Studio 54 in its disco-era heyday, he numbered among his friends the likes of Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Salvador Dalí, Mrs. Onassis, Grace Jones, the Rolling Stones and Francis Bacon, who painted his portrait more than once.

    NYT

  • Gravitational waves reveal unprecedented collision of heavy and light black holes

    Ordinarily, two spiraling black holes pump out gravitational waves concentrated at a single frequency: double the rate at which they orbit each other. That doubling arises because of the matched masses of the black holes. Every half orbit they return to a position that’s effectively identical to their original one. But if the black holes have distinctly different masses, then general relativity predicts that they should also generate weaker waves at higher frequencies, or overtones.

    The next-strongest note sung by the pair should vibrate at three times the orbital frequency, or one and half times the main gravitational-wave frequency. If the main frequency were a C on a piano, the overtone would be the next higher G—a perfect fifth, and the interval of the first two notes in the melody of Elvis Presley’s hit “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You.” That is what the LIGO and Virgo researchers detected, says Maximiliano Isi, a physicist and LIGO member at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who also spoke at the meeting. The overtone rang roughly as loudly as predicted by general relativity, Isi says. "Einstein prevails again."

    Science

  • Sure, DeepFake Detectors Exist - But Can They Be Fooled?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFZlxpJPI5w

  • Astronomers saw a star dancing around a black hole. And it proves Einstein's theory was right

    Isaac Newton's theory of gravity suggested the orbit would look like an ellipse, but it doesn't. The rosette shape, however, holds up Einstein's theory of relativity.

    CNN

    I'm reading a book about black holes right now and this article is the perfect complement!

  • Some notes on buying books from Amazon

    An independent bookstore explains why you should buy newly released hardcovers from their store instead of Amazon, even though Amazon has lower prices. Amazon's economies of scale, which has allowed it to lower prices and increase selection for us, have had negative consequences and we as book consumers should vote with our wallets to fight back and build the book-selling ecosystem we want. That's one with local book events, human recommendations/conversations with fellow readers (whether they work at the store or not), decent pay and benefits for employees, and a business with some knowledge of and care for the community.

    The independent bookstore I go to in Alphabet City, named Book Club, is also a cafe, serving good coffee, beer, and wine, and a gathering place. They operate a website where you can order books to be shipped to you. I especially like the human-currated recommendations, Amazon's recommendations done by computer are lacking compared to finding someone else with similar tastes to you.

    At Book Club they had a pamphlet out for independent bookstore audiobooks. I don't like audiobooks but here's the website.

    There's also a few ebook ecosystems outside of Amazon's Kindle. I have only ordered a few one-off ebooks outside of Kindle, such as Make Book where the author rolled his own system for selling the book, and The Ultimate Guide to Body Recomposition which was a simple PDF paired with a Shopify-style checkout page.

    There's an independent bookstore ebook, made by Kobo, where every ebook you buy is "from" a local bookstore. Here's a site where you can find a local bookstore to buy ebooks from. I found the selection too small when I last checked but am hopeful that this business continues to grow.

    Also the Kobo ereader integrates tightly with local library borrowing, whereas with Kindle it's more awkward to borrow ebooks. So if you frequently use the local library integration on your Kindle it could be worth it to buy a Kobo as well.

  • Can Drugs Help Us Focus? Casey Schwartz, You Better Watch Your Speed

    “Adderall seems, on the surface of things, to fit so well with how life is, speed for the sped-up internet age,” Schwartz marvels. “It does not escape me that just as Adderall was surging onto the market in the 1990s, so was the World Wide Web, that the two have ascended in American life in perfect lock step, like a disease and a cure, made for each other.”

    NYT

  • The Premium Mediocre Life of Maya Millennial

    Four-hour workweek my ass. The Bali-based lifestyle designer people are the second hardest working people I know. Second only to hipsters avariciously collecting and hoarding TasteCoins.

    Ribbon Farm

  • npm is joining GitHub

    Looking further ahead, we’ll integrate GitHub and npm to improve the security of the open source software supply chain, and enable you to trace a change from a GitHub pull request to the npm package version that fixed it.

    Github Blog

  • How virus transmits? Japanese captured it on highly powerful camera.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPNBHuu755E

  • 230, or not 230? That is the EARN IT question.

    It is as though the Big Bad Wolf, after years of unsuccessfully trying to blow the brick house down, has instead introduced a legal framework that allows him to hold the three little pigs criminally responsible for being delicious and destroy the house anyway. When he is asked about this behavior, the Big Bad Wolf can credibly claim that nothing in the bill mentions “huffing” or “puffing” or “the application of forceful breath to a brick-based domicile” at all, but the end goal is still pretty clear to any outside observer.

    Signal Blog

  • why typing like this is sometimes okay.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fS4X1JfX6_Q

  • Why You'll Never Understand Sigur Rós

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEjXKAsmCCw&app=desktop

  • Finland, ‘Prepper Nation of the Nordics,’ Isn’t Worried About Masks

    The privatization of the state pharmaceutical monopoly in 2009 also increased Sweden’s vulnerability. Until then, the government pharmacy had maintained the country’s supply of medicine for times of crisis. No agency took over responsibility for national stockpiles afterward.

    “It’s not really a great plan,” Mr. Melander noted. “It’s like saying: ‘I don’t have to have a fire extinguisher. I can run out and buy a fire extinguisher when the fire starts.’ It shows that this free market is only free when everything is fine.”

    NYT

  • A new Rick and Morty short

    https://youtu.be/BSF5yoD-vC4

    Samurai & Shogun (Rick and Morty) | adult swim

  • Everybody Can Make DeepFakes Now!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUfJOQKdtAk

  • Things Are Going To Change. Here's What We Should Do

    This crisis could emotionally scar a generation just as much as the Great Depression affected our grandparents and great-grandparents.

    Seeking Alpha

  • Tell Me Something That's True But Nobody Agrees With You On

    But what on the surface looks like contrarianism isn't. It's just folks conforming to different groups, some slightly less popular than others, all deluded in their own unique ways.

    The problem is that pretend contrarianism is fun. I remember what it felt like to read Taleb's Black Swan before I knew much about the subject: everyone's a stupid wuss except Taleb, and of course me, since I bought his book.

    I was stupid enough to buy Antifragile too before I realized that this guy is nothing more than a poet of probability. (And a mean one.)

    Seeking Alpha

  • Michael Lewis interviews Bill James on COVID-19 and baseball

    I asked James a question I’ve been asking lots of people: What are the three things that he’s saddest to have lost? “The NCAA tournament,” he said, without missing a beat. “My Jayhawks were the consensus No. 1 team.” After that he mourned the delay to the start of the baseball season. “That’s going to tear a huge hole in my daily life.” He rattled off the years that MLB’s season was shortened, by war or strike: 1918, 1919, 1972, 1981, 1994, 1995. A few days earlier he’d put a poll up on Twitter, asking people to predict this year’s Opening Day. He had his own prediction: May 15. More than a thousand people took his poll. All but one thought he was being wildly optimistic.

    Bloomberg

  • Yin Yoga Fusion ♥ Best Yoga For Flexibility

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fac_iJ8Nw8
    I'm loving this routine

  • Coronavirus: some recovered patients may have reduced lung function and are left gasping for air while walking briskly, Hong Kong doctors find

    Some patients might have a drop of about 20 to 30 per cent in lung function, says medical director of Infectious Disease Centre at Princess Margaret Hospital

    SCMP

  • Interviewing at NYC startups for Ruby on Rails Software Engineering roles

    I recently spent a few months preparing for and interviewing for a new software engineering job. Here are the tips I'd give to someone preparing for a job hunt.

    How to use leetcode

    • Start at the beginning, problem 1, and simply work through problems from top to bottom. Actually try to solve the problem by submitting a working solution, don't simply read the problem and then read the answer.
    • Set a short timer when you do a problem, and stop when the timer goes off. Around 25-45 minutes is the amount of time you'll get to solve these problems in interviews. This way you'll get used to coding something in this interval of time. If you don't solve the problem, simply read the solution, code it up and move on.
    • Use your best language. I did 100+ leetcode problems in Python to try to learn Python but I performed much better in interviews using my best language, Ruby.
    • Pay for the premium version of leetcode so you can read the paywalled solutions. Also, get a copy of Elements of Programming Interviews in Python, the solutions in this book are the best I've seen.
    • Don't spend a lot of time studying "hard" problems, esoteric data structures, or clever solutions that only apply to one problem.
    • Learning leetcode is about recognizing the big themes (read and write times to common data structures, a few techniques like dynamic programming and backtracking) and developing quick muscle memory.
    • Some of my favorites: the N-Queens problem, the Sudoku solver, building an LRU cache.

    How to use coderpad

    • Anyone can use this for free, so load it up before your interviews start and try it out.
    • Almost all remote tech screens will happen in coderpad. Learn to use this software, it has a few helpful features. For Ruby it has the pry gem, Rspec, and pressing Control+Enter runs your code.
    • After your program runs, the binding (including your variables) are still active in the REPL in the right-hand column.

    Ruby on Rails questions

    I actually ended up solving very few leetcode-style problems during these interviews. Virtually every technical question that involved me typing code was about my everyday Ruby on Rails skills. I was asked to write a Rails app from scratch, write Rspecs for an untested Ruby program, refactor a Ruby program, and other things that I do every day at work.

    There's no need to prepare for these questions, since they're the skills you use every day.

    Remote tech screens

    The first five minutes are critical because you need to find out what the interviewer wants you to do. Try to ask questions and find the criteria so you know how you're being measured.

    • You might be judged on simply writing a fast, working solution, as the leetcode solver does.
    • Some interviewers want you to write tests, some will tell you to stop if you start writing a test.
    • Some interviewers want you to create classes.
    • Sometimes the interviewer "hides the ball" and will only say things like, "just code what comes naturally," or "I just want to see how you think," without test cases or revealing their criteria.

    Before writing code, tell the interviewer what you're about to do, because they might tell you not to bother with that idea. Also, you should explain the naive or obvious, inefficient solution to the problem. Sometimes the interviewer will ask you to code that up, and it turns out there isn't a second, more clever solution, the naive, slow solution is the right answer! Keep in mind during a tech interview that you don't know if you're passing or failing.

    Odd fact: I used Array#combination twice and both times it was the crux of a problem. Learn this method!

    Taking about coding

    These interviews are a conversation with an engineer about your work experience. Before you start interviewing, read through your recent PR's and practice telling the story of them to a fellow engineer who doesn't know your company's internal abbreviations and lingo.

    Stay positive--don't criticize your current employer or colleagues. It looks bad and is time wasted you could spend showing off your knowledge.

    What you're going to do is have a few anecdotes ready, that are useful as answers to various questions. For example, one of my stories was about a massive effort to upgrade a gem. I used this story to answer questions about both "leadership", and "a technical challenge I overcame." I had another story ready for "working with a difficult colleague."

    • One of my stories was about writing a rails middleware, which allowed me to talk about how rails and rack fit together, puma (and other web servers), API's, and dealing with external dependencies.
    • Another was about using Docker to run platform services locally for development.
    • I talked about a recent PR review comment I wrote speeding up an integration test that runs in the browser, which allowed me to talk about dealing with race conditions with capybara. I put specific numbers to this story: I sped up a scenario from running in 90 seconds to 23.
    • I also talked about a page load time I reduce by removing an N+1 query which resulted in an 8% speedup. Try to have some specific numbers available.

    For all of these stories I was ready to go deep into technical details if my interviewer asked more specific questions.

    Only one interviewer was interested in my side project, in the end the only experience that really mattered was code I had running in production for my job.

    Asking questions

    In every interview you'll get a chance to ask questions. Be prepared for this by reflecting on what is important to you. For me, I decided I wanted to work somewhere with

    • strong engineering practices like testing, design, and a sensible deploy process.
    • transparency, including how the business is doing
    • a history of internal promotions as opposed to always putting new hires in senior and leadership roles
    • mentorship and growth

    My go-to question for technical interviewers was to ask about a typical deploy. This question is both easy to ad-lib an answer to and very revealing about internal processes.

    During the initial phone screen with a company, it's ok to make sure both sides are in agreement about the positions on things like the job title and salary range for the open position you're interviewing for.

    Nuts and bolts

    Find a great recruiter! Take notes when you talk to your recruiters, I learned a lot from them, and found opportunities I didn't know existed.

    Make a Trello board tracking status ("tech screen upcoming", "tech screen completed", "onsite upcoming", "offer", etc.). During this process I had some form of interest from 12 companies, it's impossible to remember where you are with all of them. And sometimes you'll need to follow up with companies to nudge the process along.

    All companies who rejected me just ghosted me, I never got a rejection notice after an interview.

    Take notes during the calls. It is impossible to remember this much information all at once, and if you make it further in the process with a company you'll become more interested in that information.

    Use a headset for phone calls.

    I didn't do this, but if I did it again I'd make a public calendar where people could schedule blocks of time with me.

    Be ready to explain why you're looking for a job.

    Overall, this process took five solid weeks from sending out feelers to signing an offer letter I was thrilled with. I talked to 12 companies, met a ton of new people and made some connections I expect to last a long time, even at companies besides the one I signed with.

  • Coronavirus May Light Fuse on ‘Unexploded Bomb’ of Corporate Debt

    “We have been always saying that we are sitting on top of an unexploded bomb, but we don’t know what is going to trigger it,” said Emre Tiftik, director of Research for Global Policy Initiatives at the Institute of International Finance, a Washington-based financial industry trade group. “Can the coronavirus be a trigger? We don’t know. Maybe.”

    NYT

  • Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now

    With everything that’s happening about the Coronavirus, it might be very hard to make a decision of what to do today. Should you wait for more information? Do something today? What?

    Medium

  • Key Missteps at the CDC Have Set Back Its Ability to Detect the Potential Spread of Coronavirus

    The federal agency shunned the World Health Organization test guidelines used by other countries and set out to create a more complicated test of its own that could identify a range of similar viruses. But when it was sent to labs across the country in the first week of February, it didn’t work as expected.

    ProPublica

  • Will the coronavirus trigger a corporate debt crisis?

    “There’s a large universe of middle market companies that on the back of an 11-12 year credit cycle have continually been able to borrow and reborrow from one lender to another,” observes Mohsin Meghji of M-III Partners, a turnround veteran who has restructured companies from Sears to Sanchez Energy. “These companies have been limping along by virtue of rates having been very low. They haven’t really deleveraged.”

    FT

  • What’s Being Done to Reduce High Property Taxes in Illinois?

    The state has the second-highest rates in the U.S., but lawmakers disagree on how to lower them

    wsj

  • How Lock Picking Works

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqgyDsDvq_Y&app=desktop

  • The story of the St. Denis, a 165-year-old building on the corner of Broadway and East 11th Street

    For decades, the St. Denis has been a haven for psychotherapists of every sort: classical Freudian analysts and new-age Zen psychologists, existential counselors and gender specialists, therapists who use art, dance, and neurofeedback. We’ve shared the building’s six floors (plus one semi-secret half-floor on the un-seventh) with other small businesses, mostly providers of wellness—Rolfers, Reiki healers, craniosacral balancers, Feldenkrais practitioners, acupuncturists, Pilates instructors, and at least one psychic who does past-life regressions.

    “The building should be levitating with the amount of healing that goes on,” says psychologist Jessica Arenella. In her office on the second floor, she worries about what the loss of the building means for the changing city. “This building was a holdout. It’s not corporate. Tearing it down is part of the death of the Village. Everything’s become so capitalistic and market-driven. There used to be diners around here. Now it’s all just places to get an $8 juice.”

    NY Review of Books

    The St Denis Hotel was the site of one of the greatest chess parties of all time, as described in this video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbJ3pqHaU88&t=630s

  • Magnus Carlsen, the best chess player alive

    When asked about his critics at the press conference, a grinning Carlsen said, “They are entitled to their stupid opinions.”

    Slate

  • Counting up (a.k.a. tallying up) the items in iterables in ruby and python

    In python 2 and 3

    from collections import Counter
    Counter('dennislibre')
    # Counter({'e': 2, 'n': 2, 'i': 2, 'd': 1, 's': 1, 'l': 1, 'b': 1, 'r': 1})

    In ruby (added in version 2.7.0)

    'dennislibre'.split('').tally
    => {"d"=>1, "e"=>2, "n"=>2, "i"=>2, "s"=>1, "l"=>1, "b"=>1, "r"=>1}

  • The Great Buenos Aires Bank Heist

    Unbelievable but true heist story

    GQ

  • This Brand is Late Capitalism

    This essay defies excerpting, just read the whole thing.

    The Baffler

  • By 2030, nearly one in two adults will be obese, and nearly one in four will be severely obese.

    Americans weren’t always this fat; since 1990, the prevalence of obesity in this country has doubled.

    People who choose to blame genetics are fooling no one but themselves, Mr. Ward said. Our genetics haven’t changed in the last 30 years. Rather, what has changed is the environment in which our genes now function.

    NYT

  • debugging a ruby 2.7 program in VS Code using the ruby extension

    Suppose you try to debug a ruby 2.7 program in VS Code using the ruby extension and get this error

    Debugger terminal error: Process failed: spawn rdebug-ide ENOENT

    Install some gems, ruby-debug-ide and debase

    gem install ruby-debug-ide
    gem install debase

    Go to edit launch.json in the directory containing the file you're debugging. I found the program attribute had to be edited.

    {
        // Use IntelliSense to learn about possible attributes.
        // Hover to view descriptions of existing attributes.
        // For more information, visit: https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=830387
        "version": "0.2.0",
        "configurations": [
            {
                "name": "Ruby: Local File",
                "type": "Ruby",
                "request": "launch",
                "program": "${file}"
            }
        ]
    }

    Now change to a tab with a ruby file open and press F5, the debugger should run the file successfully!

  • Installing ruby with rbenv on Fedora 31

    Suppose you try

    rbenv install 2.7.0

    and get the error

    ruby-2.7.0/lib/rubygems/core_ext/kernel_require.rb:92:in `require': cannot load such file -- openssl (LoadError)

    You should run

    sudo dnf install openssl-devel

    Then try again

    rbenv install 2.7.0

    Now it works!

  • AlphaStar's COOL PUSH!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVVSxllTI0M
    This guy is casting the games from the AlphaStar replay pack that DeepMind released, very cool stuff.

  • An Amazon Scam: The Mofut Key Lock Box

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nz6NxH3wy94

  • Here Are The New Protected Bike Lanes Coming To Manhattan In 2020

    Efforts to build out a protected bike lane network in Manhattan got a major boost on Wednesday, as the city unveiled plans to add roughly 10 miles of lanes to the borough this year.

    Gothamist

  • EU to seek return of cultural artefacts under Brexit deal

    Greece's culture minister said last month that Athens would step up its campaign for the return of the Parthenon Marbles from London and expected to win more support from European peers as Brexit diminishes Britain's influence.

    RTE (Ireland)

  • This 7,000-year-old well is the oldest wooden structure ever discovered


    CTV News

    Its design shines a light on technical skills that researchers didn't think Neolithic people possessed.

    "The design consists of grooved corner posts with inserted planks. This type of construction reveals advanced technical know-how and, till now, is the only known type from this region and time period," the authors wrote.

  • The Best Weight Loss Tactic is Counting Calories

    The best weight loss tactic is to count calories, not approximately, but as precisely as possible. Cutting fat sucks, but you can minimize how much you have to endure by using this technique. Most people dismiss this option because it's less convenient than other techniques, but it works best for a few reasons.

    Many people who do it are surprised by a few of their regular foods. For example, I used to eat trail mix in the afternoon at my desk at work, but it turns out that I was eating 500-1000 calories worth of food! After I bought another kitchen scale for my desk at work, I realized this mistake and stopped eating trail mix.

    Counting calories (paired with weighing yourself) gives you information about how many calories you're burning each day. Not an approximation from a website calculator, but real data from your actual body. You can use this information to design meals to meet your goals.

    Tracking food also has a psychological aspect for some people, because it will keep them from eating free snacks or dessert because they don't want to put it in the app.

    How to start counting calories?

    Buy a kitchen scale. This one I have is fine, but there are plenty of good accurate ones out there. You can also use it to measure coffee beans!

    Install the MyFitnessPal app on your smartphone.

    Set up an account on Trendweight, and buy one of the wifi-enabled bodyweight scales that are compatible with it.

    Start tracking everything you eat. Everything. If it isn't possible to track something, don't eat it! This is a gigantic pain for the first few days, but it gets a lot easier. Once you learn to use MyFitnessPal's features you can reuse past meals with a single tap, and add foods by scanning the package's barcode. You can either weigh the food you eat, or enter information from restaurant websites. Chain restaurants like Dos Toros have nutritional information on their sites. Make a "Meal" in MyFitnessPal of your usual orders so you can add it with one tap.

    When you set up MyFitnessPal, set a daily calorie target, and aim for that each day. Don't make any adjustments until you've stuck to the plan for 2-4 weeks so you can be sure your weight loss is not due to water weight, but is actually fat loss. Trendweight is a tremendous help with this, because it uses a statistical technique called "moving weighted average" to extract signal from the noisy signal of scale weight. For an explanation of this, read The Hacker's Diet chapter titled "Signal and Noise."

    I recommend going on youtube and finding fitness content creators you like. Fitness content creators usually make videos about their meal plans, meal prep techniques, body recomposition plans, etc. that you can learn from.

    If you'd rather read a book, the best one I've read is this one by Jeff Nippard. I reviewed it on goodreads here.

  • A filibuster is an American citizen who foments an unauthorized rebellion

    This meaning of the word "filibuster" came first, and led to the more common use today of a Congressperson speaking nonstop to keep a bill from passing. One filibuster was named William Walker, an American who went to Nicaragua in 1855 with less than 100 fellow Americans and managed to seize control of the country!

    At the time, the Panama Canal had not been built, and the only practical way for anyone to travel from the US East Coast to San Francisco was via steamships to Nicaragua or Panama, then a treacherous journey over land, rivers and lakes, then another steamship from the Pacific Coast up to San Francisco. Because gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill in California in 1848, starting the Gold Rush, many people undertook this arduous, multi-day journey. Cornelius Vanderbilt had designed and still controlled the Nicaragua route, while competitors controlled the Panama route.

    The filibusters hoped to capture territory that would later be annexed into the United States, which would import laws, culture, and slavery. One filibuster movement wanted to invade and annex Cuba, which had slavery, in order to further expand the amount of US territory where slavery was practiced. This was the antebellum era of the Compromise of 1850, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the Fugitive Slave Act, all crafted as part of the struggle to prevent a Civil War over how much of the US would be slave territory.

    As for William Walker seizing control of Nicaragua, he sent a "minister" to negotiate with the Franklin Pierce administration, which refused to recognize his legitimacy or allow US citizens to reinforce him. Walker then seized Vanderbilt's transit company in Nicaragua, Accessory Transit, and set to establish a new transit line through the country and from New York City to San Francisco. The Pierce Administration did nothing to protect Vanderbilt's property rights, in part because Secretary of War Jefferson Davis hoped Nicaragua would be annexed by the US as a slave territory! Nicaragua had banned slavery over three decades before, but Walker reimposed it. A few months later, Pierce recognized Walker's government to help his reelection chances with pro-slavery Democrats.

    William Walker later faked an election, whereby instead of ruling through a puppet native Nicaraguan president, he had himself elected directly. Eventually Walker was forced to surrender by a combined force of Central American armies, who forced him to surrender to the US Navy, who dropped him in New York City, where he wrote an autobiography. Walker then returned to the region, was captured by the British Navy, who turned him over to Honduras. He was executed by firing squad.

    Walker was only one filibuster, and his story is brilliantly told in The First Tycoon, The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilk, by T.J. Stiles. His life is just one part of the catastrophe that United States citizens have inflicted on Central America, and illustrates the damage caused there by the twin destructive mindsets of manifest destiny and slavery.

  • Chemical found in spinach should be listed as a PED, gives athletes ‘unfair advantage,’ German scientists say

    participants in the study received up to eight ecdysterone capsules that contained a total of “the equivalent of up to 4 kilograms (or 8.8 pounds) of raw spinach a day."

    masslive

  • Very skilled Mario Maker 2 player

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9utyiaF3TQ

    I love this stuff.

  • Public Intellectuals Have Short Shelf Lives—But Why?

    This summary of Thomas Friedman's career is devastating.

    Thomas Friedman earned his BA in Mediterranean Studies in 1975; a few years later he obtained a prestigious Marshall scholarship to study at Oxford, where he earned a Masters in Middle Eastern Studies. By age 26 he was a reporter in Beirut, and at age 29 he had won his first Pulitzer (for up close reporting on a war massacre). He would win another Pulitzer as the New York Times' bureau chief in Jerusalem, and at age 36 would write his first award winning book, From Beirut to Jerusalem, a recapitulation of his years of reporting in those two cities. This put Friedman at the top of the "Middle East hand" pack. That is a nice place to be, but it is still far away from the position of household public intellectual.

    To get there Friedman would first transition to reporting from Washington DC as a White House correspondent. A few years later (now at age 41) he would be given a foreign affairs column at the New York Times, moving him a step further into the opinion-business. I attribute his transformation from minor public commentator to Voice of the Zeitgeist to two events: first,  the publishing of The Lexus and the Olive Tree in 1999 (when he was 46 years old),the first of several books that would lay out his theory of globalization; second, the terrorist attacks September 11th, which allowed him to write columns that drew on both his long personal experience in the Middle East and his newer interest in globalization. These were the columns that won him his Pulitzer for commentary in 2002 and made him a central voice in the debates over America's response to the terrorist attacks and the the invasion of Iraq. I place Friedman's peak in his 52nd year, when his most famous book, The World is Flat, was published. It was also around this time that opposition to Friedman was at its peak, with bloggers and columnists alike writing long diatribes against him.

    Friedman would close out the decade with another book and three documentaries. These were mostly restatements of his columns (which in turn drew heavily from ideas he first introduced and developed between Lexus and The World if Flat). Friedman was still a part of the national conversation, but his perspective had lost its originality. His columns began to bleed together. This is the era when "Friedman Op-Ed Generators" went viral. Increasingly, Friedman was not argued against so much as joked about. By 2013 or so (just as he was turning 60) Thomas Friedman was done. Not technically so—between then and now he would rack up two more books, hundreds of columns, and heaven knows how many appearances at idea festival panels and business school stages. But intellectually Friedman was a spent force. His writing has been reduced to rehashing old rehashes, his columns the rewarmed leftovers of ideas grown old a decade ago. It is hard to find anything in his more recent books or columns that has mattered. He is able to sell enough books to live comfortably, but you will have difficulty finding anyone under 50 who admits they have read them. Friedman lingers still as a public figure, but not as a public intellectual. His thinking inspires no one. The well has run dry.

    Scholar's Stage

    hat-tip to Marginal Revolution

  • DJ Shadow - Nobody Speak feat. Run The Jewels (Official Video)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUC2EQvdzmY

    A nice follow-up to any anti-bias training everyone at work has to do.

  • Behind Amazon’s HQ2 Fiasco: Jeff Bezos Was Jealous of Elon Musk

    When Elon Musk secured $1.3 billion from Nevada in 2014 to open a gigantic battery plant, Jeff Bezos noticed. In meetings, the Amazon.com Inc. chief expressed envy for how Musk had pitted five Western states against one another in a bidding war for thousands of manufacturing jobs; he wondered why Amazon was okay with accepting comparatively trifling incentives.

    Bloomberg

  • Reinventing explanation

    You may wonder why I'm paying so much attention to creating emotional involvement? To understand the reason, think about how involved we can get in a great movie or great video game. People may find themselves moved to tears in a great movie, or experience tremendous euphoria after solving a game puzzle. Years later, they may be able to quote lines from a movie scene they saw only once. This strong connection comes because the people who create movies and video games focus on emotional involvement first, and intellectual content second. Viewed from a traditional intellectual point of view, that sounds like a put-down. But what the creators of the movies and games appreciate deeply -- and what many intellectuals do not -- is that emotional involvement is the foundation for understanding. Even when explaining abstract, intellectual subjects -- perhaps, especially when explaining abstract, intellectual subjects -- creating strong emotional involvement is crucial. If someone's desire to understand is strong enough, they can overcome tremendous obstacles. Part of what we can learn from the movie and game makers is how important such desires are, and the art of creating them.

    Michael Nielsen

    Excellent, as usual.

  • Yoga Kiss | Total Body Flow | Yoga With Adriene

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiu1SYtAdBg

    I just did (tried to do) this yoga routine, and was humbled by Adriene's effortless flexibility and endurance. My Stronglifts workout has given me strength through progressive overloading, but no flexibility or endurance, for, say, holding plank pose for a minute or two.

    As I search for a maintenance fitness lifestyle I can life indefinitely, I firmly believe yoga will be a part of it.

  • Pompeo Says Trump Backs Ukraine on Russia, but Isn’t Ready for Zelensky Visit

    “I don’t think these friendly and warm relations have been influenced by the impeachment trial of the president,” Mr. Zelensky said at a news conference with Mr. Pompeo when asked whether Mr. Trump’s impeachment had affected ties between Kyiv and Washington.

    NYT

    What a moment in history to be living through.

  • London to deploy live facial recognition to find wanted faces in a crowd

    Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave said, "As a modern police force, I believe that we have a duty to use new technologies to keep people safe in London. Independent research has shown that the public support us in this regard. Prior to deployment we will be engaging with our partners and communities at a local level." That engagement will include officers handing out leaflets explaining the program at locations where the technology is deployed.

    Ars

    I was against this until they handed out the leaflets, now I'm on board!

  • Very creative Starcraft 2 game

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEHUKYSH8Fc
    Has is my favorite player and CatZ is very cool as well

  • Trump’s Digital Advantage Is Freaking Out Democratic Strategists

    Now, political operatives are exploiting commercial techniques to correlate microtargeting data with the identification numbers of cellphones. This allows campaigns to mobilize, persuade and turn out — or to suppress turnout among — key voters.

    NYT

  • Trump allies are handing out cash to black voters

    "Charities are required to spend their money on charitable and educational activities,” said Marcus Owens, a former director of the Exempt Organizations Division at the Internal Revenue Service who is now in private practice at the law firm Loeb & Loeb. “It's not immediately clear to me how simply giving money away to people at an event is a charitable act.”

    Politico

  • (2018) Notorious Kindle Unlimited abuser has been booted from the bookstore

    Carter [the scammer], according to the Digital Reader, would create large novels out of other books. The books, which were simple hack jobs written by Fiverr writers, were hundreds of pages long and, on the first page, featured a recommendation to flip to the last page to get a free giveaway. KDP pays authors for both paid downloads as well as for pages read and it doesn’t sense reading speed, just the highest number of pages reached. Therefore Chance’s “readers” were instantly sending him or her about twenty dollars a read.

    Tech Crunch

  • Schöningen spears

    Originally assessed as being between 380,000 and 400,000 years old,[1][2][3][4] they represent the oldest completely preserved hunting weapons of prehistoric Europe so far discovered. As such they predate the age of Neanderthal Man (by convention taken to emerge after 300,000 years ago), and are associated with Homo heidelbergensis. The spears support the practice of hunting by archaic humans in Europe in the late Lower Paleolithic.

    The age of the spears was estimated from their stratigraphic position, "sandwiched between deposits of the Elsterian and Saalian glaciations, and situated within a well-studied sedimentary sequence."[5] More recently, thermoluminescence dating of heated flints in a deposit beneath that which contained the spears suggested that the spears were between 337,000 and 300,000 years old.[6]

    wikipedia

  • A useful keyboard shortcut for github.com

    here's a keyboard shortcut

    go to the github page for a repo

    for example https://github.com/rails/rails

    press t

    then you can type and fuzzy find files

    The End.

  • A $100 Million Bet That Portland, Maine Can Be a Tech Hub

    Its patron is David Roux, who grew up in nearby Lewiston and graduated from Harvard before building a fortune as a Silicon Valley investor. Mr. Roux, a co-founder of the private-equity firm Silver Lake Partners 20 years ago, is giving $100 million to Northeastern University to establish a graduate school and research center in Portland.

    The center, to be known as the Roux Institute, will award certificates, master’s degrees and Ph.D.s in artificial intelligence and machine learning — geared in particular toward the life sciences.

    “What is it that could be most catalytic to transform and support an economy that doesn’t fully participate in the modern, tech-led innovation economy?” Mr. Roux asked. His answer is “to bring cutting-edge technology capabilities here to Maine and northern New England.”

    NYT

  • Yes, Secretary Pompeo, Americans Should Care About Ukraine

    Until Russia withdraws from Ukraine — both Donbas and Crimea — and recognizes that Ukraine is an independent, sovereign nation, other nations cannot be secure. Until Russia recommits to a rules-based international order, Western nations are in jeopardy. Ukraine is the front line.

    In an even broader sense, Russia’s attack on Ukraine and the West is an attack on democracy. The question of how nations govern themselves — democracy versus autocracy — is being fought out among and within nations. Russia, China, Iran, Egypt, Turkey, the Philippines, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Syria — all are autocracies, all are unfree. In the contest between democracies and autocracies, the contest between freedom and unfreedom, Ukraine is the front line.

    NYT

  • Python syntax: named tuples

    Sometimes when you're coding you want to quickly group some data together without creating an entire class, which keeping your code easy to read. A good way to do this is collections.nametuple.

    import collections 
     
    Book = collections.namedtuple('Book', ('title', 'price')) 
    Coffee = collections.namedtuple('Coffee', ['roast', 'price']) 
    Notebook = collections.namedtuple('Notebook', 'type price')

    Namedtuples consist of a name and names for attributes, which can be listed in (among other ways) a List, Tuple, or even a String separated by spaces! Their use is simple.

    In [2]: b = Book('48 Laws of Power', 24.99)                                     
    
    In [3]: b                                                                       
    Out[3]: Book(title='48 Laws of Power', price=24.99)
    
    In [4]: b.title                                                                 
    Out[4]: '48 Laws of Power'
    
    In [5]: b.price                                                                 
    Out[5]: 24.99

    Like other objects in python, namedtuples can be created with a dict.

    arguments = {'type': 'moleskin', 'price': 10.00}
    In [17]: n = Notebook(**arguments)                                              
    
    In [18]: n                                                                      
    Out[18]: Notebook(type='moleskin', price=10.0)

  • (2018) Speech by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Cyber Defence Pledge Conference (Ecole militaire, Paris)

    In 2014, NATO leaders agreed that a cyber-attack could trigger Article 5 of our founding treaty.
    Where an attack on one Ally is treated as an attack on all Allies.
    Traditionally, an Article 5 attack would be with tanks, aircraft and soldiers.
    Now it can come in the form of a cyber-attack.
    Placing cyber at the very heart of what we do.

    NATO

  • Cyber-insurance shock: Zurich refuses to foot NotPetya ransomware clean-up bill – and claims it's 'an act of war'

    Insurance companies would probably have to shell out over $80bn as a result of the attack, warned one survey – more than 2012's Hurricane Sandy. Shipping giant Maersk said it had lost $300m as a result of the ransomware; FedEx said it has lost the same.

    The Register

    Is a massive, destructive cyberattack an "act of war"? What if it is perpetrated by or directed by a government?

  • Cashless businesses are now banned in NYC

    The bill is also backed by Mayor Bill de Blasio and is expected to become law in nine months.

    It is expected to put a severe crimp in the operations of no-cash chains Dos Toros and By Chloe.

    NY Post

  • Dietrich von Choltitz

    He is chiefly remembered for his role as the last commander of Nazi-occupied Paris in 1944, when he disobeyed Adolf Hitler's orders to level the city, but instead surrendered it to Free French forces.[1][2]

    Wikipedia

  • Rahm Emanuel Exacts Revenge on Rocky Wirtz, Adirondack Chairs in New Book

    Chicago Magazine

  • ODESZA - Higher Ground (feat. Naomi Wild) (Live on KEXP)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Igd2EUyONiM

  • python indexing with booleans?

    I saw some code today that surprised me. You can slice arrays using boolean True and False as indexes! See the following examples.

    >>> l = list(range(4))
    >>> l[:]
    [0, 1, 2, 3]
    >>> l[True:]
    [1, 2, 3]
    >>> l[False:]
    [0, 1, 2, 3]
    >>> l[False]
    0
    >>> l[True]
    1
    

  • History video - Why is Belgium so Divided?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTOW3b4rAQo

  • python built-in method caching: least-recently used

    The python programming language has a built-in feature allowing you to add a least-recently used cache (LRU cache) to a method that functions automatically. You can specify how large the cache is, then add it to a method with a decorator.

    A decorator in python appear on the line before a method definition like this.

    @decorator(count=42)
    def guide(planet, topic):
        code here
        return answer

    Adding a cache to a method like this is functionally the same as adding dynamic programming or memoization. To demonstrate the power of an LRU cache, I ran the same code with and without one.

    import functools
    @functools.lru_cache(maxsize=32)
    def fib(n):
        if n < 2:
            return n
        return fib(n-1) + fib(n-2)
    
    def fib2(n):
        if n < 2:
            return n
        return fib2(n-1) + fib2(n-2)

    So now we have the same method, one with caching and one without. Let's benchmark the two approaches.

    >>> time = datetime.datetime.now(); [fib(n) for n in range(42)]; datetime.datetime.now() - time
    [0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987, 1597, 2584, 4181, 6765, 10946, 17711, 28657, 46368, 75025, 121393, 196418, 317811, 514229, 832040, 1346269, 2178309, 3524578, 5702887, 9227465, 14930352, 24157817, 39088169, 63245986, 102334155, 165580141]
    datetime.timedelta(microseconds=150)
    
    >>> time = datetime.datetime.now(); [fib2(n) for n in range(42)]; datetime.datetime.now() - time
    [0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987, 1597, 2584, 4181, 6765, 10946, 17711, 28657, 46368, 75025, 121393, 196418, 317811, 514229, 832040, 1346269, 2178309, 3524578, 5702887, 9227465, 14930352, 24157817, 39088169, 63245986, 102334155, 165580141]
    datetime.timedelta(seconds=142, microseconds=969262)

    Using a cache finds the answer in 150 microseconds, not using a cache takes 142 seconds. That's literally a million times faster. It gets worse and worse the higher you go. The cache version always finishes in the blink of an eye on higher numbers, and the non-cache version would take months, years or never finish.

    The @lru_cache decorator adds a method to the method to view stats.

    >>> fib.cache_info()
    CacheInfo(hits=452, misses=222, maxsize=32, currsize=32)

    Before spending a lot of time implementing something fundamental in python, check the docs for a version that's built-in. Oftentimes that version will have the intense loops written in C for performance and you'll end up finished with your script earlier and with faster code.

  • The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It

    In February, the Indiana State Police started experimenting with Clearview. They solved a case within 20 minutes of using the app. Two men had gotten into a fight in a park, and it ended when one shot the other in the stomach. A bystander recorded the crime on a phone, so the police had a still of the gunman’s face to run through Clearview’s app.

    They immediately got a match: The man appeared in a video that someone had posted on social media, and his name was included in a caption on the video. “He did not have a driver’s license and hadn’t been arrested as an adult, so he wasn’t in government databases,” said Chuck Cohen, an Indiana State Police captain at the time.

    The man was arrested and charged; Mr. Cohen said he probably wouldn’t have been identified without the ability to search social media for his face. The Indiana State Police became Clearview’s first paying customer, according to the company. (The police declined to comment beyond saying that they tested Clearview’s app.)

    NYT (Kash Hill)

  • Python array indexing fun

    >>> l = list(range(10))
    >>> l
    [0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]
    >>> l[-1]
    9
    >>> l[~0]
    9
    >>> l[~1]
    8
    >>> l[~2]
    7
    >>> l[-0]
    0
    

    Python has two ways to index arrays (in python called Lists) from the end. You can use a minus sign, starting at 1, or a tilde, starting at 0. Nice! I will be using this a lot from now on, it avoids bugs where you index -0 as in the last example above.

    What’s happening behind the scenes here is that the ~ operator on an integer inverts all of the bits (making the number negative) and subtracts 1. A handy coincidence.

    From the python docs:

    The unary ~ (invert) operator yields the bitwise inversion of its integer argument. The bitwise inversion of x is defined as -(x+1). It only applies to integral numbers.

    Python Docs

  • For Shrinking Cities, an Aggressive Way to Dodge the Census Bullet

    Clashes over annexation have happened before. For decades, as cities grew and development encroached on the countryside, mayors have been eager to expand, and homeowners have been unenthusiastic about paying higher taxes. Laws in many states give cities sweeping authority to absorb bordering properties in unincorporated areas whether the owners like it or not.

    But the recent annexations in Decatur and some other Illinois cities have been novel because, rather than adding land as a consequence of organic growth, city leaders expanded their boundaries as an answer to population decline.

    New York Times

  • America’s Fastest Shrinking Cities

    population change from July 1, 2010 to July 1, 2018 in all U.S. metropolitan areas to identify the fastest shrinking metro areas in the United States.

    USA Today

  • Can Britain’s Top Bookseller Save Barnes & Noble?

    Mr. Daunt will move to New York City this month and serve as the new chief executive.

    He has said little about his plans, but his playbook at Waterstones offers clues about what’s coming. His guiding assumption is that the only point of a bookstore is to provide a rich experience in contrast to a quick online transaction. And for now, the experience at Barnes & Noble isn’t good enough.

    “Frankly, at the moment you want to love Barnes & Noble, but when you leave the store you feel mildly betrayed,” Mr. Daunt said over lunch at a Japanese restaurant near his office in Piccadilly Circus. “Not massively, but mildly. It’s a bit ugly — there’s piles of crap around the place. It all feels a bit unloved, the booksellers look a bit miserable, it’s all a bit run down.

    NYT

  • Every tech job posting

    We're not your average company, we're zany and fun! If you're thinking about applying, here's what you should know for the interview:

    algorithms: you should have The Art of Computer Programming memorized
    and be able to rewrite any code in there from memory in any of the top
    100 most popular languages.

    data structures: same as algorithms,
    except you should be up to date on all published computer science
    papers, all preprints on arXiv, and the data structures that will be
    invented in the next 10 years that no one on Earth knows about yet.

    operating systems: be able to turn a pile of resisters and a 9V battery
    into a working Minix machine within an hour interview, with time for
    resume questions at the beginning.

    system design: know what tech
    to replace SQL with when your app becomes as popular as Facebook,
    without looking it up, since that's what people do in that situation.

    behavioral: even though you've a grunt and have been cranking out CRUD
    features for the past few years, make up some stories about how you
    dreamed up and architected internal software projects from scratch that
    made millions of dollars.

    misc: you should be fluent in at least one language from each populated continent.

    nice to have: you've pushed at least major legislative accomplishment
    through Congress, medaled in the Olympics, written a New York Times
    bestselling novel and/or made tenure at a major university.

    Position pays $85,000 with 0.01% equity and applicant must relocate to San Francisco.

  • Apple’s new privacy features have further rattled the location-based ad market

    Right now opt-in rates to share data with apps when they’re not in use are often below 50%, said Benoit Grouchko, who runs the ad tech business Teemo that creates software for apps to collect location data. Three years ago those opt-in rates were closer to 100%

    digiday

  • Top three books that I read in 2019

    Game Changer: AlphaZero's Groundbreaking Chess Strategies and the Promise of AI by Matthew Sadler, Natasha Regan

    Explains why AlphaZero is a stronger chess AI than stockfish, and how it wins. I recommend reading this book on chessable, not a regular printed out book or e-book, unless you have very strong chessboard visualization skills. My online chess rating increased 400 elo points while I read it.

    Drift Into Failure: From Hunting Broken Components to Understanding Complex Systems by Sidney Dekker

    We read this in my work book club starting in 2018 but finished it in 2019!  I had read already Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos by M. Mitchell Waldrop after it was recommended by the trading expert Zoran Perkov in the book Flash Boys. I was amazing by the explanatory power of complexity and saw it everywhere from then on, and this book was a welcome addition to the material in Waldrop's book. The book covers, for example, how to do a post-mortem on a airplane crash, and use lessons to prevent future crashes, and most importantly, how to overcome bias in the process.

    Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

    Yes, this is the one the musical is based on, and it deserves every bit of praise it has received. If you're inclined to read anything about the American Revolutionary Era or New York City history, read this and you won't be disappointed. Chernow is simply a cut above other biographers.

  • (2013) Hacker OPSEC with The Grugq

    As you bring up, the core to effective security is performing a risk assessment, deciding what information is most important to protect, and then developing mitigation strategies to safe guard that information. There are books and manuals that go into this in great depth, so I won’t spend a lot of time on the details.

    A risk assessment should focus on the most high impact items first. To determine this, you list your adversaries and group them by intent and capability. So the NSA would have a very high capability, but probably has a low intent of targeting you. Then you make a list of information about your secrets, what you are trying to protect, and group that based on the negative impact it would have if it were in the hands of an opponent. The most damaging information must be protected from the likely and the most capable adversaries.

    Blogs of War

  • For Some Lucky Immigrants, America’s Loss is Canada’s Gain

    [MobSquad CEO Irfan] Rawji said MobSquad hires these tech workers, just as their visas are expiring, and moves them to Canada. Then MobSquad contracts them back to the client company. So far, Rawji said, around 20 engineers have made the move.

    For workers like Yuan He, the model works. Until last summer, He commuted from New Jersey to the office of Petal Card, in Soho. Although he’d obtained a graduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and had proven himself to his employer, he failed to obtain an H-1B visa and figured he'd have to return to China.

    Gothamist

  • Men are paying $76,000 for a limb-extending surgery that involves breaking leg bones and inserting nails and screws

    Plastic surgeon Dr. Kevin Debiparshad founded The LimbplastX Institute in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 2018 to create a business centered around limb-lengthening cosmetic surgery. Debiparshad told Insider that since opening The LimbplastX Institute, he's worked with more than 30 people to make them taller.

    insider

  • The most insightful vision of the future at CES came from HBO's 'Westworld'

    As I walked into the line, a woman I did not recognize gave me a big hug, saying how nice it was to finally see me and asking how my dog and boyfriend were doing (by name). I couldn't tell if I'd either forgotten if we'd met before, or if the game had already begun.

    Quickly, it became clear that it was the latter.

    Throughout the night, random folks approached me and my coworkers to discuss personal details about our lives, our work, the articles we'd written, changes to our hair color, and — in one case — uncertainty about whether or not a move out of their current city was warranted. To be clear, there were some misses in what I later learned was a 600 page, personally tailored script for the evening. We noticed that those of us with little online presence were harder for them to pin down. Other times, details got switched around (like my boyfriend and dog's names.) 

    But it was enough. We got the game. Our over-sharing digital selves were being thrown back in our faces, as we were forced to dine with our choice to give up every ounce of our internet privacy.

    Mashable

  • Co-Parenting Sites Skip Love and Marriage, Go Right to the Baby Carriage

    After doing some research, Ms. Andersen discovered another option: subscription-based websites such as PollenTree.com and Modamily that match would-be parents who want to share custody of a child without any romantic expectations. It’s a lot like a divorce, without the wedding or the arguments.

    WSJ

  • Erik Davis on High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies

    It’s not that there are multiple perspectives on reality. In that view, there’s one world, and then everybody’s got their own perspective. But what if it’s weirder than that? What if it’s the case that our perspectives, and particularly when those perspectives are wedded to actions, actually produce different, let’s call them dimensions of the real? That it’s not just that we have different perspectives, but we’re actually kind of building, constructing, different kinds of worlds. Now, are they ultimately part of one world? Yeah, but not in a simple way. I don’t believe that when you say, “I know the real world that they’re all a part of because it’s science,” or, “It’s physics,” or, “It’s economic structure,” or, “It’s human evolutionary psychology.” Everybody has their pet frame. What does it mean to try to navigate the world when you acknowledge the power and validity of many different perspectives and try to stay open and awake as you pass through this kind of chaos?

    Aquarium Drunkard

  • (2016) Uganda’s Top Export: Mercenaries

    Best of all, from the point of view of recruiters, Ugandans would accept dangerous assignments for not much money. Army veterans gladly worked for $1,000 a month at a time when the average salary at home was less than $300 a year.

    It wasn’t a job for the faint of heart. Bajun Mavalwalla, a former U.S. Army captain, spent a year at Camp Victory in Iraq, which was protected by Ugandans. The guards inspecting vehicles for bombs were “IED sponges,” he says, and their low pay and mistreatment were “despicable.”

    Bloomberg

  • Illinois lost nearly 160,000 residents over the last decade, most in the country

    Illinois lost over 159,700 residents, or about 1.3% of its population, between 2010 and 2019. West Virginia followed with a loss of 60,871 people; Connecticut with 8,860; and Vermont with 1,748.

    Illinois kicked off the decade as the the fifth-most populous state but will end as the sixth behind California, Texas, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania.

    Sun Times

  • This Vodka Was Made Using Contaminated Grain from Chernobyl

    Dr Gennady Laptev, a scientist based at the Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Institute in Kiev and a founding member of the Chernobyl Spirit Company, explained to the BBC that the vodka shows how some of the land surrounding the damaged Chernobyl reactor can be used productively, for things like agricultural enterprise.

    Vice

  • U.S. Cybercom contemplates information warfare to counter Russian interference in 2020 election

    While other military organizations, such as Joint Special Operations Command, also have cyber and information warfare capabilities, Cybercom is the first to turn such powers toward combating election interference.

    WaPo

  • Why It’s So Hard to Change People’s Commuting Behavior

    these approaches required changing a habitual behavior, which is notoriously difficult to change. Nudging is particularly effective at shaping one-off behaviors, such as getting flu shots, but it hasn’t yet been shown to be as reliably effective at changing decisions that require daily actions, like exercise.

    HBR

  • Whispers of War – The British World War II rumour campaign By Lee Richards

    In Britain as well there were numerous stories circulating of burnt bodies in German Army uniforms being washed up along the English southeast coast.[8] These stories were almost certainly triggered by a UPC supporting rumour which claimed that the Germans had attempted several small-scale invasions, all of which had been beaten off with devastating losses to them. "In fact none are alive to tell. Thousands of floating German corpses have been washed ashore," the rumour concluded.[9] Rumours of abortive German invasions became so pervasive that several concerned members of the British public enquired of the Ministry of Information what they were intending to do to counter such dangerous gossip. For example, the Ministry received the following letter as late as January 1942:

    Throughout England and Wales there is a story being told of how Germany tried to invade us nearly two years ago. They were defeated by the RAF and the Fleet. Oil was thrown on the briny, and was set alight and the barges were all burnt. Thousands of scorched bodies of the enemy drifted ashore and were buried on the South coast. When it is pointed out that your Ministry could use this defeat for propaganda purposes, it is then pointed out that its announcement would increase the complacency of the British public. I suggest that an authoritative denial should be made of the story.[10]

    The Ministry of Information replied that they did not think the rumour was very widespread and that an authoritative denial would have the undesirable effect of increasing its prevalence. Perhaps that was the wrong decision as the story of burnt German soldiers washing ashore after an abortive invasion attempt of England is a rumour that is still believed by some to this very day.

    psywar

  • James Patterson

    He has had 114 New York Times bestselling novels,[13] and holds The New York Times record for most #1 New York Times bestsellers by a single author, a total of 67, which is also a Guinness World Record. His novels account for one in 17, roughly 6%, of all hardcover novels sold in the United States; in recent years his novels have sold more copies than those of Stephen KingJohn Grisham, and Dan Brown combined.

    Wikipedia

  • Pope removes shroud of secrecy from clergy sex abuse cases

    In a new law, Francis decreed that information in abuse cases must be protected by church leaders to ensure its “security, integrity and confidentiality.” But he said the rule of “pontifical secrecy” no longer applied to abuse-related accusations, trials and decisions under the Catholic Church’s canon law.

    The Vatican’s leading sex crimes investigator, Archbishop Charles Scicluna, said the reform was an “epochal decision” that will facilitate coordination with civil law enforcement and open up lines of communication with victims.


  • HackerOne breach lets outside hacker read customers’ private bug reports

    Ars

  • U.S. fund sells Israeli hacking firm NSO Group amid spy mystery

    Specific terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but the acquisition includes an investment of about $100 million by the co-founders, and reportedly values the company at nearly $1 billion. San Francisco-based Francisco Partners bought a 70 percent stake in NSO Group in 2014 for a reported $120 million.

    Fast Company

    See this very interesting thread on twitter for more. It seems offensive security is a very lucrative business.

  • FBI secretly demands a ton of consumer data from credit agencies. Now lawmakers want answers

    Three lawmakers — Democratic senators Ron Wyden and Elizabeth Warren, and Republican senator Rand Paul — have sent letters to Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, expressing their “alarm” as to why the credit giants have failed to disclose the number of government demands for consumer data they receive.

    Techcrunch

  • Where is IPv6 in Email?

    The IPv4 address space is running out. In just a few years it will be completely exhausted. The only hope for the Internet to survive is to migrate to IPv6.

    This was the beginning of the IPv6 portion of my networking class in college. Nearly 20 years ago.

    Sendgrid blog

  • How a Frito-Lay janitor created one of America’s most popular snacks

    One day, as he told Lowrider magazine, he saw a company-wide video of then-CEO Roger Enrico saying, “We want every worker in this company to act like an owner. Make a difference. You belong to this company, so make it better.”

    Montañez took these words to heart.

    [...]

    As he tells it, one day an assembly line at the plant where he worked broke down. A batch of Cheetos didn’t receive the orange, cheesy dust that make them so popular. So he took a few home to experiment.

    He had formed an idea while watching a street vendor in his neighborhood make elote, or grilled Mexican street corn — corn on the cob covered in cheese, butter, lime and chili.

    “What if I took the same concept and applied it to a Cheeto?” he thought, according to his memoir.

    So he did. His friends and family loved the result. Thinking back to the video and figuring he had nothing to lose, he decided to call [CEO] Enrico to pitch the idea.

    Against all odds, it worked. Enrico loved the idea, and a new line of spicy snack food was born — with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos as its flagship. Montañez has since served in various positions throughout the company, including as an executive vice president.

    Washington Post

  • 'Get your act together': Tech companies face bipartisan congressional uproar over encryption

    At one point, the witness from Facebook began to caution that encryption was “a very complicated, technical ... . ”

    Graham cut him off. “Well, it ain’t complicated for me,” he shot back.

    Politico

    Bipartisan agreement! I really need to stop reading articles about politics, especially when a bunch of senators are yelling about how 2 + 2 = 5.

  • Metro Brooklynites drowning in helicopter noise since Uber Copter, Blade launch

    Citywide, gripes to the 311 hotline about helicopter noise have skyrocketed 150% to 2,602 through Nov. 30, from last year’s total of 1,039 complaints. The previous record of 1,505 complaints was set in 2015.

    NY Post

  • Fixing incorrect font rendering when a MacBook Pro is driving an external HiDPI (Retina) display

    When I plugged my HiDPI display (Acer B276HUL) into a new MacBook Pro, the diplay resolution would only go up to 1920x1080, and the fonts looked jagged and terrible.

    I fixed the resolution issue by buying a new, better USB-C to HDMI converter. After using it, 2560x1440 worked great, but the fonts were still not rendering correctly. Confusingly there are adapters that fit both sides but don't support full 2560x1440 resolution.

    There are a huge number of forum posts online with people asking about this, and strangely Apple does a terrible job of helping them help themselves. It's almost as if Apple wants people to buy an Apple display instead of making their existing display work as well as it can.

    The problem is that by default OS X uses a mistaken configuration for this display, something about how the different way pixels can be arranged in an LCD display. To fix the problem you generate a new configuration, turn off System Integrity Protection so you can make the new config available to the OS, then reboot. The process is described here.

    After following these instructions fonts look perfect on the external display, and I turned System Integrity Protection back on. My faith in Apple has taken some damage though.

  • Takeaways from The Art of Learning by Joshua Waitzkin

    Don't fight your emotions, let them run and use them.

    Perhaps the most decisive element of my game was the way my style on the board was completely in synch with my personality as a child. I was unhindered by internal conflict—a state of being that I have come to see as fundamental to the learning process.

    In performance training, first we learn to flow with whatever comes. Then we learn to use whatever comes to our advantage. Finally, we learn to be completely self-sufficient and create our own earthquakes, so our mental process feeds itself explosive inspirations without the need for outside stimulus.

    In every discipline, the ability to be clearheaded, present, cool under fire is much of what separates the best from the mediocre. In competition, the dynamic is often painfully transparent. If one player is serenely present while the other is being ripped apart by internal issues, the outcome is already clear. [...]

    Those who excel are those who maximize each moment’s creative potential—for these masters of living, presence to the day-to-day learning process is akin to that purity of focus others dream of achieving in rare climactic moments when everything is on the line.

    Instead of denying my emotional reality under fire, I had to learn how to sit with it, use it, channel it into a heightened state of intensity. Like the earthquake and the broken hand, I had to turn my emotions to my advantage.

    The former World Chess Champion Tigran Petrosian was known by his rivals to have a peculiar way of handling this issue. When he was playing long matches that lasted over the course of weeks or even months, he would begin each day by waking up and sitting quietly in his room for a period of introspection. His goal was to observe his mood down to the finest nuance. Was he feeling nostalgic, energetic, cautious, dreary, impassioned, inspired, confident, insecure? His next step was to build his game plan around his mood. If he was feeling cautious, quiet, not overwhelmingly confident, he tended to choose an opening that took fewer risks and led to a position that harmonized with his disposition. If feeling energized, aggressive, exceedingly confident, he would pick an opening that allowed him to express himself in a more creative vein. There were countless subtle variations of mood and of opening. Instead of imposing an artificial structure on his match strategy, Petrosian tried to be as true to himself as possible on a moment-to-moment basis. He believed that if his mood and the chess position were in synch, he would be most inclined to play with the greatest inspiration.

    Don't fight who you are, let your true personality shine.

    There will inevitably be times when we need to try new ideas, release our current knowledge to take in new information—but it is critical to integrate this new information in a manner that does not violate who we are.

    I don’t have much of a natural poker face. I’m an outgoing guy and tend to wear my heart on my sleeve. Instead of trying to change my personality, I learned how to use it to my advantage. While some chess players spend a lot of energy maintaining a stony front, I let opponents read my facial expressions as I moved through thought processes. My goal was to use my natural personality to dictate the tone of the struggle. Just how a poker player might hum a tune to put it in the head of an opponent (thereby “getting in his head”), I would control the psychology of the game by unmasking myself. If I sat up high in my chair in a natural display of confidence, my opponent might wonder if I was covering something up. Was this reverse psychology? Maybe reverse reverse psychology. Maybe reverse reverse reverse psychology? In addition to the moves I made on the board, I was posing another set of conundrums for an opponent to ponder.

    In the coming months, as I became more attuned to the qualitative fluctuations of my thought processes, I found that if a think of mine went over fourteen minutes, it would often become repetitive and imprecise. After noticing this pattern, I learned to monitor the efficiency of my thinking. If it started to falter, I would release everything for a moment, recover, and then come back with a fresh slate. Now when faced with difficult chess positions, I could think for thirty or forty minutes at a very high level, because my concentration was fueled by little breathers.

    Have grit and persevere.

    The vast majority of motivated people, young and old, make terrible mistakes in their approach to learning. They fall frustrated by the wayside while those on the road to success keep steady on their paths.

    Be resilient

    [Another player] would also get up from the board at tournaments and talk about the position in Russian with his coach, a famous Grandmaster. There were complaints, but little was done to stop the cheating. No one could prove what was discussed because of the language barrier, and the truth is that it didn’t even matter. While valuable chess ideas might have been exchanged, the psychological effect was much more critical. Opponents felt helpless and wronged—they took on the mentality of victim and so half the battle was already lost.

    Discover who you are and what your body is capable of through measurement

    The physical conditioners at LGE taught me to do cardiovascular interval training on a stationary bike that had a heart monitor. I would ride a bike keeping my RPMs over 100, at a resistance level that made my heart rate go to 170 beats per minute after ten minutes of exertion. Then I would lower the resistance level of the bike and go easy for a minute—my heart rate would return to 144 or so. Then I would sprint again, at a very high level of resistance, and my heart rate would reach 170 again after a minute. Next I would go easy for another minute before sprinting again, and so on. My body and mind were undulating between hard work and release. The recovery time of my heart got progressively shorter as I continued to train this way. As I got into better condition, it took more work to raise my heart rate, and less time to lower my heart rate during rest: soon my rest intervals were only forty-five seconds and my sprint times longer. What is fascinating about this method of physical conditioning is that after just a few weeks I noticed a tangible difference in my ability to relax and recover between arduous thought processes in a chess game. [...]

    For example, during weight workouts, the LGE guys taught me to precisely monitor how much time I leave between sets, so that my muscles have ample time to recover, but are still pushed to improve their recovery time. When I began this form of interval training, if I was doing 3 sets of 15 repetitions of a bench press, I would leave exactly 45 seconds between sets. If I was doing 3 sets of 12 repetitions with heavier weights, I would need 50 seconds between sets, if my sets were 10 reps I would take 55 seconds, and if I was lifting heavy weights, at 3 sets of 8 reps, I would take one minute between reps. This is a good baseline for an average athlete to work with.

    If you are interested in really improving as a performer, I would suggest incorporating the rhythm of stress and recovery into all aspects of your life. Truth be told, this is what my entire approach to learning is based on—breaking down the artificial barriers between our diverse life experiences so all moments become enriched by a sense of interconnectedness. So, if you are reading a book and lose focus, put the book down, take some deep breaths, and pick it up again with a fresh eye.

    I had learned from Jack Groppel at LGE to eat five almonds every forty-five minutes during a long chess game, to stay in a steady state of alertness and strength.

    Be present during practice and seemingly insignificant moments

    Too many of us live without fully engaging our minds, waiting for that moment when our real lives begin. Years pass in boredom, but that is okay because when our true love comes around, or we discover our real calling, we will begin. Of course the sad truth is that if we are not present to the moment, our true love could come and go and we wouldn’t even notice.

    Change yourself, not the world

    To walk a thorny road, we may cover its every inch with leather or we can make sandals.

    I had an issue to work on and Frank [a dirty fighter] would be the ideal training partner. The first step I had to make was to recognize that the problem was mine, not Frank’s. There will always be creeps in the world, and I had to learn how to deal with them with a cool head. Getting pissed off would get me nowhere in life.

  • Hubble Spots Galaxy’s Dramatic Details


    Some of the most dramatic events in the Universe occur when certain stars die — and explode catastrophically in the process.

    Such explosions, known as supernovae, mainly occur in a couple of ways: either a massive star depletes its fuel at the end of its life, become dynamically unstable and unable to support its bulk, collapses inwards, and then violently explodes; or a white dwarf in an orbiting stellar couple syphons more mass off its companion than it is able to support, igniting runaway nuclear fusion in its core and beginning the supernova process. Both types result in an intensely bright object in the sky that can rival the light of a whole galaxy.
    In the last 20 years the galaxy NGC 5468, visible in this image, has hosted a number of observed supernovae of both the aforementioned types: SN 1999cp, SN 2002cr, SN2002ed, SN2005P, and SN2018dfg. Despite being just over 130 million light-years away, the orientation of the galaxy with respect to us makes it easier to spot these new ‘stars’ as they appear; we see NGC 5468 face on, meaning we can see the galaxy’s loose, open spiral pattern in beautiful detail in images such as this one from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

    NASA

  • The Environmental Impact Of a Playstation 4

    The equivalent of 89 kilograms of carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere with the production and transportation of every PlayStation 4.

    The Verge

  • Inspiration

    When Elon unveiled the Falcon Heavy in a press conference, there were empty seats!


    Elon Musk, CEO of Space Exploration Technologies Corp, speaks during a news conference at the National Press Club on April 5, 2011 in Washington D.C., where he announced the Falcon Heavy rocket.

  • LSU Is Winning the Weight-Room Arms Race With Real-Time Data

    the Tigers’ success may also be partly owed to a technological advance in the weight-room arms race that has gripped college football in recent years. And it might not have happened if an unsolicited email last January from an unknown fitness startup founded by a trio of 20-something athletes-turned-entrepreneurs from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology slipped through the cracks.

    WSJ

  • "a technological advance in the weight-room arms race"

    https://twitter.com/LSUfootball/status/1179027450157654016

  • Why falsificationism is false

    I have often been struck, when talking to scientists, by the influence that Popper seems to have among them. I would go as far as saying that, in many scientific fields, falsificationism has become the official philosophy of science. It’s drummed into the heads of scientists when they’re in graduate school and, with a few exceptions, they never learn anything else about philosophy of science and spend the rest of their career thinking that Popper’s conception of science is still the gold standard. In fact, however, not only is falsificationism not the gold standard, but it never was. Indeed, I think it’s fair to say that, despite the incredible popularity it has achieved, falsificationism was always opposed by most philosophers of science and it’s certainly the case that nowadays virtually all of them reject it. Moreover, philosophers of science have excellent reasons to do so, because there are very strong arguments against falsificationism. In this post, I want to explain why I think falsificationism is false, because I keep running into people, especially scientists but not only, who are surprised to hear that and I figured it would be useful to be able to refer them to something accessible to non-philosophers that explains it.

    a philosopher's blog

  • (2004) Win totally out of left field

    "I saw it and I knew I had no chance, so I kicked it in the ivy," Alou said. "The umpire saw it, and they gave him [the run]. I don't know any rules. That's why I can't manage when I retire."

    Chicago Tribune

    Flashback to when Moises Alou didn't know the rules

  • Millennials to Small Cities: Ready or Not, Here We Come

    As the economy improves and millennials move around the country in search of jobs, some are finding themselves far from the youth culture they learned to expect from city life in other parts of the country. But the tradeoff can be a less burdensome cost of living, a more tightknit community, and a chance to make new towns their own.

    A Stateline analysis of census data showed the Columbus metro area at the top of a list of cities that have attracted young, educated people from out of state, yet are still relatively affordable.

    Pew

  • How to read (any book like) Capital in the Twenty-First Century?

    For truly serious books, I recommend the following.  Read it once, straight through, with a minimum of fuss.  If you get truly, totally stuck on some point, which the rest of the book depends upon, find somebody to ask.  Otherwise just keep on plowing straight through.

    Then write a review of the book.  Or jot down your notes, but in any case force yourself to take definite stances by putting words down on paper (or screen).

    Then reread the book carefully, because now you know what you are looking for.  Revise what you wrote.

    Of course only a few books a year (if that many) need to be read this way.

    Marginal Revolution

  • Emotional Intelligence

    Emotional intelligence is the single biggest predictor of performance in the workplace and the strongest driver of leadership and personal excellence.

    Travis Bradberry

  • coding music: Starfucker - Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second (Official Music Video)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Z8oYH_bhnA

  • coding music: Stavroz - The Ginning (Original Mix)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sp8SugNfN0

  • Chicago Property Prices Stagnate, Trail Even Crisis-Stricken Hong Kong

    The city and Illinois also have massive unfunded public-pension liabilities, which could force them to raise property- or income taxes in the years ahead. Chicago already has the second-highest residential property taxes in the country, according to research firm Green Street Advisors.

    “The primary reason that Chicago is struggling from an investment-sales perspective is the outlook for higher taxes in the future,” said Dave Bragg, a managing director at Green Street.

    The city has ample land and faces fewer restrictions on new construction than does the Bay Area. This has helped keep housing affordable but hurts owners.

    The number of tech job openings in Chicago grew 22.7% in November compared with a year earlier, according to Glassdoor, as more employers look for affordable alternatives, analysts say.

    WSJ

  • Why New York City can't build things anymore

    Amazing article in Politico

  • Cities are tearing down highways

    In Rochester and several other American cities, some of the biggest highway infrastructure projects under consideration involve demolition rather than construction. Removals are being considered for stretches of highway in Detroit, Tampa, Fla., Baltimore and elsewhere. They are following in the footsteps of cities such as Portland, Ore., Milwaukee and Chattanooga, Tenn., all of which have removed highways.

    WSJ

    This is a great trend.

  • Watch MLB games from the comfort of your own terminal


    https://github.com/paaatrick/playball

  • Wisconsin governor signs bill legalizing kids’ lemonade stands

    Children would be barred from selling any potentially hazardous food, such as raw meat and egg salad.

    Chicago Tribune

  • Mississippi River breaches levee

    After the breach, the Army Corps studied how much it would cost to fix the levee, determining “the cost of repairs were greater than the economic benefits of the project being done over time,” said John Osterhage, chief of emergency operations for the corps’ St. Louis District. “It wouldn’t be a viable project.”

    The total cost to repair the breach, Osterhage said, is “in the millions of dollars.” One estimate cited in court papers placed the number at $16.6 million.

    The situation at Dogtooth Bend has left the residents and farmers of the peninsula restless, wondering if this is the new reality.

    Chicago Tribune

  • Hoard of Baroque Jewels Stolen in German Museum Heist

    BERLIN—German police are investigating what experts are calling one of the most devastating jewelry heists in history after nearly a hundred pieces of 18th-century jewelry were stolen from one of Europe’s most renowned treasure collections early Monday.

    wsj

  • What it takes to be carbon neutral — for a family, a city, a country

    Copenhagen is trying to become the first carbon-neutral capital by 2025 -- a full 25 years before Washington and other major world cities expect they might have a shot at canceling their emissions.

    WaPo

  • Can you booby-trap your own house?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bV9ppvY8Nx4

    Everyone in law school learns this case 1L year.

  • The Manhattan Skyline: Why are there no tall skyscrapers between Midtown and Downtown?

    The surface bedrock over much of New York City provides solid anchorage to support the high buildings. Although there are two areas of this strong bedrock at or close to the surface, there is a valley in between where the building heights are lower. In the region south of 30th Street the strong bedrock begins to fall away, and at Washington Square it descends deeply into the earth.

    link

  • What the Completed Great Pyramid Would've Looked Like

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=174&v=ujX9MEnYzU4&feature=emb_logo

    more info

  • How Google Interferes With Its Search Algorithms and Changes Your Results

    A frankly bizarre article that stems from the premise that search results can be neutral, and proceeds to build on that flawed premise. Good to keep up with what people are reading, most of whom don't understand the underlying technology and think that that doesn't matter. Some opinions simply aren't valid because they aren't based on an understanding of the problem.

  • County resolution threatens journalists with prosecution

    The Lafayette County Conservation Committee plans to vote Tuesday on the resolution, which would warn reporters to print the upcoming news release without any edits or alterations or face prosecution. It isn't clear which committee member or members wrote the resolution or whether they sought legal advice before proposing it, but the effort looks blatantly unconstitutional, according to experts in media law.

    AP

    The voters are electing just anyone to the County Committee these days...

  • Facebook's logging system

    Scribe processes logs with an input rate that can exceed 2.5 terabytes per second and an output rate that can exceed 7 terabytes per second. To put this workload into perspective, the output of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN during its latest run was estimated to reach only 25 gigabytes per second.

    Facebook Engineering Blog

    "Only"

  • How Google Edged Out Rivals and Built the World’s Dominant Ad Machine: A Visual Guide

    excellent article

  • Hard Seltzer Craze Makes White Claw Creator a Multibillionaire

    His latest is White Claw, the “hard seltzer” that was the hit of the summer among millennials, outselling every craft beer and even heavyweights like Budweiser in the U.S. for stretches at a time.

    It was the latest in a string of successes that includes Mike’s Hard Lemonade and has given von Mandl, 69, a net worth of about $3.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

    article

  • Missouri Dreams of Traveling 700 Miles an Hour

    The price tag for the test track could be between $300 million and $500 million, the panel’s report found. The panel also found that a line connecting Kansas City to St. Louis that would traverse 250 miles in 30 minutes could cost more than $10 billion.

    wsj

  • Former Twitter employees charged with spying for Saudi Arabia by digging into the accounts of kingdom critics

    One of those implicated in the scheme, according to court papers, is an associate of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman

    link

  • This WWII Naval Ship Was So Unlucky, It Almost Killed FDR

    The William D. Porter was eventually reassigned to the Aleutian Islands in the northern Pacific, on a relatively simple patrol mission. Before being reassigned to a different area in the Pacific, however — the William D. Porter accidentally shot a five-inch artillery shell which landed on the commandant’s front yard on the American base in the islands.

    link

  • Scribe: Transporting petabytes per hour via a distributed, buffered queueing system

    The total size of these logs is several petabytes every hour.

    link

  • The Making of the World’s Greatest Investor

    Mr. Simons began his career as a popular professor at MIT and Harvard University. During the Cold War, he broke Russian code working for an organization aiding the National Security Agency. At 37, while running Stony Brook University’s math department, he won geometry’s highest honor, cementing his reputation in mathematics. Friends at the time said Mr. Simons’s rugged, craggy features and the glint of mischief in his eyes reminded them of Humphrey Bogart.

    When Mr. Simons left Stony Brook in 1978 to launch his trading firm, he was eager for a new challenge and bursting with self-confidence.

    link

  • Andrew Yang adds experience to his pirate-ship campaign

    The expansion, fueled by a nearly $10 million third-quarter fundraising haul, ensures that the 44-year-old entrepreneur can stick around through the beginning of early-state voting next year — and gives Yang a platform to build on if he should have a big moment in a later debate or show unexpectedly well in the Iowa caucuses.

    Read More

  • The SpaceX Starship is a very big deal

    SpaceX clearly intends to build dozens of Starships. With an eventual flight rate of once per day per Starship, we’re looking at roughly a million tonnes to orbit per year. That exceeds the current launch market of about 500 T/year by a substantial margin.

    Read More

  • The unexpected threat emerging against Bernie: Andrew Yang

    Fifty-seven percent of Yang’s potential supporters are considering Sanders, according to a recent Ipsos/FiveThirtyEight poll. The mutual interest works in the other direction, too: 16 percent of Sanders’ potential voters are eyeing Yang.

    Read More

  • Wisconsin Democrats Make Early Push to Take On Trump

    “In Wisconsin, you don’t knock on doors during a Packers game,” said Ben Wikler, the state’s Democratic Party chairman.

    Read More

  • Go Mayor Pete!

    Silicon Valley CEOs Appear to Have Chosen Their 2020 Candidate

    Buttigieg was his high school’s valedictorian and went on to Harvard, where he befriended two roommates of future Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and was one of the first 300 users on the social media platform.

    His relationship with Zuckerberg persisted. Zuckerberg, 35, visited South Bend in 2017 while doing research for his philanthropic organization, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and got a personal tour from Buttigieg. That relationship lasted into this year, when Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, recommended two people that Buttigieg ultimately hired for his campaign. Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for Zuckerberg and Chan, said the couple hasn’t yet decided whom to support for president.

    Read More

    I like Yang and Mayor Pete.

  • What a life!

    Studying German in the late 1940s was a shocking thing to do, but the language turned out to be unexpectedly useful. By age 20, Mr. le Carré was using his German skills while working for British intelligence in the Soviet zone of postwar, Allied-occupied Austria. When he returned to England in 1952, he worked for MI5, posing at Oxford as a communist to inform on left-leaning students.

    Read More

  • Trump changed the demographic makeup of the Republican party

    Some 84% of Republicans approve of how Mr. Trump is handling his job, essentially unchanged from 86% just after he was sworn in

    Read More

  • Palmer Luckey's new venture

    A second drone roughly the size of the Up Air quadcopter spun into action, buzzing like a mechanical wasp as it ascended to about 20 feet below its target. As it hovered, a crowd of Levin’s colleagues gathered around. A prompt appeared on-screen asking for permission to attack. Levin tapped a button, and the second drone, dubbed the Interceptor, shot upward, striking the Up Air One at 100 mph. The two aircraft somersaulted skyward briefly, then they plummeted back to earth and landed with two satisfying thuds.

    Read the article

  • A bridge from Ireland to Scotland?

    According to the Channel 4 report, the prime minister wants to know "the risks around the project" - including "WW2 munitions in the Irish Sea".

    Read More


    The Mull of Kintyre in Scotland in the foreground and Northern Ireland in the distance. Photo credit. After the bridge would be built it would not look like this any more!

  • Google Reviews: The National Air and Space Museum

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjwGoLs5k-k
    This youtuber is so funny and great watch his video plz.

  • Tony Horwitz Dies at 60; Prize-Winning Journalist and Best-Selling Author

    “He was easily bored with conventional explanations,” Mr. Lewis said, “and his restlessness led him to places a normal person wouldn’t get to.”

    Mr. Horwitz was a gifted interviewer. In “Confederates in the Attic,” he engaged the only living Confederate widow at the time in a conversation about the future, in which she predicted, “If it’s like it usually been bein’, it won’t be so good.” And for his latest book, following in Olmsted’s footsteps, he got “the drift of things” in the South by cultivating sources in after-hours interviews in dive bars from the Potomac River to the Rio Grande.

    link

  • Fossil fuel divestment has ‘zero’ climate impact, says Bill Gates

    “When I’m taking billions of dollars and creating breakthrough energy ventures and funding only companies who, if they’re successful, reduce greenhouse gases by 0.5 per cent, then I actually do see a cause and effect type thing,” he said.

    Read More

  • Donald Glover standup, hilarious and great

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xs_zLnXsZH4

  • (1980) Why the UK is in the EU.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVYqB0uTKlE

    > Short clip from "Yes Minister" series of 1980

  • Premeditated murder in the Kleiner Tiergarten in Berlin

    After speeding away from the crime scene for a few hundred meters along the Spree river, the assassin stopped and jettisoned the electric bike, a plastic bag with the murder weapon, and a wig he was using, into the river. In doing so he was observed by two teenagers who alerted the police. Their tips lead to the killer being caught a few minutes later, just as he was disappearing into a crowd of tourists – now sporting a clean-shaven head, a mustachioed face, a pink t-shirt, and a touristy pouch holding his passport and some cash suspended from his neck.

    Read More

  • What's actually going on with 5G?

    This guy explains it, including AT&T's bullshit "5G E"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CTUs_2hq6Y

  • Wastin' food


    How Do Farmers Make Money on Corn? By Charging to Shoot It From a Cannon
    Crop prices are low, but launching produce comes at a premium


    https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-do-farmers-make-money-on-corn-by-charging-to-shoot-it-from-a-cannon-11568129784?mod=rsswn

  • Shouldn't electric cars have solar panels on the roof?

    “The solar car’s advantage is that — while it can’t drive for a long range — it’s really independent of charging facilities,” said Koji Makino, a project manager at Toyota.

    Read More

  • (1983) Tale Of Man And 105 Wives Packs Courtroom

    This guy would marry someone, pack her stuff into a truck, then sell it at a flea market, and do it again, 105 times. Read More

  • The first use of WD-40

    Convair, an aerospace contractor, first used WD-40® to protect the outer skin of the Atlas Missile from rust and corrosion.

    Read More

  • The Complete Galactic Plane: Up and Down


    Read More Image Credit & Copyright: Moophz Himself (Maroun Habib)

  • The origin of the term "Gotham" for New York City

    In Salmagundi, [Washington] Irving and the Lads published essays concerning events in “the thrice renowned and delectable city of GOTHAM,” thereby creating a nickname for New York which is now over two hundred years old.

    Read More

  • Standard Ebooks

    Standard Ebooks takes ebooks from sources like Project Gutenberg, formats and typesets them using a carefully designed and professional-grade style manual, fully proofreads and corrects them, and then builds them to create a new edition that takes advantage of state-of-the-art ereader and browser technology.

    Read More

    Often when I read a book from Project Gutenberg I'm dismayed by the layout, but beggars can't be choosers. Or can they?

  • Find out who Taylor Swift is never ever getting back together with

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56Cqbk9CJz8

    Turns out it's the creature from the Tool music video for Stinkfist.

  • Sovereign Military Order of Malta

    It maintains diplomatic relations with 107 states, has permanent observer status at the United Nations,[8] enters into treaties and issues its own passports, coins and postage stamps. Its two headquarters buildings in Rome enjoy extraterritoriality, similar to embassies, and it maintains embassies in other countries. The three principal officers are counted as citizens.

    [...]

    Unlike the Holy See, however, which is sovereign over Vatican City and thus has clear territorial separation of its sovereign area and that of Italy, SMOM has had no territory since the loss of the island of Malta in 1798, other than only those current properties with extraterritoriality listed above.

    This organization has no territory, yet it is somehow recognized as a sovereign state by over 100 countries. Read More

  • SEC’s Top Crypto Cop Joins Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP as partner

    Robert A. Cohen will join the corporate law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP as partner. The firm is known for representing several crypto firms including Coinbase, as well as large legacy financial institutions, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

    Cohen tendered his resignation in July, after 15 years of government service with the SEC.

    Read More

  • Billie Eilish - bad guy

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyDfgMOUjCI

  • New Cable Network for A.C.C. Heightens Arms Race in College Sports

    The Atlantic Coast Conference is the fourth Power Five league with its own dedicated television channel.

    Read More

  • Acer B276HUL monitor displaying black and white instead of color

    If your Acer B276HUL monitor is displaying color output in black and white, here's the fix. Go into the monitor's on-screen menu, and in the first group of options choose "Detect Video". Toggle it on and off again. That's the fix!

  • History of 'In God We Trust' on U.S. Coins

    IN GOD WE TRUST first appeared on the 1864 two-cent coin.

    Read More

  • Resolving failed dependencies when installing an rpm file in Fedora

    If you get a failed dependencies error like this when trying to install an rpm file using rpm -i like this:

    (base) [denniscahillane@localhost Downloads]$ sudo rpm -i google-chrome-stable_current_x86_64.rpm 
    password for denniscahillane: 
    warning: google-chrome-stable_current_x86_64.rpm: Header V4 DSA/SHA1 Signature, key ID 7fac5991: NOKEY
    error: Failed dependencies:
    /usr/bin/lsb_release is needed by google-chrome-stable-76.0.3809.100-1.x86_64
    libappindicator3.so.1()(64bit) is needed by google-chrome-stable-76.0.3809.100-1.x86_64
    liberation-fonts is needed by google-chrome-stable-76.0.3809.100-1.x86_64

    Use yum localinstall instead like this:

    (base) [denniscahillane@localhost Downloads]$ sudo yum localinstall google-chrome-stable_current_x86_64.rpm 
    
    Last metadata expiration check: 0:20:09 ago on Tue 20 Aug 2019 08:31:53 AM EDT.
    
    Dependencies resolved.
    [snip]

    yum localinstall manages automatically.

  • Getting the Drop in Cyberspace

    After Stuxnet and the Snowden revelations, what adversaries can possibly doubt the power of U.S. cyber capabilities? And yet, years later, the White House still complains that “adversaries have increased the frequency and sophistication of their malicious cyber activities.”

    Indeed, there is evidence that the power of U.S. offensive capabilities has not deterred threats but, instead, has done the opposite. Iran became a far more serious cyber threat after Stuxnet. For the U.S. to have the “incredible offensive capability” described by Milley may only invite adversaries to drastically improve the size of their own cyber commands and their cyber arsenals.

    Read More

    Like Roger Bannister showing the world that a four-minute mile is possible, the U.S. and Israel showed the world that Stuxnet is possible.

  • Ira Glass on the Creative Process

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbC4gqZGPSY

  • White Supremacy at the Farmers’ Market in Bloomington, IN

    Ms. Dye referred to herself as “an identitarian,” which she described as a worldview that “emphasizes the importance of identity.”

    Read More

  • Mikhail Prokhorov officially agrees to sell majority ownership of Nets to Joe Tsai

    Prokhorov bought controlling interest of the Nets and a minority stake of Barclays Center in 2010 from Bruce Ratner for $223 million. He also agreed to take on $160 million in debt. According to Netsdaily.com, Prokhorov sold his shares of both entities to Tsai for $3.5 billion — an outrageously massive profit.

    Read more

  • Putin gives pilot who landed in cornfield Russia's top medal

    Yusupov hailed his cabin crew, who managed to evacuate the passengers. He also apologized to passengers for failing to get them to their destination — Simferopol in Crimea.

    Read More

  • J.D. Vance Becomes Catholic

    Why Catholicism? Why now?

    I became persuaded over time that Catholicism was true. I was raised Christian, but never had a super-strong attachment to any denomination, and was never baptized. When I became more interested in faith, I started out with a clean slate, and looked at the church that appealed most to me intellectually.

    Read More

    I respect Vance a great deal and admire his book, so this is going to take some effort for me to grapple with. It's easy to imagine someone leaving the church, but joining it? Now?

  • Classic Brylcreem Stop Motion Animation TV Commercial

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYaqPF6gkw4
    A commercial from the 1950's

  • I compared myself

    to other New Yorkers and

    found myself wanting

    (this came to me this morning while reading The Little Price, which always jerks me to a healthier place mentally)

  • Why Do Queens Addresses Not Just Say 'Queens'?

    Queens had an overall bumpy transition to borough-hood. There was resistance to consolidation on several fronts: for instance, Patrick "Battle Axe" Gleason, the mayor of Long Island City who had failed in his bid to become mayor of the newly enlarged New York, decided the merger was unconstitutional and refused to leave office.

    read the article

  • US Citizen Nomad Taxes

    What would my tax rate be as a remote freelancer and indie maker? Living and working as a W2 employee in New York City, my current effective tax rate (federal, NY state and NYC combined) is about 40%.

    What would happen to that tax rate if I went back to digital nomad life? Specifically, a nomad who spent less than 30 days a year within the US? Nomad Capitalist (highly recommended) said in one of his posts that remote freelance coders living abroad pay self-employment tax, but can otherwise exclude about the first $100,000 of income from U.S. federal income tax. So my tax rate would drop from about 40% to 15%.

    There is a great deal of misinformation on the internet about taxes and remote freelancing, so I checked the IRS website and everything Nomad Capitalist says can be verified.

    There's more to living abroad than tax savings--there's also the language study opportunities, meeting new people from all over the world, and experiencing adventures that you couldn't imagine before you started!

    Sources

    Self-employment income: A qualifying individual may claim the foreign earned income exclusion on foreign earned self-employment income.  The excluded amount will reduce the individual’s regular income tax, but will not reduce the individual’s self-employment tax.

    IRS website link

    The self-employment tax rate is 15.3%. The rate consists of two parts: 12.4% for social security (old-age, survivors, and disability insurance) and 2.9% for Medicare (hospital insurance).

    IRS website link

  • Fight Club - The Ultimate Coaching Method

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEWxckbefKI

    I think about this scene all the time

  • Sun’s Puzzling Plasma Recreated in a Laboratory


    A mini-sun is inside

    Inside a 3-meter-wide plasma containment chamber — the “Big Red Ball” — the team placed a cylindrical permanent magnet about 10 centimeters wide and 10 centimeters long. This was their starter sun. They then filled the ball with a plasma made from helium gas and drove an electrical current through it, which created a force on the plasma that made it spin around the dipole.

    more at Quanta

    NASA has a nice page about the Parker Solar Probe, mentioned in the article. The probe tweets!

  • David Foster Wallace on perfectionism

    “You know, the whole thing about perfectionism.
    The perfectionism is very dangerous. Because of course if your fidelity
    to perfectionism is too high, you never do anything. Because doing
    anything results in...it's actually kind of tragic because you sacrifice
    how gorgeous and perfect it is in your head for what it really is. And
    there were a couple of years where I really struggled with that.”

    ―David Foster Wallace

    read/watch more

  • Camouflage from face detection.

    CV Dazzle explores how fashion can be used as camouflage from face-detection technology, the first step in automated face recognition.

    The name is derived from a type of World War I naval camouflage called Dazzle, which used cubist-inspired designs to break apart the visual continuity of a battleship and conceal its orientation and size. Likewise, CV Dazzle uses avant-garde hairstyling and makeup designs to break apart the continuity of a face. Since facial-recognition algorithms rely on the identification and spatial relationship of key facial features, like symmetry and tonal contours, one can block detection by creating an “anti-face”.

    Awesome. I love it! This is the cyberpunk future I've been hoping for.

  • Co–Star Rising

    The buzzy app raised more than $5 million in seed funding last month. Where does it go from here?


    For the last half-decade or so, astrology has seemed inescapable in certain circles of New York, even more so, I imagine, to the skeptics who couldn’t avoid it. Tech made it easy to distribute, and millennial dissatisfaction with more trenchant forms of spirituality made for many willing consumers (especially within queer communities). Co–Star and its push notifications cut through the noise, promising that every day was a new opportunity to become my better self—or at least better aligned with my rightful place in the cosmos. How’d it do that?

    Coincidentally, this article was sent to *me* by "my most streetwear-literate, Bushwickian friend." The subject is so far outside my ordinary interests that I had to download and set up the app immediately, including texting mom to find out my birth time! The notifications have been fun so far.

  • A.I. learns to play Kirby's Avalanche using OpenAI Gym

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-bb24pSbDg

    I added Kirby's Avalanche, the "non-canon" puzzle game, to Gym Retro. It can be partially beaten with a machine learning agent. This is my first A.I. youtube video!

  • the most quintessential elites vs. regular folks issue?

    “There are too often parts of our country … where English is not spoken by some people as their first language.”

    “And that needs to be changed,” he said.

    The most important priority for immigrants should be “to be and to feel British,” he said, “and to learn English.”

    Boris Johnson, most likely Britain's next Prime Minister

    To me, an English politician saying, "everyone in England should speak English" is saying something quite obvious and popular. To be clear, Boris Johnson is an idiot and will be a terrible PM. But this issue is both a winner with voters, and learning the dominant language of the country where you live is simply a good idea. This stance is both good policy and broadly popular.

    As a successful immigrant to the US has said,

    First, learn the English language and blend into the American culture, even as you honor and remain proud of your own heritage. I don't say learn the language out of any sense of etiquette or duty. Do it so you can participate fully in the life of the nation and make the most of living in this country.

    I came here in 1968 speaking only a little English. To make it in business and Hollywood, I knew I had to take English lessons, speech lessons, accent-removal lessons—anything to improve my chances of success. And I happily did it all.

    Arnold Schwarzenegger

  • HD video of New York City (1993)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fT4lDU-QLUY
    > You can determine that the year is 1993 by the adverts in Times Square - The Radio 501 CD that's advertised on a billboard came out in 1993 and Paper Moon is playing at the Marquis Theater.

  • Cloudflare is right to not fire anyone over their recent outage

    Recently Cloudflare had a major outage. The faulty code made it past the usual automated systems and tests because it was not anticipated that an outage could be caused by this kind of code.

    Cloudflare’s CTO tweeted that “I gave that little team a pep talk and said I didn't need to know the name of the individual who wrote the bad rule.” It seems that whoever typed out the faulty regex won’t be reprimanded or fired, despite people on internet forums calling for just that.

    Protecting the individual employee is the right response to this incident, and the reason why is very important to understand. When a problem occurs in complex distributed software like Cloudflare runs, fault lies not with any individual’s action, or any single failure, but in the system. An outage requires multiple failures: one person’s faulty code merged, automated testing and human review did not reveal a problem, and it was deployed into production. Depending on their internal process, there could be other checkpoints that failed to prevent this outage.

    By their very nature, complex software systems are unpredictable, and there is nothing we humans can do to stop things from breaking sometimes. At the same time, we naturally have a desire for a cause and effect explanation for accidents. This desire has manifested itself in the world of software many times over the years. It's human nature for people to call for whoever wrote the code that caused the outage to be fired. Hindsight bias (point 8), is the feeling while reading a post mortem that the cause should have been obvious at the time. This bias is powerful and blinds us all at times.

    But firing someone over an outage would simply make them a scapegoat, without improving reliability. Cloudflare’s goal is to make their system as reliable as possible. To do so they should (and likely will) address every failure in the chain that caused this outage, preventing this combination of failures in particular from ever repeating. Ideally, their changes will make the system more resilient without introducing new faults.

    In addition to it being a fallacy to attribute an outage to a single individual, an employee involved with a system failure and recovery will have gained valuable experience they will use in the future to prevent failures. That goes double if the employee feels responsible. They can either apply that experience at Cloudflare, or their next employer. Why not take advantage of their knowledge? After all, you already paid for it.

    The author is a software engineer and recovering lawyer. He can be found on twitter.

    Further reading on complexity

    How Complex Systems Fail, by Richard I. Cook (5 page PDF)

    Drift Into Failure, Sidney Dekker (book)

    Complexity, by M Mitchell Walthrop (book)

  • What is the Gaelic language?

    There’s a common misconception about Gaelic I’m going to settle once and for all, here on my blog.

    The Republic of Ireland has two official languages, English and Irish.
    The Irish language is a Gaelic language, sometimes called Irish Gaelic,
    and is called “Gaeilge” or “Gaolainn” in itself. The ancestor of the
    modern Irish language, Middle Irish, spread to Scotland centuries ago
    and splintered into two languages. Gaelic by itself refers to the
    language now spoken in Scotland, also know as Scottish Gaelic or
    “Gàidhlig” in itself, but Gaelic alone is not a word for the Irish
    language.

    The English language as spoken by the Irish is called
    Irish English or Hiberno-English, but this should not be called just
    Irish.