Michel Vuijlsteke's weblog

Tales of Drudgery & Boredom.

Tag: culture (pagina 1 van 2)

Links van 20 mei 2018 tot 21 mei 2018

Gell-Mann amnesia effect – Wikiwand
the Gell-Mann amnesia effect labels a commonly observed problem in modern media,[2] where one will believe everything they read from a journalist even after they come across an article about something they know well that is completely incorrect

Tim Harford — Article — Statistics, Fast and Slow
One way to understand China is to look at the statistics. Real income per person has increased nearly tenfold since 1990. Since the early 1980s, the number of extremely poor people in China has fallen by more than three-quarters of a billion people, more than half the population of the country. China consumed more cement in a recent three-year period than the US used in the entire 20th century. Even on paper, it is the most dramatic explosion of economic activity in human history. Seeing it with your own eyes is another experience entirely.

Acephalic Agile—worse than Waterfall? – Oliver Wyman Labs: Technical
At least in Waterfall if you did a good job of designing the project, and if you stuck to the spirit of the method, you were to some extent insulated from management noise and ‘dreck effekt’. But the outcome in a badly governed Agile project is that each iteration takes us further off course. Or at least it doesn’t (‘asymptotically’) converge on the right outcome as it should. The result can be even worse than a badly planned Waterfall project, and with more late nights worked along the way. The pain coefficient at the project’s end can also be greater than with the Waterfall. Here it is that Agile can actually be worse than Waterfall.

How many people with disabilities did you have test the design before you let people try it out? : beta
I am curious about whether or not you guys even bothered talking to a single person who uses a screen reader/has vision loss or poor vision/ or is totally blind? What about people who can't use a mouse? If you did, can you explain the process by making things hard to access with keyboard, totally unavailable to access with a keyboard, and why you made certain decisions to make things harder to see? EDIT: Reddit has responded with the following, which answers my question with a "None."

Time to ditch Wikipedia?
As an active editor for almost 15 years, Cross is very familiar with some of the more arcane Wikipedia rules and guidelines (along with their obscure acronyms) and uses them to justify removing information he dislikes in favour of his own inclusions. Often in a very subtle manner and over a long period of time. Anyone familiar with the work of the people he targets will recognise how one-sided and distorted those entries become.

Links van 16 mei 2018 tot 18 mei 2018

Total set to pull out of Iran gas deal without sanctions waiver – BBC News
Slecht nieuws: “French energy giant Total is preparing to pull out of a billion dollar gas project in Iran in the face of renewed US sanctions. Total said it will unwind operations by November unless sanctions are waived.” 🙁

3D printed tourniquet: Day 2 of Gaza field trials ends badly (May 14)
Despite our efforts to clearly identify ourselves as first responders, several of our medical team were wounded by Israeli live fire. One paramedic, Musa Abuhassanin, was killed while attempting a victim rescue under fire. One hour before he was shot in the thorax and killed, Musa was one of my rescuers when I was shot by live ammunition. I sustained a moderate injury to my left leg and a minor one to the right leg. Musa was also the paramedic who discovered and reported the failed buckle in our previous report. He had a great laugh and was a good paramedic.

Tex, le dézamour – Culture / Next
«Les gars, vous savez ce qu’on dit à une femme qui a déjà les deux yeux au beurre noir ? On lui dit plus rien, on vient déjà de lui expliquer deux fois !»

The Language of the Roman Empire | History Today
Latin was used throughout the Roman Empire, but it shared space with a host of other languages and dialects, including Greek, Oscan and Etruscan, which give us a unique perspective on the ancient world.

How Fortnite Captured Teens’ Hearts and Minds | The New Yorker
The craze for the third-person shooter game has elements of Beatlemania, the opioid crisis, and eating Tide Pods.

Links van 10 maart 2018 tot 11 maart 2018

A very EU coup: Martin Selmayr’s astonishing power grab | The Spectator
Martin Selmayr has always dreamed of being known beyond the Brussels bubble. His wish has now been granted, albeit in not quite the way he might have hoped. It has arrived in the form of a brilliantly executed coup that has handed this 47-year-old German bureaucrat near-total control of the EU machine.

The Man Who Knew Too Little – The New York Times
Right after the election, Erik Hagerman decided he’d take a break from reading about the hoopla of politics. Donald Trump’s victory shook him. Badly. And so Mr. Hagerman developed his own eccentric experiment, one that was part silent protest, part coping mechanism, part extreme self-care plan. He swore that he would avoid learning about anything that happened to America after Nov. 8, 2016. “It was draconian and complete,” he said. “It’s not like I wanted to just steer away from Trump or shift the conversation. It was like I was a vampire and any photon of Trump would turn me to dust.” It was just going to be for a few days. But he is now more than a year into knowing almost nothing about American politics. He has managed to become shockingly uninformed during one of the most eventful chapters in modern American history. He is as ignorant as a contemporary citizen could ever hope to be.

How Lies Spread Online – The New York Times
For all categories of information — politics, entertainment, business and so on — we found that false stories spread significantly farther, faster and more broadly than did true ones. Falsehoods were 70 percent more likely to be retweeted, even when controlling for the age of the original tweeter’s account, its activity level, the number of its followers and followees, and whether Twitter had verified the account as genuine. These effects were more pronounced for false political stories than for any other type of false news.

Huge MIT Study of ‘Fake News’: Falsehoods Win on Twitter – The Atlantic
Ik kan niet zeggen dat ik verbaasd ben. "Falsehoods almost always beat out the truth on Twitter, penetrating further, faster, and deeper into the social network than accurate information."

Photobook Captures Diverse Beauty of 100 Different Types of Chickens
If you were asked to name the most beautiful species of bird in the world, it’s unlikely that “chicken” would be your first answer. However, Italian photographers Moreno Monti and Matteo Tranchellini believe chickens are underrated. The two began a portrait project called Chic!ken to show the world just how beautiful these humble farm birds really are. Today, with over 200 stunning portraits showcasing 100 different types of chickens, the pair decided to combine the collection into a hardback photobook.

Links van 8 oktober 2017 tot 10 oktober 2017

Mensa offers to host IQ test for Trump and Tillerson | TheHill
Bring on the IQ test — Mensa says it’s willing to host President Trump and secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a battle of the brains. In an interview with Forbes published Tuesday, Trump suggested he and Tillerson — who allegedly once called the commander in chief a “moron” — go head-to-head in an intelligence quotient showdown. The State Department has denied Tillerson ever made the comments.

‘Privacy op de weg. Niet nodig volgens Jan Jambon’ – Nieuws – Data News.be
De N-VA blies dit weekend dus opnieuw leven in het omstreden voorstel, een wetsvoorstel waar Jan Jambon al sinds 2016 druk aan bezig is. De regering wil één jaar lang alle verplaatsingen die u met uw voertuig doet, of dat nu een wagen, motor of brommer is, gaan bijhouden. Zij gaat er dus de facto van uit dat wij allen misdadigers (in wording) zijn. Het gaat hier immers niet om gerichte controle of een signalisatiemogelijkheid van een verdachte nummerplaat, het gaat hier om het bijhouden van een onnoemelijke grote dataset van verplaatsingen, en dus identiteitsgegevens. Dat dit fout is, staat buiten kijf. Elk wetsvoorstel dient de proportionaliteitstoets te doorstaan. Het recht op privacy is geen absoluut recht. Dat impliceert dat men van dit recht kan afwijken wanneer daar een gegronde en zwaarwichtige reden toe is. Dat is echter in casu niet het geval. Het bijhouden van alle verplaatsingen van alle Belgen gedurende één jaar, is niets meer dan massasurveillance – een term die zelfs de anders zo voorzichtige Privacycommissie zelf naar voor schuift.

(19) The Nightmare Letter: A Subject Access Request under GDPR | LinkedIn
I had drafted a letter a few years ago detailing the worst kind of personal information access request that a Canadian company could receive under PIPEDA. I thought it might be useful to update that as a subject access request under GDPR, and present it as a worst-case situation (with thanks to Paul Breitbarth for reviewing this and offering some insights from a regulator's point of view). You might simply use this to make a case to your organization about what it could potentially receive.

How I learnt to loathe England | Prospect Magazine
So let me try to be as Dutch as I can, and say that I left the UK feeling disappointed, hurt and immensely worried. We did not leave because of Brexit. My wife and I are both Dutch and we want our children to grow roots in the country where we came of age. We loved our time in London and have all met people who we hope will become our friends for life. But by the time the referendum came, I had become very much in favour of the UK leaving the EU. The worrying conditions that gave rise to the result—the class divide and the class fixation, as well as an unhinged press, combine to produce a national psychology that makes Britain a country you simply don’t want in your club.

If macOS High Sierra shows your password instead of the password hint for an encrypted APFS volume – Apple Support
Fijne bug.

Links van 19 maart 2017 tot 1 april 2017

The Fall of Avalon Hill | Naked Meeple
It began with a short notice posted on the Avalon Hill web site on August 4, 1998 by some just fired employees. The announcement stated simply that Monarch Avalon had sold its Avalon Hill Game Company division to Hasbro for $6 million, and that Monarch had terminated the AH game design people. Though the notice would be pulled almost immediately by AH management, it stayed up long enough for word to spread across the Internet faster than a Clinton scandal report. Confirmation from Hasbro, Monarch Avalon, and various financial sources soon followed, leaving wargamers facing the awful reality that Avalon Hill, which began and nourished the wargame hobby, and The General, which shaped it, were dead.

Russian government posts April Fools’ Day prank offering “election interference” – CBS News
On Saturday, the ministry posted on its Facebook page an audio file of the purported new automated telephone switchboard message for Russian embassies. “To arrange a call from a Russian diplomat to your political opponent, press 1,” the recording begins, in Russian and English. Press 2 “to use the services of Russian hackers,” and 3 “to request election interference.”

How the Like Button Ruined the Internet – The Atlantic
THIS. SO MUCH THIS: "Newspapers and magazines used to have a rather coarse model of their audience. It used to be that they couldn’t be sure how many people read each of their articles; they couldn’t see on a dashboard how much social traction one piece got as against the others. They were more free to experiment, because it was never clear ex-ante what kind of article was likely to fail. This could, of course, lead to deeply indulgent work that no one would read; but it could also lead to unexpected magic. Is it any coincidence that the race to the bottom in media—toward clickbait headlines, toward the vulgar and prurient and dumb, toward provocative but often exaggerated takes—has accelerated in lock-step with the development of new technologies for measuring engagement?"

Not in my name | ericvanrompuy.be
Go Eric. "In Vlaanderen schijnt N-VA nog onaantastbaar maar ook hier zal de slijtageslag van hun onvervulde beloften beginnen te wegen. De BRA(cke)XIT was een eerste signaal. Wie voortdurend de anderen de les spelt, krijgt dit vroeg of laat als een boemerang in zijn gezicht. Uiteindelijk zal de bevolking oordelen op realisaties en niet op perceptie. Dat moet Trump nu ook ervaren. Populisten gaan ten onder aan hun eigen slogans eens ze die moeten waarmaken. Dat zal in Vlaanderen niet anders zijn."

BBC – Culture – Whatever happened to Generation X?
Once we go, there’ll be no living memory of the analogue era.

Why Straight Rural Men Have Gay ‘Bud-Sex’ With Each Other — Science of Us
A lot of men have sex with other men but don’t identify as gay or bisexual. A subset of these men who have sex with men, or MSM, live lives that are, in all respects other than their occasional homosexual encounters, quite straight and traditionally masculine — they have wives and families, they embrace various masculine norms, and so on. They are able to, in effect, compartmentalize an aspect of their sex lives in a way that prevents it from blurring into or complicating their more public identities. Sociologists are quite interested in this phenomenon because it can tell us a lot about how humans interpret thorny questions of identity and sexual desire and cultural expectations.

Links van 29 februari 2016 tot 1 maart 2016

Dissolving the Dead · thewalrus.ca
DALE HILTON can show you fear in a bagful of dust: 160 pounds of once-living human, pressure-cooked, baked, and pulverized into soft white powder fine enough to sprinkle over French toast. The ground bones sit in clear plastic on a counter, next to a pacemaker, a false hip, and a pair of breast implants extracted from some of the eighty bodies Hilton has disintegrated at his bio-cremation facility in Smiths Falls, Ontario, an hour’s drive southwest of Ottawa. “It’s a lovely product,” he says, looking proudly at his handiwork.

The City States of Europe | Big Think
“The 21st century will not be dominated by America or China, Brazil or India, but by the city,” writes Parag Khanna. The author of several books on global strategy, Khanna argues that (some) cities, as islands of good governance in an increasingly unstable world, will become the cornerstone of a new world order.  That new world order won’t be a “global village” of nation states, for globalisation is corroding national sovereignty. Rather, it will be a loose network of semi-independent city states, perhaps resembling the Hanseatic League and other medieval trading alliances.

Who Killed James I? | History Today
The accusation that James I was murdered by his favourite, the Duke of Buckingham, may have been a false one but it was widely believed and helped to justify the execution of Charles I. Alastair Bellany and Thomas Cogswell explain.

Twitter Has Lost More Than $2 Billion in 10 Years
When Twitter went public back in 2013, it was an unprofitable company. More than two years later, that hasn’t changed. In fact, the company revealed in its annual 10-K filed Feb. 29 that it has lost more than $2 billion in total since launching a decade ago.

BBC – Earth – How our ancestors drilled rotten teeth
Long before humans invented writing, the wheel and civilisation, they learned how to drill rotten teeth to relieve the pain of tooth decay

re:Work
Practices, research, and ideas from Google and other organizations to put people first.

Hackathon Be Gone
Last weekend I attended the MHacks: Refactor hackathon on behalf of my company. I acted as a representative of my company as well as a mentor for the hackers. I saw a lot of amazing projects and helped a lot of students. The energy of the students and their output was phenomenal. Needless to say, the entire experience was rewarding. However, the more of these events I attend, the more disgusted I become with the process.

New Korean War Will Lead US to Final Ruin
A touch-and-go situation is now prevailing in the Korean peninsula due to the confrontational hysteria of the US imperialist aggression forces that have deployed in south Korea their special operation troops from all arms and services. Under this grave situation the Supreme Headquarters of the Korean People’s Army announced a crucial statement carrying the fixed will of all servicepersons and civilians in the DPRK to bring the US imperialist aggressors to the final doom. The statement turned the whole country all at once into a scene of towering hatred toward the aggressors.

A Visual Look at 2 Million Chess Games
We’ll take a look at more than 2 million games, taken from the MillionBase PGN database. I ignored any Chess960 games contained, but in total there are 2,197,113 games. I was interested to see what kind of visualizations I can do, and what patterns would be revealed by considering so many games. It was the biggest collection of games I could find, spanning games from 1801 up to 2013, and players with ratings between 215 (wow!) to 2861 (I wonder who that is?). So I think it’s a pretty good representation of chess games all around.

Links van 7 december 2015 tot 17 december 2015

“Cats and Dogs” by H. P. Lovecraft
Between dogs and cats my degree of choice is so great that it would never occur to me to compare the two. I have no active dislike for dogs, any more than I have for monkeys, human beings, negroes, cows, sheep, or pterodactyls; but for the cat I have entertained a particular respect and affection ever since the earliest days of my infancy. In its flawless grace and superior self-sufficiency I have seen a symbol of the perfect beauty and bland impersonality of the universe itself, objectively considered; and in its air of silent mystery there resides for me all the wonder and fascination of the unknown. The dog appeals to cheap and facile emotions; the cat to the deepest founts of imagination and cosmic perception in the human mind. It is no accident that the contemplative Egyptians, together with such later poetic spirits as Poe, Gautier, Baudelaire, and Swinburne, were all sincere worshippers of the supple grimalkin.

The mysterious Islamic movement quietly sweeping the Middle East – CSMonitor.com
An ultraconservative Muslim order that preaches nonmilitancy is gaining followers across the region. Does Dawah represent an antidote to Islamic State or another threat to the West?

‘A tortured heap of towers’: the London skyline of tomorrow | Art and design | The Guardian
The ley lines, the hallowed dome of St Paul’s, packs of hungry dogs – and a tipsy surveyor in the 1930s … these are the invisible forces shaping the City’s skyline

How Elmo Ruined Sesame Street
Sesame Street’s most-marketed character is an over-exposed drag. He has managed, ironically, to make a children’s show too childish. Thanks in large part to Elmo, Sesame Street is now a less sophisticated and less useful tool for kids to learn from. This sentiment may hurt, but it’s time to do something about this furry, red problem.

The Pristine Myth: The Landscape of the
The myth persists that in 1492 the Americas were a sparsely populated wilderness, -a world of barely perceptible human disturbance.- There is substantial evidence, however, that the Native American landscape of the early sixteenth century was a humanized landscape almost everywhere. Populations were large. Forest composition had been modified, grasslands had been created, wildlife disrupted, and erosion was severe in places. Earthworks, roads, fields, and settlements were ubiquitous. With Indian depopulation in the wake of Old World disease, the environment recovered in many areas. A good argument can be made that the human presence was less visible in 1750 than it was in 1492.

Links van 18 september 2015 tot 23 september 2015

U leidt een stad vol schorremorrie, Burgemeester | Jan Blommaert (en z’n gedachten)
De bewoners van Uw stad blijken in de wereld zoals U ze beleeft bovenal veroorzakers van overlast te zijn, potentiële misdadigers en ordeverstoorders, profiteurs, labbekakken, links uitschot en ranzige bakfiets-egoïsten “die ge vijf frank zou geven als ge ze ziet”. Volk dat zomaar (zomaar!!) door het rood licht loopt of fietst, dat automobilisten hindert in de uitoefening van hun vrijheid, en het efficiënte bestuur van Uw kleine Rome saboteert. U bestuurt een stad die, volgens Uw eigen beeld ervan, bevolkt wordt door schorremorrie dat zoniet goedschiks dan kwaadschiks – met para’s en oorlogswapens – moet leren zich te gedragen. Uw bevolking ziet U als een collectie zwakkelingen die dringend wat discipline moeten aanleren. Kogels van negen centimeter lang kunnen daarbij helpen. U lijkt de bevolking van de stad, waarvoor U een soort surrogaat-vader zou moeten zijn, eigenlijk te haten. Uw houding is die van Basil Fawlty die een hotelgast in zijn Fawlty Towers, die om zijn aandacht had gevraagd, toeschreeuwde: I’m trying to run a hotel here!!

The bitter rivalry behind the world’s smallest chess program
“You only have one life and so many minutes in your day—in your life—to accomplish things and to focus on things that matter,” Olivier Poudade says. His heavily accented voice comes crackling down the line from his cellphone, bounced and beamed from Savoie, in the French Alps, where he’s vacationing and visiting his mother. While overlooking the mountain ridges of the Tarentaise Valley, the 44-year-old Frenchman is talking about the things that matter in life, and how the time in which we have to do them is finite and always diminishing, ticking away whether or not we spend it wisely. With his time—he figures about 600 hours over three months—he wrote a computer game called BootChess. It’s a chess game crammed into an impossibly small 487 bytes of code; the Wikipedia page explaining the rules of chess, in contrast, runs 53,162 bytes, more than 109 times larger. When he released BootChess in January 2015, it broke a 32-year-old record for the smallest computer implementation of chess on any platform.

Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” Is Our Most Misread Poem
Most readers consider “The Road Not Taken” to be a paean to triumphant self-assertion (“I took the one less traveled by”), but the literal meaning of the poem’s own lines seems completely at odds with this interpretation. The poem’s speaker tells us he “shall be telling,” at some point in the future, of how he took the road less traveled by, yet he has already admitted that the two paths “equally lay / In leaves” and “the passing there / Had worn them really about the same.” So the road he will later call less traveled is actually the road equally traveled. The two roads are interchangeable.

The sad state of web app deployment / fuzzy notepad
My experience is admittedly limited here, but as far as I can tell, installing a Rails app is impossible. It reads configuration from the source directory. It logs to the source directory. You have to manually precompile all the assets, which are of course also written to the source directory. Rails is one of the most popular web frameworks in the world, championed by developers everywhere. And you can’t actually install anything written with it. This is a joke, right?

An Odd Couple: Samuel Beckett & Buster Keaton | Moving Image Archive News
Some 50 years ago, the playwright and novelist Samuel Beckett and the silent-era film star Buster Keaton worked together on a singular creation of cinematic art.

Links van 22 december 2014 tot 23 december 2014

A Lost 1996 Interview with David Foster Wallace — Medium
In February 1996, David Foster Wallace came to Boston. He was the not-quite recognized writer of the massive book, Infinite Jest, which was just beginning to capture the attention of reviewers, readers and a generation of writers. Christopher Lydon interviewed David Foster Wallace on The Connection on WBUR in Boston, and told him he seemed to be living in “a moment between of cultish obscurity and international artistic celebrity, perhaps even immortality.” Last winter, we went to the WBUR archives to see if we could find the tape. We found it in the dusty basement, nestled between shows about the 1996 presidential primaries and escalating violence in the Middle East.

Ayn Rand Reviews Children’s Movies – The New Yorker
Ayn Rand is zó een takkenwijf. "The Little Mermaid: A young woman achieves all of her goals. She finds an object of value—in this case, a broad-chested brunet man—and sacrifices as much as she believes necessary (the ocean, talking, etc.) in order to acquire him."

Linus Torvalds’ BitKeeper blunder | InfoWorld
Torvalds seems to have fallen for the "free beer" argument: He didn't have to pay for BitKeeper, so he figured it was good enough. But not having to pay is not, and has never been, the real purpose of free software. The point is to avoid the situation Torvalds eventually found himself in: McVoy didn't like how his product was being used, so he took his ball and went home. Could you afford to switch gears in the middle of a project if one of your key software vendors did the same?

Peter Jackson Must Be Stopped | WIRED
J.R.R. Tolkien once said that “believable fairy-stories must be intensely practical. You must have a map, no matter how rough.” But in Peter Jackson’s new and final Hobbit film, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, which opened Wednesday, there is no map. There’s not even a plan. We veer far not just from Middle-earth, but from all plausibility. But you can’t blame Tolkien for this. Jackson got us here; he’s the one who must be stopped.

The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2014
It's always tough to pick my favorite visualization projects. I mean, it's a challenge to pick and rank your favorite anything really. So much depends on what you feel like at the time, and there's a lot of good work out there. Nevertheless, I gave it a go.

Links van 19 september 2014 tot 28 september 2014

The myth of religious violence | Karen Armstrong | World news | The Guardian
The popular belief that religion is the cause of the world’s bloodiest conflicts is central to our modern conviction that faith and politics should never mix. But the messy history of their separation suggests it was never so simple

Yahoo killing off Yahoo after 20 years of hierarchical organization | Ars Technica
The Yahoo Directory will be retired at the end of the year.

Mongolia dinosaur fossils: Oyungerel Tsevedvamba fights poaching of stolen paleontological specimens.
Oyungerel Tsedevdamba is minister of culture, sports, and tourism for Mongolia. She is also president of the Democratic Women’s Union of Mongolia and an adviser on human rights to Mongolian president Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj. She has studied at Stanford University and at Yale University. Though illegal for more than a century, looting Mongolian dinosaur fossils was commonplace—until Tsedevdamba stepped in.

(146) Interesting read – The Good Ones – Quora
From its early days the big question about this site has been "can an almost unlimited supply of SiliconValley cash and hype turn a mediocre idea into a success?" The question certainly needs to be addressed again now that Quora has made yet another desperate business model pivot into a blogging platform.Before that Quora was going to be a Pinterest knock-off. Before that it was going to be a Q&A site to compete with Wikipedia. There have been one or two other lesser pivots that I have lost track of since 2009, but you get the picture. This executive team is clueless. It's really been no secret in the Valley that Quora's been a slow motion train wreck since pretty much 2010.

Errata Security: The shockingly obsolete code of bash
One of the problems with bash is that it's simply obsolete code. We have modern objective standards about code quality, and bash doesn't meet those standards. In this post, I'm going to review the code, starting with the function that is at the heart of the #shellshock bug, initialize_shell_variables().

BBC News – India’s Mars mission: Picture that spoke 1,000 words
When the crowded command control room of India's Mars mission exploded into applause after it successfully put a satellite into orbit around the Red Planet, photographer Manjunath Kiran of the AFP news agency clicked this remarkable image of scientists congratulating each other.

Anthony Bourdain Has Become The Future Of Cable News, And He Couldn’t Care Less | Fast Company | Business + Innovation
A meal out with Bourdain typically involves three things. There will be engaging conversation, possibly touching on such subjects as the essays of Michel de Montaigne, 1920s surrealist films, and mixed-martial-arts combat. There will be booze, although perhaps in more modest quantities than his reputation suggests. And there will be food–some strange, all carefully prepared, and a certain amount involving animal innards that seem better suited to ninth-grade biology class than the dinner table.

Aral Balkan — Ello, goodbye.
When you take venture capital, it is not a matter of if you’re going to sell your users, you already have. It’s called an exit plan. And no investor will give you venture capital without one. In the myopic and upside-down world of venture capital, exits precede the building of the actual thing itself. It would be a comedy if the repercussions of this toxic system were not so tragic.

Internet Trolls Are Narcissists, Psychopaths, and Sadists | Psychology Today
"… the associations between sadism and GAIT (Global Assessment of Internet Trolling) scores were so strong that it might be said that online trolls are prototypical everyday sadists."

Should Airplanes Be Flying Themselves? | Vanity Fair
Airline pilots were once the heroes of the skies. Today, in the quest for safety, airplanes are meant to largely fly themselves. Which is why the 2009 crash of Air France Flight 447, which killed 228 people, remains so perplexing and significant. William Langewiesche explores how a series of small errors turned a state-of-the-art cockpit into a death trap.

Sinquefield Cup: One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.
FIDE is, by all accounts, comically corrupt, in the vein of other fishy global sporting bodies like FIFA and the IOC. Its Russian president, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who has hunkered in office for nearly two decades now, was once abducted by a group of space aliens dressed in yellow costumes who transported him to a faraway star. Though I am relying here on Ilyumzhinov’s personal attestations, I have no reason to doubt him, as this is something about which he has spoken quite extensively. He is of the firm belief that chess was invented by extraterrestrials, and further “insists that there is ‘some kind of code’ in chess, evidence for which he finds in the fact that there are 64 squares on the chessboard and 64 codons in human DNA.”

Links van 10 juli 2014 tot 14 juli 2014

Clone-a-beacon: iBeacon and the proof of location issue
In our previous issue, I covered the basics of using iBeacons in iOS and Android apps, today I want to show some privacy and security issues, as well as how to clone and fake beacons such as Estimote, Shopkick, and how to get location based app rewards without ever leaving your desk.

García Media → Is the blog as a genre in danger?
"A real blog is one that reflects one voice, is essentially unedited and causes the writer to experience butterflies of anxiety as he hits the publish button."

Celan Reads Japanese | The White Review
Engelse vertaling van een Japans essay over een Japanse vertaling uit het Duits. Zo wijs — "There are some who claim that ‘good’ literature is actually untranslatable. Before I could read German, I found this thought comforting because I was completely unable to appreciate German literature, particularly the literature of the postwar period. I thought I should just learn German and read these works in the original and then my problem with German literature would evaporate of its own accord."

Personal names around the world
How do people's names differ around the world, and what are the implications of those differences on the design of forms, databases, ontologies, etc. for the Web?

Google’s Paris Tabriz Profile – Information Security Engineer Parisa Tabriz Interview – Elle
“Security Princess” is Parisa Tabriz’s official title at Google. Seriously. And yes, you can google that. “‘Information Security Engineer’ is just completely dry and boring and horrible,” she says of the HR-speak title, which indeed whitewashes what Tabriz does all day, which is to hack her employer—the single most recognizable entity of the Internet age—bad-guy-in-basement style. She came up with the moniker before a trip to Japan because she needed business cards to hand out during the elaborate professional introductions traditional in that country. “A couple of people had ‘hired hacker,’” she says. “But I like to one-up people. I thought it was cute.”

Links van 3 mei 2014 tot 13 mei 2014

Joshua Sortino — 14 Things Learned Designing at Disqus
Disqus is now used on millions of websites and is served to billions (with a "b") of unique users every month. Here are some of the lessons I learned while helping design the "web's community of communities."

Fairy Chess
A fairy chess piece or unorthodox chess piece is a chess piece not used in conventional chess but incorporated into in certain chess variants and some chess problems. Fairy pieces vary in the way they move.

officetunes
Tunes I love while working.

40 Maps That Explain The Middle East
Maps can be a powerful tool for understanding the world, particularly the Middle East, a place in many ways shaped by changing political borders and demographics. Here are 40 maps crucial for understanding the Middle East — its history, its present, and some of the most important stories in the region today.

Data Isn’t Cool. You Know What’s Cool? Insight. — Medium
In verwant nieuws: 't schijnt dat de paus katholiek is. Zucht.

Links van 21 april 2014 tot 23 april 2014

Game Programming Patterns
Do you struggle to make your code hang together into a cohesive whole? Find it harder to make changes as your codebase grows? Feel like your game is a giant hairball where everything is intertwined with everything else? Wonder if and how design patterns apply to games? Hear things like “cache coherency” and “object pools”, but don’t know how to use them to make your game faster? I’m here to help! I wrote this book to answer those questions. It’s a collection of patterns I found in games to make code cleaner, easier to understand, and faster.

Hacking Sonos — Medium
In my spare time I’ve been writing an app that replaces the Sonos app used to control multiple speakers in one’s home. It’s been a little challenging so I thought I’d share how I got where I am. You can check out most of the code on Github. I’ll be pushing more stuff when it’s ready.

Why Chinese Is So Damn Hard
The first question any thoughtful person might ask when reading the title of this essay is, "Hard for whom?" A reasonable question. After all, Chinese people seem to learn it just fine. When little Chinese kids go through the "terrible twos", it's Chinese they use to drive their parents crazy, and in a few years the same kids are actually using those impossibly complicated Chinese characters to scribble love notes and shopping lists. So what do I mean by "hard"? Since I know at the outset that the whole tone of this document is going to involve a lot of whining and complaining, I may as well come right out and say exactly what I mean. I mean hard for me, a native English speaker trying to learn Chinese as an adult, going through the whole process with the textbooks, the tapes, the conversation partners, etc., the whole torturous rigmarole. I mean hard for me — and, of course, for the many other Westerners who have spent years of their lives bashing their heads against the Great Wall of Chinese.

Game Mechanic Explorer
A collection of concrete examples for various game mechanics, algorithms, and effects. The examples are all implemented in JavaScript using the Phaser game framework, but the concepts and methods are general and can be adapted to any engine. Think of it as pseudocode. Each section contains several different examples that progress in sequence from a very basic implementation to a more advanced implementation. Every example is interactive and responds to keyboard or mouse input (or touch).

jdm314: The Dæneryd
Here is my first ever hexametric composition in High Valyrian. It's only two lines, but written to sound like the beginning of a lengthy epic: Ābre se zaldrīzī bone ivāedan hen Essot jitte ēlī Pento se Dothrakoti Embraro rȳ ondoso vējo…

Links van 7 april 2014 tot 10 april 2014

Giving Away Our Recommendation Engine for Free | Mortar Blog | Data Science at Scale
What’s better than a recommendation engine that’s free? A recommendation engine that is both awesome and free. Today, we’re announcing General Availability for the Mortar Recommendation Engine. Designed by Mortar’s engineers and top data science advisors, it produces personalized recommendations at scale for companies like MTV, Comedy Central, StubHub, and the Associated Press. Today, we’re giving it away for free, and it is awesome.

Introducing PredictionIO ✩ Mozilla Hacks – the Web developer blog
PredictionIO is an open source machine learning server for software developers to create predictive features, such as personalization, recommendation and content discovery. Building a production-grade engine to predict users’ preferences and personalize content for them used to be time-consuming. Not anymore with PredictionIO’s latest v0.7 release.

Kabinet: Nederland heeft per direct downloadverbod – IT Pro – Nieuws – Tweakers
Het is in Nederland per direct verboden om auteursrechtelijk beschermd materiaal te downloaden uit illegale bron, bijvoorbeeld via torrentsites en nieuwsgroepen. Dat stelt het kabinet in een reactie op een uitspraak van het EU-hof.

Jim’s Blog: Six programming paradigms that will change how you think about coding
Every now and then, I stumble across a programming language that does something so different that it changes how I think about coding. In this post, I want to share some of my favorite finds.

Valeria Lukyanova, the Human Barbie Doll
I realize that just like everyone reading about Human Barbie, I had had a simple narrative prepared in my head: A small-town girl grows up obsessed with dolls, etc. Instead, I get a racist space alien.

Storms and Teacups — Acko.net
sexual dimorphism doesn't imply patriarchy, any more than evolution implies social darwinism

How to Fold a Julia Fractal — Acko.net
Dit zou verplicht op elke school moeten getoond worden — "For every mathematical concept that we have a built-in intuition for, there are countless more we can't picture easily. That's the curse of mathematics, yet at the same time, also its charm."

Halide
Halide is a new programming language designed to make it easier to write high-performance image processing code on modern machines. Its current front end is embedded in C++. Compiler targets include x86/SSE, ARM v7/NEON, CUDA, Native Client, and OpenCL.

Links van 19 november 2013 tot 23 november 2013

The Pop Blog – Why We Chose API First Development
Tiens, wij doen dat ook. "At POP, our site is entirely API driven. We separated our frontend codebase from our backend API in it’s entirety. The two sites are even in separate repositories."

This Massive Robot Could Soon Join Marines on the Battlefield – Defense One
The future doesn't always arrive with a gasp and a boom like Skynet inTerminator. No, sometimes it's more like Office Space.

Sloppy UI
It's all about intellectual honesty, not trolling.

Windows 8 more widely used than OS X, IE still on the rise | Ars Technica
In July, Windows 8 passed Windows Vista in market share. In August, it passed every single version of Apple's OS X combined. Internet Explorer 10 grew sharply, too, as almost one in five Internet users now use the latest version of Microsoft's browser.

Proper Russian: Why Russians Are Not Smiling
When you see people smiling at you in the USA or Germany, it doesn't mean anything other than an overall neutral attitude toward you. A smile is a “level zero” in communication. By contrast, in Russia, no smile is a sign of a neutral politeness, and a smile is always informative. A Russian smile is always personal. When a Russian smiles to you, he or she wants to say that he or she likes you sincerely.

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