December 31, 2015

What I continue to find shocking is that most people I talk to seem to think terrorism was something that started with 9/11. Most are even foggy on the USS Cole bombing. Same here.

When coding style survives compilation: De-anonymizing programmers from executable binaries.

Daily chart: American house prices: realty check.


How much money has been spent attempting to bring Matt Damon back from distant places?

The Paradox of Civilization: Pre-Institutional Sources of Security and Prosperity.


Dear Architects: Sound Matters.

Microsoft to warn users of suspected hacks by governments.

Google Asked To Remove 558M “Pirate” Links In 2015. That is just pointlessly moronic.

GMO Food Isn’t Coming to Get You—It’s Been Here All Along.

Why can’t you get diapers and tampons on government assistance?

December 30, 2015

The Earthquake That Brought an Empire to Its Knees.

Shannon Szabados registers 1st shutout by a woman in men’s pro hockey.

Most people would agree that it would be better to prevent cancer, if we could, than to treat it once it developed. Yet economic incentives encourage researchers to focus on treatment rather than prevention.

Lèse humanité. What happened when slaves and free men were shipwrecked together.

The liberal racism faced by ex-Muslims.

A 3D-Printed Digital Sun Dial as Easy to Read as a Cheap Digital Watch.

Recently Bought a Windows Computer? Microsoft Probably Has Your Encryption Key. And thus so does the NSA, FBI, Russian hackers, your neighbor. Etc.

Complaint factory: Angry Internet subscribers tee off against Comcast, Verizon, AT&T.

For the Wealthiest, a Private Tax System That Saves Them Billions.

Jupiter Helped Life Evolve on Earth.

December 29, 2015

Enough Is Enough: Cassette Tapes Died For Good Reason.

Why Do Employers Still Routinely Drug-Test Workers? There’s very little evidence it’s worth the cost or hassle.

German code-breakers expose huge credit card flaw, companies continue keeping silent.

How Bad Are Things?

Meet the shadowy tech brokers that deliver your data to the NSA.

727 People on Chesapeake Bay Island Could Become America’s First ‘Climate Refugees.’

This Was the Year the Media Started Doubting the Web.

How Critical Slowing Down in a Complex System Is Nature’s Warning Signal.

The people most likely to refuse to have their children vaccinated tend to be white, well-educated and affluent, researchers report. And fucking morons.

On the Surfaces of Things: Mathematics and the Realm of Possibility.

1950s U.S. Nuclear Target List Offers Chilling Insight.

How Did The World Scientific Community Come To Believe That Global Warming Is Happening?

New videos prove crows can make complex tools that only humans have made before. I knew that crow with a tiny backhoe the other day wasn’t just a drug-fueled hallucination.

Seeking the Gears of Our Inner Clock.

Indoor free flight model planes are made of almost nothing, and they can fly, unassisted, for up to half an hour off of one twisted rubber band.<

December 28, 2015

Americans are just about the safest people in the world, but we’re more frightened than ever.

Exotic substances on super-Earths.

For $725 Million, You Can Buy a Texas Ranch That’s the Size of a Small Nation. Umm, do you take checks?

Simply put, the days of easy retirement are over and the sad reality is that they will not return for a very long time. And just wait till climate change really starts hitting hard.

The Marriages of Power Couples Reinforce Income Inequality

A Quick Walk Through Chiharu Shiota’s Striking Key Installation at the Venice Biennale.

Breaking down the “Bro country” walls: The year country music’s women fought back against “take females out.” About time. I like country, but dudebro country can go to hell.

Then I had a revelation, one that Volt designers must have had many years ago: You can’t make range-extender mode too pleasant, lest consumers just forget it’s a plug-in hybrid car and keep filling it with gas and never plugging in.

The Perils of Fed Gradualism.

She worked behind enemy lines—and was captured by the Soviets. But the U.S. never properly gave her full credit for her heroism. After seven decades, that may be about to change.

December 27, 2015

Did this sleepy village stop the Black Death?

The Müller Formula (or: Predictable Color Preferences).

Am I hacked? Oh, it’s just Vodafone.

On Setting The “Universal Sex Difference” Bar Way Too Low.

The value of bookstores. One of the last places with some vague community.

Fat-phobia. That is perfect. Just perfect.

Dolby Cinema: Twin laser projectors. Article is basically an ad, but still cool.

The whole idea that sex work dehumanizes adult, consenting sex workers in some special way is particularly egregious.

The power of Luther’s printing press.

December 26, 2015

The offense model has failed, and dramatically.

What the Mast Brothers Scandal Tells Us About Ourselves.

Kwanzaa is a made-up holiday, but it’s useful. All holidays are made up. No exceptions.

Shut up about the y-axis. It shouldn’t always start at zero.

A woman wearing men’s attire in 1918.

Macro theory vs. string theory.

Hackers Are Already Using the Secret Juniper Firewall Backdoor in Their Attacks

The unseen toll of workplace disease in America.

Corporate Justice Protesters.

La Grande Illusion.

December 25, 2015

Broadband access is declining, data caps are becoming commonplace, surveillance is increasing, and encryption is under attack. Internet was always doomed; just a matter of time.

Let’s stop lying to our kids about Santa.

Last Christmas of the War by Primo Levi.

What a great poster.

Mariana Garcia.

December Heat Tricks Flowers Into Putting On Spring Display.

December 24, 2015

How to trick a neural network into thinking a panda is a vulture.

Derek Walmsley reviews ‘How Music Got Free’ by Stephen Witt.

Perhaps the most curious thing about the response to revelations concerning the extent of modern mass surveillance is that most people in the West have not seemed to mind; we have not perceptibly altered our online behavior or demanded a response from our governments.

Israeli company’s product can (allegedly) pwn any nearby mobile phone.

The Origins of Totalitarianism Part 1: Introduction.

The sixth great extinction won’t be averted just because atmospheric CO2 levels fall below 350 parts per million.

When the Situation Is Fluid, Sit Back and Watch.

Men run most record labels and streaming services, and the lack of respect for women trickles down right from the top.

CMU Behavioral Economists: Health Insurance Complexity Leads to Costly Mistakes.

December 23, 2015

Innovation, applications, problem solving — whatever you want to call it — has to be built on top of robust and continuously well-supported basic research.

Sued Over Old Debt, and Blocked From Suing Back.

Poverty stunts IQ in the US but not in other developed countries.

Unsmellable Snake Camouflages Its Scent.

Humans Caused a Major Shift in Earth’s Ecosystems 6,000 Years Ago.

How the deck gets stacked against urban living. I support urban living, because it’ll make where I want to live cheaper.

What Wittgenstein Learned from Teaching Elementary School.

December 22, 2015

Pirate Bay co-founder builds a perpetual piracy machine. That is actually brilliant.

The HTTP 451 Error Code for Censorship Is Now an Internet Standard.

People Who Were Certain Climate Change Is Fake Are Now Certain That Paris Can’t Stop It. Well, they are right about one thing.

Methane emissions in Arctic cold season higher than expected.

“I think this is the guy”—The complicated confidence of eyewitness memory.

‘Fat but fit’ counts for nothing scientists say – obesity is what drives early death. HAES is about as wrong as something can be.

He actually thought a) that women could shut down the menstrual cycle at will, b) that we essentially picked a week per month to spend more time in the bathroom, i.e. to goof off, and c) that napkins and tampons were sex toys paid for by Health and Human Services.

Why no one in Washington—not even President Obama—will embrace a program that could actually reduce gun violence.

December 21, 2015

The mystery of tetrachromacy.

The Year in Fungi.

Juniper’s attackers may have used NSA’s backdoored Dual_EC algorithm to attack VPN.

Life exploded on Earth after slow rise of oxygen.