March 31, 2018

Meet TESS, Seeker of Alien Worlds.

You can’t appreciate a feat of organization until you experience the disorganization. This is why Steve Jobs is still undervalued as a CEO, as much as he was lionized while alive. Organization matters. It matters a lot.

Globalization Has Contributed to Tearing Societies Apart.

The internet does not hate women. People hate women, and the internet allows them to do it faster, harder, and with impunity.

Insects Flew Before Anything Else Did. So How Did They Get Their Wings?

Adobe Is Helping Some 60 Companies Track People Across Devices.

Obesity is a recent phenomenon.

The emotional labor men feel entitled to that women are expected to perform for free, I got paid for. And—unlike other service jobs or the real world—if a dude was particularly awful, security would step in while I walked away.

The Forgotten Drink That Caffeinated North America for Centuries.

Medicare Is Cracking Down on Opioids. Doctors Fear Pain Patients Will Suffer.

Open plan offices are so bad one company has made millions of dollars selling $13,000 boxes that are basically phone booths.

March 30, 2018

Facebook deathwatch: a decade ago, it was impossible to imagine the fall of Myspace. Yep. I remember the spate of articles from 2004-2007 that discussed how MySpace was an unassailable monopoly. Been on MySpace much lately?

Growth At Any Cost: Top Facebook Executive Defended Data Collection In 2016 Memo.

Canon’s 120MP Camera Sensor. I love it already.

E.P.A. Prepares to Roll Back Rules Requiring Cars to Be Cleaner and More Efficient.

Fungi in the lab, hot springs frozen cold, and exploding lakes.

Economists Shocked That China Invalidates Their Pet View That Economic Liberalization Produces Political Liberalization.

At this point, you can guess that I’m fairly impatient with a lot of the feminist discourse around Ex Machina. To use the critic Alex West’s formulation, there’s a difference between a violent movie and a movie about violence, and there’s also a difference between a sexist movie and a movie about sexism. I was taken aback by all the supposedly smart people who utterly failed to understand Ex Machina, probably the best movie in the past decade. This person is wrong about Ava, though; she is just as human as we are, but with robot parts.

Opioid overdose deaths are still rising in nearly every segment of the country, CDC says.

Apple’s Position on Privacy Is Paying Off.

Our facial expressions stem primarily from what we want out of social interactions, not our feelings, new research suggests.

March 29, 2018

The planets around TRAPPIST-1 are estimated to be between 15 and 50 percent water by mass — Earth is only 0.02 percent.

Under Neoliberalism, You Can Be Your Own Tyrannical Boss. That is the goal of any ideology: to become so ingrained that one enforces it on one’s self without any outside prompting.

Here’s a Long List of Data Broker Sites and How to Opt-Out of Them.

Self-storage: How warehouses for personal junk became a $38 billion industry. These are nearly always a huge waste of money.

Gravitational attraction of stars and cows.

Personally, I’m more afraid of Cambridge Analytica and Breitbart than postmodernist professors or transgender student activists on campus.

61% of all full-time “entry-level” jobs require 3+ years of experience.

A long, long time ago as an adolescent I watched a movie and saw an officer riding a horse with ordinary soldiers marching in lockstep behind. I thought something along the lines of “what a douche”. I was so wrong. That officer needed that horse.

March 28, 2018

Why black girls are taking a leading role in the fight for gun control.

‘The Gig Economy’ Is the New Term for Serfdom.

The United States, in other words, is barreling toward a future where a younger, multicultural, more urbanized majority is ruled by an aging, white, rural minority.

Zuckerberg Hits Users with the Hard Truth: You Agreed to This. He’s right. What Facebook does hasn’t been a secret for nearly a decade. All ya’ll are surprised now, why?

March 27, 2018

Microsoft will start monitoring and censoring Skype, Xbox, and Cortana, even retroactively, in anticipation of FOSTA bill enactment on the 1st.

When the women were told that their boyfriends had scored higher on the test than they had, the women were unfazed. When the men were told that their girlfriends had done better, their self-esteem plummeted. Yet it rose when they were told that their girlfriends had done poorly. I have no doubt my partner would score higher on many tests than me because she’s effin’ brilliant. This increases my self-esteem because I am smart enough to choose such an amazing girlfriend. Win-win.

It was tragic that the career of General David Petraeus was brought down by a mere affair. It should have ended several years earlier as a consequence of his failure as our commander in Afghanistan.

Mark Zuckerberg Thinks We’re Idiots. He’s not wrong. BTW, the writer of the piece is Jean-Louis Gassée, who founded Be, Inc., the maker of my favorite now-defunct OS, BeOS.

A Closer Look at Our Dark Obsession With Guns Looking “Cool.”

Black Panther the Alt-Right Superhero.

There Are No Guardrails on Our Privacy Dystopia. If tech is going to infiltrate, influence, and shape all of society, it is unacceptable for tech and pure market forces to decide the limits of the surveillance state.

Can Teenagers Save America? They’ve Done It Before.

Gun Fatalism Is Reasonable in a Terrifying Country.

Serverless is eating the stack and people are freaking out — as they should be. “Containers” were always a weak and stupid hack.

It’s not just Facebook. Thousands of companies are spying on you. This is the business model of the internet, so yep, they are.

Mullet Mania.

Nathalie Cabrol Searches the Earth for the Secrets of Life on Mars.

March 26, 2018

The ‘adults in the room’ now are the kids marching in the streets.

Regulation could protect Facebook, not punish it. See FOSTA and other terrible laws for examples. Nota bene: large well-funded companies welcome regulation because it is a huge competitive moat. Am constantly shocked by people’s naïveté in these matters.

America’s Growing ‘Guard Labor’ Force.

How the earliest plants made our world muddy.

Legalize Full Service Sex Work. Like dead sex workers? Like human trafficking? Then keep doing what we’re doing now.

Why, in China and Japan, a copy is just as good as an original.

Climate Change Policy Is Proving Difficult To Enact Even in Liberal States with Democratic Control. No shock there, really. Corporations essentially own every politician.

The Anger of the White Male Lie.

The Twilight of Authority.

The CEO of Barstool Sports Says She Measures Job Candidates’ Responsiveness by Texting Them at Odd Hours on the Weekends.

Then They Came for the Globalists.

March 25, 2018

The New Law That Killed Craigslist’s Personals Could End the Web As We’ve Known It. Yep. It’s one of the reasons I will now never allow user comments on any of my blogs again. Any user-generated content is radioactive and dangerous.

The cult of Facebook — just see what happens when you try to leave.

We weren’t always hemmed in by fear.

Ninety percent of all the data ever produced by humanity was produced in the last two years.

American scam: My kid and I are both supposed to go broke paying for college? Forget it. I’ve learned what many students and parents already know: The student loan system is a quasi-criminal shell game. In a shell game, there is the actual possibility of winning. Not so much here.

“Johnny Appleseed” and the Revision of American Masculinity.

Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica problems are nothing compared to what’s coming for all of online publishing.

US Military Scientists Are Building a Laser Cannon That Shoots Disembodied Voices.

Punishing Women for Being Smart. Employers favor new college graduates with moderate academic success but not high achievement, study finds. New male graduates’ grades don’t seem to have much impact.

Cutting ‘Old Heads’ at IBM. As it scrambled to compete in the internet world, the once-dominant tech company cut tens of thousands of U.S. workers, hitting its most senior employees hardest and flouting rules against age bias.

Even with the economy humming, Americans are feeling more anxious, depressed, and dissatisfied with their lives than they did in 2009. “Humming” for whom?

March 24, 2018

Craigslist’s personals section was one of the last bastions of the old, weird, Wild West Web 1.0. I really miss the old web. The new web is cable television, but in many ways worse.

How One Houston Suburb Ended Up in a Reservoir.

What To Know About The Terrible Anti-Trafficking Bill That Forced Craigslist To Shut Down Its Personals Section.

Teenagers just aren’t unusually dangerous these days. If you chase one into a backyard and you see a glint in his hand, you probably don’t need to unload 20 rounds into his body as if you were trying to bring down a PCP-crazed rhinoceros.

In It Together.

The case against Facebook. It’s not just about privacy; its core function makes people lonely and sad.

The Pinkertons Still Never Sleep. The notorious union-busting agency has resurfaced in a telecommunications labor dispute, revealing how it has adapted to the 21st century.

We should thank Buffy for today’s ‘Golden Age’ of television. Tell me again, idiots, how Joss Whedon is an evil misogynist.

The obsolete English -k suffix.

Patients can’t afford life-saving medications under new health plan change.

March 23, 2018

The Resistance Needs Better Heroes.

A Pound of Flesh: The Criminalization of Private Debt.

The Workplace Is Killing People and Nobody Cares.

Could ETFs Fall Into a Liquidity Jam? The ETF industry is now worth more than $4 trillion, magnifying the risk if the funds run into difficulties. Risk is like energy. It can’t be eliminated, just moved somewhere else.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal is drawing attention to malicious data thieves and brokers. But every Facebook app—even the dumb, innocent ones—collected users’ personal data without even trying.

Five new ancient genomes tell us about Neanderthal tribes.

“Ice, Ice Baby” explained.

Three disheartening themes emerge from the current crop of books on Brexit: virtually no one writes honestly about how the UK got here, few can see a way out, and the EU itself faces a faltering future. Yep, no one writes honestly. Easier to blame the EVIL RACISTS rather than capitalism, huge societal changes, and declining living standards.

March 22, 2018

Cambridge Analytica, FaceBook And Inevitable Abuses That Inevitably Happen.

Research has shown that masculinity as it is socialized in the United States is a life-threatening condition, produced via aggressive policing in homosocial environments, characterized by violence and limited emotional expression, one popular solution for which is the salutary prescription of taking a wife.

A Visiting Star Jostled Our Solar System 70,000 Years Ago.

Welcome to Zucktown. Where Everything Is Just Zucky. In Menlo Park, Calif., Facebook is building a real community and testing the proposition: Do people love tech companies so much they will live inside them? If you listen closely, you can hear me gagging — no matter where you are.

David Reich Unearths Human History Etched in Bone.

What happens when an algorithm cuts your health care.

Sex workers would be endangered by Senate bill, advocates say. That is by design, realize.

I had to explain to a non-technical friend the significance of Google breaking HTTP in their browser. Since non-tech people are so easily hoodwinked about tech stuff, I wonder what sort of topics I am easily deceived about. Scary thought.

The Democrats’ Elitist Obsession With Qualifications. Having been passed over for jobs by people who were very much worse than I am because they had a fancy degree and I do not, this in particular hits home.

S.2155 Makes the Claim -Both Sides Are Corrupt- Hard to Argue Against.

March 21, 2018

Sociologists Examine Hackathons and See Exploitation.

Cambridge Analytica Is Shady. But Facebook Is Shadier.

No U.S. city even comes close to making the top 20 in this quality-of-life survey. Utterly unsurprising. In the Western world, the US generally has the most unlivable cities — though many of the cities on this list are only livable if you are affluent.

Centrists & capitalism.