Spying on Congress and Israel: NSA Cheerleaders Discover Value of Privacy Only When Their Own is...
Mass, warrantless surveillance is inherently abusive and unjustified, and one shouldn't need a report that this was done to the Benjamin Netanyahus and Pete Hoekstras of the world to realize that.
This is so funny it's sad
"But all that, of course, was before Hoekstra knew that he and his Israeli friends were swept up in the spying of which he was so fond. Now that he knows that it is his privacy and those of his comrades that has been invaded, he is no longer cavalier about it. In fact, he’s so furious that this long-time NSA cheerleader is actually calling for the criminal prosecution of the NSA and Obama officials for the crime of spying on him and his friends."Posted on 2015-12-31T17:52:38+0000
Why BuzzFeed is the Most Important News Organization in the World - Stratechery by Ben Thompson
Great journalism depends on a great business model, which is what BuzzFeed seems to have. And "The Dress" was no accident.
Interesting read discovered after the last article.
"This – like the post about The Dress – is not simply a happy coincidence. The world needs great journalism, but great journalism needs a great business model. That’s exactly what BuzzFeed seems to have, and it’s for that reason the company is the most important news organization in the world."Posted on 2015-12-31T08:23:31+0000
"All You Americans Are Fired"
The H-2 guest worker program, which brought in 150,000 legal foreign workers last year, isn't supposed to deprive any American of a job. But many businesses go to extraordinary lengths to deny jobs...
A really well researched piece of investigative journalism, from ... Buzzfeed.
"For years, Linda White ran a business in Livingston, Louisiana, securing H-2 visas for hundreds of employers. Late last month, she was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for creating phony receipts in an attempt to convince regulators she had placed newspaper ads for dozens of clients, when in fact she had not. During a three-year period reviewed by the Labor Department, her clients were approved for more than 8,000 visas, federal data shows.
In an interview, White called the matter “a mistake,” adding that “nobody was going to call for these jobs over dumb newspaper ads anyhow. When clients come to me, what they want is their Mexicans.”"Posted on 2015-12-31T08:21:02+0000
The "chad bug". The Hangouts Dialer on Android absolutely REFUSES to find 2 of…
The "chad bug". The Hangouts Dialer on Android absolutely REFUSES to find 2 of my contacts. I have 132 of them in the group "My Contacts" and all of them… - Marc Bevand - Google+
How people come to believe that completely messed up practices are normal
Have you ever mentioned something that seems totally normal to you only to be greeted by surprise? Happens to me all the time, when I describe …
This is one of the best things I've read in a long time, hands down. Everyone should read it.
"The data are clear that humans are really bad at taking the time to do things that are well understood to incontrovertibly reduce the risk of rare but catastrophic events. We will rationalize that taking shortcuts is the right, reasonable thing to do. There’s a term for this: the normalization of deviance. It’s well studied in a number of other contexts including healthcare, aviation, mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, and civil engineering, but we rarely see it discussed in the context of software."Posted on 2015-12-31T07:44:29+0000
For the Wealthiest, a Private Tax System That Saves Them Billions
The very richest are able to quietly shape tax policy that will allow them to shield billions in income.
"For the ultra-wealthy, “our tax code is like a leaky barrel,” said J. Todd Metcalf, the Democrats’ chief tax counsel on the Senate Finance Committee. ”Unless you plug every hole or get a new barrel, it’s going to leak out.”"Posted on 2015-12-31T04:33:50+0000
When coding style survives compilation: De-anonymizing programmers from executable binaries
In a recent paper, we showed that coding style is present in source code and can be used to de-anonymize programmers. But what if only compiled binaries are available, rather than source code? Today we are releasing a new paper showing that coding style can survive compilation. Consequently, we can…
Wondering if this can be used for people cheating on assignmentsPosted on 2015-12-30T07:00:32+0000
fogus: The best things and stuff of 2015
Pseudo-random ramblings from Fogus.
I don't know how this guy comes up with such great lists every single year. Need to go over all of them.Posted on 2015-12-30T06:56:00+0000
No Moods, Ads or Cutesy Fucking Icons (Re-reloaded) » No Brainer.
It is alive but empty, with a cavernous fluid-filled space where the brain should be. A thin layer of brain tissue lines that cavity like an amniotic sac. The image hails from a 1980 review article in Science: Roger Lewin, the author, reports that the patient in question had “virtually no brain”. Bu…
"What scared me was the fact that this virtually brain-free patient had an IQ of 126."
This is an extremely interesting article. It seems most of the brain might be redundant, and simplifying it still keeps the IQ around.Posted on 2015-12-30T06:54:56+0000
Springer have made a bunch of books available for free, here are the direct links
Springer have made a bunch of books available for free, here are the direct links
How I Created A $350 Million Software Company Knowing Nothing About Software
I’ve always wanted to make a lot of money, have people pay a lot of attention to me and do a lot of exciting things. I just never knew how. Many of my..
"We got substantial VC funding from great firms who believed in us and, finally, a great office space that impressed everyone except my father — who kept asking me why I wasn’t a doctor yet."Posted on 2015-12-30T06:45:18+0000
$250,000 a Year Is Not Middle Class
What Hillary Clinton gets wrong with her pledge not to raise taxes.
Federal judge: Drinking tea, shopping at a gardening store is probable cause for a SWAT raid on...
Robert and Addie Harte had to spend $25,000 to find out why a SWAT team mistakenly raided their home.
"of course, we can’t have the media looking into critical public safety initiatives like “Operation Constant Gardener.” If such scrutiny revealed that cops consider merely shopping at a garden supply store to be suspicious behavior, that drug testing field kits are more about circumventing the Fourth Amendment than accurate results or that a sheriff’s boast of having shut down a drug operation run by an “average family” in a “good neighborhood” was actually a terrifying raid in which SWAT cops held two kids at gunpoint because their mother enjoyed drinking tea … well, some people might begin to question the wisdom of the drug war."Posted on 2015-12-29T02:02:43+0000
U.S. predicts zero job growth for electrical engineers
Electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment, such as music players and GPS systems, and many work in areas closely associated with computer hardware, according to the government's descriptions.
If you’re 30% through your life, you’re likely 90% through your best relationships
Your remaining face time with any person depends largely on where that person falls on your list of life priorities.
"It turns out that when I graduated from high school, I had already used up 93% of my in-person parent time. I’m now enjoying the last 5% of that time. We’re in the tail end." :(Posted on 2015-12-28T04:16:14+0000
Secrets of the world’s best businesspeople
Gujratis taking over the world. Also has a shout out to memons.
The most important thing I learnt from this, though, was that Freddie Mercury is of Gujrati descentPosted on 2015-12-28T04:13:11+0000
Agner`s CPU blog - Moores law hits the roof
Intel's iconic Tick-Tock clock has begun to skip a beat now and then. Every Tick is a shrinking of the transistor size, and every Tock is an improvement of the microarchitecture. The current processor generation called Skylake is a Tock with a 14 nanometer process. The next in sequence would logical…
"The biggest potential for improved performance is now, as I see it, on the software side. "Posted on 2015-12-28T04:00:20+0000
At Theranos, Many Strategies and Snags
Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos has emphasized a variety of blood-testing strategies but often collided with technological problems.
The fraud seems to be unraveling and it seems to sound more and more horrible day by day. I'm still stumped that they raised so much money without having a working product at all, and even worse, without showing that their product is even possible
"The lab employee later told federal authorities that the results from the quality-control runs diverged from the known amount by more than two standard deviations, a red flag that suggested possible accuracy problems, according to a complaint filed by the employee.
When the Theranos employee alerted superiors, someone from research and development came to the lab and deleted quality-control data to make the Edison’s test runs look better, the former lab employee alleged in the complaint to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS."Posted on 2015-12-28T03:19:08+0000
#OLEOutlook - bypass almost every Corporate security control with a point’n’click GUI
In this tutorial, I will show you how to embed an executable into a corporate network via email, behind the firewall(s),…
A Year in Papers
We've reached the end of term again, and I'm taking a break from writing up papers over the holidays - a chance to replenish my backlog and start planning for 2016 too! I want to see what I can do ...
Still impressed at how this guy reads almost one paper a day over such a consistent period and then manages to write about them tooPosted on 2015-12-25T00:08:34+0000
How to get rich in tech, guaranteed.
Today’s NYT article on how employees sometimes lose out is a great read. Employees who like that, might also like Hunter’s article from last week on (not) getting rich at startups. This is the follow...
"But for all that is good and holy, don’t join a startup for the fucking money."Posted on 2015-12-24T17:47:46+0000
When a Unicorn Start-Up Stumbles, Its Employees Get Hurt
Employees at Good Technology, once valued at $1.1 billion, found their shares made practically worthless by a sale to BlackBerry for $425 million.
Hope Rekindled for Perplexing Proof | Quanta Magazine
Three years ago, a solitary mathematician released an impenetrable proof of the famous abc conjecture. At a recent conference dedicated to the work, optimism
Brazil declares emergency after 2,400 babies are born with brain damage, possibly due to...
The country's health ministry called it "an unprecedented situation, unprecedented in world scientific research."
BetterExplained | Friendly lessons for lasting insight.
Popular Insights Intuitive Learning Arithmetic & Numbers
Where was this when I was a kid?
Some of these lessons are amazing; really insightful and easy to learn. For example, from HN comments:
a% of b == b% of a%. For example, computing 16% of 25 might be difficult but 25% of 16 is easy and they're the same thing. Not too surprising when you look into it, but just highlighting such tricks is great.Posted on 2015-12-23T06:13:37+0000
Inside Chipotle’s Contamination Crisis
Smugness and happy talk about sustainability aren’t working any more.
The force is strong in this firm
Disney is making a fortune and safeguarding its future by buying childhood, piece by piece
Soundproofing for New York Noise
Noise-control companies are endeavoring to make life a little quieter in a very loud city.
I wonder how horrified they'd be to see our place in Karachi (a dozen or so feet from a railway track)Posted on 2015-12-20T22:37:50+0000
How Being Named the 'Best New Restaurant in America' Hurt My Business
After the press, people wouldn’t come in with the same open-minded attitude, or just to enjoy a meal out with their friends. It seemed like they came in just to write a shitty review about us on Yelp.
Our obsession with elite colleges is making our kids feel worthless
Today's teens are on a grim racecourse trying to beat nearly impossible odds.
"Our kids might feel that life is worth living if they know that they matter to us, just by virtue of being who they are."
Applies to Pakistan too. Written in the context of the high teen suicide rate in the bay areaPosted on 2015-12-20T05:53:56+0000
Why Are Projects Always Behind Schedule?
Possibly because your boss is an idiot.
Systemic Change Needed After Faulty Times Article
An editor’s note acknowledged the problems, but worries remain.
"Even before the editors’ note appeared, readers were writing to me with their concerns. Nancy Cadet, who described herself as a longtime subscriber, wanted to know how this happened: “Were these reporters relying on tips from a non-credible source?” And she observed, quite correctly, that harm is done when The Times gets it wrong: “The falsehoods and their repercussions live on long after the stories have been corrected or disputed.”"Posted on 2015-12-19T01:42:34+0000
Big company vs. startup work and compensation
There’s a meme that’s been going around for a while now: you should join a startup because the money is better and the work is more technically …
Pharma CEO Martin Shkreli Arrested on Charges of Securities Fraud
32-year-old suspected of plundering Retrophin to pay debts
Fed Ends Zero-Rate Era; Signals 4 Quarter-Point Increases in 2016
The Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time in almost a decade in a widely telegraphed move while signaling that the pace of subsequent increases will be “gradual” and in line with previous projections.
Landmark Algorithm Breaks 30-Year Impasse | Quanta Magazine
Computer scientists are abuzz over a fast new algorithm for solving one of the central problems in the field.
How I started in web security
I get this question way too often. My answer isn’t going to be helpful for anyone: it was a black swan, but here is my s…
"So how can you start in security? Security of %thing% is basically finding logical flaws in implementations of %thing%. Hence to find flaws you need to learn everything about %thing% you want to exploit first."Posted on 2015-12-14T06:38:01+0000
A US town rejected solar panels because 'they'd suck up all the energy from the sun'
A US town has rejected a proposal for a solar farm following public concerns. Members of the public in Woodland, North Carolina, expressed their fear and mistrust at the proposal to allow Strata Solar Company to build a solar farm off Highway 258.
Now this is just depressing.
"[redacted], a retired science teacher, said she was concerned the panels would prevent plants in the area from photosynthesizing, stopping them from growing."Posted on 2015-12-13T16:15:48+0000
OpenAI is a non-profit artificial intelligence group.
"AI systems today have impressive but narrow capabilities. It seems that we'll keep whittling away at their constraints, and in the extreme case they will reach human performance on virtually every intellectual task. It's hard to fathom how much human-level AI could benefit society, and it's equally hard to imagine how much it could damage society if built or used incorrectly."Posted on 2015-12-12T00:19:34+0000
Volkwagen and the Blame The Engineer Game · Jacques Mattheij
Volkwagen and the Blame The Engineer Game December 10, 2015 Volkwagen is a house in deep trouble. The dieselgate scandal just doesn’t seem to go away and even though the company is now under new management it seems that things are getting worse and worse as time goes by. What I really don’t get is t…
"Until the moment VW admits to either gross incompetence or managerial involvement I’m not going to believe another word they say on this whole affair, they’ve lost each and every bit of credibility they had."Posted on 2015-12-11T16:00:21+0000
How to become a GOOD Theoretical Physicist
"It should be possible, these days, to collect all knowledge you need from the internet. Problem then is, there is so much junk on the internet. Is it possible to weed out those very rare pages that may really be of use?"
Looks to be a pretty great list at first glancePosted on 2015-12-11T02:32:47+0000
C.S. Lewis’ Greatest Fiction: Convincing American Kids That They Would Like Turkish Delight
Turkish Delight, or lokum, is a popular dessert sweet throughout Europe, especially in Greece, the Balkans, and of course Turkey. But most Americans, if they...
Wondering whether this just means I read Narnia too late in lifePosted on 2015-12-08T22:12:29+0000
The Best Books I Read in 2015
Bill Gates shares his list of best books he read in 2015: “Eradication” by Nancy Leys Stepan, “Thing Explainer” by Randall Munroe, “Sustainable Materials With Both Eyes Open” by Julian Allwood and Jonathan Cullen, “Mindset” by Carol Dweck, “Being Nixon” by Evan Thomas, and “The Road to Character” by…
How Elmo Ruined Sesame Street
I can’t stand Elmo, just can’t deal with this damn Muppet anymore. He’s cute, he’s shrill, and he has made Sesame Street worse.
Who Y Combinator Companies Want — Triplebyte Blog
Companies disagree significantly about the types of programmers they want to hire. After 6 months doing technical interv…
"There’s more demand for product-focused programmers than there is for programmers focused on hard technical problems."
A pretty great read on recruiting and hiring, with dataPosted on 2015-12-08T21:22:15+0000
Lessons Learned After Shutting My Startup, Following A Six-Year Struggle – Smashing Magazine
Despite coming up with a unique custom production process and outstanding jeans, we didn’t achieve much success. Several months later, I figured out why.
What these photos of Facebook’s new headquarters say about the future of work
Here's where the open office is going, for better or worse.
"They don't even occupy the best office real estate, such as near the soaring windows with stunning views of nearby salt marshes."
I wouldn't call the view stunning ...Posted on 2015-12-01T09:24:46+0000
Student Debt in America: Lend With a Smile, Collect With a Fist
The story of how a teacher ended up $410,000 in debt reveals the deep contradictions in the federal government’s approach to student loans.