How an Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald’s Monopoly Game and Stole Millions
Jerome Jacobson and his network of mobsters, psychics, strip club owners, and drug traffickers won almost every prize for 12 years, until the FBI launched Operation ‘Final Answer.’
This was a really interesting human interest story.
"The colorful court case, held in Jacksonville, Florida, started September 10, 2001, the day before terrorists crashed planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. The stunned news media quickly forgot about the McDonald’s trial, which explains why so few Americans remember the scandal, or how it ended. During the trial, jurors watched defendants celebrating in McDonald’s commercials, including the fake one filmed by the FBI. Glomb recalled that the victim of the McSting, Michael Hoover, told him that he thought Amy Murray “kind of liked me,” before learning she was part of an FBI operation."Posted on 2018-07-29T21:44:39+0000
A static web app in Rust
A three day tour of Yew and WASM with Rust
Almost 80% of US workers live from paycheck to paycheck. Here's why | Robert Reich
America doesn’t have a jobs crisis. It has a ‘good jobs’ crisis – where too much employment is insecure, and poorly paid
"The shift from factory to office and other sedentary jobs created other social upheaval. The more recent shift in bargaining power from workers to large corporations – and consequentially, the dramatic widening of inequalities of income, wealth, and political power – has had a more unfortunate and, I fear, more lasting consequence: an angry working class vulnerable to demagogues peddling authoritarianism, racism, and xenophobia."Posted on 2018-07-29T16:41:47+0000
Mea culpa: there *is* a crisis in the humanities
Back in 2013, I wrote a few blog post arguing that the media was hyperventilating a bout a "crisis" in the humanities, when, in fact, the lo...
San Francisco Bay Area cities are cracking down on free food at Facebook and other tech companies
It's no secret that Facebook employees love their free meals. But this fall when the tech giant moves to its new office complex in Mountain View, California, that perk will no longer exist because of a new city rule. And San Francisco may follow.
I'm all for regulation that makes living standards and competition fair for all workers and companies, big and small.
But this law in mountain view, and the proposed law in SF, confuse me. I don't see how they make things better, and only see ways they make things worse.
I'd love to be convinced that I'm wrong.Posted on 2018-07-26T23:33:33+0000
Zildjian: The Cymbals Maker, Where Avoiding Layoffs Is a Priority
This small Massachusetts factory has avoided layoffs for years by retraining workers and offering incentive pay. It's a trust thing.
Americans — not just liberals — have a religious literacy problem
Americans should know more about all religions, not just Christianity.
“Why would Jews — or Hindus, or Buddhists, or agnostics, or atheists — be good if they don’t believe in heaven? That’s the sort of religious illiteracy we should be worried about, not unfamiliarity with evangelical names for Christ — religious illiteracy that assumes features of one’s own tradition are essential to ethical behavior. It will never be eradicated if religious literacy is defined in terms of uncritical familiarity with a single tradition.”Posted on 2018-07-22T17:13:20+0000
Into the Borg – SSRF inside Google production network | OpnSec
Europe fines Google $5 billion for abusing its Android dominance
Google was ordered by the European Commission to pay €4.34 billion ($5 billion) for unfairly pushing its apps on smartphone users and thwarting competitors.
Cave diver criticizes Musk's kid-sub rescue plan. Musk suggests he's a pedophile
The Elon Musk story took a bizarre turn Sunday morning, as the world famous entrepreneur took to Twitter to suggest a critic of his submarine rescue plan is a pedophile.
Dear people of Pakistan, our politicians may be corrupt looters, but you’re far worse
Not only are we getting to witness the true face of our politicians, but the general populace as well – and...
"The politicians of your country and the people you elect are reflective of the larger public – after all, the corrupt and greedy politicians we despise so much are all coming from within our own people. If anything, the vile and vulgar comments we see on social media day in and day out make it evident that our people are as bad as our politicians.After all, we can only blame politicians for so much; overtime, we’ve transformed precisely into the politicians we love to hate so much. "Posted on 2018-07-15T21:23:45+0000
The hotel bathroom puzzle
In his wonderful book The Evolution of Useful Things, the author and civil engineer Henry Petroski shares one of the most famous case studies in the history of design: Before it was destroyed by fi…
“It’s a lovely solution—so much so, in fact, that Caplan’s book puts it into its own subtitle: Why There Are No Locks on the Bathroom Doors in the Hotel Louis XIV. And at the heart of the answer lies a subtle change in the way the problem is understood. Other measures, like putting up a sign, focused on the idea that both doors had to have locks, when the lock is really just an interim solution to the underlying problem, rather than the problem itself. As Petroski puts it: “The basic design objective is to achieve privacy for whoever might be using the bathroom.” And once the problem is phrased in such a way as to leave locks out of the equation entirely, you’re that much closer to figuring out how to address it.”Posted on 2018-07-15T04:19:15+0000
The inconvenient truth about cancer and mobile phones
We dismiss claims about mobiles being bad for our health – but is that because studies showing a link to cancer have been cast into doubt by the industry?
Unlike most millennials, Norway's are rich
Young Norwegians have enjoyed a 13% rise in disposable household income, bucking a downward trend in other strong economies. Will this golden age last?
“At the OECD, Sebastian Königs cites much closer links between education, employment and social services than in most other countries as an effective way of supporting young people in the early stages of their careers. Every Norwegian school leaver gets a personal follow-up phone call to discuss their options if they don’t enter the employment market or pursue further studies, for example.”Posted on 2018-07-14T17:05:02+0000
XARs: An efficient system for self-contained executables
Distributing large pieces of software to thousands of machines with a wide variety of configurations can pose a significant operational challenge, requiring a process to identify and copy precisely…
Postmortem for Malicious Packages Published on July 12th, 2018
Former Apple Employee Charged With Theft of Trade Secrets Related to Autonomous Car Project [Updated]
The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation this week charged former Apple employee Xiaolang Zhang with theft of trade secrets, according to...
Employers will do almost anything to find workers to fill jobs — except pay them more
Employers are bellyaching about a lack of workers to fill jobs, but they're not willing to pay more to attract them.
AT&T’s Troubling Plan to Change HBO
The telecom giant, which just acquired Time Warner, is seeking to drastically change the premium-cable channel in order to compete with the likes of Netflix.
Please don’t ruin HBO :(
“Stankey isn’t the only executive worried about the rise of Netflix. Disney is preparing to launch its own streaming service, and its proposed acquisition of Fox would help fill out its library of properties. The future of media will certainly revolve around subscription-based streaming services. But Netflix is turning into a kind of broadcast-TV network: a big umbrella for lots of different kinds of programming. Founded more than 45 years ago, HBO has long been a challenge to broadcast television, staking its reputation on offering something different. As the slogan went, it’s not TV, it’s HBO. Now, Stankey wants to make it TV.”Posted on 2018-07-09T22:43:54+0000
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf Scientist?
Rob Wielgus was one of America’s pre-eminent experts on large carnivores. Then he ran afoul of the enemies of the wolf.
“The strange story of Rob Wielgus is a tale of what happened to one loud scientist who ran afoul of powerful forces. More broadly, it’s a parable of the American West in the 21st century and of how little we still can agree what it should look like. And it’s a reminder that, if you find yourself in a powder keg, the last thing you want to be is a struck match.”Posted on 2018-07-09T03:25:54+0000
Inside China’s Dystopian Dreams: A.I., Shame and Lots of Cameras
Beijing is putting billions of dollars behind facial recognition and other technologies to track and control its citizens.
U.S. Opposition to Breast-Feeding Resolution Stuns World Health Officials
Trade sanctions. Withdrawal of military aid. The Trump administration used both to try to block a measure that was considered uncontroversial and embraced by countries around the world.
"“What happened was tantamount to blackmail, with the U.S. holding the world hostage and trying to overturn nearly 40 years of consensus on best way to protect infant and young child health,” she said.
In the end, the Americans’ efforts were mostly unsuccessful. It was the Russians who ultimately stepped in to introduce the measure — and the Americans did not threaten them."Posted on 2018-07-08T17:33:30+0000
Eating for Peace - Issue 62: Systems - Nautilus
It’s a cold evening in New York City and I’m making Nepalese donuts. Or, I should say, Rachana Rimal, a cheerful woman with a…
"Clarke says the same thing could go for food. A culture may seem unfamiliar to a person, but after that person discovers the way people from an unfamiliar culture “prepare their food, the way they eat, somehow they understand it. There’s link between you and them, and that gives you insight.”
Food alone, though, is often not enough to complete the trip to another culture. The journey needs other people."Posted on 2018-07-07T20:50:31+0000
How ice cream made America - The Boston Globe
The history of the nation’s favorite frozen dessert is also the history of the nation itself: a triumph of ingenuity, technology, and mass marketing.
“In 1921, The Soda Fountain, a monthly trade magazine to the soda industry, published an article touting “Ice Cream as Americanization Aid,” declaring that serving ice cream to on Ellis Island would help them acquire “a taste for the characteristic American dish even before they set foot in the streets of New York.” This would not only help new immigrants assimilate to the American “standard of living,” but it would also inculcate American values: “Who could imagine a man who is genuinely fond of ice cream becoming a Bolshevik? Even strawberry ice cream would arouse no latent anarchistic tendencies, while vanilla or peach would be soothing to the very reddest of the Reds. There is as yet no record of a dangerous plot being hatched over a dish of ice cream; the temperature is too low to promote incubation.””Posted on 2018-07-07T06:59:59+0000
The rise of 'pseudo-AI': how tech firms quietly use humans to do bots' work
Using what one expert calls a ‘Wizard of Oz technique’, some companies keep their reliance on humans a secret from investors
One of history's greatest philosophers thought work makes you a worse person
We used to think work made you less moral. Judeo-Christianity changed the perspective: now, “all work, even cotton-spinning, is noble; work alone is noble."
“When people emphasize just how overworked they are today, they’re not simply complaining of burdens, they’re also signaling their diligence and good standing in this moral economy. As Graeber shows, this notion is inherently Judeo-Christian. But, though 2,000 years of religious teaching have solidified this credence, Aristotle saw things differently. The theory that working hard signifies morality is widely-accepted but, ultimately, far from objectively true, and there’s no reason we should continue to buy into this belief.”Posted on 2018-07-05T22:19:54+0000
A sanitizer is a special type of addition to a compiled program, and is included from a toolchain (LLVM or GCC). There are a few types of sanitizers. Their usual purposes are: bug detecting, profiling, and security hardening.
"I-Cut-You-Choose" Cake-Cutting Protocol Inspires Solution to Gerrymandering - News - Carnegie Mellon University
CMU researchers say getting political parties to equitably draw congressional district boundaries can be as easy as sharing cake.
The Bro Code
Turning down an after-dinner invite to a brothel is always a social minefield. But the city’s Party Secretary, a 50-something man with baby-soft hands, had been gently fondling my thigh underneath the banquet table for the past 45 minutes, making me even more eager than usual to make my excuses an...
'It's nothing like a broken leg': why I'm done with the mental health conversation
It’s never been easier to open up – but hashtag healthcare doesn’t help people like me
“In the last few years I have lost count of the times mental illness has been compared to a broken leg. Mental illness is nothing like a broken leg.
In fairness, I have never broken my leg. Maybe having a broken leg does cause you to lash out at friends, undergo a sudden, terrifying shift in politics and personality, or lead to time slipping away like a Dali clock. Maybe a broken leg makes you doubt what you see in the mirror, or makes you high enough to mistake car bonnets for stepping stones (difficult, with a broken leg) and a thousand other things.”Posted on 2018-07-04T02:09:58+0000
Short Story - Superiority - by Arthur C. Clarke
Robert Lee Mayo Books Short Stories
This was an amazing short story about how blind scientific progress for just the sake of progress can cause problems.
Should be mandatory reading for software folks before they commit to a rewrite of a big system.
"The ultimate cause of our failure was a simple one: despite all statements to the contrary, it was not due to lack of bravery on the part of our men, or to any fault of the Fleet's. We were defeated by one thing only - by the inferior science of our enemies. I repeat - by the inferior science of our enemies."Posted on 2018-07-03T20:50:04+0000
The inside story of the soccer ball that survived the Challenger explosion
In 1986, the space shuttle Challenger stunned the nation when it broke apart 73 seconds into flight. This is the story of the soccer ball that survived -- and the family that sent it into space, twice.
In Denmark, Harsh New Laws for Immigrant ‘Ghettos’
The Danes, who have struggled to integrate non-Western families, are getting tough: From age 1, immigrant children will receive mandatory instruction in “Danish culture.”
This was so depressing I couldn’t pick out the most horrible quote to post - there were too many. So I’m going with the first one.
“Starting at the age of 1, “ghetto children” must be separated from their families for at least 25 hours a week, not including nap time, for mandatory instruction in “Danish values,” including the traditions of Christmas and Easter, and Danish language. Noncompliance could result in a stoppage of welfare payments. Other Danish citizens are free to choose whether to enroll children in preschool up to the age of six.”Posted on 2018-07-02T16:28:06+0000
How a Diablo expansion led to behind the scenes trouble
Dig into the story behind Diablo: Hellfire
“Synergistic finished Hellfire ahead of schedule and submitted their content for approval. For security reasons, Blizzard preferred to send and receive code submissions on CD-ROM over FedEx, stating that email and FTP servers could be compromised. Both Blizzard studios weighed in on submissions. According to Synergistic’s developers, North was easier to please than Entertainment, whose artists took umbrage with what Hellfire’s team perceived as quibbling issues such as an off-color pixel in one corner of the screen that needed to be changed to match the others.”Posted on 2018-07-02T03:46:52+0000
How we discovered three poisonous books in our university library
Interdisciplinary research led to the discovery that three historic books were covered in a layer of arsenic.
Taiwan’s Technology Secrets Come Under Assault From China
Trying to break into semiconductor markets, mainland companies are accused of poaching employees and stealing data. China watchers say the threat is growing and is also part of an effort to undermine a political rival.
"While China manufactures most of the world’s smartphones and computers, it imports almost all the semiconductors needed to provide the logic and memory that run the gadgets. Last year, China paid $260 billion importing chips—60% more than it spent on oil. Chinese leaders want homemade chips to account for 40% of locally produced smartphones by 2025, more than quadruple current levels."Posted on 2018-07-02T00:47:32+0000
Homes 'Earn' Minimum Wage or More in Almost Half the Nation’s Largest Cities - Zillow Research
The rapid pace of home value appreciation over the past year may present homeowners in several large U.S. markets with an interesting dilemma: Why work a 9-5 slog, when you can sit back and collect substantial hourly home equity “earnings” instead?
Silicon Valley’s Exclusive Salary Database
Unlike popular self-reported salary sites like Glassdoor or Stack Overflow, Option Impact is reserved for elite users—VCs and the executives at the startups they back.
An Ohio Startup Rebuilds Lives One Piece of Fried Chicken at a Time
A millennial entrepreneur hires from inmates and homeless people who struggle to find work even in a strong economy.
This was a heartwarming personal interest story about a man who started a business hiring ex convicts and giving them the second chance that is so sorely needed to help them rehabilitate.Posted on 2018-07-01T04:42:31+0000
The Rise of Bullshit Jobs
A bullshit job is a job which is so pointless that even the person doing the job secretly believes that it shouldn’t exist. And there are more now than ever.
Solid read on jobs, labor, and ends on a good use case for UBI.
“Because, you know, why am I complaining? If I complain to someone they’re just going to say, “Hey, you’re getting something for nothing and you’re whining?” But it shows that our basic idea of human nature, which is inculcated in everybody by economics, for example — that we’re all trying to get the most reward for the least effort — isn’t actually true. People want to contribute to the world in some way. So, that shows that if you give people basic income, they’re not going to sit around and watch TV, which is one objection.
The other objection, of course, is that, maybe they will want to contribute to society, but they’re going to do something stupid, so that society is going to be full of bad poets and annoying street musicians, street mimes everywhere, people developing their crank perpetual-motion-devices and whatnot. I’m sure there’ll be some of that, but look: if 40 percent of people already think their jobs are completely pointless, how is it going to be worse than it already is? At least they’re going to be a lot happier doing that stuff than they are filling out forms all day.”Posted on 2018-07-01T04:05:53+0000