The Child-Abuse Contrarian
Michael Holick, a renowned scientist turned expert witness, relies on his own controversial theory about a condition called hypermobile EDS to help alleged abusers avoid prison and regain custody of the babies they were accused of harming.
The Eternal Life of the Instant Noodle
How instant noodles, now 60 years old, went from a shed in Japan to global success.
"Michael Gibson-Light has heard this many times before. He stumbled across the importance of instant noodles when he was researching prison jobs. His resulting research on instant noodles made headlines when it emerged last year. He’s the one who declared something that US prisoners have known for ages - in the past few years, instant noodles have come to replace cigarettes as the most traded item in US prisons."Posted on 2018-09-29T06:14:18+0000
The Observation Deck » The relative performance of C and Rust
My blog post on falling in love with Rust got quite a bit of attention — with many being surprised by what had surprised me as well: the high performance of my naive Rust versus my (putatively less naive?) C. However, others viewed it as irresponsible to report these performance differences, belie...
American Bar Association: Delay Kavanaugh until FBI investigates allegations
The American Bar Association is calling on the Senate Judiciary Committee to halt the consideration of President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh until an FBI investigation is completed into the sexual assault allegations that have roiled his nomination.
The surprising resignation of Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger should not, in fact, be surprising: this became inevitable the moment they sold Instagram to Facebook.
Interesting read / take on the recent departure announcement of instagram’s CEO and CTO.
I only got to meet Mike once but he’s always been an inspirationPosted on 2018-09-25T14:31:11+0000
Computers can solve your problem. You may not like the answer.
What happened when Boston Public Schools tried for equity with an algorithm.
“They couldn’t help but notice, though, that most of the critics hailed from wealthier sections of the city. The MIT team had built a formula that promised racial equity — distributing the best school start times more evenly across white, black, and brown neighborhoods. And here were the most active, politically connected families in the city trying to spike it.”Posted on 2018-09-25T03:50:40+0000
Why I’m done with Chrome
This blog is mainly reserved for cryptography, and I try to avoid filling it with random “someone is wrong on the Internet” posts. After all, that’s what Twitter is for! But from …
"This blog is mainly reserved for cryptography, and I try to avoid filling it with random "someone is wrong on the Internet” posts. After all, that’s what Twitter is for! But from time to time something bothers me enough that I have to make an exception. Today I wanted to write specifically about Google Chrome, how much I’ve loved it in the past, and why — due to Chrome’s new user-unfriendly forced login policy — I won’t be using it going forward."Posted on 2018-09-24T05:20:49+0000
Running a database on EC2? Your clock could be slowing you down.
Clocksource PSA: We discovered our database machines were very slow at getting the time. This post is a look at what was causing it, how you can check if your machines are affected, and the single command needed to fix it.
Is It Time to Get Rid of Time? - Issue 64: The Unseen - Nautilus
Poets often think of time as a river, a free-flowing stream that carries us from the radiant morning of birth to the golden twilight…
“Time, they say, may more resemble a physical property such as temperature or pressure. Pressure has no meaning when you talk about one particle or one atom; the concept of pressure arises only when we consider trillions of atoms. The notion of time could very well share this statistical feature.”Posted on 2018-09-22T15:44:53+0000
Titans of Mathematics Clash Over Epic Proof of ABC Conjecture | Quanta Magazine
Two mathematicians have found what they say is a hole at the heart of a proof that has convulsed the mathematics community for nearly six years.
'For me, this is paradise': life in the Spanish city that banned cars
In Pontevedra, the usual soundtrack of a Spanish city has been replaced by the tweeting of birds and the chatter of humans
'A public relations nightmare': Ticketmaster recruits pros for secret scalper program | CBC News
Read about what CBC News and the Toronto Star discovered after sending a pair of reporters undercover to a ticket industry convention in Las Vegas that brings together box-office giants and the world's top scalpers in the same room.
How to write a novella in just 5 easy steps – Hasnain Lakhani – Medium
I recently self-published my first novella, Unearthly Whispers, on Amazon — it’s a story about a futuristic historian who tries to uncover…
I wrote a thing about writing a thing!
This doesn't cover the mechanics of how to publish on Amazon and stuff - happy to elaborate on that in more detail if there's interest.Posted on 2018-09-19T05:08:46+0000
Most Doctors Are Ill-Equipped to Deal With the Opioid Epidemic. Few Medical Schools Teach Addiction.
It’s one of the biggest, most expensive American health crises in memory. But the field of addiction medicine is fairly new.
Religious bias okayed
To wilfully use religious sentiment for worldly gain is now firmly part of Pakistan’s political culture.
“No country is free of prejudices; certain groups of its own citizens are discriminated against. Still, at the very least this is normally deprecated officially and, as in some countries, one sees genuine attempts to create an equalitarian society. Pakistanis in Europe and North America take their freedoms for granted in spite of overtly projecting their identity. Still, they expect respect and mostly receive it. But in today’s Pakistan those with religious beliefs different from that of the majority’s stand little or no chance.”Posted on 2018-09-16T05:19:19+0000
My RustConf 2018 Closing Keynote
I promised two things when I did the closing keynote at RustConf 2018:
This was a great read on programming, system design, games, C++, and Rust. it's a companion / rough notes for a video of the RustConf 2018 closing talk (which I didn't watch yet)
"I had multiple purposes with this talk:
* To walk through the design of a medium-scale rust project for those with only experience in small-scale ones.
* To show some examples of traps people might fall in that cause them to “fight the borrow checker”, and to help make more concrete how to move past this phase, at least in part.
* To show how awesome data-oriented programming is and how well of a fit it is for games and for Rust
* To show how patterns in game dev that appeared long before Rust, when applied to Rust, still seem to be a good fit."
How Cycling Is Key to Safer, Healthier, More Vital Cities
In their new book Building the Cycling City: The Dutch Blueprint for Urban Vitality, Melissa and Chris Bruntlett use the example of the Netherlands to show how a cycling culture promotes community building and health..
Let’s bring back the Sabbath as a radical act against ‘total work’ – William R Black | Aeon Ideas
Don’t become your own pharaoh: The Sabbath is the most radical commandment in a time of total work
The Myth Of CEO Work-Life Balance
I’m always searching for advice from those who are disrupting industries and making a difference, both in business and beyond. As I read a recent column in The New York Times about work-life balance of a popular CEO, it became clear that my experience is much different. It takes a strong community...
"But what the article fails to address is a fundamental question that working parents everywhere must answer every day: How does all this magic happen? Where are the children when you are at work (or the gym, or on the road, or sitting serenely in a meditative state on a pillow)? As a working mom, this tension-filled question is at the center of every hour of every day. The New York Times doesn’t even mention it. It’s almost like the paper wants us to suspend reality."Posted on 2018-09-14T02:02:44+0000
EU approves controversial Copyright Directive, including internet ‘link tax’ and ‘upload filter’
Those in favor say they’re fighting for content creators, but critics say the new laws will be ‘catastrophic’
It’s shameful what US Open did to Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka, 20 years old, just became the first player from Japan to win a Grand Slam. Yet rather than cheer Osaka, the crowd, the commentators and US Open officials all expressed shock and grief …
What if Allama Iqbal had remained an Ahmadi?
Instead of the eagle, his symbol would probably have been the snake – out to bite the Ummah, out to hurt the...
“We are fond of reading history with glasses coloured in religious prejudice and intellectual dishonesty. We do not honour people for their services, as much as we do for their perceived proximity with us on the religious spectrum.”Posted on 2018-09-10T15:22:22+0000
OpenAI’s Long Pursuit of Dota 2 Mastery – SyncedReview – Medium
A hearty round of applause arose from the crowd packing the Vancouver Rogers Centre on August 22 when a team of unassuming scientists…
“OpenAI’s underlying research progress is impressive: Using a relatively simple technique, researchers enabled complex coordination and long horizon game play in an imperfect game environment, training a computer from scratch to the level of a Dota 2 master. These techniques can likely be used in other AI applications such as robotics and general AI systems.”Posted on 2018-09-10T04:30:55+0000
Performance - Stack Exchange
What Happens If We Hit Sperm Count Zero?
A strange thing has happened to men over the past few decades: We've become increasingly infertile, so much so that within a generation we may lose the ability to reproduce entirely.
Perspective | At U.S. Open, power of Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka is overshadowed by an umpire’s power play
In a final taut with drama, a clash of two champions is spoiled by the umpire’s chauvinism.
Academic Activists Send a Published Paper Down the Memory Hole - Quillette
In the highly controversial area of human intelligence, the ‘Greater Male Variability Hypothesis’ (GMVH) asserts that there are more idiots and more geniuses among men than among women. Darwin’s research on evolution in the nineteenth century found that, although there are many exceptions for ...
I don't know how to feel about this. Does anyone know where I can read more about this?
"Colleagues I spoke to were appalled. None of them had ever heard of a paper in any field being disappeared after formal publication. Rejected prior to publication? Of course. Retracted? Yes, but only after an investigation, the results of which would then be made public by way of explanation. But simply disappeared? Never. If a formally refereed and published paper can later be erased from the scientific record and replaced by a completely different article, without any discussion with the author or any announcement in the journal, what will this mean for the future of electronic journals?"Posted on 2018-09-09T00:30:43+0000
How LLVM Optimizes a Function – Embedded in Academia
Posted on September 3, 2018September 4, 2018 by regehrHow LLVM Optimizes a Function An optimizing, ahead-of-time compiler is usually structured as: A frontend that converts source code into an intermediate representation (IR). A target-independent optimization pipeline: a sequence of passes that suc...
The Servers Are Burning
An engineer pushes a small change and OkCupid goes up in flames.
"How could such a tiny change have such an outsized impact on the site? “That same story happened so many different times,” my old boss David told me. “Someone launched a small, relatively innocuous change that did one of the millions of unexpected things it could have done, which then happened to break some part of the site, and then bring it all down—sometimes bring it down to the point where we couldn’t recover it for hours.”"Posted on 2018-09-07T05:53:10+0000
The man who won the lottery 14 times
How a rogue Romanian economist legally gamed the lottery and won millions of dollars around the world.
"Mandel was subjected to a 4-year legal crusade, in which he was personally investigated by 14 international agencies, including the CIA, FBI, IRS, National Crime Authority, and Australian Securities Commission.
In the end, neither Mandel nor the ILF was found guilty of any wrongdoing. “I will live to be 150,” he proclaimed. “I am not the type of person who lays down and dies because some glorified clerk doesn’t know what he’s doing.”"Posted on 2018-09-07T05:48:56+0000
Muslim Governments Silent as China Cracks Down on Uighurs
As calls grow in the U.S. and Europe to pressure China to halt alleged human-rights abuses against its Muslim minority, Beijing has so far escaped any serious criticism from governments across the Islamic world.
"By contrast, the leaders of Indonesia, Malaysia and Pakistan haven’t released public statements on the clampdown. Neither has Saudi Arabia. Even Turkey, which has in the past offered favorable policies to Turkic-speaking groups and hosts a small Uighur population of its own, remained silent as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan grappled with an economic crisis."Posted on 2018-09-04T14:13:12+0000
How to Retire in Your 30s With $1 Million in the Bank
Fed up with their high-pressure jobs, some millennials are quitting and embracing the FIRE movement. (It stands for financial independence, retire early).
Microwave Weapons Are Prime Suspect in Ills of U.S. Embassy Workers
Doctors and scientists say microwave strikes may have caused sonic delusions and very real brain damage among embassy staff and family members.