We’re not the good guys: Osaka shows up problems of press conferences | Jonathan Liew
Young athletes are expected to answer the most intimate questions in a cynical and often predatory environment
I really like this take. So many hard hitting points here as it leads to this conclusion.
“Question: “You’re a pin-up now, especially in England. Is that good? Do you enjoy that?” (A 17-year-old Maria Sharapova, Wimbledon 2004.) And of course there are plenty of decent, curious journalists out there doing decent, curious things. In a way, this is what makes the chronic lack of self‑awareness so utterly self-defeating. Read the room. We are not the good guys here. We are no longer the power. And one of the world’s best athletes would literally rather quit a grand slam tournament than have to talk to the press. Rather than scrutinising what that says about her, it might be worth asking what that says about us.”Posted on 2021-05-31T21:44:47+0000
Osaka withdraws from French Open
Naomi Osaka says she is withdrawing from the French Open as a result of controversy over her refusal to speak to the media.
I haven’t been following sports (nor tennis) much in the last few years so this may be ignorant... but to me it seems like the tournament organizers are very clearly wrong and this will backfire. They haven’t done any self introspection on the mental health issues caused by press interviews, made a very disgraceful tweet (now deleted, but the internet has a long memory), and said she’d be fined - and when she said she’s ok with paying the fine, proceeded to go with a ban unless she relented.
It seems like the players do have more power than the tournament organizers - and they should! - and it doesn’t seem like the tournament organizers are realizing how this can backfire.
“"So here in Paris I was already feeling vulnerable and anxious, so I thought it was better to exercise self-care and skip the press conferences. I announced it preemptively because I do feel like the rules are quite outdated in parts and I wanted to highlight that.”Posted on 2021-05-31T19:05:16+0000
Amazon Prime Is an Economy-Distorting Lie
A new antitrust case shows that Prime inflates prices across the board, using the false promise of 'free shipping' that is anything but free.
“If Racine succeeds in his suit, it unravels the whole scheme. As one legal analyst told me, “Let's say a product today is sold for $10 on Amazon with 'free shipping'. If Amazon is forced to unbundle the FBA fee from the product price then it would cost $6 + $4 shipping. Prime makes no sense in this world unless Amazon again decided to subsidize Prime.” Amazon, as big as it is, doesn’t have $25-30 billion of cash flow to make that happen.”Posted on 2021-05-31T07:53:21+0000
Nikole Hannah-Jones, a Mega-Donor, and the Future of Journalism
Emails obtained by The Assembly show that UNC-Chapel Hill’s largest journalism-school donor warned against Nikole Hannah-Jones’ hiring. Their divergent views represent a new front in the debate over objectivity and the future of the field.
“After a high-profile fracas at the AP last week and in the midst of the fallout from the Hannah-Jones case, two prominent journalists captured the tension of the objectivity debate on Twitter.
“It’s almost as if what position is the ‘objective neutral’ is in fact a subjective determination made by those in power,” wrote Wesley Lowery, perhaps the most well-known critic of strict objectivity.”Posted on 2021-05-31T07:06:17+0000
Amazon devices will soon automatically share your Internet with neighbors
Amazon's experiment wireless mesh networking turns users into guinea pigs.
Doing this in an opt-in manner is a huge overreach - I’m sure it’s legal in the US but it shouldn’t be.
“By default, Amazon devices including Alexa, Echo, Ring, security cams, outdoor lights, motion sensors, and Tile trackers will enroll in the system. And since only a tiny fraction of people take the time to change default settings, that means millions of people will be co-opted into the program whether they know anything about it or not. The Amazon webpage linked above says Sidewalk "is currently only available in the US."”Posted on 2021-05-30T03:12:40+0000
Opinion | Cops Don’t Belong at Pride
Modern Pride celebrations began with a rebellion against the police. We have not forgotten that.
“And they aren’t actually being rejected; they are being asked to respect boundaries. L.G.B.T.Q. officers are more than welcome to join Pride celebrations — unarmed and in civilian clothing. They are being asked to confront their complicity with an institution that does more harm than good to vulnerable communities. It is telling that some of these officers refuse to do so. We don’t need the police marching alongside us. We don’t need them at Pride providing security.
What we need, what we’ve always wanted and deserved, is what Debbie and I found when we first marched at Pride: a welcoming space where we can be safe and free.”Posted on 2021-05-29T17:04:26+0000
Concerns about missing work may be a barrier to coronavirus vaccination
Many Americans, especially Hispanic workers, don't have paid time off. That means vaccine side effects can be a real problem.
Still unfathomable how bad the US is at sick|family leave policies and healthcare in general.
So close with getting vaccines available for all; and now... thisPosted on 2021-05-29T07:15:36+0000
US Soldiers Expose Nuclear Weapons Secrets Via Flashcard Apps - bellingcat
Online study aids used by US soldiers contained detailed information about base security and the location of nuclear devices in Europe.
Security is hard!
“Though this article focussed on personnel working at bases hosting nuclear weapons, they are likely not the only soldiers who are studying using flashcard apps. There appear to be examples of soldiers serving at other US and European bases posting flashcards that detail where cameras are positioned and whether they have thermal imaging. “Posted on 2021-05-29T03:18:59+0000
If Democracy Is Dying, Why Are Democrats So Complacent?
Democrats are unwilling to match their language of urgency with a strategy even remotely proportional to it.
Even more important today given the shambles of a vote on investigating the Jan 6 insurrection
“Even with the filibuster removed or substantially modified, H.R. 1 and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act would still face barriers to becoming law. But to simply accept these barriers is nonsensical, the product of a fraudulent and conservative “realism” that is really defeatism by any other name. What, after all, is more important: the death of democracy, or the preservation of a Senate tradition that has been leveraged for decades to protect conservative minority rule?”Posted on 2021-05-28T20:21:53+0000
'FIND THIS FUCK:' Inside Citizen’s Dangerous Effort to Cash In On Vigilantism
Internal documents, messages, and roadmaps show how crime app Citizen is pushing the boundary of what a private, app-enabled vigilante force may be capable of.
This is so messed up.
“Well after midnight, Los Angeles police made an arrest. In a separate Slack room, employees cautiously began to celebrate: "cop said its an ongoing investigation, this looks like our guy!!!" one employee wrote.
It wasn't Citizen's guy. Frame and the entirety of the Citizen apparatus had spent a whole night putting a bounty on the head of an innocent man. “Posted on 2021-05-28T06:52:59+0000
Flight attendant's bloody assault by passenger part of disturbing trend
Union wants more travelers banned, citing 477 cases of misbehavior on Southwest flights alone in past five weeks.
Just saw the video - wtf.
“"This past weekend, one of our flight attendants was seriously assaulted, resulting in injuries to the face and a loss of two teeth," TWU Local 556 President Lyn Montgomery wrote in a letter to Southwest CEO Gary Kelly. “Posted on 2021-05-28T05:15:31+0000
QAnon Now as Popular in U.S. as Some Major Religions, Poll Suggests
Fifteen percent of Americans believe that “patriots may have to resort to violence” to restore the country’s rightful order, the poll indicated.
This is pretty scary.
“Those are the findings of a poll released today by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Interfaith Youth Core, which found that 15 percent of Americans say they think that the levers of power are controlled by a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles, a core belief of QAnon supporters. The same share said it was true that “American patriots may have to resort to violence” to depose the pedophiles and restore the country’s rightful order.”Posted on 2021-05-28T04:55:28+0000
UN rights council orders unprecedented open-ended probe of Israel
Body votes for permanent inquiry on alleged violations; Netanyahu pans 'shameful decision,' says council has 'anti-Israel obsession'; envoy Erdan calls it 'appalling, antisemitic'
Honestly can’t believe this is happening. The reactions are entirely predictable though.
“The top United Nations human rights body decided on Thursday to create an open-ended international investigation into Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, after the UN rights chief said Israeli forces may have committed war crimes and faulted the Hamas terror group for violations of international law in their 11-day war this month.”Posted on 2021-05-27T21:51:18+0000
Why Corporations Won’t Hire Remote Workers in Colorado
In response to a Colorado state law that requires employers post salary ranges in job postings, companies are simply refusing to consider applicants from the state.
Welcome to our dystopian corporate world.
“Companies are showing, then, that they would rather rule out job candidates from an entire state rather than comply with a law intended to close pay gaps and increase transparency about pay and benefits.”Posted on 2021-05-26T16:01:32+0000
Opinion | Democrats must make the GOP spell out what it is for and against
Voters would be horrified to find out.
I still haven’t seen any explanation for why the Overton window in American politics is so messed up that this hasn’t happened yet.
“But they have a central problem: The things they oppose tend to be overwhelmingly popular. So they paint the agenda with the broad brush of “socialism.” Rather than insisting they are not socialists, Democrats should ignore the label and demand that Republicans specifically explain what they oppose and why. What is wrong with making corporations pay some taxes? Why don’t they want to provide two years of free community college? Do they really not want to rebuild Veterans Affairs hospitals, decrepit water systems and power grids?”Posted on 2021-05-26T07:18:48+0000
Daily investigation finds divergence in U-M, outside organization’s handling of allegations against CSE professor | The Michigan Daily
Two investigations into four allegations of sexual misconduct against University of Michigan computer science professor Walter Lasecki began in November 2019
I can’t even…
Since the initial investigation happened there are now 20+ allegations. And he’s still on the facultyPosted on 2021-05-25T20:57:37+0000
Simone Biles Dials Up the Difficulty, ‘Because I Can’
The Olympic gold medalist’s new vault is so dangerous that gymnastics, for now, limits the scoring rewards for trying it. Biles says that’s unfair.
As one Twitter commented so eloquently put it:
“Judges are scoring her new move at a lower difficulty out of “fear that Biles is so good that she might run away with any competition she enters simply by doing a handful of moves that her rivals cannot.””
Michael Phelps gets lauded for having genetic advantages no one has - but she does things so we it’s suddenly unfair to everyone else?
I wonder what the difference here is /sPosted on 2021-05-25T15:20:37+0000
Will New Privacy Changes Protect Census Data or Make Things Worse? – The Markup
The U.S. Census Bureau is undertaking a privacy overhaul. It’s not going well
““Traditional statistical disclosure limitation methods, like those used in the 2010 census, cannot defend against modern challenges posed by enormous cloud computing capacity and sophisticated software libraries,” John Abowd, the bureau’s chief scientist, wrote in a declaration to the court. And expanding upon practices like swapping to the degree necessary to ensure privacy would “render the resulting data unusable for most data users.””Posted on 2021-05-24T04:48:08+0000
Belarus diverts plane to arrest journalist, says opposition | DW | 23.05.2021
The Ryanair jet was en route to Lithuania when it was forced to land in Belarus, where authorities arrested a journalist critical of Lukashenko's government. Officials have slammed the "unprecedented" move.
This is still breaking news so the facts are fuzzy, but this is absolutely crazy. A flight carrying an anti-govt journalist happened to cross over their airspace so the local KGB call in a bomb threat (some sources say they also fought staff on the plane); make it land in their jurisdiction (with a military jet escort!), detain the journalist, and then let the flight be on its way.
“The Belta news agency reported that the plane had been rerouted to Minsk International Airport for an emergency landing due to a bomb scare.
An airport spokesperson told the agency that although authorities did not find any explosive devices on the plane, it was unclear when it would be allowed to take off again.
The opposition Telegram channel Nexta also reported that the plane was searched. The outlet said its former editor, Roman Protasevich had been detained.”Posted on 2021-05-23T17:08:51+0000
Move Constructors in Rust: Is it possible? · mcyoung
I’ve been told I need to write this idea down – I figure this one’s a good enough excuse to start one of them programming blogs.
This was pretty engaging.
“TL;DR You can move-constructors the Rust! It requires a few macros but isn’t much more outlandish than the async pinning state of the art. A prototype of this idea is implemented in my moveit crate.”Posted on 2021-05-23T00:00:45+0000
That Salesforce outage: Global DNS downfall started by one engineer trying a quick fix
'We feel bad about what happened'
What the heck, Salesforce?
“The sound of rumbling rubber could be heard today as Salesforce threw an engineer responsible for a change that knocked it offline under a passing bus.
"We're not blaming one employee," said Chief Availability Officer Darryn Dieken after spending the first half hour of a Wednesday briefing on the outage doing pretty much that very thing.”Posted on 2021-05-22T06:50:33+0000
'I was just canceled': An interview with Emily Wilder
Wilder was fired from the AP and told she violated their social media policy.
Cancel culture for thee, but not for me. Also great timing since more revelations came out about Cuomo but it’s fine for him to continue influencing reporting on his brother, while Palestinian people can’t report on their country because they’ll be too biased, nor can minorities report on their issues because of that, or as I learnt recently - sexual assault survivors can’t report on that because they would be too biased. None of this makes sense.
“"There's no question I was just canceled," Wilder told SFGATE by phone Thursday afternoon. "This is exactly the issue with the rhetoric around 'cancel culture.' To Republicans, cancel culture is usually seen as teens or young people online advocating that people be held accountable over accusations of racism or whatever it may be, but when it comes down to who actually has to deal with the lifelong ramifications of the selective enforcement of cancel culture — specifically over the issue of Israel and Palestine — it's always the same side."”Posted on 2021-05-21T15:45:51+0000
The Full Story of the Stunning RSA Hack Can Finally Be Told
In 2011, Chinese spies stole the crown jewels of cybersecurity—stripping protections from firms and government agencies worldwide. Here’s how it happened.
This was really interesting.
“SolarWinds demonstrated how precarious this structure remains, he argues. As Leetham sees it, the security world blindly put its trust in something that existed outside its threat model, never imagining that an adversary might attack it. And once again, the adversary pulled out a supporting card underpinning the house’s foundation—one that had been confused for solid ground.”Posted on 2021-05-21T06:16:23+0000
Google’s New Dermatology App Wasn’t Designed for People With Darker Skin
The company trained the system to recognize different skin conditions. But like Google itself, the app's data has a diversity problem.
This is an amazing (not) defense: claiming that the ground truth they had is racist so there’s nothing wrong with this app being biased either.
“A Google spokesperson told Motherboard that that the entire field of dermatology suffers from a lack of data and images of non-white patients and that accounting for that problem was at the forefront of researchers minds as they designed the app, which they plan to further refine before its public release.
“Our AI-powered dermatology assist tool is the culmination of more than three years of research,” “Posted on 2021-05-21T05:57:03+0000
Canadian Journalists Fear Retaliation for Criticizing Coverage of Israeli Attacks on Gaza
An open letter on media standards in Canada, where some style guides ban the word “Palestine,” garnered over 2,000 signatures.
“Numerous outlets reported over the weekend that Palestinian protesters in Toronto had assaulted an older Jewish man. What they did not note, Domise pointed out, was that the older man had been armed and had joined a group of people who had already instigated the fight. The group appeared to be attending a counterprotest by the Jewish Defense League, which the Southern Poverty Law Center designates as a hate group for promoting “a violent form of anti-Arab, Jewish nationalism.” The man told the Toronto Sun that he was not a JDL member.
“When we use the wrong language, it really minimizes and reduces the pain of people felt here.”
In response to the video, Toronto Mayor John Tory made a statement condemning antisemitism, as did Ontario Premier Doug Ford. CBC later reported on the full video, which showed that the man had been armed and instigated a fight. “
PW special report: After conservative criticism, UNC backs down from offering acclaimed journalist tenured position | NC Policy Watch
After conservative criticism, UNC backs down from offering acclaimed journalist a tenure-track position; Nikole Hannah-Jones
This is just terrible. As someone bluntly put it, if racism can prevent such a renowned scholar and journalist (a Pulitzer Prize winner!) from getting a well deserved tenured appointment - which was approved by faculty already - then what hope does the average person have when everything is rigged against them?
“The Board of Governors has decided not to reappoint certain trustees they felt were not on the right ideological page, the trustee said, and have even engineered the ouster of chancellors with whom they disagreed. They have defunded academic centers and discontinued programs with which they were at political odds. Trustees across the system know that track record when they’re making these kinds of decisions, the trustee said.”Posted on 2021-05-20T06:43:09+0000
Israeli Human Rights Group B’Tselem Blasts Two-Tiered Apartheid Israel, Says Violence Is “Inevitable”
We speak with the head of the leading Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, which is accusing Israel of committing war crimes by killing blockaded civilians and destroying infrastructure on a massive scale.
Worth reading the transcript in full.
“And that’s really the the central aspect, because what is happening now in Gaza, it has to stop. This kind of bombings, it just has to stop. That’s the most essential aspect to save human lives. But that’s not sufficient. The people responsible need to be held accountable, because, otherwise, it’s just going to be allowed to continue the same way that this has been allowed to continue, which has brought us to this assault on the Gaza Strip. But also, it’s essential that we do not go back to the status quo. The status quo is a false term. It’s never static. And the status quo is not justice. The status quo is apartheid. So, yes, the bloodshed that is happening now has to stop. But the bloodshed is related to the underlying reality, to the overarching reality, to the condition of apartheid that has to end.”Posted on 2021-05-20T06:29:23+0000
General strike highlights Israel's dependency on Palestinian workers
“The residents’ response surprised the cleaners. “This is the perfect time to fix this distortion and start to employ only Jews! Or Arabs who are loyal to the State of Israel and declare so openly,” one resident wrote to City Hall. Another added, “Fire them, it’s identifying with terror,” and another raged, “Now employ only Jews and they can go to hell.” Only one resident countered these comments, writing, “People are losing their homes and lives these days, but Modi’in’s garbage hasn’t been collected. Too bad that the garbage that comes out of people’s mouths is harder to collect.””Posted on 2021-05-20T05:21:53+0000
American Moms Are Being Gaslit
If staying at home is so wonderful, why don’t men do it?
“And despite the culture’s best effort to slickly reimagine this moment as one born of women’s ‘choices’, the truth is far simpler: American women are being gaslit. Being pushed out of our careers is not a good thing, and it is absolutely possible to be a happy working parent, even now. How do I know that parents can ‘have it all’? That it’s actually completely feasible to work and take care of children without giving up your career goals or life ambitions?”Posted on 2021-05-19T21:10:16+0000
Poor in Tech
I knew I was the only poor person at my tech startup because nobody else ate the Hot Cheetos that were stocked in our free snack kitchen. Seaweed snacks were always empty. Nobody had those telltale…
“I knew I was the only poor person at my tech startup because one time everyone else in my department quit or was fired in the space of six months, leaving me and a Harvard guy. I asked Harvard if he was worried and he said no. He was thinking about taking a year off anyway, then maybe starting his own business. On my way home, I noticed Starbucks was hiring. “Posted on 2021-05-19T06:22:14+0000
Google employees call for company to support Palestinians and protect anti-Zionist speech
‘Anti-Zionism is not antisemitism’
“Now, members of the new organization are calling on Google to support freedom of expression internally — particularly around anti-Zionist viewpoints. “Google is the world’s largest search engine and any repression of freedom of expression occurring within the company is a danger not only to Googlers internally but to all people around the world,” they wrote in an FAQ.”Posted on 2021-05-19T06:17:03+0000
History's Mysteries: Caltech Professor Helps Solve Hindenburg Disaster
Konstantinos Giapis delves into the science of the iconic accident for a PBS special.
“Giapis agonized over how to explain that discrepancy. Because of delays due to COVID-19 shutdowns, he was not able to run the rope conductivity test until just a few days before the shoot. "We were about to start filming and my theory had a gaping hole in it. I had to think hard and fast." And then, just two days before the shoot, the answer came to him: After the ship was grounded, it became more electrically charged.”Posted on 2021-05-19T06:07:45+0000
10 Positions Chess Engines Just Don't Understand
Since IBM's Deep Blue defeated World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov in their 1997 match, chess engines have only increased dramatically in strength and understanding. Today, the best chess engines are an almost incomprehensible 1,000 Elo points stronger than Deep Blue was at that time. A quick Google...
TIL a lot more about chess than I knew before.
“There are many more fascinating positions that baffle even the most advanced chess A.I. To demonstrate this, I've selected ten types of positions that your brain may be better able to understand than a silicon imitation. While some modern engines may be able to solve these positions with considerable time to think and a lot of powerful hardware, many of these positions will fully defy the understanding of even the best modern engines.”Posted on 2021-05-19T05:55:27+0000
Boosting Dropbox upload speed and improving Windows’ TCP stack
One of the best ways to find ways to improve performance, we’ve found, is to work closely with our customers. We love shared troubleshooting sessions with their own engineering teams to find and eliminate bottlenecks.
Really interesting debugging story and technical read. I just learnt a bunch more about networking!
“This was an eye-opening experience for us. We saw how far behind Linux is on the tracing tooling side. Even with all advances on the eBPF front, there’s still no unified format in Linux for collecting traces across all kernel subsystems. tcpdump is an awesome tool, but it only provides insight into what’s happening on the wire—it can’t connect that to other kernel events.
netsh trace, on the other hand, correlates events on the wire with events that happen on the TCP layer, timers, buffer management, socket layer, and even the Windows asyncio subsystem (IOCP).”Posted on 2021-05-19T05:44:48+0000
Facebook Calls Links To Depression Inconclusive. These Researchers Disagree
The company has reached out to a number of researchers in recent months, though those same researchers are skeptical about the company's motivations.
“The problem is compounded by how little government funding is going toward studying the effects of these platforms, relative to how much of each day many Americans spend engaged with the technology.
Funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is mostly focused on curing diseases, but because there is no specific disease officially associated with screen time, experts say it's difficult to get studies funded by the federal government.”Posted on 2021-05-19T05:29:05+0000
Long working hours killing 745,000 people a year, study finds
The World Health Organization says the trend may worsen due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The report said working long hours was estimated to be responsible for about a third of all work-related disease, making it the largest occupational disease burden.”Posted on 2021-05-18T05:53:36+0000
An Open Letter to Leadership at IGN, Ziff Davis, and J2 Global
To the management of J2 Global and Ziff Davis, and the corporate leadership of IGN:
IGN had come out in support of the Palestinians in a way I had never seen any US corporation do before - ever - and it was so well lauded. A lot of people, myself included, were really disappointed when it was (inevitably) taken down.
This offers more insight into just how that happened and I am glad the employees are taking a stand against corporate.
“Importantly, we feel the latest statement dangerously turns what was a matter of supporting innocent civilians facing a humanitarian crisis into a harmful case of “both sides”-ism. Helping children and civilians harmed by the horrors of war should be uncontroversial no matter who the two sides are, and is in keeping with IGN’s ongoing efforts to highlight causes that are important to our team — such as our support for Black Lives Matter last year and our more recent celebration of AAPI Heritage Month and joining the call to end AAPI hate. The victims here deserve the same support.”Posted on 2021-05-18T05:23:55+0000
The History of Ethical AI at Google
I have had the privilege of being at Google for the past six years. One of the most impressive things I’ve seen there was an Ethical AI…
“AI is a field dominated by emotionally immature white and Asian men. If you can ignore all of the brilliance of human interactions and focus your soul on calculus you can become a rising star in the field of AI. All you need to do is beat the benchmarks and come up with clever formulae and you can be great. What Timnit said resonated closely with me because when I had gone to that conference with Meg I saw an engineer present his findings regarding police profiling systems. A researcher from UCLA had presented a system for determining whether or not a given dispatch was “gang related” so that the police could bring “the appropriate amount of force”. Several other people had asked him about the biases of the datasets his system consumed and he had canned answers for those questions. I asked him: (paraphrasing) “Let’s assume that all of those concerns are irrelevant and that your system perfectly predicts whether or not a dispatch is gang related. Are you at all concerned that the informational advantage you’re giving to the police might cause the gangs to unilaterally raise their force profile thereby making a bad situation worse?” His response: “Man I’m just an engineer.” I decided that the best response was to sing Tim Lehrer’s “Werner von Braun” into the microphone.”Posted on 2021-05-18T03:30:38+0000
An ex-Googler brings Silicon Valley thinking to Sacramento
"It's at least as blistering as anything I've ever experienced at Google," said California's new CTIO, Rick Klau.
“The speed has been extraordinary. As I've talked with folks who have expressed interest in the jobs we're hiring for, they've been asking what to expect, and I told them that if anything, this will feel like they're hitting an accelerator from what they've come from. I lived fast-growth startups prior to coming to Google, I lived some bets, company initiatives at Google, and then at Google Ventures got to see companies grow to go public. This feels like any one of those busiest days is a typical day here.”Posted on 2021-05-17T02:42:49+0000
The man who didn't invent Flamin' Hot Cheetos
Richard Montañez has for years told a story of how he dreamed up Flamin’ Hot Cheetos while working as a Frito-Lay janitor. The archival record, former employees and Frito-Lay itself say otherwise.
Pretty interesting read on corporate cultures, investigations, and the real kernels of truth in this story.
“There’s just one problem: Montañez didn’t invent Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, according to interviews with more than a dozen former Frito-Lay employees, the archival record and Frito-Lay itself.
“None of our records show that Richard was involved in any capacity in the Flamin’ Hot test market,” Frito-Lay wrote in a statement to The Times, in response to questions about an internal investigation whose existence has not been previously disclosed. “We have interviewed multiple personnel who were involved in the test market, and all of them indicate that Richard was not involved in any capacity in the test market.”Posted on 2021-05-16T19:30:27+0000
Retired Black players say NFL brain-injury payouts show bias
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Thousands of retired Black professional football players, their families and supporters are demanding an end to the controversial use of “race-norming” to determine which players are eligible for payouts in the NFL’s $1 billion settlement of brain injury claims, a system ...
Oooof, what the heck?! And there are people out here saying racism isn’t systemic.
“Former players who suffer dementia or other diagnoses can be eligible for a payout.
Under the settlement, however, the NFL has insisted on using a scoring algorithm on the dementia testing that assumes Black men start with lower cognitive skills. They must therefore score much lower than whites to show enough mental decline to win an award. The practice, which went unnoticed until 2018, has made it harder for Black former players to get awards.”Posted on 2021-05-15T17:22:15+0000
Israeli strike destroys Gaza building with AP, other media
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — An Israeli airstrike on Saturday targeted and destroyed a high-rise building in Gaza City that housed offices of The Associated Press and other media outlets. Hours later, Israel bombed the home of Khalil al-Hayeh, a top leader of Gaza’s ruling militant Hamas group.
The US finally decided to issue some condemnation, but this totally misses the mark because it *only* focuses on journalists as if those are the only lives that matter.
When will this all end?!
“White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted Saturday that the U.S. had “communicated directly to the Israelis that ensuring the safety and security of journalists and independent media is a paramount responsibility.””Posted on 2021-05-15T16:44:47+0000
Gaza marks deadly Eid al-Fitr amid Israeli bombardment
Israeli forces bomb several buildings in Gaza as authorities say 69 Palestinians killed, including 17 children.
All the news has been depressing to read and ingest over the last few days. No day should be like this for anyone. Let alone Eid. :(
And this is amidst reports that a ground invasion is planned for later today. I’m hoping that turns out to not be the case when I wake up.
“Gaza’s Ministry of Health said the overall death toll since the start of the latest offensive stood at 69, including 17 children and eight women as of early Thursday. More than 390 others have been wounded.”Posted on 2021-05-13T07:24:28+0000
The transatlantic institutional anti-mask campaign, summarised
Early in 2020 as the pandemic began to surge around the world, Asia and the West were divided on whether people should wear facemasks to try and stop/slow transmission of the new virus. In short, Asian countries went very heavy on masks early on, while most Western countries initially said they woul...
Click to view the original at lessonsfromthecrisis.substack.com
Interesting catalog of COVID history that is trying to preserve an archive for when the dust settles. I’m definitely interested in following this one.
“One of the most bizarre episodes in public health had resolved, and was almost instantly memory-holed. Now it was those not wearing masks who were stigmatised- those who adopted the prevailing view of March 2020 only a few months later found themselves accused of psychopathy or toxic masculinity.
But how on earth and why did this happen? Was this a noble lie? a fumble? self correcting science? We’ll be exploring all of that next week”Posted on 2021-05-13T06:54:09+0000
‘Misogynistic’ Apple hire is out hours after employees call for investigation
The move came hours after Apple employees circulated a petition calling for an investigation into his hiring.
I am glad he is no longer at apple. The article links to more quotes and…Posted on 2021-05-13T02:23:17+0000
Anti-Maskers Ready to Start Masking—to Protect Themselves From the Vaccinated
An anti-vaccine conspiracy about the vaccinated are leading some anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers to contemplate wearing a mask and social distance.
I feel like if anyone submitted this as the plot to a movie it’d get shot down as being too unrealistic. But here we are. As long as it gets them to wear masks I guess?
““I am going to be watching these vaccine shedding stories like a hawk,” wrote another man on Twitter. “Is my family going to need to wear masks to protect ourselves from the vaccinated?””Posted on 2021-05-12T15:57:46+0000
The Business Class Has Been Fearmongering About Worker Shortages for Centuries
Our so-called staffing crisis hearkens back to the colonial era.
“Several years later, the Scottish polemicist Thomas Carlyle jumped into the fray, in an article with the viciously racist title you might assume. With a few changes, the substance of its argument could appear in National Review today:
The West Indies, it appears, are short of labour. … Where a Black man, by working about half-an-hour a-day … can supply himself, aid of sun and soil, with as much pumpkin as will suffice, he is likely to be a little stiff to raise into hard work! … Sunk to the ears in pumpkin, imbibing saccharine juices, and much at ease in his creation, he can listen to the less fortunate white man’s “demand,” and take his own time in supplying it. Higher wages, massa; higher, for your cane crop cannot wait; — still higher, til no conceivable opulence of cane crop will cover such wages.”Posted on 2021-05-10T17:41:09+0000
Thread by @jljcolorado on Thread Reader App
Thread by @jljcolorado: 1/ TIME FOR SOME AIRBORNE + DROPLET HISTORY Now that @WHO and @CDCgov have finally accepted *after a year of denial and delays* that airborne transmission is a major mode for COVID-19, it...…
Linking to Twitter threads sucks - but this was quite worth it. Really informative read on the history of infectious disease research and why the CDC and the WHO repeatedly got it wrong, dismissing airborne transmission as a theory and leading to so many deaths.Posted on 2021-05-10T05:37:34+0000
ROBIN HOBB :: The Animal is tired
The animal is aging. Not surprising; I knew it would happen eventually, but I didn't make any provisions to deal with that eventuality. Somehow the reality crept up on me. And now it must be dealt with, day after day. It is restless in the night, moaning about aches, unable to find a comfor...
“As our time together is winding slowy to a close, I wish I'd taken better care of it. Better food, more exercise, more relaxation . . . but I also wonder if it would have made any difference. I tell myself it still has useful years ahead of it, even if it can't do some of the things it once accomplished with ease. I reflect, sheepishly, that it is the only animal I have ever treated this way. Would I have fed a beloved dog stimulants to keep it working when it needed sleep? Never. Would I have dosed a cat with a mild poisoning of alcohol to relax it among strangers? Of course not. “Posted on 2021-05-10T04:38:51+0000
Twitter engineers found and fixed a Linux kernel bug in memory shrinker which caused OOM for us.
Interesting technical debugging story.
“Memory reclamation is one of the most complicated parts of the Linux kernel. It is full of heuristic algorithms, complex corner cases, complicated data structures, and convoluted interaction with other subsystems. Memory reclamation is the core part of the Linux kernel and is relied upon by other subsystems. However, the bugs or suboptimal behaviors of memory reclamation may take a long time to get discovered. The fixes may be quite subtle and the validation may take substantial efforts to guarantee no regressions.”Posted on 2021-05-10T04:28:46+0000
Why do we buy into the 'cult' of overwork?
Overwork culture is thriving; we think of long hours and constant exhaustion as a marker of success. Given what we know about burnout, why do we do give in?
“Society started to glorify the entrepreneurs who said they wanted to change the world, and told us how they structured their (very long) days for maximum greatness. Maitlis highlights a motivational shift between the Gordon Gekkos and the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world; the latter felt they were fueled by “passion for the product or service, or for a higher purpose". (The joke was on us, though, because much of that new technology ended up enabling the kind of overwork and burnout we're dealing with today.)”Posted on 2021-05-10T00:59:09+0000
Seeing the Real Faces of Silicon Valley
For many midlevel engineers and food truck workers and longtime residents, a region filled with extremes has become increasingly inhospitable.
“As the valley’s tech companies have driven the American economy since the Great Recession, the region has remained one of the most unequal in the United States.
During the depths of the pandemic, four in 10 families in the area with children could not be sure that they would have enough to eat on any given day, according to an analysis by the Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies. Just months later, Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, who recently added “Technoking” to his title, briefly became the world’s richest man. The median home price in Santa Clara County — home to Apple and Alphabet — is now $1.4 million, according to the California Association of Realtors.”Posted on 2021-05-09T05:01:24+0000
Not just the mayor: Text messages of Seattle police and fire chiefs from June 2020 also missing
The texts of three top Seattle leaders during a contentious period last year weren't retained and now can't be reviewed, attorneys suing the city say they recently learned.
This sounds like a coverup mixed with a case of dog ate the homework.Posted on 2021-05-09T03:30:31+0000
The Time Everyone “Corrected” the World’s Smartest Woman
In 1990, Marilyn vos Savant correctly answered a probability puzzle in her column for Parade Magazine. And then, the world called her an idiot.
I had known about the Monty hall problem and the subsequent confusion as experts even doubted the analyses - but I had not known how vile and mean the comments had gotten - for no reason!
And this was back when sending comments actually required writing a letter and so I can only imagine how bad it would’ve been with the internet.
“Though her answer was correct, a vast swath of academics responded with outrage. In the proceeding months, vos Savant received more than 10,000 letters -- including a pair from the Deputy Director of the Center for Defense Information, and a Research Mathematical Statistician from the National Institutes of Health -- all of which contended that she was entirely incompetent:”Posted on 2021-05-09T02:33:10+0000
You’re making morning drip coffee. You need to make 2 cups. Do you:
“The title can be read the other way. By emphasizing latency we get feedback sooner. Learning and adapting to external changes lead to less waste and therefore greater efficiency. Each piece is inefficient (compared to some theoretical maximum), but the whole is efficient.
In my world, latency dominates. Mostly. But it depends.”
Service Workers Aren’t Lazy — They Just Don’t Want to Risk Dying for Minimum Wage
Restaurant and bar owners whining about the difficulty of finding workers to toil for low wages and no benefits never seem to consider the possibility of raising those wages and benefits to try to attract such workers. But they’re also ignoring something more basic: the coronavirus pandemic wiped ...
So hard hitting and on point.
“Most of these complaints seem to be coming from franchised restaurants. Why? Well, it’s not complicated. Service workers didn’t decide one day to stop working — rather huge numbers of them cannot work anymore. Because they’ve died of coronavirus.”
“But rather than collectively grieve the deaths of tens of thousands of the people who serve us and keep us fed, and keep such tragedies in mind when considering the state of the food-service industry labor market today, business owners and their political lackeys call these workers “lazy.””Posted on 2021-05-08T18:49:39+0000
India is hiding its Covid crisis – and the whole world will suffer for it | Ankita Rao
Modi’s government had a choice between saving lives and saving face. It has chosen the latter
“This denialist rhetoric is occurring at almost every level. Like India’s see-no-evil approach to malaria or tuberculosis, its Covid obfuscation suppresses “bad news” in order to buoy the country’s international image and the government party’s domestic standing. Not all countries with struggling health systems do this. Some actually at times overcount deaths from other viruses in order to get more humanitarian aid. But undercounting disease is, in many ways, far more sinister. Modi’s government had a choice between saving face and saving lives, and has chosen mass death.”Posted on 2021-05-07T07:50:11+0000
Indianapolis homeowner files discrimination complaint after removal of Black identifiers leads to $100,000 appraisal increase
INDIANAPOLIS — A housing discrimination complaint filed by a Black Indianapolis homeowner alleges that after she removed items from her home that identified her race and asked a white male fr…
So messed up.
““I decided to do exactly what was done in the article,” Duffy said. “I took down every photo of my family from my house. … I took every piece of ethnic artwork out, so any African artwork, I took it out. I displayed my degrees, I removed certain books.”
Duffy asked a white male friend to sit in on the home appraisal and did not declare her race in her application or communications with the appraisal company. The new appraisal came back at more than double the first two, valuing her home more than $100,000 higher.”Posted on 2021-05-07T06:32:25+0000
A beach town seized a Black couple’s land in the 1920s. Now their family could get it back
Los Angeles officials have announced an effort to return the valuable Manhattan Beach property to the descendants of Willa and Charles Bruce
From a 60 minutes special on this: ““Are we going to go all the way back to Native Americans [and give their land back]? Where does that stop?” says a White resident of Manhattan Beach, shedding light on the local opposition to returning land taken from a Black family one century ago”
From the article:
““We’re still suffering for what their ancestors did. Somebody needs to rectify this injustice,” he said. “They’re still benefiting from the generational wealth of their ancestors while we don’t have a dime coming in.””Posted on 2021-05-05T07:18:44+0000
Cory Doctorow: Qualia
Last summer, the pandemic was in its first wave and the nation was in chaos. A lack of federal leadership left each state to figure out how to interpret the science, and many states punted public h…
Really great read on how the Econ and law cabal can hurt society - especially the Chicago school of thought.
“Quantitative disciplines – physics, math, and (especially) computer science – make a pretense of objectivity. They make very precise measurements of everything that can be measured precisely, assign deceptively precise measurements to things that can’t be measured precisely, and jettison the rest on the grounds that you can’t do mathematical operations on it.
This is the quant’s version of the drunkard’s search for car-keys under the lamp-post: we can’t add, subtract, multiply or divide qualitative elements, so we just incinerate them, sweep up the dubious quantitative residue that remains, do math on that, and simply assert that nothing important was lost in the process.”Posted on 2021-05-05T07:03:58+0000
What Does It Take to Get a White Man Fired From CNN?
I got four warnings there. Reza Aslan and Octavia Nasr and Marc Lamont Hill didn’t get off with just warnings. Rick Santorum seems to be just fine. Can you spot the difference?
This is full of fire and such a good takedown. I won’t quote Santorum’s extremely bigoted remarks (they’re linked to early on in the article) but suffice to say they were pretty bad.
“Meanwhile, CNN has yet to make a comment about Santorum's latest outburst.
The lesson from all these examples is crystal clear for most commentators of color: You can be a nativist, a bigot, an Islamophobe, a homophobe, a creep and a liar, but as long as you’re good for the bottom line and you don’t piss off the right-wing outrage mob, you are good for cable news. If you happen to be a white conservative, like Rick Santorum, you’ll always have a blank slate to birth new controversies.”Posted on 2021-05-04T07:00:33+0000
🚨 How Basecamp blew up
Inside the all-hands meeting that led a third of the company to quit, and an executive to resign
More on the basecamp aftermath. Great reporting.
“Over the next hour, employees continued to come forward to discuss Basecamp’s new policies and what would be like going forward. But before the meeting ended, one employee spoke up to address Singer’s remarks directly in a way that Fried and Hansson did not.
“Racism [and] white supremacy are not things that are so convenient that they only happen when full intention is present, or true malice is present,” the employee said. “Evil is not required. We’re not so lucky as for this to come down to good and evil. It’s as simple as creating a space where people do not feel welcome.”
The employee continued: “The silence in the background is what racism and white supremacy does. It creates that atmosphere that feels suffocating to people. It doesn't require active malice. It's not that convenient.””Posted on 2021-05-04T06:10:20+0000
'Last Afghani Jews' kicked out of Taliban prison for being too annoying
“I don’t talk to him, he’s the devil,” Zabulon Simentov said of the other Jew. “A dog is better than him … I don’t have many complaints about the Taliban, but I have a lot of complaints about him.”
This is not the story I expected I’d be reading tonight but it’s really interesting.
“The Taliban was so annoyed by their constant fighting that they threw them in jail. But they eventually kicked them out when they continued to fight inside the prison. Levi died in 2005.”Posted on 2021-05-03T06:28:28+0000
Hosting SQLite databases on Github Pages - (or any static file hoster) - phiresky's blog
I was writing a tiny website to display statistics of how much sponsored content a Youtube creator has over time when I noticed that I often write a small tool as a website that queries some data from a database and then displays it in a graph, a table, or similar. But if you want to use a
This is so cool. When I had to do something similar ages ago (holy crap, I feel old) I ended up sharding the dataset into static flat files and filtering on the client. While that’s still held up, this is just much more flexible and easier to update.
“I was writing a tiny website to display statistics of how much sponsored content a Youtube creator has over time when I noticed that I often write a small tool as a website that queries some data from a database and then displays it in a graph, a table, or similar. But if you want to use a database, you either need to write a backend (which you then need to host and maintain forever) or download the whole dataset into the browser (which is not so great when the dataset is more than 10MB).”Posted on 2021-05-02T23:08:02+0000
Building a Distributed Turn-Based Game System in Elixir
Running Elixir on Fly.io let me easily create a globally distributed, privately networked, clustered, multi-player game server! Here's how.
Bookmarking for future investigation of the code itself so I can contrast it with my own implementation of something similar.
“I've worked with enough companies and teams to imagine several different approaches to build a system like this. Those approaches would all require large multi-disciplinary teams like a front-end JS team, a backend team, a DevOps team, and more. In contrast, I set out to do this by myself, in my spare time, and with a whole lot of "life" happening too.”Posted on 2021-05-02T07:03:39+0000
Query Engines: Push vs. Pull
People talk a lot about “pull” vs. “push” based query engines, and it’s pretty obvious what that means colloquially, but some of the details can be a bit hard to figure out.
Pretty good read on database systems.
“In this post, we’re going to talk about some of the philosophical differences between how pull and push based query engines work, and then talk about the practical differences of why you might prefer one over the other, guided by these questions we’re trying to answer.”Posted on 2021-05-02T06:34:27+0000
Google’s Plan for the Future of Work: Privacy Robots and Balloon Walls
The company that helped popularize open office plans and lavish employee perks is trying to reinvent office spaces to cope with workplace sensibilities changed by the pandemic.
Have they heard of something called a door? The gif of this in action (in the article) is quite weird
“If a meeting requires privacy, a robot that looks like the innards of a computer on wheels and is equipped with sensors to detect its surroundings comes over to inflate a translucent, cellophane balloon wall to keep prying eyes away.”Posted on 2021-05-01T22:41:31+0000
Column: A hoverboard burst into flames. It could change the way Amazon does business
After a hoverboard burst into flames and "severely burned" a California woman, a court ruling could bring major changes to Amazon and its third-party marketplace.
“An Amazon spokeswoman, requesting anonymity even though she’s, you know, a spokeswoman, declined to comment on the new ruling or whether Amazon will appeal it to the state Supreme Court.”Posted on 2021-05-01T19:56:59+0000
Kansas Rep. Mark Samsel arrested for battery after physical altercation with student
In videos, Samsel, a substitute teacher, is shown talking to Wellsville students about sex, masturbation, God and suicide.
The headline here is very charitable and makes it look like this guy made one small mistake. Even my quoted excerpt does that. This is just way worse. How did this guy get elected and why is he not in jail for longer!
Also, he tries to say “I went to jail for battery. Does that make me a criminal?”. Um...
“In another video, he tells students, “Class, you have permission to kick him in the balls.”
Parents told The Star that Samsel “put hands on the student” and allegedly kneed him in the crotch. In a video apparently taken immediately after the incident, the student is shown on the ground. Samsel is standing over him and says, “did it hurt?””Posted on 2021-05-01T17:24:05+0000
Former Netflix Executive Convicted Of Receiving Bribes And Kickbacks From Companies Contracting With Netflix
Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of California FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday, April 30, 2021 Former Netflix Executive Convicted Of Receiving Bribes And Kickbacks From Companies Contracting With Netflix Federal Jury Finds Former Netflix Vice President Guilty of Fraud fo...
As someone points out - why would you do so much obviously corrupt stuff for less than you make in a year? This doesn’t make sense.
“As Netflix’s Vice President of IT Operations, Kail approved the contracts to purchase IT products and services from smaller outside vendor companies and authorized their payments. The evidence demonstrated that Kail accepted bribes in ‘kickbacks’ from nine tech companies providing products or services to Netflix. In exchange, Kail approved millions of dollars in contracts for goods and services to be provided to Netflix. Kail ultimately received over $500,000 and stock options from these outside companies. He used his kickback payments to pay personal expenses and to buy a home in Los Gatos, California in the name of a family trust. “Posted on 2021-05-01T17:06:08+0000
Florida plans to fine social media for banning politicians
The Florida bill proposes fines up to $250,000 per day for companies which violate the rules.
I mean if you’re going to make a bill like this, that you know is unconstitutional and will get struck down, at least go all in?
“The bill includes a clause that exempts a company "that owns and operates a theme park or entertainment complex" - which allows Disney to be exempt from this bill.
"If Facebook buys a theme park, does that prevent us from being able to regulate what happens on Facebook?" asked Andrew Learned a Democratic member of Florida's House of Representatives.
"So, if they bought a theme park and named it Zuckerland and he met the definition of a theme park under Florida statute, then yes," said Republican Representative Blaise Ingoglia.”Posted on 2021-05-01T07:23:13+0000