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20 Nov 21:04

Photo of a monstrous hole swallowing a neighborhood

by Mark Frauenfelder

This giant hole is the result of water flowing into a salt mine in Russia. When the soil started shifting in 2005, the government shut off power to the area to encourage residents to leave.

On Tuesday, the mines were evacuated due to shifting earth, and the hole opened up on Tuesday evening. Russian authorities are studying the scene and performing air quality tests to determine whether noxious gasses are being released.

There Goes the Neighborhood

22 Nov 04:01 » How to Fix Netflix Connection Problems

by russiansledges
Russian Sledges

option 1 worked

I have 3 Panasonic DMP-BDT 220 Blu-ray players and all of them stopped connecting to Netflix at the same time. Although Panasonic seems to be particularity bad, all set top boxes and TVs seem to have occasionally have Netflix connection issues.  Here’s my list of the most common methods of solving those issues.
21 Nov 16:30

A 1,300-Year-Old Egyptian Book Of Spells Has Been Deciphered

by Mark Strauss
Russian Sledges

via firehose

attn overbey, send your scholarly output to gawker asap

A 1,300-Year-Old Egyptian Book Of Spells Has Been Deciphered

Do you want to cast love spells? Exorcise demons? Subjugate your enemies? These and other arcane invocations can be found in the Handbook of Ritual Power, an 8th-century, 20-page codex that has been translated and published by two scholars of religion and ancient history.


21 Nov 00:07

31262: Russian Arktika-class nuclear powered Icebreaker Yamal

by theburnlab
Russian Sledges

via GN ("Nuclear Icebreaker is my stripper name.")


Russian Arktika-class nuclear powered Icebreaker Yamal

18 Nov 17:19

Ask a Man (1967), Awful Library Books

Russian Sledges

via firehose

Ask a Man (1967), Awful Library Books

21 Nov 04:15

Bogus Journal Accepts Profanity-Laced Anti-Spam Paper | Scholarly Open Access

by russiansledges
It’s clear from examining the reviewer report that the same filled-out form is used for most or all submissions. Certainly, no peer review was completed despite the journal’s claim to be a peer reviewed journal.
20 Nov 19:20

(Human) Wasteland, A Map That Tracks Incidents of Human Poop in Public Places Reported to San Francisco 311

by Glen Tickle
Russian Sledges

via rosalind


Jennifer Wong has created (Human) Wasteland, a map showing incidents of human poop in public places reported to San Francisco’s 311 program. Users can search the map by neighborhood and month, and there is a link where users can report poop sightings directly to 311. The map was the winner of a Fall 2014 Hack Week event hosted by the San Francisco office of online real estate company Zillow.

via SF Weekly, Judy Bott

19 Nov 17:26

These programming languages will earn you the most money

by Max Nisen
Russian Sledges

related: we're going to have to hire somebody who does ruby on rails for a project where I work, and none of us knows how to go about that

All about that Ruby.

If you want to provoke an argument among computer programmers, ask them to pick their favorite coding language. But even more contentious in an environment where engineers literally have agents, is which is the most lucrative.

Quora threads on the subject have inspired dozens of essay-length answers debating the merits of C, Javascript, Python, and Ruby on Rails.

We looked at data, compiled by Burning Glass with Brookings Institution economist Jonathan Rothwell in July, from thousands of American job ads. We separated out programming languages from a broader list of tech skills we looked at in an earlier piece.

The dataset isn’t perfect, it’s missing newer but increasingly popular languages like Erlang and Haskell, likely because they don’t turn up all that frequently on job ads and resumes. A large number of the ads also don’t list salary. But this gives a good sense of what employers are paying for different languages:

Tap image to zoom

There’s some pretty prescient advice on Quora for aspiring or early career computer scientists. Though a language currently in high demand like Ruby might get you the best salary, it might not be the best way to make a career, and might peter off over time. It’s better is to focus on being well rounded, with a firm grasp of algorithms, design principles, and the ability to pick up new languages and concepts rapidly.

Others emphasize starting with something like C or C++, a language that you probably won’t work with every day, but helps you learn others more quickly and understand the structure behind systems.

21 Nov 00:40

Sham Journal Accepts Totally Absurd But Completely Appropriate Paper

by Robbie Gonzalez

Sham Journal Accepts Totally Absurd But Completely Appropriate Paper

The International Journal of Advanced Computer Technology, a predatory open-access journal, has accepted for publication the marvelously titled paper "Get me off Your Fucking Mailing List."


18 Nov 16:50

David Wondrich on Dive Bars, Booze, and 'Opinionated' Bostonians

by russiansledges
Boston is my natural constituency. You’ve got a lot of overeducated, underemployed people drinking good cocktails. Those people are always fun to talk to.
19 Nov 16:57

The Silicon Valley Job Title Generator, A Site That Randomly Generates Important-Sounding, Yet Meaningless Job Titles

by Glen Tickle
Russian Sledges

via rosalind


The Silicon Valley Job Title Generator is a site created by Freddie Campion that randomly creates important-sounding, yet meaningless titles like Quantification Gatekeeper, Trend Directress, or Unique Experience General.

via Today in Tabs

20 Nov 11:30

Why you’re more likely to get free Wi-Fi in a budget hotel than a fancy one

by Zainab Mudallal
Russian Sledges

via firehose

why I am furious when library conferences happen at hiltons

Oxanna, a chambermaid from eastern Europe, works in a bedroom at The Ritz hotel in London, April 17, 2006. When compared with a file photo from the Ritz archive taken in the 1920s the scene is much the same, with the addition of a laptop computer one of the few visible changes to the room's decor. The world famous luxury hotel will celebrate its 100th anniversary on May 24, 2006. Picture taken April 17. (Picture two of two) REUTERS/Catherine Benson - RTR1CRLR

For hotel guests, Wi-Fi is no longer a luxury like infinity pools, designer toiletries, or complimentary dry cleaning. Business travelers increasingly consider it a necessity, just as important as bottled water. A survey found that hotel guests would overwhelmingly choose free Wi-Fi over any other in-room amenity.

But not all hotels have caught on. Only 64% of hotels worldwide now offer Wi-Fi for free, according to the travel website HotelChatter’s 2013 Wi-Fi report.

And an expensive room in a fancy hotel won’t assure you the perk. In fact, some international chains are offering free Wi-Fi in their cheaper brands, but not their pricier digs. Hilton’s lower-end Garden Inn, as well as its extended stay hotels, offer free Wi-Fi to all guests; as does Starwood’s youth-focused Aloft brand, and the business-travel oriented Courtyard by Marriott. Ace Hotels, Quality Inn, and La Quinta offer it for free.

Those chains have realized Wi-Fi is a necessity for the business traveler or plugged-in millennial served by these cheaper brands, explains Donna Quadri-Felitti, an associate professor at New York University’s Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management. “It’s based on who their segment is,” she tells Quartz. “Courtyard is a brand for the business traveler. Aloft is a select service that focuses on the millennial customer.”

But many of the higher end brands—even within the same companies—are still holding out, and offering free Wi-Fi only to loyalty club members. Intercontinental Hotels Group offers free Wi-Fi to all loyalty club members. And club members at Hyatt, Hilton, and Starwood Hotels get to surf the web for free if they have gold or platinum status.

Marriott recently announced it is offering free basic Wi-Fi at the company’s eight luxury brand hotels, including the JW Marriott, Gaylord Hotels, and the Ritz-Carlton—but only for members of Marriott’s loyalty program, and users still have to pay around $5 to $7 for access to higher-speed internet that works for streaming video (Gold and Platinum loyalty members get it free). (Some have dismissed the move as a PR stunt following the company’s recent $60,000 fine for blocking guests’ Wi-Fi hotspots, but John Wolf, a spokesman for Marriott, tells Quartz that the move was simply a response to customer requests.)

It might seem perverse to refuse customers the free perk they most seek, but there’s actually a pretty simple explanation for it: Luxury hotels charge for Wi-Fi because they can. Those who are traveling for business can expense the $20 daily Wi-Fi fee, or if they’re paying for their own $500 room, $20 extra for Wi-Fi probably won’t break the bank. Budget travelers, on the other hand, are more price-sensitive. And unlike budget airlines that strip down the amenities to bare bones for a cheaper ticket prices, hotels in this sector have found that the promise of free Wi-Fi helps them compete with other hotels.

Of course, nothing is really “free”—the cost of the Wi-Fi is either bundled into the room price or offered a la carte. Wi-Fi can be an expensive proposition for hotels. With more and more users using the internet to share photos and stream video, the consumption of bandwidth adds up, said Quadri-Felitti. Installing the infrastructure for Wi-Fi for a hotel can also be expensive, said Jeremy Rock, founder of the RockIT Group, a company that provides technology services to the hospitality industry: A single cable could cost from $150 to $300, and each floor would need around 10 to 30 cables, he said.

Be that as it may, the tide seems to be turning against the idea of Wi-Fi as “optional.” Like budget hotels, ritzier establishments may well find it’s in their competitive interest to let the internet flow as freely as the complimentary shampoo.

18 Nov 11:42


19 Nov 09:25


19 Nov 10:10


19 Nov 20:57


19 Nov 09:09

Uber allegedly tracked journalist with internal tool called 'God View'

by Rich McCormick
Russian Sledges

via firehose

Uber is investigating its top New York executive after he was alleged to have tracked a journalist's location without her permission using an internal company tool called "God View." Buzzfeed News reporter Johana Bhuiyan used the private car service earlier this month to travel to a meeting with Josh Mohrer, general manager of Uber New York. On arriving at the company's Long Island City headquarters, Bhuiyan says she found Mohrer waiting for her. "I was tracking you," he reportedly said, and pointed to his iPhone.

The tracking tool is reportedly available to Uber corporate employees

Two ex-Uber employees told Buzzfeed News that the "God View" tool, which allows users to track both Uber vehicles and customers who have requested a car, is not open to contracted Uber drivers, but is "widely available" to those at corporate level. By tracking Bhuiyan without her permission, Mohrer went against Uber's privacy policy, which states that its employees are prohibited to look at customer rider histories except for "legitimate business purposes." The company only published its privacy policy on Tuesday, shortly after vice president Emil Michael came under fire for threatening to investigate Uber's critics, but the car service says the policy has always been in place.

Bhuiyan said this was Mohrer's second transgression of her privacy — two months earlier he had emailed her logs of her Uber trips in reference to a discussion about Uber rival Lyft. A tracking tool may have been in use at Uber for many years. In 2011, venture capitalist Peter Sims wrote a Medium post after he began receiving unsolicited texts from someone while in an Uber car. The texter informed Sims that he was being tracked at an Uber launch party in Chicago. When he expressed his consternation, he was reportedly told to calm down, and that he should be "honored to have been one of the chosen" at the event.

It makes sense for the company to have a tool to track its legions of drivers, but by threatening journalists, trying to sabotage the competition, and even by naming the system "God View," Uber has created a trust issue by demonstrating such a startlingly cavalier approach to its business.

18 Nov 06:07


Russian Sledges

via rosalind

18 Nov 21:48

Zeus, the cosmic owl with a galaxy in its eyes. This adorable...

Russian Sledges

via rosalind

Zeus, the cosmic owl with a galaxy in its eyes.

This adorable Screech Owl is blind and likely has vitreous strands in his eyes causing this stellar effect. He now lives safely in captivity at the Wildlife Learning Center in Los Angeles.

18 Nov 19:13

"If you haven’t read any of Pierce’s books, stop reading this article and immediately go get the..."

Russian Sledges

via firehose via ThePrettiestOne

my nonstop obsession from ages 9-15

“If you haven’t read any of Pierce’s books, stop reading this article and immediately go get the first book set in the medieval fantasy world of Tortall, “Alanna: The First Adventure.” Imagine Game of Thrones, but if there were several different series set in Westeros and they all had amazing female protagonists, including two lady knights, a WOC demigod who can speak with animals, a spy master, and a slum cop. Oh, and she wrote them ten years before Westeros was even a glimmer in GRRM’s eye.”

- Tamora Pierce On The Reason Her Brilliant Books Haven’t Been Brought To The Screen (Yet) | The Mary Suetamorapierce
18 Nov 20:58

Okay, WTF Is The Matter with Uber?

by Josh Marshall
Russian Sledges

'But what is so odd is that Uber, at the end of the day, is in a business where the basic project is about reliability and safety. And yet the guys running the company seem kind of reckless and even a bit nuts. Unlike the men and women you'd hope would be driving your Uber ride (and, in my experience, they often are those people), the guys running Uber seem like the result of some genetic experiment marrying up the 17th century Caribbean pirate with the 21st century North American Bro.'

Uber CEO (seemingly in both senses) Travis Kalanick now says his fellow executive's suggestion that Uber might oppo research and try to smear a critical female journalist was a "terrible" idea. Yes, I would say that is probably right.

Separate from the details of this incident, it's been quite a while since I've seen what is by any measure an amazingly successful startup manage to generate this much negative publicity based fairly narrowly on the behavior of its top executives.

Read More →
13 Nov 21:49

gabbysilang: Emily Blunt and Cate Blanchett, photographed by...

Russian Sledges

via firehose

my girlfriends


Emily Blunt and Cate Blanchett, photographed by Peter Lindbergh for IWC Schaffhausen, 2014.

yoooo why is zhou xun chopped out of these?

whoa whoa whoa what the fuck! Y’all literally chopped the woman of color out of this? Fuck y’all.

15 Nov 13:00

Mexico reels, and the U.S. looks away

by Rubén Martínez
The violent disappearance of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa teachers college in Guerrero state has caused a political earthquake the likes of which Mexico has not seen in generations — perhaps even since the revolution of 1910.
30 Oct 15:30

How He Helped Marriage Equality

by David Blankenhorn, Edmund White
Russian Sledges

"Edmund White replies:

"David Blankenhorn seems to have confused me with the late, great Edmund Wilson (so much for scholarly attention to detail). Nor does he seem to grasp that though he was presented as a witness for the anti-gay team, his remarks and writings actually strengthened the case for marriage equality."

David Blankenhorn, reply by Edmund White

To the Editors:

In his review of recent books on the campaign for marriage equality, Edmund Wilson makes misleading statements about my testimony in California’s Prop 8 case. First, he writes that my testimony “lost steam when he had to admit that his degree from Warwick University was granted not for his study of marriage or families, but of nineteenth-century cabinetmakers.” That’s an odd way to put it! I never stated or tried to pretend otherwise, and my academic career (such as it was) was part of the court and public record from the beginning.

14 Nov 08:00

bedlamsbard: The difference between learning a modern language and an ancient language is that in...

Russian Sledges

via firehose


The difference between learning a modern language and an ancient language is that in first year French you learn “Where is the bathroom?” and “How do I get to the train station?” and in first year Attic Greek or Latin you learn “I have judged you worthy of death” and “The tyrant had everyone in the city killed.”

07 Nov 16:22

“Jane Austen slept with all the book bloggers”: How #Readergate smashes shady #Gamergate arguments

Russian Sledges

'"I have eaten the plums that were in the icebox." Who left those plums!? Were they a bribe!? Why doesn't Williams disclose?! #readergate'

Twitter cleverly applies #Gamergate rhetoric to literature

13 Nov 22:00

The Case Against } else {

Russian Sledges

via firehose ("I hate professional programmers")

Sometimes I see code like this:

if {
} else {
    …other stuff…

That’s pretty much a-okay with me.

Pretty much. Until I want to comment-out the else block. There’s no way to do a line-wise selection and hit cmd-/ (when it works) and comment out just the else block.

Update 3:15 pm: Dan McTough reminds me that there is a way to do this. My objection is that it’s more difficult and requires more paying-attention. It’s easier to go to the start of a block and select to the end — it requires almost no thought.

Also: many people like } else { on the ground that it makes it easier to notice the else. Okay.

15 Nov 17:15

Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

by timothy
Russian Sledges

via firehose


An anonymous reader writes Japan has now put 100 passengers on a Maglev train doing over 500kph. That's well over twice as fast as the fastest U.S. train can manage, and that only manages 240kph on small sections of its route. The Japanese Shinkansen is now running over 7 times times as fast as the average U.S. express passenger train. 500kph is moving towards the average speed of an airliner. Add the convenience of no boarding issues, and city-centre to city-centre travel, and the case for trains as mass-transport begins to look stronger.

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14 Nov 20:17

Pick two.

by Xeni Jardin
Russian Sledges

via multihosefirecide

15 Nov 01:21

megan-is-a-doll: Hwaaaaaa BUN BUNS.  Yes, I needed this today.

Russian Sledges

via rosalind




Yes, I needed this today.