Shared posts

19 Mar 15:50

EU-Study: Pirate-Websites do not hurt the Music-Biz

by René
baron

not like this is going to change policy, but hey look

Eine weitere Studie in der Sammlung: Diesmal hat eine Untersuchung des Institute for Prospect Technological Studies (IPTS) vom Wissenschaftsdienst der EU-Kommission ergeben, dass P2P-Websites die Musik-Industrie nicht schädigen und positiv zum Umsatz bei legalen Angeboten beitragen.

“It seems that the majority of the music that is consumed illegally by the individuals in our sample would not have been purchased if illegal downloading websites were not available to them,” they write.

In addition, the researchers are also the first to find that free and legal streaming websites don’t cannibalize legal music purchases. “The complementary effect of online streaming is found to be somewhat larger, suggesting a stimulating effect of this activity on the sales of digital music,” they comment.

Most of the effects were found by comparing people’s visits to “pirate” websites and legal music stores. After controlling for interest in music, the researchers found that visits to pirate websites are positively linked to visits to legal music stores. “If this estimate is given a causal interpretation, it means that clicks on legal purchase websites would have been 2 percent lower in the absence of illegal downloading websites,” the researchers write.

Torrentfreak: Online Music Piracy Doesn’t Hurt Sales, European Commission Finds
heise: EU-Studie: Online-Piraterie schadet dem digitalen Musikabsatz nicht
Scribd: Digital Music Consumption on the Internet:Evidence from Clickstream Data

17 Mar 06:31

Magic

by Greg Ross
baron

the Pibrary of Babel hurr hurr

pi alphabet grid

If π is expressed in base 26, then each of its digits can be associated with a letter of the alphabet (0=A, 1=B, … 25=Z). This produces an endless string of letters:

D.DRSQLOLYRTRODNLHNQTGKUDQGTUIRXNEQBCKBSZIVQQVGDMELM …

If the digits of π are truly random, then this string “emulates the mythical army of typing monkeys spewing out random letters,” writes Mike Keith. “Among other things, this implies that any text, no matter how long, should eventually appear in the base-26 digits of π.”

In examining the first million letters, Keith has found that the word CONJURE appears at position 246,556. If a carriage return is added after each 2,736 letters, then we have a two-dimensional field in which further words appear, in the style of a word search. Now HOCUS and POCUS appear, intersecting CONJURE (with POCUS in the shape of an L).

When each row is 14,061 digits long, then ALPHA, OMEGA, and GOD appear in a group near position 148,655. And when rows are 13,771 digits long, then DEMON and SATAN appear interlocked near position 255,717. Keith even found the makings of a charming haiku near position 554,766 when rows are 1,058 letters long:

Sun, elk in water;
Oho! For her I’ll try to
Be a hero yet.

More here. See also A Hidden Message and Equidistant Letter Sequences.

19 Mar 17:40

alizabug: haha kissing is boring let’s kill a thing



alizabug:

haha kissing is boring let’s kill a thing

23 Mar 19:21

this is how my dad high fives

by nickdivers


this is how my dad high fives

24 Mar 21:55

Photo



24 Mar 21:22

Photo

baron

NSFW side/underboob



25 Mar 20:59

prepaidwifi: my brother made a ‘hammock’ and has been watching...



prepaidwifi:

my brother made a ‘hammock’ and has been watching tv like that for an hour

25 Mar 06:08

It's google street view without the boring bits.

It's google street view without the boring bits.:

thestateimin:

emmugh:

The Secret Door could take you anywhere in the world. Only unlike completely randomised websites that drop you in the middle of the Australian outback, it’s likely to take you somewhere really, really cool.

WHAT IS THIS OMG?!

I just ended up in a scary white room full of taxidermied mammals holyfuck

31 Mar 21:45

Well uh…Happy Easter Bunday!













Well uh…Happy Easter Bunday!

04 Apr 13:00

birdworlds: Owning a Raven is a lot of work, in America African...

baron

what a baller companion









birdworlds:

Owning a Raven is a lot of work, in America African Ravens & crows are legal to own. I’ve interacted with companion ravens before and they are fantastic. Seeing this incredible bird free flying and playing in the air while knowing he is keeping his eye on us and will come back.

heart-melting. 

07 Apr 16:58

"I know I’ve told this story before, but my abusive ex refused to let me take birth control. I was..."

I know I’ve told this story before, but my abusive ex refused to let me take birth control. I was on the pill until he found them in my purse.

I went to the Student Health Center—they were completely unhelpful, choosing to lecture me about the importance of safe sex (recommending condoms) instead of actually listening to my problem.

Then I went to Planned Parenthood. The Nurse Practitioner took one look at my fading bruises and stopped the exam. She called in the doctor. The doctor came in and simply asked me: “Are you ready to leave him?” When I denied that I was being abused, she didn’t argue with me. She just asked me what I needed. I said I need a birth control method that my boyfriend couldn’t detect. She recommended a few options and we decided on Depo.

When I told her that my boyfriend read my emails and listened to my phone messages and was known to follow me, she suggested to do the Depo injections at off hours when the clinic was normally closed. She made a note in my chart and instructed the front desk never to leave messages for me—instead, she programmed her personal cell phone number into my phone under the name “Nora”. She told me she would call me to schedule my appointments; she wouldn’t leave a message, but I should call her back when I was able to.

And that was it. No judgment. No lecture. She walked me to the door and told me to call her day or night if I needed anything. That she lived 5 blocks from campus and would come get me. That I wasn’t alone. That she just wanted me to be safe.

I never called her to come to my rescue. But I have no doubt that she would have come if I had called. She kept me on Depo for a year, giving me those monthly injections in secret, helping me prevent a desperately unwanted pregnancy.

I cannot thank Planned Parenthood enough for the work they do.



-

Curious Georgiana (via ifonechitiri-g)

13 Feb 14:10

How I Stopped Eating Food

by rob

centralwetmarket_ray_laskowitz

Food is the fossil fuel of human energy. It is an enormous market full of waste, regulation, and biased allocation with serious geo-political implications. And we're deeply dependent on it. In some countries people are dying of obesity, others starvation. In my own life I resented the time, money, and effort the purchase, preparation, consumption, and clean-up of food was consuming. I am pretty young, generally in good health, and remain physically and mentally active. I don't want to lose weight. I want to maintain it and spend less energy getting energy.

I hypothesized that the body doesn't need food itself, merely the chemicals and elements it contains. So, I resolved to embark on an experiment. What if I consumed only the raw ingredients the body uses for energy? Would I be healthier or do we need all the other stuff that's in traditional food? If it does work, what would it feel like to have a perfectly balanced diet? I just want to be in good health and spend as little time and money on food as possible.

I haven't eaten a bite of food in 30 days, and it's changed my life.

The Experiment

There are no meats, fruits, vegetables, or breads here. Besides olive oil for fatty acids and table salt for sodium and chloride nothing is recognizable as food. I researched every substance the body needs to survive, plus a few extras shown to be beneficial, and purchased all of them in nearly raw chemical form from a variety of sources. The section on the ingredients ended up being quite long so I'll save that for a future post. The first morning my kitchen looked more like a chemistry lab than a cookery, but I eventually ended up with an thick, odorless, beige liquid. I call it 'Soylent'. At the time I didn't know if it was going to kill me or give me superpowers. I held my nose and tepidly lifted it to my mouth, expecting an awful taste.

It was delicious! I felt like I'd just had the best breakfast of my life. It tasted like a sweet, succulent, hearty meal in a glass, which is what it is, I suppose. I immediately felt full, yet energized, and started my day. Several hours later I got hungry again. I quickly downed another glass and immediately felt relief. The next day I made another batch and felt even better. My energy level had skyrocketed at this point, I felt like a kid again. But on day 3 I noticed my heart was racing and my energy level was suddenly dropping. Hemoglobin! I think, my heart is having trouble getting enough oxygen to all my organs. I check my formula and realize iron is completely absent. I quickly purchase an iron supplement and add it to the mixture the next day. I have to be more careful not to leave anything out.

On day 4 I noticed how much healthier my skin was. It's long been dry and rough, with splotches and red bumps but now it's soft, smooth and clear. Before I rarely had enough energy to go to the gym, but this day I had plenty so I decided to put the diet to the test. I'd been running off and on for several months, never able to do more than a mile straight, but this day I ran 3.14 miles non-stop. This is an irrational improvement.

My cravings and tastes closely matched with my needs. One day I accidentally put in a tablespoon of salt, rather than a teaspoon. I immediately noticed the mixture tasted unpleasantly salty. When I was deficient of iron I felt a strong craving for red meat. As I started running longer distances I craved more carbohydrates. After a week advertisements for fast food looked repulsive. All I crave is Soylent.

Week 2 was rough since I started experimenting with the proportions, trying to find the optimum amount of everything. When I was off I paid for it dearly, but I soon found just the right mixture.

The rest of the month went smoothly. It quickly became part of my routine and I didn't have to think or worry about it. I was fully expecting to crave traditional food, but I don't as long as I've had my Soylent. Hunger comes from two chemicals triggered by a lack of nutrients, ghrelin and leptin, as well as mechano-sensors in the stomach. If there's something in your stomach and all your nutritional needs are met you won't feel hungry. I feel full after drinking a single glass of Soylent and while the smell of Mexican food from the street used to drive me crazy, now I am unaffected. It's like finding a new partner you really care about. When all your needs are met, you don't have a desire to stray.

Results

Quantitative

I had my blood tested in two ways: complete blood count and chemical panel, and got a lipid panel near the end. This shows stuff like red/white blood cell counts, Na, K, P proportions, and more. The internist had to bill it as "testing for blood-borne diseases". She said a lot of providers do not support preventative care, which I thought was strange. I also monitored my heart rate, and bought a glucose meter to track my blood sugar (I'm not diabetic). I am 6'3" so my BMI was on the upper end of normal at the start. Remember I am not trying to lose weight here.

  Week 0 Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Weight (lbs) 204 196 192 188 191
Blood Work report (pdf)     report (pdf)  
Max run <1mi 3.5mi 5mi 6mi 7mi
Notes low blood sugar,
is this why I always
elt tired?
one belt loop down feel great two belt loops down,
blood work excellent
started getting chilly,
added a few pounds

I wasn't able to get a lipid test until week 3 but my triglycerides and cholesterol are certainly low now. I have a family history of heart disease, but my risk is now well below average.

I also got my genome sequenced. Genetically, my body's response to exercise should be typical, along with my response to diet, though on average I should have a slightly higher BMI, consistent with my status before the experiment. My LDL cholesterol is subject to be slightly higher than average, while my HDL levels typical. Though this is only one case, it should be representative of most people since my diet and exercise genetics are typical. Some people can eat all they want and never gain weight, others can't shed pounds no matter how hard they try. The trick is in the genome, though both extremes are uncommon. 23andme is awesome!

Qualitative

I feel like the six million dollar man. My physique has noticeably improved, my skin is clearer, my teeth whiter, my hair thicker and my dandruff gone. My resting heart rate is lower, I haven't felt the least bit sickly, rare for me this time of year. I've had a common skin condition called Keratosis Pilaris since birth. That was gone by day 9. I used to run less than a mile at the gym, now I can run 7. I have more energy than I know what to do with. On day 4 I caught myself balancing on the curb and jumping on and off the sidewalk when crossing the street like I used to do when I was a kid. People gave me strange looks but I just smiled back. Even my scars look better.

My mental performance is also higher. My inbox and to-do list quickly emptied. I 'get' new concepts in my reading faster than before and can read my textbooks twice as long without mental fatigue. I read a book on Number Theory in one sitting, a Differential Geometry book in a weekend, filling up a notebook in the process. Mathematical notation that used to look obtuse is now beautiful. My working memory is noticeably better. I can grasp larger software projects and longer and more complex scientific papers more effectively. My awareness is higher. I find music more enjoyable. I notice beauty and art around me that I never did before. The people around me seem sluggish. There are fewer 'ums' and pauses in my spoken sentences. My reflexes are improved. I walk faster, feel lighter on my feet, spend less time analyzing and performing basic tasks and rely on my phone less for navigation. I sleep better, wake up more refreshed and alert and never feel drowsy during the day. I still drink coffee occasionally, but I no longer need it, which is nice.

Time

I used to spend about 2 hours per day on food. Typically I would cook eggs for breakfast, eat out for lunch, and cook a quesadilla, pasta, or a burger for dinner. For every meal at home I would then have to clean and dry the dishes. This does not include trips to the grocery store. Now I spend about 5 minutes in the evening preparing for the next day, and every meal takes a few seconds. I love order of magnitude improvements, and I certainly don't miss doing dishes. In fact I could get rid of the kitchen entirely, no fridge sucking down power, no constant cleaning or worrying about pests, and more living space. I just need a water source.

Money

Monthly I was spending about $220 on groceries, and another $250 eating out for lunch and the occasional dinner. The average american spends $604/month on food, about half of which is groceries.1,2 As a percentage of income this is actually the lowest of any nation. Kenyans for example spend 45% of their income on food.3 I used to dream of one day being able to afford shopping at Whole Foods, but now it's irrelevant to me. Consuming only Soylent costs me about $50/month, another order of magnitude improvement, and would be cheaper if I didn't need the energy for running every day. At scale the cost would be even lower.

Edit: this was a miscalculation from a mistake in my spreadsheet, at personal scale it actually costs me exactly $154.82/month.

The Quantified Diet

It's wonderful to have full visibility and control over what's going in to my body. Besides making food allergies irrelevant, it's trivial to increase or reduce consumption of a particular substance by a precise amount. I am hopeful diabetics could use this to control their blood sugar. I was able to control mine to within about 5mg/dL by varying carbohydrates and fiber. Starting a more intense workout routine? Increase protein and carbohydrates 20%. Want to lose some weight? Reduce fat consumption by 30% (don't eliminate it entirely!). Blood work shows potassium deficiency? Increase it by the precise amount required. In fact, unless you work on a banana plantation you're probably not getting the recommended amount of potassium (3500mg is 9 bananas), and never have. Ever wonder what it would feel like if you did?

Social Implications

As any Instagram user knows, food is a big part of life. Food can be art, comfort, science, celebration, romance, or a reason to meet with friends. Most of the time it's just a hassle, though. Americans only eat out for 12% of meals. I think it would be nice to have a default, healthy no hassle meal. Similar to drinking water most of the time, but wine or beer when you're socializing. If you saved money on food at home you would have the freedom to go out more often.

I for one would not miss the stereotype of the housewife in the kitchen. Providing diverse, palatable, and nutritious meals for an entire family every day must be exhausting. What if taking a night off didn't mean unhealthy pizza or expensive take out? How wasteful society has been with its women! The endless hours spent cooking and cleaning in the kitchen could be replaced with socializing, study, or creative endeavors. And why beg children to eat vegetables? Soylent has every vitamin and mineral the body needs, and it's delicious.

To me diet always seemed to be a trade-off. Time, money, health: pick two. You certainly have the capability to be healthy, but it will cost you. What about the single mom, the poor student, struggling entrepreneur or artist, the unemployed, or the elderly? These people desperately need energy, and its harder for them to be healthy than anyone else. Living on fast food and ramen is cheap and convenient, but unhealthy. Shopping at places like Whole Foods costs a fortune to many people and cooking healthy recipes takes practice and time. Cooking should be a hobby, like hunting. People used to hunt for survival, now they just do it for fun.

Global Implications

With Soylent you can be in peak mental and physical condition for less than $2/day. Soylent does not spoil for months, does not require refrigeration, is easy to transport, cheap and environmentally friendly to produce, contains no pesticides, hormones, or preservatives, is trivial to prepare, without even requiring a heat source (though you do need clean water), does no harm to animals, and drastically lowers sanitation requirements. I almost forgot to mention, when everything going in to your body is diffused in to the bloodstream, you don't poop. I only have to remove a few grams of fiber from my system per week. I also noticed I was generating far less trash than before. The vast majority of personal refuse is food-related. Why else would the trash can always be in the kitchen?

Discussion

This is one case and it's only been a month, so it's early, but I'm certainly not stopping now. Also, every body is different and there may be long term effects so more data is necessary. However, I am consuming no toxins or carcinogens and I get all the nutrition and energy I need with about 1/3 the calories the average American consumes so I hope in the long term my longevity will be improved (caloric restriction has been shown to reverse the effects of aging in rodents)4,5 while lowering my risk of cancer and disease. If you would like to try this experiment as well please contact me so we can pool our results. It's fine to have a normal meal too, nutritional fundamentalists really irk me. The point is freedom, you don't have to. I started consuming Soylent exclusively just to test the effects. I see nothing wrong with eating traditional food as well, I just don't have much of a desire to. The only thing I missed was eating with friends. Now that 30 days are up I'm going to start doing that again. I only drink socially, and now I only eat socially.

I notice only now how much of this city is devoted to the stuff. Wherever you are I challenge you to find a search term for google maps that returns more results than "food". Travelling back home to the American south I am still shocked to see how prevalent obesity is. How many people still spend their lives just surviving, living to eat, and it's killing them? The food is eating us. I don't know how to change peoples' behavior, but now that I've discovered Soylent, I'm healthier than I've ever been, have more freedom with my time and money, and never have to worry about the stuff. Finally, I can have my cake and eat it too.

update: Getting way more responses than I can respond to individually. Please sign up at soylent.me. Follow up post w/ ingredients here: http://robrhinehart.com/?p=424

update 2: discussion board up here: discourse.soylent.me

[1]http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/FoodPlans/2012/CostofFoodDec2012.pdf
[2]http://www.gallup.com/poll/156416/americans-spend-151-week-food-high-income-180.aspx
[3]http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2012/01/america-food-spending-less
[4] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1474-9726.2012.00825.x/abstract
[5] http://www.cell.com/molecular-cell/abstract/S1097-2765(12)00905-7#Summary

03 Apr 10:27

T.Ware's T.Jacket: A Therapy Management Wearable for Autistic Children

by Carly Whitaker

Developed in early 2012, T.Ware is a remote controlled jacket which applies pressure when triggered to simulate a hug. The wearable is designed for autistic children to reduce anxiety and nervous reactions. Autistic children often react abruptly to new environments, different routines, loud noises and new faces which can disrupt learning and development according to Muhammad Hafiz. The application of deep pressure on an autistic child experiencing an anxiety attack has a calming and caring affect. T.Ware’s solution is their T.Jacket which simulates a hug and has a calming effect on the wearer.

 

The intelligent control unit is embedded within the T.Jacket which is controlled and monitored through a mobile device such as smart phone or tablet. Through the interface the caretaker or parent of an autistic child is able to control the strength of pressure and time it is applied – simulating a comforting hug.

The added advantage is that a caretaker or parent can apply the customized calming hugs to a multiple children at once in accordance to their needs. The exchange of data between the device and the child wearing it is recorded and monitored in real time and data exchanged through the internet.

According to Roshni Mahtani, founder and CEO of TheAsianParent.com, the jacket could revolutionize the market and the need for such devices. This product is a brilliant example of assistive wearable technology solving needs of underserved communities through simple solutions.

 

07 Apr 04:22

thoughtpeach: For some reason, Floyd County remade the Archer...











thoughtpeach:

For some reason, Floyd County remade the Archer pilot with a velociraptor (dialogue replaced with screeching) instead of Sterling Archer.

07 Apr 06:16

princekarkat: for some reason i thought both of these were the...

by ruinedchildhood2


princekarkat:

for some reason i thought both of these were the same post and i sat for awhile trying to figure out which ice cream face was the weak bitch

08 Apr 04:30

reasons u should adopt me as ur pet

jesus-christ-official:

- i have soft hair on my head as welll as soft little hairs all over my arms and legs

- i don’t talk much, i am ve ry quiet

- i will let u boop my nose whenever

- i am expert at cuddling

- easy 2 care for, all i need is food and sunshiney spots to sleep in

- please if u don’t take me they’ll put me in a college and make me do the essays

08 Apr 07:30

Megabumtopia, an utopian Shithole full of Zombies in Sim City

by René

Die Spielmechanik von SimCity scheint so dermaßen doof zu sein, dass es möglich ist, dort eine vollbesetzte Stadt ohne Obdachlosigkeit, ohne Verbrechen und ohne Steuern zu bauen. Aber eben auch ohne Sanitäre Einrichtungen, ohne Wasser und ohne Strom und ohne Steuern mutieren die Einwohner in SuperSIMs und werden niemals krank. Eine virtuelle Stadt ohne Geld voller Zombies, die den ganzen Tag gegen die Wand starren und nichts tun, da es nichts gibt, außer Hochhäusern.

- Why are your sims not… Horribly upset about, well, everything?
- Because this game is fucking broken.
- But how? Whenever I do this people still get ill, fires still break out, people still start crimes?
- Most of those things are triggers after they go to work or do something. Since there is no something to occur they just sit around like zombies without any brains to eat.

I present to you, Megabumtopia One, 1,801,800 population city! [Image Album!]

Vorher auf Nerdcore:
Interview mit dem buddhistischen Diktator von Sim City
10-Year-long Civilisation II-Game creates Hell on virtual World
Francis is pissed at SimCity
Sim City Disaster-Mayor

08 Apr 07:00

"The economy added only 88,000 jobs in March – the slowest pace of job growth in nine months. While..."

“The economy added only 88,000 jobs in March – the slowest pace of job growth in nine months. While the jobless rate fell to 7.6 percent, much of the drop was due to the labor force shrinking by almost a half million people. (If you’re not looking for work, you’re not counted as unemployed.) That means the percentage of working-age Americans either with a job or looking for one dropped to 63.3 percent — its lowest level since 1979. Companies won’t hire if consumers aren’t buying enough to justify the new hires. And consumers don’t have enough money, or credit, or confidence to buy enough. Americans are beginning to feel the pinches of January’s hike in the payroll tax combined with the government budget cuts known as the sequester. We’re in the fifth year of a supposed economic recovery from the second-worst economic downturn of the past century, and we’re still not nearly back on track. Instead, we’re experiencing the burden of austerity economics and the continued scourge of widening inequality. Both are squeezing average Americans. Yet it’s impossible to have a buoyant and sustained recovery without a large and growing middle class.”

- Robert Reich
08 Apr 06:41

Greetings

by Greg Ross

http://www.scribd.com/doc/48771623/Lageos-Press-Kit

Launched in 1976, NASA’s Laser Geodynamic Satellite needed a stable orbit to permit precise measurements of continental drift, so its designers gave it a high trajectory and a heart of solid brass. As a result, it’s not expected to return to Earth for 8 million years. That raised an interesting challenge: What message could we attach to the satellite that might be intelligible to our descendants or successors, who might recover it thousands of millennia in the future?

Tasked with that problem, Carl Sagan came up with the “greeting card” at left, which is affixed to LAGEOS on a small metal plaque. Using it, whoever comes upon the plaque can calculate roughly the time between his own epoch and ours. In Sagan’s words, the card says, “A few hundred million years ago the continents were all together, as in the top drawing. At the time LAGEOS was launched the map of the Earth looks as in the middle drawing. Eight million years from now, when LAGEOS should return to Earth, we figure the continents will appear as in the bottom drawing. Yours truly.”

07 Apr 16:28

squidwurd: all around me are familiar faces worn out...

by lavagoth


squidwurd:

all around me are familiar faces

worn out places

worn out faces

07 Apr 20:06

tinyfrogs: tiny frog



tinyfrogs:

tiny frog

07 Apr 18:59

Photo





08 Apr 02:53

Illustrations by Ed Fairburn


paris


cambridge


windermere

Illustrations by Ed Fairburn

07 Apr 17:53

Illustrations by Violetno









Illustrations by Violetno

08 Apr 03:49

cosmo tip #658

by tosilog

don’t read the comments

06 Apr 07:33

pastagfirullah: androphilia: Muslim Women Against Femen WHAT...



pastagfirullah:

androphilia:

Muslim Women Against Femen

WHAT THE FUCK
WHEN SOMEONE TELLS YOU TO LEAVE THEM ALONE IT IS TIME TO STOP “HELPING”

Ruby Hamad wrote a great article about Femen this week: 

In such a sexually repressed society, what benefit could her actions serve other than to be used as a warning by opportunistic clerics over where Western-style freedoms will lead? Nude protest is so far off the grid in Islam it is just too easy to dismiss. There is a chronic tendency in the West to treat our own liberalism as an innate rather than acquired characteristic. We may be comfortable enough with naked female bodies that we no longer wish to kill women who expose them, but no society can change overnight. And yet, we insist on speaking to Islam through that peculiarly Western phenomenon known as post-enlightenment rationalism.

03 Apr 02:25

snog box

by hairandglasses










snog box

07 Apr 22:05

Levente

07 Apr 13:56

Photo



07 Apr 12:24

Photo