Snopes confirms that Mencken did make such a pronouncement in 1920 (using the term "downright moron").
In this case the attribution to Henry Louis Mencken, a prominent newspaperman and political commentator during the first half of the 20th century, is accurate. Writing for the Baltimore Evening Sun on 26 July 1920, in an article entitled “Bayard vs. Lionheart” (and reprinted in the book On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe), Mencken cynically opined on the difficulties of good men reaching national office when the scale of their campaigns precluded them from directly reaching out to large segments of the voting public:Mencken biography.The larger the mob, the harder the test. In small areas, before small electorates, a first-rate man occasionally fights his way through, carrying even the mob with him by force of his personality. But when the field is nationwide, and the fight must be waged chiefly at second and third hand, and the force of personality cannot so readily make itself felt, then all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most easily adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum.
The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
The report is a complete record of every DMCA notice Google receives for its ‘search’ function and currently lists more than two billion URL takedowns spread over a million websites. Of course, most of those websites will remain faceless since there’s far too many to research. That said, the really big ‘offenders’ are conveniently placed at the top of the list by Google.The most-reported sites, according to Google
As we can see, the 4shared file-hosting site is at the top of the list. That isn’t a big surprise since the site has been going for years, attracts massive traffic, and stores countless million files.
There are a number of other familiar names too, but what is the site in second place? MP3Toys.xyz has a seriously impressive 49.5m takedown requests logged against it. We’ve never even heard of it.
Checking the site out, MP3Toys is clearly a pirate platform that allows users to download and stream unlicensed MP3s from thousands of artists. There are hundreds of these kinds of sites around, probably pulling content from YouTube and other web sources.
But here’s the problem. According to Google, MP3Toys.xyz (which also uses a .tech extension) has only been appearing in its databases since Jun 30, 2016. During this short time, Google has received requests to remove 49.5 million URLs from its indexes. That’s about 1.6 million URLs for each of the 31 weeks MP3Toys has been online.
No site in history has ever achieved these numbers, it’s completely unprecedented. So MP3Toys must be huge, right? Not exactly.
According to Alexa, the site’s .xyz domain is ranked the 25 millionth most popular online, while its .tech domain is currently ranked 321,614 after being introduced in January 2017.
In loose terms, this site has no significant traffic yet will soon be the most-infringing site on the whole Internet. How can this be? Well, it’s all down to an anti-piracy company making things up and MP3Toys going along with the charade.
As seen in the image below, along with outfits such as the BPI and BREIN, anti-piracy outfit APDIF do Brasil has an unusual fascination with MP3Toys. In fact, it’s sent the vast majority of the notices received by Google.
However, while some of the notices are undoubtedly correct, it appears a huge number are absolutely bogus. Instead of scanning the site and sending an accurate takedown notice to Google, APDIF tries to guess the URLs where MP3Toys stores its content. A sample list is shown below.
The problem here is that in real terms, none of these URLs exist until they’re requested. However, APDIF’s guesses are entertained by the site, which creates a random page of music for every search. The content on these auto-generated pages cycles, but it never relates to the searches being put in. As shown below, even TorrentFreak’s Greatest Hits Volume 77 is a winner (Test it yourself here)
So in summary, APDIF makes up its own URLs, MP3Toys randomly generates a page of music that has nothing to do with the URL input, APDIF logs it as an infringement of its clients’ rights, and sends a complaint to Google.
Then, putting the icing on an already confused cake, Google ‘removes’ every URL from its search results, even though it appears they were never in them in the first place. And that’s how a site with virtually no traffic received more DMCA complaints than The Pirate Bay. Unbelievable.
Some of my favorite new submissions this week:
Ever get the feeling something's missing?
Like the second cake Jessie ordered?
Or any semblance of reading comprehension?
LEGO Batman is all the rage right now, so here:
...something to rage over.
(Or maybe sh** a brick? I'll show myself out.)
And finally, when you ask for "The Cake Is Not A Lie," (a classic Portal reference) and get what I'm pretty sure is the creepiest thing I've ever read:
Just keep telling yourself that.
While you wrestle with that nightmare fuel...
...appropriate Portal song is appropriate:
(If you're super confused right now, play the game. Trust me. It's amazing.)
Thanks to Jessie A., Jeff E., & David E. for the most perfect song setup of all time. This was a triumph. I'm making a note here: "HUGE SUCCESS."
A Valentine’s Day dance had been planned for last Saturday night in Henryetta, Oklahoma, but that was cancelled thanks to the good work of Robbie Kinney, the woman who called attention to a city ordinance precluding “public dance halls” within 500 feet of a church. Rosie LaVon’s, the site where the alleged criminal conspirators had planned to meet in order to “dance” and God knows what else, is only 300 feet from the nearby Church of Christ.
After Kinney blew the whistle, the organizer decided to cancel, despite something less than overwhelming support for Kinney’s position.
“Other than her,” said Joni Insabella, who owns the venue, “nobody objected, not even the church.” Then who cares what Kinney thinks? Insabella’s husband, apparently, who she said advised her to cancel the dance. Why would he advise that? “He’s the city attorney,” she said, “and he swore an oath to uphold the law.”
Kinney, too, insisted the letter of the law had to be enforced. “I’m sorry,” she told NBC, “but the law is the law. Law enforcement does not have the right to pick and choose which laws they are going to enforce, no matter how ridiculous they are.”
She was neither sorry nor correct.
First, we should look at the law itself. Does it really preclude dancing within 500 feet of a church, or is this one of those made-up stories of which so many dumb-law books other than The Emergency Sasquatch Ordinance are filled? No, this one’s real, although it targets dance halls, not the dancing itself.
Section 9-403 of the town ordinances says “No public dance hall shall be permitted where the same is located within 500 feet of any church or public school.” What’s a “public dance hall”? Any place where a “public dance” is held (as well as “all adjoining rooms, hallways or other appurtenances,” so don’t try dancing there either). Okay, so what’s a “public dance”? That, says section 9-401, is any dance “to which the public generally may obtain admission,” as opposed to one where admission is “based upon personal selection or invitation.” Just to make clear that these private dances are permitted, another section specifically exempts them from the law.
Now, this is not an anti-dancing ordinance or an effort to protect local churches from the sin radiated by people who dance. After all, it doesn’t say “no dancing shall be permitted within 500 feet of any church,” so the Red Zone could be totally packed with sweaty writhing dancers and this law wouldn’t apply. The law aims to keep the zone clear of a particular kind of establishment, though it’s probably more accurate to say it was intended to shut down a particular establishment. “This ordinance was put in place back in the 1970s when there was a troublesome dance bar on Main Street,” the mayor said, “and it’s never been enforced.” Except against the troublesome dance bar, I assume—as you can see above, the Church of Christ is almost exactly 500 feet from Main Street, so my guess is that’s where said dance bar was located. Church and school protection, in other words, may just have been an excuse to get rid of a business they didn’t like. It hasn’t been enforced since then, the mayor likely meant.
But wait. Whether it’s been enforced in the past doesn’t matter, at least according to Robbie Kinney. The law is the law, and it must be strictly enforced no matter how ridiculous. Right?
For one thing, it’s not always clear what the law is. Laws are written by people, and some of those people aren’t very good at it. Like, possibly, whoever wrote section 9-405, “Attendance by Minors.” That section first makes it unlawful to allow any person under the age of 14 to attend a public dance. The next sentence says “[i]t is lawful for any person under the age of 18″ to attend, “unless such person be in company with and attended by a parent or guardian.” Emphasis added. Apparently, somebody wanted to make sure 15- to 17-year-olds were not accompanied by a parent or guardian at public dances? Seems a little creepy, but the law’s the law. Or maybe sometimes it isn’t?
Section 10-413 makes it unlawful “for any person to be about in the immediate vicinity where a person or persons are gambling….” Is it constitutional to punish someone just for being near an illegal activity? Don’t think so. It sure isn’t constitutional to punish someone just for being “disrespectful” to a police officer, or to “use abusive or indecent language toward or about any such officer….” (10-610). The main point of the First Amendment was to protect the right to tell a government agent to go f*** himself (or words to that effect), wasn’t it? So this won’t do. Also unconstitutional, and maybe unsurprising, is the ban on “immodest dancing” at public dances (9-410). The ordinance uses the terms “indecent or vulgar,” but these too are undefined. It’s apparently up to the Chief of Police to decide what dancing is acceptable, and that always goes well. The “insulting signs or language” ordinance (10-302) also seems to be not very enforceable.
Weekend funerals are illegal in Henryetta, unless it’s an emergency (11-312(B)). It’s unlawful for any person to play on the sidewalks unless specifically authorized by ordinance (14-204). It’s also unlawful to cross the street under any circumstances unless your path is “at right angles to the curb” (15-1004). Since the law must be enforced as written, I assume no deviation from 90 degrees will be tolerated.
The point, of course, is that some common sense is often required when interpreting laws, and people should use it; and also law enforcement does have an enormous amount of discretion to “pick and choose” what laws they are going to enforce. That discretion can certainly be misused, but the risk is pretty low if they’re choosing not to enforce a law that’s ridiculous or unconstitutional—and there are an amazing number of those laws on the books, believe me.
This one may not be around much longer, at least, because the mayor says they are likely to repeal it at the next city council meeting. Given her commitment to the letter of the law, maybe Kinney will get herself a protractor and start checking pedestrians. The law’s the law!
Excerpts from an article in the Travel section of The Telegraph:
“Up front, the pilots will don their own masks and commence a rapid descent to an altitude no higher than 10,000 feet,” he continues. “If the emergency descent feels perilously fast, this isn’t because the plane is crashing: it’s because the crew is doing what’s it’s supposed to do.”..This is important:
According to Airbus, if a plane loses pressure at 40,000 feet, those on board have as little as 18 seconds of “useful consciousness” without supplemental oxygen...
...what you’re supplied isn’t exactly oxygen – nor is it not compressed air in the scuba diving sense. Oxygen tanks are heavy and bulky so aircraft use a more complicated system. The panel above each seat actually contains a cocktail of chemicals that, when burned, release oxygen. They might include barium peroxide, a fine white powder used in fireworks, sodium chlorate, more commonly used as a weedkiller, and potassium chlorate, a staple of school science lab experiments (it reacts violently with sugar).
Tug the mask, like you’re told in the demonstration, and the chemical process starts. Once it starts, it cannot be stopped until everything’s burned up (around 12-15 minutes...).
Do not expect the bag to inflate. Passengers have reportedly suffered hypoxia after believing their mask was broken because the bag wasn’t inflating, prompting them to remove it. Hence the warning given during every safety briefing.I don't know if the standard passenger mask is a "partial rebreather," capturing exhaled air, which even if "once-used" still has usable oxygen available, or a "non-rebreather."
“Oxygen is supplied in a constant flow,” explained a BA spokesman. “The bag does not inflate like a respirator bag used in a medical theatre. How full it gets depends on an individual's rate of breathing. If the rate of breathing is very quick, air is inhaled at a faster rate and so the bag will inflate less. If all the air isn't inhaled, some will remain in the bag, partially inflating it.”
The oxygen generator can also get extremely hot – so don’t touch it – and passengers may even notice a burning smell (so don’t be alarmed).
More information at the FAA.
Those who wish to see the skies as their grandparents did and appreciate the magnificience of the Milky Way would do best to find a "dark sky" away from the contaminatin of urban lighting. I made the screencap above from a world map at DarkSiteFinder.
It's zoomable to tell you which way to drive from Salt Lake or Park City for stargazing -
- and it covers the entire world -
?why the hot spot in subSiberian Russia? Perhaps burning natural gas from oil fields?
Found via an article at FiveThirtyEight about The Darkest Town in America, which discusses the environmental and health effects of nocturnal light pollution.
And this is related: an aerial view of a community in the process of switching from conventional sodium lights to LEDs:
Discussed at the Mildly Interesting subreddit.
This brilliant minifig scale Zeta-class cargo shuttle by Renegade Clone is by far my favorite vehicle from Rogue One. Looking like a turtle on its belly with its flippers up, this ship looks exactly like the one in the film – the builder has captured it just perfectly. It’s definitely in my top two along with the Rebel U-Wing.
With a wonderful orange highlighted belly and forward hatch that opens with plenty of room for the cargo crates and *spoilers*, the builder used LEGO Digital Designer for rapid prototyping during the construction and an estimated 4000 LEGO bricks to create this UCS quality model. But then Krennic’s Imperial Shuttle is pretty cool too, so it’s easily in my top three.
Check out the Flickr album to see work in progress pics and more *spoilers*. A brilliant replica of one of my favorite ships …until LEGO brings out a Hammerhead Corvette, that is!
It was a no-parking zone until 10 am. The time stamp on the ticket was 9:59:58. Case closed.
Closed in the defendant’s favor, because—even though this was clearly a violation—the judge decided to let it slide. He said afterward that he believed her story that her car’s clock was at least two seconds fast, but since he started laughing as soon as he looked at the ticket, that explanation probably wasn’t really necessary.
Slightly reminiscent of the Hyperphrase order, in which a judge refused to strike the defendant’s motion even though, “in a scandalous affront to this court’s deadlines,” the defendant filed it a full four minutes and 27 seconds late.
That situation, too, resulted in judicial mockery.
Confession time: I'm an optimist, especially about the ideas of social progress that emerged in Europe at the end of the middle ages and became mainstream in western politics in the early 20th century. I called the outcome of the Brexit referendum wrong (by underestimating the number of racist bigots and Little Englanders in the UK population: Brexit is a proxy for English nationalism, which is absolutely not the same as British nationalism), and I called the US presidential election wrong (underestimating the extent of gerrymandering and micro-targeted black propaganda driven by data mining in the campaign).
Since January 20th we've seen a degree and type of activity emanating from the new US administration that is markedly different from anything in my politically aware lifetime (loosely: since Reagan). Blanket bans on entry to the USA by anyone associated with certain nationalities, mass firings at the State Department, a president railing against a "so-called judge", the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff being booted off the National Security Council and replaced by a white nationalist ideologue, and a former CEO of Exxon in the Cabinet: what's going on?
Let me pull on my pessimist's hat and advance the most scary hypothesis I can imagine that explains the current situation.
Please note that the following scenario assumes that what we are witnessing is deliberate and planned and that the people in Trump's inner circle actually have a coherent objective they are working towards. (I desperately hope that I'm wrong on all counts.)
Here's the thing: we are looking at an administration that is very clearly being operated on behalf of carbon extraction industries. Trump's cabinet picks are almost all climate change deniers. While there are some questionable exceptions--Tillerson has apparently conceded some human link with climate change--even those who are "soft" on climate change existing at all stand to benefit from interests in the coal and oil industries.
There is a huge asset bubble tied up in uncombustable fossil fuels--the carbon bubble. In addition, there is a base of approximately $70Tn ($70,000 billion--let that sink in for a moment) of installed infrastructure for processing fossil fuels and petrochemicals (with plastic and composite manufacturing being relatively small compared to packaging, shipping, and burning the stuff for energy).
Meanwhile, rival power industries are coming on stream rapidly. Solar power and electric cars could halt growth in fossil fuel demand as soon as 2020. The cost of solar has fallen by 85% in the past 7 years: by 2035 electric vehicles could make up 35% of the road transport fleet, and two-thirds by 2050. These estimates are conservative, based on the assumption that breakthrough technologies will not emerge to permit photovoltaic cells and battery capacities vastly better (or cheaper) than today.
It follows logically that if you have heavily invested in fossil fuels, time is running out to realize a return on your investment. Buying a US administration tailored to maximize ROI while fighting a rear-guard action against action on climate change and roll-out of a new, rival energy infrastructure is therefore rational (in business terms).
Russia and the Putin angle is best understood as part of this; oil and gas exports accounted for 68% of Russia's export revenues in 2013. The possibility that Trump is personally heavily invested in Rosneft via shell proxies while being at loggerheads with Merkel might be an inversion of the normal state of affairs in international relations for the past 70 years but is entirely consistent with the big money picture: Germany is trying to push (heavily) for renewable power (as well as generally being welcoming to refugees--see below).
It isn't possible for a US administration to make a ban on solar power and electric vehicles to stick globally. By its nature, solar will work well in equatorial regions, and these are where economic growth is currently focussed (China, India, and Africa all having huge population bases and demand for rapid roll out of infrastructure). Because PV is local, the need for capital-intensive centralized power stations and distribution grids is avoided: this will make it easier for Africa to catch up, just as the large-scale roll-out of telephony is sub-Saharan Africa has largely leap-frogged fixed wires and gone straight to cellular. Late adopters get better infrastructure.
Looking ahead, the carbon barons have to know that in 10-20 years time the USA will be stuck with obsolescent infrastructure and a loss of relative advantage if they pursue this course (although they, individually, will be a whole lot richer). What is to be done?
Let's consider the other strand of the Trump administration: white nationalist revanchism.
Without derailing into a close examination of the creed of this movement, I'm going to generalize by saying that the alt-right are overtly anti-muslim, anti-semitic from the grass roots up, and Steve Bannon is effectively setting foreign policy. (They're also anti- just about every minority group you can think of, including anyone who isn't neurotypical, able-bodied, conformist, and predictably supportive of their agenda.) Bannon believes in an existential war between Christendom and Islam; he doesn't believe in international institutions like the UN, NATO, or the EU (even though these were in most cases created by US foreign policy during the era of containment. What alliances the Bannon administration is building overseas are being made with extremists and neo-fascists. Trump appears to be attempting to destabilize Australian PM Turnbull, who is vulnerable to a back-bench challenge and is "soft" on immigration policy compared to such lunatics as Tony Abbott (his predecessor) or Pauline Hanson (and Australian immigration policy is an international disgrace). Trump seems to be happy to deal in France with Marine Le Pen, a court-confirmed fascist (she lost a libel case against a journalist who described her as such), or UKIP's former leader Nigel Farage (whose school habits included researching and singing old Hitler Youth drinking songs). And the authoritarian, homophobic strand in Russian politics is just another piece of the jigsaw.
To talk in terms of a white supremacist neo-fascist international doesn't seem extreme at this point. The fourteen signs of fascism are politically convenient to the carbon entrepreneurs. Fascism's disdain for facts plays well with climate change denial. It's elevation of nationalism above all other virtues helps anyone whose goal is to play divide-and-conquer, profiting by arbitrage of commodities trafficked across international borders (such as coal and oil and gas). And so, fascism is promoted and prospers under a carbon bubble bust-out regime.
But there's a more dangerous end-game on the horizon, once the oil men have packed their bags and retired to enjoy their riches.
Note that climate change denialism is a flag of convenience for the folks at the top. It's a loyalty oath and a touchstone: they don't necessarily believe it, but it's very convenient to fervently preach it in public if you want to continue to turn a profit.
If you believe in anthropogenic climate change but dare not admit it, you cannot be seen to do anything obvious to remediate it. But there is one remediation tactic you can deploy deniably: genocide.
We are on course to hit 10 billion people by the end of the 21st century, and although the second derivative of the curve of population increase is flat, our peak population won't begin to decline at this rate until well into the 22nd century. Estimates for the Earth's human carrying capacity vary and may be ideologically biased to support various conclusions; Malthusian ideas persist despite constant upward revision of the peak population. One thing is sure, for decades now other folks' population has been a political football. Thanks to the Green Revolution in agronomy we're well past the previously posited breakdown points of the 1960s.
I am going to posit that a foreign policy set by white supremacists in support of a carbon extraction regime is going to cleave to certain pseudo-scientific ideas, notably Social Darwinism (which isn't Darwinian, isn't social, and is fundamentally flawed as bad science) and Malthusianism (which has been used in the past as an excuse for tactics ranging from the innocuous--improving access to family planning and birth control--to the monstrous--conquest and genocide. And that last point brings us neatly round to Hitlerism.
While the gas chambers and extermination camps of the Final Solution get the most attention, people tend to forget that a large chunk of Hitler's plan for conquest, Generalplan Ost, relied in the short term on the Hunger Plan--to kill 20-30 million people in Eastern Europe and Russia by systematically stealing their food (to feed the Reich's own armies and slave workers who would be engaged in the enterprise of conquest)--and in the long term (post-war) on the systematic "removal" of 45 million more persons, nominally by exile into Siberia, but in practice probably by an extension of the already operating death camp system.
But the Neo-Nazi International won't need death camps in the 2020s to 2030s if their goal is to cut the world population by, say, 50%. Climate change and a clampdown on international travel will do the job for them.
Consider Bangladesh, and the Bay of Bengal fisheries collapse, not to mention the giant anoxic dead zone spreading in the By of Bengal (which means those fisheries won't be coming back for a very long time). There are nearly 170 million people there, mostly living on alluvial flood plains feeding into the gradually rising ocean. If the sea level rises by just one meter, 10% of the land area will be flooded; most of the country is less than 12M above sea level. It's a primarily agricultural economy (it's one of the main rice and wheat producing nations), heavily dependent on fisheries for protein to supplement the diet of its citizens.
Bangladesh can't survive the 21st century on this basis. It's vulnerable to devastating tropical cyclones bringing storm surges, and as the atmosphere heats, these are going to become more energetic. The loss of fisheries may cripple its ability to feed its population, even if temperature rises don't kill off the wheat and rice crops. Flood, famine, and storm look as if they will inevitably render a large part of the country uninhabitable within 50 years.
I see three possible responses:
A rational and humane response to this would involve attempts to: promote GM crops with increased heat resistance and increased bioavailable protein and micronutrient contents to repace the dying fisheries: promote female literacy, education, and access to healthcare (demographic transition correlates strongly with female education and emancipation): redeploy human capital to urban center construction in the northern highlands: invest in survival infrastructure (flood/weather shelters), and so on.
An unplanned, current-day response to this would be to provide ad-hoc famine relief and aid on demand, to wring hands when millions die in heat emergencies or super-cyclone storm surges, to prevent mass emigration by criminalization rather than by trying to make Bangladesh a more attractive place to stay, and so on. You know this scenario because we're living it today.
A white supremacist response to this would be to build a wall around Bangladesh--probably a "virtual" one patrolled by killer robots--and starve the inmates to death so they don't pump any more carbon into the atmosphere. After all, the residual carbon content of a dead foreigner is measured in single-digit litres.
All the pieces of the neo-Nazi solution to climate change already exist. Walls: look to the West Bank barrier or the Mexico-United States barrier for examples. Drones for border patrol are already a thing. The global crack-down on immigration by the developed world should need no introduction; there are loopholes (so called "Investor Visas") for anyone with six or seven digits in cash who wants to move freely, but these are generally out of the reach of even the western middle classes. (Free movement of labour as well as capital would defeat the core principle of arbitrage upon which economic imperialism depends.)
So here's what I expect to see if the alt-right get their way globally:
- The obvious stuff (the agenda dictated by the fourteen signs of fascism) is a distraction
- The real plan, in the short term, is to maximize the liquidation of capital investments in the carbon bubble on behalf of the principal shareholders
- Once the carbon bubble has deflated, the angry and impoverished citizens of the first world will be pointed at a convenient scapegoat--foreigners overseas
- A clampdown/shutdown on most international travel will ensue (hint: there's a reason Bannon et al hate the EU, and it's not economic: it's all to do with the bit about freedom of movement)
- Tighter controls on "immigration", enforced out of sight by killer drones, will replace relatively permeable frontiers with exclusion zones enforced by bullets and bombs
- Climate-change induced famine will replicate the intent of Hitler's "hunger plan", without the need for hands-on involvement by Western soldiers who might be traumatized by the requirement to shoot the surviving "living skeletons"
- A systematic genocide of the Middle East and the Islamic world (hint: that's where the eliminationist rhetoric of the islamphobes leads if you follow it to its logical conclusion) will reduce Earth's human population by up to 30%: other culls elsewhere will be enforced by containment of would-be migrants and the primary tool of murder will be famine and lethal heat waves.
- This will be presented to the citizens of the west as a "solution" to anthropogenic climate change for which they should be grateful, and framed as defending us from hordes of dark-skinned alien terrorists and asylum seekers who want to come to our lands and out-breed us and convert us to their weird and scary way of life and enslave our women (and you know the rest of this dismal litany of racism already, so I'll stop here).
Never say Nazis don't learn the lessons of history. This time round, the Final Solution to Anthropogenic Climate change will be entirely deniable! There are no gas chambers or Einsatzgruppen involved: any bullets will be fired by autonomous robots, without a human finger on the trigger, and will be an automatic reaction to an attempted border crossing, so not the fault of the perpetrators. The victims will have only themselves to blame, for being born in the wrong place, in the wrong century, and for failing to adapt, and for starving themselves, and for inviting the attention of the border patrol drones. It will be a slow-motion atrocity on a scale that dwarfs the Holocaust. And it is the logical conclusion of the policies our new fascist international overlords appear to be working towards implementing.
Please can you explain to me why I'm wrong to fear this outcome?
Google Brain has devised some new software that can create detailed images from tiny, pixelated source images. Google's software, in short, basically means the "zoom in... now enhance!" TV trope is actually possible.
Of course, as we all know, it's impossible to create more detail than there is in the source image—so how does Google Brain do it? With a clever combination of two neural networks.
For Canada’s 150th birthday, Adam Dodge built a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker diorama, and it’s surprisingly satisfying to look at. There’s a nice contrast between the clean surfaces of the ice and sea and the intense, broken up ice and the very industrial-looking ship. The icebreaker just pops out with its bright, high-visibility colour scheme. The whole diorama has a sense of motion about it, with the thick ice stacked up in the front and the broken-up ice at the back, which is achieved by carefully arranged translucent window panes and cheese slopes.
Forward this image to any acquaintances of yours who think it's o.k. to infringe on the broad space next to a handicapped parking spot.
Photo cropped for size from the original here.
friend of the day!
meet handsom roundboy desert rain frog!
Do you remember Paul Feig’s scifi comedy Other Space? You’ll be forgiven for saying no. The 2015 series premiered on Yahoo Screen and felt like it promptly vanished off the face of the Earth because of it. Which is a damn shame, because it’s bloody brilliant—and now, it’s actually easy to watch in its entirety (for…
Black History Month.
Photo Credit: Ronald Wimberly (http://d3-14.tumblr.com/)
This architectural gem by o0ger depicts a cultural center you can catch a performace by an indie band or play some giant chess. One of its most captivating features is the clever use of the wing plate for the roof. The builder even took advantage of the cutout in the center of the wing to add a dormer.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Former Firefox developer Robert O'Callahan, now a free agent and safe from the PR tentacles of his corporate overlord, says that antivirus software is terrible, AV vendors are terrible, and that you should uninstall your antivirus software immediately—unless you use Microsoft's Windows Defender, which is apparently okay.
A couple of months back, Justin Schuh, Google Chrome's security chief, and indeed one of the world's top infosec bods, said that antivirus software is "my single biggest impediment to shipping a secure browser." Further down the thread he explains that meddling AV software delayed Win32 Flash sandboxing "for over a year" and that further sandboxing efforts are still on hold due to AV. The man-in-the-middle nature of antivirus also causes a stream of TLS (transport layer security) errors, says Schuh, which in turn breaks some elements of HTTPS/HSTS.
These are just two recent instances of browser makers being increasingly upset with antivirus software. Back in 2012, Nicholas Nethercote, another Mozillian working on Firefox's MemShrink project said that "McAfee is killing us." In that case, Nethercote was trying to reduce the memory footprint of Firefox, and found that gnarly browser add-ons like McAfee were consuming a huge amount of memory, amongst other things. If you venture off-piste into the browser mailing lists, anti-antivirus sentiment has bubbled away just below the surface for a very long time.