A customer walks into a bar. He asks for a beer made out of wine. The project manager agrees. Both question the bartender's competence.
— Daniel Méndez (@mendezfe) March 22, 2015
A customer walks into a bar. He asks for a beer made out of wine. The project manager agrees. Both question the bartender's competence.
— Daniel Méndez (@mendezfe) March 22, 2015
This seems like a pretty significant advance in the art of typography.
<3 Morozov so much: “This argument would make sense if the choice were between a normal car and a self-driving car. But are those really our only options? Is there any evidence that countries with excellent public transportation systems swarm with unhappy, mentally deskilled automatons who feel that their brains are underused as they get inside the fully automated metro trains? One wonders if Nicholas Carr has heard of Denmark.”
Oh man imagine deploying this on the Mass Pike.
Ford has announced that the new S-Max, which goes on sale in Europe in August, will have a new feature that automatically slows you down so that you're traveling within the speed limit.
Called the Intelligent Speed Limiter, the new feature is a combination of two nascent automotive technologies: adjustable speed limiters and traffic sign recognition. An adjustable speed limiter might sound like cruise control, but it's slightly different: cruise control keeps your speed constant, while an adjustable speed limiter stops the throttle from delivering more fuel to the engine once you reach the desired speed.
Traffic sign recognition is exactly what it sounds like: using a forward-facing camera, usually behind the rearview mirror, an on-board computer scans the environment for signs that might be important. Over the last few years, there have been a number of cars that automatically recognize signs and flash up alerts on a digital dashboard display.
Please tell me that Facebook drones and Amazon drones are going to be getting into laser fights.
Facebook and Google have both gotten into the aircraft business—or at least the unmanned aircraft business—in their efforts to blanket the planet with wireless Internet access. And at Facebook's F8 conference yesterday, Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer said that the company had conducted its first successful tests of its drone-based Internet backbone and is preparing to move onto the next phase.
Facebook's unmanned aircraft will communicate both with each other and the ground using lasers instead of radio signals. The drones will be used in Facebook's Internet.org effort to reach billions of people in areas currently without reliable Internet access, "allowing everyone in the world to participate in the Internet,"Schroepfer said.
The drone program, codenamed Aquila, is the result of Facebook's purchase of the British unmanned systems design firm Ascenta—the company that currently holds the record for the longest solar-powered flight. The aircraft has a wingspan comparable to that of a 737, Schroepfer said, and the weight of a small car. Schroepfer told attendees that the completely solar-powered drones would "loiter at very high altitudes and beam down backbone Internet access."
I’m no fan of Burke, but this headline and article are being deliberately obtuse. The Catholic catechism distinguishes between venial sins and grave sins. Things like fornication, divorce, divination, murder, masturbation, and homosexual sex are all examples of grave sins. Burke is simply saying that he is not inclined to alter the list of grave sins to suit the current cultural fashion. He is, in short, a Catholic.
It might help the Religion News Service to hire writers who know at least a little bit about religion?
(RNS) The Catholic Church has always taught that sin is sin, but few people see killing someone as equivalent to marrying a lifelong same-sex partner.
The post Cardinal Raymond Burke: Gays, remarried Catholics, murderers are all the same appeared first on Religion News Service.
Spencer Woodman, reporting for The Verge:
The work is repetitive and physically demanding and can pay several dollars above minimum wage, yet Amazon is requiring these workers — even seasonal ones — to sign strict and far-reaching noncompete agreements. The Amazon contract, obtained by The Verge, requires employees to promise that they will not work at any company where they “directly or indirectly” support any good or service that competes with those they helped support at Amazon, for a year and a half after their brief stints at Amazon end. Of course, the company’s warehouses are the beating heart of Amazon’s online shopping empire, the extraordinary breadth of which has earned it the title of “the Everything Store,” so Amazon appears to be requiring temp workers to forswear a sizable portion of the global economy in exchange for a several-months-long hourly warehouse gig.
The company has even required its permanent warehouse workers who get laid off to reaffirm their non-compete contracts as a condition of receiving severance pay.
More gruel, please.
Wow, who would have imagined this sort of behavior from a privately-contracted police force representing business interests?
Image: Bryan Hamilton
A Downtown Berkeley Association ambassador assaulted a homeless man Friday evening behind CVS in what appears to be a violent incident that was captured on video. That homeless man and an associate were arrested by the Berkeley Police Department before the video came to light. After reviewing the video this week, police asked the district attorney’s office to take another look at the case.
The ambassador involved, whose name has not been released, will be fired Thursday, said Downtown Berkeley Association CEO John Caner. A second ambassador, who did not intervene to stop the apparent assault, will be suspended. The video, which appears below, contains graphic language and violence that some viewers may find disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.
Lance Gorée, operations manager for the DBA, and the manager of the ambassador program for contractor Block by Block, said he received a report of the physical contact last week, but the severity of the incident was not made clear until he and Caner saw the video Thursday morning.
“I was called within the hour of it happening,” Gorée said. “I always get called right away. They didn’t fully represent what happened.”
“It’s clearly totally unacceptable,” said Caner. “We apologize to (the victim) and to the community. This is clearly so out of the realm of acceptable behavior and totally contrary to all of the training provided to ambassadors.”
Read the rest of Video: Downtown Berkeley worker assaults homeless man (636 words)
Shared for the article headline: “It’s-A-Me, Ishmael!”
For the FYB files.
A rendition of the Lacuna installation to be built around the dormant fountain foundation in Berkeley’s Civic Center Park as a centerpiece of the inaugural Bay Area Book Festival on June 6-7, 2015. Image: FLUX
Berkeley, it’s been said, is a book town. But never before has it had an actual temple made of books.
Rising in Civic Center Park this June will be a public art installation made out of 50,000 books. The walls and ceiling will be constructed from books, the circular ceiling will be alive as pages of intact books strung upside down from guy-wire flutter in the wind like prayer flags. The walls of shelves will be permeable, the entire structure evanescent — because the purpose of this library-temple is for the books to be given away.
This installation will be one of the centerpieces of the first annual Bay Area Book Festival being held in downtown Berkeley all day Saturday and Sunday, June 6-7, 2015. The festival will bring more than 225 authors to speak on indoor stages. Downtown streets will fill with 150 literary exhibitors, a Children’s Arena, a Teen Stage, a Cooking Stage, a chalk street art contest, food trucks, and more.(...)
Read the rest of At first Bay Area Book Festival, a temple made of books (736 words)
The most common instrument among Native Americans was the sitar, which is an ancient indian instrument.
I haven’t been to IMDB in ages. This is horrendous!
At what point should we become concerned by Amazon influencing the IMDb ratings of movies that they would rather see portrayed in a more positive light in order to sell content from Amazon.com?
‘Bankspeak’, we have written, echoing Orwell’s famous neologism; but there is one crucial difference between the lexicographers of 1984 and the Bank’s ghost writers. Whereas the former were fascinated by annihilation (‘It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words . . . every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller’), the latter have a childish delight in multiplying words, and most particularly nouns.
What can be gleaned from a linguistic analysis of World Bank reports? That the language – and reality – of global finance grows ever more opaque… more»
This tool is basically the opposite of how my brain works. But it might be useful for someone!
ATTN: Otters, Russian Sledges.
RE: Your new girlfriend
In a key case before the European Union's highest court, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the European Commission admitted yesterday that the US-EU Safe Harbor framework for transatlantic data transfers does not adequately protect EU citizens' data from US spying. The European Commission's attorney Bernhard Schima told the CJEU's attorney general: "You might consider closing your Facebook account if you have one," euobserver reports.
The case before the CJEU is the result of complaints lodged against five US companies—Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Skype, and Yahoo—with the relevant data protection authorities in Germany, Ireland, and Luxembourg by the Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems, supported by crowdfunding. Because of the important points of European law raised, the Irish High Court referred the Safe Harbor case to the CJEU.
The referral was prompted by Edward Snowden's revelations about the Prism data-collection program, which show that the US intelligence community has ready access to user data held by nine US Internet companies, including the five named in Schrems' complaints. The EU's Data Protection Directive prohibits the transfer of personal data to non-European Union countries that do not meet the EU's "adequacy" standard for privacy protection. To aid US companies operating in the EU, the Safe Harbor Framework was introduced, which allows US organizations to self-certify their compliance with the adequacy provision when they transfer EU personal data back to the US.
Glad they are digitizing all the Tangut materials!
I’m currently a student at Northumbria University studying MA Preventive Conservation. My five-week internship with IDP started on Monday 16th February following some great anticipation and slight anxiety. Now as my internship is coming to an end I can truly conclude that this has been a priceless experience and I feel so lucky to have been able to get involved.
The project I’ve been working on — collection care and digitisation of Tangut material — is very interesting and relevant to my background. This collection includes over 6000 paper fragments that Sir Aurel Stein excavated from Kharakhoto at the beginning of the 20th century. The condition and formats of items I’ve been working on are in great variety: some of them are manuscripts with beautiful handwriting, others are from printed books, some are in very good condition like they were made yesterday, others may have lost all the strength and are turning to dust. These material remains all belong to an ancient Central Asian ethnic group called the Tangut (also called Xixia or Western Xia), who established an empire between China and Tibet in the 11th century. This mysterious empire is of great interest and significance to scholars studying Central Asia, the Silk Road, the Chinese Song Dynasty, etc. However, I first learned about the Xixia from Louis Cha Leung-yung’s novels of ‘martial arts and chivalry’ (武侠) when I was a child, and to me this Tangut empire is more like a romantic fantasy than real history. Bearing this in mind, one can easily understand how wonderful this project is to me, not just because it benefits my professional life, but also because of my personal enjoyment.
Stupas at Kharakhoto, October 2008. Photo 1187/1(48)
My daily work on this project almost includes all the major parts of IDP’s workflow. I was showed how these materials are stored in the British Library basement with various storage methods in a fully controlled and monitored environment. Then I started my work by putting eight phase boxes of Tangut material in sequence according to their pressmarks. After that I took two boxes of Tangut fragments to the British Library Centre for Conservation (BLCC) and encapsulated them in new clear Melinex sheets. The method of encapsulation is quite simple but requires caution and steady hands. First I took the fragments out from old polyester sleeves and put them between two 40cm x 40cm Melinex sheets, then I welded several spots around each item to provide support and prevent them from sliding inside, and finally I sealed each edge of the Melinex sheets using a specially designed polyester welder. After rehousing, the paper fragments are better presented and protected and will be ready for digitisation and reader requests. I also spent a lot of time in the IDP studio where the Tangut material is digitised so high quality images will be freely available for scholars all around the world. Another major task of my work is to measure the length and width of each fragment and add the information to the IDP database, which is the destination of all the digital images and other important information.
Newly digitised Tangut fragment. Or.12380/7
Finally I want to thank all the IDP staff, paper conservator Wingyui Wong, preventive conservator Karen Bradford, and all the amazing people I’ve met in the Library for their help and guidance.
As advertised, very very relaxing.
About 70 people attended a picnic to celebrate an email list mishap last week that brought thousands of strangers together. Photo: Drew Wheeler
Thousands of Berkeley voters got stuck in an email storm last week after a technical glitch became a viral meme that prompted around 70 residents to hold a potluck picnic Sunday.
It all started late last Tuesday when Nigel Guest, president of a Berkeley community group called the Council of Neighborhood Associations, attempted to send an email to himself that mistakenly hit the inboxes of thousands of registered voters.
The brief email, with the subject line “test,” included a single character: “x.” Instead of ignoring the message, some of the recipients responded to ask why they gotten it. And, rather than replying only to Guest, they made the fateful, likely unintentional, decision to reply all. (...)
Read the rest of Berkeley email spam mishap spawns community spirit (1,986 words)
OAKLAND, Calif.—If you have driven in Oakland any time in the last few years, chances are good that the cops know where you’ve been, thanks to their 33 automated license plate readers (LPRs).
Now Ars knows too.
In response to a public records request, we obtained the entire LPR dataset of the Oakland Police Department (OPD), including more than 4.6 million reads of over 1.1 million unique plates between December 23, 2010 and May 31, 2014. The dataset is likely one of the largest ever publicly released in the United States—perhaps in the world.
This student gets a D-, not for political views, but for absolutely astonishing lack of creativity and imagination.
If we truly teach sex ed to everyone, there will be sexual activity all over the place, in the halls and outdoors. Who knows what else will happen?
Last week I said we'd wait to open up MyWord Editor for use by everyone until it was fully silo-free. Today the wait is over. We're ready to begin a journey, that hopefully will add new life to the open blogging world.
These days blogging tools try to lock you into their business model, and lock other developers out. I have the freedom to do what I want, so I decided to take the exact opposite approach. I don't want to lock people in and make them dependent on me. Instead, I want to learn from thinkers and writers and developers. I want to engage with other minds. Making money, at this stage of my career, is not so interesting to me. I'd much rather make ideas, and new working relationships, and friends.
I am operating a server myself, but please think of it as a demo. I do not want to be in the hosting business. Anything you post there could disappear at any time. The best way to use MWE as a blogging tool is to set up your own server, or pool your resources with other people to set up a server. Especially with free services like Heroku, it's very inexpensive to operate a server, and fun, enabling, and you're helping the web when you do it. Remember silos are bad, even ones operated by people you like!
I have tons of features I want to add. I have a huge set of debugged concepts from previous blogging systems I've done, dating back over 20 years. I'd like to add them all to MyWord. But first people have to use it. It's no fun to add features to a product no one uses it.
Remember, if the past is a guide, the tech press will not write about this. So if you want people to know, you'll have to tell them. Please spread the word. Let's make something great happen, all of us, working together, to build the web we want.
If you believe you can fly, you can!
Here are all the ways MyWord Editor is silo-free:
There's an open API that connects the in-browser app to the server. So you can replace the app. Or the server. Or both.
Because there's an open API, you can build anything you want at either end. You're not limited by my vision of what's possible. Let a thousand flowers bloom.
The app is provided in source, MIT license. So there are no secrets. And you can use my source as the starting point for your own editor.
The server is provided in source, MIT license. No secrets, etc.
The app has a command that downloads all your content in JSON, so you can move your data from one server to another, at any time. If any instance removes this command, alarms should ring out all over the land. It's your content, ladies and gentlemen, not theirs.
Twitter is doing a good deed, by allowing us to use their service for identity. They have an excellent API, and their servers are reliable. And I think they're fair about what they allow and don't allow.
We're not in any way trying to usurp their business. And if there's more good stuff out there on the web, that's more stuff for people to point to from their Twitter feeds. I use Twitter, so do a lot of other people.
It is obvious that death is caused by dying and the reverse is true as well.
“If the point of a safe space is therapy for people who feel victimized by traumatization, that sounds like a great mission. [But] I don’t see how you can have a therapeutic space that’s also an intellectual space.”
The Olde ASCII is at rfc7493.txt. I’ll put a nicely-formatted HTML version here as soon as I pull a few pieces together. This is really, really simple stuff and should be about as controversy-free as an RFC can be.
Basically, RFC 7159 is “the JSON RFC”; it describes the existing panoply of JSON specs, and also more-or-less unifies the (small) incompatibilities between them. The history is here, from which I quote:
If you’re interested, I recommend opening up the HTML version and searching forward for the string “interop”. There are 17 occurrences. If you’re generating JSON — something a lot of us do all the time — and make sure you avoid the mistakes highlighted in those 17 places, you’re very unlikely to cause pain or breakage in software that’s receiving it.
I-JSON is just a note saying that if you construct a chunk of JSON and avoid the interop failures described in RFC 7159, you can call it an “I-JSON Message”. If any known JSON implementation creates an I-JSON message and sends it to any other known JSON implementation, the chance of software surprises is vanishingly small.
Which I think is a good thing to do.
The RFC doesn’t actually describe anything called “I-JSON conformance”. It just specifies an object called an “I-JSON Message”; the idea is that anyone writing an Internet-protocol spec can specify that the payload be an I-JSON Message.
JSON is starting to be used a lot in security-related protocols: Crypto, authentication/authorization, and so on. It turns out that the security people worry about Bad People and Government Employees using Stupid JSON Tricks like duplicate keys and carefully-malformed Unicode to attack these protocols.
So if you specify that your payload MUST be I-JSON message, and the receiver checks that, there’s one particular class of attacks that you no longer have to worry about. Which has to be a good thing.
The RFC has a section “4. Recommendations for Protocol Design” that summarize a bunch of lessons hard-won over the years about things that make JSON-based protocols work better and more interoperably.
To the WG and chairs and Area Directors and IESG and RFC Editor; every step of the IETF process improved the initial draft.
In early 2008, as part of writing and typesetting CJKV Information Processing, Second Edition and preparing the latest version of Adobe Tech Note #5078 (The Adobe-Japan1-6 Character Collection), I built a small—in terms of the number of glyphs—special-purpose font for displaying registration marks for glyphs, and named it Tombo. Such registration marks are incredibly useful for showing the relative position of a glyph within its em-box, and for conveying the visual horizontal advance (aka glyph width). The excerpt above shows this font’s use in the Source Han Sans ReadMe (note that the PDF file will download if clicked).
In 2008, support for Adobe-Identity-0 ROS CID-keyed OpenType/CFF fonts wasn’t very broad, so I built this as a name-keyed OpenType/CFF font. For simplicity, I mapped U+230C (BOTTOM RIGHT CROP) and U+230D (BOTTOM LEFT CROP) to its only two functional (and non-spacing) glyphs, which are actually pre-composed forms of <230C 230E> and <230D 230F>.
I spent part of yesterday and today building a new version of this font, renamed as Tombo SP (トンボ SP), with the following enhancements:
In any case, I released the font this morning on GitHub as the open-source Tombo SP project.
There is a lot to unpack in this sentence.
My dog is a god in human form.
This headless chicken and other animals and animal parts washed up Thursday on a Berkeley beach. Photo: Susi Jensen
A woman on a walk along the beach in Berkeley with her dog on Thursday came across two decapitated chickens, two skinned mammal legs with cloven hooves, and several dead shorebirds.
Susi Jensen, a Berkeley writer, said it isn’t unusual to see a dead carcass on the beach. But she described the number and kind of animal parts she saw Thursday morning as “unexpected.”
“The shoreline is imperfect, but we enjoy it for what it is,” she said. “This time it was a little grosser than normal.”
Jensen was walking her golden retriever, Luna, on the beach along the San Francisco Bay Trail. The trail runs along West Frontage Road between University and Ashby avenues in Berkeley and continues into Emeryville. (...)
Read the rest of Dead birds, 2 animal legs, wash up on Berkeley beach (710 words)
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Post tags: Animals in Berkeley, Ashby Avenue, Bay Trail, Berkeley waterfront, Berkeley wildlife, Frontage Road, San Francisco bay, San Francisco Bay Tral, West Berkeley, West Frontage Road