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Suicide by auto-pilot

Data gathered by tracking service Flightradar24 showed Flight 9525’s autopilot initially was programmed to 30,000 feet (9,100 meters) as the jet climbed, then reset to 32,000 feet and finally to its 38,000-foot cruising altitude, co-founder Mikael Robertsson said. Then the autopilot was manually reset to 96 feet, he said. - bloomberg.com
#prediction 0 comments

Invoking Star Wars to justify your movie is a bad sign

But when people say "this is my Star Wars," they usually aren't comparing any of the actual elements of Star Wars to anything in their movie. They're meaning "this will be a huge expansive saga with cuteness and danger," or else, "This was something where I obsessed about the crunchy edges of the mythos for way too long." For example, Last Airbender writer/director M. Night Shyamalan made a big point of comparing his movie to Star Wars in every interview, but the resulting film did a disservice to both the original cartoon and Star Wars. Also, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem writer/directors the Strause Brothers invoked the Star Wars comparison a lot. The point is not that people shouldn't invoke Star Wars — it's just a bad sign when you invoke it for stuff that's really nothing like Star Wars. - io9.com
#rhetoric #movies #metaphors 0 comments

Eva Burrows, Salvation Army’s ‘People’s General,’ Dies at 85 - NYTimes.com

General Burrows prided herself on her vitality, her vision and her ability to galvanize what were then an estimated 1.5 million adherents of the Salvation Army and 17,000 active officers in 90 nations. “One of the big factors of leadership is to exude inspiration so that people want to follow,” she said in the television interview. “It’s a terrible thing when a leader looks behind and there’s no one coming.” - nytimes.com
#managing 0 comments

Keeping a fossil record in digital silt

We're going to need better apps to help us share, sort, and make sense of this new flood. Screenshots are more semantically diverse than typical snapshots, and we already struggle to manage our photo backlog. Rita J. King, codirector of the Science House consultancy, has thousands of screenshots from her online ramblings (pictures of bacteria, charts explaining probability). Rummaging through them reminds her of ideas she's forgotten and triggers new ones. “It's like a scrapbook, or a fossil record in digital silt,” King says. A lifetime of scraps, glimpsed through the screen. - wired.com
#history #memory #pullquote #serendipity 0 comments

Ramifications of FB hosting news site's content

The company recognizes that the new plan[…]would remove the usual ads that publishers place around their content. […] allow publishers to show a single ad in a custom format within each Facebook article[…]The new proposal by Facebook carries another risk for publishers: the loss of valuable consumer data. When readers click on an article, an array of tracking tools allow the host site to collect valuable information on who they are, how often they visit and what else they have done on the web.That data might instead go to Facebook, which like many companies uses that information itself to target and track consumers more effectively for advertisers (and which has been subject to criticisms over its privacy policies). […] - nytimes.com
#publishing #facebook 0 comments

Clay Johnson on the robot raising his child

The Amazon Echo is summoned by the word "Alexa" -- you say that word, and then ask it questions or tell it to do something (play some music, set a timer, check the weather, etc) and it just does it. And it works great. Especially on 2.5 year olds. I've noticed recently that Felix has started interacting with Alexa. He can't quite say the word well enough to trigger a response (he's almost there) but he'll bark orders at her; more interestingly, he treats her as an authoritati...ve source. A few days ago, Felix told me that it wasn't time to go back home from the playground because Alexa said it wasn't time to go. Then, On Saturday, on the way to a birthday party, after I disobeyed the GPS's command to take a highway, Felix chimed in from the back seat: "Dad, *other* Alexa said you need to take the highway" Our minds were blown at this for a lot of reasons. And it's all fascinating, and I'm sure somebody will write books about the kids who grew up with computers they could talk to just like they wrote books about my generation interacting with televisions and the Internet. But that's *not* the point of this little Facebook post. No, the point is, Amazon shipped functionality that allows you to make the Echo say things via a handy remote control. So realizing that Felix viewed his invisible friend "Alexa" as an authority, and realizing that I could make Alexa say things, we seized the moment tonight. C: Felix, it's time for bed. F: NEVER. THERE WILL BE NO BED. NOT NOW NOT EVER. NO NOTHING. NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT. (exact words.) C: Okay. Well, I'm going to go get a bath ready. Alexa: Felix, it's time to go take a bath. F: Really Alexa? Alexa: Yes. Please join your father in the bathroom. Felix was in the bathroom immediately, and told me that it was time for his bath. After bath, he promptly told Alexa good night. She told him to have sweet dreams. Parents who are prime members, the Amazon Echo costs $99, and it is worth every penny. Tomorrow we'll try housework. - facebook.com
#education #robots #children 0 comments

Is the birth of Novorossiya the death of Central Europe?

In the past few days, Russian troops bearing the flag of a previously unknown country, Novorossiya, have marched across the border of southeastern Ukraine. The Russian Academy of Sciences recently announced it will publish a history of Novorossiya this autumn, presumably tracing its origins back to Catherine the Great. Various maps of Novorossiya are said to be circulating in Moscow. Some include Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk, cities that are still hundreds of miles away from the fighting. Some place Novorossiya along the coast, so that it connects Russia to Crimea and eventually to Transnistria, the Russian-occupied province of Moldova. […] Russian soldiers will have to create this state — how many of them depends upon how hard Ukraine fights, and who helps them — but eventually Russia will need more than soldiers to hold this territory. […]A few days ago, Alexander Dugin, an extreme nationalist whose views have helped shape those of the Russian president, issued an extraordinary statement. “Ukraine must be cleansed of idiots,” he wrote — and then called for the “genocide” of the “race of bastards.” - washingtonpost.com
#Russia #central-europe #Ukraine 0 comments

Charlie Munger: learn multiple models to avoid rigid analyses

Rule #1: Learn Multiple Models “The first rule is that you’ve got to have multiple models—because if you just have one or two that you’re using, the nature of human psychology is such that you’ll torture reality so that it fits your models.” “It’s like the old saying, ‘To the man with only a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.’ But that’s a perfectly disastrous way to think and a perfectly disastrous way to operate in the world.” Rule #2: Learn Multiple Models From Multiple Disciplines “And the models have to come from multiple disciplines—because all the wisdom of the world is not to be found in one little academic department.” Rule #3: Focus On Big Ideas From The Big Disciplines (20% Of Models Create 80% Of The Results) “You may say, ‘My God, this is already getting way too tough.’ But, fortunately, it isn’t that tough—because 80 or 90 important models will carry about 90% of the freight in making you a worldly-wise person. And, of those, only a mere handful really carry very heavy freight.” Rule #4: Use A Checklist To Ensure You’re Factoring in the Right Models “Use a checklist to be sure you get all of the main models.” “How can smart people be wrong? Well, the answer is that they don’t…take all the main models from psychology and use them as a checklist in reviewing outcomes in complex systems.” Rule #5: Create Multiple Checklists And Use The Right One For The Situation “You need a different checklist and different mental models for different companies. I can never make it easy by saying, ‘Here are three things.’ You have to drive it yourself to ingrain it in your head for the rest of your life.” - forbes.com
#managing #prediction #psychology #biz-models 0 comments

Water consumption can go way lower

At the height of a severe drought a decade ago, Australians reduced their water consumption to thirty gallons of water a day per person—a fifth of Californians’ current consumption. “People were taking 30-second showers and collecting the shower water in a bucket and using it in their yards, and running dishwashers once a week,” says Kightlinger. - wired.com
#water #california #rationing #drought 0 comments

Flow versus programmed lives

And [their white-collar partners] think the world is going to be fine and predictable and stable and they're going to be middle-class their whole life, and how nice is that? And [the blue-collar kids] wanted that feeling for themselves, so they kind of said, "This person has it. Maybe they can teach me to feel the same way." It also went the other way. One thing about growing up middle-class is often middle-class kids are involved in a ton of activities. They're going to sports and art camps and tutoring and all these activities that take them away from their families. And they then met their blue-collar partners, who kind of just hung out with their families. These activities are expensive, they're time-consuming, and so their childhoods were more unstructured and informal. As a result, some of them gained these relationships with their families that were more informal and more emotionally intimate. And the partners from these middle-class, white-collar families were in awe of that and really wanted it for themselves. - vox.com
#marriage #synchronize 0 comments

Managing life versus living in the flow

People from professional white-collar backgrounds tend to want to manage things. They want to oversee and plan and organize. And their partners who come from blue-collar backgrounds, working-class backgrounds, often tend want to go with the flow more. They let things come and feel free from self-imposed constraints. An example may be with emotions. People from professional white-collar backgrounds want to manage their emotions more often, meaning they want to think about them before they express them, consider how they feel, plan how they're going to express them if they do at all, and say it in this very intellectualized manner. And their partners who come from blue-collar backgrounds who believe in going with the flow a lot more expressed their emotions as they felt them and did it in a more honest way. - vox.com
#managing #marriage #class 0 comments

How will the Tea Party feel about Heidi Cruz's career at Goldman Sachs?

“She and her brother compete baking bread. They bake thousands of loaves of bread and go to the local apple orchard where they sell the bread to people coming to pick apples,” said Cruz, 44. “She goes on to a career in business, excelling and rising to the highest pinnacles, and then Heidi becomes my wife and my very best friend in the world.” Heidi Cruz, 42, has taken unpaid leave from her job at Goldman Sachs in Houston to help with her husband’s run[…] Heidi Cruz, a Harvard Business School graduate who worked in President George W. Bush’s administration, joined New York-based Goldman Sachs in 2005 and was promoted to managing director, the firm’s second-highest rank, in 2012. She serves as regional head of the Houston office in the private wealth-management unit, which serves individuals and families who have on average more than $40 million with the firm. […]Her employment at Goldman Sachs became a political topic when Senator Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, tried to push Ted Cruz into admitting he was on his wife’s Goldman Sachs health insurance plan after criticizing President Barack Obama’s health-care policies, the Times reported. […] he did speak of the time she spent living in Kenya and Nigeria as the daughter of missionaries. […] - bloomberg.com
#politics #wall-street #tea-party 0 comments

Journalists have to decide what to do about candidates who are climate change denialists » Pressthink

Claims that climate science is a hoax, or that human action is not a factor are not just positions in a political debate. They are ways of saying: hey, the evidence doesn’t matter. # Honest journalists have to look that statement in the face and decide what to do about it. - pressthink.org
#journalism #global-warming 0 comments

28 Cheap California Wines Found to Contain High Levels of Arsenic | LA Weekly

Many popular, low-priced brands of wine sold in California contain illegal and dangerously high levels of poisonous arsenic, according to a class-action lawsuit filed March 19 in California Superior Court. The suit claims dozens of California wineries are violating state law by knowingly producing, marketing and selling arsenic-contaminated wine. Independent testing showed the wine contained up to five times the maximum amount the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allows for drinking water.Some of the popular wine brands named in the lawsuit include Franzia, Ménage à Trois, Sutter Home, Wine Cube, Charles Shaw, Glen Ellen, Cupcake, Beringer and Vendage. The wines named in the lawsuit are primarily white or blush varietals including moscato, pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc that are priced under $10. - laweekly.com
#wine 0 comments

Mark Knopfler's New Album

Knopfler's quicksilver guitar is understated, and he delivers stories of stoic ache like an old watchmaker on a pub stool — quietly riveting. - rollingstone.com
#music #block-that-metaphor 0 comments

Fidesz and Jobbik covertly colluding to avoid EU sanctions

But the deniability of a working coalition is crucial to its success. Would the EU sanction the Fidesz government for collaboration with a far-right party when Jobbik MPs are simply missing in action at the time a parliamentary vote is called? Since there are so many reasons to be away from parliament on any particular day – “Roma attacks,” or perhaps a strategic illness, or a well-timed flat tire – missing MPs have plausible deniability that their absence was part of a plan. One can imagine that EU sanctions would dissolve without smoking-gun proof of coordination. In addition, Fidesz and Jobbik have every reason to deny working together in order to maintain their credibility with their own voters. - mobile.nytimes.com
#Hungary #conspiracies 0 comments

Fidesz fuels Jobbik

Without Fidesz there would be no Jobbik in its present configuration. Expecting Fidesz to eradicate the noxious ideology of Jobbik and its followers, who freely move back and forth between the two parties, is foolish. If western democracies throw their weight behind Fidesz in the false belief that Fidesz is a moderate party, it is only Viktor Orbán who will emerge victorious from such an alliance. Such a policy would not only strengthen Fidesz but also weaken the democratic opposition. - hungarianspectrum.org
#Hungary 0 comments

So these guys are making a watch

- bloomberg.com
#goog 0 comments

VCs betting on lawsuits

For better or worse, the lawsuit-finance market continues to grow. Hedge funds and others speculating on litigation are making more and larger bets. Some corporate lobbyists warn that the new financial engineering encourages wasteful courtroom warfare, but investor demand for fat returns—and big law firms' appetite for business—guarantee the spread of litigation finance. - bloomberg.com
#VC #law #wall-street #investing 0 comments

Antarctica ice pulls the oceans south. Wow.

For residents of the United States — and indeed, the entire Northern Hemisphere — the impact of major ice loss from Antarctica could be dire. If Antarctica loses volumes of ice that would translate into major contributions to sea level rise, that rise would not be distributed evenly around the globe. The reason is the force of gravity. Antarctica is so massive that it pulls the ocean toward it, but if it loses ice, that gravitational pull will relax, and the ocean will slosh back toward the Northern Hemisphere — which will experience additional sea level rise. For the United States, the amount of sea level rise could be 25 percent or more than the global average. - washingtonpost.com
#global-warming 0 comments

Google chairman gets called out for cutting off a woman while talking about diversity at SXSW

"Given that unconscious bias research tells us that women are interrupted a lot more than men, I'm wondering if you are aware that you have interrupted Megan many more times," she asked, which immediately prompted a round of cheers and applause from the packed room. On her part, Smith, a former Google executive, seemed unfazed. "It's an interesting thing, unconscious bias," Smith said. "It's something we all have and it's something we have to really debug." - mashable.com
#inequality #goog #bias 0 comments

Viktor Orbán knows from freedom

The audience was especially elated when Orbán explained to them that “Hungary was always the flagship of freedom and democracy in the western world” and, with a clear reference to the United States, said that “the people of Petőfi and Kossuth can only smile when somebody tries to instruct them about freedom and democracy.” - hungarianspectrum.org
#Hungary 0 comments

Viktor Orbán on freedom and independence

There are some dangerous ideas in this speech. What I found most frightening was that “everything, the constitution, the law codes, the parliament, the government, the national economy, serve only the goal of independence.” The emphasis is not on the rule of law and legal and economic structures, but on the nation. And, he added, “we should never forget that what is the most valuable in the Hungarians is what differentiates [them] from others.” If Hungarians were just like the others, “the world wouldn’t need us.” What an awful thought: the subordination of the individual to a national community. And, he added, if we were not different from others, “on what basis could we ask for the help of God against our enemies?” - hungarianspectrum.org
#Hungary #nationalism 0 comments

Unlocking the organization with simple network mapping

Our client asked us to map cooperation in their organization because they had the feeling something might not be quite right.When together we looked at the network map, our client immediately recognized the bottleneck:the Head of Customer Services. This manager’s centrality was constraining the speed, spread and quality of information flow, creating a major HR risk. If this person were occupied, then the exchange of information between the Customer Service department and the rest of the organization would be seriously impaired. And on top of all of this, given that all information in the organization flowed through this same person, all information had the same “imprint” and was colored by the values and opinions of this person. - bondweaver.com
#networks #collaboration #maps 0 comments

Time Editors Are "Happier" Without Wall Between Church and State

“They are more excited about it because no longer are we asking ourselves the question are we violating church and state, whatever that was. We are now asking ourselves the question are we violating our trust with our consumers?  We’re never going to do that,” Mr. Ripp said in a video interview with Bloomberg’s Stephanie Ruhle. The interview comes less than two weeks after Time Inc. separated from Time Warner and became its own publicly traded company. Instead of worrying about upholding the divide between church and state, Time editors can worry about maintaining consumer’s trust in Time brands while simultaneously using it to work with advertisers. “They’re not stupid. They are running a business. They know that. They’ve been firing hundreds of people over the last couple of years, following a different path,” Mr. Ripp said, of his editors. - observer.com
#advertising #journalism #native-advertising #end-times 0 comments

Fake Amazon Book Reviews Are Hurting My Book

My book is the one in the lower right, and the the three I've outlined in red are rather interesting. Without them, I'd be in the number 9 slot. I realize that when you're not number one, other books are in front of you (well, duh), but why are three books in front of me in the Perl category about Swift, HTML, and PHP? - blogs.perl.org
#amazon #reviews #spam 0 comments