The “not a transpiration company” whose heads have already been caught saying they want to hire detectives to dive into the lives of news reporters to find either blackmail material or smear material now want more personal information from all their clients too.
A Great Injustice — The Message — Medium
The incomparable Quinn Norton on the American Incarceration system. An Excellent if sad read.
As a result, around 96% of defendants accept plea bargains…
Even the government admits that up to 8% of those pleading are likely to be completely innocent. That’s at least 176,000 souls trapped in a Kafkaesque nightmare…
In the 1980s, to take the possibility of leniency away from judges, legislators created mandatory minimum sentences tied to specific offenses. As a result, first time offenders and people caught up in situations the laws weren’t created for can face decades in prison merely because they believe they are innocent of any wrong-doing and won’t take the plea deals offered to them….
Solitary confinement is considered torture by the United Nations, and much of the global medical community…
Right now, around 80,000 people in America are in solitary confinement. Some have been locked in these modern oubliettes for decades, forgotten about by the outside world.
Some are as young as 14.
Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment – Slashdot
Russia warplanes head off US destroyer in Black Sea – Al Jazeera English
Well that sounds like rising tensions…Cold War 2 anyone?
Russia plans to use prison labour for 2018 World Cup – Al Jazeera English
The World Cup is really heading into a darker place this next decade
Nigeria’s Buhari vows campaign against Boko Haram – Al Jazeera English
Nigeria’s former military ruler formally takes over as elected head of state in Abuja ceremony amid tight security.
Qatar World Cup sponsors targeted for improving workers’ rights – World – CBC News
According to some estimates, over 1,000 migrant workers have already died in the Gulf nation.
US accidentally sends live anthrax to S Korean army base – Al Jazeera English
Twenty-two personnel treated for possible exposure near Seoul, as bacteria also sent to laboratories in nine US states.
US removes Cuba from terror blacklist – Al Jazeera English
About time. Ridiculous really it took till now. Still, all should help their economy take steps to integrate more with their neighbour and rehabilitate more.
Finance & Markets
How Elon Musk’s Growing Empire is Fueled By Government Subsidies – Slashdot
Interesting to me from a business point of view, look what giant juicy government grants there are and target to “disrupt” ones that look vulnerable.
The potential bond crisis most people have never heard of – Business – CBC News
Four out of five bond traders worry the market could collapse in a disorderly sell-off…
In the public imagination, if we think of them at all, bonds are the epitome of safety. Which is why it is strange to read in one of the world’s most reliable business publications, the London Financial Times, that experts are terrified of an imminent crash in bonds that could destabilize the global economy.
Climate engineering may save coral reefs, research shows
Geoengineering of the climate may be the only way to save coral reefs from mass bleaching, according to new research.
The Web Is Not a Post-Racial Utopia | Al Jazeera America
When [Rust] the game was first opened up, all players were given the same default avatar: a bald white man. With the most recent update, Rust’s lead developer, Garry Newman, introduced different avatars of different racial origins into the mix. However, they did so with a twist — unlike typical massively multiplayer online role-playing games, Rust does not allow players to choose the race of their avatar. Instead, they are assigned one at random.
The reactions to Rust’s unprecedented experiment were swift. Many gamers were aggrieved by the skin tone automatically assigned them. Others felt drafted into racial discourses that they preferred to ignore, and lamented the entrance of social justice activism into what they saw as a blissfully post-racial online world. But the backlash only underscored a disturbing reality: By insisting that race doesn’t or shouldn’t exist online, such attitudes ensure an online status quo in which people of color remain marginalized and invisible.
Fascinating long analysis in article
SpaceX Cleared For US Military Launches – Slashdot
This disrupts the lock that Boeing and Lockheed Martin have had on military launches for almost a decade.
Russian Space Agency Misused $1.8 Billion, May Be Replaced – Slashdot
($1.8 billion) in 2014 alone… rampant corruption
Oh good. This is one of only two governments left capable of putting humans in Space, the other being China. SpaceX needs to hurry up and get human rated or ISS might have to be left abandoned or conquered at this rate.
Planetary Society’s LightSail solar sailing spacecraft goes silent in orbit – Technology & Science – CBC News
The Planetary Society’s tiny LightSail spacecraft, launched into orbit on May 20, was expected to unfurl and test its solar sails in June. However, the bread-loaf-sized cubesat hasn’t sent any data to ground stations since May 22… The software glitch causes the flight system to crash once it collects more than 32 megabytes of data.
Sad this was to be again the first test of a solar sail. Their first attempt failed in 2005.
Ground Crew Back In Touch With LightSail Solar Spacecraft – Slashdot
Well that’s excitingly good news for them
Rampant telecom surveillance conducted with little transparency, oversight – Technology & Science – CBC News
Utterly unshocking though
The Hypocrisy of the Internet Journalist — The Message — Medium
On how massively we are tracked online.
I run a browser plugin called Noscript, and another called Ghostery. I don’t recommend them, not because they aren’t good, but because they turn web browsing into a part time job. No one has time to deal with these things. In order to not be tracked, you have to constantly be paying attention to what every page is doing. As the years passed at Wired I watched the list of third-party scripts and cookies grow in my little Noscript window.
Google unveils Android M
Good break down of new features from OS News. The standout is newer permissions model for apps based on iOS
New Ugandan radio stations run on sun, smartphones and buckets – tech – 28 May 2015 – New Scientist
The Future Is A Confidence Trick | MORNING, COMPUTER
Prediction is an industry, and its product is a persuasive set of hopes and fears that we’re trained or convinced to agree upon. It’s a confidence trick. And its product comes so thick and fast that, like a plothole in an action movie, we’re carried on past the obvious failures and the things that didn’t even make sense if we had more than five seconds to think about them. Videophones.
ahahahaha. but yeah. predicting the future is hard. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try harder tho. But also don’t be so taken in.
AdBlock Plus mobile browser could devastate publishers – Technology & Science – CBC News
The arms race continues. But we do also have to remember that ad-free may lead to some less content. Ads do serve a purpose, there’s a lot of ad funded content out there. It’s tricky
Do we really want to fuse our minds together? – Peter Watts – Aeon
Peter Watts long form on state of the art brain implant, communication and wiring, and consciousness research and what it all might mean in the surprisingly short term
Volvo Self-Parking Car Hits People Because Owner Didn’t Pay For Extra Feature – Slashdot
A Volvo representative said the car was not equipped with the “Pedestrian detection” feature. That feature is sold as a separate package.
Mark Shuttleworth considering Canonical IPO | ZDNet
We now have a story that the market will understand.”
That story is that while Canonical as a whole still isn’t profitable, its OpenStack cloud division has become profitable. Shuttleworth added, “I don’t believe any other company can say that about their OpenStack efforts.”
I’m concerned that the “unprofitable” desktop might suffer more if this were to happen. And what of the phone plans? It’s a gamble as is. A board would have to have the right people to back it going forward or they might just close that venture down. Should be interesting
Ross Ulbricht, Creator of Silk Road Website, Is Sentenced to Life in Prison – NYTimes.com
MIT cheetah robot lands the running jump – YouTube
Pretty amazing demo of a running robot running at 2.4 m/s jumping obstacles. We’re really staring to get natural, flexible robotic movement at decent speed.
Google working with new textiles to weave into fabric and then clothes sensors that can be used for touch and gesture interfaces
Stink Bombs for Riot Control – Schneier on Security
It’s called Skunk, a type of “malodorant,” or in plainer language, a foul-smelling liquid. Technically nontoxic but incredibly disgusting, it has been described as a cross between “dead animal and human excrement.” Untreated, the smell lingers for weeks.
Developed by the Israeli Defense Force, it’s coming soon to the US
Looking Forward: Microsoft: Support for Secure Shell (SSH)
I’m pleased to announce that the PowerShell team will support and contribute to the OpenSSH community – Very excited to work with the OpenSSH community to deliver the PowerShell and Windows SSH solution!
Wonders from the “new” MS never cease. And this could be very cool. From the HN comments, cturner said it best :
For all Balmer’s thing of dancing on a stage and chanting “developers”, there was no point under Gates or he at which Microsoft felt like a pro-developer company.
That has completely changed in the last eighteen months. Each time I think “wouldn’t it be cool if” I’m finding a few weeks later that someone at Microsoft is well ahead of me. How much easier it will be to ship my sucky roguelikes to Windows users in this new world!
Mozilla Drops $25 Smartphone Plans, Will Focus On Higher Quality Devices – Slashdot
Basic entrepreneurship and startup principals are make things you want and for yourself. Making things for other people gets dangerous rapidly because you may not understand them as well as you think and strawman them.
When your business plan is to make “crappy” phones for “poor” people it’s wandered into super dangerous territory. And sure enough ti didn’t work.
They were also fighting Moore’s law in that phones were getting cheaper and faster probably much faster then their team could make this light weight OS. And so everyone was buying more expensive but cheapening Android phones, which had a much stronger value proposition for hat added money, in that they were designed to be good from the start and a liked device, and as the overwhelmingly dominant OS in the mobile space also benefited from a “network effect” of sorts in that they had the most apps.
Having the most apps feeds back into what the device is for, which can be communication. I have close to 10 chat apps on my phone, very few of which or none which would have been available on Firefox OS. So they are selling a phone that also doesn’t communicate as well with everyone else.
Very difficult. And now they have to try and dig themselves out of this. And that too will be hard. Their other market, the geeks, which might have been too small to target directly, now all have seen a FF OS phone and been like “meh, kinda crap”, so they’ve burned some bridges with those potential evangelists as well.
They need to more than just saying “we’re going to stop intentionally being a bit shit” find a specific niche they can try and exploit. I know that’s what they were trying to do but they were doing it wrong. Also competing with Apple/iOS and Android is just a super hard challenge. I won’t be betting on the Firefox OS phone gaining any noticeable traction any time soon.
A Text Message Can Crash An iPhone and Force It To Reboot – Slashdot
“When the text message is displayed by a banner alert or notification on the lockscreen, the system attempts to abbreviate the text with an ellipsis. If the ellipsis is placed in the middle of a set of non-Latin script characters, including Arabic, Marathi and Chinese, it causes the system to crash and the phone to reboot.”
Pay more attention to i18n earlier on in your dev cycle and test it extensively…
EU Drops Plans For Safer Pesticides After Pressure From US – Slashdot
The European Union recently published plans to ban 31 pesticides containing chemicals linked to testicular cancer and male infertility. Those potential regulations have now been dropped after a U.S. business delegation said they would adversely affect trade negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
Pretty solidly evil.
Scientists reverse aging in human cell lines and give theory of aging a new lease of life — ScienceDaily
Controversial (contested) results being published soon. If true, and worked a lot could help with “curing” aging, though even this potential break through would have a ways to go.
3D printing technique explored to help treat type 1 diabetes
The paper describes how clusters of specialized cells responsible for the production of insulin and glucagon in the pancreas, called islets of Langerhans, have successfully been 3D printed into a scaffold. It is hoped that the scaffolds can be transplanted into patients with type 1 diabetes to help regulate blood sugar levels
On ad blockers – personal values trump
For the longest time I’ve been swayed by the argument that free-to-me content needs a monitization stream so I’ve avoided installing ad blockers. In my pyramid of values that argument found a place that help for a long time.
Until Quinn Norton’s article on trackers and the power we know they already have and her hints and the even more terrible power they would have if merged (by say a government or merging due to sales).
And just like that a new argument that trips my personal privacy sense which is higher up my personal pyramid of values has trumped the old argument and I’m suddenly finding myself investigating ad-blockers like Ad Block Plus and other tools like No Script, Disconnect and others. Long term, the leakage of that much personal information is not worth it, I’d rather pay, like I already do for the occasional service, like newsblur and netflix.
Kanban: On Trust
sociologists call it social capital. What they’ve learned is that trust is event driven and that small, frequent gestures of events enhance trust more than larger gestures made only occasionally
Interesting. Also of note is the economics/market jargon bleed over. As “Debt: the first 5000 years” suggests it really does bleed over into everything else.