Tuesday, November 25, 2014

‘Serial,’ Podcasting’s First Breakout Hit, Sets Stage for More - NYTimes.com

‘Serial,’ Podcasting’s First Breakout Hit, Sets Stage for More - NYTimes.com



“Serial,”
by producers of public radio’s “This American Life,” is nine episodes
deep in its re-examination of the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, a Maryland
teenager, that resulted in the conviction of Adnan Syed, her former
boyfriend. With listeners over her shoulder, the reporter Sarah Koenig
has anthologized the case, pulling apart old evidence, uncovering new
facts and alibis, and raising questions about whether a young man
belongs in prison for the rest of his life.

There has been a rabid debate all over the web about the murder and the show, along with parodies on YouTube and recaps on Slate. “Serial” has quickly become the most popular podcast in the history of the form.

Artist Sterling Crispin’s “Data Masks” remind us the machines are always watching.

This Is What Your Face Looks Like to Facebook — Matter — Medium



As the U.S. government builds biometric databases like its Next-Generation Identification
face-recognition system, it’s more important than ever to know how our
identities are captured and processed by the technology we adopt. 

The Amazing Murals Created by Facebook's Artists-in-Residence | WIRED

The Amazing Murals Created by Facebook's Artists-in-Residence | WIRED




He wasn’t the first artist to use Facebook as a canvas—or the last.
In exchange for some Facebook stock—which ultimately made him very
rich—graffiti artist David Choe tricked out the walls at Facebook’s
original office, on Palo Alto’s Emerson Street, and so many other
artists followed—with their paints, brushes, and spray cans—as the
company expanded into newer campuses.

Google’s Interactive Times Square Billboard Is Broadway’s Largest Ever - DesignTAXI.com

Google’s Interactive Times Square Billboard Is Broadway’s Largest Ever - DesignTAXI.com



it is “the largest digital billboard in North America,” said a Clear Channel spokesperson to Mashable.




The billboard is scheduled to go live on Monday and will feature an interactive Android game playable to the public until Tuesday, 9pm. 

What happened in Ferguson - Washington Post

What happened in Ferguson - Washington Post



St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert P. McCulloch laid out this
scenario for the sequence of events in the shooting of Michael Brown by
Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, assembled from physical evidence
and testimony of dozens of witnesses. The narrative begins at 11:45 a.m.

It’s Incredibly Rare For A Grand Jury To Do What Ferguson’s Just Did | FiveThirtyEight

It’s Incredibly Rare For A Grand Jury To Do What Ferguson’s Just Did | FiveThirtyEight



Grand juries nearly always decide to indict. federal cases in 2010, the most recent year for which we have data. Grand juries declined to return an indictment in 11 of them.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The new zombie still eats brains, but it can think, emote and even fall in love. Why zombies with heart are on the rise

Why zombies suddenly have hearts and minds – Davia Sills – Aeon



This human-zombie love story showcases the latest stage of zombie
evolution: humanised zombies, sweet zombies, romantic zombies. On-screen
zombies have always reflected their era, creating a cultural arc and a
‘mirror image of what’s happening in society at that moment’, according
to Sara Sutler-Cohen, a sociologist at San Francisco State University
who studies the motif. 

Cameras that read 263,430 license plates in Menlo Park net a single arrest - San Jose Mercury News

Cameras that read 263,430 license plates in Menlo Park net a single arrest - San Jose Mercury News



Here’s a fun way to waste almost $60,000 of taxpayer money: In Menlo
Park, Calif,, traffic cameras scanned more than 250,000 license plates
and only made one arrest. Check out the San Jose Mercury News for the whole story.

Highly-complex malware has secretly spied on computers for years, say researchers | The Verge

Highly-complex malware has secretly spied on computers for years, say researchers | The Verge



Symantec Uncovers Sophisticated, Stealthy Computer Spying Tool | Re/code



for more technical detail on what is known, there’s a 21-page white paper here

it’s similar to Stuxnet and its sibling Trojan, Duqu which was designed to gather intelligence on a target by stealing massive amounts of data.



About 100 Regin infections have been detected, the researchers said,
with most — a combined 52 percent — in Russia and Saudi Arabia. The
remainder have occurred in Mexico, Ireland, India, Afghanistan, Iran,
Belgium, Austria and Pakistan. No infections have yet been detected in
the U.S. or China.



Stuxnet, the world’s first digital weapon. It is believed to have been created by the combined efforts of the U.S. and Israel and used to sabotage the Iranian nuclear research program

Reading Fiction Connects Us to Others

Changing our Minds | Greater Good



For more than two thousand years people have insisted that reading
fiction is good for you. Aristotle claimed that poetry—he meant the
epics of Homer and the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides,
which we would now call fiction—is a more serious business than
history. History, he argued, tells us only what has happened, whereas
fiction tells us what can happen, which can stretch our moral
imaginations and give us insights into ourselves and other people. 

The Birds of Pandemonium (Algonquin Books, 2014) : Michele Raffin

The Genesis of a Bird Rescue - Environment - Utne Reader



One injured dove leads to the inception of the bird rescue that became
Pandemonium Aviaries, now one of the largest bird sanctuaries and rare
breeding facilities in the country.

Type in Tamil in MS Windows 8.1

On Windows – Google Input Tools

Thursday, November 20, 2014

We Are More Than an Ivory Tower | Nancy L. Zimpher

We Are More Than an Ivory Tower | Nancy L. Zimpher:



Higher education has always been at the forefront of meeting society's most pivotal challenges. Most of our public universities stem from a bill signed by Abraham Lincoln himself in the midst of the Civil War to expand access to higher education and ensure that our universities would contribute to the economic vitality of our emerging nation. That model persevered and evolved through two World Wars, putting a man on the moon, and even the massive shift to our world with the beginning of the digital age. But today, institutions are called upon to make major adjustments across multiple sectors -- business, health care, and yes across education, especially higher education.

Hamilton Fish remembers legendary film director and creative force behind The Graduate, Mike Nichols

Remembering Mike Nichols | The Nation

TripAdvisor review couple fined by hotel they branded a "stinking hovel" - CNET

TripAdvisor review couple fined by hotel they branded a "stinking hovel" - CNET



Other hotel sites include Hotels.com, LateRooms, Expedia, Trivago and Yelp

We Only Have One Remaining Bigotry: We Don't Want to Be Around Anybody Who Disagrees With Us

Bill Clinton Speech at The New Republic's 100-Year Anniversary Gala | New Republic




The former president on immigration, healthcare, and identity politics.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Everything You Need to Know about the U.S.–China Climate Change Agreement - Scientific American

Everything You Need to Know about the U.S.–China Climate Change Agreement - Scientific American



The U.S. will double the speed
of its current pollution reduction trajectory, which has seen carbon
dioxide emissions fall roughly 10 percent below 2005 levels to date. The
country will now aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28
percent below 2005 levels by 2025. That's in addition to the 17 percent
reduction below 2005 levels due by 2020 and shows the kind of five-year
planning the U.S. would like to see adopted in international plans to
combat climate change.



The problem is coal, which currently provides more than 70 percent of the energy the fast-developing nation uses. Hundreds of new coal-burning power plants
account for how China surpassed the U.S. in the past decade as the
world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases. But already several Chinese
cities and provinces are experimenting with the kind of capitalist
solutions favored by U.S. free marketeers—cap-and-trade programs that in some cases even extend to cover public transportation and buildings themselves



That means building even more nuclear power plants,
wind farms, hydroelectric dams and even to start employing more solar
power, of which the country installed 12 gigawatts-worth in 2013.

Applications by the Dozen, as Anxious Seniors Hedge College Bets - NYTimes.com

Applications by the Dozen, as Anxious Seniors Hedge College Bets - NYTimes.com



As for the colleges, they are generally eager for more applicants. In
fact, many work hard to market themselves, with promotional mailings
that begin well before senior year, because bigger numbers mean a higher
position in the annual “best colleges” rankings. But dealing with
students who have applied to 25 other colleges can make it hard for
admissions officers to manage their yield — the all-important percentage
of accepted students who actually enroll — and that can hurt the
college’s position in those same rankings.

Jainism and Vegan

On Smushing Bugs - NYTimes.com



Watching an ant scramble frantically to escape my annihilating thumb, he
certainly looks every bit as conscious of his own mortality as I am. 



Dispensing death and
clemency capriciously — killing on petulant impulse, granting pardons at
whim — gives me an Olympian view of how men must live and die in battle
or disasters: one just unlucky, in the wrong place at the wrong moment,
while the guy next to him is miraculously spared for no reason at all. As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods. 

Ants, as individuals, do not seem like very complicated animals to me

Low-Vacation Nation: Government-mandated paid annual leave and paid public holidays, in working days

Inequality, Unbelievably, Gets Worse - NYTimes.com



Conservatives may bemoan the size of our government; in reality,
according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development,
total tax revenues in the United States this year will be smaller on a
relative basis than those of any other member country.



Lower
taxes means less for government to spend on programs to help those near
the bottom. Social Security typically provides a retiree with about
half of his working income; European countries often replace two-thirds
of earnings.

Similarly,
we spend less on early childhood education and care. And another big
difference, of course, is the presence of national health insurance in
most European countries.

Executive Women, Finding (and Owning) Their Voice - NYTimes.com

Executive Women, Finding (and Owning) Their Voice - NYTimes.com



Dara Richardson-Heron of the Y.W.C.A. USA.;

Sharon Napier of Partners +
Napier;

Jenny Ming of Charlotte Russe; and

Jody Greenstone Miller of the
Business Talent Group. 

Is Quantum Entanglement Real? - NYTimes.com

Is Quantum Entanglement Real? - NYTimes.com



Entanglement
concerns the behavior of tiny particles, such as electrons, that have
interacted in the past and then moved apart. Tickle one particle here,
by measuring one of its properties — its position, momentum or “spin” —
and its partner should dance, instantaneously, no matter how far away
the second particle has traveled.The key word is “instantaneously.” 



David Kaiser
is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he
teaches physics and the history of science. His latest book is “How the
Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum
Revival.”

A Brief History of Failure - NYTimes.com

A Brief History of Failure - NYTimes.com



a subway powered by air, an engine run off the heat of your palm. Some
of what we lost, on the other hand, is more subtle, like a better way to
bowl or type. As new standards emerge, variety fades, and a single
technology becomes entrenched. (That’s why the inefficient Qwerty
keyboard has proved so difficult to unseat.)

The Science of Suffering

Is Trauma Genetic? Scientists Say Parents Are Passing PTSD to Kids | New Republic



Why do some people cope with trauma better than others? We’re finally beginning to understand.



On the whole, the children of Cambodian survivors have not enjoyed the
upward mobility of children of immigrants from other Asian countries.



Traditionally, psychiatrists have cited family dynamics to explain the
vicarious traumatization of the second generation. Children may absorb
parents’ psychic burdens as much by osmosis as from stories. They infer
unspeakable abuse and losses from parental anxiety or harshness of tone
or clinginessparents whose own families have
been destroyed may be unwilling to let their children grow up and leave
them. Parents may tell children that their problems amount to nothing
compared with what they went through, which has a
certain truth to it, but is crushing nonetheless. “Transgenerational
transmission is when an older person unconsciously externalizes his
traumatized self onto a developing child’s personality,” in the words of
psychiatrist and psychohistorian Vamik Volkan. “A child then becomes a
reservoir for the unwanted, troublesome parts of an older generation.” 

How a $47 Shrimp Treadmill Became a $3-Million Political Plaything – The Conversation - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education

How a $47 Shrimp Treadmill Became a $3-Million Political Plaything – The Conversation - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education



“My name is David, and I am the marine biologist who put a shrimp on a
treadmill — a burden I will forever carry. To be clear, the treadmill
did not cost millions of taxpayer dollars, the goal of the research was
not to exercise shrimp, and the government did not pay me — or anyone
else — to work out shrimp on treadmills.”

How Alibaba is using bra sizes to predict online shopping habits - Quartz

How Alibaba is using bra sizes to predict online shopping habits - Quartz



“Earlier this summer, a group of data crunchers looking at underwear
sales at Alibaba came across a curious trend: Women who bought larger
bra sizes also tended to spend more. Dividing intimate-apparel shoppers
into four categories of spending power, analysts at the e-commerce giant
found that 65 percent of women of cup size B fell into the ‘low’ spend
category, while those of a size C or higher mostly fit into the ‘middle’
or higher group.”

Want to hire a coding superstar? Call the agent.

The Programmer’s Price


Apple makes more than two million dollars in revenue per employee each year. Google makes almost sixty billion dollars in revenue annually. “Google has ten thousand engineers. So they get people’s dry cleaning, which costs them a couple of thousand dollars a year,” McKinnon said. “That’s nothing!”

He needed “one really good developer” with a mastery of all the coding
languages and frameworks that AuthorBee uses: Python, Django, Angular,
JavaScript, the Twitter A.P.I.



10x, a talent company. 10x was started by two music and entertainment
managers, Michael Solomon and Rishon Blumberg, who for the past nineteen
years have represented rock stars



In HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” a self-effacing character named Big Head
compliments his friend’s coding skills by saying, “Richard’s a 10xer.
I’m, like, barely an xer.”



“Have you heard of Django?” he added. Django is a framework that was
used to build Instagram. “The guy who co-created Django is a client.”

Spotify: Friend or Foe?

Spotify: Friend or Foe?



he wanders the company’s offices, which form an oval around the open
core of a big building on Birger Jarlsgatan, in central Stockholm. The
design encourages “random encounters,” which Ek once read was Steve
Jobs’s plan in laying out Pixar’s offices.



Spotify doesn’t sell music; it sells access to it. Instead of buying
songs and albums, you pay a monthly subscription fee ($9.99), or get
served an ad every few songs if you’re on the free tier. You can listen
to anything on the service—the Beatles (as with iTunes, the surviving
members are not rushing in) and Taylor Swift (who left the service in a
flurry of publicity in early November) notwithstanding—and there is an
astonishing amount of music. 

Meet five-year-old Ayan Qureshi: The youngest Microsoft Certified Professional in the world

Meet five-year-old Ayan Qureshi: The youngest Microsoft Certified Professional in the world

8-year-old Indian-origin CEO to give lecture at cybersecurity summit - The Times of India

8-year-old Indian-origin CEO to give lecture at cybersecurity summit - The Times of India

Come On, Put This Google-Owned Surveillance Device in Your House. It’ll Be Great!

Google’s Nest Runs First TV Ads | Re/code

The World’s Most Powerful Computer Is Still in China | Re/code

The World’s Most Powerful Computer Is Still in China | Re/code



The Tinahe-2 supercomputer, installed at China’s National University of
Defense Technology, remained in the number one spot on the Top500 list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers



China’s Tianhe-2, was designed by the university that houses it and is built with the help of Inspur, a Chinese computing and IT company.