birguslatro: Birgus Latro III icon (Default)
One of the more interesting statistics to come out of the US election...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/11/22/donald-trump-lost-most-of-the-american-economy-in-this-election/

"The divide is economic, and it is massive. According to the Brookings analysis, the less-than-500 counties that Clinton won nationwide combined to generate 64 percent of America's economic activity in 2015. The more-than-2,600 counties that Trump won combined to generate 36 percent of the country's economic activity last year."
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'tis lovely...

https://www.catarse.me/mola2

There's English descriptions to be found there, including in the video. And it's already passed its (Brazilian) crowdfunding minimum.
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There's been a major earthquake in NZ. Live updates can be monitored here...

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/318002/live-tsunami-threat-after-earthquake-rocks-country

The earthquakes are recorded here...

http://www.geonet.org.nz/quakes/felt

Radio NZ audio can be listened to here...

http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/live/national

No reports of injuries yet.
birguslatro: Birgus Latro III icon (Default)
From here...

http://www.theverge.com/2016/11/4/13518016/smoking-damage-cancer-risk-dna-cell-mutations

"They found that for every 50 cigarettes smoked, there is one extra DNA mutation for each cell in the lungs. Over the course of a year, this means that someone who smokes a pack a day (20 cigarettes) has 150 extra mutations per cell in the lung, 97 per larynx cell, 23 per mouth cell, 18 per bladder cell, and six per liver cell."

And: "The good news for smokers, though, is that it’s never too late to quit. Although smoking causes regular DNA mutations, as soon as people give up cigarettes, the mutations stop, too. One UK study from 2004 found that those who quit smoking at age 30 nearly eliminate the risk of dying prematurely, while those who quit at 50 halve it."
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The woman Evan McMullin says is his running mate for Vice President, Mindy Finn, isn't shown as his running mate on ballot papers. Instead, someone called Nathan Johnson is...

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/election/article112594568.html

McMullin's reasoning for this makes sense - that his rush to enter the race hadn't given him time to sound out potential running mates. It's still laughable though, like American democracy in general and this election in particular.

More head-scratching from an alien's POV...

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/10/31/politics/changing-early-vote-cast/index.html
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A new political party was launched in New Zealand today, called The Opportunities Party. It's been founded by Gareth Morgan, who's very well known in NZ for his economic opinions and such.

No policies have been announced yet, but it's a good bet a basic income and a flat tax will be one of them, given Morgan was one of the writers of "The Big Kahuna", which you can read about here...

It's early days yet, but I suspect the party will gain enough traction to get the 5% or more needed to get into parliament. This seems a reasonable assumption, given 25% of Switzerland's voters gave a yes to a basic income in their referendum. It's become a popular idea globally in the last few years. Couple that with both NZ's Greens and Labour parties liking the idea, (despite Labour rejecting it as a policy), and it's just possible it might be tried in NZ.

Here's Gareth Morgan announcing the party...
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It's suddenly possible that Evan McMullin could win Utah...

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-evan-mcmullin-utah-20161027-story.html

If that happens and it's otherwise a close race between Trump and Clinton, it could be the House of Representatives who choose the next President. That would be a fitting end for such a train-crash of an election, but I can't imagine who they'd choose out of the three! One thing about McMullin is he seems pretty squeaky-clean compared to the other two, (or you or me, for that matter), so perhaps that'd count in his favour. And you suspect a reasoned argument would work with him, unlike with Trump. Which might be enough to counter his and his running-mate's newbie status and, one assumes, the low percentage he'll get of the popular vote.

This scenario seems a more savory result than a Trump victory.

Oh, yes...

Oct. 26th, 2016 08:00 am
birguslatro: Birgus Latro III icon (Default)
I just remembered this old post of mine...

I wasn't wrong, was I?
birguslatro: Birgus Latro III icon (Default)
"Still, it taught me that being a man making video games is like a woman doing anything -- you can give the world nothing but a free supply of objective awesomeness, and you'll still have crusaders hellbent on destroying you."

That's from this nice, sober and thoughtful article to be found here...

http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-things-you-learn-when-making-modern-video-game/

Well worth the read.
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A wonderful twitter feed is bitcraft lab, it focusing on generative designs. And trying to figure out where it comes from leads you to http://bitcraftlab.com/ which takes you here...

http://www.k2g2.org/blog:bit.craft

So, the twitter feed's generated by someone interested in the "convergence of craft and computation", with a focus on knitting. That site doesn't seem to have been updated since 2013, but the twitter feed is active, so worth keeping an eye on.
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"The international SETI community has established a 0 to 10 scale for quantifying detections of phenomena that may indicate the existence of advanced life beyond the Earth called the Rio
Scale. The BSRC team assesses the Borra-Trottier result to currently be a 0 or (None/Insignificant) on this scale. If the signal were to be confirmed with another independent telescope, its significance would rise, though an exhaustive analysis of other possible explanations, including instrumental phenomena, must be performed before supporting the hypothesis that artificially generated pulses are responsible for the claimed signal."

From here: https://seti.berkeley.edu/bl_sdss_seti_2016.pdf
birguslatro: Birgus Latro III icon (Default)
coming from 234 stars out of 2.5 million looked at...

https://arxiv.org/abs/1610.03031v1

"Finally we consider the possibility, predicted in a previous published paper, that the signals are caused by light pulses generated by Extraterrestrial Intelligence to makes us aware of their existence. We find that the detected signals have exactly the shape of an ETI signal predicted in the previous publication and are therefore in agreement with this hypothesis."

Still only at the hypothesis stage though.

Should we be sending such signals too?
birguslatro: Birgus Latro III icon (Default)
So, having got Twitter videos working in Firefox last month, (see the previous post), they've stopped working again after Firefox's latest update. Twitter's fault, or Firefox's? Well, Twitter's, really, since they should be checking them on all the browsers and videos work fine in Facebook and most everywhere else. (Twitter videos don't work in Opera either, but do in Chrome, so maybe Twitter's hoping above hope that Google will buy them and so only care about Chrome...)
birguslatro: Birgus Latro III icon (Default)
Videos on Twitter in Firefox haven't been working for me, so I decided to look into it today and I found the solution...

in about:config set media.mediasource.webm.enabled to true
birguslatro: Birgus Latro III icon (Default)
Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, already accounts for a third of NZ's population and its growth continues apace. In a seismically active country, this is just daft. For instance, see the maps and animations about the recent earthquake off NZ's east coast...

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/83827254/did-civil-defence-react-quickly-enough-to-todays-severe-earthquake

Even if Auckland isn't the center of a future large earthquake, a tsunami from one offshore could still devastate it. Having near to half the country's population in one location makes no sense at all in New Zealand.
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If 21.co is the bitcoin folks' latest wet dream (as I claimed yesterday), then democracy.earth must be their current daydream. A case of the hammer seeing everything as a nail.

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