Daily Links

Google’s Latest Search: What Happened to Its Bikes?

Google’s Latest Search: What Happened to Its Bikes?

Google built a massive business organizing the world’s information, but it’s struggling to keep track of the bikes it provides for employees to get around its giant headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Local residents tend to ride off with them.

www.wsj.com/articles/googles-latest-search-what-happened-to-its-bikes-1515172167/

Is Your Child Lying to You? That’s Good

Opinion | Is Your Child Lying to You? Thatâ??s Good

Kids who know how to deceive are smarter and better adjusted.

www.nytimes.com/2018/01/05/opinion/sunday/children-lying-intelligence.html

Trashed: Inside the Deadly World of Private Garbage Collection — ProPublica

Trashed: Inside the Deadly World of Private Garbage Collection — ProPublica

Waste removal is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. On the darkened streets of New York City, it’s a race for survival.

www.propublica.org/article/trashed-inside-the-deadly-world-of-private-garbage-collection/

How So Many Researchers Found a 20-Year-Old Chip Flaw At Once

How So Many Researchers Found a 20-Year-Old Chip Flaw At Once

The uncanny coincidences among the Meltdown and Spectre discoveries raise questions about “bug collisions”—and the safety of the NSA’s hidden vulnerability collection.

www.wired.com/story/meltdown-spectre-bug-collision-intel-chip-flaw-discovery/

Daily Links

Why no one has died in a commercial passenger jet crash in over a year

Why no one has died in a commercial passenger jet crash in over a year

“I contacted Dispatch and discussed with them that I was uncomfortable taking the aircraft with an unknown reptile condition.…” the pilot wrote.

medium.com/popular-science/why-no-one-has-died-in-a-commercial-passenger-jet-crash-in-over-a-year-d6e3623edc7e/

Who Owns Aokigahara?

Who Owns Aokigahara?

Japan is a prop in these videos, and in the case of Logan Paul, sadly, Japan’s very serious problem with suicide was a prop. For the past year I’ve been doing research on media representations of Aokigahara inside and outside Japan…

gradland.wordpress.com/2018/01/02/who-owns-aokigahara/

Chrome is turning into the new Internet Explorer 6

Chrome is turning into the new Internet Explorer 6

As Google continues to dominate our access to the web, information through its search engine, and services like Gmail or YouTube, Chrome is a powerful entry point in the company’s vast toolbox.

www.theverge.com/2018/1/4/16805216/google-chrome-only-sites-internet-explorer-6-web-standards/

Daily Links

Andy Warhol’s Whimsical Drawings Before He Went Pop

Andy Warhol’s Whimsical Drawings Before He Went Pop

A new book collects Warhol’s early hand-drawn illustrations and accompanying texts, reproduced faithfully and filled with wit and whimsy.

hyperallergic.com/416162/andy-warhols-whimsical-drawings-before-he-went-pop/

Fukushima’s surfers riding on radioactive waves

Fukushima’s surfers riding on radioactive waves

“We will only know the true consequences of our time in the water 20 years from now.”

www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2016/08/fukushima-surfers-riding-radioactive-waves-160826095748798.html

Why did Google think LaVar Ball founded the NBA?

Why did Google think LaVar Ball founded the NBA?

The search engine continues to produce errors in its attempt to provide quick and easy answers to queries.

theoutline.com/post/2838/why-did-google-think-lavar-ball-founded-the-nba/

Pinterest’s Third Way

Pinterest’s Third Way – NewCo Shift

Ben Silbermann and company have built tech’s most misunderstood platform. 2018 could be the year it breaks out with a model markedly distinct from its Valley cousins.

shift.newco.co/pinterests-third-way-a1877c5f1001/

Astronomers Debunk the ‘Alien Megastructures’ Theory About that Weird Star

Astronomers Debunk the ‘Alien Megastructures’ Theory About that Weird Star

Over 100 people collaborated on the newest study about KIC 8462852.

motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/mbp7wy/astronomers-debunk-the-alien-megastructures-theory-about-that-weird-star/

Daily Links (Doom and Gloom Edition)

Escaping Poverty Requires Almost 20 Years With Nearly Nothing Going Wrong

Escaping Poverty Requires Almost 20 Years With Nearly Nothing Going Wrong

The MIT economist Peter Temin argues that economic inequality results in two distinct classes. And only one of them has any power.

www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/04/economic-inequality/524610/

Earth will start becoming a desert by 2050 if global warming isn’t stopped, study says

Earth will start becoming a desert by 2050 if global warming isn’t stopped, study says

More than 25 percent of Earth will experience serious drought and desertification by the year 2050 if global warming is not curbed, according to a new study by the journal Nature Climate Change.

www.newsweek.com/earth-desert-2050-global-warming-768545/

Daily Links

The case for defeating death

The case for defeating death

We’re taught that death is natural and that trying to escape it is wishful lunacy. However, these researchers have made tangible discoveries. They’ve published studies in highly respected journals and attracted serious amounts of funding. When they say it’s possible to live longer, and maybe forever, it’s tempting to believe them.

theoutline.com/post/902/the-case-for-defeating-death/

Does the White Working Class Really Vote Against Its Own Interests?

Does the White Working Class Really Vote Against Its Own Interests?

Trump’s first year in office revived an age-old debate about why some people choose race over class—and how far they will go to protect the system.

www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/12/31/trump-white-working-class-history-216200/

Documents Reveal the Complex Legacy of James Angleton, CIA Counterintelligence Chief and Godfather of Mass Surveillance

Documents Reveal the Complex Legacy of James Angleton, CIA Counterintelligence Chief and Godfather of Mass Surveillance

James Angleton was a conspiracy theorist with state power who had a profound impact on America’??s secret government.

theintercept.com/2018/01/01/the-complex-legacy-of-cia-counterintelligence-chief-james-angleton/

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Internal Emails Show Twitter Struggled To Interpret Its Own Verification Rules While Hunting Trolls

Internal Emails Show Twitter Struggled To Interpret Its Own Verification Rules While Hunting Trolls

Emails suggest that verification was never quite what Twitter said it was and that the company was aware it served as a tacit endorsement long before it admitted so publicly.

www.buzzfeed.com/charliewarzel/internal-emails-show-twitter-struggled-to-interpret-its-own?utm_term=.thvGO4olV

We’re witnessing the wholesale looting of America

We’re witnessing the wholesale looting of America

Politicians are making decisions to enrich their donors — and at times themselves personally — with a reckless disregard for any kind of objective policy analysis or consideration of public opinion.

www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/12/19/16786006/looting-of-america/

Productivity is dangerous

Productivity is dangerous

I often see shit like, “Ten Habits I Have QUIT to Get More Done,” and I think, “Maybe quit writing posts like this.” If you’re waking up at 4 a.m. to write 1,000 words about how you write 1,000 words every day, what are you actually getting done? Just stay in bed.

theoutline.com/post/2595/productivity-is-dangerous/

Seeing Through Big Tobacco’s Smokescreen – Project Syndicate – Medium

Seeing Through Big Tobacco’s Smokescreen – Project Syndicate – Medium

Legal setbacks in the US have forced the tobacco industry to concede that its products are harmful, and that for decades cigarette producers deliberately misled the public about the health effects of smoking. But these “corrective statements” do not mean that the war with the industry is over.

medium.com/project-syndicate/seeing-through-big-tobaccos-smokescreen-2c14bc5be373/

The US Will Fund Research to Make Pathogens Deadlier Again

The US Will Fund Research to Make Pathogens Deadlier Again

The NIH lifted a 3-year funding moratorium on “gain-of-function” research meant to make deadly viruses stronger and more transmissible.

motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/d34vyj/the-us-will-fund-research-to-make-pathogens-deadlier-again/

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Daily Links

Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program

NYTimes.com

For years, the program investigated reports of unidentified flying objects, according to Defense Department officials, interviews with program participants and records obtained by The New York Times.

mobile.nytimes.com/2017/12/16/us/politics/pentagon-program-ufo-harry-reid.html/

Let it go: The Arctic will never be frozen again

Let it go: The Arctic will never be frozen again

There’s new evidence that an unprecedented transformation is underway at the North Pole.

grist.org/article/let-it-go-the-arctic-will-never-be-frozen-again/

The editorial meeting of the future

The editorial meeting of the future

“In the future, we’ll instead organize the editorial meeting around this all-important question: “What can we help the public understand or do today?” We won’t start with our ideas — we’ll start with the information gaps the public demonstrates they have, and focus our efforts squarely on filling those gaps.”

www.niemanlab.org/2017/12/the-editorial-meeting-of-the-future/

2017 in pictures: The best science images of the year

2017 in pictures: The best science images of the year

A spectacular total eclipse, hitch-hiking octopus, nanoscale fireworks and more.

www.nature.com/articles/d41586-017-08492-y/

Laser-driven technique for creating fusion is now within reach, say researchers

Laser-driven technique for creating fusion is now within reach, say researchers

A laser-driven technique for creating fusion that dispenses with the need for radioactive fuel elements and leaves no toxic radioactive waste is now within reach, say researchers.

phys.org/news/2017-12-laser-driven-technique-fusion.html

Which Kobe Bryant Shot Was the Kobe-est Kobe Shot?

Which Kobe Bryant Shot Was the Kobe-est Kobe Shot?

The NBA’s third-leading scorer of all time never met a shot he didn’t think he could make — distance and defenders be damned. But which of his attempts best exemplifies his indomitable self-belief?

www.theringer.com/2017/8/2/16095344/kobe-bryant-kobe-est-shot-inefficiency-week-d1a1987b6da9/

We are sleepwalking toward war with North Korea

We are sleepwalking toward war with North Korea

But here’s the genuinely scary thing. Numerous conversations with US policymakers, former US government officials, and experts all point to one disturbing conclusion: Far from being unthinkable, a war with North Korea is becoming more likely by the day.

www.vox.com/world/2017/12/18/16733560/north-korea-war/

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Daily Links

Just one link today because what a fucking bummer.

The death of the internet

The death of the internet

I have loved the internet — its promise, beauty, and potential — as I’ve loved the world. But the internet today is a place I do not recognize. Trump, Facebook, Twitter, and the serial abusers they all rely on have destroyed what it was, and now they’re working hard to kill it entirely. And when it dies, something bigger than a network dies — the “real world” goes with it. It’s half gone already.

theoutline.com/post/2558/death-of-the-internet-net-neutrality-donald-trump-alt-right-gamergate-facebook-twitter/

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Daily Links

How a Dorm Room Minecraft Scam Brought Down the Internet

How a Dorm Room Minecraft Scam Brought Down the Internet

“They didn’t realize the power they were unleashing,” says FBI supervisory special agent Bill Walton. “This was the Manhattan Project.”

www.wired.com/story/mirai-botnet-minecraft-scam-brought-down-the-internet/

The Reddit Moderator Getting a PhD in Online Moderation

The Reddit Moderator Getting a PhD in Online Moderation

Kat Lo is studying the largely thankless job of unpaid content moderation so we can make open and safe online communities.

motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/a3jkd4/the-reddit-moderator-getting-a-phd-in-online-moderation/

This Is The Daily Stormer’s Playbook

This Is The Daily Stormer’s Playbook

“I once rewrote the lyrics of 50 Cent’s ‘In Da Club’ to make it about the migrant crisis.”

Scientists sequence extinct Tasmanian tiger’s genome

Scientists sequence extinct Tasmanian tiger’s genome – Futurity

The sequenced genome of the Tasmanian tiger reveals that the iconic Australian animal would have struggled to survive had it not gone extinct.

www.futurity.org/tasmanian-tiger-genome-1629182-2/

 

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Police shoot more than twice as many Americans as previously understood

Police shoot more than twice as many Americans as previously understood

An exclusive analysis of data from the 50 largest local police departments in the United States shows that police shoot Americans more than twice as often as previously known.

news.vice.com/story/shot-by-cops/

The Father-Daughter Duo Who Found the Truth Behind a String of Century-Old Murders

The Father-Daughter Duo Who Found the Truth Behind a String of Century-Old Murders

‘The Man From the Train’ co-author Rachel McCarthy James on unraveling the identity of a long-ago serial killer

melmagazine.com/the-father-daughter-duo-who-found-the-truth-behind-a-string-of-century-old-murders-8f4725322e01/

The Dirty Secret of the Global Plan to Avert Climate Disaster

The Dirty Secret of the Global Plan to Avert Climate Disaster

The Paris agreement on climate change charts a narrow path to avoiding a global apocalypse. Just one problem: Its centerpiece is a technology that basically doesn’t yet exist.

www.wired.com/story/the-dirty-secret-of-the-worlds-plan-to-avert-climate-disaster/

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Daily Links

In defense of drinking one dozen Diet Cokes a day

In defense of drinking one dozen Diet Cokes a day

“Nobody drinks that much Diet Coke in one fucking day. He [Trump] might be a serial killer,” wrote one Twitter user, the declaration garnering more than a thousand retweets.

quartzy.qz.com/1152498/in-defense-of-donald-trump-drinking-a-dozen-diet-cokes-a-day/

‘Star Wars’ Was Influenced By The Nazis — And It Fails To Hold Them Accountable

‘Star Wars’ Was Influenced By The Nazis — And It Fails To Hold Them Accountable

While Nazi-inspired aesthetics and plots provide “Star Wars” with a convenient shorthand for “evil,” the ideological core of Nazism’s evil is missing.

forward.com/culture/film-tv/389632/star-wars-nazi-influence-leni-riefenstahl-triumph-of-will/

“Cat Person”

“Cat Person”

“It was a terrible kiss, shockingly bad; Margot had trouble believing that a grown man could possibly be so bad at kissing.”

www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/12/11/cat-person

The 63-Year-Old Retiree Who Broke A Game Looking for The End of the World

The 63-Year-Old Retiree Who Broke A Game Looking for The End of the World

How one retiree’s obsession with ‘The Flame in the Flood’ encapsulates a lifetime of enjoying digital worlds.

waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/z4y3v9/the-63-year-old-retiree-who-broke-a-game-looking-for-the-end-of-the-world/

Trump, Putin and the Pipelines to Nowhere – The Nearly Now

Trump, Putin and the Pipelines to Nowhere – The Nearly Now

You can’t understand what Trump’s doing to America without understanding the “Carbon Bubble”

thenearlynow.com/trump-putin-and-the-pipelines-to-nowhere-742d745ce8fd

Greenland shark is oldest living vertebrate and could be 512 years old, study finds

Greenland shark is oldest living vertebrate and could be 512 years old, study finds

If the data proves correct, the shark could have been alive before Galileo Galilei was convicted of heresy and before Dutch settlers made it to New York City.

www.newsweek.com/greenland-shark-longest-living-vertebrate-science-740965/

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Cuphead artists illustrate the game’s five-year dev cycle

Cuphead artists illustrate the game’s five-year dev cycle

See what it took to make one of the year’s biggest hits

www.polygon.com/features/2017/12/7/16745144/cuphead-artists-illustrate-five-year-development-cycle/

A Fake-News Warning From a Former Propagandist

A Fake-News Warning From a Former Propagandist

Why readers shouldn’t underestimate the power of disinformation.

www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-02-27/a-fake-news-warning-from-a-former-propagandist?utm_content=view/

Do We Want to Live in Facebook’s Utopia?

Do We Want to Live in Facebook’s Utopia?

The company recently unveiled a range of tools meant to further “social good.” What happens when a single company tries to build a global infrastructure?

www.theringer.com/tech/2017/12/7/16743104/facebook-social-good-initiative/

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Daily Links

Australian man uses snack bags as Faraday cage to block tracking by employer
Tom Colella used mylar snack bags to block GPS tracking via his employer-assigned personal digital assistant to go out to play a round of golf—more than 140 times—while he reported he was offsite performing repairs.

Meet the man who deactivated Trump’s Twitter account
“I didn’t do any crime or anything evil, but I feel like Pablo Escobar,” he said, “and slowly it’s getting really annoying.”

Daily Links

The Complicated Legacy Of A Panda Who Was Really Good At Sex
Pan Pan saved his species by being really, really, ridiculously good at sex.

The Surprising Evolution of Dinosaur Drawings
Since the 1800s, paleoartists have tried to imagine what prehistoric creatures looked like—with wildly different results.

Scarlet Fever is Making a Comeback
Scarlet fever, a disease that struck fear into the heart of parents when cases surged in the days of yore, appears to be making an unexpected and puzzling comeback in parts of the world.

Reading List

A collection of #longreads from the last week.


800

New York Above 800 Feet

We are currently in the midst of another clambering epoch. The city has 21 buildings with roof heights above 800 feet; seven of them have been completed in the past 15 years (and three of those the past 36 months). In this special New York Issue, we explore the high-altitude archipelago that spreads among the top floors of these 21 giants.


dogs

A New Origin Story for Dogs

Some say wolves were domesticated around 10,000 years ago, while others say 30,000. Some claim it happened in Europe, others in the Middle East, or East Asia. Some think early human hunter-gatherers actively tamed and bred wolves. Others say wolves domesticated themselves, by scavenging the carcasses left by human hunters, or loitering around campfires, growing tamer with each generation until they became permanent companions.

It still blows my mind that all breeds of modern domesticated dogs came from wolves.


iceland

Iceland’s Ghost Fleet

Ironically, the same Icelandic search team that was dispatched more than four decades ago to try and rescue the crew at the crash site is now being dispatched every single day to rescue tourists trying to find the crash site.

But even as viral images and music videos are luring crowds to come find this dead plane, the story behind its final descent has remained a mystery. No one seems to know why this thing crashed, why it was abandoned, and why it’s still lying on the beach.

UK Artists Make More Money from Vinyl than YouTube

Vinyl | punyweakling.com

“The fact that sales revenues dipped in a record year for British music shows clearly that something is fundamentally broken in the music market,” BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor told the Guardian. So who’s responsible? Taylor places the blame on “dominant tech platforms like YouTube,” which he says are “dictating terms so they can grab the value from music for themselves, at the expense of artists.”

Recorded music as a consumer item is less than 100 years old as an industry, and the tech behind it has changed rapidly. Taking a long view historically, there’s been very little stability in the music industry as a commercial undertaking at all. The Internet has redefined an industry that’s already been completely redefined multiple times since records became popular. We’re still at the very start of this adjustment period, and the entrenched entities are flailing about a bit while the dust is starting to settle.

Blaming dominant tech platforms for year-on-year discrepancies is myopic, but the music industry as a whole – and record companies in particular – have never been particularly visionary beyond the hunt for profits. “…dictating terms so they can grab the value from music for themselves, at the expense of artists” – yeah, that sounds familiar.

Read: Music artists are still making more money from vinyl than YouTube (qz.com)


Related:

Subscription-based music streaming, on the other hand, has yet to prove itself to be a viable model, even after hundreds of millions of investment dollars raised and spent. For our part, we are committed to offering an alternative that we know works. As long as there are fans who care about the welfare of their favorite artists and want to help them keep making music, we will continue to provide that direct connection. And as long as there are fans who want to own, not rent, their music, that is a service we will continue to provide, and that is a model whose benefits we will continue to champion.? – Bandcamp