Other Places is/was a short film series by Andy “ultrabrilliant” Kelly. Over 4 years, Kelly published over 75 videos showcasing the gorgeous landscapes, cityscapes, vistas and horizons he experienced in videos games.
Squeezed one last drop of blood out of Other Places, that critically acclaimed thing I once did that hardly anyone watched. https://t.co/S7CavwyS5w
— Andy Kelly (@ultrabrilliant) March 8, 2018
I watched them, Andy. I watched them.
I still live in Houston to this day, and I can walk around this city and no matter what, people got my back. Even when I was going through some dark times the past few years, and I got locked up, everybody in Houston still had my back. How many guys who only played in a city for five years, and only made the playoffs once, get that much love?
I think it’s because of the energy in the city when me and Yao were together. That was my guy. When he came to Houston, we were some Odd Couple motherfuckers, man. A dude from China and a dude from D.C., and it wasn’t even language that was the problem. That was just a part of it. I’m partially deaf in my left ear, and Yao is partially deaf in his right ear, and we’re trying to speak to one another in basic English.
He’s turning his head, Huh?
I’m turning my head, What? Huh?
A genuinely entertaining and well written short-form memoir by Steve Francis covering what amounts to his whole life – from the death of his mother and step father, dealing drugs and visiting prisons to Hakeem, Yao, Gary Payton and Shawn Marion.
A must read for any NBA fan.
Owners of Amazon Echo devices with the voice-enabled assistant Alexa have been pretty much creeped out of their damn minds recently. People are reporting that the bot sometimes spontaneously starts laughing — which is basically a bloodcurdling nightmare.
2018 being pretty 2018 on this one.
Music was generated autoregressively with SampleRNN, a recurrent neural network [Soroush Mehri et al. 2017], trained on raw audio from the album Punk in Drublic. The machine listened to Punk in Drublic 26 times over several days. The machine generated 900 minutes of audio. A human listened to the machine audio, chose sections from varied evolution points, and taped them together into a 20 minute album.
I’d pay real money to see someone attempt to annotate this on Genius.
More madness at dadabots.com
Via The Outline
—Hey Siri how many quarts are in a gallon?
—What would you like me to convert one gallon to?
—Quartz is a mineral composed of silicon and oxygen atoms in a continuous framework…
— John Gruber (@gruber) February 14, 2018
I for one am very happy Apple isn't collecting this deeply personal information to better its services. https://t.co/4622CK8krg
— Russell Holly (@russellholly) March 1, 2018
There’s a moment – after the step back, after the look down… just the briefest of moments – when Harden relaxes his shoulders even more and spins the ball before bombing the three. That is cold blooded.
I remember feeling very heartened to see WikiPedia, Google and others take a stand on January 18th, 2012. But I also remember feeling uneasy. In this particular case, companies were lobbying for a cause I agreed with. But what if they were lobbying for a cause I didn’t agree with? Large corporations using their power to influence politics seems like a very bad idea. Isn’t it still a bad idea, even if I happen to agree with the cause?
There’s an uncomfortable tension here. When do the ends justify the means? Isn’t the whole point of having principles that they hold true even in the direst circumstances? Why even claim that corporations shouldn’t influence politics if you’re going to make an exception for net neutrality? Why even claim that free speech is sacrosanct if you make an exception for nazi scum?
Those two examples are pretty extreme and I can easily justify the exceptions to myself. Net neutrality is too important. Stopping fascism is too important. But where do I draw the line? At what point does something become “too important?”
There are more subtle examples of corporations wielding their power. Google are constantly using their monopoly position in search and browser marketshare to exert influence over website-builders. In theory, that’s bad. But in practice, I find myself agreeing with specific instances. Prioritising mobile-friendly sites? Sounds good to me. Penalising intrusive ads? Again, that seems okey-dokey to me. But surely that’s not the point. So what if I happen to agree with the ends being pursued? The fact that a company the size and power of Google is using their monopoly for any influence is worrying, regardless of whether I agree with the specific instances.
Google’s handling of HTTPS and AMP is fascinating to watch. It seems that really smart people are worried about how this will all end up. I find myself identifying strongly with the above. Read the whole piece.
The last thing I need at the start of a crazy-busy week like this are distractions. You know, cool things I can’t help but stop what I’m doing and start playing w… pic.twitter.com/MIKg5pAfxg
— Ryan McCaffrey (@DMC_Ryan) February 26, 2018
You can even buy one.
A Data Scientist Was Sick of Seeing Spam on His Facebook so He Built a Fake News Detector
“I see my friends post, sometimes, complete garbage or articles recommended to me that are complete garbage.”
4G found on Moon
Vodafone’s network will be used to set up the Moon’s first 4G network, connecting two Audi Lunar Quattro rovers to a base station in the Autonomous Landing and Navigation Module.
“The Newsroom Feels Embarrassed”: Inside The New York Times Op-Ed Crisis
A yoga-pants refusenik, a climate-science skeptic, and a tech writer with a neo-Nazi pal have put James Bennet in the crosshairs.
Sucuri WebSite Firewall – Access Denied
KFC went through a highly publicized, somewhat bizarre crisis in the U.K. this week: The fast food joint known for its fried chicken ran out of chicken. Now, KFC is apologizing with a creative stunt: rearranging its name to spell “FCK.”
Gobee.bike pulls out of France due to ‘mass destruction’ of its dockless bike fleet
Thousands of its bikes have been stolen or damaged, says company that had 150,000 users across the country
Google’s secret effort to scan every book in the world, codenamed “Project Ocean,” began in earnest in 2002 when Larry Page and Marissa Mayer sat down in the office together with a 300-page book and a metronome. Page wanted to know how long it would take to scan more than a hundred-million books, so he started with one that was lying around. Using the metronome to keep a steady pace, he and Mayer paged through the book cover-to-cover. It took them 40 minutes.
With that 40-minute number in mind, Page approached the University of Michigan, his alma mater and a world leader in book scanning, to find out what the state of the art in mass digitization looked like. Michigan told him that at the current pace, digitizing their entire collection—7 million volumes—was going to take about a thousand years. Page, who’d by now given the problem some thought, replied that he thought Google could do it in six.
An absolutely fascinating dive into the history of Project Ocean, covering how it started at Google, how Google scanned the books (camera arrays, clever algorithms and human page turners), and the years-long legal wrangle between Google, the Authors Guild and the DOJ.
It’s there. The books are there. People have been trying to build a library like this for ages—to do so, they’ve said, would be to erect one of the great humanitarian artifacts of all time—and here we’ve done the work to make it real and we were about to give it to the world and now, instead, it’s 50 or 60 petabytes on disk, and the only people who can see it are half a dozen engineers on the project who happen to have access because they’re the ones responsible for locking it up.
Interestingly Page later opined during a Q&A that maybe it would be a good idea to “set aside a part of the world” to try out some “exciting things you could do that are illegal or not allowed by regulation.” He was roundly criticised for being an annoying, out-of-touch billionaire at the time, but perhaps he was just being wistful.
A Sabotage version of every new trailer, please.
The fake social media profiles helping American rappers blow up in Russia
To the casual American rap fan, Night Lovell’s Russian popularity seems beyond random. But Russia’s young rap fans have constructed their own shadow rap ecosystem, skirting many of the power brokers that guide taste and collect income for artists in the states.
Nokia’s banana phone from The Matrix is back
Now HMD, makers of Nokia-branded phones, is bringing the Nokia 8110 back to life as a retro classic.
Raptors’ DeRozan hopes honest talk on depression helps others | Toronto Star
All-star DeMar DeRozan copes with troubled times — hinted at in all-star weekend tweet that sparked a wave of support — by throwing his life into his family and his basketball: “Sometimes . . . it gets the best of you.”
Trump vs. “disease X”
But further down on the WHO list was a threat ominously described as “disease X.” The X stands for an unknown: a pathogen lurking out there, currently being harbored in animals, with the potential to make the dangerous leap into humans and spread suffering and death around the globe.
Ian Sample delves into a preliminary study of US embassy staff said to have been targeted by an energy source in Cuba. With no unifying explanation, what do scientists think happened?
In a story seemingly straight out of the X-Files, US embassy staff based in Cuba started to get sick at the same time and nobody knew what was causing it.
In August 2017 reports of the incident started hitting the web, with 16 embassy staff described as suffering from a variety of symptoms including loss of hearing, headaches and nausea.
In October, The Times spoke to some experts in acoustics who suggested the sonic weapon theory was “more appropriate to a James Bond movie”.
Stranger still, in December, doctors who were treating the US Embassy staff discovered abnormalities in the white matter of the victim’s brains. From The Associated Press:
Loud, mysterious sounds followed by hearing loss and ear-ringing had led investigators to suspect “sonic attacks.” But officials are now carefully avoiding that term. The sounds may have been the byproduct of something else that caused damage, said three US officials briefed on the investigation. They weren’t authorized to discuss it publicly and demanded anonymity.
Physicians, FBI investigators and US intelligence agencies have spent months trying to piece together the puzzle in Havana, where the US says 24 US government officials and spouses fell ill starting last year in homes and later in some hotels.
Doctors still don’t know how victims ended up with the white matter changes, nor how exactly those changes might relate to their symptoms. US officials wouldn’t say whether the changes were found in all 24 patients.
But acoustic waves have never been shown to alter the brain’s white matter tracts, said Elisa Konofagou, a biomedical engineering professor at Columbia University who is not involved in the government’s investigation.
The Pod Pod is a selection of recommended single podcast episodes.
Albright said the results suggest that the conspiracy genre is embedded so deeply into YouTube’s video culture that it could be nearly impossible to eradicate.
“It’s already tipped in favor of the conspiracists, I think,” Albright told BuzzFeed News. “There are a handful of debunking videos in the data. They can’t make up for the thousands of videos with false claims and rumors.”
Albright also suggested that the proliferation of these videos makes it more attractive for others to create this content.
To anyone who dabbles in occasional conspiracy-theory deep dives on YouTube, this rings true. There is an absolute avalanche of dipshit conspiracies on YouTube, and most people lack the mental dexterity to tell that a video is playing loose with the facts – especially if it meshes nicely with their existing worldview.
Less common is the conspiracy parody. The Outline absolutely nailed it with this gem:
I’ve often thought a conspiracy channel would be an easy way to make some quick beer money, but it seems I’m much too late to the game.
Or am I?
Yes, I am.
The term ‘crisis actor’ has been in the news a lot lately, because conspiracy theorists have accused survivors of the Douglas High School mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, of being actors—people paid to pretend they witnessed a horrible tragedy that actually never happened and was instead staged by the government in order to garner the political will necessary to ban guns.
To be clear, there is no evidence this is actually the case. Conspiracy theorists have questioned the legitimacy of people who lived through a horrific shooting—watched their friends and classmates slaughtered—in an attempt to harass and silence their political activism.
It wasn’t until relatively recently that conspiracy theorists were audacious enough to suggest that terrorist attacks and mass shootings actually didn’t happen at all.
A good backgrounder on the origins of the horseshit “Crisis Actor” conspiracies.
Semi-regular reminder that false-flaggers are scum.