“The lengthy story is embedded in Dangerous Women, an anthology of fantasy writing co-edited by Martin, and along with its impressively long and GRRM-name-checking title — The Princess and the Queen, Or, The Blacks and the Greens: Being a History of the Causes, Origins, Battles, and Betrayals of the Most Tragic Bloodletting Known as the Dance of the Dragons, as set down by Archmaester Gyldayn of the Citadel of Oldtown ((here transcribed by George R.R. Martin)).”—
Operating under support of the Los Angeles class submarine USS Providence (SSN 719) and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center-Newport Division (NUWC-NPT), the NRL developed XFC UAS - eXperimental Fuel Cell Unmanned Aerial System - was fired from the submarine’s torpedo tube using a ‘Sea Robin’ launch vehicle system. The Sea Robin launch system was designed to fit within an empty Tomahawk launch canister (TLC) used for launching Tomahawk cruise missiles already familiar to submarine sailors.
Once deployed from the TLC, the Sea Robin launch vehicle with integrated XFC rose to the ocean surface where it appeared as a spar buoy. Upon command of Providence Commanding Officer, the XFC then vertically launched from Sea Robin and flew a successful several hour mission demonstrating live video capabilities streamed back to Providence, surface support vessels and Norfolk before landing at the Naval Sea Systems Command Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC), Andros, Bahamas.
“Computer scientists have developed a malware prototype that uses inaudible audio signals to communicate, a capability that allows the malware to covertly transmit keystrokes and other sensitive data even when infected machines have no network connection.”—Ars Technica
“The product, named the RF Safe-stop, works by sending an RF pulse to a car at up to 50 meters (164 feet) away. The pulse “confuses” the car’s electronic systems, which the BBC said made the “dashboard warning lights and dial [behave] erratically.” The engine then stalls, and the car comes to a stop. How safely and quickly the vehicle would stop depends on the vehicle, and this technique would not work on older vehicles.”—Ars Technica, on a new prototype that can shout down car engines from 50 meters away.
“CNN began its coverage by showing video of some of the isolated incidents, showing black men and teens sucker punching people. The idea that this is happening with any frequency has been largely debunked, including by New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly at the start of the CNN segment. But CNN wants to talk about it, so…”—The Wire
The estimable online publication BuzzFeed has changed the rules of critical engagement. All I can say is “Bravo!”
At least, if I were writing book reviews for BuzzFeed that’s all I could say, because at BuzzFeed there is no room in the literary criticism section for, you know, criticism. Finally, in an online world of gratuitous snark, one courageous editor has displayed the vision to give thumbs down to thumbs down. You read that right: no negative reviews.
“Why waste breath talking smack about something?” the recently hired book editor Isaac Fitzgerald rhetorically wondered in an interview with the Poynter Institute. “You see it in so many old media-type places, the scathing takedown rip.”
I agree that unwarranted negativity isn’t good. But I disagree that all negativity is unwarranted.
“Researchers at Malwarebytes have discovered that some programs covertly install Bitcoin-mining software on users’ computers, papering over the practice by including sneaky language in their license agreements allowing for “computer calculations, security.”—
The apps sneaking Bitcoin mining software in are the usual suspects (toolbars, etc), but could this be an interesting model if the terms are more clear and users better educated?
I wouldn’t run such software on my laptop (for battery concerns) but for casual computer users who don’t want to pay for a small piece of software and would rather avoid ads, Bitcoin mining might be a good fit.
Uncoverage, a website that will be announced on Monday, will test whether the public cares enough about investigative journalism to pay for it. The site, to be at Uncoverage.com, will allow journalists and nonprofits to seek crowdsourced funding for both articles and topics like, for example, the Syrian war. Money for general topics will be split up among projects by the site’s editors.
The nonprofit investigative group the Center for Public Integrity has signed on as a partner whose projects will be featured on the site.
The commercial site is being founded by Israel Mirsky, an entrepreneur who said that the current model for financing investigative journalism was broken.
“I am passionate about depleted uranium” he said, “but if I want to see more on the topic, my only choice is to buy a paper where reporting on the topic has appeared before and watch for future articles. I can’t imagine a less effective and satisfying way to get journalism on a topic I care about.”
“Holmes, who loathed every form of society with his whole Bohemian soul, remained in our lodgings in Baker Street, buried among his old books, and alternating from week to week between cocaine and ambition.”—A Scandal in Bohemia
“He was accustomed to say that this was the perfect era for the sedentary man; formerly such a man could satisfy any amount of curiosity regarding bygone times by sitting down with Gibbon or Ranke or Tacitus or Greene but if he wanted to meet his contemporaries he had to take to the highways, whereas the man of today, tiring for the moment of Galba or Vitellius, had only to turn on the radio and resume his chair.”—Rex Stout in Fer-de-Lance, 1934
Sun Tzu said, “When your enemy is in the process of destroying himself, stay out of his way.” So if you’re China, just stay out of the way while SK and Japan tear at each other. But now, China has given cause for Japan, SK and the US to come together. Very foolish. And for what? Are the Chinese really go to force down or shoot down civilian airliners in the zone? That would be madness. It would alienate everyone in Asia, and China really needs local friends to avoid isolation by a coalition of the US, Japan, and India. I would imagine then that the US will play up this Chinese move to Japan and SK to suggest what US analysts have been saying for a long time – that Japan and Korea have a lot more in common than they admit and face much greater external threats than each other.
“During the height of the Cold War, the US military put such an emphasis on a rapid response to an attack on American soil, that to minimize any foreseeable delay in launching a nuclear missile, for nearly two decades they intentionally set the launch codes at every silo in the US to 8 zeroes.”—Gizmodo
“When I consider the different kinds I’ve seen it seems silly to say it, but somehow to me all lawyers look alike. It’s a sort of mixture of a scared look and a satisfied look, as if they were crossing a traffic-filled street where they expect to get run over any minute but they know exactly the kind of paper to hand the driver if they get killed and they’ve got one right in their pocket.”—Rex Stout’s mystery set in 1930’s New York, Fer-de-Lance
In iOS 7 apps, color and animation provide the user with cues to an app’s function and data organization. An animation situates the user within the interface context, acting as a clue to the app’s inner workings.
But apps don’t usually evolve with their users. Animations move at the same speed during the first day of use as they do six months later. The user’s knowledge of the app has significantly improved. But the app gives the same day-one cues, like a heavy handed teacher ignorant of a student’s progress.
Maybe animations should speed up over time.
Here’s a quick function which allows you to specify an initial animation duration and an eventual duration. Over the decay period (14 days, in this snippet – adjust as needed) the animation duration quickens to its eventual speed.
Pass this to your animation calls and let your apps keep pace with their users1.
This Gist is a late night sketch, so use with a grain of salt. Using the date since initial launch is a hack; perhaps a launch counter would be more apt. Also, you shouldn’t be hitting the disk every call. A time factor should be loaded in memory on launch.↩
The Senate voted on Thursday to eliminate the use of the filibuster against most presidential nominees, a move that will break the Republican blockade of President Obama’s picks to cabinet posts and the federal judiciary. The change is the most fundamental shift in the way the Senate functions in more than a generation.
The vote was one that members of both parties had threatened for the better part of a decade, but had always stopped short of carrying out. This time, with little left of the bipartisan spirit that helped seal compromises on filibuster rule changes in the past, there was no last-minute deal to be struck.
Reid snuck the motion in just this morning. And:
“You think this is in the best interest of the United States Senate and the American people?” Mr. McConnell asked, sounding incredulous. “I say to my friends on the other side of the aisle, you’ll regret this. And you may regret it a lot sooner than you think.”
The gravity of the situation was reflected in a highly unusual scene on the Senate floor: Nearly all 100 senators were in their seats, rapt as their two leaders debated.
It’s so depressing that job attendance is not just notable, but an event which underlines a once-in-a-generation change.
“Jutting from its side is the Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration, which sends data, like the number of large and small particles and their locations, back to Earth with a laser beam; it recently broke a record for the fastest communication between NASA and the moon, transmitting data nearly two hundred and forty thousand miles at six hundred and twenty-two megabits per second, or roughly seventy-one times the speed of the average broadband connection in the United States.”—
“Blockbuster passed on the chance to buy [Netflix] for $50 million in 2000. That year Blockbuster collected $800 million in late fees, which was 16 percent of the company’s total revenue. Netflix sold its one millionth subscription three years later. It’s currently worth about $20 billion, and Hastings himself is worth around $280 million.”—Alex Pappademas, in his Grandland Blockbuster obituary
Alex Wellerstein examines Nixon’s surprising relationship with the atomic bomb:
Nixon: I’d rather use the nuclear bomb. Have you got that ready?
Kissinger: That, I think, would just be too much.
Nixon: A nuclear bomb, does that bother you?… I just want you to think big, Henry, for Christ’s sake! The only place where you and I disagree is with regard to the bombing. You’re so goddamned concerned about civilians, and I don’t give a damn. I don’t care.
Kissinger: I’m concerned about the civilians because I don’t want the world to be mobilized against you as a butcher.
Turns out he signed so many non-proliferation treaties because he thought they were unenforceable and worthless. (Via Restricted Data)
NYT:Years later, you bought a huge piece of land in California, where you still live, acquired a number of big cats and spent a decade making a movie with them called “Roar.” During the filming, a lion scratched your daughter, Melanie Griffith, and she needed plastic surgery. The cinematographer was scalped, and your former husband was mauled. Were you naïve about the dangers?
Tippi Hedren:We had not a clue what we were doing. We really didn’t. We had wanted to use Hollywood acting animals, but because instinct dictates a cat will fight a cat they didn’t know, all of the cat trainers said: “I don’t want my cat hurt, and I don’t want to get hurt. Get your own animals to do the movie.” We were in a learning process.
NYT:There’s a photo of you and a teenage Melanie, whose head is six inches away from Neil, your first live-in lion.
Tippi Hedren:He was not a live-in lion. Sometimes I get so annoyed with you writers.
NYT:The caption from your book reads, “Melanie and I with Neil, our first live-in lion.”
Tippi Hedren:O.K., I missed that one. O.K.
NYT:Does Melanie ever say at Christmas, “Mom, thank God I wasn’t eaten by the lions”?
Tippi Hedren:Oh, we all say that. Thank God we made it. Thank God nobody was killed. We all say that.