👓 Life Without a Destiny | Susan J. Fowler

Life Without a Destiny by Susan J. Fowler
I have no singular destiny, no one true passion, no goal. I flutter from one thing to the next. I want to be a physicist and a mathematician and a novelist and write a sitcom and write a symphony and design buildings and be a mother. I want to run a magazine and understand the lives of ants and be a philosopher and be a computer scientist and write an epic poem and understand every ancient language. I don't just want one thing. I want it all.
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👓 Five Things Tech Companies Can Do Better | Susan J. Fowler

Five Things Tech Companies Can Do Better by Susan J. Fowler
I believe that tech companies should make a commitment to their employees, a commitment that they will act ethically, legally, responsibly, and transparently with regard to harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and other unlawful behavior. In my opinion, this commitment requires five things: ending forced arbitration, ending the practice of buying employees' silence, ending unnecessarily strict confidentiality agreements, instituting helpful harassment and discrimination training, and enforcing zero-tolerance policies toward unlawful and/or inappropriate behavior. Without further ado, here is a list of those five things, the reasons they're important, and how companies can implement them.

This sounds like for solid advice for all companies, not just those in the tech sector.

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👓 We tracked the Trump scandals on right-wing news sites. Here’s how they covered it. | Vox

We tracked the Trump scandals on right-wing news sites. Here’s how they covered it. by Alvin Chang (Vox)
We’re experiencing these historical events very differently.
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👓 I worked in a video store for 25 years. Here’s what I learned as my industry died. | Vox

I worked in a video store for 25 years. Here’s what I learned as my industry died. by Dennis Perkins (Vox)

Some interesting analysis of what we’re loosing with the death of video stores. In particular, we’re losing some of the same type of recommendations and serendipity we’re loosing with the rise of e-books and less use of libraries/librarians. In particular, loosing well-curated collections is a big issue as we replace them with streaming services which don’t seem to have the same curatorial business models.

I particularly enjoyed this quote:

A great video store’s library of films is like a little bubble outside the march of technology or economics, preserving the fringes, the forgotten, the noncommercial, or the straight-up weird. Championed by a store’s small army of film geeks, such movies get more traffic than they did in their first life in the theater, or any time since. Not everything that was on VHS made the transition to DVD, and not every movie on DVD is available to stream. The decision to leave a movie behind on the next technological leap is market-driven, which makes video stores the last safety net for things our corporate overlords discard.

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👓 Developers of the MP3 Have Officially Killed It | Gizmodo

Developers of the MP3 Have Officially Killed It by Rhett Jones (Gizmodo)
MP3, the digital audio coding format, changed the way we listen to music and drove the adoption of countless new devices over the last couple of decades. And now, it’s dead. The developer of the format announced this week that it has officially terminated its licensing program.

The reporter on this one failed massively!

The IP on the mp3 has expired and so the group that owned it isn’t charging for it anymore. Sure they’d like to have everyone think it’s dead and use more “modern” things like AAC, which they can still charge for! My guess is that you’ll actually see a resurgence in mp3 format now that it’s free.

Next they’ll be saying that RSS is dead…

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👓 Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador | Washington Post

Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador by Greg Miller and Greg Jaffe (The Washington Post)
President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State. The information the president relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said. The partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russia, and officials said Trump’s decision to do so endangers cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State. After Trump’s meeting, senior White House officials took steps to contain the damage, placing calls to the CIA and the National Security Agency.

For someone who always insists he doesn’t want to tell the “bad guys” what he intends to do, this is just sounds painfully inept.

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👓 Can Darwinian Evolution Explain Lamarckism? | Quanta Magazine

Can Darwinian Evolution Explain Lamarckism? by Pradeep Mutalik (Quanta Magazine)
Answering three questions can help reveal how the “inheritance of acquired characteristic” fits into modern evolutionary theory.
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👓 The New Familiar Quanta | Quanta Magazine

The New Familiar Quanta by Thomas Lin ( Quanta Magazine)
Today Quanta unveils a completely re-engineered and redesigned site to better serve our readers and the journalism we produce.

I’m not quite sure I’m a big fan of the new site either. The other one was a bit crisper in look and feel. The typography and readability has improved a bit though. I think it’s almost a travesty that they’ve begun using Disqus.

While nice for some, I don’t think the bookmarking functionality is worth it for me; I’ll continue to bookmark articles on my own website to read for later. Other than gaining people’s email addresses, I’m not sure what Quanta gets out of the functionality. Readers have to be regulars to even consider bothering with the functionality.

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👓 Exoplanet Puzzle Cracked by Jazz Musicians | Quanta Magazine

Exoplanet Puzzle Cracked by Jazz Musicians by Joshua Sokol (Quanta Magazine)
A system of seven Earth-like exoplanets appeared to be unstable. Now their orbits have been rewritten in the music of the spheres.

I’m not sure there’s necessarily a correlation between the physics and the music other than that it’s a relationship. Perhaps there’s some interesting example one could drag out for category theory perhaps?

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👓 The Quantum Thermodynamics Revolution | Quanta Magazine

The Quantum Thermodynamics Revolution by Natalie Wolchover (Quanta Magazine)
As physicists extend the 19th-century laws of thermodynamics to the quantum realm, they’re rewriting the relationships among energy, entropy and information.
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👓 An Open Letter to the Deputy Attorney General | New York Times

An Open Letter to the Deputy Attorney General by The Editorial Board (The New York Times)
Rod Rosenstein has more authority than anyone else to restore Americans’ confidence in their government.
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Un-Annotated by Audrey Watters

Un-Annotated by Audrey Watters (Hack Education)
Why Audrey Watters has blocked annotations from News Genius and Hypothes.is from her website.

I thought Audrey Watters’ post on why (and how) she prevents others from annotating her website was so important that I needed to highlight and annotate a few sections for myself for future use on my own site cum commonplace book. Her comments about ownership, control, and even harassment are all incredibly germane to the Indieweb movement as well.

I also wanted to use this post as an experiment of sorts to see how sound her script actually is with respect to people using both of the annotation services she mentions.

The text of her post appears below in full and unaltered (as it did on 2017-05-17 aside from my obvious annotations and highlights). It (and my commentary and highlights) is (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) as she originally licensed it.


I’ve spent some time thinking about this type of blocking in the past and written about a potential solution. Kevin Marks had created a script to help prevent this type of abuse as well; his solution and some additional variants are freely available. — {cja}

I have added a script to my websites today that will block annotations – namely those from Genius and those from Hypothes.is. I have been meaning to do this for a while now, so it’s mostly a project that comes as I procrastinate doing something else rather than one that comes in response to any recent event.

I took comments off my websites in 2013 because I was sick of having to wade through threats of sexualized violence in order to host conversations on my ideas.

My blog. My rules. No comments.

The article linked at the bottom of the paragraph is a must read in my opinion and sparked some of my original thoughts last year about this same phenomenon. I suspect that Ms. Watters has been wanting to do this since this article was posted and/or she read it subsequently. — {cja}

I’ve made this position fairly well known – if you have something to say in response, go ahead and write your own blog post on your own damn site. So I find the idea that someone would use a service like Hypothes.is to annotate my work on my websites particularly frustrating. I don’t want comments – not in the margins and not at the foot of an article. Mostly, I don’t want to have to moderate them. I have neither the time nor the emotional bandwidth. And if I don’t want to moderate comments, that means I definitely do not want comments to appear here (or that appear to be here) that are outside my control or even my sight.

This isn’t simply about trolls and bigots threatening me (although yes, that is a huge part of it); it’s also about extracting value from my work and shifting it to another company which then gets to control (and even monetize) the conversation.

And this particular post is proof of the fact that it can still be annotated, but without impinging on the sovereignty of the original author or her site. — {cja}

Blocking annotation tools does not stop you from annotating my work. I’m a fan of marginalia; I am. I write all over the books I’ve bought, for example. Blocking annotations in this case merely stops you from writing in the margins here on this website.

Source: Un-Annotated by Audrey Watters (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

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How Hollywood Remembers Steve Bannon | The New Yorker

How Hollywood Remembers Steve Bannon by Connie Bruck (The New Yorker)
He says that, before he became a senior adviser to the President, he was a successful player in the film industry. But what did he actually do?

Continue reading “How Hollywood Remembers Steve Bannon | The New Yorker”

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👓 “Radioactive Boy Scout” regularly visited by FBI for a decade, father says | Ars Technica

“Radioactive Boy Scout” regularly visited by FBI for a decade, father says by Cyrus Farivar (Ars Technica)
New documents show David Charles Hahn was reported to authorities in 2007, 2010.

Continue reading “👓 “Radioactive Boy Scout” regularly visited by FBI for a decade, father says | Ars Technica”

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