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The History of Asbestos - Importing, Exporting & Worldwide Use
(1) The Romans wove napkins out of asbestos, which they cleaned by throwing them into the fire. (2) The Romans also figured out that it caused lung disease. (But they had slaves to do it.)
history  materials  via:reddit  science 
december 2019
openpyxl package — openpyxl 3.0.2 documentation
The actual package documentation for the python library I have used for reading and writing Excel files.
python  refs  programming  excel 
december 2019
A Mimic in Sheep's Clothing: An Easy, Low-Level Puzzle for Travel : DnDBehindTheScreen
A shepherd lies dead; his flock blocks the road. Turns out one of the "sheep" is a mimic.
GamingIdeas  via:reddit 
december 2019
Cloudflare Transparency Report and an Update on a Warrant Canary
Cloudflare really impresses with their thoughtful consideration and communication about choices like deplatforming.
cloudflare  censorship  freespeech  via:Techdirt 
december 2019
Kaboom: an unusual Minesweeper -
A version of minesweeper that punishes you if you don't use logic, and never punishes you if you make a forced guess.
programming  gameprogramming  via:HackerNews 
december 2019
Cheating Hangman
It changes its mind as it goes, and also has way too many "words".
onlinegame  via:HackerNews 
december 2019
LEGO Block Structures as a Sub-Kelvin Thermal Insulator | Scientific Reports
This paper in Nature discovers that off-the-shelf LEGO blocks are actually BETTER thermal insulators (at microkelvin temperatures) than the fancy materials available commercially.
science  materialsscience  via:reddit 
december 2019
NSA Backdoor Key from Lotus-Notes
Details of the key the NSA made them embed in Lotus Notes. It literally had "Big Brother" as the organization name.
security  cryptography  nsa  via:HackerNews 
december 2019
Well, That Escalated Quickly: AWS Privilege Escalation
21 different ways to do privilege escalation on AWS, with detailed notes about how each one works.
programming  security  aws  cloudcomputing  via:HackerNews 
december 2019
Spelunking | Caving - Laurel Caverns
A cave in PA that offers genuine spelunking guided trips.
local  caves 
december 2019
A tweet gave a journalist a seizure. His case brings new meaning to the idea of 'online assault.' - StamfordAdvocate
Assault via intentionally triggering a seizure by posting a tweet with flashing lights. I think it is a stretch to claim that this meets the legal requirement for "contact" in that state's assault statute.
law  disabilities 
december 2019
Why A Judge Made Uber Create An Email Address
Uber refused to provide a reasonable way for people to opt out of arbitration; a judge ordered them to allow it via email.
law  uber  arbitration  via:reddit 
december 2019
Deputy who slammed N.C. middle school student to floor is fired, charged with assault
The police abuse did not stand in this case -- the deputy is being charged with assault.
police  policeabuse  law  via:reddit 
december 2019
Google Terminated My 5 Years Old AdMob Account - Venkatramanan Ramasubramanian - Medium
Another developer who spent years developing on Google's platform and was eliminated in an instant with no explanation and no (real) chance to appeal.
google  appstore  via:reddit 
december 2019
PyPy Status Blog: PyPy's new JSON parser
Several clever ways to speed up JSON parsing. My favorites: guess the next field name and verify with memcmp (saves parsing the string), and for common sets of field names, don't make hashmaps but instead use a data structure with a single copy of the fields and arrays for all the instance values.
programming  algorithms  datastructures  optimization  pypy 
december 2019
2019 Finalists | Best Illusion of the Year Contest
Some really cool ones, the winner especially stands out.
opticalillusion  via:reddit 
december 2019
SF wants startups to behave, so why did it reject the ‘nice guy’ of e-scooters? -
Apparently, trying to be the "good citizen" of startup companies didn't work out for this company.
bureaucracy  startup  via:HackerNews 
december 2019
Mathematician Terence Tao and the Collatz Conjecture | Quanta Magazine
Terence Tao made actual progress on the Collatz Conjecture (3x+1 or x/2 problem).
math  TerenceTao 
december 2019
osxfuse is no longer open source - Colin Atkinson's Blog
The problem of a maintainer taking a formerly open source project and making it proprietary is exacerbated by the fact that it can't be forked because it can only be run by someone who has a signing certificate from Apple.
opensource  apple  via:HackerNews  appstore 
december 2019
Merck cyberattack’s $1.3 billion question: Was it an act of war?
Merk lost billions to a cyber attack. Their insurers claim it was collateral damage from a Russian attack on Ukraine -- making it an excluded act of war.
law  hacking  security  via:HackerNews 
december 2019
Provisioned Concurrency for Lambda Functions | AWS News Blog
AWS and the ability to pre-provision some lambda containers to avoid paying the container-startup cost. This is a really important feature.
aws  lambda  serverless 
december 2019
Go memory ballast: How I learnt to stop worrying and love the heap
Their Go app was doing garbage collection too often. So they allocated a huge array and it got better. This was, they say, easier than tuning the garbage collection settings.
garbagecollection  via:HackerNews  programming 
december 2019
Taking ML to production with Rust: a 25x speedup
Using Rust, instead of C, to write the number crunching part of machine learning that is interfaced to from Python works quite well. A novice at Rust beat the performance of the best C libraries.
languages  rust  python  programming  via:HackerNews 
december 2019
Divisibility by 7 is a Walk on a Graph, by David Wilson
And efficient (linear in the number of digits in x) test for divisibility by 7.
math  algorithm  via:reddit 
november 2019
Chika's Test for divisibility by 7
Multiply the last digit by 5 and add to the rest of the number. Rediscovered by a 12 year old.
math  invention  via:reddit 
november 2019
Google Just Terminated My Google Play Publisher Account In One Hour After 10 Years Of Loyal Service
Apps he had written years ago violated a brand new policy. He received a series of warning emails in the middle of the night, and less than an hour later his account was permanently closed. Of course all appeals were rejected.
appstore  google  evil  via:reddit 
november 2019
Dremel made simple with Parquet
A helpful explanation of the Dremel encoding utilized in Parquet.
november 2019
No more google for console junkies
This blind user complains that Google supporting the headless lynx browser
google  browsers  disabilities  via:HackerNews 
november 2019
Hard Problems in Cryptocurrency: Five Years Later
Some *really* good thoughts in here about what kinds of original research the blockchain community should do and has done.
blockchain  cryptography  vitalik  computerscience 
november 2019
Go’s features of last resort
A few features in golang that they recommend not using.
golang  languagedesign  programming  via:HackerNews 
november 2019
Cop stalls his child sex abuse trial by claiming to be dying
I can't believe this happened (is still happening)! He raped a child, was convicted but got it overturned because the (then rare) female prosecutor was "too emotional", then spent 25+ years lying and claiming he was dying.
law  evil  policeimmunity  via:reddit 
november 2019
What is the wildest argument you've ever seen on [pro/anti feminism]?
A collection of wild, wild statements made for or against feminism.
sexism  via:reddit 
november 2019
We ‘may’ have discovered a potential remedy for tinnitus – by accident.
They were testing a treatment for motion sickness (a vibrating thing that goes behind your ear). They accidentally discovered it seems to do really good things for tinnitus -- plausible as both originate from the inner ear.
science  medicine  invention  via:HackerNews 
november 2019
A Congressional Review Act For the Court - The Atlantic
A good suggestion for reigning in a Supreme Court without fundamentally undermining it.
via:GoogleNews  law  TheAtlantic 
november 2019
The Consul outage that never happened | GitLab
The certificate used by every one of their nodes across the world had expired. The system was only running because all the connections were still up. How to fix it without undergoing an outage?
devops  bug  via:HackerNews 
november 2019
80×25: Why are Screens This Size? « blarg?
A wonderful historical romp, impressively well sourced, that traces the 80 by 25 size back to printing presses in the civil war.
history  hardware  via:HackerNews 
november 2019
Bar Chart Race, Explained / D3 / Observable
Creating a "bar chart race". This is a working notebook you can clone and experiment with.
datavisualization  d3  via:HackerNews 
november 2019
The great American tax haven: why the super-rich love South Dakota | World news | The Guardian
South Dakota got rid of the rule against perpetuities (for trusts). They also have not state taxes. So now the super rich around the world are flocking to set up permanent South Dakota trusts.
taxes  banking  TheGuardian  via:TheGuardian  finance  law 
november 2019
'I live on the street now': how Americans fall into medical bankruptcy | US news | The Guardian
One in 6 Americans has a medical debt on their credit report; one in 12 went without insurance. 60% of bankruptcies are due to medical bills and most of those are people who were insured.
healthcare  via:TheGuardian  personal_net 
november 2019
Neutrinos Lead to Unexpected Discovery in Basic Math | Quanta Magazine
It is unusual (as far as I know) for a physicist to discover something fundamental about a well-known part of mathematics like matrices. They showed it to Terence Tao who instantly wrote two proofs.
math  physics  TerenceTao  via:HackerNews 
november 2019
AI wrote fake Trump speeches and 60% of people couldn’t tell the difference
Trump supporters had a harder time than non-supporters which actually makes me trust the study more. But it's quite weird that rather than approaching 50%, the average is actually worse than that.
via:reddit  DonaldTrump  ai 
november 2019
Immutability Changes Everything - ACM Queue
Now that hardware can handle it, immutable structures in databases are a viable option. This article describes some of the techniques that are now enabled.
from:LeonhardtDeWaal  database  datastructures  immutable 
november 2019
Research: Telling Why a Post is Removed Improves Outcomes
An analysis from Reddit shows that users who were informed why their post was taken down were less likely to make new posts that needed to be taken down.
socialcomputing  via:reddit  science 
november 2019
Apple Card issuer investigated after claims of sexist credit checks | Technology | The Guardian
Is the algorithm biased? Seems like it probably is -- several married couples who have no independent finances report the husband being offered 20x the credit line of the wife on Apple's new credit card.
banking  apple  sexism  ai 
november 2019
Topless sunbathing: Men were once arrested for baring their chests at the beach - The Washington Post
In 1930s, men argued for the right to bare chests when swimming. The movie Tarzan the Ape Man may have helped.
history  sexism  sex 
november 2019
What Shape Is the Universe — Closed or Flat? | Quanta Magazine
One study suggests it is curved; others say flat. No clear answer yet.
personal_net  via:slashdot  space  physics 
november 2019
A man’s personal experience with corporate heartlessness - The Boston Globe
He started his new job. He explained that at first he could only work 40 hours a week (normal hours) because his wife had only a few weeks to live and he was her primary caregiver. The company's HR had him fired, 4 hours into his first day. He's suing for sex discrimination. It is a truly evil story.
evil  law  sexism  via:slashdot 
november 2019
Parse, don’t validate
Use the type system (especially in a language like Haskell that has a powerful type system) to build functions that only accept valid data (instead of functions that validate their data). This is more insightful than it sounds.
programming  haskell  via:HackerNews 
november 2019
Japanese women demand right to wear glasses at work | World news | The Guardian
Requirements to wear high heels, prohibitions on wearing glasses -- some employers in Japan have dress standards for women that sound like they're from a previous century. Maybe the 19th.
sexism  via:TheGuardian  TheGuardian 
november 2019
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