Links for 2018-04-20

  • Palantir Knows Everything About You

    This is so fucking dystopian:

    Operation Laser has made L.A. cops more surgical — and, according to community activists, unrelenting. Once targets are enmeshed in a [Palantir] spidergram, they’re stuck. Manuel Rios, 22, lives in the back of his grandmother’s house at the top of a hill in East L.A., in the heart of the city’s gang area. […] He grew up surrounded by friends who joined Eastside 18, the local affiliate of the 18th Street gang, one of the largest criminal syndicates in Southern California. Rios says he was never “jumped in”—initiated into 18. He spent years addicted to crystal meth and was once arrested for possession of a handgun and sentenced to probation. But except for a stint in county jail for a burglary arrest inside a city rec center, he’s avoided further trouble and says he kicked his meth habit last year. In 2016, Rios was sitting in a parked car with an Eastside 18 friend when a police car pulled up. His buddy ran, pursued by the cops, but Rios stayed put. “Why should I run? I’m not a gang member,” he says over steak and eggs at the IHOP near his home. The police returned and handcuffed him. One of them took his picture with a cellphone. “Welcome to the gang database!” the officer said. Since then he’s been stopped more than a dozen times, he says, and told that if he doesn’t like it he should move. He has nowhere to go. His girlfriend just had a baby girl, and he wants to be around for them. “They say you’re in the system, you can’t lie to us,” he says. “I tell them, ‘How can I be in the hood if I haven’t got jumped in? Can’t you guys tell people who bang and who don’t?’ They go by their facts, not the real facts.” The police, on autopilot with Palantir, are driving Rios toward his gang friends, not away from them, worries Mariella Saba, a neighbor and community organizer who helped him get off meth. When whole communities like East L.A. are algorithmically scraped for pre-crime suspects, data is destiny, says Saba. “These are systemic processes. When people are constantly harassed in a gang context, it pushes them to join. They internalize being told they’re bad.”

    (tags: palantir surveillance privacy precrime spidergrams future la gangs justice algorithms data-protection data-privacy policing harrassment)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Links for 2018-04-19

  • _Building a Bw-Tree Takes More Than Just Buzz Words_, SIGMOD 2018

    ‘An account of our disappointing journey to build a open-source lock-free Bw-Tree for the Peloton DBMS.’ ‘In 2013, Microsoft Research proposed the Bw-Tree (humorously termed the “Buzz Word Tree”), a lock-free index that provides high throughput for transactional database workloads in SQL Server’s Hekaton engine. The Bw-Tree avoids locks by appending delta record to tree nodes and using an indirection layer that allows it to atomically update physical pointers using compare-and-swap (CaS). Correctly implementing this techniques requires careful attention to detail. Unfortunately, the Bw-Tree papers from Microsoft are missing important details and the source code has not been released. This paper has two contributions: First, it is the missing guide for how to build a lock-free Bw-Tree. We clarify missing points in Microsoft’s original design documents and then present techniques to improve the index’s performance. Although our focus here is on the Bw-Tree, many of our methods apply more broadly to designing and implementing future lock-free in-memory data structures. Our experimental evaluation shows that our optimized variant achieves 1.1–2.5× better performance than the original Microsoft proposal for highly concurrent workloads. Second, our evaluation shows that despite our improvements, the Bw-Tree still does not perform as well as other concurrent data structures that use locks.’ Finally: https://twitter.com/andy_pavlo/status/986647389820747776 : ‘Our results show that @ViktorLeis’s ART index and @xexd’s MassTree and a non-fancy B+Tree are currently the best for in-memory workloads. Skip Lists are always terrible.’

    (tags: skip-lists algorithms data-structures storage bw-trees mass-trees benchmarks performance multithreading lock-free locking trees)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Links for 2018-04-18

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Links for 2018-04-17

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Links for 2018-04-14

  • How to report graphic abortion imagery to the gardai under Irish law

    I tried to report ICBR graphic abortion imagery to the Gardai today and met a lot of resistance. The following thread gives an account of what happened and how someone can effectively report this imagery. 1/x At 2pm on Friday the 13th of April I noticed the presence of ICBR graphic abortion imagery being displayed outside the Nassau street entrance of Trinity. I called Kevin Street Garda Station in order to make a complaint under Section 7 of the Public Order Act 1994 2/x I was told that the Gardai had been instructed by their superiors to not intervene with such imagery and that this direction had come from the Refendum Commission itself. I then called the Refendum Commission in order to query this, as they’d never been involved previously. 3/x A representative from the commission informed me that no such direction had been given to the Gardai as it is not in the commission’s remit to influence such imagery. The representative told me that they would contact with Kevin Street Station about this miscommunication. 4/x I then rang Kevin Street Station again to inform them of what I had been told by the Refendum Commission. I was then told that a complaint had to be made in person to either a Garda on the scene or to a local station (Trinity would be Pearse Street), which is understandable. 5/x I informed the Gardai of a similar experience in Dundrum in which the local station had dispatched officers to move along those displaying the imagery to prevent a breach of the peace without a complaint being made in person. 6/x I was finally told that Pearse Street Station would be contacted to have an available car dispatched to Trinity. 8/x TLDR: If you see this imagery, report it under Section 7. If you are told that the Gardai cannot intervene, let them know that other stations have before. If they say they have been directed by the Referendum Commission, let them know there is no such directive on record. 9/x I hope this miscommunication can be cleared up and that both @gardainfo and @RefCom_ie end up on the same page, so that Gardai can continue to do their jobs effectively and respond to public complaints of breach of the peace. 10/10
    Very illuminating.

    (tags: twitter threads abortion propaganda gardai law ireland public-order-act)

  • Thomas Mayne (politician) – Wikipedia

    An illustrious ancestor, apparently! ‘Thomas Mayne (1832–1915) was an Irish Parliamentary Party politician. He was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Tipperary at a by-election in 1883,[1] and held the seat until the constituency was divided at the 1885 general election. He was then elected for the new Mid division of Tipperary,[2] and held that seat until he resigned in 1890 by becoming Steward of the Manor of Northstead.[3]’ He was known for helping Charles Stewart Parnell in a sticky situation — from http://www.online-literature.com/elbert-hubbard/journeys-vol-thirteen/6/ : ‘About six months after this, London was convulsed with laughter at a joke too good to keep: One Captain O’Shea [Kitty O’Shea’s husband] had challenged Charles Parnell, the Irish Leader, to a duel. Parnell accepted the challenge, but the fight was off, because Thomas Mayne had gone to O’Shea and told him he “would kick him the length of Rotten Row if he tried to harm or even opened his Galway yawp about Parnell.”‘

    (tags: parnell thomas-mayne ancestors history ireland nationalism mps 1800s 19th-century kitty-oshea)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Links for 2018-04-12

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Responses

Links for 2018-04-11

  • Uses This / Leonard Lin

    lhl describes the stuff he uses, day to day. Lots of travel gear, drones, Linux and a surprising lack of Macs

    (tags: travel shopping hardware gear uses-this lhl drones vr linux vive chromebook tips)

  • #Repealthe8th | Are the Irish Media Up To The Job?

    For years we were subject to speculation and debate about the emergence of new party in Irish politics. Endless coverage for Lucinda Creighton, Michael McDowell and whoever else. All the while, the most incredibly vibrant social movement touching every county in Ireland has emerged and the majority of journalists are unable to write about it. Media comment has concerned itself not so much with the issues but with grave concern that this is happening outside perceived boundaries of respectable politics. This is ordinary people getting together and putting a most unspeakable issue on the agenda and soon to vote – in spite of the Normal Rules. It is not just that regime journalists live in a bubble or don’t care to inform themselves. They genuinely do not understand how this campaign has played out. It is beyond their entire conception. This is what happens when your idea of politics only extends to the ritual of posters on lamp posts.

    (tags: media ireland politics political-correspondents oireachtas-retort analysis society marref repealthe8th)

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Response

Links for 2018-04-10

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Links for 2018-04-09

  • If iPads were meant for kids

    A long list of the misfeatures that IOS/Android devices have regarding child use. 100% agreed with this

    (tags: ios ipad iphone parenting devices kids android youtube)

  • A Closer Look at Experian Big Data and Artificial Intelligence in Durham Police

    ‘UK police bought profiling data for their artificial intelligence (AI) system, deciding whether to hold suspects in custody, from … Experian.’ ‘The AI tool uses 34 data categories including the offender’s criminal history, combined with their age, gender and two types of residential postcode. The use of postcode data is problematic in predictive software of this kind as it carries a risk of perpetuating bias towards areas marked by community deprivation.’

    (tags: experian marketing credit-score data policing uk durham ai statistics crime hart)

  • lemire/JavaFastPFOR: A simple integer compression library in Java

    a library to compress and uncompress arrays of integers very fast. The assumption is that most (but not all) values in your array use much less than 32 bits, or that the gaps between the integers use much less than 32 bits. These sort of arrays often come up when using differential coding in databases and information retrieval (e.g., in inverted indexes or column stores). Please note that random integers are not compressible, by this library or by any other means. If you ever had the means of systematically compressing random integers, you could compress any data source to nothing, by recursive application of your technique. This library can decompress integers at a rate of over 1.2 billions per second (4.5 GB/s). It is significantly faster than generic codecs (such as Snappy, LZ4 and so on) when compressing arrays of integers. The library is used in LinkedIn Pinot, a realtime distributed OLAP datastore. Part of this library has been integrated in Parquet (http://parquet.io/). A modified version of the library is included in the search engine Terrier (http://terrier.org/). This libary is used by ClueWeb Tools (https://github.com/lintool/clueweb). It is also used by Apache NiFi.

    (tags: compression java pfor encoding integers algorithms storage)

  • Austerity is an Algorithm

    Fucking hell, things sound grim Down Under:

    Things changed in December 2016, when the government announced that the system had undergone full automation. Humans would no longer investigate anomalies in earnings. Instead, debt notices would be automatically generated when inconsistencies were detected. The government’s rationale for automating the process was telling. “Our aim is to ensure that people get what they are entitled to—no more and no less,” read the press release. “And to crack down hard when people deliberately defraud the system.” The result was a disaster. I’ve had friends who’ve received an innocuous email urging them to check their MyGov account—an online portal available to Australian citizens with an internet connection to access a variety of government services—only to log in and find they’re hundreds or thousands of dollars in arrears, supposedly because they didn’t accurately report their income. Some received threats from private debt collectors, who told them their wages would be seized if they didn’t submit to a payment plan. Those who wanted to contest their debts had to lodge a formal complaint, and were subjected to hours of Mozart’s Divertimento in F Major before they could talk to a case worker. Others tried taking their concerns directly to the Centrelink agency on Twitter, where they were directed to calling Lifeline, a 24-hour hotline for crisis support and suicide prevention. At the end of 2015, my friend Chloe received a notice claiming she owed $20,000 to the government. She was told that she had reported her income incorrectly while on Youth Allowance, which provides financial assistance to certain categories of young people. The figure was shocking and, like others in her position, she grew suspicious. She decided to contest the debt: she contacted all of her previous employers so she could gather pay slips, and scanned them into the MyGov app. “I gave them all of my information to prove that there was no way I owed them $20,000,” she says. The bean counters were unmoved. They maintained that Chloe had reported her after-tax income instead of her before-tax income. As a result, they increased the amount she owed to $30,000. She agreed to a payment plan, which will see her pay off the debt in fortnightly installments of $50 over the course of two decades. “I even looked into bankruptcy because I was so stressed by it,” she says. “All I could think about was the Centrelink debt, and once they upped it to 30k, I was so ashamed and sad and miserable,” she says.

    (tags: austerity algorithms automation dystopia australia government debt-collectors robo-debt dole benefit grim-meathook-future)

  • The Irish Border’s Ladybird How It Works book on The Technological Solution

    amazing

    (tags: ladybird parody funny ireland politics northern-ireland brexit)

  • Mythology about security…

    A valuable history lesson from Jim Gettys:

    Government export controls crippled Internet security and the design of Internet protocols from the very beginning: we continue to pay the price to this day.  Getting security right is really, really hard, and current efforts towards “back doors”, or other access is misguided. We haven’t even recovered from the previous rounds of government regulations, which has caused excessive complexity in an already difficult problem and many serious security problems. Let us not repeat this mistake…
    I remember the complexity of navigating crypto export controls. As noted here, it was generally easier just not to incorporate security features.

    (tags: security crypto export-control jim-gettys x11 history x-windows mit athena kerberos)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Links for 2018-04-07

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Links for 2018-04-06

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Links for 2018-04-04

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Links for 2018-03-30

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Links for 2018-03-28

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Links for 2018-03-27

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Links for 2018-03-24

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Links for 2018-03-23

  • Brad Templeton’s commentary on the Uber robocar killing a pedestrian

    At this point, it does seem as though a wrongful death lawsuit might emerge from the family of the victim. The fame for the lawyer will cause pro bono representation to appear, and the deep pockets of Uber will certainly be attractive. I recommend Uber immediately offer a settlement the courts would consider generous. And tell us more information about what really happened. And, if it’s as surmised, to get their act together. The hard truth is, that if Uber’s vehicle is unable to detect a pedestrian like this in time to stop, Uber has no business testing at 40mph on a road like this. Certainly not with an inattentive solo safety driver.
    It certainly sounds like they need to answer questions about LIDAR usage on that car.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Links for 2018-03-22

  • Arena

    Film by Páraic McGloughlin A brief look at the earth from above, based on the shapes we make, the game of life, our playing ground – Arena. Created using Google Earth imagery. Pearse McGloughlin and I collaborated on the audio resulting in something between music and a soundtrack. Audio mastered by TJ LippleHear

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Links for 2018-03-21

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Links for 2018-03-20

  • SXSW 2018: A Look Back at the 1960s PLATO Computing System – IEEE Spectrum

    Author Brian Dear on how these terminals were designed for coursework, but students preferred to chat and play games […] “Out of the top 10 programs on PLATO running any day, most were games,” Dear says. “They used more CPU time than anything else.” In one popular game called Empire, players blast each other’s spaceships with phasers and torpedoes in order to take over planets.
    And PLATO had code review built into the OS:
    Another helpful feature that no longer exists was called Term Comment. It allowed users to leave feedback for developers and programmers at any place within a program where they spotted a typo or had trouble completing a task. To do this, the user would simply open a comment box and leave a note right there on the screen. Term Comment would append the comment to the user’s place in the program so that the recipient could easily navigate to it and clearly see the problem, instead of trying to recreate it from scratch on their own system. “That was immensely useful for developers,” Dear says. “If you were doing QA on software, you could quickly comment, and it would track exactly where the user left this comment. We never really got this on the Web, and it’s such a shame that we didn’t.”

    (tags: plato computing history chat empire gaming code-review coding brian-dear)

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Links for 2018-03-19

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Links for 2018-03-16

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Links for 2018-03-15

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Links for 2018-03-14

  • Interesting Twitter thread on email UI design, vs Slack

    “When redesigning Outlook, we found two basic groups of users: pilers and filers. Pilers kept a single, ever-expanding list of mail in their Inbox and then worked it down to “inbox zero.” Filers wrote rules or manually filed mail into folders, creating an organizational system. Filers rely on their bespoke, highly customized knowledge of where things go in their email system, much like you might organize your kitchen in a way that makes sense to you. You know where the strainer or little corn-cob-holders go, and no one else does (or needs to.) Pilers rely on search to find things in their huge amassed pile. We moved Outlook from the fundamental organization unit of “message” to “conversation” (or “thread”) so that when pilers found mail via search, messages would return with the context of the surrounding conversation. Both pilers and filers have one key thing in common: their systems require an affirmative, discrete action to take a mail out of their list. Filers file to a folder when done with a message, and pilers archive/delete. This turned out to be essential for people to feel in control.”
    really, “filers” (update:) “pilers” are using the UI that GMail pioneered, where credit is due (as far as I know at least).

    (tags: mail ux ui pilers-and-filers filepile email slack outlook)

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Links for 2018-03-13

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Links for 2018-03-12

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Links for 2018-03-11

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Links for 2018-03-09

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Links for 2018-03-08

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Links for 2018-03-07

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Links for 2018-03-04

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Links for 2018-03-02

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Links for 2018-03-01

  • Yes, bacon really is killing us – The Guardian Long Read

    Nooooo!

    Since we eat with our eyes, the main way we judge the quality of cured meats is pinkness. Yet it is this very colour that we should be suspicious of, as the French journalist Guillaume Coudray explains in a book published in France last year called Cochonneries, a word that means both “piggeries” and “rubbish” or “junk food”. The subtitle is “How Charcuterie Became a Poison”. Cochonneries reads like a crime novel, in which the processed meat industry is the perpetrator and ordinary consumers are the victims. The pinkness of bacon – or cooked ham, or salami – is a sign that it has been treated with chemicals, more specifically with nitrates and nitrites. It is the use of these chemicals that is widely believed to be the reason why “processed meat” is much more carcinogenic than unprocessed meat. Coudray argues that we should speak not of “processed meat” but “nitro-meat”. […] When nitrates interact with certain components in red meat (haem iron, amines and amides), they form N-nitroso compounds, which cause cancer. The best known of these compounds is nitrosamine. This, as Guillaume Coudray explained to me in an email, is known to be “carcinogenic even at a very low dose”. Any time someone eats bacon, ham or other processed meat, their gut receives a dose of nitrosamines, which damage the cells in the lining of the bowel, and can lead to cancer. You would not know it from the way bacon is sold, but scientists have known nitrosamines are carcinogenic for a very long time. More than 60 years ago, in 1956, two British researchers called Peter Magee and John Barnes found that when rats were fed dimethyl nitrosamine, they developed malignant liver tumours. By the 1970s, animal studies showed that small, repeated doses of nitrosamines and nitrosamides – exactly the kind of regular dose a person might have when eating a daily breakfast of bacon – were found to cause tumours in many organs including the liver, stomach, oesophagus, intestines, bladder, brain, lungs and kidneys.
    But there IS some good news for Parma ham and sausages:
    In 1993, Parma ham producers in Italy made a collective decision to remove nitrates from their products and revert to using only salt, as in the old days. For the past 25 years, no nitrates or nitrites have been used in any Prosciutto di Parma. Even without nitrate or nitrite, the Parma ham stays a deep rosy-pink colour. We now know that the colour in Parma ham is totally harmless, a result of the enzyme reactions during the ham’s 18-month ageing process. […] the average British sausage – as opposed to a hard sausage like a French saucisson – is not cured, being made of nothing but fresh meat, breadcrumbs, herbs, salt and E223, a preservative that is non-carcinogenic. After much questioning, two expert spokespeople for the US National Cancer Institute confirmed to me that “one might consider” fresh sausages to be “red meat” and not processed meat, and thus only a “probable” carcinogen.

    (tags: bacon sausages meat parma-ham ham food cancer carcinogens big-meat nitrates nitrites)

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Links for 2018-02-28

  • 30 kWh Leaf Nissan Connect Issues

    seems there’s some kind of firmware/importation issue with the Nissan Leaf app integration…. bit of a mess

    (tags: nissan-leaf nissan leaf apps mobile cars driving)

  • Palantir has secretly been using New Orleans to test its predictive policing technology – The Verge

    Predictive policing technology has proven highly controversial wherever it is implemented, but in New Orleans, the program escaped public notice, partly because Palantir established it as a philanthropic relationship with the city through Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s signature NOLA For Life program. Thanks to its philanthropic status, as well as New Orleans’ “strong mayor” model of government, the agreement never passed through a public procurement process. In fact, key city council members and attorneys contacted by The Verge had no idea that the city had any sort of relationship with Palantir, nor were they aware that Palantir used its program in New Orleans to market its services to another law enforcement agency for a multimillion-dollar contract. Even James Carville, the political operative instrumental in bringing about Palantir’s collaboration with NOPD, said that the program was not public knowledge. “No one in New Orleans even knows about this, to my knowledge,” Carville said.

    (tags: palantir creepy surveillance crime forecasting precrime new-orleans us-politics privacy)

  • Huy Fong sriracha hot sauce label – Fonts In Use

    The fonts of the iconic sriracha bottle, analysed. Interestingly, the Chinese serif text is typeset in a universally-reviled font, PMingLiu:

    For East Asian designers, PMingLiu was probably as despicable as Papyrus. Many have publicly voiced their disdain for PMingLiu, and some even see the elimination of PMingLiu from public sight as a career goal. Julius Hui, then consultant for Commercial Type, exclaims: PMingLiu inhibits the type business, maims the public’s aesthetic judgment, and puts a bad face on the Minch? genre. As long as the public have not harbored a deep hatred against PMingLiu, it is futile to completely eliminate it from the world.

    (tags: typography packaging sriracha pmingliu mincho fonts type food labels)

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Links for 2018-02-22

  • The Codex – I Do Not Like Go

    Some gripes about Go from this blog, specifically around developer ergonomics (syntax highlighting and language-inherent error detection), politics, packaging and distribution, GOPATH, and the tuple-oriented error handling idiom. As R. I. Pienaar noted, the Go community seems full of “at-Google-wes”, which is an excellent way of putting it.

    (tags: golang go criticism blogs syntax-highlighting coding languages google at-google-we)

  • Can I Extend and Renovate my “Fixer Upper” for €100,000? A First Time Buyer’s Renovation Budget Explained

    In 2013, €100,000 was like a king’s ransom to most businesses in the Irish construction industry. Now clients approach us with budgets at this level and are shocked when we tell them how little can be achieved with such a large sum of money. We have decided to tackle this issue with a clear worked example. In 2018, rates for some types of construction have increased 50% since the recession, client expectations have increased, there is a shortage of competent construction workers, and subcontractors are now more accountable for quality. These pressures have inflated the many expenses which make up a typical renovation budget. Even the most seasoned commercial clients are struggling to achieve tenable construction prices, and first time buyers must understand the financial risk of buying a home in need of complete renovation.
    whoa.

    (tags: renovation homes architecture houses building)

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Links for 2018-02-19

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Links for 2018-02-18

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Links for 2018-02-17

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Links for 2018-02-15

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Links for 2018-02-14

  • Single Trapped Atom Captures Science Photography Competition’s top prize – EPSRC website

    An image of a single positively-charged strontium atom, held near motionless by electric fields, has won the overall prize in a national science photography competition, organised by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). ‘Single Atom in an Ion Trap’, by David Nadlinger, from the University of Oxford, shows the atom held by the fields emanating from the metal electrodes surrounding it. The distance between the small needle tips is about two millimetres. When illuminated by a laser of the right blue-violet colour the atom absorbs and re-emits light particles sufficiently quickly for an ordinary camera to capture it in a long exposure photograph. The winning picture was taken through a window of the ultra-high vacuum chamber that houses the ion trap.

    (tags: atom photography science strontium ion-traps light)

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed