Links for 2019-12-11

  • Elon Musk, SpaceX Unveil Latest Starlink Plans, Creating An Astronomical Emergency

    The Starlink light-pollution shitfest continues to get worse:

    A responsible entity would address the problems they’re actively creating and exacerbating before accelerating their launch schedule. A responsible entity would ask for the approval of all affected parties before proceeding further. A responsible entity would honestly and accurately address the real issues at hand, and would demonstrate that they’ve listened to communities beyond their own through their actions. On the other hand, an exploitative entity would pay lip service to the communities they affect while continuing to actively harm them. They would ramp up their launch schedule. They would continue to send up offensive, unaltered satellites while putting minimal effort into solving problems that have been raised. They would invite consultants, but would squash any objectionable voices. They would distort the truth about concerns that have been raised. They would put their business interests — such as lucrative potential government contracts — ahead of any human interests. And they would deflect criticism by running PR campaigns that draw attention away from the real issues.

    (tags: starlink elon-musk light pollution astronomy science space)

  • Tensorflow whinge

    “Built to do really fancy cutting-edge stuff and also to make common workflows look very easy, but without a middle ground, so either you are doing something very ordinary and your code is 2 lines that magically work, or you’re lost in cryptic error messages coming from mysterious middleware objects that, you learn 5 hours later, exist so the code can run on a steam-powered deep-sea quantum computer cluster or something”
    This seems to be a bit of a Google trait. (via Alison Parrish)

    (tags: tensorflow api open-source snark whinges)

  • Spain Might Be The World’s Most Important Climate Test | HuffPost UK

    Can Spain get a Green New Deal enacted in the EU?

    the Sánchez administration was forced to call another snap election last month. The Socialists again eked out a slim win, and this time agreed to form a coalition with Unidos Podemos, a party to its left. If Sánchez’s center-left vision of a Green New Deal could be criticized for not being ambitious enough, the inclusion of the anti-austerity Podemos could make the country the first to seriously attempt the kind of Green New Deal progressives elsewhere have laid out to curb soaring economic inequality and planet-heating emissions.  Green New Dealers on both sides of the Atlantic argue that addressing both crises at once is key to staving off a resurgent neo-fascist right wing. Vox, a far-right party openly nostalgic for Franco-era Spanish authoritarianism, surged from zero to 24 parliamentary seats last April. November’s election brought that total to 52, making it the third-largest party in Spain.  But, even with a new left flank in the governing coalition, experts say the chances of making transformative changes are slim, thanks to the European Union’s rules on spending and public ownership. It’ll be a test for how much effectively the Green New Deal can beat back the far right while still confined by what one researcher called the “straitjacket of austerity.” 

    (tags: green-new-deal green gnd climate-change spain left-wing eu)

  • Denmark adopts climate law to cut emissions 70% by 2030

    Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in the next eleven years. The law targets carbon neutrality by 2050 and includes a robust monitoring system. New legally-binding targets will be set every five years, with a ten-year perspective. The first of these will be set in 2020. In what the government claims is a first for a national legislature, the new law also has a commitment to climate engagement internationally. This includes an ongoing obligation to deliver on international agreements, including climate finance to developing countries.

    (tags: denmark green climate-change 2030 eu)

  • How to Build a Smart Home Where Everything Might Actually Work

    lol

    (tags: smart-home home iot gadgets homekit google amazon alexa)

  • Internal FAA review envisaged one fatal crash every 2-3 years with 737-MAX

    U.S. regulators decided to allow the [Boeing] 737 MAX jet to keep flying after its first fatal crash last fall, despite their own analysis […] The November 2018 internal Federal Aviation Administration analysis, expected to be released during a House committee hearing Wednesday, reveals that without agency intervention, the MAX could have averaged one fatal crash about every two or three years, according to industry officials and regulators.

    (tags: faa fail regulation us-politics boeing safety 737max flying accidents)

  • The Decade the Internet Lost Its Joy

    on a systemic level, it’s impossible to ignore the immense effect of capitalistic forces on how we experience the internet today. The pockets of fun will continue to erode until we are all flattened into a single pancake of behavioral data. To rediscover joy on the internet will mean reforming it entirely. When Deadspin was shuttered by its private equity-instilled bosses earlier this year, I blogged that instead of looking backward, we needed to imagine something entirely different. The same goes for the internet as a whole — we need a digital world that is built to take care of us instead of profit from us.

    (tags: culture internet future capitalism web nostalgia joy fun silicon-valley)

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