Early release here on Mastodon. Not putting this on Twitter yet.

Would be curious in everyone's feedback.


#2652 Proxy Variable 

Our work has produced great answers. Now someone just needs to figure out which questions they go with.

Shout-outs to the people who look at me like I'm crazy when I say DRM, explain what it means to them for the umpteenth time and they promptly forget it.

You guys are making the world worse by not caring about everything getting slowly locked down and getting hard to use.


While I understand people's impulse to push back on the proposed US ban on TikTok, if we're going to get US-based social media platforms to behave themselves we have to start somewhere.

From the US perspective, TikTok has the disadvantage of collecting intel for China instead of for the US government or private profit.

It might never go any further than that in the US, but you can bet China will retaliate with bans on US social media that they haven't outright banned already

Do you still wear your mask?

Please boost i wanna get more people to vote

When I think about climate change, I think about the Great Stink.

By 1830, London was the largest, richest city in the world. But the city's waste management systems had not changed appreciably since medieval times. Most human waste was handled quite simply: it was just dumped into the River Thames.

The result was a slow-growing crisis that lasted three decades. Cholera outbreaks (from drinking tainted water, though nobody understood that then) periodically wracked the city, killing tens of thousands. The stench from the river gradually grew worse and worse, making life in riverside districts increasingly intolerable. The government was too hesitant to take dramatic action, though; it tried instead to mitigate the problem, by pouring lime into the river to cut the stench.

It all came to a head in the summer of 1858. A dry spell caused the level of the river to drop, leaving the banks coated with mounds of what the newspapers delicately called "impure matter." The stench was so bad that it became known as "the Great Stink." Parliament, whose halls were right on the river, could not conduct business. The smell in the chambers was so strong that all the curtains were soaked in chloride of lime to try and block it. (It didn't work.)

Parliament was now faced with a simple, stark choice: do something to clean up the river, or move itself out of London altogether. Members seriously discussed relocating to Oxford and St. Albans, but in the end, they decided to act. Municipal engineer Joseph Bazalgette was authorized to build a network of new sewers, at the then-staggering cost of £3 million, to be paid for by taxing every London household three pennies for the next 40 years.

Bazalgette's sewers solved the problem. They solved it so well they're still in use today. But democratic government had to be dragged kicking and screaming into making them happen. Only when the problem made their own lives intolerable did they finally act.

How all this relates to climate change, I shall leave as an exercise for the reader.


Which would be the funnier concept:

Establishing a conspiracy to get the word "gullible" removed from the dictionary; or

Establishing a conspiracy to get the word "gullible" added to the dictionary

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“To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”

‌-- Douglas Adams, "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe"
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US people on abolishing the incredible 20% tip: "It would just end up in the menu prices instead!"

Well duh, that's where it belongs. Put the sales tax there too while you're at it[0], I like my price tags honest and up front.

[0]‌ I don't know if US restaurants add sales tax, I'm mostly thinking of stores here, different flavor of the same annoyance.

ukpol, masterful rant 

A fair and balanced review of Boris Johnson's premiership by Jonathan Pie.

This is the most liberating rant I have seen in years. Absolutely scathing. Johnson is "sawed off by the ankles", as the Swedish saying goes.




White people have race
Cis men have gender
Straight people have sexuality
Abled people have access needs.

It's just that theirs are dominant and unquestioned in a way that refuses coexistence with difference, always elbowing others out while denying they do it.

I am somewhat disappointed (but not surprised) that the main focus is on the abortion ruling, not on the resurrection of Dred Scott as precedent.

Both are bad, but Dred Scott was literally a primary cause of the Civil War, and is likely a signal that Republicans intend to bring back slavery.

editorial, meta, best practices 

@fox_news Remember kids, anyone posting about committing crimes is either a fed or about to be visited by some.

Anyone complaining that their favorite thing is becoming "political" should be interacted with very carefully. Or not at all.

Small IT departments will have an increasingly harder time remaining secure with the quickly developing attack patterns. Sometimes, the better answer is indeed to cooperate with others and combine (security and other) resources. 9 separate data centers are each hard to defend.
RT @epicenter_works
Auch Behörden sollten bei Verlust von personenbez. Daten ihrer Bürgerinnen bestraft werden. Dann wäre die IT-Sicherheit sicher besser…

#2633 Astronomer Hotline 

Employment statistics have to correct for the fact that the Weird Bug Hotline hires on a bunch of extra temporary staff every 17 years.

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