GeekSpeak for 2017-02-01

Microblog Injections will Lyft your Chimera

Teaser medium

Human-Pig Hybrid, co-ops to offer broadband in TN, Comcast injecting, ECMAScript 2017, Microblogging instead of Social Media Silos, Ben protesting at SFO, Uber down, Lyft up, and more Week in Geek news.
Plus in post show: Stoves, Furnaces, Wood Cord, Duck and Duct tape, and Foil tape.

Linear Digressions: Google and Zero Shot Translation

This episode of Linear Digressions is about some interesting features of Google’s new neural machine translation system, namely that with minimal tweaking, it can accommodate many different languages in a single neural net, that it can do a half-decent job of translating between language pairs it’s never been explicitly trained on, and that it seems to have its own internal representation of concepts that’s independent of the language those concepts are being represented in.

Followup: Human-Pig Hybrid Created in the Lab—Here Are the Facts

There are two ways to make a chimera. The first is to introduce the organs of one animal into another—a risky proposition, because the host’s immune system may cause the organ to be rejected.

The other method is to begin at the embryonic level, introducing one animal’s cells into the embryo of another and letting them grow together into a hybrid.

Tennessee governor wants to let electric co-ops offer broadband | Ars Technica

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, a Republican, last week announced legislation that would let private, non-profit electric cooperatives provide broadband. The state has 23 electric co-ops that provide energy to 2.5 million residents, about 37 percent of the Tennessee population.

Why Comcast injecting messages into web traffic is dangerous # Chris Dzombak

Yep, that is Comcast’s content injected into a random webpage I visited.

This might seem like a customer-friendly feature, but it’s extremely dangerous for Comcast’s users. This practice will train customers to expect that their ISP sends them critical messages by injecting them into random webpages as they browse. Moreover, these notifications can plausibly contain important calls to action which involve logging into the customer’s Comcast account and which might ask for financial information.

RDF - Semantic Web Standards

RDF is a standard model for data interchange on the Web. RDF has features that facilitate data merging even if the underlying schemas differ, and it specifically supports the evolution of schemas over time without requiring all the data consumers to be changed.

ECMAScript 2017 in Stage 4

At the TC39 meeting in January 2017, the last feature of ECMAScript 2017, “Shared memory and atomics” advanced to stage 4. That means that its feature set is now complete, as listed below.

Project Implicit - Take a test to identify your Bias

Whichever IAT you do, we will ask you (optionally) to report your attitudes toward or beliefs about these topics, and provide some general information about yourself. These demonstrations should be more valuable if you have also tried to describe your self-understanding of the characteristic that the IAT is designed to measure. Also, we would like to compare possible differences among groups in their IAT performance and opinions, at least among those who decide to participate.

Indie Microblogging: owning your short-form writing by Manton Reece — Kickstarter

There’s a growing community and movement around independent microblogging. With your support, we can take back the future of the web from closed platforms and silos, and leave our own mark on the web.

Spending the evening at SFO

Protesting the non-admittance of foreign refugees despite a stay on Trump’s executive order.

Lyft surges to the top 10 on Apple’s App Store following the #DeleteUber campaign – TechCrunch

Lyft’s app has surged in the App Store thanks to the “Delete Uber” campaign which took place via social media over the weekend. People were angry that Uber appeared to be taking advantage of a taxi strike at JFK in order to promote its car-hailing service. The company had tweeted that surge pricing at JFK had been switched off, shortly after the NY Taxi Workers Alliance called for a stop on pickups at the airport in response to what they said was the “inhumane, unconstitutional ban of Muslim refugees and travelers.”

You can finally say ‘Computer’ to your Echo to command it

Amazon has added a new wake word to the Echo and the Echo Dot, and it’s the one that anybody who’s ever watched Star Trek wants: “Computer.” You can enable it by opening up the Alexa app on your iPhone or Android phone, then digging down into the settings to “Wake Word.” Where before you would only have seen three options: Alexa, Amazon, and Echo, you should now see a fourth and obviously the best one, Computer.

My counter-cultural iOS 11 wish list

What media companies and marketing platforms alike don’t want to allow for is the possibility that inaccurate information isn’t the enemy, information addiction is. Rather, I propose that systems which attempt to maximize our consumption of information are the true cause for Trump’s success. No one should be surprised to learn that researchers found a correlation between the proliferation of broadband Internet and a rise in political polarization.

New Computer History Exhibit

Fly through World of Warcraft’s fantastic world of Azeroth, learn Photoshop from the pros, try your hand at coding, and speed-text your way to victory in Make Software: Change the World!

Cord (unit) - Wikipedia

The cord is a unit of measure of dry volume used to measure firewood and pulpwood in the United States and Canada.
A cord is the amount of wood that, when “racked and well stowed” (arranged so pieces are aligned, parallel, touching and compact), occupies a volume of 128 cubic feet (3.62 m3).1 This corresponds to a well-stacked woodpile 4 feet (122 cm) high, 8 feet (244 cm) long, and 4 feet (122 cm) deep; or any other arrangement of linear measurements that yields the same volume.

Duct tape - Wikipedia


bq. Duct tape,1 sometimes called duck tape, is cloth- or scrim-backed pressure-sensitive tape, often coated with polyethylene. There are a variety of constructions using different backings and adhesives. One variation is black gaffer tape, which is designed to be non-reflective and cleanly removed, unlike standard duct tape. Another variation is heat-resistant foil (not cloth) duct tape useful for sealing heating and cooling ducts, produced because standard duct tape fails quickly when used on heating ducts. Duct tape is generally silvery gray, but also available in other colors and even printed designs.


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