Notes and Commentary on Air Quality


What do you worry about more: Getting exercise, eating vegetables, or the air you breathe?

While most things that clearly improve health are well known, one is insanely underrated: Fixing your air. I suspect this is often the most effective health intervention, period. Nothing else is so important while also being so easy to address.

Let’s do a sanity check: Take the four biggest countries in the world and compare how many people died from various causes in 2019.


A smartphone with a fluid lens

Qwest reportedly balked at NSA records sweep (2006)

Coalition of big investors pushes banks to defund carbon emitters

All the Numbers are US: Large-scale Abuse of Contact Discovery in Mobile Messengers

Facebook Wants to ‘Normalize‘ the Mass Scraping of Personal Data

Life after Merkel: Germany’s ties with China head into the unknown

China’s digital yuan displaces the dollar

Eye in the Sky: Private Satellites and Government Macro Data

Capitalism needs a new Martin Luther to call out the “woke indulgence sellers”

Bill to reveal names of California recall signers won’t move ahead

The Florida House has resoundingly approved a consumer privacy bill that gives the public an opportunity to regain ownership of the personal data collected by companies.

How a Chinese Surveillance Broker Became Oracle’s “Partner of the Year”

They are now speaking out about the horrors they witnessed, when around them, an estimated million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities were forcibly taken to internment camps for “re-education.”

In reality the hearing’s climate alarmist statements and claims represented nothing but conjecture and speculation driven by the political ambitions of politicians and scientists seeking fame and additional government funding. The hearing failed to address scientifically proven and verifiable climate evidence. 

Moneyball With Money: How Billy Beane and Brian Cashman Became Friends, Won Games, and Influenced People

It’s one thing when activists lie in furtherance of their goals. But when the media is deliberately misleading their audience for the sake of a narrative, it’s an enormous, malignant problem.

With the low-cost, reusable Falcon 9 rocket, SpaceX has already badly damaged the commercial launch industries in Europe, Russia, and Japan. For the Artemis Program, Europe is contributing the Service Module for the Orion spacecraft. How would these officials react if NASA now says, “non merci” to that contribution because of SpaceX?

The risk of being exposed to Covid-19 indoors is as great at 60 feet as it is at 6 feet — even when wearing a mask, according to a new study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers who challenge social distancing guidelines adopted across the world.

Diess infamously complained to reporters that these workers’ bargaining power meant that a one-litre pot of coffee for a meeting at the plant costs the company roughly €60.

Navalny Has a Lesson for the World. The Russian opposition leader is showing what courage means.

Lockdown proponents can’t escape the blame for the biggest public health fiasco in history

Want to Resist? Delete Your Facebook Account

SpaceX // Elon Musk vs. Boeing

Christian Davenport:

“SpaceX was one of two providers hired by NASA to fly its astronauts to the International Space Station. It flew two missions with astronauts last year and its next mission scheduled to launch on Thursday. Boeing, the other company hired to ferry crews to the station and back, has stumbled badly and has yet to fly a test mission with astronauts.”

Liftoff by Eric Berger is worth reading. While a bit one sided, the book is enjoyable and illustrates a successful, albeit challenging approach to vision, leadership, people and marketing.

John Thornhill’s review is useful:

The margin between triumph and catastrophe in the space business has always been perilously thin. Just one wrong line of computer code can doom a multimillion-dollar rocket launch. The singular feature of the SpaceX story was the astonishing pace at which the company developed, opting for a high-risk iterative approach rather than the linear method traditionally favoured by the industry. In the words of one academic who studied SpaceX: “In the long run, talent wins over experience, and an entrepreneurial culture over heritage.”

Within three and a half years of being founded, SpaceX had built two launch pads and a flight-ready rocket. Although the company was driven by Musk’s entrepreneurialism, it also depended critically on state support. Darpa, the fabled US research agency, facilitated SpaceX’s move to its Kwajalein base and helped swing funding for satellite launches its way.

A new book, Amazon Unbound, reveals Jeff Bezos’ envy of SpaceX:

And so, in response, Bezos invited a succession of executives from Blue Origin to his office in Seattle for one-on-one lunches. During these meetings, the executives complained about poor internal communication, long meetings, and questionable spending decisions. One engineer described the company as a Potemkin village—with a dysfunctional culture concealed beneath an industrious façade.

Posted in Uncategorized.

Facebook, Google and the New York Times

Jeff Horwitz & Keach Hagey:

In the filing, Google said Project Bernanke used data about historical bids made through Google Ads to adjust its clients’ bids and increase their chances of winning auctions for ad impressions that would have otherwise been won by rival ad tools. The company acknowledged as accurate an internal 2013 presentation showing that the project was expected to generate $230 million in revenue that year; Texas has cited that presentation as proof that Google benefited from its advantage.

The document also sheds more light on a once-secret deal between Facebook Inc. FB -1.30% and Google, known as Jedi Blue, which allegedly guaranteed Facebook would both bid in—and win—a fixed percentage of ad auctions.

The agreement was signed by, among other individuals, Philipp Schindler, Google’s senior vice president and chief business officer, and Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, an unredacted section of Google’s filing states.

Facebook Paying the New York Times:

Participating in Facebook News doesn’t appear to deliver many new readers to outlets; the feature is very difficult to find, and it is not integrated into individuals’ newsfeeds. What Facebook News does deliver—though to only a handful of high-profile news organizations of its choosing—is serious amounts of cash. The exact terms of these deals remain secret, because Facebook insisted on nondisclosure and the news organizations agreed. The Wall Street Journal reported that the agreements were worth as much as $3 million a year, and a Facebook spokesperson told me that number is “not too far off at all.” But in at least one instance, the numbers are evidently much larger. In an interview last month, former New York Times CEO Mark Thompson said the Times is getting “far, far more” than $3 million a year—“very much so.”

Posted in Uncategorized.


Hey, Marc, does it get any creepier than working with Chinese government backed organizations to develop surveillance tools?

“In the long run, talent wins over experience, and an entrepreneurial culture over heritage.”

They seem to be saying (among other things) that government is worse under Republican administrations because Democrats in the bureaucracy are not as loyal to their missions? 

However, the data tells us that attacks have been declining since 2016. Why did they claim the opposite?

According to reports, this is perhaps the first instance of the FBI sanitizing private servers in the aftermath of a cyberattack.

First GMO Mosquitoes to Be Released In the Florida Keys

Ideas of India: The History of Textiles

A look at Próspera, the charter city taking shape in Honduras

JW v HHS Humanized Mice FDA prod 3 00876

Bitcoin miners buying power plants.

SpaceX was one of two providers hired by NASA to fly its astronauts to the International Space Station. It flew two missions with astronauts last year and has its next mission scheduled for Thursday. Boeing is the other company hired to ferry crews to the station and back. But it has stumbled badly, and has yet to fly a test mission with astronauts.

The estimate represents a 52% rise in the nation’s home shortage compared with 2018, the first time Freddie Mac quantified the shortfall.

During the Olympics Tokyo will probably have consistent winds around 7 mph mostly from the South or East.  To establish a record events like the 100 and 200 meter sprint, 110 meter hurdles and the long and triple jumps record the wind velocity and require a trailing windspeed to be less than 2 meters per second – about 4.5 mph – measured at the track.

It’s Leonard Euler’s 314th birthday today. In network circles the grandfather of graph theory is perhaps best known for his 1735 solution to the problem known as the Seven Bridges of Königsberg. Using novel graph theory techniques Euler was able to show that a route across the seven bridges without crossing the same one twice was impossible.

Adobe co-founder Charles Geschke dies at 81


Correlation Between 3790 Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction–Positives Samples and Positive Cell Cultures, Including 1941 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Isolates

The lost apps of the 80s

an increase in profit motive, and a decrease in ambition

How Lower-Income Americans Get Cheated on Property Taxes

How a Secret Weapon Normally Used to Keep Precious Artworks Clean Is Helping Museums Fight the Coronavirus Pandemic

In retrospect, I should have known right away, from my first day, that something was wrong with utopia. On my arrival, I was struck by the fact that the pantry of the communal kitchen was locked.

Who keeps buying California’s scarce water? Saudi Arabia

7% of Americans don’t use the internet. Who are they?

But it’s different when FBI agents sit across a table from you, with all the power of the government behind them, accusing you of things you have never done and would never do. I was scared, and I was especially scared for my family’s safety.

We sampled tap water across the US – and found arsenic, lead and toxic chemicals

An unlikely coalition of Republicans, Democrats, and labor leaders are concerned by the solar industry’s dependence on goods linked to Chinese forced labor camps, a development that threatens President Joe Biden’s push for a green energy economy.

Everyone wants a cheap and easy solution to extremely difficult problems.

The column references a proposal led by India and South Africa — joined by Kenya, Bolivia, Pakistan, and dozens of other countries — to request a temporary waiver of intellectual property rights over the creation of Covid-19 vaccines.

New Mexico Governor Signs Historic Legislation to End Qualified Immunity

“I think we’re so at a point where people are just going to ignore restrictions,”

Anyway, hiring is broken, we all know it. I accepted a position with a company that had a sane, speedy hiring process.

On Wednesday, California launched a public website that, for the first time, combines all 44 databases, and reports some basic statewide statistics that describe homelessness and local efforts to address it.

It shows, for example, that outreach workers provided services to 280,130 people in the state last year. That far exceeds the estimated total of just over 161,500 people who are homeless on a given night and gives some insight into the number of people who are homeless for brief periods during the year, and receive help getting back on their feet, but don’t show up in the annual counts conducted in January.

The doc­u­ment also sheds more light on a once-se­cret deal be­tween Face­book Inc. and Google, known as Jedi Blue, which al­legedly guar­an­teed Face­book would both bid in—and win—a fixed per­cent­age of ad auc­tions.

Obama wins the right to detain people with no habeas review


We need a strategy — and we need one now.

Sadly, it’s no surprise to see Washington on its back foot against the Chinese Communist Party. Where American officials struggle to think beyond the latest news cycle, leaders in Beijing think in centuries-long historical epochs. 

His Plane Crashed in the Amazon. Then Came the Hard Part.

To calculate the real dislikes on a video, we tabulate only increases to the dislikes, and ignore decreases. On normal YouTube videos (e.g., on PewDiePie’s videos), the official YouTube stats and our real stats completely agree. On many White House videos, there is a huge discrepancy between official dislikes and our calculated real dislikes.

Yellow Journalism Turns Blue. Ron Johnson is under attack from a press that’s abandoned honesty and fairness.

Give pause before you raise a glass to the prospect of a vaccine passport

Climate of ‘fear’ prevents experts from questioning the handling of the pandemic

H&M erased from Apple Maps, other platforms in China amid boycott

After choosing “privately insured” in the online mask instead of “statutory insurance”, she was offered an earlier vaccination appointment. We followed up on this information to find out whether privately insured people are preferred when making appointments. It quickly became clear: It probably has nothing to do with the insurance status. It was simply a coincidence whether you could get an appointment online yesterday for April 12th, or a month later, for May 15th, in the same vaccination center.

The decline in church membership is primarily a function of the increasing number of Americans who express no religious preference

How then should we conceptualize software freedom?

Which brings me to the reason experts should be more reluctant to lie to the public: They aren’t experts on the topic of when to lie.

Misdemeanor Prosecution

China’s government passes Hong Kong “patriot” election law

By comparison, the federal retail pharmacy program reported March 11 it had administered nearly 1 million dose s over a single day. Over the course of the next four days, the program’s pharmacies administered more than 5 million more doses, according to the federal vaccination data obtained by POLITICO.

Amazon’s Twitter Army Was Handpicked for “Great Sense of Humor,” Leaked Document Reveals

Google collects 20 times more telemetry from Android devices than Apple from iOS

Congressional Candidate Laura Loomer Banned From Payment Processing Company Stripe

Live on national television, Diana Church calmly explained to the Prime Minister that her son’s doctor had asked to see him in a week’s time, and yet the clinic had refused to take any appointments more than forty-eight hours in advance. Otherwise, physicians would lose out on bonuses.

Apple’s cooperation with authoritarian governments

Meet the Russiagate Prober Who Couldn’t Verify Anything in the Steele Dossier Yet Said Nothing for Years

Obama Transportation Secretary Hid Foreign Cash Loan

Eye-Opening Photos and Video Taken Inside Illegal Click Farms

Does electoral fraud stabilize authoritarian rule or undermine it?

The zombie economy and digital arm-breakers

Vaccine distribution and political contributions

Dahua and Hikvision Co-Author Racial And Ethnic PRC Police Standards

The exorbitant tax privilege