Machine learning’s crumbling foundations. Doing ‘data science’ with bad data.

ASML is the most important company you’ve never heard of.

You’ll hear a lot of utilitarian nonsense about $2.2 trillion etc. but that’s just the price tag you see. What you don’t see, as Harry Hazlitt reminds us, is where the real costs are — the lost opportunities, the Afghan and American lives spent, the bureaucracy empowered, the capital diverted from productive work — that come with prosecuting endless war for impossible democracy.Before Afghanistan was there a Dept. of Homeland Security? The Patriot Act? The Military Commissions Act? A Global War on Terror?Are those part of that $2.2 trillion? No. They aren’t. And yet we paid them anyway.

Censored COVID commentary.

Hospitals and Insurers Didn’t Want You to See These Prices. Here’s Why.

I Was There: When the DC-8 Went Supersonic

Meet the Real-Life Inspiration Behind “Mr. Toad”

More than anything, the Beetle demonstrated the tremendous advances robotic manipulators made in practical applications. This directly lead to the invention of RUM in 1960 (Remote Underwater Manipulator), which could crawl along the ocean bed 20,000 feet from the surface. The lessons learned in testing and improving Beetle and RUM lead to their prized relative in 1964: the Deep Sea Vehicle (DSV) Alvin. Among Alvin’s stunning exploits…being the first manned sub to explore the Titanic in 1986.

Terms of Service, didn’t read.

Outgoing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo marked his final day in office Monday by handing out four sentence commutations and one pardon. He also made a parole board referral for a 76-year-old man over his role in the deadly 1981 Brink’s armored car robbery. David Gilbert, a Weather Underground member who was convicted of three counts of second-degree murder and four counts of first-degree robbery for his role in the crime that resulted in the deaths of Nyack police Sgt. Edward O’Grady and Officer Waverly Brown as well as Brink’s guard Peter Paige. He was serving a sentence of 75 years to life in prison with no possibility of parole until 2056. Gilbert’s son, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, had lobbied Cuomo for his release

The real reason you’re not more productive at work? It’s not boredom—it’s bad UX Surprise! Enterprise software still stinks.

Silicon Valley’s driverless car dream is on the road to disaster

Open-Source Insulin: Biohackers Aiming For Distributed Production

Is Hacker News a Good Predictor of Future Tech Trends?

California’s leaders are turning the state into a third world nation complete with shantytowns. Somewhere around half of all fires in Los Angeles and the Bay Area are in tent cities and shantytowns euphemistically referred to as “homeless encampments.” In them, the strong are allowed to prey upon the weak. Many of the fires are started deliberately as revenge and retaliation for violence and crime.

The answer, it turned out, is Googlespeak™.

Nike’s End of Men: Why Nike no longer wants us to Be Like Mike

The issue of safeguarding against exploitation also applies for surrogacy, which is why most surrogacy agencies recommend that a surrogate limit the number of her pregnancies to no more than four times. Yet, according to Tober’s study, many fertility doctors and surrogates ignore these recommendations and push the limits of their bodies for financial gain. Some countries have enacted policies to counter that ability. In 2015, India, which used to have a thriving international surrogacy program, placed restrictions on the program because of popular protests led by women’s rights activists who pointed out that these programs were putting poor, uneducated women at risk of exploitation by the rich. Many of these women lived in substandard housing that were essentially foreign baby mills. Now surrogacy is only available to Indian couples or single people who need a surrogate to carry a baby.

Torrance police find 300 unopened recall ballots, with gun, drugs and mail, in sleeping man’s car

Why Innovation Heroes are a Sign of a Dysfunctional Organization

Surveillance of the Internet Backbone

Ukrainian historians say that hundreds of thousands of people were killed during Joseph Stalin’s violent repression of the 1930s, with other mass graves found in Odessa and elsewhere in Ukraine.

Increasing productivity with significant price deflation creates a depressing environment. Farmers have to invest in new methods and equipment just to stay even. Their debts are in dollars, not bushels of wheat, meaning it can be increasingly difficult to pay the bills. This impact is doubly true for tenant farmers (who skew young) that rent instead of own land. William Jennings Bryan’s “Cross of Gold” and the Green Corn Rebellion are just two examples of how farm product price deflation leads to unrest and radicalism in rural areas. Once politicians could afford to pay off farmers with massive subsidy programs, they did.

Our work collectively shows that the confluence of vehicle electrification, vehicle automation and vehicle sharing may not – contrary to existing discourse – produce a favorable energy outcome.

China’s cyberspace watchdog, the CAC, just published a long (and unprecedented) set of draft regulations for recommendation algorithms. The short version: they will be tightly controlled. Key points below.

It was well known that the Taliban would come back. Afghanistan never had a functioning government and we should have prepared for the inevitable.

The real OnlyFans scandal is the unaccountable power of platforms and banks

Nvidia charges $10k for their datacenter GPUs, and they fly off the shelves. If Samsung or Intel were manufacturing, these would not be as powerful or efficient. Nvidia’s architecture prowess allows the portability of software and ease of use. It enables the new use cases for GPUs. Most power usage on GPUs is still burned on data movement and computation. Nvidia GPUs are enabled by TSMC’s prowess in leading edge silicon and advanced packaging.

How can you improve a process when you don’t know what the right process is?

Unhappy with her breast implant surgery, she wrote negative reviews. Now she owes the surgeon $30K

Scanning QR Codes in Restaurants: Why A Meal May Cost You Your Privacy

Missile Base for Sale


With poor data, deficient requirements and little oversight, massive public spending still hasn’t solved the rural internet access problem

What about the events of the past few weeks has surprised you, and what was the predictable result of Biden’s policy announcement in April?

Many Americans aren’t aware they’re being tracked with facial recognition while shopping

Real Milk, No Cows Necessary

With ‘bounce tracking,’ web-sites can circumvent the cookie blocking built into many browsers.

Is it a stretch to assume that the DOJ decides that all mixers predominately exist to launder money and anybody who participates whatsoever can be charged with conspiracy to facilitate laundering? Does ownership of TORN itself make you susceptible to such charges? Does listing TORN on an exchange?

A letter sent by Digital Agenda committee chairman Manuel Hoferlin claims Apple is treading a “dangerous path” and is undermining “secure and confidential communication,” according to Heise Online. The letter to Cook urges Apple to not implement the system, both to protect society’s data, and to avoid “foreseeable problems” for the company itself.

In March, Petaluma in Sonoma county became the first city in the US to ban future gas station construction or any new pumps on existing sites. In July Sonoma county’s Regional Climate Protection Authority voted to explore ways to support the nine cities in the county considering bans of their own. A final vote on the resolution is scheduled for September.

Apple says researchers can vet its child safety features. But it’s suing a startup that does just that.

This is a far greater return than was available in the overall stock market over the same period. $10,000 invested in an S&P 500 index fund on September 18, 2001, would now be worth $61,613. That is, defense stocks outperformed the stock market overall by 58 percent during the Afghanistan War.

Now, while the biggest US military failure in our lifetimes is going on—the final dishonorable chapter to a saga sparked by an attack that claimed more American lives than Antietam or Pearl Harbor—both the president and his spokesperson are simply, unbelievably just…not at work. Psaki, who had plenty of time to do Vogue covers and make TikTok videos with influencers, is simply not responding to email and is apparently on vacation. Biden himself hasn’t said or tweeted anything of substance either (as of this writing he’s scheduled a speech this afternoon). The progressive wing of the party in power—Bernie, AOC, the ‘squad’, the whole crew that normally tweets 10 times per day and has opinions on everything—goes absolutely mute when confronted by some hard, inconvenient reality outside the US liberal bubble like Cuba or Afghanistan. As the situation in Afghanistan worsened, the charismatic new face of progressive politics was…enthusing about public libraries. Yay!

Apple’s device surveillance plan is a threat to user privacy — and press freedom

One interesting thing about all this is that the same illiberalism that Orban’s American critics accuse him of is pretty much a fact of life in contemporary America, under liberalism. It can sometimes be worse. In Orban’s Hungary, you are perfectly free to criticize the government’s stance on gender ideology, and you will not have to worry about being cancelled at your job or in any other way. Is that true in the US? Of course not, not for many millions of us.

REUTERS: “The FBI has found scant evidence that the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was the result of an organized plot to overturn the presidential election result.”

Free Software NOT as in `free speech,` NOR as in `free beer

End of Social Media

Feeding cows seaweed cuts 99% of greenhouse gas emissions from their burps, research finds

Poorly resourced state governments are no match for the lobbying firepower of Apple, the most valuable company in the world.

Five minutes! Such were the demands on the news agenda of the looming coronavirus pandemic in the early spring of 2020. Coverage of all other developments was eclipsed by COVID. The networks had long since given up covering the war as a war. The pandemic meant that they barely paid attention to the prospect of peace.


With “2020 hindsight,” the 2000s housing cycle is not a boom-bust but rather a boom- bust- rebound at both the national level and across cities. We argue this pattern reflects a larger role for fundamentally-rooted explanations than previously thought. We construct a city-level long-run fundamental using a spatial equilibrium regression framework in which house prices are determined by local income, amenities, and supply. The fundamental predicts not only 1997-2019 price and rent growth but also the amplitude of the boom-bust-rebound and foreclosures. This evidence motivates our neo-Kindlebergerian model, in which an improvement in fundamentals triggers a boom-bust-rebound. Agents learn about the fundamentals by observing “dividends” but become over-optimistic due to diagnostic expectations. A bust ensues when over-optimistic beliefs start to correct, exacerbated by a price-foreclosure spiral that drives prices below their long-run level. The rebound follows as prices converge to a path commensurate with higher fundamental growth. The estimated model explains the boom-bust-rebound with a single
fundamental shock and accounts quantitatively and foreclosures.

How Software Is Eating the Car

Chinese state media floats idea of creating a new highly isolated ‘Covid city’ to handle all inbound foreign flights to guard against Covid-19

As the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals recently observed, “it appears that prosecutors worked hand-in-hand with Epstein’s lawyers – or at the very least acceded to their requests – to keep the NPA’s existence and terms hidden from victims.” I lay out this evidence – of prosecutors and federal officials fast-tracking the Epstein NPA, of reaching the NPA before victims were interviewed, of high level DOJ participation in the Epstein deal – because there’s one important question that remains unanswered: Why did the federal government go to these lengths to protect Epstein and his co-conspirators?

Smartphone vendors are struggling to differentiate their products. Apple does this with its hardware/software combination, but none of the other vendors control the Operating System they use. Instead, they are dependent on Google who is seemingly ambivalent about Android. This leaves the AP as one of the few ways these other vendors can differentiate. This point has been hammered home lately as Apple seems to have picked up much (maybe most) of the share opened up by Huawei’s exit. At the same time, pricing for Android phones has come under pressure, see above about the rapid proliferation of 5G phones.

The most recent version has been fancified and crippled. First of all, when you open the app, it doesn’t take you to where you were last reading. It insists on starting with “news of the day” (there are lots of other sites for that stuff) and you have to press “week” to get back into the actual publication. When you do that, even though it knows which articles you’ve read (marking them with a check-mark in the table of contents) it maddeningly doesn’t take you to where you were last. So you have to hunt through the table of contents to get yourself restarted.

Ancestry.com Just Gave Itself the Rights to Your Beloved Family Photos

From Ancient Egypt to the Persian Empire, an ingenious method of catching the breeze kept people cool for millennia. In the search for emissions-free cooling, the “wind catcher” could once again come to our aid.

People are fleeing California for Texas and Idaho; Illinois, New York, and New Jersey are the three states with the most outbound moves.

We rented a California vacation home and got spied on by a surveillance camera

Hacker Says He Found a ‘Tractorload of Vulnerabilities’ at John Deere

In early 2020, the world missed its chance to stop Covid-19. Insight exposes how Beijing’s ten-year takeover of the global health watchdog sowed the seeds of disaster.


The Oregonian: How to pump gas.

The real world is where digital anonymity goes to die. This is also all a bit moot: Apple has deprecated IDFA, and Google will surely do the same with its analogous GAID. Even after Apple forces exchanges like MoPub to use vendor-specific IDs like IDFV, the data will still be joinable within that vendor’s bid stream. That said, cross-vendor and publisher joining of data (like we did in this attack) will be impossible, save for in the fuzziest of ways. We will indeed be in a more privacy-safe future as the incumbents retire the ability to identify and track individual users, but at the expense of any non-incumbent competition. Whoever was hellbent on ruining Burrill will not be able to do so as easily in the future; that said, any entrepreneurs who venture to undermine the Google/Apple duopoly will find themselves similarly hamstrung.

Encryption thus limits governments in a way no legislation can. And as described at length in this piece, it’s not just about protection of private property. It’s about using encryption and crypto to protect freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of contract, prevention from discrimination and cancellation via pseudonymity, individual privacy, and truly equal protection under rule-of-code — even as the State’s paper-based guarantees of the same become ever more hollow.

What’s Trading On Capitol Hill

The lost history of the electric car – and what it tells us about the future of transport

None of this has been scientifically proven.

Investigation shows scale of big food corporations’ market dominance and political power


The Secret to Finding the Best Food in Oaxaca

Despite being the most vaccinated place in Massachusetts, Cape Cod is also seeing the most COVID-19 cases in the state

The Generational Divide in Software Developers

Toyota’s top executives, including billionaire CEO Akio Toyoda, have been on the record calling the trend toward electric vehicles “overhyped” in part because of emissions associated with power plants — which is a favorite talking point used by the oil and gas industry.

Japan pitches ‘Society 5.0’ to keep its edge in tech and science

With several thousand characters to contend with, how were the Japanese able to use typewriters before the advent of digital technology? The answer is the kanji typewriter (????????? or ?????????), which was invented by Kyota Sugimoto in 1915. This invention was deemed so important that it was selected as one of the ten greatest Japanese inventions by the Japanese Patent Office during their 100th anniversary celebrations in 1985. Here are some photos of that first model.

The greatest danger to national security has become the companies that claim to protect it

Charmless city centres and exurban business parks where people only ever went to work may die along with mass commuting.

Blogging is dead. Long live blogging. Or, why the Substack hype is much ado about very little.

A short detour. A few hundred years ago, Cosimo Medici kickstarted a financial empire. At that same time he began a grand tradition of patronage, of Donatello most notably. He kickstarted a tradition where his kids (including Lorenzo the Magnificent, which has to be a nickname he gave himself) provided patronage to Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo.

Advertising has a negative rate of return for more than 80% of brands

In preparation for this change, CDC recommends clinical laboratories and testing sites that have been using the CDC 2019-nCoV RT-PCR assay select and begin their transition to another FDA-authorized COVID-19 test. CDC encourages laboratories to consider adoption of a multiplexed method that can facilitate detection and differentiation of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses. Such assays can facilitate continued testing for both influenza and SARS-CoV-2 and can save both time and resources as we head into influenza season. Laboratories and testing sites should validate and verify their selected assay within their facility before beginning clinical testing.

How can a house just disappear?

High-End Gaming PCs Banned in Six US States after California Energy Bill Limits Sales On High Performance PCs

The money and will of Elon Musk are reshaping a tiny Texas city. Its residents are divided on his vision for SpaceX, but their opinion may not matter at all.

Under the bill, hospitals must get written and verbal consent from patients in order for medical students and other health care providers to do a pelvic exam on a patient who is under general anesthesia. A pelvic exam is the internal and external examination of female reproductive organs, used in routine gynecological check-ups as well as during screening for certain reproductive issues and diseases. Exams on relaxed, unconscious patients give medical students better insight into the area’s anatomy.

One segment of people who have avoided shots is vehemently opposed to the idea. But there is a second group, surveys suggest, that is still deciding.