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The Blockchain Might Scare the Gig Economy to Death

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This startup has a terrifying plan to eliminate Yelp, Facebook and tipping.

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jimwise
22 days ago
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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Toddlers

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Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Hovertext:
Also, it's easy to mistake puberty for turning into a werewolf.

New comic!
Today's News:
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jimwise
23 days ago
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Heh
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Long-Term Coffee Consumption and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

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New paper published in Circulation:

Background — Considerable controversy exists regarding the association between coffee consumption and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. A meta-analysis was performed to assess the dose-response relationship of long-term coffee consumption with CVD risk. […]

Conclusions — A non-linear association between coffee consumption with CVD risk was observed in this meta-analysis. Moderate coffee consumption was inversely significantly associated with CVD risk, with the lowest CVD risk at 3 to 5 cups/d, and heavy coffee consumption was not associated with elevated CVD risk.

I like that 5 cups of coffee per day qualified as “moderate”. That’s right around what I consume.

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jimwise
29 days ago
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New Yorker: Roy Moore Was Banned From Local Mall in the 70s “Because He Repeatedly Badgered Teen-age Girls”

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This is, for now, just unconfirmed gossip, but Charles Bethea writes at the New Yorker that in the late 70s and early 80s, Roy Moore cruised his local mall so obsessively that at one point he got himself banned:

This past weekend, I spoke or messaged with more than a dozen people—including a major political figure in the state—who told me that they had heard, over the years, that Moore had been banned from the mall because he repeatedly badgered teen-age girls. Some say that they heard this at the time, others in the years since.

….Greg Legat, who is now fifty-nine and living in East Gadsden, was, from 1981 to 1985, an employee at the Record Bar, a store that was in the Gadsden Mall….Legat says that he saw Moore there a few times, even though his understanding then was that he had already been banned. “It started around 1979, I think,” Legat said. “I know the ban was still in place when I got there.”

….Two officers I spoke to this weekend, both of whom asked to remain unnamed, told me that they have long heard stories about Moore and the mall. “The general knowledge at the time when I moved here was that this guy is a lawyer cruising the mall for high-school dates,” one of the officers said. The legal age of consent in Alabama is sixteen, so it would not be illegal there for a man in his early thirties to date a girl who was, say, a senior in high school. But these officers, along with the other people I spoke to, said that Moore’s presence at the mall was regarded as a problem….“I heard from one girl who had to tell the manager of a store at the mall to get Moore to leave her alone.”

This might be an actual fact, or it might be one of those things that lots of people have “heard,” but without any firsthand evidence. For now, though, I guess it’s safe to say that nobody will be surprised if this turns out to be true.

UPDATE: The news site AL.com has a similar story:

Roy Moore’s penchant for flirting with teen girls was “common knowledge” and “not a big secret” around Gadsden, according to some area residents….”Him liking and dating young girls was never a secret in Gadsden when we were all in high school,” said Sheryl Porter. “In our neighborhoods up by Noccalula Falls we heard it all the time. Even people at the courthouse know it was a well-known secret.

….Another former waitress, Victoria Beverstock, told AL.com today that she was 20 years old and working at The Poor House restaurant in 1992 when Moore came in a few times a week to eat and do paperwork. She said he made her and the other waitresses uncomfortable by staring at them and flirting.

“He watched us girls quite openly,” said Beverstock. “His eyes crawled over our shirts and our backsides. He was so open about it that I would try and handle his order as quickly as possible. “When you didn’t smile and flirt back with him, give him an opening, he became rude and demanding,” she said.

Et cetera.

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jimwise
29 days ago
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We’re Just Doing Data Entry for Google

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André Staltz:

What has changed over the last 4 years is market share of traffic on the Web. It looks like nothing has changed, but GOOG and FB now have direct influence over 70%+ of internet traffic. Mobile internet traffic is now the majority of traffic worldwide and in Latin America alone, GOOG and FB services have had 60% of mobile traffic in 2015, growing to 70% by the end of 2016. The remaining 30% of traffic is shared among all other mobile apps and websites. Mobile devices are primarily used for accessing GOOG and FB networks.

[…]

Prior to 2014, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was a common practice among Web Developers to improve their site for Google searches, since it accounted for approximately 35% of traffic, while more than 50% of traffic came from various other places on the Web. SEO was important, while Facebook presence was nice-to-have. Over the next 3 years, traffic from Facebook grew to be approximately 45%, surpassing the status that Search traffic had. In 2017, the Media depends on both Google and Facebook for page views, since it’s the majority of their traffic.

[…]

There is a tendency at GOOG-FB-AMZN to bypass the Web which is motivated by user experience and efficient communication, not by an agenda to avoid browsers. In the knowledge internet and the commerce internet, being efficient to provide what users want is the goal. In the social internet, the goal is to provide an efficient channel for communication between people. This explains FB’s 10-year strategy with Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) as the next medium for social interactions through the internet. This strategy would also bypass the Web, proving how more natural social AR would be than social real-time texting in browsers. Already today, most people on the internet communicate with other people via a mobile app, not via a browser.

Via Matt Birchler:

And now we have Google Assistant, which is a great tool for getting information, but is another step in obscuring the line of what content belongs to who. You can ask the Assistant a question and it will give you an answer in the Assistant app (or just in the air if you’re using a Google Home). A recipe, for example, will be scraped from someone’s cooking blog and then presented in the Assistant app as if Google had created this recipe. You can poke around the interface to find out where it came from, and you can sometimes tap a link to see the source of an answer, but it’s not the default behavior. Hell, a “failed state” in Assistant is when it has to show you a list of websites in your search results.

In short, Google once was a tool for getting people to content that we as creators made, but today it seems like we are just doing data entry in Google’s database to let them display nuggets of our content in their software.

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jimwise
31 days ago
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Voight Kampff

jwz
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"Then I saw little Tiffany. I'm thinking, y'know, eight-year-old white girl, middle of the ghetto, bunch of monsters, this time of night with quantum physics books? She about to start some shit, Zed. Those books are WAY too advanced for her. If you ask me, I'd say she's up to something."
Topher Florence asks: "Is OkCupid trying to figure out if I'm a replicant?"

You are in an art museum when a blind man deliberately starts a fire. He becomes separated from his guide dog, and they are both wandering among the flames lost and confused. You face this decision; save the dog, save the arsonist, or save the artwork.

Nick Harkaway then goes full Will Smith in Men in Black on it, before taking a decidedly Kafka turn:

This is completely fascinating.

I mean: in a national gallery or similar, the fire is going to trigger a bunch of security measures to protect the art.

It's not clear to me that a guide dog would just wander around confused.

So you have to ask yourself, if this situation actually occurs, what's really going on.

The art's still accessible? Assume you're not in Dodgy Dave's Framing and Collage Emporium on Flint Street by the River Tuxing.

So either the system has been circumvented or it hasn't tripped because the fire's not yet a threat.

In which case if you take the art, you're about to experience a rain of shit and spend a night in gaol.

So assume the system's been circumvented, which tallies with two other pieces of information you already have...

1. the guy you've identified as blind started the fire. Why? And 2. the dog hasn't got a clue what to do.

Seeing Eye dogs are absurdly smart and highly trained, and very loyal. If this dog is just wandering around, it's probably not one.

So now you've got a whole new scenario in which a robber pretending to be blind starts a fire in a gallery.

You may be the patsy! So ignore the art and the robber. Do you save the dog or flee?

Except.

Except that this scenario is confected. It requires a sequence of things to be true that are vanishingly unlikely...

And the experience of the world it describes is false. The clarity of it is a deception.

Objects in this scenario purport to possess definite natures, apprehensible identities.

In other words: if you're seeing all this actually happen, these events are likely being projected artificially into your mind.

So inherent in this situation is the fact that it is a test of your ethical and/or logical reasoning.

It's actually very sinister.

Someone is in a position of total power over you and they are experimenting on you. This kind of distressing dilemma is unethical.

As is performing experiments on unwitting and unconsenting subjects.

So now your problem is escape.

But in the meantime, you should obviously save yourself. None of it is real, but it's possible you may experience pain.

Also you need to evidence to your captor the kind of moral flexibility that means you're not a threat.

Which is why I thank my lucky stars, daily, that I pre-date online dating. I would be single FOR EVER.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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jimwise
38 days ago
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reconbot
37 days ago
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New York City
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