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Topics - Pæs

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Apple Talk / Any of you spags in LA or DC?
« on: October 15, 2015, 09:15:17 am »
Signora and I are visiting in a couple of weeks. We're spending most of our time in LA, staying a wee way out of the city in Valencia. We're also trekking over to DC, but only have a day there because we're ridiculous at planning trips.

« on: June 06, 2015, 12:42:37 am »

A New York man was robbed at gunpoint of $1,110 worth of Bitcoin.

According to CNBC, on the morning of May 27, the 28 year-old man was lured into a car in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn to sell Bitcoin to a buyer he met on Craigslist.

Once inside the car with the two robbers, the man was reportedly forced at gunpoint to transfer $1,100 in Bitcoin (around 4.9 Bitcoins, based on current prices) from his account to another account controlled by the robbers.

The man, who was not named, then had his phone stolen and was told to exit the car before the two robbers drove away.

This is not the first Bitcoin robbery to be reported in New York. In February, a New York City man reportedly was robbed at gunpoint after meeting up with a buyer for his Bitcoin, and there's no telling however many other cases might have gone unreported.

It goes without saying that you should always be wary when making arrangements online to buy or sell goods, and getting into a stranger's car is never a good idea. Police in some cities have offered to let people carry out their Craigslist deals outside of police stations to help discourage robberies.

This latest crime, meanwhile, is only the latest in Bitcoin's long, shadowy history. Criminals have demanded to be paid in the digital currency in ransomware attacks, for example. And convicted Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht amassed a small fortune in Bitcoin from his online drug sales operation and had an estimated $33.6m worth of the digital currency confiscated by police at the time of his arrest.

« on: February 24, 2015, 06:12:37 am »


Apple Talk / The Dating Wars
« on: February 06, 2015, 09:28:09 am »
I stroll into the club, projecting an air of confidence and machismo. I know I'm projecting an air of these things because that's what my pheromone augmentations are configured to do and at the bottom left corner of my heads-up display are readings on range and efficacy.

I slow momentarily as I enter, evaluating my prospects for scoring based on competitor to eligible partner ratio. The pause is also an opportunity to calculate escape routes and establish whether any of the existing occupants pose a threat. I catch the eye of a brunette near the bar, not too tall, probably about a 4 in my estimate. I'm not far off. My HUD suggests nearly a 5 because of the modifier to social value afforded to her by some simple analytics on her SocioNet profile, ranking especially highly in genetics on the grounds that her mother is still pretty fit.

She inhales deeply, locking eyes with mine. I keep my face steady, knowing that she's tracking microexpressions and using olfactory enhancement to detect any signs of malintent or aggression.

The screen behind the bar lights up red, casting a menacing glow across her face as an advertisement from the AXE Corporation for mods maybe a version or two ahead of mine and the famous line. "Tomahawk. Bitches don't know about it." In a simpler time, that was true. Before dating became an arms race.

Apple Talk / PSA: Change your Dropbox password.
« on: October 14, 2014, 02:45:12 am »
A bunch of valid username/passwords have been released on internets with claims they came from Dropbox and there are up to 7 million more to come.

Dropbox have just responded by force-resetting a bunch of passwords but best to get in early and reset your password yourself in case there's any downtime between release and Dropbox reset.

Also, if you use the same password in a lot of places, please don't do that and change those as well.


Poem on Facebook suggests gay couple first to wed on day of law change have parted less than a year later

New Zealand's first legally married same-sex couple is believed to have split.

Former Football Ferns player Melissa Ray and sales representative Natasha (Tash) Vitali won a ZM Radio competition to have an all-expenses-paid wedding in the Unitarian Church in Ponsonby at 8am on the day same-sex marriage became legal last August.

They went by horse-drawn carriage to a reception at the Cloud on the Auckland waterfront, followed by a honeymoon paid for by Tourism Fiji. But less than a year later, it seems to be all over.

A poem on Ms Vitali's Facebook page yesterday read:

Drink it down, laugh it off,

Avoid the drama, take chances,

And never have regrets

Because at one point everything you did

Was exactly what you wanted.

There were no photos of Ms Ray on the page, which was later removed after the Herald made inquiries.

Asked to confirm the split, Ms Vitali told a reporter politely: "It's not anyone's business, we'll just leave it at that, but thank you for calling.

"I'm not talking to you about my private life, we got enough coverage when we got married."

Labour MP Louisa Wall, who introduced the same-sex marriage bill and spoke at the wedding, said: "It is inappropriate for me to comment."

Ms Ray, who was 29 at the time of the wedding, heard that she and Ms Vitali, 37, had won the radio competition on the day of the funeral of her mother, Inez Ray, who had died suddenly just a few days before.

Ms Vitali said at the time that she had proposed to Ms Ray a year earlier and they had an engagement party in November 2012, but had not set a date for what would then have been a civil union because of the cost.

"If we were going to do it, it was always going to cost money, so it was something we got around to when we got around to it. It probably would have been next year," she said then.

But she said she jumped at the chance of a free wedding when she saw the radio contest advertised on the Gay NZ website, and the couple decided to go ahead despite Inez Ray's death.

There were 668 same-sex marriages between August and the end of March.

Apple Talk / Spags who can study (Nigel, Cain come to mind)
« on: July 09, 2014, 10:15:47 am »
I have thousands of ebooks to read while standing on the train on my 2 hour round trip commute each day. I arrive at work/home with very little of what I've read retained. Part of this is because I am catching up on lost information to give context to what I'm reading, but much of it is just that once I've passed a page none of the detail of it seems relevant anymore.

I'm thinking I need to be taking notes, restating the arguments made in the texts, but this takes my only free hand and then I fall over when we go around corners which interrupts my reading. What is the key to information-retention while reading?

Aneristic Illusions / Leader of Labour NZ sorry for being a man
« on: July 06, 2014, 09:41:32 pm »

(Not from article, but better summary)

Leader of the opposition David Cunliffe says he’s sorry that he’s a man because men commit most family violence.
He told a Women’s Refuge forum in Auckland today that Labour would put an extra $15 million a year into refuges and other groups supporting the victims of family violence. But he started his speech with an apology.

“Can I begin by saying I’m sorry,” he said "I don’t often say it. I’m sorry for being a man right now, because family and sexual violence is perpetrated overwhelmingly by men against women and children."

To which the Prime Minister responded, verbatim, "NOT ALL MEN."

Apple Talk / Facebook conducting SECRET EXPERIMENTS on users.
« on: June 28, 2014, 09:01:42 am »
Okay, not quite secret experiments because they kinda published a paper.

Scientists at Facebook have published a paper showing that they manipulated the content seen by more than 600,000 users in an attempt to determine whether this would affect their emotional state. The paper, “Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks,” was published in The Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences. It shows how Facebook data scientists tweaked the algorithm that determines which posts appear on users’ news feeds—specifically, researchers skewed the number of positive or negative terms seen by randomly selected users. Facebook then analyzed the future postings of those users over the course of a week to see if people responded with increased positivity or negativity of their own, thus answering the question of whether emotional states can be transmitted across a social network. Result: They can!

Apple Talk / Time was.
« on: June 27, 2014, 11:08:01 am »
We barely remember who or what came before this precious moment

I found an old Tool CD and dropped it into the player while tidying my new house. Haven't listened to it in years. Time was, I would be adventuring at this time of night, alone or with a small band of like-minded dropkicks.

We are choosing to be here right now. Hold on, stay inside

Time was, I could climb a tree and quietly sing this to myself, feeling as though I could maintain an awareness of the death of each moment as it passed.

This holy reality, this holy experience.

Time was, I would spend days at a time in my own head, attempting some form of introspective cartography to help me find my way around, trying to build a foundation upon which I could build a sound rationale for finally going to work, despite my days of absence already costing me my job.

Choosing to be here in this body.

Time was, I would absorb the words of men the world said were wise, collecting tidbits of this wisdom as a bird might gather twigs for its nest. I don't know how successful this construction would have been, had I not built it from scraps of idea shared by spags here.

This body holding me. Be my reminder here that I am not alone in this body

Time was, I named the pursuit of Truth greater than all else. I was a purist. I was a guru. I was an insufferable twit.

This body holding me. Feeling eternal; all this pain is an illusion.

Time was, I couldn't imagine where I might be in five years, five weeks or five days. Time was, time was elusive.

Alive, I

Time was, Time was, I could climb a tree and quietly sing this to myself, feeling as though I could maintain an awareness of the death of each moment as it passed. And this is all I was doing with them.

In this holy reality, in this holy experience.

I got an email some time ago, in which a smug mystic challenged my faith in reality. Fuck that guy. It was a delayed-sending email from myself in 2009, observing that the email was memory now and asking whether it was always. Fuck that guy, fuck that guy.

Choosing to be here in this body.

Fuck that guy. He couldn't have guessed. I have a house and a wife and I get up every morning, put on a suit and catch the train to my office. Fuck that broke, drifting guy and his stupid stubborn refusal to compromise on only trusting Absolute Truth, a concept he failed to define.

This body holding me. Be my reminder here that I am not alone in this body.

This body holding me, feeling eternal all this pain is an illusion.

Time was, I was mired in Cartesian duality. And thought this all meant something. Fuck that guy.

Twirling round with this familiar parable.

Spinning, weaving round each new experience.

Fuck that guy, though. Absolute truth is a crock of shit and I can continue to reassemble the bars of my cell, while keeping it comfortable inside. Pragmatism over purism.

Recognize this as a holy gift and celebrate this chance to be alive and breathing.

And now I can change the CD.

Because I’m happy

Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof

Because I’m happy

Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth

Apple Talk / School to Terrorism pipeline
« on: June 25, 2014, 07:54:14 am »
Gun violence in schools in on the rise, according to 'Support, Teach And Help Parents' (STAHP) a Wyoming parents' group who have been tracking references to school shootings in national media. The group's cofounder, Kirsty McKnight, explained in a press release yesterday "every day now I'm bombarded with images of children committing violence against one another. Time was, my son could get into trouble beating up the odd effeminate playground buddy and we could just ground him and figure 'boys will be boys' but it's a different world now that these angry little people are coming in and attacking everyone indiscriminately."

McKnight and her friends at STAHP are pulling no punches. "This is domestic terrorism," explains their website. "As a direct result of Obama's pro-Eastern agenda, our children are being forced into classrooms where equal time is given to Islam and Africa or whatever as to the Founding Fathers of this country. We're making militants out of them. You didn't see this same level of spectacle around the whole thing before they starting feeding us this PC bullshit about how and why we need to live in peace together, introducing us to these dangerous non-Christian ideas."

And they're mixing no words about where the fault lies. "With the media," explains McKnight, "No offense [to this reporter] but when you are seeing images on the TV day in and out, and my children are watching TV all day, of armed children in Iraq or whatever, what kind of message does that send? It sets a bad example. Where else would it come from? They're not learning these things at home because, honestly, how on earth would a young American get the idea that it's okay in any way to carry weapons on them and open fire on people for the most arbitrary of reasons? We need to figure out exactly where that message is coming from and put a stop to it. Maybe it's okay in Iraq for a kid to have a gun but if you're going to show that image on my American TV then you need to censor that."

« on: June 22, 2014, 08:37:49 am »
In response to request for new house pics, I am starting a house pics thread, which will double as a DIY showoff thread or something.






Apple Talk / The case against The Right Reverend Nigel
« on: June 19, 2014, 09:10:21 pm »

Techmology and Scientism / Startup Culture's Final Form?
« on: June 19, 2014, 07:36:22 am »
1) What is Yo?

Yo is a mobile messaging app available for iOS and Android devices. You establish a username. Then a friend who also uses Yo can select your username inside his app and you will receive a push notification reading: "Yo" and featuring audio of a voice stating "Yo."

2) That's it?


3) Is this a joke?

No. Yo is very real, I have downloaded it myself and Yo-ed with senior UX developer Yuri Victor. According to the Financial Times the company recently raised $1 million in venture capital.

4) A million dollars?


5) What are some non-app uses of Yo?

Yo is a popular informal English-language greeting. It's also the title of a Chris Brown song:

6) Who is behind Yo?

Yo is the brainchild of Or Arbel, a former iOS developer at the image-sharing company Mobli. Arbel had left Mobli to work on a not-yet-released product called Stox. Arbel's former boss at Mobli, Moshe Hogeg, asked Arbel to "to make an app with one big button that could call his assistant without having to pick up the phone or compose a text message." Arbel initially refused, pleading a lack of time, but then hit upon the idea of switching the conceit up slightly to the brief greeting that is now the app's namesake. The $1 million investment comes from Hogeg's angel investment fund.

7) Are people using Yo?

According to Tim Bradshaw, as of the end of June 17 "50,000 users have now signed up to Yo and sent a total of 4m messages — 2m of which were in the last month." Bradshaw's article has spurred considerable additional interest in the app so the numbers are surely much higher than that today.

8) Has the world gone entirely mad?

Perhaps. People have been looking for a new tech bubble for years long before there was any evidence of one, and now we have some real evidence — see Judd Legum for the case. Totally ridiculous novelty companies attracting seven figure investments. The smartphone product category in general was badly overestimated during the first couple of years of Apple's iPhone, and a range of smartphone app categories (gaming, messaging, etc.) have also badly outperformed the conventional wisdom. When that happens, the conventional wisdom tends to recalibrate. And now you have people investing a million bucks in an app that just sends "yo" to people.

In a non-novelty context, the idea is that people may want to sign up for ultra-simple notifications. If you add the user WORLDCUP on Yo, it will notify you every time a team scores a goal. Then you can make sure to look up and catch the replay. Arbel says he's hoping to commercialize Yo by turning it into a platform for companies to alert people to when they're running sales. Here's the Yo API for developers:

Some example use cases:

— A blog can Yo the readers whenever a new post is published. Imagine getting a Yo From PRODUCTHUNT.
— An online store can Yo its customers whenever a new product is offered. Imagine getting a Yo From JENNASHOPIFY.
— A football club can Yo the fans whenever the team scores a touchdown. Imagine getting a Yo From THE49ERS.
— An ice-cream truck can Yo the kids when it's around the corner.... Imagine getting a Yo From THEICECREAMTRUCK.

Keep in mind each service can only Yo its subscribers once per day and they can unsubscribe at anytime

9) That's the plan?

Apparently. You should probably think of this as a general illustration of the principle that investing in early-stage startups is not really a rational act. Hogeg has the money to spare (apparently), has a relationship with Arbel, probably enjoys this media attention, and stands at least a sliver of a chance of somehow making this investment pay off. So why not?

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