4 Songs I found via Shazam and then bought from iTunes.

Shazam

“Our mission is to help people recognize and engage with the world around them”
Shazam is a mobile app that recognises music and TV around you. It is the best way to discover, explore and share the music and TV you love. Shazam connects more than 1 billion people. It took us 10 years to reach 1 billion tags, 10 months to reach 2 billion, 3 months to go from 10 to 12 billion… It’s an amazing app, available now in the Apple and Android stores. And we’re always looking for new and innovative ways to delight our users.

Random Quiz

Someone who studies ants is a:
The original drummer for The Beatles was:
SQL stands for:
The author of the Foundation series:
Defenestrate means:

Javascript Rising Stars

For the 4th consecutive year, Vue.js is the overall winner of our contest, with more then 30,000 stars added on GitHub in 2019.

No surprises at the following spots: React and the code editor VS Code follow in the same order as last year.

The biggest jump in the rankings is Vue Element Admin, a solution to build nice dashboards using Vue.js components, number 4 this year.

Svelte has been around for a few year but it really took off in 2019 and it holds the position number 5.

TypeScript enters the TOP 10, its success has been one of the main changes in JavaScript landscape over the last years.

Deno, the JavaScript run-time built by the creator of Node.js was one of the newcomers in 2018. It’s still trendy, at the 13th position.

https://risingstars.js.org/2019/en/

Tabulating Crime, Difficulties With

The first problem with understanding crime is that measuring it is harder than it sounds. The Department of Justice approaches the problem in two ways. The F.B.I.’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, or U.C.R., solicits data from about twenty thousand law-enforcement agencies around the country. Simultaneously, the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey, or N.C.V.S., interviews about a hundred and fifty thousand nationally representative citizens, asking them whether they have been victims of a crime.

Both datasets have problems. An obvious one is that there’s no consensus about what counts as criminal activity. In some jurisdictions, only offenses worthy of incarceration are considered crimes. In others, fined infractions also count. (Is speeding a crime? What about manspreading, for which one can be fined seventy-five dollars in Los Angeles?) Because the U.C.R. draws its data from investigators, and the N.C.V.S. relies on victims, they can present starkly different pictures of crime. According to the U.C.R., the incidence of rape nearly doubled from 1973 to 1990. The N.C.V.S., by contrast, shows that it declined by around forty per cent during the same period. Researchers at Vanderbilt University looked into the discrepancy; they found that the upward trend in the U.C.R. data correlated with upticks in the number of female police officers, and with the advent of rape crisis centers and reformed investigative styles. It could be, in short, that a modernized approach to the policing of rape drastically increased the frequency with which it was reported while reducing its incidence. But coherent stories like these only sometimes emerge from the conflicting data.

Matthew Hutson, New Yorker

Mirror Neurons

You’re walking through a park when out of nowhere, the man in front of you gets smacked by an errant Frisbee. Automatically, you recoil in sympathy. Or you’re watching a race, and you feel your own heart racing with excitement as the runners vie to cross the finish line first. Or you see a woman sniff some unfamiliar food and wrinkle her nose in disgust. Suddenly, your own stomach turns at the thought of the meal.

For years, such experiences have puzzled psychologists, neuroscientists and philosophers, who’ve wondered why we react at such a gut level to other people’s actions. How do we understand, so immediately and instinctively, their thoughts, feelings and intentions?

Now, some researchers believe that a recent discovery called mirror neurons might provide a neuroscience-based answer to those questions. Mirror neurons are a type of brain cell that respond equally when we perform an action and when we witness someone else perform the same action.

Lea Winerman, The Mind’s Mirror, apa.org

Should Coal Miners Learn To Code? Slashdot discusses

During a campaign event on Monday, U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden “suggested coal miners could simply learn to code to transition to ‘jobs of the future,'” reports Newsweek:
“Anybody who can go down 300 to 3,000 feet in a mine, sure in hell can learn to program as well, but we don’t think of it that way,” he said… “Anybody who can throw coal into a furnace can learn how to program for God’s sake…”

Many Twitter users criticized Biden’s comments as reductive. “Telling people to find other work without a firm plan to help them succeed will never be popular,” communications professional Frank Lutz wrote… Congressional candidate Brianna Wu tweeted that she was “glad to see the recognition that you don’t need to be in your 20s to do this as a profession,” but also called Biden’s suggestion “tone-deaf and unhelpful.”

Long-time Slashdot reader theodp notes the response this speech got from New York magazine’s Sarah Jones: “Please Stop Telling Miners To Learn To Code.” And in comments on the original submission, at least two Slashdot readers seemed to agree. “Not everyone can code and certainly not every coal miner or coal worker,” wrote Slashdot reader I75BJC. “Vastly different skills.”

Slashdot reader Iwastheone even shared a Fox News article in which rival presidential candidate Andrew Yang argued “Maybe Americans don’t all want to learn how to code… Let them do the kind of work they actually want to do, instead of saying to a group of people that you all need to become coders.”

But is there something elitist in thinking that coal miners couldn’t learn to do what coders learned to do? It seems like an interesting question for discussion

Slashdot

AOL Playing Catch-up with Y2K – Wired 1999

The year 2000 problem might cause more worries for America Online than the company had expected.

AOL’s engineers have not yet determined how many systems are infected with the Y2K bug and only a handful of AOL’s suppliers and partners have responded to requests for information, according to new financial disclosure documents filed this week.

wired, February 1999

Trolls – NY TIMES from 2008

In the late 1980s, Internet users adopted the word “troll” to denote someone who intentionally disrupts online communities. Early trolling was relatively innocuous, taking place inside of small, single-topic Usenet groups. The trolls employed what the M.I.T. professor Judith Donath calls a “pseudo-naïve” tactic, asking stupid questions and seeing who would rise to the bait. The game was to find out who would see through this stereotypical newbie behavior, and who would fall for it. As one guide to trolldom puts it, “If you don’t fall for the joke, you get to be in on it.”

Today the Internet is much more than esoteric discussion forums. It is a mass medium for defining who we are to ourselves and to others. Teenagers groom their MySpace profiles as intensely as their hair; escapists clock 50-hour weeks in virtual worlds, accumulating gold for their online avatars. Anyone seeking work or love can expect to be Googled. As our emotional investment in the Internet has grown, the stakes for trolling — for provoking strangers online — have risen. Trolling has evolved from ironic solo skit to vicious group hunt.

“Lulz” is how trolls keep score. A corruption of “LOL” or “laugh out loud,” “lulz” means the joy of disrupting another’s emotional equilibrium. “Lulz is watching someone lose their mind at their computer 2,000 miles away while you chat with friends and laugh,” said one ex-troll who, like many people I contacted, refused to disclose his legal identity.

MATTATHIAS SCHWARTZ, NYTIMES

10 assorted things from the 2010s

2010
the iPad is released

iPad (/ˈaɪpæd/ EYE-pad) is a line of tablet computers designed, developed and marketed by Apple Inc., which run the iOS and iPadOS mobile operating systems. The first iPad was released on April 3, 2010.

wikipedia


2011
The budget deficit is an ongoing problem

April 18 – Standard & Poor’s downgrades its outlook on long-term sovereign debt of the United States to negative from stable for the first time in history, citing “very large budget deficits and rising government indebtedness” as for why it did so. A statement from Standard & Poor’s explained its reasoning; “We believe there is a material risk that U. S. policy-makers might not reach an agreement on how to address medium- and long-term budgetary challenges by 2013; if an agreement is not reached…this would…render the U.S. fiscal profile meaningfully weaker than [its peers]”.

wikipedia


2012
Voters vote to make Marijuana Legal for Recreational Use

Colorado Amendment 64 was a successful popular initiative ballot measure to amend the Constitution of the State of Colorado, outlining a statewide drug policy for cannabis. The measure passed on November 6, 2012, and along with a similar measure in Washington state, marked “an electoral first not only for America but for the world.”

wikipedia


2013
NSA Shenanigans Exposed

June 9 – The Guardian and Washington Post disclose former Booz Allen contract employee Edward Snowden as their source for the intelligence related information recently published. Both published stories revealing the existence of PRISM, a program they say allows the NSA to extract the details of customer activities — including “audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents” and other materials — from computers at Microsoft, Google, Apple and other internet companies.

CNN


2014
US stance regarding Cuba changes somewhat:

President Obama made a landmark announcement in mid-December declaring that the U.S. would begin restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba by re-opening an embassy in Havana and softening the travel restrictions on the long-banned country.

ABC News


2015
Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli jacks up drug price x 56

On September 17, 2015, Dave Muoio of Healio, an in-depth clinical information website for health care specialists, reported on a letter from the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association to executives at Turing, questioning a new pricing for Daraprim. The price of a dose of the drug in the U.S. market increased from US$13.50 to US$750 per pill, overnight, a factor of 56.

wikipedia


2016
Prince and Bowie die
( see also: John Oliver – Fuck You 2016! )


2017
There is an eclipse

A total solar eclipse (nicknamed “The Great American Eclipse”) is visible within a band across the entire contiguous United States of America, passing from the Pacific to the Atlantic coasts.

wikipedia


2018
Electric scooters become ubiquitous in Denver
Adios 2018


2019
Last season of Game of Thrones
See also sexposition:

In visual media such as television and film, sexposition is the technique of providing exposition against a backdrop of sex or nudity. The Financial Times defined sexposition as “keeping viewers hooked by combining complex plot exposition with explicit sexual goings-on”. Its purpose, according to James Poniewozik, is to divert the audience and give characters something to do while exposition is being delivered, which is what distinguishes sexposition from merely gratuitous titillation.

Silicon Valley Trends of the 2010’s

Literally Everything Should Connect To The Internet

Then there’s the Griffin Connected Toaster ($99), which sends a notification to your smartphone when your toast is done. Perfect for those who can’t hear the sound of the toaster while swimming in their giant money bin. For some real Star Trek meets Idiocracy shit, the toaster can also pair with the upcoming Griffin Connected Mirror (estimated at $1,000), which displays the weather, news headlines, and toast readiness while you brush your teeth. So much more convenient than glancing at your phone.

There are even smart flip-flops, which pair with an app to send you “special offers” (ads) as you walk around. Not even the makers seem able to justify this. Onvi is developing a toothbrush that films the inside of your mouth and beams the footage to your phone, presumably to market to some fetish community we haven’t heard of. And if you’re thinking Silicon Valley can go shove this tech up their ass, don’t worry. They literally can with the Kinsa Smart Stick rectal thermometer ($125). You simply connect the thermometer to your phone via the headphone jack, and it displays the results through an app! Just, uh, make sure you plug each side into the right hole.

Cracked

Loopholes / Hacks – reddit, r/AskReddit

DMV Hack
cad908
NY State had a glitch in their Motor Vehicle system for a while. If you got a moving violation, you would plead guilty, and overpay it by $5. They would send you back a check for $5, but you don’t cash it. They would not apply points to your license until the case was fully adjudicated. If you waited until a year passed, and then cashed it, those points would roll off, so you would never actually have any points showing on your license.

mikkeman
It amazes me how people are able to find these kind of loopholes.

BlakeClass
It’s almost always people working there. A clerk sees 100’s of tickets paid a week, all it takes is one getting over paid and the clerk sees a ‘points pending’ status. The clerk then gets a thought of “what if they never cash the check?”… and a loophole is born. To my knowledge this is also how most hacking works.

Airport Hack
prvacya
I still use the loophole of jumping on a shuttle bus out of LAX to a parking garage(/or hotel, yes) and then calling an Uber/Lyft from there to avoid the airport prices. Brings the ride home down to $10 from $40.

lionheart832
Here at my airport in st Louis, I literally just walk the 3 blocks down to the gas station and save about 25 bucks bc those airport prices are ridic

Bar Hack
ATLL2112
Was at a bar. They ran a $2 shot special for any of the house stuff. I like vodka tonics though. However, those are $6.

Me, having taken Algebra I twice, knew $2<$6. I ask the bartender how much she’ll charge me for tonic water. She replies, “nothing”.

I proceed to order a $2 shot of vodka and a free glass of tonic water.

Johntanamo_Bay
‘Having taken Algebra twice’ killed me. Thanks for the laugh.

Jumpinjaxs890
I thought it was a state requirement to take it two times.

Xfetzek17
I think he was just referring to taking algebra 1 twice

finackles
I believe that taking algebra I twice = taking algebra II once.
This is the distributive property, or something.

Jumpinjaxs890
Your thinking of the communicable property. I only remember this from health class.

What is the best loophole you have ever heard of? from AskReddit

‘I never had stress’

“As far as I am concerned, stress is a manufactured thing,” Dr. Ellsworth Wareham told CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta in 2015 as part of a Vital Signs special on blue zones.

Wareham was 100 years old at the time and still mowed his front yard.

“I never had stress,” said Wareham, a life-long Seventh-day Adventist. “I have a philosophy: You do the best you can. And the things you can’t do anything about, don’t give any thought to them.”

A heart surgeon by trade, Wareham assisted in surgeries until he was 95 years old, and told Gupta that he would still be able to operate at the age of 100.

Sandee LaMotte, What this sunny, religious town in California teaches us about living longer

Deanonymization

from arstechnica:
Google has access to detailed health records on tens of millions of Americans

Google quietly partnered last year with Ascension—the country’s second-largest health system—and has since gained access to detailed medical records on tens of millions of Americans, according to a November 11 report by The Wall Street Journal.

The endeavor, code-named “Project Nightingale,” has enabled at least 150 Google employees to see patient health information, which includes diagnoses, laboratory test results, hospitalization records, and other data, according to internal documents and the newspaper’s sources. In all, the data amounts to complete medical records, WSJ notes, and contains patient names and birth dates

From the comments:

I’m minded of a couple who went to a tropical island, got a tropical disease, came home and the story didn’t publish their names.
But the general location of the couple’s residence, when they were in the tropical island, their ages and other identifying data was published, and in no time at all, the couple were outed on social media.
It doesn’t matter if names and addresses and such aren’t applied. It’s easy enough to figure it out form a bit of social media and a good memory.