/ in English


Why the future of data storage is (still) magnetic tape

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Trolls die in darkness

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Skype, redesigned (again)

Microsoft is once again redesigning Skype — in order to make Skype great again. Or as a Microsoft executive puts it too “focus on simplicity* to provide an overall better experience for you by making Skype faster to learn and easier to use.” What he is not saying — Microsoft messed up Skype so bad that what was a market leading product is now an afterthought in modern daily communication flow.

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Fear of palindromes: aibohphobia.

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I knew it! It is not me, it is global warming that is making me fat. Maybe.

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Research Suggests Facebook Fueled Anti-Refugee Attacks in Germany

Let’s just quit, shall we?

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Discord. This must be my son’s most used app, and it made me intrigued. So, I signed up, connected the app to Skype and Facebook, …and got zero friend suggestions. Got to find me some gamer friends, I suppose.

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The 2013 MacBook Air was a good deal


Alternative title: Macs have become expensive.

Apparently, I double processor speed (well, cores at least), RAM, and disk space every time I buy a new computer. The 2010 MacBook Air I could “double” after less that 3 years for half the price it will cost me to double the 2013 MacBook Air with the computer I buy now (in 2018). Granted, I get a larger and better display in almost the same form factor. This may be worth paying for. But paying for Touch Bar and Touch ID seems like a waste. To get down to the same monthly cost for this year’s computer as for the MacBook Air I have had since 2013, I will have to keep it for 10 years.

MacBook Pro 2018

August 2018

MacBook Pro 13-inch
Processor: 2.3 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.8 GHz
Memory: 16 GB 2133 Ipddr3
Drive: 512 GB Flash Storage
+ Retina display with True Tone
+ Touch Bar and Touch ID
Price: 25,695 SEK
Monthly cost:
3 yr: 714 SEK
5 yr: 428 SEK
10 yr: 214 SEK

MacBook Air 2010/2013

July 2013

MacBook Air 11-inch (mid 2013)
Processor: 1,7 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3,3 GHz
Memory: 8 GB 1600 MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM
Drive: 256 GB Flash Storage
Price: 13,454 SEK
Monthly cost: 221 SEK

November 2010

MacBook Air 11-inch (late 2010)
Processor: 1.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
Memory: 4 GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM
Drive: 128 GB Flash Storage
Price 13,655 SEK
Monthly cost: 414 SEK

(VAT included in all prices)

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The etymology of “orange”: which came first, the color or the fruit?

This is not to say that no one recognized the color, only that there was no specific name for it. In Geoffrey Chaucer’s ‘Nun’s Priest’s Tale,’ the rooster Chaunticleer dreams of a threatening fox invading the barnyard, whose ‘color was betwixe yelow and reed.’ The fox was orange, but in the 1390s Chaucer didn’t have a word for it. He had to mix it verbally“.

In the books I had a sa young child in the 1970s, there were no colour named orange (which is also the Swedish word—although orange, the fruit, confusingly in Swedish is “apelsin”). Instead there was the word brandgul—fire-yellow!

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Walkaway

Solution?

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On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs: A Work Rant

Problem:

If someone had designed a work regime perfectly suited to maintaining the power of finance capital, it’s hard to see how they could have done a better job. Real, productive workers are relentlessly squeezed and exploited. The remainder are divided between a terrorised stratum of the, universally reviled, unemployed and a larger stratum who are basically paid to do nothing, in positions designed to make them identify with the perspectives and sensibilities of the ruling class (managers, administrators, etc.)—and particularly its financial avatars—but, at the same time, foster a simmering resentment against anyone whose work has clear and undeniable social value. Clearly, the system was never consciously designed. It emerged from almost a century of trial and error. But it is the only explanation for why, despite our technological capacities, we are not all working 3–4 hour days.

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The Bullshit Web

You know how building wider roads doesn’t improve commute times, as it simply encourages people to drive more? It’s that*, but with bytes and bandwidth instead of cars and lanes.

* + Google and the rest of the Internet advertising Industry.

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Maps of the spread of the Agricultural & Industrial Revolutions

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I think I want this.

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Home again. On the way home we flew over the North sea oil fields. Two observations: (1) the oil rigs look tiny from the air but (2) there were so many more of them than I would ever have expected.

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Meet Adam “the author of Moral sentiments and Wealth of nations”. In that order!

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On my way to Edinburgh and the IPA conference.

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Dalkarlskärret.

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Mark Zuckerberg and his empire of oily rags

Facebook doesn’t have a mind-control problem, it has a corruption problem. Cambridge Analytica didn’t convince decent people to become racists; they convinced racists to become voters” (Cory Doctorow).

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Are we completely fucked because of climate change?

Yes, of course, we’re fucked. (Though it’s important to specify the “we” in this formulation, because the global poor, the disenfranchised, the young, and the yet-to-be-born are certifiably far more fucked than such affluent, white, middle-aged Americans as Vollmann and myself.)” (Wen Stephenson)

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People like their football

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We are all confident idiots

“In 1999, in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, my then graduate student Justin Kruger and I published a paper that documented how, in many areas of life, incompetent people do not recognize — scratch that, cannot recognize — just how incompetent they are, a phenomenon that has come to be known as the Dunning-Kruger effect. Logic itself almost demands this lack of self-insight: For poor performers to recognize their ineptitude would require them to possess the very expertise they lack. To know how skilled or unskilled you are at using the rules of grammar, for instance, you must have a good working knowledge of those rules, an impossibility among the incompetent. Poor performers — and we are all poor performers at some things — fail to see the flaws in their thinking or the answers they lack.”

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The dinosaur-killing asteroid that struck Earth was unbelievably huge and fast

Unlike the typical Hollywood CGI depictions of asteroid impacts, where an extraterrestrial charcoal briquette gently smolders across the sky, in the Yucatan it would have been a pleasant day one second and the world was already over by the next. As the asteroid collided with the earth, in the sky above it where there should have been air, the rock had punched a hole of outer space vacuum in the atmosphere. As the heavens rushed in to close this hole, enormous volumes of earth were expelled into orbit and beyond — all within a second or two of impact.

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Midsummer night colours.

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After a month+ of Mediterranean weather, a cold midsummer was probably inevitable. At least, it did not rain when we danced “Små grodorna”.

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