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Though I saw it all around
Never thought I could be affected
Thought that we'd be the last to go
It is so strange the way things turn

Monday, October 27, 2014

Linkee-poo, open up your mind and let me step inside

The Apple IIe iPhone mod. Because you can, that's why. (Grokked from John)

A photo gallery of abandoned homes in rural Ohio. I live around some of those. Mostly what happens is an elderly person dies and either there's no easily identifiable heir, there is no one to take custody, or distant relatives can't or won't divest of the property (could be sentimental reasons, could be the house was already run down and wouldn't produce enough "profit"). (Grokked from Astrid Julian)

And what happens to you when you die. Although they kinda of leave you thinking rigor (mortise) is because of your body temperature dropping. When actually it's because your muscle cells stop producing ATP, which your muscles need to both clench (here, have an image of you rolling up a sheet using just your fingers, pulling the sheet into a lump under your palm, that's sort of how your muscles work) and to release that clenching. Which they talk about ATP later one. Also includes a good definition of why people thought their hair and nails (and nose) continued to grow after you die. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

And while we're at it (and they mentioned it in the video above), the Order of the Good Death. Heard about this on Fresh Air the other week and just never got around to linking to it. Rectified!

"Many believe that Rite Aid's and CVS's moves to disable Apple Pay support is related to their participation in the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), which is a group… developing its own mobile payment system known as CurrentC, which will be available next year according to a claimed internal Rite Aid message." Say, remember the browser wars? This, kids, is what you'll look back on as the beginning of the "payment wars." (Grokked from Dan)

A little bit more on that. "And the reason they don’t want to allow Apple Pay is because Apple Pay doesn’t give them any personal information about the customer. It’s not about security — Apple Pay is far more secure than any credit/debit card system in the U.S. It’s not about money — Apple’s tiny slice of the transaction comes from the banks, not the merchants. It’s about data." (Grokked from Dan as well)

Some texts that show the importance of Arabic scholarship to keeping the knowledge of the world safe at a time when the Catholic Church was the one destroying everything that wasn't Catholic. (Grokked from Sarah Goslee)

"A successful Silicon Valley firm has admitted paying staff $1.21 an hour and working them for more than 120 hours a week." Tell me again about how great and moral the American Corporate system is, I never get tired of that joke. Once it was brought to light, EFI paid each of the workers they flew in from India to solve their problems $20,000 for their time (and an extra $20,000 for their troubles) and then was fined $3,500, the maximum the Department of Labor can fine a company. (Grokked from John)

Frankly, if I were still in the war business, I'd be mightily happy that Sweden still likes us. That's some serious kit in those subs. Sure, all "conventional" weaponry, but just the drive system makes me start thinking what I could do with that strategically and tactically. The only draw back I can see, range. Diesel subs have short ranges (comparatively) to nuclear subs (that's why she needed to be ferried to San Diego, instead of cruising there herself). But as the article points out, they're damn cheap to build and very hard to detect. Reminds me of what a friend said once, "How do you find a submarine? You look for the hole in the water." (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

"Five years into a national economic recovery that has further strained the poor working class, an entire industry has grown around handing them a lifeline to the material rewards of middle-class life. Retailers in the post-Great Recession years have become even more likely to work with customers who don’t have the money upfront, instead offering a widening spectrum of payment plans that ultimately cost far more and add to the burdens of life on the economy’s fringes." You know, when I was a kid, loan sharks were considered the worst type of people to try and get money from. Pay day loan stores and these "rent to own" schemes make loan sharks blush. Never in their wildest dreams did they ever think of charging these effective rates. Pointed to just in case you think it's the poor's fault they're poor. You know what would be a killer business model, to offer rent to own at a rate of only 200%. You'd undercut the market and still make a killing. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Insurers are trying to mitigate their liability risks in a warming world. Well, it's something they always try to do. That's their side of the business. If it's highly likely they'll have to pay out, they either raise rates to meet the need, or they don't insure you. So, lets be clear here because of twitter response to this article are so full of stupid, insurance companies don't blindly insure anyone or anything. If you're high-risk, you'll pay high premiums. If you're too high a risk, no one is going to insure you. Argue climate change isn't happening till you're blue in the face, but the insurance industry, which keeps careful accounting of these things because it's their money on the line, is pulling back. Think they may know something? (Grokked from Paolo Bacigalupi)

Well, this is the very definition of a train wreck. The various chairman of the national parties talk over each other during a "debate" on CNN. I'll note which of the chairman actually did the talking over of both his counterpart and Candy Crowley, the "moderator." Also, Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus, you're a jerk. A complete knee-biter. Not for anything you said, but because you don't know how to play with others.

Gee, Christian politicians ginning up the base by making up stories of Christian persecution? Shocked, shocked I am… (Grokked from the Slactivist)

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