What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Linkee-poo doesn't care for sugar, honey, if I can't have you

Shannon Hale's experiences of giving talks at schools. Being a woman, many administrations believe only girls would be interested in what she writes and has to say. Yes, this sort of shit is still going on.

That Con Man Indygogo thing all the cool kids are talking about. (Grokked from John)

The scourge of the swear system, the wet wipe. At the hospital, they've tried to ban their "flushing" to some degree of success. The problem is (besides the fact that the flushable kind really aren't) is that the consumer doesn't really see a difference. To the end user, they are all flushable because one or two are. Plus, they're using them in place of toilet paper, which we flush. So in most peoples' minds, the wipes are all flushable. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

The BBC has developed their own microcomputer and will give it away to kids in the UK in an attempt to relaunch a "programming culture." “The kids can do their main programming at school – they might have written a piece of code to scroll text and make the lights flash – but then you can imagine them being on the bus on the way home and reprogramming it from their mobile phone over Bluetooth to send messages from the back of the bus.” Yes. Yes I can imagine it. And just what do you think those kids will program it to send? What could possibly go wrong? I and my college friends we a part of that first programming culture with the advent of "cheap" computers and the BASIC language, so I actually do wholeheartedly support this attempt. To many younger people are labeled as "so technologically adapt" when they're mostly users (don't worry, kids, so are most of your parents and everyone else). But, at least from what I can see, kids don't have a strong fundamental on how technology works. They really should. Granted, you don't need to be able to diagram the structure of an internet packet, but they should know the basics of how packets are created and then reassembled (or even that data is sent in packets). (Grokked from John)

The killer USB drive. No, really, this would kill your computer if you inserted it into the USB port.

Oceans are everywhere. We once thought Earth was special for life because water appeared to be rare everywhere else. Turns out we were wrong about that. This is how science changes its mind, by actual data and methods developed by people motivated to help us understand our universe and ourselves better. It's not done by political process and people throwing hissy fits. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

A documentary of "Japanese people who live in Internet cafes because they can't afford apartments." Fuel for your novel of a dystopian future.

Just one of the things I came away with from the Apple event earlier this week. "In the end, it’s not really enough. Mac laptops are going to go crashing to the ground in vastly greater quantities than they have over the last several years. I’ve heard it said since Monday morning that MagSafe was the single best hardware feature Apple invented for its laptops, and I’m hard pressed to deny that—although extra-long battery life is nice, too." Having had laptops (and other devices) without MagSafe and one with, I can't tell you how much better MagSafe is. What will probably happen, is someone will come out with a USB-C with a MagSafe breakaway on the cable. If I have to get one of these Macs, I would so buy one. Hell, I'd buy one made for the thunderbolt connection right now. (Grokked from BoingBoing)

Two articles on the fight to protect all health care for women. The first talks about the work of the clinic escorts, the second is about survivors of rape and incest sharing their stories to debunk and shame other politicians into doing the right thing. And the sad truth is at the end of that second article, "This bill, I predict, will pass. This bill will traumatize people, and it will put doctors in danger, because one of the provisions of the bill will make it so that doctors' personal information, like their address, will be made public."

"I left the Dollar General realizing that dictating what you can buy with food stamps is the kind of thing that only sounds good to people who don't actually have to survive on a poverty income… SNAP recipients already eat more virtuously than the rest of us. A 2008 USDA report found that they are less likely than those with higher incomes to consume at least one serving of sweets or salty snacks per day. More recently, a 2015 USDA study concluded that, adjusting for demographic differences, people who take SNAP benefits don't consume any more sugary drinks than their low-income peers who aren't in the program." Funny how you don't hear about that during the debates of who much to cut from social welfare programs. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

Hey, you know how conservatives love to talk about how efficient and cost-effective the private sector is and how we should just hand everything over to private companies. Sort of like we did with Medicare reform that brought in private insurance companies to handle Medicare Advantage accounts. So, how's that working out for us? "But overspending tied to rising risk scores has cost taxpayers billions of dollars in recent years, as the Center for Public Integrity reported in a series of articles published last year. Earlier this week, the Government Accountability Office estimated 'improper payments' to Medicare Advantage plans at more than $12 billion in 2014." Well, I bet if we go after all that other fraud out there, like stopping individuals from getting heart valve transplants before their natural heart valves completely fail (yes, I know someone in that situation), yea, that'll save us some money. And I'm sure conservatives are fighting to make sure we reform this part of Medicare. "The Medicare Advantage industry is lobbying hard to block budget cuts sought by the Obama administration."

"The Congressional Budget Office expects that the federal government will spend $849 billion on Affordable Care Act insurance subsidies — $209 billion less than the scorekeeping agency expected a year ago. That works out to the federal government spending 20 percent less than expected… CBO also expects the federal government to spend less on Medicaid… $73 billion less than expected between 2016 and 2024." Just in case you hear someone spouting off about how much more the ACA is costing us. As I said at the time, what Obamacare was mostly going to do is cost shifting, taking what we spent occultly on covering the healthcare of everyone and bring it out into the open. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

"We even have three states with pending bills that would make it nearly impossible for transgender students and citizens to even use a public bathroom. Business owners who let transgender people would face fines and lawsuits. Individuals who turn in transgender students would receive $2000 bounties according to the latest bill in Texas." What the total fuck?! Okay, I'm approaching the edge of tolerance and am approaching the "maybe if we burn the whole world down the roaches will do a better job at civilization" line. And if you don't think I don't know how to burn the world down, you don't know me very well (also, no, this wouldn't be an "internet" thing). At this point, maybe we'll start with Texas and see how that plays out. Seriously conservatives, if you think I've been mean before, you ain't seen nothing yet. Putting bounties on people is so far over the line, I don't think there's a chance we can bring you back. And since you ask others this question, I don't see any conservatives denouncing this, so you all must agree with it. Something about living by the sword. (Grokked from CC Findley)

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