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daily 02/22/2014

    • Sax’s strange methods cast him as an outsider within the rest of the Bureau, but his methods prove effective. The main thrust of The Courtyard details Sax’s attempts to investigate three seemingly unrelated murders across the US. This eventually leads him to a young man who deals a drug called “Aklo”, the after-effects of which are shockingly similar to the reported actions of the three different murderers. After Sax meets with this dealer, he quickly learns that “Aklo” isn’t a drug at all, but a language. When the dealer speaks it to him, it drives him mad, thrusting him on a crash-course tour of the various realms of Lovecraftian mythos. These visions eventually drive Sax to murder his neighbor in the exact same fashion as the crimes he was investigating.
    • While we don’t still know why Cohle appears so disheveled now. We also don’t know how he transformed from a skeptic to a seeming believer in the more esoteric ideas that his suspects were spouting off. It’s hard to argue that Pizzolatto’s tale is going to head in the same direction as Moore’s story.
    • Another tie-in worth mentioning: The drug dealer who ends up driving Sax mad is named Johnny Carcosa. This tidbit is relevant, as Carcosa is the name of an ancient and cursed place that appears in Robert W. Chambers’ book The King in Yellow. This is the very same text that inspired consistent mentions throughout the show about The Yellow King, which Reggie LeDoux and his cohorts were obsessed with, along with the story of Carcosa itself. Did I mention that Johnny Carcosa also wears a yellow veil? io9 recently detailed the connections between True Detective and Chambers’ text, but Moore, much like Pizzalatto, imbued these mythos with procedural elements and may have provided a pathway for True Detective to follow.
    •  A central focal point of the series is that time, like in M-theory, exists all at once.
    • Oh, and just to hammer it home even more, in episode 3, Hart is shaking down a strip club barman for information. Bemoaning the fact that the barman’s recalcitrance is forcing him into making threats, Hart says “why you gotta make me say this shit?”

      The barman is played by Pizzolato himself. Presumably wearing a fiction suit

    • It’s definitely inspired by a lot of Lovecraftian themes of nihilism and cosmic alienation, but the jury is still out on whether the show is going to make the leap to outright supernatural horror.
    • DVD theory and quite of few others pointed out Morrison in combination with m-theory and higher dimensionals looking in on a piece of fiction. And then there’s the recurring-time, self referential texts as in metatexts, the oroboros, the hole in things… This whole show is a Otto Netz trap.. Borromean ring, orobouros, spyral..spiral tattoo ..Doctor Dedalus and the redneck rapist with the tattoos always going on about THE LAST TIME THIS HAPPENED. The spiral-cult and spyral/leviathan .. this whole show is a puzzlebox, an omega sanction a netz-trap, my brain is stuck.
    • Construction on the $40 billion canal is scheduled to begin in December. It’s being built by a Chinese company called the Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Company (HKND). The Nicaraguan government and the HKND say it’ll boost the country’s GDP by 11% annually and provide up to a million new jobs in the years following the canal’s construction. They also claim that it’ll expedite global trade — but some experts say there’s no justification for a new canal and that the Panama Canal “works pretty well.
    • For starters, it’ll cut a swath through Lake Nicaragua, which is where most of the country’s drinking water comes from. The new channel will be lined with industrial centers, airports, new railways, oil pipelines — and the rights to any natural resources in the area.
    • Do you want to know who else had secret powers they kept hidden? Superman, Batman, Cinderella, just about every mythical character ever. And you do realize how many Disney characters have parents who are dead? About 75% of them. You’re reading into things that aren’t there. At all. And this coming from someone who got her Masters degree from BYU in musical/theatrical history and critique.
    • Sessions, they say, has become complicit. Voter after voter says that the Benghazi attacks of 2012 should disqualify him from re-election. He runs the rules committee; he has not moved a bill that would create a special investigative committee. Pierson wants that committee yesterday, and doesn’t believe Sessions’ reasons for spiking it. Can Republicans wait two years and use Benghazi against Hillary Clinton? No. They can’t risk it. “Do the Clintons ever let a witness survive?
    • After he tweeted, “If babies had guns, they wouldn’t be aborted,” and it caught on, he started selling the recycled quip as a bumper sticker. Reporters don’t know where he’s campaigning, or whether he’s campaigning at all—when I asked a spokesman, he said, “We’re not interested.” On Tuesday, as Cornyn campaigned in Houston, Stockman’s campaign Twitter account claimed—five times—that Cornyn had declared Ted Cruz a “threat” to the nation.
    • Two days earlier, in the East Texas town of Longview, Cornyn had joined Karl Rove and country singer Neal McCoy for a two-hour fundraiser and jamboree. Mickie Hand, a local Republican parliamentarian, danced in the aisles as McCoy’s band played a cover of “Billie Jean.” Her necklace, a cross built with nails, swayed as she moved. She paused just long enough to condemn Cornyn’s debt limit vote.
    • Over a long afternoon, I heard many, many iterations of that sentiment. Cornyn was tolerable at best; his opponents weren’t worth looking at. One Longview donor who’d shelled out to attend a pre-jamboree fundraiser with Cornyn and Rove started to tell me that her party needed to recapture the center, or else it couldn’t win in Texas. Realizing what she’d said, she asked me not to use her name.
    • Stovall had not raised $5 million. He was running $4,975,000 short of that. He was driving around Texas, trying to sync up campaign events with the schedule of his emissions-testing business. “You’re looking at a guy who puts 100,000 miles on his car every year,” said Stovall. He’d showed up at Tea Party meetings and candidate forums, winning endorsements after nine of them.
    • You hate hurry-up no-huddle (HUNH) offenses because you run a conventional big boy offense and defense that gets winded and run out of the building by teams that practice any form of this offense. You are a big man who want to see big players play slow games.
    • Because you can’t stop teams on the field, you want to change the rules off of them so you can get the type of football you’d like to see played. Like a lobbyist, you care about the cause so much that it doesn’t matter how you get the rule change through, just that it passes. So every fallacious argument that can be used, should be used. Appeals to fear and emotion run rampant here.
    • He said: “The biggest worry I had was re-entry. Nasa has lost about 3% of everyone who’s gone into space, and re-entry has been their biggest problem.
    • or a government-owned company, you can just about get away with losing 3% of your clients. For a private company you can’t really lose anybody. Nobody we met had anything but the conventional risky re-entry mechanism that Nasa had. We were waiting for someone to come up with one that was foolproof.
    • Maryland reimbursed Media Rights Capital $11 million for season one of House of Cards; season two saw the state up that figure to $15 million.
    • , “I am sure you can understand that we would not be responsible financiers and a successful production company if we did not have viable options available.”
    • The show has thus far generated 6,000 local jobs and aided Maryland’s economy to the tune of $250 million, the Post says.
    • Lem’s point: space exploration is not about fathoming the universe, but imposing our own all-too-human will upon it.
    • And so it is written in the The Jewish Daily Forward that WhatsApp is the latest scourge among ultra-orthodox Jews, picking up on a story in Der Blatt, a Yiddish-language newspaper with the headline, “The rabbis overseeing divorces say WhatsApp is the No. 1 cause of destruction of Jewish homes and business.”
    • That’s not what companies call it, exactly. Hershey’s is hiring a “Senior Manager” in “Foresight Activation,” someone with experience converting “existing foresight (trends, forecasts, scenarios) into strategic opportunities (SOs).”
    • In the ongoing he said/she said saga surrounding Netflix streaming potentially being throttled, we’ve got a new, potentially volatile piece of information: the CEO of the company that provides Netflix’s bandwidth (Cogent) straight up says that Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner are causing the issues. “Every Internet user is suffering today in their ability to access all the applications, content, and other users across the Internet,” Cogent CEO Dave Schaeffer told Ars Technica in a recent interview.
    • Once a port hits about 85 percent throughput, you’re going to begin to start to drop packets. Clearly when a port is at 120 or 130 percent, the packet loss is material,” he told Ars, in reference to the existing ports being overused.
    • The argument is three-fold, and it’s a little bit confusing. Here’s what’s up: Cogent is the company Netflix buys bandwidth from. They are the middle man, responsible for ferrying the movie from Netflix to, in this case, Verizon, who delivers the movie to your TV or computer or what-have-you.
    • But now the connections at the Cogent/Verizon drop-off point are full up, and Cogent and Verizon are fighting about who should pay to beef them up.
    • What’s happening is in a show of defiance, Verizon is just nerfing all the Netflix traffic and giving other non-Netflix things (Redbox Instant, Verizon’s very own streaming service) priority. So that’s why your House of Cards binge may not have happened in the full HD you would had you liked. Meanwhile they can fall back on the thin excuse that they aren’t just nerfing it for their own interests, there’s just not enough room! Very convenient
    • Meanwhile, Time Warner Cable and Comcast are waging a similar war with a company called Level 3. And there doesn’t seem to be much of an end to either fight. Cogent, for one, seems ready for a long battle, and isn’t budging on its stance that it shouldn’t have to pay. The only hope comes by way of the FCC, and in light of the
    • FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has supported the idea of “two-sided networks” in which ISPs like Verizon can charge both Netflix and their home customers. Wheeler wants to impose some type of net neutrality rules on Internet access, but that would apply only to the “last mile” of connectivity from consumer ISPs to homes, and not the interconnection agreements at issue here.
    • Bitcoin has no need to trust any central authority; every aspect of the currency is confirmed and secured through the use of strong cryptography.
    • With a current estimated market capitalization of about $100 million, Bitcoin has recently graduated from a theoretical techno-anarchic project patronized by libertarians and hackers to a full-fledged currency prompting comment from technologists and economists. At the time of this writing, one Bitcoin (BTC) is worth about US$15.
    • The problem with purely digital currencies is that of double-spending. Economists in the audience will note that digital products like a movie or a text file are
    • The idea was to use cryptography to create verifiable transaction records without the need to trust anyone but your own calculations.
    • As soon as a transaction takes place, the recipient (who has a very strong incentive to ensure that you don’t spend the coin twice) publishes the transaction to the global Bitcoin network. Now every Bitcoin user has incontrovertible evidence that the coin has been spent, and users won’t accept that coin from anyone but the new owner.
    • Coins are essentially agreements between all the Bitcoin nodes to accept a particular coin as currency. They are created gradually according to a precise protocol in order to reward those who contribute and maintain the network, control the rate of creation of the currency, and maintain the integrity of the transaction list.
    • By finding the newest solution to the proof-of-work problem, a Bitcoin client confirms the history of previous transactions and moved the transaction register forward, allowing new debits and credits to form part of the next block that can be mined to earn more coins. Future coins can’t be mined in advance, because the computation to find the new block (and hence create new Bitcoins) relies on the the chain of previous blocks and the history of transactions since the most recent block.
    • The number of new coins generated per block gradually decreases over time. It started out at 50 BTC, but will dwindle to zero sometime in future when all 21 million coins have been generated. Fortunately, coins can be divided down to the eighth decimal place, which may prove increasingly useful if their value grows.
    • Like most of them, the code that powers Dogecoin’s blockchain and network is forked from Litecoin, which was originally billed as a lighter-weight alternative to Bitcoin.
    • Is 20 Mhash/sec a lot? Well—yes, but it’s also not ludicrous. You’d get the same performance out of 13 AMD 7990 video cards, and without using a whole data center full of electricity and cooling, too. The not-yet-shipping Acor ASICS A1 miner promises to deliver 30 Mhash/sec in a single small box—though buying cryptocurrency mining hardware sight-unseen is not without its problems.
    • This rules change is being made to enhance student-athlete safety by guaranteeing a small window for both teams to substitute,” Air Force coach Troy Calhoun, chair of the rules committee, recently said. “As the average number of plays per game has increased, this issue has been discussed with greater frequency by the committee in recent years and we felt like it was time to act in the interests of protecting our student-athletes.”
    • A faster game that keys on endurance would take away a lot of the incentive for Alabama to carry four 300-pound underclassmen on its defensive line, or an offensive lineman coming in over 380 pounds.
    • These are college kids, and incentivizing them to become morbidly obese to play football seems like it would be a “health risk” that outweighs whatever comes along with a hurry-up offense.
    • it’s just that the health of college players is being used to smuggle in rules changes that a few disgruntled coaches don’t like.
    • What we have here are coaches like Nick Saban, who has openly discussed the difficulty of playing against a hurry-up offense, seeking a tactical advantage under the cloak of player safety.
    • During the same year, Google reportedly picked up $17 billion in advertising spend on nearly $60 billion of revenue, while Facebook grabbed $3.2 billion as part of its nearly $8 billion take. If I read these numbers, they tell me one thing: Google and Facebook rely heavily on advertising spend — so who is their real customer? You? The end user? No way. Their key customers are advertisers.
    • Because Apple doesn’t track its users and ads with cookies, ad agencies can’t do “automated buys via their cookie-centric trading desks, which allow them to mesh lots of data from different sources,” Kaye observed.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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