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daily 09/16/2016

    • There are laws in about 20 states that restrict municipal broadband, benefiting private ISPs that often donate heavily to state legislators.
    • Walker, in a scramble to win a bitterly contested election, asked a slew of right-wing billionaires in 2011 and 2012 to pour money into the Wisconsin Club for Growth, a dark money group working closely with a top aide to the governor. After Walker won, a special prosecutor opened an investigation into the campaign’s alleged coordination with the group. The leaked documents come from that controversial investigation, which Walker and his allies had dismissed as a partisan witch-hunt. 


    • Not only has the Walker scandal roared back into the spotlight, it may be headed for the Supreme Court. In April, the special prosecutor in the case called on the high court to overturn the state Supreme Court’s decision to end the investigation, arguing that coordination on issue advocacy is, in fact, illegal, and that the plaintiffs didn’t receive a fair trial because the two justices failed to recuse themselves.
    • “Stress the donations to WiCFG [Wisconsin Club for Growth] are not disclosed and can accept Corporate donations without limits,” stated an emailed list of talking points to Walker from his top fundraiser.
    • In three payments throughout the recall election campaigns, Simmons contributed $750,000 to the group
    • This revelation was particularly striking because after the elections, Republicans in the state legislature approved an amendment that gave former lead paint manufacturers retroactive immunity from lawsuits, a measure NL Industries officials had lobbied for aggressively.
    • Between 2011 and 2012, large, secret donations from the billionaire owner of one of America’s leading lead producers provided critical support to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the Republican-led legislature as they weathered recall elections. Not coincidentally, around that time the lawmakers passed two laws that would effectively make it impossible for childhood victims of lead poisoning to sue lead companies, according to leaked documents obtained by The Guardian.
    • The second law, slipped into a 2013 budget bill at the last minute, made sure the rule applied not just to new lawsuits, but pending ones as well. Together, the laws would render lead producers and lead paint manufacturers effectively immune to all lawsuits.


    • Harold Simmons, the billionaire owner of NL industries, a leading producer of lead previously used for lead paints, wrote three checks, totaling $750,000, during that time. The checks were made out to the Wisconsin Club for Growth, then run by one of Gov. Walker’s top advisors.


    • Forrester eventually complains about having built a data-crawling system that was designed to target known enemies of the state, but the project was eventually handed off to a $4 billion contractor. “No filters, no automation,” Forrester complains. “They were drowning in data.”
    • Snowden tears through a major “destroy a network and bring it back online” training exercise faster than anyone else in his class in a scene that parrots pretty much every other “young gun astounds his professors” scene in modern filmmaking.
    • Due to a House of Representatives rule change at the start of 2015, Smith no longer needs a committee vote to issue a subpoena; he can send them on his own. But the state attorneys general and environmental groups shrugged off the latest round, saying that the committee—tasked with oversight of federal science agencies—had no authority to demand to see their e-mails.
    • So after finding say, a state attorney general in contempt of Congress for ignoring a subpoena, they could force US Marshals to arrest that attorney general. “Anyway, that’s food for thought,” Foley said.
    • “The committee has failed to identify even one single House subpoena enforcement in 200 years to a state attorney general. The reason? It’s never happened. Never,” Tiefer said.


    • When I was living abroad, in a country where haggling was a daily feature of life, I learned a simple and incredibly successful technique. It works like this: You refuse to haggle. Presented with a piece of merchandise, you decide on your price, and you stick with it. Here is the plan in action:
    • The key to the process is that final exchange. You have to be willing to walk away with nothing if your terms aren’t met.
    • When they do this, they are conceding that Trump can be a presidential candidate, after all, despite refusing to release his returns. It is a losing strategy.
    • Until he does, here is how any and every interview with Trump should go:

      Reporter: When are you releasing your tax returns?

      Trump: [Vague, dismissive response.]

      Reporter: When are you releasing your tax returns?

      Trump: [More hostile, vague response.]

      Reporter: When are you releasing your tax returns, though?

    • To this, a committed reporter would simply say that the IRS commissioner says people under audit are free to release their tax returns, so when is he releasing his tax returns?
    • One key to Trump’s ability to obstruct and obfuscate is that the press is wary of being seen to be “taking sides” in the election.
    • If Trump prevails on this issue, tax returns will no longer be standard background information. The blame for this falls, in large part, on the pious and upstanding Mitt Romney, who
    • In an interview with Reuters on Thursday, Mobileye CTO Amnon Shashua said Tesla was “pushing the envelope in terms of safety.” He explained the accusation, saying, “[Autopilot] is not designed to cover all possible crash situations in a safe manner… No matter how you spin it, [Autopilot] is not designed for that. It is a driver-assistance system and not a driverless system.”
    • It has long been Mobileye’s position that Tesla’s Autopilot should not be allowed to operate hands-free without proper and substantial technological restrictions and limitations. In communications dating back to May 2015 between Mobileye Chairman and Tesla’s CEO, Mobileye expressed safety concerns regarding the use of Autopilot hands-free. After a subsequent face to face meeting, Tesla’s CEO confirmed that activation of Autopilot would be “hands on.” Despite this confirmation, Autopilot was rolled out in late 2015 with a hands-free activation mode. Mobileye has made substantial efforts since then to take more control on how this project can be steered to a proper functional safety system.
    • While it might be a personal visit during a break from filming, Porsche’s HQ was actually used in Age of Ultron and Civil War as the location of the New Avengers’ base, so there’s a good chance Spider-Man pays the building a visit in the film.
    • Introduction
    • Modelling is an important part of the exploratory process, but you don’t have the skills to effectively learn or apply it yet. We’ll come back to it in modelling, once you’re better equipped with more data wrangling and programming tools
    • HN is an experiment. As a rule, a community site that becomes popular will decline in quality. Our hypothesis is that this is not inevitable—that by making a conscious effort to resist decline, we can keep it from happening. 

    • When Lucasfilm was purchased by Disney, the decision was made that anything that advances the Star Wars story would become part of the same singular canon. Books, comics, games—they’re now as definitive as TV and film. Anything you pick up related to Star Wars adds to the whole; there’s a group of executives called the Lucasfilm Story Group whose sole job is to make sure all of these moving parts come together in a cohesive way.











    • You can go to the store, pick up Marvel’s Star Wars comic, and read crucial pieces of Star Wars history.
    • With the new canon, you can pick up a book and read how many Imperial Officers disagreed with Grand Moff Tarkin when he blew up Alderaan.
    • what happened to Darth Maul.
    • It’s like unwrapping a present, every single time.

    • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a prime example. Rogue One is the next Star Wars film coming out, and it takes place right before the original one in the official canon. However, the new film features all kinds of ships and technology that we did not see in the original trilogy.
    • The problem with telling stories that have their later chapters already set in stone: major changes may feel a bit less major.

    • Why didn’t he help Darth Vader and the Emperor find Luke Skywalker?
    • It’s a big universe and he was doing something else.

    • Seriously, I was pretty damn impressed how the creative team made such to give credible reason for why we never saw those new ships before. To ignore their work is just disrespectful in my opinion.
    • What is dplyr?


    • Some time ago I saw an interesting post in a R related group on LinkedIn. It was from Michael Piccirilli and he wrote something about his new package Rlinkedin. I was really impressed by his work and so I decided to write a blog post about it.





    • This script also writes just the names to a file for use with creating userlists.


    • A framework to get data from a social network. Python 2.7.10


    • I want to make a list of recruiters who are actively posting specific job openings on LinkedIn, updated on a weekly basis.
    • We are glad that you came here to learn how to scrape LinkedIn and we won’t disappoint you.


    • When NBA teams send down their young players, or assign waived training camp invites to the D-League club, they can fully manage their “minor league” experience. The NBA team hires the D-League coach and GM, sets the plan for the roster construction, installs offensive and defensive systems and can dictate playing time and roles.
    • What about the other eight NBA franchises? The Hawks, Wizards, Pelicans, Clippers, Nuggets, Timberwolves, Bucks and Blazers all lack a team-owned or hybrid D-League affiliate. They’ll be able to call up unsigned D-League players like any other team, but the assignment process for developing players will be tricky.
    • A group in Omaha is trying to start a new D-League team so it can grab an affiliation, possibly from the Nuggets or Pelicans. That’s 26.
    • But for the D-League to become a true farm system for the NBA, a few other things need to happen. Reports suggest the NBA will look at boosting D-League salaries in the next collective bargaining agreement from the current $25,000 (at the most — most players are actually below that number) to something more competitive with European and Asian leagues. That’s part of it. But to really turn the D-League into a farm system, the NBA will need to tweak roster size rules.
    • If the NBA adds a few development roster spots to allow teams to hold D-League rights on players in their pipeline, this could further boost teams’ efforts to develop young players … and perhaps take more risks on raw domestic prospects in the second round of the draft instead of foreign draft-and-stash prospects. This will be a decision the NBA needs to make.
    • According to the data scientist, text IS structured. It is a written language, and therefore it must be. Because of this, there must be a way to extract, and perhaps even predict events.


    • The Teradata “dreamer” turned to network graphs, starting with raw text data. He:
    • Accurately predicted major character deaths with a Belief Propagation algorithm (LBP) over the social network.
    • To predict character deaths, Fredembach employed a Belief Propagation algorithm (LBP), which propagates ground truth beliefs of a character status, for example, true information, with 0 = alive, 1 = dead, throughout the graph, according to the weight of an edge.
    • But according to Fredembach’s blog, the state of the social network at the time of Eddard’s death indicates that it is his close proximity to King Robert that raises his risk.


    • Rather than build out and constantly expand the city, companies will be required to build up to create an ever-denser locale. At the same time, it’ll ensure that all vehicles, both public and private, will run on green energy by 2040.
    • Reykjavik is better placed than many to meet these targets, since it already survives on a healthy diet of renewable energy
    • His analysis that the competition is more likely to hurt United’s chances of achieving their real goal this season, winning the Premier League, is right.
    • When a car’s air conditioner is running, water vapor in the air accumulates on its condenser, changing into a liquid state and then dripping to the ground. Doug

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

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