Skip to main content

ProLinks #60 - Trust, Exercise, Constitution and more


5 peculiar cases of identity theft and how they could have been prevented

Andorrie Sachs, a mother of four children, had left her wallet in a car which was later broken into, and her wallet stolen. The thief turned out to be a pregnant woman who was, on top of all else, a regular meth user. Having Sachs’ driver’s licence and other papers enabled her to steal Sachs’ medical identity, and she delivered her baby in Sachs’ name, abandoned her child at the hospital and left Sachs with a $10,000 hospital bill. Afterwards, the local authorities then mistakenly reported Sachs as an unfit mother and threatened to take her four children away.

The dispassionate developer by Mark Seemann

For reasons that are complicated and that I don't fully understand, the software development community in the eighties and nineties developed a culture of anti-capitalism and liberal values that put technology on a pedestal for its own sake. Open source good; commercial software bad. Free software good; commercial software bad.

An introduction to DNS and its relationship with Univention Corporate Server

Recursive and authoritative name servers place considerably different demands on the admins who operate them, with recursive name servers being significantly less laborious to administer.


Bruce Wayne should probably start wearing sunglasses.

RACHEL BOTSMAN: “The issue of trust does not lie in the technology, it lies in the culture.”

When people used to live in tribes, villages or small communities, trust was largely interpersonal: it was based on personal reputation and proximity. Then urbanisation and trade came in, we needed to interact with people not in our proximity, we needed to trust them. The local trust mechanisms did not work anymore.

12 people are behind most of the anti-vaxxer disinformation you see on social media

The largest anti-vaxxer influencer on social media, according to the report, is Joseph Mercola. Mercola is an alternative medicine promoter who runs a multimillion dollar online business selling treatments and dietary supplements. The FDA recently sent Mercola a warning over his sham treatments for COVID-19.

Face to Face: Building Trust through Accurate Recognition

With enough computing power, a machine could recognise every person on the planet in 500 milliseconds. At Innovatrics, our algorithms can match a single person from among 8 billion people in under a minute, using just three standard servers. The same task would take a human almost 100 years!

Email Is Making Us Miserable — Here's What to Do About It

Cal describes how email and chat channels have created what he calls "the hyperactive hive mind," and the costs to productivity, well-being, and focus that this hive mind incurs. He then explains why we feel the need to quickly respond to messages, even if rationally we know they’re not urgent. Cal then lays out practical ways to replace the hive mind with a more effective way of working, and why it involves concentrating on processes over messaging, increasing intellectual specialization, a return to hiring support staff, and, counterintuitively, more friction and less convenience.

All my career rejections

Over 50 times I have been rejected in my short career. Gotta collect em' all!


What You Can (Really) Learn About Exercise from Your Human Ancestors

We all know how indisputably good exercise is for you. Yet a lot of folks still find it a struggle to engage in much physical activity. To understand the reason that this conflict and tension exists and how to overcome it, it helps to understand the lives of our human ancestors.


Are you hosting a memetic Parasite?

Some memes propagate by making their hosts’ lives better and richer. These memes likely travel slowly, as it can take a person a while to improve their life. And yet these memes can have excellent longevity – there are many thousand-year old stories people still tell themselves, because these stories help them live more fulfilling lives. These are symbiotic memes.

Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain

Our brains evolved to keep our bodies alive -- thinking is just a bonus by-product.

Information is surprise

Forget about the person who is sending the message and the meaning they want to convey and simply imagine the machine picking words at random, based on a probability distribution that closely reflects the structure of the English language. To formalise things even further, forget about words and think of the machine picking individual symbols according to a certain probability distribution. This way, we can measure surprise not only for languages spoken by people, but also for strings of 0s and 1s produced by a computer, or for smoke signals sent in the forest.

How Intelligent Could Life Be Without Natural Selection?

Science fiction can be terribly pessimistic, but that pessimism is unfounded. Other factors are at play. Resources are limited. Eventually, even the crabs on the island run out of materials with which to make new robots. Admittedly, humans have caused tremendous damage to our own planet, but we’ve hardly destroyed the universe. In fact, there’s no indication in the night sky that any organism, biological or artificial, has spread its influence as far and wide as we might expect if they were growing exponentially like robot crabs.


China's COVID Vaccine Problem


Should I let the source read my article before publication?

The consensus is: do not let your source be your editor. As a journalist, once your interviewee has spoken to you on the record, you do not have to show them your article. 

How celebrities became irrelevant

influencers can only ever be one person: themselves. Or rather, their Best Self. The influencer’s outward-facing persona is a carefully curated costume, a highlights reel of personhood that feels authentic without being too real. A proper influencer has to be messy but not sloppy, open but not extra. Weeping is allowed; ugly crying is not. Done right, this complex alchemy adds up to the greatest asset an influencer can possess: a sense that you could, with just a little effort, be just like her.


This is why we can't have nice things

The Rule of History

Essentially, what happened in 1215 was that the kingdom turned around and told the king to obey his own rules

When Constitutions Took Over the World

Many of the founders later had grave doubts about the government they’d erected, as Dennis Rasmussen argues in “Fears of a Setting Sun: The Disillusionment of America’s Founders” (Princeton). Washington regretted partisanship, Hamilton thought the federal government too weak, Adams damned the vices of the people, and Jefferson expected the divide over slavery to doom the Union

A ‘Thrilling’ Mission to Get the Swedish to Change Overnight

Some 360,000 street signs had to be switched nationwide, which largely took place on a single day before the move to right-hand driving, with council workers joined by the military and working late into the night to ensure the task got done before H-Day formally revved into gear on Sunday morning. All but essential traffic was banned from the roads.

Our Strange Addiction

Versions of this account of the globalization of smoking have been told countless times. Broadly speaking, they’re true. But they can also be misleading.

How Portugal silenced ‘centuries of violence and trauma’

By the mid-16th century, Africans were part of almost every area of Portuguese life, and around 10,000 Africans were living in Lisbon, making up 10 percent of the population. “It was the first European city with a large concentration of Black people,” Gaglo explains, strolling through Lisbon’s still-resplendent downtown. “Mostly life in the city for Africans was work, work, work. They were housemaids, they took care of children in the city, they provided water for the houses, the men worked unloading ships, in construction. Enslaved people were denied a family life, because mostly men and women would belong to different owners, who didn’t let them leave to get married.”


Popular posts from this blog

ProLinks #57 - Truth, Wayland and Sex Tapes

Tech Let's talk about Wayland ... This is the fundamental principle of every single product (including security products). If you cannot use a thing, because its "safety" or "security" mechanisms prevents the core functionality from being utilized in the intended fashion, the product is useless. For example, a Web browser without an Internet connection is possibly very secure from Internet exploits - but it also doesn't do its main function - let people browse the Internet Speed is the killer feature When you touched a Razr or a Palm phone, there was a delay. It felt sluggish and slow. Apple removed the delay between your finger tapping the screen and something happening. Your finger could finally manipulate the UI in realtime, just like in the real world. It felt magical. If there was even a slight delay, the whole experience fell apart. Everything is broken, and it’s okay Every car you’ve ever ridden in, every elevator you’ve ever taken, every s

ProLinks #65 - North Korea, Cryptocurrencies, Propaganda and more

Tech The Incredible Rise of North Korea’s Hacking Army He was right. As the newspapers soon reported, more than sixteen million dollars was withdrawn from roughly seventeen hundred 7-Eleven A.T.M.s across Japan that morning, using data stolen from South Africa’s Standard Bank. The newspapers surmised that 7-Elevens had been targeted because they were the only convenience stores in Japan whose cash terminals all accepted foreign cards. Soon after the raids, the withdrawal limit for many A.T.M.s in the country was reduced to fifty thousand yen Why Cryptocurrency Is A Giant Fraud ❧ Current Affairs Schweikert is partly right: “selling it as a revolution” is a hugely important part of why cryptocurrency is succeeding. But as is generally the case when someone is trying to sell you something, the whole thing should seem extremely fishy. In fact, much of the cryptocurrency pitch is worse than fishy. It’s downright fraudulent, promising people benefits that they will not get and trying

ProLinks #64 - Cookies, How to Survive Apocalypse, Fall of Rome and more

Tech Ubuntu 21.04 is here Ubuntu machines can join an Active Directory (AD) domain at installation for central configuration. AD administrators can now manage Ubuntu workstations, which simplifies compliance with company policies. Data Brokers Are a Threat to Democracy The Arkansas firm claims to have data on 2.5 billion people around the world. And in the US, if someone’s interested in that information, there are virtually no restrictions on their ability to buy and then use it. How to fight back against Google FLoC Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) proposes a new way for businesses to reach people with relevant content and ads by clustering large groups of people with similar interests. This approach effectively hides individuals “in the crowd” and uses on-device processing to keep a person’s web history private on the browser. How Live TV Works Do Neural Networks Think Like Our Brain? OpenAI Answers! 🧠 koush Difficult to quantify what an ecological disaster Bitcoin

ProLinks #58 - Evangelicals, Screen time and BASE Jumping

Tech The technical interview practice gap, and how it keeps underrepresented groups out of software engineering MIT gave me was a big stamp on my forehead that, to this day, makes strangers think I’m smart. But there was another, more relevant gift that gave me a serious advantage over students who did not attend an elite computer science institution: boundless access to technical interview practice. Not only was there a multi-week course during the month-long break between Fall and Spring semesters that was dedicated exclusively to passing technical interviews, but all of my peers were going through exactly the same thing at the same time Clone Wars - Open source clones of popular sites 70+ open-source clones of popular sites like Airbnb, Amazon, Instagram, Netflix, Tiktok, Spotify, Trello, Whatsapp, Youtube, etc. List contains source code, demo links, tech stack, and, GitHub stars count. Great for learning purpose!  “Well, it seems great to me” But if your music, your graphic

ProLinks #59 - Terrible men, Facebook and SOCOM

Tech You’re Doing It Wrong: Notes on Criticism and Technology Hype What is less obvious is why Shoshana Zuboff, an emerita professor of Harvard Business School, so uncritically repeats the digital industry’s marketing materials, nor why she never points to or assesses evidence that goes against her argument. Yet her writings are full of hyperbole that sounds like she took press releases from Facebook’s and Google’s PR departments and rewrote them to be alarming, How Facebook got addicted to spreading misinformation Zuckerberg’s obsession with getting the whole world to use Facebook had found a powerful new weapon. Teams had previously used design tactics, like experimenting with the content and frequency of notifications, to try to hook users more effectively. Their goal, among other things, was to increase a metric called L6/7, the fraction of people who logged in to Facebook six of the previous seven days. L6/7 is just one of myriad ways in which Facebook has measured “e