Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

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Explaining Japanese to Programmers

An interesting blog post which compares the grammar of Japanese to programming. Not revolutionary but still an interesting way to think about the language.

1/31/2023 6:28 am | | Tags: language, japanese, linguistics

News sites & RSS

As an avid RSS consumer, I have come to feel many of the frustrations and problems the internet faces with its best content delivery system. RSS can be a truly game changing thing if you adopt it. I have a single site I visit which pulls in content from over 100 others and lets me quickly skim through and read. The problem is, included in the many sites I pull in, in an effort to stay informed and well rounded in the news, I pull in feeds from:

And, while they accomplish my goal of providing me robust headline coverage, they also greatly clog my RSS feed with hundreds of posts a day. It's not the quantity which bothers me, but that there are a few repeated issues I have across these sites:

  1. SEO driven news posts - This morning I dug in, thinking I had an issue with my RSS reader not properly handling updated posts as I saw the same infographic and post about the Pope on my Al Jazeera feed. As I researched, what I realized is that I was seeing Al Jazeera's TWO posts which both relied on the majority same content and infographic. One was about the story, and one was an "explainer." There is no good way to smartly filter these out, so I will simply have to endure the noise.
  2. Straight spam - The Kent Reporter is a small blog, probably part of a bigger network behind the scenes, but they used to put straight up spam news for cars, products, medicines, etc. through their RSS feed though these didn't appear on the homepage. I get it. It's not a well earning gig and if someone supplements it with these posts, I don't have to like it, but I can't blame them. However, I was very annoyed they came out through the RSS feed.
  3. Lack of feeds - Honestly, the above news sources aren't all my primary sites. I'd love to fold some more news magazines and stuff into my reader, but they've dropped RSS support. And that frustrates me. Hopefully we'll see them return. Maybe.
1/31/2023 6:55 am | | Tags: rss

Technology built to last

I spent some time this morning relaxing and watching this video by my friend Marshall. In it, he services a Rolex watch that its owner had worn daily for 53 years before it stopped running. And as I watch it, I look over at my Galaxy 4 watch charging next to me. I greatly enjoy and use it, but I also realize I'll be lucky to get a tenth of that life time out of it.

Obviously, a big problem is the continual climb of technology.

Analog watches hit a relative plateau decades ago, where the innovations (largely speaking) stopped and so the differentiating factors became build quality and life. We are still far from that as far as digital technology goes with data, wireless, screens, processors, all continuing to improve and change.

There is little reason to build a computer, or a smart watch, to last 50 years outside of industrial and governmental uses. Especially for an accessory like a watch, it will always rely on another service to provide updates, screens, applications, etc. It would require an incredible feat of engineering to future proof a smart watch such that it would be able to easily be ported to any future platform. Not impossible, but certainly difficult.

That said, if someone came along and sold a smartwatch able to last fifty years with a robust futureproofing documentation, and it satisfied my needs for its functionality as well as aesthetics, I'd heavily consider purchasing it almost regardless of price.

1/31/2023 7:04 am | | Tags: technology, gadgets, time

Bean Jean Ammons (1930-2014)

My grandmother, whom I was very close with, passed away nine years ago today. When I moved to Seattle, one of things which broke my heart was that it meant she wouldn't be able to come visit. When I lived in Orlando, she would come down to Orlando two or three times a year, but I had to sacrifice that. We made one trip to see her in Georgia after moving, spending several days in the town and with her. I'll always treasure that time and the photos from it.

1/31/2023 9:48 am | | Tags: photo, memorial

FDA proposes easing limitations for blood donation from gay and bisexual men

The proposed guidance would not be gender-specific and would allow some men who have sex with men to donate based on risk assessment questions. People who have had only one sexual partner in the past three months would be allowed to donate blood. If someone has had a new sexual partner or more than one sexual partner—and had anal sex—in the past three months, they would need to wait another three months before donating.

1/31/2023 10:09 am | | Tags: fda, gay rights, medicine

"Do you have a moral duty to watch the police beating of Tyre Nichols?"

A friend asked a similar question on Facebook yesterday.

Is watching it ghoulish voyeurism?

Or is not watching it tacit complicity in the status quo?

How do you feel about the answer, and why? I can't figure out where I stand.

This was my response:

I turn away from watching the video itself, but I read the responses and editorials about it. I have always shied away from watching death. As [name removed, another person in the thread] said, and I fully acknowledge, this is my cowardly privilege. I don't watch horror movies, I avoid almost all suspense, because it gets into my head and torments me for a long while after.

I already know how I feel about this, and the awfulness on display here. My feelings here are pegged already in the anger and sadness and frustration, and watching it won't do anything to drive those further in me.

The editorial on WaPo shows others are asking the same question. I especially appreciated this excerpt:

Allissa V. Richardson, a University of Southern California journalism professor who researches Black Americans' use of social media as journalism, said people should not feel a moral obligation to view violent records of important events.

Richardson said there is both power and risk in the ways that smartphones and social media regularly broadcast so much evidence of brutality to us.

"People should be very careful about consuming these videos casually through social media," Richardson said in an email. "For many Black Americans especially, it can be retraumatizing to see someone who looks like you or a loved one be brutalized this way."

Richardson also said that when violent moments grab our attention, we may conflate passive watching with action.

"Pressing play is not the same as pressing for tangible changes. Social media can make us forget that sometimes," she said.

1/31/2023 10:31 am | | Tags: black lives matter, civil rights, activism, social media

Socializing shows life extension benefits for other mammals

Mammals only have one life to live, but the length of that life varies greatly. While some shrews shuffle off this mortal coil in less than 14 months, bowhead whales can swim in Arctic waters for more than two centuries. And longevity is not all about size. For example, 250-pound brown bears (with a maximum life span of 40 years) are outlived, on average, by Brandt’s bats (with maximum of 41 years), a species small enough to perch inside the palm of a human hand.

Instead one of the most important factors impacting a mammal’s life span may be the company it keeps. A team of researchers recently analyzed the longevities and lifestyles of nearly 1,000 species of mammals, ranging from aardvarks to zebras. In a study published on Tuesday in Nature Communications, the team discovered that group-living mammals such as ring-tailed lemurs and elephants generally outlive solitary species such as tigers and chipmunks.

1/31/2023 7:37 pm | | Tags: animals, science, sociology

A few Bond thoughts

Just rewatched 'No Time To Die' and it wasn't as bad as I remembered. It wasn't great, but I will remember fondly Daniel Craig's tenure as James Bond. I still feel Pierce Brosnan is my preferred Bond, but I can't deny the raw power and animalistic tenacity Craig brought to the series.

1/31/2023 9:49 pm | | Tags: movies, james bond

Automated Archives for January, 31st 2023

This post was automatically generated

Wallabag Additions

These are articles that which I saved today so that I may read them later. Substance and quality will vary drastically.

Chess For the Day

Record: 6-0-4
Net Elo Change: +11

Games Played

1/31/2023 10:45 pm | | Tags: automated, longreads, chess
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