Elsewhere For September 6, 2019

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You should read this for 9/7/2019:

Art and Film

Crazy Rich Asians co-writer quits after being offered eighth of writer’s salary “Adele Lim exited after learning Peter Chiarelli stood to earn $800,000 to $1m while she would make ‘$110,000-plus’” .bq

Books, Writing, and Language

Audiobooks or Reading? To Our Brains, It Doesn’t Matter

In a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers from the Gallant Lab at UC Berkeley scanned the brains of nine participants while they read and listened to a series of tales from “The Moth Radio Hour.” After analyzing how each word was processed in the the brain’s cortex, they created maps of the participants’ brains, noting the different areas helped interpret the meaning of each word.

Could language be the key to detecting fake news? Part of me wants to roll my eyes; this is something I learned to do in my twenties. Back in the dark ages, we called it close reading and rhetorical analysis. I spent much of life teaching undergraduates and others how to do this.

Food and Drink

Via Brown-Eyed Baker: Thick And Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies “These large, bakery-style thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies stay soft for days and are a huge family favorite. Made with melted butter, a high brown sugar to white sugar ratio, and an extra egg yolk to ensure super soft cookies, they require NO chilling time and are the perfect after-school snack.”
Via Tim O’Reilly and Eater: Everything You Need to Know About Hotdish “All about the nostalgic Upper Midwest staple”
H/T Heather G: Lemon Blueberry Cake
The Perfect Time to Get Into Bread Making is Right Now

Enter my favorite bread recipe, which is an adaptation of Alexandra Stafford’s mom’s truly excellent Peasant Bread recipe. I will never shut up about it. This isn’t just no-knead bread—it’s same-day no-knead bread. In a roughly 72ºF kitchen, the dough rises in less than two hours; once that’s done, you scrape it into a buttered pan and let it rise again while your oven preheats. It bakes for 30-40 minutes, after which you’ll have soft, springy bread with a buttery crust—perfect for sandwiches, croutons, dipping in stews, or the last few tomato mayo toasts of the season.

History and Archaeology

Dead Sea scrolls study raises new questions over texts’ origins “Salts used on Temple scroll are not common to Dead Sea region, researchers find”

Science and Nature

Malaria breakthrough as scientists find ‘highly effective’ way to kill parasite
One of Nature’s Greatest Spectacles Is Coming Undone “Corals release their eggs and sperms with perfect synchronization. But a new study suggests their incredible timing is starting to slip.”


Two links about the iOS Website based attack discovered by Google, and patched almost immediately by Apple in February of 2019. First H/T Benedict Evans: Sources say China used iPhone hacks to target Uyghur Muslims

A number of malicious websites used to hack into iPhones over a two-year period were targeting Uyghur Muslims, TechCrunch has learned.
Sources familiar with the matter said the websites were part of a state-backed attack — likely China — designed to target the Uyghur community in the country’s Xinjiang state.

See also The Guardian: : Uighurs in China were target of two-year iOS malware attack – reports And Volexity (H/T @reneritchie) points out that Google isn’t really reporting as fully as they should; Digital Crackdown: Large Scale Surveillance and Exploitation of Uyghurs And Apple has responded:

Google’s post, issued six months after iOS patches were released, creates the false impression of “mass exploitation” to “monitor the private activities of entire populations in real time,” stoking fear among all iPhone users that their devices had been compromised. This was never the case.

Tim O’Reilly: Antitrust regulators are using the wrong tools to break up Big Tech

Amazon also competes with its merchants for visibility on its platform, and charges them additional fees for favored placement. And because Amazon is now leading with featured products rather than those its customers think are the best, its merchants are incentivized to advertise on the platform. Amazon’s fast-growing advertising business is thus a kind of tax on its merchants.

These giants don’t just compete on the basis of product quality and price—they control the market through the algorithms and design features that decide which products users will see and be able to choose from. And these choices are not always in consumers’ best interests.

SpaceX Refused To Move A Starlink Satellite At Risk Of Collision With A European Satellite
When I Took My Zipcar Into the Wilderness “In an area without cellphone reception, I was unable to open the car.”
Craig Hockenberry: iCloud Clusterfuck

But there are many folks that are just looking to get the new and shiny features. In past iOS beta releases, Apple hasn’t suffered too much from this because the early software was relatively stable. Maybe you got some dropped calls or bad battery life, but it was nothing too serious.
These early adopters installed iOS 13 and expected a similar experience. They also weren’t using an iCloud test account, so any instability in the beta release propagated bad data to their other devices.
Developers have long known to unhook external drives when testing a new OS release. Shit happens, and that’s OK because it’s a beta and we expect a bumpy road.

Brent Simmons: On My Funny Ideas About What Beta Means
Kirk McElhearn: How to Manage Audiobooks in a Post-iTunes World
Thirty Years of Fetch

Women’s Work

Life began for me as a queer teenager amid the happy excesses of Great Yarmouth “This was where I came to understand the power and burden of my sexuality – and I revisited the place in all three of my books”
H/T Lisa C: A Century of “Shrill”: How Bias in Technology Has Hurt Women’s Voices

With the large number of women running for President this year, the word “shrill” is enjoying a resurgence in the national vocabulary, following its previous heyday, as an insult hurled at Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Presidential campaign. This spike in usage is hardly a revelation; women who speak publicly and challenge authority have long been dismissed as “shrill” or “grating.” What’s less widely understood is how the design of the technology that transmits human voices has shaped this gendered invective since the dawn of the broadcast era: everything from microphones to modes of transmission have been optimized for lower voices.

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

💩🔥💰 Administration Reverses Standards For Energy-Efficient Lightbulbs

Last March, NPR’s Jeff Brady reported, “Thanks to a 2007 law signed by President George W. Bush, shelves these days are largely stocked with LED bulbs that look more like the traditional pear-shape incandescent version but use just one-fifth the energy. A second wave of lightbulb changes was set to happen. But now the Trump administration wants to undo an Obama-era regulation designed to make a wide array of specialty lightbulbs more energy-efficient.”

💩🔥💰 is actively doing every thing he can do encourage climate change and increased use of energy.
The Big Reveal Flying Under The Radar In The Lawsuit For 💩🔥💰’s Tax Returns Umm … There’s A Whistleblower About the President’s Tax Returns

There’s a whistleblower who says 💩🔥💰’s appointees are interfering with the mandatory audit of the President’s tax returns. That’s a big deal quite apart from how it affects the tax returns lawsuit!

Judge Orders White House To Restore Reporter’s Press Pass It Illegally Removed

The court focuses mainly on the 5th Amendment due process claims, noting that those alone suffice to show that Karem is correct here. The judge goes into great detail about how the White House never did anything to suggest special decorum rules for these events, and thus the decision to ban Karem was arbitrary. The White House brought up all sorts of bizarre explanations insisting that it had provided adequate notice to Karem, but the judge points out that’s just not true.

Air Force crew made an odd stop on a routine trip: 💩🔥💰’s Scottish resort

Taken together, the incidents raise the possibility that the military has helped keep Trump’s Turnberry resort afloat — the property lost $4.5 million in 2017, but revenue went up $3 million in 2018.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

H/T Lisa C.: Black Engineer Invents Gloves That Turn Sign Language into Audible Speech
Crops under solar panels can be a win-win

Finally, the cherry tomatoes saw a 65% increase in CO2 uptake and a 65% increase in water-use efficiency. They produced twice as much fruit while using the same amount of water.

How to Buy Energy-Efficient Lightbulbs

“Together, these bulb actions could cost the average U.S. household more than $100 per year, adding $14 billion to Americans’ annual energy bills as of 2025, and require at least 25 power plants’ worth of extra electricity annually,” the Natural Resources Defense Council writes on its website, in response to the rollback.

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