January 2023

Monday, 30 January 2023

The math of brewing a better espresso

Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica: “The researchers concluded that there are better methods for maximizing extraction yield, such as using fewer beans and coarser grinds with a bit less water. And the Specialty Coffee Association might be interested to hear that brew time is largely irrelevant.”


Thursday, 19 January 2023

Websites Selling Abortion Pills Are Sharing Sensitive Data With Google

Jennifer Gollan, Pro Publica: “… websites with at-risk users, need to consider that helping Google, Facebook and others build up records of user behavior could have a potentially horrific outcome …”


Wednesday, 18 January 2023

How the Fossil Fuel Industry Convinced Americans to Love Gas Stoves

Rebecca Leber, Mother Jones): “While stoves were once crucial to expanding the industry’s empire, now they are a last-ditch attempt to defend its shrinking borders.”


Sunday, 15 January 2023

The yaml document from hell

Ruud van Asseldonk: “What makes this even more insidious is that many dynamically typed applications implicitly convert the number to a string when needed, so your document works fine most of the time, except in some contexts it doesn’t.”


Saturday, 14 January 2023

Newly Released Video Of Thanksgiving Day Tesla Full Self-Driving Crash Demonstrates The Fundamental Problem Of Semi-Automated Driving Systems

Jason Torchinsky, The Autopian: “The same safety benefits can be had if the Level 2 paradigm was flipped, where the driver was always in control, but the semi-automated driving system was doing the monitoring, and was ready to take over if it detected dangerous choices by the human driver. This would help in situations of a tired or distracted or impaired driver, but would be less sexy in that the act of driving wouldn’t feel any different than normal human driving.”


Wednesday, 11 January 2023

What This Fearsome Weapon Reveals About Early Americans

Matt Simon, Wired: “‘It’s hard to know what motivated people to make that move from Northeastern Asia to Northwestern North America,’ says Smith. ‘Those areas were connected by land, so it wasn’t like people said, "OK, we’re getting in this boat and we’ll never see you again.”’“


Tuesday, 10 January 2023

What Comes Next for the Most Empty Downtown in America

Conor Dougherty and Emma Goldberg, The New York Times: "Below the surface of spin is a downtown that is trying to adapt to what amounts to a three-day workweek.”


Monday, 9 January 2023

Journalists (And Others) Should Leave Twitter. Here’s How They Can Get Started

Dan Gillmor, Techdirt: “Any centralized platform is subject to the whims of the person or people who control it. This isn’t news to those who’ve been paying attention, and some of them have been warning about the dangers for years. In a way, Musk has done us a favor by making it crystal clear.”


Warner Bros. Discovery pulls hundreds of Looney Tunes shorts from HBO Max

Sam Barsanti, The A.V. Club: “Variety explains that these shows were licensed to HBO Max by Warner Bros. (once more for those in the back: THAT COMPANY OWNS HBO MAX), but the streaming service reportedly decided not to renew those licenses (with ITS OWN COMPANY) to save money.”


Finding the First Americans

Jennifer Raff, Aeon: “If the find holds up to scrutiny, physical evidence of a human presence in the Americas during the LGM would be a paradigm-changing event, pushing back the date of the earliest migrations to sometime before 25,000 years ago.”


Sunday, 8 January 2023

Riddle solved: Why was Roman concrete so durable?

David L. Chandler, MIT News: “Through the extended functional lifespan and the development of lighter-weight concrete forms, he hopes that these efforts could help reduce the environmental impact of cement production …”


Thursday, 5 January 2023

Why Not Mars

Maciej Cegłowski: “The imbalance between human and robot is so overwhelming that, despite the presence of a $250 billion International Space Station National Laboratory, every major discovery made in space this century has come from robotic spacecraft. In 2023, we simply take it for granted that if a rocket goes up carrying passengers, it’s not going to get any work done.”


Wednesday, 4 January 2023

The House speaker election is so embarrassing (for you)

Alexandra Petri, The Washington Post: “We are not here to make the government better.”


In 2022, web3 went just great

Molly White: “I have included for you this rather undignified sound effect of air escaping from a balloon if you would like to play it as you begin reading this section. I think it really maximizes the effect.”


Sunday, 1 January 2023

Bleeding and in pain, she couldn’t get 2 Louisiana ERs to answer: Is it a miscarriage?

Rosemary Westwood, WMNO: “‘Of course, we’re praying for you.’”