@pzmyers The Campbell renaming in particular's amazing - I expected either silence or a bit of heel-digging, not *that* (and only in a couple of days, no less).

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if i were to ever run for political office it would be on a platform of making it deeply illegal for anything to autoplay anywhere and i think this would solve more problems than on the surface it would appear to solve

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so we have a student who we asked to train a VAE to generate memes. he was showing us his newest model, which has problems with mode collapse, and was only outputting one thing over and over again (I swear I am not making this up):

"one does not simply make memes"

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"University of California terminates subscriptions with world’s largest scientific publisher in push for open access to publicly funded research"

universityofcalifornia.edu/pre

Context for those not in the US: this is huge. UC is a uniquely enormous and influential university system in our country. When they do things, many other universities follow suit.

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This has been said much more eloquently by many more qualified people, but the news media has a persistent and poisonous unconscious bias towards describing police actions in inevitable, naturalistic, and proceduralist terms.

From a copyediting perspective, the gulf between “had to confiscate” and “CPD confiscated” is immense. See also: the rampant use of passive voice in police shootings, making sure the police officer is never the subject of the sentence that ends in “…killed an unarmed man.”

I'm watching some discussions about that podcast writing competition SyFy recently announced, and ugh. I'm used to seeing sketchy stuff from fake/vanity presses and the like, but the terms of that contest are astonishingly predatory.

I feel bad about the number of people who will submit to it, not win, and then see parts of their work appear in someone else's project months or years afterward.

@damnyouwillis It's polite of them to front-load the important part to save everybody involved some time, at least.

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Also from the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory Baker-Nunn telescope. By combining a series of images taken over the lunar eclipse, a picture of the Earth's shadow. #astrophoto

@fraggle Nnnnnnnope.

It's even more annoying these days than when it started, because people are starting to think 'blood moons' and lunar eclipses are two distinct things.

(The less said about all the other adjectives they've started to pile onto the term the better.)

uspol, shutdown 

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god damn Earth is such a shitty country im moving to Neptune
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Why are 200 million workers on strike in India?
peoplesdispatch.org/2019/01/08
'...India has a workforce of over 520 million, only 6-7% of whom are employed in formal enterprises, of which barely 2% of are unionized. Most of the unionization is limited to public sector employees, with very few instances of a formal union being active within the private sector or informal sector. In the last Employment and Unemployment Survey to be conducted by the government in 2012, over 62% of the employed were estimated to be daily wage workers, making their source of income seasonal and very vulnerable to market fluctuations. There is very little to indicate that things have changed radically in the past seven years. If anything, the very nature of unorganized labor has changed...'

Annnd then they get David Brin on and he spends fifteen minutes literally screaming at the camera. ... Well then!

Enjoying the general geekery of the combination press briefings/New Horizons general-science-talkingness livestream I stumbled into on Youtube this evening.

"Planets do not form in a vacu-- okay, no, they *do*, but..."

@jd Given how wacky recommendation/TOS/etc algorithms have gotten on a lot of the larger sites in the last couple of years I'm actually a little surprised we haven't seen at least a few incidents of one site or another getting real and fraudulent traffic confused and enforcing accordingly.

I wonder if that's an 'if' or a 'when' sort of thing.

[insert preferred adjective here] [insert preferred holiday or observance here][insert preferred punctuation here]

[insert preferred emoticon or emoji here (optional)]

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It's interesting to think of the concept of the "free and open web" as a generational thing. I can't imagine that that phrase means much to someone born in Generation Z, who grew up with "the internet" meaning an array of chiclet-sized apps built by companies in Silicon Valley.

@dragfyre My eyes could best be described as "I suppose I have eyes, yeah." I'm still getting floored now and then by how well the new glasses help. I feel like I'm a little outside of town right now instead of fairly deep in the suburbs, in terms of what I can see.

Beforehand seeing M42 at all was a non-starter; I could sorta see the nearby stars enough to find it in the telescope (where it's stunning!), but that's about it.

It is kind of meteor out there right now. Think I was seeing one a minute for awhile.

Also ridiculously, *ridiculously* clear. I wasn't expecting to be able to (sort of) make out M42 with the naked eye given the state of mine, but there it is..

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