(Source: chumpersonable, via phrux)
(Source: chumpersonable, via phrux)
Anonymous asked: what do you think of viewy?
It’s Okay, I Guess. I don’t expect it to be site everyone migrates to.
“Apple Avoided Billions in Taxes, Congressional Panel Says”
In 2011, for example, one subsidiary paid Ireland just one-twentieth of 1 percent in taxes on $22 billion on pretax earnings from various operations; another did not file a corporate tax return anywhere and has paid almost nothing on $30 billion in profits since 2009.
“Apple wasn’t satisfied with shifting its profits to a low-tax offshore tax haven,” said Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat who is chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. “Apple sought the holy grail of tax avoidance. It has created offshore entities holding tens of billions of dollars while claiming to be tax resident nowhere.”
John McCain, the Arizona Republican who is the panel’s ranking member, added: “Apple claims to be the largest U.S. corporate taxpayer, but by sheer size and scale, it is also among America’s largest tax avoiders.”
Over all, Apple’s tax avoidance efforts shifted at least $74 billion from the reach of the Internal Revenue Service between 2009 and 2012, the investigators said. That cash remains offshore, but Apple could still have to pay taxes on it to American authorities if the company were to return the money to its coffers in the United States.
Investigators have not accused Apple of breaking any laws, and the company is hardly the only American multinational to face scrutiny for using complex corporate structures and tax havens to sidestep taxes. In recent months, revelations from European authorities about the tax avoidance strategies used by Google, Starbucks and Amazon have all stirred public anger and spurred several European governments, as well as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a Paris-based research organization for the world’s richest countries, to discuss measures to close the loopholes.
Still, the findings about Apple were remarkable both for the enormous amount of money involved – tens of billions of dollars – and the audaciousness of the company’s assertion that its subsidiaries are beyond the reach of any taxing authority because they are stateless.
Atop Apple’s offshore network is a subsidiary named Apple Operations International, which is incorporated in Ireland but keeps its bank accounts and records in the United States, and holds board meetings in California.
Because the United States bases residency on where companies are incorporated, while Ireland focuses on where they are managed and controlled, Apple Operations International was able to fall neatly between the cracks of the two countries’ jurisdiction.
Apple Operations International has not filed a tax return in Ireland, the United States or any other country over the last five years. It had income of $30 billion between 2009 and 2012. By shuttling revenue between international subsidiaries, Apple was able to sidestep paying taxes, Congressional investigators said.
Ha ha, no, of course not.
Yahoo is a notorious repeat offender. Yahoo is the reason the “if you’re not paying money for a service, then you’re not a customer, you’re the product.” saying exists.
Here is some fully general advice: If you’re the user of a free-to-use website, and you learn that it’s being bought by a large company, then this is always, and forever, bad news. If it’s not an acquihire, then it’s something worse. You’re not a customer, you’re the product.
If we’re lucky, this will be a Livejournal-style buyout, where the site just gradually disintegrates over the course of several years. If we’re unlucky, then it’ll be a Posterous-style buyout, and Tumblr will be shut down when Yahoo goes bankrupt in six months. It is vanishingly unlikely that being owned by Yahoo will benefit Tumblr users at all.
“Expecting short inferential distances”
Homo sapiens’ environment of evolutionary adaptedness (aka EEA or “ancestral environment”) consisted of hunter-gatherer bands of at most 200 people, with no writing. All inherited knowledge was passed down by speech and memory.
In a world like that, all background knowledge is universal knowledge. All information not strictly private is public, period.
In the ancestral environment, you were unlikely to end up more than one inferential step away from anyone else. When you discover a new oasis, you don’t have to explain to your fellow tribe members what an oasis is, or why it’s a good idea to drink water, or how to walk. Only you know where the oasis lies; this is private knowledge. But everyone has the background to understand your description of the oasis, the concepts needed to think about water; this is universal knowledge. When you explain things in an ancestral environment, you almost never have to explain your concepts. At most you have to explain one new concept, not two or more simultaneously.
In the ancestral environment there were no abstract disciplines with vast bodies of carefully gathered evidence generalized into elegant theories transmitted by written books whose conclusions are a hundred inferential steps removed from universally shared background premises.
In the ancestral environment, anyone who says something with no obvious support, is a liar or an idiot. You’re not likely to think, “Hey, maybe this guy has well-supported background knowledge that no one in my band has even heard of,” because it was a reliable invariant of the ancestral environment that this didn’t happen.
Conversely, if you say something blatantly obvious and the other person doesn’t see it, they’re the idiot, or they’re being deliberately obstinate to annoy you.
And to top it off, if someone says something with no obvious support and expects you to believe it - acting all indignant when you don’t - then they must be crazy.
tags with slashes in them, such as #personal/, have long been used to make something untrackable/keep it out of the relevant tag for Tumblr Savior purposes. normally, if you try to go to, say, http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/foobar/ it will just discard the trailing slash. however, if you URL escape it and go to http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/foobar%2f then you’ll see all the posts tagged #foobar/ (in this case, just mine)
so if you want to tag something and make the tag untrackable, the only thing that helps right now is adding dashes. at some point, even that might get fixed, although I don’t know if it will or how it will
Nice to see Tumblr fixing long-standing bugs in the runup to the Yahoo acquisition.
“Like Worms in the Belly of Some Great Beast: Family Values and Crusader Kings II”
Our newspapers are filled with such questions: Why did senior Catholics not report child abusers to the police? Why did both the BBC and the British police turn a deaf-ear to the rumours of Jimmy Saville’s ravening paedophilia? Why did the Liberal Democratic party fail to act on the rumours that its former Chief Executive had sexually harassed many of the women working under him? Why did the news that a prominent science fiction fan had sexually harassed a female author result in the convention ignoring its pledge to deal with all such transgressions with a lifetime ban? Why did the Socialist Worker’s Party react to accusations of rape by attempting to sweep the entire matter under the carpet?The list of crimes and cover-ups goes on and on… it is almost as though there is something about the human character ensuring that – given enough time and money – all social institutions invariably wind up as collections of grumpy old men sexually molesting people in enormous gold palaces.
The idea that social institutions might have their own form of agency is not exactly a new one. In The Invisibles, the comic writer Grant Morrison speaks of cities as viruses that infected human culture and then set about changing it in order to ensure that the virus replicated itself as efficiently as possible:
The Cities want us to become good builders. Eventually, we’ll build rockets and carry the virus to other worlds.
In Marvel Boy, Morrison presents us with the idea of a living corporation:
Hexus is invisible. Untouchable: A living idea (…) It grows by hiring new employees and by devouring its rituals. Earth people have created dozens of synthetic corporate entities with names like Virgin or Fox but they’re not alive, not truly intelligent.
Here Morrison is being hopelessly naïve. As Mike Travers suggests, these types of entity already exist… they have always existed because it is in the nature of humans to form groups and when groups outlive the humans that originally created them, they acquire a life of their own. In fact, one of the main factors driving the growth of government bureaucracy in the 18th and 19th Century was the need for a smooth transfer of power between different regimes. When the British people chose not to give any single party a ruling majority in the 2010 election, the British country did not fall apart for lack of government… the bureaucracy simply kept doing what it had been doing and life went on as usual.
Academic discussions of this perspective tend to fall under the somewhat slippery rubric of biopolitics. One of the originators of the term ‘biopolitics’ was the Swedish political scientist Rudolf Kjellen. Kjellen saw the modern nation-state as a new form of organic entity, a super-individual entity which, though just as real as the human individuals comprising it, was immeasurably larger and more powerful. Central to Kjellen’s conception of the ‘living state’ was the idea that social groups and institutions competed for survival in much the same way as biological organisms.
On a very superficial level, Crusader Kings II’s child characters often find themselves constrained by the plans of their parents. From the second they are born, your leader’s children will be groomed either for power or for the political advantage that might come from marrying them off to another leader. In the real world, these children might have dreams and desires of their own and yet, because we see only with the eyes of a family, we see nothing beyond their potential usefulness as human components. There is nothing quite so frustrating as a child who shows a particular interest in administration or scholarship when your family needs to expand the boundaries of their domain. There is nothing quite so horrifying as the existential threat posed by an only child who turns out to be gay or a lesbian.
Playing as the King of Ireland, I had two sons. One was a supremely talented general and a genius and the second was a character with low skills except in the area of intrigue. Confident that my character’s eldest son would take over from my character when he died, I granted large tracts of land to the eldest son and gave the second son a Duchy and a position on the council. Years passed and my character’s oldest son had children of his own. However, at this point the second son decided to act and murdered his older brother in order to ensure that he would claim the throne upon my character’s death. This meant that rather than a strong, centralised domain with a military leader, I was now faced with a potentially divided kingdom including large tracts of land ruled by a child and regent personally hostile to both the current leader and the next in line to the throne. The younger son’s actions demonstrate the tensions that exist between the interests of the individual, the interests of the family and the interests of the domain. The younger son’s actions forced my aging character to go to war with his own grandson and change his entire system of government so as to ensure that the crown passed to a more appropriate (but genetically more distant) character than the surviving son. My character’s son put his personal interests above those of both the family and the domain and I reacted to this transgression by initiating a civil war that resulted not only in the death of my character’s remaining son but of thousands of innocent human components.
(psst — if you’re reblogging this, you might want to reblog it as text instead of as a link!)
I’m a software developer who’s relatively familiar with the Tumblr API. In the wake of the “fuckyeahreadmores” blog, I think it’d be good to spread some verifiably correct information about privacy on Tumblr.
1. If your blog is not password protected, anyone can see your posts. Period.
Blanking / obfuscating your theme does not hide your posts. They are still visible through the API, which is used by Tumblr’s mobile apps, as well as through [yourblog].tumblr.com/mobile/. The only way to hide your posts is to password protect or delete your blog.
2. Anyone can find your posts through tags containing no underscores or dashes.
To elaborate: underscores (_) and dashes (-) are coerced to spaces when searching for tags, but not when posting, so tags containing either of those characters are effectively nonexistent. It’s unlikely that Tumblr will ever change this behavior. It applies to both the web interface and the API.
Tags with forward slashes (/) are tricky. When you try to put a / in a search URL, it thinks it’s a directory separator and either ignores it or throws an error message. However, the API permits forward slashes in tag searches, so putting forward slashes in tags does not hide them.
All other ASCII symbols are valid in tag searches.
3. Anyone can reblog your non-answer posts.
The only post type that cannot be reblogged is ask / answer posts. There is no other way to stop anyone from reblogging your posts short of password protection. If you want to stop a post from being reblogged with absolute certainty, send yourself a question and put your private post in the answer.
4. Anyone can read your entire read-more posts.
This ties in with the first tip about how “anyone can see your posts”, but it’s worth mentioning separately. Even though the dashboard and [yourblog].tumblr.com/archive don’t show the whole post, the API returns the entire post, as does the URL [yourblog].tumblr.com/post/[postID]/mobile. Theme blanking does not hide your read-more posts.
5. All those times I said “anyone”? That includes blocked / ignored users.
Ignored users can still see your blog, find your posts through tag searches, reblog your non-answer posts, and read your entire read-more posts. If they are following you, your posts will not show up on their dashboard. Their likes, reblogs, and replies are hidden from your dashboard and the post’s notes, even for reblogs. This applies to everyone, including the ignored user themselves, meaning ignored users can figure out you’ve ignored them.
6. Making your blog invisible to search engines does very little.
I’m not sure how popular this misconception is (I believed it for awhile), but unchecking the setting “Allow search engines to index your blog” does not make your tagged posts invisible. Anyone who is logged in can still find them through tag searches. Logged-out users will not be able to find your posts through tag searches and web crawlers will be disallowed from indexing your site, but that’s all it does, as far as I can tell.
7. Password protection fixes all of this!
Password protecting your blog is the ultimate fix for all of these problems. Your posts will be invisible to anyone who doesn’t have the password, can’t be found through tag searches, can’t be reblogged, and won’t be indexed by search engines. However, your blog also can’t be followed by anyone as long as it’s password protected, and any followers you had before enabling password protection won’t see your posts on their dashboards any longer. It’s a bittersweet solution, but it’s very thorough.
- If you want a post to be unable to be found through tags, suffix each tag with an underscore (_) or dash (-).
- If you want a post to be unable to be reblogged, post it as an answer to a dummy question.
- If you want a post to be unable to be read by everyone, post it to a password-protected blog and only send the password to people you trust.
- Read-more breaks and ignoring users are effectively snake oil.
You might want to check this post for any additions or corrections.
So now for the price of a 3D printer [$8,000, a small price for what you’re getting] you can make a gun that will not be picked up by metal detectors.
When asked about the fact he’s making it possible for anyone, literally anyone to get a gun, he states it’s a matter of freedom, and when asked if he feels bad knowing he’s essentially giving guns to criminals, unhinged teenagers, ‘it’s the price to pay’.
These don’t even look like guns, you could carry this around and people would think it was a toy.
The American caricature of the past has become the American reality. If he’s smart enough to create a working gun, he could create 1000 life-saving and much needed things. He chose a gun. A gun that has no markings, no identifying marks or numbers… Everyone is entitled to a gun, but if you want a water pump, you better pay for it, this is the free market after all, pay your share, freeloader.
Distributed Defense is a publicity stunt: the God Hates Fags of gun rights.
(Americanism note: though that sentence may seem ambiguous, it is helpful to know that “gun rights” is the framing used by people in favor of less gun regulation.)
Being almost entirely symbolic, it also follows that the Distributed Defense Liberator is a pretty shitty gun: a single shot .380 ACP pistol with a short, short unrifled ABS barrel, that also lasts for ten shots. Accuracy will be dismal, stopping power will be negligible. To reload it, you pull out the barrel and poke out the spent shell casing with a stick. It’s a gun in the same sense that the Reliant Regal is a car.
But this is unsurprising, since the Liberator is another example of an ancient tradition, the zipgun. It’s named after the FP-45 Liberator, a 70 year old short-barreled unrifled pistol designed to be airdropped on Axis-held territories for mostly psychological effect. (Instructions for use: use FP-45 to ambush a Kraut with a better gun, then take it off his body.) It’s remarkable only for its novel manufacturing process.
Zipguns are easy to make, and pretty common where big boy firearms are hard to find. The hardest part of a making a firearm has always been rifling the barrel, and if you decide that you don’t need range or accuracy, then you can make a gun out plumbing parts.
Bold prediction: you’ll never see a real firearm from a FDM machine like the Stratasys the DD guys used. (You probably can’t make a real gun from any of the 3D printers which print plastic— you could conceptually print FRP, since there are automated filament winding machines used in manufacturing, but those cost $millions, would be fabulously hard to scale down, and as far as I know, have never been used in 3D printing)
The only 3D printing process that’s even vaguely practical for firearms manufacture is Selective Laser Sintering, which is vividly expensive, doesn’t have very good surface quality or resolution, (which is important for barrels, and barrel rifling, respectively) and requires high-power lasers— which are already a regulated item, and results in a bit of a bootstrapping problem if you’re looking to covertly produce regulated weapons.
But the Liberator’s already accomplished its goal of fear, uncertainty and doubt.
1: It’s also not “invisible to metal detectors”. The firing pin is made of metal, the ammunition is made of metal. The gun DD printed also has a six ounce block of steel in the grip to comply with law: plastic guns have been illegal in the United States as long as I’ve been alive. Plus, the steel weight also helps to control recoil, which otherwise would be pretty fierce in a plastic zipgun, thanks to Newton’s Third Law.
2: There are commercial FRP AR-15 lower receivers, which are like the 3D printed versions, but not shitty.
The slow death of Second Life. (Each sim costs $295 a month to rent, so there’s a pretty big incentive to stop paying for it when you stop using SL.)
Window Socket - Kyuho Song & Boa Oh
So this is an absolutley brilliant idea! Just attach the plug on to a window and it will harness solar energy. A small converter will convert it into electricity which can be freely used as a plug when you are in the car, on a plane or outside.
Love this design and I really think it has a great potential.
This is fucking genius.
i dont think anyone understands how badly i need this
i really don’t see this being a viable piece of tech
nice idea sure but
solar panels are REALLY inefficient
and i can’t find a single source on this that actually talks about it beyond “wow what a neat idea oooh science”
even what i believe to be the original source doesn’t go into any depth http://www.yankodesign.com/2013/04/26/plug-it-on-the-window/
This is yet another entry in the venerable category of “designers congratulating each other for designing something that is either useless or completely impossible”
Solar chargers for phones have existed for quite some time now. I’ve got one, it’s mildly handy.
So, the product segment really does exist. This is not blatantly impossible. But it’s got three problems.
First.) The on/off switch appears to work by rotating the plug, since designers hate obvious physical controls.
This is not “intuitive”. This is the literal opposite: no product in the world turns on by rotating the AC socket, because you can’t pass UL certification with that design. This product could not be sold as designed.
Second.) The problem isn’t solar cell efficiency so much as the solar constant. The panel just wouldn’t get enough light, even if it was perfectly efficient. It is just too small.
Eyeballing it, I’d say the cell’s about 30mm in radius. 2*pi*r^2 = 5654mm^2 = 0.005654 metres square. That’s tiny.
Assume 1000 watts per square metre solar irradiance, times 0.005654 solar cell area, times .20 cell efficiency, and you get 1.308 watts.
But that’s pointing directly at the sun, and you’re meant to stick this to a window. So reduce the effective area by 30%, maybe. 0.9168 watts. An iPhone 5 draws five times that while charging.
That’s before you lose power to electrical resistance in the wires, and the voltage step-up converter, and battery charging losses.
They say it takes 5-8 hours to charge the 1000mAh internal battery, which seems to indicate it holds about 5 watt-hours, maybe. So, it’d take 5-8 hours to charge an iphone, or an hour if the internal battery was full. But…
Third.) The product photos show an Europlug. All solar chargers use DC output (with a barrel jack or a USB plug) because inverters are damnably inefficient, and running the output AC voltage through another AC to DC converter, the phone’s plugpack, throws away even more power, which this does not have to spare. It’s entirely possible that a line voltage plugpack would refuse to work at all when running off of this— a perfectly efficient inverter would only be able to source 5.4 milliamps at 240 volts, and plugpacks expect to be plugged into the wall, where they can suck down thousands of times as much current.
If this was a real product, which it ain’t, then it would really, really suck.
fun fact: iraq, pakistan, afghanistan and saudi arabia have a higher percentage of women in the government than the us & the uk
another fun fact: white people tend to get very angry when you point this out to them
ah white feminists, can y’all take note?
I am “taking note”. Here is some additional information:
In Pakistan, women have historically fared better than in many other parts of the Pan-Arab world. Pakistan elected Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto twice, despite a dismissal from her first stay in office and accusations of pretty serious corruption on the part of her administration. She was later assassinated, but this has far less to do with gender, and much more to do with political alliances in a volatile state. In 2008, Pakistan appointed Dr. Fahmida Mirza as its Speaker of the National Assembly, the first woman in any such role in South Asia. Women hold high-ranking positions in the Pakistani military, and have been participants since 1947. A quota mandates that 22% of the parliament is reserved for women. Pakistan would seem to be a genuinely better place for women than many of its neighbors, including India. However;
Pakistani women face atrocities like rape, acid throwing, honour killings, forced marriages, forced prostitution and the buying and selling of women. The past few years have been witness to a steep increase in such crimes.
In Pakistan, the women’s access to property, education, employment etc. remains considerably lower compared to men’s. The social and cultural context of Pakistani society is predominantly patriarchal. Women have a low percentage of participation in society outside of the family.
Despite the improvement in Pakistan’s literacy rate since its independence, the educational status of Pakistani women is among the lowest in the world.
From the introduction to Pakistan: A Hard Country:
In addition, some confusion in Western observers may be caused by the use of the word “parliament”. A comparison is intuitively drawn with American Senators, who are (mostly) independent, but Pakistani MoP are representatives of their biradari, ancient dynasties of power and privilege, and are entirely dependant on them. More like an extremely corrupt version of the House Of Lords than the Senate.
Drawing a comparison between a wife assigned to fill a seat in the Parliament to fufill a gender quota, and Elizabeth Warren, is completely farcical.
“Chicago Tylenol murders”
The Chicago Tylenol murders occurred when seven people died after taking pain-relief medicine capsules that had been poisoned. The poisonings, code-named TYMURS by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, took place in September and early October 1982, in the Chicago area of the United States.
These poisonings involved Extra-Strength Tylenol capsules, manufactured by McNeil Consumer Healthcare, which had been laced with potassium cyanide. The incidents led to reforms in the packaging of over-the-counter substances and to federal anti-tampering laws. The case remains unsolved and no suspects have been charged. A $100,000 reward, offered by Johnson & Johnson, McNeil’s parent company, for the capture and conviction of the “Tylenol Killer”, has never been claimed.
[Tylenol] overdose results in more calls to poison control centers in the US than overdose of any other pharmacological substance, accounting for more than 100,000 calls, as well as 56,000 emergency room visits, 2,600 hospitalizations, and 458 deaths due to acute liver failure per year.
i can never bring myself to send Anonymous Opinions to like 60% of my friends because they track visitors to their blog and some of them have already memorized which one is me so like
what is the point
Fun fact: you can directly access the tumblr ask form at
Since this doesn’t load any theme code, it’s impossible to add end-user web analytics to it. (Tumblr staff can still, of course, see the origin of anonymous asks.)
(This is the same page that’s loaded when you send an ask from the dashboard, which also can’t be tracked.)
The drinking bird is a heat engine that exploits a temperature differential to convert heat energy to a pressure differential within the device, and perform mechanical work. Like all heat engines, the drinking bird works through a thermodynamic cycle. The initial state of the system is a bird with a wet head oriented vertically.
If a glass of water is placed so that the beak dips into it on its descent, the bird will continue to absorb water and the cycle will continue as long as there is enough water in the glass to keep the head wet. However, the bird will continue to dip even without a source of water, as long as the head is wet, or as long as a temperature differential is maintained between the head and body. This differential can be generated without evaporative cooling in the head; for instance, a heat source directed at the bottom bulb will create a pressure differential between top and bottom that will drive the engine. The ultimate source of energy is the temperature gradient between the toy’s head and base; the toy is not a perpetual motion machine.
An analysis showed that the evaporative heat flux driving a small bird was about half a watt, whereas the mechanical power expressed in bird’s motion was about 1⁄20,000 of a watt. The system efficiency is about 0.01%. More practically, about 1⁄1,000,000 of a watt can be extracted from the bird, either with a coil-magnet setup or a ratchet used to winch paperclips.