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Everything posted by TwinIon

  1. One of the more ridiculous pieces of recent legislation has been struck down by a federal judge. A CA law signed last year tried to force IMDB from revealing actors' ages if the actor requested. Amazingly, the legislation in question only targets IMDB. So if you searched anywhere else for an actor's age, you could likely still find it, even with this law in effect. The goal was to reduce age discrimination, but the federal judge didn't buy it.
  2. Facebook to solve American inequality

    Facebook isn't doing anything other than allowing researchers to use Facebook data. I think it's great when big tech companies allow researchers to access the kind of data that they'd otherwise never even begin to replicate. Freakonomics recently did an interesting episode on the wage gap where the researchers were able to use data from Uber.
  3. Good. I don't have a problem with making people wait for guns.
  4. I don't know one way or another, but I wonder how much of the cost of a licenced toy goes to the IP owner? I'd also guess that toy makers spend a ton on marketing. For Apple, the margin on the iPhone largely dictates their margin across the board, but the margin on an individual product for a company with a line as wide as Hasbro's isn't likely to be anything like their overall margin. As for the movies, I don't know what it'll take for me to care about this franchise. Maybe if they get Villeneuve to direct.
  5. Sam Wang, a Princeton prof who studies gerrymandering, seems to think this new map is pretty good. Pretty funny that this map is better for Democrats than the map the Democrats offered to the GOP.
  6. I agree that a lot happened outside of her control, but I don't know if you can really qualify her as a "lazy" candidate. She was consistently campaigning, built up a significant organization, and ended up winning the popular vote. In absolute numbers, she got an almost identical number of voters to Obama in 2012 (only ~100k off). Obviously she wasn't sufficiently successful in her campaign, but sometimes I think people overstate the magnitude of her failure. She lost at the margins. Even with a muddled message and what turned out to be a rather poor strategy, she got the votes.
  7. This EA/Star Wars/Reddit meme made me think...

    Prequel Memes isn't a small sub either. It's got a significant following and is on the front page constantly.
  8. It's rather insane that this movie was tracking for something like $95-100M just about a month ago.
  9. Bonkers numbers for Panther. It's rather impressive how the MCU can keep upping itself in unexpected ways. When The Avengers sets records, it's hard to be surprised. When Guardians and Black Panther can open like this, it's still a bit of a shock.
  10. Like many things in Disco, and in this episode in particular, I see the idea they're going for and I think it's a good one, but I really think they botched the execution. I didn't feel like her arc had been building towards her being a unifying force. A great twist is often one that feels obvious in retrospect, one that makes you feel like you missed the signposts we'd been passing for a while now. With this, I looked back and thought, "oh, I guess that's what they were going for. huh." It felt poorly setup and also really rushed. Maybe even one more episode where we watch them hatch this plan and execute it might have been enough. I personally needed more convincing that she could unify the Klingons just by holding her finger on the trigger. I'm not sure where that leaves my aspirations for the series. Don't get me wrong. I like what they've set down and I'm excited to see more, but I'm not sure if I want them to go back and dig deeper into the Klingons, or if it'll be more exciting to seem them go another way. Wherever they do go, I'll be excited to see it.
  11. I generally think that mass shooters like the Parkland kid are bad examples to use in gun control debates, but in this case I think he's a prime example of someone who likely wouldn't be able to get a gun in this situation. So many gun deaths (homicides, accidents, and suicides) happen because access to guns is just so easy. If it was illegal, and therefore difficult and expensive, to own these weapons, I seriously doubt this kid would have gotten hold of what he did. By all indications he was hardly a functional adult. A kid that doesn't know how to do his own laundry probably isn't the kind of criminal mastermind that would be able to skirt gun laws. Sure, you're probably not going to stop people like the Vegas shooter with normal gun control in the US anytime soon. If you have someone capable, well funded, and seriously intent on committing an atrocity, bad things will happen. I don't think that most of the gun deaths in the US are like that though. They're largely opportunistic, the result of an environment where guns are plentiful and cheap. Increase the friction in the system, and a lot of these deaths stop happening because so many fewer bozos can be bothered to arm themselves to the teeth.
  12. Honest question: what should the FBI have done? Let's say they follow up on the tips they received. They find out that this kid has a lot of legal weaponry and that he's made threats they take seriously, but he doesn't have any written plans, he's working by himself. So what can the FBI do in such a situation? If he had a bunch of illegal guns or was working with some outside group, I can see what they could arrest him for. Without something like that I'm not really sure what he could get in trouble for.
  13. Yeah, it makes a lot of sense. It's a good idea to prove that there was wrongdoing by the Russians and use that as a basis to go forward against any Americans that were either involved or obstructed justice in the pursuit of said wrongdoing. Also, given that the Russian sanctions are the only real bipartisan piece of legislation passed under Trump, it's a unifying result from an investigation that is otherwise divisive.
  14. Marginal Revolution posted this piece from after Sandy Hook that's worth revisiting:
  15. I don't think so. I'm pretty sure all 35,000 employees of the FBI are currently assigned to work directly for Muller in a concentrated effort to bring down the President.
  16. It's funny, I'd been so focused on the consequences for the Americans involved I hadn't even thought about Muller going after any Russians.
  17. This Forbes peace goes a bit overboard with the comparisons, but the box office is looking like it could do ~$165M this weekend and could approach $200M in 4 days. That would be a blowout even by MCU standards. The only gripe I have is putting it in a "non-sequel" category. It's not a direct sequel, but it's an MCU film starring a character we've already met.
  18. I was so underwhelmed by that finale I can hardly even begin. So they give the power to blow up a planet to their lunatic torturer prisoner, who has no standing and who they have no reason to trust. They do this and somehow it's supposed to make sense that, despite the Klingon love for conquest and their ongoing success in having captured so much of Federation space and destroyed so much of their fleet, the Klingons then just give up and go home, and everything is fine. I'm glad they returned to the idealism of the Federation, thematically that's where the show needed to go, but the mechanics didn't work at all. It felt like they got halfway through this episode and then suddenly realized this was the season finale and they needed an ending fast. I like the show overall, it's probably the best first season of Trek ever (which isn't a high bar, but still). I'm excited to see where they go with it, but I'm not confident that they really know where they're going. I think some of the inconsistency of this season could be due to a tumultuous pre-production and shifting showrunners. If there is a cohesive vision for where it goes from here, I'm hoping it'll only get better.
  19. I don't know. A veto seems like the kind of strong man leadership that Trump likes to model himself after. The question is if congressional leadership would ever advance something they thought he might not like. So far the only time that's happened was with the Russian sanctions bill.
  20. The HomePod’s WHITE RING OF DEATH

    The problem with the Homepod in particular is that the tweeters are all channeled directly downward. So if you put it on a softer surface you'll muffle the sound. A properly sized coaster would fix the problem, and I'm sure it'll take all of a couple days for there to be a dozen products on Amazon that will solve this, so it's far from the end of the world. If the Homepod fails to take off, it'll be because of its limitations and price rather than this minor setback.
  21. New Incredibles 2 trailer

    I like the premise they're setting up in this one. The Incredibles is one of my all time favorites, and I'm hopeful this will be a worthwhile entry.
  22. Bloomberg has a good piece on how Apple is changing their software development strategy, but to me it reads like a band aid rather than a solution to the actual problem. The new strategy that Craig Federighi laid out recently involves allowing engineers to delay features that they feel are not ready, pushing them back a full year until the next Apple release. Bizarrely (to me at least), Apple plans on sticking to the monolithic yearly releases, rather than splitting out features and apps so they can be updated piecemeal. With iOS 12 and Mac OS 10.14 a single app will be able to run across iPhones, iPads, and Macs. That's a big change that makes sense to put into a yearly release. Even something like the redesigned Do Not Disturb feature makes sense to put into a yearly release, and it makes sense to delay that kind of feature until it's ready. However, one of the other features they mention is a toggle in the email app that will mute notifications from specific threads. Why something like that should need to wait for an annual release is beyond me, as is adding animoji. Apple's success with iOS updates are a great achievement, and while Google's tact may have been born of necessity, it seems like something that Apple should copy. If the Stocks App redesign misses the release of iOS 12 (it isn't, but for the sake of argument), Apple's new policy would be to push it to iOS 13 rather than just release it when it's done, like Google does with their core updates. I'm glad Apple is taking a step back and really focusing on fixing bugs in their software, but it seems like their devotion to annual releases is a relic that should be at least partially rethought.
  23. ~~Rate the last movie you watched~~

    Ocean's Eleven (2001) - 5/5 - See: pacing, film. Ocean's Twelve - 2/5 - I can see what Soderberg was going for, and I applaud him to trying to be subversive in a follow up to a pop-classic, but it just doesn't work at all. WALL-E - 5/5 - One of my all time favorites. There's hardly a minor gag that doesn't completely get me. The first half is an all time great exercise in storytelling and character building minimalism. Also one of the rare animated films where I appreciate the camera work.