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TwinIon last won the day on November 27 2018

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About TwinIon

  • Birthday 05/31/20

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  1. I went ahead and read it, and wasn't previously aware of the Sullivan case, though I had a limited understanding of the libel standard against public figures. The thing that stood out to me most was how libel worked previous to the decision: It's impossible to imagine this standard being functional today. The wiki article on the Sullivan case says that there were $300M worth of libel actions from southern states aimed at news organizations in order to prevent critical coverage of civil rights issues. It's not hard to imagine what that would be like today, given that the MAGA kid is suing the Post for $250M. Now obviously that case will be tossed and $250M is a headline grabbing sum, not a recoverable number, but the point stands. If a publication could be held liable for anything they got wrong, even if no injury occured, non-stop lawsuits would innondate the press, and a dying business would be quickly buried. That's especially true since the Sullivan case was about a public official that wasn't even named suing the Times. If every government official that could find an inaccuracy in a story could sue, there'd be an untold number of lawsuits overnight. More than just that, the Sullivan case wasn't even about something the Times wrote, but about an advertisement on their platform. Imagine if Google or Facebook could be held liable for the wording of every ad they sell. Resetting the constitutional standard for libel might even call section 230 into question. There's an idealism behind the idea that we want public statements to be factual, and I don't mind the idea that publications could be liable for lying, but I just don't see how it would be workable today.
  2. It seems everyone already has their hands on impressions of the S10 up. Also, the S10E.
  3. The S10 has been leaked for a while now, but it's still a slick looking piece of hardware, it's just a shame you have to use Samsung software. I've owned some Samsung devices, but not for a while now, and certainly not with the new One UI. I'm so tempted to give them another chance, especially since the Pixel 3 was so underwhelming.
  4. I'm impressed that the screen can fold in half and look as seamless as it does, but it overall looks like a terrible device. While folded it's super thick and has a tiny screen that doesn't come close to filling the front of the phone. Given how high the keyboard is lifted, it seems like it would be pretty annoying to use. While unfolded it's much bigger than anything else you can fit in your pocket, but it's an awkward aspect ratio, which I'm sure will cause havoc with lots of apps and limits how useful it is for video. Since I own a tablet I don't use my phone for everything. For people that do use their phone for netflix and books and everything else I use my tablet for, I suppose I can see the appeal in a device like this. Still, it's clear that this is a stepping stone device intended primarily to show off the new tech and justify the tooling investment. I can't imagine that it's a good device or they expect anyone to shell out $2k for it. It does make me hopeful that in the next year or two we could actually see something like this RAZR design
  5. On this subject, there's a trailer out for the new documentary, Leaving Neverland. The four hour doc premiered at Sundance recently and will be airing on HBO in two parts on March 3rd and 4th. My understanding is that it's pretty much entirely just two victims and their families telling their stories. Personally, I doubt I'll make the time to watch it. Just not the kind of thing I'm that excited to spend my time on.
  6. As a refresher, Amazon spent $250M for just the rights to make a new Lord of the Rings television series, with a potential investment of $1B seeming possible. In more recent news, Amazon has been extremely secretive about the project so far, with reports that the writers are being sequestered behind some hardcore security. Still, they've also released their first teases of the project by revealing a map to explore. Yup, that's Middle Earth. Apparently the labels on the map and the text that Amazon's been releasing in their tweets could indicate that the show takes place during the second age, but I'm no Tolkien expert, so don't take my word for it. If that is true, it would mean that it's not a "Young Aragorn" show like some were speculating.
  7. The early reactions are never particularly trustworthy, but the critics in my feed have been very positive, mentioning things that are typically weak points like villains. I'm excited.
  8. The Live Aid concert is cool in that it's a very lengthy sequence where Queen plays some greatest hits to a huge crowd, so whatever emotional impact that would have on you if you just watched that sequence is probably the emotional impact the it will have in context. In the film they use that sequence as a replacement for a genuine emotional crescendo. I looked up some of the actual history after watching the film, and they do indeed take some pretty significant liberties. I don't generally mind that, in that I'd rather have a good story told than have a completely true one. If I want the real history, I'd rather watch a documentary. I'm watching a film like this to feel the drama, regardless of the truth. Still, what I feel like they did is tweak the real history and still manage not to find the drama. Maybe it's unfair, but I felt so much more watching A Star Is Born, both during the concert scenes and the behind the stage drama. I was a bit of a critic of how A Star Is Born was shot, but I'm starting to reconsider that. I felt like the relentless proximity of the camera took away from the magnitude of the staging, but the Live Aid concert had all that magnitude and more (plus better music!), and I just wasn't feeling it.
  9. Ok, so my understanding is that until now (for reasons beyond me) 14th amendment limits on excessive bail and excessive fines have not been applied at the state or local level. So from now on civil asset forfeiture is still a thing, but the fines cannot be deemed "excessive," right? So I guess the question I have is what are the standards for excessive fines in federal courts that now apply to the states?
  10. So I watched Iron Man 2 and a Best Picture nominee last night and Iron Man 2 was the better film... Iron Man 2 - 2/5 - It's not great for many reasons well covered, but there are still a few cool moments. It's still better than most of the DC films we've gotten since. Bohemian Rhapsody - 1/5 - What a piece of junk. While I know Queen's hits, I'm not at all familiar with the story of the band or Freddie Mercury in particular. Still, I have to imagine that he was a more interesting figure than what we get in this film. Malek's performance fine, but he was asked to hit the same note again and again, leaving me feeling like there was so much more to his character that was unexplored or glossed over in the script. What they did instead was put in every cliche from Walk Hard, from the record producers to the terrible sequences where they invent their iconic songs. In the end those songs are really all that Bohemian Rhapsody has going for it, but they're also a crutch. Queen songs are repeatedly used as a substitute for genuine emotion. It's a bland, boring look at an eccentric personality that just happens to get to play some great music every once in awhile to remind you why you care about anything happening on screen. How this found its way into the awards season is a complete mystery.
  11. Yeah, it's hard to talk too much about the ending without getting into spoilers. I honestly don't think that they chose that point to end because they felt a need to setup a sequel. I don't know the manga, but my intuition is that they didn't want to change the existing story in order to have a nice neat ending for the film. A lot of those stories are cliffhangers of one sort or another at the end of each volume, though someone who's read it can tell me if that's the case here. Still, I think if you're willing to make significant changes, you easily could have ended the film in a way that left room for sequels, but was still fulfilling. Specifically:
  12. Thing is, it's not unlimited money. Doing this he can only re-allocate money. This specific order is moving: (from page 29) $601 million from the Treasury Forfeiture Fund; Up to $2.5 billion under the Department of Defense funds transferred for Support for Counterdrug Activities (10 U.S.C. § 284); and Up to $3.6 billion reallocated from Department of Defense military construction projects under the President’s declaration of a national emergency (10 U.S.C. § 2808).44 Theoretically, under a national emergency the President can only use funds "that have been appropriated for military construction . . . that have not been obligated.” Thats where the $3.6B is coming from. So while Congress can just decide to spend an extra trillion on the military for no particular reason, even under a national emergency the President can't. Given all the crazy games that congress plays, it's conceivable that in the future congress appropriates money knowing that the President will use it for an emergency. Imagine the previous GOP congress putting a bunch of extra money into a military construction fund so they didn't have to take the heat for passing specific wall funding. I think it's also possible that future budgets ensure that very little money is available to move, maybe changing the funding mechanisms for future military construction projects such that the President couldn't move those funds. The $2.5B and the $601M is money that I don't even think the President needed an emergency to move. As far as I can tell he doesn't have specific authority to do it. He's just doing it and seeing if he loses in court.
  13. In January, YouTube announced that they would be changing their recommendation engine to reduce the visibility of "borderline content" that could "misinform users in harmful ways." The move was widely praised. It's necessity perhaps best described in this viral twitter thread: Basically, conspiracy videos do a really good job of keeping people on YouTube, so it's natural that the recommendation algorithm would push those kinds videos. YouTube's recognition that maybe that's an impulse they should push against is a good sign. Still, it the changes so far don't seem to have much of an impact, and as more big name creators get into the conspiracy game, it seems less and less likely that YouTube would actively punish them. In this quick look at the problem in the Times, one suggestion is regulation. Changing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act such that platforms remain shielded from being liable from the content they host, but making them liable for recommendations. It's not clear to me how that would help, or what kind of liability YouTube could take on for promoting more anti-vax or flat earth nonsense. Even if it would help, as the Times notes, that wouldn't change how users would see videos in channels they're subscribed to. When channels with millions of subscriptions are creating these kinds of videos, what kind of process could YouTube possibly employ to limit them? Again, there's also the problem that YouTube is incentivized to keep these videos up and accessible. This kind of content gets views and therefore sells ads. It's great that maybe YouTube is looking to change, but it's hard to imagine that such a project would have much urgency or resources when the ultimate effect would necessarily harm the bottom line. So you end up with an ambiguous problem that is difficult to solve, doesn't fall under existing regulatory schemes, and where no one is incentivized to fix it. I'd love to see YouTube be very aggressive in policing some of this stuff, but it's hard to imagine a system that doesn't require lots of human involvement in an effort to lower total view time. They could disable all recommendations on anti-vax or flat earth videos, but then you need some kind of system to deal with videos falsely flagged. I just hope that this is conversation that keeps going, such that YouTube and other platforms feel pressure to do something.
  14. Logitech is bringing the classic MX518 mouse out of retirement, giving it some new insides and a new paint job, but keeping the classic shape. It's available to pre-order for $60. I didn't know that the 518 was so well loved. I've personally used either a 518 or the similarly shaped G5 since release both at home and at work. I've tried out some wireless mice for brief periods, but in the end I've always ended back with the 518. I'm comfortable with the shape and button placement, I don't really need any fancy features, and don't have a strong desire for wireless. I might end up picking up a new 518 just to keep around in case one of my existing mice die.
  15. Starting my MCU rewatch before Endgame: Iron Man - 4/5 - Holds up pretty well. I was looking to pick up some of the early MCU movies for cheap, but annoyingly, that's not really how this seems to work. All the MCU films are at least $15 digitally and at least $20 on discs. This shouldn't surprise me, but it come on. I understand that many of these films probably make good money still, but I doubt that Thor 1 or 2 are in much demand.