The Biggest Scandal In Speed Typing History
Barbara Blackburn is often cited as the fastest typist in history. She even appears in the Guinness Book of World Records! She must be legit right? Well, maybe not. I was supposed to make a video about the new typing speed world record, and instead got pulled into a Barbara Blackburn rabbit hole that I can’t seem to escape. TL;DR She’s not that fast.
How Good Are FiveThirtyEight Forecasts?
Here, we’re looking at two main things: the calibration of a forecast — that is, whether events that we said would happen 30 percent of the time actually happened about 30 percent of the time — and how our forecast compared with an unskilled estimate that relies solely on historical averages. We can answer those questions using calibration plots and skill scores, respectively.
the door close button
Elevator control panels have long featured two buttons labeled “door open” and “door close.” One of these buttons does pretty much what it says on the label (although I understand that European elevators sometimes have a separate “door hold” button for the most common use of “door open“). The other usually doesn’t seem to, and that has lead to a minor internet phenomenon. Here’s the problem: the internet is wrong, and I am here to set it right.
Virtu CEO Doug Cifu Explains the Future of HFT (Podcast)
When the GameStop and Robinhood story exploded at the end of January, suddenly everyone took an interest in market structure, and things like payment for order flow, and the role that high-frequency trading shops play in enabling free retail trading. This of course gave rise to lots of conspiracy theories about ways retail traders are taken advantage of. On the new Odd Lots, we speak with Doug Cifu, the CEO of Virtu, which is one of the largest HFT shops in the country, to get his perspective on how this part of the market really works.
Hour long, pretty thorough.
The mystery of the phantom reference
Just like many other mysteries, our mystery of the phantom reference ultimately had a very simple explanation: sloppy writing and sloppy quality control. An academic incentive system that makes publication in Web of Science listed conference proceedings popular invokes the law of big numbers. Thus the actual number of mistakes rose to be high enough to be noticeable, even though the mistake was only committed by a tiny fraction of the authors.
Google Erases Thousands of Links, Tricked by Phony Complaints
Dubious copyright claims citing 1998 law led the search giant to make unfavorable articles vanish
Google removed search links to the Vietnamese-language article after someone identifying as Long Hoang filed a complaint claiming the piece violated the copyright on an identical blog post about the tourists dated October 20, 2019, more than four months before the unnamed Britons visited. The blog consists of only eight posts, all cited in copyright complaints filed with Google.
Monitoring And Debunking COVID-19 Panic: The “Haarlem Aldi” Hoax
Knowing how relatively calm the situation has been here in the Netherlands (especially in Haarlem, where there is one reported case), we at Bellingcat felt that the video was likely fake — and set out to prove it.
The Panic of 2020? Oh, I Made a Ton of Money—and So Did You
Hindsight bias suggests that one day you’ll look back on all of this and... lie
In a classic experiment in 1972, researchers asked people to estimate the likelihood that various positive and negative outcomes might result from President Richard Nixon’s upcoming trips to China and Russia that year. We now call those visits “historic” because they thawed decades of hostility between the U.S. and the communist powers. In advance, no one knew whether the trips would accomplish anything. About two weeks after Nixon’s visits, 71% of people recalled putting better odds on his success than they had at the time. Four months on, 81% remembered being more sure Nixon would succeed than they had said beforehand.
In short, learning what did happen impedes you from retrieving what you thought would happen.
Quite a few studies in this area, all with the same result.
Donald Knuth Was Framed
Knuth writes 8 pages and McIlroy writes six lines.
A damning counter. But neither of us had ever read the paper. And as you know, I’m all about primary sources. We pulled up the paper here and read through it together. And it left us with a very different understanding of literate programming, and the challenge, than the famous story gave.
danger + opportunity ≠ crisis
There is a widespread public misperception, particularly among the New Age sector, that the Chinese word for “crisis” is composed of elements that signify “danger” and “opportunity.” I first encountered this curious specimen of alleged oriental wisdom about ten years ago at an altitude of 35,000 feet sitting next to an American executive. He was intently studying a bound volume that had adopted this notorious formulation as the basic premise of its method for making increased profits even when the market is falling. At that moment, I didn’t have the heart to disappoint my gullible neighbor who was blissfully imbibing what he assumed were the gems of Far Eastern sagacity enshrined within the pages of his workbook. Now, however, the damage from this kind of pseudo-profundity has reached such gross proportions that I feel obliged, as a responsible Sinologist, to take counteraction.
On the Internet, No One Knows You’re Not Rich. Except This Account.
In February, an Instagram account called @BallerBusters cropped up and began wreaking havoc on the flashy Instagram entrepreneur community.
Its goal: To expose phony entrepreneurs. Using a mix of screen-shotted receipts, memes and crowdsourced information from followers, the account seeks out people who don’t “act their wage.”
Penn Jillette Talks About His 2nd Appearance On "Late Night w/ David Letterman" & The Actual Segment
Penn told this story and it provided a perfect opportunity to demonstrate the difference between recollection/a story VS the real event as there was video of the event.
I liked this a lot. It’s a pretty good story, first of all. Penn’s version is believable and essentially accurate, but suffers from a few discrepancies.
Tucker Carlson: Washington Post ‘noticed’ the story that it broke on Joe Biden
Fox News host Tucker Carlson finds himself in a pickle: On the one hand, he must do his propagandistic duty of discrediting top-tier Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden; on the other, doing so requires crediting enemy media outlets.
“The worst part is, the story wasn’t even true. It turned out to be a jumbled mashup of a bunch of different stories with all of the facts wrong. Even The Washington Post noticed. And trust me, they’ve got every incentive to lie about it, they often do,” said Carlson, articulating the most churlish, petty and envious story credit ever to air.
New York Times lawyer on Palin editorial: ‘It was an honest mistake’
Sarah Palin has launched countless bogus attacks against what she calls the “lamestream media.” Virtually all of them disintegrate upon articulation, but one of them is lingering: On Aug. 6, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit restored a 2017 defamation lawsuit Palin filed against the New York Times over an editorial that falsely depicted the impact of her political action committee on the national discourse.
This is a much longer column than I expected, covering a lot of detail about proving defamation against a public figure.
Comments on Rep. Gosar’s “Stop the Censorship Act,” Another “Conservative” Attack on Section 230
Now that the text is public, we can finally do a well-informed evaluation.
This bill is terrible in many ways. Among other problems, it grossly misunderstands Section 230’s mechanics, its desired policy consequences would be horrible, and it is misdrafted to advance those objectives.
It doesn’t bring me any joy to dunk on a bill like this. Like Sen. Hawley’s bill, it almost certainly was meant as a piece of performative art to “play to the base” rather than as a serious policy proposal. But even as performative art, it highlights how Section 230 is grossly misunderstood by politicians inside DC, and it’s a reminder that modifying Section 230 requires extreme care because even minor changes could have dramatic and very-much-unwanted consequences.
On colonialism, imperialism, and ignoring medieval history
We have a lot of fun, don’t we, when we talk about how people argue that the medieval period was the Dark Ages based on the fact that the feel some type of way about it? Now, can I call people who think this ridiculously incredulous and basic? Yes. And I do. Thanks for asking. Having said that, the general ignorance of the medieval period is not from nothing.
I feel like every mention of the dark ages comes with the disclaimer that they weren’t that dark so I’m not sure how widespread the misperception still is. But there’s also some neat historical facts here.
This ended up completely changing fashion in England. Anne is the girl who introduced those sweet horned headdresses you think of when you think of medieval ladies, riding side-saddle, and the word “coach” to England, (from the Hungairan Kocs, where the cart she arrived at court the first time came from). Sweetening her transition to English life was the fact that she didn’t have to pay a dowry to get married. Instead, the English were allowed to trade freely with Bohemia and the Holy Roman Empire and allowed to be around a Czech lady. That was reward enough as far as the Empire was concerned. That’s how much England was not a thing.
What Internet Memes Get Wrong About Breezewood, Pennsylvania
However, the idea that the photo is placeless is, to be blunt, nonsense. As others have pointed out before me, the setting is instantly recognizable as Breezewood and only Breezewood. Far from being “Every Town, U.S.A.,” Breezewood is a weird, improbable blip of a place. It’s what an architect might call a unique urban condition—a churning mini-city where the population nearly turns over every hour. (For this reason, and for the place’s sheer, unembarrassed honky-tonk, I’m a Breezewood fan.)
Let’s talk about files! Most developers seem to think that files are easy.
In this talk, we’re going to look at how file systems differ from each other and other issues we might encounter when writing to files. We’re going to look at the file “stack”, starting at the top with the file API, moving down to the filesystem, and then moving down to disk.
The case of the Photoshopped female CEOs
This week, I dedicated approximately three hours to an investigation that seemed, at varying times, important, obscure, symbolic and deeply, deeply petty. The task at hand: determining whether two women who were photographed at a tech summit in Italy were, in fact, at this tech summit in Italy.
One law to rule them all?
Power-law distributions seem to be everywhere, and not just in word-counts and whale whistles. Most people know that Vilfredo Pareto found them in the distribution of wealth, two or three decades before Udny Yule showed that stochastic processes like those in evolution lead to such distributions, and George Kingsley Zipf found his eponymous law in word frequencies. Since then, power-law distributions have been found all over the place
Or maybe not? Many of the alleged “power-law” examples are actually log-normal, or some other heavy-tailed distribution, according to a paper by Aaron Clauset, Cosma Rohilla Shalizi, and M. E. J. Newman, “Power-law distributions in empirical data” (SIAM Review 2009). As an alternative to the paper, you can read Cosma’s blog post “So You Think You Have a Power Law — Well Isn’t That Special?”, 6/15/2007; or this summary of the results in “Cozy Catastrophes”, 2/15/2012: