Monday Links from the Bench vol. CDIV Monday Links from the Bench vol. CDIV
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    Default Monday Links from the Bench vol. CDIV

    It's the last Monday before I start a two week holiday! Not that it makes a lot of difference, as I don't usually work on Mondays at the moment anyway

    • The curious online afterlife of a 20th century suicide cult - "On May 8, 2014, I sent an email to the inbox of the Heaven’s Gate ‘cult’, the bulk of whose members took their own lives on March 26, 1997. It was short and to the point: ‘How many emails a day do you get from people who found out that you still reply?’ Just over four hours later, I received my first communication from the couple who maintain the group’s website, preserved just as it was on that spring day in 1997." The story of a website that rivals Space Jam for longevity, though with a more sombre history

    • Even Jellyfish Sleep - Interesting study at the California Institute of Technology: ”It’s still unclear why exactly animals sleep at all, but there’s no shortage of explanations… But none of these hypotheses make much sense for a jellyfish because they don’t have brains at all. They just have a nerve net—a loose ring of neurons that runs around the rim of their pulsating bells."

    • Is beaming down in Star Trek a death sentence? - As the new TV series Star Trek: Discovery hits the airwaves (or wherever it is that TV shows have their being in the days of Netflix), Ars Technica takes an exhaustive look at the workings of the transporter: ”After you’ve been taken apart by the transporter, you’re put back together somewhere else, good as new. But is it still you on the other side, or is it a copy?… while it seems like Trek's transporter conundrum has never had a satisfying resolution, we thought we’d take a renewed crack at it.”

    • Zaxxon Rising: One Man’s Quest To Save One of The Most Under-Appreciated Games in America - "For days it laid face down in the rain, kicked to the curb on a street in Albia, Iowa, a mere 22 miles from Walter Day’s arcade-famous city of Ottumwa – that is, the very same arcade featured in many films and documentaries. A seemingly tragic end to a game that had once taken the world by storm, and so close to the city where an arcade named “Twin Galaxies” had birthed legendary tales of competitive glory that are still told today." The struggle to save an abandoned Zaxxon cabinet. Apparently today’s gamers don’t think much of Zaxxon, which is odd as I remember it as pretty groundbreaking when it first appeared. Kids today

    • The Bad Hair, Incorrect Feathering, and Missing Skin Flaps of Dinosaur Art - When people use dinosaur skeletons as the basis for drawings of what the creatures might have looked like, they tend to make a number of egregious mistakes: ”We have full-on wing feathers erupting from distinct places on the head. Or things like a raptor dinosaur jumping like a ninja and his feathers are coming out of his elbows or knee joint or those weird things.” Illustrated with pictures of how modern animals would look if drawn the same way, such as these swans:


    • One Last Thing Before I Go - Transcript of an NPR This American Life show (audio here) telling the story of a phone box connected to nothing, to which Japanese people travel to speak with the loved ones they lost in the tsunami of 2011: ”His cousin had just died. And Itaru was having a hard time figuring out how to talk about it. So he did something pretty ingenious. He went out and bought an old-fashioned phone booth and stuck it in his garden… ‘Because my thoughts could not be relayed over a regular phone line, I wanted them to be carried on the wind.’” Also, Jonathan Goldstein on persuading his 80-year-old father and 85-year-old uncle to put aside an old disagreement and get together for what could be their last conversation.

    • Eight Things Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts Probably Won’t Tell You - Tim Swanson believes the lack of regulation or control in cryptocurrencies will be their downfall: ”With its passion and perma-excitement, the cryptocurrency community sometimes deludes itself into thinking that it is a self-regulating market that doesn’t need (or isn’t subject to) government intervention to weed out bad actors… Yet by most measures, many bad actors have not left because there are no real consequences or repercussions for being a bad dude (or dudette).”

    • EU Buried Its Own $400,000 Study Showing Unauthorized Downloads Have Almost No Effect On Sales - "One of the problems in the debate about the impact of unauthorized downloads on the copyright industry is the paucity of large-scale, rigorous data. That makes it easy for the industry to demand government policies that are not supported by any evidence they are needed or will work. In 2014, the European Commission tried to address that situation… you might expect the European Commission to have published the results as soon as it received them, which was in May 2015. And yet strangely, it kept them to itself.” And in the games market, the evidence suggested that unauthorised downloads actually increased legitimate sales.

    • Before You Spend $2 Billion on Your Own Submarine, Read This - Something to do with all that extra cash you have floating about: sink it! ”For those bored with multimillion-dollar megayachts, with their ho-hum helipads and snooze-inducing jacuzzis, consider the 928-foot-long M7, designed by the Austrian company, Migaloo Private Submersible Yachts… unlike a yacht, which is just going to sit there on top of the water, floating around like a $200 million chunk of burnished driftwood, the M7 can dive to 1,500 feet and cruise underwater at 20 knots.”

    • A Ranking of George Stubbs’s Greatest Racehorses - "The British elite were racing fanatics in the 18th century, and there was no greater honor for a victorious horse than having its portrait painted by George Stubbs… what’s interesting about exploring his work is that almost every racehorse portrait also has incredible detail about its accomplishments.”



    And now autumn is finally here, why not celebrate with norrahe’s Blackberry and Apple Tart

    Happy invoicing!

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    "The European Commission was quite happy to publish partial results that fitted with its agenda, but tried to bury most of its research that showed industry calls for legislation to "tackle" unauthorized downloads were superfluous because there was no evidence of harm. This is typical of the biased and one-sided approach taken by the European Commission"

    I am sure it will be fine after Brexit.


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    Just realised that as this is Monday Links 404, I should have filled it with links to stuff that isn't there

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    The cryptocurrency world is basically rediscovering a vast framework of securities and consumer protection laws that already exist; and now they know why they exist. The cryptocurrency community has created an environment where there are a lot of small users suffering diffuse negative outcomes (e.g., thefts, market losses, the eventual loss on ICO projects). And the enormous gains are extremely concentrated in the hands of a small group of often unaccountable insiders and “founders.” That type of environment, of fraudulent and deceptive outcomes, is exactly what consumer and investor protection laws were created for.

    And I never knew who Harry Markopolos was.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    And now autumn is finally here, why not celebrate with norrahe’s Blackberry and Apple Tart
    Too late! I used up my blackberries making crumble last week.

    <bookmarks for next year>

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrilloPad View Post
    And I never knew who Harry Markopolos was.
    Neither did I before reading that, but as a result of looking him up, I've bought his book

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    I grew up in a small town, but big enough to have a single-screen cinema. In the foyer of that cinema was the only video game in town - Zaxxon. Spent many hours on that game, spending the movie money on credits instead of watching whatever 5-year-old movie that was playing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by meridian View Post
    I grew up in a small town, but big enough to have a single-screen cinema. In the foyer of that cinema was the only video game in town - Zaxxon. Spent many hours on that game, spending the movie money on credits instead of watching whatever 5-year-old movie that was playing.
    Remember, you can now relive your misspent youth in your (reasonably modern) browser at the Internet Archive's arcade game collection: https://archive.org/details/arcade_zaxxon

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