Monthly Archives: September 2016

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An Intriguing Link Between Police Shootings and Black Voter Registration To understand how black Americans are impacted by fatal police shootings in each state, we defined an “over-representation ratio”: the percentage of fatal police shootings in which a black American was killed divided by percentage of black Americans in a state. The number one determinant of over-representation in fatal police shootings is the percentage of eligible black Americans registered to vote. WIRED/MAIMUNA SHAHNAZ MAJUMDER Since January 1, 2016, there have been 714 fatal police shootings in the United States. That comes to 79 deaths a month, 18 a week, and three a day. For context, the US recorded 43 cases of locally transmitted Zika virus and 25 deaths from West Nile in the same time frame.For most, if not all, public health issues, some segments of the population are more vulnerable than others. Americans who engage in unprotected sex are more likely to […]

Google’s Got a Plan to Unify the World’s Wi-Fi Hotspots Google Public Wi-Fi is great. But it’s infuriating when your connection at the neighborhood coffee shop goes down minutes before deadline and the baristas have no clue what’s wrong.This frustrates the hell out of the coffee shop, too. It wants to offer secure, reliable service but usually lacks the expertise. That’s true of any business that offers free Wi-Fi, especially airports, hotels, and others that offer Wi-Fi on a huge scale. Google plans to fix this with Google Station, a suite of tools designed to make creating and maintaining public Wi-Fi a breeze. The company isn’t saying much beyond that, but it is working with unspecified Internet service providers and hardware companies to make it happen. Google is now enlisting partners like cafes and shopping malls. This goes beyond a set of recommended tools or preconfigured WiFi routers. Google will handle login info for the different hotspots. You’ll access the Internet […]

The Funkiest Site on the Planet What’s Your Funkability Are you funny. Do you have some funk, or is your square cool. Do you play, sing, rap, act…. Whatever your cool is even if your cool anit cool it’s cool to us and we want everybody to bring their A game. This is the place to share that whatever it is at… The Funkiest Place on the Planet. “OOOH you smell Dat” Come on post it -bring it. Ya Digg!! Also, watch out for “The Ultimate Get Away Contest”. Coming on Nov. 1. 2016. (We are taking early subscriptions at 1/3 the price till Oct. 31 2016) Make sure you subscribe before Oct. 31, 2016. That way you can get in for One i said…I said One Dollar. After the 31 of Oct. 2016. You can enter the contest for Three I said…I said Three Dollars. Quite a bargain for […]

The Science of Swear Words (Warning: NSFW AF) Editor’s note: The following excerpt from a book about swear words contains many, many swear words. Some of them are pretty ugly, but it’s all in the name of linguistics.For every profane holy, fucking, and shit, there’s a technical and anodyne liturgical, copulation, or excretion. For every cock, there’s a childlike wee-wee. Many words describing sexual organs, excretory functions, and so on fail to rise to the heights (or, if you prefer, sink to the depths) of profanity. These words are articulated without fear of offending, whether in the classroom or the courtroom or the examination room. They aren’t profane, despite referring to taboo concepts. This means that something beyond what a word denotes—what it refers to—must cement it as profanity. What is that thing? The most obvious possibility is that some aspect of how profane words are written or sound makes […]

Well-Versed Ghosts and 4 More Must-Hear Podcasts Stuck in traffic on your way to the office? Consider Uber—or rather, consider how Uber’s database of customer information provides economists with a rare understanding of how demand curves work. Looking for something even more sinister than databases of your financial decision-making? Listen to the true story of a man who encounters spirits through his radio. But wait, that’s not all we have in this week’s podcast roundup! You should also make time for a creepy story of a roommate possessed by a spirit well-versed in English Lit 101, learn how human language will survive the apocalypse (in very tiny font), and get started on American Public Media’s new podcast delving into the abduction of Jacob Wetterling.   Strange, “Sheila Wysocki, Russell Koonce, Whitley Strieber, Scott Cantrell and Eli Sanders”  A man talks to a spirit through the radio in his apartment. A […]

It’s Fine If the iPhone Looks the Same. In Fact, It’s Better Apple When Apple introduces the next iPhone this week, it seems certain that it will look nearly identical to last year’s iPhone. Which means it will also look like the iPhone from the year before that. If this happens, it would break with Apple’s nearly decade-long tradition of redoing the whole phone every two years. You know what? That’s just fine.Since the iPhone’s inception, Apple has leaned on a predictable lifecycle. After the original came the 3G, followed by the mostly identical 3GS. Then came iPhone 4, followed by the mostly identical 4S. iPhone 5, 5S. iPhone 6, 6S. Tick, tock. Simple enough. It’s a misconception that progress has to be tied to dramatic industrial design changes. And it made sense! Carriers were subsidizing devices then in exchange for a two-year blood oath, which made it easy to […]