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Andreas Schou has been at 1 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
Nicholas Kristof1,322,729The issue of the moment is Syria, so I'm delighted to host a Google+ hangout in which we'll be able to pose questions to Secretary of State John Kerry about Syria policy. I'll be joined by +Lara Setrakian, a journalist whom I've long admired who specializes in Syria. Andrew Beiter, a social studies  teacher and a regional education coordinator for the Holocaust Memorial Museum, will also be in the Hangout. Most of all, we'll be joined by all of you--so jump into the conversation on this page and leave us your questions. In particular, with this Hangout we want to involve teachers and students, so spread the word in the schools, please, and student questions are particularly welcome!This kind of online interview is something of an experiment, and we're still figuring out how to make it work best. So we also welcome your suggestions and guidance before and criticisms after. Syria: Weighing the U.S. Response2013-09-10 20:00:007009 

Andreas Schou has been shared in 75 public circles

You can see here the 50 latest shared circles.
If this is your profile, you can check your dashboard to see all shared circles you have been included.

AuthorFollowersDateUsers in CircleCommentsReshares+1Links
Sunny CT2,281Increase your following with our Amazing CirclesNext circles to include only those resharing thisEven if you are included in this circle,  Add me, +1 , comment and share this to be included in next 2 circles (after 12 Hours)Want to grow your follower list? Need more followers? Join my circles now To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps: 1 - include me in your circles 2 - Click add people and create your circle 3 - share the circle (include yourself) 4 - add +1 to the post(Comment on the original post so that I know you have shared)#powercircle #sharedcircle #topsharedcircle #circleoftheday #sharedcircle #trustinme #circlesharing #circleshare #circles #circleoftheday #sharedpubliccircles #sharedcircles #share #vipsnowballcircle #sharedcircleoftheday #sharewithyou #followme #followers #followback #circle #googleplus #coolpeople #circleshare #sharedcircles #sharedcircle #sharedcircles #sharedpubliccircles #circleshare #circlesharing #fullcircleshare #powercircle #sharedcircle 2014-09-15 09:05:4950111312
Sunny CT1,994Fresh AdditionIncrease your following with our Amazing CirclesNext circles to include only those resharing thisEven if you are included in this circle,  Add me, +1 , comment and share this to be included in next 2 circles (after 12 Hours)Want to grow your follower list? Need more followers? Join my circles now To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps: 1 - include me in your circles 2 - Click add people and create your circle 3 - share the circle (include yourself) 4 - add +1 to the post(Comment on the original post so that I know you have shared)#powercircle #sharedcircle #topsharedcircle #circleoftheday #sharedcircle #trustinme #circlesharing #circleshare #circles #circleoftheday #sharedpubliccircles #sharedcircles #share #vipsnowballcircle #sharedcircleoftheday #sharewithyou #followme #followers #followback #circle #googleplus #coolpeople #circleshare #sharedcircles #sharedcircle #sharedcircles #sharedpubliccircles #circleshare #circlesharing #fullcircleshare #powercircle #sha2014-09-12 13:14:5050111414
Sunny CT1,994Fresh AdditionIncrease your following with our Amazing CirclesNext circles to include only those resharing thisEven if you are included in this circle,  Add me, +1 , comment and share this to be included in next 2 circles (after 12 Hours)Want to grow your follower list? Need more followers? Join my circles now To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps: 1 - include me in your circles 2 - Click add people and create your circle 3 - share the circle (include yourself) 4 - add +1 to the post(Comment on the original post so that I know you have shared)#powercircle #sharedcircle #topsharedcircle #circleoftheday #sharedcircle #trustinme #circlesharing #circleshare #circles #circleoftheday #sharedpubliccircles #sharedcircles #share #vipsnowballcircle #sharedcircleoftheday #sharewithyou #followme #followers #followback #circle #googleplus #coolpeople #circleshare #sharedcircles #sharedcircle #sharedcircles #sharedpubliccircles #circleshare #circlesharing #fullcircleshare #powercircle #sha2014-09-12 07:07:225017313
Colin Wilson56Increase your following with our Amazing CirclesThis is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 2 - Share the circle (Publicly) 3 - Add +1 to the post #circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshare2014-09-08 06:25:20459111619
Becky Collins13,434Mobile Operator Circle:Circle of very #social #engagerspeople and companiesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest) Ex: Fashion, SEO, Companies, Social Media Marketing, Sailing, Photography, Bloggers/Writers, Web graphics and design, Italy, Artists, Sport, Finance/Economy ...3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)Improve your popularity, be social be cool !Keep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104  #socialmedia  #media  #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing  #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles  #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins ?2014-07-24 05:16:124763112
Maria Morisot31,837Moan Lisa's All Kinds of People Shared Circle06 June, 2014RESHARE if you want to be includedmoanlisa.org2014-06-06 14:31:022928274100
Becky Collins10,282Mobile Circle :Circle of very #social #engagerspeople and companiesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest) Ex: Fashion, SEO, Companies, Social Media Marketing, Sailing, Photography, Bloggers/Writers, Web graphics and design, Italy, Artists, Sport, Finance/Economy ...3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)Improve your popularity, be social be cool !Keep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104  #socialmedia   #media   #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins ?2014-05-28 05:03:174777219
Irina Sadokhina19,423Hello my dear friends!!!This is my weekly #mondaycircle   . This #circle    is very important for me because there are people who were with me last time, commented my funny pics, and just made me happy. Also, there are people who RE-shared my last #mondaycircle  . Thank you so much for this!!! And I would like to ask you Re-share this awesome circle  on your stream, please. If you wanna be included in my next #mondaycircle   . Apr. 21st, just:1) plus2)re-share!!!Thank you. You all have a wonderful week.Make sure you share the original version! #circle   #circles   #circlecirclecircle   #circlescirclescircles   #circleshare   #hyperball   #plusmastermind   #crazycircles   #circleoftheweek  2014-04-14 16:53:094558052121
Irina Sadokhina18,499Hello my dear friends!!!This is my weekly #mondaycircle  . This #circle is very important for me because there are people who were with me last time, commented my funny pics, and just made me happy. Also, there are people who RE-shared my last #mondaycircle  . Thank you so much for this!!! And I would like to ask you Re-share this awesome circle  on your stream, please. If you wanna be included in my next #mondaycircle   . Apr. 14th, just:1) plus2)re-share!!!Thank you. You all have a wonderful week.Make sure you share the original version! #circle   #circleshare   #circlescirclescircles   #circlecircle   #circlecirclecircle   #circles   #hyperball   #plusmastermind   #crazycircles  2014-04-08 12:47:424927248106
Irina Sadokhina17,311Hello my dear friends!!!This is my weekly #mondaycircle  . This #circle   is very important for me because there are people who were with me last time, commented my funny pics, and just made me happy. Also, there are people who RE-shared my last #mondaycircle  . Thank you so much for this!!! And I would like to ask you Re-share this awesome circle  on your stream, please. If you wanna be included in my next #mondaycircle . Apr. 7th, just:1) plus2)re-share!!!Thank you. You all have a wonderful week.Make sure you share the original version! #circle   #circlecirclecircle   #circles   #circlescirclescircles   #circleshared   #crazycircles   #hyperball   #plusmastermind   #circleoftheweek  2014-03-31 18:07:204536655108
Irina Sadokhina16,720Hello my dear friends!!! This is my weekly #mondaycircle  . This #circle   is very important for me because there are people who were with me last time, commented my funny pics, and just made me happy. Also, there are people who RE-shared my last mondaycircle . Thank you so much for this!!! And I would like to ask you Re-share this awesome circle    on your stream, please. If you wanna be included in my next  #mondaycircle   , March 31st. just:1) plus2)re-share!!!Thank you. You all have a wonderful week.Make sure you share the original version! #circle   #circles   #circlecirclecircle   #circlecirclecircle   #circlescirclescircles   #hyperball   #crazycircles   #plusmastermind   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circleoftheweek   #circleoftheday  2014-03-24 18:59:534707753123
Irina Sadokhina15,346Hello my dear friends!!!HELLO! This is my weekly  #mondaycircle . This  #circle   is very important for me because there are people who were with me last time, commented my funny pics, and just made me happy. Also, there are people who RE-shared my last  #mondaycircle . Thank you so much for this!!! And I would like to ask you Re-share this awesome  #circle   on your stream, please. If you wanna be included in my next  #mondaycircle   , March 17th just:1) plus2)re-share!!!Thank you. You all have a wonderful week.Make sure you share the original version! #circle   #circles   #circlecircle   #circlescirclescircles   #hyperball   #rustyball   #crazycircles   #plusmastermind  2014-03-11 16:53:09467695295
Константин Вишневский44,825Circle of the Most Active Users of Google+A Very Social CircleКруг наиболее активных пользователей Google+Если вы поделились этим кругом вчера, вы находитесь в нем сегодня. Если вы разделяете его с друзьями сегодня, вы будете в нем и завтра.If you shared this circle yesterday, you are in it today. If you share today, you'll be in tomorrow2014-02-12 15:12:36462483276
Mikhail Petrovsky64,592Good morning / evening to all.This is a Social Circle of interesting people with an active lifestyle in Google+Это социальный круг общения интересных людей с активной жизненной позицией в Google+You'll love this circle. Photographers, artists and other interesting people!Вам понравится этот круг, добавьте его себе. Фотографы, художники и другие интересные люди!#EarthMyMother #ForFriends #photo2014-02-07 07:45:58497543383
Mikhail Petrovsky76,199Good morning / evening to all.This is a Social Circle of interesting people with an active lifestyle in Google+Это социальный круг общения интересных людей с активной жизненной позицией в Google+You'll love this circle. Photographers, artists and other interesting people!Вам понравится этот круг, добавьте его себе. Фотографы, художники и другие интересные люди!#EarthMyMother #ForFriends #photo2014-01-15 08:21:34499531881
Mikhail Petrovsky61,999Good morning / evening to all.This is a Social Circle of interesting people with an active lifestyle in Google+Это социальный круг общения интересных людей с активной жизненной позицией в Google+You'll love this circle. Photographers, artists and other interesting people!Вам понравится этот круг, добавьте его себе. Фотографы, художники и другие интересные люди!#EarthMyMother #ForFriends #photo2014-01-14 04:50:25498451577
Artur Mashnich43,991A Very Social CircleCircle of the Most Active Users of Google+Круг наиболее активных пользователей Google+Если вы поделились этим кругом вчера, вы находитесь в нем сегодня. Если вы разделяете его с друзьями сегодня, вы будете в нем и завтра.If you shared this circle yesterday, you are in it today. If you share today, you'll be in tomorrow.#Forfriends  2014-01-11 14:37:57478411671
Mikhail Petrovsky61,336Good morning / evening to all. You'll love this circle. Photographers, artists and other interesting people!Вам понравится этот круг, добавьте его себе. Фотографы, художники и другие интересные люди!Это социальный круг / This social circle #EarthMyMother #ForFriends #photo2014-01-09 04:51:54498392268
Mikhail Petrovsky59,714This is a Social Circle of interesting people with an active lifestyle in Google+Это социальный круг общения интересных людей с активной жизненной позицией в Google+You'll love this circle. Photographers, artists and other interesting people!Вам понравится этот круг, добавьте его себе. Фотографы, художники и другие интересные люди!#EarthMyMother #ForFriends #photo2013-12-29 11:29:4447830959
Mikhail Petrovsky73,777This is a Social Circle of interesting people with an active lifestyle in Google+Это социальный круг общения интересных людей с активной жизненной позицией в Google+You'll love this circle. Photographers, artists and other interesting people!Вам понравится этот круг, добавьте его себе. Фотографы, художники и другие интересные люди!#EarthMyMother #ForFriends #photo2013-12-29 11:02:20500341261
Константин Вишневский39,554Circle of people, with active life position in Google+Simple To be added PLUS the post Share the post and Add the circle. Once you have done this let me know in the commentsКруг людей с активной жизненной позицией в Гугле+Просто быть добавлены PLUS сообщению Share пост и добавить круг. После того как вы сделали это, дайте мне знать в комментарияхIf you agree that this is a great circle, please re-share!2013-12-29 06:03:17464422473
Vladimir Samsonov23,289Good morning/evening to all. You'll love this circle. Photographers, artists and other interesting people!Вам понравится этот круг, добавьте его себе. Фотографы, художники и другие интересные люди!Это социальный круг This is a Social Circle#ForFriends #photo #EarthMyMother2013-12-05 12:35:51501533078
Константин Вишневский35,785Circle of people, with active life position in Google+Simple To be added PLUS the post Share the post and Add the circle. Once you have done this let me know in the commentsКруг людей с активной жизненной позицией в Гугле+Просто быть добавлены PLUS сообщению Share пост и добавить круг. После того как вы сделали это, дайте мне знать в комментарияхIf you agree that this is a great circle, please re-share!#ForFriends #photo #EarthMyMother2013-11-24 15:07:31464422170
Jan Havrda20,092Deep Thinkers.2013-11-15 00:06:31141216
Matteo Pelucchi3,024Circle of #topengagers  1. Plus this post. (Original post)2. Comment on this post.3. Reshare this circle publically to your stream.4. Don’t be a blue head.Have a wonderful Wednesday increasing your #popularityTnks to +Alessandro Folghera and +Rusty Ferguson  #tuesdaysharedcircle   #topsharedcircle   #circleoftheday   #sharedcircle #trustinme  #circlesharing   #circleshare        #circles        #circleoftheday   #sharedpubliccircles     #sharedcircles    #share  #vipsnowballcircle #sharedcircleoftheday        #sharewithyou        #circlefriday   #circlethursday  #followme     #followers #followback#circle #googleplus    #coolpeople  #circleshare #sharedcircles     #sharedcircle  #sharedcircles       #sharedpubliccircles    #circleshare    2013-09-11 07:31:19397441745
Alessandro Folghera12,080Another special #sharedcircle  to be added among your circlesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircles), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest)      (ex: fashion, photography, seo, social media marketing)3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)If you come accross Google error messages, incorporating my circles, please provide me the error, I'm classifying these errors. Have a wonderful weekend and a better popularityKeep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104   #saturdaysharedcircle   #topsharedcircle   #circleoftheday   #sharedcircle #trustinme  #circlesharing   #circleshare        #circles        #circleoftheday   #sharedpubliccircles     #sharedcircles    #share  #vipsnowballcircle #sharedcircleoftheday        #sharewithyou         #followme     #followers #followback #circle #googleplus    #coolpeople  #circleshare #sharedcircles #afo #myseoissocial     #sharedcircle  #sharedcircles       #sharedpubliccircles    2013-09-07 15:52:43397351953
Richard Green25,294Engagers Showcase Circle, September 5 2013If you received a notification, it means that you are included in my Engagers Showcase Circle. “Showcase” means that you are invited to leave a comment (on the original post) with a link to one of your own posts, which ideally should be one of your best recent posts.This circle consists of people who have engaged with one of my recent posts in the form of +1s, comments and reshares. Because I ran out of room, some of the engagers on very recent posts will be included next time.As always, reshares are appreciated, and I look forward to seeing everyone's links. Thanks for reading my posts!2013-09-06 01:37:50501254124248
Brian Wolfe22,328I haven't shared a circle in a long time. Maybe too long.Anyways.. Here is the circle that my browser spends the most time on.   Just in case I become a petulant child and walk away (not that I'm planning on doing so , just in case.)2013-08-22 05:36:251941335
Daniel Mihai Popescu4,968A circle based on +Richard Green's last creation! Add it to yours, share it! They all have some wonderful spark in them!If you're notified, you're in! Sorry to disturb you with the notification! If you want out, just say so :)2013-06-19 09:59:4539032733
Steven Krohn1,616The Popular Choice Circle________________________Richard Green originally shared:Here's version 2 of my Popular Choice circle. The members of this circle were nominated for inclusion here (http://goo.gl/vY07d). Anecdotal evidence suggests that this circle is a pretty good one to add: after the last share, somebody that I follow made the comment:I have to admit I have never had so many people add me back so shortly after adding a shared circle.As guest members of the circle this time, I'm including everyone who has created a circle with me in it in the last four weeks, including +Chris Cota, +Steven Krohn, +Marlo Angelo Tito, +Leo Walsh, +Cesare Riccardo, +Michael Bennett, +1212Scenery, +Daniel Mihai Popescu, +Gai Xinh, +Mithu Hassan, +Daniel Stock, +Marino Puletti, +Christy Sandhoff, +Johnathan Yesson, +Roleta Anedotas, +Linda Dee, +Mariusz Zapart, +César Bustíos Benites, +Andrea Orselli, +Katherine Vucicevic, +Networx, +Rome Heels, +Thumb up your Followers ►, +AyJay Schibig, +Zbynek Kysela, +Ewart Corrigan, +Hamilton Carter, +Don Dobbie, +Brian Buckley, +Wajahat Khan, +Crazy Circles, +Laurent Jean Philippe, +Maria Leoni and +Wolfgang Wodeck.  I'd especially like to thank +Scott Buehler, +Ludovic Moreeuw and +Science on Google+: A Public Database for including me in some particularly exciting circles: the Hyperball, the VIIP Circle and the Smokin' Science Circle, respectively.And now the surprise feature: I invite everyone to leave a comment on (the original post of) this circle share containing a link to one of your own posts. Ideally, this should be something that you posted recently and that you are particularly pleased with. (Don't post spam though; I will delete it.)2013-06-18 14:06:1838425937
Daniel Mihai Popescu4,802I have added version 2 of +Richard Green's  Popular Choice, re-freshed with my nucleus of Invincible circle and brushed of inactive accounts :)If you are notified, you're in, of course :)Thank you for sharing!2013-06-17 10:29:4338924937
Richard Green16,268Here's version 2 of my Popular Choice circle. The members of this circle were nominated for inclusion here (http://goo.gl/vY07d). Anecdotal evidence suggests that this circle is a pretty good one to add: after the last share, somebody that I follow made the comment:I have to admit I have never had so many people add me back so shortly after adding a shared circle.As guest members of the circle this time, I'm including everyone who has created a circle with me in it in the last four weeks, including +Chris Cota, +Steven Krohn, +Marlo Angelo Tito, +Leo Walsh, +Cesare Riccardo, +Michael Bennett, +1212Scenery, +Daniel Mihai Popescu, +Gai Xinh, +Mithu Hassan, +Daniel Stock, +Marino Puletti, +Christy Sandhoff, +Johnathan Yesson, +Roleta Anedotas, +Linda Dee, +Mariusz Zapart, +2013-06-17 04:33:32384693082
Christy Sandhoff10,119Richard Green originally shared:Remember the Much Better than the Average Circle circles I used to share?  Well, this circle is much better even than those.  The people in this circle were recommended for inclusion in response to my call for nominations, and there are some really interesting profiles in here.  If you've never added a circle before, this one would make a good Starter Circle.I'd especially like to thank +Dirk Talamasca, +Ed Ross, +Korinne M Jackman, +Nina MJ and +Tim Utzig, each of whom suggested a large number of profiles for the circle.  I think I added everyone who was tagged in the nomination post; sorry if I missed anyone.And here's the circle.2013-06-04 04:14:1033821830
Richard Green15,407Remember the Much Better than the Average Circle circles I used to share?  Well, this circle is much better even than those.  The people in this circle were recommended for inclusion in response to my call for nominations, and there are some really interesting profiles in here.  If you've never added a circle before, this one would make a good Starter Circle.I'd especially like to thank +Dirk Talamasca, +Ed Ross, +Korinne M Jackman, +Nina MJ and +Tim Utzig, each of whom suggested a large number of profiles for the circle.  I think I added everyone who was tagged in the nomination post; sorry if I missed anyone.And here's the circle.2013-06-02 14:20:43338532176
AyJay Schibig16,440ECLECTIC CIRCLEFeel free to add  and re-share. this  Eclectic Circle of  G Plussers! Circles I am curating:21ST CENTURY PHOTOGRAPHERS (1&2), ALL KINDS, DISCOVERY, FULL CIRCLE,SOCIAL, ECLECTIC,ENGAGERS, AWESOME, NEW HORIZONS and BOOST#circleoftheday   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circlesharingforthepeopleplc   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #sharedcircleday   #publiccirclesproject   #publiccircles   #publicsharedcircles  #sharedpublicircles   #circle   #circles   #circlemeup  #awesomepeople   #awesomecircle   #circleme   #sharedpoint   #sharewithyou     #ShareYourCircle2013-04-13 06:43:023024213
AyJay Schibig15,217ECLECTIC CIRCLEFeel free to add  and re-share. this  Eclectic Circle of  G Plussers! Circles I am curating:21ST CENTURY PHOTOGRAPHERS (1&2), ALL KINDS, DISCOVERY, FULL CIRCLE,SOCIAL, ECLECTIC,ENGAGERS, AWESOME, NEW HORIZONS and BOOST#circleoftheday   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circlesharingforthepeopleplc   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #sharedcircleday   #publiccirclesproject   #publiccircles   #publicsharedcircles  #sharedpublicircles   #circle   #circles   #circlemeup  #awesomepeople   #awesomecircle   #circleme   #sharedpoint   #sharewithyou     #ShareYourCircle2013-03-02 11:23:44245206
Mohammad Rahimi2,027I would like to share this circle of people i follow their posts.2013-02-25 05:38:581061928
Ian Herndon8,223Shared Circle Time! - G+ Community Moderators (4 of x)Re-Share to help moderators easily connect with one another!Now that Google has launched Communities there has been a ton of activity by people to create communities relating to their interests, join ones created by others, and meet other creators in an effort to learn more and more new ways to build and contribute to G+ Communities. +Community Moderators is an example of a page/community dedicated specifically to having a single place where all moderators can join in discussion around just that.I have been hard at work creating Circles that consist of Community Moderators and Owners only. My hope is to be able to help others expand their network of friends to also include like minded people dabbling in the Community space too. In the near future I intend to eventually group these moderator circles into smaller more targeted ones tailored to specific interests. So with that said, here's our circles!G+ Community Moderators & Owners Circle (1 of x) - 12/31/2012https://plus.google.com/u/0/110099838681495349209/posts/ETe6deLAMq2G+ Community Moderators & Owners Circle (2 of x) - 12/31/2012https://plus.google.com/u/0/110099838681495349209/posts/7i2DXeQpknnG+ Community Moderators & Owners Circle (3 of x) - 12/31/2012https://plus.google.com/u/0/110099838681495349209/posts/j1rsi9YGGVgG+ Community Moderators & Owners Circle (4 of x) - 1/12/2013https://plus.google.com/u/0/110099838681495349209/posts/VFUjZcifXPQ#Community   #Moderators   #Owners   #Communities   #Circle   #SharedCircles   #CircleShare2013-01-12 15:28:345005210
AyJay Schibig13,588ECLECTIC CIRCLEFeel free to add  and re-share. this  Eclectic Circle of  G Plussers! #circleoftheday   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circlesharingforthepeopleplc   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #sharedcircleday   #publiccirclesproject   #publiccircles   #publicsharedcircles  #sharedpublicircles   #circle   #circles   #circlemeup  #awesomepeople   #awesomecircle   #circleme   #sharedpoint   #sharewithyou 2013-01-10 07:15:50257003
Nils Tschampel2,828The Cream of the Crop of December 2012What's this?On +CircleCount everyday some very interesting persons are choosen and recommended. These are persons without hundreds of thousands of followers but with a lot of interesting content. You won't find silent people here leading the rankings, but interesting people that are worth to be followed.You can find the Cream of the Crop daily here:http://www.circlecount.com/daily/Past Cream of the Crop circles:November 2012: http://goo.gl/LSQjcOctober 2012: http://goo.gl/ohdceSeptember 2012: http://goo.gl/ie3VNAugust 2012: http://goo.gl/5vUUPJuly 2012: http://goo.gl/oAemEJune 2012: http://goo.gl/YZt1yMay 2012: http://goo.gl/4Tq43April 2012: http://goo.gl/NvbKjMarch 2012: http://goo.gl/3auLoFebruary 2012: http://goo.gl/TWYpKJanuary 2012: http://goo.gl/HBdHbDecember 2011: http://goo.gl/RBCpgNovember 2011: http://goo.gl/x6TJkOctober 2011: http://goo.gl/2xVn92013-01-08 19:52:4728412311
AyJay Schibig12,717ECLECTIC CIRCLEFeel free to add  and re-share. this  Eclectic Circle of  G Plussers! #circleoftheday   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circlesharingforthepeopleplc   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #sharedcircleday   #publiccirclesproject   #publiccircles   #publicsharedcircles  #sharedpublicircles   #circle   #circles   #circlemeup  #awesomepeople   #awesomecircle   #circleme   #sharedpoint   #sharewithyou 2012-12-21 06:26:433277010
AyJay Schibig12,080ECLECTIC CIRCLEFeel free to add  and re-share. this  Eclectic Circle of  G Plussers! #circleoftheday   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circlesharingforthepeopleplc   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #sharedcircleday   #publiccirclesproject   #publiccircles   #publicsharedcircles  #sharedpublicircles   #circle   #circles   #circlemeup  #awesomepeople   #awesomecircle   #circleme   #sharedpoint   #sharewithyou 2012-12-12 04:23:1442210216
Zbynek Kysela1,918BEST SHARED CIRCLE - Share, share, share!===================================HOW TO BE PART OF IT: 1) Add this circle to your circles -> Add circle2) Share added circle with option "include yourself in shared circle". Done. You're welcome :) ZbynekMy entire social presence:*****************************http://xeeme.com/bouchac*****************************2012-12-07 20:33:1441920625
Kurt Smith14,400Thought Provokers Circle Share - Who's Made You Think Lately?Who's Made You Think Lately? Are they in this circle? For me, +Dede Craig King had me really going last Monday, +Lacerant Plainer always gets me thinking, and just a few days ago it was +Randy Hilarski.Here's latest round of the Thought Provokers Circle. This is an #awesomesauce  circle of great plussers who will make you think (we're all trying anyway). The cool thing about this circle is that you had to be recommended by someone else to get in.Add & Reshare so others can discover these awesome people to follow. Current members please update your circle. If you'd like to join in, please suggest 3-5 people and tell why they make you think. #circleshare   #circles   #circlesharing   #circleoftheday   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #sharepubliccircle   #publiccircle   #publicsharedcircles  2012-12-04 15:53:26287653061
Brunner Nathan325Some people that comment and follow back.Don't forget to give a share and a plus one.#circleshare #sharedcircles #sharedcircle #sharedpubliccircles #circlesharing #publiccircle #circles2012-11-29 18:03:5327516419
Mj Bedford0Shared Circle Saturday My #peace   #circle  Thank you allI circle people who circle meand I refresh this circle Peace2012-11-11 04:03:07258426
Kurt Smith6,542Thought Provokers Circle Share -- Plussers Who 'Make You Go Hmm...'Next round of the Thought Provokers Circle. An amazing circle of great plussers who will make you think, well maybe. Here's some of the people and wisdom inside:"And a few of us that make you go "HUH???" from +Bearman Cartoons. " Ummmm.... I suddenly feel like I'm back in grade school again and the entire class is giving me the look... You're going to get your arse kicked at recess!!!! said +Frank Garufi Jr.. Check out and discover some new people - I've met +Dede Craig King, +Susanne Ramharter, +MommyLovesTech.Add & Reshare so others can discover these awesome people to follow. Current members please update your circle. If you'd like to join in, please suggest 3-5 people and why they make you think.#circles   #circle   #circleshare   #circleoftheday   #circlesharing   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #publiccircles   #publicsharedcircles  +Full Circle +Circles +CIRCLES on Google+ 2012-10-31 14:11:37275922881
Kurt Smith4,603Thought Provokers Circle -- Plussers Who 'Make You Go Hmm...'Round 2 of the Thought Provokers Circle. An amazing circle of great plussers who will make you think! New additions include +Thomas Power, +Bobbi Jo Woods and dozens of others.Add & Reshare so others can discover these awesome people to follow. If you'd like to join in, please suggest 3-5 people and why they make you think.#circles   #circle   #circleshare   #circleoftheday   #circlesharing   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #publiccircles   #publicsharedcircles   +Full Circle +Circles +CIRCLES on Google+ 2012-10-17 13:52:172561193675
Tim Moore23,874My Go To Circle when I'm using +Google+ from my mobile --- which is a lot!IF you use +Google+ from your mobile device and want GREAT CONTENT, then this is a money circle for you.  All the guys and gals in here are fantastic and post very shareable items.Created for the circle when you want to reliably find and share great content quickly from your mobile!>>> Help your friends who may be new here to +Google+ - share this circle with them.  They will love you forever......... or at least until payday. :) #greatcontent   #sharing  +Shared Circles on G+ +Public Circles +CircleCount +Nothing but Circles  #sharedcircles   #circlesharing   #circleoftheday  +Shared a circle with you +Full Circle  #mobile  2012-10-02 19:10:48484723561
Kurt Smith3,250Plussers Who 'Make You Go Hmm...' Circle ShareHere's round 1 of the Thought Provokers Circle. Last week I asked who people follow because their posts make you think. The post (  http://bit.ly/WdN9HG) snowballed and here's the result - an amazing circle of great plussers who wil make you think!Add them and check them out, and discover some really cool new people to follow on G+. Please reshare with your followers to expand the thinking.If you'd like to join in, suggest 3-5 people and why they make you think. #circles   #circle   #circleshare   #circleoftheday   #circlesharing  #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #publiccircles  #publicsharedcircles  +Full Circle +CIRCLES on Google+  +Circles 2012-10-02 13:37:49218505056

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Most comments: 87

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2014-09-23 23:41:59 (87 comments, 10 reshares, 39 +1s)Open 

Corporations are People Too, My Friend

Prior to today, I had always assumed that there was some general legal principle stating that corporations -- which are frequently convicted of crimes -- could not be sentenced to imprisonment. As it turns out, this is not actually the case. It is extraordinarily infrequent, but corporations can, in fact, be imprisoned. 

From U.S. v. Allegheny Bottling Co.:

The Lord Chancellor of England said some two hundred years ago, "Did you ever expect a corporation to have a conscience, when it has no soul to be damned, and no body to be kicked?"1 Two hundred years have passed since the Lord Chancellor espoused this view, and the whole era of what is and is not permitted or what is or is not prohibited, has changed both in design and in application. Certainly, this Court does not expect a corporation to have a conscience, but it... more »

Most reshares: 28

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2014-10-01 19:03:30 (5 comments, 28 reshares, 27 +1s)Open 

A couple months ago, I was fortunate enough to hear a very similar talk at Google. Worth listening to in its entirety.

Most plusones: 70

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2014-09-22 20:14:37 (7 comments, 6 reshares, 70 +1s)Open 

How to turn a plastic fork into a metal fork.

Latest 50 posts

2014-10-22 03:24:17 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

"In this Cormac McCarthy novel, we never learn the name of the father. (Or for that matter, his son.)"

I believe that's Cormac McCarthy's novelization of Ghost Dad.

"In this Cormac McCarthy novel, we never learn the name of the father. (Or for that matter, his son.)"

I believe that's Cormac McCarthy's novelization of Ghost Dad.___

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2014-10-20 04:02:42 (11 comments, 0 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

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2014-10-20 04:02:14 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

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2014-10-19 04:35:36 (13 comments, 2 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

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2014-10-18 18:50:32 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 28 +1s)Open 

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2014-10-17 23:43:59 (2 comments, 5 reshares, 21 +1s)Open 

In grade school, you probably learned about the average, also known as the mean. You may have learned about other numbers, like the median and the mode, which also characterize how things are distributed. These numbers, however, tend to conceal more than they reveal: when you really want to understand something, you look at a curve called the distribution instead. That curve is simply a plot of how often each possible outcome occurs, and all of the numbers above -- numbers called "measures of central tendency" -- can be calculated from that curve, and summarize various aspects of the curve.

The reason that professionals care about the curve more than the numbers is that the curve is full of secrets of its own. One of the most interesting secrets is what's called "universality:" it turns out that there is a very small set of shapes, and almost every distribution curve you... more »

In grade school, you probably learned about the average, also known as the mean. You may have learned about other numbers, like the median and the mode, which also characterize how things are distributed. These numbers, however, tend to conceal more than they reveal: when you really want to understand something, you look at a curve called the distribution instead. That curve is simply a plot of how often each possible outcome occurs, and all of the numbers above -- numbers called "measures of central tendency" -- can be calculated from that curve, and summarize various aspects of the curve.

The reason that professionals care about the curve more than the numbers is that the curve is full of secrets of its own. One of the most interesting secrets is what's called "universality:" it turns out that there is a very small set of shapes, and almost every distribution curve you actually encounter in the world, whether you're measuring the frequency at which people use words, or the time it takes to get through a checkout line, or the number of marmots in a field, turns out to have one of these shapes. 

(Or more specifically, real distributions are almost always combinations of these shapes, say a bump of one shape here and a curve of another shape there. That always means that two distinct things are going on, each contributing a single shape, and it can be one of the fastest ways to understand how the system is really working.)

Why are distributions more interesting? Apart from being able to read the secrets of their shapes, the problem with just looking at numbers is what they hide. There's an old joke about two guys in a bar in Seattle, grousing about how broke they are, when Bill Gates walks in. One of them pauses for a sec, thinks hard, then jumps up and yells "Drinks are on me, everyone!" His friend asks him, "Are you crazy? I thought you said you were broke!" "No, I just did the math! On the average, everyone in here is a millionaire!"

So let's talk about these shapes a bit more. There are four particularly common shapes. (There are a few others as well, but 99.5% of the time what you see are combinations of these four)

The first is the Gaussian, or bell curve. Gaussians generally happen when there's something that happens roughly the same way every time, and the deviations from that "same way" are completely random and uncorrelated noise. For example, if you measure how long it takes you to walk down the same hallway every day, the distribution curve will probably be a Gaussian. The position of the center of the bell curve tells you the average, and its width tells you how frequent random disruptions are.

The second is the exponential curve. This looks like a sharp spike followed by a decay. (Specifically, a decay shaped like F = e^−(ax), where x is the value that we're measuring, F is the number of times we saw x, and a is a constant) This is most often a sign of queues. For example, if you measure how long it takes to read a small file from a hard disk, and do it over and over again, the frequency distribution of times will look like a Gaussian added to an exponential. Why? Because the time it takes to read from an idle disk is a Gaussian -- there's a random amount of time it takes the head to seek to the right position, and then it takes a constant amount of time to do the reading. However, if the computer is busy, then you have to wait in line before that can start, and it turns out that the distribution of the time it takes to wait in line is almost always an exponential. (That fact is something we regularly use in computing to identify when the problem is that things are getting stuck waiting in line)

The third shape is a power law. This looks sort of like an exponential, but it has a much heavier tail. (The formula is F = (x/x0)^−a, and if you plot it on a log-log chart, it looks like a straight line) Power laws turn out to be extremely universal whenever humans are involved: for example, if you look at a large body of text and ask "what fraction of words show up frequently versus rarely," the shape is a power law, no matter what language. (In that case, a is about 1.8, in case you're curious. Syntax words like "and" and "the" are the most common, obscure nouns like "zymurgy" are among the rare ones, and there's a long tail of words that basically appear only once in a corpus) But power laws show up all over the place: look at the number of pictures people take each week. Look at the number of friends people have. Look at the size of cities. 

It turns out that there are some fairly deep reasons that power laws are so common. For example, imagine you're looking at a network -- say, the phone network, or the network of people's friends. If a network formed by "random attachment," that is, any new node that shows up is equally likely to attach to any other node, then the distribution of how many neighbors everyone has is a Gaussian. But if it forms by "preferential attachment," that is, a newcomer is more likely to attach to someone who already knows a lot of people, then you can show mathematically that you get a power law. Lots of real networks do this: new people in a social group, for example, are more likely to start out by meeting the really gregarious person at the middle.

(This is really important for practical applications, too, because preferential-attachment networks have all sorts of other interesting features. For example, a random-attachment network doesn't become disconnected (no longer joining everyone) until you blow up a lot of links. A preferential-attachment network, on the other hand, can disconnect very quickly if you lose the very central nodes. If your network is the Internet, then you really want to keep things from being disconnected, so it's important to know what parts are the most critical. On the other hand, if your network is the graph of people who were in physical contact with each other (a preferential-attachment network), which also happens to be the graph along which contagious diseases spreads, you might be very interested in making this network disconnect: that tells you that investing your money in making sure that contagious diseases don't spread through the people with the highest number of connections is a much better bet than trying to protect everyone equally. It turns out that immunizing a hermit doesn't do nearly as much as immunizing, say, the janitor of a large building.)

And then there's a fourth common shape, the Tracy-Widom Curve. This one looks sort of like a skewed bell curve, Gaussian on the left and exponential on the right. It shows up all over the place as well, especially when studying systems with a lot of strong interactions amongst themselves. However, we don't really understand why it's so common yet: it's proven a tougher nut to crack than the power law. 

However, there's been some recent progress: it turns out that this curve may be happening whenever there's a certain kind of phase transition behavior in the system, similar to ice melting or water boiling. And this article will tell you more about that.

The key takeaways are:

* Distributions matter! Averages and so on lie, because they hide things. If you really want to understand something, always demand the distribution.

* Distributions always seem to be combinations of a handful of standard shapes. If there's more than one shape in a distribution, you're seeing several different physical processes at once, and each shape tells you a story.

* There are four standard shapes, and we understand three of them pretty well and know how to read stories from them: Gaussians telling you about random events, exponentials about something waiting in line, power laws about humans or biology being somehow involved, or about preferential attachment, or a few other similar things. There's a fourth one which we're only starting to understand, but it keeps showing up, too.

* Statistics is cool, because it reveals the secrets of the universe and helps you fix problems.

Via +Jennifer Ouellette​​.___

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2014-10-15 23:51:23 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 41 +1s)Open 

So, it turns out I know the first two same-sex people to be married in my home state. It couldn't possibly be more appropriate. Tabitha and Kathy are absolute pillars of the community -- long-time small-business owners who volunteer an absolutely nuts amount of time and money for good local causes. 

Every legal benefit aside, it's a tremendous relief to see the state recognize what their neighbors already knew wholeheartedly: they are as much (and even more) a part of the community as any of us were.

So, it turns out I know the first two same-sex people to be married in my home state. It couldn't possibly be more appropriate. Tabitha and Kathy are absolute pillars of the community -- long-time small-business owners who volunteer an absolutely nuts amount of time and money for good local causes. 

Every legal benefit aside, it's a tremendous relief to see the state recognize what their neighbors already knew wholeheartedly: they are as much (and even more) a part of the community as any of us were.___

2014-10-14 20:54:38 (57 comments, 13 reshares, 49 +1s)Open 

So, the guy who makes your sandwiches at Jimmy Johns, as it turns out, is bound by a more restrictive contract than software engineers working at Google.

This contract is among the most batshit pieces of legal drafting I have ever seen. I cannot imagine why the person who drafted it thought it was a good idea, cannot imagine why anyone who was not literally starving would sign it, and cannot imagine where in the country it might actually be legal. Some highlights:

(1) The employee starts out by agreeing that the Jimmy Johns menu and preparation techniques are confidential information. This is really interesting, considering that the menu hangs in plain sight when you walk into any restaurant, and that the employees make the sandwich while you watch.

(2) Also, if you invent a sandwich while working at Jimmy Johns, Jimmy Johns owns the exclusive rights to the... more »

So, the guy who makes your sandwiches at Jimmy Johns, as it turns out, is bound by a more restrictive contract than software engineers working at Google.

This contract is among the most batshit pieces of legal drafting I have ever seen. I cannot imagine why the person who drafted it thought it was a good idea, cannot imagine why anyone who was not literally starving would sign it, and cannot imagine where in the country it might actually be legal. Some highlights:

(1) The employee starts out by agreeing that the Jimmy Johns menu and preparation techniques are confidential information. This is really interesting, considering that the menu hangs in plain sight when you walk into any restaurant, and that the employees make the sandwich while you watch.

(2) Also, if you invent a sandwich while working at Jimmy Johns, Jimmy Johns owns the exclusive rights to the sandwich. You cannot own exclusive rights to a sandwich under any sort of intellectual property law.

(3) They then proceed to tell you that you can't work at a sandwich shop within three miles of the place you worked. Or a pita place. Or a place that sells wraps. Or, for that matter, within three miles of another Jimmy Johns. Or at another Jimmy Johns. 

(4) For two years.

(5) And if they have to enforce this contract, you pay the attorney's fees. 

(6) Whether or not they win.

(7) And if none of this is legal, then they get to tell the court to rewrite the contract into something that's enforceable. Not just "something that's enforceable," but the maximum contract that's enforceable.

I cannot imagine that there's a court in the country that wouldn't break down in gales of laughter upon seeing this contract, then rewrite it into basically nothing at all. But the thing that really gets me? For some reason, they didn't draft an arbitration clause. Under one of the worst parts of American contract law, they could have fought this contract into the ground in front of a hand-picked arbitrator over and over again, exempted themselves from class-action lawsuits, and -- in general -- be a huge pain in the ass to their poor employees. 

But they decided not to do that. What the hell?___

2014-10-13 17:19:28 (1 comments, 2 reshares, 14 +1s)Open 

If it's worth reading, it's worth reading charitably.

If it's worth reading, it's worth reading charitably.___

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2014-10-13 16:56:20 (30 comments, 23 reshares, 56 +1s)Open 

I've seen this article making the rounds. It's wrong. It's fractally wrong: the E-Cat does not, and cannot, work by the mechanism its "creator" claims. In order for hydrogen-nickel fusion to happen, the following things would have to be true: 

(1) There would have to be some method of bypassing the Coloumb barrier in order to add protons to nickel's nucleus. But this is actually the easy part! The "quantum tunneling into the nucleus" argument is the least insane part here.

(1a) Unfortunately, that method would have to simply not function at high energy, in order for the observed spectra of supernovas, and the observed difficulty of boron-proton fusion, to be correct.

(2) There would have to be a way for hydrogen-nickel fusion not to produce alpha or beta decays, as it is predicted to do.

(2a) For... more »

I've seen this article making the rounds. It's wrong. It's fractally wrong: the E-Cat does not, and cannot, work by the mechanism its "creator" claims. In order for hydrogen-nickel fusion to happen, the following things would have to be true: 

(1) There would have to be some method of bypassing the Coloumb barrier in order to add protons to nickel's nucleus. But this is actually the easy part! The "quantum tunneling into the nucleus" argument is the least insane part here.

(1a) Unfortunately, that method would have to simply not function at high energy, in order for the observed spectra of supernovas, and the observed difficulty of boron-proton fusion, to be correct.

(2) There would have to be a way for hydrogen-nickel fusion not to produce alpha or beta decays, as it is predicted to do.

(2a) For that matter, there would have to be a way for hydrogen-nickel fusion to produce excess energy at all. As nickel is past the cutoff for energy generation by fusion, we need a new theory to demonstrate why it's outputting energy.

(2b) If transferric elements can, in fact, produce energy through fusion, we need an entirely new theory to demonstrate what causes supernovae. Then we need to explain why the distribution of elemental spectra in the universe is congruent with a physics in which stars do not fuse transferric elements. (In particular, if hydrogen-nickel fusion is possible and energetic, we should see much more copper in the universe than we in fact do.)

(3) We need to throw conservation of energy out the window. The fusion reaction has to produce high-energy photons -- that is, gamma rays -- to conserve energy. The E-cat purportedly does not. 

(3a) Actually, it can't be producing gamma rays, as everyone who observed the device working appears to not be dead of radiation poisoning.

(4) We need to explain the isotopic ratio in the copper product. More particularly, we need to explain why the isotopic ratio in the copper product is identical to the ratio that would be produced by fraud.

We don't have theoretical explanations for any of that. And when we look at the stars, we don't see the universe that we would see if this process actually worked. While it's conceivable that a serial fraud has somehow created some sort of eccentric hydrogen-nickel chemical reaction, there's nothing nuclear going on there: if there were, everything from that laboratory to the stars would be very, very different.___

2014-10-13 16:47:25 (45 comments, 1 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

For most people on the right, I think it's constructive bad faith. It started out as an intentional shot for voter suppression, but it's no longer that.

There's a tendency for people immersed in partisan politics -- even at a very high level -- to start forgetting that they wrote their own propaganda, and start believing it themselves. Especially on the right, which now has a closed media ecosystem, beliefs which started out as cynical grabs for electoral advantage can mill themselves into genuine beliefs about the state of the world.

It's the case that many people on the right believe that voter fraud is a major problem, partially because it's in their interest to believe that, but also because they've been drinking from the same trough they're pissing in.

Question: Why are voter ID laws such a large issue?

I understand their theoretical problem. I understand the problem they are theoretically solving. I understand that neither problem is actually, as far as we know, that big of a problem in practice.

Relatedly, if voter ID requirements are so disenfranchising, why aren't there more efforts to change the requirements for ID at registration time? For places that have ID requirements at registration time, aren't most of the arguments against ID at voting time moot?

If what we want is to get people to vote, wouldn't it be more practical to focus on getting people registered and getting them to the polls?

Note: I am actually against voter ID law but because I consider laws that are not addressing real problems to be generally harmful even if a particular law isn't specifically harmful. ___For most people on the right, I think it's constructive bad faith. It started out as an intentional shot for voter suppression, but it's no longer that.

There's a tendency for people immersed in partisan politics -- even at a very high level -- to start forgetting that they wrote their own propaganda, and start believing it themselves. Especially on the right, which now has a closed media ecosystem, beliefs which started out as cynical grabs for electoral advantage can mill themselves into genuine beliefs about the state of the world.

It's the case that many people on the right believe that voter fraud is a major problem, partially because it's in their interest to believe that, but also because they've been drinking from the same trough they're pissing in.

2014-10-12 06:17:12 (11 comments, 3 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

So, this happened: Nobel Peace Prize nominee Edward Snowden called my friend Jason a "cockfaced spidermonkey." This was, admittedly, while he was trolling Ars Technica and not when he was publishing NSA secrets, but still. 

I am not sure who, eventually, will have to live this down.

So, this happened: Nobel Peace Prize nominee Edward Snowden called my friend Jason a "cockfaced spidermonkey." This was, admittedly, while he was trolling Ars Technica and not when he was publishing NSA secrets, but still. 

I am not sure who, eventually, will have to live this down.___

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2014-10-10 22:56:37 (22 comments, 0 reshares, 17 +1s)Open 

Via someone at Google, a simple mathematical problem:

(1) log(3x + 2) + log(4x – 1) = 2log11

(2) Divide each side of the equation by the word “log”:

(3) (3x + 2) + (4x – 1) = (2)(11)

(4) 7x = 21

(5) x = 3

Tah-dah!  #CromulentMath  

Via someone at Google, a simple mathematical problem:

(1) log(3x + 2) + log(4x – 1) = 2log11

(2) Divide each side of the equation by the word “log”:

(3) (3x + 2) + (4x – 1) = (2)(11)

(4) 7x = 21

(5) x = 3

Tah-dah!  #CromulentMath  ___

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2014-10-10 21:53:32 (17 comments, 2 reshares, 27 +1s)Open 

And gay marriage is legal again.

And gay marriage is legal again.___

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2014-10-10 19:56:38 (12 comments, 0 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

So, I guess I spoke too soon. After denying cert in every other case, I didn't expect that Kennedy would put the kibosh on gay marriage in Idaho. A few theories as to why this happened:

(1) To grant certiorari, four of the nine Justices must vote to take the case. Obviously, as none of the other cases were taken, there were fewer than four votes. Kennedy might have been one of those votes.

(2) It's unlikely, but maybe they'll take this one. The Supreme Court has been punting on gay marriage cases; perhaps this is the one that the Court grants cert to. Going over the record, however, Idaho's case seems both exceptionally weak and exceptionally mean-spirited. It will be difficult to avoid a finding of discriminatory intent when Idaho's argument is that discriminatory intent is permissible.

(3) Perhaps the 9th Circuit overreached. To my... more »

So, I guess I spoke too soon. After denying cert in every other case, I didn't expect that Kennedy would put the kibosh on gay marriage in Idaho. A few theories as to why this happened:

(1) To grant certiorari, four of the nine Justices must vote to take the case. Obviously, as none of the other cases were taken, there were fewer than four votes. Kennedy might have been one of those votes.

(2) It's unlikely, but maybe they'll take this one. The Supreme Court has been punting on gay marriage cases; perhaps this is the one that the Court grants cert to. Going over the record, however, Idaho's case seems both exceptionally weak and exceptionally mean-spirited. It will be difficult to avoid a finding of discriminatory intent when Idaho's argument is that discriminatory intent is permissible.

(3) Perhaps the 9th Circuit overreached. To my knowledge, in all of the other cases where gay marriage bans were struck down, the circuit court used the Romer v. Evans "rational basis plus" test. The 9th Circuit instead applied heightened scrutiny -- a standard that is not well-supported by precedent.

In any case, this is relatively difficult to read. Until this (very sparse) injunction came through, it seemed like gay marriage was on a clear path to being the law nationwide. As it stands, that's much less clear to me. In fact, nothing about this is very clear to me.

We have some interesting weeks ahead.___

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2014-10-09 18:50:20 (6 comments, 7 reshares, 20 +1s)Open 

Slightly disappointing: the fact that Estonia didn't call people who choose to benefit from the program "eEsti."

Slightly disappointing: the fact that Estonia didn't call people who choose to benefit from the program "eEsti."___

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2014-10-07 22:36:24 (3 comments, 1 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

For those of you who are interested in which way Google+ is going, +Dave Besbris (my boss) just had a Q&A with Re/Code about our future. 

There's a lot in the pipeline which I can't talk about (for obvious reasons), but we're very invested in social as a company, and there's a lot more good stuff to come. 

For those of you who are interested in which way Google+ is going, +Dave Besbris (my boss) just had a Q&A with Re/Code about our future. 

There's a lot in the pipeline which I can't talk about (for obvious reasons), but we're very invested in social as a company, and there's a lot more good stuff to come. ___

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2014-10-07 20:35:23 (50 comments, 2 reshares, 49 +1s)Open 

And the dam finally breaks. Gay marriage is now legal in my home state. I doubt there's ever been a punt as consequential as the Supreme Court's failure to take a gay marriage case.

And the dam finally breaks. Gay marriage is now legal in my home state. I doubt there's ever been a punt as consequential as the Supreme Court's failure to take a gay marriage case.___

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2014-10-06 19:51:50 (46 comments, 7 reshares, 39 +1s)Open 

Elsewhere, +Andrew Hunter asks, in essence, "But what if it has mutated -- or will mutate? Shouldn't we think about normal quarantine measures?"

This is a pretty reasonable question: viruses in general, and RNA viruses in particular, mutate very quickly. But not all mutations are equidistant from an organism's present genetic state, and we can make pretty decent predictions about an organism's risk of becoming truly dangerous. 

Fortunately, Ebola is a spectacular disease, but a poor candidate for pandemic infection. It's an extremely environmentally-sensitive virus with a very low rate of mutation, no latent infectious period, and no large animal reservoir. Infection requires exposure to a relatively high quantity of virus. Drying and ultraviolet light kills it very quickly, and half-life of fomites is on the scale of hours, with no viable virus remaininga... more »

Elsewhere, +Andrew Hunter asks, in essence, "But what if it has mutated -- or will mutate? Shouldn't we think about normal quarantine measures?"

This is a pretty reasonable question: viruses in general, and RNA viruses in particular, mutate very quickly. But not all mutations are equidistant from an organism's present genetic state, and we can make pretty decent predictions about an organism's risk of becoming truly dangerous. 

Fortunately, Ebola is a spectacular disease, but a poor candidate for pandemic infection. It's an extremely environmentally-sensitive virus with a very low rate of mutation, no latent infectious period, and no large animal reservoir. Infection requires exposure to a relatively high quantity of virus. Drying and ultraviolet light kills it very quickly, and half-life of fomites is on the scale of hours, with no viable virus remaining after six days. The average Ebola patient will cause slightly fewer than two new cases.

To better compare risk, compare that that to (for instance) Southeast Asian influenza strains toughened by pigs, chickens, and humans living in the same damn building. There's a new strain every year, multiple animal reservoirs, a mutation rate four times greater than Ebola's, and a latent infectious period. With that in mind, it's better to cut off flights to Thailand than to cut off flights to Sierra Leone: there's a reason that no filovirus has produced a truly blockbuster pandemic -- relative to the alternatives, it's too lethal, too delicate, too obvious.

Its symptoms, however, are pretty spectacular, making it a good candidate to be demagogued by people pushing for whichever issue is relevant to them at the given moment.___

2014-10-06 19:00:07 (24 comments, 2 reshares, 44 +1s)Open 

How to resolve this? A police “back door” for all smartphones is undesirable — a back door can and will be exploited by bad guys, too. However, with all their wizardry, perhaps Apple and Google could invent a kind of secure golden key they would retain and use only when a court has approved a search warrant. Ultimately, Congress could act and force the issue, but we’d rather see it resolved in law enforcement collaboration with the manufacturers and in a way that protects all three of the forces at work: technology, privacy and rule of law.

As far as I can tell, the editorial board's conclusion is that a back door is unconstitutional, undesirable, and that Google and Apple should build one as soon as possible. In what universe is a "secure golden key" to every device not precisely the sort of back door that they're complaining about? 

Building one isn'tjust com... more »

How to resolve this? A police “back door” for all smartphones is undesirable — a back door can and will be exploited by bad guys, too. However, with all their wizardry, perhaps Apple and Google could invent a kind of secure golden key they would retain and use only when a court has approved a search warrant. Ultimately, Congress could act and force the issue, but we’d rather see it resolved in law enforcement collaboration with the manufacturers and in a way that protects all three of the forces at work: technology, privacy and rule of law.

As far as I can tell, the editorial board's conclusion is that a back door is unconstitutional, undesirable, and that Google and Apple should build one as soon as possible. In what universe is a "secure golden key" to every device not precisely the sort of back door that they're complaining about? 

Building one isn't just compromise: it's capitulation. Not just to the US government, which -- for the sake of argument -- I will pretend has used its ability to wiretap wisely, but for every other country in the world that would like access to consumers' private data. Assuming the counterfactual that you trust enormous multinational companies like Apple and Google, and that the US government has used its wiretap power wisely, there's no one in the world that trusts Apple, Google, the US, Russia, China, Thailand, Belarus, and Venezuela. All of which have courts, disreputable objectives, and the ability to lawfully threaten large multinational tech companies into turning over the keys.  

It's safer not to have the keys at all. Because as bad as crime committed by individuals is, crime committed by states is immeasurably worse.

Obligatory disclaimer: I work for Google (in privacy) but I'm not speaking for my employer. Nor do I have anything to do with this decision or any particular insider knowledge of why it was made.___

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2014-10-04 00:30:33 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 29 +1s)Open 

Wait, what?

I was not the droid they were looking for.___Wait, what?

2014-10-04 00:05:29 (14 comments, 0 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

For the record: I don't think ISIS is a threat to the US, I doubt it would ever become one; I do think we owe a variety of Iraqis; I have a "we broke it, we bought it" view of Iraqi problems, they can call on us to at least defend their territory; I think a war with ISIS is perfectly cromulent; I think Obama needs Congressional approval; I think Congress lacks the republican virtue to object.

For the record: I don't think ISIS is a threat to the US, I doubt it would ever become one; I do think we owe a variety of Iraqis; I have a "we broke it, we bought it" view of Iraqi problems, they can call on us to at least defend their territory; I think a war with ISIS is perfectly cromulent; I think Obama needs Congressional approval; I think Congress lacks the republican virtue to object.___

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2014-10-02 18:19:44 (10 comments, 5 reshares, 30 +1s)Open 

What the FBI and other law enforcement agencies fail to recognize, or don't care, is that a security hole left for law enforcement is open for illegal aggressors as well.

Encryption is self-defense.

In most countries the state takes the position that a criminal in committing a crime cannot legitimately defend themselves against law enforcement agents. While there is a rough truth to this outlaw notion, it is deeply problematic. But granting it for the moment, the tack most nations have taken is to disempower the capabilities of the average citizen in favor of delegating such defense to state agencies.

While it is a reasonable choice to leave some elements of self protection to the experts, it nevertheless means that nation-states routinely monopolize such a function to the point of prohibiting the means of self defense.

And so we get to encryption.... more »

What the FBI and other law enforcement agencies fail to recognize, or don't care, is that a security hole left for law enforcement is open for illegal aggressors as well.

Encryption is self-defense.

In most countries the state takes the position that a criminal in committing a crime cannot legitimately defend themselves against law enforcement agents. While there is a rough truth to this outlaw notion, it is deeply problematic. But granting it for the moment, the tack most nations have taken is to disempower the capabilities of the average citizen in favor of delegating such defense to state agencies.

While it is a reasonable choice to leave some elements of self protection to the experts, it nevertheless means that nation-states routinely monopolize such a function to the point of prohibiting the means of self defense.

And so we get to encryption. Enforcement agencies have taken the view, largely I suspect because a natural narrowing of perspective related to their job, that all people must be viewed with a certain sort of suspicion. Perhaps not guilty per-se, but requiring monitoring just in case. So it is an obvious step for police to want to restrict something like encryption because it permits aggressors to hide their aggression against other citizens and evade apprehension and punishment.

But enforcement agencies, by asking to disempower the citizenry are, effectively, empowering those with access to the tools and techniques and information asymmetry to make use of the very security gaps the agencies themselves wish to rely on, and to use these to commit aggressive acts.

It is tantamount to saying you may not have a deadbolt because that would require cops to break down the doors of criminals with battering rams. Except cops would never say that because they can easily overpower a deadbolt on a door.

Cops and detectives find and catch child pornographers, thieves, terrorist cells and other such things by a variety of means and these means are still available. These security flaws they demand are a slight help but only to a degree. When Canada attempted to pass "lawful access" regulation police were unable to present a single example where criminals were caught or evaded capture where such broad surveillance would have materially altered the case. Its a false sense of security implemented as a security flaw.

Serious criminals will know when their channels are insecure and secure them by other means (codewords, in person meetings, supplementary encryption, etc.). They have a stronger general incentive to even the information asymmetry with law enforcement. Part of their business is "not getting caught". Average citizens do not have the technical knowhow or instincts to even gauge their risk. Leaving a hole is an invitation to criminals to find it and make use of it. And this is aside from simple privacy concerns of activists, dissidents, or even simply personal conversation or communication which is embarrassing or intimate which someone can use to blackmail or shame or whatever.

As members of a civil society we each need to seriously examine risks and balance them. And I think, on balance, we should be deeply skeptical of any time police directly ask to remove personal protection options. Many with a built in suspicion of the police have already such skepticism, such as minorities disproportionately affected by legal persecution like the drug war, or morality laws, or who are out of the main stream of politics. I hope that recent events encourage the generality of society to increase their skepticism. Perhaps not to cynicism, but past simple assumptions that any request for power by law enforcement is appropriate. I believe we have enough evidence to be suspicious of that claim.

Personally, I don't believe that shiny badges confer special rights. ___

2014-10-01 19:38:40 (14 comments, 0 reshares, 28 +1s)Open 

Administravium: Having now finished a very large work project, I should have more time to actually write. Expect output to increase. 

Administravium: Having now finished a very large work project, I should have more time to actually write. Expect output to increase. ___

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2014-10-01 19:03:30 (5 comments, 28 reshares, 27 +1s)Open 

A couple months ago, I was fortunate enough to hear a very similar talk at Google. Worth listening to in its entirety.

A couple months ago, I was fortunate enough to hear a very similar talk at Google. Worth listening to in its entirety.___

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2014-09-30 16:14:54 (27 comments, 4 reshares, 17 +1s)Open 

Via +Andrew Oplinger, an experiment in training rats as bond traders. From the lab notebook:

The next step was the rats' training. I produced about 800 different ticker tracks of different market situations. Since I did not want to render the whole story too complicated, I only used the USD/EUR future to turn the rats into experts in this specific market segment: other rats though may be educated in other markets as well. The training took about three months. I started with 80 Sprague Dawley laboratory rats, 40 males and 40 females, with the intention to cross the best of them to genetically create the best traders through select breeding. The training environment was a so called Skinner Box, widely used in experiments and industry for behavioral experiments with animals. The rats were separately trained for five hours daily (thanks to Anna, Gerda, and Dirk who did a great job in the past... more »

Via +Andrew Oplinger, an experiment in training rats as bond traders. From the lab notebook:

The next step was the rats' training. I produced about 800 different ticker tracks of different market situations. Since I did not want to render the whole story too complicated, I only used the USD/EUR future to turn the rats into experts in this specific market segment: other rats though may be educated in other markets as well. The training took about three months. I started with 80 Sprague Dawley laboratory rats, 40 males and 40 females, with the intention to cross the best of them to genetically create the best traders through select breeding. The training environment was a so called Skinner Box, widely used in experiments and industry for behavioral experiments with animals. The rats were separately trained for five hours daily (thanks to Anna, Gerda, and Dirk who did a great job in the past months).

Every day the rats were confronted with 100 different ticker tracks; the goal was making them seek out sound-patterns that humans are not able to recognize and predicting the next market move after the last sound heard. ( I am currently working on a website enlisting human training programs as well).  Each time after listening to a sound, the rat had to choose between pressing either a green or a red button, green for "long" (if the prices were expected to move up), red  for "short" (if they predicted a decline in prices). When they were right they received a small amount of food (the good rats became fat very fast); when they took the wrong button, they received a minor electric shock. Very soon it showed that some rats were doing outstandingly well: they developed a good ability to remember the patterns they were listening to; we needed them to react to real time data.___

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2014-09-30 15:49:38 (4 comments, 6 reshares, 58 +1s)Open 

Basically everything Don Hertzfeldt does is amazing. This included.

Basically everything Don Hertzfeldt does is amazing. This included.___

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2014-09-29 20:58:15 (14 comments, 9 reshares, 35 +1s)Open 

TL;DR: There's a large, international Islamist-mercenary soup, which sloshes around among majority-Muslim conflict zones, sometimes at the scale of units, sometimes at the scale of individuals. Before we began bombing in Syria, there was the al-Nusra front. 

The al-Nusra Front has a substantial personnel overlap with al-Qaida in Iraq, which we were at war with. So is that al-Qaida? Well, no. It took the name, but it had no overlapping personnel or management with the Afghan-centered group which orchestrated  9/11. 

So why don't we call it AQI? Or, for that matter, al-Nusra Front? Why "Khorasan Group?"

Because, confusingly, some of our Islamist allies in Syria are allied with al-Nusra / AQI against Syria and Iran, whom we are allied with against ISIS. Which means that we cannot be terribly overt about bombing our friends' friends'. Whichme... more »

TL;DR: There's a large, international Islamist-mercenary soup, which sloshes around among majority-Muslim conflict zones, sometimes at the scale of units, sometimes at the scale of individuals. Before we began bombing in Syria, there was the al-Nusra front. 

The al-Nusra Front has a substantial personnel overlap with al-Qaida in Iraq, which we were at war with. So is that al-Qaida? Well, no. It took the name, but it had no overlapping personnel or management with the Afghan-centered group which orchestrated  9/11. 

So why don't we call it AQI? Or, for that matter, al-Nusra Front? Why "Khorasan Group?"

Because, confusingly, some of our Islamist allies in Syria are allied with al-Nusra / AQI against Syria and Iran, whom we are allied with against ISIS. Which means that we cannot be terribly overt about bombing our friends' friends'. Which means that we have to come up with a new name for our enemies to make our allies uncertain about whether our enemies are the same people as their allies.

If this raises the question, "What the hell are we doing?", then -- yes -- you are paying attention.___

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2014-09-29 19:19:45 (41 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

Does the union worker generate twice the marginal value of a non-union worker? Have CEO's become insanely more productive in the last 30 years? Do janitors for financial firms produce substantially more value than janitors at restaurants?

My answers are:

Yes, yes, and heck yes.

In short, [CITATION NEEDED]. 

But let's look more closely at two of the claims here. The claim is not that a CEO or janitor is much more productive than the workers which are being paid less. The claim is that there is more at stake in the high-paid case than in the low-paid case. In other words, we're talking about the risk of loss rather than net-positive productivity as it's conventionally understood.

The CEO is being paid not to tank the stock, which is not really a "widgets per hour" sort of thing. The janitor, similarly, is being paid not to tank... more »

Does the union worker generate twice the marginal value of a non-union worker? Have CEO's become insanely more productive in the last 30 years? Do janitors for financial firms produce substantially more value than janitors at restaurants?

My answers are:

Yes, yes, and heck yes.

In short, [CITATION NEEDED]. 

But let's look more closely at two of the claims here. The claim is not that a CEO or janitor is much more productive than the workers which are being paid less. The claim is that there is more at stake in the high-paid case than in the low-paid case. In other words, we're talking about the risk of loss rather than net-positive productivity as it's conventionally understood.

The CEO is being paid not to tank the stock, which is not really a "widgets per hour" sort of thing. The janitor, similarly, is being paid not to tank a million-dollar deal by letting an overflowing toilet go past. This isn't the sort of thing that people usually consider an ethical warrant for higher pay -- and it's the sort of thing that can be shifted around by policy, completely independent of the worker's own behavior.

Institute a stock freeze for 60 days after a CEO leaves? Day-to-day effects of CEO departure decline, and according to Sumner, CEO pay declines. Make it illegal for non-employees to use the toilets at financial firms? The risk mitigated by the janitor declines, and according to Sumner, janitor pay at financial firms decline.

If we still believe Sumner's thesis, then this really isn't "productivity" as conventionally described. If we don't, then Sumner is wrong, Adam Smith is right, and wages are determined at least in part by irrational forces, entirely outside the market. ___

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2014-09-25 19:44:00 (26 comments, 1 reshares, 20 +1s)Open 

Presidents have plenty of business respecting the men and women in uniform.

They have no business behaving like soldiers. None whatsoever. When they do, it blurs the line between military service and civilian government. When the President orders soldiers into harm's way, he doesn't suffer the consequences, and shouldn't pretend that he does. He doesn't take on the obligations of the uniform when he takes his civilian office.

The President has a moral obligation to respect the people whom he might send to their deaths, both individually and in the aggregate. He has to own the consequences of his actions. He has to be a good steward of the lives of citizens who entrust their lives to our leaders, whomever they might be, however incompetent they may be. He not only has to be personally polite, but pay attention -- personal attention -- to the citizens whose lives are... more »

Presidents have plenty of business respecting the men and women in uniform.

They have no business behaving like soldiers. None whatsoever. When they do, it blurs the line between military service and civilian government. When the President orders soldiers into harm's way, he doesn't suffer the consequences, and shouldn't pretend that he does. He doesn't take on the obligations of the uniform when he takes his civilian office.

The President has a moral obligation to respect the people whom he might send to their deaths, both individually and in the aggregate. He has to own the consequences of his actions. He has to be a good steward of the lives of citizens who entrust their lives to our leaders, whomever they might be, however incompetent they may be. He not only has to be personally polite, but pay attention -- personal attention -- to the citizens whose lives are contingent on good presidential and congressional judgment.

That moral obligation isn't determined by regulation. It's not a matter of military protocol. Before the 1980s, we understood that there was a sharp distinction between the citizens who risked their lives for the rest of us, and the citizens with the responsibility of balancing their lives against ours. We no longer do.

This gives politicians the ability to hide behind the flag while wasting military lives, and it gives the military the ability to assert its interests against the civilian government. Neither is healthy in a democracy.___

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2014-09-25 17:52:35 (3 comments, 2 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

At some point this tactic becomes absurd.

At some point this tactic becomes absurd.___

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2014-09-24 05:52:11 (19 comments, 1 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

Dear media,

In future, before you run a week's worth of articles on an anonymous website making threats, check to see what it's co-hosted with. In this case, you wouldn't have to use anything much more sophisticated than traceroute to determine that it's a hoax.

Sincerely,
Andy

P.S. I can't really think of anything much fucking scummier than what rantic did here. 

Dear media,

In future, before you run a week's worth of articles on an anonymous website making threats, check to see what it's co-hosted with. In this case, you wouldn't have to use anything much more sophisticated than traceroute to determine that it's a hoax.

Sincerely,
Andy

P.S. I can't really think of anything much fucking scummier than what rantic did here. ___

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2014-09-23 23:41:59 (87 comments, 10 reshares, 39 +1s)Open 

Corporations are People Too, My Friend

Prior to today, I had always assumed that there was some general legal principle stating that corporations -- which are frequently convicted of crimes -- could not be sentenced to imprisonment. As it turns out, this is not actually the case. It is extraordinarily infrequent, but corporations can, in fact, be imprisoned. 

From U.S. v. Allegheny Bottling Co.:

The Lord Chancellor of England said some two hundred years ago, "Did you ever expect a corporation to have a conscience, when it has no soul to be damned, and no body to be kicked?"1 Two hundred years have passed since the Lord Chancellor espoused this view, and the whole era of what is and is not permitted or what is or is not prohibited, has changed both in design and in application. Certainly, this Court does not expect a corporation to have a conscience, but it... more »

Corporations are People Too, My Friend

Prior to today, I had always assumed that there was some general legal principle stating that corporations -- which are frequently convicted of crimes -- could not be sentenced to imprisonment. As it turns out, this is not actually the case. It is extraordinarily infrequent, but corporations can, in fact, be imprisoned. 

From U.S. v. Allegheny Bottling Co.:

The Lord Chancellor of England said some two hundred years ago, "Did you ever expect a corporation to have a conscience, when it has no soul to be damned, and no body to be kicked?"1 Two hundred years have passed since the Lord Chancellor espoused this view, and the whole era of what is and is not permitted or what is or is not prohibited, has changed both in design and in application. Certainly, this Court does not expect a corporation to have a conscience, but it does expect it to be ethical and abide by the law. This Court will deal with this company no less severely than it will deal with any individual who similarly disregards the law. [...]

For the reasons stated, Allegheny Bottling Company is sentenced to three (3) years imprisonment and a fine of One Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00). Execution of the sentence of imprisonment is suspended and all but $950,000.00 of said fine is suspended, and the defendant is placed on probation for a period of three (3) years.

The sentence, if triggered, would have required the transfer of all physical assets of the Allegheny Bottling Company to the government for three years, and the shuttering of all of its facility, after which point they would be released to the corporation's owners.

Not practical. Perhaps unlikely to be upheld. Still neat. ___

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2014-09-23 19:47:51 (17 comments, 5 reshares, 24 +1s)Open 

In other news, there's plenty of reason to believe that the Home Depot security breach was committed by its own head of network security: as late as 2008, while putatively working as a white hat, he appears to have been the author of  Trj/Rickdogg, which was fairly widespread in 2008.

That's ten years after he was expelled for infecting his high school's computers with keyloggers, and four years before sabotaged his last  employer's network. 

In other news, there's plenty of reason to believe that the Home Depot security breach was committed by its own head of network security: as late as 2008, while putatively working as a white hat, he appears to have been the author of  Trj/Rickdogg, which was fairly widespread in 2008.

That's ten years after he was expelled for infecting his high school's computers with keyloggers, and four years before sabotaged his last  employer's network. ___

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2014-09-23 16:29:23 (6 comments, 6 reshares, 37 +1s)Open 

It's "It's Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers" season, motherfuckers.

It's "It's Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers" season, motherfuckers.___

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2014-09-22 20:14:37 (7 comments, 6 reshares, 70 +1s)Open 

How to turn a plastic fork into a metal fork.

How to turn a plastic fork into a metal fork.___

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2014-09-22 20:14:08 (28 comments, 4 reshares, 28 +1s)Open 

How Not to Do Science: A Guide

This Roundup study which claims that glyphosate is responsible for  gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease?  It's utter nonsense.

(1) First off, a niggling little point. Google "exogenous semiotic entropy." It's what the study claims that Roundup sensitivity is a "textbook example" of. That isn't a thing that actually exists. In fact, no textbook provides an example of that, because its only occurrence in the English-language corpus is in this paper.

Its inclusion, however, is not surprising, because: 

(2) Entropy  is not a peer-reviewed journal, and this is not a medical journal. It's an open-access information-theory journal. Including the throwaway reference to "exogenoussemio... more »

How Not to Do Science: A Guide

This Roundup study which claims that glyphosate is responsible for  gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease?  It's utter nonsense.

(1) First off, a niggling little point. Google "exogenous semiotic entropy." It's what the study claims that Roundup sensitivity is a "textbook example" of. That isn't a thing that actually exists. In fact, no textbook provides an example of that, because its only occurrence in the English-language corpus is in this paper.

Its inclusion, however, is not surprising, because: 

(2) Entropy  is not a peer-reviewed journal, and this is not a medical journal. It's an open-access information-theory journal. Including the throwaway reference to "exogenous semiotic entropy" (whatever that is) allows the authors to slip it into a journal with clearly irrelevant subject matter, and to avoid comment by people who actually know what they're talking about.

But why an information theory journal? Simple:

(3) Neither of the authors are medical professionals or biochemists. One is a computer scientist and mathematician. The other is an environmental engineer who primarily works as an expert witness. Neither have any professional experience working in this area.

That doesn't mean they don't know what they're talking about. It's just that there's no independent reason to believe they know what they're talking about. 

(4) So, what about the quality of their work? Unsurprisingly, as neither author has access to the sort of laboratory where one might do experimental work on this topic, no experimental work was done. It's a hypothesis dressed up as a research paper, without any independent work done to prove it. 

This, itself, does not demonstrate that it's wrong. Survey papers and meta-analyses have a long history in science, and they often prove something interesting that the underlying papers do not.

(5) So let's look at the science. The hypothesis here is that glyphosate, an amino-acid analogue, causes disease by binding CYP450 enzymes and damaging the gut microbiome. This is, initially, plausible: glyphosate binds to CYP450 enzymes, and also blocks an aromatic amino acid synthesis pathway which is present in plants, fungi, and most microbes, but absent in multicellular animals. 

So far, so good.

Here's where you first run into problems: CYP450 enzymes are a general-purpose molecular garbage-collection system. They're designed to bind to chemicals which would be biochemically dangerous or disruptive. Most drugs, for instance, are metabolized by the CYP450 system, as are most of the dangerous compounds found in food. CYP450 is (for instance) the reason you can eat blue cheese without having seizures and renal failure. 

In other words, binding CYP450 is evidence that glyphosate has no legitimate metabolic function. Which is true. It is not, however, evidence that it's doing any harm: we produce huge volumes of these enzymes, and present them in our gut wall. Which is where we run into the second set of problems.

Particularly, that we present CYP450 in our gut wall. When we ingest glyphosate, it is continuously degraded by the garbage-collection system in our gut. In short, we can have one problem or the other, but not (in general) both: if glyphosate is binding CYP450 and degrading the quality of our garbage-collection, it is substantially cleaned up by the time it reaches the small intestine, which is host to much of our gut flora. If glyphosate is reaching our small intestine intact, it isn't binding much CYP450. 

But let's say we're eating large quantities of glyphosate, and it's overcoming our garbage collection. Do we still have a problem?

Probably not, no.

The microbicidal effects of glyphosate are well-documented: it inhibits bacterial growth and kills fungi dead. But it's also strongly bound by polar colloids like those that occur in soil. In vitro, glyphosate is strongly microbicidal. In vivo, not so much: once glyphosate starts getting bound up by clay particles or organic colloids, then it stops killing bacteria.

Your gut is full of organic colloids. There's been some evidence that there are effects on chicken gut microbiomes, but (a) chickens eat directly out of weed patches, and (b) our guts are much longer, meaning that you get more glyphosate exposure to CYP450s. 

In other words, it is a perfectly good hypothesis ruined only by the fact that it does not appear to be true. 

(6) So, then, is Roundup awesome? 

No. Are you kidding me? That shit kills plants. It kills rare plants, it kills common plants, and it kills soil bacteria. It encourages monoculture. There are plenty of problems with Roundup. Roundup killing humans is not one of those things.___

2014-09-18 20:38:43 (25 comments, 2 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

Because Reasons*, I have found myself in need of a good list of MRA blogs.  Relatively moderate if possible.

I started out by finding the ones I found most objectionable. That's easy. However, I soon  realized that if I were presented with the task of providing a list of feminist blogs with a basically symmetrical -but-opposite knowledge of the subject, I would be hate-reading things  like I Blame the Patriarchy and Shakesville, both of which I dislike even as a self-identified feminist. I would, in other words, turn up things I would consider  strawmen.

Can anyone offer me better suggestions? You can send them in private post if you'd prefer not to out yourself.

(1) These are not the reasons you'd expect.

Because Reasons*, I have found myself in need of a good list of MRA blogs.  Relatively moderate if possible.

I started out by finding the ones I found most objectionable. That's easy. However, I soon  realized that if I were presented with the task of providing a list of feminist blogs with a basically symmetrical -but-opposite knowledge of the subject, I would be hate-reading things  like I Blame the Patriarchy and Shakesville, both of which I dislike even as a self-identified feminist. I would, in other words, turn up things I would consider  strawmen.

Can anyone offer me better suggestions? You can send them in private post if you'd prefer not to out yourself.

(1) These are not the reasons you'd expect.___

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2014-09-18 20:29:06 (15 comments, 4 reshares, 27 +1s)Open 

I keep banging this drum, but the media never listens: this decision is not at all what it sounds like.

In the course of a lawsuit, the defendant has three opportunities to win. Early on in the case -- before evidence is collected -- the defendant can file a motion to dismiss. The most common basis for such a motion is that even if the plaintiff's claims are true, the defendant's conduct was legal. In the middle phase of the lawsuit, after preliminary motions up to the end of discovery, the defendant can file a motion for summary judgment, claiming that no reasonable finder of fact would decide for the plaintiff. Finally, the defendant can win at trial.

This makes motions to dismiss ugly from a public relations perspective: you have to explain why, even if true, the complaint isn't valid. This leads to outcomes like this, where judges explain that unconscionable conduct... more »

I keep banging this drum, but the media never listens: this decision is not at all what it sounds like.

In the course of a lawsuit, the defendant has three opportunities to win. Early on in the case -- before evidence is collected -- the defendant can file a motion to dismiss. The most common basis for such a motion is that even if the plaintiff's claims are true, the defendant's conduct was legal. In the middle phase of the lawsuit, after preliminary motions up to the end of discovery, the defendant can file a motion for summary judgment, claiming that no reasonable finder of fact would decide for the plaintiff. Finally, the defendant can win at trial.

This makes motions to dismiss ugly from a public relations perspective: you have to explain why, even if true, the complaint isn't valid. This leads to outcomes like this, where judges explain that unconscionable conduct (like manipulating ratings) is perfectly legal. But there is essentially no alternative: if we expected companies to admit the illegality of unconscionable behavior, we'd be creating a huge volume of entirely judge-made law and ceding all borderline cases to the most expansive interpretation. 

The legal system can't work like that. And we shouldn't expect it to.___

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2014-09-18 17:04:47 (7 comments, 1 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

On a similar note, another character I've run.

(Thanks, as always, to +Jacob Howell.)

On a similar note, another character I've run.

(Thanks, as always, to +Jacob Howell.)___

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2014-09-17 19:14:39 (3 comments, 1 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

Our most popular animal resident turns 19 today!

Our most popular animal resident turns 19 today!___

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2014-09-17 18:47:41 (30 comments, 8 reshares, 41 +1s)Open 

Exactly this. For a variety of reasons related and unrelated to actual crime-fighting policy, the incidence of most crimes in America have dropped by ~50%.

This is true both of the crimes worried about by the right (robbery, random murder, drug crime) and the crimes worried about by the left (rape, domestic violence, hate crimes.) And yet the rhetoric surrounding crime in America has hardly changed at all. 

It's genuinely baffling.

(Via +Michael Chui.)

Exactly this. For a variety of reasons related and unrelated to actual crime-fighting policy, the incidence of most crimes in America have dropped by ~50%.

This is true both of the crimes worried about by the right (robbery, random murder, drug crime) and the crimes worried about by the left (rape, domestic violence, hate crimes.) And yet the rhetoric surrounding crime in America has hardly changed at all. 

It's genuinely baffling.

(Via +Michael Chui.)___

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2014-09-13 21:05:13 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 27 +1s)Open 

___

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2014-09-10 20:32:48 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 20 +1s)Open 

My Planescape character, Inspector X. Thanks to +Jacob Howell.

My Planescape character, Inspector X. Thanks to +Jacob Howell.___

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2014-09-10 19:00:44 (20 comments, 2 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

Via +Michael K Pate, a somewhat bizarre article by Jeff Goldberg. I want to focus on one sentence: "Chaos and collapse in the Middle East cannot be solely, or even (perhaps) mainly, attributed to the mistaken or ill-conceived ideas, goals, speeches, and strategies of American presidents"

Across the political spectrum, from Jacobin to the National Review, American authors assume that the United States is an unmoved mover in world affairs. The assumption of presidential omnipotence is so strong that even when rejecting the idea, the writer must deprecate the idea of substantial foreign autonomy. This is utterly baffling to me: while we caused (in some broad sense) the present instability in Iraq and the present government in Iran, the story of Syrian resistance and the Iranian nuclear program would be essentially the same had we closed our borders and maintained strict neutrality since... more »

Via +Michael K Pate, a somewhat bizarre article by Jeff Goldberg. I want to focus on one sentence: "Chaos and collapse in the Middle East cannot be solely, or even (perhaps) mainly, attributed to the mistaken or ill-conceived ideas, goals, speeches, and strategies of American presidents"

Across the political spectrum, from Jacobin to the National Review, American authors assume that the United States is an unmoved mover in world affairs. The assumption of presidential omnipotence is so strong that even when rejecting the idea, the writer must deprecate the idea of substantial foreign autonomy. This is utterly baffling to me: while we caused (in some broad sense) the present instability in Iraq and the present government in Iran, the story of Syrian resistance and the Iranian nuclear program would be essentially the same had we closed our borders and maintained strict neutrality since the early 1980s.___

2014-09-09 19:53:58 (5 comments, 1 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

If Alice wants to send email to Bob without anyone else, not an eavesdropper like the NSA, not an email provider like Google, no one else seeing that email, she needs to use end-to-end crypto. She'll use a particular key that Bob has to encrypt her email, so that no one else can decrypt it. This is way, way harder than it sounds.

First off, how does Alice actually get Bob's key? She could just hand it to him for later use, WWII-crypto-style, but actually going places is so passe (not to mention wildly inconvenient) and doesn't scale.

The way the internet as a whole solves this is to trust a bunch of companies called Certificate Authorities to sign certificates saying things like cryptographic key GARBAGEMUMBLE belongs to www.bob.com. This is how browsers know to show the little lock icon when you're using SSL -- they check the key against the domain... more »

If Alice wants to send email to Bob without anyone else, not an eavesdropper like the NSA, not an email provider like Google, no one else seeing that email, she needs to use end-to-end crypto. She'll use a particular key that Bob has to encrypt her email, so that no one else can decrypt it. This is way, way harder than it sounds.

First off, how does Alice actually get Bob's key? She could just hand it to him for later use, WWII-crypto-style, but actually going places is so passe (not to mention wildly inconvenient) and doesn't scale.

The way the internet as a whole solves this is to trust a bunch of companies called Certificate Authorities to sign certificates saying things like cryptographic key GARBAGEMUMBLE belongs to www.bob.com. This is how browsers know to show the little lock icon when you're using SSL -- they check the key against the domain name in the URL. This works exactly as well as you'd expect for a global system that underlies a huge amount of commerce: quite well most of the time, but every so often a security hole or someone making a terrible mistake (often at the behest of a government like Iran) lets someone subvert the system.[1]

Some people avoid this by signing each others' keys in a complicated dance called a web of trust. It's also vulnerable to subversion, but mostly it's complicated, which makes it extremely hard to secure in practice[2]. Seriously, read the directions[3]. It's the best alternative we (currently) have, though. (Gmail even supports it, which makes it a lot easier to use.[4])

There's another problem. What if Alice is a spammer? Mike Hern wrote a fascinating history of the Spam Wars and speculates how it would be different in a world of end-to-end crypto.

Personal stance: I find end-to-end crypto to be really interesting but extremely difficult to make work in the real world. My PhD thesis is even on a corner of this problem. Hard problems are the best problems. ;)

[1] One example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DigiNotar
[2] http://utcc.utoronto.ca/~cks/space/blog/tech/WebOfTrustFailure
[3] http://cryptnet.net/fdp/crypto/keysigning_party/en/keysigning_party.html
[4] http://googleonlinesecurity.blogspot.com/2014/06/making-end-to-end-encryption-easier-to.html___

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2014-09-09 19:26:04 (30 comments, 3 reshares, 35 +1s)Open 

The choice between our historical allies in the Middle East and unfreezing US-Iranian relations is not as stark as it seems. Consider the position we're in:

On the Sunni side, you have two basketcase monarchies whose largely-independent royals are given free reign to run their own foreign policies. This notably includes "giving money and materiel to terrorists, radical Sunni militias, and Hamas." The money we pay out in military subsidies doesn't -- and cannot -- buy better alignment with American foreign policy goals.

On the Shi'a side, you have a democracy -- a profoundly illiberal one, but a democracy nonetheless -- which has historically been the guarantor of minority rights in adjacent countries, and whose support is necessary to reign in Shi'a chauvinism in Iraq. Sunni radicalism gives it as much (or more) reason to worry as it does us. Unfortunately, it... more »

The choice between our historical allies in the Middle East and unfreezing US-Iranian relations is not as stark as it seems. Consider the position we're in:

On the Sunni side, you have two basketcase monarchies whose largely-independent royals are given free reign to run their own foreign policies. This notably includes "giving money and materiel to terrorists, radical Sunni militias, and Hamas." The money we pay out in military subsidies doesn't -- and cannot -- buy better alignment with American foreign policy goals.

On the Shi'a side, you have a democracy -- a profoundly illiberal one, but a democracy nonetheless -- which has historically been the guarantor of minority rights in adjacent countries, and whose support is necessary to reign in Shi'a chauvinism in Iraq. Sunni radicalism gives it as much (or more) reason to worry as it does us. Unfortunately, it also has an active nuclear program, and underwrites Hezbollah and the Assads.

This dilemma would be pretty much irrelevant if Iran were unable or unwilling to cooperate. But that's not the case, either.

Immediately after 9/11, the Iranian government reached out to the United States with an offer of assistance. And they followed through: while US forces moved in largely from the north, Iranian special forces and Northern Alliance militiamen moved in from the east, securing most of the Farsi and Dari-speaking regions of Afghanistan. After US and Afghan troops moved in, they retreated back to Iran -- and since that point, they've been relatively quiet, except insofar as they've meddled to secure (majority-Shi'a) Hazara areas of the country against Pashtun interference. 

What fucked that up? In short, we did. Cheney's incessant (and intemperate) saber-rattling against Iran, in conjunction with the nonsensical Axis-of-Evil speech and the Iraq war, returned US-Iranian relations to the pre-9/11 status quo. It's only recently that they've gotten back to the point where they were after 9/11. 

There are still major points of contention -- primarily around Syria, Israel, and Iran's nuclear program -- but there's absolutely no reason to reject cooperation on the large number of regional issues where US and Iranian interests are deeply aligned. ___

2014-09-04 19:52:58 (52 comments, 1 reshares, 20 +1s)Open 

Hurray! Russia has come up with a seven-point plan to "broker" "peace" with the "Ukrainian" "rebels."  Unsurprisingly, the plan amounts to capitulation and cession of the territory to Russo-Ukrainians, details to be determined later.

Hurray! Russia has come up with a seven-point plan to "broker" "peace" with the "Ukrainian" "rebels."  Unsurprisingly, the plan amounts to capitulation and cession of the territory to Russo-Ukrainians, details to be determined later.___

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2014-09-03 22:30:53 (26 comments, 4 reshares, 37 +1s)Open 

Here, +Emily Bazelon suggests that we get rid of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. 

Revenge porn is a huge problem. Fixing the problem this way is a terrible idea. Here's why:

Section 230 of the CDA does something extraordinarily simple: protects intermediaries from publication liability. If you didn't write it, and didn't exercise editorial discretion, then you're not responsible for it if it shows up on your site. That's how (for instance) Google can provide you with search results or cached pages without screening absolutely everything it touches for defamation. That's how bulletin boards and chat rooms or Facebook can take in user-generated content without certifying it as defamation-free. 

The process necessary to screen everything for liability risk would be extraordinarily intrusive -- and the necessity of human discretionwou... more »

Here, +Emily Bazelon suggests that we get rid of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. 

Revenge porn is a huge problem. Fixing the problem this way is a terrible idea. Here's why:

Section 230 of the CDA does something extraordinarily simple: protects intermediaries from publication liability. If you didn't write it, and didn't exercise editorial discretion, then you're not responsible for it if it shows up on your site. That's how (for instance) Google can provide you with search results or cached pages without screening absolutely everything it touches for defamation. That's how bulletin boards and chat rooms or Facebook can take in user-generated content without certifying it as defamation-free. 

The process necessary to screen everything for liability risk would be extraordinarily intrusive -- and the necessity of human discretion would mean that actual people would be picking through private content. No one can do that at the necessary scale, and even if it were possible, we wouldn't want it done. 

But there are two quick fixes that could address the problem without requiring an intrusive human inspection regime:

(1) As of today, we exempt all intermediaries from publication liability, including those intermediaries which exist explicitly for the purpose of publishing defamatory material or revenge pornography. The necessary carve-out would be relatively small: if you're explicitly soliciting the sort of thing which would be illegal to publish, then you're vicariously liable when it's published. That means that Reddit or 4Chan (both of which have forums explicitly soliciting this) would have to takedown or litigate, but larger, more neutral forums with incidental exposure could shovel off the liability on the people responsible. 

(2) Detecting important-to-scrub photos is a solved problem. For instance, NCVIP maintains a database of known child pornography hashes. Maintaining and providing a similar canonical database of revenge porn and leaked-nude photo hashes would provide a simple and relatively non-intrusive way of programmatically scrubbing leaked images without exercising human discretion. 

There's no way to solve the problem for everyone, and there's no way to solve the problem infallibly. But there is a better way to combat this sort of abuse (and prevent it from scaling so terribly) without paying the  unreasonable privacy cost suggested here. ___

2014-09-03 19:42:32 (20 comments, 4 reshares, 20 +1s)Open 

With enough time and effort, a single vulnerability like the Find My Phone bug can open up huge quantities of private user data to access by hostile governments, stalkers, and 4Chan -- and as careful as large tech companies are about design, we can't absolutely insure ourselves against zero-day bugs.

It would be pretty tacky to give away U2F keys in Oscar gift bags, but anyone at risk needs to move away away from a password-only authentication model. These little keys make two-factor authentication much, much easier: when I'm at work, I just enter my password, touch the key, and do whatever what I was going to do before. 

It's as simple as it should be.

With enough time and effort, a single vulnerability like the Find My Phone bug can open up huge quantities of private user data to access by hostile governments, stalkers, and 4Chan -- and as careful as large tech companies are about design, we can't absolutely insure ourselves against zero-day bugs.

It would be pretty tacky to give away U2F keys in Oscar gift bags, but anyone at risk needs to move away away from a password-only authentication model. These little keys make two-factor authentication much, much easier: when I'm at work, I just enter my password, touch the key, and do whatever what I was going to do before. 

It's as simple as it should be.___

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