Alien: Containment

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Brand Necrophilia, part 7

Today I learned that Netscape is owned by Facebook.

AOL renamed the Netscape Communications Corporation to New Aurora Corporation, and transferred the Netscape brand to themselves. AOL sold the former Netscape company, now known as New Aurora Corporation, to Microsoft, who in turn sold them again to Facebook. The former Netscape company is currently a non-operating subsidiary of Facebook, still known as New Aurora Corporation. The Netscape brand remained with AOL.

That makes Facebook the current owner of the cookie patent, so I was hoping that this meant that they are now embroiled in the Forever War with ValueClick, but I now see that it was settled in 2010. Bummer!

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Font Archaeology

Raster CRT Typography (According to DEC)

The time it takes for the phosphor to become fully activated is actually longer than the pulse representing the timing to draw a single pixel (40 nanoseconds). Meaning, if we were to attempt to display just a single pixel, the phosphor on this particular spot will never reach its full activation level resulting in a fuzzy image of varying brightnesses between dimmer, thin strokes and heavier, thick strokes. So the typography has to adjust for this, by streching the pulses to double width (80 ns), at least, in order to provide an even image and legible text and to work around the shallow flanks of the screen intensification. [...]

To provide for this, the VT-terminals employ a special technique, called dot stretching: The individual rows of a character matrix as in ROM are modified on-the-fly by prolonging any pulses for an active pixel for yet another pixel. Where there's a single pixel in ROM, there will be two on the screen, where there are two in a row, there will be three displayed. (This is equivalent to OR-ing a word with itself by an offset of one pixel or bit to the right.)

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Ducking autocomplete

Dear Lazyweb, can anyone tell me how to make my Mac stop doing this incredibly unhelpful thing that it just started doing a couple of days ago? There is no "Learn spelling" menu item. Attempting the obvious thing in Preferences / Keyboard / Text says "The original text cannot contain spaces". Note that I am not asking "how do I turn off autocorrect".

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Scenes from England's growing magician problem

Iron-age death cult's botched ritual burns its logo into 73 children's faces:

Dozens of pupils were left with burns after "toxic" ash crosses were daubed on to their foreheads for Ash Wednesday at a Catholic school.

First aiders had to treat students and staff at St Augustine's High School in Redditch, Worcestershire, after they reported feeling a burning sensation caused by the ash smudged on their temples by a priest and two sixth-formers at a Lent assembly on Wednesday.

The school said it was dismayed by the incident, which affected 73 students, 16 teachers and the chairman of the governors, all of whom were advised to seek further medical attention.

At least two children were understood to have visited a hospital after the assembly.

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International Docking Standard dot com

If Apple were involved in this, the connector would have been completely different every 18 months, and each spacecraft would now come with a stack of dongles.

7. With this standard can anyone now dock to the ISS?

Building to this docking standard ensures compatibility and enables a spacecraft using it to dock to the planned ISS compatible docking ports. A non-ISS partner space agency would need approval of the ISS Multilateral Coordination Board before docking to the ISS and the appropriate international agreements would also need to be put in place prior to the aforementioned docking.

"Life support is not supported with this accessory. Please contact your manufacturer."

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Devin Nunes Sues Cow

Devin Nunes is suing Twitter and the accounts @DevinNunesMom and @DevinCow (Devin Nunes' Cow) for $250M.

That's right: "Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, is suing Twitter because a fake cow was mean to him on the internet ... He's also suing the fake cow." [...]

USA Today's DC Justice and Investigations Editor Brad Heath tweeted out the filing in a series of progressively weirder -- and unintentionally hilarious -- screencaps, saying: "Nunes thinks various dairy puns were defamatory. So perhaps we'll get some interesting case law about how literally a reasonable reader would construe tweets from an account purporting to belong to a cow."

The screencaps are now how I, and many other people not only found out about the accounts, but also that Nunes is suing someone for calling him "herp-face" online.

Every human with working eyes immediately found this example of alleged injury in Nunes's filing ... which was an image tweeted out by "Devin Nunes' Mom" depicting a human centipede diagram of Putin, Trump, and Nunes. In that order. New GOP logo? What's about Devin Nunes' Grapes or Devin Nunes' Farm? I have so many questions.

Nunes went on to catalogue the falsehoods and defamations tweeted by the Devin Nunes' Mom account:

Devin Nunes' Mom stated that Nunes had turned out worse than Jacob Wohl; falsely accused Nunes of being a racist, having "white supremist friends" and distributing "disturbing inflammatory racial propaganda"; falsely accused Nunes of putting up a "Fake News MAGA" sign outside a Texas Holocaust museum; falsely stated that Nunes would probably join the "Proud Boys", "if it weren't for that unfortunate 'no masturbating' rule"; disparagingly called him a "presidential fluffer and swamp rat"; falsely stated that Nunes had brought "shame" to his family; repeatedly accused Nunes of the crime of treason, compared him to Benedict Arnold, and called him a "traitor", "treasonous shitbag", a "treasonous Putin shill", working for the "Kremlin"; falsely stated that Nunes was "100% bought and sold. He has no interest remaining for his constituents"; falsely accused Nunes of being part of the President's "taint" team; falsely stated that Nunes was unfit to run the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; falsely accused Nunes of "secretly hat[ing] the people he's supposed to serve"; falsely accused Nunes of being a "lying piece of shit"; falsely stated that Nunes would lose custody of his children and was going to "the pen"; falsely accused Nunes of receiving pay for undermining "American Democracy"; falsely stated that Nunes was "the most despicably craven GOP public official" and that "Devin might be a unscrupulous, craven, back-stabbing, charlatan and traitor, but he's no Ted Cruz"; falsely stated that Nunes was "voted 'Most Likely to Commit Treason' in high school"; falsely stated that "The people of California's Central Valley are upright folk who work hard, look you square in the eye and give you a firm handshake. And then there is @DevinNunes"; falsely stated that Nunes is "not ALL about deceiving people. He's also about betraying his country and colluding with Russians"; stated "I don't know about Baby Hitler, but would sure-as-shit abort baby Devin"; falsely stated that "Alpha Omega wines taste like treason"; falsely stated that "@DevinNunes wanted me to tell everyone that he'll be releasing a pic soon to get ahead of that AMI thing, and that it only looks that way because of all the blow"; falsely suggested that Nunes might be willing to give the President a "blowjob"; falsely stated "@Devin Nunes look @SpeakerRyan is removing @Rep_Hunter from his committee seat because he's corrupt and incompetent. I wonder why he let you keep yours?"; falsely accused Nunes of "covering up Trump's conspiracy against the United States"; falsely accused Nunes of lying to Congress; falsely accused Nunes of suborning "perjury"; falsely stated that "@Devin Nunes is DEFINITELY a feckless c***" [and it keeps going...]

And, apropos of nothing, Last Congress, Devin Nunes cosponsored a bill called the "Discouraging Frivolous Lawsuits Act".

More likely is that this is the latest installment in a long-running Republican campaign to "work the refs" when it comes to political discourse.

So feel free to chuckle about the spectacle of Devin Nunes suing "Devin Nunes' cow", but know that this most likely isn't about his purported cow or what it said. Nunes is telegraphing an expansive effort to go after people who hurt Republicans with their public discourse. Its potential impact, not so much legally as from personal behavioral standpoint, shouldn't be so casually dismissed.

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Space Herpes

NASA issues space herpes warning as virus reactivates in astronauts

Due to this suppression of the immune system, the astronauts' bodies are less able to keep dormant viruses down, allowing them to reactivate.

"To date, 47 out of 89 (53%) astronauts on short space shuttle flights, and 14 out of 23 (61%) on longer ISS missions shed herpes viruses in their saliva or urine samples," reported Dr Mehta.

"These frequencies - as well as the quantity - of viral shedding are markedly higher than in samples from before or after flight, or from matched healthy controls."

"Only six astronauts developed any symptoms due to viral reactivation," said Dr Mehta. "All were minor."

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