Today's probably a good day to re-read my deep dive into the San Francisco sewer system, with particular focus on Lateral Service Connection L-157660 and the North Point Wet Weather Treatment Facility.
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Portland Startup to Mine Artisanal Bitcoin Using Only Slide Rules and Graph Paper

"Herbal notes."

"We feel that crypto has abandoned the early days of organic blockchain crafting when bored math geeks would mine 10 Bitcoins in an afternoon and then blow it all on IPAs and pizza later that night," said 26-year-old Hash & Moon co-founder Cody Silas.

"Today's Bitcoin investor is savvy and looking for a hand-crafted crypto currency to launder money or pay to have someone eliminated. We are the only hyper-locally sourced, sustainable option for that."

His co-founder Oliver Heath said their approach cuts down the giant carbon footprint of Bitcoin servers with more sustainable ways to play into fashionably legal crypto-Ponzi schemes.

"Dedicated crypto-mining computers use as much electricity in one year as the entire country of Argentina," said Heath. "Our approach gets back to the basics, using bearded mathematicians sitting at a desk cranking out answers to artificial problems, powered 100 percent by avocado toast, ethically sourced kombucha and acai bowls."

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DNA Lounge: Wherein the new year descends

We hope to see you at our New Year's Eve events: Tonight, Acid Rain, and tomorrow, Taylor Swift-themed NYE and BTS-themed NYE.

This is the time of year when I generally do a "What have we accomplished this year?" kind of post, and I'm not gonna lie, this was another year that was just depressing as hell. I don't think people really acknowledge the trauma that nearly everybody is suffering as a result of the last three years. All of your friends are damaged. I mean, even more than usual.

Like, we had a staff party a few weeks ago. It was lovely. But here's how a lot of the conversations went:

9pm to midnight: This is so fun! It's great to see you! Yay, let's drink and bullshit about music!

Midnight to 2am: Let me tell you about my debiliating PTSD from the last three years of COVID, poverty, and dead friends.

So let's recap, I guess?

February through April of this year saw our government and our industry unify behind the idea that the proper response to a vascular, neurological and immunocompromising pandemic was to just pretend that it's no longer happening, and not just eliminate but stigmatize even the most basic mitigation measures.

In August, we had the literal shitshow of a weeks-long plumbing disaster that left us with no toilets and required digging up the sidewalk.

In November, we had a weeks-long social media shitshow instigated by someone who repeatedly assaulted our staff and then loudly and enthusiastically lied about it.

And then a few weeks later, we were burgled, twice. It was very expensive. The suspects are still at large, because my first name's not Louis, my last name's not Vuitton, and when Mayor Breed (D-Coronavirus) talks about being tough on crime, what she means by "crime" is "visible homelessness".

Our attendance is back up to about 80% of what it was in 2019, which is... better than it could be, but still not great. We put on a bunch of great shows, we just need more people to come to them.

And this year we were again voted Best Nightclub, so thank you for that!

Sooooooo, another year above ground, right? Take the win, I guess.

Maybe 2023 will be better. Maybe you can help, by joining our team. We are in desperate need of both an experienced talent buyer and a bookkeeper. If you know anyone, send them our way!


All Your Face

TSA going hogwild with facial recognition is going about as well as you'd expect, "but you can opt out".

YK Hong:

Since folks asked what happens whenever I opt out of facial recognition, I documented it for you while going through US border patrol.

Coming out of the flight there was a row of kiosks for facial biometric capture. There were no people. Just kiosks. So I kept walking.

The next point of contact was the passport agents at their desks. Agent A asked me, "Did you take your photo at the kiosk?" I said, "No, I am opting out of biometric facial recognition." And the agent asked, "Why?"

And I said, "Because I don't like it." And the agent said, "Wait here," and then let the people behind me through.

After a bit of this punitive behavior, agent A sent me to agent B.

Agent B said, "Why? Why don't you want to do it?" And I said, "Because I don't want it. I want to opt out." He paused and twisted his face.

Then he pointed at a sign and said, "Read that."

The sign read: "U.S. citizens and select foreign nationals who are not required to provide biometrics and who wish to opt out of the new facial biometric process may simply notify a CBP officer, request a manual document check, and proceed with processing consistent with existing requirements for entry into the United States."

It's almost as if everyone entirely forgot how to do a manual check, which was being used for everyone until about a year ago.

And then agent B again said, "So you want to opt out?" Again I said, "Yes, I want to opt out." And then he said, "Why?" And I said, "Because I don't like my image being taken over and over." And then he shook his head.

He said, "You know we already have your photo right?" And I said, "Yes, but I don't like my biometrics continuously being captured."

Then he said "Okay well I have to call someone." And he just sat there looking very upset.

Then agent C arrived at the adjoining desk to begin work. And agent B said, pointing at me, "She doesn't want to do the face scan. Which manager do I call?"

Agent C then said, "You don't have to call anyone. Just look at her face and then compare it to her passport photo."

And I said, "Yes, how it used to be done just a year ago."

And agent B said, "You're my first opt out."

Then agent C said, you just have to enter on the screen why she doesn't want it." So again, I said, "I don't like the repetitive image capture."

Agent B said, "You're losing the advantages of going through quickly." I said, "That's fine." He shook his head.

Finally, after a lot of fumbling on their end, I was able to proceed through.

Even though it says, I can "simply notify a CBP officer," it is not simple at all.

Opting out of facial recognition should be as easy as it is to opt in. The fact that it's not tells you an immense amount.

Make it as hard as possible for anyone to take your very personal data.

Normalize opting out so it is never taken for granted.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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Floppy Disc Assembly Line

It's got a good beat and it's easy to dance to!

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Rotary Keypad

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Email bounce clustering

Our weekly event mailing list auto-unsubscribes people after they have bounced three times, and when skimming the logs I was noticing some weird clustering: it seemed like a lot of people were hitting their third bounce after exactly 125 messages. So I graphed it, and... yup?

At an average of one message a week, most addresses that bounce end up doing so at just about 31 months, or 2.4 years, plus or minus one week.

It's a weird cluster, right? I'd expect it to just be exponential.

This is a graph of how many messages were sent before the address bounced three times. It does not include addresses that have not bounced. Also, the bounce count is reset to 0 if we send a message and it does not bounce, so it's not that old "strikes" never expire. The data goes back about 3 years.

Almost all bounces are "over quota" rather than "not found" or some other error, and 75% of our subscribers are gmail.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.
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Current Music: Pins -- Ghosting ♬

Facial Recognition Gets Girl Scout Mom Kicked Out

Radio Surveillance Music Hall:

A sign says facial recognition is used as a security measure to ensure safety for guests and employees. Conlon says she posed no threat, but the guards still kicked her out with the explanation that they knew she was an attorney. [...]

Conlon is an associate with the New Jersey based law firm, Davis, Saperstein and Solomon, which for years has been involved in personal injury litigation against a restaurant venue now under the umbrella of MSG Entertainment.

"I don't practice in New York. I'm not an attorney that works on any cases against MSG," said Conlon.

But MSG said she was banned nonetheless -- along with fellow attorneys in that firm and others. [...]

"This whole scheme is a pretext for doing collective punishment on adversaries who would dare sue MSG in their multi-billion dollar network," said Sam Davis, a partner at the firm where Conlon works.

Other firms have sued over being blacklisted. Conlon said she thought a recent judge's order in one of those cases made it clear that ticketholders like her "may not be denied entry to any shows." [...]

Davis is now upping the legal ante, challenging MSG's license with the State Liquor Authority.

"The liquor license that MSG got requires them to admit members of the public, unless there are people who would be disruptive who constitute a security threat," said Davis. "Taking a mother, separating a mother from her daughter and Girl Scouts she was watching over -- and to do it under the pretext of protecting any disclosure of litigation information -- is absolutely absurd. The fact they're using facial recognition to do this is frightening. It's un-American to do this."

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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Ceiling Roomba is watching you poop

A Roomba recorded a woman on the toilet. How did screenshots end up on Facebook?

The images were not taken by a person, but by development versions of iRobot's Roomba J7 series robot vacuum. They were then sent to Scale AI, a startup that contracts workers around the world to label audio, photo, and video data used to train artificial intelligence. [...]

James Baussmann, iRobot's spokesperson, said [...] that the images were "shared in violation of a written non-disclosure agreement between iRobot and an image annotation service provider." [...]

Ultimately, though, this set of images represents something bigger than any one individual company's actions. They speak to the widespread, and growing, practice of sharing potentially sensitive data to train algorithms, as well as the surprising, globe-spanning journey that a single image can take -- in this case, from homes in North America, Europe, and Asia to the servers of Massachusetts-based iRobot, from there to San Francisco -- based Scale AI, and finally to Scale's contracted data workers around the world (including, in this instance, Venezuelan gig workers who posted the images to private groups on Facebook, Discord, and elsewhere).

Together, the images reveal a whole data supply chain -- and new points where personal information could leak out -- that few consumers are even aware of.

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Masks, such a hardship.

The Chronicle's unscientific count found more people going without masks by a fairly wide margin.

So, is anyone changing their habits as a result of what's happening around them now? Yes, but fewer than one might expect. Some shoppers who aren't wearing masks indicated they are assessing the risks and could put them on again. But most appeared set in their ways -- whether they've been wearing masks all along or ditched them long ago. Here's what they told us: [...]

"It hadn't really crossed my mind, I hadn't thought to follow cases."

"Since [getting COVID], I was like, 'Let's move on with life.'"

"We gave up."

"Knock on wood."

"My trust is not in the mask, it's in God."

He said he rarely masks up because he's been vaccinated and because he thinks he had COVID in June.

"I feel safe. I like feeling comfortable. I feel comfortable now."

"It takes so little effort that it's stupid not to do it. It's the easiest thing to do. I can't believe people who think it's some kind of imposition when it's what's best for society."

[She] walked around the store with her black mask just below her nose. The mask covered only half of her mouth. After months of not wearing a mask, she said she's trying to get back into the habit of wearing one. "It's the cold season," she reasoned. "It's not just good for COVID."

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