Via Bruce Sterling, the Chinese characters for "specific ethnic genetic attacks," "combat brain," "winning without fighting" and more.
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There's no shortage of turn-based strategy games on the market. But few of them have the scope of Sid Meier's Civilization, whose title says it all. Your goal is nothing less than the shepherding of an entire nation from its first village to global dominance — and beyond.
The Civ series is now on its sixth iteration, and the latest is a literal world-beater. It's also one of the most expandable, and all those expansions have finally been collected in Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Platinum Edition.
If you're looking for a late Christmas gift for a sim fan, this one is hard to beat. The pack includes the core game Sid Meier's Civilization VI, with new tweaks that include a branching cultural improvement path and enhanced AI for computer opponents — a definite improvement over previous editions.
It also comes with six DLC packs that introduce new scenarios and allows you to play as entirely new civilizations. As the cherry on top, you get the major expansions "Rise and Fall" and "Gathering Storm" which introduce game-changing Global Eras and devastating natural disasters.
The entire set is now available for 58% off the original retail price. Read the rest
Agency is the sequel to William Gibson's tour-de-force 2014 novel "The Peripheral"; as previously discussed, Gibson had to scrap large sections of the novel and rewrite it after Donald Trump won the 2016 US presidential election. Agency is out later this month (I have a review pending for publication date) and Gibson has conducted a long interview with Sam Leith about the process by which the book came to be -- and almost wasn't.
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Machine learning systems are notorious for cheating, and there's a whole menagerie of ways that these systems achieve their notional goals while subverting their own purpose, with names like "model stealing, rewarding hacking and poisoning attacks."
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Jim Spanfeller (previously) is the private equity monster whose mismanagement of various former Gizmodo sites (notably Gawker, Splinter and Deadspin) has generated endless bad press from his own employees, who have doggedly reported on every single demand that they shut up and suck it up, has now been publicly condemned in the pages of yet another of his publications -- this time, it's the gaming site Kotaku.
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Maryland's Larry Hogan -- a Republican who governs a blue state -- is the most popular governor in America, with a 73% approval among state Democrats. He is also a flagrant crook.
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This 10" contour gauge makes measuring for detailed or difficult cuts easier.
Having seen ads for these all over Instagram and other websites I was intrigued. For less than $15 I had to give a contour gauge a try. They are as handy, and easy to use, as the videos suggest.
This Avide gauge is cheap and it works. The pins are held into the frame with enough pressure that a very moderate amount of force will shape the gauge, but the pins will not slide or move once you draw it away and go to work.
I am also interested in the 5" version as there are some tight spaces around a few pipes this one may not fit. We shall see.
10 Inch Contour Gauge Irregular Profile Gauge Duplicator Tiling Laminate Tiles Edge Shaping Wood Measure Ruler Plastic Woodworking Tools Profile Jig Guide via Amazon Read the rest
Thousands of businesses use Cisco as the platform for their network, and there's a good reason for that. As data and security needs evolve, Cisco evolves to keep up with them — but that means the administrators and IT professionals that implement it have to evolve, too.
That's not just a figure of speech. As of 2020, those with a Cisco Certified Network Associate title are going to have to update that certification. Luckily, there's a Complete 2020 Cisco CCNA Certification Prep Course to walk you through everything you need to know.
The whole course packs in more than 30 hours of lectures and exercises, all geared to allow you to set up and manage Cisco networks. It covers the latest changes in wireless connectivity, Software Defined Networking, automation and a host of other topics from the perspective of the experienced CCNA worker who needs to get up to speed.
By the end of it, you'll be able to breeze through the CCNA 200-301 exam, get your updated certification, then move on to any number of specialized fields.
Lifetime access to the course is now more than 85% off the list price. Read the rest
For better or for worse, humans have been training dolphins as soldiers of war since at least the 1960s; even to this day, the Russian government in particular has been known to enlist them in subterfuge.
But twenty years ago, the cash-strapped and crumbling Soviet Union sold a group of highly-trained aquatic assets to the Iranian government. Military.com (a subsidiary of Monster, apparently) has a good breakdown of the history, pulling largely from a BBC article published in 2000:
In 1991, after the fall of the Soviet Union, the dolphin unit was sent to the Crimean Peninsula from a base in the Russian Pacific area. There, the dolphins were trained to kill enemy frogmen using harpoons mounted on their backs. They would also swim at enemy ships in suicide attacks while carrying explosive sea mines, as they were able to distinguish between Russian and American submarines by the sounds their propulsion systems make underwater.
The highly trained killer dolphins were moved from the Black Sea to the Persian Gulf after Iran purchased them -- for reasons unknown. According to the Russian newspaper, Zhurid's work, which supposedly continued in Iran after the 2000 sale, was solely of a military nature.
It's a weird little factoid of military history. But here's the catch: dolphins can live for around 50 years. Which means that some of these dolphins could still be alive today. Which means it's not not impossible that a pod of these haggard soldiers is hanging around the coastal US, waiting for their retaliatory strike — though whether that would be against the country's foreign policy, or its oversights in regards to noise pollution from seismic testing, that's still up in the air. Read the rest
After Boing Boing and other sites wrote about the Squidmar Miniatures video where Emil challenged painters on Fivver to paint a mini for him, the video went viral. Others painters approached him about doing another video that they could participate in and even Fivver itself wanted in on the action.
So, Emil decided to issue another challenge. With $600 provided by Fivver, he sent one mini from the Zarbag's Gitz warband for Warhammer Underworlds to eight painters (I guess paying them $75 each?). This time, he didn't give them any directive beyond using their creativity. For some additional inspiration, he also provided them with a little animated story describing Zarbag's Gitz.
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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that the country's air defenses mistakenly shot down a Ukranian passenger jet Wednesday, killing all 176 aboard. It was thought to be a cruise missile, he said, describing the crash as an "unforgivable mistake."
The downing of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 on Wednesday came just hours after Iran carried out missile strikes on two airbases housing US forces in Iraq.
The strikes were a response to the killing of senior Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike in Baghdad on 3 January.
BBC analyst Lyse Doucet says such an admission of culpability is "highly unusual".
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Iran has decided it has to own this disaster to avoid it triggering another war of words with the West or exacerbating further anger and anguish among its own people, who are reeling from one calamity after another. Make no mistake, this admission was an act of de-escalation. The repercussions at home may soon be clear. Iran's foreign minister has already sought to shift blame by saying it was "a crisis caused by US adventurism". But the big question now is: who took the decision to allow a civilian airliner to take off when Iran's airspace was shot through with such tension?
Oh my gosh, this poor gal is never going to live this down. Eve, a contestant on Family Feud Canada**, screwed up her family's chance to play for $10,000 by incorrectly answering the world's easiest sudden-death question: "What's Popeye's favorite food?" Oof! Let's hope she's at least offered an endorsement deal from a certain fast food chain.
Even crazier, watch these unaired outtakes:
**Am I the only one who didn't know there was a Canadian version of Family Feud?
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In my experience, most people haven't heard of the Rentals — and most of those who have heard of them only really know them as "that other band that Weezer's old bass player was in." Or the band who wrote "Elon Musk Is Making Me Sad."
That is all technically accurate. The group was started by Matt Sharp while he was still Weezer's secret weapon. And Elon Musk does make him sad. Since leaving that other band, Sharp has continued to release orchestral synth-y power-pop with a rotating cast of musicians under the Rentals moniker over the last 20 years. The group has included performers like Maya Rudolph, the Haden Sisters, Joey Santiago from the Pixies, Patrick Carney from the Black Keys, and many others.
The spaced-out track above is an instrumental mix of a tune from the band's upcoming sci-fi-themed album, Q36. The band has been releasing a new track every 2 weeks, along with a corresponding limited-edition t-shirt and hitRECORD project. And while I liked the regular version of "Invasion Night," I absolutely love this ambient version of it. Sharp cut out all the the vocals, drums, and bass in order to focus on his synthesizer sounds and the guitar work of Nick Zinner (most famously of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs), and the result almost makes me feel like I'm in the head of Major Tom as he floats to his death.
The video that goes along with it was actually part of the Rentals' 2009 album Songs About Time, which included 365 photographs, 52 short films, and 3 EPs, all created in real-time over the course of a year. Read the rest
NEW Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll shows 20% of likely Democratic caucusgoers name Sanders as their first choice for president.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is leading the Iowa Poll for the first time, and just 3 weeks remain before the Iowa caucuses. Read the rest
On Amazon, the box was described as “Used: like new.” Read the rest