Trump's big 60 Minutes interview was a big ratings flop

Trump's vaunted 60 Minutes interview was a ratings flop, just as analytics show articles sourced to it were flops and the fact that this post about it being a flop will also be a flop.

According to the A.P., the president’s 60 Minutes interview on Sunday night reached 11.7 million viewers, just over half as many as Daniels pulled for her own blockbuster 60 Minutes interview back in March. Around 22 million viewers tuned in then to watch Daniels discuss her alleged 2006 affair with the president. That interview got the program’s highest ratings since a 2008 interview with Barack and Michelle Obama. Trump’s episode also flopped in comparison to his 60 Minutes interview in 2016, which drew 20 million viewers.

Everyone knows what he is; he's a marker, not a man. It doesn't require journalistic elaboration anymore. The tweets are quite enough. Read the rest

Officer of the month charged with rape

Prince George’s County Police Officer Ryan Macklin was charged with rape after a woman was attacked during a traffic stop last week. Macklin is listed as a two-time patrol officer of the month at the department's website.

During the traffic stop, Macklin reportedly forced the woman to perform a sex act while they were sitting in her car in a nearby parking lot.

Police say Macklin was “on-duty, in uniform, and driving a marked police cruiser at the time.”

Investigators are not sure why Macklin targeted this woman, but believe there may be other victims.

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Users complain that new MacBook keyboards still die easy

Casey Johnston reports that the supposedly improved keyboards in new MacBook Pros still suffer the same old problems.

Several users in the MacRumors keyboard thread suggested that the butterfly keyboards Apple has been pushing for two years now are a stepping stone to full touch-screen models; no keys, no mechanisms, no nooks and crannies, just a solid screen that displays virtual buttons. Others have wondered why Apple doesn’t just use Magic Keyboard keys in its computers; they are much more pleasant to use, quieter, and appear to not have the same crippling vulnerability to, uh, dust.

I've sort of given up on them, to be honest. I need a new laptop and I think it's going to be a Thinkpad X1. I'm not enthusiastic about not having MacOS, but I am enthusiastic about typing without getting wirdly numbd fingrtips. Read the rest

Taylor Swift escapes her enclosure at Sacramento Zoo

Taylor Swift somehow managed to get out of her enclosure at Sacramento Zoo Sunday and led officials on a brief pursuit. Read the rest

Dancing robot dog

They're figuring out what we really want from a 21st Century deathbot: moves.

When was the last time a human was seen in one of these videos? Perhaps in the next one we'll see a human crawling on all fours over ice, making loud engine noises between terrified whimpers, only for a perfectly stable bipedal robot to lunge in from off-screen and kick it. Then we'll know what has become of the fleshbags at Boston Dynamics. Read the rest

Trump joins past Republican presidents in new version of The Republican Club painting

Andy Thomas, the artist who creates wonderful paintings depicting historical presidents from each party hanging out, has updated The Republican Club to include Donald Trump. It was spotted on the White House wall during an interview with the president on CBS News.

The artist, who lives in Missouri, United States, was "ecstatic" to discover his art displayed in the White House, he told Time. Republican congressman Darrell Issa reportedly gave it to the President.

"A lot of times gifts aren't really hung up, they're just pushed into a closet somewhere," Mr Thomas said.

Shortly before Trump's election, I'd painted Trump into an earlier variant of Thomas's painting (below; and made a few other tweaks) in expectation of the big win. Folks were mad that I'd called it but such is life in the death of the Republic. Why don't you get grandpa a jigsaw puzzle or something [Amazon].

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Lawyers: dildo-wielding cop hit men as well as women, so can't have been sexually harassing them

Lt. Thomas Murphy and Detective Sgt. Andrew Huber are named in a lawsuit against the city of Mountainside, New Jersey, which claims a large blue dildo was regularly whipped out to harass other employees. The city has a brilliant defense, though.

Mountainside is asking a judge to throw out an explosive sexual harassment lawsuit filed against the borough by five male police officers and a female dispatcher, partly on the grounds that alleged misconduct in the department -- including repeated displays of a large dildo -- was directed at both men and women.

The two attorneys for the plaintiffs are firing back, accusing Mountainside in their opposition brief of "presenting a frivolous argument that breaks new ground for absurd employment law defenses."

Bear in mind that the video embedded above is something they're using to claim it isn't harassment. Dildo Cop sounds like a good idea for a bad comic book. Read the rest

White woman blocks black man from entering his own apartment building

D'Arreion Toles just wanted to go home. But Hilary Brooke Mueller, apparently fresh out the air-fluff cycle of the dryer, didn't want him in the building where she too lived.

“Do you live here?”

“I’ve already answered that question,” Mr. Toles, 24, replies as he continues to try to get in. “Excuse me.”

But the woman, Hilary Brooke Mueller, refused to move as she continued to ask Mr. Toles what unit he lived in and to see his key fob. When he declined to tell her, she remained in his path.

“If you want to come into my building —” she begins to say in the video.

“It’s not your building, you’re not the owner,” Mr. Toles says, getting past her. “Excuse me.”

Toles posted his video of the encounter to his Facebook page. Mueller's yelp when he finally slips past her -- "are you kidding me?" -- is really something. Pure incomprehending outrage that he walked into the building without her permission. Her employer, a real estate firm named Tribeca-STL, released a statement saying that it was a minority-owned company and that it had fired her after viewing the video. Read the rest

Which is the deepest, hardest Mandelbrot zoom of them all?

I love mandelbrot youtube, where the most important thing is how many iterations is in your deep, hard zoom.

Here's "Mandelbrot zoom to 10E+1116 with deep zoom into minibrot - 75,000,000 iterations":

Or how about some "Mandelbrot deep zoom to 10E+2431 at 60 fps - Needle Julia evolution - 30,000,000 iterations." Very satisfying:

Granted, that's not quite as many iterations as some. Here Eddy Fry offers a staggering 538 trillion iterations, but to be honest I'm not all that impressed with the hardness of his zoom:

Here's a "lucky zoom" with 7.777*10^777 | 777,777 iterations:

It is amazing what folks find hidden in the set. The "Pinwheel of Infinity" is a striking example of the uncannyiness of fractals:

....and, from Fractal Universe, the "hardest Mandelbrot Zoom Ever":

You can make your own with Mandelbrot Explorer.

Image: SeryZone Read the rest

Star Citizen's "terrifying face tracking" demonstrated

Star Citizen is a game hovering on the margins of vaporware, its scope bloated by a $150m+ crowdfunding haul, creator Chris Roberts' lack of creative discipline, and an enabling fanbase. One of the many whimsical additions bolted onto the perm-alpha release is face-tracking: what you do on camera is reflected on-screen in the facial expressions of your character. It's very Star Citizen: a technical tour de force light years ahead of what other devs are doing, but immediately and overwhelmingly unpleasant. Sleep tight!

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Russian pop music, 2018

It's by Little Big and it's called Skibidi. They're still trying so very hard, after all this time.

Join the #skibidichallenge - just film how you dance the skibidi-dance, put the #skibidichallenge hashtag and post it on your YouTube and Instagram.

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No identity theft protection for latest Facebook hack victims

Facebook will not provide fraud protection for victims of its latest data breach, details of which were announced in a Friday news dump. It set up a page where you can check if your Facebook account was breached.

One analyst told the BBC the decision was "unconscionable" ... For the most severely impacted users - a group of around 14 million, Facebook said - the stolen data included "username, gender, locale/language, relationship status, religion, hometown, self-reported current city, birthdate, device types used to access Facebook, education, work, the last 10 places they checked into or were tagged in, website, people or pages they follow, and the 15 most recent searches".

Typically, companies affected by large data breaches - such as Target, in 2013 - provide access to credit protection agencies and other methods to lower the risk of identity theft. Other hacked companies, such as on the Playstation Network, and credit monitoring agency Equifax, offered similar solutions.

A Facebook spokeswoman told the BBC it would not be taking this step "at this time". Users would instead be directed to the website's help section.

They're done caring. If you're still using Facebook, you're done caring too. Read the rest

Trump supporter berates black Lyft driver with racial slurs and calls cops because he wouldn't put the radio on

A great night for a Trump supporter in Brooklyn: hail a Lyft, demand the radio be put on, then harass the driver with the N-word while calling the police. Read the rest

This aerial photo of lake is actually a mossy puddle on a box

My new favorite subreddit is Accidental Maps, specializing in a pareidolia of places.

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Color footage of Berlin weeks after the end of World War II

Stalin's pose and expression in the propaganda poster makes it look like he's just noticed there's a goose coming toward him and it's dawning on him that he has no idea how to deal with geese. Read the rest

London food couriers targeted by motorcycle thieves

London is increasingly a city on two wheels: it's huge, it's congested, and gasoline is comically expensive. Thieves are targeting bike couriers, taking their mopeds and scooters for single-time use in subsequent crimes (such as robberies), and this BBC investigation shows how violent they're getting with victims.

We’ve all got used to having food delivered to our doorsteps at all hours of the day and night. But spare a thought for the delivery riders, because they’re frequently finding themselves the target of armed bike and moped gangs, who attempt to steal their delivery vehicles to use to commit further crimes. To reveal just how dangerous it can be out there, we armed some of these drivers with cameras. Chris Rogers has the story.

As a former Londoner now living in America, I have to admit that I can't imagine this sort of casual, push-you-off-your-bike theft here. Americans call it a "polite society" but that's just their way of describing an "I will blow your head off if you come within 10 feet of my bike" society. The result is an insane yet normalized pandemic of gun violence, but hey, at least no-one is going to try and nick your motorcycle at the lights.

Some of the scenes are so amazing it seems like fiction. The police are so useless that couriers themselves are forming gangs to retaliate against thieves. It's like the first scene of Akira, but on little scooters going "iiiiiiiiiiiiiii!" and all they want to do is deliver lunch. Read the rest

Bing search results are a sewer of far-right memes and similar garbage

Someone checked in on Bing search and the results aren't pretty. At some point it became a sewer of racism, antisemitism, pedophilia and conspiracy theories—and that's just the recommendations.

The BBC reports:

In his investigation, Mr Hoffman looked up racially-themed terms and found that the majority of suggestions for further searches that accompanied results pointed people to racist sites or images.

Racist memes and images were also returned for many of the words he tried.

"We all know this garbage exists on the web, but Bing shouldn't be leading people to it with their search suggestions," wrote Mr Hoffman.

It is believed that the suggestions for further searches connected to these terms have emerged from a combination of user activity and concerted action by far-right groups to skew responses.

Everyone's mad at Microsoft for not giving a shit (and it has promised to start giving a shit), but it is instructive to see such a huge-scale mirror image of what the algorithms think we want to see--and what we are are searching for.

More fun Chris Hoffman found on Bing:

Read the rest

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