Wednesday What We’re Reading (Mar. 6, 2019)

In which I repeatedly type single quotation marks backtick-text-quote instead of quote-text-quote, thanks to a LaTeX project.

Defense

Photos of the Week: Bombers

Science and Technology

  • Chinese surveillance data found in a no-password, web-public database – Oops.
  • SpaceX’s successful Crew Dragon launch represents an American return to manned spaceflight – The big problem for SpaceX going forward is going to be finding new sources for revenue (like their Starlink Internet plan) if they want to keep on funding the BFR. As it stands, they’ve pretty much cornered the worldwide market on non-natsec launches. There’s only so much profit to squeeze out of that. Blue Origin has an edge on large rocket development in my book, because it’s a billionaire’s passion project.
  • University of California system cancels all its Elsevier journal subscriptions – Elsevier is a watchword in academia for ‘money-grubbing useless middlemen’, known for paywalling a bunch of journals so that universities have little choice but to maintain subscriptions for their own academics. Not that academia is without its flaws, but the least I can do is praise them for doing something so obviously right.
  • Another Intel speculative execution bug – This one lets you figure out memory mappings efficiently, which lets you do the Rowhammer attack from 2015 in Javascript in a browser.
  • The attention economy is saturated – That is, there’s too much entertainment for humans to consume all of it, so we’re into an age of prioritization. You’ve probably noticed this yourself. It also plays into the difficulty in getting off the ground as an independent creator of content—there’s more entertainment than ever before, but it’s still delivered through a small number of outlets. There are only so many screens at the local cinema, and only so many production houses which can afford to bribe their ways into your local theater. See also Amazon and books.

Money Matters

Special Report: Blacklisting and Politics in Publishing

Singal’s doing good work on that subject generally, although it’s amusing to note that he himself is an identitarian progressive, just a milder breed who hasn’t yet fully internalized that all revolutions eventually devour their children.

2 thoughts on “Wednesday What We’re Reading (Mar. 6, 2019)

    1. parvusimperator

      Short answer: No.

      Longer answer: Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. 😛

      I agree with what you’ve said on it.

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