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Calculating the opposite of your job

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Here’s a fun calculation from The Upshot.

The Labor Department keeps detailed and at times delightfully odd records on the skills and tasks required for each job. Some of them are physical: trunk strength, speed of limb movement, the ability to stay upright. Others are more knowledge-based: economics and accounting, physics, programming. Together, they capture the essence of what makes a job distinctive.

We’ve used these records to determine what each job’s polar opposite would be.

Type in your job, and you see what skills are typically used in yours and your opposite’s. So in case you’re looking for something really different in your work life, here’s about as different as you can go.

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reconbot
2 hours ago
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New York City
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Flow of goods between states

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Using data from the Freight Analysis Framework, Chris Canipe for Axios mapped the flow of goods between states. Select a category of goods from the dropdown, and the map shows total kilotons of the selected goods shipped out of each state through freight. Thicker arrows represent more kilotons.

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reconbot
2 hours ago
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New York City
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Huge trove of digitized 78rpm records

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78rpm Discs

Through the Great 78 Project, the Internet Archive has been digitizing the audio from 78rpm records produced from 1898 to the 1950s. Over 25,000 high-quality recordings are currently available from artists like Edith Piaf, Irving Berlin, Lena Horne, and Duke Ellington. This preservation is important because the discs are fragile:

78s were mostly made from shellac, i.e., beetle resin, and were the brittle predecessors to the LP (microgroove) era. The format is obsolete, and just picking them up can cause them to break apart in your hands. There’s no way to predict if the digital versions of these 78s will outlast the physical items, so we are preserving both to ensure the survival of these cultural materials for future generations to study and enjoy.

From 1939, here’s Judy Garland singing Over the Rainbow. And this undated recording of Edith Piaf singing La Vie En Rose. I could listen to these all afternoon.

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reconbot
16 hours ago
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> There’s no way to predict if the digital versions of these 78s will outlast the physical items, so we are preserving both
New York City
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The Real Story Behind All Those Confederate Statues

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Vox points me today to some data I was looking for last night. Thanks, Vox! It’s from the Southern Poverty Law Center, and it shows us when all those Confederate monuments and statues were erected:

This illustrates something that even a lot of liberals don’t always get. Most of these monuments were not erected right after the Civil War. In fact, all the way to 1890 there were very few statues or monuments dedicated to Confederate leaders. Most of them were built much later. And since I’m not an academic, I feel comfortable squeezing this history into a very short, oversimplified summary:

1861-1865: Civil War.

1865-1875: Reconstruction Era.

1875-1895: Reconstruction Era ends. Blacks are steadily disenfranchised, allowing Southern whites to enact Jim Crow laws. In 1896, Jim Crow is cemented into place when the Supreme Court rules it constitutional.

1895-1915: With blacks disenfranchised and Jim Crow laws safely in place, Southern whites begin a campaign of terror against blacks. Lynchings skyrocket, the KKK becomes resurgent, and whites begin building Confederate statues and monuments in large numbers.

1915-1955: Jim Crow reigns safely throughout the South.

1955-1970: The Civil Rights era starts after the Supreme Court rules in Brown v. Board of Education that Jim Crow laws are unconstitutional. Southern whites mount massive and violent resistance, and start putting up Confederate monuments again.

Yes, these monuments were put up to honor Confederate leaders. But the timing of the monument building makes it pretty clear what the real motivation was: to physically symbolize white terror against blacks. They were mostly built during times when Southern whites were engaged in vicious campaigns of subjugation against blacks, and during those campaigns the message sent by a statue of Robert E. Lee in front of a courthouse was loud and clear.

No one should think that these statues were meant to be somber postbellum reminders of a brutal war. They were built much later, and most of them were explicitly created to accompany organized and violent efforts to subdue blacks and maintain white supremacy in the South. I wouldn’t be surprised if even a lot of Southerners don’t really understand this, but they should learn. There’s a reason blacks consider these statues to be symbols of bigotry and terror. It’s because they are.

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jimwise
5 days ago
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Yes.
caneylan
4 days ago
better version: https://www.splcenter.org/sites/default/files/whoseheritage-timeline150_years_of_iconography.jpg
reconbot
4 days ago
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New York City
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1 public comment
jsled
5 days ago
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«Yes, these monuments were put up to honor Confederate leaders. But the timing of the monument building makes it pretty clear what the real motivation was: to physically symbolize white terror against blacks. They were mostly built during times when Southern whites were engaged in vicious campaigns of subjugation against blacks, and during those campaigns the message sent by a statue of Robert E. Lee in front of a courthouse was loud and clear.»
South Burlington, Vermont

We Fight for the Users

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Lady Justice

For the past several months, DreamHost has been working with the Department of Justice to comply with legal process, including a Search Warrant (PDF) seeking information about one of our customers’ websites.

At the center of the requests is disruptj20.org, a website that organized participants of political protests against the current United States administration. While we have no insight into the affidavit for the search warrant (those records are sealed), the DOJ has recently asked DreamHost to provide all information available to us about this website, its owner, and, more importantly, its visitors.

DisrputJ20

Records Requests

DreamHost, like many online service providers, is approached by law enforcement regularly to provide information about customers who may be the subject of criminal investigations. These types of requests are not uncommon; our legal department reviews and scrutinizes each request and, when necessary, rejects and challenges vague or faulty orders.
Denied stamp
You would be shocked to see just how many of these challenges we’re obligated to mount every year!

Chris Ghazarian, our General Counsel, has taken issue with this particular search warrant for being a highly untargeted demand that chills free association and the right of free speech afforded by the Constitution.

Demand for Information

The request from the DOJ demands that DreamHost hand over 1.3 million visitor IP addresses — in addition to contact information, email content, and photos of thousands of peoplein an effort to determine who simply visited the website. (Our customer has also been notified of the pending warrant on the account.)

That information could be used to identify any individuals who used this site to exercise and express political speech protected under the Constitution’s First Amendment. That should be enough to set alarm bells off in anyone’s mind.

DC Protest

This is, in our opinion, a strong example of investigatory overreach and a clear abuse of government authority.

As we do in all such cases where the improper collection of data is concerned, we challenged the Department of Justice on its warrant and attempted to quash its demands for this information through reason, logic, and legal process.

Instead of responding to our inquiries regarding the overbreadth of the warrant, the DOJ filed a motion (PDF) in the Washington, D.C. Superior Court, asking for an order to compel DreamHost to produce the records.

Our Opposition

Last Friday Mr. Ghazarian, with the help of his legal team and outside counsel, filed legal arguments in opposition (PDF) of the DOJ’s request for access to this trove of personally identifiable information.

This motion is our latest salvo in what has become a months-long battle to protect the identities of thousands of unwitting internet users. Mr. Ghazarian will attend a court hearing on the matter on August 18 in Washington, D.C.

EFF
We’ve been working closely with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and their counsel throughout this process. They’ve been nothing but supportive and helpful throughout, and we’re honored to have them in our corner.

Why Bother?

The internet was foundedand continues to survive, in the mainon its democratizing ability to facilitate a free exchange of ideas. Internet users have a reasonable expectation that they will not get swept up in criminal investigations simply by exercising their right to political speech against the government.

We intend to take whatever steps are necessary to support and shield these users from what is, in our view, a very unfocused search and an unlawful request for their personal information.

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jimwise
6 days ago
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(!)
reconbot
4 days ago
Good shares this week 👌👍
reconbot
4 days ago
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New York City
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Which OSI network layer is "spitting in the tube"?

jwz
2 Comments and 5 Shares
Malware in a Strand of DNA

A group of researchers from the University of Washington has shown for the first time that it's possible to encode malicious software into physical strands of DNA, so that when a gene sequencer analyzes it the resulting data becomes a program that corrupts gene-sequencing software and takes control of the underlying computer. [...]

But encoding [the buffer overflow attack] in actual DNA proved harder than they first imagined. DNA sequencers work by mixing DNA with chemicals that bind differently to DNA's basic units of code -- the chemical bases A, T, G, and C -- and each emit a different color of light, captured in a photo of the DNA molecules. To speed up the processing, the images of millions of bases are split up into thousands of chunks and analyzed in parallel. So all the data that comprised their attack had to fit into just a few hundred of those bases, to increase the likelihood it would remain intact throughout the sequencer's parallel processing.

When the researchers sent their carefully crafted attack to the DNA synthesis service Integrated DNA Technologies in the form of As, Ts, Gs, and Cs, they found that DNA has other physical restrictions too. For their DNA sample to remain stable, they had to maintain a certain ratio of Gs and Cs to As and Ts, because the natural stability of DNA depends on a regular proportion of A-T and G-C pairs. And while a buffer overflow often involves using the same strings of data repeatedly, doing so in this case caused the DNA strand to fold in on itself. All of that meant the group had to repeatedly rewrite their exploit code to find a form that could also survive as actual DNA, which the synthesis service would ultimately send them in a finger-sized plastic vial in the mail.

The result, finally, was a piece of attack software that could survive the translation from physical DNA to the digital format, known as FASTQ, that's used to store the DNA sequence. And when that FASTQ file is compressed with a common compression program known as fqzcomp -- FASTQ files are often compressed because they can stretch to gigabytes of text -- it hacks that compression software with its buffer overflow exploit, breaking out of the program and into the memory of the computer running the software to run its own arbitrary commands.

Even then, the attack was fully translated only about 37 percent of the time, since the sequencer's parallel processing often cut it short or -- another hazard of writing code in a physical object -- the program decoded it backward. (A strand of DNA can be sequenced in either direction, but code is meant to be read in only one. The researchers suggest in their paper that future, improved versions of the attack might be crafted as a palindrome.)

This next part makes me sad. By "verge on cheating" you mean "absolutely totally cheating":

Despite that tortuous, unreliable process, the researchers admit, they also had to take some serious shortcuts in their proof-of-concept that verge on cheating. Rather than exploit an existing vulnerability in the fqzcomp program, as real-world hackers do, they modified the program's open-source code to insert their own flaw allowing the buffer overflow.

Still, it's a great stunt. Original paper here.

My favorite line is "The repeated 0xdeadbeef bytes produced a long (40+ base pair) repetitive sequence" because it makes me wonder whether this DNA is technically dead, and/or beef.

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reconbot
4 days ago
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This is fantastic, also another example of defective parser code
New York City
jimwise
8 days ago
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O. M. G.
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