linkmachinego.com
May 8, 2015
[tech] Conversation With a Tech Support Scammer … fascinating transcripts of how a tech support scam happens … ‘“Take a look down here. See where it says processes?” he prompted. “That’s the problem. That’s why you’re getting the message popping-up. You see right here at the bottom?” “46 processes? So that’s 6 more than normal?” I asked. “Yes, right. What this means is, your computer is doing 46 different things at the moment,” he explained.’
May 7, 2015
[politics] Scarfolk Council: “Watch Out! There’s a Politician About” … Election week posters from Scarfolk‘Just before the Scarfolk election of 1975 the ruling party was keen to permanently eradicate all political opposition and set out to smear what it called a ‘hazardous surplus of politicians and others suffering from civic delusional disorders’. The incumbent’s aim was to bring about a state of emergency that would permit a legal postponement of the election, a postponement that could, in theory, become indefinite. The smear campaigns knew no bounds as one politician after another was exposed for corruption, sexual and moral improprieties, and poor table manners…’

"Say NO to Sinister Ministers."

May 6, 2015
[comics] Facts in the Case of Alan Moore’s Providence … annotations for Alan Moore and Jaycen Burrows not yet released Providence comic.
May 5, 2015
[life] Quite possibly the greatest Internet comment ever… posted by VoteUKIPforTheKids on a Guardian article on Steve Strange.

These guys were Bohemians? Don’t make me laugh. Do you know where the most bohemian place in this country is – The Church of England!

Women bishops, over friendly vicars, vegetarians, and socialists have done more damage to the once wonderful institution of the Anglican church than Hitler’s bombs. It wouldn’t surprise me if I woke up next week and found that Westminster Abbey was now a disco nightclub.

My brother in law, Nigel got caught up in the bohemian lifestyle when he met a Dutch sailor called Jurgen at a ‘get to know your neighbour’ session at his local church. I suppose we should noticed something suspicious when the vicar (who was wearing a rainbow coloured jumper) exhorted everyone present to shake their neighbour’s hand. Little did we realise at the time that this was his introduction to moral depravity. Mind you, Nigel was always an odd one. He preferred musical theatre to sport etc, but despite that found what we thought was a nice girl and got married. Sadly she turned out to be a harridan who was more interested in the Labour Party and ‘women’s issues’ than bearing his children. Ultimately she threw him out and moved her fancyman in. It nearly destroyed poor old Nigel. He lost a lovely home (four beds, large garden, double garage) on a nice estate and ended up living on a barge on a canal. Still he found love of some kind with Jurgen and together they making a living refurbishing soiled cinema seats in Amsterdam. Obviously I don’t talk to him anymore, neither does anyone else in the family. I can only hope he is happy.

May 4, 2015
[comics] ‘Beano’ reveals Dennis The Menace’s father is actually 1980s Dennis‘In the most recent issue of The Beano, it is confirmed for the first time that Dennis’s dad is a grown-up version of the 1980s-era Dennis The Menace. While you may remember Dennis The Menace’s dad in his older, balder, Hitler moustache-sporting incarnation, the comic made a historic shift on 25 August 2012 by introducing a spikey-haired new ‘dad’. The comic also shifted the father-son relationship from its painfully old-fashioned combative (even abusive) tone, to one that was sometimes adversarial, but also friendlier.’
May 3, 2015
May 2, 2015
[web] Inventing Favicon.ico… the story of how the Favicon was created at Microsoft … ‘I still remember telling my friend Michael Radwin at Yahoo about favicon.ico. He was looking at Yapache logs for fun as he does, and he had noticed an unusual spike in HTTP requests for http://www.yahoo.com/favicon.ico. He said, what the hell is favicon.ico? And I explained it to him. He was so excited that he slammed a favicon.ico onto the server, which might have been one of the first official favicons in existence.’
May 1, 2015
[comics] The Best Superman Stories Not Actually About Superman … interesting list of Superman-alike comics to watch out for … ‘Alan Moore’s Supreme was the Silver Age Superman thrown into a blender and it was awesome. I’m listing all of the issues because all of the issues are good: the opening issues, “The Supreme Story of the Year,” all about Supreme being ‘rebooted’ and finding the Supremacy, the place outside time where all previous Supremes live, to the issues where Supreme’s villains escape from the “Hell of Mirrors” and the Televillain kills Monica from Friends (literally), to the issue near the end that is a complete homage to all things Jack Kirby. It’s Alan Moore making Silver Age goodness.’
April 30, 2015
[crime] Anatomy of a Hijack … The story of an attempt to fraudulently commandeer a phone and bank account … ‘Check the online banking – I can’t get in. So I call the bank and get immediately routed through to the fraud department and go through an unusually large amount of security. They inform me that yes, something strange is happening, and did I by any chance recently make a large transfer out of my retirement savings? Er, NO.’
April 29, 2015
[politics] 15 Malcolm Tucker Quotes That Perfectly Explain The 2015 Election‘You Look Like You've Shat A Lego Garage.’

You Look Like You've Shat A Lego Garage

April 28, 2015
[health] Yes, You Can Catch Insanity: Reviving the debate about the immune system and mental illness. … a look at the connections between the immune system, inflammation and mental health … ‘Nothing cemented the link between body and brain quite like syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. Before antibiotics, a syphilis infection could be a slow-motion death sentence. In addition to ravaging the body, late-stage syphilis victims often escalated into what doctors at the time called neurosyphilis, a sort of manic, delusional state, before edging over into paralysis and death. It was a clear, common case of an infection causing psychosis.Syphilis was so common it was called “the disease of the century.” Most patients were middle-class men; according to one estimate, 10 percent of patients in turn-of-the-century asylums were there because of neurosyphilis.’
April 27, 2015
[politics] Bye Bye Labour … a depressing look at Labour’s position approaching the General Election … ‘Labour has accepted Conservative precepts. The private sector knows, and grows, best. The City is untouchable: it may be chastised, but never seriously confronted. Unemployment is a form of dependency, best dealt with through market discipline. Competition is the law of all social and economic life, and it is the role of the state to encourage it and to secure public participation in it. And the British state, and its military commitments, are sacrosanct. In the months leading up to the Scottish independence referendum – the sole recent instance of mass, enthusiastic democratic participation in the UK – Labour found itself campaigning alongside the Conservatives, with the result that in May’s election it will be all but wiped out north of the border. The logic of its position has compelled Labour to attack the SNP far more vehemently than it has the Conservatives. Miliband has been forced, under Tory pressure, to rule out a post-election coalition with the SNP, which may be enough to end any prospect of a viable Labour government.’
April 26, 2015
[web] The Failed Promise of Deep Links… a depressing look at how deep linking is becoming an idea for mobiles rather than the Open Web … ‘With mobile’s deep links, everyone seems to have collectively wiped the buzzword slate clean and started fresh — no context, no memory. No depth. It’s as if someone started a new comedy act today and called it “Monty Python” without offering any sign of knowing the name had a history. This cluelessness is extra-ironic because, originally, the exact purpose of links was to make this kind of connection clear. The people who invented the link saw it as a tool for relating ideas in illuminating ways — for making conceptual leaps and connecting disparate thoughts. If these visionaries had achieved their aim, the kind of tech-cultural amnesia represented by the recycling of the term “deep links” shouldn’t have been possible, two decades into the Web era. The links with true depth that they envisioned would have made sure of that.’
April 25, 2015
[comics] Review of the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Trailer … from Andrew Rilstone‘Dark Batman is more interesting than the silly Batman (who never quite existed outside of the KAPOW television series). Dark Batman is more in keeping with the basic premise of a character built of rage. But just because Dark Batman is cool is does not follow that Dark Superman and Dark Spider-Man and Dark Paddington Bear would be equally cool. The darker the dark character is the more he needs a bright character character to stand next to. And the brighter the bright characters the darker and cooler the dark, cool one will look. (This is the point of Robin.)’
April 24, 2015
[space] That Time the US Accidentally Nuked Britain’s First Satellite … a fascinating, forgotten fragment of space history … ‘On July 9, 1962, mere weeks after Ariel-1 was put into orbit and had successfully begun transmitting data about the ionosphere back to Earth, British scientists were shocked when the sensors aboard Ariel-1 designed to measure radiation levels suddenly began to give wildly high readings. Initially, they assumed that the satellite’s instruments had failed or were otherwise just malfunctioning. As it turned out, as Ariel-1 was happily free-falling around the Earth, the US military had decided to detonate an experimental 1.4 megaton nuclear weapon named Starfish-Prime in the upper atmosphere…’
April 23, 2015
[election] UKIP Royston Vasey Local Election Leaflet … via their Twitter account‘We only accept local people in the local party.’

UKIP Royston Valley Election Leaflet

April 22, 2015
[google] What does Google need on mobile? … a look at Google’s mobile strategy from Benedict Evans… ‘Google has gone from a world of almost perfect clarity – a text search box, a web-link index, a middle-class family’s home – to one of perfect complexity – every possible kind of user, device, access and data type. It’s gone from a firehose to a rain storm. But on the other hand, no-one knows water like Google. No-one else has the same lead in building understanding of how to deal with this. Hence, I think, one should think of every app, service, drive and platform from Google not so much as channels that might conflict but as varying end-points to a unified underlying strategy, which one might characterize as ‘know a lot about how to know a lot’.’
April 21, 2015
[apollo] 45 years after Apollo 13: Ars looks at what went wrong and why… Ars Technica on what caused the explosion on Apollo 13?‘For Apollo 13, keeping calm and working the problems as they appeared allowed three astronauts to escape unharmed from a complex failure. The NASA mindset of simulate, simulate, simulate meant that when things did go wrong, even something of the magnitude of the Apollo 13 explosion, there was always some kind of contingency plan worked out in advance. Controllers had a good gut-level feel for the limits of the spacecraft’s systems when trying to work through emergency problems.’
April 20, 2015
[web] HTTP Error 447: Gone until I get the attention I deserve … a new type of HTTP error … ‘The 447 response is primarily intended to assist the task of ego maintenance by notifying the recipient that the resource is intentionally but temporarily unavailable and that the server owners desire that people pay more attention to them. Such an event is common for resources belonging to emotionally unstable individuals when they feel the world is no longer going their way. ‘
April 19, 2015
[beards] Men seeking plausible beard exit strategies … as reported by the Daily Mash … ’28-year-old Wayne Hayes said: “Mine got stuck in a door, it was a case of pull it out by the roots or starve to death. “As an unreconstructed alpha male who doesn’t give a shit about media-driven style trends and is basically a raw sexy ape I chose the former but purely for survival reasons. “Then I applied moisturiser to the affected area.”’
April 18, 2015
[comics] Crossed+ 100 Annotations … work-in-progress collection of annotations for Alan Moore and Gabriel Andrade’s Crossed+ 100 series of comics.
April 17, 2015
[comics] Sketches of Naxos & Iraklia, Greece … go look at these amazing sketches of Greece by Simon Gane

Sketch Of Greece by Simon Gane

April 16, 2015
[comics] The Masterpiece That Helped Transform Comics and Culture – Books … Dan Clowes talks about Eightball At 25… ‘The funny thing about reading all my comics, but especially those old comics—which I usually avoid like the plague, but when I was putting this collection together, I went back and read every single issue—is that it’s really like a record of your life. Almost everything in the comic is based on something, a joke I had with one of my friends or a real-life experience, and all the characters are based vaguely on people I know… It all feels like reading a diary almost, even though it’s entirely fictional.’
April 15, 2015
[cheese] Cheese changed the course of Western civilization … How cheese was discovered 9000 years ago by lactose-intolerant nomads. ‘With the discovery of cheese, suddenly those early humans could add dairy to their diets. Cheese made an entirely new source of nutrients and calories available for adults, and, as a result, dairying took off in a major way. What this meant, says Kindstedt, is that “children and newborns would be exposed to milk frequently, which ultimately through random mutations selected for children who could tolerate lactose later into adulthood.” In a very short time, at least in terms of human evolution—perhaps only a few thousand years—that mutation spread throughout the population of the Fertile Crescent.’
April 14, 2015
[tv] Matthew Weiner on Mad Men’s Origins, Peggy’s Baby, and Why There Will Never Be a Spinoff … interview with the Mad Men’s creator … ‘TV and film, in general… some of it is designed for escape, designed to satisfy the lack of justice that we feel in everyday life. We find heroes and we get to have the wish fulfillment of, for example, a woman who has it all, who talks tough and tells people where to go and, yeah, they fail sometimes. There’s not a lot of that on the show. I give the example of how we try to make it less abstract by making it more like real life: If a young man runs into a beautiful woman at a party on Mad Men and she gives him her phone number and he writes it on a piece of paper and then he loses his coat, he will, on a normal TV show, end up figuring out how to find her. On Mad Men, he will never see her again.’
April 13, 2015
[space] Death in space: The ethics of dealing with astronauts’ bodies. … fascinating look at how to deal with death in space … ‘The more frequent suggestion for the disposal of bodies is to simply open the airlock and send them off into the cosmos, à la Dr. Poole in 2001: A Space Odyssey. The problem here is that, as Body Back designers Karin Tjerrild Lund and Mikael Ploustrup found out, a U.N. charter forbids littering in space. This includes corpses, even if the astronaut’s expressed wish is to have his or her body launched into open space. This is probably for the better, Wiigh-Mäsak told me, given that these bodies could potentially become hazardous impactors for other spacecraft or end up contaminating pristine extraterrestrial environments—also like Dr. Poole who, following his death in Arthur C. Clarke’s novel, “became the first of all men to reach Saturn.”’
April 12, 2015
[games] Gridrunner on the App Store on iTunes … Jeff Minter’s classic shooter game Gridrunner now free for iPhones and iPads.
April 11, 2015
[papers] Daily Express weather warning: beware a shower of extreme inaccuracy … George Monbiot on the weather headlines of the Daily Express … ‘No winter approaches without predictions in the Express of Snowmageddon. In November 2012, Rao’s headline warned us: “Coldest Winter in 100 Years on Way”. In November 2013, he promised “100 DAYS OF HEAVY SNOW: Britain now facing worst winter in SIXTY YEARS warn forecasters”. In October 2014, a story by the same author told readers “Winter 2014 set to be ‘coldest for century’. Britain faces ARCTIC FREEZE in just weeks”. In November, another article of his was headlined “POLAR VORTEX WARNING: Latest winter weather models show UK faces MONTHS of heavy snow”. And so it went on all the way until the end of January, when the front page blared: “Britain on RED alert: ‘Displaced polar vortex’ to unleash crippling snowstorms next week”. Needless to say, it was all bollocks with bells on.’
April 10, 2015
April 9, 2015
[social media] Many, many Facebook users still don’t know that their news feeds are filtered by an algorithm … a look at how Facebook automatically filters your news feed … ‘Without understanding Facebook’s algorithm, these participants resorted to developing other theories for why their social lives changed on the site. Some blamed themselves for being bad at Facebook. “These participants felt that they missed friends’ stories because they were scrolling too quickly or visiting Facebook too infrequently,” the researchers write. Others figured that their friends had stopped sharing with them. “I have never seen her post anything!” one study participant said of a friend. “And I always assumed that I wasn’t really that close to that person, so that’s fine. What the hell?!”’

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