« | Home | Recent Comments | Categories | »

Daylight savings

Posted on March 13th, 2017 at 15:15 by John Sinteur in category: News

Write a comment

Canada’s highest court upholds ruling that Donald Trump did mislead investors

Posted on March 11th, 2017 at 15:59 by John Sinteur in category: News


The “cornerstone” of the plantiffs’ claims, Justice Rouleau said, was a document that was presented to each of them outlining the “estimated return on investment”.

Both Mr Singh and Ms Lee said they relied heavily on the estimates provided to them in making their individual decisions to purchase their respective properties.

But “as it turned out, the estimates bore no relation to financial reality. The motions judge found as a fact that the estimates were ‘deceptive documents’ and ‘replete with misrepresentations of commission, of omission, and of half-truth’,”Justice Rouleau said.

The Ontario Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the investors, ordering that the sale of the unit must be rescinded for Singh and damages must be paid to Lee for “negligent misrepresentation”.

Write a comment


  1. This is not an unusual story in Canada, I’m sorry to say. People with relatively small incomes are borrowing way too much in the hope of a get-rich-quick scheme that won’t blow up. I am not saying that the Trump franchisees are blameless (clearly not) but parts of Canada are consumed with the idea that speculating on real estate is going to make them rich…we didn’t learn anything from the US housing bust, it appears…

    Vancouver’s market may already be in meltdown. Toronto’s is still going up exponentially. Here’s Garth Turner last week:

  2. If the most valuable element on Earth is water, Canada is indeed rich.

  3. @will: Have you taken a look at the oceans? There’s a lot of water!
    A solar powered RO filter and you can even drink it 🙂

Inside the cruellest RollerCoaster Tycoon park ever created

Posted on March 11th, 2017 at 14:32 by John Sinteur in category: News


Beverley P is stuck in a maze. She’s spent the last 50 years toiling away near its entrance. Starving, thirsty and exhausted, Beverley ekes out a desperate, endless existence, alone and without hope. If she were able to talk, she might whisper: “kill me”.

Regina F. managed to make it past Checkpoint 1, and is currently circling Checkpoint 2. 47 years after she began her journey through the maze, there is a sliver of hope that she may find the exit. But she still has a long way to go; there are five checkpoints in total. Miserable, exhausted and desperate for a drink, Regina soldiers on. Maybe, in another 50 years, she’ll have reached the half-way point.

Is this the most evil RollerCoaster Tycoon creation ever? Probably.

Write a comment

This sign has a sign that says this sign has RFID and GPS tracking

Posted on March 11th, 2017 at 14:23 by John Sinteur in category: News

Write a comment

Star Wars

Posted on March 11th, 2017 at 9:52 by John Sinteur in category: News

Write a comment

Trump adviser admits to contact with DNC hacker

Posted on March 11th, 2017 at 9:43 by John Sinteur in category: News


Roger Stone, President Trump’s former campaign adviser, on Friday admitted to having private conversations with a hacker who helped leak information from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) during last year’s campaign.

Stone insisted to The Washington Times that the conversations were “completely innocuous.”

Write a comment


  1. The truth is described as a “leak” like it’s unintended, an accident. What a strange political system we have. How can you have a democracy without the truth?

  2. In spite of the voluminous evidence that Trump et al colluded with the Russians, they still deny everything with ludicrous alternative facts. We are in a post Occam Razor’s world.

  3. Maybe Hillary should have had Putin as an advisor.

An Artist Helps iTunes User Agreement Go Down Easy…

Posted on March 10th, 2017 at 21:11 by Sueyourdeveloper in category: News


For his new graphic novel, “Terms and Conditions,” out on Tuesday, Mr. Sikoryak (who often signs his work “R. Sikoryak”) upped the difficulty level for his long-term conceptual project: Instead of abridging a book, he lifted the complete text of Apple’s mind-numbing corporate boilerplate, which users must agree to before accessing iTunes, and mashed it up with art invoking more than a century of comics. Rather than merely drawing in the loose style of another artist, Mr. Sikoryak modeled each page after specific bits of others’ work, mimicking panels from Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s “The Amazing Spider-Man,” Bill Watterson’s “Calvin and Hobbes” and Alison Bechdel’s “Fun Home,” among dozens of others.


Write a comment

One Hatchback, 68 Tons of Meat: Arrest Ends Swiss Smuggling Case

Posted on March 9th, 2017 at 12:21 by John Sinteur in category: News


“It was an economic crime,” Husson said. “He was reselling the merchandise for a gain.”

Write a comment


  1. Oh God, now everyone will think I’m bringing cheese from the US to Canada…$20 as a daily dairy personal limit is inhumane 🙂

Google’s Algorithm Is Lying to You About Onions and Blaming Me for It 

Posted on March 8th, 2017 at 17:31 by John Sinteur in category: News


Not only does Google, the world’s preeminent index of information, tell its users that caramelizing onions takes “about 5 minutes”—it pulls that information from an article whose entire point was to tell people exactly the opposite. A block of text from the Times that I had published as a quote, to illustrate how it was a lie, had been extracted by the algorithm as the authoritative truth on the subject.

Five years after I thought I had buried the falsehood about quick onion cooking, Google is dragging it out of its grave to send it shambling into unsuspecting users’ kitchens. In fact, it made the lie even worse, because Google’s automated text analysis is too dumb to recognize that “about 5 minutes” followed by “about 5 minutes longer” means 10 minutes.

Do not try caramelizing onions in five minutes. And do not listen to Google.

And when it’s doing something as simple as that wrong, imagine what it’s doing with political facts. And imagine most people soon won’t even see contact, but just get a regurgitated snippet from alexa or siri.

Or, from twitter

Write a comment


  1. A few weeks ago, my wife (who is a psychologist with her own practice) noticed that when you google her name, a photo came up next to her information. The issue was not only was the photo not her, but it was a photo of two women without much on laying one on top of the other. We tried a number of ways to contact google and flag the photo as having nothing to do with her or her practice. The only response we got was that she should contact the person who owns the website where the photo was located and add some code to the page so the photos would be linked to other sites/people. It was their algorithm that linked it solely because one of the names on the blog where the photo came from had the same name as my wife. As we have a common last name, there are probably hundreds if not thousands of women with the same name as my wife. Since the blog owner didn’t feel like taking action, the only thing we could do was flag it and then add a bunch of photos to google’s information about her practice.

  2. Larry Niven’s famous science-fiction short story ‘The Jigsaw Man’, written way back in 1967, had the protagonist’s name as [generic Western-sounding name] followed by a less-than-10-digit alphanumeric code which was his social security number, telephone number, citizen number, driving license number etc, all in one.
    I’m sure Niven was just trying to make it look futuristic, but given b’s comments above, it’s not impossible to believe that, for our own protection from other people with the same, or similar, names as us, people will one day, or might have to one day, add a unique identifier to our names just to prevent misunderstanding’s like that.


Posted on March 6th, 2017 at 13:38 by John Sinteur in category: News


Write a comment

What if Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Had Swapped Genders?

Posted on March 6th, 2017 at 11:55 by John Sinteur in category: News


For those Clinton voters trying to make sense of the loss, it was by turns bewildering and instructive, raising as many questions about gender performance and effects of sexism as it answered.

Write a comment


  1. Clinton’s wife said he would have won if he had concentrated more on economic issues in the mid-west.

European honeybee defense against Japanese yellow hornet using heat generation by bee-balling behavior

Posted on March 5th, 2017 at 21:36 by John Sinteur in category: News


The Japanese honeybee, Apis cerana japonica Radoszkowski, uses unique generation of heat by bee-balling to defend against, overheat and kill predacious Japanese hornets. We have now observed the European honeybee, Apis mellifera Linnaeus, using similar bee-balling behavior and heat generation against the Japanese yellow hornet, Vespa simillima xanthoptera Cameron. We monitored temperatures in the center of the bee-ball and inside thoracic muscles of the captured hornet and found that the thoracic internal temperature (45.8 ± 2.32°C) was higher than that of the bee-ball (44.0 ± 0.96°C).

Until recently it was thought that only Japanese honeybees could make defensive bee-balls. Japanese yellow hornets, and their cousin the Asian hornet, are bee massacre specialists. A few dozen hornets can slaughter more than 30,000 bees in a few hours, leaving behind a mound of dismembered heads, wings and legs. When a hornet attacks, hundreds of bees respond, smothering the inch-long marauder with their own intimate version of burn-it-with-fire, roasting the hornet alive at over 114°F/45.8°C.


The European bees probably picked it up by watching the bee bee see…

Write a comment


  1. Unbeelievable! You’ve got to be pollen my leg!

  2. Hive five John for an interesting article!

Heartbroken Russian Ambassador Thought Special Meetings With Jeff Sessions Were Very Memorable

Posted on March 4th, 2017 at 22:39 by John Sinteur in category: News


WASHINGTON—Expressing surprise and sadness at Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ repeated denials of contact with Russian officials during the 2016 presidential campaign, heartbroken Ambassador Sergey Kislyak told reporters Thursday that he thought his special meetings with the then–Alabama senator were actually very memorable. “To be honest, our two conversations hold great significance for me, and I can’t help but be upset to learn that Jeff felt otherwise,” said the tearful Russian diplomat, adding that he simply could not believe that Sessions could so nonchalantly dismiss the many hours they spent discussing the intimate details of their lives, including their innermost hopes and fears for their respective countries. “It really hurts to think that Jeff doesn’t cherish the afternoons we spent sitting in his office exchanging information about everything under the sun. These were some of the most meaningful discussions of my life, and Jeff’s writing them off like they didn’t even happen. How could he be so cruel?” Kislyak went on to say that even his subsequent communications with former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn never for a moment made him forget the precious time he and Sessions spent together.

Write a comment


  1. Comment from today’s Observer:
    “Washington joke reported on the Marr show this morning – The Russian ambassador to the US must be the most boring man in Washington. Nobody who has had a meeting with him can remember having had one.”

Congressman Roger Marshall finds himself at heart of Obamacare fight

Posted on March 4th, 2017 at 22:35 by John Sinteur in category: News


“Just like Jesus said, ‘The poor will always be with us,’” he said. “There is a group of people that just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves.”

Pressed on that point, Marshall shrugged.

“Just, like, homeless people. … I think just morally, spiritually, socially, [some people] just don’t want health care,” he said. “The Medicaid population, which is [on] a free credit card, as a group, do probably the least preventive medicine and taking care of themselves and eating healthy and exercising. And I’m not judging, I’m just saying socially that’s where they are. So there’s a group of people that even with unlimited access to health care are only going to use the emergency room when their arm is chopped off or when their pneumonia is so bad they get brought [into] the ER.”

Sigh. Maybe this guy needs a refresher on some of the other things Jesus said.

Something tells me he hasn’t looked at the health care systems other western nations use.

Write a comment


  1. Oh wait, I checked his references

    Mark 14:17

    The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have Me.

    Deuteronomy 15:11

    For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land.’

    Christ, what an asshole.

  2. If that’s the case, they won’t spend much money on healthcare. So why not give it to them?

  3. Let’s not get into what Jesus said about rich people, either. Embarrassingly naive 🙂

The Innocent Explanation, Part #1

Posted on March 4th, 2017 at 22:25 by John Sinteur in category: News


The simplest explanation isn’t necessarily the right one. But in the spirit of Occam’s Razor, we should prefer it because it usually will be. To state the key point for clarity and emphasis, it is not the simplest explanation. It it is the simplest explanation which accounts for all the known facts. That distinction makes all the difference in the world.

With this prologue and with the above in mind, here is what I would call the innocent explanation of the Trump/Russia story. I don’t think it is necessarily the true story. Or, to put it more precisely, I don’t think it is necessarily the whole story. But I think it accounts for most of the what we know so far.

Write a comment

camera shutter speed matches helicopter`s rotor

Posted on March 4th, 2017 at 21:42 by John Sinteur in category: News

Write a comment


  1. Here’s the pilot driving to work that day:

  2. More and more and more and more and more and an airplane.

Addiction – YouTube

Posted on March 4th, 2017 at 21:10 by John Sinteur in category: News

Write a comment


  1. I joined an addictions research program at a Canadian University a year ago that’s trialing an online addictions program that was developed by Dr. Kathleen Carroll at the Yale School of Medicine over the past decade. I’ve had the opportunity to pour over quite a lot of addictions research, and though I’m far from a specialist, I’m alarmed to see how pervasive the “rat park” experiment has been in explaining addiction. The results of that study could not be replicated, so it’s generally not considered to be a valid, generalizable hypothesis, yet the narrative is so compelling that people continue to repeat it in TED talks and youtube videos alike. My day-to-day work involves meeting with participants (people struggling with addictions), and I can assure you, most of them have family, friends, support workers, and acquaintances that care deeply for them. These things seldom have a one-off explanation like the video may lead you to believe.

    I also had the opportunity to attend a conference with Dr. Gabor Maté, a rock star in the Canadian Addictions scene, and was dismayed to find his trauma-oriented explanation of addiction to be just as ideological as rat park. Traumatic experiences most certainly can and do lead to addiction, but Dr. Maté insists that trauma is the root of *all* addiction. People who don’t recall having any particularly traumatic experiences in their lives are just suppressing their trauma, which still leads to addictive tendencies (basically the tail wagging the dog – if you have an addiction, you necessarily must have trauma as well, you just don’t know about it but you better figure it out if you want to get better). Both theories dismiss the biological component of introducing foreign substances into the body that disrupt regular function. As Dr. Carroll points out, you can very easily get mice to develop chemical dependencies to drugs, and you’re hard pressed to explain that with trauma or social groups alone.

  2. Of course. I know a person that can smoke half a pack a day for a few months, stop cold turkey without any side effects, and restart a year later. It’s a weird thing and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Which means that, just like the video says, punishing people makes zero sense.

  3. Agreed.

Iraqi Federal Police Are Weaponizing Off-the-Shelf Drones, ISIS-Style

Posted on March 4th, 2017 at 16:40 by John Sinteur in category: News


The proliferation of consumer, off-the-shelf unmanned aerial vehicles weaponized by non-state actors like Islamic State has taken a new turn this week after the Iraqi Federal Police deployed the very same drones against Islamic State itself.

On March 1, reports sourced from Twitter indicated that the police force had begun surveilling and attacking Islamic State positions in Western Mosul with quadcopters. One day later, further reports showed a video feed from onboard a quadcopter that was striking Islamic State positions with the very same DIY bombs that Islamic State has been using. The drone used by the IFP appears to be a DJI Matrice 100—the same drone photographed by Agence France-Presse reporter Sara Hussein on February 23.

Write a comment

Yes Hillary, that’s really the headline there…

Posted on March 4th, 2017 at 8:32 by John Sinteur in category: News

Write a comment

This car comes with a full tank

Posted on March 2nd, 2017 at 18:58 by John Sinteur in category: News

Write a comment

Screened Out

Posted on March 2nd, 2017 at 13:11 by John Sinteur in category: News


Everything is possible. Nothing is possible. Nothing hurts any more, until the consequences crash through the screen. Immersed almost permanently in virtual worlds, we cannot check what we are told against tangible reality. Is it any wonder that we live in a post-truth era, when we are bereft of experience?

It is no longer rare to meet adults who have never swum except in a swimming pool, never slept except in a building, never run a mile or climbed a mountain, have never been stung by a bee or a wasp, broken a bone or needed stitches. Without a visceral knowledge of what it is to be hurt and healed, exhausted and resolute, freezing and ecstatic, we lose our reference points. We are separated from the world by a layer of glass. Climate change, distant wars, the erosion of democracy, the resurgence of fascism – in our temperature-controlled enclosures, all can be reduced to abstractions.


Like adolescent boys and man-boys everywhere, 4chan’s users, Beran explains, are “deeply sensitive and guarded”. They disguise this sensitivity with extreme insensitivity to other people’s suffering – of the kind that “only people who have never really suffered” can display. Whatever they do or say – posting swastikas, racist memes, incitements to bully and abuse – is just “for the lulz” (4chan’s word for lols).

None of it, in the airless, affectless world in which they spend almost all their time, seems to matter. When they make the mistake of stepping into the real world, as Laurie Penny’s description last week of the young men accompanying Yiannopoulos on his roadshow reveals, they find it a hard and terrifying place. “Very brave behind a computer screen,” these people are “absolutely unequipped to deal with any suggestion of real-world consequences.” Until they collided with anti-fascist demonstrators, their far right politics were just another lulz. Dale Beran explains that Donald Trump perfectly encapsulates the 4chan ethic. A loser who miraculously wins, a great spiteful prank on the world’s people, he brings its fantasy world to life.

Write a comment

Why Trump Sounding “Presidential” Only Makes Him More Dangerous

Posted on March 1st, 2017 at 23:05 by John Sinteur in category: News


Authoritarianism is bone deep in these guys. It is their instinct, their unconquerable reflex, to reach for the most repressive solution against the most vulnerable target at hand. It is the wellspring of everything else: the lies, the criminal exploitation of a woman’s grief, the constant need for affirmation, the even-more-constant assertion of the president*s demonstrated greatness, and speeches like the one on Tuesday night, which really was nothing more than a list of banal solutions to largely imaginary problems.

That they’re really bad at being authoritarians is not going to be enough to keep it at bay forever. They’ll get better at it. They already are better at it, which is what all the bloviating about “tone” is really all about. That tone is nothing more than a bell tolling, deep in the national psyche, summoning us to act on our worst impulses and, by acting on them, ennoble them. It is a bell tolling, and it tolls for thee, motherfckers. It tolls for thee.

Write a comment


  1. I am not going to get all hysterical, but this looks really bad.

The Rio cinema in Dalston played 20 seconds of ‘La La Land’ at the start of ‘Moonlight’

Posted on March 1st, 2017 at 22:09 by John Sinteur in category: News


The cheeky staff at the Rio cinema pulled off a hilarious spoof of the monumental Oscars mess-up last night, playing 20 seconds of ‘La La Land’ at the start of ‘Moonlight’. Luckily the sold-out audience got the joke straight-away, breaking into a huge round of applause. ‘It wasn’t the actual feature film, but a few seconds from a teaser trailer,’ the Rio’s duty manager told us today over the phone. ‘Then we shut it down, and did a bit of fumbling to make it look like we made a mistake.’

Write a comment

How original

Posted on March 1st, 2017 at 21:03 by John Sinteur in category: News

Write a comment


  1. Does this mean actual convictions or suspected crimes?
    (There was a recent announcement that criminals including anyone “suspected” would be targeted for deportation.)

    It appears that something like 50% of the food produced in the USA is produced by undocumented migrants. How did things get to such a state? Greed for cheap labour, pressure for cheap food and an almost inexhaustible supply of poor people (as long as you let them in…nudge, wink).

Software engineer detained, given test to prove he’s engineer

Posted on March 1st, 2017 at 20:58 by John Sinteur in category: News


It was Sunday, Feb. 26 and the 28-year-old software engineer had left his home in Lagos, Nigeria, to come to the United States for the first time. It was a work trip. For the last six months, Omin had been working for Andela, a startup that connects the top tech talent in Africa with employers in the U.S. Andela accepts less than 1% of applicants into its program and is backed by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan. For this particular role, Omin was helping NYC-based fintech startup First Access create a JavaScript application for emerging markets and had secured a short-term joint B1/B2 visa.

After landing, Omin waited for 20 minutes and then reached the front of the line, where a Customs and Border Protection officer asked him a series of questions. It was here that Omin realized that the job might be challenging, but getting into America could now be impossible. No one at Andela had prepared him for the new reality.

After a few minutes of grilling him about the job, the border agent escorted Omin into a small room and told him to sit down. Another hour passed before a different customs officer came in.

“Your visa says you are a software engineer. Is that correct?” the officer asked Omin in a tone the engineer described as accusatory. When Omin said it was right, the officer presented him with a piece of paper and a pen and told him to answer the following questions:

  • “Write a function to check if a Binary Search Tree is balanced.”
  • “What is an abstract class, and why do you need it?”

How is this not similar to these:



Write a comment

DNA Test Shows Subway’s Oven-Roasted Chicken Is Only 50 Percent Chicken

Posted on February 28th, 2017 at 18:42 by John Sinteur in category: News


If you think that chicken sandwich you ordered at Subway did not fully taste like fowl, you may have been right.

According to a Canadian study, a DNA test showed only half of Subway’s oven-roasted patty is made with real chicken.

Subway was among five fast-food restaurants whose chicken the Canadian Broadcast Corporation had tested.

The results showed the Oven Roasted Chicken patties averaged 53.6 percent chicken DNA while the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki strips came in at 42.8 percent.

The sandwich chain refuted the results of the DNA test in a released statement:

“SUBWAY Canada cannot confirm the veracity of the results of the lab testing you had conducted. However, we are concerned by the alleged findings you cite with respect to the proportion of soy content. Our chicken strips and oven roasted chicken contain 1% or less of soy protein. We use this ingredient in these products as a means to help stabilize the texture and moisture. All of our chicken items are made from 100% white meat chicken which is marinated, oven roasted and grilled. We tested our chicken products recently for nutritional and quality attributes and found it met our food quality standards. We will look into this again with our supplier to ensure that the chicken is meeting the high standard we set for all of our menu items and ingredients.”

In case you wondered what the rest of the patties and chicken strips are made of: It’s soy.


Don’t you just LOVE language? “All of our chicken items are made from 100% white meat chicken…”

It means that the chicken in the product is actual chicken… And the rest of the “meat” is left unspecified… A bit like “Made with 100% juice” as an indication that very little bit of juice in there is, well, juice.

Write a comment


  1. Why did the subway chicken cross the road?
    To find its better half..

  2. Soy! And all this time I was thinking that white stuff was bread…I mean it’s white and sweet and has a pappy texture just like store-bought bread 🙂

Data from connected CloudPets teddy bears leaked and ransomed, exposing kids’ voice messages

Posted on February 28th, 2017 at 17:15 by John Sinteur in category: News


Now firstly, put yourself in the shoes of the average parent, that is one who’s technically literate enough to know the wifi password but not savvy enough to understand how the “magic” of daddy talking to the kids through the bear (and vice versa) actually works. They don’t necessarily realise that every one of those recordings – those intimate, heartfelt, extremely personal recordings – between a parent and their child is stored as an audio file on the web. They certainly wouldn’t realise that in CloudPets’ case, that data was stored in a MongoDB that was in a publicly facing network segment without any authentication required and had been indexed by Shodan (a popular search engine for finding connected things).

Well, as we all know, the ‘S’ in IoT stands for ‘security’.

Write a comment

How does this “simple” electric train work?

Posted on February 28th, 2017 at 16:58 by John Sinteur in category: News



If the field lines are exactly parallel a bar magnet will feel no net force. However at the ends of the coil, where the field lines diverge, a bar magnet will be either pulled into the coil or pushed out of the coil depending on which way round you insert it.

The trick in the video is that the magnets are made of a conducting material and they connect the battery terminals to the copper wire, so the battery, magnets and copper wire make a circuit that generates a magnet field just in the vicinity of the battery. The geometry means the two magnets are automatically at the ends of the generated magnetic field, where the field is divergent, so a force is exerted on the magnets.

Write a comment

Trump: ‘Nobody knew that healthcare could be so complicated’

Posted on February 28th, 2017 at 0:14 by John Sinteur in category: News


President Trump said Monday that “nobody knew that healthcare could be so complicated,” as Republicans have been slow to unite around a replacement plan for ObamaCare.

“I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject,” Trump said after a meeting with conservative governors at the White House.


No shit, sherlock. NOW you’re telling us?

Write a comment


  1. Here’s a hint. Remove the insurance companies and it’s much simpler.

  2. When I read the report I was reminded of the Wizard of Oz song ….”if I only had a brain.” It is a good analogy. Denying health care is heartless, improving it will take both courage and brains. Where’s the wizard when you need one?

Micro SF/F stories on Twitter

Posted on February 27th, 2017 at 22:38 by John Sinteur in category: News


The message from the alien ship was broadcast telepathically: all understood it.

“We have come to save you.”

They took all squids and left.

Write a comment


  1. In the magic mine, the canary was singing opera in its cage.

    It coughed, and switched to prog rock.

    “Wild magic leak!” miners called. “Out!”

  2. Here is what came to my mind…
    So long and thanks for all the fish!

« Older Entries Newer Entries »