pipeline

The thing that won’t die, in the nightmare that won’t end

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{ James Rosenquist, Pink Condition, 1996 | Beverly Hills Cop, 1984 }

O.J. grabbed Nicole’s crotch and said, ‘This is where babies come from and this belongs to me.’

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Kardashian and Simpson first met around 1967 while both of them were at USC and became close friends. Simpson was the best man at Kardashian and Kris Houghton’s wedding in 1978. He had four children with his first wife, Kris Kardashian: Kourtney, Kim, Khloé, and Rob.

Following the June 12, 1994, murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, Simpson stayed in Kardashian’s house to avoid the media. Kardashian was the man seen carrying Simpson’s garment bag the day that Simpson flew back from Chicago. Prosecutors speculated that the bag may have contained Simpson’s bloody clothes or the murder weapon.

Simpson was charged with the murders and subsequently acquitted of all criminal charges in a controversial criminal trial.

Kardashian had let his license to practice law become inactive before the Simpson case but reactivated it to aid in Simpson’s defense as a volunteer assistant on his legal team, alongside Simpson’s main defense attorneys, Robert Shapiro and Johnnie Cochran.

As one of Simpson’s lawyers and a member of the defense “Dream Team”, Kardashian could not be compelled or subpoenaed to testify against Simpson in the case, which included Simpson’s past history and behavior with his ex-wife Nicole, and as to the contents of Simpson’s garment bag. He sat by Simpson throughout the trial.

{ Wikipedia | Continue reading }

video { CNN’s coverage of O.J. Simpson’s infamous white Bronco chase in 1994 }

‘This is civilization. We have inherited it. We love the glitter. It is growing dark and trees crowd the sky.’ –Susan Griffin

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Press reports in April 2019 and December 2021 stated that China might be developing a YJ-18 launcher that can be packaged inside a standard commercial shipping container

{ Congressional Research Service | PDF }

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{ Everyone’s playing by the same rules now? }

You see, I borrow money all over this neighborhood, left and right from every BODY, I never pay them back.

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{ The city of Lopburi is experiencing unprecedented violence between two monkey gangs [Thailand]. Local authorities successfully apprehended one of the gang leader, Ai Krao, using a tranquilizer gun. Upon his arrest, cries could be heard from his subordinates. A hierarchy chart has been published, showing Yellow as Krao’s group and Green as Yak’s group. A citywide monkey-hunt is underway to capture the remaining leaders. | Twitter | with videos | businesstoday.in }

have we too much blood up in us or what O patience above its pouring out of me like the sea

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Menstrual synchrony was first demonstrated in a 1971 paper published in Nature by Martha McClintock. […]

she asked 135 college girls living in dorms to recall their period start dates at three times throughout the academic year. She found that close-friend groups had periods significantly closer together in April (later in the year) compared with October: lessening from an average of 6.4 to 4.6 days apart.

The phenomenon was dubbed “the McClintock effect” and is widely held as the first example of pheromones — unconscious chemical signals that influence behavior and physiology — among humans. […] Many subsequent researchers went on to reproduce the results from McClintock’s original experiment in people, rats, hamsters and chimpanzees.

But a cohort of studies that found no evidence for menstrual synchrony began to grow, too. […]

In 1992 H. Clyde Wilson […] re-analyzed McClintock’s first experiment, along with a few others that used a similar design. He found that all had inflated the difference between period start dates at the beginning of their studies […] their model of two pheromones — one that pulls ovulation forward and one that delays it — driving synchrony didn’t work […]

The insurmountable hurdle in all the studies is that women often have persistent cycles of different lengths. As such, they can never truly synchronize, just randomly phase in and out of synchrony over the months as their cycles diverge and converge. […]

But a team of Japanese researchers at Yokohama City University, led by Kazuyuki Shinohara, also found in a series of papers that donor women undergoing these two phases of the menstrual cycle release compounds that when inhaled by other women can significantly impact the frequency in the latter of pulses of luteinizing hormone (LH), which helps control the timing of ovulation and cycle length.

{ Scientific American | Continue reading }

‘Salvador Dalí seduced many ladies, particularly American ladies, but these seductions usually consisted of stripping them naked in his apartment, frying a couple of eggs, putting the eggs on the woman’s shoulders and, without a word, showing them the door.’ –Luis Buñuel

New York usury law makes it illegal to charge very high interest rates on loans. If you charge more than 16% on a loan in New York, the borrower might not have to pay you back; if you charge more than 25%, you might be committing a crime. Some people want to charge higher rates on loans, and so they want to structure loans that don’t look like loans to avoid usury rules.

The classic general way to do this is to structure the loan as a purchase. If the borrower — sorry, let’s use a more neutral word, maybe “customer” — has an asset that will pay $100 in cash in a year, you can buy that asset today for $80. You’ll get the $100 in a year, for a 25% return on your money; the customer gets $80 today instead of $100 in a year. That’s a lot like the customer borrowing $80 today at 25% interest, but you have called it a purchase and sale rather than a loan. Legally, this might or might not work, depending on the details (if the asset turns out to be worthless, does the customer still have to pay you?).

Lots of quite normal high-finance lending works this way — “structuring a loan as a sale” roughly characterizes things like the repo market, asset-backed securities or receivables factoring — but, also, lots of shady usurious low-finance lending works this way. […]

Yellowstone Capital, a pioneer in a form of high-risk lending called merchant cash advance, was sued by New York’s attorney general for $1.4 billion for allegedly making illegal loans to small businesses.

For years, Yellowstone lent money at rates that exceeded usury limits – sometimes more than 800% annualized, according to the lawsuit filed in New York state court in Manhattan Tuesday.

{ Bloomberg | Continue reading }

‘I didn’t know I was really alive in this world until I felt things hard enough to kill for ‘em.’ –Richard Wright

On June 14, 2015, sheriff’s deputies in Greene County, Missouri, United States, found the body of Clauddine “Dee Dee” Blanchard (née Pitre; born May 3, 1967, in Chackbay, Louisiana) face down in the bedroom of her house just outside Springfield, lying on the bed in a pool of blood from stab wounds inflicted several days earlier. There was no sign of her daughter, Gypsy Rose, who, according to Blanchard, had chronic conditions including leukemia, asthma, and muscular dystrophy and who had the “mental capacity of a seven-year-old due to brain damage” as the result of premature birth.

After reading troubling Facebook posts earlier in the evening, concerned neighbors notified the police, reporting that Dee Dee might have fallen victim to foul play and that Gypsy Rose, whose wheelchair and medications were still in the house, might have been abducted. The next day, police found Gypsy Rose in Wisconsin, where she had traveled with her then-boyfriend Nicholas Godejohn, whom she had met online. When investigators announced that she was actually an adult and did not have any of the physical and mental health issues her mother claimed she had, public outrage over the possible abduction of a disabled girl gave way to shock and some sympathy for Gypsy Rose.

Further investigation found that some of the doctors who had examined Gypsy Rose had found no evidence of the claimed disorders. One physician suspected that Dee Dee had factitious disorder imposed on another, a mental disorder in which a parent or other caretaker exaggerates, fabricates, or induces illness in a person under their care to obtain sympathy or attention. Dee Dee had changed her name after her family, who suspected she had poisoned her stepmother, confronted her about how she treated Gypsy Rose. Nonetheless, many people accepted her situation as true, and the two benefited from the efforts of charities such as Children’s Mercy Hospital, Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Dee Dee had been making her daughter pass herself off as younger and pretend to be disabled and chronically ill, subjecting her to unnecessary surgery and medication, and controlling her through physical and psychological abuse. […]

Many people who met Gypsy were charmed by her. Her 5-foot (150 cm) height, nearly toothless mouth, large glasses, and high, childlike voice reinforced the perception that she had all the problems her mother claimed she did. Dee Dee regularly shaved Gypsy’s head to mimic the hairless appearance of a chemotherapy patient, allegedly telling Gypsy that since her medication would eventually cause her hair to fall out, it was best to shave it in advance; Gypsy often wore wigs or hats to cover her baldness. When they left the house, Dee Dee often took an oxygen tank and feeding tube with them; Gypsy was fed the children’s liquid nutrition supplement PediaSure well into her 20s. […]

Marc Feldman, an international expert on factitious disorders, said this was the first case he knew of in which an abused child killed an abusive parent. Gypsy Rose pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and served 8 years of a 10-year sentence. She was granted parole in September 2023 and was released from prison on December 28, 2023. After a brief trial in November 2018, Godejohn was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

{ Wikipedia | Continue reading }

related { Most viewed pages of en.wikipedia.org, daily }

Is the answer to this question “no”?

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On 25 October 1946, Karl Popper (at the London School of Economics), was invited to present a paper entitled “Are There Philosophical Problems?” at a meeting of the Cambridge University Moral Sciences Club, which was chaired by Ludwig Wittgenstein.

The two started arguing vehemently over whether there existed substantial problems in philosophy, or merely linguistic puzzles—the position taken by Wittgenstein.

Wittgenstein used a fireplace poker to emphasize his points, gesturing with it as the argument grew more heated. Eventually, Wittgenstein claimed that philosophical problems were nonexistent.

In response, Popper claimed there were many issues in philosophy, such as setting a basis for moral guidelines. Wittgenstein then thrust the poker at Popper, challenging him to give any example of a moral rule, Popper (later) claimed to have said:

“Not to threaten visiting lecturers with pokers”

{ Wikipedia | Continue reading }

Parnet: Let’s move on to “W”.

Deleuze: There’s nothing in “W”.

Parnet: Yes, there’s Wittgenstein. I know he’s nothing for you, but it’s only a word.

Deleuze: I don’t like to talk about that… For me, it’s a philosophical catastrophe. It’s the very example of a “school”, it’s a regression of all philosophy, a massive regression. […] They imposed a system of terror in which, under the pretext of doing something new, it’s poverty instituted in all grandeur… […] the Wittgensteinians are mean and destructive. […] They are assassins of philosophy.

{ The Deleuze Seminars | Continue reading }

‘Andy Warhol is the only genius I’ve ever known with an IQ of 60.’ –Gore Vidal

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AI has poisoned its own well

Replied to The Curse of Recursion: Training on Generated Data Makes Models Forget (arXiv.org)

What will happen to GPT-{n} once LLMs contribute much of the language found online? We find that use of model-generated content in training causes irreversible defects in the resulting models, where tails of the original content distribution disappear. […] the value of data collected about genuine human interactions with systems will be increasingly valuable in the presence of content generated by LLMs in data crawled from the Internet.

I suspect tech companies (particularly Microsoft / OpenAI and Google) have miscalculated, and in their fear of being left behind, have released their generative AI models too early and too wide. By doing so, they’ve essentially established a threshold for the maximum improvement of their products due to the threat of model collapse.[…]

They need an astronomical amount of training data to make any model better than what already exists. By releasing their models for public use now, when they’re not very good yet, too many people have pumped the internet full of mediocre generated content with no indication of provenance. […]

Obtaining quality training data is going to be very expensive in five years if AI doesn’t win all its lawsuits over training data being fair use.

{ Tracy Durnell | Continue reading }

I’m the only one — believe me, I know them all, I’m the only one who knows how to fix it.

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‘The real apocalypse is technology, our descendants will no longer look like us.’ –Pier Paolo Pasolini

Ezra Klein: Is social media good for people?
Tyler Cowen: We don’t know yet.

{ Vox (2017) }

And first I give her my whip, my gourd, and my hat

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{ FINGERring by Nadja Buttendorf via tegabrain }

I even had her in the shower (It wasn’t me)

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{ longtime artist Ladson alleges that his seemingly near-identical painting [right] is not based on Miller’s photograph [left] }

‘One of the most time-consuming things is to have an enemy’ –E. B. White

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Malibu Media LLC is an adult movie company that produces films featured on the pornagraphic website X-Art.com. The company has spent years suing people for copyright infringement, alleging the defendants downloaded its films via peer-to-peer file sharing software such as BitTorrent.

Malibu Media LLC is an adult movie company that produces films featured on the pornographic website X-Art.com. The company has spent years suing people for copyright infringement, alleging the defendants downloaded its films via peer-to-peer file sharing software such as BitTorrent.

The company targets individuals based on their IP address (like a phone number, but for one’s computer), which its proprietary technology has detected as being associated with illegal filesharing.

{ Rosenblum Law | Continue reading }

Over the past decade, Malibu Media has emerged as a prominent so-called “copyright troll,” suing thousands of “John Does” for allegedly torrenting adult content hosted on the porn studio’s website, “X-Art.” Whether defendants were guilty or not didn’t seem to matter to Malibu, critics claimed, as much as winning as many settlements as possible. As courts became more familiar with Malibu, however, some judges grew suspicious of the studio’s litigiousness. As early as 2012, a California judge described these lawsuits as “essentially an extortion scheme,” and by 2013, a Wisconsin judge ordered sanctions, agreeing with critics who said that Malibu’s tactics were designed to “harass and intimidate” defendants into paying Malibu thousands in settlements. […]

Now, TorrentFreak reports that Malibu’s litigation machine appears to finally be running out of steam—with its corporate status suspended in California sometime between mid-2020 and early 2021 after failing to pay taxes. Last month, a Texas court said that Malibu has until January 20 to pay what’s owed in back taxes and get its corporate status reinstated. If that doesn’t happen over the next few weeks, one of Malibu’s last lawsuits on the books will be dismissed, potentially marking the end of Malibu’s long run of alleged copyright trolling.

{ Ars Technica | Continue reading }

Doyle Lonnegan: I put it all on Lucky Dan; half a million dollars to win.

The simplest form of investment scam is that you promise people some attractive return on their investment […] There are two basic approaches, which are:

A reasonable return, or
An insane return.

The first approach was made famous by Bernie Madoff […] The advantage of this approach is that it can attract sophisticated investors: Madoff was able to raise money from rich people and funds-of-funds because, in their obviously flawed due diligence, they concluded that the returns he promised were plausible. […]

The second approach […] you mostly don’t want sophisticated investors. It is plausibly harder to trick sophisticated investors than it is to trick unsophisticated ones. This is like why advance-fee scam emails have lots of typos: “By sending an initial email that’s obvious in its shortcomings, the scammers are isolating the most gullible targets.” Promising a 1,000,000% return ensures that you never end up talking to anyone but the most gullible possible marks. […] Here’s a good Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement action against an alleged vaguely crypto-ish fraud: […]

According to the SEC’s complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Chandran, Davidson, Glaspie, Knott, and Mossel falsely claimed that investors could generate extravagant returns by investing in a blockchain technology called CoinDeal that would be sold for trillions of dollars to a group of prominent and wealthy buyers. […]

Chandran, a recidivist securities law violator and convicted felon, claimed to own a unique blockchain technology that was on the verge of being sold for trillions of dollars to a group of reputable billionaire buyers (“CoinDeal”). Chandran further claimed his business required interim financial support until the sale transaction closed. Together with and through other named Defendants, Chandran targeted mostly unsophisticated investors with false and misleading promises and representations that investments in CoinDeal would soon yield extremely high returns from the imminent sale of his business. Ultimately, there was no sale, and no distribution of proceeds, because CoinDeal was a sham. […]

Chandran typically provided status updates on the supposed deal, including but not limited to: the involvement of foreign central banks and the United States Department of Homeland Security; the latest board meetings of the consortium of wealthy buyers; the role of certain political figures; and the causes of “temporary” delays to the sale closing. These updates were designed to lull investors and induce them to continue investing in CoinDeal. […]

Then of course the “deal” would not close and there would be excuses, which included “the engineer … called in sick yesterday” and “the bank wants a new set of documents.” […] My favorite part, though, might be the section about Linda Knott. According to the SEC complaint, she didn’t know these people, and wasn’t in any real sense a part of their alleged scam. She just used their alleged scam as a substrate to run her own alleged scam:

In February 2021, Knott learned of CoinDeal through one of Glaspie’s teleconferences […] Knott started collecting funds for CoinDeal through an investor group called Together We Profit. Together We Profit was a loose arrangement of individuals interested in participating in CoinDeal. … Knott facilitated investment by lowering the barrier to entry for CoinDeal by allowing prospective investors to participate for as little as $27, which was lower than the amounts permitted by Glaspie. […] While Knott assured investors she would transmit all of their funds to CoinDeal, that was false. She enriched herself by misappropriating approximately $79,000 or more for personal use and purposes unrelated to CoinDeal.

{ Bloomberg | Continue reading }

‘In fact, one of the big banks came to me and said, “Donald, you don’t have enough borrowings. Could we loan you $4 billion”?’ –Donald Trump

“Hey Jared! POTUS wants to trademark/own rights to below, I don’t know who to see – or ask…I don’t know who to take to,” the email from Scavino reads, according to a transcript of Kushner’s testimony to the committee, which was released by the panel on Friday.

Two phrases were bolded in the email: “Save America PAC!” and “Rigged Election!”

Kushner forwarded the request and discussed it on an email chain that included Eric Trump, the president’s son; Alex Cannon, a Trump campaign lawyer; Sean Dollman, the chief financial officer of Trump’s 2020 campaign; and Justin Clark, a Trump campaign lawyer.

“Guys - can we do ASAP please?” Kushner wrote.

Eric Trump responded, saying: “Both web URLs are already registered. Save America PAC was registered October 23 of this year. Was that done by the campaign?”

Dollman responded: “‘Save America PAC’ is already taken/registered, just confirming that. But we can still file for ‘Save America.’”

Kushner’s response, according to the transcript, was: “Go.”

{ CNN | Continue reading }

Knife and fork chained to the table

The gunslinger effect, also sometimes called Bohr’s law or the gunfighter’s dilemma, is a psychophysical theory which says that an intentional or willed movement is slower than an automatic or reaction movement. The concept is named after physicist Niels Bohr, who first deduced that the person who draws second in a gunfight will actually win the shoot-out. […]

Bohr staged mock gunfights using cap guns with his students to test this hypothesis. Bohr found that the person who drew second always won in these experiments, leading him to conclude that drawing first created a distinct disadvantage.

Based on the inevitability of this outcome, Bohr suggested that the most logical conclusion to a gunfight would be a peaceful settlement, since neither gunslinger would want to draw first knowing that they would lose.

{ Wikipedia | Continue reading }

Assessment of presence in augmented and mixed reality

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This past winter, Goldman Sachs was closing in on a $40 million investment in Ozy, a digital media company founded in 2013, and there seemed to be a lot of reasons to do the deal. Ozy boasted of a large audience for its general interest website, its newsletters and its videos, and the company had a charismatic chief executive, Carlos Watson, a onetime cable news anchor who had worked at Goldman Sachs early in his career. And, crucially, Ozy said it had a great relationship with YouTube, where many of its videos attracted more than a million views.

That’s what the Zoom videoconference on Feb. 2 that Ozy arranged between the Goldman Sachs asset management division and YouTube was supposed to be about. The scheduled participants included Alex Piper, the head of unscripted programming for YouTube Originals. He was running late and apologized to the Goldman Sachs team, saying he’d had trouble logging onto Zoom, and he suggested that the meeting be moved to a conference call […] Once everyone had made the switch to an old-fashioned conference call, the guest told the bankers what they had been wanting to hear: that Ozy was a great success on YouTube, racking up significant views and ad dollars, and that Mr. Watson was as good a leader as he seemed to be. As he spoke, however, the man’s voice began to sound strange to the Goldman Sachs team, as though it might have been digitally altered, the four people said.

After the meeting, someone on the Goldman Sachs side reached out to Mr. Piper, not through the Gmail address that Mr. Watson had provided before the meeting, but through Mr. Piper’s assistant at YouTube. […] A confused Mr. Piper told the Goldman Sachs investor that he had never spoken with her before. Someone else, it seemed, had been playing the part of Mr. Piper on the call with Ozy. […]

Within days, Mr. Watson had apologized profusely to Goldman Sachs, saying the voice on the call belonged to Samir Rao, the co-founder and chief operating officer of Ozy, according to the four people.

In his apology to Goldman Sachs and in an email to me on Friday, Mr. Watson attributed the incident to a mental health crisis and shared what he said were details of Mr. Rao’s diagnosis.

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

‘Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard. Just ask. I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS. People just submitted it. I don’t know why. They “trust me.” Dumb fucks.’ –Mark Zuckerberg

Today, the Federal Trade Commission filed an amended complaint against Facebook in the agency’s ongoing federal antitrust case. The complaint alleges that after repeated failed attempts to develop innovative mobile features for its network, Facebook instead resorted to an illegal buy-or-bury scheme to maintain its dominance. It unlawfully acquired innovative competitors with popular mobile features that succeeded where Facebook’s own offerings fell flat or fell apart. And to further moat its monopoly, Facebook lured app developers to the platform, surveilled them for signs of success, and then buried them when they became competitive threats. Lacking serious competition, Facebook has been able to hone a surveillance-based advertising model and impose ever-increasing burdens on its users.  

“Facebook lacked the business acumen and technical talent to survive the transition to mobile. After failing to compete with new innovators, Facebook illegally bought or buried them when their popularity became an existential threat,” said Holly Vedova, FTC Bureau of Competition Acting Director. “This conduct is no less anticompetitive than if Facebook had bribed emerging app competitors not to compete. The antitrust laws were enacted to prevent precisely this type of illegal activity by monopolists. Facebook’s actions have suppressed innovation and product quality improvements. And they have degraded the social network experience, subjecting users to lower levels of privacy and data protections and more intrusive ads. The FTC’s action today seeks to put an end to this illegal activity and restore competition for the benefit of Americans and honest businesses alike.”

{ Federal Trade Commission | Continue reading }

BREAKING NEWS FROM PLANET BULLSHIT

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Elon Musk is going to launch a satellite that displays ads in space, reports @BusinessInsider.

He is one of several billionaires investing vast sums on the space race.

SpaceX will launch the satellite with a display screen in 2022.

Ad space will be bought using cryptocurrency.

{ AJPlus | More: Daily Mail }