All links:

  • The Cranberries' 'Linger' - A Wistful '90s Gem That's Pure Irish Poetry

    That night, in a drizzling rain, a ragtag group of travelers walked from the farmhouse hostel down an old stone road into town. We entered a pub and bellied up to whiskeys and stouts. Everyone was enjoying the “Craic,” Gaelic for “What’s happening?” “What’s good?” Shortly after a band of older men—probably 50 and 60-somethings—stood near the rock fireplace and performed a cover of “Linger” on acoustic guitars, mandolin and violin. Another man stood in front, in his thick sweater and ragged newsboy cap, singing the verses. Then the whole bar joined him for the choruses, as the rain fell outside. “Do you have to let it linger / Do you have to / Do you have to let it linger?” That night on the walk back to the hostel, the clouds broke and the stars shone bright in the Irish mist. O’Riordan’s legacy will not just linger, but live on forever, like the spirit of a Irish patron saint.

    I saw her last year in May in concert. The moment her voice joined together with thousands of other British people signing will remain forever in my mind.

  • How is poverty changing for higher poverty lines?

    poverty china

    The case of China is remarkable. As the chart below shows, there has been a dramatic decline in the number of people living in extreme poverty, while at the same time there has been an increase in the number of people living on incomes above $10 a day.

    I never imagined that the improvements could be this dramatic in only 20 years.

  • Malta an island of secrets and lies

    However, after an election it is winner-takes-all. The prime minister chooses everyone from the chief justice and the police commissioner to the chairman of the theatre. Loyalty essential; competence optional. “The only thing different from the Middle Ages is that we don’t rape the other side’s women,” says Cassola.

    Ahahaha, are you fucking kidding me? Though I am sad that a lot of devs have decided to move there and work on online casinos. Such a waste of time for humanity.

  • Internatul testamentar

    Pe șesul unui sat din Moldova, o femeie doarme adânc dis-de-dimineață. E trântită cu fața în jos. O mână o ține sub frunte, iar cu cealaltă și-a cuprins copilul de un an și jumătate, lipit de ea. Micuțul privește petele albe de pe cerul azuriu de vară și bolmojește cuvinte răzlețite și înțelese doar de el. Câteva gâze roiesc prin jurul lor, seduse de mirosul de scutec neschimbat de 3 zile și de vodcă „Spicușor”.

    Dacă jurnalismul în România ar avea un premiu Pulitzer, articolul ăsta l-ar câștiga de departe. 😞

  • A Specter Is Haunting Europe’s Recovery: Zombie Companies

    Italian clothing maker and retailer Stefanel SpA became famous for its knitted coats and cardigans. Many economists, investors and bankers know Stefanel as something starkly different: a zombie company. It has posted an annual loss for nine of the last 10 years and restructured its bank debt at least six times, including several grace periods when Stefanel only had to pay interest on what it owed.

    I sometimes hear stories about companies from friends here in London. Some are pretty unbelievable. But they always confirm one of my theories: that most organizations are structured entities that dumb people (or lure already dumb people).

  • The Uncounted

    We found that one in five of the coalition strikes we identified resulted in civilian death, a rate more than 31 times that acknowledged by the coalition. It is at such a distance from official claims that, in terms of civilian deaths, this may be the least transparent war in recent American history. Our reporting, moreover, revealed a consistent failure by the coalition to investigate claims properly or to keep records that make it possible to investigate the claims at all. While some of the civilian deaths we documented were a result of proximity to a legitimate ISIS target, many others appear to be the result simply of flawed or outdated intelligence that conflated civilians with combatants. In this system, Iraqis are considered guilty until proved innocent. Those who survive the strikes, people like Basim Razzo, remain marked as possible ISIS sympathizers, with no discernible path to clear their names.

    ☠️

  • Lessons From Hurricane Harvey: Houston’s Struggle Is America’s Tale

    “Three 500-year floods in three years means either we’re free and clear for the next 1,500 years,” as he put it, “or something has seriously changed.”

    😂… 😢.

  • Estonia, the Digital Republic

    Kaevats told me it irked him that so many Westerners saw his country as a tech haven. He thought they were missing the point. “This enthusiasm and optimism around technology is like a value of its own,” he complained. “This gadgetry that I’ve been ranting about? This is not important.” He threw up his hands, scattering ash. “It’s about the mind-set. It’s about the culture. It’s about the human relations—what it enables us to do.”

    This is what I loved the most. No cryptobullshit, no gadgets, no nothing. It’s about humans in the end.

  • Elon Musk: The Architect of Tomorrow

    Musk grabs a coffee-table book published by The Onion and starts leafing through it, laughing hysterically. “In order to understand the essential truth of things,” he theorizes, “I think you can find it in The Onion and occasionally on Reddit.”

    That was unexpected.

  • In 2017, UK water companies still rely on “magic”

    If you had to work out where to dig so that you didn’t cut off the water supply to an entire town, would you rely on a Ouija board for your answer? Probably not, but that is in effect what at least two UK water companies (now ten out of the twelve UK companies) openly admit to doing in 2017. Except instead of asking a Ouija board, they are asking divining (or dowsing) rods.

    Have a new year full of magic!

  • How Sicily Became Ungovernable

    But Francantonio Genovese isn’t locked up in the Gazzi Prison in Messina, where he was confined before his trial. In fact, he is currently standing at the counter of the bar in the Italian parliament, where he has ordered tea, a croissant and a glass of orange juice, sustenance for another day as a representative of the people. Genovese has changed parties seven times and recently left Renzi’s Democratic Party to join the Berlusconi camp. He is permitted to occupy seat number 536 at the Palazzo Montecitorio, which houses the Italian chamber of deputies, participate in debates and collect his parliamentary salary until his appeal trial is over. By the time a final judgement is handed down in Italy, corruption offenses have almost always reached the statute of limitations.

    This describes perfectly what Eastern Europe can also become in the future.

  • The Climate Fwd Newsletter

    In other words, the Earth would have warmed as much in two centuries as it did in 70 centuries at the end of the last ice age.

    I’ve been following The New York Times’ climate change newsletter for the past couple of weeks. It’s probably convinced me to deep dive into this subject more than anything else.

  • Italy’s Soccer Apocalypse

    Why this mad excess, this extraordinary investment of emotion and rhetoric in what is, after all, just a game that ended badly? This is a country where thirty-five per cent of young adults are unemployed, a country which, in the last decade, has lost a large part of its manufacturing base and building industry. It faces a dramatic ongoing immigration crisis that has African men, women, and children frequently dying in the sea around its coasts. Banks falter, political parties split and bicker, the elections set for the spring of 2018 seem destined to deliver a parliament with no clear majority and hence no coherent government. Yet the most dramatic headlines seem to be exclusively reserved for soccer. “A sadness that infects us all,” Il Messaggero lamented. “An indelible stain,” Corriere dello Sport moaned, offering a choice of metaphors: “Apocalypse, tragedy, catastrophe.”

    The crowd psychology wiki page has a lot of details on what is happening in the mind of the fans. Poor Italy.

  • The desperate inequality behind global tax dodging

    Every country has the right to choose the form of taxation it wants. But when the Netherlands offers tailored tax deals to multinationals or Switzerland keeps the wealth of corrupt elites out of sight in its coffers, they steal the revenue of other nations. And while we lose, they win: through fees (sometimes a great influence on the international stage), and even – the supreme irony – actual tax revenue.

    Taxes are hard, but avoiding them is stealing. And Reddit has some surprising good thoughts on it.

  • How Trump walked into Putin’s web

    There, the memo said, Trump had deliberately “defiled” the Obamas’ bed. A number of prostitutes “had performed a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him”. The memo also alleged: “The hotel was known to be under FSB control with microphones and concealed cameras in all the main rooms to record anything they wanted to.”

    A gem in a long read that seems to be a movie script.

  • Here’s how far the world is from meeting its climate goals

    Under the Paris deal, each country put forward a proposal to curtail its greenhouse-gas emissions between now and 2030. But no major industrialized country is currently on track to fulfill its pledge, according to new data from the Climate Action Tracker. Not the European Union. Not Canada. Not Japan. And not the United States, which under President Trump is still planning to leave the Paris agreement by 2020.

    Great charts from The New York Times.

  • Rising Waters Threaten China’s Rising Cities

    “The cities we now have are partly based on what we saw in American movies — on the dream of big malls, airports, highways and tall buildings,” Mr. Zhou said. “I belong to the generation that witnessed the biggest change. We had been almost like North Korea, closed off. Suddenly we could see American movies.”

    “This became our idea of progress,” he added. “Only we wanted to do everything bigger, because we thought that is what it meant to be modern. The actual needs of the real city are ignored.”

    “In many ways, we are still living a dream,” he said.

    Well, that’s why air purifiers are becoming best gift around there. But there’s still time to change.

  • The three-degree world: cities that will be drowned by global warming

    When UN climate negotiators meet for summit talks this month, there will be a new figure on the table: 3C.

    Until now, global efforts such as the Paris climate agreement have tried to limit global warming to 2C above pre-industrial levels. However, with latest projections pointing to an increase of 3.2C by 2100, these goals seem to be slipping out of reach.

    I had a holiday this week and I spent it reading mostly about climate change and wars. The article in The Guardian surprised me with some beautiful data.

  • TIL Death Growl

    A death growl (or simply a growl) is a vocal style (an extended vocal technique) usually employed by death metal singers but also used in other heavy metal styles, such as metalcore. Death growls are sometimes criticized for their “ugliness”. However, the harshness of death growls is in keeping with death metal’s abrasive music style and often dark and obscene subject matter. The progressively more forceful enunciation of metal vocals has been noted from heavy metal to thrash metal to death metal.

    Was reading this during an Eluveitie concert. I did not know unclean vocals have a scientific definition.

  • Envoy and Istio

    Envoy/Istio are designed to move logic out of your apps and into the middleware.

    For example, say your app A makes an HTTP request to app B and app B times out. Ordinarily app A has to build in retry logic (with expontential backoff to avoid dogpiling). Fine if you have a single app, but if you have a dozen microservices, that’s a lot of duplicated code.

    The solution is to let a proxy handle it for you. Instead of A -> B, you get A -> Envoy -> B. Envoy can do things like retrying, name resolution (something more flexible than DNS that can, say, be used to do A/B tests where traffic to B actually gets routed to another instance of B that runs code from a different branch), load balancing, request/bandwidth throttling, circuit-breaking (failing requests when an overload “trips” the breaker), logging, profiling (measuring timings and making them available to, say, Prometheus), tracing (inserting HTTP headers to generate a path so if a request goes A -> B -> C, then C has a complete “stack trace” that can be used for logging), and so on.

    Istio adds a layer of transparency, at least on Kubernetes. Instead of configuring app A to use a proxy, app A just talks to app B as though there’s no proxy at all. In reality, Istio has injected some local network magic in the container to route the traffic through the proxy.

    It took me an evening to understand how these pieces fit together, and this Hacker News comment was the best explanation. I have playing with Kubernetes on my weekend to do list for a while.

  • To date or not to date

    I have an issue with modern dating. Actually, with dating in general. Actually no, with relationships. In fact, I have an issue with society and humanity as a whole. Why, oh why do we spend countless of hours, texts, emotions, energy, hoping that we will have the time of our lives, but always living in fear of being hurt or rejected?

    I’ve done only pre-Tinder dating, but some of the ideas in there strike home for me.