Sun? Beaches? Rooftop parties? Pish-posh! It's time to hide with your favorite acronyms—WASD, AC, 4K—as a discount-minded, summer-vacationing PC gamer. The annual Steam Summer Sale has returned just in time to keep you occupied and indoors.
After watching the sale kick off Thursday morning and seeing Steam's servers edge perilously toward utter meltdown, we at Ars have gotten just enough time to pick through the enormous list of games on sale (thousands already) and find guaranteed joy among the discounts. This list is, of course, just a hint at how many games are deeply discounted until July 5, and since there are no limited-time or "flash" deals this year, you have time to peruse, pick, and save. But if you can't help yourself, get started with these no-brainer Ars recommendations.
But also buying clothes off the peg is much more immediate - you see straight away whether the colour or the cut or the cloth suits you when you try it on and before you decide to buy it. By the time you've finished making a piece of clothing, you can still fiddle with it but a lot of the decisions are already behind you. I'm not saying I'm giving up on making clothes for myself, but I can see I need practice before I make something that I'm actually pleased enough with the outcome to keep wearing it happily for months and years afterwards (which is where I want to be).
Making accessories or making clothes for the kids, though - much more immediately rewarding.
Like this hat. It functions as well as the skirt I made myself (fits well, stays put where it's meant to, does the job it's supposed to) but in addition it just makes me cheerful everytime I lay my eyes on it. I need to find a balance and make sure I include plenty of these cheerful items, but also keep trying on the clothing-myself front. Because having a skirt that is really comfortable is a definite plus, so long as at the same time it is one that I positively want to wear.
Since the days of the NES, people have accused Nintendo of intentionally underproducing hardware in order to drive an artificial feeding frenzy of demand in the marketplace. With the Nintendo Switch remaining nearly impossible to find at retailers in the US, those same accusations of "false scarcity" have been bubbling up in certain corners. [Note: The Nintendo Switch is easy to find in the UK at the recommended retail price, or just above; this story is primarily from a US perspective.]
Nintendo senior director of corporate communications Charlie Scibetta wants to push back on those accusations. "It's definitely not intentional in terms of shorting the market," he told Ars in a recent interview. "We're making it as fast as we can. We want to get as many units out as we can to support all the software that's coming out right now... our job really is to get it out as quick as we can, especially for this holiday because we want to have units on shelves to support Super Mario Odyssey."
Far from intentional, Scibetta says the shortages are simply a result of Nintendo underestimating the interest in the system. "We anticipated there was going to be demand for it, but the demand has been even higher than we thought," he said. "We had a good quantity for launch, we sold 2.7 million worldwide in that first month, said we're going to have 10 million [more] by the end of the fiscal year... Unfortunately, we're in a situation right now where as quick as it's going into retail outlets it's being snapped up. It's a good problem to have, but we're working very hard to try and meet demand."
The F-35A has been cleared to operate once again from Luke Air Force Base, the primary pilot-training facility for the Air Force's newest fighter aircraft. The F-35 had been grounded at Luke since June 9, after five incidents over a month in which pilots experienced the symptoms of hypoxia (oxygen deprivation). However, that return to flight, which began June 21, comes with some caveats: pilots have been instructed to "avoid the altitudes in which the hypoxia-like incidents occurred," according to press releases by the Air Force and the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO).
The F-35 JPO convened a "formal action team" to investigate the incidents after the aircraft grounding to work with the Air Force to investigate the hypoxia incidents. So far, the team has only managed to rule out a number of "specific concerns," including aircraft maintenance issues and procedures surrounding pilots' flight equipment. So while the aircraft are being returned to service, some restrictions have been placed on F-35 operations out of Luke. In addition to avoiding certain altitudes, the Air Force said that "ground procedures will be modified to mitigate physiological risks to pilots." The specifics of those changes were not mentioned in the press release.
The Air Force will also increase the minimum acceptable amount of backup oxygen aboard F-35As. And pilots will be "offered the option" of wearing sensors that will collect "human performance data" during flight to monitor for signs of hypoxia. The Air Force will also expand its physiological training for pilots to help them recognize and respond early to hypoxia symptoms.
A year ago, the US Supreme Court announced guidance to lower courts in determining whether the prevailing party in a copyright lawsuit should be awarded attorney fees. Under US law, the losing side of a copyright suit can be ordered to pay the legal costs to the winners—no matter which side originally brought the case.
The Supreme Court said that the imposition of a fee award against a copyright holder should be denied if the rights holder held an "objectively reasonable" belief that there was infringement—even if the copyright holder loses the lawsuit.
Today, we're seeing another example in practice on how that ruling is playing out. A New York federal judge on Wednesday ruled that no "reasonable attorney" would have sued news organizations for broadcasting or publishing seconds-long clips from the 45-minute live Facebook video of a childbirth. Hence, the media outlets that were on the receiving end of the lawsuit are entitled to recover what may amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs.
With the Republicans finally releasing the details of their so-called health care plan earlier in the day, Seth Meyers took one of his signature closer looks last night at both the substance and the process involved in the GOP’s official Obamacare replacement. SPOILER: He wasn’t a fan. Sure, Meyers is famously no fan of this administration’s policies, and there are two sides to every issue and all, but the Late Night host made a lot of the inescapably damning points critics of the bill and people with human souls have made about the earlier, House-passed version of the Affordable Health Care Act in the most effective way possible.
Using Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s own words against him, Meyers (and his clip team) assembled a montage of an indignant McConnell railing against President Obama’s Affordable Care Act back when it was being passed. McConnell complained ...
Since 1945 Mattel Toys has been bringing an amazing amount of happiness to children. For those of who grew up in the 80s however it was a very recognizable name. It is no surprise why Gallery 1988 decide to host a Mattel Toys Tribute Art Show! Now while in fact Barbie made her debut back […]
The rise and fall of FireWire—IEEE 1394, an interface standard boasting high-speed communications and isochronous real-time data transfer—is one of the most tragic tales in the history of computer technology. The standard was forged in the fires of collaboration. A joint effort from several competitors including Apple, IBM, and Sony, it was a triumph of design for the greater good. FireWire represented a unified standard across the whole industry, one serial bus to rule them all. Realized to the fullest, FireWire could replace SCSI and the unwieldy mess of ports and cables at the back of a desktop computer.
Yet FireWire's principal creator, Apple, nearly killed it before it could appear in a single device. And eventually the Cupertino company effectively did kill FireWire, just as it seemed poised to dominate the industry.
The story of how FireWire came to market and ultimately fell out of favor serves today as a fine reminder that no technology, however promising, well-engineered, or well-liked, is immune to inter- and intra-company politics or to our reluctance to step outside our comfort zone.
This seems to be a good week for talking about quantum memories and distributing qubits. The thing about working with quantum states, though, is that you don't have much room to avoid messing it up. And, afterwards, figuring out when you've made a mistake is difficult. Once you make a measurement on a quantum system, there is no going back to its original state.
To get around this uncertainty, you have to find some way to increase your confidence that the operation you performed has actually turned out as expected. One option for this is called entanglement distillation. And entanglement distillation is exactly what a group in the Netherlands has recently demonstrated.
Impure diamonds are the best diamonds
This is a story about generating entangled quantum states in different locations. To understand how the researchers can do that, we need to see how a qubit state can be encoded in a bit of diamond. Most diamonds have a certain amount of nitrogen. The bonding between the carbon and the nitrogen leaves a rather unhappy electron. It is still bound to carbon, but the electron doesn't really want to be. So it floats around in between the carbon and the nitrogen atom.
Anyway, my confusion lasted only milliseconds...
(The rest of this post about intersectionality and other things is at FontFolly.Net.)
some highlights from the library while i was doing poe research
POE POE POE POE POE POE
WONDERFUL POE! WONDERFUL POE!
WHY POE DRANK LIQUOR VOLUME TWO
@englishmajorhumor have you seen this
I like that there’s a BOOK of reasons why poe drank
Two books, apparently!
A few weeks ago, while filing away some papers, the corner of one sheet of paper hit my eyeball (don't ask me how). It hurt like hell. Worrying that I've got a severe injury always makes it worse, too. I kept thinking that my eyeball must have gotten a paper-cut. After some minutes, I was able to look in a mirror (with difficulty) to verify there was (probably) no shard of paper still stuck in there. The eye kept tearing up, so I had to press a washcloth against it for a couple of hours to soak up the tears, as well as to block the ambient light which was painfully bright.
The incident with my eye happened 40 minutes before a scheduled Spectrum appointment, for my intermittent connectivity problem (which since that last appointment has not recurred, hurrah!) That was the 4th appointment for the same problem; the 3rd time was not the charm. I didn't want to cancel the appointment. So when the tech came, and for most of the time he was here, I kept holding the washcloth against my eye. The tech was unperturbed.
After a few hours the pain was mostly gone and my vision seemed normal. For the next few days, the eye ached only slightly and sporadically. Then it felt completely normal again.
Last week, toothpaste accidentally spritzed into my eye again. This time, it hurt quite bad, and continued to hurt badly for 10 to 15 minutes even after rinsing out my eye as well as I could. It was the same eye which had the paper-cut. Maybe the cut wasn't completely healed after all, and the toothpaste irritated it again. This in spite of it being the wintergreen-flavored toothpaste which is fairly mild. The peppermint and spearmint flavors are too strong for me; they make my mouth burn.
One of the pages I found while searching on "toothpaste in eye" mentioned that most toothpastes shouldn't be dangerous to the eye... except perhaps if it's one of the whitening kinds with silica, as those are more abrasive. I thought to myself, well I know mine doesn't have silica. I purposely don't buy that kind, because their whitening power comes from sanding off the outer layer of tooth enamel. I'm trying to increase my amount of tooth enamel, not decrease it.
But yesterday I happened to look at the ingredient list on the toothpaste tube. Surprisingly, the main inactive ingredient after water was "hydrated silica". I could have sworn it used to be calcium carbonate. Did they change the ingredients?
Then I remembered that I have a small box full of empty toothpaste tubes. They can't be put with the regular recyclables, but there's a place - TerraCycle that takes them for recycling, if I ever accumulate enough of them to make it worthwhile to send them.
So I checked the box, and found an older tube, which indeed has a slightly different ingredient list. Both the old and new tubes mention "whitening" on the front, but somehow I'd never paid attention to that.
(OLD) Inactive ingredients: glycerin, water, calcium carbonate, hydrated silica, xylitol, carrageenan, natural flavor (wintergreen oil and other natural flavor), sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium bicarbonate, zinc citrate.
(NEW) Inactive ingredients: water, hydrated silica, sorbitol, xylitol, glycerin, natural flavor (wintergreen oil and other natural flavor), sodium lauryl sulfate, zinc citrate, xanthan gum, titanium dioxide, carrageenan.
The Tom's of Maine (my toothpaste brand) website says:
In our Antiplaque Tartar Control & Whitening flavors, the hydrated silica we use is milled to produce a slightly larger particle size (an average particle size of 10 microns, versus 8 microns, on average, in our children's and Wintermint flavors). This makes it a better cleaner, so that it can help to remove stains that have formed on teeth.
So at least the silica in my toothpaste is small-sized. If it were only that, I might continue using it. But with this new propensity for splashing into my eye, I'll be looking for an alternative. (Is it unreasonable to think that brushing one's teeth or doing paperwork shouldn't require wearing safety goggles?) Now when I brush my teeth, I've started holding the tube at arm's length and pointing it away from me.
All About Whitening Toothpastes - has a chart comparing the abrasiveness of different brands of toothpaste.
Setting the record straight about toothpaste abrasivity - says there's no difference in tooth-wear, as long as the toothpaste is under 250 RDA. I don't quite believe that.