I have discovered a truly marvelous proof, which 140 characters is too short to contain.
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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Evolution

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I like big butts and cannot lie, 'cause they allow a large brain to pass by.


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farktronix
20 days ago
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Sunnyvale, CA, USA
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21 days ago
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2 public comments
jlvanderzwan
21 days ago
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The sequel to that "oh, brain size and butt size just happen to be regulated by the same gene" comic from a few years ago?
jsled
21 days ago
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«I like big butts and cannot lie, 'cause they allow a large brain to pass by.»
South Burlington, Vermont

Analysis of Google Maps’ incredible lead in mapping data

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new entry in Justin O’Beirne’s ongoing series

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farktronix
211 days ago
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Amazing amount of detail and research. This guy is seriously obsessed with maps.
Sunnyvale, CA, USA
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Ted Chiang on superintelligent AI and runaway capitalism

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“We need for the machines to wake up, not in the sense of computers becoming self-aware, but in the sense of corporations recognizing the consequences of their behavior.”

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farktronix
213 days ago
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Sunnyvale, CA, USA
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Pre-charging and Testing iPhones at the Factory

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Bob Burrough:

Something Apple is oft derided for is its treatment of factory workers. Both Tim Cook and Steve Jobs rightly bristled at such accusations. One of my first jobs at Apple was developing factory line software for the first iPhone...

The purpose of our station was primarily to charge the battery to make sure iPhones were fully charged when the user first took them out of the box. After all, nobody wants a dead iPhone.

But why just sit there waiting for a freshly-assembled iPhone to charge? Why not do something useful while waiting? And so, we developed a battery of tests that made sure iPhones functioned properly under stress. A smoke test, if you will.

However, consider the fact that several devices per second are moving down a manufacturing line, the being pulled off to charge. As you pull every device off the line, you very quickly have hundreds, thousands, tens-of-thousands of devices sitting around.

This is indeed how it was, and continues to be. However...consider that one of the tests we ran was to activate all RF-capable equipment on the device to make sure it actually works. Cell, BT, Wi-Fi, GPS, all on at the same time.

Picture: thousands of devices sitting in a factory room, running RF tests.

Do you have any idea how a microwave oven functions?

Indeed. We had to make sure that the room which contained iPhones running such tests was sufficiently RF transparent as to not cook anyone who might have entered; myself included.

So, rather than make the world's largest microwave oven, we took care. Such consideration might not seem obvious, or reasonable, but it's critical. Otherwise, I might not be sitting here relaying this story to you now.

Multiply the number of racks shown here by 50...

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farktronix
280 days ago
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Sunnyvale, CA, USA
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Bad Hair, Incorrect Feathering, and Missing Skin Flaps

jwz
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C.M. Kosemen:

Our world is full of unique animals that have squat fatty bodies, with all kinds of soft tissue features that are unlikely to have survived in fossils, such as pouches, wattles, or skin flaps. "[...] "The biggest thing is teeth and facial fat. Readers have to be aware that all dinosaurs they see in all media, and especially in popular culture, seem to have their heads flensed. They've always got these weird grins with only the teeth visible." As he points out, most animals have lips and gums and lumps of facial fat that change the profile of the head, and cover the teeth.

These are swans. Note the distinctive murder-spikes!
This is a baboon.
This is a hippo.
Honorable mention.

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farktronix
298 days ago
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Sunnyvale, CA, USA
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Lightning storms triggered by exhaust from cargo ships

jwz
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Give me control of the shipping lanes and I'll make all the lightning you want.

When Joel Thornton at the University of Washington in Seattle and his colleagues looked at records of lightning strikes between 2005 and 2016 from the World Wide Lightning Location Network, they noticed there were significantly more strikes in certain regions of the east Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, compared with the surrounding areas. Unusually, they occurred along two straight lines in the open ocean, which coincided with two of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. Along these paths there were twice as many lightning strikes as in nearby areas.

"We were quite sure the ships had to be involved," says Thornton. But they still had to eliminate other factors that influence storm intensity, such as wind speeds and temperatures.

Once these had been ruled out, the team concluded that aerosols from the ships' engine exhausts were the culprit. Aerosol particles act as seeds, around which water vapour condenses into cloud droplets. In clean air there aren't many seeds, so the cloud drops quickly grow and fall as rain. But when there are a lot of seeds, like over busy shipping routes, a greater number of small cloud drops form. Since these are light, they rise up high into the atmosphere and freeze, creating clouds rich in ice.

It is this that leads to more intense thunderstorms: lightning only occurs if clouds are electrically charged, and this only happens if there are lots of ice crystals. [...]

Although lightning activity is higher over the shipping lanes, the amount of rainfall is no different to nearby regions.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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farktronix
298 days ago
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Sunnyvale, CA, USA
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