Summary of “This Is How a Newspaper Dies”

For a preview of the newspaper industry’s coming death, turn your gaze to Colorado, where the withering and emaciated Denver Post finds itself rolling in profits.
For newspaper lovers, the cuts have been a disaster.
Why on Earth should Smith sell? Alden’s newspapers recorded nearly $160 million in profits during fiscal year 2017, analyst Ken Doctor reported in a comprehensive piece recently at NeimanLab.
Your grandfather is a pretty good stand-in for the average newspaper subscriber, too.
Habituated to his morning newspaper, he’ll resist cancelling his subscription no matter how raggedy the paper gets or how high the owners jack up the price.
“The old model of a general-purpose newspaper fit the industrial age when advertisers needed mass audiences to sell the products of mass production. But the marketplace no longer supports the model of a few messages to many people. Now it is many messages, each to a few people,” Meyer tells me via email.
Why pin exclusive blame on Smith for the demise of the Denver Post when there’s plenty of blame to go around? In 2008, then-Detroit News reporter Charlie LeDuff spotted another villain in the rot and decay of his newspaper as it downsized to three days a week of home delivery.
It’s not like the newspaper industry didn’t have advance warning of its demise.

The orginal article.

Summary of “From top sprinter to homeless in London”

I first met Jimmy Thoronka in a London park in March 2015.
West Africa was then in the grips of the deadly Ebola crisis and, fearing for his life, Jimmy had overstayed his visa, travelling south from Glasgow to London.
I called the president of Sierra Leone’s athletics association, Abdul Karim Sesay, who told me Jimmy was a very gifted athlete “And an all-round nice guy. Everybody likes him. He’s not just a sprinter – he’s Sierra Leone’s number one 100m sprinter. He has the potential to be one of the best in the world.”
We knew there was a risk that the publicity would bring him to the Home Office’s attention, but Jimmy had accepted that, saying, “What other options do I have?”.
Oliver Oldman, a solicitor at the London firm Bindmans, agreed to represent him, and advised Jimmy to apply for leave to remain rather than asylum.
This seemed more likely to succeed, though it meant Jimmy had to move out of his Home Office accommodation and was homeless once more.
The University of East London made inquiries with the Home Office: could Jimmy begin his studies? The answer was a curt no, not until his immigration status was regularised – a punitive decision that left Jimmy deflated.
Jimmy is still hoping to embark on a degree – in computer studies – at the University of East London in September.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Lesson of Eric Greitens, and the Navy SEALs Who Tried to Warn Us”

A former Navy SEAL who was once a rising star in the Republican Party, Greitens is now fighting allegations of sexual coercion, blackmail, invasion of privacy, and misuse of charity resources to fund his campaign.
In 2016, before Greitens was elected, a group of mostly anonymous current and former SEALs tried to sound the alarm about why they thought he was unfit for office.
After the killing of Osama bin Laden by SEAL Team Six in a 2011 raid, Navy SEALs became full-blown celebrities, and Greitens rode that fame to speaking tours, a spot on Time magazine’s 2013 “100 Most Influential People” list, and, eventually, the governor’s mansion.
Greitens avoided telling outright lies about his service or engaging in the kind of political commentary that other SEALs embraced-from the Fox News contributor Benjamin Smith calling Obama a Muslim to Carl Higbie’s use of racist, sexist, anti-Muslim, and anti-gay remarks during his time as a right-wing radio host.
The animus some SEALs felt toward Greitens flared in 2015, after he resigned from his position at The Mission Continues and announced his candidacy for governor in the Missouri Republican primary.
In one campaign ad, Greitens fires an assault rifle at a target that then explodes, and the words “Conservative. Navy SEAL” appear next to his face.
Incensed, Holzer and his fellow Navy SEAL Drago Dzieran appeared on Dana Loesch’s radio show to complain about Greitens’s use of SEAL iconography, and to demand that he “Run on his own record, not on the record of SEALs.” In March of that year, sixteen former and active SEAL team members involved with the video spoke out against Greitens in the Missouri Times, again anonymously.
Congressman Ryan Zinke, the current Secretary of the Interior and a former SEAL Team Six commander, called him “a highly decorated combat veteran with a proven record of leading from the front.” Rob O’Neill, the SEAL Team Six operator who claims to have shot Osama bin Laden, praised Greitens as a “Combat leader,” spoke at his rallies, and offered signed versions of the ISIS bumper stickers in exchange for a hundred-dollar donation to the Greitens campaign.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The borrowers: why Finland’s cities are havens for library lovers”

In 2016 the UN named Finland the world’s most literate nation, and Finns are among the world’s most enthusiastic users of public libraries – the country’s 5.5m million people borrow close to 68m books a year.
In recognition of that fact, at a time when libraries worldwide are facing budget cuts, a decline in users and closure, Finland is bucking the trend.
Helsinki’s Rikhardinkatu Library opened in 1882 and was the first building in the Nordic countries to be built as a library.
Antti Nousjoki, one of Oodi’s architects, has described the new library as “An indoor town square” – a far cry from the stereotypical view of libraries as stale and silent spaces.
A country of readers clockwise: Lohja main library, which was completed in 2005; Vallila library, Helsinki; Aalto University library in Espoo.
Commissioned as part of Finland’s celebration of a century of independence, the library is no mere book repository.
Oodi isn’t the only Helsinki library to cause excitement.
While many libraries worldwide provide internet access and other services, libraries in cities and towns across Finland have expanded their brief to include lending e-publications, sports equipment, power tools and other “Items of occasional use”.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Nike’s HyperAdapt and Mag self-lacing sneakers were created”

They closed much less quickly than the version in Back to the Future II. Still, the Nike Mag led directly to an auto-lacing shoe for athletes, called the HyperAdapt 1.0, which Nike intended for a bigger release.
The most obvious challenge Nike faced was how to pull the laces to close the shoe.
Another conundrum Nike had to solve was where in the shoe they would pull the laces.
“We went through this many, many times in the course of the HyperAdapt,” Beers said, “Especially in learning how to set the lacing and how to get it to balance so that it fit multiple people well.”
Beers says the team spent a lot of time considering the possibilities, such as putting buttons on the shoe so the user could decide when and how much to tighten it, or having a remote on a wristband that would offer the same control.
Nike needed a way to charge the battery that would power the lacing engine if the HyperAdapt was ever to be a real shoe people would wear over and over.
If you buy the shoe today, it comes with “Charging pucks,” as Nike explained in a first look it offered of the shoe in 2016.
“The Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 is the first fully-functioning athletic shoe that electronically adjusts to the contours of your foot via adaptive lacing technology-providing a personal, customized fit that makes it feel like an extension of your body,” the company says of the sneaker.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Employers are monitoring computers, toilet breaks”

There are tech companies selling products that can take regular screenshots of employees’ work, monitor keystrokes and web usage, and even photograph them at their desks using their computers’ webcams.
How much of this is legal? In the UK, employers are allowed to monitor which websites you look at while at work, says Philip Landau, a partner at Landau Law Solicitors who specialises in employment law.
“However, the device they monitor must be partly or wholly provided by work. Employers must also give prior warning if they are going to monitor your online activity, and should make you aware of the relevant social media policy.” It is also legal to monitor keystrokes, though again employees must be told they will be watched.
Employers could theoretically use your computer’s webcam to see when you’re at your desk but “There should be a justification for such monitoring, and you should be informed of it beforehand. You should also be informed what the pictures will be used for, and how they will be stored.” As for GPS tracking, “a company may track any vehicles that they supply to their staff. However, the data they collect must only be used for the management purposes of the company. Any GPS device is not allowed to be turned on if the employee is using the vehicle for personal reasons outside of work.”
Amazon says its scanning devices “Are common across the warehouse and logistics sector as well as in supermarkets, department stores and other businesses, and are designed to assist our people in performing their roles”, while the company “Ensures all of its associates have easy access to toilet facilities, which are just a short walk from where they are working”.
For his book Working the Phones, Jamie Woodcock, a sociologist of work at the Oxford Internet Institute, spent six months working in a call centre.
The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain is well aware of the issues of monitoring and data collection.
“We should have access to the data and understand how it’s being used. If some kind of quality score on my driving capability , I may be offered less valuable work, kept away from the most valuable clients – who knows?” It’s not an unreasonable fear – the food delivery company Deliveroo already does something similar, monitoring its riders’ and drivers’ performance, and has started offering “Priority access” when booking shifts to those who “Provide the most consistent, quality service”.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Hawaii’s Kilauea: Volcano’s dramatic images explained”

As of 2016, lava flows had already destroyed 215 structures and buried 14.3 km of roads.
Just two weeks later, the lava had dropped out of sight.
As the whole mass of lava creeps forward, the blocks and plates of cooled lava are carried along, giving the whole the appearance of a jumble of loose blocks.
In places, fresh lava breaks out from inside the flow, to form a narrow stream.
The emerging lava is red-hot at the opening, and progressively crinkles and crusts over as it flows downhill.
Some of these fractures just let hot gases escape; others turn into open fissures, erupting fiery curtains of lava.
The steady lowering of the lava lake within Halema’umaʻu at the summit of Kīlauea raised the potential for explosive eruptions as the lava column drops to the level of groundwater beneath the volcano.
Seventeen fissures have opened so far in the lower East Rift Zone spewing out dangerous lava and gases.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Scientists declare octopi life from another world / Boing Boing”

Evidence of the octopus evolution show it would have happened too quickly to have begun here on Earth.
Published in the Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology Journal, 33 scientists have declared the invertebrate sea-dweller an alien whose eggs landed from space.
The scientists go on to make an even more extraordinary claim concerning octopuses, which seem to have evolved on Earth quite rapidly something like 270 million years ago, 250 million years after the Cambrian explosion.
“The paper states:”The genome of the Octopus shows a staggering level of complexity with 33,000 protein-coding genes more than is present in Homo sapiens.
“The transformative genes leading from the consensus ancestral Nautilus to the common Cuttlefish to Squid to the common are not easily to be found in any pre-existing life form – it is plausible then to suggest they seem to be borrowed from a far distant”future” in terms of terrestrial evolution, or more realistically from the cosmos at large.
“One plausible explanation, in our view, is that the new genes are likely new extraterrestrial imports to Earth – most plausibly as an already coherent group of functioning genes within cryopreserved and matrix protected fertilized Octopus eggs.”
“Thus the possibility that cryopreserved Squid and/or Octopus eggs, arrived in icy bolides several hundred million years ago should not be discounted as that would be a parsimonious cosmic explanation for the Octopus’ sudden emergence on Earth circa 270 million years ago.”
Does extraterrestrial life exist? It’s a question that, for the past 25 years, Congress didn’t care to try and answer.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Shoddy Statistics Found A Home In Sports Research”

The method is called magnitude-based inference, or MBI. Its creator, Will Hopkins, is a New Zealand exercise physiologist with decades of experience – experience that he has harnessed to push his methodology into the sports science mainstream.
The history of MBI demonstrates how forceful personalities with alluring ideas can muscle their way onto the stage.
The first explanation of MBI in the scientific literature came in a 2006 commentary that Hopkins and Batterham published in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance.
Two years later, it was rebutted in the same journal, when two statisticians said MBI “Lacks a proper theoretical foundation” within the common, frequentist approach to statistics.
After Australian statisticians Alan Welsh and Emma Knight published an analysis of MBI in MSSE in 2014 concluding that the method was invalid and should not be used, Hopkins and Batterham responded with a post at Sportsci.org, “Magnitude-Based Inference Under Attack.” They then wrote a paper contending that “MBI is a trustworthy, nuanced alternative” to the standard method of statistical analysis, null-hypothesis significance testing.
Hopkins gives MBI seminars, and Victoria University offers an Applied Sports Statistics unit developed by Hopkins that has been endorsed by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences and Exercise & Sports Science Australia.
All the back-and-forth arguments about error rate calculations distract from even more important issues, said Andrew Gelman, a statistician at Columbia University who said he agrees with Sainani that the paper claiming MBI’s validity “Does not make sense.” “Scientists should be spending more time collecting good data and reporting their raw results for all to see and less time trying to come up with methods for extracting a spurious certainty out of noisy data.” To do that, sports scientists could work collectively to pool their resources, as psychology researchers have done, or find some other way to increase their sample sizes.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article said Hopkins submitted his defense of MBI to Sports Science.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The rise of Donald Glover: how he captured America”

Try directing your attention on all that’s happening in the background as Childish Gambino – the musical moniker of multi-hyphenate artist Donald Glover – moves through a spare industrial space in a succession of meditative tracking shots that serve as steady foundation for the frenetic action they capture.
While Childish Gambino is surely the star – playing the role some have suggested is America itself – viewed in context of the background action, the video is dizzying, hypnotic treatise on racism, gun violence, joy, spirituality, hip-hop and entertainment in the United States.
Since debuting This Is America during last week’s episode of Saturday Night Live – for which he served as host and musical guest – Glover has refused to reveal the video’s message, telling TMZ “That’s not for me to say.” What’s certain is that This Is America is a brilliant, career-defining moment.
The video’s background action commences immediately after the video hits it pivot point: Childish Gambino pulling a gun from his pants and shooting a hooded man in the back of the head, execution style.
In its two seasons Atlanta has been widely celebrated, and awarded, for its honest, melancholic, darkly funny and often surreal take on black America.
Peele used Childish Gambino’s biggest hit Redbone during the opening credits of Get Out, his Oscar winning 2017 horror film about the daily terrors of being black in America.
The biggest hit from Childish Gambino’s 2016 LP Awaken, My Love! Redbone is a slinky gospel slow ride showcasing Gambino’s soulful vocals.
Lyrics evoked the same surreal sense of dread that permeates some of Atlanta’s best scenes – “All I see is zombies / Feeding all around us / All they eat are people / and you won’t survive,” Gambino sings on Zombies – and forecasted the complicated racial politics of This Is America.

The orginal article.