Texas Judge Rules Affordable Care Act Unconstitutional, But Supporters Vow To Appeal RB

Judge Reed C. O’Connor struck down the law, siding with a group of 18 Republican state attorneys general and two GOP governors who brought the case. O’Connor said the tax bill passed by Congress in December 2017 effectively rendered the entire health law unconstitutional.

That tax measure eliminated the penalty for not having insurance. An earlier Supreme Court decision upheld the ACA based on the view that the penalty was a tax and thus the law was valid because it relied on appropriate power allowed Congress under the Constitution. O’Connor’s decision said that without that penalty, the law no longer met that Constitutional test.

This reasoning is interesting. We will have to watch and see where this goes.

It is hard to overstate what would happen to the nation’s health care system if the decision is ultimately upheld. The Affordable Care Act touched almost every aspect of health care, including Medicare and Medicaid, generic biologic drugs, the Indian Health Service, and public health changes like calorie counts on menus.

This is a bit scary to think about though.

Portraits Made by AI: None of These People Exist RB

Check out these rather ordinary looking portraits. They’re all fake. Not in the sense that they were Photoshopped, but rather they were completely generated by artificial intelligence. That’s right: none of these people actually exist.

NVIDIA researchers have published a new paper on easily customizing the style of realistic faces created by a generative adversarial network (GAN).

Have a good look. You may be staring into the faces of the Terminators coming after us in the not so distant future.

Nikon: It’s the Z 6 and Z 7, Not Z6 and Z7 RB

“‘Z’ is a letter symbolizing Nikon’s new camera brand,” Nikon says. “To emphasize this, there is a space between Z and 7/6.”

But there’s also the fact that camera models across the industry traditionally don’t contain a space in the middle (e.g. Canon 5D, Sony a9, Leica M10). Even Nikon’s latest DSLRs have names such as the D5, D850, and D7500, not the D 5, D 850, and D 7500.

Uh, good luck with that, Nikon.

We Broke Into A Bunch Of Android Phones With A 3D-Printed Head RB

The head was printed at Backface in Birmingham, U.K., where I was ushered into a dome-like studio containing 50 cameras. Together, they combine to take a single shot that makes up a full 3D image. That image is then loaded up in editing software, where any errors can be ironed out. I, for instance, had a missing piece of nose.

Backface then constructs the model with a 3D printer that builds up layers of a British gypsum powder. Some final touch-ups and colourings are added, and the life size head is ready within a few days, all for just over £300. You’re then the proud owner of an uncanny, almost-spectral version of your own visage.

For our tests, we used my own real-life head to register for facial recognition across five phones. An iPhone X and four Android devices: an LG G7 ThinQ, a Samsung S9, a Samsung Note 8 and a OnePlus 6. I then held up my fake head to the devices to see if the device would unlock. For all four Android phones, the spoof face was able to open the phone, though with differing degrees of ease. The iPhone X was the only one to never be fooled.

Emphasis mine. Very much looking forward to Face ID on my next Apple phone.

You Should Be Using Tags In Vim RB

I spent a summer as an intern using Emacs at a Unix terminal, but didn’t have enough curiosity at the time to use it any differently from notepad.exe. I spent that summer wishing I had automatic features for completion, indentation, and all the things that made me appreciate the IDEs I used in college. How naive I was!

Poor boy, LOL. Naive indeed. Looking forward to absorbing these all these December VIM tips.

Walk the long gallery of the past, of empires and kingdoms succeeding each other without number. And you can also see the future, for surely it will be exactly the same, unable to deviate from the present rhythm. It’s all one whether we’ve experience forty years or an aeon. What more is there to see?

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 7.49

AutoCamp Heads to the Mountains for Its 2019 Expansion to Yosemite National Park RB

Adding to their two established locations (Russian River and Santa Barbara), California-based luxury camping company AutoCamp has announced its expansion to Yosemite National Park, a bucket list destination for seasoned backpackers and hobbyist hikers alike. In addition, AutoCamp is expanding its partnership with Airstream as it prepares to order hundreds of additional custom RVs in order to open more AutoCamp locations across the nation

Not your grandpa’s Airstream, that’s for sure.

What Happens When 25,000 Amazon Workers Flush Toilets? RB

Amazon says its new headquarters in Long Island City, Queens, will bring 25,000 jobs. It will also bring more crowds, more noise and, yes, more toilet flushing.

“It’s a health hazard,” said Ernie Brooks,” a musician who lives near the Amazon site, who also complained of an odor from the overflows.

Yikes. Glad someone is tackling these shitty logistics issues. 🤪💩

Does Australia's access and assistance law impact 1Password? RB

One of the most disturbing things about the Assistance and Access Act is that it apparently authorizes the Australian government to compel someone subject to its laws to surreptitiously take actions that harm our customers’ privacy and security without revealing that to us. Would an Australian employee of 1Password be forced to lie to us and do something that we would definitely object to?

We do not, at this point, know whether it will be necessary or useful to place extra monitoring on people working for 1Password who may be subject to Australian laws.

Yikes. What a terrible thing to have to worry about as a company responsible for protecting people’s private journals.

thecasualcoder/tztail RB

tztail (TimeZoneTAIL) allows you to view logs in the timezone you want

Where have you been all my life?

Building Your Color Palette RB

Ever used one of those fancy color palette generators? You know, the ones where you pick a starting color, tweak some options that probably include some musical jargon like “triad” or “major fourth”, and are then bestowed the five perfect color swatches you should use to build your website?

What a great read.

Kindle Highlight Menu: No Thanks

If you have an E-Ink Kindle and do a lot of highlighting do yourself a favor and turn this off. This one setting completely changes the whole highlighting experience.

How can Apple not realize how terrible this is that I can't even read this in Safari on my Mac?

XML, blockchains, and the strange shapes of progress RB

JSON came along and wiped out XML for web apps (but did you ever wonder why we fetch JSON using an XMLHttpRequest?).


XML didn’t live up to expectations, but spending a lot of money on interoperability kinda did. Supply chains are a lot more integrated than they used to be. Financial systems actually do send financial data back and forth. RPCs really do get Remotely Called. All that stuff got built during the XML craze.

XML, the data format, didn’t have much to do with it. We could have just as easily exchanged data with JSON (if it had existed) or CSV or protobufs or whatever. But XML, the dream, was a fad everyone could get behind.

A quick, interesting read and some predictions for the future.

ballercat/walt RB

Walt is an alternative syntax for WebAssembly text format. It’s an experiment for using JavaScript syntax to write to as ‘close to the metal’ as possible. It’s JavaScript with rules. .walt files compile directly to WebAssembly binary format.

Glad to see someone realizing one of the big downsides of WebAssembly and trying to do something about it.

App Scams: Sneaky 'Utility' Apps Are Stealing $260, $2500, or even $4700 Each Year ... Per User

> The scam outlined above is admittedly pretty clever. I’d never really thought about it before, but the fact that the home button on Touch ID devices serves both as the “Yes I really do want to authorize this payment” verification and the “Get me out of this app and back to the home screen” escape hatch makes it ripe for abuse like this.

I don't typically hit my iPhone home button in "Panic mode" but considering this for the first time it does seem like a pretty big usability design flaw for more average users.

photosynthesis gamenight

steps stairway


at Cave Hill Cemetery & Arboretum