<input> I ♡ you, but you’re bringing me down – Monica Dinculescu

If you have web devel­oper friends, show them this arti­cle and watch as their face starts to twitch. TL;DR: good piece about browser incon­sis­ten­cies around HTML forms (of which there are many) 

1995 was a good year. Friends, ER, Xena were all on TV. TLC had dom­i­nated the charts with “Water­falls”. Browsers were ok, because HTML was pretty ok. We had Mosaic, Netscape and IE1, and the HTML2 spec was finally get­ting around to stan­dard­iz­ing forms. 1995 was the year when <input> was born, and now that it’s about old enough to drink, we need to have a talk.

Oh man, just found this other awe­some quote: 

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, JavaScript

You see, I can jus­tify CSS quirks. I worked on Chrome for 2 years, I work next to the Blink team now, I under­stand we’re all writ­ing dif­fer­ent ren­der­ers and they all have their own CSS bugs. How­ever, the <input> API isn’t quirky — it’s lit­er­ally just a jar of spi­ders, and the moment you open the jar, it’s too late. You’re cov­ered in spi­ders. Even your cat is a spi­der now. Bet­ter find some fire.

Source: I ♡ you, but you’re bring­ing me down – Mon­ica Din­culescu

Page Weight Matters — Chris Zacharias

TL;DR: “Many of us are for­tu­nate to live in high band­width regions, but there are still large por­tions of the world that do not. By keep­ing your client side code small and light­weight, you can lit­er­ally open your prod­uct up to new mar­kets.“

I was just about to give up on the project, with my world view com­pletely shat­tered, when my col­league dis­cov­ered the answer: geog­ra­phy.
When we plot­ted the data geo­graph­i­cally and com­pared it to our total num­bers bro­ken out by region, there was a dis­pro­por­tion­ate increase in traf­fic from places like South­east Asia, South Amer­ica, Africa, and even remote regions of Siberia. Fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tion revealed that, in these places, the aver­age page load time under Feather was over TWO MINUTES! This meant that a reg­u­lar video page, at over a megabyte, was tak­ing more than TWENTY MINUTES to load!

Source: Page Weight Mat­ters

Auto-Generating Clickbait With Recurrent Neural Networks | Lars Eidnes’ blog

TL;DR: the author set up neural net­works to auto-generate click­bait head­lines. View the out­put at http://clickotron.com/ or click through to read about the sys­tem.

In total, this gives us an infi­nite source of use­less jour­nal­ism, avail­able at no cost. If I remem­ber cor­rectly from eco­nom­ics class, this should drive the mar­ket value of use­less jour­nal­ism down to zero, forc­ing other pro­duc­ers of use­less jour­nal­ism to pro­duce some­thing else.

Source: Auto-Generating Click­bait With Recur­rent Neural Net­works | Lars Eidnes’ blog

America’s Child-Marriage Problem — The New York Times

Wow… I had no idea this was still hap­pen­ing here in the US! I sup­port the author’s sug­ges­tion to elim­i­nate these “excep­tions” that enable under­age mar­riage.

Of course, one person’s “parental con­sent” can be another’s “parental coer­cion,” but state laws typ­i­cally do not call for any­one to inves­ti­gate whether a child is mar­ry­ing will­ingly. Even in the case of a girl’s sob­bing openly while her par­ents sign the appli­ca­tion and force her into mar­riage, the clerk usu­ally has no author­ity to inter­vene. In fact, in most states there are no laws that specif­i­cally for­bid forced mar­riage.

Source: America’s Child-Marriage Prob­lem — The New York Times

TJ Miller of HBOs Silicon Valley Tries to Guess What 10 Actual Startups Do

There are a lot of funnily-named star­tups here… Hav­ing a comedic actor guess what they are = lulz. Here’s my favorite:

T.J.‘s guess: “That’s a site that tells you the gen­eral migra­tion pat­terns of whales. And it’s not a very funny site. It’s incred­i­bly infor­ma­tive. It’s for the mar­itime man in all of us.” 
Actu­ally: A crowd­sourced busi­ness growth site

Source: TJ Miller of HBOs Sil­i­con Val­ley Tries to Guess What 10 Actual Star­tups Do

Urban activists set out to sue San Francisco’s suburbs | Grist

It’s not just a law­suit,” says Trauss. “It’s a polit­i­cal exer­cise. Most peo­ple would be very uncom­fort­able tear­ing down 315 houses. But they don’t have a sim­i­lar objec­tion to never build­ing them in the first place, even though I feel they’re morally equiv­a­lent. Those peo­ple show up any­way. They get born any­way. They get a job in the area any­way. What do they do? They live in an over­crowded sit­u­a­tion, they pay too much rent, they have a com­mute that’s too long. Or maybe they out­bid some­one else, and some­one else is dis­placed.”

It’s easy to see the prob­lem when you’re tear­ing down someone’s home. But when you’re not build­ing, it’s hard to see whose home it is.”

Source: Urban activists set out to sue San Francisco’s sub­urbs | Grist

The white man in that photo | GRIOT

I never knew the back­story of this man—Peter Norman—until now… very inter­est­ing! TL;DR: he con­sciously chose to stand with these men, and was ostra­cized from the Aus­tralian Olympic com­mu­nity as a result. 

The two Amer­i­cans had asked Nor­man if he believed in human rights. Nor­man said he did. They asked him if he believed in God, and he, who had been in the Sal­va­tion Army, said he believed strongly in God. “We knew that what we were going to do was far greater than any ath­letic feat, and he said “I’ll stand with you” – remem­bers John Car­los – “I expected to see fear in Norman’s eyes, but instead we saw love.”

Source: The white man in that photo | GRIOT

The remarkable thing that happens to poor kids when you give their parents a little money — The Washington Post

A fas­ci­nat­ing and for­tu­nate lon­gi­tu­di­nal study is able to draw con­clu­sions from these fam­i­lies receiv­ing what amounts to basic income. TL;DR: Every­one ben­e­fit­ted.

There’s also the ques­tion of stress, which the extra money helps relieve—even if only a lit­tle. While the added income wasn’t enough to allow par­ents to quit their jobs, it’s a base level that helped with rent and food and other basic expenses. That, Akee said, is pow­er­ful enough itself. 
“We know that the thing poor cou­ples fight about the most is money,” he said. “Off the bat, this means a more har­mo­nious fam­ily envi­ron­ment.”

Source: The remark­able thing that hap­pens to poor kids when you give their par­ents a lit­tle money — The Wash­ing­ton Post

Solwa’s Solar-Powered Machines Help Farmers Dry Their Food Instead Of Letting It Rot

The com­pany behind this tech (@solwasrl) is inter­est­ing too—they have a prod­uct for desali­na­tion (solar) and one that makes fuel from sea­wa­ter sludge!

A lot of food grown in devel­op­ing coun­tries never makes it to the people’s bel­lies. Because of a lack of refrig­er­a­tion, it rots dur­ing trans­port or when farm­ers fail to sell it imme­di­ately at mar­kets. Every year, 1.3 bil­lion tons of food (with a value of more than $1 tril­lion) is wasted in this way, accord­ing to the U.N.‘s Food and Agri­cul­ture Orga­ni­za­tion.
Dry­ing food is a good alter­na­tive to cool­ing (per­haps you’ve heard of beef jerky). And with the FoodWa sys­tem, devel­oped by a startup in Italy, you don’t even need elec­tric­ity to do that. Its dryer runs com­pletely on solar energy, which is cap­tured both in the form of heat and by solar pan­els.

Source: These Solar-Powered Machines Help Farm­ers Dry Their Food Instead Of Let­ting It Rot | Co.Exist | ideas + impact

Meet The Mystery Vigilantes Who Created ‘Malware’ To Secure 10,000 Routers — Forbes

TL;DR: appar­ently altru­is­tic hack­ers made a bot­net that removes other mal­ware from easily-compromised routers. 

Inter­est­ingly, this isn’t the first time a com­puter virus has removed oth­ers from the sys­tem!

They also placed their mal­ware (or good­ware depend­ing on which way you look at it) under the Gen­eral Pub­lic License, the widely-used free soft­ware license writ­ten by Stallman.There’s still a con­cern that despite the hack­ers’ promises, they could still use Wifatch for evil – some­thing The White Team even warned about. When asked if they could be trusted, the hack­ers wrote: “Of course not, you should secure your device.”

Source: Meet The Mys­tery Vig­i­lantes Who Cre­ated ‘Mal­ware’ To Secure 10,000 Routers — Forbes