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City Street Orientations

jwz
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Geoff Boeing:

Each of the cities is represented by a polar histogram (aka rose diagram) depicting how its streets orient. Each bar's direction represents the compass bearings of the streets (in that histogram bin) and its length represents the relative frequency of streets with those bearings. [...]

Most cities' polar histograms similarly tend to cluster in at least a rough, approximate way. But then there are Boston and Charlotte.

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chrisrosa
9 days ago
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hmmmm
San Francisco, CA
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What If Trump Has Been a Russian Asset Since 1987?

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And it would mean the Russia scandal began far earlier than conventionally understood and ended later — indeed, is still happening. As Trump arranges to meet face-to-face and privately with Vladimir Putin later this month, the collusion between the two men metastasizing from a dark accusation into an open alliance, it would be dangerous not to consider the possibility that the summit is less a negotiation between two heads of state than a meeting between a Russian-intelligence asset and his handler.

It is often said that Donald Trump has had the same nationalistic, zero-sum worldview forever. But that isn’t exactly true. Yes, his racism and mendacity have been evident since his youth, but those who have traced the evolution of his hypernationalism all settle on one year in particular: 1987. Trump “came onto the political stage in 1987 with a full-page ad in the New York Times attacking the Japanese for relying on the United States to defend it militarily,” reported Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. “The president has believed for 30 years that these alliance commitments are a drain on our finite national treasure,” a White House official told the Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin. Tom Wright, another scholar who has delved into Trump’s history, reached the same conclusion. “1987 is Trump’s breakout year. There are only a couple of examples of him commenting on world politics before then.”

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chrisrosa
12 days ago
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San Francisco, CA
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12 days ago
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3 public comments
JimB
7 days ago
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This is what I've been thinking for the last year...
awilchak
13 days ago
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good times
Brooklyn, New York
SteveRB511
12 days ago
Based on Trump's behavior I have wondered if he's a real life Manchrian Candidate but sold out to self-interest rather than brain washing.
satadru
13 days ago
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Just... wow.
New York, NY

AT&T Is Very Excited To Try And Ruin HBO

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Ma bell isn't much fun at parties. While traditional telcos desperately want to pivot from broadband and cable to video and online advertising, that transition has been challenging. Especially for a sector that has spent the last 30 years as government-pampered regional mono/duopolies. Many of these companies are good at running a network or lobbying government to stifle competition, but they're simply not very good at things like creativity, innovation, or disruption. That was recently made abundantly clear by Verizon's face plant after it tried to launch a sexy new Millennial-focused video platform dubbed Go90.

AT&T suffers from the same disease, and it may soon manifest in abundance.

You'll recall that AT&T's $86 billion acquisition of Time Warner was allowed to proceed after a comically narrow reading of the market by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon. At absolutely no point in his 172-page ruling, did Leon show the faintest awareness that AT&T wants to use the gutting of the FCC, the elimination of net neutrality rules, and vertical integration synergistically to behave anti-competitively in the broadband and streaming video space, something that's obvious to anybody that has spent thirty seconds watching AT&T do business.

Leon took AT&T lawyers' arguments completely at face value, resulting in him failing to even apply a single meaningful condition to AT&T's latest megamerger.

And while the death of net neutrality, regulatory capture and rubber-stamped merger mania are all wonderful things for AT&T, there's still one little problem AT&T needs to overcome in order to capitalize on its wide, open anti-competitive runway: it's just not very good at this whole creativity or innovation thing. While it's clear that AT&T executives think they're really good at innovation, there are growing concerns that the company is going to meddle with HBO and erode many of the things that made the channel a standout over the last twenty years.

AT&T execs initially stated they'd be leaving HBO alone to do what the company does best. But that promise quickly evaporated this week at a town hall meeting at the network’s headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, where AT&T execs like John Stankey proclaimed that AT&T intends to dramatically reshape HBO to effectively focus on quantity and ad impressions over quality:

Mr. Stankey described a future in which HBO would substantially increase its subscriber base and the number of hours that viewers spend watching its shows. To pull it off, the network will have to come up with more content, transforming itself from a boutique operation, with a focus on its signature Sunday night lineup, into something bigger and broader.

“I want more hours of engagement. Why are more hours of engagement important? Because you get more data and information about a customer that then allows you to do things like monetize through alternate models of advertising as well as subscriptions, which I think is very important to play in tomorrow’s world.”

Of course Netflix has been taking heat for focusing on quantity over quality, resulting in a string of high-profile duds. And AT&T's version of "monetization" has historically involved things like charging broadband users more money if they want to protect their own privacy. If you're an HBO exec and alarm bells aren't ringing in your ears, you likely haven't paid enough attention to AT&T's scattershot efforts to dominate media pre-merger. Stankey then tried to equate the experience HBO was about to go through under AT&T management to child birth:

“You will work very hard, and this next year will — my wife hates it when I say this — feel like childbirth,” he said. “You’ll look back on it and be very fond of it, but it’s not going to feel great while you’re in the middle of it. She says, ‘What do you know about this?’ I just observe, ‘Honey. We love our kids.’”

On the plus side, it's clear that AT&T wants to spend billions on original content to help the new AT&T-owned HBO to match Netflix blow for blow in the streaming wars. On the flip side, AT&T's corporate culture (indisputably anti-consumer, viciously anti-competitive and historically hostile) is inevitably going to clash with HBO management. HBO has creatively crafted some of the best television in the last decade. AT&T, in turn, has expertise in things like killing net neutrality and finding new, creative ways to rip off taxpayers and its own customers.

That there are going to be tensions between the two companies likely isn't debatable. And, while success is certainly possible, whether AT&T can shake off some of its own worst habits and "improve" HBO -- without eliminating all of its finest traits in the process -- is going to prove interesting to watch.



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chrisrosa
12 days ago
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perfect headline.
San Francisco, CA
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Snapchat Opens 'Lens Explorer' Section in iOS App to Enable Discoverability of User-Made Lenses

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Snapchat today announced that all users can now discover and unlock thousands of user-generated Lenses built by the app's global creator community with "Lens Explorer." This marks the first time that Community Lenses will be discoverable alongside the main, Snapchat-created Lenses in the Lens Carousel.


To find the new section, navigate to the Lens Carousel, tap the new smiley face icon in the top right corner, and tap a Lens tile to unlock the Lens you want. Then, the app will navigate you to the Snap Camera to try it out, or you can see how it looks on other users in featured Our Stories. Additionally, if you know the name of a lens you can directly search for it.

The Lenses found in Lens Explorer are made by creators using Snapchat's Lens Studio, a desktop app for Mac and Windows that lets creatives and developers build augmented reality face filters and other effects that go to use in the Snapchat mobile apps. Today, the company announced that since Lens Studio launched last December creators have submitted more than 100,000 unique Lenses that have been viewed more than 2.5 billion times.

Lens Explorer is rolling out beginning today to the iOS Snapchat app.


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chrisrosa
12 days ago
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this is going to get racist, really quick.
San Francisco, CA
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Tom Hanks' D&D Moral Panic Film

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When you think of Tom Hanks' early career, you recall the TV show Bosom Buddies, and then his starring roles in the movies Splash and Bachelor Party, which both came out in 1984. His first film was He Knows You're Alone in 1980, but he only had a small part. You probably don't recall his starring role in the 1982 TV movie Mazes and Monsters. The film rode the wave of moral panic surrounding role playing games, particularly Dungeons & Dragons, which few people understood at the time.    

Hanks stars as Robbie Wheeling, a university freshman who joins his new friends Jay Jay (Chris Makepeace), Kate (Wendy Crewson), and Daniel (David Wallace) in games of Mazes and Monsters. Like most teenagers, the four have tensions with their parents - Jay Jay's mother's a control freak, and Daniel's father doesn't want him to become a videogame designer. Robbie, on the other hand, is more troubled than the others realized; he's already been forced out of one school for playing roleplaying games too much. When Jay Jay invites Robbie to join his Mazes and Monsters group, Robbie reluctantly agrees.

The trouble begins when Jay Jay decides to take the RPG a step further: "I propose we play Mazes and Monsters in a real setting," he says. "Naturally, I'll be the maze controller."

You can see where this is going- Robbie (Hanks) steps into a nightmare. Read about Mazes and Monsters and the news that led to its production at Den of Geek.

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chrisrosa
12 days ago
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this movie is etched into my pre-teen brain.
San Francisco, CA
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Found Art: Huge Exterior Wall Mural Uncovered in Dutch Museum Renovation

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[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

Originally painted in 1968 on the side of an Amsterdam museum building, this Keith Haring mural was covered in a subsequent renovation before recently being revealed once again to the public.

Standing 40 feet high, the drawing was added to complement an indoor exhibit at the Stedelijk Museum. A new layer to the exterior facade, however, later shrouded it from view for decades to follow.

For years, other artists like Mick La Rock have been pushing to expose the art once again. Finally, a move by the museum itself out of the building made that possible — the climate-controlling panels were no longer needed. In the end, the conversion of the structure to a grocery store from a museum enabled this reveal.

The original work is Haring’s largest in Europe. Created over a period of two days, it features a mythical creature and figures common to the artist’s work. More about the artist: “Keith Haring was born on May 4, 1958 in Reading, Pennsylvania, and was raised in nearby Kutztown, Pennsylvania. He developed a love for drawing at a very early age, learning basic cartooning skills from his father and from the popular culture around him, such as Dr. Seuss and Walt Disney.”

“In addition to being impressed by the innovation and energy of his contemporaries, Haring was also inspired by the work of Jean Dubuffet, Pierre Alechinsky, William Burroughs, Brion Gysin and Robert Henri’s manifesto The Art Spirit, which asserted the fundamental independence of the artist. With these influences Haring was able to push his own youthful impulses toward a singular kind of graphic expression based on the primacy of the line.”

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[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

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chrisrosa
14 days ago
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An Old #KeithHaring comes back to life!
San Francisco, CA
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