Some Steinway grand pianos are from Queens, New York; some are from Hamburg. The manufacturing process in the two factories has been subtly diverging since the early 20th century, and afficionados swear that the difference is palpable.

Having just tried to implement an editorial design in CSS, I can say with some certainty that (1) I hate CSS, but maybe a bit less than I did in 2004, and (2) I am really excited for block-step-size and the rest of the rhythmic sizing suiteI could write a very long post on how it would improve my life ten times over and submit it to csswg-drafts, but I am fairly sure that’s the effectiveness equivalent of me shouting on the street at Facebook that I don’t like their font sizing.

. These allow designers to snap line heights and block sizes to a multiple of some number, which is incredibly useful for, aligning multi-column text layouts and floats without brittle, hacky workarounds.

All-female co-working space The Wing raises $32M Series B, which is good news if you like hearing about people sidestepping entrenched normsIn this case, masculine norms in “startup”-entrepreneurial culture.

as an alternative to reforming them from within. Considerably less good news if you think closed-door old-school networking “clubs” are a net loss for a society. Neutral-chaotic news if your vision of “female empowerment” doesn’t involve excessive pastel and Chanel-stocked powder rooms.

The Wing also has libraries organised by colour, which offends my poor, pragmatic heart.

Why don’t movie poster names ever line up? (Video, 6min.)

Carnegie Mellon’s CS department hosts a list of potentially offensive words. Some, like “vulva”, “buggery”, and “damnation”, I understand. I am, however, exceptionally confused that said list includes “Asian” but not “Greek” (see Urban Dictionary).

“Yoga girlfriends”, Love Live! fanart by gayidolanimetrash.

Via aeon, paraphrased: “Know thyself, but set an aggressive cache timeout.”

“Hacker-proof code” is a clickbait headline, to be sure, but in 2015, the DARPA-funded High-Assurance Cyber Military Systems project (HACMS) used formal methods techniques to write a drone flight controller which withstood escalation attempts from compromised subsystemsThe drone software was written in a Haskell DSL, because of course it fucking was.


Military applications might not be your ethical cup of tea, but the increasing real-world viability of formally verified programs bodes well for the future security of power plants and pacemakers alike.

More recently, Joey Dodds of Galois (the company that built said drone systemAlongside the dreadfully-named Data61 (formerly NICTA).

) warns against the dangers of overconfident reporting on formal methods: “If readers come away thinking a proof is even a little more broad than it is in reality, that opens up space for bugs and vulnerabilities to hide.” (This post came shortly after the KRACK vulnerability, whose target, WPA2, had been formally verified in parts.) Formal methods, he notes, is applied piecewise, claiming one small certainty at a time. Knowing there are no memory leaks in component X under conditions Y and Z doesn’t tell us that the coast is clear; it tells us which windows to board up next.

Also in security: if you want to win the $100,000USD bug bounty for compromising a Chromebook, you’ll have to do something fairly impressive, like chaining five separate zero days together, as Gzob QqIf that is their real name.

did this September.

Via The Guardian: Pope Francis may be the darling of the mainstream media, but his own church is out for his blood, toying with the idea of accusing him of heresyIbid.: “To accuse a sitting pope of heresy is the nuclear option in Catholic arguments. Doctrine holds that the pope cannot be wrong when he speaks on the central questions of the faith; so if he is wrong, he can’t be pope. On the other hand, if this pope is right, all his predecessors must have been wrong.”

. His crime? Modernisation, the antithesis to predecssor Pope John Paul II’s counterrevolutionary agenda. A significant number of priests contend that, far from saving the Catholic Church, attempts to change the Church to suit the times will erode the timelessness that’s one of the few things the Church still has going for it.

Weddings, wakes and births might mean a week off quaffing ale to celebrate, and when wandering jugglers or sporting events came to town, the peasant expected time off for entertainment. There were labor-free Sundays, and when the plowing and harvesting seasons were over, the peasant got time to rest, too. In fact, economist Juliet Shor found that during periods of particularly high wages, such as 14th-century England, peasants might put in no more than 150 days a year.

Rachel Weber of the Great Cities Institute (UIC) writes on the strange world of US real estate development, where competency comes a distant second“Is trumped by”?

to hubris and brand management.

“Real estate developers… are not ordinary businessmen.” An understatement, if anything.