Tuesday, September 16, 2014

[qdsbpuzp] Freenet for work and play

The killer app for Freenet is information that some powerful entity wants to censor, but whose popularity the Streisand Effect can thwart.

Such a capability is needed for true social good extremely rarely, perhaps whistleblowing.  Usually other mechanisms for censorship-resistant publishing suffice: Tor, Bittorrent.  Freenet has yet to be critically needed, to my knowledge.

However, Freenet may still serve a purpose as a threat rather than execution (actual use).  Attempts to censor other channels will only increase its popularity.

In the meantime, while not yet needed for true social good, it still needs to be developed and tested and deployed.  Therefore, perhaps we should laud rather than decry its currently inane uses (primarily entertainment).

Monday, September 15, 2014

[vfolndjd] Dancing to Rhapsody in Blue

Perform Rhapsody in Blue so that it is danceable for social partner dancing.  Inspired by this quote from Wikipedia: "Gershwin's own intentions were to correct the belief that jazz had to be played strictly in time so that one could dance to it." (Citing Schiff, David (1997). Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue. Cambridge University Press.)

This idea seemingly goes directly against Gershwin's intentions.  But rubatos are fine, so long as they make musical sense, if they are telegraphed in advance so the dancers know to expect it.  It is the ridiculously fast sections that need to be slowed down.  I wonder if the tradition of ridiculously fast stems from this: "In order to get the whole piece onto two sides of a 12" record it had to be played at a faster speed than it would usually have in concert, which gave it a hurried feel and some rubato was lost." (also Wikipedia)

We might also add more repeats so that the song seems to have more structure and less a conglomeration of disparate ideas.

[qcddjdwr] Unsavory grit

Create a parody of the typical praise lauded upon grit:

Angela Lee Duckworth: The key to success? Grit, TED Talk

by illustrating it being used for things like stalking and long-term scams and cons, so a personality trait that we should not encourage in children, or at least, certain children who will go on to do those things (probably a commentary on social class).

[drilonnp] Source distribution

Create a Linux distribution which creates the illusion that every program is a script.  Scripts encourage modification.  Some (many) of the "scripts" will appear to be written in C, so various tricks go on under the covers.  A C "interpreter" actually compiles and runs.  It caches the compiled binaries for the next time they are needed.  If a compiled binary of a given source is available from a trusted network source, it downloads that instead of compiling it.  (These last two ideas are from ccache and distcc.). "Reproducible Builds" would be nice.  Predictively compile when idle programs and libraries which may soon be needed.

Inspired by the runhaskell program of GHC, which looks like an interpreter but compiles and runs under the covers, I think.

[vnmnqric] Discover market inefficiencies

Collect instances in which consumers purchased an inferior product when a superior one was available at the same or lower price, or overpaid for a product when the same product was was available for less.  Possibly instances of marketing causing these actions.  Possibly deceptive marketing.

Let this collection motivate regulation to prevent future incidents, to improve market efficiency.

These instances can be efficiently collected by polling competitors: those whose superior or lower-priced goods were passed over.

[abtsvomo] Tango curriculum for lovers

Consider an Argentine Tango curriculum based on volcada and gancho as the fundamental concepts, in contrast to how they are typically taught as advanced moves.

The idea is that tango is at its core a social dance for people who like to touch each other, so who like to press against each other and who like to wrap their legs around each other.  Silly tricks like walking can come later as advanced moves.

[vuhjvylz] Personal RSS downloader

Create a daemon tool which periodically polls an RSS feed (also listens to PubSubHubbub) and archives the articles.  Perhaps it lets you track changes if an article get updated.

Goal is to be able to read articles older than the window in time that the site's RSS feed publishes.

There are plenty of 3rd party services that will do this for you, but the goal is to do it on one's own personal server.  This should be pretty easy.

There might be some AI involved in determining the best polling interval.

Another slightly messy bit if the article is only a link, then we wish to download and archive the linked article.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

[akycvmeg] Fun with crosshairs

Sniper game, in which the size of the weapon is automatically chosen depending on the size of the view.  Zoom in and shoot to put a little bullet in the target's head.  Zoom out a bit more and pull the trigger to blow their entire head off.  Zoom out more to leave a crater where they were standing.  Zoom out more and fire to take out an entire city block.

Or zoom in a lot.

[xrtxrfkz] Epic pop songs

Some of the greatest pop songs are long, often with significant musical structure:

American Pie
Bohemian Rhapsody
Free Bird
Hey Jude
Isn't It A Pity
Stairway To Heaven

Sinnerman and Free Bird were known to close concerts, probably others also.

This list was sparked by Nina Simone's even longer cover of Isn't It A Pity.

Vaguely similar list for classical.

[jqgykkvo] Render as columns

I could not find any terminal applications on Ubuntu that work well with proportional fonts (not monospace).  The best choice was M-x term in Emacs with the default font set to a proportional one.

If such a thing existed we would like a mechanism to be able to render text in columns.  A subset of this previous idea.

[klygdduo] Two interpretations of safe

There are surprisingly not one but two major ways people, stereotypically women, can feel unsafe at a social dance.  The more famous one is feeling threatened through stalking, physical or sexual harassment.  As shorthand, let's name this one safety from sexual harassment.

The second is feeling threatened about being judged, facing social punishment or social repercussions for dancing or for dancing in a certain way.  Let's name this one safety from slut-shaming.

Inspired by a conversation with a woman about the topic of "safety" at a dance.  She immediately interpreted it to mean safety from slut-shaming.  Surprised, when I responded that safety from sexual harassment is the more famous issue, she responded that that one has only very rarely been a concern for her, that people's behavior at a dance became uncomfortable so rarely that it it was, on the whole, not a big deal for her.  She said it may have to do with her expectations of a social dance.

What kinds of actions do perpetrators do that cause others not to feel safe from slut-shaming?  Can we prevent such behavior?  This will probably be difficult because likely the perpetrators feel they are doing nothing wrong (coincidentally, an attitude shared by those who cause others to feel unsafe from sexual harassment).

The two issues might be linked at a subconscious level: people may set their boundaries about what constitutes sexual harassment based on a desire to avoid slut shaming.  Solving one helps solve the other.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

[cegwxdda] Toggling airplane mode insecurely

Being able to toggle airplane mode, and in particular, turn it off, without entering the unlock code of a mobile device seems like a significant security flaw.

The device will likely immediately broadcast personal identifying information, and might become accessible through network exploits.

How much of a flaw is this compared to other attacks that someone with physical access to the device can do?  I.e., USB port.

Friday, September 12, 2014

[prbwmqwj] Functions to modify a record

Haskell could use some new syntax LAMBDA_RECORD_MODIFY which could be used as follows:

import qualified Control.Monad.State as State;
data Record { field :: Int };
... State.modify $ LAMBDA_RECORD_MODIFY { field = ... };

which is equivalent to

State.modify $ \x -> x { field = ... }

but not having to name the lambda parameter "x" (twice).

I suspect this is one of the things lenses are trying to do.

[fzxlgvmr] Forced oscillator evolution

Modify Conway's Game Of Life so that certain cells in the universe are forced to oscillate with a specific sequence of period 7.  They do not obey the life-death rules, but their neighbors do.  This will induce the evolution of a neighborhood that also oscillates with period 7 in order not to be chaotic.  Perhaps discover more standalone period 7 oscillators.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

[gswdkohx] Naming things after fictional people

If you must name things after people, consider naming them after fictional characters: the character represents an idea.

[kemajfhc] Media influencing mating choices

In your experience, when has mass media influenced your dating and mating decisions?  Do you like big butts because media told you to?

Media is often accused of causing body image problems in women, but, for example, do women who do not obey the dictates of mass media actually do worse in courtship?  This also needs to be disentangled from, media feeds us what we already want to see.

Can we measure the question from an opposite direction: correlating mass media with demographic mating statistics?  Perhaps a popular TV show causing a measurable change only while the show aired.

[dbewifec] U-shaped pool

Consider playing billiards on a much larger table.  Perhaps U-shaped (still with only right angles) to avoid unreachable areas in the center of the table.  Or S or more right-angled turns.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

[qfmwwfli] Open source Uber

Consider regulating car services such as Lyft and Uber by requiring that the app be free (libre) and open source, both the app used by the driver and used by the passenger to request the car.

The goal is to allow easier creation of competitor apps which are not just locked in to one service, thereby lowering the barrier to entry for future competitors to Uber and Lyft, preventing them from asserting a monopoly.

[jpeirksb] Command line prompt

Improve the command line interface to be able to distinguish between when the computer is waiting for keyboard input and when it is computing or otherwise stalled.

Perhaps open a separate dialog with powerful line editing capabilities for keyboard input.

When not displaying a prompt, one can still type Control-C.

[dffbedca] User multitasking

While the command line is a wonderful interface for a single "thread" of a user's mental attention, if the user is spreading attention between several different tasks on the same computer, we need something more, for example separate windows or the "screen" utility.  This seems the dual of the normal consideration of the technical challenges of a computer multitasking.