Favorites January 3rd 2024
I had never heard of the paper about optimal copyright lengths! Unfortunately, it's 30 pages, so I can't say that I've read it, but it's good to know that the optimal is around 14 years. Also, Masnick's proposal of allowing further renewals with increasing prices seems reasonable.
Here's the video of it happening on level 157 where tetris crashes because it runs into a buffer overflow. A significant part of the story is ‘hypertapping’ vs 'rolling' which were the two advancements in the last decade that allowed folks to get past level 29, which was previously thought to be the limit. Just for fun, I experimented myself on the keyboard with hypertapping vs rolling keys, and I'm almost twice as fast with rolling.
A quick investigation says this is the Juno spacecraft and those are lakes of molten silicate lava.
As @jeremyhoffman quipped: "They even used distance fog to save on rendering faraway objects!"
• Housing Law Prof Chris Elmendorf has a thread of things he's looking for in housing legislation in 2024. One highlight was the idea of regulating tenant buyouts. Previously they've just avoided touching anything that's had renters, instead the legislature should standardize on something. (src)
Flotsam and Jetsam
– Stack overflow's popularity has absolutely tanked over the last year. It's nice at least that the founders got an exit before that happened. (src)
– Japanese freeway earthquake resistance measures are very impressive. (src)
– Discussion of what makes a country heroic or brave, English person asks what India has done, they've never conquered anyone. Indian replies that not conquering anyone is what makes them great. (src)
– Thread of "America is in decline just like Rome" folks have been saying it since the 1800s (src)
– UK Prime Minister proud that they've blocked immigrants from bringing their families so that they can keep rents down. Absolutely deranged, they should just build homes! Meanwhile their electrical supply per capita is falling to middle-income country levels and business investment growth is stalling. (src)
– Arizona uses less water than in 1957 despite having 5x the population. Anyone who worries about new residents coming in and using up the water is full of it. (src)
– "The most liberal communities in the country aren't that liberal when it comes to affordable housing" - President Barack Obama (src)
– Between 2000 and 2021 a new study found 309 lab acquired infections and 16 pathogen lab escapes. (src)
– The Clean Electricity & Transmission Acceleration Act has some very very bad changes to NEPA in it. Also, this includes the term 'greenmailing' which I don't think I'd heard before. (src)
– A higher share of workers age 65+ are working, not because they can't retire, but because of higher wages and better working conditions. (src)
– NYC has a housing shortage because they make it hard to build new houses. Great visualization from the NYTimes of what they could be building. (src)
– Dang we just keep getting better at growing corn in the US. (src)
– In fact, the world is just good at growing crops generally, population and yields are way up, but land use is about the same since the 1960s (src)
– Is Tom Cruise the greatest movie star of all time? Obviously it depends on your definition, but he's done pretty well. (src)
– Someone figured out a way to improve LLM context windows without fine-tuning (src)
– India now has the world's 4th largest subway system, on track for number 2 (src)
– Final Fantasy III was written in the US instead of Japan, because their Iranian-American coder was having visa troubles, so the whole team moved to California. (src)
– Sorta dark joke circulating on Chinese websites about how closely tied Chinese elites are with the west (src)