373 stories
·
1 follower

How to write a Chainsmokers song

1 Comment

John Fassold critiques the popular duo's songs about "how hard it is to be white and in love" the best way: by making more of them.

And here's the classic "Four Chords" song, illustrating how formulaic much pop music is.

https://youtu.be/5pidokakU4I

Previously:
That thing you hear in every other pop song is the Millennial Whoop

Read the whole story
Share this story
Delete
1 public comment
StunGod
8 days ago
reply
This is so timely - my mom was watching the Chainsmokers on SNL the other day, and was like, "these lyrics are stupid. It's like he's just posting on Facebook."
Portland, Oregon, USA, Earth

The Solar System In A Pocket-Size Bottle

1 Comment

Etsy shop Little Planet Factory is selling this Solar System In A Bottle for ~$37. The little bottle contains all 8 planets to scale (1:5,000,000,000). Cool."Made using a form of full colour 3d printing, these objects are made in one go as a whole rather than two hemispheres, leaving no joining lines and creating a unique "little planet" illusion. Instead the process creates a small hole at the south pole, which doubles as a means to stabilize the globe on a surface. "..(Read...)

Read the whole story
Share this story
Delete
1 public comment
StunGod
14 days ago
reply
I want this. And then I want bottles with every exoplanet system. Then I'll be a god.
Portland, Oregon, USA, Earth

I Write Letters

1 Comment and 2 Shares
image of a cracked U.S. flag

Dear Republican Members of Congress:

I read in this Slate article that many, or even most, of you don't like Donald Trump. That you understand he is dangerous and incompetent. That lots of you "are in various degrees of shock, horror, and disgust at what's going on in this administration."

We don't agree on much, members of the Republican Caucus, but we agree on that.

The thing is, you're not doing anything about it. And why? "None of them want to be decapitated by a primary challenge. Nobody wants the social media fanaticism of the alt-right turned on them."

I'm sorry, WHAT? You are watching your country slide into ruin and the entire world destabilize under the leadership of a catastrophically destructive scofflaw who likely colluded with a hostile foreign power to influence the outcome of our election, and you're worried about your jobs and social media harassment? ARE YOU SHITTING ME?

You fucking cowards.

Your primary job is to protect this country. You don't deserve your jobs if you're unwilling to do that.

And what, pray tell, would be the worst fate to befall you if you were to lose your job in the course of vigorously defending this nation from its lie-breathing dragon of a president, whose ascent to power you abetted with your cowardice? Rick Santorum served two inglorious terms as a U.S. Senator, has spent his time mounting failed presidential bids ever since, and recently landed a sweet gig as a CNN contributor. We've seen you repeatedly fail upwards, so risking your jobs isn't much of a risk at all.

As for your quivering pusillanimity at the prospect of being on the blunt end of social media opprobrium, I have nothing but a heaping bucketload of contempt to offer you.

In the 13 years I have been doing this work, social media harassment is a routine part of my every day. It's just a constant backdrop to the rest of what I'm obliged to navigate as the cost of being a woman who speaks out against injustice and the annihilative politics that emanate almost exclusively from your side of the aisle.

I have been mercilessly inundated for years with gross harassment. [Content Note: Descriptions of abuse.]

Death threats. Rape threats. Threats to kill my family, my pets. Detailed emails describing what it would be like to commit various acts of violence against me. Emails imagining what sex is like between my husband and me, and how he must hate it because I am disgusting. Hopes that someone else will hurt me. Admonishments to kill myself.

Pictures of weapons that people want to use on me. Photoshopped images of me being jizzed on, raped, sliced, diced, murdered. Pictures of dead fetuses.

Pictures of my house. Emails and comments the entire text of which is just my address. Threats. Insults. Slurs. Oh my god, so many slurs.

Harassing phone calls. Voicemails with threats of violence. My home address and phone numbers published. A publicly posted campaign offering a reward to anyone for proof of my rape and/or murder.

Private images stolen and published. Photoshopped images of me as various historical tyrants. Hate sites. My image used in fake Twitter accounts, online dating profiles, blogs. My life scrutinized, my privacy invaded, lies told about me, my appearance mocked, my reported experiences audited.

People have pounded on my front door. Dumped garbage on my lawn. Smashed a phone just beneath my office window, as if to say this is how close I can get.

I have seen my face broadcast on cable news beneath a graphic of a sniper's crosshairs. I have listened to a conservative man say on national television that he wants to personally bankrupt me. (After, by the way, he got me fired from my job.)

All of this, and then some, because I have dedicated my life to trying to prevent the very outcome you now refuse to publicly acknowledge. Because no matter how much you might like to pretend otherwise, Donald Trump is not an outlier of your party; he is its inevitable endgame.

And all the while, I have had to listen to narratives about how Republicans are the "Real Americans." I have had to listen to Republicans call me a traitor for supporting Democrats, for protesting war, for marrying an immigrant. I have seen pick-up trucks drive by my house sporting bumper sticks reading "Liberal Hunting License," and fielded threats from self-identified Republicans because I am a progressive writer.

I have watched John Kerry, a war hero, be diminished as a coward by men who avoided service. I have watched Barack Obama, our first Black president, be subjected to delegitimizing tactics on the basis of his race by people who believe only white people can be truly American. I have watched Hillary Clinton, a woman who has given her life to public service, accused of being careless with classified information by people who now tolerate Russian meddling to destroy the core of our democracy.

All my years have been spent listening to Republicans tell me how it is they who are the great patriots of this nation. That people like me would see America brought to its knees with our capitulation.

Yet now, in this moment, in the middle of a profound and urgent national crisis, with evidence of foreign election meddling and a president whose own fealty to this nation is deeply suspect (which is merely one point in a vast constellation of failures), the Great Patriots of the Republican Party are nowhere to be found.

Because you are worried about social media scorn and being primaried.

Get your heads out of your asses. There are millions upon millions of people in this country with a hell of a lot more to lose than you will ever have.

You are supposed to protect them. You're cowering in silence to keep a job you're not even willing to do.

Shame on you. Shame on you.

You fucking cowards.

No Love,
Liss

[H/T for the Slate article to Aphra_Behn. Image via Pixabay.]
Read the whole story
Share this story
Delete
1 public comment
StunGod
14 days ago
reply
I'll co-sign. Couldn't have said it better myself.
Portland, Oregon, USA, Earth

Good morning

1 Comment and 2 Shares


Good morning

Read the whole story
Share this story
Delete
1 public comment
StunGod
16 days ago
reply
Trekkin' ain't easy.
Portland, Oregon, USA, Earth

Floppy Guidance

jwz
2 Comments and 4 Shares
Read the whole story
satadru
21 days ago
reply
New York, NY
Share this story
Delete
2 public comments
StunGod
21 days ago
reply
I miss Beagle Brothers.
Portland, Oregon, USA, Earth
glenniebun
21 days ago
reply
Burning floppies was sooooo fun, though. The plastic would melt while still burning, sending little fireballs to the ground. Note: for outside enjoyment only; I'm pretty sure the fumes were toxic.
CT USA

IBM Empowers Financial Services App Developers with New Tools, Services

1 Comment

IBM has launched a series of new tools for developers building applications for the financial services sector, including support for cognitive, blockchain and analytics applications.

The financial services sector has long been a stronghold for IBM, with the company serving as a core supplier of hardware, software and services to the sector. As such, IBM is leading with its Watson-based cognitive computing technology. IBM initially applied Watson to its customers in the healthcare space, where it quickly caught on as an advisor to oncologists. Now Big Blue is aiming it at the financial services space.

The new IBM Cloud for Financial Services, announced at the IBM InterConnect 2017 show taking place in Las Vegas this week, provides tools, APIs and building blocks for creating financial services apps on the IBM Cloud.

IBM asserts that more than 100,000 individual and enterprise developers from the financial services industry come to IBM each month for development insight and support.

However, the new tailored offering from IBM provides financial technology (fintech) developers with access to APIs, data and content to ­­­­­­­­­­­­build and monetize cognitive-enabled financial services apps quickly and at scale for fintech firms, banks, wealth management firms and insurance companies.

“We released a family of financial services APIs that are built around Watson services targeted at particular areas that financial services practitioners might be interested in,” Willie Tejada, IBM’s chief developer advocate, told The New Stack. “If you take the insights that Watson can bring about from a cognitive capability, we’ve got those up in a set of APIs, but in use cases that are very specific to the financial services community.”

Also, IBM developed a set of starter kits to help developers begin to build financial services applications.

“So, for example, if you’re trying to do some productive planning in relation to models for portfolio management, how would those things actually get applied? These kits help with that,” Tejada said. “As we take a look at applying cognitive to industries, financial services is just one example.”

The starter kits “can get you pretty far along” because they provide very specific use cases that are directly applicable to building financial services applications, Tejada said. IBM will expand these starter kits to cover increasingly complex tasks but decided, to begin with, “low hanging fruit” use cases, he noted.

“These kits and APIs are driven from what we see from our customer set,” Tejada said. “And the other piece is what we see emerging. We listen to what our customers are asking us form, but we also are shooting where the puck is going to go. The idea is we look at what is the skills we need to develop or the starter kit we have to produce. That will help developers get their jobs done easier in these particular segments. So we listen to those two sides and make available these developer journeys and starter kits to allow them to do their work faster.”

Overall, IBM’s goal here is to help close the so-called skills gap in financial technology systems. The company’s new tools are now available in beta to assist developers in building in customer insights, regulatory compliance analytics, security, privacy and compliance readiness to help reduce the time needed for development and testing.

The tools help developers get around mundane tasks such as data selection, mapping and integration, enabling developers to use IBM services or combine them with their data.

“We have extensive expertise in financial services with 97 percent of the world’s largest banks relying on IBM. At the same time, IBM has become the leading AI platform for business,” said Bridget van Kralingen, IBM’s senior vice president of Industry Platforms, in a statement. “Our experience across financial services and in the commercial deployment of AI with enterprise and startup builders has informed these new tools.”

Also, IBM announced the extension of is extending its current business partner program by providing additional benefits and support for its financial services industry partners. Initial fintech firms offering their financial services focused APIs on the financial services developer cloud include Accern, Actiance, Bondevalue, Dow Jones, Eigencat, Envestnet | Yodlee, Opentopic, Plaid, PolicyPal, Quovo, Riskspan, TagniFi and Xignite.

“Partnering with IBM brings us one step closer toward our goal of building an inclusive financial services ecosystem, giving industry institutions and their customers access to critical infrastructure by marrying IBM’s institutional knowledge with Plaid’s technical expertise,” said Sima Gandhi, head of Business Development and Strategy at Plaid, in a statement.

Attention on the Verticals

Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, said he believes IBM’s financial services developer announcements and new offerings speak to the company’s deep history of and experience in enterprise software development.

“The new financial services offers were particularly interesting in how they reflect the company’s understanding of financial industry customers’ core needs,” King said. “These are often companies that have worked with IBM for decades, and their businesses are being deeply, fundamentally disrupted by new players, increasing competition and growing regulatory restrictions. IBM’s focus here is in providing financial organizations the tools and services they need to adapt quickly and successfully to changing circumstances. It’s certainly about IBM’s technical innovation but it’s also deeply informed by the company’s understanding of its customers’ businesses and requirements.”

Indeed, the IBM developer ecosystem has a role in this effort. Tejada said ISVs collaborate on the IBM Cloud to deliver cloud native applications and cloud-enable existing applications. They work with IBM to help extend their data, microservices and content to reach more clients in the industry.

Moreover, IBM provides advisory services to help ISVs, as well as technical and sales support, reference architectures and support for developing and using APIs. ISVs participating in the program and building and deploying innovative solutions on Bluemix include Avoka, Majesco, TCS BaNCS and others.

In addition, IBM officials said IBM Business Partner Solution Hubs such as those in London, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Dallas, Paris, Nice, Silicon Valley, Stuttgart, Sao Paulo, Bangalore, and Shanghai would help IBM partners commercialize financial services solutions with the company’s cognitive and cloud technology.

For its part, IBM just launched its Singapore FinTech Hub, which is linked to the company’s financial services developer cloud. Big Blue launched the hub with the support of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the central bank of Singapore, to serve as a catalyst to support Singapore-based fintech firms.

“The launch of the hub will help accelerate the growth and influence of Singapore-based FinTech companies to be part of the worldwide ecosystem of API providers,” said Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer at MAS, in a statement. “Their solutions and APIs will become available to the global developer community, expanding their market reach beyond Singapore.”

Feature image: IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty kicks off Interconnect 2017. Photo courtesy IBM.

The post IBM Empowers Financial Services App Developers with New Tools, Services appeared first on The New Stack.

Read the whole story
Share this story
Delete
1 public comment
StunGod
34 days ago
reply
This is really exciting. To me, anyway.
Portland, Oregon, USA, Earth
Next Page of Stories