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Malcolm Turnbull desperately needs some Donald Trump luck

  • Malcolm Turnbull will want to use this week's visit to the US to promote the benefits of corporate tax cuts rather than exchanging helpful hints with Donald Trump on how to deal with sex scandals.
  • That's because despite his coarseness, his erratic nature, his boasting, his thin skin, his bluster, his abrupt reversals, his own version of "fake news", political reality is always more constrained – particularly given the checks and balances in the US political system that limit Trump's ability to do just as he wants.
  • The game of bluff is obviously high risk, particularly given an increasingly aggressive posture by China under Xi Jinping in areas like the South China Sea. Yet even if China and the US can't live with one another easily, they can't live well without each other either.
  • Despite trade tensions and the prospect of Trump pushing China by imposing more sanctions, mutual economic needs mean the game of bluff is not out of control so far.

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Full transcript: Writer Taylor Lorenz answers YouTube questions on Too Embarrassed to Ask

  • On this episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask, Daily Beast reporter Taylor Lorenz talks with Kara Swisher and Lauren Goode about the state of YouTube in early 2018.
  • I mean, it’s kind of crazy, just the amount and content that is uploaded there daily, and also all the different sort of like types of communities that have evolved.
  • I actually would recommend PewDiePie just because he is so massive and he’s sort of a commentator now, and he sort of talks about a lot of things that are happening on YouTube, so he can give you kind of a good overview.
  • But there are a lot of other ways that people make money on YouTube when they’re not living a sort of creator lifestyle.

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The man to replace Barnaby Joyce? Meet National Michael McCormack

  • He's the National Party heir apparent, on track to become Australia's next deputy prime minister, and all but unknown outside his regional NSW electorate and the corridors of Parliament.
  • As Nationals MPs consider life after Barnaby Joyce, Veterans' Affairs Minister Michael McCormack could be about to become a household name.
  • Clumsily failing to back Mr Joyce eight times in one interview on Monday, the Riverina MP is considered most likely to win any leadership ballot, with the Queensland and NSW-dominated partyroom viewed as unlikely to support former minister Darren Chester for the top job.
  • That roadblock and lack of other options could create an opening for Mr McCormack, the former small business minister, who insists there's no risk to Mr Joyce's position.
  • Mr McCormack's first speech to Parliament included a promise to represent the most vulnerable Australians.

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Ascii art – dead or alive?

  • While researching this article about the timeline and evolution of ASCII art, I was expecting to proffer a passing acknowledgment to the people who came first — the folks who invented interesting artistic effects using old manual typewriters, and whose techniques informed the evolution of ASCII art as a later independent phenomenon.
  • The earliest known examples of recognizable ASCII art were created by a Bell Labs employee called Kenneth Knowlton in the mid-1960s, although it wouldn’t be until the late 1970s and early 1980s for it to become widespread, with the emergence of bulletin board systems (BBSs).
  • I was keen to find out if there’s an ASCII art image widely recognized to be the best ever example of the form, but the notion seems contrary to what must have been a culture of experimentation and iteration.

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Dreamscape’s Alien Zoo VR experience embraces the human desire to explore and learn

  • Those are certainly engaging foes, but The VOID’s locations around the world currently are inviting people to interact with characters made famous in movies by fighting them in a way that feels a lot like a shooter video game.
  • I don’t want to spoil too much more, but Dreamscape fills the experience with a number of sensory enhancements including liquid, scents, wind and even a magical moment where you can actually touch an alien.
  • Alien Zoo is just a test run by Dreamscape and everything from its equipment to the experiences offered at their locations is likely to change as they evolve.
  • Dreamscape’s full-body tracking and the wide circular area in which you spend most of your time offers a sense of security that ensures you aren’t accidentally bumping into your fellow zoo visitors all the time.

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Why Decentralization Matters

  • During the second era of the internet, from the mid 2000s to the present, for-profit tech companies — most notably Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon (GAFA) — built software and services that rapidly outpaced the capabilities of open protocols.
  • The bad news is that it became much harder for startups, creators, and other groups to grow their internet presence without worrying about centralized platforms changing the rules on them, taking away their audiences and profits.
  • Cryptonetworks combine the best features of the first two internet eras: community-governed, decentralized networks with capabilities that will eventually exceed those of the most advanced centralized services.
  • Early internet protocols were technical specifications created by working groups or non-profit organizations that relied on the alignment of interests in the internet community to gain adoption.
  • Cryptonetworks fix these problems by providing economics incentives to developers, maintainers, and other network participants in the form of tokens.

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Project: 2ine – OS/2 emulator for Linux

  • It’s complexity all the way down to the bottom, and you don’t need to know it all when you just want to write a program that prints out “hello world.” This is a blessing and a curse, but mostly a survival mechanism; if you knew everything you were about to stumble into, you’d never start.
  • So this C code would get the Windows DLL loaded, provide a few function pointers that would call mmap() when Pixomatic thought it was calling VirtualAlloc() and such, and then everything just sort of works on Linux.
  • Ten years later, I stumbled into writing an ELF loader for Linux, because dlopen() needs a filename and I wanted to load shared libraries from a memory buffer.

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Trump supporters have their own dating websites now — and they're already sparking controversy

  • The Wisconsin Gazette reported that Trump.Dating previously hawked its intent to "deport liberals from your love life," although that boast has since been taken off the front page.
  • In addition to the typical categories, the site includes choices like "Scandinavian," "Polynesian," "Eastern European," "Western European," "Mediterranean," and "Eskimo," a term used to label the indigenous people of Alaska, Canada, and Greenland that is considered offensive and inaccurate.
  • The interests section — which doubles as the "attributes you'd seek in a date" category — includes some fairly standard boxes, like "movies/videos," "wine tasting," "fitness/exercise", and "nightclubs/late night." It also features "military men/women," "country western," "police/firefighters," and "single parents" as check-boxes.
  • TrumpSingles, on the other hand, promises to "make dating great again," but doesn't include much messaging on its front page.

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Silicon Valley backlash won’t necessarily cause an exodus to Middle America

  • Popular podcaster Tim Ferriss moved from San Francisco to Austin in order to escape what he called “a mono-conversation of tech that is near impossible to avoid.” Y Combinator president Sam Altman and Sequoia’s Michael Moritz also both drew criticism for blog posts saying that China’s tech community is better than Silicon Valley’s in welcoming controversial ideas and outworking the competition (though they are both staying in Silicon Valley).
  • Here at VentureBeat’s Heartland Tech channel, I write about emerging tech hubs in the U.S. While the news that some well-known investors and entrepreneurs are now looking outside of Silicon Valley for inspiration might excite entrepreneurs and in places like Provo and Pittsburgh, a handful of high-profile techies leaving the Bay Area is unlikely to move the needle all that much.
  • What leaders in emerging tech hubs should take away from the increasing criticism of Silicon Valley is this: If a city is waiting to recruit Bay Area tech workers and executives as soon as they express dissatisfaction with Silicon Valley, it’s already too late.

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Full transcript: MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe on Recode Media

  • On this episode of Recode Media with Peter Kafka, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe talks about how he’s trying to make a profitable business out of charging $10/month for nearly unlimited visits to the movie theater.
  • That’s such a weird business that I don’t understand and you’re good at probing people who have weird business models.” Mitch Lowe, welcome to the show.
  • To be clear, in New York City, every movie ticket price is, I don’t know, 15 bucks.
  • We’ll promote it in social media,” and our subscribers will go, “You know, I was really kind of thinking of going to that movie, but in the past I would’ve put it off and waited for it to come out on Netflix or HBO or Hulu” or something like that.

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