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Sunday, June 05, 2011

Links - 5th June 2011

"No human thing is of serious importance." - Plato


China used prisoners in lucrative internet gaming work

Clashes in Barcelona after Champions League win - "Around 90 people were injured, at least two of them seriously, as bottles were thrown and scuffles broke out. Around 20 people were arrested."
Following National Education rhetoric, Singapore should ban football

Pandaranol | Sushiprod - "[Il] est le thème principal du jeu concours de référencement qui a démarré hier, soit Lundi 23 Mai 2011 à 19h. Le but de ce concours est simple : créer un site et le positionner sur le terme cité précédemment, c’est à dire pandaranol."
Enfin, j'ai appris qu'est-ce que 'Pandaranol' veut dire

No more Blank Cheque for the PAP « Dr Tan Cheng Bock - "Today, after 25 years of nation-building, there is an erosion in this faith and trust in the Government and this was translated into a 12.5% swing in the last general election... Is this then the ordinary people’s government, or is it a government for a special breed of men?... Mr Speaker, Sir, the angry mood of the people did not go unnoticed... It is therefore good to find that one of the Government’s new goals will be to pay particular attention to the 15-20% lower income group and the aged... It is easier to please the past generation. Their needs are simple. But times have changed and problems are different today... Singapore watchers saw how our people voted in the last general elections. They have made conclusions"
Considering that this speech is from 1985, it's telling. Plus ça change...

Marital Happiness, Marital Duration, and the U-Shaped Curve: Evidence from a Five-Wave Panel Study - "Previous research suggests a U-shaped pattern of marital happiness over the life course... In an analysis based on a fixed-effects pooled time-series model with multiple-wave panel data, we find declines in marital happiness at all marital durations and no support for an upturn in marital happiness in the later years. The relationship between marital happiness and marital duration is slightly curvilinear, with the steepest declines in marital happiness occurring during the earliest and latest years of marriage. When other life-course variables are controlled, a significant negative effect of marital duration on marital happiness remains"

Advice for Online Daters: If You’re a Guy, Don’t Smile - "Women are turned off by guys who smile, according to a new study published in the American Psychological Association's journal Emotion. Men, however, were most attracted to photos of smiling women, the study found. And both men and women said they were attracted to people with a look of shame"

AndroidSPIN Marital Bliss! Android Style with a Little Harry Potter for Good Luck - "Jon C. Hodgson proposed to his girlfriend of 2 years in a very innovative way that involved their Android phones, Google App Inventor, and a little bit of ingenuity."

You’re No Ansel Adams: MIT Finds Landscape Photos Forgettable - "Photos with people in them are more likely to stick in the viewer’s memory after seeing a series of photos... “That’s hilarious,” says Randy Greenwell, Director of Photography at The Virginian-Pilot. “A machine telling people what is memorable? I’m not ready to trade in my photo editors yet. It takes a human to understand human feelings. And as far as landscapes go, I have two words for you: Ansel Adams.”"
As usual, people blithely dismiss research findings with 'common sense' and anecdotes

The Burning House - "If your house was burning, what would you take with you? It's a conflict between what's practical, valuable and sentimental. What you would take reflects your interests, background and priorities. Think of it as an interview condensed into one question. "

Badminton Dress Code for Women Criticized as Sexist
Meanwhile no one cares about male dress codes

Brazilian Woman Wins Right To Masturbate At Work - "Ana Catarian Bezerra is a 36-year-old Brazilian woman who suffers from a chemical imbalance that triggers severe anxiety and hypersexuality... Ana is allowed to masturbate and watch porn — using her work's computer, no less — legally."
This has interesting implications for discrimination/employment law

SBS’ Official Iris iPhone App and its API - "3rd party clients are being locked out of the SBS Iris API by a stupid captcha. It’s ok, don’t forget that SBS has its official iPhone app, we can take a look at its request packets and see how it communicates with the Iris servers, and use that for our 3rd party clients too"

Students turn back alley into sex den
Malaysia Boleh!

The pros and cons of a man sitting down to pee - The Oatmeal

PLoS ONE: Epidemiology, Quality and Reporting Characteristics of Systematic Reviews of Traditional Chinese Medicine Interventions Published in Chinese Journals - "The impact factors of 45.8% of the journals published in were zero... Funding sources were not reported for any reviews. Most (68.8%) reported information about quality assessment, while less than half (43.6%) reported assessing for publication bias. Statistical mistakes appeared in one-third (29.3%) of reviews and most (91.9%) did not report on conflict of interest"

Is this the inventor of bubble tea? - "[She] was sitting in a staff meeting and had brought with her a typical Taiwanese dessert called fen yuan, a sweetened tapioca pudding. Just for fun she poured the tapioca balls into her Assam iced tea and drank it."

Singaporeans’ political attitudes
According to this Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) survey on Singaporeans’ political attitudes on 1,092 citizens aged 21 years and above in July and August 2010 21.6% strongly agree that "Singapore should have a powerful leader who can run the Government as he thinks fit" (51.6% agree), 26.9% disagree or strongly disagree that "Everyone should be given the freedom to criticise the Government publicly" and 70.1% prize "good economic growth" above freedom of speech (of which 12.8% feel strongly so). And 20% aged 21-39 do not think there is media bias for local political news.
Addendum: Keywords - "Survey on Political Traits and Media Use. Singaporean Youth: Different, but not that different"; "strong leader", IPS, democracy, Singapore

Facebook : le rendez-vous galant était un guet-apens - "Appâté par une jeune fille rencontrée sur Facebook, un Parisien de 17 ans a été torturé toute une nuit durant par trois adolescents apparemment dénués de tout mobile."

A Thing (or Two) About Holly Jean: How to Spot Breast Implants

Delete Your Digital Self: Moddr.net - "It should come as no surprise that Facebook would reply with a letter threatening to sue the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine. After all, Facebook's growth projections and core business depend on getting more and more people to sign up for their service. Encouraging people to leave Facebook–especially if the trend were to catch on–could hurt the company's bottom line... eventually society will condemn the idea of virtual suicide and may even rule it to be illegal"
The thesis (summarised in the last line) is classic journalistic speculation and hysteria

100 million trips, but don't ask us where - "The British have always been among the most travelled nationalities, but it seems our geographical knowledge is no better for it... Among 2,000 holidaymakers[,] Sixty per cent of those interviewed could not accurately place on a map where they had been on holiday last year. A further 38 per cent thought Singapore was in China, 29 per cent believed New Zealand belonged to Australia, and 44 per cent did not know the Alps were in Europe"

Keeping the House in order - "The throngs of newly elected members of the House of Commons preparing to take their seats this week are in for one of life’s more disillusioning experiences — encountering the stark difference between the theory and practice of parliamentary life... MPs consider the least productive, most embarrassing part of the job to be the Question Period follies that by far receive the most public attention... Their most satisfying and productive work, it was frequently said, was in the committees seldom covered by reporters and in caucus deliberations done in secret... “I can remember being told, walking into my first Question Period, ‘Remember, Speaker, this is Question Period not ‘answer period’.”"

How much longer can photographic film hold on? - "Among those who still rely on film _ at least part of the time _ are advanced amateurs and a smattering of professionals who specialize in nature, travel, scientific, documentary, museum, fine art and forensic photography, market surveys show. Regular point-and-shoot adherents who haven't made the switch tend be poorer or older _ 55 and up. But there's also a swelling band of new devotees who grew up in the digital age and may have gotten hooked from spending a magical hour in the darkroom during a high school or college class. Others are simply drawn to its strengths over digital and are even venturing into retro-photo careers."

Merdeka Center poll highlights differences among voter segments - "Older voters give greater weight to party label and party leadership, than to candidates and issues... Women higher satisfaction government... less concerned with issues... less favorable toward opposition parties... see opposition as less credible... less supportive of more opposition seats"
This is no surprise given that women are more risk averse, and it replicates and confirms the long-standing finding that women are more politically apathetic (which is tied to why they are underrepresented in politics)

The Volokh Conspiracy » The Gender Gap in Interest in Politics - "87% of all Wikipedia contributors are male... it’s difficult to attribute the gap to discrimination, since most Wikipedia writers are anonymous, thereby making it virtually impossible for Wikipedia to discriminate against women even if they wanted to... decades of research show that there is a substantial gender gap in political knowledge, with men especially overrepresented among the 5% of the population who follow politics most closely... 25% of men, but only 10% of women report reading at least one nonfiction book on politics over the last year... Younger women today have higher average levels of educational attainment than men, and the Harris poll mentioned above shows that they also read more than men do overall. Thus, the gender gap in political knowledge and interest in politics is likely due to lower interest among women in this particular field... Despite massive changes in public attitudes on women’s role in politics over the last fifty years, the general gap in political knowledge has declined only modestly over time... the vast majority of political bloggers are male, as are about 70–80% of political blog readers"
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