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Mike Stay
Attends University of Auckland
Lives in Mountain View, CA
1,996 followers|918,063 views
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Mike Stay

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How is it that theropods, from whom birds evolved, had lizard hips?  I'd have thought that birds would have evolved from bird-hipped dinos.
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Drew Armstrong's profile photoJohn Baez's profile photoMike Stay's profile photoDouglas Summers-Stay's profile photo
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Well, the velociraptors have a reversed pubis. Iberomesornis has a fused pelvis, but the hips are still primitive like the Archeopteryx. Later birds have more birdlike hips. So its a gradual thing. Actually "birdlike hips" evolved separately at least three different times.
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Mike Stay

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+Yonatan Zunger Is there some way to prevent the automatic markup in G+ when, e.g. pasting code snippets?
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Philip Thrift's profile photoDavid “goo.gl/LuFkzX” Tweed's profile photoMike Stay's profile photoYonatan Zunger's profile photo
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It could be done, it's just really low on the priorities list. The team's pretty busy.
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Mike Stay

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This cleared up a bunch for me about this deeply weird news story.
The bizarre story of Rachel Dolezal, the white NAACP official who has been passing herself off as black for years, has been the flashpoint for tons of heated debate and think pieces as well as the inspiration behind some interesting history lessons. But so far there's been relatively little information that...
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Richard Lucas's profile photoMike Stay's profile photoJason Holt's profile photoAllen Knutson's profile photo
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I think it'd be a big story even without any of that -- it's just weird enough, and has enough legs (e.g. the discovery that she sued over racial discrimation against her for being white) that of course it's going to be reported.

As for "cleared up", I'd been astonished that her parents were so happy to jump onto the news saying "Our daughter's a liar!" Now I see it.
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Mike Stay

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If you, like me, were disappointed when Google removed the direct link from Gmail to G+, you can get it back using this user script.  You should not, in general, just install random user scripts that people give you; however, if you read enough javascript to understand what this does, then it might be useful to you.

// ==UserScript==
//@match https://mail.google.com/*
// ==/UserScript==

var retry = function() {
  var elem = document.querySelector('span[title~="Looking"]');
  if (!elem) {
    setTimeout(retry, 1000);
  } else {
    elem.innerHTML = '<span style="cursor: pointer;">+' + elem.innerHTML + '</span>';
    elem.addEventListener('click', function() {
      window.open('https://plus.google.com');
    });
  }
}
retry();
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Mike Stay

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Quoting Yonatan's comment:
-----
"A government workers' union announced Thursday that the personnel data of every single federal employee was stolen when hackers breached the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in December."

And, as +Valdis Kletnieks​ added in his share, "To top it off, they likely walked off with all the SF-86's, which are the the background checks for about 90% of the security clearances."

I do not think I have the appropriate language for this scale of clusterfuck. The information in SF-86's is, shall we say, a great deal more sensitive than any ordinary collection of PII might be. If you want a sense of what they contain, here's where you can download a blank one: https://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/sf86.pdf

Dear gods.
-------

The hack was discovered when security vendors were doing a live demo of their software.

I think there ought to be charges of criminal negligence if anyone stores PII without encryption at rest.
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Far more than employees. Lots of contractor employees have clearances too. I'm in there for a job long past.
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David Renshaw will talk about app permissions & sharing in Sandstorm, at the Meetup in SF on Thu 6/18.

RSVP here:
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Mike Stay

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A fun talk by the chief of the Solar Physics Laboratory.  At the beginning of the talk, she explains how plasma is bound to magnetic field lines, rather like iron filings near a magnet.  I wondered how strong the field lines were and found 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orders_of_magnitude_(magnetic_field)
which says that in a sunspot, the field strength is somewhere between a refrigerator magnet and a neodymium magnet.  

Down at the bottom of the chart, there's an entry for a magnetar.  A neutron star is an atomic nucleus about 15km wide.  It weighs more than the sun and is 10^13 times denser than lead.  A magnetar is a kind of neutron star where the magnetic field is 10^10 tesla (a neodymium magnet has a field strength of around one tesla at its surface).  In a magnetar, the magnetic fields themselves are so strong that they have ten thousand times the energy density of lead.  The chemistry of life stops working when you get within 1000km.  The vacuum becomes birefringent.  Atoms are deformed into long cylinders thinner than the quantum-relativistic de Broglie wavelength of an electron.  

Magnetars were discovered in 1979 when one in the Large Magellanic Cloud 163,000 light years away put off a burst of gamma rays so powerful that it was still 2000 times larger than the background by the time it hit our solar system and maxed out the detectors on several satellites.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetar
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I'm just quoting the wikipedia article there, which is quoting the Feb 2003 Scientific American.
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Mike Stay

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Dear lazyplus,

On Google Chrome v43, my fonts in GMail are all blurry (bottom), whereas in Chrome Canary v45, everything is fine (top).  Both browsers' text is fine in G+ and on other web pages.  Anyone know why it's only GMail that's afflicted?  (I'm on a Macbook Pro running Yosemite.)
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looks like a known fix for Native Retina done in Canary Beta v45 - no workaround in v43 according to http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/mbp-retina-blurry-text/
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Mike Stay

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Finally got around to introducing what I've been working on for the past couple of years (for those who haven't heard about it already). Full post: http://kpreid.livejournal.com/52312.html

ShinySDR (why yes, I am terrible at naming things) is a software-defined radio receiver application.

Specifically, it is in the same space as Gqrx, SDR#, HDSDR, etc.: a program which runs on your computer (as opposed to embedded in a standalone radio) and uses a peripheral device (rtl-sdr, HackRF, USRP, etc.) for the RF interface. Given such a device, it can be used to listen to or otherwise decode a variety of radio transmissions (including the AM and FM broadcast bands everyone knows, but also shortwave, amateur radio, two-way radios, certain kinds of telemetry including aircraft positions, and more as I get around to it).

ShinySDR is basically my “I want my own one of these” project (the UI still shows signs of “I’ll just do what Gqrx did for now”), but it does have some unique features. Have a look at the README on GitHub for details: https://github.com/kpreid/shinysdr
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Congratulations to +Howard Tayler for updating his (absolutely fantastic award-winning hard-sci-fi very humorous knock-the-Bechdel-test-out-of-the-park) web comic every day for fifteen years without missing one, even when his datacenter caught on fire.

http://www.schlockmercenary.com/
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I really enjoy it as well. 
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This is the kind of thing I did to pay for college in the late 90s.  Successes like this were very satisfying; I exploited a similar misguided dependence on a PRNG to develop a ciphertext-only attack on WinZip files.
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Have him in circles
1,996 people
Keith Smeltz's profile photo
Chandi Mondal's profile photo
Adam M. Seifer's profile photo
Michel Plungjan's profile photo
Smith-Kandal Insurance & Real Estate's profile photo
American Mathematical Society's profile photo
Rebecca Hubble's profile photo
Malaz Mohammad's profile photo
Thomas Ryan's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Partner, Biosimilarity, LLC
Skills
Category theory, computer programming, theoretical physics
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Mountain View, CA
Previously
Lindon, UT - Redford, MI - Amherst, OH - Provo, UT - Puerto San Jose, Guatemala - Jocotenango, Guatemala - Villa Nueva, Guatemala - Villa Hermosa, Guatemala - Colorado Springs, CO - Epsom, New Zealand - Riverside, CA
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Introduction
Whenever I'm asked to describe myself, I immediately think of Gödel numbering and quines.
Education
  • University of Auckland
    Computer Science, 2007 - present
    PhD
  • University of Auckland
    Computer Science, 2004 - 2005
    MSc
  • Brigham Young University
    Physics, 1992 - 1997
    BSc
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Other names
Michael Stay