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Network Effect

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Network Effect cover

If you missed it yesterday, here's the cover for Network Effect the Murderbot novel! The gorgeous art is by Jaime Jones, who did the other covers, and the design is by Christine Foltzer. (Click for a bigger version)

Some frequent questions:

It will be out on May 5, 2020, from Tor.com Publishing, and right now you can preorder in hardcover or ebook.

No, it is not an omnibus of the first four novellas, it is a new novel filled with new words in all new combinations. It took me 18 months to write it, which is funny because it's my 18th novel.

Recorded Books will be producing the audio book and hopefully Kevin R. Free will be performing it again. I'll post when I know that for sure.

There's a very short excerpt here: https://io9.gizmodo.com/weve-got-the-exclusive-cover-reveal-and-opening-lines-o-1838069621 at the big cover reveal. I'll put a longer one up on my web site soon but I'm not feeling well right now and I'm behind on everything.

(I've had an ear infection for about a week and I just found out my doctor retired over the summer so I had a lot of trouble trying to find another one and couldn't and then finally discovered there was a walk-in family medicine clinic attached to the hospital about two miles from my house and it's been a whole big ball of stress but now I finally have medicine and my head doesn't feel like it's about to fall off anymore.)


Preorder links:

Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Amazon US and all other Amazons, Murder by the Book, Bakka Phoenix Books, Mysterious Galaxy, Chapters Indigo, BooksaMillion and from a local independent bookseller through Indiebound.

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Manzabar
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First water detected in the atmosphere of a habitable-zone planet

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Graphic of a cloudy blue planet and its host star.

Enlarge / An artist's impression of the planet K2-18b and its clouds. (credit: ESA/Hubble, M. Kornmesser)

On Wednesday, astronomers announced the first detection of water in the atmosphere of a planet that orbits within the habitable zone of its host star. The planet, K2-18b, is certainly not habitable by us, as it's a mini-Neptune that may not have any solid surface and is likely to have a hydrogen/helium-rich atmosphere. But the discovery of water vapor and clouds confirms expectations that the Earth isn't necessarily special in having water at a distance from its star where that water could be liquid.

Big planet, small star

As the planet's designation indicates, K2-18b was discovered during the extended second mission of the Kepler space telescope. After the failure of some of the telescope's pointing hardware, NASA figured out how to keep the optics stable by using its solar panels. This allowed Kepler to examine additional areas of the sky during what was termed the K2 mission.

K2-18b is a large planet, as follow-on observations have indicated its mass is over eight times that of Earth's. It's close enough to its host star that it only takes 33 days to complete an orbit. But, because the host star is much smaller and cooler than the Sun, that means K2-18b only gets slightly more light than Earth does (1,441 Watts/square meter versus 1,370 for Earth). That's consistent with the planet having a temperature that allows liquid water to exist.

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New York Times: Brett Kavanaugh thrusting his penis in a woman's face "may seem like harmless fun"

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The New York Times has a story out today about Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh's old schoolmates tattling on sexual misbehavior, and the FBI's refusal to talk to any of them in its abbreviated and crudely politicized investigation of him. Here's the tweet the NYT used to pitch it to readers:

This is what Richard Rorty described twenty years ago as the coming age of "jocular contempt for women" in public life. He was wrong, though, in thinking it would be a fashion of badly-educated Americans reacting against college graduates. You think the person who wrote that headline skipped school?

UPDATE: The NYT deleted the tweet, without apology, claiming it was "poorly phrased."

On the contrary, the sentiment contained in the tweet was phrased concisely and unambiguously. It is not the phrasing that was poor.

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Web Development Merit Badges

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Changed a DNS record and everything worked just fine
Comprehended someone else's RegEx
Built an accordion from scratch
Exited VIM
Accidentally created own CMS
Pulled off a design you didn’t think you could
Told a client/boss "No, we're not doing that."
Wrote an HTAccess redirect that included a capture group
Refactored a large portion of CSS and didn't break anything
Centered an element vertically and horizontally
Migrated a database without character encoding issues
Pushed to production on Friday and didn't roll it back over the weekend
Merged master into a six month old branch
Had a neglected site get hacked and spammed
Used CSS Grid in production
Someone you don't know starred one of your GitHub Repositories
Hand-coded a HTML email
Gave someone useful feedback on a Pull Request
Debugged something for over one hour where the fix was literally one character
Solved a bug by taking a nap
Became extremely confused by a CORS error
Quoted the exact number of hours it took to do the job
Renewed an SSL certificate without any drama
Found an answer to an issue on StackOverflow
Rocked the Checkbox Hack on a project
Your personal website hasn't been updated in at least 5 years

The post Web Development Merit Badges appeared first on CSS-Tricks.

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Professor's door is an excellent Trompe-l'œil

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When I saw this photo, I thought "so?" It took about 30 seconds to figure it out.

My professor's door

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Manzabar
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Trump blames LED lightbulbs for making him look orange

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Trump wants to roll back regulations that promote low-power light bulbs, even though at this point the industry has moved on and isn't likely to do much in the way of modernizing incandescents. His interest is, as always, deeply personal: he thinks LED lights make him look orange.

“The light bulb,” the president began. “People said what’s with the light bulb. I said here’s the story, and I looked at it. The bulb that we’re being forced to use. No. 1, to me, most importantly, the light’s no good. I always look orange. And so do you. The light is the worst.”

I like this one because it is true that cheap LED lights tend to emit a poor spectrum of light, even if the bulb itself appears to have a desirable color temperature. It may well be true that some bulbs make him appear orangier than he already is. But if he wasn't so crudely tanned and made-up in the first place, it would never be a problem. Like hurricane-map spaghetti lines, the truth only makes the lie more obvious, and that's what makes the Trump magic happen.

UPDATE: Video.

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