Donald Trump’s anti-immigration stance threatens the heart of American innovation

Because Trump has flip-flopped on the topic in the past, it’s uncertain whether he’ll heed the advice of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and others to allow more foreign-born computer scientists and software engineers to fill US jobs. In fact, despite his supporters’ defense that Trump is focusing on illegal immigrants, his proposals may in fact undermine legal immigration in ways the tech industry has never seen before.

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US road signs ditch new font for old

image by CountyLemonade on Twitter

The Verge reports on changes to road signs in the USA:

Unless you’re a typography buff, you might not have noticed the new font that’s been popping up on highway signs over the past decade. It’s called Clearview and it’s been around since 2004. For much of its life, researchers (including its designer, Meeker & Associates) believed the font could provide for better legibility at night and at longer distances. But, it turns out, later research has not backed up this initial belief. It turns out that all that research suggesting the new font might be more legible was more due to the fact that older, worn signs were being replaced with nice, fresh, clean signs which were, naturally, more legible. Clearview also made legibility worse on signs with what’s called negative-contrast color orientations — dark letters on light backgrounds — like speed limit or yellow warning signs. As such, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is killing off Clearview after 12 years, and all new highway signs again be labeled in Highway Gothic, the old standard font.

It’s funny, isn’t it, how simple things like roadsigns can make you feel at home, or far from it. When I visited Limerick in the Republic of Ireland about ten years ago, almost everything made me feel like I was still in the UK. The only thing that made me think ‘I’m in a foreign country’ were the road signs and road markings which were almost – but ever so slightly not – the same as in Britain.

And of course we always think our own approach to these things is the best. Which in the case of British roadsigns is, of course, entirely true…

Elderly crossing sign UK

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Space travel for the 1%: VirginGalactic’s $250,000 tickets haunt New Mexico town

The Spaceport is losing an estimated $500,000 per year, according to an investigation by KRQE. Among other maintenance and upkeep costs, the state spends about $3m per year on premiere firefighting services for intermittent rocket testing, despite the fact that the commercial space programs that were supposed to lease the facility have all pulled back their launch plans. New Mexico is not the only state with a horse in the commercial space race; Florida, California, Texas, Virginia have all won bids to feather billionaire’s space dreams with financial incentives. New Mexico just happens to have jumped in with both feet, building a whole facility for VirginGalactic and asking for little in return. State senator George Muñoz, who has described the Spaceport Authority as “throwing money every way the wind blows,” says it’s long past time the state cut its losses and got out of the game.

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Ferguson’s radical knitters: “If someone asks me what I’m doing, I say, ‘I’m knitting for black liberation”

In a coffeehouse on the south side of St Louis, a group of women discuss how to knit, purl and dismantle white supremacy. They are The Yarn Mission, a collective formed in October 2014 in response to the violence and police brutality in nearby Ferguson, Missouri.

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Mapping the United Swears of America – Strong Language

Hell, damn and bitch are especially popular in the south and southeast. Douche is relatively common in northern states. Bastard is beloved in Maine and New Hampshire, and those states – together with a band across southern Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas – are the areas of particular motherfucker favour. Crap is more popular inland, fuck along the coasts. Fuckboy – a rising star* – is also mainly a coastal thing, so far.

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Confessions of a location scout: why the New York beloved of the movies doesn’t exist any more

Take alleyways, for example. From the movies, you’d think Manhattan to be riddled with dank, dangerous, trash-strewn back-alleys, complete with rusting fire escapes and crumbling, graffiti-covered brick walls. So it often comes as a total shock to most directors when we tell them that Manhattan actually has only three or four of these types of alleys (Cortlandt Alley, Great Jones Alley, Broadway Alley, Staple Street), and none are dangerous in the slightest.

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I am a cook in the US Senate but I still need food stamps to feed my children

Every day, I serve food to some of the most powerful people on earth, including many of the senators who are running for president: I’m a cook for the federal contractor that runs the US Senate cafeteria. But today, they’ll have to get their meals from someone else’s hands, because I’m on strike.

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New Orleans Music Box: the shantytown you can play

Pulled ropes create the sound of whistling wind, while an amplified flute plays through steel sheet speakers. Windows and doors slide and slam, triggering musical samples. Two rotating loudspeakers on top of the phone booth spin out singer Tarriona “Tank” Ball’s oscillating voice. At one point dogs start howling. Parker, a free jazz pioneer, takes it all in stride and works to guide the ensemble through the first rehearsal of the loose score he’s written for the debut concert of New Orleans Airlift’s first Music Box Roving Village residency.

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Silicon valley is more Flintstones than Jetsons when it comes to women

Silicon Valley elites like to think they’re miles ahead of the rest of the world. But when it comes to openness toward women, they are as behind as everyone else. “We are going backwards in a field that is meant to be all about moving forward”, Hillary Clinton told Silicon Valley in a speech this week. I almost jumped out my chair with joy. They needed to be given that message loud and clear.

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