In an 1892 lecture, William James laid out his idea of perfect unhappiness. “There is no more miserable human being,” he said, “than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision, and for whom the lighting of every cigar, the drinking of every cup, the time of rising and going to bed every day, and the beginning of every bit of work are subjects of express volitional deliberation.” Now that social-distancing measures have been adopted worldwide in response to the coronavirus pandemic, many people are suddenly finding themselves in the position that James so dreaded. Long-established routines are being swept away faster than cartons of shelf-stable almond milk at my local Sprouts. Whole sections of the day that previously ran on blissful autopilot now require conscious decision making and the reluctant hand cranking of dusty willpower.
People love to watch the video in which an unknown artist makes drawing a hand look easy, but they also love the pictures in which ordinary people make it look hard. Failure is funny, especially in this case, which has primed us with the plausible claim that anyone can draw a woman’s hand before yanking us back to the truth that basically no one can draw anything at all.
Max Hawkins, a 28-year-old programmer, elevated the goal of subverting algorithms to a way of life. After graduating from college in 2013 and getting a job at Google, Hawkins grew restless and sought ways to make his life more interesting. He built a tool that had Uber drop him off at random locations around the Bay Area. Then he built a tool that picked random publicly listed Facebook events for him to attend.
Hawkins found the variety refreshing, and after two years, he left his job. Every few months, he let a computer pick the city he would live in, based on airfare, cost-of-living estimates, and his projected income as a freelance programmer. He tried listening to music picked randomly by Spotify, wearing clothes bought randomly on Amazon, growing out random styles of facial hair, and arranging phone calls with friends on randomly selected topics.
At least at the time of the events in the indictment, Tappy was apparently the envy of other mobile companies, and only T-Mobile employees were allowed to operate Tappy. But eventually the company allowed employees from its phone suppliers to access and operate the robot – so long as they signed nondisclosure and confidentiality agreements. Those agreements specifically barred suppliers’ employees from attempting to reverse engineer Tappy, or to take photos or videos of it.
Meanwhile, Huawei China was reportedly trying to build its own device-testing robot — named, less cutely, “xDeviceRobot” — and it was not finding much success. And Huawei’s devices weren’t faring well on T-Mobile’s Tappy tests, failing more often than devices made by competitors.
In May 2012, Huawei USA asked if Huawei China could license the Tappy technology, and T-Mobile said no.
That’s when Huawei began attempting to steal the design secrets of Tappy, according to the indictment.
Then, in May 2013, [Huawei employee] A.X. allegedly made a very bold move, removing Tappy’s arm and putting it in his laptop bag. T-Mobile employees confronted him about the missing arm. He denied having it, and that night he and F.W. measured and photographed the arm. The next day, A.X. said he had “found” Tappy’s arm in his bag. It was then that T-Mobile finally revoked A.X.’s credential to the lab.
I dunno. Criminal masterminds? Or just a culture of stealing? I guess either way you get indicted.
Towne’s efforts did not go unnoticed. “This cat is out-acting me,” McCarthy thought as they worked. “The Marlon Brando of cats,” Deadline raved upon the film’s release. Declared Jezebel: “This Cat Deserves an Oscar!”
What is glitter? The simplest answer is one that will leave you slightly unsatisfied, but at least with your confidence in comprehending basic physical properties intact. Glitter is made from glitter. Big glitter begets smaller glitter; smaller glitter gets everywhere, all glitter is impossible to remove; now never ask this question again.