Mark Hoppus Talks Encores and March Madness:

Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 sat down with USA Today to talk about the band performing at the Final Four this year:

Even as a songwriter, and a member of Blink, we’ll play a song and I’ll think about what was going on in my life when we wrote the song, some of the earlier albums and earlier stuff was kind of like when you see pictures of yourself in junior high and you’re like ‘wow I wish hadn’t worn that.’ Looking back at some of the lyrics I wrote, they were pretty sophomoric. But even still, that’s where I was then.

Speaking of the Final Four, I’m pretty much in “anyone but UNC” mode now.

We’ve Got Some New Clouds

The world’s cloud authority has classified a dozen new types of clouds:

The existing classifications have been reviewed and all have been retained. Several new, formal cloud classifications have been introduced. These include one new species (volutus), five new supplementary features (asperitas, cauda, cavum, fluctus and murus), and one new accessory cloud (flumen). The species floccus has been formally recognized as being able to occur in association with stratocumulus. The separate section on Special Clouds has been removed, and the cloud and meteor types previously discussed within this section have been integrated into the cloud classification scheme as cataractagenitus, flammagenitus, homogenitus, silvagenitus, and homomutatus.

This is the first time this has happened in thirty years, and I learned today there’s a cloud authority.

The House Passes Resolution Letting ISPs Sell Your Data

The House has now passed the resolution that will allow ISPs to sell your browsing history without your permission:

As most had expected, the House of Representatives today voted 215 to 205 to kill privacy rules protecting US broadband subscribers. If you’re interested in a little thing called public accountability, you can find a breakdown of which Representatives voted for the measure here.

Ars Technica has a good break down on what this all means:

The rules issued by the FCC last year would have required home Internet and mobile broadband providers to get consumers’ opt-in consent before selling or sharing Web browsing history, app usage history, and other private information with advertisers and other companies. But lawmakers used their authority under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to pass a joint resolution ensuring that the rules “shall have no force or effect” and that the FCC cannot issue similar regulations in the future.

Now’s probably a good time to recommend looking into a VPN and making sure the websites you use are all using HTTPS (this one is). The two dead simple VPNs I’ve used in the past and heard good things about are Cloak and TunnelBear. I personally use Private Internet Access, but it’s a little more fiddly to set up and use.

Elon Musk’s Billion-Dollar Crusade to Stop the A.I. Apocalypse

Maureen Dowd, writing for Vanity Fair:

You’d think that anytime Musk, Stephen Hawking, and Bill Gates are all raising the same warning about A.I.—as all of them are—it would be a 10-alarm fire. But, for a long time, the fog of fatalism over the Bay Area was thick. Musk’s crusade was viewed as Sisyphean at best and Luddite at worst. The paradox is this: Many tech oligarchs see everything they are doing to help us, and all their benevolent manifestos, as streetlamps on the road to a future where, as Steve Wozniak says, humans are the family pets.

But Musk is not going gently.

The New Emoji Hotness

Jeremy Burge of Emojipedia has an in-depth look at the latest batch of emoji that have been approved:

These include smileys, people, food, drink, flags, and for the first time: new fantasy characters such as a mermaid, genie, and vampire.

We are today releasing the final version of our sample images for this update. These have been designed in the “Apple style” to picture how these emojis may look when hitting phones later in the year.

And Paul Hunt looks at the role of gender in emoji:

Filling out the middle of the spectrum, we have a set of three new people emoji with inclusive gender, characters that were conceived to represent all people regardless of gender.

These emoji are intended to depict a child, an adult, and an older person. I proposed the addition of the gender inclusive emoji characters in order to provide better representation for people who want to express themselves in emoji as exactly that: just people.

Not everyone identifies as male or female. Some of us identify as a bit of both, or neither, or something else altogether. Regardless of your gender identity, I hope we can all find adequate ways to express ourselves in emoji.

Jonathan Bautts Says Goodbye to Yellowcard

Jonathan Bautts says goodbye to Yellowcard over at Behind the Setlist:

It’S 2001. A young band called Yellowcard, fresh transplants to California by way of Jacksonville, Florida, is playing its first ever sold-out show. The city is Anaheim, California and the venue is Chain Reaction, a cramped but legendary punk rock club that has become a rite of passage for all up-and-comers.

The five members onstage aren’t the most polished live performers, but they have bounds of energy and display a promising potential. The drummer is a stickmaster with some of the quickest hands you’ve ever seen and the lead singer displays a surefire ear for melodies. But what stands out most is the presence of a violinist, which you think is an odd novelty for a rock band at first yet surprisingly fits in well.

I’ve loved reading all the Yellowcard retrospectives over the past few days and all of the memories shared by fans in our forums. This band was a staple for so many people and a true testament to the impact music can have on a listener.