Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Square-pixel inventor apologizes and is still working to smooth things over (Wired)

"...science is still grappling with the limits set by the square pixel.
“Squares was the logical thing to do,” Kirsch says. “Of course, the logical thing was not the only possibility … but we used squares. It was something very foolish that everyone in the world has been suffering from ever since.”

Monday, June 28, 2010

The State of the Internet Operating System (Tim O'Reilly)
We are once again approaching the point at which the Faustian bargain will be made: simply use our facilities, and the complexity will go away. And much as happened during the 1980s, there is more than one company making that promise. We're entering a modern version of "the Great Game", the rivalry to control the narrow passes to the promised future of computing. (John Battelle calls them "points of control".) This rivalry is seen most acutely in mobile applications that rely on internet services as back-ends.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Why Johnny can't code (Salon)
"...we have drifted into a situation where almost none of the millions of personal computers in America offers a line-programming language simple enough for kids to pick up fast. Not even the one that was a software lingua franca on nearly all machines, only a decade or so ago. And that is not only a problem for Ben and me; it is a problem for our nation and civilization."

Friday, June 18, 2010

Gospel singer hits lowest note ever recorded by a human voice
Warren Buffet will give all of his Berkshire Hathaway stock to charity.
 Julio the Sewer Diver (via Bifurcated Rivets)
Red Light, Green Light: The Invention of the Traffic Signal (designobserver)
In northern Sweden, they're planning on building a giant wooden moose, Stoorn, as a tourist attraction.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What is IBM's Watson? (Nytimes)
With Watson, I.B.M. claims it has cracked the problem — and aims to prove as much on national TV. The producers of “Jeopardy!” have agreed to pit Watson against some of the game’s best former players as early as this fall. To test Watson’s capabilities against actual humans, I.B.M.’s scientists began holding live matches last winter. They mocked up a conference room to resemble the actual “Jeopardy!” set, including buzzers and stations for the human contestants, brought in former contestants from the show and even hired a host for the occasion: Todd Alan Crain, who plays a newscaster on the satirical Onion News Network.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Zerotracer, a fully enclosed, electric motorcycle

Friday, June 11, 2010

Vintage lunch box collection
They don't sell this bed at Ikea (via boingboing)
3D Movie glasses are utterly disgusting
Have we been listening to the King of the Delta Blues at the wrong speed? (300guitars)

According to musicologists we have been listening to Robert Johnson’s recordings all these decades about 20% faster than the way they were originally recorded..!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Ending Poverty
Rather than betting that aid dollars can beat poverty, Romer is peddling a radical vision: that dysfunctional nations can kick-start their own development by creating new cities with new rules—L├╝beck-style centers of progress that Romer calls “charter cities.” By building urban oases of technocratic sanity, struggling nations could attract investment and jobs; private capital would flood in and foreign aid would not be needed. And since Henry the Lion is not on hand to establish these new cities, Romer looks to the chief source of legitimate coercion that exists today—the governments that preside over the world’s more successful countries. To launch new charter cities, he says, poor countries should lease chunks of territory to enlightened foreign powers, which would take charge as though presiding over some imperial protectorate. Romer’s prescription is not merely neo-medieval, in other words. It is also neo-colonial.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Faceinspace.nasa.gov is exactly what it sounds like.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Art of the Luggage Label (flickr set)

Nike has a fantastic new ad for the World Cup.
The Unhealthiest Restaurant in America: Cheesecake Factory (salon)

Adwords:  BP buys oil spill search terms.

These guys think "damage control" is a PR issue, not an environmental issue.
Try this google search for "oil spill" one.  Both BP and corrupt shill lobbyist group "EnergyTomorrow" (aka the petroleum institute) are the top links.

Maybe we should collectively outbid BP's adword premium and relink to this, more honest article instead?

Australian artist Peter Hennessey builds full-size spacecraft models from plywood

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Einstein's brain unlocks some of the mysteries of the mind (NPR)
Fisherman's wife breaks the silence:  BP oil spill is making shrimpers and fisherman sick (CNN)

Arnesen believes it was vapors from the oil and the dispersants from the BP Gulf oil disaster that made her husband and the other shrimpers sick. She says they were downwind of it, and the smell was "so strong they could almost taste it."
For several weeks, she hesitated to talk publicly about it. Like many fishermen who can no longer fish in the Gulf, her husband has signed a contract to work with BP to clean up the oil, and she doesn't want to bite the hand that puts food on her family's table.

Meanwhile, Slate has some ideas on how to punish BP.

Download Sculptris - a free, 3D modelling tool.  I'm just getting started with it, but it seems very intuitive.