Links, sciency

Some technology links. This is a fabulously weird and awful idea, and it’s probably for the best someone did it as art before someone made a startup.

In January, 2013, she moved to Portland, Oregon, a city where she barely knew anyone, and went on sixteen first dates. For each date, she streamed audio and video of the proceedings to Ustream, and paid workers from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (a market for crowdsourcing tasks) to watch, comment, and send her instructions….When January ended, McCarthy returned to the East Coast in a “pretty confused state.” She ended up on a date recently, unplanned and with no Turk workers to back her up. “When he tried to kiss me, I believe my exact phrase was ‘I really don’t have any grasp on my basis for making decisions about this stuff right now, so ok?'”

See also this story, about trying to represent really advanced UX design in a near-future movie. As you well know, I really dislike the whole Google Now/Glass push-suggestion model, and I suspect it will be more like the first story than this one. The future is awkward.

The NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter provides a geological survey of the area around the Chinese Chang’3 lander. Really sadly, the NASA project scientists aren’t allowed to cooperate with the Chinese, but they can put all their results on the web and who knows who might wget the lot. I love the fact there are multiple, complementary spacecraft out at the Moon and Mars, so far beyond just sticking a flag in the regolith.

Realclimate investigates and concludes that Thames Barrier closures probably aren’t informative about climate change.

I keep meaning to go back to this, but Eli Rabett and others are rattling the tin to keep the Mauna Loa CO2 concentration series going because some bastard won’t fund it. Give!

Here’s a new tool for making a REST API for any website. Beyond webscraping.

A good discussion of 3D printing at war; the point that navies are likely to get the benefit first is a good one.

Pills that make you learn after supposed critical periods have passed.

The Sony SRF-39FP radio, an important artefact in the material culture of US prisons.

The really interesting bit, though, is that Sony didn’t do some grudging just-enough thing for convicts – they did a great job, so much so that radio hams collect them because the single-chip RF chain and the antenna provide superb sensitivity and selectivity at minimal power consumption…like you need if you want to listen to the radio in the depths of a supermax wing, but also I suspect out of sheer engineering love.

All it lacks is a picture of the thing. Like so.

I blogged about this years ago, but here is a good story, with great photos, about Eero Saarinen’s headquarters for Bell Labs, now abandoned after the Alcatel acquisition. There’s now a scheme to reuse it, fortunately.

And a wannabe terrorist chose to take a RIPA III conviction rather than disclose the encryption key to a USB drive. This protected the security of the data on the drive, right up until the cops tried the key he already gave them for another drive. Four Lions was a documentary.

Norwegian civil defence helo waved off from fire by air traffic control after reports of one or more “media drones” in the area. Have whatever fun you like with the phrase “media drone”, but this is a really important point. Airspace management and deconfliction are hard.

5 Comments on "Links, sciency"

  1. beyond just sticking a flag in the regolith.

    Eh? I think the Apollo astronauts did far more than that.



  2. On the last one, note that the story says the first two drives had been cracked – and doesn’t say that the police had mentioned this fact to the guy in prison. It seems less like Four Lions, more like “anything else we can hang on him?”.


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