Monday, May 27, 2013

Tech Links: May 27, 2013

LEGO Android by Bruce Lowell


Apple Calms Investor Fears With Earnings Report

Apple Has an Identity Crisis: Is It a Hardware Company or a Software Firm?

Apple Snaps Growth Streak: First Profit Drop in a Decade Comes Despite Strong Demand for iPhone, iPad


This 8-Bit Video Will Make You Miss Your Childhood in the 90's

How Developers Coded in 1985 is a single serving site that does exactly what it's name implies. With each click of the mouse, the little block of today-ness gets recontextualized and rerecontextualized into bigger and bigger swatches of history until the ribbons of color include just the slightest notion of human existence.

Monday, May 13, 2013


“I was taking an advanced calculus class and my instructor was reputed to be a fabulous researcher, but he barely spoke English. He was a very boring and bad teacher and I was absolutely lost and in despair. 

So I went to the campus tutoring centre and they had Betamax tapes of a professor who had won teaching awards. Basically I sat with those tapes and took class there. But I still had to go to the other one and sat there and wanted to kill myself.

I thought at that time, in the future, why wouldn’t you have the most entertaining professor, the one with the proven track record of getting knowledge into people’s heads?

We’re still not quite there. In university you’re still likely to be in a large lecture hall with a very boring professor, and everyone knows it’s not working very well. It’s not even the best use of that professor’s time or the audience.”
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales argues the boring university lecture will be the first casualty of the online education revolution.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Architecture: Asian Cairns

These Asian Cairns Architect Vincent Callebaut are a fresh look at the concept of vertical farming:
"The cities are currently responsible for 75% of the worldwide consumption of energy and they reject 80% of worldwide emissions of CO2. The contemporary urban model is thus ultra-energy consuming and works on the importation of wealth and natural resources on the one hand, and on the exportation of the pollution and waste on the other hand. This loop of energetic flows can be avoided by repatriating the countryside and the farming production modes in the heart of the city by the creation of green lungs, farmscrapers in vertical storeys and by the implantation of wind and solar power stations. The production sites of food and energy resources will be thus reintegrated in the heart of the consumption sites ! The buildings with positive energies must become the norm and reduce the carbon print on the mid term."

Gadgets: BioniCopter

"BioniCopter" a Robotic Dragonfly by Festo
Meant to mimic the motions of a dragonfly the BioniCopter is capable of flying in all directions including backward, and can also hover indefinitely in the same spot. While many other remote-controlled dragonflies exist, many of which are available commercially as toys, the BioniCopter is the first device that can mimic the function of a plane, a helicopter, and a glider all in the same device. Learn more at Festo.


One century after the invention of the telephone, we still know the difference between the face-to-face presence and the telephonical presence. But we don’t feel it as a problem or a conflict anymore. We know how to enmesh them peacefully. That’s the same with the difference between the digital and the physical: We are learning how to enmesh them peacefully and, very soon, we will no longer feel them as a conflict.
— "Digital Dualism and Lived Experience" by St├ęphane Vial.
Cyborgology, April 10, 2013.

Snippet: Bitcoin is Ludicrous

"Bitcoin really is a tiny market in the scheme of things, and its recent gyrations mean that the dollar, euro and yen have nothing to fear from the competition. If a currency can lose 75 percent of its buying power in two days, it may not be the best store of value. But it also an important window into the strange and uncomfortable mystery of “What is money,” which is a harder question to answer than one might think."