Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gadgets: Navy Rail Gun

The Navy has spent seven years testing out the components of a way-futuristic weapon: a shipboard cannon that blasts bullets over vast distances at hypersonic speeds using bursts of electricity. ... The Navy released video of the first tests, viewable above, on Tuesday. The dramatic mini-inferno in the wake of the slug fired from the railgun is the result of “1 million amps flowing through” the gun, said test chief Tom Boucher, the hypersonic speed of the shot, and the actual aluminum of the bullet — “reactive in the atmosphere” — burning off.

Tech Links: February 28, 2012

Ultimate Braille Phone by Shikun Sun


EU suspends ACTA ratification, refers treaty to court


Infographic: Anticipation Of The iPad 3 In The U.S.

Reading & Discussion

How to Ruin Your Life in 14 Minutes: Or Why We Need a Serious Conversation About the Ethics of Social Media

Is Megaupload's founder a criminal mastermind, or the world's most entertaining scapegoat? A file-sharing wizard's ridiculous rise and fall.

A new study shows that the nature of a person's Facebook profile can help predict the person's performance as an employee. It may be time to delete those kegger photos.

So how much is a fair price to pay for an e-book?

Resources & Tools

Angry Birds chief: piracy is good for business

OpenStreetMap: It's the Wikipedia of maps

Windows on the iPad may be least annoying version of Windows ever.


Google’s ‘Terminator glasses’ will turn us all into insufferable sci-fi nerds


Choosing good passwords - a straightforward real-world guide for the average user, by AusCERT. Also includes links out to a fun and informative piece on The Top 500 Worst Passwords of All Time, and more in-depth material aimed at the tech and security savvy, like this enjoyable conference talk: Security As If Your Life Depended On It (because it might!). So we can avoid becoming xkcd cartoons.

How to Prevent YouTube from Keeping a Record of The Videos You Watch

How to Remove Your Google Search History Before Google's New Privacy Policy Takes Effect on 1 March If you want to keep Google from combining your Web History with the data they have gathered about you in their other products, such as YouTube or Google Plus, you may want to remove all items from your Web History and stop your Web History from being recorded in the future.

Gadgets: Conquest Vehicles

The Micro-Cycle by Chris Hoffman

Designed and constructed by Portland machinist Hoffman in his wife’s studio, this motorized unicycle utilizes a self-righting program similar to a Segway to control forward motion, balance, and steering. Currently it tops out at about 25 mph but it doesnt guzzle gas, instead using the power of lightning. Read up on more details over at nwautos.

Daily Links: February 28, 2012

Infographic: Leap Year: The Facts, Figures and Far-out Families

News: Thinking about breaking and entering in Detroit?  Think again. The local rate of self-defense killings now stands 2,200 percent above the national average in Detroit.

Dixie Square Mall, the site of a Blues Brothers chase scene and one of Chicago's greatest urban archaeology meccas, is finally being demolished after sitting empty since 1979. For real this time. Dead malls are fascinating, this one especially so.

Faux Philosophy News remixes stories from Leiter Reports and New APPS in the Horatian style popularized by the Onion

How to Pick Your Way Out of Handcuffs

"The moon is actually expanding or stretching and being pulled apart in some small areas and by a little bit," New evidence suggests that the moon, once thought to be geologically cold and dead, is still stretching and contracting on its surface.

Rich People More Likely to Lie, Cheat, Study Suggests

Starring the Computer is a website dedicated to the use of computers in film and television. Each appearance is catalogued and rated on its importance (ie. how important it is to the plot), realism (how close its appearance and capabilities are to the real thing) and visibility (how good a look does one get of it).

Teller Reveals His Secrets: The smaller, quieter half of the magician duo Penn & Teller writes about how magicians manipulate the human mind.

Video Distraction: Periodic Table Table

Wolfram Research co-founder and author Theo Gray collects elements. Step into his office, and you'll see a silicon disc engraved with Homer Simpson, a jar of mercury, uranium shells and thousands of other chemical artifacts. But his real DIY masterpiece is the world's first "periodic table table." Within this masterfully constructed table-top lay samples of nearly every element known to man, minus the super-radioactive ones.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

OpEd: Why we need a 'Rights of the Internet' declaration

Metal, code, flesh: Why we need a 'Rights of the Internet' declaration:
"The internet, as a living being which is part human, should have rights of its own."...

From understanding the internet as a life form that is in part human, it follows that the internet itself has rights. These rights must be created from scratch, thinking simultaneously in terms of the rights of metal, code, and flesh. With this framework we can start building an enduring barrier to permanently deter surreptitious attacks on the life in the network, such as those used by the SOPA mob.

What would this barrier look like? Perhaps as a multinational treaty, a multi-stakeholder organism, and a declaration of the "Rights of the Internet", following the example of Bolivia's 2011 breakthrough declaration of rights of the environment.

Through this framework, for example, we can understand the DMCA, which mandates the atrophy of media players, as legislation that violates the rights of hardware. SOPA and PIPA, which attempted to kidnap for ransom the already imperfect DNS (Domain Name Service) protocol, as being in violation of the rights of code. ACTA, detached from democratic process under the veil of "trade agreement" negotiations, and created by powerful nations to lock in their domination over the rest of the world, is in this sense in dual violation of the rights of flesh (ie humanity).
Source: Aljazeera

News: The WikiHouse Revolution

The WikiHouse Revolution:
Will open-source DIY architecture usher in a new age of architectural innovation?
In the early half of the 20th century, Sears, Roebuck and Co. sold tens of thousands of self-assembly homes to customers across the United States by mail order. A “Sears Modern Home” came in a railroad-delivered kit complete with more than 30,000 component parts, along with nails, paints, and fittings, and a weighty leather-bound instruction manual to help you put together the designs yourself. The plans were designed to be simple enough to be assembled without help from architects, carpenters, or any specialist contractors—in most cases, Sears homes were assembled solely by the buyer, with the help of friends, family, and neighbors, in communal, barn-raising fashion.

As it was the advent of mass-manufacturing and the birth of American DIY spirit that gave way to the then-popularity of the Sears precut home (Sears wasn’t the first, nor the only company in the business), so it is that an Internet reaching maturity, with open-source spirit, brings us the Sears home of our own age: the WikiHouse.
Source: Slate

OpEd: Civilisation faces 'perfect storm of ecological and social problems'

Civilisation faces 'perfect storm of ecological and social problems':
Abuse of the environment has created an 'absolutely unprecedented' emergency, say Blue Planet prizewinners...

Celebrated scientists and development thinkers today warn that civilisation is faced with a perfect storm of ecological and social problems driven by overpopulation, overconsumption and environmentally malign technologies.

In the face of an "absolutely unprecedented emergency", say the 18 past winners of the Blue Planet prize – the unofficial Nobel for the environment – society has "no choice but to take dramatic action to avert a collapse of civilisation. Either we will change our ways and build an entirely new kind of global society, or they will be changed for us".

The stark assessment of the current global outlook by the group, who include Sir Bob Watson, the government's chief scientific adviser on environmental issues, US climate scientist James Hansen, Prof José Goldemberg, Brazil's secretary of environment during the Rio Earth summit in 1992, and Stanford University Prof Paul Ehrlich, is published today on the 40th anniversary of the foundation of the UN environment programme (Unep). The paper, which was commissioned by Unep, will feed into the Rio +20 earth summit conference in June.
Source: The Guardian

News: Engineers create self-propelled medical device

Stanford engineers create wireless, self-propelled medical device:
For 50 years, scientists searched for the secret to making tiny implantable devices that could travel through the bloodstream. Engineers at Stanford have demonstrated just such a device. Powered without wires or batteries, it can propel itself though the bloodstream and is small enough to fit through blood vessels. Someday, your doctor may turn to you and say, "Take two surgeons and call me in the morning." If that day arrives, you may have electrical engineer Ada Poon to thank. This week, at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference, before an audience of her peers, Poon demonstrated a tiny, wirelessly powered, self-propelled medical device capable of controlled motion through a fluid – blood, to be exact. The era of swallow-the-surgeon medical care may no longer be the stuff of science fiction.
Source: Stanford University

Tech Links: February 23, 2012

Brian Dettmer’s surgical book sculptures, meticulously carved into vintage volumes and hand-cut one page at a time.

Surgical Book Sculptures by Brian Dettmer


Apple sold more iOS devices in 2011 than all the Macs sold it in 28 years.

"Rosetta Code is a programming chrestomathy site." Each page describes a programming concept or task, then lists how it's implemented in dozens of programming languages. Useful for learning a new programming language, especially if you're already familiar with how to do it in another language. 

Pirate Bay: The RIAA Is Delusional and Must Be Stopped

Social apps 'harvest smartphone contacts'. While this may not come as a surprise to many, the fact that apps such as Twitter and Instagram will take the addresses from your contacts list and store them, sometimes unencrypted, has become enough of a story that two members of the US congress have sent a letter to Apple about its apps and how they access personal data.


Tetris plus Minesweeper = Tetrisweeper. A moves left, D moves right, W and E rotate, S drops. Click to uncover, shift-click to flag.


Das Model S Professional Keyboard Brings the Clickety-Clack to Your Mac

Reading & Discussion

21st century car thieves could switch from car jackings to car hackings

Debunking the NASA million dollar space pen urban myth

Get It and Forget It: Smartphone Users' Fickle Taste for Their Apps: People with iPhones or Android phones may download a lot of apps, but they tend to use very few of them after a while.

Our Internet Safety Obsession Is Bad for Children

Why the Patent System Doesn't Play Well with Software: If Eolas Went the Other Way

Your heartbeat could be your password

Resources & Tools

Booktype is an open source platform to write and publish print and digital books. It features collaborative editing and has no license restrictions on the content, which can be delivered for a variety of screen and print formats. If you're going to collaborate on a book, this is the way to do it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

OpEd: We, the Web Kids

We, the Web Kids:

Piotr Czerski is a Polish writer and commentator. Here, he lays out the kind of political/literary manifesto that seems to pop up from time to time, usually in Europe. The essay, as translated by Marta Szreder, was posted to Pastebin under a Creative Commons license.
1. We grew up with the Internet and on the Internet. This is what makes us different; this is what makes the crucial, although surprising from your point of view, difference: we do not 'surf' and the internet to us is not a 'place' or 'virtual space'. The Internet to us is not something external to reality but a part of it: an invisible yet constantly present layer intertwined with the physical environment. We do not use the Internet, we live on the Internet and along it. If we were to tell our bildnungsroman to you, the analog, we could say there was a natural Internet aspect to every single experience that has shaped us. We made friends and enemies online, we prepared cribs for tests online, we planned parties and studying sessions online, we fell in love and broke up online. The Web to us is not a technology which we had to learn and which we managed to get a grip of. The Web is a process, happening continuously and continuously transforming before our eyes; with us and through us. Technologies appear and then dissolve in the peripheries, websites are built, they bloom and then pass away, but the Web continues, because we are the Web; we, communicating with one another in a way that comes naturally to us, more intense and more efficient than ever before in the history of mankind.
Source: The Atlantic

Monday, February 20, 2012

Daily Links: February 20, 2012

The 102 Best Money Sites: MSN columnist Liz Weston's annotated list of favorite resources: money bloggers, tools, savvy spending, saving & investing, real estate, etc.

Dan Lewis runs Now I Know: Learn Something New Every Day, By Email, a free daily email newsletter that delves deep into fascinating bits of esoteric information. For example, a past missive talks about the history of Mickey Mouse gas masks that were given to children in WWII and in another, we learn Abraham Lincoln created the Secret Service the day he was shot. To date, the list’s readership is over 37,000 subscribers who, like me, want to learn something new every day.

How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did (excerpt from How Companies Learn Your Secrets (single page)): “If we send someone a catalog and say, ‘Congratulations on your first child!’ and they’ve never told us they’re pregnant, that’s going to make some people uncomfortable,” Pole told me. “We are very conservative about compliance with all privacy laws. But even if you’re following the law, you can do things where people get queasy.

With Amazon slowly taking over the publishing world and bookstores closing left and right, things can sometimes seem a little grim for the brick and mortar booksellers of the world. Before they go completely, here's a list of the 20 most beautiful bookshops in the world.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Engineering: Vomit Comet Zero G Roller Coaster

Vomit Comet Zero G Roller Coaster

California-based attraction design and production firm BRC Imagination Arts, has proposed a zero gravity roller coaster designed to mimic the weightless sensations created by nasa’s ‘weightless wonder’ (colloquially nicknamed the ‘vomit comet’), the KC-135A aircraft used to test space equipment and train astronauts.

Food for Thought: Inventing on Principle

Bret Victor on creative purpose and inventing on principle.

"Bringing ideas into the world is one of the most important things that people do."

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tech Links: February 15, 2012


With the fight against SOPA and PIPA, hacktivism has gone mainstream. Along with Anonymous' fight against such organizations as Scientology, white supremecists, and child pornographers, their work against laws that would censor the Internet made the news. The hacktivists' trend towards self-policing also helps quell questions about their motivations.


Inforgraphic: Robot App Store

Google's answer to TED talks has gone live. Solve For X, a "forum to encourage and amplify technology-based moonshot thinking and teamwork," currently contains links to YouTube videos from the likes of Neal Stephenson, Rob McGinnis, and Privahini Bradoo. Videos range from 10 to 20 minutes in length.


Open Source for You, or "Your Day Job Sucks, Make Programming Fun Again". Stephen McDonald, creator of Mezzanine, shares his experience of "what it's like contributing to open source".

The "visible web" is what you can find using general web search engines. It's also what you see in almost all subject directories. The "invisible web" is what you cannot find using these types of tools. It's the internet that Google doesn't show us; some of it dull, some of it private, some of it deliberately hidden.

Is Webkit, the web browser engine used by Safari and Chrome, turning into IE6? Concern is growing that reliance on proprietry CSS features marked by vendor prefixes could be breaking the web

Why We Need a New Definition of ‘PC’

Resources & Tools

Is it Old? Before you make a complete fool of yourself when you send a link to your friends, colleagues or twitter followers, enter it here to make sure it's fresh enough.

OneSwarm is a privacy preserving BitTorrent client that offers  permissions for restricting access to shared content  and  sharing without attribution, with the anonymity being provided by fellow OneSwarm peers routing transfers.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Daily Links: February 14, 2012

I’ll take twenty.

Source: Failblog

The cynics among you might enjoy this piece on the trending ecards

Guardian Science on how scientists get romantic: “I said I liked her bosons and then she lepton me”

On the data blog they’ve mapped Valentine’s Day data around the world

Friday, February 10, 2012

Tech: Researcher Creates Plane Using 3D Printer

Using only a 3D printer, researcher Jim Scanlan from the University of Southampton has created a fully functional plane. Even moving parts were created using the printer, all in one go.

Source: New Scientist

Thursday, February 9, 2012

News: Major Torrent Sites Consider Shutting Down

News of raids, arrests, seizures, extraditions and jail time in the file-sharing world hasn’t gone unnoticed by the operators of major BitTorrent sites. Yesterday, the owners of BTjunkie decided to close their site because the stress became too much, and there are others who consider doing the same. While there are still plenty site owners who are determined to continue, doubt and uncertainty are more present than ever before.
Via: TorrentFreak

News: The State of Online Dating

You, me, and "science" makes three: the state of online dating:
Online dating has only become more ubiquitous and socially acceptable since the first sites launched in the mid-’90s: in a 2007-2009 study, 22 percent of couples surveyed formed as a result of dating websites, and it’s now the second-most common way for people to meet. But a meta-analysis of online dating and psychological studies shows that while some people are successful using those services, the sites themselves oversell their benefit. There are also a number of downsides, from wrong impressions gotten from too much Internet interaction to unnecessary pickiness from an abundance of potential dates to choose from.
Via: Ars Technica

Daily Links: February 9, 2012

The Blue Marble is a famous photograph of Earth, taken by the crew of Apollo 17 on December 7th 1972, as they traveled to the moon. On January 23th, 2012, the Suomi NPP satellite snapped a similar, high definition photo, called Blue Marble 2012. By sure to check out the other side of the Marble, how the photos were taken and a PDF that describes the NPP project.

Hey! Do you like books? (Yeah...) Do you like free books? (Yeah!) Do you like giving books to friends and strangers and whomever? (Hell yeah!) Are you American? (I just said "hell yeah" didn't I?) Then sign up here! (Then what happens?) You can select from one of thirty books. (And?) They'll send you a box with twenty copies of one book which you can give to friends, strangers or enemies. (What's the catch?) There's no catch, it's World Book Night.

MIT students receive their acceptance letters in cardboard tubes and are encouraged to modify them. One student sent hers into space. (Have you noticed that all of the interesting stories about space have nothing to do with NASA?)

Tech Links: February 9, 2012

 Likelihood of Typing “www” When Going to a Website


British children feel 'sad' without internet connection


10 Valentine’s Day Cards for Your Special Tech Geek


Alan Turing, British code-breaker during WWII, imminent computer scientist, and much else has been denied a posthumous pardon from the British government for his 1952 conviction on charges of "Gross Indecency" because of his homosexuality. The pardon had been called for by MP John Leech, and a online petition was started in December 2011. A public apology to Turing for his treatment post-conviction (chemical castration through estrogen injections) was rendered in 2009 by Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Programming is the new High School Diploma

Think Facebook's $100 Billion Valuation Is Nuts? Read this.

Why William Gibson Distrusts Aging Futurists’ Nostalgia

Resources & Tools

Tribler Makes BitTorrent Impossible to Shut Down


How to See When Someone Unfriends You on Facebook

News: Drones Admitted to US Airspace by 2015

Drones Will Be Admitted to Standard US Airspace By 2015:
The skies are going to look very different pretty soon, and it’s been a long time coming. Congress finally passed a spending bill for the Federal Aviation Administration, allocating $63.4 billion for modernizing the country’s air traffic control systems and expanding airspace for unmanned planes within three and a half years.

By Sept. 30, 2015, drones will have to have access to U.S. airspace that is currently reserved for piloted aircraft. This applies to military, commercial and privately owned drones — so it could mean a major increase in unmanned aircraft winging through our airspace. That’s airspace to be shared with airliners, cargo planes and small private aircraft.
Source: Popular Science

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tech Links: February 7, 2012

Breaking down Facebook’s initial public offering

Infographic: The Day the Internet Stood Still 

Google wants to make sci-fi a reality with “Solve for X,” a conference for radical tech ideas

Hacker group Anonymous joined the FBI - Scotland Yard conference call coordinating their strategy against Anonymous. Call recording is now on YouTube with some suspect names bleeped.

How (and why) to set up Google Cloud Print.

Professor Thrun has quit Stanford and will be running a 7-week course on how to build a search engine to anyone with or without previous programming experience. While the reasons why Professor Thrun has quit Stanford is unclear, it is amazing he is equipping, and empowering, so many people with computer programming skills and fundamentally changing the dynamics of how higher education is delivered. For anyone interested, his course is starting in February 2012 and you can sign up at

WAT  is a lightning talk by Gary Bernhardt from CodeMash 2012, on the peculiarities of some popular scripting languages.

You will never kill piracy and piracy will never kill you.

Tech: The Amish Project, 90 Days Off Grid

Jake Reilly took a 90 day vacation from email, the Internet, cell phones, and other aspects of modern communication and documented his experience in a short video: "The Amish Project."

Monday, February 6, 2012

Medicine: Skin Gun Heals Severe Burns in Days

Unlike other medical devices used to treat burn victims, this groundbreaking skin gun by Jorg C. Gerlach and colleagues at Stem Cell Systems GmbH in Berlin uses "individual adult stem cells from the patient's uninjured skin are applied to the wound site, where they differentiate into normal skin." Via: Kotaku
The newly introduced stem cells are able to regenerate and differentiate into their respective parts in a matter of days. The first phase of gathering the patient's stem cells, creating a solution, and applying the stem cells takes approximately 1.5-2 hours. Within a week, the wound dressing procedure allows the stem skin cells to fully generate normal skin, and after a couple of months the skin regains its color and texture.

News: Dead Gamer Unnoticed For Nine Hours

On Tuesday, Chen Rong-yu of Taiwan died of a heart attack in a New Taipei internet cafe after playing League of Legends for 23 hours. His corpse, which was slumped in the chair and reaching toward the computer, went unnoticed by surrounding gamers until nine hours later, when a waitress made the gruesome discovery. Reports indicate that Rong-yu was last seen alive around noon on Wednesday, while he was making a phone call. The cause of death is believed to be due to cardiac arrest brought on by a combination of cold temperatures, exhaustion, and lack of movement. According to his family he had been treated for a heart condition last September.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Science: Gravity-defying Fluids

Certain non-Newtonian fluids which are elastic display a large resistance to extensional flow. Such behaviour leads to fluid flow arrangements which are simply not possible using ordinary Newtonian fluids. These so-called Fano flows manifest themselves in a variety of ways.

In the so-called ''tubeless'' syphon, a fluid can be made to flow up through an unsupported liquid column above the free surface of the liquid. One way to achieve this is by slowly withdrawing and raising a syringe from a pool of the liquid below.

In the so-called ''open channel'' syphon, after initially commencing the flow of an elastic fluid from say a beaker, the fluid will continue to flow up the side and over the lip of the beaker for sometime despite the level of its free surface having fallen considerably below the top of the beaker. In this way the slightest spill will cause the beaker to partly empty in what is commonly refereed to as a ''self-syphoning'' effect.

Tech: The Future of Glass

Corning's expanded vision for the future of glass technologies. This video continues the story of how highly engineered glass, with companion technologies, will help shape our world.

Video Distraction: Nano Quadrotor

These nano quadrotor robots can fly in sophisticated formations, though given their angry bee-like buzz, “swarms” is really a better term. The quadrotors were developed by KMel Robotics, and the flying formation experiments are by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s GRASP Lab.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

OpEd: Why 3-D Printing Will Go the Way of Virtual Reality

Why 3-D Printing Will Go the Way of Virtual Reality:
This isn’t just premature, it’s absurd. 3-D printing, like VR before it, is one of those technologies that suggest a trend of long and steep adoption driven by rapid advances on the systems we have now. And granted, some of what’s going on at present is pretty cool—whether it’s in rapid prototyping, solid-fuel rockets, bio-assembly or just giant plastic showpieces.
But the notion that 3-D printing will on any reasonable time scale become a “mature” technology that can reproduce all the goods on which we rely is to engage in a complete denial of the complexities of modern manufacturing, and, more to the point, the challenges of working with matter.
Hype is inevitably followed by some level of backlash, or at least disinterest, and it would be a shame for 3-D printing to head into a too-deep trough of the Gartner hype cycle. There will be plenty of interesting applications for 3-D printing, but I’ll bet the ones that will have the biggest impact will be within traditional factories, where rapid prototyping is already having a huge impact.
I believe this is right. That is why it is interesting to try to look where 3D print might have a unique advantage. Following Bruce Sterlings early insights about this I think one of these possible areas are places on the planet where they don’t have access to factories yet, but is in need of things – many cheap, small but specialized things like e g spare parts for important machines.

Update: Ian Pearson commented on Twitter on this post by noting that 3D print will create a great digital craft industry, which I agree with. And that is a whole interesting area in itself since a whole new craft area will most likely redefine how we relate to design and production. Maybe not for everything but for the things that are perceived to be special and we really like and have emotional relations.

News: FBI plans to monitor social networks

One Per Cent: FBI releases plans to monitor social networks:
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has quietly released details of plans to continuously monitor the global output of Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, offering a rare glimpse into an activity that the FBI and other government agencies are reluctant to discuss publicly. The plans show that the bureau believes it can use information pulled from social media sites to better respond to crises, and maybe even to foresee them.
Source: NewScientist

Tech: The Future of 3D Printing

MakerBot’s Bre Pettis says his 3D printers are for everyone. 3D Systems’ Cathy Lewis begs to differ.

News: Codecademy Becomes A Platform

Codecademy Becomes A Platform: Now Anyone Can Write Programming Tutorials:
One of the most buzzed-about startups over the last few months has been Codecademy — a site that looks to make programming accessible to just about anyone, with a variety of interactive, web-based courses that have users writing their first lines of code within a few seconds. The site’s ‘Code Year’ program, which invites users to receive one programming lesson each week, racked up a whopping 100,000 signups in only 48 hours — and it even has the White House on board.

But, as anyone who has spent much time on the site can attest to, Codecademy has had one big problem: there just aren’t that many lessons available. And the ones that are on there sometimes seem to be moving too quickly, without many practice exercises to explore and reinforce what you’ve just learned.

Today, the company is launching a feature that will go a long way toward fixing that. Meet the Codecademy Course Creator.

Source: TechCrunch

News: From hot stuff to flameout

If recent tech IPOs are an indicator, Facebook should beware the dangers of overhype. Julie Cohn explains:
A sampling of IPOs from the last year reveals that almost all major new tech offerings soared on overheated initial expectations at first, but quickly deflated thereafter. Reports surfaced late yesterday that said Facebook is expected to file paperwork indicating it plans to raise $5 billion using five banks as underwriters, led by Morgan Stanley.

Tech Links: February 2, 2012

News: Steve has mentioned this, and I've pointed out relateed news stories in the past month, but it looks like Facebook's IPO could come next week. The initial value could be $100 billion. Goldman-Sachs could be significant in the IPO. I just wish I wasn't using "could" - the IPO seems very probable, but no word is coming from Facebook. Update!  People are expecting the IPO to have a twist as Zuckerberg does something that doesn't follow traditional wisdom.  The fallout is going to have repercussions.

Find out how old Google thinks you are.

Future Shock (2, 3, 4, 5) is a glimpse at society on the precipice of the information age, in this 1972 documentary based on the Alvin Toffler classic about the world gone mad, due to technology and computers. Narrated by Orson Welles.

Infographic: Technology Use On The College Campus

It's now even harder to get noticed on the ol' Tube of You, as One Hour Per Second illustrates. One hour of video is uploaded to YT every second.

One in three teens has shared a password with a friend or significant other.

The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has begun releasing Security-Enhanced Android patches and tools, which port their Security-Enhanced Linux tools to Android devices. SEAndroid and SELinux provide mandatory access control designed to limit the amount of damage that rogue or exploited software can do. There was a talk about this at the Linux Security Summit in September 2011 which spawned various news stories. See the Unofficial and Official SELinux Intros/FAQs.

Why History Needs Software Piracy: How copy protection and app stores could deny future generations their cultural legacy.

Why should we stop online piracy? 

Video Distraction: Crack The Surface

"Crack The Surface" is a web documentary series on urban exploration and its practitioners. The ongoing series is by British urban exploration site Silent UK.

Video Distraction: Shit Gamers Say

Shit Gamers Say To Their Girlfriends by TheWarpZone

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Infographic: Transparency vs Anonymity

Tech: Modified Ditch Witch

KSL News 5 coverage of Raytheon Sarcos modified Ditch Witch

Engineers at Raytheon-Sarcos in Salt Lake City demonstrated a unique set of tele-operated robotic arms attached to a modified Ditch Witch. With no training at all, one immediately meshes with the feelings and actions of the machine. It mirrored everything one does with their arms, wrists and shoulders.

Architecture: Cheongna City Tower

The tower will use porous walls and optical technology to allow views of the city to penetrate through the superstructure as if it were a curtain of mesh, rendering the building "invisible."

Net: Use Facebook to Promote your Town

One tiny town in Switzerland found a fun (and entirely wholesome) way to promote itself on Facebook. [Via]