Friday, August 24, 2012

Tech Links: August 24, 2012

Via: Reddit


College Humor imagined what seven different websites would be as the seven deadly sins.


Facebook and the ACLU are making the case that clicking “Like” is protected speech, and therefore not a firing offense.

This is a strangely beautiful piece on what it’s like to live life “on” the internet.


One Laptop Per Child fails in Peru, despite a bankroll of US$200 million

US drones are coming back after initial attacks to target first-responder rescuers in strategic assaults that would previously have been characterized as "terrorism."

Reading & Discussion

Don't lose sight of why the US is out to get Julian Assange: Ecuador is pressing for a deal that offers justice to Assange's accusers – and essential protection for whistleblowers

Resources & Utilities

Why you should consider Amazon's super cheap, super slow storage


Earth destroyed repeatedly in the name of science

New Theory: Universe didn't start with a Big Bang, but with a Big Freeze

NASA's James Hansen has been called the "godfather" of climate warming, largely because of his long record of major publications on the topic. He is also a determined climate activist, protesting, blockading, and demanding (PDF) that immediate action be taken to deal effectively with the issue, while using his science to advance his case. Recently, he and 2 colleagues effectively contradicted the widespread view that individual extreme weather events cannot be directly linked with observed climate warming, using extreme high temperatures as an example. [additional earlier and new (PDF) information]. (See previous (PDF) related work by others.) Several climate experts have attacked Hansen's activism and his science (PDF). Does his activism make James Hansen a bad scientist? (Related previous posts here and here, now peer-reviewed and published.)


A Post-Mortem on India's Blackout: IEEE Spectrum's energy, power, and green tech blog gives an excellent overview of what led to the devastating blackouts that occurred in India on July 30th and 31st leaving more than 600 million people (approx 10% of the world's population) without electricity. Bonus: BBC's Soutik Biswas gives us 10 interesting factoids on India's power situation to chew on.

Video Games

Legends of Localization: The Legend of Zelda is a comparison of the Japanese and American versions of The Legend of Zelda. It highlights differences in music and SFX, why the intro story is in English in both versions and why Pols Voice supposedly hated loud noises, what some of those cryptic hints originally said and how Testitart became Manhandla.  It was written by Tomato (Clyde Mandelin), a professional anime and game translator whose fan translation of Mother 3 showed up on the blue in 2008.

The PBS Idea Channel takes a look at how Minecraft can be a useful simulation for what life could be like in a post-scarcity economy where technology like Makerbots has become common.

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