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 Stéphane 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."

Friday, March 29, 2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tech Links: March 27, 2013


Orders Cut, as Publisher and Retailer Quarrel: A standoff over financial terms has prompted the bookstore chain Barnes & Noble to cut back substantially on the number of titles it orders from the publishing house Simon & Schuster... This is the first time that Barnes & Noble has used the sales of books as a negotiating tool, industry executives say.


The curious incident of the books on the Kindle

When will Kindle's become free?

Quarter of U.S. Buys Ebooks, Number Expected to Nearly Double by 2014

Monday, March 25, 2013

Link Round-Up: March 25, 2013

Bioshock Infinite ~ Developer Fun Facts
(via theomeganerd)

News: Proposed changes to marriage would open the way for Star Wars Jedi to perform ceremonies, says Free Church of Scotland.

The Geography of the Supermarket

March Madness explained with Star Wars

The Mystery Behind Chipotle's Secret, 1,500-Calorie Super Burrito

Star Wars fans can argue til the cows come home about which character is the best. Now is ready to settle the score once and for all. Well, not really because we know this won’t actually end any debate. But it’ll be fun to watch the characters pitted against each other just the same.

Tech Links: March 25, 2013

A submarine cable is about 0.75 to 2.5 inches in diameter, or about the thickness of three ordinary garden hoses. The longest cable, called the Southern Cross, runs under the Pacific, stretching 18,500 miles.


Survey: 60% of consumers are banner blind

A Problem Google Has Created for Itself


The 40 Hottest Women in Tech

Let's build a ship - Timelapse builds the world's largest ship in 70 seconds Building the world's largest ship - the Maersk Tripple E

World Wide Maze is a "Chrome Experiment" that turns any website or search into a playable three-dimensional "Monkey Ball"-style maze game. You can control via the keyboard or link to your phone to turn it into a tilt-sensitive remote control. (Chrome browser only, obviously.)


Apple looks to protect dropped iPhones by shifting their orientation mid-flight

Canon Unveils the Rebel SL1, the World’s Smallest and Lightest DSLR

Electronic Devices on Planes: Is the madness nearly over? 

Why You'll End Up Wearing a Smart Watch


Godspeed, Google Reader

How Google went from essential to evil in one short week TeleRead: News and views on e-books, libraries, publishing and related topics

Reading & Discussion

The Copyright Rule We Need to Repeal If We Want to Preserve Our Cultural Heritage

The Glory Days of American Journalism. Ignore the doomsayers: The news-reading public has never had more and better information at their fingertips.

Supreme Court Rules on Bookselling Suit


Does studying science make you a better person? Study shows that people who study science are more likely to condemn unethical behavior than religious people

The Nielsen Family Is Dead. Nielsen Now Tracks (Almost) Everything You Buy: Credit, Debit and Bank Data Now Combined With TV, Online Viewing. Nielsen Offers Focus on ‘Zero-TV’ Homes. Nielsen Agrees to Expand Definition of TV Viewing. The 23,000 U.S. homes Nielsen currently samples are going to see some changes this year.


The Commotion Wireless Project is a free, open-source (but still early beta) software platform for creating decentralized wireless mesh networks. The Open Technology Institute (part of the nonprofit New America Foundation) has just announced the developer release of Commotion, a free, open-source software project for building decentralized, ad hoc community networks of wireless devices. The goal of the project is both to bridge the digital divide and to enable those without uncensored internet access to roll their own networks and circumvent repressive internet censorship and telecommunication shutdowns. Commotion is currently being field-tested in Detroit (in collaboration with the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition) to bridge the digital divide in 48217 (one of Detroit's most impoverished neighborhoods) and in the Cass Corridor.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Link Round-Up: March 20, 2013

Alternative Android Logos
Last Study in Geek for 2012: alternative logos that Google could have used… though I imagine there would have been some copyright issues.
Happy New Year everyone!

20 Haunting Ghost Towns of the World.

Brilliant Spoofs of the Classic Fantasy Novel Map. These are funny even if you aren't all that familiar with the subject they parody.

Japan's educators and politicians quarrel about what students should learn about World War II so much that most students end up learning very little at all. As adults, they don't understand why the rest of Asia knows so much.

Can We Please Stop Drawing Trees on Top of Skyscrapers? Because it's not going to happen.

Nigel Ackland has the new Terminator-style Bebionic3 prosthetic hand. He shows us what it can do -including things human hands cannot do.

Tech Links: March 20, 2013

Source: Imgur via MUO
His charm was not resistible. Her capacity was massive. They had good potential together. The coupling was electrical.


The Future of Customer Service: These Companies Are Getting it Right


App from Dutch director Bobby Boermans is an appropriately titled horror film that encourages viewers to download a free app that delivers second screen content during the movie. The film follows psychology student Anna Rijnders, who becomes addicted to apps, social media, and her smartphone. Rijnders finds a mysterious app called IRIS that begins sending cryptic texts as people around her die in mysterious ways. The second screen app for viewers — which looks like a cross between Apple’s Siri voice assistant and Hal 9000 — is available for iOS and Android, has information about the movie and its cast, and will deliver related content at select points throughout the film. App will hit Dutch theaters on April 4th, and enterprising filmmakers around the world will likely be watching to see how audiences react to the unique second screen tactic.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Link Round-Up: March 19, 2013

Amsterdam Castle in Amsterdam, New York, is for sale for only a million dollars.

How to win a climate change argument, in one chart.

Inconceivable! A mashup of Games of Thrones and The Princess Bride works well.

Student solves Rubix Cube while juggling

That crazy slingshot guy has managed to create a pump-action gun that can propel Oreos at injurious speed.

This is what 200 calories looks like. Powerful.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Photo: Putra Mosque

Putra Mosque 
Photographed by KukoqNyoq

Lecture: DNA Explained

BBC Knowledge and Learning is exploring a wide variety of topics from social history to science in a series of three-minute online Explainer documentaries, and this short history of DNA really knocks it out of the park, both artistically and scientifically.

Territory Studio was commissioned to create the video in cooperation with writer Andrew S. Walsh and molecular biologist Matthew Adams.  The video walks through the fundamentals beginning with the basic chemistry.  Lead animator Will Samuel explains:
"We needed to find a graphic style to communicate the beauty and intricacy of DNA. We wanted to create nostalgia; taking the audience back to the days of textbook diagrams and old science documentaries, such as Carl Sagan's COSMOS and IBM’s POWER OF TEN (1977). Using the double helix circular theme as a core design we focused on form, movement and colour to create a consistent flow to the animation, drawing on references from nature, illustrating how DNA is the core to everything around us."

Humor: The Gamer Sutra

"The Gamer Sutra" by Andy Kluthe and Andrew Bridgman of Dorkly

Photo: Penn Station

“Any city gets what it admires, will pay for, and, ultimately, deserves. Even when we had Penn Station, we couldn’t afford to keep it clean. We want and deserve tin-can architecture in a tinhorn culture. And we will probably be judged not by the monuments we build but by those we have destroyed.”

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Video Distraction: Water & Sound Experiment

Brusspup synchronizes his video camera to a water stream run in front of a speaker outputting a 24 Hz sine wave.

"Ever since I created the first version of this video a year ago I've been wanting to try it again with more water and better lighting / footage. This is a really fun project and when you first see the results, chances are your jaw will drop. The main thing to keep in mind for this project is that you need a camera that shoots 24 fps.

Photo: Graffiti of Speed

"Graffiti of Speed" by Shinichi Hagashi
Mirror Symmetry of Tokyo, Japan

Tech Links: March 14, 2013

Every single time I walk into an Apple Store.
Source: Avengers (2010) #32


Even Google won't be around for ever, let alone Facebook: In the world of internet technology a company can go from zero to hero in a very short time

Record labels object to Apple's proposed low royalty rate for streaming service

Would you have guessed that 160 people work at Buzzfeed?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Photo: Reef Dwellers




Tech: Displair Water Vapor Touchscreen

Displair, a unique gadget at CES 2013, allows you to turn a misting wall of water vapor into a strange touchscreen. Here, Jason Gilbert from the Huffington Post plays a game of Fruit Ninja on a Displair.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Infographic: The Efficiency of Vaccines

Vaccine Infographic by Leon Farrant
Source: Forbes

Still questioning? This infographic breaks down the indisputable efficiency of vaccines, which Bill Gates has so eloquently affirmed

Tech: 3-D Printing in Space

Open-Sourcing Outer Space: 3-D Printing Meets Rocket Science:

From 3D printed moonbases to architectural wonders more to down to Earth, as we saw what awesome mixture 3D printing and architecture could bring, I was left wondering about what other technologies we could be remixing 3D printers with. Partially answering my curiosity, Wired highlights an exciting new world of Rocket science.. now 3D print compatible? Apparently so!

Sure, a 3-D printed car is cool, but it doesn’t go to space. And there’s probably a good reason for that, but now a competition is aiming to launch the newest manufacturing fad into the final frontier by challenging people to design 3-D printed rocket engines.

Link Round-Up: March 12, 2013

5 Tech-Savvy Tricks to Help You Get a Good Night’s Sleep

25 Best Cars Under $25,000

Confusing Graffiti Leaves Us With A Lot Of Questions

Sunday Assembly: an atheist service run by two comedians, Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans.

TOKYO GASTRONOMY is the YouTube account of Seiji Yamamoto, chef and owner of the Nihonryori RyuGin restaurant. His videos demonstrate traditional Japanese cuisine preparation in a serene and focused way. The ones that really hooked me was this 9 minute video of Ichiban Dashi creation and spring vegetable soup.

You don't have a $450 low-temperature water oven? No problem. Serious Eat's The Food Lab cooks The Perfect Rack Of Lamb.  Make offers plans and advice on building your own  Sous Vide Immersion Cooker.

Photo: At NASA’s Drawing Board

"At NASA’s Drawing Board" by J R Eyerman

Monday, March 11, 2013

Link Round-Up: March 11, 2013

Source: Silicon

13 Ridiculously Cool Buildings Made of Ice

File these away for your next fictional arctic/volcanic setting: Russia has some amazing ice caves.
I’d want this on every portable device I’d ever own: This iPhone case sports a simulated bubble wrap feature.

McDonald’s Has Names For Each Of The 4 Different McNugget Shapes.

The new SimCity has had a very poor launch, and among its woes it can now include Amazon ceasing sales of digital download copies of the game. Some are holding out hope that the difficulties are just a part of the simulation, like Godzilla stomping your infrastructure. In better news, Age of Empires II will be on Steam soon.

Only six minutes? It’s Everything Wrong With Twilight in Six Minutes. A bit like staking vampire fish in a barrel, but there you go.

Splitman 2 is a game where your heroic powers include using enemy saw blades to make more of yourself. Use these clones to solve each platforming level, and try not to feel bad about the fact you callously leave them behind.

Video Distraction: How Guys Will Use Google Glass

"The future is coming, ladies. Sorry about that."

Tech: iCub Learns Language

Simpler Brain Lets iCub Learn Language:
Not all would agree but I think this advancement in robotics could be a gigantic leap in the way artificial intelligence (A.I.) grows in future robots that will need some kind of advanced A.I. For instance, how do we suppose any sentient being with the capacity to learn..learns? Although it may not be the paramount function of robotics, communicating is definitely up there in the list of obstacles needed to be apprehended if we are to have competent robots making human interactions. For it is because of communication that we learn to pass on data, and language is a form of it.

Think of it this way, a robot that understands how language works and even knows how to use it, is a robot that has been given a new pathway to understanding. A pathway that we as humans have acquired and while we haven’t mastered it I believe we do have enough experience with it to imitate it and implement it in fields where it is most needed. What I really took from this article however is the fact that the researchers looked at how the brain actually works in order to mimic the way we form and understand language. This is how robotics ought to be looked at, we see our biological nature and mimic it to the best of our abilities using technology. Working with simpler versions while upgrading along the way.

Inspiration: Genius Is…

Genius Is…
A comic for Red Lemon Club.

"Genius Is…" A comic for Red Lemon Club by Grant Snider

Trivia: What if You're Exposed to Space?

Hank answers a SciShow viewer's most pressing question. What happens if the human body is exposed to space? Would your head really explode? Would your blood boil? Would you freeze solid instantly? Turns out the answer is no. You'd only suffocate.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Link Round-Up: March 5, 2013

Apple IIe Running The Matrix at the Panic HQ

News: Woman shot by oven while trying to cook waffles

8 Things Working At Disney World Taught Me About The Human Race

Here is what a bunch of folks seem to think are the 74 Things Every Great Star Wars Movie Needs.

IBM commissioned a short promotional film to sell the MTST. among others. It was commissioned in 1967 from Jim Henson. With a score by Raymond Scott. How good could that be? This good.

You got your cuisine in my astrophysics; no, you got your astrophysics in my cuisine: Neil deGrasse Tyson interviews Anthony Bourdain. Alton Brown talks to Google about bow ties, trying to find recipes on Google vs. on the Food Network website, and trying to impress his daughter by blowing things up.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Video Distraction: Most Insane Rope Swing Ever

Filmmaker Devin Graham captured a group of his friends on film as swung through a canyon on a 400 foot rope swing. You can get a better look at how deep the insane drop actually was on the video blog shot on sight.

Quotes: TED2013 Quotables

Photo: Roots fighting with Bricks

Roots fighting with bricks
Photo credit: Vincent Guyaux

"Roots fighting with bricks" by Vincent Guyaux

Software: Roll20 Dungeons & Dragons Platform

Roll20 is a fully customizable virtual Dungeons & Dragons platform that allows you to organize and play through campaigns with your friends whether they’re close by, in another state, or on the other side of the world. As the Dungeon Master, you can add your own tokens, maps, character portraits, and background music, or choose from Roll20′s libraries. The DM and players can draw diagrams and roll dice directly on the virtual tabletop in real time, and Roll20 also supports video, voice, and text chat. The service is completely free, though some artwork and tokens can only be purchased through the Roll20 marketplace.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tech Links: February 28, 2013

Source: Instagram via Scribbledwings


Amazon’s ‘price parity’ clause attracts attention of German antitrust regulator

Half of Amazon Book Sales are Planned Purchases: "It’s well known that book lovers are quite happy to spend time in a bricks-and-mortar bookshop to see what sort of interesting titles they find and then go home to buy on Amazon where the prices are often cheaper. Indeed, it’s been identified as such a significant problem that HarperCollins CEO Victoria Barnsley recently made the interesting suggestion that bookshops ought to charge people to come in and browse, an idea that has had a somewhat chilly reception."

RIAA Accounting: Why Even Major Label Musicians Rarely Make Money From Album Sales

Sale of Used E-books Getting Closer

Quick Pic: The Golden Mistake

"The Golden Mistake" by Erica Dorn , 2011
"I made these custom ‘mistake’ keys for my keyboard… Solid gold  Command and Z keys. The ones we are constantly pressing to go back in time."

Hacks: The Craft Camera

The Craft Camera, a DIY Cardboard Camera!
Via: Ufunk

While you’ll find plenty of DIY guides for building film cameras, it’s not the same story for digital.

The Craft Camera aims to solve that issue. It’s a simple DIY digital camera built out of cardboard and a low-cost electronic system from Arduino. The camera stores the images on a memory card that plugs into your computer.

Art: A Million Times

by Humans Since 1982 | Posted by

"A Million Times" by Humans Since 1982

Created out of 288 analogue clocks which are powered by 576 electric motors so that the minute and hour hands can be controlled independently. By doing so the hands are left constantly dancing in slow motion and as they rotate they form elaborate patterns and even work together to display text. Watch the video demonstration of the piece working below. Stockholm based studio Humans since 1982 will present their kinetic work "A million times" at Design Days Dubai / Victor Hunt Gallery from March 18 - 21 2013.

Tech: Wearable Gesture Controls

Motion Technology is certainly being pushed hard with the introduction of Leap Motion last year. This area of technology gives the regular user, an experience like that of Tom Cruise and there is a new addition to this futuristic market. Whilst many other devices use camera based gesture control, Thalmic Labs have offered another solution.

With the wave of your hand or a turn of your wrist, MYO will transform how you interact with your digital world. The MYO armband lets you use the electrical activity in your muscles to wirelessly control your computer, phone and other favourite digital technologies. A completely new approach to gesture controlled technology, the MYO monitors muscle activity by strapping around your forearm.

Link Round-Up: February 28, 2012

What's in your Bag? is a fascinating Tumblr sure to appeal to your inner O.C.D. impulse... or, at least, your inner Kinder. 

David Neevel only likes the chocolate cookie part of the OREO, so he built a machine to remove the creme.
Is it just me or is sportswear beginning to look a lot like uniforms out of some sci-fi movie?

Morris Scott Dollens was an active and creative science fiction fan from the earliest days of sci-fi fandom, starting with making the fanzine Science Fiction Collector via hectography at age 16. He went on to illustrate covers for various other fanzines and wrote short stories, but largely left those creative endeavors for technological hobbies and jobs related to photography and recording from the 1950s to 1960s. Following the moon landing in 1969, he began creating small-scale astronomical paintings that he mailed to sci-fi conventions all over the country, where they were part of convention art shows. He also made miniature scenes of space exploration, which he crafted as teasers for a movie, Dream of the Stars, which he sent to magazines and book publishers, but his movie was never made.

Steampunk Tower Defense. Keep the baddies from smashing your brass-n-gears base with effects that rival even your finest local magic lantern show.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tech Links: February 14, 2013


Amazon Beats Apple as America's Most Trusted Company

Amazon Now Accused of Causing Unemployment

Amazon shares climb on Kindle e-book optimism

High stakes if Apple e-books antitrust case goes to trial

How Much Money Amazon Is Making From The Kindle

Link Round-Up: February 21, 2012

Colonel Sanders Dressed cosplaying Dragon Ball Z
Source: Kotaku

Dan writes about games for a living. Dan's dad does not play games. an plays games with his dad. Much amused frustration is had by both parties. 2011, 2012, 2013. Episodes range in duration, but are usually between 15 and 20 minutes. Good videos to start with include Bioshock, Mario Kart Wii, Minecraft, and Scribblenauts Unlimited.

Dr Ainley, is there such a thing as insanity among penguins? What makes a penguin abandon its life and quest into the heart of Antarctica? What is a life well-lived for a penguin, anyway? What makes a human spend a year in a frozen wasteland? Is scientific curiosity kin to the derangement of the penguin? A short clip from Werner Herzog's excellent film, Encounters at the End of the World.

Life Advice from Machines

Neil Gaiman Interactive: The twelve tales [PDF] are written, but words are only half the story – now Neil wants your help bringing them to life. The next step is to illustrate them. You can read the tales, watch a short video of Gaiman explaining the project, then make some artwork and upload it here to the corresponding month/story. Mr. Gaiman said, "I wrote in three days of madness last week: over 9000 words of tales, each one very different, each one inspired by a reply to a question I'd twittered to the world."

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Gadgets: Ring Clock

Ring Clock | post by

Ring Clock by Gusztáv Szikszai

Ring Clock is a mechanical ring, which displays the current time. It has three rings for displaying the hour, minutes and seconds.The current time is highlighted, and there is an indicator so the wearer can know which way to put it on.