Category: Computing

The painting "The Way We Shook" by Ryan Crotty

I dig these minimalist paintings by Ryan Crotty, and am gonna try to visit the NYC gallery to see them IRL. “Chickens Prefer Attractive People.” Nearly half the times we open our phones to use an app, it’s one created by Facebook or Google. Why it’s good to play video games with your kids. A fabulous example of octopus color-and-shape-changing. The corporate slogans of CES are a study in awfulness. How Charles Schulz introduced the first black character into Peanuts. Training a neural net to classify online articles as either “news” or “not-news”. A gorgeous photographic tour of one of America’s last pencil factories. And my latest Boing Boing posts: i) the history of “badday.mpg”, one of the Internet’s first viral videos; ii) logic gates made purely from rods and levers; and iii) a study finds municipal broadband is up to 50% cheaper than comparable telco service.

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A photo of a 60s desk telephone covered in needlepoint by artist Ulla Stina Wikander

A artist who takes modern domestic objects and wraps them in needlepoint. A tiny, USB-mountable computer. Behold Sunday Magazine, which each week posts “the most interesting articles from the New York Times Sunday Magazine from exactly 100 years ago, with a little bit of commentary or context.” According to a Facebook study, people who use the Internet a lot are less likely to click on spam. Ancient rock art may have captured a supernova that was visible during the day. On the delightful readability of 1980s-era BASIC programs. I notice a curious phenomenon — that when I’m reading deeply on my phone, I often forget it is a phone — and a good Twitter discussion emerges. And my latest Boing Boing posts: i) A 3d-printable “measuring cube” for cooking; ii) a terrific piece on the “stowaway” craze of the 1920s; iii) in the 1970s, the CIA created a tiny dragonfly-shaped drone to fly around as a remote spy microphone; iv) what it’s like mining bitcoins by hand, with pencil and paper; v) Blackbeard’s pirates apparently enjoyed reading novels; and vi) this gentleman has figured out how to use the data from his rooftop solar panels as a crude way to photograph the nearby landscape.

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Photo of a Hagelin CD-57 pocket cipher machine

Man, I’d love to get this pocket cipher machine at the upcoming Sotheby’s “History of Science and Technology” auction. (It’s $3,500, though.) Using an algorithm to co-write a sci-fi short story. How Linneas invented the index card (and thus, ultimately, the database). A book on the science of jellyfish (which, under global warming, may wind up ruling the planet). They may have found the bones of the original Saint Nicholas. LED traffic lights are so energy-efficient they don’t emit enough heat to melt the snow that gathers on them. Wow, when Time picked the computer as “Machine of the Year” in 1983, the cover illustration was creepy. Some proof that lightning creates antimatter.

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A dog with a high-tech speedometer wrapped around its torso

A speedometer for dogs. A sudoku solver, using machine-learning, that works in AR. A brilliant web game based on the “AI paperclip problem” posed by Nick Bostrum. (The Reddit thread of gamers playing the game is pretty epic, too.) 30,000 bees, hidden in the walls of a house. An interactive map showing how hot your corner of the US will get by 2100. Why Canada should annex America’s blue states. The annotations on Genius for Alexander Pope’s “Essay on Criticism”. The first x-rays were super unsettling to observers. “Eyes and teeth are sort of a hundred times more scary than other objects.” A reboot of the Commodore 64! Access to USB devices via Javascript: Yeeeeiiiiikes. The decline and fall of high-school debating.

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A dataviz of

A lovely animated dataviz of all the Citibike rides in NYC in one day. And hey, more Citibike dataviz: Tracking the progress of a single bike, and comparing how different demographics use the cycles. Pictures of women weaving magnetic-core memory for computers in the 1950s. Follow @trumphop, which shows what Trump tweeted on this day, in years past. The guy who made the amazing web-story 17776 explains his inspiration. A good Twitter thread of tech folks talking about how they unplug after work. Electric cars are moving to one-pedal control, and changing the rhythms of driving. How the erosion of job security produced “the quitting economy”. “Why I’m learning Perl 6.”

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