Four short links: 9 Jan 2009

Four questions, one per link: what next, can it solve a big problem, what’s the final boss for Python programming, and why on earth would anyone want yogurt that glows in the dark?

  1. End Times – gloomy piece on the future of journalism, to be added to the large pile of other gloomy pieces on the future of journalism (e.g., Bad News, Good News). The critical problem is still how to pay for journalism if the new media revenues are significant lower than old, and if the new media economics decree that journalism is dead then who fills the social good role that journalism’s death will leave?
  2. Ward Cunningham’s Visible Workings – an intriguing glimpse, from March last year, into the way Ward lays out web interactions. Nice system for laying out these interactions, but it’s also fascinating for how it makes transparent what will happen as a result of the data you submit. How scalable is this? Could it tackle privacy?
  3. Project Euler – fun programming exercises that require more than math to finish. We learn by doing, not by reading, so interesting exercises are part and parcel of training. It’s interesting to see educators are moving from being authors to being game designers, providing a series of staged challenges that make us stronger by defeating them. I’m presently dieing in as many ways as I can while learning iterators and generators in Python, as a way of ensuring I have Python’s “game physics” sussed.
  4. Rise of the Garage Genome Hackers – more on hobbyist molecular biology. It mentions DIYBio, the Cambridge biohacker collective that I first heard about at BioBarCamp. (via Glynn Moody)
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