- Toyota’s Spaghetti Code — Toyota had more than 10,000 global variables. And he was critical of Toyota watchdog supervisor — software to detect the death of a task — design. He testified that Toyota’s watchdog supervisor ‘is incapable of ever detecting the death of a major task. That’s its whole job. It doesn’t do it. It’s not designed to do it.’ (via @qrush)
- Google’s Design Icons (Kevin Marks) — Google’s design icons distinguish eight kinds of airline seats but has none for trains or buses.
- Verigames — DARPA-funded game to crowdsource elements of formal proofs. (via Network World)
- 10 Rules for Writing Safety-Critical Code — which I can loosely summarize as “simple = safer, use the built-in checks, don’t play with fire.”
The Rational Pregnancy, Arts Innovation, Driverless Cars, and Frolicking Robots
- Expecting Better — an economist runs the numbers on the actual consequences of various lifestyle choices during pregnancy. (via sciblogs)
- Business as Usual in the Innovation Industry — the only thing worse than business plan contests for startups is innovation wankfests for small arts groups. [T]he vast majority of small and mid-sized arts organizations are not broken so much as they are in a constant state of precarity that could largely be addressed by reliable funding streams to support general operations and less onerous grant application processes that would allow them to focus more on delivering services and less on raising money. Hear! (via Courtney Johnston)
- Driverless Cars Are Further Away Than You Think (MIT Technology Review) — nice roundup of potential benefits. experiments involving modified road vehicles conducted by Volvo and others in 2011 suggest that having vehicles travel in high-speed automated “platoons,” thereby reducing aerodynamic drag, could lower fuel consumption by 20 percent. And an engineering study published last year concluded that automation could theoretically allow nearly four times as many cars to travel on a given stretch of highway.
- Portraits of Robots at Work and Play (The Atlantic) — photo-essay that is full of boggle. (via BoingBoing)
Retro Literacy, Open Source Car Middleware, Digital Textbooks, and Mario Reborn
- ActiveLit — interactive fiction as literacy tool. (via Text Adventures blog)
- Your Car is About to go Open Source (ComputerWorld) — an open-source IVI operating system would create a reusable platform consisting of core services, middleware and open application layer interfaces that eliminate the redundant efforts to create separate proprietary systems. Leaving them to differentiate the traditional way: ad-retargeting and spyware.
- The Digital Networked Textbook: Is It Any Good? (Dan Meyer) — “if you were hundreds of feet below the surface of the Earth, in a concrete bunker without any kind of Internet access, is the curriculum any different?”
- Full Screen Mario — web reimplementation of original Mario Brothers, with random level generator and a level editor, source on github. (via Andy Baio)
USB in Cars, Capture Presentations, Amazon Redshift, and Polytweeting
- Hyundia Replacing Cigarette Lighters with USB Ports (Quartz) — sign of the times. (via Julie Starr)
- Freeseer — free, open source, cross-platform application that captures or streams your desktop—designed for capturing presentations. Would you like freedom with your screencast?
- Amazon Redshift: What You Need to Know — good write-up of experience using Amazon’s column database.
- GroupTweet — Allow any number of contributors to Tweet from a group account safely and securely. (via Jenny Magiera)
Maker Faire Detroit opens this coming weekend at The Henry Ford in Dearborn. Our goal is to create a fun, family-friendly event and showcase talented makers from Michigan and aroundthe Midwest. I also think the event gives us an opportunity to consider ways that makers can be part of re-inventing Detroit from the ground-up. This Thursday, just before Maker Faire…