ENTRIES TAGGED "fun"

Four short links: 23 May 2012

Four short links: 23 May 2012

Complex Exploit, Better Coding Tools, Online Coding Tools, and DIY 3D-Printed Dolls

  1. Tale of Two Pwnies (Chromium Blog) — So, how does one get full remote code execution in Chrome? In the case of Pinkie Pie’s exploit, it took a chain of six different bugs in order to successfully break out of the Chrome sandbox. Lest you think all attacks come from mouth-breathing script kiddies, this is how the pros do it. (via Bryan O’Sullivan)
  2. The Future is Specific (Chris Granger) — In traditional web-MVC, the code necessary to serve a single route is spread across many files in many different folders. In a normal editor this means you need to do a lot of context switching to get a sense for everything going on. Instead, this mode replaces the file picker with a route picker, as routes seem like the best logical unit for a website. There’s a revolution coming in web dev tools: we’ve had the programmer adapting to the frameworks with little but textual assistance from the IDE. I am loving this flood of creativity because it has the promise to reduce bugs and increase the speed by which we generate good code.
  3. Best Online Editors For Teaching HTML/CSS/JS (Pamela Fox) — Over the past few months, I’ve been teaching in-person classes on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, as part of GirlDevelopIt San Francisco. Along the way, I’ve experimented with various online consoles and editors, and I thought I’d share my experience with using them for teaching.
  4. Makie — design a doll online, they’ll 3d-print and ship it to you. Hello, future of manufacturing, fancy seeing you in a dollhouse!
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Four short links: 21 May 2012

Four short links: 21 May 2012

Objectivist C, Robotrading, Meme Culture, and Mobile-controlled Peripherals

  1. Objectivist C — very clever. In Objectivist-C, each program is free to acquire as many resources as it can, without interference from the operating system. (via Tim O’Reilly)
  2. Zynga and Facebook Stock Oddities (The Atlantic) — signs of robotrading, a reminder that we’re surrounded by algorithms and only notice them when they go awry.
  3. The Final ROFLcon and Mobile’s Impact on Internet Culture (Andy Baio) — These days, memes spread faster and wider than ever, with social networks acting as the fuel for mass distribution. But it’s possible we may see less mutation and remixing in the near future. As Internet usage shifts from desktops and laptops to mobile devices and tablets, the ability to mutate memes in a meaningful way becomes harder.
  4. Oh Mi Bod — I was impressed to learn that one can buy vibrators that can be controlled from an iPhone. Insert iBone joke here. (via Cary Gibson)
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Four short links: 16 May 2012

Four short links: 16 May 2012

Old Periodicals, Learning to Code, Substituting for Newspapers, and Charty Font

  1. Many Old Periodicals — I’m working my way through the back issues of “Thrilling Love”. Sample story, Moonmist for Mary by Dorothy Daniels, from Feb 1950. Filing clerk Mary wins the heart of her secret coworker romance AND closes the sale AND is promised stock. It’s torn from the pages of real life, I tell ya!
  2. Please Don’t Learn to Code (Jeff Atwood) — my take: everyone who is a “knowledge worker” should learn to program (who of us has not seen people wasting time with something we could automate in 10 lines of code?). It’s hard to justify an adult like Bloomberg to take the time to learn to code, because he’s already powerful and can hire other people to code. For this reason, I think kids should routinely be taught computational thinking (decomposition, pattern matching, etc.) and programming as a useful application of these skills. (via Jim Stogdill)
  3. Fungible NewsHere’s my hypothesis. Educated people over forty have come to assume that journalism, whether on television, radio, print or the web, is the most convenient way to get answers to questions like what’s on the television, what’s going on in my neighborhood, who got elected, who is making a mess of things, any new music I should hear? [...] The younger the person you ask, the less likely it is you’ll find that link between wanting to know what’s going on and grabbing a paper or opening up a news website. They use Pinterest to figure out what’s fashionable and Facebook to see if there’s anything fun going on next weekend. They use Facebook just the same to figure out whether there’s anything they need to be upset about and need to protest against. (via Phil Lindsay)
  4. FF-Chartwell, a Graph-Making Font — brilliant! Font uses ligatures to show graphs. This is an elegant hack in so many ways, for example: copy and paste and you get the bare numbers! (via Chris Spurgeon)
Comment: 1
Four short links: 30 April 2012

Four short links: 30 April 2012

A/B Testing in Rails, Open Source Groupware, Is the Internet Innovative, and Patent Art

  1. Chanko (Github) — trivial A/B testing from within Rails.
  2. OpenMeetings — Apache project for audio/video conferencing, screen sharing, whiteboard, calendar, and other groupware features.
  3. Low Innovation Internet (Wired) — I disagree, I think this is a Louis CK Nobody’s Happy moment. We renormalize after change and become blind to the amazing things we’re surrounded by. Hundreds of thousands (millions?) of people work from home, collaborate to develop software that has saved the world billions of dollars in licensing fees, provide services, write and share books, make voice and video calls, create movies, fund creative projects, buy and sell used goods, and you’re unhappy because there aren’t “huge changes”? Have you spoken to someone in the publishing, music, TV, film, newspaper, retail, telephone, or indeed any industry that exists outside your cave, you obtuse contrarian pillock? There’s no room on my Internet for weenie whiners.
  4. Context-Free Patent Art — endlessly amusing. (via David Kaneda)
Comment: 1
Four short links: 24 April 2012

Four short links: 24 April 2012

Craft Pharma, Silly Toy, Failure, and Android Image/Audio Capture

  1. 3D-Printing Pharmaceuticals (BoingBoing) — Prof Cronin added: “3D printers are becoming increasingly common and affordable. It’s entirely possible that, in the future, we could see chemical engineering technology which is prohibitively expensive today filter down to laboratories and small commercial enterprises. “Even more importantly, we could use 3D printers to revolutionise access to health care in the developing world, allowing diagnosis and treatment to happen in a much more efficient and economical way than is possible now.
  2. Bolt Action Tactical Pen (Uncrate) — silliness.
  3. Ken Robinson’s Sunday Sermon (Vimeo) — In our culture, not to know is to be at fault socially… People pretend to know lots of things they don’t know. Because the worst thing to do is appear to be uninformed about something, to not have an opinion… We should know the limits of our knowledge and understand what we don’t know, and be willing to explore things we don’t know without feeling embarrassed of not knowing about them. If you work with someone who hides ignorance or failure, you’re working with a timebomb and one of your highest priorities should be to change that mindset or replace the person. (via Maria Popova)
  4. Using Android Camera in HTML Apps (David Calhoun) — From your browser you can now upload pictures and videos from the camera as well as sounds from the microphone. The returned data should be available to manipulate via the File API (via Josh Clark)
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Four short links: 22 March 2012

Four short links: 22 March 2012

Watercolor Maps, Inside Displays, Numbers API, and Chinese Mobile Activations Boom

  1. Stamen Watercolour Maps — I saw a preview of this a week or two ago and was in awe. It is truly the most beautiful thing I’ve seen a computer do. It’s not just a clever hack, it’s art. Genius. And they’re CC-licensed.
  2. Screens Up Close — gorgeous microscope pictures of screens, showing how great the iPad’s retina display is.
  3. Numbers API — CUTE! Visit it, even if you’re not a math head, it’s fun.
  4. China Now Leads the World in New iOS and Android Device Activations (Flurry) — interesting claim, but the graphs make me question their data. Why have device activations in the US plummeted in January and February even as Chinese activations grew? Is this an artifact of collection or is it real?
Comments: 2
Four short links: 5 March 2012

Four short links: 5 March 2012

Video Encoding, Content Identification, Mobile Numbers, and Unicode Fun

  1. Pirates Adopt H.264 — no more XViD encoded avi files, now it’s x264. I’m impressed by the rigid rules and structure of The Scene.
  2. YouTube’s ContentID Disputes Are Judged By The Accuser (Andy Baio) — the last couple years have seen a dramatic rise in Content ID abuse, using it for purposes that it was never intended. Scammers are using Content ID to steal ad revenue from YouTube video creators en masse, with some companies claiming content they don’t own, deliberately or not. The inability to understand context and parody regularly leads to “fair use” videos getting blocked, muted or monetized.
  3. The Month of 50% in Mobile (Luke Wroblewski) — 47.6% of mobile Internet users use native mobile apps and 47.5% use the Web browser on their devices. This is the first time (in ComScore data) native apps have had more use than the browser.
  4. Fake Unicode Consortium — excellent collection of better names for Unicode characters. My favourite: U+0CA0: MONOCLE OF DISAPPROVAL. (via Tom Christiansen)
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Four short links: 8 February 2012

Four short links: 8 February 2012

Text Mining, Unstoppable Sociality, Unicode Fun, and Scholarly Publishing

  1. Mavunoan open source, modular, scalable text mining toolkit built upon Hadoop. (Apache-licensed)
  2. Cow Clicker — Wired profile of Cowclicker creator Ian Bogost. I was impressed by Cow Clickers [...] have turned what was intended to be a vapid experience into a source of camaraderie and creativity. People create communities around social activities, even when they are antisocial. (via BoingBoing)
  3. Unicode Has a Pile of Poo Character (BoingBoing) — this is perfect.
  4. The Research Works Act and the Breakdown of Mutual Incomprehension (Cameron Neylon) — an excellent summary of how researchers and publishers view each other and their place in the world.
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Four short links: 1 November 2011

Four short links: 1 November 2011

Code Bloat, Chinese Startups, Font Fun, and Businesses Embracing Open Source

  1. Things Turbo Pascal is Smaller Than — next time you’re bragging about your efficient code, spare a thought for the Pascal IDE and compiler that lived in 39,731 bytes. This list of more bloated things is hilarious.
  2. The China Startup Report (Slideshare) — interesting to see the low salary comes with expectation of bonuses but little interest in equity (as there are few exits other than IPO, for reasons the presentation goes into).
  3. Shape Method — fun HTML5 challenge that will also expand your appreciation of fonts.
  4. Open Source All The Things! — SparkFun looking aggressively for things to “open source” from their business. I have a lot of time for companies that contribute to the commons above and beyond their legally-mandated minimum, particularly those who aren’t just dumping their unwanted junk there. Google does this well, Facebook is learning. Good on ya, SparkFun.
Comment: 1
Four short links: 2 September 2011

Four short links: 2 September 2011

AutoUpdater, Extrapolation Apocalypse, C Compilers, and Authentication

  1. Invisible Autoupdater: An App’s Best Feature — Gina Trapani quotes Ben Goodger on Chrome: The idea was to give people a blank window with an autoupdater. If they installed that, over time the blank window would grow into a browser.
  2. Crackpot Apocalypse — analyzing various historical pronouncements of the value of pi, paper author concludes “When πt is 1, the circumference of a circle will coincide with its diameter,” Dudley writes, “and thus all circles will collapse, as will all spheres (since they have circular cross-sections), in particular the earth and the sun. It will be, in fact, the end of the world, and … it will occur in 4646 A.D., on August 9, at 4 minutes and 27 seconds before 9 p.m.” Clever commentary and a good example when you need to show people the folly of inappropriate curve-fitting and extrapolation.
  3. clang — C language family front-ends to LLVM. Development sponsored by Apple, as used in Snow Leopard. (via Nelson Minar)
  4. OmniAuth — authenticate against Twitter, GitHub, Facebook, Foursquare, and many many more. OmniAuth is built from the ground up on the philosophy that authentication is not the same as identity. (via Tony Stubblebine)
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