Meet the Super-Taskers (Psychology Today) — As part of the Nissan GT Academy challenge, the top 10 players of the car-racing game Gran Turismo are given the chance to race real automobiles in competition. They’re very good—too good, in fact. A graduate racing a real car in the British GT in 2012 was so fast that he could keep up with the professionals in what was supposed to be an amateur event. In 2013, GT Academy graduates were banned from such races in the UK. Instead, they have to compete against the pros.
A View of Game Developers From The Future (Ian Bogost) — A new arms race commenced—for virtual attention, which the Patrons converted into financial instrument. While historians agree that ancient works like Civilization and chess still provided inspiration, games primarily became a specialized form of banking. As long as there has been advertising, there has been an attention economy: you advertise where people pay attention—whether it’s on the walls of buildings or above urinals.
ErLLVM — providing multiple back ends for the High Performance Erlang (HiPE) with the use of the LLVM infastructure. Making the very-lightweight-multithreading Erlang less of a closed world fruitcake deployment can only be good.
Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2012 (PDF) — what caught my eye: a Japanese games company with USD418 ARPU via in-game currency sales; she has a fantastic array of “technology has changed everything” slides topped by a sharp “and that’s just the beginning” slide; she’s bearish on US and global economies.
DNA Sans — writing 100nm tall, in DNA. There’s even a font sample. This is so cool. (via Ed Yong)
New Digital Divide = Wasting Time Online (NY Times) — “Despite the educational potential of computers, the reality is that their use for education or meaningful content creation is minuscule compared to their use for pure entertainment,” said Vicky Rideout, author of the decade-long Kaiser study. “Instead of closing the achievement gap, they’re widening the time-wasting gap.” Self-control and internal discipline is just as important in kids as adults: success in school and in life only comes with the ability to say “no” to Facebook, porn sites, endless IM, and all the other distractions that the Internet offers.
30 Lessons Learned in Computing Over The Last 10 Years — Backup every day at the minimum, and test restores every week. I don’t think I’ve worked at an organisation that didn’t discover at one point that they couldn’t restore from their backups. Many other words of wisdom, and this one rang particularly true: all code turns into shit given enough time and hands. (via Hacker News)
The growing role of software architects: “Architecture has become much more interesting now because it’s become more encompassing," says Neal Ford, software architect and meme wrangler at ThoughtWorks.