# "materials" entries

## Four short links: 5 November 2015

### Robotic Delivery, Materials Science, Open Source Project Management, and Open Source Secret Management

1. Starship — robotic delivery, from Skype co-founders. Pilot in the U.K. next year, in U.S. the year after. (via Brad Templeton)
2. Materials that Couple Sensing, Actuation, Computation, and Communication (PDF) — very readable rundown of the ways in which materials can be designed to sense, compute, actuate, and communicate. You should read this because if the Internet of Things is going to be big, then the real breakthroughs and leaps forward will be in the Things and not the Internet. (via CCC Blog)
3. Taiga — open source agile software project management tool (backlog, kanban, tasks, sprints, burndown charts, that sort of thing). (via Jef Vratny)
4. Confidant — a secret management system, for AWS, from Lyft. If you build services that need to talk to each other, it quickly gets difficult to distribute and manage permissions to those services. So, naturally, the solution is to add another service. (In accordance with the Fundamental Theorem of Computer Science.)

## Four short links: 27 October 2015

### Learning Neural Nets, Medium's Stack, Bacterial Materials, and Drone Data

1. What a Deep Neural Net Thinks of Your Selfie — really easy to understand explanation of covolutional neural nets (the tech behind image recognition). No CS required.
2. Medium’s Stack — interesting use of Protocol Buffers: We help our people work with data by treating the schemas as the spec, rigorously documenting messages and fields and publishing generated documentation from the .proto files.
3. Bacterial Materials (Wired UK) — Showing a prototype worn by dancers, Yao demonstrated how bacteria-powered clothing can respond to the body’s needs. She has, in effect, created living clothes, ones that react in real time to heat and sweat mapping with tiny vents that would curl open or flatten closed as exertion levels demanded.
4. Robots to the Rescue (NSF) — one 20-minute drone flight generated upwards of 800 photographs, each of which took at least one minute to inspect. This article is five lessons learned in the field of disaster robotics, and they’re all doozies.

## Four short links: 10 September 2015

### Decentralised Software, Slow Chemistry, Spectrum Maps, and RF Interference

1. Popcorn Time — interview with the creator. All the elements we used already existed and had done so for a long time. But nobody had put them together in an interface that talked to the user in a nice way, said Abad. Very Anonymous approach to software: Who are you going to sue? The first? The second? The third? I did the design. Was it illegal? I didn’t link the various parts together. There is no comprehensive overview of who did what. For we don’t have any business. We don’t have any headquarters or a general manager.
2. Slow Chemistry (Nature) — “lazy man’s chemistry”: let a mix of solid reactants sit around undisturbed while they spontaneously transform themselves. More properly called slow chemistry, or even just ageing, the approach requires few, if any, hazardous solvents and uses minimal energy. If planned properly, it also consumes all the reagents in the mix, so that there is no waste and no need for chemical-intensive purification.
3. Mapping the Spectrum in the Mission — SDR scanner to make a map of spectrum activity.
4. Electronic Noise is Drowning Out the Internet of Things (IEEE Spectrum) — (paraphrasing) increases deployment costs, decreases battery life, creates interference, ruins policies of spectrum allocation, is expensive to trace, and almost impossible stop.

## Four short links: 7 September 2015

### Nanoscale Motors, Language of Betrayal, Messaging, and Handing Off Culture

1. Nanoscale Motors (Nature) — “We’ve made 50 or 60 different motors,” says Ben Feringa, a chemist at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. “I’m less interested in making another motor than actually using it.” An interesting summary of the progress made in nanoscale engineering.
2. Linguistics Signs of Betrayal — as found by studying Diplomacy players. Betrayers suddenly become more positive, possibly attempting to hide their duplicity. Betrayers suddenly become less polite, after having kept up a façade of politeness, during which the victims were significantly less polite. A reversal of imbalance occurs right before the betrayal. Victims plan more. Making a lot of plans can put pressure on the relationship and hasten betrayal, and, at the same time, if the betrayer’s mind is made up, there is no point for him to plan.
3. NATS — open source (MIT-licensed) messaging system that shares the best name in the world.
4. Building a Culture and Handing it Off (Kellan Elliott-McCrea) — Successfully building a culture ensures when you leave you can hand your work off to people you trust and they will run the thing without you and make it better than you could have imagined.