Television Without Pity
re-capper Jacob Clifton
has written a short steampunk story for Tor.com. “There’s a level on which the story is an indictment of using steampunk as a fashion or trend. It came about because I wanted to see what would happen if you substituted Jane Austen for Jules Verne in the steampunk equation...” The Commonplace Book
posted by The Whelk
on Oct 2, 2012 -
"Zhang Yue, founder and chairman of Broad Sustainable Building, is not a particularly humble man. A humble man would not have erected, on his firm’s corporate campus in the Chinese province of Hunan, a classical palace and a 130-foot replica of an Egyptian pyramid. A humble man, for that matter, would not have redirected Broad from its core business—manufacturing industrial air-conditioning units—to invent a new method of building skyscrapers. And a humble man certainly wouldn’t be putting up those skyscrapers at a pace never achieved in history." [Meet the Man Who Built a 30-Story Building in 15 Days
posted by vidur
on Sep 26, 2012 -
Timely not real-time.
Rhythm not random.
Moderation not excess.
Knowledge not information.
These are a few of the many characteristics of The Slow Web
posted by Foci for Analysis
on Sep 6, 2012 -
The highest possible resolution images — about 100,000 dots per inch — have been achieved, and in full-colour, with a printing method that uses tiny pillars a few tens of nanometres tall. The method, described today in Nature Nanotechnology, could be used to print tiny watermarks or secret messages for security purposes, and to make high-density data-storage discs. [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen
on Aug 13, 2012 -
Have you ever wanted to sort a particular Amazon's reviewer's reviews by their number of stars? Amazon has never added this feature to its user profile pages, but here's a workaround
. Or perhaps you need a tool that lets you see ratings, dates of reviews, helpful and unhelpful votes, and number of comments, all in a helpful sortable list. Maybe you need to download and install the Amazon Reviewer Analysis Tool
posted by shivohum
on Aug 6, 2012 -
Prototypes are usually the missing links in the evolution of human technology, the dead-ends of ideas that give way to the refinement of the final physical product. Prototypes aren't just for Darth Vader
. While the legal back and forth between Apple and Samsung continues, a treasure trove
of prototype designs
for Apple devices has been released to the public, showing insights into various design approaches and feature enhancements, including larger form-factor
and without kickstands
and landscape ports
and iPhones that parody the Sony logo
, show a different layout for camera elements
, and look remarkably like fourth-generation models
, as far back as 2005. On the other hand, some have made prototypes into the end goal itself, such as the folks at Dangerous Prototypes
, a site which features a new open-source electronic hardware project
each month. Some are just gratuitous fun
, while others are a bit more practical, such as one project that recycles old Nokia displays
and another that provides access to infrared signal
, useful for hacking together remote controls for all sorts of IR-based devices. Other prototypes of tomorrow's technology
are less concerned with shrinking down the guts of the invention itself, to make it disappear, but rather on how
with and integrate
physical representations of these ideas into our daily lives. Above all else, prototypes are always forward-looking and are therefore inherently optimistic expressions of human creativity: Even children
are getting into imagining the world of tomorrow.
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on Aug 1, 2012 -
Long before the David Cronenberg film (NSFW: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
, before even the publication of the novel
, Harley Cokeliss
directed Crash! (1, 2)
- a short film adapted from the story in J.G. Ballard
's The Atrocity Exhibition
, starring Ballard himself and Gabrielle Drake (sister of Nick Drake
). (previously) [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen
on Jul 29, 2012 -
Microsoft’s low-octane swan song was nothing if not symbolic of more than a decade littered with errors, missed opportunities, and the devolution of one of the industry’s innovators into a “me too” purveyor of other companies’ consumer products. ... How did this jaw-dropping role reversal happen? How could a company that stands among the most cash-rich in the world, the onetime icon of cool that broke IBM’s iron grip on the computer industry, have stumbled so badly in a race it was winning? [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen
on Jul 26, 2012 -
"Assassination and targeted killings have always been in the repertoires of military planners, but never in the history of warfare have they been so cheap and easy. The relatively low number of troop casualties for a military that has turned to drones means that there is relatively little domestic blowback against these wars. The United States and its allies have created the material conditions whereby these wars can carry on indefinitely. The non-combatant casualty rates in populations that are attacked by drones are slow and steady, but they add up. That the casualty rates are relatively low by historical standards — this is no Dresden — is undoubtedly a good thing, but it may allow the international media to overlook pesky little facts like the slow accretion of foreign casualties." -NYT Opinionator: The Moral Hazard of Drones
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Jul 23, 2012 -
North Americans may have noticed that U-Haul
trucks and trailers are emblazoned with colorful SuperGraphics
. First created in 1988 (previously
), the mobile gallery now comprises 206 images. Most U.S states and Canadian territories and provinces are now honored by multiple designs, as are the U.S. armed forces and 9/11
. The classic America and Canada's Moving Adventure
series, seen on trucks and trailers
, features an iconic image for each state, province and territory. The Venture Across America and Canada
series, begun in 1997, presents "carefully researched rare findings, little-known facts and mysteries,"
exploring science and nature, technology and history. At the U-Haul website, the "Learn More" link on each Venture SuperGraphic page leads to a surprisingly exhaustive discussion of the subject of each graphic. [more inside]
posted by BrashTech
on Jul 22, 2012 -
This is just the top 30, what I consider to be the most likely candidates for actual new programming jargon based on community upvotes, not just "funny thing that another programmer typed on a webpage and I felt compelled to upvote for hilarity". Because that would be Reddit.
Coding Horror presents the top 30 Stack Overflow New Programming Jargon entries.
posted by Artw
on Jul 20, 2012 -
Recent technologies developed at American universities are making communication easier for the sight and hearing impaired. Last summer a Stanford undergrad developed a touchscreen Braille writer
that stands to revolutionize how the blind negotiate an unseen world by replacing devices costing up to 10 times more. Thanks to a group of University of Houston students, the hearing impaired may soon have an easier time communicating with those who do not understand sign language. During the past semester, students in UH’s engineering technology and industrial design programs teamed up to develop the concept and prototype for MyVoice
, a device that reads sign language and translates its motions into audible words, and vice versa.
posted by netbros
on Jul 3, 2012 -
In Praise of Leisure
- "Imagine a world in which most people worked only 15 hours a week. They would be paid as much as, or even more than, they now are, because the fruits of their labor would be distributed more evenly across society. Leisure would occupy far more of their waking hours than work. It was exactly this prospect that John Maynard Keynes conjured up in a little essay published in 1930 called 'Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren
.' Its thesis was simple. As technological progress made possible an increase in the output of goods per hour worked, people would have to work less and less to satisfy their needs, until in the end they would have to work hardly at all... He thought this condition might be reached in about 100 years — that is, by 2030." (via
) [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Jun 22, 2012 -
In the wake of their grunge-y breakout hit "Creep"
and the success of sophomore record The Bends
, Thom Yorke and the rest of Radiohead
were under pressure to deliver once more.
So they shut themselves away inside the echoing halls of a secluded 16th century manor
and got to work.
What emerged from that crumbling Elizabethan castle fifteen years ago today was a shockingly ambitious masterpiece of progressive rock, a visionary concept album that explored the "fridge buzz" of modernity
-- alienation, social disconnection, existential dread, the impersonal hum of technology
-- through a mosaic of challenging
, eerily beautiful
music unlike anything else at the time.
Tentatively called Ones and Zeroes
, then Your Home May Be at Risk If You Do Not Keep Up Payments
, the band finally settled on OK Computer
, an appropriately enigmatic title for this acclaimed
harbinger of millennial angst. For more, you can watch the retrospective OK Computer: A Classic Album Under Review
for a track-by-track rundown, or the unsettling documentary Meeting People is Easy
for a look at how the album's whirlwind tour nearly gave Yorke a nervous breakdown
. Or look inside for more details and cool interpretations of all the tracks -- including an upcoming MeFi Music Challenge! [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Jun 16, 2012 -
The US has lost
a quarter of its high-tech jobs since 2000, the number declining by 687,000. A veteran headhunter opines on the causes
: The technical jobs in Silicon Valley are hard to fill with Americans...I get email every day from new grads, asking for help finding jobs, but honestly, most are Indian or Chinese, not many Americans.
He cites a NYT article
which claims that the reason iPhone manufacturing doesn't happen in the US is that Apple’s executives believe the vast scale of overseas factories as well as the flexibility, diligence and industrial skills of foreign workers have so outpaced their American counterparts that “Made in the U.S.A.” is no longer a viable option for most Apple products.
posted by shivohum
on Jun 2, 2012 -