Archive for the ‘Blogs’ Category
A few minutes ago, The Onion’s official Twitter account let loose a series of tweets that suggested it had been hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army, the same outfit responsible for taking down the Associated Press’ and CBS’ account. Of course the possibility of this being some meta-joke has twisted everyone’s brains into pretzels.
Weird World: Meat-eating sponge, bat in cornflakes, dead man wakes, balloon hobbit house – Birmingham Mail
What would you do if you had 2,600 balloons and a lot of free time on your hands? For Jeremy Telford, a father of three from Utah, the answer was obvious: build an inflatable replica of Bag End, the home of the character Bilbo Baggins from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Telford, a 34-year-old professional balloon artist from Pleasant Grove who happens to be a Tolkien superfan, spent nearly 40 hours over three days re-creating the hobbit retreat in his living room using a hand pump to inflate all the building materials.
For these and other stories… via Weird World: Meat-eating sponge, bat in cornflakes, dead man wakes, balloon hobbit house – Birmingham Mail.
I think we can all agree: 2011 sucked. It was a big stupid year full of big stupid things. All around, it was just stupid.
Finally, though, 2012 is just around the corner. Now, we can pretend that 2011 never happened and look forward to the Mayan apocalypse. (Note to Self: Mayan Apocalypse is a great name for a metal band.)
Since 2011 was the worst year since 1993 (the year that Crystal Pepsi was discontinued), I am going to ignore the trend that everyone else will be jumping on. Why would I want to review the previous year? No, I will look forward to 2012.
This is what my 2012 will look like:
January 1st: The official first day of 2012.
January 1st, 14 minutes after waking up: The first time I write 2011 instead of 2012.
Lacrosse players, sorority and the booze-fueled culture of the never-ending hookup on the nation’s most embattled college campus
On A night in late April, barely a month after the rape allegations that have rocked the campus of Duke University, the brothers of Delta Tau Delta, one of the school’s top fraternities, are having a party at Shooters, a Durham, North Carolina, dive just south of the Duke campus. It’s a Saturday evening, and the men are celebrating spring: a new class of freshly initiated brothers, the imminent end of the school year, warm weather, girls in halter tops. It’s 1.A.M., and everyone’s covered in bubbles.
This is not just any fraternity party it’s a “foam party,” a sweaty, alcohol soaked bacchanalia that’s a little like taking an enormous bubble bath with hundreds of strangers. At Duke, where crackdowns on the previously party-hearty on-campus social environment have forced much of the scene off-campus, foam parties are promoted by frats as large, open-to-everyone events, and can either be totally fun or totally gross, depending on how drunk you are.
Tonight, just about everyone is drunk. Tiny soap bubbles that have been shot through a thick rubber hose into a mesh tent outside the bar cling to dozens of dancing kids. For Duke students, Shooters is usually the last stop on the bar-hopping circuit – the place you go when you’re almost too wasted to walk. It’s a grimy spot with an L-shaped bar, some dance platforms, video screens, a few picnic tables and a white alabaster horse that rears on its hind legs under a sign that reads WILD, WILD WEST.
Web developer Andy Boyle was hanging out in a Burger King when he overheard a married couple having an argument that “Aaron Sorkin couldn’t write… any better.” So he live-tweeted the whole thing, with extensive multimedia.
Check it out. It is an impressive piece of eavesdropping! And also a terrifying example of crowd-sourced surveillance. From now on, it’s best to activate a portable cell phone scrambler to stymie any nearby Twitter users whenever you’re going to have embarrassing personal conversations in public.
A hundred and fifty years ago, adults were incensed about child labor. Low-wage kids were taking jobs away from hard-working adults.
Sure, there was some moral outrage at seven-year olds losing fingers and being abused at work, but the economic rationale was paramount. Factory owners insisted that losing child workers would be catastrophic to their industries and fought hard to keep the kids at work–they said they couldn’t afford to hire adults. It wasn’t until 1918 that nationwide compulsory education was in place.
Part of the rationale to sell this major transformation to industrialists was that educated kids would actually become more compliant and productive workers. Our current system of teaching kids to sit in straight rows and obey instructions isn’t a coincidence–it was an investment in our economic future. The plan: trade short-term child labor wages for longer-term productivity by giving kids a head start in doing what they’re told.
Large-scale education was never about teaching kids or creating scholars. It was invented to churn out adults who worked well within the system.
Of course, it worked. Several generations of productive, fully employed workers followed. But now?
Recently, I gave a talk at the 2011 Open Hardware Summit. The program committee had requested that I prepare a “vision” talk, something that addresses open hardware issues 20-30 years out. These kinds of talks are notoriously difficult to get right, and I don’t really consider myself a vision guy; but I gave it my best shot. Fortunately, the talk was well-received, so I’m sharing the ideas here on my blog.
Currently, open hardware is a niche industry. In this post, I highlight the trends that have caused the hardware industry to favor large, closed businesses at the expense of small or individual innovators. However, looking 20-30 years into the future, I see a fundamental shift in trends that can tilt the balance of power to favor innovation over scale.
If you can understand electronic and circuit schematic, this is pretty interesting.