Tax day is over, as is my Korean adventure, so I'm catching up on stuff that flew by on the Internet...
- Agreement to Digitise 82,000 Manuscripts in the Vatican Apostolic Library
“With this project, the Library consolidates one of its many relationships with institutions in various regions of the world, in the light of its overall policy, its aims and its objectives”, explained Archbishop Brugues. “It does so through is manuscripts, which are a sign of the universality of culture: the manuscripts which will be digitally archived range from pre-Columbian America to the Chinese and Japanese Far East, encompassing all the cultures and languages that have inspired European culture. The humanistic mission that characterises the Library opens it to all that is human, including mankind's various 'cultural peripheries'; and with this humanistic spirit it seeks to conserve and make available the immense treasure of humanity that has been entrusted to it. For this reason, the Library will digitise it and make it available on the web”.
- EU study finds honey bees death rates are lower than feared
The study found that overall prevalence of the bee diseases American foulbrood was low in all the monitored EU member states, ranging from zero to 11.6 percent.
- Why UPS Trucks Don't Turn Left
UPS engineers found that left-hand turns were a major drag on efficiency. Turning against traffic resulted in long waits in left-hand turn lanes that wasted time and fuel, and it also led to a disproportionate number of accidents. By mapping out routes that involved "a series of right-hand loops," UPS improved profits and safety while touting their catchy, environmentally friendly policy. As of 2012, the right turn rule combined with other improvements -- for the wow factor, UPS doesn't separate them out -- saved around 10 million gallons of gas and reduced emissions by the equivalent of taking 5,300 cars of the road for a year.
- David Foster Wallace: Five Common Word Usage Mistakes
2. And is a conjunction; so is so. Except in dialogue between particular kinds of characters, you never need both conjunctions. “He needed to eat, and so he bought food” is incorrect. In 95% of cases like this, what you want to do is cut the and.
- Thirty five years later, Proposition 13 continues to re-make California: How Burrowing Owls Lead To Vomiting Anarchists (Or SF’s Housing Crisis Explained)
Here is a very long explainer. Sorry, this isn’t a shorter post or that I didn’t break it into 20 pieces. If you’re wondering why people are protesting you, how we got to this housing crisis, why rent control exists or why tech is even shifting to San Francisco in the first place, this is meant to provide some common points of understanding.
This is a complex problem, and I’m not going to distill it into young, rich tech douchebags-versus-helpless old ladies facing eviction. There are many other places where you can read that story.
It does us all no justice.
- 15 Great Films That You Never Hear About on r/movies
- Security of Things:
An Implementers’ Guide to Cyber-Security for Internet of Things
Devices and Beyond
This white paper outlines a set of practical and pragmatic security considerations for organisations designing, developing and, testing Internet of Things (IoT) devices and solutions. The purpose of this white paper is to provide practical advice for consideration as part of the product development lifecycle.
While IoT products by their very nature encompass many forms of traditional embedded devices and supporting systems, we felt that distilling our knowledge and experience in the specific context of IoT would be useful. A lot of the concepts in this paper could easily be applied to many other related areas of software and hardware product development.
- "This Is Not a Barbie Doll. This Is an Actual Human Being."
Not so long ago, images of a young girl washed over the Internet. She was impossibly blonde and impossibly shaped, and surely it was all a masterly work of Photoshop. Right? Michael Idov travels to meet with Eastern Bloc Barbie herself and discovers that her world is far more bizarre and twisted than anything in the photos.
- Let's audit Truecrypt!
In case you haven't noticed, there's a shortage of high-quality and usable encryption software out there. Truecrypt is an enormous deviation from this trend. It's nice, it's pretty, it's remarkably usable. My non-technical lawyer friends have been known to use it from time to time, and that's the best 'usable security' complement you can give a piece of software.
But the better answer is: because Truecrypt is important! Lots of people use it to store very sensitive information. That includes corporate secrets and private personal information. Bruce Schneier is even using it to store information on his personal air-gapped super-laptop, after he reviews leaked NSA documents. We should be sweating bullets about the security of a piece of software like this.
- The Invention of the AeroPress
Among coffee aficionados, the AeroPress is a revelation. A small, $30 plastic device that resembles a plunger makes what many consider to be the best cup of coffee in the world. Proponents of the device claim that drinks made with the AeroPress are more delicious than those made with thousand-dollar machines. Perhaps best of all, the AeroPress seems to magically clean itself during the extraction process.
There’s really nothing bad to say about the device other than the fact that it’s a funny-looking plastic thingy. Then again, its inventor, Stanford professor Alan Adler, is a world renowned inventor of funny-looking plastic thingies; while Adler’s Palo Alto based company Aerobie is best known today for its coffee makers, the firm rose to prominence in the 1980s for its world-record-setting flying discs.
This is the story of how Adler and Aerobie dispelled the notion of industry-specific limitations and found immense success in two disparate industries: toys and coffee.