The love of knowledge is a kind of madness.
― C.S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet

Crazy Ants Are Winning the Invasive Ant War By Neutralizing Fire Ant Venom
This is really, kind of cool.

pbstv:

TONIGHT (2/14) at 9/8c on Great Performances: theater legends celebrate The National Theatre London.

Preview a scene above from “Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead” with none other than Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch.

Rosenbatch and Cumberstern 

The War Nerd: Google’s Big New Dog

Which raises the same question I keep asking: Why? Why are legs so wonderful, when wheels and treads can do pretty much everything legs do, only faster—much faster?
Two possibilities come to mind: (a) It’s the Department of Defense, which means that insane profligacy with tax money is all we’re seeing; or (b) It’s the human-like or mammal-like motion that DARPA values—not for the stated reason that legs work better on bad terrain, but because DARPA wants a generation of military robots that looks human/mammalian and moves like a mammal. The gimmick, the anthropomorphism, is the goal in itself. To what end we can only guess.
I’m leaning toward option (b), but if you know anything about DoD, you can’t just dismiss “insane proflilgacy” out of hand. In fact, supply vehicles that walk on machine legs is an old dream of DARPA’s. Way back in the Vietnam War, DARPA put a lot of tax money into a project that stood out for sheer idiocy in a war defined by DoD idiocy: a “mechanical elephant” that could carry supplies through steep, roadless jungle—a bigger, earlier version of BD’s Big Dog.

The War Nerd: Google’s Big New Dog

Which raises the same question I keep asking: Why? Why are legs so wonderful, when wheels and treads can do pretty much everything legs do, only faster—much faster?

Two possibilities come to mind: (a) It’s the Department of Defense, which means that insane profligacy with tax money is all we’re seeing; or (b) It’s the human-like or mammal-like motion that DARPA values—not for the stated reason that legs work better on bad terrain, but because DARPA wants a generation of military robots that looks human/mammalian and moves like a mammal. The gimmick, the anthropomorphism, is the goal in itself. To what end we can only guess.

I’m leaning toward option (b), but if you know anything about DoD, you can’t just dismiss “insane proflilgacy” out of hand. In fact, supply vehicles that walk on machine legs is an old dream of DARPA’s. Way back in the Vietnam War, DARPA put a lot of tax money into a project that stood out for sheer idiocy in a war defined by DoD idiocy: a “mechanical elephant” that could carry supplies through steep, roadless jungle—a bigger, earlier version of BD’s Big Dog.

It could be said that I buy too many books. #Sherlock

It could be said that I buy too many books. #Sherlock

After all this time of turning ideas into words you would think we’d be better at it than we are. It’s still really hard.

The ‘Make It Wearable’ Challenge Takes on the Future of Human Communication

“Fundamentally, what we are is we are social animals. The most important things to us are interactions with other people, the presence of other people, and so when you have a wearable, the wearable is in the middle of that.” ~ Sandy Pentland

Alex “Sandy” Pentland is often called the “Grandfather of Wearables.” Not only does he direct MIT’s Human Dynamics Lab and the Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program, but he was part of the team that first focused on wearable computers in the early ’90s. On top of his work with MIT, he co-leads the World Economic Forum Big Data and Personal Data iniatives, and was called one of “the most powerful data scientists in the world” by Forbes in 2012. 

Intel does a lot of interesting partnerships. It will be interesting to see what this one yields. 


Sochi drone shooting Olympic TV, not terrorists
"We can go really, really close. And we are really quiet, so nobody is distracted." And it’s cheaper than a camera crew on a helicopter.
Flexibility is key. Drones allow unique angles and “allow more height than a crane, but are able to get lower than a helicopter,” said a statement from Olympic Broadcasting Services, which provides the official world feed of all the events at the games and is using one drone in Sochi.

I was so distracted/excited to see the drones during the snowboarding slopestyle event that I missed a bunch of the tricks. 

Sochi drone shooting Olympic TV, not terrorists

"We can go really, really close. And we are really quiet, so nobody is distracted." And it’s cheaper than a camera crew on a helicopter.

Flexibility is key. Drones allow unique angles and “allow more height than a crane, but are able to get lower than a helicopter,” said a statement from Olympic Broadcasting Services, which provides the official world feed of all the events at the games and is using one drone in Sochi.

I was so distracted/excited to see the drones during the snowboarding slopestyle event that I missed a bunch of the tricks. 

hajohinta:

Evolution Door

This door wins. All other doors are lame and should die.  

(via brucesterling)

How Lego Licensed the Universe, and Ended Up Ruling Us All
Lego FTW! 

harkaway:

My Doctor Who story, Keeping Up With The Joneses, is out today. I made this because I have no shame. Also: fun :)

Music by Welcome Wizard. It’s called shitweDIED and it’s under CC Attribution 3.0.

Already downloaded.

The Italian Secretary: My First Pastiche - I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere
My latest Sherlock Holmes book review takes it back to where it all began for me.

The Italian Secretary: My First Pastiche - I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere

My latest Sherlock Holmes book review takes it back to where it all began for me.

Whether you agree with the activities of Anonymous or not — which have included everything from supporting the Arab Spring protests to DDoSing copyright organizations to doxing child pornography site users — the salient point is that democratic governments now seem to be using their very tactics against them. The key difference, however, is that while those involved in Anonymous can and have faced their day in court for those tactics, the British government has not. When Anonymous engages in lawbreaking, they are always taking a huge risk in doing so. But with unlimited resources and no oversight, organizations like the GCHQ (and theoretically the NSA) can do as they please. And it’s this power differential that makes all the difference.

The New Snowden Revelation Is Dangerous for Anonymous — And for All of Us

Is it okay for governments to fight fire with fire? What concerns me isn’t that governments are using these tactics, but they’re using them on a group that, while maybe breaking the law, aren’t really hurting anyone. They may be an annoyance, but do they warrant the use of subversive tactics by governments? And if they do, then where does the government stop? 

Street Fighter 2: An Oral History

In 1985, artist Akira Yasuda showed up to a Capcom job interview dressed in pajamas and a tie. He left his portfolio at home, saying fans stole his work because it was too good. Asked why he chose pajamas, he replied he wanted to look presentable and that was the only thing he owned with a collar.

There is no way for me to tell you the impact this game had on my life. It’s more influential than Doom and probably even the Atari 2600. 

Street Fighter 2: An Oral History

In 1985, artist Akira Yasuda showed up to a Capcom job interview dressed in pajamas and a tie. He left his portfolio at home, saying fans stole his work because it was too good. Asked why he chose pajamas, he replied he wanted to look presentable and that was the only thing he owned with a collar.

There is no way for me to tell you the impact this game had on my life. It’s more influential than Doom and probably even the Atari 2600. 

5 Futuristic Trends That Will Shape Business And Culture Today 

INCOGNITO
We’ve come to believe that sharing data freely benefits all; that openness begets democracy and freedom. But that could change in the years ahead. “You could have people who believe in radical transparency now who move to the other side and really focus on the incognito world,” Young says. “At the moment, you don’t do that unless you’re a criminal or in a witness protection program. But in the future, there could be these communities that want to live anonymously.”
See the Sparks & Honey’s full “Elements of Culture” report here.

Of the five mentioned here, I think this one will be particularly big and impactful, both to the way people connect (or disconnect) and to fashion. I’m not taking about people going off the grid or running to hide in the mountains, but people will go out of their way to avoid being monitored for fun, or to engage in more subversive activities. 

5 Futuristic Trends That Will Shape Business And Culture Today 

INCOGNITO

We’ve come to believe that sharing data freely benefits all; that openness begets democracy and freedom. But that could change in the years ahead. “You could have people who believe in radical transparency now who move to the other side and really focus on the incognito world,” Young says. “At the moment, you don’t do that unless you’re a criminal or in a witness protection program. But in the future, there could be these communities that want to live anonymously.”

See the Sparks & Honey’s full “Elements of Culture” report here.

Of the five mentioned here, I think this one will be particularly big and impactful, both to the way people connect (or disconnect) and to fashion. I’m not taking about people going off the grid or running to hide in the mountains, but people will go out of their way to avoid being monitored for fun, or to engage in more subversive activities.