You’ll see more of Mongolia if travelling by bike and packraft

Thursday, 26 May, 2016

One way to see Mongolia, with bikes and packrafts. Possibly not the most comfortable way to move around, but you’d certainly see more than if you travelled by bus or train.

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How do you announce contact with extraterrestrials anyway?

Thursday, 26 May, 2016

SETI scientists had developed procedures for announcing the discovery of, or contact with, an extraterrestrial intelligence, more than thirty years ago. Long before the internet became mainstream, and the advent of social media.

But there is a problem. Since the guidelines were written, the way news stories evolve and spread through society has changed dramatically. In the 1980s, 24-hour news channels were a novelty. Now they have been superseded by Internet news sites and aggregators such as Reddit and Slashdot and by online social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and so on.

So, how would they go about disseminating such news now? It looks as if the process will need to thought through again.

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Drinking alcohol, good for a buzz, but not for long

Thursday, 26 May, 2016

This probably comes as little surprise to anyone… alcohol consumption may lift our mood, but will only do so for a short time.

Study leader Dr. Ben Bamburg Geiger, from the University of Kent in the United Kingdom, found that while drinking alcohol makes us momentarily happy, it fails to offer long-term life satisfaction and well-being.

I’d say there are other ways of seeking contentment and fulfillment, thankfully, though I wouldn’t go cancelling after works on Friday.

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A shocking form of retail… therapy surely?

Thursday, 26 May, 2016

A smart wristband, that is linked to a wearer’s bank accounts, can be programmed to dispense an electric shock if they spend too much money at a time.

When the user goes on a shopping rampage, as they near the threshold, they’ll receive a notification on their phone. If they pass this threshold, Interact IoT will send a ping to their wristband, and the account owner will receive an electric shock.

My question, does it zap someone before they are about to spend over their limit, or after they already have?

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When the world we see, and the world we imagine, meet

Wednesday, 25 May, 2016

Is psychedelic the right word to describe the video for Eagle Eye, by New York City based musician Ava Raiin? Possibly.

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Read once, write always, should software developers read novels?

Wednesday, 25 May, 2016

Could reading the novels of Virginia Woolf hone the skills of a software developer?

It may help, possibly:

But if anything can be treated as a plug-in, it’s learning how to code. It took me 18 months to become proficient as a developer. This isn’t to pretend software development is easy – those were long months, and I never touched the heights of my truly gifted peers. But in my experience, programming lends itself to concentrated self-study in a way that, say, “To the Lighthouse” or “Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction” do not. To learn how to write code, you need a few good books. To enter the mind of an artist, you need a human guide.

How about the works of Jane Austen? I’m reading Mansfield Park at the moment… it makes me feel as if I am parsing code at times.

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Take one swimming pool. Add dry ice. What do you get?

Wednesday, 25 May, 2016

I’m not sure what drew me to this experiment. That it was being conducted by someone, Taras Kul, calling himself the CrazyRussianHacker, or that it involved throwing dry ice into a swimming pool. It’s something I must try one day.

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No advances in vacuum cleaner technology since 1910

Wednesday, 25 May, 2016

Well this is disappointing, it seems latter day vacuum cleaners are no more effective than their counterparts, that date from the early years of the twentieth century.

“A vacuum cleaner from 1910 would clean the rug just as well as a modern vacuum cleaner from today,” says Tom Gasko, one of America’s foremost vacuum cleaner historians and the curator at the Vacuum Cleaner Museum at Tacony Manufacturing in St. James, Missouri.

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What do you call augmented reality overload? Hyper-Reality

Tuesday, 24 May, 2016

If you think information overload is a problem now, trying to keep up with the latest on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and what not, you ought to sample some Hyper-Reality. This isn’t augmented reality, this is overwhelming reality.

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Now you can block out the boss with selective hearing ear buds

Tuesday, 24 May, 2016

Ear buds that block out only selected noise sources, such as nearby phone conversations, or the sound of the air conditioner, may well be a boon for those working in open plan office environments. Or anyone in any other sort of situation, who just wants to be able to concentrate a little more, for that matter.

The first setting I tried was Office Normal. Right away, my environment changed. I could still hear voices next to me, but I was surprised by how much it cut out the TV noise, air conditioning and chatter further down the row.

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