Mac at 30

Stephen Fry:

What cannot be denied is that the first Macintosh changed my life completely. It made me want to write, I couldn’t wait to get to it every morning. If you compare computers to offices, the Mac was the equivalent of the most beautifully designed colourful space, with jazzy carpets on shiny oak floors, a pool table, wooden beams, a cappuccino machine, posters and great music playing. The rest of the world trudged into Microsoft’s operating system: a grey, soulless partitioned office, with nylon carpets, flickering fluorescent lamps and a faintly damp smell. I made that architectural design analogy time after time and no one seemed to notice, thought I was just pretentious. But now of course, MS are as aware of sick building/OS syndrome as anyone else, and have, since the launch of iPad and new range of OS X operating systems gone out of their way to tread the true path to deliciousness, colour, feel, joy, pleasure and taste without which function cannot … well … function.

Time also unearthed a video of the Mac’s first public demonstration.


What Does The Way You Speak Say About Where You’re From?

This 25 question quiz attempts to guess where you’re from based on how you speak English, and places you on a map.

When I took the quiz, it ultimately pinpointed the area I grew up in for a few years on the east coast. Cool stuff.


Scientists Send Text Message Using Vodka

“We believe we have sent the world’s first text message to be transmitted entirely with molecular communication, controlling concentration levels of the alcohol molecules to encode the alphabet, with single spray representing bits and no spray representing the bit zero,” says York University doctoral candidate Nariman Farsad, who led the experiment.


America’s Bipolar Climate Future

I can’t imagine any place, apart from the land of the Indiana Pi Bill, where this kind of lunacy wouldn’t get vetoed and mocked at large by the media:

The state government in North Carolina has muzzled the CRC [Coastal Resources Commission] with a new law that requires coastal communities to ignore its prognoses. The legislation states that the sea level off the North Carolina coast will not rise more quickly than it has in the last 100 years.


The Criminalization of Everyday Life

Tom Engelhardt:

The campus cops at Ohio State University now possess an MRAP; that is, a $500,000, 18-ton, mine-resistant, ambush-protected armored vehicle of a sort used in the Afghan War and (…) built to withstand “ballistic arms fire, mine fields, IEDs, and nuclear, biological, and chemical environments.” Sounds like just the thing for bouts of binge drinking and post-football-game shenanigans.

In other odd news, an officer recently got compensated for the US Davis pepper spraying incident — yes, you read that right.


Opening Files and Folders in Textmate 2 From Finder

In case it’s ever useful to anyone else, here’s how to right-click open any number of files and folders in Textmate 2 from the OSX Finder:

  1. Make sure you’ve installed the Shell support, in Textmate 2’s Preferences / Terminal
  2. Open the Automator app and create a new Service.
  3. Locate and add two actions: “Get Selected Finder Items” and “Run Shell Script”.
  4. Configure the Service so it receives selected “files or folders” in “Finder.app”. And make the shell run the following:
while read file; do /usr/local/bin/mate "$file"; done

Screenshot of the Service:


Finally, save the Service as “Open in Textmate”. You’ll now be able to right-click (or command-click) open files and folders in Textmate 2 from Finder — including hairy ones with spaces in their name.


US to Consider Cellphone Use on Planes

The Federal Communications Commission said it will soon propose allowing passengers to use their cellphones on airplanes, setting up a debate that will pit the technically possible against the socially tolerable.

That’s a very apt way to put it. *Shivers*.


Mozilla: In Bed With Google

Mozilla today released its annual financial report for 2012, and while revenue is up quite substantially, the organization’s reliance on Google continues to grow. In 2011, 85 percent of Mozilla’s revenue came from Google. In 2012, the figure increased to 90 percent.


Chernobyl Fungus Feeds on Radiation

“Just as the pigment chlorophyll converts sunlight into chemical energy that allows green plants to live and grow, our research suggests that melanin can use a different portion of the electromagnetic spectrum – ionizing radiation – to benefit the fungi containing it,” said co-researcher Ekaterina Dadachova.

Cool stuff.


Why You Should Never Use MongoDB

Sarah Mei:

The only thing it’s good at is storing arbitrary pieces of JSON. “Arbitrary,” in this context, means that you don’t care at all what’s inside that JSON.

As if things weren’t scathing enough already.

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