Sunday, June 19, 2011

Programmers Anonymous notes, 1001

Awseome protogeek photo.

Recursion Weekly, with recursive QR code.

Nice in depth article about the development of the SX-70, Edwin Land's vision for instant photography. Compares how Land and Steve Jobs viewed development and marketing of technology:

Polaroid’s SX-70: The Art and Science of the Nearly Impossible A man, a company, and the most wildly ambitious consumer-electronics device of its era. By

Quad core tablets for gaming will also be useful for image processing.

Nvidia touts quad-core Kal-El chip in Android tablet

Bill Griggs post about Minibloq, describing the graphical programming interface for Arduino.

"They're Made out of Meat", a thought provoking and hilarious movie short. Sean Michael Regan comments:
Bre Pettis showed me this video, which dates from at least four years ago and is derived from a short story by Terry Bisson, at Bay Area Maker Faire 2011 last weekend, and I can’t stop giggling over it. The video shows more than a smidge of Twin Peaks styling, plus a nod to aliens Kang and Kodos from The Simpsons (“We are merely exchanging long protein strings…”) at the end.

The good bad and ugly sides of computer science as a passion and college major; commentary from the NY Times' "Computer Science's 'Sputnik Moment'?":
Cyberspace is the anytime, anywhere laboratory where you can design and run your own experiments by writing just a little software. It’s affordable by anyone with access to the Internet. And each piece of software is an individual’s expression of creativity, much like poetry or music. Computer science can be fun and empowering.
Computational thinking facilitates the invention and manipulation of abstractions (e.g., algorithms), which is central to managing complexity and building scalable systems. Students know that by majoring in computer science, they will have an edge over those without those skills. They will be in high demand by all sectors, not just by information technology companies. (Jeannette M. Wing, head of the computer science department at Carnegie Mellon University)
Katy Snyder again: "You should not use introductory computer science courses as filters (to wash out students) but as launching pads." For sure, serious intellectual demands and "concentrating on the practical applications of computer science" can help a lot. But from the starting point of a practical application course focus, I would like to hear about some creative teaching practices aimed at helping undergraduates find the courage to dig deep. Hard work and play can co-exist.(John M. Staudenmaier, S.J., was editor in chief of Technology and Culture from 1995 to 2010. He is assistant to the president for mission and identity at the University of Detroit Mercy)
I have firsthand experience in the individualistic, “let’s see who can code the shortest, most obscure-program to do x” cowboy culture of programming. That culture is unappealing to many women -- as well as many men. I can only wonder how much of the repeated, massive failure of large software development systems is related to such bad practices and the weeding out of the very kind of people who could help counterbalance them. (Zeynep Tufekci, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

I don't see a downside to unironic Bronydom. From Wired: 
"My Little Pony Corrals Unlikely Fanboys Known as ‘Bronies’"

Rhinestone meme toaster.

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