BrainLog

November 2010

(Archive index.)

Engineering and Star Trek, a fun decade-old essay on real engineering.

Robot that can balance two kinds of inverted pendulums:

World’s Shortest Philosophy Books.

Lessons Learned in 10 Years on the Tech Beat, David Pogue.

25 Best SSH Commands / Tricks.

Bill Amend (FoxTrot) guest hosts xkcd.

Long Live the Web, Scientific American. The web is what you make it, so make it a good one!

Technical info about the Google “20 Things” book. The page turn animation is generated procedurally using JavaScript and canvas.

20 Things I Learned About Browsers and the Web. Must-read layman’s terms explanation of how the web works, from the Google Chrome team.

The Future of Technology, wicked awesome ad from Microsoft, of all things:

The Importance of Abandoning Crap. Linking as much for Nick’s blog name and logo, but the article is a good reminder, too.

A corollary to abandoning your crap not often mentioned with this meme: produce lots and lots of crap. Habitually produce enough crap that you can throw out the bottom 95% and polish the remaining 5%. The purpose of abandoning crap is so you’ll have resources to make more crap.

Teaching kids real math with computers, Conrad Wolfram:

This is probably the first “use computers in math education” argument I’ve heard that had a plausible answer to the question, “how?” I’ve wanted to see Calculus pushed much earlier in the curriculum since I learned Calculus in high school.

Why I feel like a fraud. Great write-up on Imposter Syndrome in the context of tech entrepreneurs, by Jason Cohen of Smart Bear Software.

Budget Puzzle: You Fix the U.S. Budget.

A Cosmopolitan Literature for the Cosmopolitan Web, Cory Doctorow.

Decoding the Value of Computer Science, Kevin Carey, The Chronicle of Higher Education.

I’m astonished to learn that the CS AP test was not administered this year. When I took it in 1996, I was the only kid in my district to do so, but I blamed the district for that, especially since CS degrees were in extra-high demand at the time. But what are they now, chopped liver?

Andrew Plotkin funds the creation of a new text adventure game for the iPhone in 1 day using Kickstarter, then proceeds to earn over $20,000 and rising. Cool Kickstarter extras still available included a game map, postcard, a limited print edition of the source code, and a guest appearance in the game.

I’m Here, a 30-minute short film by Spike Jonze. (YouTube version in 3 parts:)

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