Monday Links from the Bench vol. DXXIII Monday Links from the Bench vol. DXXIII
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    Default Monday Links from the Bench vol. DXXIII

    You have completed one decade of Monday Links. Would you like to play again?

    • The Last Conversation You’ll Ever Need to Have About Eating Right - Before committing yourself to your trendy New Year diet, you should check the details with this exhaustive discussion of all known aspects of diet and nutrition, including known unknowns: ”It’s beyond strange that so many humans are clueless about how they should feed themselves. Every wild species on the planet knows how to do it; presumably ours did, too, before our oversized brains found new ways to complicate things. Now, we’re the only species that can be baffled about the ‘right’ way to eat.”

    • Alone In A Crowded Milky Way - Further consideration of the Fermi Paradox: ”The most likely explanation for Earth's apparent solitude may be that galactic settlement occurs in waves and that our species has arisen on an out-of-the-way planet during a local lull in interstellar exploration.”

    • Which emoji scissors close - From galactic isolation to more pressing concerns: ”Ah, scissors. They’re important enough that we have an emoji for them. On your device, it appears as ✂️. Unlike the real world tool it represents, the emoji’s job is to convey the idea, especially at small sizes. It doesn’t need to be able to swing or cut things. Nevertheless, let’s judge them on that irrelevant criterion.”

    • Performance variation in 2,386 ‘identical’ processors - ”Every microprocessor is different, random variations in the manufacturing process result in transistors, and the connections between them, being fabricated with more/less atoms… The width of the connections between transistors in modern devices might only be a dozen or so atoms, and an atom here and there can have a noticeable impact.” Some interesting data from Barry Rountree presented by Derek Jones, part of the latter’s ongoing work on Evidence-based Software Engineering

    • British Ecological Society 2019 Photography Competition Winners - Not sure why these aren’t actually on the BES’s own website yet, but here’s a gallery of the winners, including this cow and its chimango buddy fighting crime in the Andes, by Pablo Javier Merlo


    • The 84 biggest flops, fails, and dead dreams of the decade in tech - ”This is the decade we learned that crowdfunded gadgets can be utter disasters, even if they don’t outright steal your hard-earned cash. It’s the decade of wearables, tablets, drones and burning batteries, and of ridiculous valuations for companies that were really good at hiding how little they actually had to offer. It’s the decade of Google filling up its product graveyard, Apple stubbornly denying obvious missteps, and Microsoft writing off billions of dollars.” Having finished reading John Carreyrou’s Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup last night, I’m impressed that Theranos only came third in this list.

    • Scientists model dynamic feedback loop that fuels the spread of wildfires - ”Scientists have been trying to better delineate how wildfires spread for decades, and understanding the complicated fluid dynamics at work is key to those efforts. Rodman Linn, an atmospheric scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, does computational modeling of how fires interact with the surrounding atmosphere to predict how a given fire behaves.” As the current situation in Australia shows, we could do with a better understanding of wildfires ASAP.

    • bbbreaking news - You know how someone tweets a photo or video as some newsworthy event is happening, and journalists leap on it asking “Can we use this in our coverage”? This bot monitors Twitter for journalists doing just that and posts the tweets they’re asking about, making it a real-time feed of things journalists think are newsworthy. Clever idea N.B. there’s one a few from the top as I’m writing this with what claims to be a video of ball lightning; it’s an obvious fake. Don’t fall for it as some journalist clearly has

    • Cartographic Pleasures: Maps Inspired by Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures Album Art - A clever project by Travis M. White showing how to use open source tools and mapping data to make your own ridgeline plots: ”A few years ago I attempted my first Unknown Pleasures-inspired transect maps (Figure 3), but the process was painfully slow and I had to shelve the project. As I was finishing my dissertation, though, Claus Wilke released his R package ggjoy (now ggridges) and my interest was sparked anew. I spent the better part of the summer of 2018 refining my transect map workflow, and now I present it for your own mapmaking enjoyment.” Install QGIS and R, and you too can make yourself a t-shirt showing the contours of your local quarry

    • Carl Størmer’s Spy Camera Street Photography c. 1893 - ”When Carl Størmer was studying mathematics at the Royal Frederick University (now University of Oslo) in the 1890s, he fell in love with a woman but was too shy to introduce himself. Wanting a photograph of her, he purchased a C.P. Stirn Concealed Vest Spy Camera to make one without her knowledge. The round flat canister was hidden under his vest while the lens fit through the buttonhole and the cable release reached into his pocket to snap photographs on the sly.” He didn’t get the girl, and frankly his behaviour is somewhat disturbing, but he carried on taking secret photos on the streets of Oslo for several years, giving us a refreshingly candid look at the people of the city in those days



    Happy invoicing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    You have completed one decade of Monday Links. Would you like to play again?
    GO.COM. Them were the days, selling a zero bytes program, and the Tatung Einstein.

    On this week's lot: I've bored everyone tulipless with tales of the changes in the semiconductor industry over the last 40 years, the current devices using current densities that were originally used to burn stuff in by detecting early failures, yes those conductors really are so narrow you can count the atoms and the gate oxide thickness likewise.

    No wonder there's a spread in device performance.

    I wonder if the alien visitors really left TMA-1 on the moon & we're still too stupid to have found it.
    Last edited by DoctorStrangelove; 6th January 2020 at 16:59.
    When the fun stops, STOP.

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