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ZFACTs Jan 18, 2015

Today’s edition of Zed Found A Cool Thing has lots of wearable computing being used as alternative interfaces, star wars news, 17th century Superman, and naked girls in trees. Enjoy!

Why Perl Didn’t Win I don’t buy most of this. Perl didn’t win because it grew a culture of people creating Write-Only-Code that only worked for them and even then the original author would forget how it worked a few months later. I used to write Perl and this was always the case. I think they realized this too late so now you see less of it, but the perception of low quality is what killed Perl.

EgoPay, Another Bitcoin Processor Bites The Dust Surprise surprise! Looks like the founders of EgoPay ran off with millions of customers money. I still say the Bitcoin community needs to establish a security review non-profit to counteract the perception that it’s just for Ayn Rand fans to steal money and trade drugs. If they don’t they’ll end up like Perl.

Minh Nguyen Shot His Ex-Wife’s Husband This is a weird story, and I don’t know Minh at all, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that there’s possibility there’s more to this story. If I were to think of a reason why I’d shoot a guy who lives with my kids, it’s because he’s abusing them somehow. Just a wild guess here.

Daniel Lanois Tiny Desk Concert Interesting idea where he kind of does live studio production, also sounds great.

Enter The Dangerous Mind A psychological thriller about a DJ and a social worker. I guess he plays some Dubstep for her and she kills him for it? Haven’t seen it though.

Controlling Ableton With Oculus Rift and Pensato Oh my. I had actually not thought of this. Using VR to control music? This is the future my friends. Also can you imagine messing with the DJ because he can’t see you at the club? “Where’s my fucking drink?!”

Netflix Alters Streaming Protocols To Prevent Caching I’m solidly for net neutrality and an open internet, but this guy criticizing Netflix has a point. If Netflix wants an open internet, then why are they subverting open protocols?

Star Wars vs. The Drones Read this little thing about Mark Hamill in the new Star Wars and at the bottom you’ll see they were worried about drones flying overhead to catch shots. Crazy.

17th Century Super Heroes Famous super heroes and heroines done in 17th century style paintings.

Google Glass Failed I have a whole blog post about how Google could have simply studied some old research by Dr. Steve Mann, the literal father of wearable computing who actually wore these very things for about a decade before Google tried to do this. He showed that people have the exact reactions to wearables that Google Glass explorers experienced, and predicted nearly every other problem Google encountered. Simply reading some of his papers could have told them how to mitigate the problems, but nope, they’re too smart for that.

Pydio A nice looking file sharing open source server written in Python.

The Bikes Of San Francisco Click to view the image since I don’t know who the original author is and I don’t want to steal their work. If anyone knows who, let me know and I’ll update with proper attribution.

Stop Animation With The Nintendo Power Glove This is some great ideas. He’s a stop animation artist who uses a Nintendo Power Glove to control the cameras he has to work with all day. Lovely hacking to improve art efficiency.

Hardened Yes Improving the security of the yes program by having it return no. Love it, and fully agree this command line tool needs a security refresh.

Today’s Hot Girls, Weird Places Art Warning, features vaginas buried in dirt, but this is a lovely sample of one of the dumbest trends in photography yet. It’s got the hot girls. Nudity. Bizarre poses. And trees. Enjoy!

Oscar Murillo Is Kind Of Awesome He got instagrammers to come and stop on and wear a bunch of his painting canvases. I love it. Definitely a change from all the painters who’s art is too precious.

Here’s a photo I took last night.

Reflection In A Coffee Cup

ZFACTs Jan 16, 2015

Today’s Zed Found A Cool Thing for you. To find out what this is read the the one from yesterday.

University Paris 8 Switches To Krita which I had not heard of but looks really promising. I’ve been thinking of a simple painting application I wanted to write that only had a few tools. I’m curious what Krita is like as the description seems similar to what I want. I’ll report more later.

Reddit’s Daily Programmer is great if you are learning to code and want progressively difficult challenges to attempt. People do them in any language, and different days of the week have different difficulties. People also post their solutions so you can go read what someone else did to solve a problem. If you’re a professional, then you could use this to learn a new language or try using some weird esoteric language you’re using like Haskell.

Plogue has Chipspeech a speech synthesizer for Mac & Windows, for those of you who liked yesterday’s album of robot voice music.

Photos of the Beagle2 probe on Mars which probably crashed because it knew the UK was going to ban crypto and it didn’t want Cameron to watch it jerking off.

Google/Apple Wage Theft Class Action might settle for $415m instead of the projected $3 billion actual damages. The lawyers seem to be trying to settle this ridiculously fast and are weirdly not interested in the huge amount of money they’d make. The case is clearly winnable given that these companies were already smacked hard by the government and there’s a mountain of smoking gun emails. If I wanted to get sued by lawyers I’d say there was fraud involved, but I’m not saying that so don’t sue me lawyers.

FlexWaves EQ7 looks bad ass. It’s a programmable EQ pedal so you can set presets and switch through them. This is one of my biggest complaints about EQ pedals. If I have to jiggle sliders to change the EQ then it just doesn’t work for me. I don’t use one all the time so being able to program it would make the EQ more useful.

Today’s “Hot Girls, Weird Places” art, with more trees. What the absolute fuck is wrong with photographers today? I think I run into some form of this at least twice a week and it’s always naked girls in weird poses in trees. It’s definitely a case of these artists thinking they’re on to something and all hoping they’ll be the next Andy Warhol Of Girls In Trees or some shit.

Kickstarter To Get Your Name Tattooed On A Random Girl “Artist” Illma Gore will tattoo a word or your name on her body for a small sum of money. She racked up about $11k before it was shut down, but when you’re crazy, you’ll find a way to keep being crazy. Stay tuned for round two on this.

A Review of the Uncalendar by An Artist Not a bad review of this strange day planner (link to it). I may get one and see what it’s like. Personally my organizer of choice is a pile of index cards and a pen, but like any geek I like checking out fancier todo lists, and this looks super fancy.

Summary of how the wealthy use art to dodge taxes. It’s based on a New York Times article but talks about how the Brant Foundation might specifically be a tax scam. Mostly because it’s barely open, nobody knows where it is, and seems to be more of a private museum. Collectors can then simply “give” the Brants their painting and call it a donation when really it’s not.

Mining of Massive Data Sets is a book on doing big data analysis and mining.

That’s it for today.

ZFACTs Jan 15, 2015

I spend my mornings finding interesting news links, quirky stuff, and just generally things that people might get a kick out of that day. Usually I just post them to twitter and everyone has a laugh, but lately I’ve been noticing that the things I find end up on Hacker News right away. I started wondering, what if I just make my own replacement front page for Hacker News and then have my own comments and turn off everyone else’s stupid comments?

So I’m going to experiment with a daily post called “Zed Found A Cool Thing” or ZFACTs. I’ll gather them up, say something funny about them, put them in here, and then post this one post to twitter. Let’s see if people like what I find.

The US Government Was On Silk Road For Over A Year Look idiots, if you’re going to do something illegal don’t become famous and do Op-Eds in Forbes. Check out the rundown of this federal agent about it too.

This Is What Happens When Vintage Robot Voices Make an Album an album using some of the retro robot voices that have been coming out recently. Great writeup on it too.

Interview With Laurie Spiegel At Bell Labs. She pioneered a lot of computer music technology and apparently worked at Bell doing it, which I didn’t know.

Mike Stern and Eric Johnson did an album together. I can see your mom. She’s 55. She’s in her kitchen making you a sandwich. It brings a tear to your eyes. Or, maybe it’s just the crazy amount of cheesy effects on this song. It sounds like a reggae band is making side money doing elevator music.

Mmmmm Old Guitars. That Guild guitar looks very tasty.

Soylent Raises Money. Apparently VCs also hate food.

Gov Jerry Brown To Halve Arts Funding because that’s what a Democrat does. He cuts arts in half and then moves the money over to pay for the crazy number of government employees that California has so that they’ll keep voting for Jerry Brown.

Top 10 Design Flaws in the USS Enterprise I normally hate stupid top 10 link bait bullshit, but my love of Star Trek made me read this.

Thailand planning to legally recognize a third gender.

San Francisco To Deal With It’s Shit Epidemic the best part of the article is the shit map of San Francisco:

So. Much. Brown.

Doctor Popular handing out his ‘God Hates Dinosaurs’ comic. This is a pretty great stunt. I love it.

Is ‘SimCity’ Homelessness a Bug or a Feature? I don’t play SimCity, but this two volume book on how people talk about homelessness in SimCity sounds fascinating. I would like to see this wrapped back to find out if there was a cognitive dissonance between the poster’s actual political views and how they dealt with the homeless in SimCity. Were there a bunch of supposedly liberal players who didn’t realize what they were saying? Was there a correlation at all? Very fascinating.

Burning Man Tickets are $800. If you ever wanted an example of political cognitive dissonance, then a festival full of wannabe hippies practicing communism after paying $800 and driving gas guzzling cars to a remote part of the desert to destroy it for 5 days is pretty much the best one. But hey, I can’t complain because they all leave San Francisco.

Apparently Buzzfeed Thinks Ai Weiwei is on the CIA payroll. To be honest, the CIA funded abstract art during the cold war so I can see them funding this and a bunch of other art.

Finally, the hair styles of David Bowie over the years by Helen Green:

Have a good one people.