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Linkdump for October 20th

by Rob Friesel
  • Richard Koci Hernandez, at CNN.com. Great piece on Instagram and "phone photography" more generally.

    Photo apps won't magically give Jane the smartphone photographer a better sense of composition, or lighting, or framing. The apps and filters only change a photo's look and aesthetic feel. That doesn't make it a better photo. If you put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig.

    But he goes on to say:

    I want my memories, like the prints of my childhood, to fade, to mix with the ether of all that has come before. Because I know that time cannot touch my digital images, I add in the passage of time by using filters.

  • ShellJS is a portable (Windows included) implementation of Unix shell commands on top of the Node.js API. You can use it to eliminate your shell script's dependency on Unix while still keeping its familiar and powerful commands.

    Not sure if this is awesome, or complete shark-jumpery.

  • Dan Wilson, writing at Javalobby. It's interesting how some of these "non-intuitive" caching strategies can have such a dramatic impact. That said, I'm glad he closes on the note of "it depends".
  • Lee Billings, writing at centauri-dreams.org:

    Anyone in the Southern Hemisphere can look up on a clear night and easily see Alpha Centauri — to the naked eye, the three suns merge into one of the brightest stars in Earth’s sky, a single golden point piercing the foot of the constellation Centaurus, a few degrees away from the Southern Cross. In galactic terms, the new planet we’ve found there is so very near our own that its night sky shares most of Earth’s constellations. From the planet’s broiling surface, one could see familiar sights such as the Big Dipper and Orion the Hunter, looking just as they do to our eyes here. One of the few major differences would be in the constellation Cassiopeia, which from Earth appears as a 5-starred “W” in the northern sky. Looking out from Alpha Centauri B b and any other planets in that system, Cassiopeia would gain a sixth star, six times brighter than the other five, becoming not a W but a sinuous snake or a winding river. Cassiopeia’s sixth bright point of light would be our Sun and its entire planetary system.

    This is a great article summarizing this amazing discovery.

  • Darren Pauli, writing for SC Magazine Australia ("Secure Business Intelligence"). Weird, scary stuff. (Via BoingBoing.)
    (tagged: research health )

About Rob Friesel

Software engineer by day, science fiction writer by night. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →

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