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Science/Technology

Google Users All Want to Know If Ryan Lochte Is Single

Google’s suggestions feature (that is, when you start typing something in and it guesses in advance what question you’re going to ask) is a great way to get a snapshot of things the world is thinking, by showing what search queries tend to be on people’s minds.

For example, while watching the Olympics over the weekend, I did a quick search during a commercial break to find out more information on Ryan Lochte, the gold-medal winning swimmer. Notice the second suggestion:

Second Google search result for "ryan l" is "Ryan Lochte girlfriend 2012"

You can read a lot into “I’m Feeling Lucky.”

Who’s Higgs? And Who’s Boson? The Arbitrary Power of Names

Where did your name come from? Possibly from one of your parents, or a more distant, long-dead ancestor. Maybe you were named after a song, or a character from a book or movie your parents liked. Or maybe your parents looked at your squishy newborn features and decided you simply looked like a (insert first name here).

Continue reading “Who’s Higgs? And Who’s Boson? The Arbitrary Power of Names”

Ray Bradbury Loved and Hated the Future

Last week, legendary science fiction author Ray Bradbury passed away at the age of 91. If you’ve only read one of his books, it was probably Fahrenheit 451, but if you read more, they’d probably include Something Wicked This Way Comes or a few of the hundreds of short stories he published in his lifetime, such as There Will Come Soft Rains. Or maybe you’d be more familiar with the screenplays he wrote for The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

Continue reading “Ray Bradbury Loved and Hated the Future”

Why the Government Confiscated High School Sports Footage

Source: Talking Points Memo IdeaLab

Where do you save your files? I mean the really important ones. Ones that you couldn’t afford to lose if your computer went kaput. Do you have an external hard drive? Do you stash them in a cloud service like Dropbox? Or do you just keep them in “My Documents” and hope that nothing bad ever happens to your CPU?

Continue reading “Why the Government Confiscated High School Sports Footage”

Building a Better Comment Board

Source: xkcd

At SXSW (the annual massive digital/interactive festival in Austin, TX), Gawker founder Nick Denton complained about the dire state of online commenting. Now the Gawker empire is built on the blogification (to make up a word) of news, creating a more intimate and reader-focused platform for delivering news, rumors, and gossip. It’s supposed to be about engaging with people. That’s why it was pretty brutal to hear Denton bite the hand that feeds him with this quote:

“The idea of capturing the intelligence of the readership — that’s a joke.”

Continue reading “Building a Better Comment Board”

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