Links of the Week: September 4th

It’s a week and a half late. I’m sorry. I really am. This Scala book has just been so fascinating! (And I’ve been a little busy with random things.)

Biology

A new study suggests that reversing the aging process might be easier than you think.

Browsers

Here’s another semi-data article that was in my 480+ tabs that I just started getting around to closing. I think it’s worth reading considering Opera 10 was just released this week.

BSD

I stumbled upon this some time ago. It’s probably dated, but I think it might be worth reading if you use or have used FreeBSD. If you’re still not sure what the differences are between UFS and UFS2, I suspect this FAQ should do nicely to settle it.

Business

I haven’t heard any more about this since I first read it earlier last month. The President and Congress would like to further regulate venture capital. I’m not sure that’s a good idea. Has this snuck through yet?

So, you’re looking to join a small company. Guess when the worst time to join it is? It’s right after VC funding.

Design Patterns

RESTful design patterns have been around for a while. Here’s how you might deal with RESTful transactions.

Gaming

So a pacifist gamer (?) decided he’d reach level 80 in what is arguably the world’s most popular MMO game. I guess it really does have something for everyone.

I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of how awesome this is

A Lego engine. An eight cylinder Lego engine, powered by compressed air. I don’t think it gets any more awesome than that (video included).

Also in the category of awesome is this stop motion Post-it artwork.

Music

Shinrog is awesome. If you’re into electronica, his stuff is worth listening to.

Nature

Here’s a real bird brain. I know, I know. It’s a Flash video. Trust me, it’s worth it. If you just can’t be bothered letting it download, here’s a summary: A rook (related to the crow) demonstrates his/her observational capabilities and tool use by using rocks to pluck a worm from a flask of water. Going on that data alone, how might you do it? (Hint: You don’t eat the rocks.)

So, you thought that one RFC was a joke, did you? The one about carrier pigeons carrying IP packets? Guess again. This time, someone is using them to transport pictures of river rafting via pigeon. They even suffer packet loss in the form of other hungry fowl.

The Odd and Unusual

So what happens if you perform the calculation 999 999 999 999 999 – 999 999 999 999 997 using Google Calculator? You get zero.

Operating Systems

Speaking of file systems. I had no idea there were so many.

Here’s a hugely useful site if you’re into tweaking Windows. I’ve had this tab open for about 3 weeks, so I can’t quite remember what I was looking up. I’m sure it was something interesting!

Programming

I stumbled across a post by Kevin Gessner related to fast array membership [testing] in PHP. It’s very interesting, and if you’ve got an application that needs to test large arrays for value membership, it is also a worthwhile read.

Speaking of PHP, Perplexed Labs has another post also related to speed. No, this isn’t exactly arrays (it can be!). It’s about transferring data into a session quickly.

More PHP-related stuff! This time, it’s a list of things you can do to (potentially) speed up your code. One word of warning: I’m not sure I completely buy their proposals. sizeof and count are aliases to the exact same C call and, in theory, should perform precisely the same. Although, this is PHP we’re talking about…

You should also be careful when dealing with UTF-8 in PHP.

Oh, and while we’re at it, let’s talk about evil code and the projects it inspires.

How about some music sorting algorithms?

Always remember to be DRY, particularly when dealing with URLs and URL rewriting.

Ever wondered what the 17 most widely used JavaScript frameworks are? Now you know.

I’ve always found cutesy but evil stuff to be quite fascinating. It’s proof that operator overloading can be evil when abused.

I promise I’d link to Pulse. Here it is. They have a community edition you can grab for free and it’s a lot easier to use than Yoxos. It’s for Eclipse.

Security

Common WiFi can be broken in less than a minute.

Sociology

Robert Epstein wrote an interesting article on abolishing high school back in 2007. Whether you agree or not, he raises interesting points. I always remember it as little more than a glorified daycare center.

Speaking of the worth of young people, did you know that Chicago’s greatest crime blogger is a 16 year old with autism?

Heavy things are important! True story.

Did you know that humor is an act of aggression? Sounds like someone can’t take a joke.

Speaking of jokes, there’s another study that suggests most of the world’s stocks are controlled by a select few. I wonder if Captain Obvious is in charge of this one?

Hunter linked this one to me. It’s the social media revolution. I can’t vouch for the accuracy of some of this video’s claims, but it’s worth watching. If you deny the impact of the Interwebs on our society, you’ve got your head in the sand.

The Buddhists really know how to make complex artworks. Sand Mandalas are amazing. More interestingly, they’re created and then destroyed in highly ceremonial ritual after which all of the sand (created from crushed rock no less–no dyes are used) is returned to nature.

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