Links for the week ending March 16th, 2014

I have some serious concerns about Obama's loose understanding of the US constitution with respect to privacy, but he and his team have done a great job showing him as being human. Video

This ad campaign is interesting. All of the models either have, or are working on, their PHd. It has come under attack because the models are still attractive. But perfect is the enemy of good, and this kind of campaign is a good thing. Article

The NSA are using malware to get information as well. What happens when someone figures out how to control their botnet? Article

The physics of curling are a bit odd. I've played a few times, and suck at it. Here is what is happening to the stones, and some theories on why. Video

The course this typographic drawing is for looks interesting. I suck as a calligrapher, but I've always found letter forms fascinating. Article

When the Snowdon leaks revealed the NSA had been monitoring everyone's communications, one of the often sighted defences was they are only collecting meta data. No big deal right? This study looks at how powerful meta data can be on a small scale. On the scale of what the NSA is collecting, it is terrifying. Article

Every month there's a new story about some kind of disease which had been previously contained causing problems. The most recent one is an outbreak of measles in BC. I realise some kids are allergic to the transport liquid used (I think it's usually an egg based allergy that's cause for concern), and those kids may not be able to get vaccinated. But anyone without a legitimate medical reason to bow out of being vaccinated should not be allowed in a school. They present a very real danger, not only to their classmates, but the younger siblings of those classmates who may be too young to be vaccinated. Article

If you're interested in medieval things, here are 50 blogs to check out. Article

I love what Richard Brandson is doing with Virgin Galactic. Commercialisation is the best way to accelerate our exploration of space. The first VG flights should happen by the end of 2014, and within the first year, Brandson will be responsible for putting more people in space than every nation since the beginning of the space race. Article

Rubic's Cube was a staple toy of my childhood. I was only able to solve mine a few times. These guys have made a robot which can solve it in seconds. Article

If you know anyone who has, or thinks they have hearing loss, they should watch Adam Savage talk about his hearing loss and hearing aids. The rate of advancement in hearing aid technology is impressive. I can see a day in the near future when able hearing people choose to have hearing aids implanted to get access to wireless audio. In the mean time, we need to fight the stigma of wearing hearing aids. Video

I had never heard of Reign Wolf before last night. I ended up watching a few videos of him playing. I love what he's doing with the blues. Video

What happens when you sit the four most important independant watch makers down at the same table? Article

I was very fortunate when learning math as a child because my brain easily finds complex patterns. But not everyone figures those patterns out on their own. Here are some thoughts on how we can better teach children to learn complex math at a younger age. Article

If you've been following along with my link list for any length of time, you'll notice I regularly link to Adam Savage's work. Few people are doing more to educate and encourage than Savage. His SXSW keynote discusses art and science, but I think the Q&A afterward up is the best part of the talk. Article

Neil Young has been promoting a new high rate music format for a while, and the project has just hit kickstarter. I have a number of issues with high bit rate music (it doesn't actually sound better than the current standard AAC files common on itunes). There are many arguments by audiophiles on why formats like Pono are improvements on the lossless compressed formats in use. Marco Arment collects some of the best links which disprove these theories. The one place where all music can improve, and would under the Pono system, is the original masters would be better quality. Many of the complaints about modern music can be traced to the masters, not the end format. Article

True Detective finished up last week. I've mentioned it a few times already, and believe it is worth your time to watch. One of the most fascinating things about the eight hour season, it was all written by one person, and directed by another. Normally shows are written and directed by a staff of people. The fact True Detective was written and directed by two people gave it a very smooth and cohesive feel. Often one or two episodes in a season feel off, and don't fit the character of a show. Hopefully this kind of collaboration becomes more common. Article

You've seen the Leidenfrost Effect in action without realising what it's called. The simplest example of the effect is when water is dropped on a very hot skillet, and a layer of steam forms between the water drop and the hot surface. It serves to levitate the drop, and insulate it from the hot metal. On top of being a very cool effect, it can be used to make water move up an incline. Article

Derek over at Veritasium shows us some of the awesome side effects of gyroscopes. Video

This Time interview is mediocre, but we get few chances to hear from Jony Ive. Article

Tesla Motors has been in the news this past week thanks to the state of New Jersey preventing them from selling directly to customers, instead of through a dealer network. Car dealers have an incredible amount of power and influence, as well as impressive legislation backing them up. Planet Money replayed a great podcast looking at the history behind this power. Article

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