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Alex Berg
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Alex Berg

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I gotta read up on what happened in the Xin dynasty. History is fun.
 
The 20 worst things people have done to each other.

Every front page of every site around the world is full of death and destruction. And there seems to be such little hope in each of the current conflicts.

While this solves nothing, it is helpful context to realize that humans are killing fewer humans over time. Particularly notable in the graph below are the illustration of "equivalent deaths today" (in gray). The orange displays deaths at that time.

Let's hope this trend continues, let's hope the military industrial complex loses some of its influence. For our country, let's hope we have a number two choice for our action in other countries - at the moment the only choice we seem to have is to bomb them.

Graph Source: http://goo.gl/R5G6ng
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After Dart releases 1.5, it will no longer support IE 9 and older. That's pretty bold, and a notable move.

Those of you in the banking industry, or perhaps other large corporations which have tightly controlled employee computers, would Dart apps still useable for you? I believe IE 10 requires Windows 7 or later, and lots of people in those companies are still on Windows XP platforms.
 
Dart v1.5, scheduled for late June, will be the last Dart release to support Internet Explorer 9. Dart will continue to support the latest releases of Firefox, Chrome, and Safari, as well as the two most recent releases of In...
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+SoundCloud is great. But, one thing sucks about it - I can't control my stream. That is, if I follow someone and they add a bad sound to their stream, it goes into my stream. That's fine, if I could remove it from my stream. But I can't!

This extension fixes that. Now I have a "Hide" button next to every song in my stream.

What does this button do? I click it, the song disappears. Nice. Now, when the songs in my stream auto-play, it skips the hidden song.

If you like Anime music or electronic, here's my stream: https://soundcloud.com/chexxor
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These guys snuck in to a Chinese skyscraper and climbed to the top to take photos. The video they took as they climbed is breathtaking.

Via The Verge: http://mobile.theverge.com/2014/2/12/5405962/watch-this-climbing-chinas-tallest-building
Today we will show you how to climb on second tallest building in the world. Shanghai Tower, China. Contacts: ontheroofscom@gmail.com Music: N'to - Trauma (W...
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That is pretty awesome and looks like a lot of fun.
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It's a tank battle video game, but the tanks are real. So cool.

"""
According to Panzer Warriors' official home page, "Our facility is the world's first tank simulator system based on the real time video feed of the wireless cameras mounted on RC tanks, which is similar as the one being used in US Army for tank crew training."

The group, which meets monthly, was established in 2005 and has a 56 square meter indoors arena. The tanks use an infrared system with sensors and lasers. Direct hits stop the tanks dead, ending the five-minute battles.
"""

http://kotaku.com/multiplayer-like-youve-never-seen-before-1518150596

via +Kotaku 
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Great write-up on an ad agency's R&D project.

Their direction is inspiring. They want to aim far higher than a simple in-house email list or social network. They aim to make inter-office interactions effortless and fun. Based on that, use microcontrollers, sensors, and games as pieces of the solution, as these are all highly engaging.

After acquiring another company, this ad agency encountered a problem: it's company is composed of two offices is two different cities. How can they better connect these two groups to unite them as one?

To see their solution, hit the link to find a demo video.
 
To let its employees socialize from 300 miles away, ad agency Allen & Gerritsen hacked together an interactive game using RFID sensors, an Arduino, and some custom in-house development. Now company happy hours are loads more fun.
To let its employees socialize from 300 miles away ad agency Allen amp Gerritsen hacked together an interactive game using RFID sensors an Arduino and...
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So awesome. I am really curious to see it, if it works out. I'm even more curious, however, to see what an android late night variety show would be like.
 
Japanese researchers have embraced the uncanny valley *

Former astronaut and the director of the museum, Mamoru Mori, and Osaka University professor Hiroshi Ishiguro have unveiled what they say are the first android newscasters, a pair of new female humanoid robots "Otonaroid" and "Kodomoroid" at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Technology in Tokyo on June 24, 2014. **

Yep, that's kinda creepy :)

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley
** http://metronews.ca/scene/1077737/japan-unveils-worlds-first-android-newscaster/
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The video has been taken down. Now I really want to see it!
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The PicoBrew Zymatic is a box which accepts a recipe and ingredients, then outputs a wort, which we call beer after it's been bottled together with a bit yeast and sits for a few weeks.

Why is such a tool created and deemed necessary? "This tool allows homebrewers to do something nearly impossible before: create and share precise, consistent, and repeatable brews."

Makes a good brew, and later making it again, is ridiculously complex - I've a bit of experience, so I can say that. The PicoBrew team understands this problem, "Brewing your own beer lies somewhere between science and alchemy. ... When it is (a good batch), it's also impossible to recreate." 

To solve this problem, the PicoBrew team builds a system which manages the beer's build environment. They say, "If you want to brew consistently, you have to add control systems".

These last two statements are true for any product, not just beer. If you want to have confidence in your end-product, as any professional should, you must control the build environment. One of my hobby-projects, NixOS, is doing exactly this for building software, which is more complex than you think.

When can we purchase their machine? According to their website, picobrew.com , it is available for preorder at $1700, and will ship in August 2014.

Other pages:
- +PicoBrew Zymatic 
Bill Mitchell of Picobrew explains the Zymatic brewing process
- http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/2/4795602/picobrew-zymatic-is-the-nespresso-of-beer-brewing
- https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1708005089/picobrew-zymatic-the-automatic-beer-brewing-applia
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I used a few Chinese music apps in the past, but they all changed to restrict access to China mainland.

A friend shared this app with me, and it seems to work great, even here in the States. It has song recommendation, which is really useful for me. Give it a try if you're looking for something like this. It's called Duomi. 
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yes sounds great, duomi is called 多米 in Chinese。
And who is favorite Chinese singer?!
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#Anime! What are we watching? I've seen a few, so time to recommend a few.

"Golden Time" is well-made. It had a chance for sharing something deep and meaningful, but it seems that it's not taking it.

"Samurai Flamenco" is off to a good start. Simple, yet consistently entertaining and creating opportunities for for depth.

I've only watched one episode of "B Gata H Kei" with friends, which was hilarious. It's on the dirty side of the spectrum, so I haven't sat to watch it myself. I'll leave that in my reserves list.
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+Alex Berg Thanks for the tip, I've been watching Yowamushi Pedal for the last couple of weeks :)
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Chinese new year starts in a few days. I believe next month starts the year of the horse, thus this joke came up when chatting with a Chinese friend. It reminds me of some Norwegian riddle-jokes my grandpa loves to collect. (e.g. Two pieces of corn in a can? A two-piece chicken dinner.)

This Chinese riddle-joke, however, is two elephants on a horse. What could this mean?

Let's do some Chinese translation:

一对象 means "a pair of elephants", but 对象 can also be used to refer to a person's other half, like a boyfriend/girlfriend.

马上 literally means "on horseback", but it's much more commonly used as an idiom which means "hurry up and do (something)".

So, the answer to this riddle-joke is! 马上有对象, meaning "hurry up and get a partner/bf/gf".

facepalm
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The bells of the new year will soon ring.

Now is a good time to reflect on the last year and to adjust for the new year.

I know I appreciate my internet connections for sharing their interests and being open to ideas and discussion. One cheer for us!
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