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Amos Zeeberg
work: web, science, journalism. home: husband, dad, renaissance man.
work: web, science, journalism. home: husband, dad, renaissance man.

Amos's posts

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Science, culture, and philosophy, wrapped up in one nice package. New magazine launches on April 29; check the site now for the video trailer to get a little preview.
Hello! Consider this an introduction: Nautilus is a new digital magazine on science, culture, and philosophy. We're not officially launching until April 29, when we'll reveal our website and first issue, "What Makes You So Special." But over the next 2 weeks, we'll be giving people some quick glimpses of what we're up to. 

Come to our site ( and check out our video trailer to see what Nautilus is all about. 

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super interesting: blue accents and red accents in the midwest. and they're not the way you might think...

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<<The former undercover policeman claims that sexual relationships with activists were sanctioned for both men and women officers infiltrating anarchist, leftwing and environmental groups.

Sex was a tool to help officers blend in, the officer claimed, and was widely used as a technique to glean intelligence. His comments contradict claims last week from the Association of Chief Police Officers that operatives were absolutely forbidden to sleep with activists.

The one stipulation, according to the officer from the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS), a secret unit formed to prevent violent disorder on the streets of London, was that falling in love was considered highly unprofessional because it might compromise an investigation. He said undercover officers, particularly those infiltrating environmental and leftwing groups, viewed having sex with a large number of partners "as part of the job".

"The best way of stopping any liaison getting too heavy was to shag somebody else. It's amazing how women don't like you going to bed with someone else," said the officer, whose undercover deployment infiltrating anti-racist groups lasted from 1993 to 1997.>>
via +Ilya Kushnirsky

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Very neat. ProPublica puts its sources right on the articles. Fact-check it yourself! +Eric Nguyen has been calling for this for years.

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I'm thrilled to announce that ReadWriteWeb has been acquired by SAY Media.

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kevin garnett explains on-court chemistry via entertaining analogy:

"Timing is everything. Chemistry is something that you don't just throw in the frying pan and mix it up with another something, then throw it on top of something, then fry it up and put it in a tortilla and put in a microwave, heat it up and give it to you and expect it to taste good. You know? For those of you who can cook, y'all know what I'm talking about. If y'all can't cook, this doesn't concern you."

got that?

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I really like this blog post criticizing the kitschy, infantile design of some Apple software, in stark contrast with its minimal, beautiful hardware:

"When one talks about Apple's design, one immediately thinks of Jony Ive's modernist, rational industrial designs for computers, peripherals, and of course the iPad and iPhone...There is very little, if anything, extraneous on the Magic Trackpad or the MacBook Air. And of course the iPhones 4 and 4S are radically simple, yet well-constructed masterpieces of industrial design.

"But there's something I've puzzled about for a long time in Apple's aesthetic. Inside these unsentimental, rational, economic designs, Apple has delivered an increasingly sacchirine series of software releases.

"When Steve Jobs first introduced the iPhone - perhaps his greatest product presentation - he joked that the iPhone was an iPod with a rotary dialing system on the front. It was deliberately absurd, and the audience duely delivered the anticipated laugh. (I'm reliably informed that an early prototype of the phone actually did feature such an interface.)

"But no one laughs when Apple delivers a calendar application for the iPad that tries its hardest to look like a real-word desktop calendar pad, complete with fake leather and "torn" pages...
"...they are lies. They attempt to comfort us (to patronise us) by trying to show how they relate to physical objects in the real world when there is no need. How are we helped to understand what Find My Friends does by the addition of "leather" trim?...

"They are an expression of purest kitsch, sentimentality, and ornamentation for its own sake. In Milan Kundera's brilliant defintion, kitsch is "the absolute denial of shit". These are Disney-like apps, sinister in their mendacity...

"For me, the most interesting software interface design is being done at Microsoft with Metro on Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8. Here there is no effort to offer spurious concordance with the legacy technologies the software replaces. It is digitally native design."

Hey, Internet: what's the best way to turn digital photos into pretty, cool, physical memorabilia [calendar, album, etc]?

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"Whereas Romney tries to reconcile his flip-flops with lawyerly logic, Newt has the ability to seemingly believe each of his contradictory positions with absolute conviction. And for better or worse -- usually worse -- the natural selection of our political process strongly favors that trait."

-Arianna Huffington
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