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David Crawshaw
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David Crawshaw

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A way to improve SF density without increasing height limits.
“Retrofit one block of San Francisco sidewalks into Euro-style narrow streets = space for 45,000 sq ft of new housing”
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I just keep thinking about self-driving cars...  Can you imagine what getting rid of parking space would do to cities?
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David Crawshaw

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A demonstration that when deprived of oxygen, people remain completely calm but quickly and without realization, lose the ability to reason.
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Fascinating stuff...
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Yes please.
What, you don't remember that time putting a dome over Manhattan was proposed?
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I can't imagine a US city banning the poison-emitting motor vehicles. 
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"This process of constructing instruction tables should be very fascinating. There need be no real danger of it ever becoming a drudge, for any processes that are quite mechanical may be turned over to the machine itself."

I have found this quote from Alan Turing's 1946 paper Automatic Computing Engine useful a couple of times now but always have to go hunting for the source. So here it is as a reminder to myself.

http://www.alanturing.net/ace/index.html#p01-017
Alan Turing, Father of the Modern Computer. Part III. The Design of the ACE: Complete Text of Turing's 'Proposed Electronic Calculator'. DESCRIPTIVE ACCOUNT · Introductory · Composition of the Calculator · Storages · Arithmetical Considerations · Fundamental Circuit Elements · Outline of Logical ...
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Carrying computers everywhere is excellent.
 
Friends, Romans countrymen, lend me your eyes.

Danish innovator Hans Jørgen Wiberg occasionally phoned a friend when he needed help to look at something.  He would use the Facetime app on the iPhone to point at the object he needed help with and his sighted friend at the other end would look at it, and in a few seconds, tell him what he needed to know but couldn't see for himself.  Did this match?, was this the right can?, was this food still good?, etc. but not read my credit card or help me cross the road.

Soon, Hans realised that he was asking the same group of people the same questions over and again and decided to ease their burden, widen the pool and socialise the concept by creating a smartphone app and a web service that would connect willing volunteers to visually impaired people who wanted a bit of help.

After a couple of years of development and local testing in Denmark, where the app garnered 675 volunteers and 150 visually impaired users, Hans launched Be My Eyes, localized into 10 languages, onto an unsuspecting worldwide public on 2015/01/15.  In less than a month the open source not for profit app has helped over 10,000 users nearly 30,000 times and is now home to over 100,000 volunteers.

How can I help Be My Eyes?

First of all we need sighted helpers. If you have an iPhone 4s or newer, you can download the app or if you have an Android you can be notified when it's available. Volunteering for Be My Eyes is easy and unbinding. You can also help us translate the app to more languages

How do you ensure that the system won't get misused?

By the end of each session there will be an opportunity to rate or report misuse, both for the helper and the user. People who misuse the system will be excluded from the network.

Will you make a version for other operating systems?

There is an Android version underway. You can register here to be notified

If you want to make a Be My Eyes client for another platform check out our GitHub repository and get in touch on Twitter.


More here: http://goo.gl/wpf0Ms

Home page: http://goo.gl/g6UzUP

Video: http://goo.gl/angYC5

TedX Copenhagen: http://goo.gl/IfniJ2

iTunes: http://goo.gl/CYp7Hb

Github: http://goo.gl/DMjMC7

Image: Rotfloleb http://goo.gl/CV5XbX
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Wonder whether it would help your legally blind great aunts.
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"The requirements for high precision and for extreme reliability which must be imposed upon the components of a moon-travelling spacecraft are entirely unprecedented in the history of engineering. The development of systems which meet these severe requirements has provided us a unique opportunity to find new material and methods, to invent better technical systems, to manufacturing procedures, to lengthen the lifetimes of instruments, and even to discover new laws of nature."

The rest of it is also worth a read.
Ernst Stuhlinger wrote this letter on May 6, 1970, to Sister Mary Jucunda, a nun who worked among the starving children of Kabwe, Zambia, in Africa, who questioned the value of space exploration. A...
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David Crawshaw

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Surprising to me, but excellent news: Batteries are getting cheaper.

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v5/n4/full/nclimate2564.html
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Good news - thanks for sharing! 
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I have recently been feeling surprisingly confident about my understanding of IEEE-754 (ignoring denormalized numbers). Luckily there are new things in other standards for me to not know:

"A complex number with at least one infinite part is considered to be an infinity, even if the other part is a NaN."

https://groups.google.com/d/msg/golang-nuts/DHYoItBRLaA/mGFOBB4OwIwJ
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An animation showing the assembly sequence of the International Space Station. Many launches over many years.
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"""From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it's different. Consider again that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known, so far, to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
"""

Twenty-five years ago Voyager 1 took a photograph from 40 AU known as the Pale Blue Dot. That's what Carl Sagan had to say about it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K05xxeCdhSo
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Though this article has the usual overly-dramatic language you get whenever people write about food, it is a fun high-level tour through the interaction of industry and modern agricultural science: "Yet today there are slightly more hives in the country than before the die-offs began. That’s because beekeeping families like the Brownings have moved beyond panic and begun quietly adjusting to a strenuous way of doing business, one that requires constant monitoring, treatment, supplemental feeding, rapid replacement of dead hives, and grudging participation in an agricultural system that grows increasingly inhospitable to the bees it needs to survive."
A decade ago, people started panicking about the collapse of the honeybee population and the crash of our food supply. But today there are more honeybees than there were then. We have engineered our way to a frenzied and precarious new normal.
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A utility watch. Tempting. All it needs is an operating system!
Leatherman has announced their Tread multi-tool bracelet and Tread QM1 multi-tool watch, the first of their kind.
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I wonder if they do a Leatherman's watch for ladies too.
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Have them in circles
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Foie gras soup dumplings. The tasting menu never disappoints. You can have a real conversation here.
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Wonderful modern food (e.g. south-east asian pasta fusion) in an noisy modern environment full of finance types.
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All the butter and cream.
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Traditional New York take on French cuisine.
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Wine and small plates. Cosy. Tasty. Lovely in every way.
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