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Gavin Baker
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Gavin Baker

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The Harris Spiral, a new curve derived from the Golden Rectangle. Mathematics meets aesthetics.
Inspired by the golden ratio, mathematician Edmund Harriss discovered a delightful fractal curve that no one had ever drawn before. But it’s not just a pretty picture, it contains some lovely theory – and brings the golden ratio into a family of perfect proportions.
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Some incredible footage...
These videos were the best of their kind this year.
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The strangest thing about Dr Strangelove, one of the best films of the last century, is that it is more fact than fiction.
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Thanks to the magic of JavaScript, you can now play hundreds of MAME (arcade) games online. Frogger, anyone?
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"Technology has fed our addiction to light, and might help us end it."
In 1996, Yale economist William D. Nordhaus calculated that the average citizen of Babylon would have had to work a total of 41 hours…
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Some good progress in the Software Patents debacle. Despite the Patent Office approving the majority of applications, the courts have invalidated a number of trivial or obvious patents in recent times. The Alice v. CLS Bank ruling sent a clear message that "doing X on a computer" is not sufficiently novel to deserve patent protection.
The courts have destroyed 11 software patents in the last 3 months and are on track to shatter previous records for software patent invalidations.
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Digital technology has blazed forward and usurped analog in only a few decades. Sadly, the one problem it hasn't solved yet is archiving.

Just as books written hundreds of years ago are still perfectly readable (provided they are appropriately stored), film taken decades ago is still eminently playable (given the right storage conditions). We obviously need no special hardware to read old books, while film can easily be read by simple hardware that would be easy to recreate.

Not so with digital technology. There is considerable research on the durability of optical media that shows it is nowhere near as long-lasting as we had thought. And magnetic media is probably even less durable. And even if the media endures, the readers may well not last. Imagine the infrastructure required to read a digital copy - workstation, peripherals, cables, operating system, drivers, applications - all of the appropriately compatible version. To recreate this from scratch would be nigh impossible. And if you needed a dongle then, you will need a dongle in the future!

And what about the file formats used to encode and decode the data? Storing your archive in proprietary formats is making a bet that this proprietary system and all its dependencies will still be available and fully functional indefinitely. That's assuming the media survives!

It is imperative that we develop more durable media in conjunction with open file formats to ensure that the digital media created this century is still accessible far into the future. Competing with vellum and celluloid is harder than it seems...
When it comes to preserving movies, the digital revolution may turn out to be a catastrophe.
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First clue: "Berlin".

Now: "clock".

After 20 years, the final panel in the Kryptos sculpture remains undeciphered...
In 1989, the year the Berlin Wall began to fall, American artist Jim Sanborn was busy working on his Kryptos sculpture, a cryptographic puzzle wrapped in a riddle that he created for the CIA’s headquarters and that has been driving amateur and professional cryptographers mad ever since. To honor the 25th anniversary of the Wall’s…
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A new clock so accurate, time may become meaningless.

This new atomic clock is so accurate that it is sensitive to the Earth's gravitational field, which means time passes at different speeds depending on your altitude, creating another tangled web of relativistic effects.
Scientists working to create the perfect atomic clock have a fundamental problem: Right now, on the ceiling, time is passing just a bit faster than it is on the floor.
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Unlike humans with our meagre trichromatic (red, green, blue) vision, mantis shrimp have up to 16 different photoreceptor types in their visual system, allowing them to see colours and shades far beyond human capabilities - the best of any known creature. And now, in this biologically inspired research, the mantis shrimp has been used as a model for a computer vision system that can distinguish between different tissue types, including normal and cancerous tissue. This could be a massive boon for non-invasive diagnostics and early detection of tumours. Fascinating stuff.
Inspired by the eyes of mantis shrimps, Australian researchers have created sensors that can detect cancer and visualise brain activity.
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Years ago, my wife and I discussed in some detail setting up a Journal of Negative Results. Inspired by the challenges of replicating results (especially in the biological sciences) and the pressure to only ever publish positive and statistically significant results, we decided it would be valuable to also publish tests, experiments and results which did not lead to a significant conclusion. Provided the experiments are well-designed and carefully executed, knowing that a certain experimental setup has no effect could be just as interesting as knowing that it does. This could also reduce duplication of effort between labs.

This article proposes an elegant solution to the "publish or perish" dilemma by establishing a pre-registration process. An article is accepted for publication based on its hypothesis, experimental design and analysis plan, not on its final result.
A proposal aims to address the problem of studies that go unpublished even though their findings can be important.
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Embedded a modern digital camera into a classic analog film camera body.
INTRODUCTION About a year ago I was awarded a generous amount of money from the Arkwright scholarship fund with which I decided to take a good old film camera and 'digitise it' using components tak...
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Have him in circles
89 people
Taylor K's profile photo
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zaen ali's profile photo
Kent Jacobs's profile photo
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