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Joe Naylor
Lives in Bountiful, UT
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Joe Naylor

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I've had a lot of issues lately trying to return to an old hangout using the same link, lately.  It works about 50% of the time, the rest of the time it tells me "this video call isn't available right now" or something like "The party's over, but you can start a new one.  Error: HJR: 2-RNF".

My friends and I were returning to the same hangout pretty often, so I set up a simpler URL to redirect to it so we could remember it.  It was about that time that it stopped working, but I don't know if that's really related or if I just started launching the hangout more often right then.

It's pretty annoying.  Anyone else seen this?  Anyone else use hangouts as much as I do to even have a chance to see this?
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Joe Naylor

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"Thank you Jon Snow."  "It's Kit."  "Thank you Kit Snow."
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Any guesses on when we might see a S&W update for Bard's Gate?
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Just got the original version. Very nice fantasy city from what I've read so far! Will definitely get this for S&W!
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Wow, that's really cool.

via +Kateryna Artyushkova 
 
This. Is. Amazing. 
The first 21 days of a bee's life are captured in this inspiring video by photographer Anand Varma. Bees pollinate 1/3 of the world's food crop but are being threatened by the Varroa destructor mite; Varma was hired to document the process.
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In short: coffee is almost uniformly very good for you, with no negative health effects. But this goes only for black coffee, in moderate amounts, not for the coffee-flavoured milk-and-sugar soft drinks that coffee chains also sell.
A review of studies shows that coffee’s reputation as being unhealthy is undeserved, with the potential health benefits surprisingly large.
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Actually that is pretty nifty.
 
This is so great! (via +Zadi Diaz)
A viral video shows a couple in their 20s transformed by makeup artists to be in their 90s. The process of seeing their aging evokes something beautiful.
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Awesome!  Looking forward to it!
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Yay!  Google FINALLY added Collections!  Google offered no options for topic filters so many people have been using the privacy mechanics for it, which is a really terrible way to filter content.  No way to know which circles you're in, no way to know if a person even has topic-based circles, just crappy crap-ville.  It's only about two years too late, but maybe Collections can finally do it right.
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I still like your community though, because you brought me all these other people posing similar content at the same time.

Can you put community posts in a collection, too? 
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I know the Lost Lands geography has evolved a bit as new products have been released, but is there a large scale map--or even just a rough sketch!--of the world where the current books fit?
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So I bought both maps (and the Rappan Athuk Player's Guide) tonight with the Memorial Day coupon, and they do help a lot.  Now it all make sense!

Stoneheart Valley is 500 or 600 miles further east than I pictured.  I guess Endhome is off by about the same...  Maybe it's actually that Tsar is further west than I thought.

It also really helps place everything in the Sword of Air.  In fact it would be challenging to run Sword of Air without at least the Gulf of Akados map, I couldn't find anything like it in the book (if it's there and I missed it I'd like to know!)
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The Machine: a desperate gamble

Hewlett-Packard was once at the cutting edge of technology.  Now they make most of their money selling servers, printers, and ink... and business keeps getting worse.  They've shed 40,000 employees since 2012.   Soon they'll split in two: one company that sells printers and PCs, and one that sells servers and information technology services.  

The second company will do something risky but interesting.   They're trying to build a new kind of computer that uses chips based on memristors rather than transistors, and uses optical fibers rather than wires to communicate between chips.  It could make computers much faster and more powerful.  But nobody knows if it will really work.

The picture shows memristors on a silicon wafer.  But what's a memristor?   Quoting the MIT Technology Review:

Perfecting the memristor is crucial if HP is to deliver on that striking potential. That work is centered in a small lab, one floor below the offices of HP’s founders, where Stanley Williams made a breakthrough about a decade ago.

Williams had joined HP in 1995 after David Packard decided the company should do more basic research. He came to focus on trying to use organic molecules to make smaller, cheaper replacements for silicon transistors (see “Computing After Silicon,” September/October 1999). After a few years, he could make devices with the right kind of switchlike behavior by sandwiching molecules called rotaxanes between platinum electrodes. But their performance was maddeningly erratic. It took years more work before Williams realized that the molecules were actually irrelevant and that he had stumbled into a major discovery. The switching effect came from a layer of titanium, used like glue to stick the rotaxane layer to the electrodes. More surprising, versions of the devices built around that material fulfilled a prediction made in 1971 of a completely new kind of basic electronic device. When Leon Chua, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, predicted the existence of this device, engineering orthodoxy held that all electronic circuits had to be built from just three basic elements: capacitors, resistors, and inductors. Chua calculated that there should be a fourth; it was he who named it the memristor, or resistor with memory. The device’s essential property is that its electrical resistance—a measure of how much it inhibits the flow of electrons—can be altered by applying a voltage. That resistance, a kind of memory of the voltage the device experienced in the past, can be used to encode data.

HP’s latest manifestation of the component is simple: just a stack of thin films of titanium dioxide a few nanometers thick, sandwiched between two electrodes. Some of the layers in the stack conduct electricity; others are insulators because they are depleted of oxygen atoms, giving the device as a whole high electrical resistance. Applying the right amount of voltage pushes oxygen atoms from a conducting layer into an insulating one, permitting current to pass more easily. Research scientist Jean Paul Strachan demonstrates this by using his mouse to click a button marked “1” on his computer screen. That causes a narrow stream of oxygen atoms to flow briefly inside one layer of titanium dioxide in a memristor on a nearby silicon wafer. “We just created a bridge that electrons can travel through,” says Strachan. Numbers on his screen indicate that the electrical resistance of the device has dropped by a factor of a thousand. When he clicks a button marked “0,” the oxygen atoms retreat and the device’s resistance soars back up again. The resistance can be switched like that in just picoseconds, about a thousand times faster than the basic elements of DRAM and using a fraction of the energy. And crucially, the resistance remains fixed even after the voltage is turned off.

Getting this to really work has not been easy!  On top of that, they're trying to use silicon photonics to communicate between chips - another technology that doesn't quite work yet.

Still, I like the idea of this company going down in a blaze of glory, trying to do something revolutionary, instead of playing it safe and dying a slow death.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

For more, see this:

• Tom Simonite, Machine dreams, MIT Technology Review, http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/536786/machine-dreams/
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I think Target may be confused about which edition this is (see the name on the price tag). 
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The MSRP is $19.99 so it is not much of a markup. Still a little odd though. I would think Target could get a better deal on pricing from Wizards.
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I'm digging this new orchestral album from VNV.  Probably because it includes renditions of a few of my favorites from their golden age, like this one.
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Finally beat Legend of Grimrock 2 tonight!  I loved it, what a fantastic game.  I almost never play single-player games anymore, let alone play enough to actually beat one, but it sucked me in and didn't let go.
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