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Sebastian “tokkee” Harl
A Random Hacker
A Random Hacker
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Thank you +Lufthansa​! Your website and app are not among the best -- I keep running into problems like that for years already, despite various (optical?) change to the site over time.
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The Aurora Tree
Image Credit & Copyright: Alyn Wallace Photography
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap170320.html

Yes, but can your tree do this? Pictured is a visual coincidence between the dark branches of a nearby tree and bright glow of a distant aurora. The beauty of the aurora -- combined with how it seemed to mimic a tree right nearby -- mesmerized the photographer to such a degree that he momentarily forgot to take pictures. When viewed at the right angle, it seemed that this tree had aurora for leaves! Fortunately, before the aurora morphed into a different overall shape, he came to his senses and capture the awe-inspiring momentary coincidence. Typically triggered by solar explosions, aurora are caused by high energy electrons impacting the Earth's atmosphere around 150 kilometers up. The unusual Earth-sky collaboration was witnessed earlier this month in Iceland.
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Science!
This is a slightly amusing, but interesting, bit of data analysis. Bernhardsson searched for articles of the form "Why our team moved from [programming language] to [other programming language]," to get a picture of trends. He ended up with the big matrix shown below.

Now, if you view the frequency of these articles as indicating the probability with which people actually move from one to the other, you end up with a big matrix of transition probabilities. And if you have a matrix of transition probabilities, you can compute the equilibrium distribution: in this case, what programming languages people end up using after a long time. (That assumes that the probability distributions stay fixed for long enough to reach equilibrium, but interestingly, it doesn't depend on what distribution of languages you started out with.)

In case you're wondering, the present future of programming languages is: 16.4% Go, 14.3% C, 13.2% Java, 11.5% C++, and 9.5% Python. This actually doesn't entirely surprise me: C and C++ continue to be the backbones of infrastructure and embedded systems; Java and Python remain the "generic default languages," and every other language people use for development tends to bounce back and forth between that and those standards; and people seem to be transitioning to Go a lot more than they transition away from it.

Of course, this assumes that the sort of things which people generate articles about is actually indicative of real life, which probably grossly overrepresents certain kinds of team.
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Looking at modern communication networks, it's hard to believe that just a little more than 100 years ago there was no transcontinental telephone connection.
This week in 1915, the first transcontinental telephone call was made between New York City and San Francisco. Although the line was completed and tested the previous summer, the official call took place on 25 January 1915 to coincide with the Panama-Pacific International Exposition celebrations.
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The very faint trace of twilight on Svalbard at noon provided the best conditions for aurora borealis photography.

The sky was still mostly pitch black (note how you can clearly see the stars) but there was just enough light for the naked eye to easily pick up colors and the camera chip to pretend that there was a blue sky. At other times, the human eye suffers from color discrimination so only stronger northern lights would appear colored.
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Aurora Borealis on Svalbard on New Year's Day
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Empire State

(No, I did not abuse Snapseed!)
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Partnach Gorge / Schachen
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11/23/16
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