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Teun Duynstee
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Explaining map projections using some nice #d3 illustrations. Everyone who loves maps should know this. http://teunduynstee.tumblr.com/post/59802212530/map-projections-and-why-we-need-them …

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The economy of shaving
I am a long time wet shaver. I use shaving foam or gel from a can and the same question has been nagging me for years: how long does one can serve? Of course, there are many variables:
- how much do you actually need to feel soft and creamy enough for shaving?
- can you use the full content of the can or does the propellant gas run out with most cream still in the can?
- is it easy to dose a modest amount?
- does the mouthpiece let out way too much foam?
- there are many more, mostly psychological factors

The only way to be sure, I thought, was to test it. So I have been tracking the number of days one can serves me for a few years now, using many different brands, both foam and gel. I use http://your.flowingdata.com to do the tracking through twitter.

I have just processed the data and had a first look at the results. Surprising results:
- ml used per day is not lower for gel than for foam (surprising, as gel is normally sold in smaller packages)
- some brands are actually a lot more economic in their use than others (I haven't yet included price/ml in the data)

Will post some charts later. First conclusion: the gel I now use and like (from Nivea) is actually the one that serves me longest. More than twice as long as some others.

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No format has been abused like XML has. I still think it's a fairly complete readable format.

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Minimum Wage Machine
Blake Fall-Conroy, 2008-2010

This machine allows anyone to work for minimum wage for as long as they like. Turning the crank on the side releases one penny every 4.97 seconds, for a total of $7.25 per hour. This corresponds to minimum wage for a person in New York. 

This piece is brilliant on multiple levels, particularly as social commentary. Without a doubt, most people who started operating the machine for fun would quickly grow disheartened and stop when realizing just how little they’re earning by turning this mindless crank. A person would then conceivably realize that this is what nearly two million people in the United States do every day…at much harder jobs than turning a crank. This turns the piece into a simple, yet effective argument for raising the minimum wage.

// rapidly making its way around tumblr, found at SA's D&D

edit for reference:

The average worker earning minimum wage must work 130+ hours to afford rent in New York and California. 

http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/30/paying-rent-on-minimum-wage/
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On March 7-8, 2005 I attended Digital Living Room: Where Silicon Valley and Hollywood Meet. It was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Foster City, California. It was organized by iHollywoodForum which hosts several conferences of this type. This show is interesting because a large number of Venture Capitalists attend.

I talked with the CTO of Digital 5, a company that makes DLNA devices. I told him about the problem I found in the DLNA Guidelines:

The DLNA home network becomes a vector for delivering viruses, assault advertising, and spam programming to every digital media device in the home. DLNA will make it possible for people to experience everything they hate about their computers and the Internet with their TVs. Viruses that take over the PC will be able to take control of all home media. Viruses can change channels, delete programs, replace programs with evil programs, and possibly infect the other devices. A virus in the computer can launch a Denial of Service attack against the TV. DLNA has no security mechanism of any kind to protect the home system.

He said that no one would create such attacks. I reminded him about the current state of email and spam, and then he admitted that the attacks were likely. He suggested that a solution might be to have the TV and computer authenticate each other. I showed him why that wouldn't work. He then suggested that people would need to get firewalls in their home between the computer and DLNA devices. I explained why that was also a really bad idea. Finally he expressed optimism that eventually DLNA will eventually identify and solve the problem somehow.

I think that the computer-engineering approach to convergence can be just as wrong as Hollywood's approach. Consumers do not need and have not asked for the Digital Living Room. They will reject it if it is not really easy to use, or if it does not deliver high value and convenience, or if it introduces problems. The media companies have looked at the threats but not the opportunities. The technology companies have looked at the opportunities but not the threats.

The reason I bring this up is because of this article: 

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bcp.12034/abstract
So scientists assert that there is no scientific proof of the positive effects of EPO on the performance of cyclists. What they say is basically: all of the published experiments on the effects of EPO are in circumstances that are nothing like the duration of a Tour de France stage.
Then again, there is also no proof that it doesn't work and we do know that cyclists in the Pantani/Armstrong era mounted the same clims significantly faster than before and after.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpe_d'Huez#Fastest_Alpe_d.27Huez_ascents


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TIL that the Viking 1 Lander was effectively bricked in 1982 when a software update in the battery management system overwrote part of the antenna system's data.
( see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viking_1#Lander , original report http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~mars/LFEM/lfemstep/lfemstep_slides/viking_documents/Pdf/JPL_Publication_82-107.pdf section 3 page 12)

Hopefully the same thing won't happen to Curiosity during the current update! :-)
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