Friday, 25 April

00:00

Humanoid wasps' nest built over an abandoned sculpture [Boing Boing]

Redditor Countbubs posted this photo of a wasps' nest built over a wooden humanoid sculpture, with the wasps' paper following the contours of the underlying form.






Pols rip rancher's race remarks [CNN.com - Top Stories]

Cliven Bundy tells CNN he is putting meat on the table for America, but his comments on race have since gone viral, drawing widespread condemnation from Democrats and Republicans alike.

The 20-year-old graduate behind Safari for iPhone [The Verge - All Posts]

Francisco Tolmasky was 20 when he joined Apple in 2006. The computer science graduate, fresh from the University of Southern California, was immediately set to work on the upcoming iPhone's internet browser. From the beginning of his time at the company, Tolmasky says Steve Jobs would meet with him regularly to discuss his progress. "Steve was really adamant," the now 29-year-old Tolmasky tells The New York Times. "‘This needs to be like magic. Go back, this isn't magical enough!'" Younger than most at Apple, Tolmasky says Jobs was "super-guarded about the project," and was "probably suspicious of some random 20-year-old." Nevertheless, the small team Tolmasky was a part of went on to have a surprisingly influential role in defining...

Continue reading…

Thursday, 24 April

23:00

Mobile Safari creator talks about crafting Apple’s first iPhone apps [Ars Technica]

Francisco Tolmasky, the creator of mobile Safari, has shared some stories about the development of Apple's first iPhone apps.
Andrew Cunningham

Apple's infamous secrecy means that despite years of interviews, biographies, and testimonies, we still don't know everything about the development of the original iPhone hardware and the first version of the iPhone OS. Today, the New York Times Bits Blog ran an extensive interview with Francisco Tolmasky, the developer responsible for the first version of mobile Safari, and he shared some additional details about the creation of the very first iPhone apps.

We already know certain things about the development of the first iPhone's hardware and the early versions of what would eventually be named iOS—the phone was built in secret by teams that couldn't talk about their work, the software was a stripped-down version of OS X rather than a beefed-up version of the iPod OS, and certain iPhone OS developers began working on the project as early as 2004. Tolmasky said that the hardware and software teams were physically separated from one another, and that the software team itself was split up into often-overlapping "Web" and "app" teams.

Tolmasky, then a 20-year-old WebKit developer freshly graduated from the University of Southern California, was tapped to lead the five-person Web team. Like most of the people who worked on the iPhone project, he has memories of (twice-weekly) meetings with then-CEO Steve Jobs, and Jobs was characteristically unflinching in his demands. He wanted a finger-friendly mobile browser that could render standard pages properly on hardware much less powerful than the computers of the day.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

2014's big-name graduation speakers [CNN.com - Top Stories]

It's that time of year when colleges around the country announce the people who will offer the last lesson to soon-to-be graduates: the commencement speakers.

Fox News 'misunderstood me' [CNN.com - Top Stories]

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy talks to CNN's Bill Weir about Fox News hosts denouncing his recent comments.

This may solve plane mystery [CNN.com - Top Stories]

Forensic experts say cell phones could solve one of the biggest aviation mysteries in history. Ted Rowlands reports.

7 questions about schoolgirls' abduction [CNN.com - Top Stories]

The kidnapping of scores of girls from a Nigerian school shows the capabilities of the Islamist group Boko Haram and the government's thus far unsuccessful attempts to stop them.

Source: U.S. embassy plot foiled [CNN.com - Top Stories]

CNN's Barbara Starr reports that the stream of threats out of al Qaeda in Yemen has increased in recent weeks.

Andy Warhol's lost computer art found [CNN.com - Top Stories]

The soup can looks familiar in an unfamiliar way, but the name at the bottom of the image is unmistakable: Andy Warhol.

Royals tour Down Under [CNN.com - Top Stories]

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge embark on a Royal Tour of New Zealand and Australia.

What happened after he threw this bomb [CNN.com - Top Stories]

A security camera shows a man throwing a Molotov cocktail into a Brooklyn convenience store. WCBS reports.

11 assassination spots you can visit [CNN.com - Top Stories]

Death -- one of life's great unknowns, yet it comes to all of us.

Group Wants To Recover 36-Year-Old Historic Spacecraft From Deep Space [Slashdot]

An anonymous reader writes "A band of space hackers and engineers are trying to do something never done before — recover a 36 year old NASA spacecraft from the grips of deep space and time. With old NASA documents and Rockethub crowdfunding, a team led by Dennis Wingo and Keith Cowing is attempting to steer ISEE-3, later rechristened ICE, the International Cometary Explorer, back into an Earth orbit and return it to scientific operations. Dennis says, 'ISEE-3 can become a great teaching tool for future engineers and scientists helping with design and travel to Mars'. Only 40 days remain before the spacecraft will be out of range for recovery. A radio telescope is available, propulsion designs are in hand and the team is hoping for public support to provide the small amount needed to accomplish a very unique milestone in space exploration."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Blossoms [ongoing by Tim Bray]

It’s spring. I have a garden, a camera, and a blog. What more need be said?

This is our second year with this baby cherry tree. It has a scattering of blossoms; will there be fruit? Stay tuned.

Cherry blossoms

The tulips are just a bit past their peak, but still reward contemplation, the closer-up the better.

Orange and red tulip Yellow and violet tulip

Hm, I’m not actually sure what this is and it’s actually not a wonderful picture, but I was charmed by the web.

small white flowers with web

Of all the springy things each spring, the springiest is the fern eruption. You can practically watch the curls uncurl in the sun.

Fern fronds uncurling

California bill to require a 'kill switch' on phones fails in state senate [The Verge - All Posts]

A California bill that would require anti-theft measures to be included in smartphones, failed to pass today after a vote fell two Senate members short of its minimum. Senate bill 962 — which was introduced in February by Senator Mark Leno, a San Francisco Democrat — asked for any "advanced mobile communications device," sold in the state next year to have hardware or software features to let owners render the devices useless when stolen. The "kill switch" bill needed 21 votes to pass, but received just 19, with 17 nay votes, and one senator who did not vote earlier today, reports CNET.

Continue reading…

Pinterest introduces guided search feature to help you explore your interests [The Verge - All Posts]

Pinterest is rolling out an expanded search engine on its mobile apps for iOS and Android designed to help you browse your interests more effectively than you can on a traditional search engine. "Guided search," as Pinterest is calling the feature, returns a list of Pinterest tiles for your searches that are popular among users. Search "hairstyles," for example, and you'll see a list of trending items with that tag across the network. You can also add additional keywords to every query to focus your search. From "chair" you could add "living room" and "accent" to see popular accent chairs.

Continue reading…

22:00

Band releases album as Linux kernel module [Boing Boing]

Cycles Per Instruction by netcat

A band called netcat (also the name of a popular networking tool) has released its new album, Cycles Per Instruction, in a number of formats, including a world first: the album can be compiled as a Linux kernel module. As the band explains, "This repository contains the album's track data in source files, that (for complexity's sake) came from .ogg files that were encoded from .wav files that were created from .mp3 files that were encoded from the mastered .wav files which were generated from ProTools final mix .wav files that were created from 24-track analog tape."

And of course, "Track information will show up in the output of dmesg."

usrbinnc/netcat-cpi-kernel-module [Github]

(via JWZ)






Viola Smith plays drums on "Snake Charmer" (1939) [Boing Boing]

[Video Link] I like her kit! Wikipedia: "Viola Smith (born November 29, 1912) is an American drummer best known for her work in orchestras, swing bands, and popular music in the 1930s and 1940s.






21:00

Servant Stairwell [mingthein.com: the reader portfolio Pool]

randomesquephoto has added a photo to the pool:

Servant Stairwell

Abandoned Mansion

Zombie land [mingthein.com: the reader portfolio Pool]

Yien Chao has added a photo to the pool:

Zombie land

Processed with VSCOcam with x1 preset

(Untitled) [mingthein.com: the reader portfolio Pool]

Daniela Távora has added a photo to the pool:

Foto de Daniela Távora

Hong Kong [mingthein.com: the reader portfolio Pool]

than777 has added a photo to the pool:

Hong Kong

Hong Kong island

_DSC1661 Panorama (1) [mingthein.com: the reader portfolio Pool]

2careless has added a photo to the pool:

_DSC1661 Panorama (1)

Redone this Pano shot of Sydney Harbour Bridge in B/W - 3 rows x 2 columns stitched horizontally on my D90.

Strong cloud, weak PCs, and accounting rules give Microsoft a flat 3Q 2014 [Ars Technica]

Microsoft posted its financial results for the third quarter of its 2014 financial year, corresponding to the first quarter of the 2014 calendar year. Revenue was essentially flat, down less than one percent, at $20.4 billion. Operating income was down 8 percent at $6.97 billion, and earnings per share were down 6 percent at $0.68. Unless otherwise stated, all comparisons are with the third quarter of the company's 2013 financial year.

Devices and Consumer (D&C) Licensing revenue was up 0.7 percent at $4.38 billion, though gross margin was down 0.6 percent at $3.91 billion. Windows OEM revenue was overall up 4 percent, with Windows OEM Pro revenue up by a substantial 19 percent, reflecting increased sales of business PCs (stimulated in part by Windows XP's end-of-life) and greater penetration of Windows Pro in small and medium businesses. However, this strong Pro performance was substantially offset by Windows OEM non-Pro revenue, which was down 15 percent. Office Consumer revenue was also up, growing by 15 percent, with increased sales in Japan ahead a tax increase that Microsoft called out for special attention.

This reporting division also includes Windows Phone and related patent licensing. Microsoft didn't offer any specific information about its performance this quarter, but the year-to-date numbers (up $440 million in the first six months, but up only $429 million in the first nine months) indicate a $11 million deterioration in its quarterly performance, year-on-year.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Report: Google to end forced G+ integration, drastically cut division resources [Ars Technica]

When Vic Gundotra, the head of Google+, suddenly announced his departure from Google today, many were left wondering "why" and what it meant for the future of Google+. He didn't give a reason for leaving, but according to a report from TechCrunch, the likely reason is a major shakeup for Google's social network.

In short, Google seems to be backing away from the original Google+ strategy. The report states that Google+ will no longer be considered a product that competes with Facebook and Twitter, and that Google's mission to force Google+ into every product will end. With this downgrade in importance comes a downgrade in resources. TechCrunch claims that 1000-1200 employees—many of which formed the core of Google+—will be moved to other divisions. Google Hangouts will supposedly be moved to Android, and the Google+ photos team is "likely" to follow. "Basically, talent will be shifting away from the Google+ kingdom and towards Android as a platform," the report said. The strange part is that both of these teams create cross-platform products. So if the report is true, there will be a group inside the Android team making iOS and Web apps, which doesn't seem like the best fit.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

The Green Bubble Desktop [Lifehacker]

The Green Bubble Desktop

Matt Pollard's desktop has a color scheme after our own heart—green and black, and packed with tools as well as room to work. Here's how he set it all up, and how you can too.

Read more...








Instantly Find Space Hogs on Your Mac with a Spotlight Filter [Lifehacker]

Instantly Find Space Hogs on Your Mac with a Spotlight Filter

We've covered programs dedicated to analyzing what files are taking up the most space on your Mac, but if you want a quick and instant way to find those large files, Apple's Spotlight is the answer.

Read more...








Most measles cases in nearly 20 years [CNN.com - Top Stories]

More people have been infected with measles in the United States during the first four months of this year than have been infected in the first four months of the past 18 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Does Bush 41 want Jeb to run? [CNN.com - Top Stories]

Two families, two political parties -- one family business.

SOS in the sand makes all the difference [CNN.com - Top Stories]

The first clue was a boat floating in the ocean with no one on board.

Threats up from Al Qaeda in Yemen [CNN.com - Top Stories]

Threats from al Qaeda operatives in Yemen increased in recent weeks and were a reason Yemen and the United States partnered in drone strikes and counterterrorism operations over the last several days, U.S. officials told CNN.

Meth users here as young as 9 [CNN.com - Top Stories]

Meth use by children as young as 9 is a new challenge for Mexican authorities. CNN's Rafael Romo reports.

Apple, Google Agree To Settle Lawsuit Alleging Hiring Conspiracy [Slashdot]

An anonymous reader writes "A group of tech companies including Google and Apple have agreed to settle an antitrust lawsuit over no-hire agreements in Silicon Valley. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. From the article: 'Tech workers filed a class action lawsuit against Apple Inc, Google Inc, Intel Inc and Adobe Systems Inc in 2011, alleging they conspired to refrain from soliciting one another's employees in order to avert a salary war. Trial had been scheduled to begin at the end of May on behalf of roughly 64,000 workers in the class.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Tech Giants Settle Wage-Fixing Lawsuit [News]

The suit alleged Google, Apple Intel and Adobe agreed not to recruit each others employees in order to drive down wages.

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