Saturday, January 31, 2015

Links for January

Earlier this month Opportunity completed day 4000 of it's much extended 90 day mission.  When I heard about this I thought about the saddest xkcd comic ever, but I discovered that someone extended the comic to a much more cheerful ending.

Continuing the xkcd theme, remember that comic with the complete solution for Tic-Tac-Toe?  It isn't quite as rigorous but Texas Hold'em has also been solved.

I'm generally pro-nuclear power, so I'm excited by ways to make nuclear power cheaper and safer.

You can argue about most of the discoveries in the European Age of Exporation.  One the one hand the inhabitants clearly already knew about the Americas, Lake Victoria, etc.  On the other hand I don't mind saying that I discovered an excellent Szechuan restaurant recently despite the fact that I'm fairly confident that the owner and cook at the very least had known about it before I did.  Still, there were some places discovered that actually were unknown to anybody else.  And I've got to say, that whole website is just delightful if you like maps.

And speaking of liking maps, here are some amazing aerial photos of New York.

SpaceX launched a rocket!  It brought its cargo to space then fell back to Earth landed on a barge in the middle of the Atlantic.  Then it fell over, oops.  But that's still very impressive and they think they know how to fix what went wrong.

Eearlier this month I attended the Journal Of Imrpobably Reasearch panel at Arisia (they're the same people who give out the Ig Nobel Prizes).  The whole thing was amusing and but sadly not online.  Thankfully I found another amusing thing when I was there reading one of their actual journals before the show started and I can share my favorite paper from it.

Prosecutors almost never indict police officers who kill people in questionable circumstances such as Eric Gardner.  One prosecuter in Arizona did and found that the police had effective ways of retaliating.  Police officers like members of every other group sometimes act in ways that call for criminal sanction and it really worries me that that no longer seems possible in this country.

Microsoft has created some really compelling augmented reality goggles.  They're calling it "holograms" rather than augmented reality which actually makes a lot of sense from a marketing perspective.  What those goggles do is pretty close to Hollywood holograms even if they're totally unrelated to real holograms.

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