Weekly Web Harvest for 2016-03-20

  • Angola’s Wikipedia Pirates Are Exposing the Problems With Digital Colonialism | Motherboard

    Wikimedia and Facebook have given Angolans free access to their websites, but not to the rest of the internet. So, naturally, Angolans have started hiding pirated movies and music in Wikipedia articles and linking to them on closed Facebook groups, creating a totally free and clandestine file sharing network in a country where mobile internet data is extremely expensive.

  • Why does HTML think “chucknorris” is a color? – Stack Overflow

    How come certain random strings produce various colors when entered as background colors in HTML? For example:


  • Data Structure + Narrative Chart = StoryLine? | OUseful.Info, the blog…
  • Dada Portal | The Ridership Rachenitsa

    Each musical beat is a day, as is each vertical line. One musical instrument represents the daily ridership of Chicago buses, and the other represents the daily ridership of New York subways. (Both are measured at fare collection points.)

  • BioBIKE Portal

    One solution is for biologists to become familiar with a few tools, such as Blast. This gets the researcher from one point to another, like flying high above the terrain. Some places are impossible to get to in this way.

    Another solution is to procure the services of a computer programmer. This may produce new tools appropriate to the problem at hand, but it is like traveling in a darkened limosine, where the passenger directs the driver but with no first hand knowledge of the surrounding world.

    BioBIKE offers a different solution, one where a computationally inexperienced researcher may ride leisurely through the data, observing its novelty and responding directly to it.

  • Monash Creative Coding | Flickr – Photo Sharing!

    Welcome to Monash University’s Creative Coding Course
    h/t David C.

  • Can we save the open web? | Dries Buytaert

    But algorithmic oversight is not enough. In numbers by the billions, people are using free and convenient services, often without a clear understanding of how and where their data is being used. Many times, this data is shared and exchanged between services, to the point where people don’t know what’s safe anymore. It’s an unfair trade-off.

  • Maryam Zaringhalam: Cheating My Way To Smart — The Story Collider

    Maryam Zaringham’s scheme to cheat her way into the smart class makes clear a huge flaw in the education system.

    Maryam Zaringhalam is a molecular biologist and graduate student at The Rockefeller University. In the lab, Maryam tinkers with parasites and computers to understand how small changes to our genetic building blocks can affect how we look and function. When she’s not doing science, Maryam runs ArtLab, a series that pairs scientists with artists, and podcasts with Science Soapbox, exploring science and policy.

  • Adventures in Narrated Reality — Medium

    This was a rather dark time in my life, as I rapidly found myself writing for a variety of unsavory clients and causes in order to pay my rent every month. In completing these assignments, I began to integrate algorithms into my writing process to improve my productivity. (At the time, I didn’t think about these techniques as algorithmic, but it’s obvious in retrospect.) For example, if I had to write 12 letters, I’d write them in a spreadsheet with a paragraph in each cell. Each letter would exist in a column, and I would write across the rows—first I’d write all the first paragraphs as one group, then all the second paragraphs, then all the thirds, and so on. If I had to write a similar group of letters the next day for the same client, I would use an Excel macro to randomly shuffle the cells, then edit the paragraphs for cohesion and turn the results in as an entirely new batch of letters.

    “The Diagonalization Argument” (c. 2012)