Weekly Web Harvest for 2016-06-12

  • Glitch City – BLDGBLOG

    Sites of urban infrastructure and other industrial facilities integral to municipal management, from fire stations to fuel depots, appear to be the target of deliberate erasure in Baidu’s street maps.

  • Nick Bostrom: ‘We are like small children playing with a bomb’ | Technology | The Guardian

    The axes of daunting-looking graphs in his papers will be calibrated on closer inspection in terms of “endurable”, “crushing” and “hellish”. In his introduction to Superintelligence, the observation “Many of the points made in this book are probably wrong” typically leads to a footnote that reads: “I don’t know which ones.” Does he sometimes feel he is morphing into Douglas Adams?

  • These May Be the Only People Who Want Yahoo to Thrive – Bloomberg

    The world’s biggest oil traders take price slumps, trade sanctions and natural disasters in stride. The decline of a vintage Internet company has them quaking.
    Yahoo! Inc.’s Messenger has for almost 18 years been the default communication tool for the men and women who each day move billions of dollars’ worth of crude oil and petroleum products around the planet.

  • _9MOTHER9HORSE9EYES9: the mysterious tale terrifying Reddit | Technology | The Guardian

    Reddit makes a fascinating platform for community-oriented fiction, and a perfect one for this slow-building and creepy invention, which fans have started calling “The Interface Series”. Each snippet of the abstract tale lives in a different discussion thread, so reading feels like combing a conversation history rather than following a linear tale. You can read the story in chronological order, but you can also follow the mystery to its origin: the standard display format for a user’s comments on Reddit is in reverse chronological order. By sorting the posts according to how “hot” or “controversial” they are, you can let the engagement of other readers guide your experience.

  • The Podcast That Tells Ingeniously Boring Bedtime Stories to Help You Fall Asleep – The New Yorker

    His plots are equally labyrinthine: a recent few episodes centered on a magical female pirate named Lady Witchbeard; another imagined a secret war between See’s Candies and Whitman’s Samplers. In his Sunday-night-TV recaps—the most recent batch of which is titled “Game of Drones”—he might delve into a meditation on the Red Priestess Melisandre’s eldritch choker necklace, which might then inspire a detailed exploration of the science behind mood rings. Where a traditionally good yarn pulls the listener effortlessly along, the fibres of Scooter’s stories gradually unravel into wayward puffs of wool. These zany tales are downloaded roughly 1.3 million times each month; last year, the show broke iTunes’ list of top-fifty podcasts.

  • Inside Donald Trump’s Twitter-Bot Fan Club

    : The Clinton SuperPAC Correct the Record set aside a cool $1 million just to combat Bernie bros in 140 characters or fewer.

  • Is the Fish Kick the Fastest Swim Stroke Yet?

    Most swimmers were using the dolphin kick to propel themselves underwater, but Hyman’s coach, Bob Gillet, wanted to experiment. In 1995 he came across a study in Scientific American about how tuna were able to swim at almost 50 mph, where dolphins top out around 25 mph. The study found that the flick of a fish tail generated more efficient thrust than that of a marine mammal tail. Gillet wondered whether the dolphin kick might be more powerful on its side, so the undulations were horizontal, like those of a fish.

  • dy/dan » Blog Archive » Your GPS Is Making You Dumber, and What That Means for Teaching

    –Very similar to the intensive “support” that’s given to prevent students from failing . . .

    “When I talk about GPSing students in a mathematics class I am describing our tendency to tell students—step-by-step—how to arrive at the answer to a mathematics problem, just as a GPS device in a car tells us – step-by-step – how to arrive at some destination.

    Shannon writes that when she used her GPS, “I usually arrived at my destination having learned little about my journey and with no overview of my entire route.”

  • A Chaotic, Chaotic Butterfly, Part 1 | EmilyGorcenski.com

    A coder/mathematician playing in the intersection.