Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-07-16

  • Celebrating 30 years in VR: Professor Robert J. Stone on Human Factors and the Future of VR and AR

    In healthcare generally, we have, in the past, developed VR and AR for surgical training and education; today, we’re investigating the delivery of virtual scenes of nature into hospital intensive care wards to help improve patient sleep quality and post-operative rehabilitation.

  • share-this: Medium-like text sharing

    Medium style tool tip sharing

  • Return to Sender – Futility Closet

    Competitive boomerang throwers participate in a number of events: distance, accuracy, trick catches, and so on. One of the most popular of these is maximum time aloft, in which the goal is to keep the boomerang in the air as long as possible with a single throw.

    Unbelievably, the record here is 17 minutes and 6 seconds, set by John Gorski of Avon, Ohio, in 1993. At the time a respectable flight might last 30 to 40 seconds, but Gorski’s boomerang hit a thermal that carried it upward an estimated 200 meters, where it hovered for several minutes over the Olentangy River. It drifted south for 225 meters, then headed north again, descending to find Gorski, who managed to catch it 40 meters from where he’d thrown it.

  • FCJ 28: Creative Robotics

    To make robots apparently social. The most common strategies for “socialising” robots follow a simple recipe: human or human-like appearance, human etiquette, (a hint of) gender, and human stereotypes. Pepper excels in all of these, which explains why it is so popular (so far only sold in Japan, any batch sells out in minutes (Del Prado, 2015)). But let’s not forget that, in addition to their design and programming, robots thrive in a well-established social ecology of human-machine configurations. The current figure of the “social robot”, particularly its commercial manifestations, is deliberately located in a conservative, rose-tinted, Disney-like version of this ecology, where robots are the friends or servants of a privileged few, and gender roles and divisions of labour are not only unquestioned but reaffirmed.

  • abhisheksoni27/codespell: Record time spent programming epiphanies

    Record time spent programming

  • In Unix, what do some obscurely named commands stand for?

    A dog named Biff
    This command, which turns on asynchronous mail notification, was actually named after a dog. Courtesy of Eric Cooper, Carnegie Mellon University:

    “I can confirm the origin of biff, if you’re interested. Biff was Heidi Stettner’s dog, back when Heidi (and I, and Bill Joy) were all grad students at U.C. Berkeley and the early versions of BSD were being developed. Biff was popular among the residents of Evans Hall, and was known for barking at the mailman, hence the name of the command.”

  • Stop writing PHP like it’s 2009… – Florian’s Blog

    XHP makes HTML a first-class citizen of PHP, by making it so you can write HTML outside of a string literal and have it parse and behave properly as XHP.

  • Surgery Is One Hell Of A Placebo | FiveThirtyEight

    A 2014 review of 53 trials that compared elective surgical procedures to placebos found that sham surgeries provided some benefit in 74 percent of the trials and worked as well as the real deal in about half.1 Consider the middle-aged guy going in for surgery to treat his knee pain. Arthroscopic knee surgery has been a common orthopedic procedure in the United States, with about 692,000 of them performed in 2010,2 but the procedure has proven no better than a sham when done to address degenerative wear and tear, particularly on the meniscus.3

    –now can we do some educational trails of a similar nature?