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Photographer took 100,000 smoke plume photos looking for unexpected shapes | Colossal →

September 02, 2014 |

This is amazing:

Over the last three months photographer Thomas Herbrich snapped some 100,000 individual photographs of smoke, looking for unexpected anomalies and fortuitous coincidences where familiar shapes emerged. It’s fascinating to see how the brain tries to create order out of chaos, just like looking up at the clouds, suddenly familiar patterns seem to stand out: faces, hands, or scrolls of paper. After carefully sifting through each image Herbrich selected 20 final shots for this series, aptly titled, Smoke.

Really stunning images.

Via The Loop.

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Email | Inessential →

September 02, 2014 |

Brent Simmons tries to come up with a communication system for easily exchanging links over the Internet:

There’s no technical reason why that specific use case — message with link, no subject line, quick to find contact, quick to write and send — couldn’t be handled by email. The issue is user interface.

It continues to surprise me that email app vendors don’t think about the way people communicate now. They may think about the way people communicate by email but they don’t think about how people communicate in general.

Excellent point. This is an intriguing idea, and I wonder why nobody has tried to run away with it yet.

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Apple says iCloud accounts of celebrities were hacked in targeted attack | Re/code →

September 02, 2014 |

Here’s the statement from Apple:

We wanted to provide an update to our investigation into the theft of photos of certain celebrities. When we learned of the theft, we were outraged and immediately mobilized Apple’s engineers to discover the source. Our customers’ privacy and security are of utmost importance to us. After more than 40 hours of investigation, we have discovered that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the Internet. None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud or Find my iPhone. We are continuing to work with law enforcement to help identify the criminals involved.

So, they’re basically saying that their systems were not at fault, and that the attackers knew which iCloud accounts they were hacking into.

This strikes me as a very odd statement. Even if their systems were not breached, at the end of the day several high-profile accounts were hacked. Their wording makes it sound a lot like they’re saying: “this is life on the Internet, better get used to it”.

That’s not very reassuring, and it doesn’t sound like Apple to me.

If you haven’t done it yet, this might be a good time to set up 2-step verification for your Apple ID.

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Three Chilean engineering students create world's first 'unstealable bike' →

September 02, 2014 |

Interesting concept:

Designers Juan José Monsalve, Andrés Roi, and Cristóbal Cabello say on their Yerka Project website that their prototype bike “looks like a traditional bike to the naked eye, but it’s the safest bicycle you’ll find” because “we decided to make a lock out of the frame” so “the only way to steal it is to break the lock, which implies breaking the bike.”

Be sure to check out the video at the project’s website to get a better idea of how it works.

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Stephen Hackett creates a fundraiser for St Jude Children's hospital →

September 02, 2014 |

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. From his article on 512 Pixels:

I’ve set up a St. Jude fundraising page that I will be linking to instead of RSS sponsors for the month of September. My goal is to raise $1,000 for the kids of St. Jude this month It takes $2 million a day to run the hospital and research center, so $1,000 is a drop in the bucket. Let’s make it our drop.

This is an important cause. I’ve already donated, and you should too.

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How the new HTML 'Picture' element will make the Web faster | Ars Technica →

September 02, 2014 |

Scott Gilbertson on the new HTML Picture element, which will allow mobile devices to selectively load smaller-res images on websites:

Web developers recognized this problem very early on in the growth of what was called the “mobile” Web back then. So more recently, a few of them banded together to do something developers have never done before—create a new HTML element.

Fascinating story.

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Stop Stealing Dreams by Seth Godin | TEDxYouth →

September 02, 2014 |

I came across this on Seth Godin’s blog today, and it’s worth a link even though it’s nearly two years old. It’s an amazing talk he gave at TEDxYouth back in 2012, where he asks a truly important question:

What is school for?

He goes on to make an incredibly relevant critique of the modern school system, and how we can fix it. Be sure to also take a look at the manifesto for more in-depth information.

Really, really great stuff.

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Don't forget to remember this | Fifty Foot Shadows →

September 01, 2014 |

Another gem that I missed last week, this time by John Carey:

Photography is a privilege we are lucky to have, but it should never get in the way of our happiness, it should pull us toward it like a magnetic force. The secret to great photography has nothing to do with your philosophy, your choice of format, or your pedigree. Let your camera be your compass. Live first, then shoot.

So much to love in this piece.

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