Fukushima Incident gets Level 7 Rating by NISA →

April 13, 2011 |

The accident has been given a Level 7 rating on the INES scale, the same as Chernobyl, the worst nuclear accident ever. Still, the situation in Fukushima is far from reaching those proportions:

Fukushima isn’t there yet. So far, most of the material in the core, including the longest-lived isotopes, seems to have stayed there. Far less material entered the atmosphere (only 10 percent of what was released by Chernobyl), and most of that drifted over uninhabited areas of the Pacific. The biggest release occurred directly into the ocean, where it poses less of a threat to humans in the short time before it is diluted into background levels. There have been people exposed to dangerous levels of radioactivity, contamination of nearby land, and threats to the food and water supply. But each of these, so far at least, has been on a smaller scale than in the Ukraine—Fukushima is bad, but it hasn’t yet become Chernobyl-level bad.

They are considering the accidents in units 1, 2 and 3 as a single event, and giving a global rating based on the estimated total release of radioactive materials into the atmosphere.

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Quote of the day →

April 12, 2011 |

And fact is only what you believe And fact and fiction work as a team

Jack Johnson, It’s All Understood (Brushfire Fairytales, 2001).

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Webstock on Vimeo →

April 11, 2011 |

The sessions from Webstock 2011 are finally up. You can watch every session, from John Gruber to Merlin Mann.

If, like me, you couldn’t travel all the way to New Zealand, this is solid gold.

Via Daring Fireball.

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The iPad Has Broken My Brain | TechCrunch →

April 06, 2011 |

It’s like my brain is locked in. I’m someone who has had an iPad for a year, but I’ve never used it for days in a row without touching a computer like I just did this weekend. And it seems to have re-wired my brain.

It’s the billion-dollar question: What’s so special about the iPad? This is something that’s impossible to understand unless you actually hold one in your hands and use it for a while: It changes everything. It changes the way you interact with computers. It changes you. Forever.

Starting with Mac OS X Lion, the behavior of two-finger scrolling will be reversed to match that of iOS devices. Why? Simply because it is more natural. It’s how it always should have been. But we needed iOS to learn that.

The good news? Scrolling is just the beginning; a global re-wiring has already started. It will affect the entirety of our computing experience, and there’s no stopping it.

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Oldie but Goodie iPhone speculation circa 2002 →

April 06, 2011 |

It’s really striking how far back some Apple rumors extend. The tablet rumors were nearly constant for years, during which we didn’t even get a glimpse of the actual device until just days before the iPad was officially presented on stage.

Here we have a little gem: one of the very first Daring Fireball articles, already dealing with rumors of a so-called “Apple iPhone” circa 2002:

Other than Jobs himself, who confirms nothing about an Apple iPhone, Mr. Markoff’s only sources are “industry analysts”. Industry analysts know nothing about Apple, and given their record in the tech industry in the last few years, it’s a wonder anyone quotes them at all. Even the Daring Fireball could have offered better insight than these bozos.

Funny how little some things change over the years.

An unrelated aside: what strikes me as odd now is seeing John Gruber refer to himself in the third person as “The Daring Fireball”. John has come a long ways since 2002, and I for one am very glad to know that he is still in the trenches, going strong, better than ever. It really makes the Internet a much more interesting place.

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Quote of the Day →

April 06, 2011 |

I’m all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let’s start with typewriters.

Solomon Short (David Gerrold’s Alter Ego)

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The Read & Trust newsletter starts on a high note →

April 05, 2011 |

Read & Trust is committed to gathering together the best independent writers available—the ones recommended by the writers you read and trust.

Who better to kick start this amazing initiative than Patrick Rhone, one of my favorite authors on the Internet. Actually, one of my favorite authors, period. The first article in the series is nothing short of astounding. It is insightful, first-class writing at its best. Every bit as promised on the box, which is rare these days, and precisely that makes it all the more special.

If it piques your curiosity, go ahead and sign up. For only $5 a month it is a tremendous value. And with the likes of Marco Arment, Shawn Blanc, Ben Brooks and many more, it’s only going to get better.

These are not just excellent writers with a deep passion for writing, they’re also genuinely generous people, and a great source of inspiration for me. They are whom I look up to when I sit down here and type on this site, in the hopes that one day I will be able to achieve a fraction of what they’ve already accomplished. I’m grateful to have a chance to support their work in such a great way.

One article done, many more to come.

I can hardly wait.

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The pitfall in platform predictions by asymco →

April 05, 2011 |

However, the evidence has shown that no Goliath has ever stood for long against a suitably equipped David, especially in technology.

Admittedly, I’m linking to this piece mostly because this quote is every bit as awesome as it gets.

Once we get past that, though, we find a pretty interesting analysis of the future of mobile platforms, clinically performed by the always smart Horace Dediu. He really makes those so called ‘professional analysts’ look like amateurs.

I love it.

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When technology becomes so human that it's spooky →

April 05, 2011 |


This is amazing. Zdenek Kalal, a student at University of Surrey, England, has developed an object-tracking software named ‘Predator’. It is uncanny. As a biomedical engineer, I am familiar with the development of these algorithms and the difficulties that they entail. Kalal’s solution works flawlessly in a number of tricky scenarios that really show the power of his software:

After telling it what to look for (by dragging a box over the onscreen image) the Predator gets to work. Within seconds it can recognize patterns, objects and faces and track them as they shrink, grow and rotate. When Kalal hides from the camera and holds up a sheet of paper with his photo among a patchwork of thumbnails, Predator picks his face out immediately.

This technology could help a great deal in the development of many exciting new applications. The possibilities are endless.

Seeing it work, it’s almost scary. Certainly, the name ‘Predator’ seems appropriate, though it does very little to ease my concerns. I swear, the day that someone decides to launch a new product named ‘Skynet)’ I will retreat to the North Pole with nothing but a fishing rod and a bottle of vodka.

Via @LettersOfNote.

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Quote of the Day →

April 05, 2011 |

Anyone can be an idealist. Anyone can be a cynic. The hard part lies somewhere in the middle i.e. being human.

Hugh Macleod, How To Be Creative: 29, 08-22-04

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