This is part 1 of a project to DIY a circuit-writing pen: making a copper pigment. I thought I’d start with easy methods and readily available materials. This is a simple chemistry experiment suitable for classrooms, garage chemists and hobbyists. The pigment produced conduct electricity pretty well.
Posted on July 4th, 2014
2012 is the year that Europe shuts down its proto-Internets. First, the BBC announced that teletex was getting the axe and today France is shutting down the Minitel x.25 network. These technologies, both started in the late 1970s, were ahead of their times and, in many ways, may still be.
Posted on June 30th, 2012
Small errors of history presented in this Guardian article sum up to a government directed, top-down history of diffusion, learning & innovation. In any history of the British adoption of microcomputers, Sinclair should earn top billing for popular influence over the BBC/Acorn.
Posted on June 8th, 2012
A textual comparison between the Terms of Service for DropBox, the Google Drive, and Microsoft SkyDrive, reveals that they are not materially different in the licenses granted, rights claimed or uses permitted.
Posted on April 25th, 2012
A follow-up to the ngram.sh post with data sources for Wikipedia and Project Gutenberg ngrams. The ngram.sh script can easily be modified to extract keywords from these databases, and many others.
Posted on February 16th, 2012
The Google Ngram Viewer is a database browser used to chart the relative frequency of words or phrases. The data source is the Google Books database and the graphic engine is Google Charts. It’s cool. It’s pretty. It doesn’t easily give up the raw data. This script helps.
Posted on February 13th, 2012
This is a short HowTo for making a Facebook page and inserting an iFrame from to a website.
Note: SSL became mandatory for page tab apps in October 2011. This post has not been updated.
Posted on August 7th, 2011
This article describes the use of a simple AJAX-powered webpage to display a real-time feed from Twitter. It suggests use cases and reasons to pair it with an IRC webapp to provide a back channel to noisy hashtags.
Note: code uses Twitter REST API v1. This post has not been updated.
Posted on August 6th, 2011
Aaaaarg.org is a human-generated index of pirated academic works popular among graduate students. This document is an introduction to using the system. The site software changes often, breaking links, but the social process largely remains the same.
Posted on August 5th, 2011
In a open letter to anti-vaccinationists, immunology researcher Thomas Tu sought to open dialogue by telling his personal story. Following Tu’s premise, this post uses high school statistics to investigate relationships between vaccination rates and disease-related death rates.
Posted on September 7th, 2010
Teaching Assistantsfrequently trade tips for discovering plagiarism in the papers they grade. While google has made it easy to catch the lazy copy-paste form, we recognize that cheaters with financial resources can buy term papers. The following chat occurred with an essay mill which as “among the premier essay writing companies in the world”.
Posted on April 25th, 2010
How to opt-out of Facebook ‘Instant Personalization’ and why you might want to. This is a death watch for the anonymous Internet, unless we seize back our relationships and decentralize social networking. \o.O/
Posted on April 22nd, 2010