Adding a Period in a Text Message Just Makes You Look Pissed Off. -
The period was always the humblest of punctuation marks. Recently, however, it’s started getting angry. I’ve noticed it in my text messages and online chats, where people use the period not simply to conclude a sentence, but to announce “I am not happy about the sentence I just concluded.”
I tend to give the same advice to writers over and over, because they ask the same questions over and over: I want to be a writer, what should I DO? And the only reply I can ever give them is, you have to write. You have to finish what you write. You have to keep going. — Neil Gaiman (via souvenirsandlostluggage)
New wireless devices communicate without batteries.
University of Washington Engineers have developed wireless transmitters and receivers which are able to communicate over short distances without an in-built energy source.
Instead of a battery, the devices use a technique known as ‘ambient backscatter’, where they detect, harness, and reflect TV signals to create a sort of “morse code” which can transmit small amounts of data between the devices.
During testing the devices were used in a variety of indoor and outdoor locations around Seattle, and successfully communicated with each other at distances of up to 2.5 feet at 1 kilobit per second. That’s enough to send information such as a sensor readings, text messages and contact information.
Potential uses for the devices include allowing wearable devices such as smartwatches to send text messages or emails without power, or as a secondary method of communication when their batteries run out. It could also allow battery-free wireless sensor networks, for example, sensors placed in a bridge could monitor the health of the concrete and steel, then send an alert if one of the sensors picks up a hairline crack.
(Source: washington.edu, via futurescope)
The competition has been aggressive during this period of uncertainty, but we are, as we have always been, determined to prove to you why Dell is the best solutions provider to meet your needs. —
Michael Dell, in an open letter to Dell’s “customers and partners” about his ongoing efforts to take the struggling company private.
Just how bad is the PC industry right now? Focus on the “solutions provider” part. IBM doesn’t get nearly enough credit for being way ahead on this move.
For budding creatives, the industry sussed. By creative Rory McCaskill
Hello. I’m DK. Welcome to advertising. Have a nice career!
Movie Idea #002
"He will never get a hug again, or fall in love. Sad."
Jay-Z ‘Magna Carta . . . Holy Grail’ review: When fans are reduced to customers - The Washington Post -
Eight summers ago, Jay-Z described his impossible journey from no-name to brand name in eight sly words: “I’m not a businessman/I’m a business, man.”
A triumphant little zinger, no doubt. But what about the rest of us? When an artist self-identifies as a corporate entity, are we still Jay-Z fans? Or are we Jay-Z customers?
The answer to that late-capitalist riddle arrives with the rap icon’s insidious new album, “Magna Carta . . . Holy Grail” — which first appeared last week as a data collection exercise disguised as a smartphone app capable of delivering a bundle of mediocre rap songs to your mobile device.
Here’s how it worked: Samsung purchased a million copies of “Magna Carta” in advance, then, via the app, made the album available to subscribers five days before its widespread release. In exchange, users were asked to share access to their social media accounts, their phone calls, their GPS location and more. If the medium is the message, we finally had an answer to that fan-or-customer question.
And now who would want to be either? Throughout “Magna Carta,” the 43-year-old pretends he’s a threat to a system he’s so eagerly become a part of, as if his life as a champion capitalist is some perpetually escalating act of subversion. Hooray? Rooting for this man in 2013 is like rooting for Pfizer. Or PepsiCo. Or PRISM.
(Source: michaelzimmer, via apoplecticskeptic)
"Realeyes records volunteer reactions to ads and sends the data back to the firm for processing. The software recognizes general expressions like happiness, fear, anger, disgust, sadness, and surprise."
Realeyes Emotion Detection Software Knows How You’re Feeling About Their Clients’ Ads | Singularity Hub, via jomc.
10 Classic Essays -
As chosen by Molly McArdle
We asked Molly McArdle, writer, editor, avid reader, reviewer, and the brains behind the excellent Library Journal and The Rumpus tumblrs to pick ten favourites essays. This is what she chose:
“Atchafalaya” by John McPhee - This essay changed the way I felt about essays. I have always loved the form: it’s capacity for loopiness, it’s friendliness to digression, the space it made for beautiful language. But here, McPhee proves that the essay can do so much more: it can build worlds.
“Mister Lytle” by John Jeremiah Sullivan - There was a time in which I worked at a job that did not require me to do very much at all, and so I spent my time, tucked away in a tiny corner cubicle, reading. I cried when I read this, and my coworkers thought something terrible had happened to me, but it was just Mister Lytle, raccoon’s sharpened bone-penis and all. John Jeremiah Sullivan writes about the South like a native who’s stricken by amnesia: he has no shortage of not only familiar affection but also bewilderment, even wonder.
“What We Hunger For” by Roxane Gay - I’ve been reading Roxane Gay since she took on the overwhelming whiteness of the Best American Short Stories series in 2010 over at HTML Giant. (She was, delightfully, included in this past year’s edition.) However, this essay—one, if you follow Roxane’s work, you’ve probably read too—was a game changer. There are lines that when I reread them give me goosebumps. “Sometimes, when you least expect it, you become the girl in the woods” and “You think you are alone until you find books about girls like you.” How many girls thought they were alone until they found an essay like this one?
“Tiny Beautiful Things” by Cheryl Strayed - I am a member of the church of Sugar. I regularly quote her in long, tough, sad conversations with my friends; and they quote her back at me. This essay of hers is one of the most important to me. (Little surprise: I have seen it make a whole room full of young women weep.) Everything in it, from “Stop worrying about whether you’re fat” to “Be brave enough to break your own heart,” from “Your book has a birthday. You don’t know what it is yet” to, especially, “Acceptance is a small, quiet room” speaks plainly and bravely and with heart. There is really nothing else like it.
“The Unlikely Influence of Dungeons & Dragons” by TNC - The reasons I love Ta-Nehisi Coates are too numerous to list here, but suffice it to say I’ve always felt he was a nerdy, inner-city kindred spirit: him reading the Monsters Manual in 1980s Baltimore, me reading Volo’s Guide to the Sword Coast in 1990s DC. I love this post (even though its really a transcript) in particular because he articulates what “high” and “low” culture have in common: beauty.
“The Death of the Moth” by Virginia Woolf - I read this in high school and it remains one of my favorite things by Virginia Woolf. It is aggressively lovely, a kind of poem. “What he could do he did. Watching him, it seemed as if a fiber, very thin but pure, of the enormous energy of the world had been thrust into his frail and diminutive body. As often as he crossed the pane, I could fancy that a thread of vital light became visible. He was little or nothing but life.”
“Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offences” by Mark Twain - There are few things in this world I love as much as a really (effectively) mean review, and this is perhaps the finest of the form. This take down of James Fenimore Cooper’s Deerslayer, which Mark Twain clearly loathed, is epic. “Personages in a tale shall be alive, except in the case of corpses, and that always the reader shall be able to tell the corpses from the others,” he explains, “this detail has often been overlooked” in Deerslayer.
“My Dungeon Shook” by James Baldwin - I love the love in this essay, the love and pain that seeps out of Baldwin’s letter: love for a brother, love for a nephew, pain for what the world has done to them, for what they have lost because of it. Here he says about his brother, “No one’s hand can wipe away those tears he sheds invisibly today which one hears in his laughter and in his speech and in his songs.”
“Chamber of Secrets: The Sorcery of Angela Carter” by Marina Werner - I love fairy tales, literary criticism, and sonorous, pulpy prose. This essay, about Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber, has it all: “What reader does not explore with her these passages and woodland tracks? Who does not feel the Beast’s dark carriage like a hearse rumbling towards his eerily uninhabited domain? And who does not sense, through her powerful evocations, the pricking of thorns, the jaw-cracking stringiness of granny, the jangling of bed springs, the licking of a big cat’s tongue, the soft luxurious furs and velvets and skin, and the piercing contrasts with ice, glass, metal?”
“How Men Fight for Their Lives” by Saeed Jones - This is a story I first heard my friend Saeed tell at a party. He held the room with it, it tilted on his axis. It was supposed to be wild, something crazy and, because crazy, funny—but there was always this dark, unsettling thread running through it, even during his magnetic, hilarious jujitsu demonstration. Here the darkness is not a thread but the fabric. Who reading this hasn’t felt the same way, when Saeed says (my favorite line): “I need you to know that, in that unlit, wood-floored room, I was more interested in the story of my life than my life.”
Make sure you check out Molly’s site for stacks of great writing and reviews, or head to the Library Journal and The Rumpus tumblrs for all kinds of literary goodness.
Motorola Vitamin Pills Could Be Edible Stomach-Acid-Powered Passwords
Yesterday, at the Wall Street Journal’s eleventh annual All Things Digital Conference, Regina Dugan of Motorola unveiled a new “vitamin” that when ingested is capable of storing your password data for later use.
The vitamin is ingested and “activated” naturally by your stomach acids to create a unique 18-bit signal — an instant password authentication enacted by simply by touching a surface of your device.
It’s already been swiftly approved of by the FDA.
[snip&via @animalnewyork] [read more @theverge]
(Source: futurescope, via emergentfutures)