End of the World

This is where the end of the world begins.

Chinese want to capture an asteroid into Earth's orbit:

At first glance, nudging an asteroid closer to Earth seems like one of those "what could possible go wrong" scenarios that we generally try and avoid, and for good reason: large asteroid impacts are bad times. The Chinese, though, seem fairly optimistic that they could tweak the orbit of a near-Earth asteroid by just enough (a change in velocity of only about 1,300 feet-per-second or so) to get it to temporarily enter Earth orbit at about twice the distance as the Moon. The orbit would be unstable, and eventually (after a few years) the asteroid would head back out into space from whence it came, but it would stick there long enough for us to poke around on it.</p>

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Cities of the Future

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Halflife-Shortfilm: Escape from City 17

Nicely used effects and a well budgeted short.

Filmed guerilla style. No crew. First two episodes made on a $500 budget, not including previous capital. Valve flew the brothers out to Seattle before it the release, and mentioned they were 'blown away' by the project on Steam.

A story about the connection that grows between two people during the battle for city 17. Made in the same gritty guerrilla style as the original, it was made on a $250 budget, previously owned/donated software, time, and an HVX200 camera.

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When algorithms control the world

When was the last time you tried to remember something before going to Google?

BBC News - When algorithms control the world:

There will be no soothing HAL 9000-type voice informing us that our human services are now surplus to requirements.</p>

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Chinese Couple Sells All Three Kids to Play Online Games

ABC News Radio:

(DONGGUAN, China) -- A young Chinese couple has sold all three of their children in exchange for money to play online games at Internet cafes, reports a southern Chinese newspaper.</p>

According to Sanxiang City News, the couple met in an Internet cafe back in 2007 and bonded over their obsession with online video games.  A year later, the parents -- who are both under 21 -- welcomed their first child, a son.  Days after his birth, they left him home alone while they went to play online games at an Internet cafe 30 km away.

In 2009, Li Lin and Li Juan welcomed their second child, a baby girl, and came up with the idea to sell her for money to fund their online game obsession.  They did so, receiving RMB 3,000 (less than $500), which they spent entirely shortly after.  The couple then proceeded to sell their first child and got 10 times as much for him -- RMB 30,000, or about $4600.

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NHK Disaster Reportage

Japan had the best coverage of the disaster, and I don't mean quantity, I mean quality. Everywhere you looked, even BBC, news was exaggerated.

How Japan's NHK Public Broadcaster Adapted to Cover the Earthquake and Tsunami - The Hollywood Reporter:

As a basic rule, we don’t use adjectives, just stick to the facts.</p>

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How to build Apps

The ‘Facebook Class’ Built Apps, and Fortunes - NYTimes.com:

The students ended up getting millions of users for free apps that they designed to run on Facebook. And, as advertising rolled in, some of those students started making far more money than their professors.
They had stumbled upon one of the themes of the class: make things simple, and perfect them later.</p>

`Keep things simple, and perfect them later,` but don't you need perfection to some extent not to bum out your users?

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Brilliant Russle Brand Interview

via. Boing Boing

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Obama Speech Photographs

Obama Reenactment of bin Laden Speech for Press Photos Stirs Controversy:

As President Obama continued his nine-minute address in front of just one main network camera, the photographers were held outside the room by staff and asked to remain completely silent. Once Obama was off the air, we were escorted in front of that teleprompter and the President then re-enacted the walk-out and first 30 seconds of the statement for us. </p>

I didn't know about this practice and kind of makes sense. I also see the point why people might disagree with this. The practice of not taking pictures during the address also illustrates the between Japanese and American news.

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Water balloon in slow motion

I should make a waterbed out of this. Looks promising.

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