tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:/posts think thank thunk 2022-11-21T12:55:56Z tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170020 2012-03-28T19:50:21Z 2014-07-17T19:46:35Z Successful software Successful software doesn't need Capital Letters Process Methodology. It needs you to
(a) assemble good people,(b) collaborate,(c) ship working software, and
(d) adapt.]]>
tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170044 2012-02-29T16:46:00Z 2018-11-18T10:02:35Z G-Man Case File: TSA Fail
I was bypassing screening (again on official FBI business) with my .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol, and a TSA officer noticed the clip of my pocket knife. "You can't bring a knife on board," he said. I looked at him incredulously and asked, "The semi-automatic pistol is okay, but you don't trust me with a knife?" His response was equal parts predictable and frightening, "But knives are not allowed on the planes.

tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170052 2012-02-28T22:52:55Z 2013-10-08T15:57:26Z Twitter's URL lengthener really ticks me off It's incredibly annoying to craft an informative tweet, packing all the info I can into it down to the last character while still linking to a citation using a j.mp (bitly) shortened URL, only to have Twitter fail to post it because Twitter's *lengthened* URL makes the message too many characters.]]> tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170064 2012-02-27T15:59:00Z 2013-10-08T15:57:26Z Does defining yourself as an "artist" as opposed to "photographer" give you special privilege?
“There’s nearly always a suggestion in these discussions that if you don’t back the artist (as opposed to the photographer) you’re trampling on their freedom of expression. In these situations (not all of which went to court) — Jeff Koons and Andrea Blanch, Richard Prince and the original photographers of the Marlboro Men campaign, Warhol and Frank Powolny (who took the Marilyn Monroe photograph), and now Fairey and Garcia — there’s an implication that defining yourself as an “artist” as opposed to a “photographer” makes you more important and gives you special privilege. It also implies that a straightforward photograph is of lesser significance or value than a painting or conceptual work of art. I object.”

tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170076 2012-02-17T13:59:04Z 2013-10-08T15:57:26Z Sanskrit

tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170097 2012-02-13T15:24:00Z 2013-10-08T15:57:26Z Seven equations that rule your world - New Scientist

Without equations, most of our technology would never have been invented. Of course, important inventions such as fire and the wheel came about without any mathematical knowledge. Yet without equations we would be stuck in a medieval world.

Equations reach far beyond technology too. Without them, we would have no understanding of the physics that governs the tides, waves breaking on the beach, the ever-changing weather, the movements of the planets, the nuclear furnaces of the stars, the spirals of galaxies - the vastness of the universe and our place within it.

There are thousands of important equations. The seven I focus on here - the wave equation, Maxwell's four equations, the Fourier transform and Schrödinger's equation - illustrate how empirical observations have led to equations that we use both in science and in everyday life.

tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170113 2012-02-07T18:01:55Z 2013-10-08T15:57:26Z Because your day needs a little more accordion ]]> tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170151 2012-02-02T18:17:21Z 2013-10-08T15:57:27Z Digital digitalis ]]> tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170166 2012-01-19T14:25:10Z 2022-11-21T12:55:56Z Now, what was I just trying to do? ]]> tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170190 2012-01-19T12:11:00Z 2013-10-08T15:57:27Z The decline effect and the scientific method
We cannot escape the troubling conclusion that some—perhaps many—cherished generalities are at best exaggerated in their biological significance and at worst a collective illusion nurtured by strong a-priori beliefs often repeated.

tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170211 2012-01-12T15:02:00Z 2013-10-08T15:57:28Z Vladimir Putin's risky ploy to manufacture history
As the 2012 Russian presidential election approaches, Putin has put himself forward as a critical protagonist in Russia's historical narrative. We propose here to offer a portrait of the man from official biographical accounts, his numerous interviews and speeches, our personal interactions with individuals who have known and worked with him, and our participation in the annual Valdai sessions. These offer an image of Putin as a student of Russian history who is moving increasingly into the dangerous territory of writer, manufacturer and manipulator of history.

tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170242 2012-01-03T18:27:02Z 2013-10-08T15:57:28Z The top 25 songs of 2011 in one

If you feel as though all pop music is starting to sound the same, maybe that's because it is.]]>
tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170264 2012-01-03T10:10:00Z 2013-10-08T15:57:28Z If famous writers had written Twilight

Twilight, by Dr. Seuss

Jake likes a girl. Her name is Bella.
Bella likes a different fella.

See this vamp? This is Ed.
Ed is pale. Ed is dead.

Ed saved Bella from a van.
Ed must be a special man.

Ed won't kill boys. He won't kill girls.
Ed gets fed on deer and squirrels.

This is James. He's a tracker.
He's a sort of vamp attacker.

James hunts Bella for a thrill.
Will Ed kill him? Yes, he will.

But James gave her a little bite.
Will she be a vamp? She might!

Edward fixes Bella's cut.
She won't be a vampire.

She becomes one. Read some more.
She's a vampire in book 4.

via io9.com

tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170289 2012-01-01T16:06:23Z 2013-10-08T15:57:29Z Auld Lang Syne ]]> tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170313 2011-12-28T18:10:00Z 2013-10-08T15:57:29Z Publishers vs. libraries
We’ve juiced up the entirely artificial copyright laws of the world to the point that if libraries weren’t already a centuries-old cultural institution, there’s no chance they’d ever be able to come into existence today.

tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170335 2011-12-21T11:35:00Z 2013-10-08T15:57:29Z Globes in the age of Google Maps - Slate

Three globes with world map backdrop

But there may be hope for the humble globe. Bound atlases have stood up to digital encroachment much better than encyclopedias, because no screen can yet duplicate the tactile, immersive experience of exploring the Earth via paper maps. Globes have the same advantage, only in three dimensions.

I’ve been typing these last few paragraphs amid constant interruptions from my 4-year-old daughter, who can’t keep her hands off the globe at my side. “Are these mountains?” she wants to know, rubbing her fingers over the relief of the Andes. “Why does this red line stay in the same place when I spin the world?” she asks about the equator.

tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170352 2011-12-17T21:37:29Z 2013-10-08T15:57:29Z The Glass Duo ]]> tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170386 2011-11-06T12:26:56Z 2013-10-08T15:57:30Z Chelsea Market

Testing "Batch" versus "Posterous" apps.]]>
tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170407 2011-10-28T17:58:39Z 2013-10-08T15:57:30Z Lunch at Solé After a week in Corsica, the need to cook well...

tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170423 2011-10-27T14:35:31Z 2013-10-08T15:57:30Z The 1%

Of all the many banners being waved around the world by disgruntled protesters from Chile to Australia the one that reads, "We Are the 99%" is the catchiest. It is purposefully vague, but it is also underpinned by some solid economics. A report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) points out that income inequality in America has not risen dramatically over the past 20 years—when the top 1% of earners are excluded. With them, the picture is quite different.

via economist.com
tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170010 2011-10-06T04:15:16Z 2013-10-08T15:57:25Z Thanks, Steve

Your inspiration by example was “insanely great”.
tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170018 2011-10-03T17:32:00Z 2013-10-08T15:57:25Z Unprepared graduates: 36% of students show no improvement in learning over 4 years of college

Consensus is growing that young adults aren’t being taught the basic skills that lead to critical thinking.

Most universities don’t require the courses considered core educational subjects — math, science, foreign languages at the intermediate level, U.S government or history, composition, literature, and economics.

The nonprofit American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) has rated schools according to how many of the core subjects are required. A review of more than 1,000 colleges and universities found that 29 percent of schools require two or fewer subjects. Only 5 percent require economics. Less than 20 percent require U.S. government or history.

tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170025 2011-09-23T16:56:58Z 2013-10-08T15:57:25Z Reconstruction of visuals from brain activity - Nishimoto et al. 2011

> The left clip is a segment of the movie that the subject viewed while in the magnet. The right clip shows the reconstruction of this movie from brain activity measured using fMRI. The reconstruction was obtained using only each subject's brain activity and a library of 18 million seconds of random YouTube video that did not include the movies used as stimuli. Brain activity was sampled every one second, and each one-second section of the viewed movie was reconstructed separately.

Or, in other words, from a YouTube comment:

> The reconstruction is built out of the Youtube video fragments that best match the brain activity of watching the movie trailer. First the subjects had to spend hours watching these videos for measuring which parts of the brain get activated. Then the movie trailer was shown and the blurry video reconstruction was created based on the measured brain activity, by combining together the 100 one-second Youtube fragments that best matched the brain activity.]]>
tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170037 2011-09-11T18:43:33Z 2013-10-08T15:57:26Z When history was made – The Economist
Some people recite history from above, recording the grand deeds of great men. Others tell history from below, arguing that one person's life is just as much a part of mankind's story as another's. If people do make history, as this democratic view suggests, then two people make twice as much history as one. Since there are almost 7 billion people alive today, it follows that they are making seven times as much history as the 1 billion alive in 1811. 

The chart below shows a population-weighted history of the past two millennia. By this reckoning, over 28% of all the history made since the birth of Christ was made in the 20th century. Measured in years lived, the present century, which is only ten years old, is already "longer" than the whole of the 17th century. This century has made an even bigger contribution to economic history. Over 23% of all the goods and services made since 1AD were produced from 2001 to 2010, according to an updated version of Angus Maddison's figures.

tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170042 2011-08-31T02:15:17Z 2013-10-08T15:57:26Z Storm Responder 48 hours after Irene, Home Depot decides folks might want to respond to the storm. And the thing is, with more than half the state still without power, they're right. These are flying out the door.

But there's just one snag... No extension cords, and they're sold out of DIY plugs too. Everyone's got a generator, but the whole block has to take turns using one cord. Oops!

(I've been extremely pleased with an old "Generac 12500 EXL" extended life generator pushing 4-wire 240v. Well pump, boiler, fridge, and enough left over for lights and hot coffee.)]]>
tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170054 2011-08-23T13:25:00Z 2013-10-08T15:57:26Z The secret language code
It was almost as if there was a secret world of pronouns that existed outside our awareness.

tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170078 2011-08-19T14:52:03Z 2013-10-08T15:57:26Z It's a strange world ]]> tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170096 2011-08-16T18:56:00Z 2013-10-08T15:57:26Z Beyond NUMB3RS - Santa Cruz's Minority Report style "pre-crime" computer

Efforts to systematically anticipate when and where crimes will occur are being tried out in several cities. The Chicago Police Department, for example, created a predictive analytics unit last year.

But Santa Cruz’s method is more sophisticated than most. Based on models for predicting aftershocks from earthquakes, it generates projections about which areas and windows of time are at highest risk for future crimes by analyzing and detecting patterns in years of past crime data. The projections are recalibrated daily, as new crimes occur and updated data is fed into the program.

tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170115 2011-08-10T13:56:50Z 2014-07-17T23:16:58Z So here's the problem in London
The problem I see isn't the different points of view about the reasons for the civil unrest.  Debate is fair and good.  

The problem I see is how incredibly thick-headedly incapable of putting herself in the shoes of the interviewee the white, well-paid, and completely insulated BBC newswoman is behaving.

The BBC newswoman says, essentially, "Okay, you're saying you've been systematically mistreated for 20 years, subject to daily police harassment not endured by the more privileged population I move in, and sure, you're saying the cops blew a guy's face off, but that's no excuse for acting out." So what would be an excuse?

Her disrespect and just talking over him with the help of her sound producers echoes the police chief quote from the weekend, it's "regrettable" the cops took the life of the guy in the cab but "utterly unacceptable" that some windows get broken or buildings burned down in response.

If he could have managed to reverse those two words, calling things that can be rebuilt "regrettable" and things that cannot be undone "utterly unacceptable", it might go a long way towards evidencing some comprehension of sentiment on the street.
tag:sean.terretta.com,2013:Post/170131 2011-08-04T01:34:51Z 2013-10-08T15:57:27Z Local Vocal - 90's dance music sung by Danish acapella group No instruments, just a capella - Danish acapella vocal group - specialising in nordic vocal soundtradition and paying their tribute to the 90's dance hits in their own a capella way. 

Play in HD and pump up the volume.