Nick’s

Thoughts, news, and other articles of interest.

Font Men - SXSW 2014 Official Selection - dress code

You may not have heard of Jonathan Hoefler or Tobias Frere-Jones but you’ve seen their work. Before their recent split, they collectively ran the most successful and well respected type design studio in the world, creating fonts used by everyone from the Wall Street Journal to the President of the United States.

Tagged: design typography fonts

Google reveals Android Wear, an operating system for smartwatches - The Verge

Google is officially getting into wearables. The company has announced Android Wear, a version of the operating system designed specifically for wearable devices. To start with, the system is made for smartwatches, and Google is moving aggressively to make itself the key name in wearables.

We expect to hear much, much more about Android Wear at Google I/O from June 25th to 26th, which is just a couple of months away. Of particular interest is how Google plans to use Android Wear in other devices beyond smartwatches.

Wow! My hinderances on smartwatches has almost completely flown out the window. The key aspect that jumps out to me here is looks - the prototypes shown in this video just look amazingly beautiful and simple. A quick image search for “smartwatches” shows today’s dreary state of clunkiness and awkward UI’s. But this is different. I think this will be big. And, if Google delivers on this like it has with other projects, with plentiful third-party developer support, I think it will be huge; possibly enough to constitute a paradigm shift in a similar manner brought about by (real) smartphones a la iPhone in 2007. I definitely don’t think that smart watches (or similar accessories) will replace phones and tablets, but they may become just as common, a natural and soon ubiquitous extension of portable communication devices.

Tagged: tech smartwatch android

The technology community and the security community play an incredibly important and unique role in the NSA fight. First and foremost that’s in the engineering decisions that you make. Decisions that you make on a daily basis about how you build technologies will affect the privacy of millions of people, not only today, but for generations to come…

There’s an important role that technologists and engineers play in advocating within companies for change. These are the unsung heroes of the NSA battle; it is the lone engineer in the big company who demands, who insists, who will not shut up about security issues, and they end up being the reason a company does something really strong and powerful…

There’s a really important role for the technology world to play in educating the public and in educating policymakers and congress about these issues. Congress is writing laws to regulate technology, to regulate the internet; Congress is writing terrible laws, and they are doing it in part because they don’t understand how technology works. One of the things we need to solve is: How do we get our knowledge about technology to Congress so that they aren’t writing laws in a dark world without any understanding of the ramifications of what they are actually trying to do?

Rainey Reitman, Activism Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation opening remarks at the 2014 TrustyCon

Tagged: nsa security privacy tech

earthstory:

An island with a hole in itIn March of 1954 this island exploded. This is Bikini Atoll, site of many American nuclear weapons tests in the middle of the 20th century.The crater you see on this image from the Operational Land Imager on NASA’s Landsat 8 spacecraft was produced during a test of a new American thermonuclear weapon design. The bomb was expected to explode with a force of 4-6 megatons, but instead, it wound up releasing energy equivalent to 15 megatons of TNT, making it one of the most powerful nuclear tests ever conducted. The explosion was so large that it destroyed much of the equipment set up to monitor it and also scattered radioactive material over a huge area. Although the population of Bikini Atoll had been evacuated years beforehand, so much material was thrown up that inhabitants of other nearby islands were given large doses of radiation; those residents weren’t evacuated until several days afterwards when they began showing symptoms of radiation poisoning. A Japanese fishing boat was also in the area and the crew did not realize that the light they saw in the distance was a nuclear explosion; one crewman reportedly died due to exposure.The test prompted protests worldwide due to the exposure of so many to radiation; eventually those protests helped lead to the ending of atmospheric nuclear testing. To this day it is unclear why the Americans miscalculated so badly on the test’s expected energy; whatever the cause was, it remains classified.Portions of the population of Bikini Atoll attempted to return several decades after the tests but it was found that soils on the island remained contaminated and it was not safe to eat foods grown from those soils. To this day, this series of islands remains largely uninhabited.-JBBImage credit:http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=83237Read more:http://www.history.co.uk/shows/ghost-fleet-of-the-bikini-atollhttp://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/02/bikini-atoll-nuclear-test-60-yearshttp://www.ctbto.org/specials/testing-times/1-march-1954-castle-bravo/http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/nukevault/ebb459/http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/bomb/filmmore/reference/interview/marthasmith01.html

earthstory:

An island with a hole in it

In March of 1954 this island exploded. This is Bikini Atoll, site of many American nuclear weapons tests in the middle of the 20th century.

The crater you see on this image from the Operational Land Imager on NASA’s Landsat 8 spacecraft was produced during a test of a new American thermonuclear weapon design. 

The bomb was expected to explode with a force of 4-6 megatons, but instead, it wound up releasing energy equivalent to 15 megatons of TNT, making it one of the most powerful nuclear tests ever conducted. 

The explosion was so large that it destroyed much of the equipment set up to monitor it and also scattered radioactive material over a huge area. Although the population of Bikini Atoll had been evacuated years beforehand, so much material was thrown up that inhabitants of other nearby islands were given large doses of radiation; those residents weren’t evacuated until several days afterwards when they began showing symptoms of radiation poisoning. A Japanese fishing boat was also in the area and the crew did not realize that the light they saw in the distance was a nuclear explosion; one crewman reportedly died due to exposure.

The test prompted protests worldwide due to the exposure of so many to radiation; eventually those protests helped lead to the ending of atmospheric nuclear testing. To this day it is unclear why the Americans miscalculated so badly on the test’s expected energy; whatever the cause was, it remains classified.

Portions of the population of Bikini Atoll attempted to return several decades after the tests but it was found that soils on the island remained contaminated and it was not safe to eat foods grown from those soils. To this day, this series of islands remains largely uninhabited.

-JBB

Image credit:
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=83237

Read more:
http://www.history.co.uk/shows/ghost-fleet-of-the-bikini-atoll
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/02/bikini-atoll-nuclear-test-60-years
http://www.ctbto.org/specials/testing-times/1-march-1954-castle-bravo/
http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/nukevault/ebb459/
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/bomb/filmmore/reference/interview/marthasmith01.html

(via astrotastic)

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