State of Technology Last Week – #1

#at_other_places – Facebook acquires Beluga (team of 3 ex-Googlers); Google acquires Zynamics

#architecture –
Web Cryptography: Salted Hash and Other Tasty Dishes – “Lists of pre-computed hashes are widely available and known in the security industry as rainbow tables” – that is exactly where “salt” comes into play

#code –
A nicely worked out “flocking” algorithm – each boid “checks to see which other boids are close enough to be considered flockmates. The positions of the qualifying neighbours are averaged and the boid steers to towards that position“. If interested, help finish ‘The Nature of Code’ book project.

#design –
HipMunk continues its amazing UX innovation – users can choose a hotel on actually useful things like “attraction shuttle” and can even overlay “nightlife” or “vice” on the area

#essay –
Interaction Design lessons — “How your Coffee Mug Controls your Feelings” – ‘embodied cognition’ research shows people ‘judge other people to be more generous and caring after they had briefly held a warm cup of coffee, rather than a cold drink’.

#mobile –
From Quora – why Japan has better Mobile Phones than U.S – could it just be because average commute time in Japan is in hours?


#social – How all Combat Games are essentially built on “Tug of War” principles — Core 40 mechanics behind Social Multi-player games (PDF/ Presentation); also explained over a somewhat detailed blog post


#trends – Just before TED 2011 this week, TED opened a “new platform for sharing ideas, asking questions and engaging in debates”. Chris Anderson asks ‘Has a TED talk ever influenced you? How?’


#tweaks n’ hacks – A short BBC video (6 min) on “modders” who “hack” hardware (in this case Kinect)



  • The origin of Unix Pipes – how metaphors have shaped technology thinking – “some ways of coupling programs like garden hose–screw in another segment when it becomes necessary to massage data in another way
  • – a bizarre and often funny collection of images collected from Google Street View
  • The curious life of character Pilcrow ( ¶)
  • An Update is Available” – variability among Linux, Windows and Mac

#parting_thought – “A change in perspective is worth 80 IQ points” – Alan Kay


About Nilendu Misra
I love to learn, create and coach. Things that I do well are - Communicating ideas - verbally or through words and diagrams; Problem Solving - Logical or Abstract; Very Large Scale Systems; think about 'Frighteningly Simple' approach first. Things that I intend to do better are - Establishing Stringent Process; Exchanging Tough Feedback; Keeping up with my reading or To-Do list to be able to completely relax.

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