we accept gifts via check, wire, paypal, square, dwolla, and bitcoin.

which do you prefer?

an email i just wrote to a donor to The NYC Foundation for Computer Science Education.

i love writing that line. feels so damn good.

(via fred-wilson)


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October 31, 2013

kadrey:

…what do you have to be scared of?


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October 31, 2013

rstevens:

IT IS DONE

One week only. 

Plus! A special surprise shirt that will blow your socks off.


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October 31, 2013

All the most important technologies that have driven growth — what economists call general purpose technologies — trace their funding back to government. These are the technologies whose effects permeate across large parts of the economy, not just a single sector, and nurture decades of growth. These include aviation technologies; space technologies; semiconductors, the Internet; nuclear power; and nanotechnology. So we’re not talking just gadgets here, but revolutionary technologies that drive innovation led-growth — and it’s these technologies that are embedded inside the gadgets.

All basic technologies that make our mobile phones “smart” can be traced back to governmental initiative and funding. Just a few: microprocessors; RAM memory; hard disk drives; liquid-crystal displays; lithium batteries; the Internet; cellular technology and networks; global positioning system (GPS); multi-touch screens.

Public sector agencies have been needed to provide the patient, long-term, committed finance that uncertain innovation with long-time horizons requires. Both Compaq and Intel got started with SBIR grants, and Apple also received $500K (which is the equivalent of about $1.8 million nowadays) from an SBIC grant.

The government got it right with the Internet, GPS, touchscreen display and the SIRI voice activated system, which make the iPhone so smart. To make these good decisions, you of course need serious expertise within government. And this is the most challenging bit: how to attract the brightest scientists into government agencies. DARPA, which was a key funder of the Internet, has thought about this dilemma and has been able to set up an intellectual environment where exploration of the uncertain future is welcomed rather than feared.

This also holds today in ARPA-E, which is trying to do for energy what DARPA did for the Internet. I just visited ARPA-E last week and it feels like a Google campus when you walk in: open space, tech geeks, white boards everywhere, and lots of expertise riveting with dynamic energy. This shows that there is nothing in the DNA of the public sector that is going to make it less exciting or smart than the private sector, or less able to pick successes.


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October 31, 2013

101 objects that made America

jkottke:

This month, Smithsonian magazine tells the story of America using 101 objects drawn from the 19 musuems and research centers of the Smithsonian Institution. Among the objects are the original Star Spangled Banner flag, the passenger pigeon, the polio vaccine, the pill, and Benjamin Franklin’s Experiments and Observations on Electricity.

Franklins Experiments

A companion book, The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects, is available.


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October 31, 2013

101 objects that made America

jkottke:

This month, Smithsonian magazine tells the story of America using 101 objects drawn from the 19 musuems and research centers of the Smithsonian Institution. Among the objects are the original Star Spangled Banner flag, the passenger pigeon, the polio vaccine, the pill, and Benjamin Franklin’s Experiments and Observations on Electricity.

Franklins Experiments

A companion book, The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects, is available.


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October 31, 2013

wacky-thoughts:

Stampomatica 3D printed letterpress machines


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October 31, 2013

jomc:

https://twitter.com/samfbiddle/status/395569774958497792


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October 31, 2013

seedtoshirt:

New York, New York – We went to the fiber lab at the Fashion Institute of Technology where they’re going to do some wicked testing on our shirts. Unfortunately, we had to sacrifice a shirt for science. Here’s a look at the T-shirts analyzed right down to the yarn (magnified at 48x). (@qdbui/NPR)


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October 31, 2013

the technical reason we start counting arrays at zero is that in the mid-1960′s, you could shave a few cycles off of a program’s compilation time on an IBM 7094. The social reason is that we had to save every cycle we could, because if the job didn’t finish fast it might not finish at all and you never know when you’re getting bumped off the hardware because the President of IBM just called and fuck your thesis, it’s yacht-racing time.

Mike Hoye: Citation Needed, a fascinating look into why most modern languages have zero-indexed arrays that you should wander off and read (via iamdanw)

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October 31, 2013