Skip to content Skip to navigation

Open Chemistry: What if we just give everything away?

Luke D Davis:

I dedicated my lab at HHMI’s Janelia Research Campus to ushering the archaic field of dye chemistry into the modern era. When I received that email in 2015, we had just discovered how a simple chemical modification could make dyes brighter and last longer. As is often the case in our discipline, we patented the idea and planned to see if companies would license and commercialize the technology; in the meantime, we shared our initial batches of dyes within a small network of collaborators. But now the word was getting out, and email requests were picking up. And for the first time in my career, I felt I had the opportunity to change how the scientific community accessed these molecules.

Nov 28, 2022 Chemistry Science

First-ever consistent physical model of the Earth-Moon system

Sebastián Escalón for CNRS:

NASA plans to return to the Moon in 2027. Yet to get there, the astronauts will have to travel a little bit further than their Apollo 11 predecessors: about an extra two metres! This is quite simply because our satellite moves a few centimetres further away every year, due to the tidal force exerted by the Moon on the Earth. The first person to understand this celestial mechanism was the son of the great Charles Darwin, George. In 1880 he postulated that the gravitational pull of the Moon deformed the Earth’s surface by creating a bulge that does not directly point towards the Moon…

Nov 25, 2022 Gravity

The Road to Low-Carbon Concrete

M. Mitchell Waldrop for Knowledge Magazine and Ars Technica:

Major industry groups like the London-based Global Cement and Concrete Association and the Illinois-based Portland Cement Association have now released detailed road maps for reducing that 8 percent to zero by 2050. Many of their strategies rely on emerging technologies; even more are a matter of scaling up alternative materials and underutilized practices that have been around for decades. And all can be understood in terms of the three chemical reactions that characterize concrete’s life cycle: calcination, hydration, and carbonation.

Nov 21, 2022 Climate Change Material Science

VMWare Fusion 13 allows Apple silicon-based Macs to run Windows 11

Michael Roy on VMWare’s Blog:

On Apple Silicon, we’ve introduced our first round of features for Windows 11 on Arm. In this release VMware Tools provides virtual graphics and networking, and more is still to come. With certified and signed drivers Windows 11 looks fantastic, and adjust the resolution to 4K and beyond!  
Note that Fusion on Apple Silicon must run the Arm variant of Windows 11, and it does not support the x86/Intel version of Windows. 

However, for users who want to run more traditional win32 and x64 apps, Windows 11 on Arm has built-in emulation to run those applications compiled for Intel/AMD, and as a user-level process our testing has shown us that this works ‘out of the box’.

VMWare Fusion remains an essential tool for Mac developers. Exciting that it has left the beta stage and is now released.

Nov 21, 2022

Getting Git Going on Eugenio's G4

Eugenio Tampieri providing deep research into bringing older Macs into the modern development workflow:

However, I wanted git to get some developement done on this machine. So I installed Xcode from the Tiger DVD, downloaded and copied on the PowerMac the current snapshot of git and ran make.

It didn’t work.

After an evening of trial and errors (lots, in facts), I’ve finally come up with this invocation:

Nov 7, 2022 Vintage Computing

Entire Accessibility Team Let Go in Elon Musk's Twitter Purge

Gerard K. Cohen on Twitter:

I am officially no longer the Engineering Manager for the Accessibility Experience Team at Twitter. I have words. 🧵

When given the chance, Elon Musk immediately fired teams responsible for improving the differently abled and disabled access to the platform, the powerful, and the global conversation.

Musk fired the inventor of the alt tag…is there some universe where that person wouldn’t be more qualified to work at Twitter than Musk himself? Will Twitter become a service unusable by those who are reliant on screen reader technology and other accessibility affordances?

The tech press should be ashamed for any support they have given Musk if it means the blind and differently abled are “right-sized” from having an equal voice in our digital market squares and social networks.

Nov 6, 2022

Rice University creates bacterial sensors that detect environmental contamination

Article provided by Houston’s Rice University:

Their living bioelectronic sensors can help. A team led by Rice synthetic biologists Caroline Ajo-Franklin and Jonathan (Joff) Silberg and lead authors Josh Atkinson and Lin Su, both Rice alumni, have engineered bacteria to quickly sense and report on the presence of a variety of contaminants. 

Their study in Nature shows the cells can be programmed to identify chemical invaders and report within minutes by releasing a detectable electrical current.

Nov 4, 2022 Environment Synthetic Biology

Wii U Architecture

Rodrigo Copetti’s practical analysis of Nintendo’s most interesting platform:

Already faced with the difficult challenge of replicating the triumph of the Wii, Nintendo’s new product also needed to save its loyal customers from the temptation of cheap smartphones and tablets. The result was a console that combines radical innovation with cost-effectiveness. In there, users found imaginative interaction methods while developers had to deal with the legacy technology underneath them

Oct 31, 2022 Nintendo Vintage Computing

SiriSpy - iOS bug allowed apps to eavesdrop on your conversations with Siri

Guilherme Rambo has written a technical deep-dive and a proof-of-concept app proving what Apple has said is impossible:

TL;DR: Any app with access to Bluetooth could record your conversations with Siri and audio from the iOS keyboard dictation feature when using AirPods or Beats headsets. This would happen without the app requesting microphone access permission and without the app leaving any trace that it was listening to the microphone.

Seems like a massive security bug in the Apple product ecosystem. Let’s hope it gets fixed soon.

Oct 27, 2022 Apple Bugs Privacy

Real-time dialogue between experimenters and dreamers during REM sleep

Karen R. Konkoly, Kristoffer Appel, Emma Chabani, Delphine Oudiette, Martin Dresler, and Ken A. Paller in CELL, Current Biology:

Here we show that individuals who are asleep and in the midst of a lucid dream (aware of the fact that they are currently dreaming) can perceive questions from an experimenter and provide answers using electrophysiological signals. We implemented our procedures for two-way communication during polysomnographically verified rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep in 36 individuals. 

Oct 27, 2022 Biology Dreams

charmbracelet/vhs

Write terminal GIFs as code for integration testing and demoing your CLI tools.

Oct 27, 2022 Command Line Github

Google Analytics 4: Waiting Is No Longer an Option

Lee Goldberg, at Happy Cog:

Universal Analytics (which is now 10 years old!) is still reliant on cookies – and we know that, at some point next year, Google Chrome will no longer support the use of third-party cookies in the interest of preserving user privacy. GA4 is very much built for the future of the cookieless web, with an entirely different data model and structure relative to Universal Analytics. Because of the fundamentally different structure of GA4, implementation isn’t as simple as flipping a switch or running a migration assistant. In most cases, significant tagging work is going to need to be done to maintain parity with Universal Analytics. 

Ponticlaro is currently in the research phase regarding GA4, and will be converting all of its current O&M clients to Google Analytics 4 by March 2023. July will be here sooner than you think!

Oct 27, 2022 Data Google Privacy

TapDancer

tapDancer converts archives of vintage games and other software into audio waveforms that your classic 1980’s-era computer(s) can understand and plays them back, allowing you to once again use these programs on your cherished system(s) using your mobile Android device, and a tape-interface cable or CD-to-cassette adaptor (depending on the computer.)

Currently, tapDancer supports Commodore (TAP / T64 / PRG formats), Sinclair ZX Spectrum (TZX / TAP), Amstrad CPC (CDT), Acorn Electron / BBC (UEF), MSX (CAS) and Atari (CAS).

Oct 25, 2022 Vintage Computing

Microsoft says GitHub now has $1B ARR, 90M Active Users

Frederic Lardinois, for Techcrunch:

As part of its earnings call, Microsoft today announced a number of new data points for GitHub, the massively popular code repository service it acquired for $7.5 billion in 2018. According to Microsoft, GitHub now has an annual recurring revenue of $1 billion, up from a reported $200 to $300 million at the time of the acquisition.

The company also announced that the service now has over 90 million active users on the platform, up from 28 million when the acquisition closed and 73 million last November, when Thomas Dohmke replaced Nat Friedman as the service’s CEO.

Oct 25, 2022 Github

DiscMaster

DiscMaster is the latest treasure from Jason Scott, of archive.org (Donation link) and @textfiles. Use it to search for an app or game from the past. Sift through the mountains of floppy disks imaged through the important work being done to archive our recent digital history. The bare bones web 1.0 design aesthetic works great for classic computers hot-wired to connect to the modern web using typical web browsers of the day, Netscape Navigator 2 and Internet Explorer 4.

“Thousands of new files are added daily!”

Oct 22, 2022 Archives Vintage Computing

pico.js, a face-detection library in 200 lines of JavaScript

Before diving into details, you are encouraged to try a real-time demo that detects faces in a video stream provided by a webcam attached to your computer (works on mobile devices as well). Note that all the processing is done on the client side, i.e., without sending images to a server. So you do not have to worry about privacy issues when running this code.

Oct 11, 2022 JavaScript Machine Learning

Everybody was responsible for up to two programs

Kevin Purdy, for Ars Technica:

In 2005, longtime Microsoft staffer and The Old New thing blogger Raymond Chen documented Microsoft’s Windows 95 compatibility obsession. Chen writes that Windows 95’s development manager “took his pick-up truck, drove down to the local Egghead Software store (back when Egghead still existed), and bought one copy of every single PC program in the store.” Everybody was responsible for up to two programs, which they would install, run, and document for bugs. If a staffer finished two, they could come back to grab up to two more. And testers could keep whatever they finished.

Oct 11, 2022

Ukama: Run Your Own Cellular Network

Ukama is a decentralized, open source cellular-data network that you can deploy and control yourself. To get started with Ukama, all you need is electrical power and an Internet connection. It is a complete solution that includes SIMs (and support for eSIMs), a cellular base station, distributed and embedded cellular Core, a management console, and cloud services. Ukama makes cellular Internet accessible to everyone – whether you are looking for free, faster streaming on your smartphone at home, bringing cellular data connectivity to a rural area for the first time, or rolling out a secure industrial IoT network.

Oct 9, 2022

Ponticlaro launches website remodel for Tulane University's School of Architecture

Jan 11, 2022

Ponticlaro is proud to announce the website redesign for Tulane University, School of Architecture. Ponticlaro collaborated with Pentagram to develop a Drupal website based on their updated brand identity and digital design. The New Orleans university is celebrated for its Historical Preservation program and is critical to contemporary architecture and society throughout the world.

Ponticlaro shepherded several website features including a Drupal Gutenberg content block system, Docker container runtime, and cloud storage based media library. As a Pantheon registered agency, Hunter Cross and his team at Ponticlaro migrated Tulane University’s website to Pantheon, improving security, performance, and lowered ongoing maintenance costs.

More at Pentagram

Jan 11, 2022 Drupal Education Web