Links May 2012

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Vijay Kumar gave an interesting TED talk about autonomous UAVs [1]. His research is based on helicopters with 4 sets of blades and his group has developed software to allow them to develop maps, fly in formation, and more.

Hadiyah wrote an interesting post about networking at TED 2012 [2]. It seems that giving every delegate the opportunity to have their bio posted is a good conference feature that others could copy.

Bruce Schneier wrote a good summary of the harm that post-911 airport security has caused [3].

Chris Neugebauer wrote an insightful post about the drinking culture in conferences, how it excludes people and distracts everyone from the educational purpose of the conference [4].

Matthew Wright wrote an informative article for Beyond Zero Emissions comparing current options for renewable power with the unproven plans for new nuclear and fossil fuel power plants [5].

The Free Universal Construction Kit is a set of design files to allow 3D printing of connectors between different types of construction kits (Lego, Fischer Technic, etc) [6].

Jay Bradner gave an interesting TED talk about the use of Open Source principles in cancer research [7]. He described his research into drugs which block cancer by converting certain types of cancer cell into normal cells and how he shared that research to allow the drugs to be developed for clinical use as fast as possible.

Christopher Priest wrote an epic blog post roasting everyone currently associated with the Arthur C. Clarke awards, he took particular care to flame Charles Stross who celebrated The Prestige of such a great flaming by releasing a t-shirt [8]. For a while I’ve been hoping that an author like Charles Stross would manage to make more money from t-shirt sales than from book sales, Charles is already publishing some of his work for free on the Internet and it would be good if he could publish it all for free.

Erich Schubert wrote an interesting post about the utility and evolution of Favebook likes [9].

Richard Hartmann wrote an interesting summary of the problems with Google products that annoy him the most [10].

Sam Varghese wrote an insightful article about the political situation in China [11]. The part about the downside of allowing poorly educated people to vote seems to apply to the US as well.

Sociological Images has an article about the increased rate of Autism diagnosis as social contagion [12]. People who get their children diagnosed encourage others with similar children to do the same.

Vivek wrote a great little post about setting up WPA on Debian [13]. It was much easier than expected once I followed that post. Of course I probably could have read the documentation for ifupdown, but who reads docs when Google is available?