Web 2.0, New Media, and Gadgets

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Category archives for Web 2.0, New Media, and Gadgets

SpaceChem!

A few months ago I got an email from Zachtronics, creators of the Codex of Alchemical Engineering, about the new indie game called SpaceChem. It was billed as “an obscenely addictive, design-based puzzle game about building machines and fighting monsters in the name of science.” What’s not to love? Here’s a preview. . .

Recently, Scienceblogs/National Geographic decided it would no longer host pseudonymous science bloggers. As a result, many of my former colleagues have left. I think this decision was wrong. Read on for my reasons.

This video from Xperia Studio very effectively conveys how data visualization can both leverage and challenge our conceptions of “reality.” The night sky we’ve seen since childhood, like everything else we see, is just a tiny slice of the spectrum – only what we can perceive with our limited physiology. An app that lets us…

“Magnetic Field Outflows from Active Galactic Nuclei” P.M. Sutter, P.M. Ricker, H.-Y. Yang, G. Foreman, D. Pugmire/ORNL Wired has an article/webgallery of award-winning scientific visualizations which is worth a lunchtime visit. (Having trouble with Wired‘s interface? The videos collected there are the winners from SciDAC 2011′s “Visualization Night” challenge, so you can also just watch…

From the Smithsonian, a short video about using technology to virtually reassemble ancient art from fragments long carried away and dispersed: Majestic sixth-century Chinese Buddhist sculpture is combined with 3-D imaging technology in this exploration of one of the most important groups of Buddhist devotional sites in early medieval China. Carved into the mountains of…

This 1967 IBM propaganda film, “Paperwork Explosion,” couples an eerily deadpan refrain of “more time on paperwork,” with a creepy pseudo-country neighbor* urging us to embrace Progress. The film’s frenetic soundtrack and abrupt transitions embody the familiar hysterical nervousness of an increasingly automated era, while striving the whole time to convince us that technology will…

Why I no longer trust Yelp

One of the much-hyped benefits of social networking is that it provides a way to get personalized recommendations about businesses from a wider network. If I want to tell the world that the coffee place in my neighborhood has the best cappuccino this side of Seattle, I can do that (and it does)! That’s what…

Physicists are ontological detectives. We think of scientists as wholly rational, open to all possible arguments. But to begin with a conviction and then to use one’s intellectual prowess to establish support for that conviction is a methodology that really has worked for scientists, including Deutsch. One could argue that he dreamed up quantum computing…

If you haven’t already seen the Photopic Sky Survey, you really should. Nick Risinger toured the world’s least light-polluted sites to photograph and stitch together this 37,440 exposure, 5000 megapixel image of the night sky. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever appreciated the sheer number of stars out there as much as I did this…

I was playing The Fracking Song last night about midnight, and my boyfriend was grooving to it. At the end he asked, “what was that about?” “Uh. . . fracking.” “Which kind of fracking?” Yes, we are a BSG household. Anyway, it may be an explainer, but it’s actually quite a nice little piece of…