Friday reading #10

 by Martin Belam, 6 July 2012

Friday reading - a collection of bits‘n’bobs I’ve liked across the intertubes over the previous seven days, and which I think you might like if you added to them to your Kindle, Instapaper or Pocket app for perusal over the weekend. It may include slightly more particle physics than usual this week...

Friday reading

“What Twitter could have been” - Dalton Caldwell
“Perhaps you think that Twitter today is a really cool and powerful company. Well, it is. But that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t have been much, much more. I believe an API-centric Twitter could have enabled an ecosystem far more powerful than what Facebook is today. Perhaps you think that the API-centric model would have never worked, and that if the ad guys wouldn’t have won, Twitter would not be alive today. Maybe. But is the service we think of as Twitter today really the Twitter from a few years ago living up to its full potential?”
Read the full article

“On Bubbles, Facebook, and Playing for Keeps: 10 Questions With Clay Shirky” - Ryan Tate, Wired
“Github is offering a really interesting model for collaboration, that I think is going to spread outside of the hacker community and become a place where people are actually using the tool, not just to talk to each other, but to get things done.”
Read the full article

“Women love language, so why not computer code?” - Lindsey Harper Mac, WeNews
“Women are still scarce overall in the higher-paying jobs in the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and math. Explanations for this disparity--even as women have wholeheartedly embraced the resulting technology in the form of MP3 players, cell phones, smartphones and laptop computers--have to do predominantly with the continuing strength of subconscious gender bias.”
Read the full article

“The Journal of Urban Typography” - Bryan Collins
“TJOUT is dedicated to the documentation and study of signs, word fragments, and typography created with utilitarian intent in urban environments.”
Visit the journal

“Could the newspaper that broke the hacking scandal be the next to close?” - Nicky Woolf, GQ
“It may have toppled the News Of The World, but the beleaguered Guardia’'s balance sheet reveals a media institution on the brink of self-destruction.”
Read the full article

“Goodbye Bush House” - Claire Bolderson
“Bush House was always much more than its marble-clad staircases, cluttered offices and art deco halls. Even within the sometimes haughty circles of the far bigger domestic BBC (and certainly amongst its competitors) ‘Bush’ was respected as an ethos as much as a place: the embodiment of thoughtful, outward looking journalism and a hub of international expertise.”
Read the full article

“How the Higgs boson explains our universe” - Jeff Forshaw,
“We have learned that the universe is made up of particles and that those particles dance around in a crazy quantum way. But the rules of the game are simple – they can be codified (almost) on the back of an envelope and they express the fact that, at its most elemental level, the universe is governed by symmetry. Symmetry and simplicity go hand in hand – half a snowflake is enough information to anticipate what the other half looks like – and so it is with those dancing particles. The discovery that nature is beautifully symmetric means we have very little choice in how the elementary particles do their dance – the rules simply "come for free". Why the universe should be built in such an elegant fashion is not understood yet, but it leaves us with a sense of awe and wonder that we should be privileged to live in such a place.”
Read the full article

“A Moment for Particle Physics: The End of a 40-Year Story?” - Stephen Wolfram
“To me, the Higgs particle and the associated Higgs mechanism had always seemed like an unfortunate hack. In setting up the Standard Model, one begins with a mathematically quite pristine theory in which every particle is perfectly massless. But in reality almost all particles (apart from the photon) have nonzero masses. And the point of the Higgs mechanism is to explain this—without destroying desirable features of the original mathematical theory.”
Read the full article

Things you might have missed...

By me on currybetdotnet, the Guardian and around the web this week:

And a reminder...

Forthcoming training and talks:

Keep up to date on my new blog