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Todd Hoff

Todd Hoff

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For children are innocent and love justice, while most of us are wicked and naturally prefer mercy. — G. K. CHESTERTON
Researchers still argue about the ultimate origins of individualism and collectivism, but one fascinating (and contentious) recent theory suggests that these tendencies might reflect the concentration of disease-causing microbes. Collectivistic societies are likely to thrive in pathogen-rich areas of the world, because collectivists tend to fear outsiders more than individualists, and they’re less likely to take the sorts of risks that might encourage disease. This xenophobic attitude toward outsiders may have benefited collectivistic societies, because it shielded them from alien diseases that their bodies weren’t equipped to fight. In contrast, individualists were more likely to stray from the group and to interact with outsiders, encouraging new diseases to ravage their own groups when they returned from adventures beyond the fold. Over time, then, collectivistic cultures thrived in pathogen-rich areas of the world, while their individualistic counterparts fell to the ravages of... more... - Todd Hoff
Frank Gehry Says Architecture Today Is "Pure Shit" -
Frank Gehry Says Architecture Today Is "Pure Shit"
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"Let me tell you one thing. In this world we are living in, 98 percent of everything that is built and designed today is pure shit. There's no sense of design, no respect for humanity or for anything else. They are damn buildings and that's it. Once in a while, however, there's a small group of people who does something special. Very few. But good god, leave us alone! We are dedicated to our work. I don't ask for work. I don't have a publicist. I'm not waiting for anyone to call me. I work with clients who respect the art of architecture. Therefore, please don't ask questions as stupid as that one." - Todd Hoff from Bookmarklet
Ironic given some of what he has made. I find his designs lack a principle that would define architecture. - Todd Hoff
Contemporary architecture just isn't quality stuff. What we need are buildings that look like crumpled pieces of paper: :-P - John (bird whisperer)
'98% of everything that is built and designed today is pure shit.' -says the undisciplined queen of extravagance. - Chu_
Eye Catcher, the frame that responds to your emotions - we make money not art -
Eye Catcher, the frame that responds to your emotions - we make money not art
Eye Catcher, the frame that responds to your emotions - we make money not art
"The most banal-looking wooden frame takes thus a life of its own as soon as you come near it. It quickly positions itself in front of you, spots your eyes and starts expressing 'emotions' based on your own. Eye Catcher uses the arm of an industrial robot, high power magnets, a hidden pinhole camera, ferrofluid and emotion recognition algorithms to explore novel interactive interfaces based on the mimicry and exchange of expressions." - Todd Hoff from Bookmarklet
Stanford creates tiny, high speed, ultrasound powered brain implants | ExtremeTech -
Stanford creates tiny, high speed, ultrasound powered brain implants | ExtremeTech
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"Using 65nm GP CMOS technology, the Stanford researchers managed to compress all the necessary hardware into a footprint just a couple of millimeters in dimension, with the antenna being the largest component. Using the chicken breast brain proxy, their implant was able to support a DC load of 100 µW. They were also able uplink back out using good old RF at megabits-per-second speeds, which at higher frequencies (here 4GHz) compared to ultrasound has some advantages for data transmission. Not to confuse, but we should mention that their implant could also receive RF data. This is important because the data available from the ultrasound power downlink was only in the kilobits-per-second range. In a real-world scenario, the downlink is likely to be lower bandwidth control signals while the uplink would have more intensive cell activity or image data." - Todd Hoff from Bookmarklet
Weeks after winning a Nobel Prize for his microscope, Eric Betzig just revolutionized microscopy again - The Washington Post -
"Betzig's new microscope solves this by generating a sheet of light that comes in from the side of the sample, made up of a series of beams that harm the sample less than one solid cone of light. Scientists can now snap a high-res image of the entire section they're illuminating, without exposing the rest of the sample to any light at all." - Todd Hoff from Bookmarklet
Smell the freedom - The Midwest's Vast Farms Are Losing a Ton of Money This Year -
Smell the freedom - The Midwest's Vast Farms Are Losing a Ton of Money This Year
"Alas, none of this is likely to happen, at least not anytime soon. That's because crop subsidies, enshrined by the farm bill signed in February, will likely wipe out much of the huge gap between farmers' costs and what the market gives them. According to Bloomberg, taxpayers are set to pay "billions of dollars more to subsidize farmers than anticipated just months ago," before crop prices plunged. I don't begrudge federal support for farming. As I argued in a post last year, large-scale commodity farming is a vicious business—farmers are caught in a vice between a small handful of buyers (Archers Daniels Midland, Cargill, Bunge) that are always looking to drive crop prices down, and a small handful of input suppliers (Monsanto, DuPont Pioneer, Syngenta, etc) always looking to push the price of seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides up. It's no wonder, as Iowa State's Hart has shown, that the "long run profitability" of such farming is "zero."" - Todd Hoff from Bookmarklet
Every program is its own immersive virtual world.
That feeling when you pull out something hidden away deep in a pocket that is obviously a memento of some special time that you can no longer remember...
"In the United States, patronage was deeply entrenched and took much longer to eradicate: the two political parties, Republican and Democratic, had evolved around the distribution of jobs in the civil service and resisted tenaciously the effort to replace political appointees with merit-based civil servants. It took two generations of continuing...
Climate Change Has Coffee Growers In Haiti Seeking Higher Ground -
Climate Change Has Coffee Growers In Haiti Seeking Higher Ground
"A Haitian woman holds cherries from a coffee tree. Haiti's coffee trade was once a flourishing industry, but it has been crippled by decades of deforestation, political chaos and now, climate change." - Todd Hoff from Bookmarklet
Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing? -
Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing?
"Well, why not? Why expect nothing rather than something? No experiment could support the hypothesis ‘There is nothing’ because any observation obviously implies the existence of an observer. Is there any a priori support for ‘There is nothing’? One might respond with a methodological principle that propels the empty world to the top of the agenda. For instance, many feel that whoever asserts the existence of something has the burden of proof. If an astronomer says there is water at the south pole of the Moon, then it is up to him to provide data in support of the lunar water. If we were not required to have evidence to back our existential claims, then a theorist who fully explained the phenomena with one set of things could gratuitously add an extra entity, say, a pebble outside our light cone. We recoil from such add-ons. To prevent the intrusion of superfluous entities, one might demand that metaphysicians start with the empty world and admit only those entities that have... more... - Todd Hoff from Bookmarklet
[1410.5401] Neural Turing Machines -
"We extend the capabilities of neural networks by coupling them to external memory resources, which they can interact with by attentional processes. The combined system is analogous to a Turing Machine or Von Neumann architecture but is differentiable end-to-end, allowing it to be efficiently trained with gradient descent. Preliminary results demonstrate that Neural Turing Machines can infer simple algorithms such as copying, sorting, and associative recall from input and output examples." - Todd Hoff from Bookmarklet
These self-cooling walls could replace air conditioning -
These self-cooling walls could replace air conditioning
"To break this depressing cycle, architects from the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia in Barcelona are developing walls that cool themselves without the need for electricity. The technology uses a substance called "hydrogel", which absorbs water and can swell to up to 400 times its original size. When the air around the hydrogel heats up, the water evaporates, which cools the air around the gel by around 5° Celcius. The mechanism’s not dissimilar to the way our body cools itself down by evaporating water from the skin’s surface in the form of sweat.   To create a self-cooling wall, bubbles of the gel are inserted between two ceramic layers." - Todd Hoff from Bookmarklet
A Family Rejects the Industrial Model and Rebuilds Their Farm – The Plate: Maryn McKenna -
A Family Rejects the Industrial Model and Rebuilds Their Farm – The Plate: Maryn McKenna
"The current Will Harris expected to carry on that legacy, and for many years, he did. He went to the University of Georgia, earned an agricultural-science degree, returned to the farm, and put into practice everything he had learned. That meant routine antibiotics, hormone implants and grain feeding for the cattle, and routine fertilizers and pesticides and herbicides for the fields they sometimes browsed on. By his 40s, Will Harris was running two profitable, perfect monocultures—one of meat and the other of grass—and doing everything his education and family history told him he should. And then he stopped, and thought, and changed his mind." - Todd Hoff from Bookmarklet
"On its 3,000 acres, a mix of owned and leased, he and his 110 employees run 10 different species: cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and rabbits; and chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks and guinea hens. Everything is raised out on the restored pastures, which now support a complex mix of grasses. The animals move through the fields in a carefully plotted rotation, each eating their favorite... more... - Todd Hoff
A truly green revolution. Away from monoculture and towards a "symbiosis of many different species all living together with one benefitting the other." - Todd Hoff
Change your walking style, change your mood -- ScienceDaily -
Change your walking style, change your mood -- ScienceDaily
"Our mood can affect how we walk -- slump-shouldered if we're sad, bouncing along if we're happy. Now researchers have shown it works the other way too -- making people imitate a happy or sad way of walking actually affects their mood." - Todd Hoff from Bookmarklet
BBC News - The anarchic experimental schools of the 1970s -
BBC News - The anarchic experimental schools of the 1970s
"Catterall recalls 40 years ago gathering in the centre of Liverpool with a group of children from the free school, all holding a tomato. When you see him, lob it, the teacher told them. The venerable man they were waiting for appeared and the children duly let fly. But the target was not just anyone. It was Edward Heath, the British prime minister. The children have been ordered by their teacher to bombard - albeit with tomatoes - the elected leader of the country. It's hard to imagine a time when teachers would take schoolchildren on a trip to heckle the prime minister - let alone throw things at him. Breen laughs at the absurdity. "It was just another adventure for me. It was a day out. It's not till I got older that I realised what it was about."" - Todd Hoff from Bookmarklet
Sounds like Unschooling in the US. - Todd Hoff
Baby boomers ruined America: Why blaming millennials is misguided — and annoying - -
Baby boomers ruined America: Why blaming millennials is misguided — and annoying -
"Baby boomers came of age in an era of unprecedented prosperity. They were raised by parents who had survived poverty, war and the true sacrifice of a generation burdened with great moral struggles. As a whole, they experienced economic and physical security. Baby boomers received, by today’s standards, inexpensive and widely available education, preparing them for a thriving and open job market. Success at the beginning created a strong foundation for financial and personal success on a level the world had never known. This led to America’s greatest asset: the middle class. So what did they do with all their good fortune? From the time the baby boomers took over, the United States has experienced an economic environment plagued with unfounded asset and real-estate bubbles and collapses. The bubbles were caused by blind greed on the part of investors, and a blind eye on the part of regulators. The baby boomers forced the financial and banking system out of relative security to high-risk systems." - Todd Hoff from Bookmarklet
When people say personal cloud, this is the image I have in my mind...
Relatively secure... - Julian
I was just telling Eivind that I feel like Pigpen before I take a shower! - Jenny H. from Android
If only we could wash away our personal clouds so easily! - Todd Hoff
Our unique 'microbial aura' travels with us wherever we go - PRI :D - Victor Ganata
Nice! - Todd Hoff
I think of the jinx guy in Lil Abner. - Starmama from FFHound(roid)!
Another month, another global heat record broken -
"WASHINGTON (AP) — September brought more record heat globally, and meteorologists say Earth is now on pace to tie for the hottest year ever recorded. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Monday that last month the globe averaged 60.3 degrees Fahrenheit. That was the hottest September in 135 years of record keeping. It was the fourth monthly record set this year, along with May, June and August. The first nine months of 2014 have a global average temperature of 58.72 degrees, tying with 1998 and 2010 for the warmest first nine months on record. While parts of the U.S. Midwest, Russia and central Africa were slightly cool in September, it was especially hotter than normal in the U.S. West, Australia, Europe, northwestern Africa, central South America and parts of Asia." - Todd Hoff from Bookmarklet
Jonathon Keats Radio Interview: The Experimental Philosopher by 7th Avenue Project -
"Jonathon Keats has copyrighted his mind, attempted to genetically engineer God, made porno movies for plants and sold extra-dimensional real estate. It may sound like a joke, " - Todd Hoff from Bookmarklet
Who needs Vermont? We have your fall colors right here...
Q: Mommy, where do pumpkins come from?
Philippe Starck's new prefabricated house realises the modern living ideal -
Philippe Starck's new prefabricated house realises the modern living ideal
"Standing at the counter of his new prefabricated home - indeed, his actual home - Philippe Starck reminded a small group of visitors that shelter is life's second-most critical necessity after food. That well-worn axiom that necessity births invention: well, we were inside it. The house, a prototype on the outskirts of Paris, is named PATH, for Prefabricated Accessible Technology Homes. And in his mind, it represents the modern living ideal.   This vision had been in development for five years, when he first entered into discussions with Riko, a Slovenian engineering and manufacturing company that specialises in industrial prefabrication and energy production technology. Turns out, it's not so easy to conceive a home that can be delivered in six months and constructed in two weeks." - Todd Hoff from Bookmarklet
Ouch, pricey. €2,500 to €4,500 per square meter ~ $3200 to $5700 per square meter ~ 320 to 570 per sqft. - Greg GuitarBuster
That's average here in the bay area for quality finishes. We were told to plan on about $450 per sqft. I'm curious about their system though. It looks quite nice. - Todd Hoff
Spark: A Novel by John Twelve Hawks
The right wing wants corporate control and a return to a past that never existed. The left wing wants government control and a future that will never exist. - Todd Hoff
Our problem is not machines acting like humans—it’s humans acting like machines. - Todd Hoff
Wonderful book. Well written. Very different in perspective. If you are looking for some good scifi it's worth a look. Some great thinking on the implications of a total surveillance society. - Todd Hoff
Bestiary. - Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts -
Three medieval manuscript cats going through a rectangular cat flap. - Todd Hoff from Bookmarklet
Swarms Of Drones Paint 3D Light Sculptures Against The Night Sky | So Bad So Good -
Swarms Of Drones Paint 3D Light Sculptures Against The Night Sky | So Bad So Good
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"But they've yet to be used quite like this, Austrian organization Ars Electronica Futurelab based in Linz armed their custom quadcopters with LED lights, programming them to fly in unison to draw 3D sculptures in the night sky." - Todd Hoff from Bookmarklet
French soldier’s room unchanged 96 years after his death in first world war | World news | The Guardian -
French soldier’s room unchanged 96 years after his death in first world war | World news | The Guardian
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"But Rochereau also has a much more poignant and exceptional memorial: his room in a large family house in the village has been preserved with his belongings for almost 100 years since his death in Belgium. A lace bedspread is still on the bed, adorned with photographs and Rochereau’s feathered helmet. His moth-eaten military jacket hangs limply on a hanger. His chair, tucked under his desk, faces the window in the room where he was born on 10 October 1896." - Todd Hoff from Bookmarklet
Cozy, but there's no master and no ensuite. And it's a little dated. - Todd Hoff
American scientists unearth lost 1960s polar satellite images worth billions | Barentsobserver -
American scientists unearth lost 1960s polar satellite images worth billions | Barentsobserver
"A team of American scientists has recovered billions of dollars’ worth of “dark data” from the 1960s, pushing back the modern satellite record of sea ice extent by 17 years." - Todd Hoff from Bookmarklet
"NSIDC colleague Garrett Campbell had discovered was both the largest and the smallest Antarctic sea ice extent ever recorded, one year apart, as well as the earliest sea ice maximum ever just three years later; it was an inexplicable hole in the Arctic sea ice even while the overall extent agreed with modern trends." - Eric Logan
"A truckload of film canisters fit on a thumb drive... In the sixties, when the images were recorded, that was more storage than there was available on the planet.” - Ken Morley
Nimbus data rescue Recovering the past to understand the future. - Eric Logan
they found The Mountains Of Madness? - Big Joe Silence
It's amazing any iphone app works at all.. What a mess. It's pretty clear nobody had embedded system programming experience when they started all this.
Extension by inserting code into a template is just really bad design: - (BOOL) application:( UIApplication *) application didFinishLaunchingWithOptions:( NSDictionary *) launchOptions { self.window = [[ UIWindow alloc] initWithFrame:[[ UIScreen mainScreen] bounds]]; // Override point for customization after application launch - Todd Hoff
Weak / Strong pointers is a crazy responsibility for programmers to handle. It's impossible when using tasks. - Todd Hoff
Chaining initializers is more bad design through excessive coupling: self = [super init]; - Todd Hoff
The lifecycles of when objects are created and when methods are created is implicit. I can't tell by looking when things happen. In other words, the dynamic behaviour of the code is not clear at all. - Todd Hoff
MVC. Love it hate it, put everything in the controller. - Todd Hoff
Generally I'm against making the programmer run a compiler in their head to understand what is actually getting called. So though property seems like a good idea it makes very hard to deduce when reading code what will be called when an assignment happens. - Todd Hoff
Cell reuse by a reuse identifier is kludgy and error prone. Why does it need to own the memory? - Todd Hoff
String based selectors are used all over the place. These are not typed so are large source of run time errors when they shouldn't be. - Todd Hoff
The compiler doesn't check for methods in the interface that aren't implemented? It's a runtime error? Wow. - Todd Hoff
Seems odd to create a view controller and then give controller of the memory to the navigation controller. Seem like unnecessary memory allocs/deallocs. - Todd Hoff
In example code I see the use of static variables inside functions. That's bad style. It's more invisible magic code. - Todd Hoff
You can't test anything like the full functionality in the simulator. Beacon stuff? No. Camera? No. The interfaces should be accessible so someone could at least try to write an advanced simulator. - Todd Hoff
Nice debugging and monitoring tools. Very nice. - Todd Hoff
I'm not sure how it could be done better, but the auto layout constraints are bewildering. Oh my. - Todd Hoff
Using reference counting to manage memory when transition application states to background and active and to handle low memory conditions is highly error prone. - Todd Hoff
Not a fan of adding private class members in an @interface section of the .m file. I reserved judgement of this at first, it sounds good, but in practice I prefer everything to be in one place so I can see how everything relates together at a glance. - Todd Hoff
I wonder if they were able to start over on the watch? I haven't seen the watchkit so I'm not sure how it works. - Todd Hoff
Having to explicitly trigger a table update in the UI's main thread is another example of thread weirdness: dispatch_async(dispatch_get_main_queue(), ^{ [self.tableView reloadData]; });. - Todd Hoff
I'm not sure why you would ever create convenience initializers when you can just create convenience constructors and hide all the initializers? - Todd Hoff
Frameworks. For or against? - Todd Hoff
It takes a dozen lines of code to display an alert. That's crazy. Form validation in general is primitive at best. - Todd Hoff
" NSString *mediaType = [info objectForKey:UIImagePickerControllerMediaType];if ([mediaType isEqualToString:(NSString*)kUTTypeImage]) {" - a couple things here. Having to cast between different encapsulated string types from different frameworks is both confusing and wasteful. Also, dictionaries are great, but the problem is you never know what's in them. Looked at the doc, how was I to know what's in info? It's a constant in some random header file. Enums are at least discoverable. - Todd Hoff
@selector isn't resolved at compile or link time. It's a runtime error. No bueno. - Todd Hoff
Can't test MPMoviePlayerController from the simulator. - Todd Hoff
The complexity around moving the keyboard to not hide form fields is astonishing. Shouldn't that be a feature? - Todd Hoff
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