Lasers are such a fundamental piece of technology today that we hardly notice them. So cheap that they can be given away as toys and so versatile that they make everything from DVD players to corneal surgery a reality, lasers are one of the building blocks of the modern world. Yet lasers were once the exclusive province of physicists, laboring over expansive and expensive experimental setups that seemed more the stuff of science fiction than workhouse tool of communications and so many other fields. The laser has been wildly successful, and the story of its development is an intriguing tale of observation, perseverance, and the importance of keeping good notes. Stimulating Developments Like seemingly all of the major innovations in the latter half of the 20th century, the laser has a lineage that can be traced back to the leafy New Jersey campus of Bell Laboratories. But unlike some of the inventions that sprang solely from that great institution of innovation, most notably the … [Read more...] about First Light: The Story of the Laser
Lighting design lab
Nick Kolakowski 23/04/2018 Coding 0 GitHub is launching its own learning portal, which leans into two things all developers have come to love and loathe: pull requests and bots. Via a dedicated portal, GitHub has created a unique offering. While most online learning portals dip into how GitHub works, there’s usually a light touch when it comes to interacting with the platform itself. You might be able to download a project via the ‘ol hub, or fork/create pull requests for your own project, but usually it’s all pretty silo’d away from GitHub proper. With GitHub Learning Lab, a bot acts as a project collaborator. It algorithmically ‘reviews’ your pull request, comments on your code, and approves or denies it. A guided plan ramps up the difficulty as you make your way through the various pull requests. GitHub Learning Lab For now, GitHub Learning Lab is limited to the following topics: An introduction to GitHub, where learners get a better overall … [Read more...] about GitHub Learning Lab Teaches You GitHub by Using GitHub
Jenny Lam, a longtime Seattle tech design leader, is now at Oracle. Oracle confirmed to GeekWire that Lam has joined the company as SVP of UX design leadership, but declined t o comment further. GeekWire has reached out to Lam for comment on the move. Lam was the co-founder of design consultant and tech product startup Jackson Fish Market and most recently worked as a designer for Amazon’s devices. Lam’s move comes just a few months after her co-founder at Jackson Fish Market, Hillel Cooperman, joined Oracle with a similar title: SVP of user experience and design. It also comes as Oracle is doubling-down its presence in Seattle, announcing plans to expand its office in the city as it battles Amazon and Microsoft in the cloud arena. The addition of two longtime leaders in Seattle tech seems to indicate the company is serious about its commitment. Until her move, Lam was a design director for Amazon’s growing portfolio of devices, like the … [Read more...] about Tech Moves: Jenny Lam joins Oracle as design SVP; Starbucks engineering VP joins DefinedCrowd; and more
Portland, OR — Wayfinding Academy doesn’t look like a college. In fact, it’s easy to walk past its building without even noticing, since the yellow clapboard structure blends seamlessly with its surroundings in one of the few affordable neighborhoods left in this quickly-gentrifying city. The building once housed a YWCA. These days, walking around inside means experiencing a live-action critique of traditional higher education. Classrooms aren’t numbered, or named after rich donors. Instead they bear designations like Fireside Room, Navigation Hall and Gratitude Vault. Meanwhile, the names of small donors (ranging from $100 to $2,500) adorn small brass plates in all kinds of unusual places—above a toilet-roll holder in a unisex bathroom or over electrical sockets and next to light switches. And it’s hard to miss Wayfinding’s unusual curriculum, which is sketched prominently on a chalkboard as you enter its largest common space. That curriculum … [Read more...] about This New 2-Year College Is Unlike Any Other. And That Could Be Its Biggest Challenge.
On this episode of Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher, Christopher Kirchhoff, a former partner at DIUx, the Pentagon’s Silicon Valley office, talks about how the Defense Department is trying to be smarter about technology. You can read a write-up of the interview here or listen to the whole thing in the audio player above. Below, we’ve also provided a lightly edited complete transcript of their conversation. If you like this, be sure to subscribe to Recode Decode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts. Kara Swisher: I’m Kara Swisher, executive editor of Recode. You may know me as the general in charge of the Militia Etherege, but in my spare time, I talk tech, and you’re listening to Recode Decode, a podcast about tech and media’s key players, big ideas and how they’re changing the world we live in. Today in the red chair is Chris Kirchhoff, a former partner at the Pentagon’s Silicon Valley … [Read more...] about Full transcript: Chris Kirchhoff, formerly of the Pentagon’s Silicon Valley office, on Recode Decode
iOS 11.3 brings new Animoji, Battery Health, better ARKit, Business Chat, and more! iOS 11.3 is Apple's spring update for iPhone and iPad. It features a few higher-profile new or expanded features, including fun new Animoji lions, dragons, and bears, new settings for battery health that should make every #iPhoneSlow follower happy, as well as new additions to ARKit that'll have you up the wall — ha! not sorry! — and Business Chat for iMessage, which... might do the same! ARKit gets crisper and... goes vertical Where ARKit was previously limited to understanding horizontal surfaces, Apple is now providing the ability to map and make use of vertical and irregular surfaces as well. That means you can have virtual posters, paintings, even walls and doors exist alongside the real thing. It allows for experiences like virtual museums and gateways to other words. It'll also all looks better thanks to higher resolution support and auto-focus. After spending some time with it and … [Read more...] about iOS 11 review: Smarter, better, faster, bolder
April 9, 2018: Snapchat is resurrecting the chronological Stories feed for some users Even if you're like me and don't use Snapchat, you probably heard its user-base crying out in disgust and anger earlier this year when the app was met with a major redesign. Snapchat made both user-facing and under-the-hood changes with this update, but it appears to be pulling back on at least one of these. One of the most contested changes had to do with the way Snapchat presented Stories. Instead of showing you Stories in the order they were posted, Snapchat decided to implement an algorithm that determined which ones you'd like to see based on the users you interacted with the most. However, some users are now seeing their Stories in a more traditional reverse-chronological order. Although this is coming from someone that can't stand Snapchat, this does seem like a move for the better. I personally despise Twitter's insistent need to show me Tweets from 12+ hours ago it thinks I'd like instead of … [Read more...] about Snapchat: Everything you need to know!
“It’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer if the villains were big pharma. Scout Turner works as a cryptozoologist, examining and cataloging supernatural creatures for scientific purposes. When she discovers the cure for asthma in the venom of a new breed of monster, she quickly finds herself on the run from Kenilworth Pharmaceuticals and the monsters that they’ve hired to kill her. With no one by her side but her clueless assistant, a morally ambiguous succubus, and her geriatric dog, Scout goes on the run… but in a world controlled by money and drugs, can she escape the reaching claws of a medical monopoly?” BREATHLESS #1 Many comics have had me raising an eyebrow before reading. I’m a naturally curious human, so when comics like Breathless come around, my interest immediately perks for what this comic does. Breathless #1 does precisely what the title says. It will leave you breathless. At first, you may be wondering how supernatural, medical and science all … [Read more...] about Buy This Comic: Breathless #1
It has taken 60 years, but scientists and engineers are finally ready to reach for the stars—our star, that is. And they’re confident they won’t get burned. This summer, NASA will launch the Parker Solar Probe, an impressively heat-resistant spacecraft destined to glide closer to the surface of the Sun than any spacecraft before it. It will fly within about 6 million kilometers of the searing surface, more than seven times closer than earlier craft. If all goes to plan, the craft will be hurtling at 724,205km per hour and have its one-of-a-kind heat shield perfectly facing the surface as it makes those closest approaches. In about seven years, it will complete 24 orbits around the Sun and pass by Venus seven times. All the while, the Parker probe will collect a constellation of data to help answer scientists’ burning questions—and solve some sizzling mysteries—about the orb of hot plasma that lights up our Solar System. Namely, it will try to help us … [Read more...] about This spacecraft will get closer to the Sun than any before it—without melting
Besides mini chocolate eggs, pre-cooked spiral cut hams—also known as “city hams”—have always been my favorite part of Easter. Since there is no danger of undercooking, we’re free to focus flavor. Heating and serving may seem simple enough, but you can overdo it in the oven. This leads to a dry, chewy pork product, and nobody wants that. This is part of The Grown-Up Kitchen, Skillet’s series designed to answer your most basic culinary questions and fill in any gaps that may be missing in your home chef education. Luckily, there are a few strategies you can execute to make sure your salty hunk of meat is succulent and tender. Swap out the packet of cloying glaze for something homemade, and you have a veritable masterpiece of pork. Strategy #1: Embrace bones and fat City hams come either with or without a bone and, though boneless hams are easier to slice, I’ve found that bone in just tastes better, and the folks at Serious Eats agree. As Kenji … [Read more...] about How to Make Your Pre-Cooked Ham Taste Amazing