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Links 1 through 10 of 233 by Chad Orzel tagged computing

Entrepreneurial action can represent the best social and imaginative potential of modern liberal societies. It’s also a great way to focus and challenge any new initiative or project. Do you want to mobilize groups, sustain collective action? Then it’s totally fair to ask, “With what resources? With what costs or liabilities? With what kind of plan for organizational and financial sustainability?” Do you have a great creative vision, or some change in material practices you’d like to encourage? Thinking “entrepreneurially” is a great filter or structure for approaching those aspirations.

What I do not like about “entrepreneurship” is when it starts to collapse into itself, when it’s an alibi for a gold-rush approach to life and aspiration, when it’s part of a frenzy.

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Different browsers do this differently. Some show a little bar to indicate how much of the file you have downloaded as well as an estimate of how much longer you can expect to wait. Well, now the time has come. I am going to check these download progress bars. Why? I have no idea.

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Cow Clicker is a Facebook game about Facebook games. It's partly a satire, and partly a playable theory of today's social games, and partly an earnest example of that genre.
You get a cow. You can click on it. In six hours, you can click it again. Clicking earns you clicks. You can buy custom "premium" cows through micropayments (the Cow Clicker currency is called "mooney"), and you can buy your way out of the time delay by spending it. You can publish feed stories about clicking your cow, and you can click friends' cow clicks in their feed stories. Cow Clicker is Facebook games distilled to their essence.

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And, once again, the internet has been explained in under 20 words.

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Humanities students should be more like computer-science students.

I decided that as I sat in on a colleague's computer-science course during the beginning of this, my last, semester in the classroom. I am moving into administration full time, and I figured that this was my last chance to learn some of the cool new digital-humanities stuff I've been reading about. What eventually drove me out of the class (which I was enjoying tremendously) was the time commitment: The work of coding, I discovered, was an endless round of failure, failure, failure before eventual success. Computer-science students are used to failing. They do it all the time. It's built into the process, and they take it in stride.

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If you can't get enough articles about the physics of running, Physics Buzz has you covered...

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Nowadays, I get the same feeling of dread when I open an email to see a Microsoft Word document attached. Time and effort are about to be wasted cleaning up someone's archaic habits. A Word file is the story-fax of the early 21st century: cumbersome, inefficient, and a relic of obsolete assumptions about technology. It's time to give up on Word.
It took years for me to get to this point. I came of age with Word. It’s the program I used to write my college papers, overcoming old-fashioned page counts with its magical font-switching technology: Times, tightly justified, if the writing was running too long; airily monospaced Courier if things were too short. In those days, Word was an obedient and resourceful servant.
Today, it's become an overbearing boss, one who specializes in make-work.

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As anyone that has played the game can tell you, this air looking stuff surrounding an asteroid defines a region in which the angry birds will interact with the rock. If the bird is outside of this region, there will be no force on bird. No force means no change in velocity and the bird will move along at a constant speed in the same direction. Ok, I admit it – I missed this one.

Why? Why would the game do this? I have no idea, but it is probably either because it makes the game more fun to play or because it makes it easier to calculate things in the game.

But what about the time the bird is INSIDE this gravitational area? What kind of force is exerted on the bird? Is it like real gravity or something different?

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