Weekly Feed #122

Feed weekly September 10, 2021

A collection of links we've found useful and informative over the last week. A good mixture of current affairs regarding tech, design, and relevant articles.

Reading list

  • In this article, neuroscientists at MIT have found that reading computer codes does not rely on the regions of the brain involved in language processing, but rather on the multiple demand network. This network is also recruited for complex cognitive tasks such as solving mathematical problems or crossword puzzles.
  • Some good news about Ivy League schools such as Brown, Harvard, Cornell, Princeton, Dartmouth, Yale, and Columbia Universities: they now offer free online courses across multiple online platforms. These courses are known as Massive Open Online Courses. Read more about this initiative here.
  • Ever wondered about whether Bitcoin is environmentally friendly? The answer is found in this striking article by The New York Times where it's revealed that the process of creating Bitcoin to spend or trade consumes around 91 terawatt-hours of electricity annually, more than is used by Finland - a nation of over 5 million people.

Design of the week

  • Diagonal Press was started by American artist Tauba Auerbach as an attempt to make art in the form of publications. This publishing house exploits the physical possibilities of accessible, consumer-level printing and binding processes such as comb binding, coil binding, photocopying and rubber stamping. We love the typography and references in the design that is both playful and elaborate.

Tech of the week

  • An AI project re-creates the streets of Italian cities based on millions of photos and a few choice words. Strolling Cities is a video project that feeds poetry into a machine, and allows artificial intelligence to dream what the poetry looks like.
  • A finite social network where you only get 100 posts for life has been launched. The feed is reverse chronological, not algorithmic. Post timestamps are vague and nothing is monetized. There are no likes or followers or notifications. Just 100 posts per user. As if to imitate the finite quality of life. Its name? Minus Social.
  • Here's an interesting recent episode of the Lex Fridman podcast with guest Donald Knuth, a computer scientist, Turing Award winner, father of algorithm analysis and author of The Art of Computer Programming.
  • Ray-Ban has partnered with Facebook to create its first pair of smart glasses. They’re called Ray-Ban Stories and consist of two-front facing cameras featuring on the glasses' frame for capturing video and photos, directly uploaded to a Facebook feed. Will they outsmart Google Glasses or become a similar kind of flop? A million dollar question - that not even Facebook might afford.

That's it for this week. Watch this space for more updates each Friday!