January 2014

Shotgun mini-probes for asteroid mining

I've often wondered at the vast mineral richness of space, possibly thanks to playing Elite back in my "formative years".

A key challenge faced by modern asteroid miners, like Planetary Resources, is just how to discover and classify substantial mineral-bearing rocks in the vast relative emptiness of space.

Mass unfollow on twitter - copy and paste script.

If you want to clean up your following list on twitter, go to https://twitter.com/following and run this script in your browser's developer console (tested in chrome, at least - hit F12 for the console):

jQuery('.following-text:visible').each(function(i,j){setTimeout(function(){console.log('Unfollowing', 1);jQuery(j).click()}, 100 * i);});

If you don't know how to open the console, or are lazy like me, copy and paste this into your address bar instead:

Hubble Ultra Deep Field interactive tool

Ever since I watched the Voyager 2 spacecraft whiz past Jupiter when I was quite young space has fascinated me. I was taken aback by the initial Hubble Deep Field images and the sheer scale of them.

To this end I assembled a tool which lets you zoom and pan this >100Mb image in your browser without having to download the whole thing.

Click here to view it!

It should work cross-browser and on mobiles and tablets. Please let me know if there are any issues viewing the images.

To infinite scroll and beyond!

I saw kanebennet's opinion piece on Hacker News recently (""Why infinite scrolling in web apps is destroying content consumption") and sent the link around to some friends and colleagues in the web industry asking for their thoughts on the piece.

The entire premise was summarily dismissed with comments like:

Is it time for a protocol renaissance?

HTTP. Poor, abused old HTTP. She's a good workhorse, and has carried the weight of the World Wide Web over the long and dusty plains of the internet for many a year.

While originally designed for the transfer of Hypertext documents and, later, Hypermedia, developers have slowly been finding newer and more contrived ways to step around the limitations of HTTP.