- Department of Justice paved the way for Unix
Matthew Lasar at Ars Technica shares his take on the usual form for honoring historic anniversaries, in this case the 40th for the Unix operating system. Instead of presenting a complete timeline, of which I am sure we will see plenty between now and then, he looks in particular at the role of the Department of Justice’s Consent Decree between it and AT&T. Lasar touches on a lot of the mythic history around AT&T along the way but this is worth a read for its novel suggestion of how the busting of AT&T’s monopoly back in the day set the stage for Unix and even modern open source in a surprising way.
- Rock patterns that make algorithms beautiful
Annalee Newitz at io9 highlights the work of Giuseppe Randazzo, heavily inspired by Ralph Long. Unlike Long, Randazzo’s sculptures are purely virtual. In exploring optimal packing algorithms, Newitz suggest he has uncovered one way in which man and machine share aesthetics by giving in to his artistic influences. This work clearly needs to be combined with a 3D printer of some kind to produce unearthly and attractive desk or wall art.
- Energy scavenger makes use of leftover wireless signals
The Register points to some fascinating research out of Georgia Tech. The idea isn’t entirely new, as the humorous sub-title suggests it is based on a phenomenon with which Tesla was familiar. The trick to this research is that it harvests stray ambient signals that are much harder to make use of than the stronger fields in close proximity to large transmitters. The feat is accomplished with an impressive ultra-wideband antenna, one that also happens to be printed on a flexible material. The scale of power collected is only enough for powering very small devices but that includes sensors which could make for some very useful setups indeed.
- How to jailbreak and upgrade old Android phones, InfoWorld via Slashdot
- 3D printer in Minecraft, YouTube via BoingBoing