Quora: Who do you think is the best professor in the world and why?

Definitely going to get a lot of nominations – just 1 from IIT so far though:

For example, I like Michael Wesch because he is fantastic in his pedagogical methods. Just check his wildly popular videos on Youtube or the incredible way of teaching with social media tools or the world simulation. It’s simply great! Who are some other great professors who you may have come across and what makes them so good?

Apple the Black Swan

Simply explained:

Apple’s string of success is effectively impossible. Yet it happened. They are a black swan.

Look at Taleb’s criteria:

  • It is an outlier — check
  • It carries an extreme impact — check
  • It is explained after the fact — in the case of Apple, the explanation is Steve Jobs. He was a genius, and now he is gone

And so, AAPL continues its downward descent; it was great to ride it on the upside, but now that Apple is a normal company, the probability of another hit are so remote, it’s best to assume it simply won’t happen.

This is the disconnect many of us in the blogosphere have with Wall Street. We actually believe that design matters, that taste is objective, and that culture can be developed. And, by definition, none of these can be measured or quantified — or modeled.

via stratēchery | Apple the Black Swan.

Tiny Toon: IBM Makes a Movie Out of Atoms

Thinking inside the box in a way…


A Boy and His Atom is less than 90 seconds long. It doesn’t have much of a plot, or any big laughs. And the animation is rudimentary — it’s monochromatic, blocky and generally reminiscent of the graphics I programmed on my Radio Shack TRS-80 computer in 1978, only not quite as fancy.

And yet IBM’s new cartoon — yes, IBM made a cartoon — is remarkable. It was produced at IBM Research’s Almaden Research Center in Northern California, by a bunch of scientists who used a scanning tunneling microscope as their animation tool. The pixels are individual atoms, nudged into place to form a picture. (The Guinness folks have certified this as the smallest movie ever made.)

IBM has been playing around with individual atoms for a long time: two of its Zurich-based researchers invented the scanning tunneling microscope in 1981 and won the Nobel Prize in Physics for it in…

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What happens when pirates play a game development simulator and then go bankrupt because of piracy?

A very interesting experiment by a game developer who seeded a pirated version of their game which was not quite the same as the original:

The cracked version is nearly identical to the real thing except for one detail… Initially we thought about telling them their copy is an illegal copy, but instead we didn’t want to pass up the unique opportunity of holding a mirror in front of them and showing them what piracy can do to game developers.

If pirates are put through more trouble than genuine customers, maybe more will buy the real game. Sadly, for AAA games it is currently the other way. Customers get the trouble with always-on requirements and intrusive DRM, while pirates can just download and enjoy. A twisted world.

via What happens when pirates play a game development simulator and then go bankrupt because of piracy? | Greenheart GamesGreenheart Games.