Serge K. Keller

❦ It might look like I’m doing nothing, but on a cellular level I’m really quite busy.

  • Excellente explication par le gourou Dave Winer (qui a raison une fois de plus) sur le #sexisme dans les discours techniques, par exemple « cette interface est tellement simple qu’elle pourrait être utilisée par ma mère » ou bien « Mme Michu ne veut pas savoir si c’est IPv4 ou IPv6, elle veut juste que ça marche ». On notera que ce n’est jamais « pourrait être utilisé par mon père » ou bien « M. Michu ».

  • Art competitions at the Olympics

    The Olympic Games used to include competitions in painting, sculpture, literature, architecture, and music.

    From 1912 to 1948 rules of the art competition varied, but the core of the rules remained the same. All of the entered works had to be inspired by sport, and had to be original (that is, not be published before the competition). Like in the athletic events at the Olympics, gold, silver, and bronze medals were awarded to the highest ranked artists, although not all medals were awarded in each competition. On a few occasions, in fact, no medals were presented at all.

  • ‘Stonehenge is just scaffolding’ claim experts | NewsBiscuit

    After many tens of years of investigation, the meaning behind the ancient monument of Stonehenge may finally have been discovered. Professor Mike Smith and his Oxford University team have concluded that the stones are not the final construction but just the scaffolding to allow work to take place.

    ‘The missing piece of the puzzle was put in place when I employed some roofers to re-tile over the bathroom and spare bedroom’ he explained. ‘They seemed keen and put up the scaffolding very quickly, but then vanished once the deposit had been paid. One evening the sunlight beamed through the metal pipework from the kitchen door to the cactus collection on the study windowsill, and I saw that this scaffolding was essentially the same structure as at Stonehenge, only not as well put together.’

    After the initial discovery the team worked tirelessly to test their new hypothesis, and to work out what final structure was to have been built at the site. ‘The clues led us to the nearest comparable stone age building of Silbury Hill, and a ‘Silbury 2’ constructed on the plain would have been a towering white elephant on the scale of the Millennium Dome or High Speed Rail 2’ claimed the Professor. ‘It was essentially a huge temple to the capacity of a centralised organisation to waste millions of man hours in pointless endeavour. It was obviously planned to be a national piece of work as well – the scaffolding was produced by a sub-contractor from South Wales, which shows that the Government paid lip-service to allocating work in areas of economic deprivation 4000 years ago as well.’

    ‘We will never be fully sure as to why the Stonehenge hill was not completed but it is likely to have been an early impact of the current government funding cuts’ he concluded.

    Professor Smith’s roof has still not been fixed.

  • Facebook’s ’3.74 degrees of separation’ is a world away from being significant | Matt Parker | Comment is free |

    The area of mathematics known as “graph theory” looks at complicated networks and tries to understand their fundamental characteristics. While this is vital work when it comes to building robust computer networks, it does not tell us anything of great note about social degrees of separation. It’s not socially meaningful that a friend of your friends is buddies with an acquaintance of someone else’s pal. It’s just an innate feature of large, tangled networks.

    So as much as I hate to maths on a parade, that isn’t actually very amazing. If everyone only had the median 100 friends this report found, that means you already have 10,000 friends of friends. If you include their 100 friends each, you’re at 1 million people within three degrees of separation. At five degrees of separation you have 10 billion people linked to you, which is greater than the Earth’s population.

  • Four observations (and lots of questions) on The Boston Globe’s lovely new paywalled site » Nieman Journalism Lab

    Most news sites have low pageviews per visit and low time on site. Low, at least, compared to media sites whose content is more Internet-native. You know how, on Wikipedia or YouTube, you start off reading one article or watching one video, then end up clicking on another, then another, then another — and next thing you know it’s an hour later and you’ve forgotten what you were looking for in the first place? That feeling of being lost in a site, of swimming through content — you don’t generally get that from a news site.

  • Facebook is not your friend | Andrew Brown | Comment is free |

    Ever since money was invented, the people who have made money out of aimless chat have been the landlords, whether they were selling beer, coffee or a space on the web. You may think that your Facebook friends care what you’re up to, but they’d drop you like a stone if it cost them money to learn you had just become imaginary mayor of an imaginary town, or even that you had just had a row with your mother and slammed the phone down. The only people to whom that information is worth even a fraction of a penny are those who want to take advantage of it to sell you something you don’t need – except, that is for your real friends, but imaginary ones are so much more reassuring.