Wow! Randall Munroe from xkcd just won a Hugo Award!

2014 Hugo Award Winners | The Hugo Awards

Congrats. It really says something in terms of maturity. I wonder if he ever thought he would receive this kind of reconnaissance when he begun his webcomic.

Have a look at Time on xkcd, it’s great:

2014 Hugo Award Winners | The Hugo Awards.

How the lack of algorithm neutrality impacted the visibility of Ferguson events on Facebook and Twitter

What Happens to #Ferguson Affects Ferguson: — The Message — Medium

Wow. The Ferguson events did not appear the same way at all on Facebook and on Twitter. Depending on the algorithm, timelines showed a very different pictures of what happened. Is it time for a debate on platform neutrality (algorithms, transparency, etc.) on top of the traditional net neutrality discussions?

What Happens to #Ferguson Affects Ferguson: — The Message — Medium.

Superman Auction Comics #1 Is Up For Auction On eBay…

The Most Valuable Comic Book Of All Time Is Up For Auction On eBay

And in mint condition… still, even at more than 2 millions of dollars, I am not sure this is worth being called « the most valuable comic of all time ». A ONE PAGE original drawing of Tintin recently achieved 2,519 millions of euros. The difference may be in the greater artistic value of Tintin, and in the more subtle way it’s a cultural milestone – more than a commercial one.

Still this is an entire album, and not an original drawing. I wonder what would be the value of an original drawing of Auction Comics #1 ? 

The Most Valuable Comic Book Of All Time Is Up For Auction On eBay.

A nice amateur video of the sun and the planet orbiting the galaxy angers astronomers…

An amateur seems to be challenging scientists with a little bit of visual imagination.  He produced a computer animation showing the motion of the planets around the Sun as the Sun orbits around the Milky Way Galaxy. It’s beautiful and it renders the travel of the Sun and its planets as if they were some sort of vortex through the galaxy.

Many astronomers have step up to debunk his claims, as seems to be based on of the claim is that the planets aren’t orbiting the Sun heliocentrically, but are instead a vortex going around the galaxy.

One of them even explains that « Normally I wouldn’t bother debunking stuff like this; wacky claims are made all the time and usually disappear on their own. But in this case I’m getting a lot of people telling me about it, so clearly it’s popular—probably because it seems superficially right, and it has very nice graphics.  »

I was first impressed by the videos, convinced by the explanations of its critics, but this kind of arrogant reaction made me feel that something else was at stake. All these brilliant scientists contradicted by some wacky with nice graphics… by an amateur?

The scientific base of the video is wrong, but how come nobody else cared about trying to show something like that in such a clear way – or how about nobody succeeded?

The comparison might be unfair, but there are some arrogants scientists who should remember that Watson and Crick beat their colleagues who were trying to discover the structure of the DNA through X-Ray diffraction mainly because they were using very simple wooden balls and metal sticks to try to recreate the model by hand.

Is the Solar System Really a Vortex?

I wouldn’t call them amateurs – even if…, but what’s wrong with being able to do nice graphics and to think in terms of design?

via Is the Solar System Really a Vortex?

Pew Institute: Will AI and Robotics displace more jobs than they create?

Experts are still divided in this Pew release, but the prospects look bleak.

The positive side is rather contradictory and not-convincing. It goes like this:

  • Advances in Technology have historically be a net creator of jobs.
  • Ok, maybe it’s different this time, but we will invent new jobs.
  • Ok, maybe there won’t be any new job that cannot be automated, but we will redefine our relation with work and won’t need jobs anymore.

Meh ?!?

On the negative side:

  • Everybody will be impacted, blue-collard jobs as well as white-collar jobs.
  • The disparition of their jobs won’t offer better opportunities to people, but push downwards.
  • We have no idea how to control this evolution.

What are they describing there? A new digital displacement that will only benefit the rich and the powerful? Just have a look at the report, it’s a nice must-read.