Here are some of the articles we’ve been reading around this office this week.
MIT Invents A Way To Turn “Silent Speech” Into Computer Commands – “Researchers at the MIT Media Lab have created a prototype for a device you wear on your face that can detect tiny shifts that occur when you subvocalize in the muscles that help you speak. That means that you can subvocalize a word, the wearable can detect it, and translate it into a meaningful command for a computer.”
Netflix FlameScope – “If you’re familiar with flame graphs, you’ll know they show an entire profile at once, which can span one minute. That’s good for analyzing steady workloads, but often there are small perturbations or variation during that minute that you want to know about, which become a needle-in-a-haystack search when shown with the full profile. FlameScope solves this by starting with a subsecond-offset heat map to visualize these perturbations, then lets you select them for study with a flame graph.”
Helvetica Is Now An Encryption Device – “It’s a clever use of machine learning, one that has immediate applications in security. The researchers’ code book and machine learning algorithm could be used to ensure that documents haven’t been tampered with by embedding an authentication code–or some kind of secret message–into the font itself. Then, when someone receives the document, they can use the decoding algorithm to ensure the message is still there. If it’s not, then someone has somehow altered the document.”
The Sweet Spot For Deep Work – “A growing body of research suggests that paying attention to the body clock, and its effects on energy and alertness, can help pinpoint the different times of day when most of us perform our best at specific tasks.”
What Comes After The Cloud? – “Now that every business worth its stock price has moved to “the cloud,” creating massive technology winners like Salesforce, Amazon, and Google along the way, the technology industry finds itself searching once more for a metaphor that can drive its seemingly endless cycle of identifying and building the “next big thing.” And while it seems almost too obvious to identify artificial intelligence, or AI, as that next thing, Abhay Parasnis, CTO of Adobe, makes a strong case for why the received wisdom may yet prove true.”
Microsoft open-sources original File Manager from the ‘90s so it can run on Windows 10 – “Microsoft is releasing the source code for its original Windows File Manager from nearly 28 years ago. Originally released for Windows 3.0, the File Manager was a replacement for managing files through MS-DOS, and allowed Windows users to copy, move, delete, and search for files. While it’s a relic from the past, you can still compile the source code Microsoft has released and run the app on Windows 10 today.”
What is an API? In English, please. – “Before I learned software development, API sounded like a kind of beer. Today I use the term so often that I have in fact recently tried to order an API at a bar. The bartender’s response was to throw a 404: resource not found. I meet lots of people, both working in tech and elsewhere, who have a rather vague or incorrect idea about what this fairly common term means. Technically, API stands for Application Programming Interface. At some point or another, most large companies have built APIs for their customers, or for internal use.”