MotU #4: Why we wear lucky pants

Stuff you knew you needed to know

Unfeasibly, there are people still watching Gangnam Style. So many in fact, that YouTube have had to update their view counter to 64 bits after after the video passed 2,147,483,647 views –  the largest integer presentable in 32 bits. The new max is a lasso-twirling nine quintillion. Op, op, op, op.

Microsoft closed the clipart library. What will leaden 60 page corporate decks be without 2D images of handshakes? Never forget – power corrupts, and PowerPoint corrupts absolutely.

Google is getting rid of CAPTCHAs – those annoying identity checks where you have to re-type images of distorted text. Spambots have got too good at them, so they’ll be replaced by background algorithmic boffinry instead. Btw, did you know that CAPTCHA stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart?

… and stuff you didn’t

The great glass elevator is real Remember Willy Wonka’s scary lift that could move up, down and sideways? Well, ThyssenKrupp, everyone’s favourite German multinational conglomerate, just announced a magnet-guided, ropeless system that will free architects from the tyranny of vertical shafts and open up options for very different building shapes.

One way that sci-fi movies convey a sense of otherness is through typefaces. Dave Addey did a quite beautiful teardown on 2001: A Space Odyssey earlier in the year and this fantastic look at the iconography of Alien has just, er, burst out of him.

Podcast of the week covers the Post Hoc fallacy and explains why pattern-matching humans can’t help linking up things that just shouldn’t be linked up (and how con men use it to rip us off). As no schoolboy these days knows, the full latin phrase is post hoc ergo propter hoc (after this, therefore because of this) but you can think of it as ‘why people wear lucky pants’.

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