“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

– T. S. Eliot (This underlines the concept of re-learning. The new experiences helps you see the old in a new light.)

How to backup the thousands of songs you have to your tiny Dropbox

What if you have thousands of songs on your drive but very limited space on your Dropbox? You can’t backup all the songs you have, but you can definitely backup all the names of the songs you have. This may be just the thing you want in some cases.

Since I’m on Windows right now, here’s how to do it using the Windows console.

  1. Open the console
    (press win key + R and type “cmd” into the box that pops up)

  2. "cd" into the directory that has all your music files whose names you want to back up

  3. type this command at the prompt: dir *.* /s/b > “songs.txt”

You can now find the names of all the songs you have in a text file in your music folder called “songs.txt”. Put this text file into your Dropbox and now you can always know what music you have no matter what happens to your main hard drive.

"Live Reload"-like feature with a single line of javascript

Since so much of front-end web development is trial-and-error, seeing code changes visualized in realtime is a huge time-saver. Seeking this advantage, I’ve spent many months looking for a simple plugin that can get the job done but I’ve had no luck so far. Tincr doesn’t work with the latest Chrome and even before that I couldn’t get it work on Windows 8. Other plugins start up local servers in the background or you have to switch to an entirely new editor like Brackets (which again uses a node server in the background) just for the Live Reload feature. And even then things aren’t perfect; Brackets Live Reload, for example, breaks if you open the browser’s developer tools.

I initially tried to solve the Live Reload problem using a simple page refresh every 5 seconds:

<meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”5”>

But this has very bad side-effects. For example, I can no longer use the browser’s developer tools since it’d restart with the page refresh happening every 5 seconds. I could lengthen the interval but then I might just as well manually refresh.

After giving it some thought, I finally have a solution that gives me something much closer to what I want while not having any of the downsides of the other approaches — refreshing the page when the window gets focus. This way I can simply alt-tab from Sublime Text to the browser and the page refreshes immediately. No cumbersome plugins, node servers or special editors required; just this javascript one-liner is all that’s needed:

window.onfocus = function() { location.reload() }

And since Sublime Text has the option to save when the editor loses focus…

"save_on_focus_lost": true

…I don’t even have to press Ctrl-S like I have to with Live Reload plugins.

The only caveat is that you need to remember to edit the javascript function out when you push the page to production.

“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

Hope is the new “Sex”

Sean Everett:

In the new movie, Man of Steel, they reveal that the ‘S’ on his chest isn’t an ‘S’ at all, but rather represents a Kryptonian symbol for Hope.

 

And here’s how gullible movie goers, like Sean Everett above, are taken for a ride…

Director Steven Soderberg:

The other thing I tell young filmmakers is when you get going and you try to get money, when you’re going into one of those rooms to try and convince somebody to make it, I don’t care who you’re pitching, I don’t care what you’re pitching – it can be about genocide, it can be about child killers, it can be about the worst kind of criminal injustice that you can imagine – but as you’re sort of in the process of telling this story, stop yourself in the middle of a sentence and act like you’re having an epiphany, and say: You know what, at the end of this day, this is a movie about hope.

The old adage is that “Sex sells”, but the all-new PG-friendly formula is “Hope sells”.

How to get a user’s password, legally

Last time we sent out a warning email along the lines of:

We never ask for your username and password. If you get an email that looks like: “There is an issue with your account. Please reply with your username and password and we will rectify it” You should never reply to these messages with your details.

50 people replied with their usernames and passwords.

“Virtually all mammals experience REM sleep. However, REM sleep is a risky time, because it renders animals paralyzed and helpless. To make matters worse, during REM sleep the body consumes nearly as much energy as when it’s awake, which is a marked contrast to the other, thriftier stages of sleep. This suggests that REM has some fundamental importance, or a superior race of non-dreamers would have evolved millions of years ago”

Your Brain: The Missing Manual (via fsplus)

Rare video of a tornado vortex that loops back into itself.

Sharp geometric wallpapers for your devices.

via geoaday

Intuitive explanation of “Brownian motion”

Consider a large balloon of 100 metres in diameter. Imagine this large balloon in a football stadium. The balloon is so large that it lies on top of many members of the crowd. Because they are excited, these fans hit the balloon at different times and in different directions with the motions being completely random. In the end, the balloon is pushed in random directions, so it should not move on average. Consider now the force exerted at a certain time. We might have 20 supporters pushing right, and 21 other supporters pushing left, where each supporter is exerting equivalent amounts of force. In this case, the forces exerted towards the left and the right are imbalanced in favor of the left; the balloon will move slightly to the left. This type of imbalance exists at all times, and it causes random motion of the balloon. If we look at this situation from far above, so that we cannot see the supporters, we see the large balloon as a small object animated by erratic movement. Consider the particles emitted by Brown’s pollen grain moving randomly in water: we know that a water molecule is about 0.1 by 0.2 nm in size, whereas the particles which Brown observed were of the order of a few micrometres in size (these are not to be confused with the actual pollen particle which is about 100 micrometres). So a particle from the pollen may be likened to the balloon, and the water molecules to the fans, except that in this case the balloon is surrounded by fans. The Brownian motion of a particle in a liquid is thus due to the instantaneous imbalance in the combined forces exerted by collisions of the particle with the much smaller liquid molecules (which are in random thermal motion) surrounding it.

Brownian motion on Wiki

Basically, Brownian motion of a body is what happens when a very large number of similar forces act on the same body from all possible directions. If the forces were uniform and applied at the same time to the body then there wouldn’t be any movement but since there are slight differences in the direction, strength and time of application of the forces, the body begins to move like in the simulation below of a large dust particle (yellow) experiencing brownian motion due to collision with the smaller gas molecules around it.

 

image

The clever thing is that the same can be said of stock price fluctuations where millions of tiny trading exchanges between people (small brown gas particles) push the stock price (large yellow dust particle) into a form of Brownian motion called Geometric Brownian motion. Hundreds of billions of dollars are moving similar to the lowly dust in the air around you right now. Self-similarity, once again.

via Wikipedia
This is what a human heart looks like in the earliest stages of development of a human baby.

This is what a human heart looks like in the earliest stages of development of a human baby.

matthen:

The smooth motion of rotating circles can be used to build up any repeating curve even one as angular as a digital square wave. Each circle spins at a multiple of a fundamental frequency, and a method called Fourier analysis shows how to pick the radiuses of the circles to make the picture work. Decomposing signals like this lies at the heart of a lot of signal processing. [more] [code]

They should teach this in schools, right?

matthen:

The smooth motion of rotating circles can be used to build up any repeating curve even one as angular as a digital square wave. Each circle spins at a multiple of a fundamental frequency, and a method called Fourier analysis shows how to pick the radiuses of the circles to make the picture work. Decomposing signals like this lies at the heart of a lot of signal processing. [more] [code]

They should teach this in schools, right?

via matthen

Mauritiana’s amazing ship graveyard. Hit Google’s image search for more amazing pics.