Skip to main content

Greg Lloyd

Greg Lloyd's Public Library

about 11 hours ago

Have you ever wondered what's inside your Macbook's charger? There's a lot more circuitry crammed into the compact power adapter than you'd expect, including a microprocessor. This charger teardown looks at the numerous components in the charger and explains how they work together to power your laptop.

about 15 hours ago

Nov 2015: Damon Baehrel’s basement restaurant opened in 1989, located in woodland near a little place called Earlton, 135 miles north of Manhattan, 23 miles south of Albany. It is notorious for its waiting list, currently running at ten years. That is not a typo: they have bookings running out to 2025 at present. The restaurant has been known to get 10,000 inquiries in a week, and all this with no PR company and no publicity, just word of mouth; there is not even a telephone number for the restaurant. This year alone Damon Baehrel has had guests from 65 different countries.

Nov 25, 15

Dec 2015: No religious group in the world is more interested in your dead great-great uncle than the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Mormons started collecting genealogical material in the late nineteenth century, and in 1965 they built the Granite Mountain Records Vault just outside Salt Lake City. The 65,000-square-foot facility, carved into the side of its namesake mountain, houses billions of records, and every day Mormons around the world add to this increasingly high-tech repository.

  • Dilts, who is also the bishop of a local LDS ward, started working for FamilySearch eleven years ago, after three weeks of on-the-job training. Before coming to the archives, he digitized probate files at Saskatchewan’s Court of Queen’s Bench. Last year, he preserved more than 650,000 documents as grey-scale files. With every snap of his camera’s shutter, an image is previewed on an adjacent monitor and catalogued by proprietary software. At the end of each week, he sends an external drive to Utah, where its contents are audited, backed up to a server, and eventually posted online for the perusal of professional and amateur genealogists alike. FamilySearch then sends image files back to Regina by the terabyte, for the archives to keep.


  • t’s projects like this that have positioned FamilySearch as the world’s largest genealogical organization. A cursory scan of its website,, turns up century-old birth and death certificates from across Canada, sixteenth-century baptismal records from Croatia, and nineteenth-century marriage licences from the Philippines. Last year, the group partnered with archivists to capture what remains of Bosnia’s National Library. This past June, it announced plans to digitize the handwritten records of 4 million African American slaves. Byte by byte, FamilySearch is securing what many collections can’t on their own.
Nov 24, 15

16 Oct 2015: 60 years since the publication of the series' final volume, a distinguished panel explore Tolkien's literary legacy.
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the publication of the final volume of Tolkien’s fantasy epic, The Lord of the Rings, the Bodleian Libraries and TORCH hosted a panel discussion on reactions to Tolkien’s work, then and now. The discussion was introduced by Elleke Boehmer (Acting TORCH Director and Professor of World Literature, University of Oxford), and chaired by Stuart Lee (Lecturer in English Literature, University of Oxford). In a series of three short talks, scholars considered Tolkien's legacy from a range of perspectives. Patrick Curry (Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Wales, Lampeter) addressed the question: “Is the Lord of the Rings a good book?”, describing Tolkien as a counter-culturalist who focused on the “primacy of storytelling”. Dimitra Fimi (Lecturer in English, Cardiff Metropolitan University) discussed the challenges and opportunities of teaching Tolkien's work, and examined why his work is rarely a compulsory part of the university curriculum in the UK. Andy Orchard (Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon, University of Oxford), who holds the same chair at the University of Oxford that Tolkien held from 1925 – 1945, explored Tolkien's contribution to academia, which he suggested rivals his contribution to fiction. The panel also discussed a range of topics, including uptake of Old Norse, the literary canon and Tolkien's work with DPhil students, in response to audience questions. Please visit for more information, or for

Nov 24, 15

Nov 2015: are the sort who, along the way, can’t be prevented from fashioning, as needed, all the tools, cutlery, furnishings and instruments used in building the new mansion, right from the foundations up to the rooftops, leaving enough room for installing future kitchens and future workshops, and whatever is needed to make it habitable and comfortable. However once everything has been set in place, down to the gutters and the footstools, we aren’t the kind of worker who will hang around, although every stone and every rafter carries the stamp of the hand that conceived it and put it in its place.

  • Around 1970, Alexander Grothendieck, the greatest of all modern mathematicians and arguably the greatest mathematician of all time, announced — at the age of 42 — the official end of his research career. Another great mathematician once told me that he thought he knew why. Following two decades of discoveries and insights that, one after the other, stunned the mathematical world, Grothendieck had, for the first time, achieved an insight so unexpected and so consequential that he himself was stunned. Grothendieck had discovered his own mortality.
  • am told that just a few hours ago, his vision proved accurate. But the notion of Grothendieck as a mortal seems hard to swallow. He dominated pure mathematics not just through the force of his ideas — ideas that seemed eons ahead of everyone else’s — but through the force of his personality. When, around 1960, he announced his audacious plan to solve the notoriously difficult Weil conjectures by first rewriting the foundations of geometry, dozens of superb mathematicians put the rest of their careers on hold to do their parts. The project’s final page count, including the twelve volumes known as SGA (Seminaire de Geometrie Algebrique) and the eight known as EGA (Elements de Geometrie Algebrique) approached 10,000 pages. The force and clarity of Grothendieck’s unique vision scream forth from nearly every one of those pages, demanding that the reader see the mathematical world in a new and completely original way — a perspective that has proved not just compelling, but unspeakably powerful.
  • In Grothendieck, modesty would have been ridiculous, and he was never ridiculous. Here, in his own words — words that ring utterly true — is Grothendieck’s own assessment of how he stood apart (translated from French by Roy Lisker):

5 more annotations...

  • The primary problem is simply that the current version of the Apple Watch is too slow; it needs a faster processor, which will only come in a future version. The failings of its baroque, do-everything interaction modalities are a close second, although to be cruelly fair it's hard to critique them fully when they execute so sluggishly. The watchOS interfaces are mostly designed around a ticker-tape concept, and many alert screens, even those from Apple 1st-party apps, show half of a button at the bottom which must be scrolled up to click. (More unfortunate, that half-hidden button is usually "Dismiss.") While Apple encourages designers to limit the amount of text shown in alerts, to a great extent that too-long text is exactly the information I want to see quickly; it's a Glance-22. In designing the Apple Watch as a sort of mini-iPhone instead of a wholly new visual interface, the entire UX feels less than delightful. Again, more speed would help, but I often consider if Apple didn't go far enough in exploring new ways to present text, like the quick-word-flash speed-reading concept used in apps like Read Quick. A smartwatch will never become a phone replacement unless it does something a phone can't do better—or at least do the same thing in a new, snappier way.
  • What the Apple Watch can technically do is often entertaining as a party trick—and even occasionally a pleasant surprise, like discovering that I do like answering phone calls from my wrist from time-to-time—but there's always a bit of sadness evident when I share these trifles with others. No truly successful product should have to be leavened with self-deprecation when used among friends, which is what I continually find when using my Apple Watch in public. "When this works it's mildly amusing" is not the sort of feedback that any company wants to see customer satisfaction surveys.
Nov 23, 15

20 Nov 2015: Genetic modification involves replacing one gene with another—to give mosquitoes a gene for resistance to the malarial parasite, for instance. Normally, a mosquito with that gene doesn’t always pass it on to the next generation. A gene drive, correctly programmed, could in theory both spread the parasite-resistant version of the gene to all the mosquito’s offspring and overwrite the non-malaria-resistant version, ensuring that the resistance never goes away.

  • On Thursday (Nov. 19), a special agent from the FBI met with researchers in Washington, DC to talk to a scientific panel about the risks of a powerful new genetic technology: “gene drive.” It allows scientists to, essentially, hijack the process of evolution, spreading a new gene through a population with incredible speed. And while it was developed with peaceful uses in mind, such as eradicating mosquitoes to end malaria, it could be used for ill too—it’s cheap and easy enough to master that bioterrorists could get their hands on it.
  • Gene drives have existed in nature for a long time. Normally, an organism has a 50% chance of inheriting any given gene from each of its parents. But certain genes can increase their own chances of being inherited. One way they do it is by having a mechanism that lets them make multiple copies of themselves in the parent’s genome.
  • For decades, nobody knew how to replicate this natural phenomenon. In 2003, Austin Burt, a professor of evolutionary genetics at Imperial College London, proposed a method for doing so, but his idea required a genetic tool that could precisely home in on one gene and replace it with another gene, along with the copying mechanism. At the time, no tool of required precision existed.

4 more annotations...

Nov 23, 15

Nov 2015: First produced in the 1880s, electric cars gained popularity in the following decades for their ease of operation, and for being less smelly and noisy than their gasoline-powered counterparts.

Nov 23, 15

In Unix-like operating systems, chmod is the command and system call which may change the access permissions to file system objects (files and directories). It may also alter special mode flags. The request is filtered by the umask. The name is an abbreviation of change mode.[1]

Nov 21, 15

16 Apr 2015: Beyond the obvious convenience factor of listening on the go, what is it that makes some audio storytelling so engaging? And what happens in the brain when someone hears a really compelling story?

  • In my all-time favorite episode of Radiolab, “Finding Emilie,” a young art student named Emilie Gossiaux gets into a terrible accident while riding her bike and, rendered blind and deaf, is unable to communicate with her loved ones until she makes an incredible breakthrough. Listening to it on my drive home only got me to the middle of the episode, so I sat in my parked car staring at the garage until it was over. I was captivated by the voices of Emilie and her family. I’ve been an audio convert ever since.
  • It’s likely that thousands, if not millions, of others had the same experience last year when they discovered Serial, the This American Life spinoff considered to be the most successful podcast of all time (5 million downloads and counting) that launched the medium back into the spotlight.
  • As a New York magazine piece noted last year, the increasing popularity of audio storytelling owes a lot to technology, as smartphones allow people to consume shows on demand anywhere, and cars increasingly come equipped with satellite radio and Internet-friendly dashboards. A recent report by Edison Research estimated that 64 percent of 12- to 24-year-olds and 37 percent of 25- to 54-year-olds in the United States listened to online radio weekly in 2014. The same year, 30 percent of respondents reported that they had listened to a podcast at least once, with 15 percent indicating that they had listened to a podcast within the last month.

5 more annotations...

  • When Orson Welles’s radio drama The War of the Worlds aired in 1938, simulating a news broadcast about an alien invasion of Earth, newspapers published stories detailing the national hysteria it sparked. This narrative, it turns out, was overblown, making it even more unlikely today that the podcast miniseries The Message will cause any real panic. But over eight weeks, it’s nailed the same intriguing sense of hyper-reality that Welles pioneered. Chronicling a scientific team’s efforts to decode a toxic bit of alien communication, The Message is a genuinely unsettling listen, like a horror-film parody of Serial split into 15-minute chunks, the last of which airs Sunday.
  • Much of The Message’s appeal comes from its charming mix of old and new media. The podcast was produced by General Electric as a kind of throwback to GE Theater, an anthology series hosted by the then-actor Ronald Reagan on CBS radio before it became a TV hit. The company’s native branding frees The Message from the typical ad interruptions for companies like Squarespace, while lending it an air of nostalgia and authenticity. The podcast won’t exactly convince listeners of a genuine alien threat, but it’s at least fun to hear it try.
  • The Message faces many of the same challenges that found-footage films do. In films like Blair Witch, characters are constantly having to explain why they’re bringing a camera to investigate some creepy building (it’s never quite clear how they manage not to drop the camera as they run away screaming). Similarly, with The Message, some of the necessary exposition required to set up the plot feels clunky. Nicky has to regularly justify why she still has her microphone turned on, and why she hasn’t taken the podcast down considering the terrifying implications of broadcasting an alien virus on the Internet. But it’s easy to forgive these visible seams because the overall effect is so creepy.

2 more annotations...

Nov 21, 15

18 Nov 2015: With a new Star Wars movie set to come out seemingly every year for the rest of time, it may seem difficult to remember a time when fans had to fill in the gaps themselves. Before the release of George Lucas’ prequel trilogy—and after, as a form of denial—the Star Wars Expanded Universe did what wearing out tapes of the originals couldn’t by not only completing Han, Leia, and Luke’s stories, but also giving detailed histories to characters seen only briefly in the original trilogy. And when that wasn’t enough, the EU invented stories, locations and characters—even entire races—out of whole cloth.

  • Disney officially declared existing EU stories non-canon when it bought Lucasfilm in 2012, saying that, “While Lucasfilm always strived to keep the stories created for the EU consistent with our film and television content as well as internally consistent, Lucas always made it clear that he was not beholden to the EU.” (Lucas was never especially beholden to himself either, as any nerd in a “Han Shot First” shirt can tell you.) Since then, elements of the EU, like the Black Sun crime syndicate, have been restored to the canon by appearing in official Disney-sanctioned Star Wars media. But it’s a big galaxy, and there are plenty of compelling characters and stories out there still languishing in non-canonic purgatory. So amid the excitement of a bright, Star Wars-filled future, here’s what we’re sad to leave behind.
Nov 20, 15

Beginning with OS X El Capitan, system file permissions are automatically protected. It's no longer necessary to verify or repair permissions with Disk Utility.

Nov 20, 15

13 Apr 2014: Every file and folder in OS X has permissions associated with it, which allow the system to grant or deny access to specific users and groups. You can see these permissions by getting information on a selected file or folder in the Finder, and then expanding the "Sharing & Permissions" section at the bottom of the window.

Nov 20, 15

Every file or folder on your Mac has permissions associated with it. When you create a file or folder, the umask setting determines these permissions.

Nov 20, 15

17 Nov 2015: The moribund social network has received a new shot at life with a redesign focused on allowing users to gather in communities devoted to certain topics. The change involves a full redesign of the service across the Web, Android, and iOS devices that users can choose to test when they sign in on the website.

Nov 19, 15

Alcoa Fastening Systems' use of social software in the context of work from January 2009 though July 2011 gives Enterprise 2.0 industry analysts, customers and experts what they've wanted for years: 1) Carefully documented long term results on the value of social software used as an integral part of critical business activities (including a 61% reduction in work required for compliance related activities); 2) Openly published, candid and thoughtful reflections on Enterprise 2.0 objectives, lessons learned and advice; 3) An innovative, well-known company willing to experiment and report their results, providing helpful, vendor-independent guidance to other organizations who also aim to explore the value of Enterprise 2.0 practices and technology. Alcoa Fastening Systems uses Traction TeamPage software for activities including: system documentation, operational procedures, planning and execution of acquisition, deployment and updates for global IT systems. The Alcoa Fastening Systems Groundswell 2011 Award submission page includes an example of successful global roll-out of an IT system upgrade involving 180 tasks and issues over the four day July 2011 Independence Day weekend.

  • Alcoa Fastening Systems (AFS) maintains internal cost and performance metrics, including results from Jan 2007 (before introduction of Traction TeamPage social software) though May 2010 analyzed and published by the Deloitte Center for the Edge in their Feb 2011 Study: "Social Software for Business Performance The missing link for social software: Measurable business performance improvements." In that study, AFS reported a "61% reduction in time spent on compliance activities through the use of Traction software." AFS has also reporting an 80% reduction in total status meeting manhours per week in 2010, and a further improvement during a global rollout of an Oracle update over the July 2011 Independence day weekend - as cited in their 2011 Groundswell Award submission page.
Nov 19, 15

11 Feb 2014: Internet history podcast Chapter 1, part 1. Netscape as the first big bang of the Web era.

Nov 19, 15

7 Nov 2015: In the world of cast iron, there are unfounded, untested claims left right and center. It's time to put a few of those myths to rest.

1 - 20 of 8365 Next › Last »
20 items/page

Diigo is about better ways to research, share and collaborate on information. Learn more »

Join Diigo