The upcoming Go 1.16 release has a lot of exciting updates in it, but my most anticipated addition to the Go standard library is the new
os.Fileinterfaces go a long way in abstracting common operations on opened files. However, until now there hasn’t been a great story for abstracting an entire filesystem.
A high-precision, three-dimensional survey of 21 different species of trees has revealed an as-yet unknown cycle of subtle canopy movement during the night. Such ‘sleep cycles’ differed from one species to another. Detection of anomalies in overnight movement could become a future diagnostic tool to reveal stress or disease in crops.
One of the most important processes sustaining life on Earth is the transport of water from the ground and into the leaves, where photosynthesis occurs. The process has fascinated scientists for centuries, and is still debated in plant physiology. Scientists generally agree that water transport is driven by light, and consequently occurs in 24-hour cycles.
Overnight movement of leaves is well known among tree species of the legume family, but it was only recently discovered that some other trees also lower their branches by up to 10 centimeters at night and then back in the morning. These branch movements are slow and subtle, and are difficult to identify with the naked eye at night. However, terrestrial laser scanning, a 3-D surveying technique developed for precision mapping of buildings, makes it possible to measure the exact position of branches and leaves. This technique was recently used to demonstrate movements in the branches of birch trees under field conditions.
Canvas is a common vector drawing target that can output SVG, PDF, EPS, raster images (PNG, JPG, GIF, …), HTML Canvas through WASM, and OpenGL. It has a wide range of path manipulation functionality such as flattening, stroking and dashing implemented. Additionally, it has a good text formatter and embeds fonts (TTF, OTF, WOFF, or WOFF2) or converts them to outlines. It can be considered a Cairo or node-canvas alternative in Go. See the example below in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 for an overview of the functionality.
Linux being secure is a common misconception in the security and privacy realm. Linux is thought to be secure primarily because of its source model, popular usage in servers, small userbase and confusion about its security features. This article is intended to debunk these misunderstandings. Due to inevitable pedanticism, “Linux” in this article refers to a standard desktop Linux or GNU/Linux distribution.
When Sherrington described the human brain as the enchanted loom in the mid-20th century, the Jacquard loom featured in his prose had been one of the most complex mechanical devices ever invented for over a hundred years. It used a system of punched cards that encoded complex patterns to be weaved into textile. The punched cards devised for the Jacquard loom would later find wider use in early computers, also programmed with punchcards. This is where software was born.
Given the place the Jacquard loom held in the history of mechanical craftsmanship, it’s no surprise that Sherrington imagined the human brain, still the most complex system we know of in the universe, as a system of looms weaving ephemeral patterns into memories and cognition.
Decades have passed, and the complexity of microprocessors used in Internet-scale computing systems dwarf the complexity of even the largest Jacquard patterns. Today, we imagine usurping the capabilities of the human brain with software instead of looms.
We’ve gotten closer, but I’m not sure that computers as we know it will get us there yet. Inventing the computer and the deep neural network may still be one of the first few steps in replicating the magic of the enchanted loom, and in this post, I want to explore the future that I imagine in our steps forward.
A month or so ago I started working on a neural network implementation in Rust, from scratch. I wasn’t interested in achieving the best performance, or having all the bells and whistles. I had a simple goal of understanding NEAT. For those of you that are not familiar with it, here’s a snippet…
The immediate effects of a massive volcanic eruption can be often hot and violent, with scorching lava streaming from the caldera and volcanic rock launching into the air. But after the activity subsides, the effects of the eruption can echo through the air for months to years—ash, soot, sulfurous gases, phosphates, and other chemicals stir changes in atmospheric chemistry.
“You think about aerosols being launched up into the stratosphere, they’re going to move,” says Jennifer Marlon, a research scientist at Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. “They’re going to swirl around the planet, essentially, and affect distant continents in some cases.”
The aerosols block radiation from the sun, creating a cooling effect known as volcanic winter. This climate-altering period can ripple throughout history, both in the short and long term, says Jessica Whiteside, a geochemist and paleoclimatologist at the University of Southampton. A volcano erupts thousands of miles away, and a river in Africa ceases to flood, for instance. In Indonesia, volcanic ash spews in the air, casting a dreary, dark storm across the summer—and creating the perfect backdrop for a science fiction novel. The subsequent years after an eruption can awaken “a creative side because the red skies from the aerosols in the atmosphere lead to works of [J. M. W.] Turner and Edvard Munch,” Whiteside says. “But the longer term consequences are linked to epidemics.”
Discover how volcanic winters have colored famous works of arts, shaped societies, and influenced culture.