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Friday Five: Bacon numbers and Gangnam Style

Elliot Bentley
bacon

Sometimes we need a bit of wind-down at the end of the week – time to roll our our off-topic Friday Five.

Sometimes we need a bit of wind-down at the end of the week,
which is when we roll out our off Friday Five.

1. How Dropbox got on the CoffeeScript train

If you’re a Dropbox user, you probably didn’t notice the web
interface’s JavaScript being rewritten from scratch in July (that
is, assuming you haven’t been obsessively checking the source every
week). During their internal hack week, the existing JavaScript was
rewritten as CoffeeScript, a
more human-readable language which is then compiled as JavaScript.
In a blog post,
members of the Dropbox team not only explain the rationale behind
their decision, but explore JavaScript’s history, demonstrate how
concise Coffeescript is with a few examples, and even a brief look
at the company’s testing procedure.

2. Skeuofantastic


According to Fast Co.
, there’s an internal conflict within
Apple over whether their interfaces should be skeuomorphic – to
look like the physical objects of which function they’re replacing,
like the leather of Reminders, the wooden bookshelf of iBooks, or
extreme example of the casino table look of Game Centre). A new
tumblr blog, Skeu It!, catalogues the
many failings of skeuomorphic design along with sarcastic CAPS LOCK
captions. We’re not sure what brought about the author’s despise
for this certain school of design, but he makes some decent
points.

3. The smartphone of the future

While much of the internet has lit up over the excitement (or, if
you want JAXenter’s opinion, disappointment) brought by the iPhone
5, Alexis Madrigal of The Atlantic isn’t satisfied with 2012’s
current options. In a
fairly lengthy piece
, he considers several futuristic ideas:
from inputs already being played with, like voice control and 3D
hand detection; to pockets full of incredibly cheap $10 devices,
sci-fi brain implants with no physical input systems, and even a
personal “fleet of robot data scavengers, messengers, and
servants”. Now that last one actually sounds pretty
appealing.

4. What’s your Bacon number?

It seems every week Google engineers roll out another Easter egg,
dominating hundreds of thousands of hours of work time. After
Zerg
Rush
, the latest viral hit is a widget based on the Six
Degrees of Kevin Bacon theory
(that every actor is separated
from Kevin Bacon by a maximum of six films). Just type in “bacon
number” along with any actor’s name and Google will compute their
Bacon number. The largest we’ve managed to find so far is
three.

5. Oppa Gangnam style!

It narrowly missed the cut for last week’s Friday Five, but we’re
proud to feature this week the breakout K-pop sensation ‘Gangnam
Style’ by PSY. If it’s any indication of the its success, PSY was
invited to perform the song on US
morning chat show Today
. It’s a stunning performance, featuring
his trademark energy – and dance moves – accompanied by a
surprisingly large crowd. The original video has
been watched over 166 million times already, either an indication
of its incredible crossover appeal, or the impending collapse of
civilisation – take your pick.

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