JAX London 2014: A retrospective
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Friday Five: Bacon numbers and Gangnam Style

ElliotBentley
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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