Friday Five: PyControversy and Chrome gaming
Our weekly roundup of increasingly off-topic links, this week including emotional floating heads and drunkards.
As we head into spring, the weather outside of JAX
Towers looks as grim as ever. Never mind – the Friday Five is here
once again to brighten your day!
1. The chattering classes
Atlassian’s ‘IM on steroids’ service, incorporating drag-and-drop
file storage, searchable history and integration with GitHub (as
well as their own Github competitor, BitBucket). Previously only
available with a subscription, HipChat this week became
free for teams of up to five people. Best of all, this news was
broken with the following image.
2. Chromeball madness
Speaking of marketing – Google Chrome’s is a mixed
bag. Sometimes it consists of soppy
stories of happy families, but other times they use
bleeding-edge web standards to great effect in so-called “Chrome
Experiments”. The latest is called World Wide Maze, which generates a
Super Monkey Ball-style game out of any website, and connects the
desktop browser to your smartphone, allowing the game to be
controlled with its gyrometer. Definitely worth checking out, if
only for its use of WebGL and WebSockets.
It was a week of big headlines in the world of Python.
The good news is that the Python Software Foundation managed to
settle a dispute with PO Box Hosting, a British company attempting
to trademark the name ‘Python’ for their cloud services. After
Python users around the world
descended upon the company with hundreds of angry emails and
heavy traffic, PO Box agreed to
drop the trademark claim – a stunning victory for the open
Less happy, however, is the “Donglegate” mess that
occurred at PyCon this week. SendGrid evangelist Adria Richards
tweeted a photo of two other attendees, accusing them of making
“jokes about forking repo’s in a sexual way and “big” dongles”.
With 12,000 followers, Richards’ tweet spread quickly, and… oh,
it’s all too stupid to bear repeating. Ars Technica
have done a good writeup. I’m going to go cry over the state of
4. This was a triumph
We’ve seen the future… and it’s somewhere deep
within Uncanny Valley. Researchers at Cambridge University have
this week shown off Zoe,
“the most expressive controllable avatar ever created”.
Imagine Siri, but given a photorealistic face and the ability
to convey emotion through changes in her (its?) tone of voice and
facial expression. Zoe’s ability to feel emotion, though, is maybe
a bit further off.
5. Drunk as a skunk
And finally… Let’s lighten the mood with a bit of
schadenfreude. BuzzFeed have compiled a collection of GIFs of
drunkest people of all time”, those poor souls in the small
hours in the morning unfortunate enough to be caught on camera.
JAXenter promotes responsible drinking, if only to
ensure you never end up immortalised in one of these hilarious