Living for the weekend

Friday Five: Clojure, smilies and melting bridges

Elliot Bentley

It’s time to unwind for the weekend with our increasingly off-topic collection of links from around the web.

It’s time to unwind for the weekend with our increasingly off-topic collection of links from around the web.

1. A Clojure library to “shake your shell”

Okay, let’s start off the Five with something mildly relevant. Shake is a Clojure library which, author Sun Ning claims, allows every program to be a function.

There’s a lot of fun in implementing this library. First, to be able to use custom symbol in the DSL, you have to make these executables as macros. Second, find a way to programmably create vars which are named by string. The power of Clojure enables all the ideas and makes it possible

Reaction on Hacker News was mixed, though, with user jcromartie describing it as a “really bad idea”. You can have a go yourself with the source on github – we’re not guaranteeing anything, though.

2. Happy Birthday to :-)

Apparently, today is the 30th birthday of the first emoticons, smiley :-) and sad :-(. Scott Fahlman of Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, originally proposed them in 1982 as a means to make jokes distinguishable on a bulletin board. They’ve come a long way in the past three decades, though Fahlman told UK newspaper The Independent that modern illustrated and animated smilies are “ugly” and “ruin the challenge of trying to come up with a clever way to express emotions using standard keyboard characters”. What we think remains to be settled is how to utilise smiley emoticons when contained at the end of a parenthesis. ( like this? :-)) ( or integrated with the bracket? :-) ( or avoiding the problem altogether by reversing it? (-: )

3. The amazing iOS 6 maps

You’ve surely seen it already, but we couldn’t ignore this harsh (but fair) tumblr collecting the many issues of iOS 6’s new maps app – from missing geographic info to overlooking of landmarks and (most hilariously) bridges appearing to collapse and melt into nothing.

There’s not much more to say – the tumblr speaks for itself fairly well – but we do hope that Apple manage to rectify the situation. Or at least make sure all of central London’s tube stations are marked!

4. Fox discovers overlooked iPhone 5 features

In related iPhone news, here’s an exciting new feature most publications have overlooked in their reviews of the new gadget: a holographic keyboard and screen. Well, that’s according to Fox 5, that highly reputable source of news. Their coverage of the release hype included not only the ridiculously long queues outside Apple Stores, but footage of an iPhone projecting a fully-functional keyboard onto a flat surface, and even a sizable screen into the air.


We imagine most JAXenter readers would have smelt a rat by this point – especially since the clip in question is from a CGI ‘concept’ from Aatma Studio with over a million views on YouTube – but it appears Lidia Curanaj failed to even consult Apple’s own promotional materials. Hopefully not too many Fox 5 viewers will be let down by their new holograph-less iPhone 5.

5. The internet’s guide to doing life the right way

And finally… a BuzzFeed article entitled ‘22 Things You’re Doing Wrong’ has been making its way around JAX towers, featuring a selection of clever methods of carrying out everyday tasks in the home, from cleaning blenders (duh, just make it blend soapy water!) to eating cupcakes (erm, cut them in half and turn them into a sandwich?) picked from around the interwebs. You’ll have seen a few before on Reddit, probably, but there’s actually some practical use from this particular bit of silliness.

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