A gang of teen hackers snatched the keys to Microsoft’s videogame empire. Then they went too far.


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Pokora reveled in the perks of his success. He still lived with his parents, but he paid his tuition as he entered the University of Toronto in the fall of 2010. He and his girlfriend dined at upscale restaurants every night and stayed at $400-a-night hotels as they traveled around Canada for metal shows. But he wasn’t really in it for the money or even the adulation of his peers; what he most coveted was the sense of glee and power he derived from making $60 million games behave however he wished.

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Brendan I. Koerner — Wired

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BOYCOTTING CAPTAIN BOYCOTT


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Have you ever wondered the origins of the word “boycott”?

With the rural poor dying from starvation, the Irish Nationalist Land League decided to make an example of Boycott. He was shunned by his neighbors, and many dozens laid siege to his farm in late 1880. They convinced Boycott’s laborers to join them or frightened off those who wouldn’t. Local shops also refused to serve him. He was essentially isolated with his family, three loyal staff, and a handful of guests.

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Matthew Wills — JSTOR Daily

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The Feynman Technique: The Best Way to Learn Anything


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It is always good to ask ourselves, once in a while, “Have I learnt anything, lately?”

There are two types of knowledge and most of us focus on the wrong one. The first type of knowledge focuses on knowing the name of something. The second focuses on knowing something. These are not the same thing. The famous Nobel winning physicist Richard Feynman understood the difference between knowing something and knowing the name of something and it’s one of the most important reasons for his success. In fact, he created a formula for learning that ensured he understood something better than everyone else.

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Farnam Street

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2017 Most clicked original article link: Jane Austen: Galloping girl


Needull in a haystack

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Jane Austen wrote fast and died young. Her life on paper may have spanned three decades, but all six of her celebrated novels made their public appearance between 1811 and 1817. The phrase “tell-tale compression,” self-consciously applied by the narrator towards the end of Northanger Abbey (1817), captures something of Austen’s authorial career, too. Indeed, in her case it is appropriate that the word “career” can mean a short gallop at full speed, as well as the potentially slower progress of an individual’s working life. Novelists are more usually seen as long-distance runners than as sprinters, and Austen’s mature fiction has been cherished for the gradual emergence into consciousness of its heroines’ thoughts and feelings. Yet speedy progress—described in Emma (1815) as the “felicities of rapid motion”—remained central to this writer’s craft from start to finish.

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Freya Johnston — Prospect

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Most viewed needull of 2017: The End of Moore’s Law


Needull in a haystack

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Moore’s law refers to an observation made by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore in 1965. He noticed that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since their invention. Moore’s law predicts that this trend will continue into the foreseeable future.”

This might be ending.

I think the end of Moore’s Law, as I have defined the end, will bring about a golden new era of computer architecture. No longer will architects need to cower at the relentless improvements that they know others will get due to Moore’s Law. They will be able to take the time to try new ideas out in silicon, now safe in the knowledge that a conventional computer architecture will not be able to do the same thing in just two or four years in software. And the new things they do may not be about speed. They might…

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A guide to close reading


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A gift for readers of Needull.

  1. Who is the text written by and what do you know about the author(s) and their context?

  2. What type of text is this (a philosophical treatise, an autobiography, a poem, a lecture, sermon etc)?

  3. Who is the author writing for, and how might their intended audience shape the kind of text they are writing?

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Marika Rose — An und für sich

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Are You Ready To Consider That Capitalism Is The Real Problem?


Is capitalism the problem?

Probably.

There are people in the U.S. fighting against the Keystone pipeline. There are people in Britain fighting against the privatization of the National Health Service. There are people in India fighting against corporate land grabs. There are people in Brazil fighting against the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. There are people in China fighting against poverty wages. These are all noble and important movements in their own right. But by focusing on all these symptoms we risk missing the underlying cause. And the cause is capitalism. It’s time to name the thing.

Fast Company

Image: Painting by William O. Pate II