Weekend tech reading: Earth streamed from space, 50 years of BASIC, preventing another Heartbleed

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international space station, heartbleed, iss stream, basic

You can finally watch a live video feed of Earth from space, and it's awesome After being continuously inhabited for more than 13 years, it is finally possible to log into Ustream and watch the Earth spinning on its axis in glorious HD. This video feed (embedded below) comes from four high-definition cameras, delivered by last month's SpaceX CRS-3 resupply mission, that are attached to the outside of the International Space Station. You can open up the Ustream page at any time, and as long as it isn’t night time aboard the ISS, you'll be treated to a beautiful view of the Earth from around 250 miles (400 km) up. ExtremeTech

Before Silicon Valley got nasty, the Pirates of Analog Alley fought it out The history of information technology has a way of repeating itself. Every era's corporate competitors elbow each other for success, try to better the other's ideas, and sometimes just plain steal from one another. In that light, it's no surprise that the battles of today’s technology giants may have been foretold by another wave of innovators -- those at the turn of the 20th century, when electricity was new and computing was done with real machines. Think the kind with gears, cams, and shafts. Ars Technica

Sony develops tape tech that could lead to 185TB cartridges Sony has developed a magnetic tape material that can store data at 148 gigabits per square inch, roughly 74 times the density of standard tapes. The technology represents the world's highest recording density for the medium, the electronics giant said, and could allow the creation of tape cartridges with a capacity of 185 TB. By comparison, LTO-6 (Linear Tape-Open), the latest generation of magnetic tape storage, has a density of 2 gigabits per square inch, or 2.5 TB per cartridge uncompressed. ITworld

The great works of software Is it possible to propose a software canon? To enumerate great works of software that are deeply influential -- that changed the nature of the code that followed? Canons emerge over time, as certain works gain in critical appreciation. But software is mutable stuff, quick to obsolesce. Only banks, governments, and your parents run the same programs for more than a couple years at a time; the rest of us are forced to upgrade to new versions every two years or we risk being regarded as backward-minded hill people. Medium

Fifty years of BASIC, the programming language that made computers personal Knowing how to program a computer is good for you, and it's a shame more people don't learn to do it. For years now, that's been a hugely popular stance. It's led to educational initiatives as effortless sounding as the Hour of Code (offered by Code.org) and as obviously ambitious as Code Year (spearheaded by Codecademy). Time (related video below)

The year of the Facebook These were the days when everyone was still beautiful, and we were all still rich. The things big bubble-pop doomsayers kept predicting hadn't happened yet, and Facebook was on top of everything else. It was just firing. And firing. And firing. Even the misse -- Paper and Home and Poke -- seemed like they didn't matter because its hits were so vital. And with the wind at its back, the fog of war blew away from its eyes and into those of its enemies. It seemed like only Mark could see clearly. Wired

A gaming company devoted to narrative tackles 'Thrones' Behind closed doors and papered-over windows here, a half-dozen storytellers have been scrambling to conjure a fantasy world with compelling characters, fierce dialogue and an intricate plot. But this is no ordinary writers’ room: It's Telltale Games, an independent video game studio that has developed an intense following by prizing nuance and narrative in an industry more often associated with clattering machine guns and screeching getaway cars. The NY Times

Five places where Silicon Valley's bubble could pop Yes, we're in a tech bubble. Of course we are. When Facebook can use $19 billion in funny money to buy a startup with revenues of $20 million (WhatsApp) or spend $2 billion to buy another startup that doesn't even have a product on the market (Oculus), that's a bubble. When the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in San Francisco is $3,350 -- enough to pay the mortgage on an $800,000 house in any other city -- that's a bubble. Xconomy

Beyond net neutrality When Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in his Harvard dorm room, he didn’t need to ask Comcast, Verizon, or other internet service providers to add Facebook to their networks. He also didn’t have to pay these companies extra fees to ensure that Facebook would work as well as the websites of established companies. As soon as he created the Facebook website, it was automatically available from any internet-connected computer in the world. Vox

Qt3 Games Podcast: Metacritical This week I talk with Metacritic founder and editor of videogames Marc Doyle about why on earth a site like this is listed on Metacritic. Join us for a discussion of aggregates, game reviews, and the state of the critical discussion about videogames. Apologies for lapsing into movie nerd talk near the end of the podcast, but bear with us and I guarantee you’ll come away with a few interesting recommendations. Quarter To Three

How to prevent the next Heartbleed The Heartbleed vulnerability in OpenSSL is a serious security vulnerability formally identified as CVE-2014-0160 [Heartbleed.com]. OpenSSL is a widely-used toolkit that implements the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS). The cartoon Heartbleed Explanation is a great explanation that shows how the vulnerability can be exploited [XKCD]. David A. Wheeler

BioShock's floating city built in Minecraft Columbia floats above the North Msk continent and is comprised of neoclassical buildings built in the earlier days of Holocene. While reactors, propellers and balloons are present throughout the city, its ability to float is due to quantum levitation which allows objects to be suspended indefinitely. Explore the "New Eden" and travel around minecraft in style. Planet Minecraft (<

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