Welcome to another edition of SunnyMag, a weekly reading list of beautiful stories from the world of technology and its neighborhoods. In this edition, we bring you the psychology of pricing, a scientific explanation to why some ideas go viral and some don’t and India’s biggest contribution to Maths.
New New World
The Pixar Theory- Every Character Lives in the Same Universe: Jon Negroni spent one year untangling the secret world hidden deep within Pixar films. This thesis (printed in full below) originally appeared on his personal blog and quickly became a viral sensation. Negroni continues to update his post based on interesting feedback from readers. More here.
A Data Scientist’s Real Job- Storytelling: Every morning at DoSomething.org, our computers greet us with a report containing over 350 million data points tracking our organization’s performance. Our challenge as data scientists is to translate this haystack of information into guidance for staff so they can make smart decisions — whether it’s choosing the right headline for today’s email blast (should we ask our members to “take action now” or “learn more”?) or determining the purpose of our summer volunteer campaign (food donation drive or recycling campaign?). More here.
The Web Cookie Is Dying. Here’s The Creepier Technology That Comes Next: It may raise hackles to think that U.S. intelligence officials might be monitoring your telephone and Internet communications, but for most of us it’s only the marketers who are really interested in our everyday online activities. And with many billions of dollars at stake, companies are increasingly turning to more sophisticated techniques to identify potential clients and deliver relevant advertising. More here.
How the word ‘hacker’ got corrupted: Hacker: It sounds vicious and destructive, just like the malevolent electronic villains it is used to describe. The more we rely on computers the more we fear attacks on those computers and it’s hardly surprising that the news is full of hackers hacking into computer systems and generally disrupting the online world with their hacks. More here.
Florida Bans Smartphones and Computers: I, for One, Applaud This Decision. As the story goes, Florida recently passed a law banning Internet cafes that offer slot machine-like games. “The Legislature and governor acted with dizzying speed, leaving many questions as to the law’s impact and how the centers known as Internet cafes would react,” reports the Associated Press. Read more.
Almost every major consumer electronics manufacturer is now working on a smart watch: Something about the ailing PC industry, competition among makers of smartphones and the endless quest for the next big thing has nearly every major consumer electronics manufacturer working on a smart watch or at least contemplating it. The latest is Dell, whose global VP of personal computing just told The Guardian that the company is thinking about a smart watch despite “challenges in cost, and how to make it a really good experience.” More here.
DARPA’s Newest Robot Is The Coolest And Most Terrifying Creation Yet
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has been working on robots for a long time, but this latest one is a both a healthy dose of scary and cool. Read more.
Amar G. Bose, Acoustic Engineer and Inventor, Dies at 83: Amar G. Bose, the visionary engineer, inventor and billionaire entrepreneur whose namesake company, the Bose Corporation, became synonymous with high-quality audio systems and speakers for home users, auditoriums and automobiles, died on Friday at his home in Wayland, Mass. He was 83. More here.
5 Psychological Studies on Pricing That You Absolutely MUST Read: The thing is, many folks struggle with this process because although they understand their customer’s needs, they aren’t experienced with what to charge people for their work. Below I’ve analyzed a few recent research studies that dive into pricing of products and services in the hope that you might better understand how to price your own goods. More here.
Redesigned Window Stops Sound But Not Air, Say Materials Scientists: By exploiting some exotic acoustic techniques, researchers have built a window that allows the passage of air but not sound. More here.
Your Brain On Buzz: Why Some Ideas Go Viral And Others Go Nowhere: Why do certain ideas go viral while others never make it past a second set of eyes (or ears, or lips)? A new neuroscience study attempted to answer this question by finding out if our brains react differently to buzz-worthy ideas. The results suggest that we’re wired to pass along certain ideas from the moment we see or hear them – even before we realize that we will. More here.
Place Value, not Zero is most important invention of ancient Indian Mathematicians: The greatest contribution of India to mathematics is Zero, is what you often hear. But that is plain wrong. Zero was a natural by-product of an even more greater mathematical invention by ancient Indians, the Place Value (Positional Notation) System. Read here.
Twelve Habits of Happy, Healthy People Who Don’t Give a Shit About Your Inner Peace: Every damn time someone in my facebook feed posts something like this, I click it. Every damn time. We all have this facebook friend, right? People you genuinely love and admire. People you like hanging out with. People you invite to your birthday parties. You know. Actual friends. Until you’ve clicked links exactly like this again and again and again. More here.
Why being a VC sucks. Advice to anyone who wants to get into venture capital: I probably get around a dozen e-mails a week asking me how to get into venture capital. On top of that, anytime I talk to anyone who wants to get involved in startups but isn’t sure what they want to do, inevitably, I hear, “And then I was thinking maybe I should look into venture capital, too.” More here.
Google logic: why Google does the things it does the way it does: Puzzled about why Google closes successful products such as Reader while backing others such as self-driving cars? A former Apple and Palm executive explains. More here.
Why Indians don’t give back to society: Why don’t we worship Brahma? We know he’s part of the Hindu trinity as the creator, but we worship Vishnu, manager of the cosmos, and Shiva, its eventual destroyer. The answer lies not in religion, but in culture. But in what way does our religion shape our culture? More here.