Thursday, December 29, 2011

Link roundup

1. Darpa held a contest, challenging people to put back together several shredded documents. The winning team took advantage of ink hidden in the paper:

Then he happened on an article about a little-known government project: The U.S. Secret Service has been working with manufacturers of color laser printers to place tiny, imperceptible yellow dots on printed pages so that the government can track the machine that produced them. Good put the puzzle under a blue-light filter and saw the dots. “It was a breakthrough moment,” he says. “The pattern of dots is practically a map for how everything comes together.”
2. If you're looking for some good cheap iPhone games for your kids, I recommend Stunt Bugs and Temple Run (they were free last time I checked and my boys love them both).

3. i09's picks for the best tv moments of 2011.

4. The various writers for Grantland picked their sporting moments of the year. Here's part of Hua Hsu's pick:
We've grown so accustomed to seeing American athletes treated with some measure of deference abroad, particularly in places where the level of play might not be up to the standard of the American ideal. As I watched the brawl, it felt like something was changing: Maybe they no longer aspired to be versions of our stars. It's impossible to disentangle the factors that resulted in the melee, whether it had to do with slack refereeing or China's recent generations of treasured "only children" or maybe the aggressive, chippy play that has, in recent years, become the Chinese style. It's hard to ignore the larger backdrop, this shifting balance of global power, the realities that link the front page to the sports section. We still have the stars, but the money is elsewhere. Geographies are global now. It troubles our stable sense of lineage — the common, generational mythologies and legible, cross-town battle lines, our sense of who seeks approval from whom. Not everyone aspires to Springfield, Canton, or Cooperstown, and maybe a "love of the game" is no longer what unites us. The Brooklyn Nets might be a Russian billionaire's plaything; they might exist, in his mind, only to make him sufficiently famous so that he won't be assassinated. Striker Samuel Eto'o, a champion with both Barcelona and Inter Milan, relocated to Anzhi Makhachkala, in Dagestan, to become one of the best-paid athletes in the world. He flies 1,200 miles to home games. Playing for the Bayi Military Rockets might be the sum of one's dreams.
5. Genuinely funny comic strip/ad by The Oatmeal for Sriracha. Discovered via this giveaway.

6. Don't forget to participate in this month's art contest. Amazon and Threadless credits are up for grabs.