249: TZ Discussion – Bit Is the New Von

Justin and Jason discuss how 0.01 Bitcoin was donated to the show, why Justin has been blogging so much lately, their respective Christmas plans and family traditions, an intriguing anti-ageing compound that’s set for human trialsan Oxford debate on ageing, why science fiction tends to restrict itself to exploring such a limited set of advances and how difficult it is to predict the future, the possibility of mind-reading technologies, how the French recently implanted the first artificial human heart, how difficult it would be to adapt to the far future, what’s different about kids today, how task laziness is all relative, Justin’s post refuting Bitcoin FUD and a short discussion about inflation and deflation, Jason’s mad scientist idea about how to accelerate the 4th grade math team he’s coaching, the latest on Catalyst, how James Jensen’s kids are following along with the Catalyst concept of using real tools, Jason’s monster MySQL stored procedure, why Justin rewrote a CloudDB solution in MySQL and why he doesn’t use a debugger, Glenn Bennett’s humorous image validator, more on Jason’s friend who’s teaching himself how to code and Jason’s idea for a reality TV show called Geek Up, the ‘Superbugs’ found breeding in sewage plantsCryptoLocker’s crimewavethe revelation that the NSA program has stopped zero terror attackshow its phone surveillance program has been ruled unconstitutionalhow the White House is attempting to prevent federal judges from ruling on surveillance effortsscary acoustic cryptanalysishow an NSA coworker remembers Edward Snowden as a genius among geniuseshow the NSA likely bribed RSA into weakening its BSAFE libraryRSA’s unimpressive rebuttal and an insightful counter rebuttalthe ridiculous, whitewash 60-minutes report on the NSA and how the pandering reporter is expected to land a top intelligence role at the NYPDhow no one is watching mainstream news anymoreespecially in comparison to The Walking Dead, Amazon’s new show Alpha Househow Treehouse manages to get anything accomplished without managers, and their respective views on wishing people a Merry / Happy Christmas.

  1. About micropayments, I wonder why http://Flattr.com has not been more widely adopted. They really have it together. I’ve been Flattring for a few years. Perhaps you would consider adding a Flattr button. I also recently signed up for Dwolla, which is very much like Paypal except they only ever charge 25 cents per transaction, no matter the dollar transfer amount.
    Great to have you back on a regular once a week schedule. Happy Holidays!

  2. I’m actually working on the prediction tracking service/prediction market you mention! Expect your beta invites before the end of January!

  3. Regarding tracing vs. debugging, I would add a third option: writing either unit tests or acceptance tests (BDD).
    I personally use a combination of all three but definitely leverage the debugger (Visual Studio when writing .NET apps, or Chrome Developer when writing NodeJS or browser JS code).

    Merry XMas to all. It was great to listen to the outro after “news of the dark side”! 🙂

  4. Richard says:

    I used to work along the corridor from Aubrey de Grey at Cambridge University when he was employed as a software developer (as was I), at the time he was doing his gerontology research on the side. I think other researchers resented that he was an engineer and not a ‘qualified’ scientist, but as you were discussing this meant he took a very different approach.

    He came in for criticism (for good reason) when he started appearing in the news and on TV being introduced as from Cambridge University when his link with the university actually had nothing to do with his scientific research.

    As a friend said – ‘if he wants to live to 1000 he shouldn’t ride his bike so fast around town’.

  5. Justin says:

    @Richard – That’s a great story thanks very much for sharing 🙂

  6. I’m so glad you’re back on weekly schedule. I was a bit worried about the fate of my favorite podcast when you were doing one episode in 3-4 weeks 🙂 Thanks for the good show to finish 2013. Happy New Year to you and all listeners and all the best in 2014!

  7. (1) Alpha house is really good
    (2) Why Justin does not want to use a debugger? Really!
    (3) Visual Studio support color coding, intellisense and full debugging experience for Python and NodeJs. It was released recently.


    This may convince some to go back to Windows?

  8. Jason says:

    @Steve French – Cool, I’m looking forward to that beta invite!

  9. Jason says:

    @Michael Rakita – Thanks! Yeah, I was a little concerned myself. Momentum is everything and when you lose it, well … the end is nigh.

    There’s a great quote from the movie World War Z (of all things) when Brat Pitt’s character Gerry Lane is attempting to convince a family to leave the relative safety of their home and come with them: “I used to work in dangerous places and the people who moved survived and those who didn’t… Movement is life. Movement is life.”


    Time to move!