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Android Developer, armchair thinker, cheese lover. I’m interested in finding out what I’m interested in.

Keep calm and take Monday off

Image Source: BBC Archives

The current pandemic has forced new working conditions on many of us. The British government, like many others, has been enforcing lockdowns that have led to people working from home or working less. The interesting thing is, this is not the first time the brits have had to adapt to a new way of working.

In 1974, the British government was in an unthinkable situation: the country couldn’t produce enough electricity. The ramifications are obvious. No power means no work gets done, which means no money, which means riots and societal collapse, etc.

The Cause — Slippery Slopes

There was a massive global oil crisis…

Source: AF archive/Alamy Stock Photo/SYFY

It’s common for shows to have fans. It’s rare for them to have rabid fans. Rarer still is a show that has such a strong following that its fans are able to get the world’s richest man to save it.

The Expanse is probably the best all-round science fiction show out there. Based on the books of James S.A Corey (a pen name — the books are actually written by two authors), it plays out in a future where humans have settled the solar system and the political, technological ethical and philosophical consequences that follow.

Few shows touch multiple themes…

What are the odds?

A recently published paper suggests that according to our current understanding of science, the existence of humans is improbable.

The paper published by Cai et al builds upon previous work determining the likelihood of intelligent life emerging in our galaxy. Yet, it’s the first study to consider something previous papers have missed: the likelihood of intelligent life destroying itself. The study considered the following factors;

  • The rate of star formation, i.e., how many stars are likely to form in a volume of space. Life forms on planets, planets form from the remains of stars, ergo, this number is crucial.
  • The…

Fact or fiction?

UFOs have been around for thousands of years, but their explanations are always changing. Taken at face value, Unidentified Flying Object just means something that flies about which we can’t make any concrete statement on what it is.

In prehistoric times, a UFO would probably be explained as a bird. In the days of the ancient Greeks, a visit from Zeus. In medieval times, an omen from God, and in our modern age, advanced spacecraft from space.

While there is no hard evidence of extraterrestrial visitation on Earth, there are interesting records that would get even a skeptic interested. …

Better crippled in body than corrupt in mind

Photo by Mike Marrah on Unsplash

I’ve been there. A few years ago I was halfway through university, and I had a lot of time on my hands. I was an OK student, I’d do 90% of my studying during exam season — meaning I would loiter around most of the time.

I was left to my own devices — nobody telling me what to do, what how to do it, what to say and where to be. So I did what a lot people would do with no direction: I mindlessly browsed Youtube. I saw a video with a crazy title which went something like…

Death by chocolate takes on a whole new meaning

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The Nazis are infamous for their murderous schemes and willingness to use any means necessary during World War II. In 1943, the war had turned sour for them. The massive gains they made in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe were being chipped away, its navy decimated and the Battle of Britain had inflicted heavy losses on the air force.

With the prospects for a land invasion of the UK gone, the Germans tried a hilariously sneaky trick to sow chaos — killing Winston Churchill with deadly chocolate. …

Small lessons, big wins.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Common sense dictates that when you set off on a journey, you seek the advice of someone who has been on the same path before , hopefully many times before. I would agree, but a lot of life advice is usually shallow such as; ‘go find a mentor’ or ‘find your tribe’ — it’s easier said than done.

A good way I learn things is to look at someone who’s been something that I want to do for a relatively short period of time. …

Make a list. Work the list

Shuttle launch
Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash.

Being a developer is hard — especially while you’re finding your flow in the early stages of your career. I’m still going through it. Being productive? That’s even harder.

As a dev, you have to put up with long meetings that eat up time you could spend on writing code, management that takes too long to make decisions, acceptance criteria that are vague, etc. These are all time-suckers, and we hardly acknowledge the worst of them: our habits and practices.

These are the habits and practices that have allowed me to minimise wasted time and maximise output.

Set an Easy-to-Define, Concrete Endpoint for Each Day

I would usually…

Source: Wikimedia Commons

In 90s, NASA was thinking big — not Apollo programme big, but big nonetheless. By then, the now legendary space shuttle was coming to be around two decades old, had served reliably on 34 missions and was a marvel of 20th Century engineering. NASA however, was already looking at the next logical technological step after the Space Shuttle: SSTO.

SSTO stands for Single Stage To Orbit. Basically, it means a vehicle that’s a single unit and is the same when it launches and returns — unlike the rockets we’re still using today. Today’s rockets, even those fancy SpaceX ones, ‘split…

Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

AccuracyDepth-Aware video frame INterpolation, or DAIN, is a new neural network model. The brainchild of researchers from four institutions including Google, DAIN is a look through the window of what the future holds for machine vision and AI made entertainment.

What Does DAIN Do?

In short, DAIN makes videos smoother.

A video is basically a bunch of still images called frames that, when played fast enough, give us the illusion of motion. The frames per second of a video, its fps, is a measure of how ‘smooth’ the video looks. …

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