Tech/Travel Aspiration: Mars • Big Data Origins • Kids ‘n Programming • more…

Wall of Gale Crater, Mars

Wall of Gale Crater, Mars.
See the awesome Mars links at the end of this post.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS


“Big Data” Origins • SkyDrive Facelift • Kid’s & Programming • Hire People, not Contract Firms • Mars Panorama & Parody

Where “Big Data” Came From

Informative article in the New York Times on the origin and meaning of the term “Big Data,” in layman’s terms.

New York Times

Want to Teach a Kid Programming? Khan Academy has a Great New Approach

Techcrunch has some background


Make sure to go to and view the intro video there. Good Stuff.

Khan Academy

SkyDrive gets Windows 8-like User Experience

Microsoft’s online applications have been getting significant facelifts in conjunction with the pending launch of Windows 8. A couple of weeks ago, Hotmail was updated and essentially renamed to Now it’s SkyDrive’s turn.

Ars Technica

For Contract Programming Work, Hire People, Not Firms

Business/Computer Science professor Panos Ipeirotis offers up empirical evidence that programmers working as individual contractors or very small teams produce higher quality work than those working for large contracting organizations.

(Aside: the title of his blog post: “The disintermediation of the firm…” is a play on economist Ronald Coase’s seminal article, The Nature of the Firm, that first explained why workers tend to be organized into firms rather than working exclusively as individual contractors.)

Behind the Enemy Lines Blog

Just One More: Mars Panorama and Parody

Two great Mars links today:

1 – An awesome 360° Mars panorama courtesy of the Curiosity rover and panoramist Andrew Bodrov. Nota bene: this is as much art as photography. Bodrov used actual NASA Curiosity photographs, but there was not enough source material for a full color 360° panorama. Bodrov used Photoshop to add color, sky and other elements as described here.

360Cities : Curiosity rover: Martian solar day 2 in New Mexico

2 – When I was a young, we nerds didn’t get much respect. Now NASA /JPL and Curiosity have made space nerds so cool they’re worthy of high quality parody music videos. You young nerds of today should be grateful!

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